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Front Page - Friday, April 8, 2016

Are We There, Yet?

Jay Edwards

American Film Institute loves lists as much as anyone and I ran across their ranking of the top 50 heroes and villains. For instance, the first place hero is Atticus Finch, while the top villain is Dr. Hannibal Lecter. It made me wonder if you paired the good against the corresponding bad, who would come out on top. 

In this first battle, I’m giving two answers. If Lecter is behind bars, in a match of wits, I go with Atticus. But if the Cannibal gets out, as good of a shot as the small town lawyer is, I’m afraid he’d end up as the salt pork in Cal’s turnip greens.

2. Indiana Jones vs. Norman Bates. Indy has gotten out of more scrapes than Alabama has athletes. Norman is sly, but his mom handicaps him too much.

3. James Bond vs. Darth Vadar. If Q figures out the light-saber technology, our suave limey wins this. But it has to be Sean Connery.

4. Rick Blaine vs. The Wicked Witch of the West. Tough call. Rick (from Casablanca) might have to throw five or six of his drinks on the witch to get enough water to melt her. 

5. Will Kane vs. Nurse Ratched. How she slipped all the way to number five is beyond me. Pure evil beats the sheriff here.

6. Clarice Starling vs. Mr. Potter. She held her own with the world’s worst villain, so Potter doesn’t stand a chance.

7. Rocky vs. Alex Forrest (Fatal Attraction). She’s smarter than him but after she boils Cuff and Link he goes berserk and beats her worse than he did Drago.

8. Ripley (Alien) vs. Phyllis Dietrichson (DOUBLE INDEMNITY). Ripley, she’s taller. 

9. George Bailey vs. Regan McNeil. George wins. Clarence isn’t scared of devils.

10. T.E. Lawrence vs. the Queen from Snow White. Lawrence, if he can get her to follow him to the desert.

11. Jefferson Smith vs. Michael Corleone. Not even Mr. Smith’s filibuster tactics can break Junior Godfather’s icy heart.

12. Tom Joad vs. Alex DeLarge. You might remember Malcolm McDowell’s fierce ne’er do well and his less than loyal gang in Kubrick’s “Clockwork Orange.” However, the purity of Fonda’s Joad gets my nod.

13. Oskar Schindler vs. Hal 9000. More from Kubrick. I’ll go with his monotone computer this time.

 14. Han Solo vs. The Alien. Ripley is relieved she drew Barbara Stanwick over old acid blood. But since she whipped him then Solo will too, especially with Chewie having his back.

15. Shane vs. Noah Cross. Please. No one beats Shane.

16. Norma Rae Webster vs. Amon Goeth. As Joliet Jake said, “I hate Illinois Nazis.” Me too, so Norma Rae kicks his tail.

17. Dirty Harry vs. Annie Wilkes. If she figures out a way to get his magnum then this one’s too close to call.

18. Robin Hood vs. The Shark. All about turf. Stay in the woods Robin.

There are many more but I’m out of room. A couple of the more interesting are Thelma and Louise vs. Gordon Gekko, and Marge Gunderson vs. Count Dracula. I’d pay to see either. See them all at afi.com.

Jay Edwards is editor-in-chief of the Hamilton County Herald and an award-winning columnist. Contact him at jedwards@dailydata.com.