AFI, for the last few years, has been running a series of "100 Best" or "100 Greatest" films of various genres. Tonight, they unveiled a list of the 100 greatest heroes and villains, 50 of each. Most of them are fairly unexceptional, but a few were very strange.
Villain: Bonnie & Clyde, but "a product of their times?" C'mon. The Borgias were products of their times, too. It just meant they had to use poison.
Hero? Erin Brockovich. I guess to some. She certainly has been her own best protagonist
Hero: Thelma & Louise? They kill a guy, end up fugitives from the law, and drive their car off a cliff. At least Butch & Sundance went down shooting.
Hero: Woodward & Bernstein? In real life, they were average reporters who did a great service. But the movie almost never shows up in reruns. This is an award to the real guys, not the film
On the other hand, the clips for two heroes were terrific. Shane gets a speech where he explains that a gun is a tool, no better or worse than the guy using it. Something people need to hear, and once heard from movie heroes rather than villains. And Peter O'Toole, and Lawrence of Arabia, gets to tell the Arabs something they could stand hearing more often, almost 100 years later: that "as long as they insist on fighting tribe against tribe, they'll be a small, silly people." They are, aren't they?