NEW YORK — They came, they saw, they kicked ass. And on Friday (February 6), MTV News rewarded the thrilling escapades of Hollywood’s most-beloved toughies, ending an exhaustive quest in determining the Greatest Movie Badasses of All Time.
“Dirty” Harry Callahan’s day was made at New York’s Comic-Con, as the San Francisco cop was crowned Greatest Badass by a panel that included rapper/actor Method Man, director James Toback, “Best Week Ever” comedian Chuck Nice and “30 Rock” actor Judah Friedlander. Clint Eastwood’s iconic character was followed closely by the ultimate “Alien” ass-kicker, Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley.
Last month, MTV News began the epic search by asking accomplished filmmakers, actors and fans to help determine the Greatest Movie Badass of All Time. In addition to the fans who voted on MTV.com, our experts included badass aficionados such as Edgar Wright (director, “Shaun of the Dead”), Frank Darabont (director, “The Shawshank Redemption”), Rose McGowan (actress, “Grindhouse”), David Goyer (co-writer, “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight”), John August (writer, “Go”), Diablo Cody (writer, “Juno”), and James Gunn (director, “Slither”).
Beginning with a list of fictional characters well into the hundreds, the group was whittled down to the following top 10 badasses:
“Thank you all so much,” an excited Bruce Willis said when we told him about John McClane’s bronze-medal finish. “I have to say, though, that my badass days are behind me. I’m sitting here eating doughnuts. I’m impressed by the new badasses. That Matt Damon? That guy can pull a guy’s spine out of his body and show it to him in one move!”
Mr. Mad Max himself, the one-and-only Mel Gibson, was similarly thrilled with his top 10 finish. “I’m the fourth-baddest badass!” Gibson enthused. “I’m glad you told me [the first three] so I can avoid [Clint, Sigourney and Bruce] now. I think I can take Sigourney.
“It’s amazing to think that something 30 years old can still have some ring about it. And ring is the operative word for badasses,” Gibson laughed. “My badass has hemorrhoids. My badass needs a rest. You have my heartfelt thanks.”
Clint Eastwood’s Callahan redefined the notion of squeaky-clean policemen in 1971 in “Dirty Harry,” portraying a world-beaten detective who was as unhesitant in doling out his own bloody justice as he was enamored with the power of his trademark .44 Magnum. The ultimate badass, Harry hates the system, despises red tape and uses the few words he does utter to spit out an endless array of quotable lines. In the decades that followed, Eastwood revisited the character in “Magnum Force,” “The Enforcer,” “Sudden Impact” and “The Dead Pool.”
Proving that their appetite for Eastwood’s squinty, no-nonsense badass hasn’t subsided in the least, audiences recently flocked to see him return to his “Dirty Harry” persona for the first time in years with “Gran Torino.” Playing a shotgun-toting badass named Walt, Eastwood showed that you can still kick ass while approaching your 80s. The movie has become the highest-grossing film in the legendary star’s career.
When MTV News sent a camera crew to film an acceptance speech by the Oscar-winning screen legend, Clint Eastwood did not let us down. “All right, thanks. You made a good choice,” growled the man behind cinema’s greatest badass. “Now get out … I told you to get out. Don’t hang around, goddamnit!”
Do you agree with our Greatest Badass list? If you feel lucky enough to disagree with Dirty Harry, punk, sound off with your own list below!
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