Top 50 Best ’80s Movie Characters

Top 50 Best '80s Movie Characters


Those who have lived through the 1980s would agree that they were among the most formative years for the motion picture industry in the United States of America. The decade saw the release of a ton of iconic full-length features that introduced us to some of the most wonderful and well-sketched characters of all time.


From teen heartthrobs to indomitable action superstars, from comedic legends to sci-fi heroes, the ’80s had it all in store for us and more. Needless to say, a number of actors and the characters they portrayed went on to cement their places in the hearts of their fans forever.


These characters not only entertained us on the big screen but they also went on to become culturally significant with the passage of time. In fact, we are happy to see that some of them have successfully managed to stand the test of time as well.


Therefore, in our latest, we attempt to study the greatest cinema characters to have emerged during the 1980s.




1. The Breakfast Club (The Breakfast Club)


The Breakfast Club (The Breakfast Club)


When you put an athlete, a brain, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal in a room, you’ll probably think that they have nothing in common. However, trust The Breakfast Club to prove you wrong.


We observe how five students learn that they have a lot in common despite their differences while in detention. Needless to say, this John Hughes directorial venture is a perfect snapshot into the mindset of teenagers.


It makes you believe that belonging to different groups doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re all not the same, and this theme is precisely what makes watching “The Breakfast Club” interact all day so engaging and relatable to most viewers.


Through these characters, we come to understand that we often judge each other based on who we think we are, but, of course, the reality is often very different.


Now, maybe these characters will walk into school Monday morning and act as if nothing has changed during the course of the weekend. Nonetheless, they will forever be grateful to that conversation for helping them realize that each one of them is a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, or a “criminal” within their own lives.


What makes these characters and their thought-provoking discourse stand out is that they make you feel that having an honest heart-to-heart is more important than it usually seems; especially in a world as unemotional and apathetic as ours.




2. Indiana Jones (Indiana Jones Franchise)


indiana jones (indiana jones franchise)


We relate to iconic characters like John McClane and archaeologist Indiana Jones because they seem to go all out in their respective missions. While the former certainly does suffer, the latter is much more confident in his task than McClane.


Also, he can be surprisingly adaptive to any given situation. However, what makes him come across as even more humane is that he tends to experience fear, doubt, and pain from time to time.


In addition, he visits incredible locations and uncovers ancient mysteries throughout the long-standing franchise; all while punching some dumb Nazis in their fascist faces whenever he gets an opportunity to.


Therefore, there is a reason why most film critics believe that Indiana Jones is a lone wolf. The human superhero can use his superior detective skills and blend them wonderfully with his vast knowledge to get to the helm of affairs.


Aside from the information that he possesses, it is his bravery and tenacity that make him appealing to the audience.




3. Han Solo (The Empire Strikes Back, The Return of the Jedi)


Han Solo (The Empire Strikes Back, The Return of the Jedi)


There’s no denying that the handsome Harrison Ford had become quite the star during the 1980s. He played two roles that truly cemented his status as an undisputed icon of that decade.


The first was that of Han Solo; a fast-talking smuggler who helped Luke and Obi-Wan in Star Wars. Those who have followed the franchise closely would acknowledge that Han commences his journey as a loner.


However, by the time the two sequels close out the Original Trilogy, he is shown to have transformed into someone who believes that it is imperative to be a part of a group and work for the common good.


Credit has to be given to the makers for making Lando, Chewbacca, Luke, and Leia allowing different shades of Han to come out to play. Needless to mention, The Empire Strikes Back is packed with powerful lines involving these unforgettable characters.


Let’s just sum up by pointing out that Han’s sarcastic wit is what sets him apart from the other Star Wars characters.




4. Ellen Ripley (Aliens)


Ellen Ripley (Aliens)


Extra marks to James Cameron for providing movie buffs with a couple of incredible women characters in the ’80s; especially when the decade was sorely lacking in that department. The next character directed by him to make it to our piece is Ellen Ripley.


While she begins her journey in the original flick as just another workaholic trying to do her job, she matures rather commendably in its sequel. We see her doing her best to overcome the trauma of her first encounter with the xenomorph; therefore, making us realize that in a lot of ways, her character arc mirrors that of Sarah Connor of the Terminator series.


Ripley begins Aliens on the back foot: she wakes up in a time completely unfamiliar to her and tries to make sense of how things are functioning in her vicinity.


