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Last Name Basis / Film

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Examples for Last-Name Basis in Film.


Animated

  • An American Tail combines this with Unnamed Parent, with Fievel and Tanya's parents only known as Mama and Papa Mouskewitz.
  • In Cars, Mater's first name is actually "Tow". Lightning McQueen, though viewers usually call him by his first name, is almost always called by his last name by most characters.
  • In Chicken Run, the Tweedys call each other "Mr. Tweedy" and "Mrs. Tweedy" despite being married. In rural Yorkshire, it was not uncommon for a married couple to address their spouses that way.
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  • (Felonious) Gru from Despicable Me. This became rather awkward in the third film when the filmmakers forgot this and named his twin brother Dru Gru.
  • The Great Mouse Detective gives us Dr. (David Q.) Dawson, Mr. (Hiram) Flaversham and Professor (Padraic) Ratigan.
  • (Wendy) Pleakley from Lilo & Stitch, though his given name wasn't revealed until Lilo & Stitch: The Series.
  • Sebastian from The Little Mermaid (1989). Especially since he has an Overly-Long Name.
  • James P. "Sulley" Sullivan from Monsters, Inc..
  • Ratatouille: Linguini's first name is Alfredo, but he is always referred to by his surname, except by Larousse when he first points him out to Skinner when they first meet, and by his mother in her letter to Skinner.
  • In Zootopia, everyone, including most of the supplementary materials and his friends, refers to Manchas either by his last name or as Mr. Manchas, although he does have a first name (Renato).
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Live-Action

In General:

  • In most movies about military squads, characters are referred to by either their last name or a nickname. The Alien example below comes to mind, as well as Predator (except Dutch, of course) and Saving Private Ryan (his full name is James Francis Ryan). Somewhat oddly, he's far from the only character in the story with the surname Ryan (and, in fact, is being pulled out of the war zone for precisely that reason), but calling the movie Saving James Francis just wouldn't make the military context clear.

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By Movie:

