50 Greatest Heath Ledger Movie Moments

The Poem

The Moment: In Candy , the writing really is on the wall for Dan (Ledger), who gets an insight into Candy’s feelings thanks to her scribblings all over the room.

Ledger Magic: Just a small moment, with Ledger not speaking a word, but the look in his eyes says it all.

En Garde!

The Moment: In Casanova , Ledger takes up a blade for a sword fight with Lupo (Omid Djalili). Except Lup isn’t much of a match for him, as Casanova easily rebukes his advances – while munching on an apple.

Ledger Magic: That swaggering arrogance is both funny and endearing in Ledger's hands.

Them Scars, Them Scars

The Moment: Two moments, really, but linked by their content. The Joker gives two different stories about how he got the ‘smiley’ scars on his face, both of them deliciously twisted.

Ledger Magic: Ledger delivers both stories with demented energy and crack-voiced believability, making us buy into both, and ultimately leaving us ever in the dark about who this mysterious psycho is.


The Moment: The Joker razes Gotham General Hospital to the ground with a series of explosions. While wearing a nurse’s outfit.

Ledger Magic: Never is the physicality of the role clearer than when Ledger stomps out of the hospital, all hunched shoulders, before fiddling with the bomb detonator when the explosions stall. The resulting big bang even makes The Joker jump. Genius.


The Moment: Gabriel (Ledger) takes out Colonel William Tavington (Jason Isaacs) with a bullet in The Patriot . But he makes a fatal error by going to finish the colonel off. As he goes to stab Tavington in the back, the colonel moves and Gabriel ends up with a sword through his gut.

Ledger Magic: Ledger’s portrayal of a young guy doing what he must is pitch perfect.

Fist Fight

The Moment: An impressively toned Ledger gets his fists out again for Two Hands , in which he spars topless with a guy twice his size. He takes a hell of a beating, but eventually lands the sucker punch.

Ledger Magic: This isn’t a guy afraid of getting physical, which is super-evident here.

Right In The Heart

The Moment: “Do you hate me?” Sonny (Ledger) asks his father, after kicking him to the floor in Monster's Ball . “Well, I always loved you,” he rasps, before shooting himself in the heart.

Ledger Magic: The accent’s flawless, and Ledger’s delivery is so skilful that you never see that shock shot coming.

Magic Trick

The Moment: The Joker shows he means business when he crashes a gangster get together and immediately asks, “How about a magic trick?” Out comes a pencil, as The Joker demonstrates a blood chilling disappearing act.

Ledger Magic: You really believe Joker’s having fun here.


The Moment: At the close of Brokeback Mountai n , Jack’s dead and Ennis is heartbroken. In Jack’s childhood bedroom, Ennis finds the shirt that he thought he lost on the mountain, and realises Jack kept it - and died in it.

Ledger Magic: Ledger does so much with so little, which is what makes this moment so emotionally charged.

Mask To Mask

The Moment: Batman and The Joker come face-to-face in a police interrogation room, where Batman quickly realises that using his fists on this bad guy will never get him anywhere. The Joker, see, likes a bit of bone-breaking punishment.

Ledger Magic: “You have nothing, nothing to threaten me with. Nothing to do with all your strength,” The Joker laughs in Batman’s face. Yet another perfect line delivery.

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.