Total Film’s 50 greatest movie heroes and baddies of all time

In 2007 Total Film Magazine writers compiled lists of the 50 greatest heroes and villains in movies. Harrison Ford’s portrayal of archaeologist Indiana Jones was number 1 on the Heroes list, with Batman second while his most famous adversary, the Joker, was first among the villains. This was despite the list being compiled before the release of the second of Christopher Nolan’s superhero trilogy, The Dark Knight, which featured Heath Ledger’s iconic portrayal of the Joker.

The top fifty movie heroes of all time are:

  • 1 Indiana Jones
  • 2 Batman
  • 3 Rocky Balboa (Rocky)
  • 4 James Bond
  • 5 Superman
  • 6 Luke Skywalker (Star Wars)
  • 7 Spiderman
  • 8 Neo (The Matrix)
  • 9 Han Solo (Star Wars)
  • 10 The Incredible Hulk/Bruce Banner
  • 11 Donnie Darko
  • 12 Maximus Decimus Meridius (Gladiatior)
  • 13 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  • 14 Jason Bourne (The Bourne Identity)
  • 15 Spartacus
  • 16 Wolverine (X Men)
  • 17 Samwise Gamgee (Lord of the Rings)
  • 18 George Bailey (It’s a Wonderful Life)
  • 19 Philip Marlowe (Murder, My Sweet)
  • 20 Mr Lee (Enter the Dragon)
  • 21 Cherry Darling (Planet Terror)
  • 22 John McClane (Die Hard)
  • 23 Rick Deckard (Blade Runner)
  • 24 Lassie
  • 25 Dewey Finn (School of Rock)
  • 26 Bree (Transamerica)
  • 27 Mr Davis (12 Angry Men)
  • 28 Thelma and Louise
  • 29 Virgil Tibbs (In the Heat of the Night)
  • 30 Optimus Prime (The Transformers: The Movie)
  • 31 Clarice Starling (The Silence of the Lambs)
  • 32 The Terminator
  • 33 Ashitaka (Princess Mononoke)
  • 34 Elle Woods (Legally Blonde)
  • 35 Father Merrin (The Exorcist)
  • 36 Rooster Cogburn (True Grit)
  • 37 Kenji Watanabe (Ikiru)
  • 38 The Tramp (City Lights)
  • 39 The Man with No Name (A Fistful of Dollars)
  • 40 Ellen Ripley (Alien)
  • 41 Laurie Strode (Halloween)
  • 42 Spongebob Squarepants
  • 43 Rachel Stein/Ellis de Vries (Black Book)
  • 44 Jefferson Smith (Mr Smith goes to Washington)
  • 45 Sheriff John T Chance (Rio Bravo)
  • 46 John Shaft
  • 47 Sarah Connor (The Terminator)
  • 48 David Dunn (Unbreakable)
  • 49 Rick Blaine (Casablanca)
  • 50 Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird)

The top fifty movie villains of all time are:

      • 1 The Joker (Batman: The Movie)
      • 2 Darth Vader (Star Wars)
      • 3 Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs)
      • 4 Leatherface (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
      • 5 Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
      • 6 Nurse Ratched (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest)
      • 7 Anton Chigurh (No Country for Old Men)
      • 8 Michael Myers (The Halloween series)
      • 9 Frank Booth (Blue Velvet)
      • 10 Norman Bates (Psycho)
      • 11 Bridget Gregory/Wendy Kroy (The Last Seduction)
      • 12 Jason Vorhees (Friday the 13th series)
      • 13 Saruman the White (The Lord of the Rings)
      • 14 John Doe (Se7en)
      • 15 Baby Jane Hudson (Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?)
      • 16 Peyton Flanders (The Hand That Rocks the Cradle)
      • 17 Gordon Gekko (Wall Street)
      • 18 Alex Forrest (Fatal Attraction)
      • 19 The White Witch (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe)
      • 20 Captain Videl (Pan’s Labyrinth)
      • 21 Annie Wilkes (Misery)
      • 22 Tony Montana (Scarface)
      • 23 Catherine Tramell (Basic Instinct)
      • 24 Michael Corleone (The Godfather)
      • 25 Dr Christian Sezell (Marathon Man)
      • 26 Reverend Harry Powell (The Night of the Hunter)
      • 27 Ray (Nil by Mouth)
      • 28 The Wicked Witch of the West (The Wizard of Oz)
      • 29 John Ryder (The Hitcher)
      • 30 Suzanna Stone Maretto (To Die For)
      • 31 Combo (This is England)
      • 32 General Zod (Superman)
      • 33 Hans Gruber (Die Hard)
      • 34 Patrick Bateman (American Psycho)
      • 35 Ivan Drago (Rocky IV)
      • 36 Daniel Cleaver (Bridget Jones Diary)
      • 37 Verbal Klint/Keyser Soze (The Usual Suspects)
      • 38 Lex Luthor (Superman)
      • 39 Don (Sexy Beast)
      • 40 Begbie (Trainspotting)
      • 41 Phyllis Dietrichsonn (Double Indemnity)
      • 42 Mr Blonde (Reservoir Dogs)
      • 43 Dr Elsa Schneider (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade)
      • 44 Frank (Once Upon a Time in the West)
      • 45 Max Cady (Cape Fear)
      • 46 The Child Catcher (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)
      • 47 The Truck (Duel)
      • 48 Hans Beckert (M)
      • 49 Mrs John Iselin (The Manchurian Candidate)
      • 50 Mr Potter (It’s a Wonderful Life)

