UK Cinema-Goers Reveal Their All-Time Favourite Movie Icons!


Today, the Film Distributors’ Association (FDA) have announced the results of an interesting and quite substantial poll to determine UK cinema audiences’ favourite movie icons of all time…and there might be one or two surprises in who comes to mind for true big screen icons.

The top twenty spans seven decades of the cinema, from the 1940s to the 2000s. It embraces a ‘who’s who’ of stylish screen heroes – and some villains – who have made an indelible impression on audiences’ hearts and minds in successive generations to earn their places in cinematic folklore.

The survey was conducted online for FDA by ShowFilmFirst in two stages – firstly to seek a long list of public nominations of characters who had come to personify essential qualities of the cinema itself; and then a vote for the top twenty. More than 2,000 people aged 15 and over contributed nominations, while more than 7,000 participated in the second-stage vote in April 2013. Here’s that chart in full and…did your favourite make it?


Top 20 movie icons of all time – as voted by UK cinemagoers in spring 2013


 Holly Golightly as played by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)


 James Bond 007 in the series of 23 films from Dr No (1962) to date


 Michael Corleone as played by Al Pacino in The Godfather trilogy (1972, 1974, 1990)


 Hannibal Lecter as played by Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and subsequent films


 Captain Jack Sparrow as played by Johnny Depp in The Pirates of the Caribbean films from 2003


 Darth Vader in the Star Wars episodes (from 1977)


 Tony Montana as played by Al Pacino in Scarface (1983)


 The Joker as played by Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight (2008)


 Forrest Gump as played by Tom Hanks (1994)


 Rick Blaine as played by Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca (1942)


 Sugar Kane as played by Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot (1959)


 The Terminator as played by Arnold Schwarzenegger (from 1984)


 Indiana Jones as played by Harrison Ford (from 1981)


 RP McMurphy as played by Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)


 George Bailey as played by James Stewart in It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)


 Don Vito Corleone as played by Marlon Brando in The Godfather (1972)


 The Man With No Name as played by Clint Eastwood in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966)


 John McClane as played by Bruce Willis in the Die Hard series (from 1988)


 ‘Red’ Redding as played by Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption (1994)


 Johnny Castle as played by Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing (1987)

Tell us who they missed, or who you think should have been included below! The THN collective think the legend of Swayze should have been a bit higher, so here’s a shot to celebrate the chart!

Dirty Dancing

Source: FDA

Dan loves writing, film, music and photography. Originally from Devon, he's now found in London with a growing obsession with squirrels and cake. The latter being more of a hobby. Favourite movies include HIGH FIDELITY, ALMOST FAMOUS, GOOD WILL HUNTING, JURASSIC PARK, too many Steve Martin films and Nolan's BATMAN universe. He can also be found on


  1. William Neville

    April 25, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Audrey rules the world! She and Marilyn only two women on the list?

  2. Lana

    April 26, 2013 at 3:36 am

    #19 It’s Morgan Freeman not Martin Freeman…

  3. Dan B

    April 26, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Good point! I’ll correct them…

  4. Dan B

    April 26, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    I hadn’t actually seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s until recently and, my god, I love that woman. Still such an iconic film.

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