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.

[Note: 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.



AFI's 100 Heroes and Villains
  1. ATTICUS FINCH (Gregory Peck) in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (Universal-International, 1962)
  2. INDIANA JONES (Harrison Ford) in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (Paramount, 1981)
  3. JAMES BOND (Sean Connery) in DR. NO (United Artists, 1962)
  4. RICK BLAINE (Humphrey Bogart) in CASABLANCA (Warner Bros., 1942)
  5. WILL KANE (Gary Cooper) in HIGH NOON (United Artists, 1952)
  6. CLARICE STARLING (Jodie Foster) in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (Orion, 1991)
  7. ROCKY BALBOA (Sylvester Stallone) in ROCKY (United Artists, 1976)
  8. ELLEN RIPLEY (Sigourney Weaver) in ALIENS (20th Century Fox, 1986)
  9. GEORGE BAILEY (James Stewart) in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (RKO, 1946)
  10. T. E. LAWRENCE (Peter O'Toole) in LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (Columbia, 1962)
  11. JEFFERSON SMITH (James Stewart) in MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (Columbia, 1939)
  12. TOM JOAD (Henry Fonda) in THE GRAPES OF WRATH (20th Century Fox, 1940)
  13. OSKAR SCHINDLER (Liam Neeson) in SCHINDLER'S LIST (Universal, 1993)
  14. HAN SOLO (Harrison Ford) in STAR WARS (20th Century Fox, 1977)
  15. NORMA RAE WEBSTER (Sally Field) in NORMA RAE (20th Century Fox, 1979)
  16. SHANE (Alan Ladd) in SHANE (Paramount, 1953)
  17. DETECTIVE HARRY CALLAHAN (Clint Eastwood) in DIRTY HARRY (Warner Bros., 1971)
  18. ROBIN HOOD (Errol Flynn) in THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (Warner Bros., 1938)
  19. VIRGIL TIBBS (Sidney Poitier) in IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (United Artists, 1967)
  20. BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID (Paul Newman and Robert Redford) in BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (20th Century Fox, 1969)
  21. MAHATMA GANDHI (Ben Kingsley) in GANDHI (Columbia, 1982)
  22. SPARTACUS (Kirk Douglas) in SPARTACUS (Universal, 1960)
  23. TERRY MALLOY (Marlon Brando) in ON THE WATERFRONT (Columbia, 1954)
  24. THELMA DICKINSON & LOUISE SAWYER (Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon) in THELMA & LOUISE (MGM, 1991)
  25. HENRY "LOU" GEHRIG (Gary Cooper) in THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES (RKO, 1942)
  26. SUPERMAN (CLARK KENT) (Christopher Reeve) in SUPERMAN (Warner Bros., 1978)
  27. BOB WOODWARD & CARL BERNSTEIN (Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman) in ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN (Warner Bros., 1976)
  28. JUROR #8 (MR. DAVIS) (Henry Fonda) in 12 ANGRY MEN (United Artists, 1957)
  29. GENERAL GEORGE PATTON (George C. Scott) in PATTON (20th Century Fox, 1970)
  30. LUCAS "LUKE" JACKSON (Paul Newman) in COOL HAND LUKE (Warner Bros., 1967)
  31. ERIN BROCKOVICH (Julia Roberts) in ERIN BROCKOVICH (Universal, 2000)
  32. PHILIP MARLOWE (Humphrey Bogart) in THE BIG SLEEP (Warner Bros., 1946)
  33. MARGE GUNDERSON (Frances McDormand) in FARGO (Gramercy, 1996)
  34. TARZAN (Johnny Weissmuller) in TARZAN THE APE MAN (MGM, 1932)
  35. ALVIN C. YORK (Gary Cooper) in SERGEANT YORK (Warner Bros., 1941)
  36. REUBEN J. "ROOSTER" COGBURN (John Wayne) in TRUE GRIT (Paramount, 1969)
  37. BEN "OBI-WAN" KENOBI (Alec Guinness) in STAR WARS (20th Century Fox, 1977)
  38. THE TRAMP (Charlie Chaplin) in CITY LIGHTS (United Artists, 1931)
  39. LASSIE (Pal) in LASSIE COME HOME (MGM, 1943)
  40. FRANK SERPICO (Al Pacino) in SERPICO (Paramount, 1973)
  41. MR. CHIPS (MR. CHIPPING) (Robert Donat) in GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS (MGM, 1939)
  42. FATHER EDWARD J. FLANAGAN (Spencer Tracy) in BOYS TOWN (MGM, 1938)
  43. MOSES (Charlton Heston) in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (Paramount, 1956)
  44. JIMMY "POPEYE" DOYLE (Gene Hackman) in THE FRENCH CONNECTION (20th Century Fox, 1971)
  45. ZORRO (DON DIEGO DE VEGA) (Tyrone Power) in THE MARK OF ZORRO (20th Century Fox, 1940)
  46. BATMAN (BRUCE WAYNE) (Michael Keaton) in BATMAN (Warner Bros., 1989)
  47. KAREN SILKWOOD (Meryl Streep) in SILKWOOD (20th Century Fox, 1983)
  48. T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) in TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY (Tri-Star, 1991)
  49. ANDREW BECKETT (Tom Hanks) in PHILADELPHIA (TriStar, 1993)
