Top Seven… Movie Characters Called Jack


Tom Cruise is back. And this time he’s Jack Reacher. Yeah, you know, that really tall guy who kicks ass? Uh… yeah. Well, size isn’t everything. We are big fans of The Cruiser at Ross v Ross (well, one of us two Rosses is), so we’ll happily watch him in anything. We’re looking forward to his upcoming sci-fi outing, Oblivion, too, in which he plays another Jack, a good three decades after playing a Jack in Ridley Scott’s Timotei advert cum epic fantasy, Legend. But what is it about characters called Jack? And who are the best Jacks in the movies? Let’s find out…

7. Jack Napier – Batman (1989)

Where better to start than with two great Jacks from the greatest Jack of them all? Nicholson was a great Joker, but it is often forgotten how chilling he was as Jack Napier, the Joker before Batman dropped him in that tub of acid.

Verdict: Cracker Jack

6. Jack Torrance – The Shining  (1980)

Jack gives good Jack, but this is just ridiculous. The scariest Jack of them all, yet there’s something also rather loveable about Mr Torrance. If there wasn’t, his descent into crazed axe-swinging, ghost-conversing hotel caretaker would have zero impact. Not a dull boy at all.

Verdict: Jack Frost

5. Jack Skellington – The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Running Torrance close in the fright stakes is Jack Skellington, yet because it’s Christmas we’re gonna edge him ahead in our list. By a ghost reindeer’s shiny red nose. Its his enthusiasm that never ceases to win us over. I can’t remember a skeletoned creature with such a positive outlook on life.

Verdict: Jack Sprat

4. Jack Traven – Speed (1994)

There have been plenty of renegade movie cops called Jack down the years, but none as ballsy as Speed’s Jack Traven. How do you negotiate with a guy whose mantra is, ‘Shoot the hostage’? Great bus conductor too.

Verdict: Jumping Jack Flash

3. Jack Dawson – Titanic (1997)

Ah, poor little Leo. That huge big raft drifting in the sea after the Titanic has sunk, with room for a least four more people on it, yet mean Kate Winslet can’t even scooch over a bit and make some room for the man she has just fallen in love with. To be fair to her, she was probably just keeping space for all the Oscars she knew she was going to win throughout her career.

Verdict: Lumber Jack

2. Jack Burton – Big Trouble In Little China (1986)

Kurt Russell has played a couple of Jacks – one in Stargate and one in John Carpenter’s classic, Big Trouble In Little China – yet he looks like he should be portraying a Jack in every film he’s in. He just looks like a Jack. His Jack Burton is a classic Jack. A loner who plays by his own rules. While wearing terrible, terrible clothing.

Verdict: Jack Russell

1. Jack Walsh – Midnight Run (1988)

And now to the king of the Jacks. De Niro has played a couple of Jacks (and a Jacknife) in his career, but none can touch Jack Walsh, his potty-mouthed moody bounty hunter from Midnight Run, the best film to be made in 1988. Which pretty much makes it the best film to be made ever. Yes, that’s right, Die Hard was made in 1988. And Coming To America. And A Fish Called Wanda. And Beetlejuice. And Scrooged. And Beaches. And Willow. Anyway, Jack Walsh has got what every movie Jack should have – a leather jacket, a dry cool wit and a pair of sunglasses. And Alonzo Mosely’s wallet.

Verdict: Jackpot



One Response to “Top Seven… Movie Characters Called Jack”

  1. 1940, Hitchcock’s — “Rebecca” — Jack Favell….

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