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10 One-Eyed Movie Characters You Don’t Want to Mess With

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By Bruce Cherry 

“In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” The theologian (and literal Renaissance man) Erasmus of Rotterdam said that. What he couldn’t have known is that one-eyed men (along with the occasional one-eyed woman, monster, minion, and sea plankton) would one day rule the world of cinema. With the Minions taking over movie screens and Facebook feeds everywhere, we thought it would be a good time to salute filmdom’s greatest one-eyed characters.

1. Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) from Escape from New York and Escape from L.A.

With his Dirty Harry delivery and pirate eyepatch, Snake Plissken is the king of One-Eyed Attitude. He doesn’t stand on ceremony (“Call me Snake”) and between the two movies he’s bicoastal too! Sadly a planned sequel, Escape from the Flyover States, never materialized.


2. Big Dan Teague (John Goodman) from O Brother, Where Art Thou?

O Brother is based on Homer’s Odyssey (very loosely, Homer doesn’t mention Dapper Dan pomade) which means that Big Dan is based on the Cyclops in the original story. That makes him a one-eyed character created by a blind poet, a case of pupil envy if there ever was one.


3. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) from the Marvel Universe franchise

He’s a superhero AND an effective upper level executive. As the list of Marvel films and TV shows he’s appeared in makes clear, Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury is absolutely indispensable because he handles the bureaucratic behind-the-scenes chores that make modern super-heroism possible… as well as taking part in the occasional car chase or perfectly timed intervention. Still, as upper management, he tends to take a lot of lunch meetings.


4. Alastor “Mad Eye” Moody (Brendan Gleeson) from the Harry Potter franchise

When Scottish wizard and Auror, Alastor “Mad Eye” Moody, lost an eye during the Wizarding Wars, he replaced it with a Magic Eye that rotates in a complete circle and can see through almost anything, including the back of his head. (Best. Replacement Eye. Ever.) The eye was so effective that it lived on after Moody’s death—so instead of a character missing an eye, we had an eye that was missing a character.


5. Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah) from Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and Vol. 2

Elle Driver, AKA “California Mountain Snake” is one of the rare female one-eyed characters in the movies. Why there are so few is a mystery, since the eye-patch is a great look for this assassin. That fact is completely lost upon her now, though, since she loses her other eye in a fight. Still, she may be one of the only Viper Assassination Squad members to survive both Kill Bill movies. If there’s a Kill Bill: Vol. 3, Elle could be the even rarer female character who is completely eyeless.


6. Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges, John Wayne) from True Grit (2010) and True Grit (1969)

We’ve seen one-eyed characters who are threatening, sexy, funny, and even cute. But nothing goes with the one-eyed look better than plain old grizzled, and both Jeff Bridges and John Wayne have faces that are as leathery as their eyepatch. And that’s the kind of face that a one-eyed fat man needs if they want to deliver bold talk. Old Rooster Cogburn has seen it all… though not with any depth perception.


7. Odin (Anthony Hopkins) from Thor and Thor: The Dark World

Portrayed by Anthony Hopkins, and sporting a solid gold eyepatch, Odin has to be the classiest one-eye in cinema. In Viking mythology, Odin sacrificed his eye to attain wisdom. I’d be afraid that the first thing I would find out is not to sacrifice your eye for wisdom.


8. Sheldon J. Plankton (Mr. Lawrence) from The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

Why does Sheldon rule? He’s one-eyed, borderline microscopic, and he occupies the very bottom of the food chain. Yet he wants to take over the world, by making his Chum Bucket restaurant successful, no less. Plankton is the very epitome of dreaming big. He won’t give up, no matter how many times he gets stepped on, which is pretty much every scene he appears in.


9. The Deacon (Dennis Hopper), Waterworld

Having only one eye is perfect here—Dennis Hopper’s over-the-top performance as the Deacon is the only thing that made this soggy mess half-way watchable.


10. Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi) from Thunderball

In the case of this classic James Bond villain, the eyepatch is just there to look cool. Really, the Largo character in Ian Fleming’s original novel doesn’t have an eyepatch. The reason for it is never mentioned in the movie. But Largo’s mono-ocular menace as SPECTRE’s “Number 2” is the granddaddy of modern one-eyed villainy. It inspired memorable parodies by Robert Wagner and Rob Lowe as “Number 2” in the Austin Powers movies, where Dr. Evil forever branded the one-eyed bad guy character as “my cycloptic colleague.”

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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GIFs via Giphy

Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Mirror, Mirror

Portlandia Season 7 In Hindsight

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available Online and on the IFC App.

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Another season of Portlandia is behind us, and oh what a season it was. We laughed. We cried. And we chuckled uncomfortably while glancing nervously around the room. Like every season before it, the latest Portlandia has held a mirror up to ridiculousness of modern American life, but more than ever that same mirror has reflected our social reality in ways that are at once hysterical and sneakily thought-provoking. Here are just a few of the issues they tackled:

Nationalism

So long, America, Portland is out! And yes, the idea of Portland seceding is still less ludicrous than building a wall.

Men’s Rights

We all saw this coming. Exit gracefully, dudes.

Protests

Whatever you stand for, stand for it together. Or with at least one other person.

Free Love

No matter who we are or how we love, deep down we all have the ability to get stalky.

Social Status

Modern self-esteem basically hinges on likes, so this isn’t really a stretch at all.

These moments are just the tip of the iceberg, and much more can be found in the full seventh season of #Portlandia, available right now #online and on the #IFC app.

via GIPHY

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