Quiz: How Many of These Iconic Movie Characters Can You Name?: HowStuffWorks
How Many of These Iconic Movie Characters Can You Name?
By: Ian Fortey
7 Min Quiz
Image: Carolco Pictures/ Pacific Western Productions/ Lightstorm Entertainment/ Le Studio Canal+ S.A./ TriStar Pictures
About This Quiz
The first movie ever made dates way back to the year 1888. Those early films were little more than quick scenes of moving pictures like a running horse, but they were an exciting novelty for audiences. It wasn't until 1927 that movies started having sound. After that, Hollywood began to crank out in-depth stories with interesting characters and plot lines that could really engage an audience. They started introducing characters who managed to reach beyond the screen and really touch us as an audience. Whether that meant someone who could inspire us to be better, like Superman, or just someone we wish we could be as cool as, like Rick Blaine, there have been a ton of memorable characters on film.
Iconic characters like James Bond and Dorothy Gale have a way of sticking with you from the moment you first watch them on a big or small screen. So if you consider yourself a film aficionado and you've seen more than your fair share of the classics, then surely you'll be able to identify every character from Ellen Ripley to John Shaft to Iron Man and then some. Grab yourself some popcorn, and let's see just how many of these classic film characters you can identify.
20th Century Fox/ Brandywine Productions
Who started fighting aliens back in 1979?
Sigourney Weaver's Ellen Ripley quickly became one of the best heroes in action/sci-fi/horror after her turn in the first "Alien" movie and then the subsequent three films in which she also appeared. There were rumors of her making a fifth movie, but they never materialized.
Selznick International Pictures/ Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/ Loew's Inc.
This character found romance during the Civil War. Who is it?
Vivien Leigh played Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind." The film also featured Hattie McDaniel, who became the first African American not only to be nominated but also to win an Oscar. Clark Gable threatened to boycott the Awards when he learned that she was not allowed to attend because of her race.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/ Eon Productions/ United Artists Releasing/ Universal Pictures
Shaken, not stirred is how which character likes his drinks?
James Bond has had more life in film than any other character in film history, even if he's not always portrayed by the same actor. 2020's "No Time to Die" is the 25th movie in the James Bond series, which is the longest-running film franchise in history.
Lucasfilm Ltd./ Paramount Pictures
Which of these characters was named after a dog?
Indiana Jones's proper name is Henry Jones Jr, but we learn at the end of "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" that his famous nickname doesn't have anything to do with the state; instead, it was the name of the family dog.
Lucasfilm Ltd./ 20th Century Fox
Do you know which of these characters had one actor play him in costume, one play him unmasked, and one provide his voice?
The greatest "Star Wars" villain of them all was arguably Darth Vader, who was played by three separate actors. James Earl Jones provided the iconic voice, David Prowse was the man in the suit, and when his mask comes off in "Return of the Jedi," he was portrayed by Sebastian Shaw.
Strong Heart/ Demme Production/ Orion Pictures
This character is a doctor and also a cannibal. Who is it?
Anthony Hopkins portrayed Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter, first in the movie "The Silence of the Lambs." The character has been portrayed by numerous actors, including Mads Mikkelsen and Brian Cox.
Warner Bros. Pictures/ DC Comics/ Legendary Pictures/ Syncopy/ Patalex III Productions/ Warner Bros. Pictures
Which character has been played by Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck?
Batman is one of the most iconic characters on the page, on TV and in film. Just in theatrically released movies alone, he's been portrayed by half a dozen of the world's biggest actors. The newest Batman film due to be released in 2021 will feature Robert Pattinson in the role.
Who famously said, "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up?"
Norma Desmond utters this infamous line in the movie "Sunset Boulevard." Played perfectly by Gloria Swanson, she was not actually the first choice to star in the film. Billy Wilder wanted Mae West, but West wanted to rewrite her dialogue, which Wilder was not down for.
Castle Rock Entertainment/ Columbia Pictures
If you needed something in Shawshank prison, who could get it for you?
Ellis Redding, better known as Red, was played by Morgan Freeman in "The Shawshank Redemption." The scene in which Red is throwing a baseball took nine hours to film, and Freeman had his arm in a sling the next day.
20th Century Fox
Bette Davis famously starred as an aging Broadway star named what?
Bette Davis played Margo Channing in "All About Eve." In terms of classic movies with a female cast, "All About Eve" is still the only movie in history that earned four acting Academy Award award nominations for the female cast.
Jolly Film/ Constantin Film/ Ocean Films/ Unidis
Across three films, which character was mostly known by nicknames?
In what is known as "the Dollars" trilogy, Clint Eastwood plays the Man With No Name. He has a different name he goes by in each film, however. He's Joe in "A Fistful of Dollars," Manco in "For a Few Dollars More" and Blondie in "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly."
