The Monday Movies with No Name
Monday Movies saw no movies this week. We did, by an odd coincidence, take in two entertainments on the same day that featured heavy use of Fleetwood Mac songs — a live show of Fleetwood Macbeth followed by the Glee episode “Rumours” — and the overarching lesson was that no matter how far out of context you wrench a Fleetwood Mac song, it’s still glorious heartbreak on a stick. Somewhere in the middle of the witches’ brew, as sexy witches alternated “fire burn and cauldron bubble” with the hot lick instrumental of The Chain, I thought it was as if more songs hadn’t needed to be written.
Here’s a question, inspired by last week’s movie. What movie characters’ names can you recall? I don’t have a very good memory for character names, and I find it instructive to think of which ones are strong enough to stick. Leave aside title characters, although it’s a fair bet that John Rambo or Rocky Balboa would make the cut even if they didn’t name their franchises. Also leave aside characters whose names you know from an earlier property, e.g. Peter Parker or Captain Kirk.
The gold standard here is the original Star Wars trilogy. Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, and Han Solo are all perfectly named characters. You only have to change a couple of letters to get to hilariously literal character descriptions, and yet they don’t sound awkward or on-the-nose. Rooster Cogburn comes to mind (though technically preceded by a book), as does the similar-sounding but completely different Rupert Pupkin. J.J. Hunsecker from The Sweet Smell of Success and Rufus T. Firefly of Duck Soup are both memorable. General Jack T. Ripper comes easily to mind.
People don’t often say each other’s names in natural conversation, and I usually need to do a pass with my own writing to edit out where characters address each other by name. Also, we often discuss movies with reference to actors rather than there characters–a tendency less pronounced in television.
Who are the movie characters whose names you can’t forget? And what did you see, and how did you like it?
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