Top 10 Memorable Damsels in Distress

It’s a classic theme in so many films throughout movie history! The hero of the tale must rescue the damsel in distress who has fallen victim to the foes in the film!

Damsels in Distress: We love them, yet we get annoyed by them! We tire of their screaming, yet we love to see them!

Here is my list of the Top 10 Most Memorable Damsels in Distress!

10. PitaMan on Fire 

In Man on Fire, a young Dakota Fanning plays the kidnapped daughter of an American couple in Mexico City who, after developing a rather unexpected bond with the hired lost soul of a bodyguard (Denzel Washington), becomes the ultimate drive that sets the unconventional friend on a determined mission to set her free! Coming in at #10, the youngest on the list: Pita.

9. Elizabeth SwannPirates of the Caribbean 

The tough gal of the Pirates franchise who seemed to do as much screaming and teeth-baring as fighting and arguing with Will or Jack! For all the tough talk she did in the movies, she sure did get captured a lot! Thanks for the screams, songs, and stares, Ms. #9!

8. Kim MillsTaken 

Really, she is made even more memorable because of her dad’s mission to find her and free her! But she is the reason we got to watch Liam Neeson’s character (Brian Mills) mess up a slough of bad guys! I’ll be interested to see how 2012’s sequel for this action thriller turns out! In at #8 is the kidnapped Kim Mills.

7. Princess FionaShrek 

Who doesn’t love Cameron Diaz’s character in the fairytale-laden world of Dreamworks’ Shrek? Somewhat of a blend between Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, and Trinity from The Matrix, this damsel in distress makes my list at #7!

6. Bella SwanThe Twilight Saga 

As much as I disdain this whiny, inconsiderate, wishy-washy, irrational, staring (need I go on?) teenage girl of one of the biggest book franchises in the world, she belongs on this list. If you don’t remember her for her monotone and emotionless wide-eyed stares and dialogue, or for that traumatically scarring birth scene in the recent installment, then maybe you just remember her because you were jealous as she kisses both Edward and Jacob. Either way…she is memorable and comes in at #6.

5. Rachel DawesThe Dark Knight 

A great damsel in distress pitting one of the greatest movie villains of all time against the caped crusader of Gotham City! All who see this film will never forget Rachel Dawes and her story. Guaranteed. Her story may not “put a smile on your face”, but it will be memorable! Coming in at #5: The one that got away!

4. Princess LeiaStar Wars: Return of the Jedi 

Who doesn’t immediately recognize Princess Leia with that golden bikini top as one of Jabba the Hutt’s slaves? Princess Leia traded in her cinnamon bun that covered her ears for a slave outfit and chains that covered…well…almost nothing! At #4, Princess Leia struts her stuff!

3. Mary Jane WatsonSpider-man 

Sam Raimi stayed true to the comics at least with this one: Mary Jane Watson was always being captured in the comics (one of Spider-man’s constant fears), and the movies made sure that played out. Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Venom, and more all made Mary Jane be in the top 3 of this list. (Funny, I can hear Tobey Maguire screaming “MARY JANE!!!” right now as I think about it!)

2. Ann DarrowKing Kong 

While, I, personally, was not the biggest fan of Peter Jackson’s long re-imagining of King Kong, Naomi Watts did an amazing job as the object of affection and competition between Adrien Brody’s character and the gargantuan king of the jungle: King Kong. Coming in at #2 is the beautiful Ann Darrow.

1. Princess ButtercupThe Princess Bride 

INCONCEIVABLE to have a list like this withOUT Princess Buttercup at the top! This classic tale earns Princess Buttercup the #1 spot on this list. When asked if she would like to make an appearance on my site and be at to the top of my list today at #1, Princess Buttercup replied: “As You Wish!” 🙂

Honorable Mentions:

  • Rose DeWitt Bukater- Titanic
  • Story- Lady in the Water
  • Mattie Ross- True Grit
  • Vesper- Casino Royale
  • Princess Peach- Super Mario Bros.

Well, that’s it!! My Top 10 Most Memorable Movie Damsels in Distress! Did I forget your favorite? Let me know your thoughts!

Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!


up next: “Trailer Time Thursday!”



  1. Interesting topic for a list T. Hmmm, I don’t know if Princess Fiona counts as a damsel in distress though, I think she’s quite feisty and can kick some arse, ahah. Can’t think of anyone right now, though I’ll probably swap another Bond girl instead of Vesper in the honorable mentions, she’s much more capable than a bunch of sillier Bond girls of the Connery/Moore era.


    • thanks Ruth! and thank you for the RT!

      Well, Fiona goes on this list because her distress was 2-fold: 1-that tower with the Dragon. and then 2- Lord Farquadt! haha! 🙂

      good point on the Bond girls!


  2. Fine list, T. For me, though, I’m a Jessica Lange, from the ’76 King Kong remake, kind of guy ;-). I’d also add Kate Winslet’s Rose from ‘Titanic’. Perhaps, Kim Novak’s haunting beauty from Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo’.


    • haha. I saw that he created a list, but I wanted to create mine before being influenced by anyone else’s. I forgot to revisit so thank you for the link. I will watch it here shortly!

      which damsels make YOUR list?


    • Oh yes, Sleeping Beauty!

      Now, i considered Olyve Oil, but was going to leave animation out altogether. I caved with Fiona.

      Perhaps we should make a list of just animated damsels. ha!

      thanks for commenting today!


  3. Very contemporary list but I like it! Rachel Dawes getting blown up was such a shocker, I couldn’t believe it when I saw it in theater.

    Looking forward to what the renovations around here result in 😀


    • Yeah, me either! When Dawes died I was shocked! but it also really really solidified the true evil of the joker.

      thank you for your encouragement! the new look should be complete here soon. Testing a few more things out!


  4. Love this list, T!. It’s very fun.

    Buttercup is the ultimate damsel in distress and while most of the time she can handle herself, Leia does need the help of the dashing Han Solo every once in a while 😀


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