I felt like making a collection of my favourite movie mad men, in chronological order. Some of these are inspired from real people, others are adaptations of characters, or a combination. But this isn’t about the real people or the fictive stories, it’s about the performances.
So, the fantastic actors and chilling characters in their padded celluloid cells, together with their disorders and the respective movies, are:
- Dwight Frye as Renfield in Dracula (1931) - Renfield has a disorder named after him, Renfield Syndrome
- Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates in Psycho (1960) - Oedipus complex leading to dissociative identity disorder leading to a sort of high functioning sociopathy with a side serving of mass murder
- Malcolm McDowell as Alex DeLarge in A Clockwork Orange (1971) - probably psychopathy
- Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs (1991) - psychopathy and an irresistible taste for mass murder and cannibalism
- Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden in Fight Club (1999) - technically, it was the narrator that was the insane one, with Tyler just being the representation of his insanity, namely dissociative identity disorder and schizophrenia
- Jeremy Renner as Jeffrey Dahmer in Dahmer (2002) - although the real Jeff Dahmer was never properly diagnosed after his incarceration, in this fine performance it was pretty blatant he
suffered from enjoyed necrophilia, somnophilia and sadism (and briefly paedophilia too); it is unclear whether he was a sociopath, because he had to get himself drunk in order to murder and mutilate, which suggests he had a higher level of empathy than most sociopaths put together
- Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) - he was kind of atypical, because he makes a rather sympathetic murderer, and it was obvious he had experienced his fair share of depression; he was still a mass murdering psychopath though
- Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight (2008) - in the words of Ledger himself, Joker was a “psychopathic, mass-murdering schizophrenic”
I chose to go with gifs because the childish part of me loves moving images, and the movement itself is quite expressive of the characters. The fact that they all look deviously charming (and charmingly devious) is completely accidental.