In the world of criminology, a calling card is best described as a specific item left by the perpetrator at a crime scene. Usually, these are left as a way for criminals to claim responsibility for their actions, sometimes with notoriety in mind. But others leave calling cards behind as a way to taunt the police, letting the authorities know that this is a game, and that someone is responsible.

Featured in this list are some famous films by well-known directors with star-studded actors. And frankly, much of these films’ overall appeal can be attributed to the iconic calling cards of their criminal characters. All that said, these are the most iconic calling cards from movie criminals, ranked.

9 Night Fox – Ocean’s Twelve

Pictures Warner Bros

In the second entry of this popular heist franchise, French actor Vincent Cassel plays the primary antagonist, François Taulour. The master thief is himself, and is known more prominently in the plot by his criminal nickname The Night Fox. As his calling card, he drops an onyx fox for every robbery he successfully pulls off.

Of course, heroes – if you want to call them that – who In the twelfth ocean (2004) are thieves themselves, with stars like George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon reprising their roles from the previous franchise entry Ocean Eleven (2001). They will all play these parts again at Thirteen oceans (2007) a few years later. But when it comes to the second installment, The Night Fox’s iconic calling card has undoubtedly furthered the project’s overall plot.

8 The “X” indicates the spot – the treatment

Cure 1997 by Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Daiei movie

Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa – one of the all-time great Japanese directors – medicine (1997) is the scariest movie on the list. The film’s plot follows a detective who investigates a series of murders where the perpetrators have no memory of the victims’ execution. Aside from this brooding premise, more plots are built through the criminals’ calling cards.

Each victim has a huge X carved into their chest. Their killers would sever their carotid arteries, opening their flesh every time from their throat to their chest. It’s awful stuff, but if you’ve ever seen it medicine, you undoubtedly associate film with the calling card at hand. In the end, he comes here at number eight.

7 Piece of the puzzle – saw


As one of the most popular horror films of the 21st century, opinion It featured many iconic characters, scenes, and lines of dialogue in the minds of fans of this particular genre. And of course, the famous Jigsaw Killer is the recurring antagonist of the franchise, carrying out a series of brutal plays on his victims that lead to some of the most horrifying death sequences you’re ever likely to see on screen.

And so often throughout the franchise, whenever a victim failed their tests, Jigsaw would cut a puzzle piece out of their flesh, symbolizing the missing part of their morality that got them into the game in the first place. This isn’t the best series of movies you’ll read about today, but its primary calling card is nonetheless distinct.

6 Eight-legged freaks – spiders

Spiders by Fritz Lang
Decla Bioscop AG

two-part version, spiders (1919-1920) by Fritz Lang was once thought to be a lost film. But it was rediscovered again and fully restored, and since then, spiders It was highly acclaimed by critics and audiences alike. For those unfamiliar, Lang is the most notable German filmmaker to ever work on the silver screen.

This title in particular was issued in two parts: the first in 1919, and the second the following year. The story is actually similar to the other picks on the list in the sense that the main characters are in spiders They are also looking for a profitable hidden treasure. And within its plot, the organization with a pseudonym for criminals leaves behind a spider in the corpse of its victims. These are among the more unique calling cards on the list that remain iconic in part due to their nominal nature.

5 kiss goodbye – holes

Patricia Arquette In Holes
Buena Vista Photo Distribution

Based on the novel of the same name, penned by Louis Sachar in 1998, this Disney hit follows a group of teenage boys who are sent to a type of summer camp as a form of rehab. There, the boys are forced to dig holes all day as in the desert of Green Lake, Texas, and it is eventually revealed that the camp staff is searching for a cache of hidden treasures.

Camp Green Lake has a long history in film, going back to the adventures of an outlaw named Kate Barlow. This is the treasure they are looking for holes (2003). And as legend has it, after killing her victims, Barlow would kiss their corpses on the cheeks to leave a trail of lipstick at every crime scene. And so, her nickname: “Kissin” Kate Barlow. Portrayed by Patricia Arquette, her work stands out as the most poignant amidst a feature with a surprisingly strong performance. And as far as the character’s plots are concerned, her signature big red kiss is about as iconic as movie calling cards can get.

4 Five Finger Opponent – Pink Panther

The calling card of the Phantoms in The Pink Panther
United Artists

This entry is about the titular diamond named The Pink Panther, and is among the most respected titles on the list on paper, in terms of overall acclaim. Pink panther (1963) itself received rave reviews from critics upon its release, and has since been preserved by the Library of Congress in the National Film Registry. And for good reason. These are some of the iconic characters racing after the aforementioned sparkler, and the criminal of the group of course boasts an equally distinctive calling card.

The “ghost” will leave a white glove behind at the crime scene of his successful robbery. But the glove always features a monogram s for his title, adding another special layer of duality to the plot device at hand. And while Inspector Jacques Clouzot tries to track him down, The Phantom leads the project as a whole to fourth place on the list.

3 Waterfall – home alone

A scene from Home Alone
Twentieth Century Fox

In the funniest entry on the list, a pair of criminals in Home Alone (1990) Known as “The Wet Bandits” they wreak havoc on the Christmas holidays, robbing homes in a cute neighborhood when families are out of town. The thieves are named Harry and Marv, and they’re played to iconic scores by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, respectively. Almost as iconic as the characters themselves are the marks they leave behind to satirize the inhabitants of each house.

When Harry and Marv rob a house, after they get all the loot needed and are about to leave, they turn on all the sinks in the house. And get this: When the duo leaves, they don’t turn off the water. Can you imagine the amount of bills at the end of the month? Just another accidental victory for the Wet Bandits.

2 The Seven Deadly Sins – Se7en

Se7en with Morgan Freeman
New Line Cinema

In one of the greatest third-person acts of all time, fictional serial killer John Doe reveals to the public his basic plan of attack in the… Se7en (1995). But before the game-changing plot twist that to this day remains among the best the industry has ever seen, the designers behind the scenes were tasked with building the right suspense over the course of the first two acts.

Related: Most Memorable Plot of the ’90s

Mainly thanks to John Doe’s calling card, every corner of the film’s plot is filled with intrigue and tension as audiences and fellow characters alike try to piece together evidence of the killings. Each calling card was linked directly to its victim, with Doe spelling “Sloth” or “Gluttony” near the dead bodies of a drug dealer and fat man, respectively. And no matter how brave the efforts of detectives Somerset and Mills – played by Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt, respectively – there was probably no way to guess the meanings of the recent sins at play.

1 The joke is on you – The Dark Knight

Joker in The Dark Knight
Pictures Warner Bros

in The Dark Knight (2008) by Christopher Nolan Australian actor Heath Ledger gave the greatest performance of his career as the Joker. The Joker, the primary antagonist, has roamed the crime-ridden alleys of Gotham City, serving as the main source of conflict in the plot while side by side defying every expectation audiences had for another on-screen portrayal of the iconic comic book character.

Related: Crafting the perfect movie villain

And his calling card is the most convenient on the list: the Joker playing card. I checked multiple times the whole time The Dark KnightThe Joker even referenced it in a hilarious line of iconic dialogue. But for what it’s worth, the joker playing card also appears at the end Batman begins (2005) — same director, and of course, same franchise — as a hook for a sequel in hand. This undoubtedly intrigued audiences around the world. As far as criminals in movies go, calling cards don’t get any more literal than the ones on hand. But they didn’t become more popular either.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *