Favorite Films where Protagonist- and MC-Roles are Split

Can we list some well-known films where Protagonist and MC are not the same? The famous example from the Dramatica instructions is Atticus and Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. Here are some others, where, in my my mind, Protagonist and MC are split. (We can argue here on this forum too, I suppose!)

Film: Deliverance
Protagonist: Lewis (Burt Reynolds)
MC: Ed (Jon Voigt)
IC: Also Lewis?
Why: Lewis is the go-getter. Trip wouldn’t have happened without him. Most of us are more like Ed–we might go along for the ride. Ed toughens up as a result of this trip.

Film: Ferris Beuller’s Day Off
Protagonist: Ferris (Matthew Broderick)
MC: Cameron (Allan Ruck)
IC: Ferris
Why: Again, Ferris is the go-getter, and most of us would like to be Ferris, but we are not. We are Cameron. Cameron most definitely changes bc of Ferris–deciding to stand up to his father.

Film: Mosquito Coast
Protagonist: Allie (Harrison Ford)
MC: Charlie (River Phoenix)
IC: ??
Why: (More on this later)

Welcome to Discuss Dramatica @mattrhoden! Nice to see a new face.

I will take the super easy route and link you to this article:

So that is a nice big list to start with where MC ≠ Protagonist (since IC = Protag). I think it was inspired by this thread (which is worth reading as it has a few more suggestions): Influence character who is also protagonist - #19 by RailwayAdventurer

In addition there is this thread: Recent Movies/Limited Series where MC ≠ Protagonist

You may be able to find more using the Search function.


One that’s missing from that list is the first season of True Detective.

EDIT: Seeing that I also mentioned True Detective in that second thread.

Chris Huntley also mentioned the first season of The Boys in that thread which I loved and we should analyze at some point.