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Best movie characters of all time

Written By Franklin V on Sunday, May 1, 2011 | 5:24 PM


1. Lucy (50 First Dates) – Michelle Philpots

Every day, Michelle Philpots wakes up next to a man who has to convince her they are married. When she expresses doubt, he takes out a photo album and shows her pictures of their wedding 13 years ago. Only then does amnesiac Mrs Philpots accept she is talking to her husband, Ian, and that everything he has told her is true.
The 47-year-old’s condition was caused by brain injuries sustained in two road accidents. She can recall everything up to 1994 but since then everything that happens on one day is forgotten the next. Her case echoes 50 First Dates, the 2004 movie in which Adam Sandler tries to woo Drew Barrymore, who has no day-to-day memory following a car crash.

2. Zorro (The Mask of Zorro) – Joaquin Murrieta

Zorro is the secret identity of Don Diego de la Vega, a nobleman and master living in the Spanish colonial era of California. He is a black-clad masked outlaw who defends the people of the land against tyrannical officials and other villains. Joaquin Murrieta, also called the Robin Hood of El Dorado, was a semi-legendary figure in California during the California Gold Rush of the 1850s. He was either an infamous bandit or a Mexican patriot, depending on one’s point of view. Murrieta was partly the inspiration for the fictional character of Zorro. His name has, for some political activists, symbolized resistance against Anglo-American economic and cultural domination in California. In fact, a character with his name appears in The Mask of Zorro. In the film, after Joaquin’s d*ath, his (fictional) brother, Alejandro (Antonio Banderas), becomes the new Zorro and later kills Captain Love in revenge.

3. Viktor Navorski (The Terminal) – Mehran Nasseri

“The Terminal” is a moving tale, where Tom Hanks plays the victim of the modern world. That a man could spend months stuck in diplomatic limbo living in an airport may seem far-fetched, but in fact, the movie is inspired by a real-life character who lived at terminal one of Paris Charles De Gaulle airport. The living urban legend is Mehran Nasseri, known as “Sir Alfred” to those who work at the airport. Stranded without papers, Nasseri was a stateless refugee from Iran, unwanted by any nation. Having claimed to have one British parent, he decided to settle in the UK in 1986, but en route to there in 1988, his briefcase containing his papers was stolen in Paris. Despite this setback, he boarded the plane for London but was promptly returned to France when he failed to present a passport to British immigration. He was initially arrested by the French, but then released as his entry to the airport was legal and he had no country of origin to be returned to. A red plastic bench beside a luggage store was his home for no less than 18 years. Director Steven Spielberg may have moved the airport to New York for his movie and made Hank’s character East European, but there’s no doubt who the movie is based on. Nasseri’s life at the airport ended in July 2006 when he was hospitalized and his sitting place dismantled.

4. Rocky Balboa (Rocky) – Chuck Wepner

“All my life I’ve been trying to survive. If I overcame the service in Marine Corps, I think I’ll be able to outlive the fight with Ali”. Wepner, the boxer from New Jersey, at the end of his career got an incredible opportunity to fight for the champion title with Muhammad Ali. Nobody believed in him. But even being hardly beaten Wepner held on during 15 rounds. After that the victory was given to Ali for the technical knockout. Wepner even managed to knock Ali down in the 9th round. “Hey, I knocked him down!” – said the boxer to his coach Bufano during the break. “Well done, – he replied. – but he looks really pissed off now”.

Also Chuck Wepner, a battling, bruising club fighter who had never made it big time, but in 1975 he had his shot in a fight with world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. It wasn’t at all regarded as a serious battle. But as the fight progressed, this miracle unfolded. In the ninth round, Wepner landed a punch to Ali’s chest and Ali was knocked down. Wepner went to his corner and said to his manager, “Hey, I knocked him down.” “Yeah,” Wepner’s manager replied, “but he looks really pissed off now…”. People went absolutely crazy. Wepner was finally knocked out in the 15th and final round, almost lasting the distance. Young actor Sylvester Stallone watched the fight at home on television and was inspired to write the script for Rocky, based on Wepner’s gutsy challenge.

5. Indiana Jones (1981-2008) – Hiram Bingham III

Bingham was as extravagant as the real archeologist can possibly be. He combined his extraordinary intelligence (he graduated from Harvard, Yale and Berkeley) with the passion for action (he was a pilot during the WW II). In 1911 Bingham was exploring the Andes in search of the lost Inca city Machu Picchu and even wrote a best-seller. “Suddenly I saw the walls of the ruined houses. As the centuries went by, they became partly covered with trees and moss, but in shadow, between the thickets of bamboo and vines appeared the walls of white granite”

6. Danny Ocean (Ocean’s Eleven) - Vicotr Lusting In Real Life

Do you think that ste*ling a fortune from the Las Vegas casino vault is a big deal? Then try to sell the Eiffel Tower to a scrap metal buyer. That was not the only thing that Victor Lustig managed to get away with. He had 45 false names, could perfectly well speak 5 foreign languages and was arrested 50 times only in the USA. Born in Bohemia he, without a doubt, was the greatest sc*b ever. Lustig even gained $5000 from the ma*ia legend Al Capone. Considering all that, natty episodes with the character of Andy Garcia look a wee bit childish.

7. James Bond – Sidney Reilly

At the beginning of XX century in the field of espionage nobody could be compared with Sidney Reilly, originally Russian who simultaneously worked for 4 countries (including United Kingdom). He performed incredible tasks changing his appearance (once he penetrated on the millionaire’s yacht dressed like priest) and didn’t feel the lack of money and women. Reilly with joy went on a journey to Moscow in 1918 to “take” Lenin and with the same enthusiasm sedu*ed Russian Minister’s wife to get information about the we*pon supply to Germany. Unfortunately Reilly was another object lesson of a quote “we don’t live twice”: Russians caught him and “take” in 1925.

8. Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Top Gun) – Randy “Duke” Cunningham

Cunningham (“Duke”) and his navigator Driscoll («Irish») where the only aces during the war in Vietnam. Cunningham nearly lost his chance: he was almost expelled from the Navy infantry Academy. After the war in Vietnam he became a flying instructor in the aviation school and later on started career of a politician. At the moment Cunningham serves 10 years in prison for the participation in multi-million sca*dal related with pension payments.

9. Andy Dufresne (The Shawshank Redemption) – David McMillan

Tree years of his 17-year prison sentence in famous prison “Bangkok Hilton” were more than enough for a drug dealer David McMillan. By the year 1996 he finished sawing the bars in his cell with handsaws hidden in posters. McMillan got over four walls and crossed the run-off ditch of 2,5 meters width. Then he covered himself with umbrella and passed over the moat at the front of guards. (“I thought that escapees do not carry umbrellas”). McMillan bought a new passport from locals and abandoned the country. Thai authorities have never bothered him again.

10.  Doc Emmet Brown (Back To The Future) – Ronald Mallett

Mallett, professor of the Kentucky University, lost his father when he was a kid, in 50s of the XX century. Ever since, inspired by the novel of Herbert Wells “The Time Machine” he’s been struggling to bring to life the idea of time travel. “I thought that if I could create the time machine, I would come back to the past, meet my father, warn him about the future and safe his life…” So far Mallett only came up with idea of rotating laser which warps the space. We still keep dreaming about operative device in form of modernized “DeLorean”.
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