Happy International Women’s Day, everyone. To celebrate, I thought it would be fun to have a go at composing a list of our fave female movie characters of all time – but don’t let me tell you who they are, you tell me.

Actually: let’s just take it as red Ripley and Sarah Connor will be on there (le sigh).

So, APART FROM THEM, who are the BEST, most BELIEVABLE, INTERESTING, EMPATHETIC (or whatever!) female movie characters to grace our beloved silver screen? Why are they so great?

Leave your nominations here in the comments section or on Bang2writers and later on today or tmw I’ll update this post with the list.

Want some inspiration? Here’s a list of 100 best female roles dating waaaaaaay back.

UPDATE: Well, I thought I’d rank your faves on the basis of numbers of votes – but you all have different ones!!! Which says it all really, great characters mean different things to different people.

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12 Responses to Happy International Women’s Day: Girls On Film

  1. Teenie Russell says:

    Thelma and Louise,
    The Bride from Kill Bill
    Matilda in Leon (though technically she's still a girl)
    The President in Battlestar Galactica (TV Series).

    Still waking up more to come, but recently there have been some very strong roles for women in TV Glen Close in Damages, True Blood Sooky and Tara, Mad Men also has strong women in a male dominated world

  2. Splutter says:

    Thelma and Louise
    The Bride from Kill Bill
    Matilda from Leon (though technically still a girl).

    Still not awake have to think but the world of TV is much easier it sems to have lots of strong female roles.

    The President in Battlestar Galactica
    Glen Close in Damages
    CJ in The West Wing
    Lots of strong women in Mad Men in a male dominated world.

  3. Teenie Russell says:

    Almodovar's women are generally very strong characters;
    Clarice in Silence of the Lambs;
    Rachael Weiss in The Constant Gardener
    The women in The Hours

  4. Elinor says:

    Maria Vial in White Material.

  5. DraconianOne says:

    I'll put the cat amongst the pigeons: Lisbeth Salander, the titular "Girl With The Dragon Tattoo". (Keeping this to the films rather than the books which I haven't read, however.)

    More so than either Ripley or Connor, she seems to have divided critics as to whether she's a feminist icon or male fantasy – although lots of criticsm seems more directed at the graphic depiction of violence in the books rather than the character herself.

  6. Dave says:

    The entire female cast of Serenity.

    Zira in the first three Planet Of The Apes films (and especially the third).

    Liz in Shaun Of The Dead

    Dave Wrote This

  7. E J Mack says:

    Glenn Close in Dangerous Liaisons – her downfall is spectacular.
    Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity – utterly shameless.

  8. Jared says:

    Don't need to look beyond good ol' working class Britain to find Rita and Shirley paving a way for female empowerment.

    Always been a HUGE fan of Rita.

    (that'll be Educating RIta, and Shirley Valentine)

  9. Dave says:

    Here's Seb Patrick's article in honour of Marge Gunderson from Fargo

    Dave Wrote This

  10. Rosie says:

    The characters of Calendar Girls – even more so for older actresses schooling us on how it's really done.

    Mary Lou Parker's portrayal of Harper in Angels in America (that's TV, isn't it? Damn.)

    A nod to Rapunzel in Tangled for daring to dream and venture out and turning out pretty kickass.

    And I have to mention my favourite Disney "princess" Belle. While not as action-orientated as some might wish, an incredibly brave woman who dares to question, learn and stand up to bullies.

  11. Stuart Innes says:

    Marge Gunderson. That's a good one.

    Hildy Johnson in His Girl Friday is a wonderfully strong and independent character. Which is a weird thing to say about a character whose goal is to quit her job, settle down and have babies, but the writers make it work.

    My favourite character though is Hayley Stark in Hard Candy. Smart, meticulous, ethically compromised and oh-so-inscrutable. It's like Nancy Drew and Fu Manchu had a baby!

  12. Claire Yeowart says:

    Idgie Threadgood ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’ Because she doesn’t conform to convections of the time and makes no apologies for who she is.
    Rachel Stein / Ellis de Vries ‘Black Book’ Because using her wit and charm she infiltrates the Nazi’s at part of the resistance and still manages to come out fighting even though she’s crossed and then double-crossed.
    Scully ‘The X Files’ Because she’s one of the most believable females in the history of film and tv in my opinion. Saved Mulders life countless times, not only with her gun but with her brain and her rationalism.
    Dorothy and Petula ‘Beautiful Creatures’– because it’s a reversal on the lads gangster flick focusing on two realistic female characters.
    Other mentions: Belle (Beauty and the Beast), Kirsty (Hellraiser), Clarice (Silence of the Lambs)

    Fav of all time –
    GLORIA in John Cassevetes ‘Gloria’
    Why – She is a rarity in film. She single-handedly protects a little boy from the mob, eventually humiliating them by their own standards. Gun in hand or not, this movie is usually for the male characters and is a true “crusade mission” normally reserved for the Luke Skywalkers and James Bonds of cinema.

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