However, towards the end of the motion picture, the brave and spirited lady is seen taking charge and saving the day rather admirably.



5. John McClane (Die Hard)


John McClane (Die Hard)


The viewers were in for a cinematic treat during the 1980s. We say so because the decade allowed them to get acquainted with the indomitable John McClane in 1988’s Die Hard.


Directed by John McTiernan and portrayed by Bruce Willis, McClane was an East Coast cop trying to fix his marriage by surprising his estranged wife on Christmas; all while taking on ruthless European terrorists in Los Angeles.


What made him raw and relatable was that, unlike other action heroes of the time, he didn’t just rely much on his biceps and weapons to protect lives. Needless to say, he also suffered and bled during the conflicts.


While this not-so-perfect action hero struggled to show his wife that he truly loved her, what he didn’t struggle to show the viewers was that he could be both funny and brave when he wished to be.



6. Axel Foley (Beverly Hills Cop)


axel foley (beverly hills cop)


Axel Foley from Martin Brest’s Beverly Hills Cop is a Detroit police officer who has a penchant for doing things his own way. So, soon into the movie, we catch him exploring the streets of Beverly Hills, looking for the men who killed his good mate.


While the plot is engaging enough for a standard action flick, it is Eddie Murphy’s adroit character projection that makes everything shine. The man is electric in the first two instalments of the franchise; therefore, making it impossible for the viewers to not root for him.


Clever, cheeky, and charming, Axel is someone who can come across as both goofy and serious, depending on the situation at hand. Also, we can see him using his remarkable social skills to get where he wants to go.


However, how he hasn’t found a permanent partner for himself remains a bit of a mystery. That being said, Murphy has been able to portray Axel as a conscientious cop who is dedicated to doing the right thing at all times. 



7. Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street)


freddy krueger (a nightmare on elm street)


While the ’80s were packed with a plethora of deranged serial killer characters, none of them made quite an impact like like Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street.


Since the guy is a rather terrifying manifestation of our own subconscious, we feel that there is probably a demon working its way through our minds. Yes, he uses our deepest fears to his advantage in order to torment us ceaselessly.


That said, Freddy goes a step ahead from being a mere horror character, for he serves as a metaphor for the sins of the parents being visited upon their children in the future.


Sure, the viewers end up despising him, but trust us when we mention that he likes nothing more than to portray himself as evil incarnate. That is perhaps why he believes in torturing his targets before killing them.


Matter of fact, he can spend weeks planning and plotting the torture before going for the final kill. When the time to get the job done comes, one can see him brimming with joy and rage while chasing down his helpless prey.



8. Elliot (E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial)


Elliot (E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial)


There’s a possibility that the first time you watch E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial, you might get annoyed with Elliot. We say so because he comes across as that everyday kid who wants all the attention in the house to himself.


However, the young Henry Thomas works his magic soon into the movie and turns things around rather quickly. Therefore, seeing him convey complex emotions with ease on camera comes as a total surprise.


Needless to say, the actor gets us invested in Elliot and E. T.’s timeless tale in no time. Watch out for the scene where his foreign friend meets his demise.


Seeing Elliot weep will not only make your heart ache but it will also make you believe that there haven’t been many on-screen friendships like Elliot and E. T.’s since the release of the said motion picture in the early 1980s.



9. John Rambo (First Blood, Rambo: First Blood Part II)


John Rambo (First Blood, Rambo: First Blood Part II)


We all know that the 1980s were full of teenagers who were heavily inspired by the very popular Rambo series of movies. In fact, many were influenced enough to want to become a commando when they grew up.


Needless to say, the cult classic franchise made a lot many teenagers believe that nothing could have possibly been cooler than running through the jungle and mowing down a ton of bad guys who deserved a fair amount of beating.


As you’d have guessed, the formula struck a chord with the youth of the era who were more than willing to copy Rambo’s effortless style and modus operandi. It only helped that the iconic action character had a great physique to go with his bravery and combat skills.



10. Yoda (The Empire Strikes Back)


Yoda (The Empire Strikes Back)


Ask devoted fans of the Star Wars franchise and they’ll tell you that The Empire Strikes Back is arguably the best motion picture in the entire franchise. Ask us and we’ll tell you that it’s quite possible given the number of fan-favourite characters it comprises.


