In the latest edition of our series of the Best Character Introductions in Movie History, Annice White selects her 5 picks, mixing personal preference with popular consensus to select the very best of the best from some truly iconic movies.
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1. The Joker
The Dark Knight (2008)
Anticipation does not even begin to cover the feeling of sitting down to watch The Dark Knight.
The film opens with a man standing at the side of the road holding a clown mask. A bank robbery begins and one by one each of the masked men is killed by another. We are left with two – one says to the other ‘bet the Joker told you to kill me.’ ‘No, I killed the bus driver’. A school bus comes crashing through the side of the bank killing him. Something is not as it seems. Our final man walks into the light and it becomes clear that his suit is purple and his hair is green. After shooting the bus driver without even looking, the final robber places a grenade into a bank employee’s mouth. He tells him, “I believe what doesn’t kill you, simply makes you stranger”, removing his mask to reveal the iconic joker glasgow smile. A legend is born.
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2. Francis “Franco” Begbie
Although technically introduced during the football scene at the beginning of the movie, the truest introduction to Begbie comes when the group are at the pub. Begbie is telling everyone a story about last night playing pool with Tommy. In true Begbie style we hear an exaggerated story of a fight, how a ‘real hard man’ started a fight with him but Begbie saw him off. We are then told by Renton, through Tommy, that this is not actually what happened, and that Begbie actually started a fight with someone for no reason.
Begbie proceeds to throw his pint glass over his shoulder, hitting a woman in the face. Pleased with his work, Begbie runs down the stairs and shouts a line that has too many swear words for polite company, starting another fight.
Begbie is loud, aggressive and wants a fight whenever possible. Welcome to his mania.
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