Rogue Ten: Top Ten One Handed Characters

Monday, 28 March 2011 15:18 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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Rogue Ten: Top Ten One Handed Characters

In director Danny Boyle's Oscar nominated film 127 Hours, actor/soap opera star James Franco plays real life mountain climber Aron Ralston, the young man who became trapped by a boulder in Utah for more than five days before amputating his own arm with a dull knife. The film, which is now available on DVD and Blu-ray, got us thinking about other cinematic portrayals of characters who memorably overcame their loss of a hand.  Here, for your lighthearted enjoyment, are our Top Ten One Handed Movie Characters.

10. Captain Hook, Hook

Steven Spielberg's Hook has some glaring flaws as a film, but Dustin Hoffman's preening, over the hill, occasionally suicidal take on Captain James Hook is hammy enough to work.  After decades in a Neverland without his nemesis Peter Pan, the Captain is cripplingly bored, though he still flies into a psychotic rage when reminded of the crocodile that bit off his hand.  The only thing sharper than his eponymous accessory is his curvy mustache.

9. Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, Valkyrie

Tom Cruise plays the real-life colonel who unsuccessfully conspired to assassinate Hitler in Valkyrie.  Having lost his right hand in the North African campaign for Nazi Germany, Stauffenberg becomes the central player in an attempt to kill the dictator.  When he's prompted to give a Nazi salute late in the film, he hold up his injured arm and makes a profoundly seditious statement. 

8. Vanessa Price, Home of the Brave

This choice serves two functions.  One, it fills our irony quota.  Two, it provides an opportunity for some gender equality on an unfairly testosterone heavy list.  In the drama Home of the Brave, Jessica Biel plays a solider who loses her right hand in Iraq and must adjust to life back home.  When she breaks up with her boyfriend, he cuts deep, saying, "I guess it only takes one hand to push someone away."  Surely, this is a sentiment with which other characters on this list can identify.

7. Chubbs, Happy Gilmore

Playing Adam Sandler's golfing coach, Carl Weathers proves that even a walking monument to manhood can bounce back from a physical loss.  In fact, when an alligator bit off his hand, Chubbs took one of its eyes to even the cosmic score.  Unfortunately, the one-eyed gator that took the former professional golfer's hand would eventually take his life as well, due to the moronic good intentions of Sandler's character.

6. Jean Rasczak, Starship Troopers

The fascist military man and civics teacher played by Michael Ironside has a physical example to illustrate his espousal of violence as the ultimate political expression: a nubbin where his left hand should be.  Of course, once the extraterrestrial war erupts in Paul Verhoeven's typically twisted science fiction satire, the mobile infantry supplies Rasczak with a nifty robotic replacement, but he's still a titan of one-handed warfare.

5. Han, Enter The Dragon

The villainous Han, played by Shih Kien, is a murderous drug trafficker, pimp, and former Shaolin student who makes the mistake of pissing off Bruce Lee.  Still, with the help of a nasty, Wolverine-like claw attachment, he's able to use his lack of a left hand to draw first blood in the final fight of Enter The Dragon.  Without his unique accessory, Mr. Han would just be another scumbag beaten down by the master.

4. Luke Skywalker, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

You may have some issues with your progenitor, but at least he never forcibly removed any of your appendages with a laser sword.  Sure, like Rasczak, Mark Hamill's Luke ends up with a fancy replacement hand, but the moment that farm boy's biological hand goes flying off at Cloud City, the stakes are raised on the entire original Star Wars trilogy. 

3. Buster Bluth, Arrested Development

Okay, this one's cheating a little, since Arrested Development was a television series and the rumored big screen version is unlikely to ever materialize, but still, to leave out Buster would be a shame.  The most coddled member of the Bluth family, portrayed by Tony Hale, went swimming in the ocean to make a statement against his mother, but a loose seal wearing a bow tie made a statement of its own.

2. Roy Munson, Kingpin

While most every character on this list lost their left hand, one-time bowling champion Roy Munson, brought to vivid, sleazy life by Woody Harrelson, had his right hand removing for scamming on the lanes.  Known as 'The Rubber Man' for his PCB-laden prosthetic hand, Munson makes far more effective use of his clawed hook.

1. Ash, Evil Dead 2, Army of Darkness

Luke Skywalker and Jean Rasczak both got high tech replacements for their missing limbs, but Bruce Campbell's Ash is the only man badass enough to fashion his own lethal substitute using a rusty old chainsaw.  In a word: groovy.

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