Yoda is a wise Jedi mentor who stumbles upon Luke after having crash-landed on the planet Dagobah. Sooner than later, we find the latter becoming his apprentice and learning the way of the Force under his guidance.


Sure, he belongs to a rare and rather unknown species, but it’s difficult to ignore the fact that he wields a lot of power in the Force. Indeed, Luke couldn’t have found a better mentor than Yoda to learn to control his force powers.


Eventually, the rapport that the two popular characters end up sharing is one of the best in the series. We must conclude this entry by stressing that the creation of this character was a stroke of genius.



11. Marty McFly (Back To The Future)


Marty McFly (Back To The Future)


Marty McFly may accidentally keep time-travelling into the past and future, but he knows very little about handling the goddam machine that helps him do so. And, when he finally manages to head into the last, we find him running into his parents and almost causing them to never meet.


If that wasn’t enough to tell just how clueless he is at first, make peace with the fact that the guy risks being history himself. The charming Michael J. Fox was cast as Marty after a ton of scheduling conflicts.


However, the actor did full justice to his role by enacting the part rather comfortably; therefore, making a lot of youngsters at the time believe that if they truly put their minds to something, they could achieve anything.



12. Tony Montana (Scarface)


Tony Montana (Scarface)


Sure, there are a number of memorable gangster movies out there, but not a lot of them have a character as formidable and iconic as the great Al Pacino’s Tony Montana.


One of the most popular gangsters in cinema history, Montana is a rank-rising criminal who ends up with a criminal empire but pushes everyone close to him as far away as possible.


So, while he holds enormous power, gaudy suits, and a huge pile of cocaine at all times, he also provides a ton of lessons through his chaotic lifestyle. Be that as it may, you can’t help but fall prey to his badassery.


Also, can we ever forget the scene where the larger-than-life and high-as-hell Tony introduces his “little friend” to a large group of assassins?



13. John Keating (Dead Poets Society)


john keating (dead poets society)


A former student of Welton, as well as a brilliant Rhodes scholar, John Keating is a charismatic English teacher who provides lessons in the most unconventional of ways. He begins teaching at Welton during the late 1950s and immediately makes an impression on his students, who are used to rather monotonous class lessons.


However, his arrival makes them excited and eager to learn new things. Over time, Keating teaches them to do extraordinary and original things instead of just turning into sordid copies of their folks and tutors.


Thanks to his teaching techniques, the students started appreciating the beauty in poetry and challenging the rigid societal norms. Not only that but they are also inspired to rebel against their families and the teaching methods of other teachers.


Keating emphasizes freedom and originality during his lessons because he probably believes that the world is heavily populated by the unoriginal. Therefore, the school, which celebrates traditions and conventions over and above everything else, starts to see him as a threat.



14. Sarah Connor (The Terminator)


Sarah Connor (The Terminator)


Sarah Connor may not be the titular character in James Cameron’s The Terminator, but she certainly is the most important female character in the cult film and, in fact, in the entire series.


Played diligently by Linda Hamilton, she is best remembered by film buffs across the globe for her action-hero personality in Termination 2: Judgment Day. However, we relate to her massively at first when she’s been shown as an average American young woman trying to make ends meet in the 1980s United States.


Her arc is one of the major high points in the series. While she kick-stars the story as a waitress looking forward to having some fun, she ends it by accepting her fate as the inevitable mother of the future.



15. Dr Emmett Brown (Back To The Future)


Dr Emmett Brown (Back To The Future)


There is no denying that Marty McFly is one of the coolest characters of the 1980s. But, none of the events that transpire in the beloved franchise would have been possible had it not been for the eccentric Doc Brown.


Played effortlessly by Christopher Lloyd, the aged genius serves as a father figure to Marty, whose personal life seems to be on the doldrums. He invents the machine that allows them to venture into the past and the future; all while keeping the viewers aware of what is at stake.


So, yes, the good-natured Doc is every bit the hero Marty is, which is why we always seem to be rooting for him.



16. Jake LaMotta (Raging Bull)


Jake LaMotta (Raging Bull)


One of the greatest actors in the history of motion pictures, Robert De Niro plays the unforgettable Jake LaMotta in Martin Scorsese’s black-and-white 1980 biopic Raging Bull. The actor is so into his character that he is able to convey anger with raw honesty and visceral intensity on the big screen.


