Top 100 Movie Characters of all Time

I have a friend who recently posted a list from a website calling itself ‘Premier’ that named ‘The 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.’  He was shocked and appalled that Darth Vader was languishing at #84 on the list below such spares as Private Benjamin, Doctor Evil, The Dude, and a host of others.  While I agreed that this was a travesty, I quickly noticed a few notable absences from the list, and the more I looked the more great characters were simply missing from the list, while others, such as Gollum were inexplicably placed near the top of the list.

This is where the obsessive compulsive part of my personality kicked in.  I began to look at their list with a more critical eye.  The fist thing I noticed was that some of the characters seemed to be shoe-horned into the list, and often these characters were female.  I’m not trying to say that there are no great female characters in movie history, but it may be a fair indictment to accuse the industry for not writing strong female roles, especially in the early years of cinema, and perhaps just as much today.  This may well be the case, but I don’t think the cure for it is to falsely elevate existing female roles above their actual station as ir appears that Premier did (Bonnie from Bonnie and Clyde and Private Benjamin a two good examples).

I further fed my obsession by attempting to think if all the good characters that they left off their list.  I came up with another 109 examples, some more strong than others and quite a few whose omissions were simply egregious.  Then, I sat down with all 209 names and made my own Top 100 Movie Characters of all Time list.  The biggest deficiency of my list is the fact that I have not seen all of the old classics (though I am currently on a classic movie binge).  Characters like Fred C. Dobbs of Treasure of the Sierra Madre and a few others may suffer unfairly because of this, but I have no regrets about leaving a character like Ninotchka off the list because I, my family and my friends have never heard of her (shoe-horned). 

I tried to take several things into account.  How well the character endures, how much effect the character has had on popular culture, the importance of the character and whether that role or the movie it was associated with received awards while it was out.  Accepting the possible shortcomings and the obvious advantages of my list, I am putting it out, and still argue that it is much better than the list provided by Premier.  Enjoy.

