By Niall McArdle
Rebhorn was very often cast as a stern authority figure, usually an asshole (the headmaster in Scent of a Woman, the Secretary of Defence in Independence Day). His death made me think of some memorable movie assholes, and prompts the question “is there much of a difference between a school principal and a prison warden?”
James Rebhorn as Principal Trask, Scent of a Woman
As the headmaster of the snotty private school, he is despised by the student body. When they prank his brand new Jaguar, he tries to pressure Chris O’Donnell into naming the culprits in exchange for a place at Harvard.
“Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.” Wise words from the otherwise loathsome Dean from the comedy classic.
William Atherton memorably played a dick in Ghostbusters before his performance as the slimy news reporter who will stop at nothing – even threatening to call the INS on the McClanes’ maid – to get a story.
He’s only in Back to the Future for a few minutes, but everyone remembers the venom with which he spits out the word “slacker”.
The ultimate petty tyrant. John Hughes really had it in for educators, didn’t he?
Watching him, you have to wonder “how and why did he ever become a teacher?” Everyone had an asshole like this to deal with in school.
Cruelty, sadism, corruption and murder, all wrapped in a sanctimonious Bible thumper
Stanley Kubrick originally hired the ex-marine as a techinal advisor. When Ermey sent him an audition tape, ad-libbing a diatribe, Kubrick was convinced he should be cast as the vicious drill sergeant.
The real Edward I instigated punitive taxes, expelled the Jews, invaded Wales and Scotland, and led a Crusade. An all-round prick, really
The ultimate 1980s Yuppie Scumbag
The studio head you love to hate proved so popular in Ben Stiller’s comedy that there is talk of a spin-off.
Another wonderful rant from the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.
The line “what he have here is failure to communicate” was listed at #11 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 most memorable movie lines.
He is an oilman. And he likes milkshakes.
When Fletcher won the Academy Award for portraying the bitch in charge of the mental hospital, she declared “I’ve loved being hated by you!”
Perhaps the most odious boss in the history of cinema. When he’s not going on about TPS reports, he’s loudly slurping coffee and browbeating his employees, especially Milton.