Besides the cinematic genius of the director, what makes Jake stand out is that De Niro doesn’t try to make the audience like him. In fact, he shows him as an abusive, belligerent, and entirely unsympathetic character, who most would love to criticize.


Needless to say, he is so sincere in doing it that it becomes a tad painful to watch him perform. But, of course, in a good way.



17. Ghostbusters (Ghostbusters)


Ghostbusters (Ghostbusters)


Not a lot of people are aware of the fact that Ghostbusters is based on Dan Aykroyd’s fascination with spirituality. It was originally conceived as a project starring himself and John Belushi.


In fact, it’s even said that Eddie Murphy to be a part of the project. However, actor Bill Murray was signed to play an integral part in the story following the death of Belushi.


Needless to say, his inclusion ensured that every member of the Ghostbusters had a different personality. So, while Murray is the ladies’ man with a sardonic sense of humour, Ramis is the diligent scientist.


On the other hand, Aykroyd is seen being elated at the very possibility of ghosts, and Hudson ascertains that the paycheck is ready when it has to be. Needless to say, their clashing personalities and teamwork form the major highlights of the film.



18. Marion Ravenwood (Raiders Of The Lost Ark)


Marion Ravenwood (Raiders Of The Lost Ark)


We realize that this might be a controversial statement, but we think Marion Ravenwood is arguably the only character from Raiders of the Lost Ark worth talking about. This damsel in distress never feels distressed for she is capable enough of holding her own.


Thankfully, she has not been portrayed as an annoying creature. Her character has been sketched smartly and Karen Allen, quite frankly, breathes fire into it. While the motion picture would still have been great without her inclusion in it, the fact that she is a significant member of the cast only goes on to elevate its stature.



19. Gremlins (Gremlins)


Gremlins (Gremlins)


Looks like director Joe Dante and producer Steven Spielberg were certain of the fact that the script of Gremlins had the potential to be a smash hit at the ticket windows.


So, they decided to trim the graphic violence in its screenplay and architected the project into the children’s classic it is today. While the very refreshing monster motion picture carries some dark elements to make itself come off as appealing, it’s still pretty much watchable for children.


Gremlins went on to eclipse most horror features of its time in popularity following its theatrical outing. So, while the adults had their Xenomorphs, the kids were more than happy to be scared by the uniqueness of the Gremlins.


It is imperative to mention that the movie was the centre of large merchandising campaigns back then.



20. Terminator (The Terminator)


Terminator (The Terminator)


Make way for the insanely popular Terminator who is undoubtedly the ultimate killing machine. This unrelenting and unstoppable robotic assassin has only one mission: kill Sarah Connor, come what may.


Once you catch the well-built Arnold Schwarzenegger stepping into the shoes of the Terminator, you’re more than convinced that he is born to play the iconic character. In fact, the actor is so perfectly cast that millions of kids across the globe started to recognize the man as the “Terminator” itself.


Thanks to his perfect physique and iconic accent, he went on to become a global star following the blockbuster theatrical outing of the film. Moreover, Schwarzenegger’s character projection easily set the template for every killer cyborg and robot to follow.



21. Spinal Tap (This Is Spinal Tap)


Spinal Tap (This Is Spinal Tap)


This English heavy metal “band” was created meticulously by comedians Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer. They worked so sincerely on the characters that it’d be safe to say that it’s the closest a fictitious band has ever come to being perceived as legit by viewers.


The members of Spinal Tap are different in the sense that they not only write and perform every song in the movie but also every comedic situation they get themselves into.


The three main leads stay so true to their characters that you can’t help but believe them. Also, each of them has enough lines to mark their presence and pretty much everything that they say and do in the movie is uproarious, to say the least.



22. Mr Miyagi (The Karate Kid)


Mr Miyagi (The Karate Kid)


We can’t thank Mr Miyagi enough for prompting us to learn the tricks of karate. He serves as a father figure and friend to Daniel and cleverly gets him to do his chores; all while understanding karate.


Needless to say, those sequences ultimately become the highlight of the movie. What’s even more memorable is that we catch the two relatable characters bonding over their mutual loss. While Mr Miyagi’s wife and son died during childbirth, Daniel’s father seems to have been gone without any signs of return.


