Baby Doll Meighan (Baby Doll)
AMC Movie List

50 Greatest Female Movie Characters

Filmsite.org’s Tim Dirks looks at 50 female movie characters. From vamps and tramps to supermoms and women warriors: characters like Scarlett O’Hara, Holly Golightly, and Nurse Ratched keep us coming back for more.

rank title points votes your vote
1 Scarlett O’Hara (Gone With the Wind)
Vivien Leigh bested dozens of the best actresses of her day playing the belle and put some steel in Scarlett's spine.
557 1815
2 Hermione Granger (Harry Potter Series)
Emma Watson's Hermione loves classmates Harry and Ron dearly while not at all suffering fools.
462 1640
3 Ripley (Alien Series)
Sigourney Weaver's Ripley is tough enough to take on the baddest extraterrestrial and doesn't care who knows she's soft on kitties.
339 1233
4 Clarice Starling (The Silence of the Lambs)
Brilliant, ambitious, and vulnerable, Jodie Foster's Clarice goes will to will with Dr. Lecter and succeeds where others failed.
314 1144
5 Princess Leia Organa (Star Wars Series)
Carrie Fisher's Leia is a sci-fi geek's dream, the hottie who can slaughter a super-slug while dressed in a bikini.
305 1143
6 Dorothy Gale (The Wizard of Oz)
Judy Garland's Dorothy befriends misfits and defies bullies, proving that loyalty and pluck trump witchery and wickedness.
304 1296
7 The Bride (Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and Kill Bill: Vol. 2)
Uma Thurman's Bride emerges from a five-year coma and slaughters her way to self-discovery and the daughter she didn't know she had.
290 1144
8 Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins)
Forget today's super-nannies: Julie Andrews's Poppins was strict and fun, and she also could fly.
235 937
9 Sarah Connor (The Terminator)
Targeted by an assassin from the future, Linda Hamilton's Sarah channels her Mama Grizzly to save her unborn child and the world.
187 947
10 Marge Gunderson (Fargo)
By virtue of brains, determination, and patience, Frances McDormand's Gunderson unravels a crime without letting its darkness rub off on her.
142 714
11 Holly Golightly (Breakfast at Tiffany’s)
The patron saint of self-reinvention, Audrey Hepburn's Holly flees to New York and becomes a party girl with a heart of gold.
133 807
12 Miss Gulch / The Wicked Witch of the West (The Wizard of Oz)
Margaret Hamilton's witch is so wicked she threatens pup Toto. But who remembers the good witch, Glinda?
110 704
13 Carrie White (Carrie)
Browbeaten by her religious mother and shunned by classmates, Sissy Spacek turns her gift -- telekinesis -- against her tormenters.
99 667
14 Bonnie Parker (Bonnie and Clyde)
The moll to Warren Beatty's Clyde, Faye Dunaway's Bonnie was equal parts sensuality and ruthlessness.
96 600
15 Marion Ravenwood (Raiders of the Lost Ark)
Karen Allen plays the daughter of Indy's mentor, and she's pretty, tough, and more than a match for the swashbuckling archaeologist.
93 685
16 Juno MacGuff (Juno)
Smart, funky, and pregnant, 16-year-old Juno, played by Ellen Page, upends stereotypes and embodies empowerment.
91 757
17 Ilsa Lund (Casablanca)
Torn between her husband and her great love, Rick, Ingrid Bergman's Ilsa brings out the best in both.
90 722
18 Nurse Ratched (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest)
Strict, self-important, and sneaky, Louise Fletcher's nurse is every child's nightmare: you can defy her, but you'll be sorry you did.
85 675
19 Annie Wilkes (Misery)
Kathy Bates plays a writer's nightmare, willing to make the novelist who killed off her favorite character, Misery Chastain, wish he were dead.
73 611
20 Mrs. Robinson (The Graduate)
A cougar before the term existed, Anne Bancroft's Robinson doesn't so much seduce Benjamin Braddock as bend him to her will.
55 615
21 Jessica Rabbit (Who Framed Roger Rabbit)
Jessica wasn't born bad; she was drawn that way. Kathleen Turner's voice is the icing on the sequins.
52 704
22 Erin Brockovich (Erin Brockovich)
Julia Roberts's single mom spearheads a successful lawsuit against a group of corporate polluters.
50 690
23 Blanche DuBois (A Streetcar Named Desire)
Vivien Leigh's southern belle flees scandal at home only to have her brother-in-law destroy her veneer of gentility.
37 573
24 Sugar Kane Kowalczyk (Some Like It Hot)
Sugar, played by Marilyn Monroe, is sweet and sexy, too kind to be a gold digger and too guileless to realize her pals are guys in drag.
33 565