1. Don Michael Corleone of The Godfather: Part II

2. Charles Foster Kane of Citizen Kane

3. Atticus Finch of To Kill a Mockingbird

4. Scarlett O’Hara of Gone With the Wind

5. Indiana Jones of Raiders of the Lost Ark

6. William Wallace of Braveheart

7. Darth Vader of Star Wars

8. Hannibal Lecter of The Silence of the Lambs

9. Robin Hood of The Adventures of Robin Hood

10. Dorothy Gale of The Wizard of Oz

11. Rick Blaine of Casablanca

12. Oskar Schindler of Schindler’s List

13. General George S. Patton of Patton

14. Captain William Bligh of Mutiny on the Bounty

15. Maximus Decimus Meridius of Gladiator

16. Cool Hand Luke of Cool Hand Luke

17. Shane of Shane

18. Marshall Will Kane of High Noon

19. George Bailey of It’s a Wonderful Life

20. Vito Corleone of The Godfather

21. Tom Joad of The Grapes of Wrath

22. Moses of the Ten Commandments

23. James Bond of Dr. No

24. Andy Dufresne of The Shawshank Redemption

25. Jake La Motta of Raging Bull

26. Forrest Gump of Forrest Gump

27. Sparticus of Sparticus

28. Captain Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

29. Doc Holiday of Tombstone

30. Jefferson Smith of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

31. T.E. Lawrence of Lawrence of Arabia

32. Ben Hur of Ben Hur

33. Jim Stark of Rebel Without a Cause

34. Rooster Cogburn of True Grit

35. E.T. of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

36. Batman of Batman

37. Randle McMurphy of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

38. Frankenstein of Frankenstein

39. Spock of Star Trek

40. Spiderman of Spiderman

41. Dracula of Dracula

42. Superman of Superman

43. Harry Potter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

44. Gordon Gekko of Wall Street

45. Navin Johnson of The Jerk

46. Norman Bates of Psycho

47. Gunnery Sgt. Hartman of Full Metal Jacket

48. Karl Childers of Sling Blade

49. Butch Cassidy of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

50. Dirty Harry Callahan of Dirty Harry

51. Ferris Bueller of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

52. George Taylor of Planet of the Apes

53. Daniel E. ‘Rudy’ Ruettiger of Rudy

54. Jeff Spicoli of Fast Times at Ridgemont High

55. Tarzan of Tarzan the Ape Man

56. Jake Blues of The Blues Brothers

57. John Rambo of First Blood

58. Captain Quint of Jaws

59. King Kong of King Kong

60. Willy Wonka of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

61. Mary Poppins of Mary Poppins

62. The Terminator of The Terminator

63. Jules Winnfield of Pulp Fiction

64. Mrs. Robinson of The Graduate

65. Rocky Balboa of Rocky

66. Tommy DeVito of GoodFellas

67. Raymond Babbitt of Rain Man

68. King Arthur of Camelot/Excalibur

69. Annie Wilkes of Misery

70. John McClane of Die Hard

71. Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley of An Officer and a Gentleman

72. Lt. Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell of Top Gun

73. Mad Max Rockatansky of Mad Max

74. Sandy Olsson of Grease

75. John “Bluto” Blutarsky of Animal House

76. Jack Torrance of The Shining

77. Baronin Maria von Trapp of The Sound of Music

78. Hedley Lamar of Blazing Saddles

79. William Cutting of Gangs of New York

80. Freddy Krueger of A Nightmare on Elm Street

81. Ralphie Parker of A Christmas Story

82. Max Cady of Cape Fear

83. Regan MacNeil of The Exorcist

84. Jason of Friday the 13th

85. Mrs. Doubtfire of Mrs Doubtfire

86. Carrie White of Carrie

87. Carl Spackler of Caddyshack

88. Captain Marko Ramius of The Hunt for Red October

89. Captain Hook of Peter Pan

90. Norma Rae of Norma Rae

91. Mona Lisa Vito of My Cousin Vinny

92. Sally Albright of When Harry Met Sally

93. Marge Gunderson of Fargo

94. Sergeant Martin Riggs of Lethal Weapon

95. Crash Davis of Bull Durham

96. Marty McFly of Back to the Future

97. Inigo Montoya of The Princess Bride

98. Bo ‘Bandit’ Darville of Smokey and the Bandit

99. Lane Meyer of Better Off Dead

100. Curly Washburn of City Slickers


Just to prove that I did my homework, here are the other 109 that were considered, but did not make the list in alphabetical order (my friend hates it when I do this):


Frank Abignale Jr. of Catch Me If You Can

Gust Avrakotos of Charlie Wilson’s War

Arthur Bach of Arthur

Howard Beale of Network

Hans Beckert of M

Judy Benjamin of Private Benjamin

Travis Bickle of Taxi Driver

Blondie of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Frank Booth of Blue Velvet

Borat of Borat

Erin Brockovich of Erin Brockovich

Oda Mae Brown of Ghost

Truman Burbank of The Truman Show

Truman Capote of Capote

Chance the Gardener of Being There

Margo Channing of All About Eve

Inspector Clouseau of The Pink Panther

Conan of Conan the Barbarian

Frank Costello of The Departed

Jane Craig of Broadcast News

Paul Crewe of The Longest Yard

David Crockett of The Alamo

Melanie Daniels of The Birds

Daphne/Jerry of Some Like it Hot

Donnie Darko of Donnie Darko

Rick Deckard of Blade Runner

Alex DeLarge of A Clockwork Orange

Norma Desmond of Sunset Boulevard

Phyliss Dietrichson of Double Indemnity

Dil of The Crying Game

Fred C. Dobbs of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Lloyd Dobler of Say Anything

Antoine Doinel of The 400 Blow

Michael Dorsey/Dorthy Michaels of Tootsie

The Dude of The Big Lebowski

Lt. John J. Dunbar of Dances With Wolves

Napoleon Dynamite of Napoleon Dynamite

Wyatt Earp of Gunfight at the OK Corral

Eathan Edwards of The Searchers

Sergeant Elias of Platoon

Dr. Evil of Austin Powers

Irwin ‘Fletch’ Fletcher of Fletch

Gaylord ‘Greg’ Focker of Meet the Parents

Fogell or ‘McLovin’ of Superbad

Axel Foley of Beverly Hills Cop

Alex Forrest of Fatal Attraction

Gandalf Of The Lord of The Rings The Fellowship of the Rings

Ghandi of Ghandi

Happy Gilmore of Happy Gilmore

Jake Gittes of Chinatown

Godzilla of Godzilla

Holly Golightly of Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Gollum of Lord of the Rings