Talented actor Pat Morita plays the role of Miyagi with such strength and emotion that you can’t help but admire his undeniable performing skills. Him teaching Daniel karate through the use of everyday tasks is a memory that movie buffs from the ’80s can never forget.



23. Jack Torrance (The Shining)


Jack Torrance (The Shining)


Not a huge success on its release, The Shining is now recognized as arguably the greatest horror movie of all time. The seminal project is populated with mind-numbing sequences, but it is Jack Nicholson’s terrific portrayal of Jack Torrance that truly elevates the storytelling to a different level.


The talented actor went method to make it look like his character suffered from the world’s worst case of cabin fever. The scenes in which he can be seen snapping at his wife and chasing her to slaughter her lingers long on our minds after we are done watching the cult classic.


To ensure that he does justice to his role, Nicholson only ate cheese sandwiches for two straight weeks because there aren’t a lot of things he hates more in the world than cheese sandwiches.


As the notorious spirits of the hotel start tampering with Torrance’s delicate psychology and his son’s psychic talents, Jack’s resolve to kill his family grows stronger.



24. Mad’ Max Rockatansky (Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior)


Mad' Max Rockatansky (Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior)


Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior is set about three years after the events of the first instalment. In the movie, we catch the indomitable titular character wandering the wastelands in solitude along with his canine companion.


His family has been murdered by a gang of lawless freaks, which is perhaps why he no longer believes in being a protector of the law. While it may look like he doesn’t really care about justice, he sure does about survival.


We see him going from being a bonafide hero to an apathetic drifter who only comes to people’s aid out of self-interest. Sooner than later, he heads into a town and becomes entangled in their many critical issues; only to put his action abilities on display.


Max apparently has no option left but to kill a bunch of people to save the day. He is the ultimate anti-hero who leaves before the residents can even thank him for his “services”.



25. The Blues Brothers (The Blues Brothers)


The Blues Brothers (The Blues Brothers)


Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi were two of the biggest stars of Saturday Night Live when The Blues Brothers hit the screens. You have to give them credit for taking the risk to make a full-length feature out of the characters that they developed exclusively for the show.


As you know, the duo had a bonafide hit in their hands. Even though the characters were paper thin, they trusted director John Landis to create a musical-comedy based solely on the joke that two white boys knew the blues.


Needless to say, the eventual success of the motion picture solidified the fact that successful comedies don’t need strong characters, but only strong comedy and uproarious punchlines. The artists can be seen playing Jake and Elwood who are just too cool to give a damn about anything and who can bounce off of every outlandish situation with apathy.



26. Beetlejuice (Beetlejuice)


Beetlejuice (Beetlejuice)


Michael Keaton allowed the actor in him to shine as he walked the fine line between subtle and wacky to portray Beetlejuice on celluloid. The character took pride in his ability to haunt the living and was brought to life courtesy of the hard work of costume designers and makeup artists.


As absurd a character can potentially be, filmmaker Tim Burton ensures that he never comes across as off-putting. Today, we fondly remember the instantly recognizable character for his humorous ramblings and constant jokes.



27. Roy Batty (Blade Runner)


Roy Batty (Blade Runner)


First things first, allow us to confess that the most emotionally complex character on this list is the one that isn’t a human at all. But, those who’ve sat through Blade Runner would agree that its characters provide it with a definitive edge.


As the story progresses, it’s not difficult to make out that all Roy Batty wants is to live, and not take over the city. However, he is forced to go on a killing spree out of frustration of being born with a time limit.


That said, it is imperative to mention that the film isn’t from his perspective since he happens to be an antagonist who has committed multiple heinous crimes. However, he at least goes out making us realize that man or machine, we all have to perish one day.



28. Jeff Spicoli (Fast Times at Ridgemont High)


Jeff Spicoli (Fast Times at Ridgemont High)


Fast Times at Ridgemont High was packed with great characters that were enacted by soon-to-be motion picture stars. However, it is Sean Penn’s perpetually stoned Jeff Spicoli who manages to impress us the most.


Sure, Phoebe Cates coming out of the pool in slow motion has got to be a highlight of the movie, but it is Penn who’s been given a memorable character.


Needless to say, the actor dives so deep into his role that you stop seeing the actor entirely after a point. It is, as they say, a near-perfect illustration of “invisible acting.”



