The 25 Greatest Jewish Characters in Movies

16. Jeff Goldblum as David Levenson in Independence Day (1996)

Notable Jewish Moment: David's father constantly reminds him of his Judasim through quips, a non-denominational prayer, and an over-bearing protectiveness about head colds, which eventually leads David to the answer to killing the aliens.
Classic Quote: "[In the alien spacecraft] Take a look at the earthlings!"

There really aren't too many movies where Jewish guys fight aliens, let alone alongside Will Smith. In this 1996 summer blockbuster, Jeff Goldblum as David Levenson did just that, and—spoiler alert—helped save the world. Levenson—a hyper-liberal environmentalist whose ex-wife works for the White House—is always the smartest guy in the room, but a reluctant hero.

David merits inclusion here simply for being able to match wits and charisma with Captain Steven Hiller (the aforementioned Will Smith, playing a character that's basically the Fresh Prince in a jet fighter). He also has a bigger save-the-day moment than any other Jewish character in contemporary American cinema.

Honorable Mention: Judd Hirsch as David's father, Julius, always nagging at him to do better, and leading a non-denominational prayer before the alien attack.

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