Joel Goodson of Risky Business

Aurora Greenway of Terms of Endearment

Clark Griswold of Vacation

Annie Hall of Annie Hall

Hawkeye (Nathaniel Poe) of The Last of the Mohicans

Pee Wee Herman of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure

Sherlock Holmes of The Hound of the Baskervilles

J.J. Hunsecker of Sweet Smell of Success

Mrs. Iselin of The Manchurian Candidate

Paul Kersey of Deathwish

Lt. Kilgore of Apocalypse Now

Ray Kinsella of Field of Dreams

Roger “Verbal” Kint of The Usual Suspects

Stanley Kowalski of A Streetcar Named Desire

Eric Liddell of Chariots of Fire

Harry Lime of The Third Man

The Little Tramp of Mabel’s Strange Predicament

Logan 5 of Logan’s Run

Jerry Maguire of Jerry Maguire

John Malkovich of Being John Malkovich

Terry Malloy of On the Waterfront

Jim Malone of The Untouchables

Tony Manero of Saturday Night Fever

Kevin McCallister of Home Alone

Tony Montana of Scarface

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart of Amadeus

John Nash of A Beautiful Mind

Captain Marc Nemo of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Ninotchka of Ninotchka

Danny Ocean of Ocean’s Eleven

Henri ‘Papillon’ Charriere of Papillon

Bonnie Parker of Bonnie and Clyde

Rev. Harry Powell of The Night of the Hunter

Tom Powers of The Public Enemy

Miranda Priestly of The Devil Wears Prada

Buford Pusser of Walking Tall

Matthew Quigley of Quigley Down Under

Jessica Rabbit of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Ellen Ripley of Alien

Ratso Rizzo of Midnight Cowboy

Rose Sayer of The African Queen

Ebenezer Scrooge of A Christmas Carol

Edward Scissorhands of Edward Scissorhands

John Shaft of Shaft

Han Solo of Star Wars

Sam Spade of The Maltese Falcon

Steve Stiffler of American Pie

Willard Stiles of Willard

Dr. Strangelove of Dr. Strangelove

Alan Swann of My Favorite Year

Catherine Tramell of Basic Instinct

Virgil Tibbs of In the Heat of the Night

Susan Vance of Bringing up Baby

Dr. Peter Venkman of Ghostbusters

Ace Ventura of Ace Ventura,: Pet Detective

Vivian Ward of Pretty Woman

Top 10 Live-Action Christmas Movies

I decided that I would put together a list of great Christmas movies, but I quickly realized that I have some serious deficiencies in my knowledge of Christmas movies.  So, I decided to make a list of my top 10 favorite Christmas movies.  I did not include animated films or specials except for The Polar Express (which did not make my top 10 anyway).  After the top ten, I included a list of other Christmas movies that I have seen (most of which I actually like), and finally I included a list of Christmas movies that I have not seen, but probably should see.  This Christmas season, I will make an effort to see several of the movies that I have somehow missed in my life, and see if they deserve to crack the top 10.

10. Muppet Family Christmas- The Muppets just seem to go with Christmas.

9. The Nativity Story- This movie makes it because it is important to remember the reason for the season, and it was not a bad attempt to tell the story.

8. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation- Perhaps the most underrated of the live action Christmas movies with the most enjoyable appearance by the Griswold family since the original.  I really enjoyed it.

7. Elf- Underrated as a Christmas movie and a Wil Farrell film, this is a very enjoyable Christmas tale.

6. The Grinch- This film could easily have been a disappointment.  It would have been hard to improve upon the original animated version of the Dr. Suess classic.  However, Jim Carey is great as the Grinch, and he carries the film very well.

5. White Christmas- This deserves to be in the top 10 if only for the title song which is the best Christmas song of all time even though it is not the first time it was sung on film.

4. Miracle on 34th Street- A nice Christmas classic about believing in Santa Claus.  Greatness.

3. A Christmas Carol- There are a host of versions of the great Dickens tale out there, and most of them are very good.  The story keeps it at the top of my list.

