Blogathon Relay: 10 Most Iconic Movie Characters


Woo hoo! Nostra from My Film Views is at it again. I crowned him King of Blog Series a couple of years ago and clearly he deserves that title 😉 Here’s the gist of the Blogathon Relay:

A list of 10 iconic movie characters has been made. That list will be assigned to another blogger who can then change it by removing one character (describing why they think it should not be on the list) and replace it with another one (also with motivation) and hand over the baton to another blogger. Once assigned that blogger will have to put his/her post up within a week. If this is not the case the blogger who assigned it has to reassign it to another blogger. After you have posted your update leave the link in the comments here and I will make sure it gets added to the overview post.

Now, the first baton went to my friend Keith, one of my favorite bloggers whom I admire and respect. If you haven’t visited his awesome blog before, well you’re missing out big time! He had the arduous task of being the first to remove and replace one iconic movie character from the original 10, and I think he made a great choice! Check out the reasoning behind his decision in this post. I love this brilliant blogathon idea, but like Keith said, it’s a REALLY tough one! I’m up for the challenge though, so let’s take a look at the current Top Ten as it stands now, with Keith’s pick at the very end, followed by MY subtraction and addition:

Indiana Jones

Ellen Ripley


Darth Vader

James Bond

The Tramp

Tony Montana


Rocky Balboa

“Dirty” Harry Callahan


Who I’m removing: TONY MONTANA

RemovingTonyMontanaSorry Scarface fans, please don’t shoot me! Yes I know he’s got the highly-quotable ‘say hello to my little friend’ quip. At this point though, we’re arguing not whether he’s an iconic movie character, obviously he is but just how iconic is he compared to the other nine on this list.

When I think of ICONIC, I think of a character that needs no explanation, not only in the US but internationally. It’s the kind of character anyone from any continent in this world would instantly recognize, or at least which movie they’re from even if they don’t know that character’s name. I’m not sure that Al Pacino’s most famous role fits that category. Great and memorable yes, but I don’t know if he deserves to be in the Top 10 MOST iconic list. He might make my Top 20 though, but that’s not the assignment of this blogathon, folks. So after much deliberation, he’s the one I have to say goodbye to.

My addition: Princess Leia 


Now, I know there’s already a character from Star Wars but there’s no rule we can’t add more than one character from a given film or franchise. Given that Star Wars is THE biggest and most enduring franchise in Hollywood history, we could probably make up half of this list just from that franchise alone!

Princess Leia is not just one of the coolest female movie characters but she’s a film AND pop culture icon. I mean, if you just draw a silhouette with her hair buns on each side of her head, I think people young and old would instantly know who that is. From the baby boomers all the way to Millennials, it’s interesting to see fans still dressing up as Princess Leia at Comic-con and various other conventions. I remember at SDCC 2012 my hubby taking pictures with a bunch of girls in Leia’s equally iconic teeny bikini, with little regard whether they look like Carrie Fisher circa 1977 or more like she is now in her mid 50s. I’m actually not a huge Star Wars fan, but I do get the appeal and why it remains so popular to this day. I’m glad George Lucas wrote such a strong female character who’s beautiful, witty and spunky. She’s a fiery rebel who’s able to hold her own amongst the rest of the mostly-male cast. We need more strong female icons like her in Hollywood!

Passing the baton to:


I’ve been following Andrew‘s blog for some time now and I love his reviews and personal & passionate style in blogging. Do yourself a favor and check out A Fistful of Films Blog!

Well, what do you think of my decision? Agree/disagree, let’s hear it!

49 thoughts on “Blogathon Relay: 10 Most Iconic Movie Characters

  1. LEIA!!! Yesss! What a great addition! As a Star Wars junkie I just love her and I wholeheartedly agree that she is iconic. Only she can call some a “scruffy looking nerfherder” and it sound so good!

    Some thing else interesting, Tony Montana barely made it through my pruning as well. We are definitely thinking along the same lines. Great stuff Ruth!

    1. Thanks again for passing the baton! It was arduous to decide who had to go but glad you agree w/ my decision. I just don’t think most of my friends knew who Montana is if I showed them Pacino’s pic y’know, but Leia is definitely recognizable right away.

  2. I usually go by what my friends and mother know of movies when dealing with a blogathon like that and I gotta say in terms of iconic this is definitely the right choice – I only saw Star Wars once but I think even people who didn’t know who Leia is whereas with Pacino I’m not sure many people who aren’t big film buffs would know the name of his character in this one 🙂

    1. That is very wise Sati! I did ask my hubby about that too and he immediately agreed about Leia. I only saw SW once too, all 6 of the films, and I even remembered some of her quotes. I just don’t think Montana would be as recognized internationally unless you’re a film buff. Glad you agree!

    1. Ha..ha.. that’s what I thought! She’d be recognized even in silhouette form! Curious who you’d replace, better not be Leia 😉

  3. I think you took the right one out, and I also think you have a good reason for including Princess Leia (Ripley can’t be the only woman icon in movie history). I think there are several other choices that might have come before another Star Wars Figure, but I do love Luke’s Sister (Sorry, that’s a spoiler for anyone reading this who did not know, meaning: no one).

    1. “Ripley can’t be the only woman icon in movie history” EXACTLY!! I was gonna add Scarlet O’Hara but I think Leia is more iconic to people of ALL ages whereas Millenials might not have seen Gone With The Wind yet.

