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.
1336 2950
2 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.
443 1431
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.
430 1552
4 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.
350 1410
5 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.
341 1417
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.
339 1541
7 Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins)
Forget today's super-nannies: Julie Andrews's Poppins was strict and fun, and she also could fly.
320 1122
8 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.
249 1125
9 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.
164 862
10 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.
142 952
11 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?
119 835
12 Carrie White (Carrie)
Browbeaten by her religious mother and shunned by classmates, Sissy Spacek turns her gift -- telekinesis -- against her tormenters.
109 807
13 Bonnie Parker (Bonnie and Clyde)
The moll to Warren Beatty's Clyde, Faye Dunaway's Bonnie was equal parts sensuality and ruthlessness.
108 708
14 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.
104 812
15 Juno MacGuff (Juno)
Smart, funky, and pregnant, 16-year-old Juno, played by Ellen Page, upends stereotypes and embodies empowerment.
102 928
16 Ilsa Lund (Casablanca)
Torn between her husband and her great love, Rick, Ingrid Bergman's Ilsa brings out the best in both.
101 829
17 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.
99 787
18 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.
82 720
19 Erin Brockovich (Erin Brockovich)
Julia Roberts's single mom spearheads a successful lawsuit against a group of corporate polluters.
66 820
20 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.
65 835
21 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.
64 674
22 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.
57 717
23 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.
38 666
24 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.
29 575
25 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.
15 973
26 Annie Hall (Annie Hall)
The shiksa of Jewish New Yorkers' dreams, Diane Keaton's Annie reveals that Connecticut Wasps have their tsuris, too.
6 650
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.
1 587
28 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.
-11 589
29 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.
-46 536
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.
-56 590
31 Joan Crawford (Mommie Dearest)
Faye Dunaway played the star -- a control freak -- as a gargoyle in designer duds, providing drag queens with material.
-63 545
32 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.
-65 519
33 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.
-66 492
34 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.
-69 539
35 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.
-69 495
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.
-72 516
37 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.
-72 496
38 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.
-75 475
39 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.
-86 720
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!
-87 547
41 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.
-89 459
42 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.
-98 454
43 Catherine Tramell (Basic Instinct)
Sharon Stone plays a killer beauty -- literally -- who knows what men want and how to reach her amoral ends.
-103 571
44 Hermione Granger (Harry Potter Series)
Emma Watson's Hermione loves classmates Harry and Ron dearly while not at all suffering fools.
-126 2856
45 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.
-145 453
46 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.
-158 448
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.
-163 465
48 Miss Giddens (The Innocents)
Deborah Kerr's governess believes her charges are possessed. Is she right or deluded by her inner demons?
-184 438
49 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.
-186 454
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.
-207 481