Undefended: Five Greatest Tragicomic Roles Of All Time.

Film Fisher Blog

Undefended: Five Greatest Tragicomic Roles Of All Time.

Today, FilmFisher writers contributed lists of the five greatest tragicomic roles of all time. We’re honored to have poet Aaron Belz contribute a list for Undefended. Belz’s work has been published in Cardus, Wired, Books & Culture, First Things, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Exquisite Corpse, Mudfish, Gulf Coast, RealPoetik, The Washington Post, elimae, Fence, Fine Madness, Snow Monkey and Pierogi Press. His most recent book is Glitter Bomb out now from Persea.

Aaron Belz

1. Lloyd Christmas, Dumb and Dumber (1994) – “We got no food, we got no jobs—our pets’ HEADS ARE FALLING OFF!”

2. Barton Fink, Barton Fink (1991) – “I gotta tell you, the life of the mind—there’s no roadmap for that territory. And exploring it can be painful.”


3. Royal Tenenbaum, The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) – “I’ve always been considered an asshole for about as long as I can remember. That’s just my style.”

4. Alamein, Boy (2010) – “I am the Crazy Horses! I’m the Shogun! I’m alone on this planet!”

5. Ricky Roma, Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) – “Bad people go to hell? I don’t think so. If you think that, act that way. A hell exists on earth? Yes. I won’t live in it. That’s me.”


Timothy Lawrence

1. Gary King, The World’s End (2013) – “I remember sitting up there, blood on my knuckles, beer down my shirt, sick on my shoes and seeing the orange glow of a new dawn break and knowing in my heart life would never feel this good again. And you know what? It never did.”

2. Llewyn Davis, Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) – “Your uncle’s a bad man, Danny.”

3. Larry Gopnik, A Serious Man (2009) – “The Uncertainty Principle. It proves we can’t ever really know what’s going on. So it shouldn’t bother you. Not being able to figure anything out. Although you will be responsible for this on the midterm.”

4. Monsieur Gustave H., The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) – “You see, there are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this barbaric slaughterhouse that was once known as humanity. Indeed, that’s what he provide in our own modest, humble, insignificant… oh, f___ it.”

5. Charley Ford, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) – “I slipped off the roof and smacked down into a snowbank like a ton of stupidness.”


Remy Wilkins:

1. Punchdrunk Love: Barry Egan, “I didn’t do anything. I’m a nice man. I mind my own business. So you tell me ‘that’s that’ before I beat the hell from you. I have so much strength in me you have no idea. I have a love in my life. It makes me stronger than anything you can imagine. I would say ‘that’s that’, Mattress Man.”

2. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou: “You know I’m not good at apologizing, so I’ll just skip it if it’s all the same to you.”


3. Rachel Getting Married: Kym, “I am Shiva the destroyer, your harbingerof doom this evening.”

4. 4. Hot Rod: Rod Kimble, “I’d rather die than live in a world where I can’t kick your ass.”

5. Margot at the Wedding: Malcom, “I haven’t had that thing yet, where you realize that you’re not the most important person in the world.”


Joshua Gibbs

1. David Brent, The Office. [answering the question, “What is your ultimate fantasy?”] “Probably some sort of everlasting… life, you know, I don’t mean a sort, just a spiritual, sort really in any sense, I mean actually to experience the future, and live, you know, on and on and on, you know, know what it’s like to live forever.”

2. Charlie Kaufman, Adaptation. “What do I need to do? I need to fall in love. I need to have a girlfriend. I need to read more, improve myself. What if I learned Russian or something? Or took up an instrument? I could speak Chinese. I’d be the screenwriter who speaks Chinese and plays the oboe. That would be cool.”


3. Billy Brown, Buffalo ‘66. “Is this a shifter car?”

4. Bernard Berkman, The Squid and the Whale. [answering the question, “What is a Philistine?”] “It’s a guy who doesn’t care about books and interesting films and things.”

5. Navin R. Johnson, The Jerk. “And that’s the only thing I need. I don’t need this or this. Just this ashtray… And this paddle game. The ashtray and the paddle game and that’s all I need… And this remote control. The ashtray, the paddle game, and the remote control, and that’s all I need… And these matches. The ashtray, and these matches, and the remote control, and the paddle ball… And this lamp.”