      Ha..ha… if they haven’t seen SW by now, they deserve to have it spoiled!! 😀

    1. Yeah, can’t believe there was only ONE female character to begin with. I can’t wait to see his addition, I just hope Leia stays on for a while 😉

  4. Ted S.

    This is a cool list and since I can’t think of another character I’d add to the list, I’ll have to agree with Princes Leia.

    As for Tony Montana, I never thought he’s that iconic to begin with, I like Scarface but I think it’s been a bit overrated throughout the years. Sure it was a box office misfire and critics didn’t care for it when it first opened in theaters. But ever since the young rappers and hipters have seen the movie, it’s been kind of overblown. Also, why in the heck were all the Cuban characters spoke English to one another in the film? That’s the one big beef I have with the movie, all those supposed Cuban refugees all spoke English to one another even though they came from Cuba!! Just never made sense to me.

    1. To be honest I’ve only seen clips of Scarface, not the entire thing. I do think he’s so over the top and decidedly preposterous, ahah. It’s a cult favorite to be sure but I don’t think he’s all that iconic.

      1. Ted S.

        Oh you haven’t seen the whole movie? He’s a Cuban refugee who arrived in the States in the early 80s and somehow speaks English fluently for a guy who’s supposed to be a thug and unedcated. What’s even more funny was that every Cuban character in the movie spoke English to one another with heavy accent instead of their native tongue. LOL.

        1. Oh I know what it’s about, I’ve seen numerous clips of ’em too so I know Pacino speaks w/ a Cuban accent (or whatever I think it was). I kinda expect they’d go that route though, but yeah it’s hilarious!

  5. I have no problem replacing Tony Montana w/ Princess Leia. As much as I love Tony Montana, I understand why you want to include Leia. She’s got the force and she could probably take on an entire army.

  6. jackdeth72

    Good choice and substitution, Ruth!

    De Palma’s Scarface has always struck me as a lot of over rated noise and thunder peppered with profanity. Trying hard to achieve the same levels of power and fear handled by Paul Mini long ago, And falling short of the mark.

    Princess Leia is an excellent choice with which to replace Tony Montana. Personal Honorable Mention would be Jeanette Goldstein’s Colonial Marine Pvt. Vasquez from Aliens .

    1. Hi Kevin, I’m glad you approve of my pick. I’m afraid I can’t remember who Pvt. Vasquez is though, been a while since I saw Aliens. I always get confused w/ Alien, ahah.

    1. Hi Chris! Glad you agree man, there are really a lot from SW that’s become iconic, we could easily make up a top 10 just from that franchise, ha..ha..

  7. I agree that Tony Montana is the least iconic of those, and that the truly iconic characters you can recognize just by seeing their silhouette, and Princess Leia fits with that. Good choice Ruth!

  8. What?! No Tony Montana? 😉

    Hard to argue with your choice here, Ruth. I might have sided more with Ford’s Han Solo but it’s important to have a strong female character involved and Leia certainly cuts it.

    1. Ahah somehow I knew you might be sad to see Montana go, but not TOO sad right? 😉

      I love Ford as Han Solo but in terms of being iconic, I think Leia might win just on the account of her hair buns alone, ahah. Plus we simply need more iconic female characters in Hollywood!

  9. As others have noted it’s nice to see another female character in the 10, although your choice took me completely by surprise. No qualms here over the removal of Montana either. I’m sure many would argue he isn’t even Pacino’s most iconic character.

      1. Your choice was a pleasant surprise!
        Firstly because I didn’t think you were a Star Wars fan, and secondly because I was sure you’d choose a Gregory Peck character. They don’t come much more iconic than Atticus Finch!

  10. The King is already working on the next concept! 😉

    As for this one, interesting choice to remove Tony. I think you underestimate the international recognition of Tony Montana. I remember when moving house I was selling a mirror with quite a detailed frame around it. A man came by who bought it and told me he would remove the mirror and put a painting in he made of Scarface which he was going to sell. He told me he made a lot of money doing it. There are also lots of people walking around wearing T-shirts or even jackets with him on it. I assume that is the case in other countries too.

    Leia is indeed an iconic character and her silhouette would be enough for most people to recognize her.

    1. WOW, curious to see what you’ve got cookin’ next!

      Well, seems that a lot of people here (who happen to be from multiple different countries) didn’t think he was that iconic. I think he might be in some areas but when you’re talking about the Top 10, it’s got to be more universal. Leia definitely fits that category IMO, she’s in the same league as Indy, Bond and others that you picked 😀

  11. I’d take out Tony Montana too, although he is very iconic. I’m a bit surprised you didn’t pick Superman seeing how much you love him plus how iconic he is!

  12. Yep, Leia is a fantastic choice, Ruth! She’s definitely an iconic character. So glad you passed the baton to Drew by the way. I love following his blog as well. 🙂

  13. Good call on Princess Leia…she often gets forgotten behind the Han Solo’s, Luke Skywalkers, Chewie’s, C-3PO’s and Darth Vaders..! 😉

    1. Glad you agree Dan! You’re right she gets overlooked even amongst SW fans but she’s an awesome heroine any way you look at it, and definitely iconic.

  14. Pingback: The Ten: Most Iconic Movie Characters | Films and Coke

  15. Pingback: Blog-a-thon: The Top 10 Most Iconic Movie Characters | Vic's Movie Den

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