Jurow-Shepherd/ Paramount Pictures
Truman Capote created which of these classic characters?
Based on the novel by Truman Capote, "Breakfast at Tiffany's" featured Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in what is arguably her most famous role. Word is that Truman Capote wanted Marilyn Monroe to play the part and felt betrayed by the casting of Hepburn.
The Producer Circle Company/ Peregrine Productions/ Hawk Films/ Warner Bros.
All work and no play makes which character a dull boy?
Jack Nicholson played Jack Torrance in the movie "The Shining." The scene in which Nicholson breaks down the bathroom door took three days to film, and they destroyed 60 doors thanks to director Stanley Kubrick's habit of doing scenes multiple times.
Gordon Company/ Silver Pictures/ 20th Century Fox
Do you remember which character saved Nakatomi Tower from thieves?
Bruce Willis' John McClane has been fighting criminals since 1988. Before "Die Hard," Bruce Willis was mostly known as a comedy actor from TV, and the movie was considered a big risk with him in the role. It was also the first movie that Alan Rickman, who would go on to play Snape in "Harry Potter," had ever been in.
Paramount Pictures/ Alfran Productions
Who famously says "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse?"
Portrayed by Marlon Brando in "The Godfather," Vito Corleone is the titular Godfather from the film. When Vito smacks Johnny Fontane in the movie, that was real and not part of the script, just something Brando improvised. It took actor Al Martino quite by surprise.
Do you know who was the object of Alvy Singer's affections?
Diane Keaton played Annie Hall in the film of the same name. The role was specifically written for Keaton, and the original plan was for the movie to be a murder mystery with a romance subplot. The murder angle was eventually dropped.
Rastar/ Columbia Pictures
The same actress played this character on Broadway and in the film. Who is it?
Barbra Streisand played the role of Fanny Brice both on Broadway and on film, earning her the Academy Award for Best Actress. During the filming of the movie, Streisand was actually having a relationship with co-star Omar Sharif, which the director played off of for their on-screen chemistry.
Liberty Films/ RKO Radio Pictures
Which character was a banker in Bedford Falls?
George Bailey is the main character in "It's a Wonderful Life," played by Jimmy Stewart. Actress Beulah Bondi played Stewart's mother in the movie for the fourth time. She played the mom in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," "Of Human Hearts" and "Vivacious Lady" as well. Later she'd play his mom a fifth time on "The Jimmy Stewart Show: Identity Crisis."
Columbia-Delphi Productions/ Black Rhino/ Columbia Pictures
Do you know this character who has degrees in parapsychology and psychology?
Bill Murray plays Peter Venkman in both "Ghostbusters" and "Ghostbusters II." Word is that although the movie did have a script, almost none of it made it into the final film exactly as written, and Bill Murray, in particular, ad-libbed most of his lines.
Hemdale/ Pacific Western Productions/ Cinema '84/ Orion Pictures
This character made "I'll be back" a menacing catchphrase. Who is it?
Arnold Schwarzenegger had very few lines as the Terminator and not just because of his thick, Austrian accent. Director James Cameron felt that keeping his dialogue to a minimum made him even more menacing as an inhuman cyborg.
This character is from a movie based on a book by Harper Lee. Who is it?
Atticus Finch, played by Gregory Peck, is the central character of "To Kill a Mockingbird." Rock Hudson was the first choice to play the role, but one of the producers was keen on Gregory Peck and pursued the actor until he signed on.
The Malpaso Company/ Warner Bros.
Go ahead, make this character's day. Who is it?
Clint Eastwood played dirty Harry Callahan, and he appeared in several films, including "Dirty Harry" and "Sudden Impact." Eastwood performed all of his stunts in "Dirty Harry," including jumping off of a bridge onto a moving bus.
Mike Nichols/ Lawrence Turman Productions/ Embassy Pictures/ United Artists
Which character was seduced by Mrs. Robinson?
Dustin Hoffman played Benjamin Braddock in the movie "The Graduate." Anne Bancroft plays the older Mrs. Robinson, but in real life, there was less than a six years difference between the two actors. Bancroft had makeup to look older while Hoffman just naturally looked young.
Compass International Pictures/ Falcon International Productions/ Compass International Pictures/ Aquarius Releasing/ Warner Bros. Pictures
Which character was sometimes called "The Shape?"
Michael Myers is the masked killer from the "Halloween" franchise and arguably the most famous originator of the masked slasher genre, which started in the '70s and grew huge throughout the '80s. In the original 1978 film, the mask he wears is a William Shatner Halloween mask painted white.
Working Title Films/ PolyGram Filmed Entertainment/ Gramercy Pictures/ Universal Pictures
Do you know this character who loves bowling and his rug?
Jeff Bridges played Jeff Lebowski, better known as the Dude in "The Big Lebowski." The character looks like quite the burnout, and ironically most of his wardrobe was provided by Jeff Bridges himself because they were his actual clothes.