Joseph Gross

1. Frank D’arbo, Super. “I kind of think happiness is over-rated. People spend their whole lives chasing it like it’s the most important thing in the world. Happy people are kind of… arrogant.”

2. Jerry Lundegaard, Fargo. [regarding his wife’s fraudulent kidnapping] “This was s’posed to be a no-rough-stuff-type deal…”

3. Truman Burbank, The Truman Show. “I want to be an explorer, like the great Magellan.”

4. John Finnegan, Hard Eight. I will f___ you up if you try to f___ with me, all right? I know three types of karate: jujitsu, aikido, and regular karate.

5. Phil Connors, Groundhog Day. [waking up after a failed suicide attempt] “Ah, nuts.”


Rikki Elizabeth Stinnette

1. Scarlett O’Hara, Gone with the Wind: “After all…tomorrow is another day.”

2. P.L. Travers, Saving Mr. Banks: “I know what he’s going to do to her [Mary Poppins]. She’ll be cavorting, and twinkling, careening towards a happy ending like a kamikaze.”

3. Charles Tatum, Ace in the Hole: “It’s a good story today. Tomorrow, they’ll wrap a fish in it.”

4. Norville Barnes, The Hudsucker Proxy: “The kids will just love it.”

5. Guido, Life is Beautiful: “‘Not Allowed’ signs are the latest trend! The other day, I was in a shop with my friend the kangaroo, but their sign said, ‘No Kangaroos Allowed,’ and I said to my friend, ‘Well, what can I do? They don’t allow kangaroos.'”


Sean Johnson

1. Sir John Falstaff (Orson Welles), Chimes At Midnight: “I was as virtuously given as a gentleman need to be…virtuous enough: swore little, diced not above…seven…times a week, went to a bawdy house not above once in a quarter…of an hour. Villainous company hath been the spoil of me!”

2. Steve Zissou, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou: “I need some money to get the boat out of hock and rescue my bond company stooge who got kidnapped. Could we ask your parents to loan it to me?”

3. Cameron Frye, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: “He’ll keep calling me. He’ll keep calling me until I come over. He’ll make me feel guilty. This is uh… This is ridiculous, ok I’ll go, I’ll go, I’ll go, I’ll go, I’ll go. What – I’LL GO. S___.”

4. The Tramp, Modern Times: [Cured of a nervous breakdown but without a job, he leaves the hospital to start life anew.]

5. Andy Kaufman, Man on the Moon:

“Andy: ‘You don’t know the real me.’

Lynne: ‘There isn’t a real you.’

Andy: ‘Oh yeah, I forgot.’”


Justin Spencer

1. Ray, In Bruges:  There’s a Christmas tree somewhere in London with a bunch of presents underneath it that’ll never be opened. And I thought, if I survive all of this, I’d go to that house, apologize to the mother there, and accept whatever punishment she chose for me. Prison… death… didn’t matter. Because at least in prison and at least in death, you know, I wouldn’t be in f___ing Bruges. But then, like a flash, it came to me. And I realized, f___ man, maybe that’s what hell is: the entire rest of eternity spent in f___ing Bruges. And I really really hoped I wouldn’t die. I really really hoped I wouldn’t die.

2. Adenoid Hynkel, The Great Dictator: Then I’ll sign it. A pen! Und stratz mit ze uldensackt. I’ll sign it! Und stratz mit sei öldensackt, il der, der flutens… , der… , der… , und strippensackt! A pen! I’ll sign it. Napaloni, de grosse peanut, de cheesy ravioli. There!

3. C.C. Baxter, The Apartment: Mrs. MacDougall, I think it is only fair to warn you that you are now alone with a notorious sexpot.

4. Will, About a Boy: I was going to spend this Christmas the way I usually did: watching videos and getting drunk and stoned.

5. Steve Zissou, The Life Aquatic:  People say that when someone says something like that, it’s because they’re jealous. But it still hurts. It hurts bad.

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