Ah movies, the great democratizer. Aside from a woman in the English Department office and a man at the exit desk of Sterling Library, everyone watches them. You sit in a dark air-conditioned room, munching on popcorn or Twizzlers. You enter into another world. A world where people always know just what to say in every situation, where no outfit ever clashes, where the music plays when people look into each other’s eyes, where the camera cuts away in boring moments. And everyone has a favorite character. ÊScene writer Lucy Teitler finds out who likes who (and they say we don’t have a gossip column). Ê

“Inigo Montoya from ‘The Princess Bride’ has got to be one of the world’s all-time greatest characters. All his life, he has searched for the six-fingered man who killed his father, and when he finds him, he knows exactly what he will say: ‘Allo. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.’ That’s a man with a vision you have to respect.”

–Ben Healey ’04, Ward One Alderman

“My favorite movie is definitely “Casablanca,” and my favorite movie character is the wily Rick, played by Humphrey Bogart. Bogart’s role combines every vice and virtue into one personality — affection, hatred, distrust, loyalty — and shows each at the most unexpected times. There is truly no other character in any other film about which I can read a new angle every time I see the film.” –Daniel Kruger ’04, Ward One Alderman candidate

“I’d have to say my favorite movie character is the Tramp because he is very rebellious, but in the end is brought back to a state of care and manliness with his love for Lady.” –Lauren Rogers ’05, New Blue songstress

“Loved Lt. Col. Frank Slade (Al Pacino) in ‘Scent of a Woman’— anyone who can have such a wonderful love-hate relationship with life rocks! Also loved Rick in ‘Casablanca’: Bogey’s a real badass in my opinion. On the same badass note: John Wayne as Shawn Mercer in ‘Hatari’ which has the fun of him doing his own stunts lassoing giraffes, zebras, rhinos and what have you.

–Sulmaan Khan, ’05

“My favorite movie character is Patton, in the movie Patton, which is the last movie that I saw, sometime in the 1970s, I think.”

–Charles Hill, Diplomat-in-Residence

“Two of my favorite actors are Sidney Poitier and Meryl Streep. Both actors portray their characters with depth and feeling along with a touch of elegance and class that for me keeps me very engaged with their on screen work like ‘They Call Me Mr Chips’ and ‘Bridges Over Madison County’ respectively. Peace.” –Reverend Frederick J. Streets, University Chaplain

“The shrink in ‘Matchstick Men,’ as played by Bruce Altman wins hands down. Of course, I am a Bruce Altman groupie. I loved his lawyer in the final show of last season’s “Sopranos,” his dad in ‘L.I.E,’ his psychiatrist in ‘Girl Interupted,’ and his counselor in ‘Cop Land’ with DeNiro.” –Rabbi James Ponet, Jewish Chaplain and Director of the Slifka Center

“The Bette Davis character in ‘All About Eve’, Margo Channing. She’s able to shoot off apt and razor sharp comments without a moment’s reflection… the kind of thing we all wish we could do.” –Architecture Professor Alexander Purves

“When I was a freshman in high school I was obsessed with the movie ‘Biodome.’ The guy with the dredlocks.” –Emily Wheelwright ’06

“Right now my favorite movie character is Elle in ‘Legally Blonde.’ I enjoy her beauty and intelligence, her integrity, her determination, and the fact that everything works out happily for her.” –Jane Levin, DS DUS

“The infinitely embattled Carol White (Julianne Moore) in Todd Haynes’s great ‘Safe;’ almost any of Roman Polanski’s protagonists (from Carole Ledoux in ‘Repulsion’ and ‘Rosemary’ to Wladyslaw Szpilman) could be chosen as well. And of course, Chaplin always.”

–John MacKay, Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures

“Oh Jesus Christ, Maria Braun. Do I need to say any more?” –T.S. Coburn ’05, scene columnist

“My favorite character is Ty Webb from ‘Caddyshack.’ This is controversial because Ty was played by Chevy Chase, who is kind of a huge loser nowadays… But in my opinion, as awesome and hilarious as Bill Murray is in that movie, it is Chevy Chase’s Ty Webb who really gives ‘Caddyshack’ that je ne sais quoi that makes it not just a hilarious film, but profound, emotionally resonant, life-affirming, life-enhancing.” –Hilary Hammell ’04, Yale Literary Magazine

“Definitely Woody Allen. The fact that he plays nearly the exact same role every time yet continues to amuse leads me to believe that he is not only the best movie character, but very possibly the best fictional character to have ever been created. You may ask, ‘what about Hamlet?’ Well, Hamlet’s great in an instant but I wouldn’t want to read 30 different versions of the play.” –Juliet Lapidos ’05, literature major

“My favorite movie characters are the Heathers from the movie of the same name. I adore them. ‘Veronica, come talk to me. Whether or not to commit suicide is one of the most important decisions a teenage girl can make.’ ” –Bradley Bailey ’05, Yale Daily News

“Travis Bickle, ‘Taxi Driver.’ He’s tough.” –Jonas Oransky ’04,

“I always liked Clint Eastwood in ‘Dirty Harry.’ He acts the way we’d all like to act if we were in the similar circumstances. Be tough at times, when the situation calls for it.” –Harry Neveski, the guy by the exit at CCL who checks if you’re pilfering any library books

“Lloyd Dobler in ‘Say Anything.’ He’s the quintessential John Cusack character and I love John Cusack.” –Eliza Triggs ’05, Hipster

“Forrest Whitaker in ‘Ghost Dog.’ Because I like kung-fu. Though there wasn’t really any kung-fu in that movie.” –Jacob Brogan ’05

“Harvey Pekar in ‘American Splendor.’ I just saw the movie and he’s not actually a character. He’s a real person.” –Alexa Garvoille ’07

“This is embarrassing, but one of the first characters I can remember really identifying with was Rick Moranis in ‘Little Shop of Horrors.’ He was Seymour, the kind of gross, schlobby guy, has this crush on this gorgeous almost drag-queen blonde bombshell. He lives on skid row which is the bad part of town. He’s really poor and he lives in the basement of this flower shop. He just cant get his shit together at all. And that was me.” –Matthew Schneier ’06, mohawked Herald editor

“Julia Roberts in ‘Pretty Woman.’ She was sassy in a way…I liked the glamour of her shopping.” — Annette [would not say], Berkeley Dining Hall

“Lola in ‘Run Lola Run.’ I like her because she’s tough. She doesn’t say much. I like that she runs a lot.’ –Katherine Collier ’05

“Denzel Washington in ‘Remember the Titans.’ I like it because it has a lot to do with racial tension and because everything was going on, but he brought the team together and it was a good team. And it’s a true story.” –Dexter Butler, Berkeley Dining Hall

As for my favorite movie character, I offer four in chronological order:

1) Sky Masterson in ‘Guys and Dolls,’ for whom I fast-forwarded many a nasal rendition of Adelaide’s lament.

2) Ingrid Bergman in ‘Casablanca’ because she made such an impression on my young self that I named a finger puppet after her and later left it in a hotel in Washington DC, only to uncover it inexplicably six years later in my Dad’s car.

3) Glenne Headly in ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.’ Janet the Jackal! Ê

4) Cheech in Bullets over Broadway. ÊI stalked Chazz Palminteri after watching this movie for the first time (last year) and decided that I could only ever spend my l
ife with a Mafia-genius-playwright. I’m pretty sure I haven’t changed my mind. Ê