  • Alien
    • Almost all of the characters in Alien and Aliens go by last names only. Ripley's first name (Ellen) was never stated in the original theatrical cut of either film, appearing only in a deleted scene from Aliens.
    • In fact, the original draft of Alien (included as a DVD extra in the Alien Quadrilogy box set) was written such that all the characters had no assigned gender.
    • With the exceptions of Carter Burke, Ellen Ripley, Dwayne Hicks and (possibly) Gorman, all the marines in Aliens have their actor's first name for their real one (e.g. Al Apone (Matthews), Jeanette Vasquez (Goldstein), etc.).
  • In American Pie, Steve Stifler is referred to by his last name by everyone other than his family, in addition to Paul Finch and Chris Ostreicher, who are referred to as "Finch" and "Oz", respectively.
  • In The Apartment, Bud and Fran always refer to each other as "Miss Kubelik" and "Mr. Baxter", in and out of the workplace; even when he tells her that he loves her, he uses her last name.
  • A running theme in Blade Runner. Human characters in the film are referred to by their last names, while the Replicants are all referred to by their first names, which serves to reinforce the point of how humans in the film tend to act distant and impersonal, and the replicants are more emotional. This also foreshadows Rachael's status.
  • In Blood Diamond, Danny Archer is referred to only as "Archer" except one from his former superior in South Africa.
  • In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie, Oliver Pike refers to himself and is referred to by others simply as "Pike". His first name (which was revealed in the comics adaptation) is never spoken in the film.
  • The Chronicles of Riddick: You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone calling Richard B. Riddick by his first name in Vin Diesel's series of action thrillers. Also true for (William J.) Johns and (Carolyn) Fry.
  • DC Extended Universe:
  • The first Final Destination had high school bully Carter calling protagonist Alex Browning by his last name due to their antagonistic rivalry. In an alternate ending where Alex dies saving his girlfriend, Clear Rivers, from the exploding car, Carter joins Clear (who is with her son Alex Jr.) at the cemetery. He is friendlier with her and the now-deceased Alex, referring to the latter by his first name.
  • In Four Daughters, violinist Ann insists on calling music composer Feliz "Dietz", and he in turn always calls her "Lemp". Naturally, they fall in love.
  • In Gettysburg, Union officer Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain scolds his brother (and lietuanant) Tom for not adhering to this and continuing to call him Lawrence instead of sir or Colonel Chamberlain because Chamberlain doesn't want the men to think he's playing favorites. Later on, Tom makes a show of referring to him as Colonel Chamberlain, sir.note 
  • In the original Ghostbusters movie, Ray Stantz almost exclusively refers to his colleagues by their last names, while everyone else uses given names. This seems more like personal preference rather than any indication of his relationship with them, however. In the sequel he seems to have moved on from using only surnames and has instead started nicknaming everybody (though he does use Winston Zeddemore's last name while he and Winston are under the effects of the negatively-charged mood slime and on the verge of killing each other and uses Egon Spengler's surname to refer to him in a much less emotionally charged moment).
  • Ghost Town (2008): Pincus' first name is Bertram. Nobody calls him that, let alone "Bert" or something, only Pincus (frequently Dr. Pincus, since he's a dentist).
  • Done hilariously in Give 'Em Hell, Malone where Hard Boiled Detective Malone is referred to as such by everyone... Including his mom.
  • Almost everyone in The Great Escape except for Roger (the leader), Colin (the forger), Danny, and Willy (the Tunnel Kings).
  • Highlander had Ramirez, and sometimes Connor would just be called Macleod.
    • Only his kinsmen and his first wife Heather ever called MacLeod by his first name. The other immortals and other characters would call him MacLeod. (Or Nash, depending.)
  • In Inception, the characters often refer to each other by their last names — the main character, Cobb, is only called by his first name by his wife and father/father in law, another character only goes by 'Eames', implied to be his last name (there's even a fanfic about this), and the team usually refers to Robert Fischer as just 'Fischer'.
  • Most James Bond villains call him "Mr. Bond" (his traditional Surname, First Name Surname introduction helps it).
    • The ladies, even M on occasion, call him James. However, M (and Q) usually refers to him by his number, 007, instead.
    • In Quantum of Solace this is reversed, with main villain Domonic Greene dismissing Bond's reference to him as "Mr Greene" by insisting "Please, my friends call me Domonic", to which Bond impassively replies "I'm sure they do."
  • Pretty nearly the entire "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, except for Nemo (who doesn't have'' any other name) and Mina (most of the men address her by her first name, eventually). Skinner usually refers to Quatermain as Allan.
  • Martin Riggs from the Lethal Weapon movies is always referred to as "Riggs", even though he calls his partner Roger Murtaugh by his first name.
  • Loving Annabelle: Simone Bradley, who's almost always referred to as "Ms. Bradely" given that she's a teacher. Only her aunt, head teacher Mother Immaculata, calls her Simone.