20th Century Fox
This character fell in love with Winona Ryder's character and also groomed a lot of dogs. Who is it?
Johnny Depp played Edward Scissorhands alongside Winona Ryder. Ryder was actually cast to be in "the Godfather III" at the time, but Johnny Depp convinced her to quit that and make "Edward Scissorhands" instead.
Which character appears in three different films that all have the exact same name?
John Shaft has appeared in three different movies called "Shaft." The first starred Richard Roundtree in 1971, the next starred Sam Jackson in the year 2000, and then Sam Jackson reprised the role with Richard Roundtree co-starring in 2019.
Warner Bros. – First National Pictures/ Warner Bros. Pictures
Who was an American ex-pat running a nightclub casino?
One of Humphrey Bogart's most iconic roles, Rick Blaine, is the owner Rick's Café Américain in the movie "Casabianca." Bogart had to wear platform shoes because Ingrid Bergman was so tall he looked too small next to her.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/ Loew's, Incorporated
Do you know which character vanished from Kansas in a tornado?
Dorothy Gale is the central character from "The Wizard of Oz." According to one study, when you factor in television broadcasts, DVD and home video viewings, "The Wizard of Oz" is the most viewed movie in film history.
Shamley Productions/ Paramount Pictures
What was the name of the mother's boy from "Psycho?"
Played by Anthony Perkins, Norman Bates was the psycho referenced in the title of Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho." As popular as the movie was, not everyone was a fan. Walt Disney refused to let Hitchcock film at Disneyland in the '60s because he hated "Psycho" so much.
Lucasfilm Ltd./ 20th Century Fox
Who was the captain of the Millenium Falcon?
Han Solo was the captain of the Millenium Falcon through most of the "Star Wars" films. Word is Ford, along with Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, approached George Lucas about how bad his dialogue was and forced him to let them change their lines to more believable ones.
Universal Pictures/ Amblin Entertainment
Do you know which character traveled to 1955 in a DeLorean?
Michael J. Fox played Marty McFly in the "Back to the Future" trilogy of films. Actor Eric Stoltz was originally cast in the role and did some of the filming before producers decided he wasn't right for the role and was replaced.
Walt Disney Productions/ Buena Vista Distribution
Who is the character who flies in on an umbrella?
Mary Poppins, played by Julie Andrews, starred in the movie of the same name. It was one of the most successful Walt Disney movie of all time in terms of Academy Awards with an impressive five wins out of 13 nominations.
Bill/Phillips Productions/ Italo/ Judeo Productions/ Columbia Pictures
Do you know this character who is often compared to the Joker?
One of Robert DeNiro's most iconic roles, Travis Bickle was the anti-hero of the movie "Taxi Driver." Martin Scorses originally offered the role to Dustin Hoffman, who turned it down because he thought the entire idea was crazy. He regretted that decision.
Argyle Enterprises, Inc./ Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
The Von Trapp children were taken care of by which of these characters?
Maria is the character played by Julie Andrews in "The Sound of Music." As beloved as the film is by many, Andrews' co-star Christopher Plummer absolutely hated making it and said working with Andrews was like "being hit over the head with a big Valentine's Day card, every day."
Lucasfilm Ltd./ 20th Century Fox
This character was taken prisoner by Darth Vader. Who is it?
Princess Leia Organa, played by Carrie Fisher, appeared in most of the "Star Wars" films. Mar Hammill once said in an interview that he and Carrie Fisher really were attracted to each other during filming and often made out.
Yo, Adrian! Do you know this character's name?
Sylvester Stallone played Rocky Balboa, and he also wrote the movie as well. The movie had a positive benefit for Stallone's life as he had to quit smoking while filming it because he kept getting out of breath.
This character famously took a day off school. Who is it?
Matthew Broderick played Ferris Bueller in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." The movie famously involves the destruction of a Ferrari, which never actually happened. It was too expensive to get a real Ferrari, so they built replicas.
Bad Hat Harry Productions/ Blue Parrot/ Spelling Films International/ Gramercy Pictures/ Spelling Films International
A twist ending revealed which character as a criminal mastermind?
In "The Usual Suspects," Verbal Kint is revealed in a twist to be criminal mastermind Keyser Söze. During the famous lineup scene, all of the characters keep laughing, which was not scripted. In an interview, Kevin Pollak said that part of the problem was that Benicio Del Toro kept farting.
Kennedy Miller Productions/ Crossroads/ Mad Max Films/ Roadshow Film Distributors
Do you know which character fights to survive in post-apocalyptic Australia?
Max Rockatansky, better known as Mad Max, first appeared in the movie "Mad Max" back in 1979 with Mel Gibson in the lead role. He made two more sequels and then faded away until 30 years had passed, and "Fury Road" came out with Tom Hardy in the role.
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