2. A Christmas Story- Honestly, I enjoy watching this film more than any on the list.  I watch it every year a couple of times on TNT, and it is one of my favorite comedies regardless of the fact that it is a Holiday movie.  I have most of the dialogue memorized.

1. It’s a Wonderful Life- To have put A Christmas Story above this movie would have just been wrong.  This movie has become an American icon of the Christmas season, and it deserves to hold the top spot.


The movies below are other Christmas films that I have seen, and may have enjoyed.  The ones toward the bottom I liked less.

The Polar Express



The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Sound of Music

Ernest Saves Christmas

Bad Santa

The Santa Claus

Santa Clause 2

Babes in Toyland

The Christmas Shoes

Home Alone

Jingle All the Way

The Ref

Very Brady Christmas 

Christmas with the Kranks

Jack Frost


The following is a list of films that I have not seen but probably need to see (except for Black Christmas).

Holiday Inn

Preacher’s Wife

The Man Who Came to Dinner

Christmas in Connecticut

Black Christmas

Mary Christmas

Christmas Comes to Willow Creek

Home for the Holidays

A Holiday to Remember

The Bells of St. Mary’s

I’ll Be Home for Christmas

The Bishop’s Wife

The Christmas Box

Meet Me in St. Louis

Surviving Christmas

The Man Who Saved Christmas






What is Family Television?

My wife has always been a big ‘family television’ viewer.  She has seen every episode of The Waltons, Little House on the Prairie, Touched by an Angel, and Highway to Heaven.  She still watches the Hallmark Channel on a daily basis, and if she is already watching one of the shows when I enter the room, I’ll sit and listen as if I am interested, but the whole time I am counting the minutes until it is over.

I, on the other hand, am no goodie-two-shoes when it comes to television, but I may be a nerd.  Most of the programming that I watch is on one of the channels owned by Discovery.  I watch a lot of sports, some reality based TV (Survivor, The Amazing Race, and American Idol), and a lot of the movies that are on the premium channels.  I watch very little scripted television mainly because the writing is usually not very good.  I watched the Sopranos religiously, but the dialogue on a show like CSI, for example, just hurts my head.

7th Heaven:

Several years ago my wife and I started watching 7th Heaven.  For the first few seasons, it was very enjoyable.  However, I remember a specific episode when one of the local elected officials was discovered having an affair.  Surprisingly, there was the reverend with as much angst as his character had ever shown preaching to the audience that it was ‘none of their business’ what the man was doing at home.  It seemed a little coincidental that President Clinton had just gone through the Monica Lewinski scandal.  At the time, I was offended that the writers of a show that purported itself to be a ‘family’ show about a minister and his wife trying to raise good kids, would slap their audience in the face in this manner.  I found myself watching it less and less, and pretty soon it was off my radar.  It was a good thing also, because the show devolved into an opportunity for the liberal writers to get their message out to a conservative audience, and later it devolved into one of the worst written soap operas on television.

The ABC Family Channel:

If you look way up in the numbers on most cable television plans, you will find the ABC Family Channel.  Don’t be fooled.  This is no more of a ‘family’ oriented channel than TLC is a ‘learning’ channel.  I just looked up tonight’s programming and found two episodes of That 70s Show followed by that wholesome movie Mean Girls (please read the last line with appropriate sarcasm).  There is nothing ‘family’ about any of this.  I don’t even give them credit for attempting to socially engineer their audience.  They are simply hoping that parents are letting their children watch this ‘family’ programming in order to get their ratings up.  I personally cannot think of a time when I will feel that slightly disguised sexual innuendos and drug humor are going to be appropriate for my daughter to watch before she is an adult.

This week, I was watching a movie that I can’t even remember the name of, and went to the ‘guide’ on my DVR.  I know I was on HBO, because I noticed one of the programs being offered for my viewing pleasure on the HBO Family Channel.  It was called All Aboard! Rosie’s Family Cruise.  Smelling a rat, I looked at the information on the show.  It said, “Feature-length chronicle of a precedent-setting 2004 cruise, in which Rosie O’Donnell and her family joined hundreds of other gay, lesbian, bisexual and straight families on a weeklong trip from NYC to the Bahamas and back.”  Holy Crap!  This is what HBO is passing off as ‘family’ programming?

