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Heroes All Around Us
Author: Greg Nelson

As long as there has been entertainment, there have been villains and heroes. It’s a central concept that can be found throughout the history of movies and television. Everyone loves a classic tale of good vs. evil and Hollywood delivers time and time again.

From early Westerns pitting evil Indians against the heroic cowboys to galactic white knights in shining armor like Hans Solo defeating the evil Darth Vader in Star Wars, there is no definition of what a hero is or what a hero should look like.

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Men and women. Real people. Comic book characters. Even animals can be our heroes.

Stories about heroes and villains are as popular today as ever. Children and parents alike are drawn to the cinematic clashes between Harry Potter and his arch nemesis, Voldemort. Everyone loves to watch Indiana Jones, the action hero and treasure hunter made famous by Harrison Ford with his bullwhip, fedora and leather jacket. And James Bond has been playing hero and “getting the girl” since he first burst onto the movie scene, played by Sean Connery in Dr. No.

While Bond and Indiana Jones typify the classic male hero, a variety of women have stepped up as heroes, as well. Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley in Aliens showed just how heroic women can be by stepping up to battle an evil alien creature. Another female, Erin Brockovich, shows us the mental strength of a hero who went from unemployed single mother down on her luck to a legal investigator who uncovers a serious situation that sends her law firm into one of the biggest class action lawsuits in American history against a multi-billion dollar corporation.

Brockovich is just one example of how real life people have turned into on-screen heroes, along with others like Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, Father Edward J. Flanagan, Frank Serpico, Karen Silkwood and Lou Gehrig.

A hero of the four-legged kind came in the form of Lassie, a smart, loving and often heroic collie that appeared in 11 films and on television for 19 years.

Of course, sometimes our villains turn out to be heroes. Bonnie and Clyde (1967), The Godfather (1972), and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) all helped turned criminals into heroes. Those movies justified the criminal to hero flip-flop by characterizing the supposedly “good” authority as hypocritical, corrupt and controlling. More recently, Pirates of the Caribbean helped turn the typical villain pirate Jack Sparrow into a heroic character.

Comic books have long made characters into heroes… or more appropriately, super heroes like Superman, Spider-Man and the Greatest American Hero. Those characters can still be found today. Look for The Greatest American Hero online at along with several other “hero” webisodes such as Accidental Heroes and A Hero’s Welcome.

At you’ll enjoy a wide range of great entertainment in a variety of genres from heroic action to comedy and adventure and more. You can even login and rate your favorites. So get online and check it out for yourself. You might even find a new favorite hero!

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