Played by: Steve Buscemi
First lines: ‘He’s a fond of misplaced rage. Name your cliché. Mother held him too much or not enough.’
Why memorable: The fun thing about CON AIR is the high density of insane criminals on board of a hijacked airplane; Cyrus ‘The Virus’ Grissom; Johnny 23; Diamond Dog; et cetera. When you think you’ve got them all, a new bunch arrives, including Garland Greene aka The Marietta Mangler, who slaughtered 37 people. ‘Should be interesting’, Grissom says. Greene’s entrance is pretty hilarious; a steel security truck; a gimp-like suit; loads of guards and impressed remarks by the toughest of criminals. Then Grissom has his mask removed and we look at…Steve Buscemi, a creepy Steve Buscemi no less. Later, he surprisingly turns out to be pretty friendly.
Played by: Woody Allen
First lines: ‘Chapter 1. He adored New York City. He idolised it all out of proportion. Uh, no. Make that; he romanticised it all out of proportion. Better.’
Why memorable: This particular scene really nails Woody Allen. While we view beautiful black and white images of Manhattan, we hear him in a voice-over describing why he loves this city. Typically Allen, he does so in a really neurotic way, changing his description about six times in a few minutes time. Boy, can he talk! Arguably Allen is not portraying Isaac Davis here, but he is really playing himself. In either case, you get to know the man right away with this intro. Whether that is positive or negative is a matter of taste.
Why memorable: What a great way to start a movie! First, we get a credit sequence in which we see a mysterious man carry a coffin behind him through the desert. We don’t see his face. The campy credits seem to come straight out of an old Italian horror flick. The title song ‘Django’ plays and not only is it beautiful, it also tells us the story; ‘once you’ve loved her, whoa-oh...now you've lost her, whoa-oh-oh-oh...but you've lost her for-ever, Django. In the scene after, Django eliminates five sadistic bandits that want to burn a girl alive. It is confirmed, Django is a bloody hero! No matter what happens next, we will be with him.
Played by: Franco Nero
First lines: ‘Whatever I’m doing here is none of your business.’
Played by: Audrey Tautou
First lines: ‘Les poules couvent souvent au couvent.’ (‘The chickens cluck more often than the rooster crows.’)
Why memorable: The romantic fairytale AMELIE, opens with a depiction of the childhood of main character Amélie Poulain in Paris neighbourhood Montmartre. Because of circumstances and the personalities of her parents, Amélie grows up at home, where she retreats into her own fantasy world where vinyl records are made like crepes and crocodile monsters come to visit her. This introduction gives us the perfect sense of who Amélie will become as she grows up; a woman who wants to make people happy with little things and a woman impossible not to love.
Played by: David Carradine
First lines: ‘Do you find me sadistic? You know I’ll bet I could fry an egg on your head right now if I wanted to.’
Why memorable: His handkerchief tells us who he his; Bill from the title. The guy that needs to die! What he does in the first scene is unforgivable; shooting the lovely Bride (Uma Thurman) through the head. Yet, there is this duality about Bill that makes him interesting. He is a cold blooded bastard here, but the way he touches the Bride and the things he says, tell us that he really cares about her. We want to learn more about him. The fact that we don’t see his face only adds to his mystery. Add to that his awesome voice (David Carradine’s) and you’ve got a character (and bad guy) entrance to dream of.
Played by: Sue Lyon
First lines: ‘Goodnight (kisses mother). Goodnight (kisses Humbert Humbert).’
Why memorable: The middle-aged college professor Humbert Humbert (James Mason) immediately rents the room of the house he is checking out when he sees 14-year-old nymphet Lolita in the garden. ‘What was the decisive factor?’, asks landlady and Lolita’s mom Charlotte Haze. ‘Was it the garden?’ ‘No, I guess it’s your cherry pie’. Yeah right Humbert, you horny old goat. It is understandable though. Actress Sue Lyon looks terrific and plays the seductive vamp Lolita completely and utterly convincing. Mason’s facial expressions in response to Lolita are hilarious.
Played by: David Prowse and James Earl Jones (voice)
First lines: ‘Where are those transmissions you intercepted? WHAT have you done with those PLANS?’
Why memorable: The ultimate sci-fi baddie makes his introduction right at the start of Episode IV. His evil nature and his power are apparent from the first frame; his black cape, his helmet, his breathing, et cetera. The way he chokes a rebel to death makes us fear him. Darth Vader is evil incarcerated, or rather incyborgated. A really great introduction to a brilliant character.
Played by: Javier Bardem
First lines: ‘Step out of the car please, sir.’
Why memorable: In his first two scenes in NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, Anton Chigurh is like the Devil himself. Although his haircut is something awful, this man surely is frightening. Even the hardened sheriff played by Tommy Lee Jones thinks so. First, Chigurh uses his handcuffs to kill the cop who arrested him. He does so with a sardonic pleasure, almost as if he is possessed. Afterwards he immediately kills another man, a civilian this time, using an oxygen tank. This is beyond much doubt the most brutal introduction to a mad killer ever.
Played by: Linda Fiorentino
First lines: ‘I can’t hear you people! You maggots sound like suburbanites. 50 bucks for a lousy coin set, you sell one at the time. I got a hundred bucks for the next sucker who makes a triple sale.’
Why memorable: The greatest of femme fatales is Bridget Gregory in THE LAST SEDUCTION. Right from the get go her deadliness is obvious. Yet, she is still stunningly sexy and irresistible. In this scene, she is bullying men around in a Sales office. Her aggression is off-putting, yet she could pull in any guy like a magnet. Bridget is a woman you just don’t say no to, no matter how obviously bad for your health she is.
Played by: Charles Bronson
First lines: ‘And Frank?’
Why memorable: Three men that look like bandits are waiting for a train. When it arrives nobody exits. Then, when they are about to leave they hear the music. Hello Harmonica. Our mysterious hero plays rather than talks. He seems to be looking for a man named Frank, who the bandits work for. It is not hard to guess his purpose with Frank when he kills the three men. Harmonica does not only play, he knows how to shoot too.