  • In the film version of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Alexander Waverly is only referred to by his last name Waverly, likely because he happens to share his first name with one of the villains, and, well, One-Steve Limit and all.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe: Most characters use Last-Name Basis and First-Name Basis interchangeably when among friends and colleagues:
    • Agent Phil Coulson often goes only by his last name.
      Pepper Potts: Phil! Come in.
      Tony Stark: Phil? His first name is Agent.
    • Ross in Captain America: Civil War exhibits this when he wants Tony to find Captain America, Bucky Barnes and the Falcon. The Avengers tend to use last names on the members of the opposing faction, particularly during the climax, when Tony calls Steve "Rogers" when demanding to know whether Steve knew that Bucky killed Tony's parents.
      Ross: 36 hours. Barnes. Rogers. Wilson.
    • In Captain Marvel, a 20-years-younger Nick Fury only answers to "Fury". When his boss suddenly calls him "Nicholas", he's immediately tipped off that "Keller" is one of the shapeshifters that Vers warned him about. Oddly enough, Alexander Pierce from Captain America: The Winter Soldier generally calls Fury "Nick," and he doesn't seem to mind.
    • In Spider-Man: Far From Home Maria subverts this by referring to Fury as "Nick", to which Fury responds without hesitation. This is because both "Maria" and "Nick" are actually disguised Skrulls standing in for the originals.
    • Thanos also tends to refer to the heroes by any last names they may have, with a specific penchant for it with Tony Stark.
    • Black Widow has Dreykov, who the characters only ever refer to by his last name.
    • Baron Helmut Zemo is only ever called Zemo, Baron, or Baron Zemo; not only because his title and last name have reputations that precede him, but also because the loved ones who would have known him well enough to call him by his first name are all deceased. The singular mention of his first name was from F.R.I.D.A.Y.’s brief exposition of his background in Captain America: Civil War. Alternatively, Zemo comfortably refers to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier by their first names (even when nobody else does, in Bucky’s case).
  • Miss Meadows: No one calls Miss Meadows by her first name, Mary, but her mother. She in turn never once calls Mike anything but "Sheriff" even after they get into a relationship.
  • Olsen-banden features several characters who only ever get referred to by their last names such as Holm and Bang-Johansen, mainly the police officers and richer characters (to reflect their social standing). The Swedish Foreign Remake Jönssonligan also features Ragnar Vanheden who plays with the trope in an odd manner; while he always calls his fellow gang members by their first names or Embarrassing Nicknames, he tends to refer to himself as just Vanheden, and the other characters generally follow suit. Even his cousin, Harry, does this in his first appearance before he formally joins the gang and switches over to calling him Ragnar.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean Commodore Norrington's first name isn't even never mentioned in the first movie. Second and third movie reveal that it is James. Similarly, Barbossa's first name isn't mentioned until the third when Captain Jack Sparrow calls him "Hector", which is itself Ascended Fanon taken from an earlier interview with Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush when the former speculated on what Barbossa's name might be.
  • (George) Taylor in Planet of the Apes (1968). His first name doesn't even pop up in the film, it was revealed later. Brent is this as well in the Beneath sequel, which also has Mendez. It might not have been a last name but more of a title among the mutants by the time of the film, but it appears to have begun as a last name (see Battle). Conquest has MacDonald and Governor Breck. 'Battle' has another MacDonald and Kolp.
  • The Postman: General Bethlehem and Colonel Getty aren't ever referred to except with their last names.
  • In Rear Window, the protagonist L. B. Jeffries is called "Jeff" by everyone.
  • Over the three Rush Hour films, Carter and Lee never once call each other by their first names (Carter's first name is James). (In fact, Lee's first name was never said in the films, though the questionably canon TV series gave him the first name "Jonathan").
  • In The Shop Around the Corner, the shop workers all address each other as "Mr. _____" or "Miss _____". Kralik does start privately calling Miss Novak "Klara" once he begins to care for her, though.
  • In The Soloist, Steve and Nathaniel end up calling each other as Mr. Lopez and Mr. Ayers by the end of the film, a sign that Nathaniel has begun to move from personal dependency on Steve to greater independence and that Steve rediscovered respect and integrity in his journalistic work.
  • All of the characters in The Thing (1982) only refer to each other by their last names. This is only averted after Bennings is shot and MacReady calls him "George".
    • In the original novella, Norris is called Vance.
  • In the movie Waitress Jenna won't call the man she's having an affair with by his first name, even though Dr. Pomatter (Jim) uses hers.
  • In Warcraft (2016), like in the game series, Anduin Lothar is always referred to as Lothar, with few situations where he's referred by his full name instead.
  • The Way Back has Mister Smith, who refuses to give his first name and is simply called Smith by most of his companions. Some of the ones with a shakier grasp of English think 'Mister' is actually his first name, and the sole child in the group uses it like it is.
  • Withnail of Withnail and I.
  • Z for Zachariah: Caleb always calls John "Mr. Loomis", seemingly in keeping with his Southern civility.
  • In Zig Zag (2002), ZigZag addresses Dean Singer exclusively as Singer.

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