You know how it’s said that a great something or other isn’t born, they’re made? This applies to the leaders we witness and idolize for one reason or another, since despite the legendary status that some of them enjoy, none of them are perfect when they’re first born; they have to undergo trials and tribulations that forge them into the people they will come to be. Stating that the figures we see in the movies are sometimes based on real people doesn’t change this, since to make people see how impressive the leaders of the world can be, those who portray them on screen need to have at least some understanding of what made them great in the first place. Not only that, but the actors portraying these people need to find ways to emulate such figures in a way that will make an audience believe in them and understand why they became such important individuals to those around them. History doesn’t always remember great leaders any more than it remembers those who changed the world, but the movies are a great way to strengthen their memory and remind people that despite the dramatic representation, the greatest leaders in the world were never perfect, but they were effective when they needed to be.
Here are five of the greatest leaders from movies.
5. William Wallace (Braveheart)
Historians get a good laugh when they talk about this movie since William Wallace was a man who loved his country and who was determined to give the Scots something he believed they’d never had, according to the dialogue in this movie. While he did fight against the English, a great deal of this movie is fictionalized to entertain the audience, since it’s easy to think that the true history might not have been enough to keep the audience hooked. Some might say that Wallace was a blood-crazed fighter out for revenge against the English, but after reading the histories, it is easy to see that he was able to inspire more than a few people in his time, even if he paid a rather high price for his love of country.
4. Aragorn (Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)
For someone who was so reluctant to lead others for one reason or another, Aragorn turned out to be a highly influential individual who could speak with kings just as easily as he spoke with ruffians and vagabonds. His strength of character came from the fact that Viggo Mortensen is without any doubt one of the best actors in Hollywood when it comes time to use someone that is quiet, forceful, and can inspire others without having to be over the top at every turn. His ability to become the type of individual that others will follow simply because they believe in his ability to lead is amazing, and there’s no wonder why Aragorn would be held up as one of the best characters in this story.
3. Katherine Goble (Hidden Figures)
Discounting someone’s ability and their work based on their color and the fact that they’re female is one of the worst mistakes that could have ever been made in history, but it did happen, and still does. It doesn’t matter quite as much that Katherine was made to work harder than many others, as it was noted that she made tremendous strides in her career over the years and earned the respect of many of her peers, albeit in a very roundabout and difficult manner. A leader is someone that pushes forward and finds ways to overcome adversity in all its forms, as much as possible, and considering how far she went with her career, Katherine fits the bill without question.
2. Coach Ken Carter (Coach Carter)
Obviously, a lot of true leaders that have been represented on film are going to be dramatized and taken to a different level than they might have enjoyed in real life. But many of these representations are accurate enough to give people the impression that those making the movie did their research and were seeking to place their mark by creating a cinematic version of the truth that people would enjoy. Coach Carter isn’t the example of a perfect man or team, but it does show how Carter, though demanding, is willing to go through hell for his players so that they might realize how to unlock their true potential on and off the basketball court. A real leader knows how to show the way, and then step out of the way so that those they lead can forge ahead.
1. Paul Edgecomb (The Green Mile)
Every place needs a leader, no matter its purpose. Paul comes off as the kind of guy that doubts just as much as others and won’t believe something until he can see it. But in the meantime, he’s also the type of guy that will gladly stand up for others and do the right thing in any given situation, even if it’s not the easiest thing. Seriously, standing up for Percy just enough to keep everyone else from tearing him apart wouldn’t be easy for anyone, as the desire to simply toss such a man under the bus is horrible. But Paul lives by his principles and figures out the rest as he goes along, and that makes him a great leader.
Being the leader isn’t easy, and to be fair, it shouldn’t be.