Thursday, April 09, 2009


Bill R., the crusty but benign* genius behind The Kind of Face You Hate, has hit me with another meme, this one all about favorite characters. I believe there was some number restriction involved, but as I often play fast and loose with the rules on these things (the better to make them my own, you see) I disregarded that right off the bat and allowed myself to include anyone I could think of off the top of my head in five minutes, with no help from IMDb or those wonderful Screen World volumes. Here then, with links to IMDb for the endlessly curious, are the screen characters that completely wrap my imagination up, characters found within movies that must be yielded to if they are stumbled upon while channel surfing and followed to the very “The End,” the characters floating freely in and making the biggest impression on my mind at the moment the question was seriously considered. I want to see each and every one of these people right now.

(* Name the movie reference!)

In alphabetical order…

Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully in The X-Files (1993-2002; various directors), The X-Files: Fight the Future (1998; Rob Bowman) and The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008; Chris Carter)

James Cagney as C.R. MacNamara in One Two Three (1961; Billy Wilder)

John Cazale as Fredo Corleone in The Godfather (1972; Francis Ford Coppola) and The Godfather Part II (1974; Francis Ford Coppola)

Shelley Duvall as Millie Lamoreaux in 3 Women (1977; Robert Altman)

Henry Gibson as Haven Hamilton and Barbara Baxley as Lady Pearl in Nashville (1975; Robert Altman)

Jeff Goldblum as Seth Brundle in The Fly (1986; David Cronenberg)

Cary Grant as Walter Burns in His Girl Friday (1940; Howard Hawks)

Charles Laughton as Marmaduke Ruggles in Ruggles of Red Gap (1935; Leo McCarey)

Piper Laurie as Margaret White in Carrie (1976; Brian De Palma)

Lucy Liu as O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill Volume 1 (2003; Quentin Tarantino)

Carole Lombard as Regi Allen in Hands Across the Table (1935; Mitchell Leisen)

Walter Matthau as Lieutenant Garber in The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 (1974; Joseph Sargent)

Joel McCrea (right, with Randolph Scott) as Steve Judd in Ride the High Country (1962; Sam Peckinpah)

Jon Polito as Johnny Caspar in Miller’s Crossing (1990; Joel Coen)

Robert Shaw as Quint in Jaws (1975; Steven Spielberg)

Barbara Stanwyck as Jean Harrington in The Lady Eve (1941; Preston Sturges)

Wiley Wiggins as Mitch Kramer in Dazed and Confused (1993; Richard Linklater)


I tag Larry, Lindsay, Mr. Peel and Brian.



Lindsay Vivian said...

Argh! my social awkwardness is kicking in- must... be.... cooperative. Gosh, you know I kind of feel like Charlie Brown right now.

bill r. said...

Great list, Dennis. You often get frustrated when I tag you for a meme and, at the same time, take half your answers, but right now I'm kicking myself for not including Lt. Garber. I knew my list was missing something.

Oh, and I'll take "crusty and benign", but I can't name the reference, even though it sounds infuriatingly familiar.

Jason Bellamy said...

Robert Shaw in Jaws! Brilliant!

p.saga said...

Hiya, Dennis-of-the-fascinating-lists! Just wanted to say, like with most of my favorite things of the Internets, it's hard to imagine life before SLIFR.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Lindsay: In the words of the great Rob Schneider, you can do eeeet!

Bill: I'll let it simmer for a while, and then if nobody comes up with the "crusty yet benign" reference, I'll spill. And I do thank you for the tag. My frustration, if it really exists, is mock-- as soon as I start the process of thinking about these things, it's always fun!

Jason: "Farewell and adieu to you fair Spanish ladies..."

psaga: Never less than wonderful to hear from you! A portion of the blame for this whole SLIFR experiment lays at your feet, you know, 'cause you were the experienced blogger I was always cribbing from and bothering for information ("HTM-what?!"). Will I get a chance to cross paths with you next week? Perhaps at the Earth Day screening?! :)

Greg said...

Hey I just got here. Has anyone said Network yet, because that's the reference. It's used in the pitch meeting to describe at least one character on every single show pitched.

Thank you.

Greg said...

Whew, now that that's done, onto the list.

If I had to guess which Walter Matthau character you'd go with I would have said Charley Varrick.

All in all a great list. Only a couple on it that I wouldn't also think of as favorites in some way, and I'd change Jean Harrington's shoes for her any day of the week.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Damn you, Greg. I wanted to be the one to unveil that! I've always thought that was one of the funniest things in Network, how that description was shoehorned into every new show pitch thrown at Faye Dunaway. Extra credit: Who played Dunaway's assistant, the one who got to deliver the "crusty but benign" lines?

As for Matthau, just keepin' ya on your toes!

Robert Fiore said...

For me, some come in sets:

Hawkeye Pierce and Trapper John MacIntyre
Dan McGinty and The Boss
Rufus T. Firefly, Chicolini and Pinky
Blondie, Angel Eyes and Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez
Spike Spiegel and Jet Black
Agent J and Agent K
John, Paul, George and Ringo
So White and all Sebben Dwarves
Harold, Buster, Harry, Stan, Ollie the the Little Fellow

Some travel alone:

Falstaff a la Orson
Moto a la Lorre
Marlowe a la Bogart
Bugs a la Jones
Rumpole a la McKern
Sherlock a la Brett
Swearengen a la MacShane

But now I've wandered onto the small screen. Almost all male, I fear, but I'm not inclined to make excuses at this time of night. Mrs. Lovett would have made it if they'd been in time to use Angela Lansbury. And an honorable mention to Emmy Kockenlocker.

Robert Fiore said...

P.S. All-time favorite movie character name: Egbert Souse.

Mr. Peel aka Peter Avellino said...

Yikes. This is what happens when I'm out of the loop for a day or so--I get tagged by TWO people on this! Now the pressure's on and the fact that I think you included a few that I would have used only adds to it. I'm nervous. Please give me a few days.

PS-- Conchata Ferrell?

larry aydlette said...

Nice list, Dennis. I got tagged earlier by Brian, so my list is somewhere on my Tumblr log, just scroll through and you'll find it. We did have one character in common....

Brian Doan said...

Hi Dennis!
Great list! Thanks for tagging-- Bill tagged me, too, and my list is here.

I really like your pick of Shelly Duvall--- I haven't thought about 3 Women in awhile, but that's such a beautiful, haunting film.

Joel Bocko said...

Great list, brimming with the inspiration of the unconscious, which you apparently allowed to dictate your decisions. Great to see Fredo and Millie on here, and the picture of Matthau reminds me of his character in Charade, whom I almost picked (and kind of wish I had).

Best of all was the inclusion of Captain Quint, whose absence from these lists I was only just lamenting in another comments thread (he wasn't even my own).

I too threw numerical constraints out the window; my list is here:

blaaagh said...

I love this! I just looked at it again, and it made me feel almost like you hadn't left town yesterday, since your choices are! Dang, I wish we could hang out more, but it was really great to spend some time together--and I know you were missed by those in LA, too.