Date: 5th June 2003

Lecter best of the bad

The greatest screen hero hungered for justice. The greatest screen villain just plain hungered.
Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird beat out an army of swashbuckling idols for the top spot on the American Film Institute's list of top screen heroes.

And Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs chewed up the competition to lead the bad guy list.

The institute unveiled its ranking of the top good and bad guys in American film on its 100 Years 100 Heroes & Villains TV special.

Finch, played by Gregory Peck in the 1962 classic, was a noble widower raising two children amid southern racial unrest as he defended a black man accused of raping a white woman.

Harrison Ford's Indiana Jones from Raiders of the Lost Ark was No. 2 on the heroes' list, with Sean Connery's James Bond from Dr No coming in third.

"I think Atticus Finch just represents the goodness all of us want to see in others and feel in ourselves," said Jean Picker Firstenburg, the institute's director.

Lecter, played by Anthony Hopkins in the 1991 thriller plus the sequel Hannibal and the prequel Red Dragon, was a delectably fiendish serial killer who boasted about eating a man's liver with fava beans and a nice chianti.

Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) of Psycho was second on the bad-guy list, followed by Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back.

Rounding out the top 10 list of heroes, in order: Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) in Casablanca, Will Kane (Gary Cooper) High Noon, Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) The Silence of the Lambs, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) Rocky, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) Aliens, George Bailey (James Stewart) It's a Wonderful Life, and T.E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole) Lawrence of Arabia.

Russell Crowe's Maximus from Gladiator was No. 50.

The rest of the top 10 villains, in order: the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton) in The Wizard of Oz, Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Mr Potter (Lionel Barrymore) It's a Wonderful Life, Alex Forrest (Glenn Close) Fatal Attraction, Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) Double Indemnity,Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair), The Exorcist, and the Queen, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

The 100 heroes and villains were chosen from 400 nominees on ballots sent to 1500 actors, directors, critics and others in the movie business.

The heroes list included one dog (Lassie in Lassie Come Home, No. 39), two comic-book heroes (Superman in the 1978 movie, No. 26, and Batman in the 1989 film, No. 46).

Heroes based on real people included Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) in Schindler's List, No. 13; Norma Rae Webster (Sally Field) in Norma Rae, No. 15; Mahatma Gandhi (Ben Kingsley) in Gandhi, No. 21; General George Patton (George C. Scott) in Patton, No. 29; and Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts) in Erin Brockovich, No. 31.

Top 50 movie heroes
1. Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck), To Kill a Mockingbird
2. Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford), Raiders of the Lost Ark
3. James Bond (Sean Connery), Dr. No
4. Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), Casablanca
5. Will Kane (Gary Cooper), High Noon
6. Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster), The Silence of the Lambs
7. Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), Rocky
8. Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), Aliens
9. George Bailey (James Stewart), It's a Wonderful Life
10. T.E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole), Lawrence of Arabia
11. Jefferson Smith (James Stewart), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
12. Tom Joad (Henry Fonda), The Grapes of Wrath
13. Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), Schindler's List
14. Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Star Wars
15. Norma Rae Webster (Sally Field), Norma Rae
16. Shane (Alan Ladd), Shane
17. Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood), Dirty Harry
18. Robin Hood (Errol Flynn), The Adventures of Robin Hood
19. Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier), In the Heat of the Night
20. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, (Paul Newman and Robert Redford), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
21. Mahatma Gandhi (Ben Kingsley), Gandhi
22. Spartacus (Kirk Douglas), Spartacus
23. Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando), On the Waterfront
24. Thelma Dickinson and Louise Sawyer (Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon), Thelma and Louise
25. Lou Gehrig (Gary Cooper), The Pride of the Yankees
26. Superman (Christopher Reeve), Superman
27. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein (Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman), All the President's Men
28. Juror No. 8 (Henry Fonda), 12 Angry Men
29. Gen. George Patton (George C. Scott), Patton
30. Luke Jackson (Paul Newman), Cool Hand Luke
31. Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts), Erin Brockovich
32. Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart), The Big Sleep
33. Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand), Fargo
34. Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller), Tarzan the Ape Man
35. Alvin York (Gary Cooper), Sergeant York
36. Rooster Cogburn (John Wayne), True Grit
37. Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness), Star Wars
38. The Tramp (Charles Chaplin), City Lights
39. Lassie (Pal the dog), Lassie Come Home
40. Frank Serpico (Al Pacino), Serpico
41. Arthur Chipping (Robert Donat), Goodbye, Mr. Chips
42. Father Edward Flanagan (Spencer Tracy), Boys Town
43. Moses (Charlton Heston), The Ten Commandments
44. Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle (Gene Hackman), The French Connection
45. Zorro (Tyrone Power), The Mark of Zorro
46. Batman (Michael Keaton), Batman
47. Karen Silkwood (Meryl Streep), Silkwood
48. The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger), Terminator 2: Judgment Day
49. Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks), Philadelphia
50. Maximus (Russell Crowe), Gladiator
Source: The American Film Institute

Top 50 movie villains
1. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), The Silence of the Lambs
2. Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), Psycho
3. Darth Vader (David Prowse, voiced by James Earl Jones), The Empire Strikes Back
4. The Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton), The Wizard of Oz
5. Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
6. Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore), It's a Wonderful Life
7. Alex Forrest (Glenn Close), Fatal Attraction
8. Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck), Double Indemnity
9. Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair), The Exorcist
10. The Queen (voiced by Lucille LaVerne), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
11. Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), The Godfather Part II
12. Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell), A Clockwork Orange
13. HAL 9000 (voiced by Douglas Rain), 2001: A Space Odyssey
14. The Alien (Bolaji Badejo), Alien
15. Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes), Schindler's List
16. Noah Cross (John Huston), Chinatown
17. Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), Misery
18. The Shark, Jaws
19. Captain Bligh (Charles Laughton), Mutiny on the Bounty
20. Man, Bambi
21. Mrs. John Iselin (Angela Lansbury), The Manchurian Candidate
22. The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger), The Terminator
23. Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter), All About Eve
24. Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), Wall Street
25. Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), The Shining
26. Cody Jarrett (James Cagney), White Heat
27. The Martians, War of the Worlds
28. Max Cady (Robert Mitchum), Cape Fear
29. Rev. Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum), The Night of the Hunter
30. Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), Taxi Driver
31. Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson), Rebecca
32. Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker (Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway), Bonnie and Clyde
33. Count Dracula (Bela Lugosi), Dracula
34. Dr. Szell (Laurence Olivier), Marathon Man
35. J.J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster), Sweet Smell of Success
36. Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper), Blue Velvet
37. Harry Lime (Orson Welles), The Third Man
38. Rico Bandello (Edward G. Robinson), Little Caesar
39. Cruella De Vil (voiced by Betty Lou Gerson), One Hundred and One Dalmatians
40. Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), A Nightmare on Elm Street
41. Joan Crawford (Faye Dunaway), Mommie Dearest
42. Tom Powers (James Cagney), The Public Enemy
43. Regina Giddens (Bette Davis), The Little Foxes
44. Baby Jane Hudson (Bette Davis), What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? 45. The Joker (Jack Nicholson), Batman
46. Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), Die Hard
47. Tony Camonte (Paul Muni), Scarface
48. Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey), The Usual Suspects
49. Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe), Goldfinger
50. Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington), Training Day
Source: The American Film Institute

Herald Sun

Source: Press Release