America's 100 Greatest Heroes & Villains

The Top 50 Virtuous Heroes and Top 50 Wicked Villains


by American Film Institute (AFI)




The American Film Institute in Los Angeles conducted their sixth polling, 100 Heroes and Villains. AFI again celebrated American cinema, and revealed America’s 100 greatest good and bad guys/gals (50 of each), either fact-based or fantastically-fictional, as chosen by voters - a jury of 1,500 directors, actors, screenwriters, critics, historians and others.

[Compare to the list of The Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) that in 2002 had polled their own membership of Internet-based cinema journalists for the top 100 greatest screen villains of all time, accessible here.] The list of 400 nominated films was made available before the final voting. The AFI left the judgment calls to jurors about the categorization of virtuous heroes and wicked villains, advising them only to not vote for a character as both.

The results were unveiled in a three-hour television special broadcast by CBS in June 2003.

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

Top 20 Heroes

  1. Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
  2. Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  3. James Bond (Sean Connery) in Dr. No (1962)
  4. Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) in Casablanca (1942)
  5. Will Kane (Gary Cooper) in High Noon (1952)
  6. Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) in The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  7. Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) in Rocky (1976)
  8. Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) in Aliens (1986)
  9. George Bailey (James Stewart) in It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
  10. T.E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole) in Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  11. Jefferson Smith (James Stewart) in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
  12. Tom Joad (Henry Fonda) in The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
  13. Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) in Schindler's List (1993)
  14. Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in Star Wars (1977)
  15. Norma Rae Webster (Sally Field) in Norma Rae (1979)
  16. Shane (Alan Ladd) in Shane (1953)
  17. Detective Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) in Dirty Harry (1971)
  18. Robin Hood (Errol Flynn) in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
  19. Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) in In the Heat of the Night (1967)
  20. Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid (Paul Newman and Robert Redford) in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

Top 20 Villains

  1. Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) in The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  2. Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) in Psycho (1960)
  3. Darth Vader (David Prowse/James Earl Jones) in The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  4. The Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton) in The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  5. Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
  6. Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore) in It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
  7. Alex Forrest (Glenn Close) in Fatal Attraction (1987)
  8. Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) in Double Indemnity (1944)
  9. Regan MacNeil (Satan) (Linda Blair) in The Exorcist (1973)
  10. The Queen (voice of Lucille LaVerne) in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
  11. Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) in The Godfather, Part II (1974)
  12. Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell) in A Clockwork Orange (1971)
  13. HAL 9000 (voice of Douglas Rain) in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  14. The Alien (Bolaji Badejo) in Alien (1979)
  15. Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes) in Schindler's List (1993)
  16. Noah Cross (John Huston) in Chinatown (1974)
  17. Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) in Misery (1990)
  18. The Shark in Jaws (1975)
  19. Captain Bligh (Charles Laughton) in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
  20. Man in Bambi (1942)
AFI's 100 Heroes and Villains
Heroes
  1. Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird
  2. Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark
  3. James Bond, Dr. No
  4. Rick Blaine, Casablanca
  5. Will Kane, High Noon
  6. Clarice Starling, The Silence of the Lambs
  7. Rocky Balboa, Rocky
  8. Ellen Ripley, Aliens
  9. George Bailey, It's a Wonderful Life
  10. T. E. Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia
  11. Jefferson Smith, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  12. Tom Joad, The Grapes of Wrath
  13. Oskar Schindler, Schindler's List
  14. Han Solo, Star Wars
  15. Norma Rae Webster, Norma Rae
  16. Shane, Shane
  17. Harry Callahan, Dirty Harry
  18. Robin Hood, The Adventures of Robin Hood
  19. Virgil Tibbs, In the Heat of the Night
  20. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  21. Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi
  22. Spartacus, Spartacus
  23. Terry Malloy, On the Waterfront
  24. Thelma Dickerson and Louise Sawyer, Thelma & Louise
  25. Lou Gehrig, The Pride of the Yankees
  26. Superman, Superman
  27. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, All the President's Men
  28. Juror #8, 12 Angry Men
  29. General George Patton, Patton
  30. Luke Jackson, Cool Hand Luke
  31. Erin Brockovich, Erin Brockovich
  32. Philip Marlowe, The Big Sleep
  33. Marge Gunderson, Fargo
  34. Tarzan, Tarzan the Ape Man
  35. Alvin York, Sergeant York
  36. Rooster Cogburn, True Grit
  37. Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars
  38. The Tramp, City Lights
  39. Lassie, Lassie Come Home
  40. Frank Serpico, Serpico
  41. Arthur Chipping, Goodbye, Mr. Chips
  42. Father Edward, Boys Town
  43. Moses, The Ten Commandments
  44. Jimmy 'Popeye' Doyle, The French Connection
  45. Zorro, The Mark of Zorro
  46. Batman, Batman
  47. Karen Silkwood, Silkwood
  48. Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  49. Andrew Beckett, Philadelphia
  50. General Maximums Decimus Meridus, Gladiator
Villains
  1. Dr. Hannibal Lecter, The Silence of the Lambs
  2. Norman Bates, Psycho
  3. Darth Vader, The Empire Strikes Back
  4. The Wicked Witch of the West, The Wizard of Oz
  5. Nurse Ratched, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  6. Mr. Potter, It's a Wonderful Life
  7. Alex Forrest, Fatal Attraction
  8. Phyllis Dietrichson, Double Indemnity
  9. Regan MacNeil, The Exorcist
  10. The Queen, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  11. Michael Corleone, The Godfather: Part II
  12. Alex De Large, A Clockwork Orange
  13. HAL 9000, 2001: A Space Odyssey
  14. The Alien, Alien
  15. Amon Goeth, Schindler's List
  16. Noah Cross, Chinatown
  17. Annie Wilkes, Misery
  18. The Shark, Jaws
  19. Captain Bligh, Mutiny on the Bounty
  20. Man, Bambi
  21. Mrs. John Iselin, The Manchurian Candidate
  22. Terminator, The Terminator
  23. Eve Harrington, All About Eve
  24. Gordon Gekko, Wall Street
  25. Jack Torrance, The Shining
  26. Cody Jarrett, White Heat
  27. Martians, The War of the Worlds
  28. Max Cady, Cape Fear
  29. Reverend Harry Powell, The Night of the Hunter
  30. Travis Bickle, Taxi Driver
  31. Mrs. Danvers, Rebecca
  32. Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, Bonnie and Clyde
  33. Count Dracula, Dracula
  34. Dr. Szell, Marathon Man
  35. J. J. Hunsecker, Sweet Smell of Success
  36. Frank Booth, Blue Velvet
  37. Harry Lime, The Third Man
  38. Caesar Enrico Bandello, Little Caesar
  39. Cruella De Vil, One Hundred and One Dalmatians
  40. Freddy Krueger, A Nightmare on Elm Street
  41. Joan Crawford, Mommie Dearest
  42. Tom Powers, The Public Enemy
  43. Regina Giddens, The Little Foxes
  44. Baby Jane Hudson, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane
  45. The Joker, Batman
  46. Hans Gruber, Die Hard
  47. Tony Camonte, Scarface
  48. Roger “Verbal” Kint, The Usual Suspects
  49. Auric Goldfinger, Goldfinger
  50. Alonzo Harris, Training Day

Facts (and Commentary) About the Top 50 Heroes and Top 50 Villains List:


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