10 Cool Female Characters from Classic Movies

I love old movies and Clarabela told me that I could write anything related with “women and movies”. So I thought that it would be a nice idea to introduce you to ten female characters I find very cool. If you’re not that into classic films, I hope I can pique your interest.

Most of the ladies I included on the list have two main characteristics: they don’t completely depend on other characters and if they have to face difficult situations, they do it in an awesome way.

10. Delphine & Solange Garnier from Les demoiselles de Rochefort (1967)

The sisters played by Catherine Deneuve & Francoise Dorléac are cool because they start their mornings this way. Yeah, I completely overlooked my own list rules, but please check this movie. You won’t regret it. Plus the sisters are cool anyway.

9. Pollyanna from Pollyanna (1960)

Hayley Mills portrayed super cool teen characters in many Disney movies. But I had to pick one and I chose Pollyanna. Pollyanna is cool because even when she lost her parents she is able to turn every negative situation in something positive. At some point a character says she hates Sundays because it means starting a new week and going to church and having an awful breakfast. Pollyanna’s reply? “You could be glad because it will be six whole days before Sunday comes around again, huh?“. She’s able to help people in town just spreading her joie de vivre. And you can apply her positive way of thinking to your own life. That’s cool.

8. Mama from I remember mama (1948)

Irene Dunne played lots of cool characters, but my favorite has to be one of the less fashionable, the mother of a Norwegian immigrant family. The cool thing about Mama is that she can use her humble means and strength to make the life of her family bearable. Nobody mess around with her family, not even the strict nurses at the hospital. She knows about sacrifice, but not about complaint. She never panics, she just tries to solve the situation in a reasonable way. Without drama, with lots of dignity. That’s cool (and you can watch it on Youtube).

7. Princess Ann from Roman Holiday (1954)

 Audrey Hepburn’s Ann is cool because she decides to be herself for one day, defying the rules. She just can’t stand the way she’s treated, like a political puppet, so she decides to escape and explore Rome by her own. Gregory Peck, a reporter looking for a scoop, offers himself to be her guide. Ann is a very mature girl and this experience helps her to see things more clearly and become a real leader.

6. Marie “Slim” Brownie from To Have and Have Not (1944)

This is Lauren Bacall making history with the first character she ever played; falling love with Humphrey Bogart, becoming one of the most iconic Classic Hollywood couples. Marie is not a saint, her life hasn’t been easy and even when she needs to steal money from rich people to survive, she has principles and the strength to defend them. That’s why she decides to face danger and help Boogie in his mission (and well, maybe because she’s attracted to him). She’s secure and knows what she wants. Her good looks and husky voice are great allies too.

5. Amanda Bonner from Adam’s Rib (1949)

Katharine Hepburn played a lot of cool characters, from Jo of Little Women to Ethel Tayer of On Golden Pond. Anyway, Amanda Bonner is a brilliant lawyer that face all the male lawyers in some big city. And that includes her own husband (Spencer Tracy). She’s not only witty, but also has a great sense of humor. In this epic battle of sexes she raises victoriously, but she is able to know when things gave gone too far and just bury the hatchet.

4. Hildy Johnson from His Girl Friday (1940)

Hildy (played by awesome Rosalind Russell) is  an independent reporter, in a time when journalism belonged to men. But she doesn’t give a damn; she does a great job, gets all the sources, has a witty and fast answer to every guy and has no fear. An interview in jail with a guy suspected of murder? Ok, let’s do it. Tackle a bad guy to find the truth and save an innocent man? Here I go. The only problem with Hildy is that she re-falls in love with her double crossing ex boss/husband (-1). But the guy was Cary Grant (+1).


3. Fraulein Maria from The Sound of Music (1965)

Maria is cool because:

a) She has an amazing voice and a great musical talent. And she can face difficult situations combining the two. Example: A very serious Captain needs your help to cope with a bunch of crazy kids? Ok, sing to yourself So, let them bring on all their problems, I’ll do better than my best, I have confidence they’ll put me to the test, but I’ll make them see I have confidence in me“.
b) Because she can deal with living in a convent by escaping to the impossibly beautiful mountains and using a) to look awesome.
c) Because she can make playground clothes using curtains.
d) Because she can confront Eleanor Parker as The Baroness and win the Captain’s heart.
e) Because she’s not afraid of making a fool of herself.
f) Because she can face the Nazis and climb the Alps. Thank you very much.

2. Mary Kate from The Quiet Man (1952)

This famous character created by John Ford and Maureen O’Hara is a fierce Irish countrywoman that knows her rights and will defend them with tooth and nail. She falls in love with equally cool John Wayne and eventually marries him; but she will fight to recover her own money and furniture from her stubborn brother…even if that means skipping the wedding night and defy ancient social rules. She has pride, even when that eventually means to be dragged across the fields. Plus the “rude” words she whispers to Duke at the end are one of Hollywood’s best kept secrets. Cool.

1. Nora Charles from The Thin Man (1934)

I think this is probably the coolest character ever: she manages to have a marriage that works great. How? With lots of fun, charm, wit, fun, wit, charm, and fun. And love, of course. Her wit gives her patience and allows her to properly read every situation, discarding unfounded jealousy. Plus she’s very brave and helps her hubby to solve crimes. Keep calm and be like Nora Charles, you could say. Even if someone armed shows up in your room, even if your husband invites a lot of crazy people for a drink on New Year’s Eve, etc. Besides, Nora and Nick have some of the best lines ever:

This is a guest post from a fellow blogger who not only loves classic chicks flicks as much as I do, and  her name is Clara too! What a small world. About Clara Fercovic: I  am 24 years old, Chilean (that’s why my English isn’t very good), I love old movies, especially the ones from 1930 – 1970, & writing about them. My site is Via Margutta 51 (Via Margutta 51 is Gregory Peck’s address in Rome in “Roman Holiday” )