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Hannibal Feasts on AFI List

E! Online, 4 June 2003

The greatest screen hero hungered for justice. The greatest screen villain just plain hungered.

To Kill a Mockingbird's Atticus Finch and The Silence of the Lambs' Hannibal Lecter topped the American Film Institute's latest list-making labor, as revealed Tuesday in the CBS-TV special, 100 Years...100 Heroes & Villains.

To clarify, Finch, the Southern lawyer who defends a black man unjustly accused of rape, was cited as Hollywood's all-time do-gooder character. Lecter, the psycho killer who eats people, was named his do-bad counterpart. Both roles brought their respective actors the Oscar: Gregory Peck winning for Mockingbird; Anthony Hopkins for Lamb.

In all, 1,500 voters -- actors, directors, critics, film historians and others --selected 50 good guys (including a handful of women, plus a dog) and 50 bad guys (including more than a handful of women, plus a shark) from 400 candidates.

The AFI did not divide its ballot into hero and villain hopefuls, leaving it to the creative types to decide if, say, Taxi Driver's Travis Bickle was a good guy for blowing away pimp Harvey Keitel, or a bad guy for trying to assassinate a presidential candidate. (The jurors decided Bickle was bad -- he placed 30th on the villain list.)

Arnold Schwarzenegger, who made both lists, as the "bad" cyborg of The Terminator (22nd among all villains) and the "good" cyborg of its 1991 sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day (48th among all heroes), hosted the three-hour prime-time special.

Rounding out AFI's Top 10 heroes: Indiana Jones, James Bond, Casablanca's Rick Blaine; High Noon's Will Kane; Silence of the Lambs' Clarice Starling; Rocky Balboa; alien-buster Ellen Ripley; It's a Wonderful Life's George Bailey; and Lawrence of Arabia's T.E. Lawrence.

All but Lawrence, the World War I British military officer, are make-believe characters of character.

Franchise players Indiana Jones, James Bond and Rocky Balboa were cited for their first screen appearances, in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Dr. No, and Rocky, respectively. Miss Ripley received her nod for the second installment of the Alien series, Aliens, in which Miss Ripley kicked much ass.

Among the baddies, the Top 10 included: Norman Bates; Darth Vader; The Wizard of Oz's Wicked Witch of the West; One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest's Nurse Ratched; It's a Wonderful's Mr. Potter; Fatal Attraction's Alex Forrest; Double Indemnity's Phyllis Dietrichson; The Exorcist's Regan MacNeil; and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' Queen.

Motel hell's Norman Bates, portrayed by Anthony Perkins in three films and Vince Vaughn in one ill-advised, shot-for-shot remake, received his dis-honor for the character's 1960 Psycho debut. The Star Wars saga's Vader was singled out for his extra-special badness in The Empire Strikes Back.

As with AFI's previous attempts to summarize a century's worth of cinema in easy-to-read list form, there is much to quibble about regarding 100 Years...100 Heroes & Villains.

Specifically:

  • How come only eight women characters (Clarice Starling, Ripley, Norma Rae's Norma Rae, Thelma & Louise's Thelma and Louise, Erin Brockovich's Erin Brockovich, Fargo's Marge Gunderson, and Silkwood's Karen Silkwood) made the heroic Top 50?

    Crusading chicks who were nominated, but did not make the final cut included: Mrs. Miniver's Mrs. Miniver, who braved bombings in wartime London; Foxy Brown's Foxy Brown, who got revenge on the no-good drug lords who killed her man; and Sarah Connor, who, oh, you know, SAVED THE PLANET FROM NUCLEAR ANNIHILATION in T2.

    Gone with the Wind's Scarlett O'Hara, who delivered Melanie's baby, but otherwise acted kinda bratty throughout the Civil War and Reconstruction, failed to rate a mention as either a hero or a villain.
     

  • How could a guy named Dr. Evil not qualify as an all-time bad guy? That Evil is a comic baddie, from the Austin Powers flicks, might have been held against him, although that factor didn't stop voters from hailing Jack Nicholson's mug-a-thon as the Joker in Batman (45th on the villain list).
     

