I found this fun tag of sorts on Ribbons of Light, a fun blog I found recently written by a fellow costume-drama fanatic. The “rules” are to list your top ten favorite heroes from “classic” flims (i.e., films based on classic books). This was hard because some of my favorite heroes (e.g., the man in blue tights and red cape) are not from classic books. BUT I was able to come up with my ten favorite literary heroes. I invite anyone who wishes to participate on their blog to do so! This has been a lot of fun!
1. Sir Percy Blakeney (Anthony Andrews) in The Scarlet Pimpernel
“My dear chap, I never would have dreamt of depriving you of your moment of triumph. Alas, a moment was all I could spare.”
Sir Percy Blakeney won hands-down for the top-ten literary heroes. First off, he’s hilarious when playing the fop…”I’m a bit of a poet, and you did not know it!”…he’s courageous and chivalrous, and he’s very witty. Plus he manages to get Jane Seymour’s Marguerite…they make a great couple and have awesome chemistry. One of my favorite literary couples period. But that’s for a different tag.
(Note: There is a scene we fast-forward through in this film)
2. Mr. Knightley (Jeremy Northam) in Emma
“Try not to kill my dogs.”
Jeremy Northam’s Mr. Knightley is my favorite Austen hero period. He is such a gentleman!!! He’s so sweet, giving attention to poor Miss Bates, being a true friend to Emma (which sometimes meant telling her the truth–his “Badly done, Emma!” always gives me the chills). But you’ve really got to cheer for him in my favorite Knightley scene…when he dances with Harriet after Mr. Elton snubs her. It’s one of my “squealing scenes”, as Nick calls it.
3. George Emerson (Julian Sands) in A Room With a View
“He doesn’t know what a woman is. He wants you for a possession, something to look at, like a painting or an ivory box. Something to own and to display. He doesn’t want you to be real, and to think and to live. He doesn’t love you. But I love you.”
George Emerson is crazy. In his first scene on screen, he shocks the heroine, Lucy, by forming a question mark with the food on his plate. During the rest of the film he leaves question marks everywhere “in search of the eternal yes”, shocking everyone with his blunt way of talking (“You can’t (thank my father), he’s in his bath”), and shouting “Love! Beauty!” from the treetops (literally). Underneath his unconventionalness he’s so real and sweet…you’re wondering what was with the heroine for wanting to marry the other snob guy.
(Note: There is a scene we fast-forward in this film)
4. Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) in Ben-Hur
“Almost the moment he died I heard him say ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ And I felt his voice take the sword out of my hand.”
I’ve written so much about my love of Ben-Hur that I don’t need a long explanation for this one. Judah isn’t really that likable through a large portion of the film, but he goes through a huge transformation by the end of the film. Plus he’s Charlton Heston. Need I say more?
5. Gilbert Blythe (Jonathan Crombie) in Anne of Green Gables
“Anne, I’ve loved you as long as I can remember.”
Aww. I still to this day have no idea how Anne could have considered Morgan Harris over Gilbert! He’s so sweet, and such a true friend to Anne, even when she’s rejecting him. He and Anne have such a classic love/hate relationship, which I love. And the scene where he’s sick always sets me balling.
6. Colonel Brandon (Alan Rickman) in Sense and Sensibility
“Give me an occupation, Miss Dashwood, or I shall run mad.”
Ok, so I go against convention because Mr. Darcy is not my number one…or number two…favorite Austen hero. Alan Rickman’s Colonel Brandon is my second-favorite Austen hero. He’s so sweet and you feel so bad for him throughout the whole movie, what with Marianne rejecting him and his tragic past and everything. The scene where he carries Marianne back in the rain always sets me balling. And the ending is soooo sweet!
7. John Ridd (Richard Coyle) in Lorna Doone
“This ring is my promise I’ll never leave you again.”
I love Lorna Doone. I love John Ridd. I hate Carver Doone. Ok. So I’m not totally crazy about the long blond curls there, but he’s a great hero. He puts up with Lorna, for one thing. He’s willing to battle the Doones and their super-icky-creepy leader, Carver, who has his beady little eyes on Lorna. He continues to love her even when it seems impossible. And he fights for what’s right. I always admire that in a man. So all that overrules the not-so-great curls.
8. Mr. Darcy (Matthew McFayden) in Pride and Prejudice
(ok, and Colin Firth. Just couldn’t decide!)
“You have bewitched me body and soul and I love…I love…I love you.”
“In vain have I struggled, it will not do. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”
Ok, so I couldn’t decide! As I’ve said before, I love both Matthew and Colin’s interpretation of most people’s favorite Austen hero. Although Mr. Darcy is a little too quiet and serious for my taste, I love his gentlemanliness…and when he searched all over London for Mr. Wickham and Lydia for Elizabeth’s sake. Awww! And the second proposal on the 2005 P&P…sigh.
9. James Percy (Thomas Gibson) in The Inheritance
“My heart is neither dead nor cold, it’s just none of your business.”
James Percy meets the heroine, Edith, while visiting her employer’s home, and despite the interference of Ida the antagonist, falls in love with her. James is sweet (does anyone see a trend?), he loves Edith even though their social classes are worlds apart, and he stands up for her both against Ida and the spoiled, controlling Fredrick Arlington.
10. Charles Darnay/Sydney Carton (Chris Sarandon) in A Tale of Two Cities
“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done. It is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”
Yes, I know, Charles Darnay and Sydney Carter were two different men, but hey, they were both played by Chris Sarandon, so technically they are both the same guy. Ok, that was confusing. Anyway. Chris was amazing in this film. If all you know of him is Prince Humperdink in The Princess Bride (“I WOULD NOT SAY SUCH THINGS IF I WERE YOU!” ) then you must see A Tale of Two Cities. He proves that he can pull off dramatic roles as well as humorous. Charles Darnay in the novel is often accused of being two-diminsional, but Chris Sarandon makes him honorable and noble. And of course, there’s the tragic Sydney Carton, who’s unrequited love for Lucie Manette causes him to make the ultimate sacrifice. I ought to do a review on this film sometime…
Anyway, there you are. My top ten literary heroes. I would love to hear about your top ten favorite literary heroes…or write a blog post about it and let me know! All are welcome to this unofficial “tag”…
On a slightly similar note…
Has anyone seen Little Dorrit yet? How has it been? It’s one of my fave books and I’m itching to know how the “film” is!
Update 06/30-Sir Percy Blakeney has been bumped to 2nd place by the most amazing literary hero ever–
Mr. John Thornton!!!
Read all about it here, if you haven’t all ready.