29. Ferris Bueller (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)


Ferris Bueller (Ferris Bueller's Day Off)


We all know that life is the messy bits and that it moves pretty fast. Before we realize it, our fondest memories are a thing of the past. So, it’s important to stop and look around every once in a while; much like our protagonist Ferris Bueller does in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.


He is someone who believes in making his seemingly impossible plans work themselves out. However, deep down, he’s more than aware of the fact that life is only going to get more complex as he and his pals grow older.


So, he decides to enjoy it while he still can; all while making us ponder how much time we wasted not having fun at school. Ferris tells us that it is imperative to be a bit wayward at times so long as we know what our responsibilities are.


It is his way of reminding us that we only live once.



30. Snake Plissken (Escape From New York)


Snake Plissken (Escape From New York)


A character you may not hear much about today is Snake Plissken from Escape from New York. When we usually talk about anti-heroes, we discuss reluctant protagonists who are compelled to do the right thing, whether they like to or not.


However, that’s not who we are dealing with here for Snake is a man who agrees to go on a critical mission after having been injected with micro-explosives that are set to kill him if he failed.


That said, what truly sets him apart is that we don’t ever see him seeking redemption for his crimes. In fact, the impassive and indifferent individual couldn’t care less about finding some sense of self-worth.


All he cares about is himself and that never changes.



31. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Top Gun)


Pete "Maverick" Mitchell (Top Gun)


Portrayed by the popular Tom Cruise, Pete Mitchell, better known by his call sign “Maverick”, is the main protagonist in the classic action flick Top Gun. The young, cocky pilot-in-training at an elite flight academy for the Air Force is full of charm and self-confidence.


However, he also proves to be an incredibly talented fighter pilot; especially when he doesn’t let his waywardness get in the way of his rigorous training. He knows he’s one of the best, and he likes to show off whenever he gets an opportunity to; even more so to his rival and fellow student Iceman.


Needless to say, the character got really popular with youngsters at the time and is often recognized as one of the most famous ones to have ever been enacted by the iconic Cruise.



32. E.T. (E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial)


E.T. (E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial)


If Elliott and his beloved family are the heart of Steven Spielberg’s classic motion picture E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial, their alien friend E. T. is pretty much its soul. Even though the character barely speaks, he can be seen mimicking simple phrases after hearing them spoken by the humans in his vicinity.


The innocence and longing in his big eyes are more than enough to make us feel for him deeply. As viewers, we relate to both him and his newfound friend Elliot.


While we acknowledge E. T.’s fear and wonder, we also get to feel how the kid must be feeling following the divorce of his parents. Even though a ton of animatronics and puppetry is involved, the makers manage to sketch and portray their characters with amazing depth.


Needless to say, we identify the most with E. T. and would love to have a pal like him in the real world.



33. RoboCop (RoboCop)


RoboCop (RoboCop)


Alexander James “Alex” Murphy may have been killed in the line of duty by a ferocious crime gang, but he is transformed into the cyborg entity RoboCop soon after. The fact that he’s the first in a planned series of robotically enhanced Detroit police officers makes him and his abilities come across as fascinating, to say the least.


His sole aim is to add to the police force which is overwhelmed with crime in the city. Needless to say, the badass-looking cyborg takes the onus on himself to teach the baddies a lesson they’d never forget.


Beware of this ultra-violent super cop for his belief in shooting first and asking the questions never.



34. Inigo Montoya (The Princess Bride)


Inigo Montoya (The Princess Bride)


Thanks to Inigo Montoya’s believable backstory and quotable lines, we’re able to make room for him in our piece. Also, it only helps that he has a well-choreographed fight scene.


From the moment we first lay our eyes on him, we know that he’s going to be a special character in the story. The fact that his beloved father was killed by a man with six fingers on one hand only makes us want to watch him get the better of his foe in due time.


So, when the two finally cross paths before the movie ends, it is worth the anticipation.



35. Reggie Hammond (48 Hrs.)


Reggie Hammond (48 Hrs.)


Walter Hill’s 48 Hrs. tells the story of Reggie Hammond; a convict with six months left on his sentence. While he plans on serving the rest of his time quietly and without trouble, trouble makes sure to find its way to him anyway.


Sooner than later, we catch him assisting a cop named Jack Cates in capturing his old partner who now seems to have become an incredibly dangerous thief. Yes, Eddie Murphy was only just a funny kid from SNL when he was cast in the movie.


