The Top 50 Greatest Heroes & Villains Of All Time – ‘Total Film’ Compiled List

By Dave Parrack 19 Comments Uncategorized
The Top 50 Greatest Heroes & Villains Of All Time - ‘Total Film’ Compiled List

We all have an idea in our heads of what the greatest hero and greatest villain should look and act like.

Some like a superhero with a range of paranormal powers, while others prefer the everyman characters who go beyond the call of duty.

Some like over the top uber villains who they can imagine stroking a cat and having an evil laugh, others prefer subtle, cunning villains who plan for every eventuality.

Total Film magazine decided to poll their writers to come up with the Top 50 Greatest Heroes & Villains Of All Time, and it throws up some intriguing choices, some of which are quite surprising.

The list comes to us here via Monsters and Critics


1 Indiana Jones
2 Batman
3 Rocky Balboa (Rocky)
4 James Bond
5 Superman
6 Luke Skywalker (Star Wars)
7 Spiderman
8 Neo (The Matrix)
9 Han Solo (Star Wars)
10 The Incredible Hulk/Bruce Banner
11 Donnie Darko
12 Maximus Decimus Meridius (Gladiatior)
13 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
14 Jason Bourne (The Bourne Identity)
15 Spartacus
16 Wolverine (X Men)
17 Samwise Gamgee (Lord of the Rings)
18 George Bailey (It’s a Wonderful Life)
19 Philip Marlowe (Murder, My Sweet)
20 Mr Lee (Enter the Dragon)
21 Cherry Darling (Planet Terror)
22 John McClane (Die Hard)
23 Rick Deckard (Blade Runner)
24 Lassie
25 Dewey Finn (School of Rock)
26 Bree (Transamerica)
27 Mr Davis (12 Angry Men)
28 Thelma and Louise
29 Virgil Tibbs (In the Heat of the Night)
30 Optimus Prime (The Transformers: The Movie)
31 Clarice Starling (The Silence of the Lambs)
32 The Terminator
33 Ashitaka (Princess Mononoke)
34 Elle Woods (Legally Blonde)
35 Father Merrin (The Exorcist)
36 Rooster Cogburn (True Grit)
37 Kenji Watanabe (Ikiru)
38 The Tramp (City Lights)
39 The Man with No Name (A Fistful of Dollars)
40 Ellen Ripley (Alien)
41 Laurie Strode (Halloween)
42 Spongebob Squarepants
43 Rachel Stein/Ellis de Vries (Black Book)
44 Jefferson Smith (Mr Smith goes to Washington)
45 Sheriff John T Chance (Rio Bravo)
46 John Shaft
47 Sarah Connor (The Terminator)
48 David Dunn (Unbreakable)
49 Rick Blaine (Casablanca)
50 Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird)

Indiana Jones is a surprising number one for me, as I would have bet on Superman being up there instead. Also, Rocky above James Bond? Surely some mistake.

I love the inclusions of Donnie Darko and Dewie Finn (from School of Rock), as they are two of my favourite films. Spongebob Squarepants and Lassie are surely just there for comedic effect?!?!


1 The Joker (Batman: The Movie)
2 Darth Vader (Star Wars)
3 Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs)
4 Leatherface (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
5 Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
6 Nurse Ratched (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest)
7 Anton Chigurh (No Country for Old Men)
8 Michael Myers (The Halloween series)
9 Frank Booth (Blue Velvet)
10 Norman Bates (Psycho)
11 Bridget Gregory/Wendy Kroy (The Last Seduction)
12 Jason Vorhees (Friday the 13th series)
13 Saruman the White (The Lord of the Rings)
14 John Doe (Se7en)
15 Baby Jane Hudson (Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?)
16 Peyton Flanders (The Hand That Rocks the Cradle)
17 Gordon Gekko (Wall Street)
18 Alex Forrest (Fatal Attraction)
19 The White Witch (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe)
20 Captain Videl (Pan’s Labyrinth)
21 Annie Wilkes (Misery)
22 Tony Montana (Scarface)
23 Catherine Tramell (Basic Instinct)
24 Michael Corleone (The Godfather)
25 Dr Christian Sezell (Marathon Man)
26 Reverend Harry Powell (The Night of the Hunter)
27 Ray (Nil by Mouth)
28 The Wicked Witch of the West (The Wizard of Oz)
29 John Ryder (The Hitcher)
30 Suzanna Stone Maretto (To Die For)
31 Combo (This is England)
32 General Zod (Superman)
33 Hans Gruber (Die Hard)
34 Patrick Bateman (American Psycho)
35 Ivan Drago (Rocky IV)
36 Daniel Cleaver (Bridget Jones’ Diary)
37 Verbal Klint/Keyser Soze (The Usual Suspects)
38 Lex Luthor (Superman)
39 Don (Sexy Beast)
40 Begbie (Trainspotting)
41 Phyllis Dietrichsonn (Double Indemnity)
42 Mr Blonde (Reservoir Dogs)
43 Dr Elsa Schneider (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade)
44 Frank (Once Upon a Time in the West)
45 Max Cady (Cape Fear)
46 The Child Catcher (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)
47 The Truck (Duel)
48 Hans Beckert (M)
49 Mrs John Iselin (The Manchurian Candidate)
50 Mr Potter (It’s a Wonderful Life)