25 Norma Desmond (Sunset Blvd.)
Casting Gloria Swanson gave a jolt of reality to the role of a diva whose dreams of a comeback cost a screenwriter his life.
21 487
26 Annie Hall (Annie Hall)
The shiksa of Jewish New Yorkers' dreams, Diane Keaton's Annie reveals that Connecticut Wasps have their tsuris, too.
5 559
27 Margo (All About Eve)
Bette Davis's Broadway star mistakes a she wolf in lamb's clothing for a fan, losing her husband and career.
-15 499
28 Elizabeth Swann (Pirates of the Caribbean Series)
Keira Knightley's Swann looks like a lady, but her inner hellion is tough enough to best pirates, monsters, and suitors.
-25 789
29 Martha (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?)
Love is a battlefield, and Elizabeth Taylor's performance as a harridan was a revelation back when movie goddesses didn't drab down.
-25 499
30 Regan MacNeil (The Exorcist)
Linda Blair's Regan is sweet until the Devil turns her into a vessel for provocation. Pea soup never looked the same.
-44 500
31 Eve (All About Eve)
Anne Baxter's Eve so loves Broadway star Margot Channing that she wants to be her and hijacks her husband, friends, and career.
-52 446
32 Madeleine Elster / Judy Barton (Vertigo)
Kim Novak's Madeleine may be insane. Judy is a party girl. They're two sides of one plot, and the same man loves both.
-59 455
33 Joan Crawford (Mommie Dearest)
Faye Dunaway played the star -- a control freak -- as a gargoyle in designer duds, providing drag queens with material.
-60 452
34 Phyllis Dietrichson (Double Indemnity)
A social climber masquerading as an abused wife, Barbara Stanwyck's Phyllis almost gets away with having a swain kill her husband.
-60 420
35 Hildy Johnson (His Girl Friday)
Ex-reporter Hildy, played by Rosalind Russell, thinks she wants to be a housewife, but one hot story and she's off like a shot.
-65 427
36 Sally Bowles (Cabaret)
Liza Minnelli, as the Berliner Bowles, hides her vulnerability, distracting herself with parties, men, and a cabaret as the Nazis come to power.
-66 432
37 Bridget Jones (Bridget Jones’s Diary)
Does Renee Zellweger's Bridget want a career, a thin figure, love, or marriage? Dear reader, she wants it all.
-67 603
38 Mildred Pierce (Mildred Pierce)
Joan Crawford's Mildred pulls herself out of poverty for the sake of daughter Veda, who repays her mom by stealing her man.
-67 417
39 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley / The Monster’s Bride (Bride of Frankenstein)
Elsa Lanchester's screamer with lightning-bolt hair is born with a mind of her own: no one can make her marry a monster.
-69 393
40 Alex Forrest (Fatal Attraction)
Dumped by her lover, Glenn Close's she devil turns her fury on his wife and daughter and the family bunny. Hell hath no fury!
-71 467
41 Susan Vance (Bringing Up Baby)
When Katharine Hepburn's Susan sets her sights on something -- a paleontologist, a leopard -- she gets it in her own way.
-73 413
42 Mrs. Danvers (Rebecca)
When a widower remarries, the devotion of his housekeeper, played by Judith Anderson, to his late wife means trouble for her successor.
-78 384
43 Mrs. Eleanor Shaw Iselin (The Manchurian Candidate)
Angela Lansbury, as Eleanor, engineers her husband's political rise and nearly manipulates her son into becoming an assassin.
-90 378
44 Catherine Tramell (Basic Instinct)
Sharon Stone plays a killer beauty -- literally -- who knows what men want and how to reach her amoral ends.
-94 480
45 Vicki Lester / Esther Blodgett (A Star Is Born)
Judy Garland poured 25 years of Hollywood unhappiness into playing a singer-actress whose star is rising as her husband's falls.
-129 371
46 Matty Walker (Body Heat)
"You're not too bright. I like that in a man," purrs Kathleen Turner's Matty to saps who realize why only after the trap is sprang.
-131 369
47 Carmen Jones (Carmen Jones)
Shaped by circumstance, Dorothy Dandridge's Carmen lives every moment like her last and destroys the men drawn to her.
-139 385
48 Emma “Billie” Dawn (Born Yesterday)
Educated in the school of hard knocks, Judy Holliday's Billie blossoms after her boyfriend hires a tutor to give her couth.
-172 364
49 Miss Giddens (The Innocents)
Deborah Kerr's governess believes her charges are possessed. Is she right or deluded by her inner demons?
-184 346
50 Baby Doll Meighan (Baby Doll)
A nymphet with an iron will, Carroll Baker's Baby Doll is no match for the seducer who succeeds where others failed.
-202 378