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15 Greatest Character Names In American Film History

Only in the movies would you find a Beatrix Kiddo.

American mainstream film has never really had any difficulty in spreading across the globe. We might as well admit it; American filmmakers know their craft and most of them know what invisible buttons to push so that we (members of the audience) react in certain ways. If we narrow this down to American genre movies usually put in the category of Action (especially those made in the 1980's) it seems that no subtlety was ever desired when crafting the stories and the characters within. As an aspiring filmmaker myself, I can definitely see the appeal in designing a main character whose presentation won€™t need to take up half of the film€™s runtime. If you know what kind of story you want to tell, why bother with unnecessary character development? An easy way to provide the audience with immediate important information about your protagonist is to give her/him a catchy name. You'll need a name that gets stuck in the head of every member of the audience and hopefully never leaves it (at least not till the film is over). Something that sounds slightly otherworldly, but at the same time believable in the context of the film's setting. If we're talking about the macho main character in an American action-film, the name obviously has to sound very macho and remind us of what kind of person we're dealing with. So, here follows fifteen of the greatest character names in American film...

15. Cole Trickle ("Days Of Thunder")

In 1986 "Top Gun" was the great success which instantly propelled Tom Cruise into super-stardom. His character; nicknamed "Maverick" was everything you would expect by a guy with that name; cocky, rebellious, sexy, independent, supremely talented but tormented by the burdens of the past. So when director Tony Scott geared up for the "sort of-sequel" (in spirit, anyway) to this slightly entertaining but disturbingly patriotic flying-epic, he needed a memorable name for Cruise's new character. The story (which basically is the same as in "Top Gun", with racing cars as substitute for naval aircraft) follows the spirited but restless Cruise on the quest for triumph and personal self-rediscovery on the race tracks of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. On the way of pursuing his dream, Cruise teams up with wise mentor Robert Duvall and sophisticated neurosurgeon Nicole Kidman. Cole Trickle is one of those names that gets stuck in your head and won't let go. You're not really sure why; except for the fact that it undeniably sounds cool, but it really tells you a lot about the character. It also tells you a lot about the character and it sounds like the name of some obscure clothing brand you€™ve never heard of before. In fact, it was a reference to real-life veteran racer Dick Trickle. I suppose the producers realized the surname had potential, although the first name didn't. Cole fit in well, though; very 90's, very cool and very Cruise..
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Contributor

Aspiring Swedish filmmaker with nerdy interests.