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Tues Top Ten: Eye Patch Cool

by Nathaniel R

In the new film A Private War Rosamund Pike plays real life war correspondent Marie Colvin (killed in 2012) who ran straight for trouble to cover it for the Sunday Times. Critics have been enthralled with her work in the film, often mentioning 'Oscar worthiness'. Jeff Schneider recently said "if Nicole Kidman gave that same performance we'd all be talking about it as a potential frontrunner". I haven't yet seen the film but there is definitely truth in thae general implications of that statement that some actors carry with them a head start in terms of perception of awards-worthiness.

In honor of Pike's new eye-patched role, and to distract us from election worries, a tuesday top ten featuring one-eyed favs from both feature films and TV series.


10 The Chevalier du Balibari (Patrick Magee) in Barry Lyndon (1975)
Magee was one of the best characters actors of the 60s and 70s, wasn't he? Strange that he got so little awards love during his career (apart from that Tony win for Marat/Sade).

09 Mrs Taggart (Bette Davis) in The Anniversary (1968)
Only an actress as vanity-free as Bette Davis, would have played so many memorably repellent women in such short succession in the 1960s. Love that the eye patch is red and has an Egyptian style point at the side, like it's part of her makeup.

08 Big Dan Teague (John Goodman) in O Brother Where Art Thou? (2009)
Such a clever way for the brothers, Coen, to work the cyclops into their mythologically inspired comedy.

07 Rooster Cogburn (John Wayne / Jeff Bridges) in True Grit (1969/2010)
I can't remember how he lost his eye but given his continual state of inebriation, it's a wonder he didn't lose anything else.

06 Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) in Escape From New York (1981)
Kurt in the 80s. Mmmmm.

05 TIE Franky (Angelina Jolie) in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
and Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) Iron Man through Avengers: Infinity War  (2008-2018)
Eye patches are an ideal visual flourish for cartoon universes and for making military or government characters pop instantaneously with almost zero effort (provided you have an actor who brings gallons of their own charisma).

04 Nadine Hurley (Wendy Robie) in Twin Peaks (1990-1991/2017)
How can any single TV show have dozens upon dozens of indelible characters? Everyone pops in one way or another and Nadine, the superhumanly strong, insecure wife of Ed Hurley always popped, providing curious pathos and quirky comedy simultaneously.

03 Tancredi Falconeti (Alain Deloin) in The Leopard (1963)
He doesn't wear an eye patch for the whole movie but did anyone ever look sexier with only one eye? Though to be fair, Deloin would look delicious no matter what you did to him.

02 Aunt Lily (Swoosie Kurtz) in Pushing Daisies (2007-2009)
One of the only eye-patched characters fashion-conscious and savvy enough to have an different patch to go with literally everything in their wardrobe. We ❤️ Swoosie (always) and miss this show (specifically) so much!

01 Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah) in Kill Bill, Vol 1 and 2 (2003-2004)
A character written and played to perfection, and for whom the missing eye gets a whole origin story. It's one of our proudest moments here at TFE that we nominated Daryl Hannah for Best Supporting Actress for this killer role. A+ to the costume designer for the red cross eye patch when Elle is in nurse drag. 

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Reader Comments (26)


November 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHayden

Christopher Plummer as General Chang in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

November 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

SOOOOO happy to see Swoosie Kurtz in Pushing Daisies! I so loved her many different eye patches. GOD I miss that show so much!

Much as I would have loved to see her top the list, it is impossible to argue with Elle Driver.

November 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDancin' Dan

Olivia de Havilland in That Lady!

And you, Nathaniel as a fan of both Buffy and Mad Men should have included Xander and Ken Cosgrove!

November 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Daryl Hannah is great as Elle but boy she got saddled with the worst dialogue in the Kill Bill films.

November 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterChoog

I gasped very audibly when Swoosie made #2. I'll never forgot the shot where she discretely lifts her eye patch and tears cascade out.

November 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterchasm301

The Anniversary is a treasure trove of wonderful costumes. Bette Davis’ character actually wears multiple eyepatches throughout the film, color coordinated to whatever costume she is wearing.

November 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

Janine/Ofwarren in Handmaid's Tale!

November 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPolly

Fun post! And Pike is so, so very good in A Private War, one of my favorite films of the year.

November 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJes V.

Not really on topic, but... why pick on Nicole Kidman? She's been snubbed plenty of times. Meryl Streep, on the other hand... she could've played the eyepatch and still been nominated.

November 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGuestguestguest

Good call on Nadine from Twin Peaks! That's my personal favorite. I will always love Nadine and her drape runners.

November 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJJM

Love love The Anniversary. Deliciously fucked up.

How's about Kenneth Mars in Young Frankenstein.

November 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Where the hell are the early 2000s FB awards !?!?!

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBrodie

I'm all in for a Pike surprise on Oscar nomination morning.

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterevangelina

Agree with. Brodie!

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBhuray

I have a one-eyed cat. I struggled to find a good name for her: Many more male one-eyed characters to draw on than female, so thanks for such an inclusive list.

Shout-out to the scars surrounding Nick Fury's eyepatch--a flourish not found in the original comics.

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Lipp

I love Aunt Lily in Pushing Daisies too!
OMG, the Scene where she revealed her secret…
I miss this Show so much…. at least I have the DVDs of the (sadly only) two Season to watch over and over again.

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSonja

Renata Klein

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJS

Brodie for president

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTrey

When i see the title of the list inmediatelly think that Daryl Hannah in Kill Bill should it be #1

The Adult Swim cartoon series Home Movies and Pushing Daisies are the TV shows that i miss much, the second was a strange but fascinating mix of crime, romance and fantasy with an hypnotic colorful cinematography.

Here in México not many people know about its existence because it was very short time on air, but that makes it more special because i like to think that the show was made just for me.

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCesar Gaytan

I support Brodie.

I start to follow that blog because of the Film Bitch Awards and every year i wait for them more than the Oscars.

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCesar Gaytan

And what about a Film Bitch Awards in retrospective about movies of the 90's 80's 70's etc? Has that idea passed through your mind Nat?

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCesar Gaytan

I dont care about retrospectives or presidency i just want to see those early lists! Taught me so much in my baby film viewing

November 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBrodie

Cesar Brodie, all... I need to offer them up as a book or something. Like "the first ten years" - we'll see. it'll have to wait until February/March though given the awars season grind.

November 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

$$$$ cha - ching may as well round it out to 2020 I ain't going anywhere

November 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBrodie

Long live the eyepatch!

November 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKiara

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