Thursday, July 23, 2015

Five Greatest Movie Characters

Five Greatest Movie Characters
Indiana Jones
APPEARANCES: All four Indiana Jones adventures (1981-2008)CREATORS: George Lucas, Lawrence KasdanPERFORMER: Harrison FordDEFINING MOMENT: The flicker of recognition that crosses Indy’s face when Belloq (Paul Freeman) suggests they are alike... Tied with the pained, “Do I really have to do this?” look he gives just before he shoots the Arab swordsman.FASCINATING FACT: It is common knowledge that Indiana Jones was originally called Indiana Smith, but changed to Jones at Spielberg’s behest. Yet the reason Spielberg wanted the seemingly negligible name change was to distance Raiders from Nevada Smith, a 1966 Steve McQueen Western.

James bond
APPEARANCES: The James Bond seriesCREATOR: Ian FlemingPERFORMERS: Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel CraigDEFINING MOMENT: Probably varies by Bond — Moore unzipping Solitaire’s dress with a magnet would sum him up, for example, while Brosnan adjusting his tie after driving a tank through a wall nails him. But it was probably 007’s first film that laid out the marker for the next 50 years, when he shoots Professor Dent (“That’s a Smith & Wesson, and you’ve had your six”) with the insouciance of a man who’s just had a bid accepted on eBay.FASCINATING FACT: The Ian Fleming series of novels and shorts have been almost entirely mined for titles, but these remain available: Risico, The Hildebrand Rarity, The Property Of A Lady, and 007 In New York. They might remain unmined.

Han Solo
APPEARANCES: Star Wars: A New Hope (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return Of The Jedi (1983)CREATOR: George LucasPERFORMER: Harrison FordDEFINING MOMENT: Granted, Vader had the better wardrobe (black cape, motorcycle leathers), but Solo’s scruffy-looking smuggler still takes the gundark’s share of Star Wars cool. Shooting first (sorry George) and cracking wise, he’s every inch the space cowboy. The Quintessential Solo is heartfelt as well as cocksure, though, and never more so than in Ford’s famously ad-libbed response to Leia’s, “I love you,” in Episode V: “I know.”FASCINATING FACT: In Lucas’ early drafts of The Star Wars, Solo’s character was Ureallian: a noseless, green-skinned, slime-covered alien with large gills, who trapped Wookiees. Not quite so romantic now, is it?

APPEARANCES: Batman (1966), Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995), Batman & Robin (1997), Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), The Dark Knight Rises (2012)CREATORS: Bob Kane, Bill FingerPERFORMERS: Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian BaleDEFINING MOMENT: It really should be from Christian Bale’s Dark Knight, when he is going fist to face with the Joker as Gordon (Gary Oldman) looks on fretting, “Who’s in control?” Good question.FASCINATING FACT: Fans sent 50,000 protest letters to Warner Bros. after Tim Burton announced the casting of Michael Keaton as Batman.

Ellen Ripley
APPEARANCE: The Alien quadrilogy (1979-1997)CREATORS: Walter Hill, David Giler, Ron Cobb, Dan O’BannonPERFORMER: Sigourney WeaverDEFINING MOMENT: With a survival instinct to match her xenomorphic nemesis, Ripley is one of nature’s rationalists. Indeed, had they followed her hard-nosed attempt to uphold quarantine rules and prevent the stricken Kane being brought back on board — “If we let it in, the ship could be infected” — the Nostromo crew, if not Kane, would remain a whole lot healthier.FASCINATING FACT: In the process of considering Meryl Streep for the role of Ripley, Ridley Scott was stopped in his tracks by the sight of Weaver in thigh-high boots, bursting into his office, half an hour late for her audition.

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