But, as the story reaches its finale, we are almost certain of seeing the rise of a new motion picture star. It’s not surprising then that he went on to portray a few more likeable characters during the decade after having been noted for his role-play in this full-length feature.



36. The Kids (Stand By Me)


The Kids (Stand By Me)


Based on Stephen King’s 1982 novella The Body, Stand By Me is an iconic comedy-drama that features a talented young cast. Credited with influencing a generation of cine-goers, the film takes a potentially horrifying tale and turns it smartly into an unforgettable coming-of-age drama that one can never forget.


The wonderfully narrated and grounded story is told from the perspective of an adult Gordie Lachance. Its evergreen commentary on adolescence and friendship holds far more relevance today when most of us have become way too dependent on the digital world to even make new connections.



37. Chunk (The Goonies)


Chunk (The Goonies)


While The Goonies certainly is one of the great kids’ adventure flicks to have hit the cinemas during the ’80s, Chunk is a character that everyone who has seen the movie duly remembers.


Sure, all the kids in the story hold their own but it is the Hawaiian-shirt-wearing member of the gang who somehow manages to stand out. Even though he’s captured by the Fratellis, he goes on to save his own life by whining loudly.


Yes, you read that right! Chunk feels like the character that young star Jeff Cohen was born to play, and the sequence where he’s seen telling his entire life story to the Fratellis is able to convince us of the same.



38. Jason Voorhees (Friday The 13th)


Jason Voorhees (Friday The 13th)


Oh, boy! Don’t fret and run for we are now making room for the iconic killer from the long-running Friday the 13th film series. His deformed face and mask make him an instantly recognizable character in popular culture.


The twisted and merciless Jason jumps out of nowhere to plague and torture his victims. Worse still, he’s in possession of a machete at all times which he uses to slaughter people.


Later in the story, it’s revealed that he has been treated rather poorly in his life. Also, his mother was murdered in the past; something that pushed him to go on a killing spree.


His superhuman strength and pain resistance capability are enough to ensure that the franchise carries on.



39. Samantha Baker (Sixteen Candles)


Samantha Baker (Sixteen Candles)


If your beloved family has ever forgotten your birthday, you’ll definitely relate to Samantha from Sixteen Candles. Since her sixteenth birthday is overshadowed by her older sister’s forthcoming wedding, her loved ones forget to wish her.


All thanks to Molly Ringwald’s earnest performance and some classic John Hughes hi-jinks, everything seems to work out for her rather well as the film inches closer to its very cinematic finale.


The actress does a splendid job of humanizing the character and making it as believable as it is relatable. Thankfully, she doesn’t come across as stereotypical while doing so.



40. Judy Benjamin (Private Benjamin)


Judy Benjamin (Private Benjamin)


It’d be safe to assert that the release of Private Benjamin went on to prove that Goldie Hawn was meant to face the camera. The actress plays a strong-willed independent who decides to go into the military in this wacky comedy.


As the motion picture progresses, we find her changing the military almost as much as it goes on to alter her. Thankfully, the actress was able to break free from the shackles of portraying the stereotypical “dumb blonde” on-screen.


As Judy Benjamin, she not only proved that she could act but also seemed to have found her niche. Her transformation from an underdog to a force to be reckoned with is a delight to watch in this Howard Zieff-helmed drama.



41. Hans Gruber (Die Hard)


Hans Gruber (Die Hard)


Yes, we can’t help but agree that Hans Gruber’s neatly trimmed beard and hand-tailored suits can fool anyone who happens to be in his vicinity. Oh, who are we kidding?


It can manage to fool us even more easily as viewers. That’s precisely where the criminal mastermind derives his strength from. Thriving on his capacity with languages and accents, Alan Rickman’s uber-baddie wants $640 million of bearer bonds to spend his holidays merrily.


Needless to say, the actor’s deliciously devilish turn is a major highlight in the first instalment of the Die Hard franchise.



42. Riggs and Murtaugh (Lethal Weapon)


Riggs and Murtaugh (Lethal Weapon)


The popularity of the Lethal Weapon franchise during the 1980s can be measured by the fact that its buddy cop flicks were replicated in one form or another by a lot of people in the near future.


The series succeeds in making us relate to the background stories of both cops. It only helps that the actors playing the roles shared a dynamic chemistry. So, as their partnership steadily turns into a potentially lifelong friendship, we can’t help but root for their bond to emerge triumphant at all costs.