The number again is a surprise, with Darth Vader being my personal choice instead. Maybe it’s because while the Star Wars thing has come and gone, while Batman, and The Joker are right in the forefront of people’s minds with The Dark Knight currently being made.

It’s a great list, with all the people I would have expected to be there making an appearance.


  1. Jack Randall

    I’ll just say two things.

    First of all, the list of heroes and villains that doesn’t include Austin Powers and Dr. Evil is wort sh*t.

    Second, I just can’t figure how any hero above position 9 can be in front of Ellen Ripley????

    One more thing… Elle Woods??? This list was made by people who are as dumb as the movies they watch…

  2. D-san

    I’ll Say Frodo Baggins and Sauron respectively.

  3. scarylarryoface

    I so rightly believe the butcher from “gangs of new york,” shredder from “ninja turtles,” and shooter from “happy Gilmore,” should beee: in the list!!!! q24

  4. Brendon

    #1 should of Been Jason Vorhees from Friday the 13th, he is the best villian of all time killing over 155 people!!

  5. Brian

    Optimus Prime should be Much higher on the list, and how isn’t Megatron in the villains list. Transformers were classic.

    And also where is Cobra Commander

  6. Me

    While probably nobody knows who he is, I thought Kane, leader of the Brotherhood of Nod in Command and Conquer should’ve placed somewhere! My personal choice for 25 at least, just because of how everything he plans works out somehow, how he’s able to manipulate almost anybody deserves some recognition. I mean, he controlled Josef Stalin’s every move, survived a direct ion cannon blast, being impaled by a metal spike, and having lived from before 1950 to well passed the year 2047 without seeming to age even a single wrinkle proves how badass he is. Other than that, I thought this was a good list.

  7. Nadia

    ummm what about Harry Potter? he should be on the lsit!
    And Voldemort should Definetly be on the list.

  8. Pat

    I like the list but I would ‘ve gone to hundred.

    Are you a film critic?

    I prefer your villains as opposed to your heroes lists.

  9. me


  10. barney

    bill the butcher is without doubt one of the greatest bad guys ever. His look is so unique and interesting. His character, the way he speaks, the way he moves is captivation and memorable. As is Daniel Plainview, but i’m guessing There Will Be Blood came out after this list was compiled.

  11. Kyle

    Umm what about Riddick from pitch black or the chronicles of riddick? What a badass! Definitely should be on the list no doubt.

  12. hatemiley

    why isnt gandalf on the list.
    hes the great white wizard.
    the person who wrote this is retarted

  13. lovejoker

    Where is sweeney todd (Johnny Dept)i mean come on he pretended to cut peoples beard and stuff and then slit there necks and put them downa shoot to be made into the great sellin pies people were eating other people i mean come on where is he on this list!!! I AM DISGRACED!!

  14. lovejoker

    Where is sweeney todd (Johnny Dept)i mean come on he pretended to cut peoples beard and stuff and then slit there necks and put them downa shoot to be made into the great sellin pies people were eating other people i mean come on where is he on this list!!! I AM DISGRACED!! and what about Astin powers and D.r evil and minny me why are they not on here???

  15. homeboy

    Sam from LOTR on the list and no Harry Potter? thats bullshit
    and Voldemort is wayyyy better than Saruman

  16. Yo

    Sam Wise should be nowhere near any list. He sucks, he’s annoying and he sucks.

  17. superman

    Captain Kirk should be in the top ten for heroes.

  18. manish

    Okay, this is publised in 2007 so no Heath Ledger.But how the will Nicholson’s campy joker is 1st? if it was his jack torrence, i will agree sure, i think joker doesn’t deserved to be in this list. Not even in the nominated list…

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