  • How come Regan MacNeil rates as a baddie? Is it the kid's fault she was possessed by Satan? And what of Alex Forrest? Was Glenn Close's exacting book editor really all that out of line, or did two-timing Michael Douglas have it coming? (Conceded: The boiling-the-bunny thing was wrong.)
     

  • Two words: Luke Skywalker.
    "The Force" with him or no, the original Star Wars trilogy's golden boy could not crack the Top 50 Heroes list, overshadowed by his ride, Han Solo (14th place), and his mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi (37th place). Princess Leia didn't make the cut, either, but then she was a girl. (Women had a much better chance of making the villain list, where 28 percent of the honorees were skirt-wearing nut jobs.)

Other male snubees included: John Shaft, Bruce Lee and just about every non-white hero and/or villain. In the Heat of the Night's Virgil Tibbs (19th among the good guys) and Training Day's Alonzo Harris (50th among the bad guys) were the only characters of color cited. Not a single non-white woman was included on either list.

Pets and inanimate objects fared better than minorities. Lassie represented for canines -- 39th on the hero list. 2001's Hal 9000 carried the banner for whacked-out computers -- 13th on the villain list. Jaws' shark led the way for marine life -- 18th among the baddies.

The special-effects creation that was the alien in Alien ended up 14th on the villain list. And the unseen character known simply as "Man" in Bambi won recognition, ranked 20th among all bad boys.

Past AFI lists have ranked the 100 best love stories, 100 best thrillers, the 100 best comedies and the all-time 100 best American films.

HEROES

  1. Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck)
    TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962)
  2. Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford)
    RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981)
  3. James Bond (Sean Connery)
    DR. NO (1962)
  4. Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart)
    CASABLANCA (1942)
  5. Will Kane (Gary Cooper)
    HIGH NOON (1952)
  6. Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster)
    THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991)
  7. Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone)
    ROCKY (1976)
  8. Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver)
    ALIENS (1986)
  9. George Bailey (James Stewart)
    IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)
  10. T.E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole)
    LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962)
  11. Jefferson Smith (James Stewart)
    MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939)
  12. Tom Joad (Henry Fonda)
    THE GRAPES OF WRATH (1940)
  13. Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson)
    SCHINDLER'S LIST (1993)
  14. Han Solo (Harrison Ford)
    STAR WARS (1977)
  15. Norma Rae Webster (Sally Field)
    NORMA RAE (1979)
  16. Shane (Alan Ladd)
    SHANE (1953)
  17. Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood)
    DIRTY HARRY (1971)
  18. Robin Hood (Errol Flynn)
    THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938)
  19. Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier)
    IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (1967)
  20. Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid (Paul Newman & Robert Redford)
    BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969)
  21. Mahatma Gandhi (Ben Kingsley)
    GANDHI (1982)
  22. Spartacus (Kirk Douglas)
    SPARTACUS (1960)
  23. Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando)
    ON THE WATERFRONT (1954)
  24. Thelma Dickinson & Louise Sawyer (Geena Davis & Susan Sarandon)
    THELMA AND LOUISE (1991)
  25. Lou Gehrig (Gary Cooper)
    THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES (1942)
  26. Superman (Christopher Reeve)
    SUPERMAN (1978)
  27. Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein (Robert Redford & Dustin Hoffman)
    ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN (1976)
  28. Juror No. 8 (Henry Fonda)
    12 ANGRY MEN (1957)
  29. General George Patton (George C. Scott)
    PATTON (1970)
  30. Luke Jackson (Paul Newman)
    COOL HAND LUKE (1967)
  31. Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts)
    ERIN BROKOVICH (2000)
  32. Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart)
    THE BIG SLEEP (1946)
  33. Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand)
    FARGO (1996)
  34. Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller)
    TARZAN THE APE MAN (1932)
  35. Alvin York (Gary Cooper)
    SERGEANT YORK (1941)
  36. Rooster Cogburn (John Wayne)
    TRUE GRIT (1969)
  37. Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness)
    STAR WARS (1977)
  38. The Tramp (Charlie Chaplin)
    CITY LIGHTS (1931)
  39. Lassie (Pal the dog)
    LASSIE COME HOME (1943)
  40. Frank Serpico (Al Pacino)
    SERPICO (1973)
  41. Arthur Chipping (Robert Donat)
    GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS (1939)
  42. Father Edward Flanagan (Spencer Tracy )
    BOYS TOWN (1938)
  43. Moses (Charlton Heston)
    THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956)
  44. Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle (Gene Hackman)
    THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971)
  45. Zorro (Tyrone Power)
    THE MARK OF ZORRO (1940)
  46. Batman (Michael Keaton)
    BATMAN (1989)
  47. Karen Silkwood (Meryl Streep)
    SILKWOOD (1983)
  48. The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger)
    TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY (1991)
  49. Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks)
    PHILADELPHIA (1993)
  50. Maximus (Russell Crowe)
    GLADIATOR (2000)

