Civilization ends: Greatest film character of all time is ... Forrest Gump

Not our usual fare but I cannot be silent. How can Forrest Gump be the greatest character of all time when he’s not even really a character? He’s a pure plot device, a Christmas tree on which to hang gimmicky little zeitgeist ornaments for the baby-boomer audience to ooh and ahh at in recognition. Good lord. Who finished second? Clyde from “Every Which Way But Loose”?

People who are fascinated by Forrest Gump must watch Elvis’s movies and find his characters amazing.

While Gump was the runaway winner, British secret agent James Bond was named as the second greatest film character…

Scarlett O’Hara was rated as the third most memorable character.

The performance by British star Vivien Leigh as the feisty southern belle in the epic “Gone with the Wind” made her the only female character in the top five.

Anthony Hopkins performance as Hannibal Lecter helped the cannibalistic serial killer rate fourth in the poll.

Indiana Jones, played by Harrison Ford, was named as the fifth most popular character.

Respectable choices all, although Scarlett’s the only “realistic” character in the top five. Am I wrong about Gump, meanwhile? I get why people might revert to him when put on the spot with a question about great characters: His name’s in the title so he leaps to mind, and he is memorable in his own contrived, no-dimensional way. But … there has to be a better answer. There has to be. Sam Spade? Luke Skywalker? Rooster Cogburn? Blanche DuBois? Somebody? Hello?

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