Making a movie about a character whose name you never reveal sounds backwards and bizarre. How are we supposed to identify with the protagonist if we don't even know what to call him? But many films go that route, including this week's movie adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's The Road, which doesn't name the man or the boy who occupy almost every frame of it. That's in keeping with McCarthy's novel, which is spare and bleak and doesn't use much punctuation, either. (The apocalypse wiped out most of the world's apostrophes.) Here are seven other movies whose central characters' names are kept hidden from us.

Fight Club. Currently celebrating its 10th anniversary, this modern classic follows novelist Chuck Palahniuk's lead by not naming the narrator, played by Edward Norton and identified simply as "The Narrator" in the credits. (Some viewers have thought the character is named Jack due to the Narrator's use of expressions like "I am Jack's cold sweat" and "I am Jack's raging bile duct," but he'd previously established that these are metaphors adapted from an old educational pamphlet he read where "Jack" was the generic name given.) The Narrator is intended to represent 20th-century men in general: repressed, emasculated, and timid. Of course, if you've seen the movie, you know we might actually wind up learning his name after all....
categories Cinematical