Heroes depicted in film can be divided into two major categories: fictional characters and real-life people. The greatest movie hero of all time is Atticus Finch, a lawyer.
The list of fictional heroes goes as far back as recorded history, with some of the most prominent characters still depicted in film today. Achilles is one such mythological character, portrayed in several movies since the 1920s. Brad Pitt played Achilles in “Troy,” which was released in 2004. Ulysses, the primary character of the Odyssey, is another well known character. He was also portrayed by several actors, including Sean Bean in “Troy.”
Real-life heroes, at least the best-known ones, often include great leaders, rebels, and military generals, like Ulysses S. Grant and Alvin York. York was played by movie great Gary Cooper in the film “Sergeant York.” Cooper won an Oscar for his role in the 1941 film. (These are the best war movie of all time.)
Movies based on 20th-century characters — real or fictional — have also been well received. Among these are superheroes like Superman and Batman, of course, but also characters who are ordinary in many ways, such as Charlie Chaplin’s tramp or Marge Gunderson, the mom-to-be police chief in “Fargo.”
There are also people who do extraordinary things under difficult circumstances. For instance, Atticus Finch, the lawyer who defends an African-American man in a small town in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and Oskar Schindler, who saves Jews from the Holocaust at great personal risk in “Schindler’s List.”
To find the greatest movie hero of all time, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the American Film Institute’s “AFI’s 100 Years…100 Heroes & Villains.”
The greatest movie hero of all time is the aforementioned Atticus Finch, who was played by Gregory Peck in the 1962 film. The film was based on Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name.
Peck won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Finch, a lawyer who represents a Black man wrongly accused of rаpe in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama. The character, along with Peck’s portrayal, likely inspired a generation of civil right lawyers.
While Atticus FInch is a fictional character, Lee said after the book was published the character was based on her father, A.C. Lee, who also represented Black defendants in a criminal trial. (These are the best movies made about real people.)