5 Enjoyable “Napoleon Complex” Characters in Movies

In movies, a character’s short stature rarely gets him or her down. There is the spunky hero, the David that versus the Goliath and the short guy that all the girls love. In cinema land, there also resides a character whose frustration with being vertically challenged makes them a little tyrant.

Not to say that all short characters are tyrants, some are just genuine big badass heroes despite their lack of height, such as Tyrion Lannister. No, were’talking here about people who overcompensate for their shortness by displaying a Napoleon Complex. Like “The Brain” from {inky and the Brain, they want to take over the world, or at least their part of it. So here are five characters in films who suffer from a Napoleon Complex.

Warning: As these guys are not the most well-balanced examples of humanity.

Vincent Benedict (“Twins”)

Although his “twin” brother Julius has the strength of ten men and is super smart, Vincent has the hubris of ten men. He’s snarky, a real hit with the ladies, and goes around racking up debt all over town. His character evolves over the course of the film, as having a brother who will be his sidekick helps him develop some real self-confidence to replace his false bravado.

Nicky Santoro (“Casino”)

All they had to do was say that “the little guy” was in the casino and they knew it would be trouble. Joe Pesci has made his millions playing gangsters with a Napoleon complex. As Nicky, when he wins he wins when he loses, it is someone else’s fault. He makes up his own rules so how can he break them? It’s Nicky’s world and everyone else is just living in it. Nicky even beats up Billy Sherbert, played deadpan serious by Don Rickles.

Begby (“Trainspotting” and “T2 Trainspotting”)

Trainspotting is back and so is Begby, the wonderfully psychotic short guy who can hide in a cabinet and jump out at you or go psycho if you forget to bring a deck of cards on a trip. Although based on the novel by Irvine Welch where the Begby character is described as a big dude, but they could not pass up the chance to cast the 5’8”” Robert Carlyle in the role, as his attitude makes up for his size and makes the fact that he is on the short side but acts like a big bruiser all the more enjoyable.

Dolores Umbridge (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)

As Senior Undersecretary at the Ministry of Magic, Dolores Umbridge had plenty of educational reforms in mind. Played by the marvelously funny Imelda Staunton, this little lady in the pink twin set is quite a tyrant. Don’t let the tea sets and fluffy kitty plates fool you, she’s has a Napoleon Complex and is mad with power. Good thing Fred and George Weasley were around to help put her in her place.

Gus (Night at the Museum”)

One of Mickey Rooney’s last roles was that of Gus, the vertically challenged wise talking, fearless security guard who lets Larry know the score when he comes to take the job as night security at the museum. His nicknames for Larry like “lunchbox” and “hot dog” add to his appeal of this supporting character with a Napoleon Complex.

 

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