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Total Film’s 100 Greatest Movies Of All Time

In 2005 editors of Total Film Magazine compiled a list of what they thought were the 100 greatest movies of all-time. Given this came down to the editors picks there are some strange choices. Crash 21st greatest film of all time? Presumably their referring to Paul Haggis’s occasionally powerful but rather shallow racial drama (no doubt helped by being released not long before the poll) and not David Cronenberg’s controversial psychological thriller (released in mid 90s) about people who take sexual pleasure from car crashes! Buy – 100 Greatest Movies of All Time (as of 2005) Total Film Magazine

1 GoodFellas
2 Vertigo
3 Jaws
4 Fight Club
5 The Godfather Part II
6 Citizen Kane
7 Tokyo Story
8 Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
9 The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy
10 His Girl Friday
11 Persona
12 Chinatown
13 Manhattan
14 Taxi Driver
15 It’s A Wonderful Life
16 The Apartment
17 Once Upon A Time In The West
18 All About Eve
19 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
20 Apocalypse Now
21 Crash
22 Sunrise
23 The Godfather
24 Rear Window
25 Sunset Boulevard
26 The Third Man
27 Some Like It Hot
28 Raging Bull
29 La Regle Du Jeu
30 Reservoir Dogs
31 Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid
32 Les Enfants Du Paradis
33 Star Wars
34 The Searchers
35 A Matter Of Life And Death
36 2001: A Space Odyssey
37 Touch Of Evil
38 Badlands
39 Monty Python And The Holy Grail
40 ET: The Extra-Terrestrial
41 The Last Picture Show
42 One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
43 Heat
44 Annie Hall
45 Mean Streets
46 Nashville
47 Blade Runner
48 Singin’ In The Rain
49 Pulp Fiction
50 It Happened One Night

51 Aliens
52 Sullivan’s Travels
53 The Deer Hunter
54 Miller’s Crossing
55 Kiss Me Deadly
56 The Shawshank Redemption
57 Sweet Smell Of Success
58 Die Hard
59 Blue Velvet
60 The Outlaw Josey Wales
61 Halloween
62 The Night Of The Hunter
63 The Matrix
64 The Conversation
65 8 1/2
66 Se7en
67 L’Atalante
68 This Is Spinal Tap
69 Sideways
70 Dawn Of The Dead
71 North By Northwest
72 The Terminator
73 Hoop Dreams
74 Raiders Of The Lost Ark
75 The Wild Bunch
76 Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
77 Lawrence Of Arabia
78 The Graduate
79 The Wicker Man
80 Day For Night
81 The Shining
82 Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
83 The Wizard Of Oz
84 Metropolis
85 The King Of Comedy
86 Kind Hearts And Coronets
87 Donnie Darko
88 Get Carter
89 Rio Bravo
90 Psycho
91 Dekalog
92 Back To The Future
93 Salvador
94 Magnolia
95 The Usual Suspects
96 Stand By Me
97 Trainspotting
98 Casablanca
99 Three Kings
100 Goldfinger

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TotalFilm’s 150 Greatest Film Performances

A list published in TotalFilm in 2009. Note that the list is limited to one performance per actor. Difficult to complain about the top 4 here and am pleased to see Emily Watson’s sublime performance in Lars Von Trier’s Breaking the Waves so highly recognised. Another pleasant surprise was Sean Penn as the sleazy lawyer in Carlito’s Way but there are plenty of slightly odd ones as well. Tom Cruise for Magnolia and not Born on the Fouth of July doesn’t seem right or that it would be as high as 13th! Buy – Total Film – December 2008 – Keanu Reeves, Alien Invasions, Jessica Biel, 150 Greatest Performances, Leonardo DiCaprio (Issue 148)