43. Pee-wee Herman (Pee-wee’s Big Adventure)


Pee-wee Herman (Pee-wee's Big Adventure)


This lovable goofball liked nothing more than adventures and his viewers liked nothing more than seeing him have fun. A unique character that was sketched for both adults and children, Pee-wee Herman managed to make a great impression on the small screen.


Therefore, it was only obvious that his transition to the movies would have a positive outcome as well. Unfortunately, the character’s legacy has been tarnished following Paul Reubens’s legal troubles.


But, he truly did make a lot of people smile during his heyday.



44. Joker (Batman)


Joker (Batman)


We are never going to compare Heath Ledger’s character projection of Joker in The Dark Knight to that of the great Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton’s Batman. While many consider the former’s portrayal of the character to be the greatest yet, the latter’s doesn’t fall too short.


We catch the sociopathic criminal getting an origin story in the 1989 motion picture. So, when it’s revealed to the enamoured audience that it’s Joker who murdered Bruce Wayne’s parents, one can’t help but take the character even more seriously.


The inimitable Nicholson, who has played a ton of great characters throughout his career, doesn’t get enough credit for his portrayal of Joker.



45. Westley and Princess Buttercup (The Princess Bride)


Westley and Princess Buttercup (The Princess Bride)


How many of you would disagree with us when we stress that Westley and Princess Buttercup’s story is possibly one of the greatest romantic tales to have ever been told on celluloid?


Not many, we hope. A tale that begins with Westley serving as Buttercup’s servant ends with the two being head over heels in love. So, no matter what the girl asks of Westley, he always comes up with an “as you wish.” The awestruck viewer and Buttercup both realize soon enough that his response might just be his way of expressing his love.


Years later, we witness the same three words bringing her back to him after a ton of events that transpire in the screenplay. Watching them close the movie together almost ends up pushing us to believe in the power of true love.



46. Ash Williams (The Evil Dead)


Ash Williams (The Evil Dead)


Ashley Joanna “Ash” Williams is a horror hero for the ages. He first made his presence felt in the original movie of the franchise that hit the screens during the early ’80s.


While the character certainly is flawed, he’s also loco enough to get the better of his many ghost enemies. Needless to say, we catch the man dealing with one malevolent spirit after another in the movies that follow.


Of late, he was seen in the Ash v. Evil Dead television series. What’s interesting is that his right arm has been replaced with a chainsaw in it.



47. Boba Fett (Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi)


Boba Fett (Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi)


Since the popular villain Boba Fett doesn’t have a lot to do with the franchise, it’s safe to assume that George Lucas may have included him in his story to perhaps sell more Star Wars merchandise.


Well, we can’t confirm if the aforementioned statement is true, but we certainly can vouch for the fact that the character’s coolness goes on to outweigh his uselessness sooner than you’d expect.


Underdeveloped as it may be, the character continues to be remembered by the diehard fans of the beloved series courtesy of his cool appearance.



48. Batman (Batman)


Batman (Batman)


Michael Keaton surprised one and all with his adroit character projection of the titular character in Tim Burton’s Batman. The atmospheric and aesthetically appealing motion picture thrives on Batman’s enigma and magnetic screen presence.


While The Caped Crusader leaves no stone unturned to best his enemies, he is a man of few words. So, why don’t we just let his cool gadgets and fists speak for him?



49. The Predator (Predator)


The Predator (Predator)


One of the most badass screen villains of the 1980s was the Predator. His unmatched strength and out-of-the-box design helped in attracting the masses to the cinemas in a big way.


While the character hasn’t been developed for the audience to sympathize with, it is, arguably, one of the greatest cinematic creatures of all time. Furthermore, the movie’s special effects serve as the cherry on top of the cake.



50. Khan (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)


Khan (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)


Khan was first seen making his presence felt as an antagonist in the episode ‘Space Seed’ of the original show. Since he proved to make an impression, the makers decided to rope him in for The Wrath of Khan.


Portrayed by Ricardo Montalban, the man seems more than eager to exact revenge on Kirk and the USS Enterprise. In fact, a number of Star Wars fans have gone on to draw parallels between the Khan/Kirk relationship with that of the captain and the object of his obsession in Moby Dick.


Montalban gives his best playing the character and is able to sell his scenes rather efficiently.



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