Famous Liars in Movies

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Introduction

A lie is a lie but sometimes we lie for good reasons ‘ to protect someone, to protect ourselves or for the greater good. Lying is usually something we associate with villains but as the following list of famous movie liars shows, this is not always the case

1. Pinocchio

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The most famous fictional liar of all was a wooden puppet who desperately wanted to be a real boy. Woodcutter Geppetto created him and gave him life ‘ the self-awareness leading to his desire to become real. He is, though, a hopeless liar and every time he tells a lie his nose grows a little bit longer. Disney toned down his lies and obnoxious nature from the original book but decided that the growing nose was a good trait to keep in

2. Fletcher Reede (Liar, Liar)

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Jim Carrey plays a lawyer whose job it is to lie. After telling one too many mistruths and one too many broken promises to his son, putting his job first and then making up excuses, he finds that he can no longer lie as a result of a birthday wish of his son. Telling the honest truth is the main joke of the film in which he loses his job but starts up his own law practice which will be based on honesty ‘ perhaps the biggest joke in the entire film!

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3. Mister Orange (Reservoir Dogs)

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In Reservoir Dogs a heist goes wrong and there’s a rat ‘ an undercover cop and for most of the first half we don’t know which of the men it is. That is until the big reveal when Mister Orange shoots Mister Blonde and tells the uniform officer that he’s a Detective. His web of lies continues as he has to think on his feet for why Mister Blonde is dead ‘ even going so far as to tell the ringleaders that Blonde was going to sell them all out and grab the diamonds. Even to the end, Mister White refuses to believe that Orange is the cop

4. Jack Sommersby (Sommersby)

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A man disappears during the American Civil War and his widow presumes him dead’¦ that is until he turns up six years later’¦ or does he? The villagers are sceptical and so is his wife, all of the signs seem to be that he is not Jack Sommersby yet the man knows an awful lot about him. He is later revealed to be a professional con artist who defrauded his own village in Virginia. As he goes to the gallows for murder, he refuses to admit his own identity but Laurel has fallen in love with him and he goes to the grave pretending to be her husband in order to protect her

5. Obi Wan Kenobi (Star Wars)

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Despite being a protagonist, Obi Wan tells and continues to tell a number of lies throughout the Star Wars saga. He tells Luke Skywalker that Darth Vader killed his father who was ‘a great Jedi’, that his father wanted Luke to have his lightsabre when he was old enough ‘ there’s no way that Anakin/Vader could have said this. When Luke confronts him in Return of the Jedi, Kenobi excuses his lies with ‘I told you the truth from a certain point of view.’

6. The Thing

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‘Man is the Warmest Place to Hide’ and this film which is about the ability of an alien creature to mimic human beings is the scariest liar ever to have been created for the big screen. It absorbs a person and then spits out a mimicked version of him or her. As time goes on it becomes more and more like the human. The remaining humans devise a test ‘ spilling blood into a petrie dish to see which of them is still human

7. Jake Sully (Avatar)

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One of the biggest box office smash films of all time is about a crippled infantry soldier sent to a human outpost on Pandora where there is an uneasy state of affairs between the corporations and military, and the indigenous sentient species known as the Na’vi. Jake Sully uses an Avatar ‘ a synthetic body which he uses to project his own mind into so that he can infiltrate the local tribes and attempt to win them over. He falls in love and before the final battle confesses his true nature

8. Marisa Coulter (The Golden Compass)

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Honesty was never going to be her greatest virtue and it seems at times that she cannot help herself but lie. For many years she has kept the fact that she is Lyra’s mother and that Lord Asriel is her father. She denies any involvement with the Magisterium and as it the centre of abducting children for the horrific tests in the north. Initially agreeing to have Lyra killed in the first film, the later books would finally see her cast aside the struggle between church and daughter

9. Commodus (Gladiator)

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Emperor Commodus was a cruel and despotic ruler and possibly even mentally ill but there was no confusion over his succession. In the film Gladiator, he covets the throne of Emperor and when Marcus Aurelius dies (in fact Commodus kills him), he assumes the throne. However, nobody except Aurelius, Maximus and Commodus knew that Maximus, the celebrated military leader, was actually asked to become the next emperor. This leads Commodus into attempting to kill Maximus, something that leads to his new career as a gladiator

10. Superman

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He stands out amongst all other superheroes because he is the only one living a lie. How so? Peter Parker and Bruce Wayne are their true identities that they do not hide: Spiderman and Batman are crime-fighting personas. Clark Kent on the other hand is the fiction, he cannot hide that he is Superman so his mask is not to make him stand out ‘ but to make him fit in. Superman is living the biggest lie of all having created an identity for every-day use

Conclusion

Most people lie for something at some point in their life ‘ it is said that the guilty lie because they don’t want to get caught but the innocent will lie because they do not want to be accused of doing something they haven’t. Above is a mix of heroes and villains, showing that lying is not exclusive to the characters we dislike.

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