150. Robert Shaw, Quint, Jaws
149. Nastassja Kinski, Jane Henderson, Paris, Texas
148. Christian Bale, Patrick Bateman, American Psycho
147. Matt Damon, Will Hunting, Good Will Hunting
146. Michelle Pfeiffer, Susan Diamond, The Fabulous Baker Boys
145. James Cagney, Arthur Cody Jarrett, White Heat
144. Kim Basinger, Lynn Bracken, L.A. Confidential
143. Romain Duris, Thomas Sayr, The Beat That My Heart Skipped
142. James Dean, Jett Rink, Giant
141. Halle Berry, Leticia Musgrove, Monster’s Ball
140. James Spader, James Ballard, Crash
139. Montgomery Clift, Matthew Garth, Red River
138. Forest Whitaker, Charlie Parker, Bird
137. Lauren Bacall, Vivian Rutledge, The Big Sleep
136. Eddie Murphy, Kit/Jiff Ramsey, Bowfinger
135. Judy Garland, Vicki Lester, A Star Is Born
134. Morgan Freeman, “Red” Redding, The Shawshank Redemption
133. Christopher Guest, Nigel Tufnel, This Is Spinal Tap
132. John Cusak, Martin Blank, Grosse Pointe Blank
131. Charlie Chaplin, Tramp, City Lights
130. Kirk Douglas, Chuck Tatem, Ace in the Hole
129. Gena Rowlands, Gloria Swenson, Gloria
128. Ben Kingsley, Don Logan, Sexy Beast
127. Steve McQueen, Capt. Virgil Hilts, The Great Escape
126. Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Neary, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
125. Alec Guiness, Everyone, Kind Hearts And Coronets
124. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Neil McCormick, Mysterious Skin
123. Sidney Poitier, Virgil Tibbs, In the Heat of the Night
122. Naomi Watts, Betty Elms, Mulholland Drive
121. Julianne Moore, Carol White, Safe
120. Martin Sheen, Kit Carruthers, Badlands
119. Isabelle Huppert, Erika Kohut, The Piano Teacher
118. John Malkovich, Valmont, Dangerous Liaisons
117. Spencer Tracy, John J Macreedy, Bad Day at Black Rock
116. Jeanne Moreau, Catherine, Jules et Jim
115. Ellen Burstyn, Sara Goldfarb, Requiem for a Dream
114. Henry Fonda, Frank, Once Upon a Time in the West
113. Winona Ryder, Veronica Sawyer, Heathers
112. Jeremy Irons, Elliot/Beverly Mantle, Dead Ringers
111. Susan Sarandon, Annie Sovoy, Bull Durham
110. Richard E Grant, Withnail, Withnail and I
109. Sean Connery, James Bond, Goldfinger
108. Takashi Shimura, Kanji Watanabe, Ikiru
107. Mia Farrow, Rosemary Woodhouse, Rosemary’s Baby
106. John Travolta, Tony Manero, Saturday Night Fever
105. Heath Ledger, The Joker, The Dark Knight
104. Woody Allen, Isaac Davis, Manhattan
103. Uma Thurman, The Bride, Kill Bill
102. Jon Voigt, Luke Martin, Coming Home
101. Jeff Bridges, Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski, The Big Lebowski

100. Javier Bardem, Anton Chigurh, No Country for Old Men
99. Marilyn Monroe, Sugar Kane Kowalczk, Some Like It Hot
98. Daniel Craig, James Bond, Casino Royale
97. Mark Wahlberg, Dirk Diggler, Boogie Nights
96. Paul Giamatti, Miles Raymond, Sideways
95. Gene Kelly, Don Lockwood, Singin’ in the Rain
94. Meg Ryan, Sally Albright, When Harry Met Sally…
93. Harvey Keitel, The Lieutenant, Bad Lieutenant
92. Reese Witherspoon, Tracy Flick, Election
91. Tom Hanks, Chuck Noland, Cast Away
90. Paddy Considine, Richard, Dead Man’s Shoes
89. Harrison Ford, Han Solo, Star Wars
88. Audrey Hepburn, Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany’s
87. Orson Welles, Harry Lime, The Third Man
86. Jim Carrey, Joel Barrish, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
85. Peter Lorre, Hans Beckert, M
84. Cate Blancett, Jude Quinn, I’m Not There
83. Boris Karloff, The Monster, Frankenstein
82. Dylan Baker, Bill Maplewood, Happiness
81. Angelina Jolie, Marianne Pearl, A Mighty Heart
80. Peter Sellers, Capt. Lionel Mandrake/President Merkin/Dr. Strangelove, Dr. Strangelove
79. Buster Keaton, Johnny Gray, The General
78. Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Terminator, The Terminator
77. Cary Grant, T.R. Devlin, Notorious
76. Benicio del Toro, Ernesto “Che” Guevera, Che
75. Catherine Deneuve, Severine Serizy, Belle de Jour
74. Charlize Theron, Aileen Wuornos, Monster
73. Clint Eastwood, Harry Callahan, Dirty Harry
72. Edward Norton, Derek Vinyard, American History X
71. Frances McDormand, Marge Gunderson, Fargo
70. Gregory Peck, Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird
69. Ryan Gosling, Dan Dunne, Half Nelson
68. Holly Hunter, Ada McGrath, The Piano
67. James Woods, Richard Boyle, Salvador
66. Katharine Hepburn, Tracy Lord, The Philadelphia Story
65. Kathy Bates, Annie Wilkes, Misery
64. Linda Fiorentino, Bridget Gregory/Wendy Kroy, The Last Seduction
63. Toshiro Mifune, Sanjuro Kuwabatake, Yojimbo
62. Vincent Gallo, Billy Brown, Buffalo ’66
61. Nicolas Cage, Ben Sanderson, Leaving Las Vegas
60. Nicole Kidman, Grace Margaret Mulligan, Dogville
59. Brad Pitt, Tyler Durden, Fight Club
58. Rosalind Russell, Hildy Johnson, His Girl Friday
57. Michael Rooker, Henry, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
56. Barbara Stanwyck, Phyllis Diedrichson, Double Indemnity
55. Johnny Depp, Edward Scissorhands, Edward Scissorhands
54. Christopher Walken, Frank White, King of New York
53. Leonardo DiCaprio, Arnie Grape, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?
52. Dennis Hopper, Frank Booth, Blue Velvet
51. Bill Murray, Phil Connors, Groundhog Day

