The SDMB top 50 Movie Heroes List

The Rules are simple. Pick Five of your favourite film Heroes with a brief explanation as to why they were chosen. You may choose from any film from any country at any length from the last century (1901-2000)

After a set time (say when no one has posted for 48 hrs) I will tabulate the votes and announce the list of the top 50 choices. At which point we may dissect and argue about how wrong or dumb our list was.

You may vote only once but may ask for a change by listing which you wish removed from your choices.

#1. Superman … because that is what I grew up on… and it is superman…

#2. James Bond … because he always saves the day… and finds a way to do it in the coolest way possible…

#3. Indiana Jones … every childhood boys dream… become a badass explorer…

#4. Han Solo same reasons as #3… only in the future and not quite as badass because of the whole Luke character…

#5 will be Neo … once he has saved Zion of course…
I love those movies…

#1. Atticus Finch, To Kill A Mockingbird – yes, the AFI is actually right sometimes.

#2. Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark and its sequels – and sometimes they’re right twice.

#3. Will Kane, High Noon – What greater hero is there than the man who stands alone against evil, when those around him flee?

#4. William Wallace, Braveheart – Yeah, the film was historically inaccurate. BFD. Tell me your heart doesn’t pump a little faster when Mel gives his battlefield speech at Stirling.

#5. The Man With No Name, A Fistful of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly – Really more of an antihero, I suppose. But Good Lord is he cool.

Merge’s top three definitely belong on an top-50 heroes list, so I second all of them.

My #4Luke Skywalker - identified a lot with him as a coming-of-age character who endures numerous trials to grow into a true uber-hero. Just take a look at what luke was at the beginning of Star Wars, and then what he was in Return of the Jedi. I feel he is often too easily disregarded because he doesn’t have Han Solo’s “coolness” factor.

My #5Rocky Balboa - like Skywalker, a study in growth of character. Good-hearted Everyman makes big. Every Rocky after Rocky II was pretty much unnecessary, but still enjoyable until Rocky V.

Just a list… in no particular order

  1. Maximus (Gladiator) - Typical protagonist stuff, enjoyable character and you feel his pain and what he has to go through.

  2. James Bond - Babes and gadgets. What more could you ask?

  3. Andy Dufresne (Shawshank Redemption) - Emerges victorious against a corrupt system through ‘hope’

  4. Indiana Jones - like mentioned above, a character that kids can look up to

  5. Superman - In my opinion, the definition of the word ‘hero’.

Crap… should I have added spoiler tags for some of those?

  1. Indiana Jones. No, the AFI was wrong, horribly wrong. Atticus Finch was a fine hero but 80% of the people reading the list had absolutely no idea who he was. Certainly a better moral and ethical role model than Indiana Jones as written, but in terms of his impact on MOVIES, it’s not even a close call; everyone knows Indy. Perfect movie hero; great name, dashing, good looking, takes crazy risks, has a cool hat, fights Nazis, has a weakness everyone can identify with, even has a great theme song. The alpha and omega of movie heroes.

  2. Rick Blaine. A super cool hero in possibly the greatest movie that has ever been made.

  3. Will Kane. Can’t argue with that.

  4. The Man With No Name. So cool, and we need an anti-hero.

  5. James Bond.

Honorable Mentions: Lt. Ripley, Atticus Finch, Rocky Balboa, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Rooster Cogburn, John McClane, Frodo Baggins, Robin Hood (in various incarnations), William Wallace, Superman, Batman, Wolverine, Virgil Tibbs, Snake Plissken, T.E. Lawrence, Captain Kirk, Spock, Woody the Cowboy, Forrest Gump.

If Neo does not save Zion… and it turns out to be the whole Matrix inside a Matrix theory(I don’t believe it will)

then my #5 will be changed to

Pootie Tang

Pearl White’s Pauline in The Perils of Pauline (1914), the first great (though not the first) heroine of the films.

Harold Lloyd’s 1920s Everyman, who in a number of films epitomized the American go-getter of the period.

Charlie Chaplin. As much as I personally dislike him, his Little Tramp personified the little guy who struggles and makes good.

Jimmy Stewart’s Mr. Smith, who Went to Washington. All-American schmaltz, and still very effective.

Having trouble coming up with a Number 5 . . .

Sgt. York, of course.

