I’ve had the feeling lately that Freedom Sandwich has been a teeny bit (okay, a whole lot) too heavy. So, just a fun post today. Possibly the most controversial though. Hopefully, it will spur some comments. I’m thinking I’m forgetting somebody and certain you’ll disagree with some of these, but here goes!
1. Rick Blaine
Humphrey Bogart’s character from the classic Casablanca. A man with a checkered past who always fights on the side of the underdog, but as he points out is “always well paid for it.” He gives up the love of his life to help save the world, drinks and smokes constantly all the while looking extremely cool. This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
2. Ethan Edwards
The character played by John Wayne in the Searchers. Really, we could have picked almost any John Wayne role here. This one, however, is likely his best. Relentless might best describe Ethan Edwards. Bent on revenge but won over in the end by love of family.
3. Philip Marlowe
THE hard boiled detective. He may break the rules, but he lives by a moral code. In any situation, no matter the danger, he’s ready with a quip. He always gets his man and usually gets the girl too.
4. Bruce Wayne
He’s Batman for goodness sakes. Cool car. Cool gadgets. Keen intellect. And more money than many small countries. While possessing no superpowers, he still manages to be the coolest superhero of all time.
5. Harry Callahan
Go ahead punk. Make his day. But remember that a man’s got to know his limitations. More one liners than any cop in movie history, Dirty Harry has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. Pick up a .44 Magnum handgun and try not to think of this character. Go ahead.
6. Indiana Jones
Assuming you can put the fourth movie out of your mind, Indiana Jones is the classic American adventurer. With bullwhip in hand, he saves the world from the Nazis (on more than one occasion.) Somehow, he even manages to make archeology seem cool.
7. Captain America
His name is “Captain America.” What more do you need to know?
8. John Henry
Some say there was an actual John Henry, but that’s a subject of great debate. So, for our purposes, John Henry is the classic American folk hero. Swinging a sledgehammer, he outworked a steam-drill, only to die afterwards. Is man greater than machine? John Henry thought so.
9. Bugs Bunny
In fairness, a rabbit might not qualify as a citizen of the United States. However, he was seen to be living in Hollywood in several of his short films. Plus, he almost always “should have taken a left turn at Albuquerque” and seems to have a Brooklyn accent, so I’m fairly certain he’s an American. If you know any classical music, there’s a good chance you learned it from a Bugs Bunny cartoon.
10. Jefferson Smith
Unfailingly honest (if not somewhat naive) Mr. Smith goes to Washington to fight for a boy’s camp and runs headlong into political corruption. The quintessential Frank Carpra character, Mr. Smith may be attacked, but in the end he retains his honor, his optimism and his belief in the goodness of America.