Movie Heroes

12 Inspirational Movie Heroes

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By Nell Minow

Humanity's earliest stories were about heroes. I'm sure that the same people who created those breathtaking cave paintings up to 25,000 years ago sat around campfires telling stories of people who triumphed over charging sabertooth tigers or assaults from other tribes. The great myths and legends of ancient Greece first used the word that became "hero." Those literally larger-than-life figures were demi-gods like Hercules who exemplified courage and protecting others without regard to risk.

In 1903, one of the very first films to tell a story, "The Great Train Robbery," featured a heroic posse who captured the title thieves. And since then movies have given us unforgettable heroes and heroines who continue to enthrall and inspire us. Here is my 12 favorite– first six fictional characters and then six inspired by real-life heroes.

Nell Minow writes the Movie Mom blog on Beliefnet.