VILLAINS

  1. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins)
    THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991)
  2. Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins)
    PSYCHO (1960)
  3. Darth Vader (David Prowse, voiced by James Earl Jones)
    THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (1983)
  4. The Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton)
    THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)
  5. Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher)
    ONE FLEW OVER THE CUKOO'S NEST (1975)
  6. Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore)
    IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)
  7. Alex Forrest (Glenn Close)
    FATAL ATTRACTION (1987)
  8. Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck)
    DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944)
  9. Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair)
    THE EXORCIST (1973)
  10. The Queen (voiced by Lucille LaVerne)
    SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937)
  11. Michael Corleone (Al Pacino)
    THE GODFATHER, PART II (1974)
  12. Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell)
    A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971)
  13. HAL 9000 (voiced by Douglas Rain)
    2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)
  14. The Alien (Bolaji Badejo)
    ALIEN (1979)
  15. Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes)
    SCHINDLER'S LIST (1993)
  16. Noah Cross (John Huston)
    CHINATOWN (1974)
  17. Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates)
    MISERY (1990)
  18. The Shark
    JAWS (1975)
  19. Captain Bligh (Charles Laughton)
    MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935)
  20. Man
    BAMBI (1942)
  21. Mrs. John Iselin (Angela Lansbury)
    THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962)
  22. The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger)
    THE TERMINATOR (1984)
  23. Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter)
    ALL ABOUT EVE (1950)
  24. Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas)
    WALL STREET (1987)
  25. Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson)
    THE SHINING (1980)
  26. Cody Jarrett (James Cagney)
    WHITE HEAT (1949)
  27. The Martians
    WAR OF THE WORLDS (1953)
  28. Max Cady (Robert Mitchum)
    CAPE FEAR (1962)
  29. Rev. Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum)
    THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (1955)
  30. Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro)
    TAXI DRIVER (1976)
  31. Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson)
    REBECCA (1940)
  32. Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker (Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway)
    BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967)
  33. Count Dracula (Bela Lugosi)
    DRACULA (1931)
  34. Dr. Szell (Laurence Olivier)
    MARATHON MAN (1976)
  35. J.J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster)
    SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (1957)
  36. Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper)
    BLUE VELVET (86)
  37. Harry Lime (Orson Welles)
    THE THIRD MAN (1949)
  38. Rico Bandello (Edward G. Robinson)
    LITTLE CAESAR (1931)
  39. Cruella De Vil (voiced by Betty Lou Gerson)
    ONE HUNDRED AND ONE DALMATIANS (1961)
  40. Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund)
    A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984)
  41. Joan Crawford (Faye Dunaway)
    MOMMIE DEAREST (1981)
  42. Tom Powers (James Cagney)
    THE PUBLIC ENEMY (1931)
  43. Regina Giddens (Bette Davis )
    THE LITTLE FOXES (1941)
  44. Baby Jane Hudson (Bette Davis )
    WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? (1962)
  45. The Joker (Jack Nicholson)
    BATMAN (1989)
  46. Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman)
    DIE HARD (1988)
  47. Tony Camonte (Paul Muni)
    SCARFACE (1932)
  48. Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey)
    THE USUAL SUSPECTS (1995)
  49. Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe)
    GOLDFINGER (1964)
  50. Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington)
    TRAINING DAY (2001)

2003 E! Online

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