The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Name that loner (who’s not necessarily lonely) on your movie screen

(American Film Institute)

There's the scientific focus on loneliness, and then there's the cinematic one. Movies are well populated with lonely characters (often women). But when it comes to true loners -- you know, the type who act oddly, talk to themselves and often freak out -- those are usually men. Can you match these classic films with their classic (male) loners?

  1. Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner (1962): Running becomes his get-out-of-jail card.
  2. The Conversation (1974): What happens when a paranoid, secretive surveillance expert realizes he has a right to be paranoid?
  3. Taxi Driver (1976): “You talkin’ to me?” Enough said.
  4. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1968): A deaf man in a small city has one friend, who's in the hospital and then dies. You know how this is going to end.
  5. Lonely are the Brave (1962): An aging cowboy gets himself arrested to help an imprisoned friend escape.
  6. Eraserhead (1977): A factory worker with a disgruntled girlfriend finds he’s the father of a deformed infant who won’t stop crying. Not for the faint of heart.
  7. Into the Wild (2007): Based on a true story, this twentysomething gives everything up to hike into the Alaskan wilderness – by himself.
  8. One Hour Photo (2004): Creepy middle-aged lab tech fantasizes about the people in the photos he develops.
  9. The Tenant (1976): Guy rents a Paris apartment without a bathroom and where the previous tenant committed suicide. (Should have kept looking.)
  10. Falling Down (1993): The commute from hell: Everything goes wrong – especially with the guy who can’t get home.

a) John Singer

b) Jack Burns

c) Chris McCandless

d) Trelkovsky

e) Travis Bickle

f) Colin Smith

g) Harry Caul

h) Seymour Parrish

i) Henry Spencer

j) D-Fens

Answers: 1-f; 2-g; 3-e; 4-a; 5-b; 6-i; 7-c; 8-h; 9-d; 10-j

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