You say this, but you put Will Kane at #3. How many moviegoers have actually seen High Noon? And I suspect pretty much every American who’s made it through high school English since the invention of the VCR has seen To Kill a Mockingbird (and hopefully read it, too).

Ain’t it though? Hard enough coming up with five; no honorable mentions.

[ol][li]Truth in Carl Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc.[/li]–Saintliness is not a religious thing: it’s uncompromising, unblemished truthfulness without fear of personal consequences—or of fire.
[li]Erlend Josephson’s Alexander in Andrei Tarkovsky’s The Sacrifice.[/li]–Love can save the world.
[li]Self knowledge in Harold Ramis’s* Groundhog Day*.[/li]–If we could each keep trying until we got it right, it’d be a much better world.
[li]Ingrid Bergman’s Irene Girard in Roberto Rossellin-’s Europa ’51.[/li]–Saints exist among us. And we despise them.
[li]Emily Watson’s Bess McNeill in Lars Von Trier’s Breaking the Waves.[/li]–Love can make miracles.

  1. Atticus Finch AFI was right… he is what the average person should aspire to be. Moral, and strong enough to stand up for those morals without resorting to brutish behaviour.

  2. Indy… sure he’s an amalgamation of every serial hero and Allan Quartermaine but what an amalgamation.

  3. Ripley… She was tough independent and when the chips were down she didn’t completely lose it and blub away.

  4. The man with no name… Clever, quiet and observant, he was able to take action when required and knew when not to.

  5. Will Kane… Stands up and does his duty when everyone else has run scared. He has the chance to run but he knows what he has to do.

  1. Indiana Jones- He’s sexy, he’s cut. He’s got a whip. Enough Said.

  2. Han Solo- He’s Sexy, He’s cut, yes it’s Harrison Ford again, but he could kick Luke’s ass any day. That’s right. I said it. Luke’s got nothin.

  3. Batman- but Michael Keaton Batman. He’s just cool and deserves much more credit than he gets.

  4. Gandalf- He’s a wizard, he can kick some serious ass, he’s old and cool. Who else would it be?

  5. Yoda- A lean mean fighting machine in Attack of the Clones, a muppet, a speaker of wisdom and truth.

Frank Oz, and George Lucas, you’ve done well.

Ooh, this is tough… I ran out of steam after four:

Westley, The Princess Bride
Strong, smart, funny - heck, he fought an ROUS with his bare hands!
(honorable mention to the ever-quotable Inigo Montoya, but he’s not the main character, so no nomination).

John Keating, Dead Poets Society
Because he dared teach the heresy that education doesn’t have to be boring.

Thelma and Louise Thelma and Louise
Can’t have one without the other, but together, these two are one powerful pair.

Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins
Well, she’s “practically perfect in every way!” Plus, that umbrella thing is way cool.

I will only choose one because everything else pales in comparison. I think Jeff Stryker (the pornstar) is the ultimate hero: Big dick, good body, good smile, and the whole plot revolves around who he is gonna screw next. LOL :wink:

What, no votes for Optimus Prime? :wink:

(He was too in a movie!)

Actually I found the heros easier than the villians. I just tried to think: Given the situation, do I wish I could have acted like that?

Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)
Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs
Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler in Schindler’s List
Henry Fonda as Juror #8 in 12 Angry Men (1957)
Frances McDormand as Marge Gunderson in Fargo (1996)

OK, maybe I picked Margie because she always has something tasteful to say as well as being the best cop ever. “Oh, I just think I’m gonna barf… Well, that passed. Now I’m hungry again.”

  1. James Bond - Sophisticated, resourceful, intelligent, and let’s face it…the man knows how to wear a dinner jacket.

  2. Will Kane - The ultimate “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do” flick.

  3. Indiana Jones - Once again, smart, resourceful, and quite handy with a big-ass revolver.

  4. Sgt. Alvin York - Amazin’ cuz it’s true.

  5. Rooster Cogburn - Bold talk from a one-eyed fat man, but he could back it up.

I like Spencer Tracy’s Henry Drummond in Inherit the Wind.
Sigorney Weaver as Ripely in Alien(s)
Luke Skywalker (yes I’m a geek for picking him over Han)
Alice in WD’s Alice in Wonderland is the only Disney cartoon hero with no boyfriend and no help. She has to do it on her own.

Henry Fonda in The Grapes of Wrath, Fail Safe, Mr. Roberts ect ect.
Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, It’s a Wonderful Life ect ect.