Of course, this is not family programming.  It is a blatant attempt by HBO and the disgusting Rosie O’Donnell at social engineering.  Period.  This would not even be considered programming outside of the gay and lesbian context.  There are no other programs on HBO family chronicling the trips of say the Smith family to the Grand Canyon.  I was appalled.  I don’t mind the gays having their own programming such as Bravo or here! TV (heck, I even watch Top Chef), but this is a clear offensive (and I mean that in the military sense).

They would do well to remember that America does not support this type of thing.  It has already expressed its opinion in several state bans on gay marriage, and with the number of states involved, a national constitutional referendum is a real possibility.  People will simply not put up with this sort of thing, and they will vote with their feet.


First Successful Family Vacation

As I mentioned in a couple of other posts, my family recently took a trip to Sea World.  My wife and I, for several reasons, have not taken a lot of vacations during out marriage, but since we have had the baby, we have begun to think it is more important to go somewhere every now and then, and expose her to a little of the world.

This year, even though she is only 22 months old, we decided to take her to Sea World in San Antonio.  I had several misgivings about the trip.  First, I was worried about the baby.  Being only 22 months, I worried about having her in the car for so long, having her in the heat for so long, whether or not she would be interested in the shows at all, and whether there would be enough to keep her interest for two days. Second, I was worried about the timing of the trip.  We planned this trip for Memorial Day weekend because my wife and I had a built-in holiday on both of our schedules.  She was able to get the Friday before off (a rarity) and so we woke up early and left for the hill country of the great state of Texas.

Being a native Texas, I decided it would be nice to use an alternate route (state Highway 281) for much of the trip.  This is actually a straighter shot at San Antonio, but it is very hilly and runs right through the hill country.  It was a very nice drive, and was made all the nicer because I thought to bring the laptop and some baby Einstein, Elmo and Disney videos along for the ride.  The baby took to this idea right away, and watched videos for much of the trip.  She only asked to get out of her seat two or three times, and did not even cry when I told her that she had to stay there.

She got very excited and silly when we arrived at the hotel, and we had some trouble getting her to go to sleep that night (she never gives us any problems going to bed, so when I say this, it is good to note that it was very little trouble).  She was just excited.

We stayed at the Fairfield Inn which is less than a mile away from the park and provides a shuttle which runs every 30 minutes.  The hotel is very new, so new in fact that it does not appear on a lot of the services on the web.  For us, it fit our budget.  The Hyatt, and Radisson Hill Country are both right there also, but were more than four times and twice as much, respectively.

The shuttle was great.  We did not have to worry about or pay for parking, and they let us off right at the gate.  When we were ready to go, we never waited more than 10 minutes.

We left on the 8:00 shuttle the first day, even though the park did not officially open until 9:00.  This allowed us the get in the gates, check out a stroller which was reserved earlier, see the sharks, and feed the Dolphins (this started at 9:00).  We had pre-purchased our tickets and printed them out at home.  At the same time we reserved a stroller which kept us from having to wait a long time in the stroller lines which were long.

After feeding the Dolphins and washing the stink of dead fish off of our hands we headed for the Shamu show on the advice of our bus driver.  He recommended that we attend the shows early, as most people crowded the rides early in the day.  This worked out for us.  In fact we went to the first Shamu show (10:00) on both days.  The first time the arena was about half full.  The second day, it was not even half full.

The first day, we sat pretty low, in the splash zone, and I have mixed feelings about this.  The good part was that the baby could really see what was going on.  She could even see the whales under water.  It was great the first time Shamu shot out of the water and my 22 month old shouted, “Wow!”  She was drawn into every part of the show, that is, until it came time to splash the audience.  We were drenched and she cried.  Once, it took us all by surprise, and she really did not like this.  Even though it was clear, the water smelled and tasted awful, and I could not shake the feeling that it was full of Shamu poo.

The second day we sat higher in the stands, and she did not cry.  I wonder, though, if she would have been drawn into the show as much at the beginning if we had sat out of the splash zone the first day.  We encountered this issue later at the Sea Lion show.  It was more of a scripted show, and our position, fairly high in the stadium, did not capture the baby’s attention at all.

