100 Greatest Movie
Performances of All Time
by Premiere Magazine

Part 1


Part 1
| Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4


Premiere Magazine (in its April 2006 issue), in an article written by numerous authors, published a list of the 100 Greatest (Movie) Performances of All-Time, to celebrate the best movie performances in film history. The defining performances were excerpted and abbreviated from the article.

Facts and Commentary About the List:

  • The authors described the movie performances: "They made us laugh, they made us cry....We love great movies the most - we feel the most electric connection to them - when the actors look out from that big screen, and hook into us. They make us believe that they're the people they're playing and that we, as viewers, have a genuine stake in what's coming next."

Additionally Recommended:

Note: The films that are marked with a yellow star are the films that "The Greatest Films" site has selected as the 100 Greatest Films


100 Greatest Movie Performances of All Time
by Premiere Magazine

(part 1, by reverse ranking)

#
Character Name Played By Film Title The Performance
100
Alex De Large Malcolm McDowell A Clockwork Orange (1971) A self-aggrandizing, sadistic rapist and hooligan, for whom McDowell suffered various forms of torture for the performance (near drowning, scratched corneas, etc.).
99
Navin Johnson Steve Martin The Jerk (1979) "I was born a poor black child..."
98
Phyllis Dietrichson Barbara Stanwyck Double Indemnity (1944) A hard-boiled killer and femme fatale.
97
Don Logan Ben Kingsley Sexy Beast (2001) A sadistic, violent, sociopathic gangster.
96
Billie Dawn Judy Holliday Born Yesterday (1950) A bubble-headed chorus girl in search of culture, with the voice of Betty Boop.
95
Tina Turner Angela Bassett What's Love Got to Do With It (1993) A vulnerable pop diva who triumphs over adversity, and brutal domestic abuse.
94
Hans Beckert Peter Lorre M (1931) A compulsive serial child murderer/predator with bulging eyes and whiny, nasal voice who whistles the Peer Gynt Suite.
93
Mildred Pierce Joan Crawford Mildred Pierce (1945) A self-possessed, hard-working single mother devoted to winning her obnoxious daughter Veda's love.
92
'Dirty' Harry Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry (1971) A cool, bigoted cop who tortures suspects.
91
Bree Daniels Jane Fonda Klute (1971) A non-stereotypical hooker with an emotional heart.
90
Jeffrey 'The Dude' Lebowski Jeff Bridges The Big Lebowski (1998) The Dude, His Dudeness, El Duderino, a full-time slacker, bowler, and roach-smoker.
89
Juxian Gong Li Farewell, My Concubine (1993) A scheming, manipulative courtesan involved in a love triangle with her gay husband and his 'stage brother'.
88
Nick Chevotarevich Christopher Walken The Deer Hunter (1978) A gaunt, hollow-eyed war casualty forced to play Russian Roulette in Saigon.
87
Ethan Edwards John Wayne The Searchers (1956) A stoic, rugged, ex-Confederate anti-hero on a vengeful search for his Comanche-kidnapped niece.
86
Bruno Anthony Robert Walker Strangers on a Train (1951) A seductive and evil psychopath who trades murders with a tennis player (Farley Granger) that he met on a train.
85
Frances Farmer Jessica Lange Frances (1982) A vulnerable starlet on the verge of insanity.
84
Lilly Dillon Anjelica Huston The Grifters (1990) A cool, aging grifter who murders her son (John Cusack).
83
Brandon Teena Hilary Swank Boys Don't Cry (1999) A real-life Nebraska woman determined to be a man, leading to her violent and tragic death.
82
General George S. Patton, Jr. George C. Scott Patton (1970) A gruff-voiced, regal military genius and ego-driven eccentric.
81
Clementine Kruczynski Kate Winslet Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) A rainbow-haired, impulsive, motor-mouthed bohemian who erased her boyfriend's (Jim Carrey) memory.
80
Catherine Jeanne Moreau Jules and Jim (1962) An attention-craving woman involved in a menage a trois with French-born Jim (Henri Serre) and Austrian Jules (Oskar Werner).
79
Captain Jack Sparrow Johnny Depp Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) An outrageous, redefined pirate character with gold-capped teeth and mascara.
78
Sanjuro Kuwabatake Toshiro Mifune Yojimbo (1961) An out-of-work samurai offering his services to a crime-war-ridden town.
77
Leo Smalls, Jr. (aka Fast Black) Morgan Freeman Street Smart (1987) An alternatingly smooth and menacingly sinister New York pimp.
76
J.J. Hunsecker Burt Lancaster Sweet Smell of Success (1957) An all-powerful, cruel gossip columnist who holds court at '21'.


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