  50. GENERAL MAXIMUS DECIMUS MERIDUS (Russell Crowe) in GLADIATOR (DreamWorks, 2000)
  1. DR. HANNIBAL LECTER (Anthony Hopkins) in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (Orion, 1991)
  2. NORMAN BATES (Anthony Perkins) in PSYCHO (Paramount, 1960)
  3. DARTH VADER (David Prowse/James Earl Jones) in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (20th Century Fox, 1980)
  4. THE WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST (Margaret Hamilton) in THE WIZARD OF OZ (MGM, 1939)
  5. NURSE RATCHED (Louise Fletcher) in ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST (United Artists, 1975)
  6. MR. POTTER (Lionel Barrymore) in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (RKO, 1946)
  7. ALEX FORREST (Glenn Close) in FATAL ATTRACTION (Paramount, 1987)
  8. PHYLLIS DIETRICHSON (Barbara Stanwyck) in DOUBLE INDEMNITY (Paramount, 1944)
  9. REGAN MacNEIL (SATAN) (Linda Blair) in THE EXORCIST (Warner Bros., 1973)
  10. THE QUEEN (voice of Lucille LaVerne) in SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (Disney, 1937)
  11. MICHAEL CORLEONE (Al Pacino) in THE GODFATHER PART II (Paramount, 1974)
  12. ALEX DeLARGE (Malcolm McDowell) in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (Warner Bros., 1971)
  13. HAL 9000 (voice of Douglas Rain) in 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (MGM, 1968)
  14. THE ALIEN (Bolaji Badejo) in ALIEN (20th Century Fox, 1979)
  15. AMON GOETH (Ralph Fiennes) in SCHINDLER'S LIST (Universal, 1993)
  16. NOAH CROSS (John Huston) in CHINATOWN (Paramount, 1974)
  17. ANNIE WILKES (Kathy Bates) in MISERY (Columbia, 1990)
  18. THE SHARK in JAWS (Universal, 1975)
  19. CAPTAIN BLIGH (Charles Laughton) in MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (MGM, 1935)
  20. MAN in BAMBI (Disney, 1942)
  21. MRS. JOHN ISELIN (Angela Lansbury) in THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (United Artists, 1962)
  22. T-1000 (Robert Patrick) in TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY (Tri-Star, 1991)
  23. EVE HARRINGTON (Anne Baxter) in ALL ABOUT EVE (20th Century Fox, 1950)
  24. GORDON GEKKO (Michael Douglas) in WALL STREET (20th Century Fox, 1987)
  25. JACK TORRANCE (Jack Nicholson) in THE SHINING (Warner Bros., 1980)
  26. ARTHUR "CODY" JARRETT (James Cagney) in WHITE HEAT (Warner Bros., 1949)
  27. MARTIANS in THE WAR OF THE WORLDS (Paramount, 1953)
  28. MAX CADY (Robert Mitchum) in CAPE FEAR (Universal-International, 1962)
  29. REVEREND HARRY POWELL (Robert Mitchum) in THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (United Artists, 1955)
  30. TRAVIS BICKLE (Robert DeNiro) in TAXI DRIVER (Columbia, 1976)
  31. MRS. DANVERS (Judith Anderson) in REBECCA (United Artists, 1940)
  32. CLYDE BARROW & BONNIE PARKER (Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway) in BONNIE AND CLYDE (Warner Bros., 1967)
  33. COUNT DRACULA (Bela Lugosi) in DRACULA (Universal, 1931)
  34. DR. SZELL (Laurence Olivier) in MARATHON MAN (Paramount, 1976)
  35. J. J. HUNSECKER (Burt Lancaster) in SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (United Artists, 1957)
  36. FRANK BOOTH (Dennis Hopper) in BLUE VELVET (DEG, 1986)
  37. HARRY LIME (Orson Welles) in THE THIRD MAN (Selznick, 1949)
  38. RICO (ENRICO CAESAR BANDELLO) (Edward G. Robinson) in LITTLE CAESAR (MGM, 1930)
  39. CRUELLA DE VIL (voice of Betty Lou Gerson) in ONE HUNDRED AND ONE DALMATIANS (Disney, 1961)
  40. FREDDY KRUEGER (Robert Englund) in A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (New Line, 1984)
  41. JOAN CRAWFORD (Faye Dunaway) in MOMMIE DEAREST (Paramount, 1981)
  42. TOM POWERS (James Cagney) in THE PUBLIC ENEMY (Warner Bros., 1931)
  43. REGINA GIDDENS (Bette Davis) in THE LITTLE FOXES (RKO/Goldwyn, 1941)
  44. "BABY" JANE HUDSON (Bette Davis) in WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? (Warner Bros., 1962)
  45. THE JOKER (Jack Nicholson) in BATMAN (Warner Bros., 1989)
  46. HANS GRUBER (Alan Rickman) in DIE HARD (20th Century Fox, 1988)
  47. TONY CAMONTE (Paul Muni) in SCARFACE (United Artists, 1932)
  48. ROGER "VERBAL" KINT (Kevin Spacey) in THE USUAL SUSPECTS (Columbia TriStar, 1995)
  49. AURIC GOLDFINGER (Gert Frobe) in GOLDFINGER (United Artists, 1964)
  50. DETECTIVE ALONZO HARRIS (Denzel Washington) in TRAINING DAY (Warner Bros., 2001)

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

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