One of the online tips encouraged families with small children to go to the Penguin house when the kids got tired.  This did not work out for us.  It was, indeed, cool inside this house, and there were nice benches to sit on, but when we arrived there was a loudly narrated demonstration that seemed to drone on forever.  That combined with the awful smell, torpedoed our naïve attempts to get the baby to take a nap.

When we ate at the park, it was surprisingly good.  The Barbecue was excellent, and the price was reasonable even compared straight up to barbecue places outside the park.

Later in the first day, we went to the Dolphin/Beluga whale show.  This show combined the animal stunts with divers in an artsy Cirque de Sole style.  I normally hate this sort of thing, but I’ll have to admit that the show was good, and even though we sat outside the splash zone, my daughter’s attention was kept on the action.  She liked the animals and the divers, but she especially liked the big platform-swings that the divers used to launch themselves into the water.  As a little girl who loves to swing, she was transfixed by this.

We rode the log ride, which she decided that she like by the end, but cried a little at first when the drop took her tummy.  We then went to the little kid’s part of the park.  She and my wife got on the Ferris wheel.  This was a total whip which I cannot recommend.  The line was short, but it was hot, and it took forever to load and unload each car. 

Near the Ferris wheel was a huge covered area where the floor was a soft piece of foam about a foot thick.  In this area, there were large foam shapes (some of them as big as my daughter) for the kids to play with.  She loved it so much that as we were leaving the park the next day, she asked to go back there and play one more time.

As it got hotter and more crowded the first day, we attempted to take in one of the shows.  This was a western themed animal show with all kinds of rescued animals including dogs, cats, ducks, dove, pigs, a pony, a kangaroo, a porcupine, and a skunk.  It was great for kids.  Unfortunately, my daughter was done the moment that we sat under the roof.  She went immediately to sleep.  After the show, we met the van and went back to the hotel and rested a little before dinner.

The next morning we waited to catch the 8:30 bus.  This, once again worked out as we had a better idea of what to do once we got to the park.  We attended the Shamu show, and made our way to the sea lion area.  If you go at the right time, they will allow you to feed the sea lions just like the dolphins, but the sea lions really get into it.  There are also windows in this tank that allow the little kids a better view.  My daughter loved this.

After the sea lions, we went to the water park.  A good piece of advice is, if you want to go to the water park, go early.  They only allow a certain amount of people into the water park at any time, and once it reaches the limit, the line to get in gets really long.  We walked right in.  I found a small life jacket for my daughter, and made my way to the lazy river.  We got in, and I held her and let her float in front of me.  She lasted about two minutes, and was sound asleep.  We floated for about 20 minutes around the river, and it was a good workout for me, as I was kind of squatted down the whole time.  I really enjoyed it, though.  We had lunch and a show inside the water park.  Then, we made our way to the kiddy wading pool.  This was a huge pool that was from 6 inches to a foot deep.  There was a small water slide, two other slides and a large fountain.  My daughter loved it.  We were there for well over an hour, but I think she would have stayed there all day.  She cried when we pulled her away, but we assured her that there was more fun to come.

We made our way back to the kiddy park, and stood in line to get into an area full of fountains and waterfalls for little kids.  My daughter loved this also, and even walked through the largest of the waterfalls on her own, without crying, to get to her mother.

We then raced to see the western animal show that I referenced above.  We knew exactly where to sit this time, and she loved it, and stayed awake for the whole show even though we went at the same time as the day before.

We went back and rode the teacup ride, and finished in the foam play area again.  We really did everything we planned to do, except she did not have a chance to play in the huge sand box.  She loves sand boxes.  We also did not have time to see the 3-D movies.

A couple of other things that I liked were the patriotic references (playing the National Anthem at the open of the park), and the way the park took time to recognize and thank servicemen.

On the way out, we bought a dolphin doll (my daughter sleeps with it every night) and a couple of T-shirts (for my daughter and her cousin).  She slept most of the way home, and we arrived home to a welcoming bed, and a holiday the next morning. We had an excellent time at the park, and I recommend it to anyone, even those with little children.