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The Greatest Female Characters in Film History 

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Updated May 25, 2020 238.3k votes 13.5k voters 299.6k views 392 items

List Rules The most memorable, strongest, funniest, and greatest women & girls in film

List of the best female movie characters of all time, whether young or old. This list includes the best female movie characters to have graced the silver screen, from the beautiful yet willful Scarlett O’Hara to the tirelessly valiant Erin Brockovich. You have laughed with these characters and empathized with their plights, so now is your chance to vote for your favorites on this, the list of the best female characters in movies.

 The greatest female movie characters can be broadly sorted into two categories: those based on real women and those created by authors and filmmakers. Perhaps one of the most famous of the first category is Erin Brockovich (“Erin Brockovich”), who stood up for the health of her community. Fictional great female characters can be just as engaging, however. Can you forget the grit of Trinity (“The Matrix”) -- or her catsuit?

 Top female characters in movies might also be classed according to their morals. Some, such as Annie Wilkes (“Misery”), have no problem harming helpless people, while others, including Evelyn Couch (“Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe”), are the very pictures of worthy womanhood. Although viewers might pass judgement on the so-called ‘bad’ or ‘evil’ female characters, there’s no doubt that female movie characters of either morality can land among the greatest female characters of all time.

 This list includes female movie characters, old and young, whom film fans continually name as favorites. Viewers identify with these characters’ struggles and lives, and it is this identification that makes female movie characters truly great. You may not agree with the best female movie characters’ choices, but chances are, you enjoy watching these leading characters’ films again and again.
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list ordered by
1
Hermione Granger is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Harry Potter
2
Leia Organa is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Star Wars
3
Sarah Connor is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Terminator
4
The Bride is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
5
Black Widow is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
FaithJezek added Avengers
6
Katniss Everdeen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
The Hunger Games
7
Wonder Woman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Tim Schild added Justice League Unlimited, Wonder Woman, Batman vs. Superman
8
Ellen Ripley is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Alien
9
Mulan is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Once Upon a Time, Mulan, Reflections on Ice: Michelle Kwan Skates to the Music of Disney's 'Mulan'
10
Mary Poppins is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins
11
Clarice Starling is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
The Silence of the Lambs
12
Belle is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
KennethWeaver added Once Upon a Time, Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse, Beauty and the Beast
13
Maleficent is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
AfritTenk added Maleficent, Sleeping Beauty
14
Éowyn is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
FaithJezek added The Lord of the Rings
15
Galadriel is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Tidion6822 added The Lord of the Rings
16
Alice is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Disney Princess Sing-Along Songs: Enchanted Tea Party, Alice in Wonderland, Alice in Wonderland
17
Dorothy Gale is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
The Wizard of Oz
18
Ariel is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
The Little Mermaid
19
Holly Golightly is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Breakfast at Tiffany's
20
Arwen is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Tidion6822 added The Lord of the Rings
21
Cinderella is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Cinderella
22
Professor Minerva McGona... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
KennethWeaver added Harry Potter Universe
23
Cleopatra is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
CraigAlarm added Cleopatra
24
Edna Mode is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Asgeir Hovland added The Incredibles
25
Elsa is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Tom Islava added Frozen