50. Matthew Broderick, Ferris Bueller, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
49. Humphrey Bogart, Dixon Steele, In a Lonely Place
48. Anthony Hopkins, Hannibal Lecter, Silence of the Lambs
47. Sigourney Weaver, Lt. Ellen Ripley, Aliens
46. Robert Mitchum, Harry Powell, The Night of the Hunter
45. Samuel L. Jackson, Jules Winfield, Pulp Fiction
44. Jean-Paul Belmondo, Michel Poiccard, Breathless
43. Ray Winstone, Ray, Nil by Mouth
42. Setsuko Hara, Noriko Hirayama, Tokyo Story
41. Malcolm McDowell, Alex DeLarge, A Clockwork Orange
40. John Wayne, Ethan Edwards, The Searchers
39. Kevin Spacey, Roger “Verbil” Kilt, The Usual Suspects
38. Klaus Kinski, Don Lope de Aguirre, Aguirre, the Wrath of God
37. Joe Pesci, Tommy DeVito, GoodFellas
36. Peter Finch, Howard Beale, Network
35. Sissy Spacek, Carrie White, Carrie
34. Russell Crowe, Maximus Decimus Meridius, Gladiator
33. Robert Duvall, Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore, Apocalypse Now
32. Burt Lancaster, J.J. Hunsecker, Sweet Smell of Success
31. David Thewlis, Johnny, Naked
30. Gloria Swanson, Norma Desmond, Sunset Blvd.
29. Steve Martin, Johnny Gray, The Man With Two Brains
28. Maria Falconetti, Joan of Arc, The Passion of Joan of Arc
27. Anthony Perkins, Norman Bates, Psycho
26. Gary Oldman, Bex Bissell, The Firm
25. Diane Keaton, Annie Hall, Annie Hall
24. Liv Ullmann, Elisabeth Volger, Persona
23. Sean Penn, David Kleinfield, Carlito’s Way
22. Will Smith, Muhammed Ali, Ali
21. Dustin Hoffman, Benjamin Braddock, The Graduate
20. Jack Lemmon, Bud Baxter, The Apartment
19. Kate Winslet, Clementine Kruczynski, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
18. Bette Davis, Margo Channing, All About Eve
17. Peter O’Toole, T.E. Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia
16. Hilary Swank, Brandon Teena, Boys Don’t Cry
15. Sylvester Stallone, Rocky Balboa, Rocky
14. Jodie Foster, Sarah Tobias, The Accused
13. Tom Cruise, Frank TJ Mackey, Magnolia
12. James Stewart, John “Scottie” Ferguson, Vertigo
11. Gene Hackman, Harry Caul, The Conversation
10. Meryl Streep, Sophie, Sophie’s Choice
9. Paul Newman, Fast Eddie Felson, The Hustler
8. Jane Fonda, Bree Daniels, Klute
7. Denzel Washington, Malcolm X, Malcolm X
6. Marlon Brando, Terry Malloy, On the Waterfront
5. Emily Watson, Bess, Breaking the Waves
4. Al Pacino, Michael Corleone, The Godfather Part II
3. Daniel Day-Lewis, Daniel Plainview, There Will Be Blood
2. Robert DeNiro, Frank LaMotta, Raging Bull
1. Jack Nicholson, Randall Patrick McMurphy, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

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