Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The Best Villain Ever?


Parisian reading.

Check out my favorite movie of this spring on Crimespree Cinema.

We saw a bunch of old American movies in Paris. One of the many great things about Paris-they love old American movies and have dozens of them showing at any time. And nice new cuts, too.

One of the ones we saw again was Marathon Man-it held up in some spots more than others --but it had many fantastic moments- a few gritty, exciting scenes of New York in the seventies-so different from today.

I still couldn't watch Lawrence Olivier as the demented Nazi dentist. He made a great villain in his later years. Who is your favorite villain?

26 comments:

George said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
George said...

I thought Arnold in TERMINATOR 1 was a pretty effective villain. Of course, he became a Good Guy in the later TERMINATOR movies.

R. T. said...

Keeping with the Paris theme, I vote for Javert, the obsessive policeman in Les Miserables. He is the mind-numbed villain within the establishment that makes Valjean's life--(wait for it)--miserable.

David Cranmer said...

Henry Fonda in Once Upon a Time in the West.

R. T. said...

And here is a vote for Iago in Othello. Has there ever been a more complete villain?

Ed Gorman said...

For me flat out-Robert Mitchum in Cape Fear. As somebody once remarked about his version of Max Cady-even standing in his boxers with a cigar in his mouth and his stupid summer hat on he was more menacing than all the cops in the room. He was truly evil. John D. MacDonald didn't like the movie and I've never been able to figure out why. Maybe because the ostensible hero, Gregory Peck, was reduced to whimpering by the sheer force of Mitchum's performance. Scorcese and DeNiro, unfortunately, badly overplayed the remake.

le0pard13 said...

What David Cranmer said. Henry Fonda as Frank was so unexpectedly great.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Mitchum was a great villain. Night of the Hunter scares me to death, too. Henry Fonda was spectacular in that one. Maybe his best ever performance. Iago-is my husband's choice too.
Yes, a villain that keeps coming at you is hard to beat. Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast was right up there.

pattinase (abbott) said...

My husband includes Heath Ledger as the Joker in the last Batman movie.

Scott Parker said...

The Joker (Heath Ledger, thank you very much) [see that Patti just posted this one.]

Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction"

Darth Vader in "Empire Strikes Back" *before* his famous line. He's obsessive and ruthless.

Fleur Bradley: said...

Robert Mitchum and The Joker--I agree.

I'm a fan of the switcheroo, where the villain seems like the good guy, and is then revealed to be the bad guy. When it's done right, that's such a shocker.

Charles Gramlich said...

One of my favorites is Frank from "Once upon a time in the west." I rather like the villains in my own books, Vohanna in the Talera books and Kargen in Cold in the Light.

pattinase (abbott) said...

And thank you Scott for coming up with a female.
Oh, I agree about the Switcheroo. Very effective villains: evil ministers, presidents, charity officials, priests, doctors. One of the scariest movies every was about those Irish nuns imprisoning wayward girls. Can't remember the name.
Or parents: Darth Vader

Dana King said...

Let's see if I have this right: you went to Paris to watch old American movies. Nothing against going to France--I've repented over my France-bashing days--but maybe you should see someone about the joys of a 50-inch screen and NetFlix.

All the villain choices are good--Oliver was great, not just because he was so evil, but because he was so confused everyone else couldn't see he was right. I'd like to send a shout out to Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber in the original DIE HARD.

George said...

Hannibal Lecter is an interesting villain. He's a brilliant serial killer with "rules" about who he murders. I always admired Hannibal's treatment of "rude" people.

Anonymous said...

No heads or tails here--Javier Bardem from No Country For Old Men.

And HAL from 2001:A Space Odyssey still creeps me out.

John McAuley

Richard Prosch said...

Lon Chaney in several films: THE PENALTY, HE WHO GETS SLAPPED, UNHOLY THREE, or with Joan Crawford in THE UNKNOWN. His grin, even in back stage candids, seems terrifying to me.

Jose Ignacio Escribano said...

Christoph Waltz as Col. Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds is one of my favourites.

Richard Robinson said...

Anthony Perkins in "Psyco". Talk about weird and scary!

pattinase (abbott) said...

How about Ralph Fiennes in Schindler's List? Or anyone playing a Nazi for that matter. Waltz was brilliant. Now Perkins raises another specter. The villain who doesn't know he's a villain.
Lon Chaney is scary but how about Peter Lorre.
Bardem was a version of the Terminator. Relentless.
This is the thing, Dana. You need to sit down at some point. So why not do it at a movie? And the movies I saw would never be at a theater here.

Richard Prosch said...

Oh, yeah --good call Patti. How about Peter Lorre in Fritz Lang's "M"? VERY creepy with all that German expressionism...

Jerry House said...

I can ditto Peter Lorre in M and Mitchum in both Cape Fear and Night of the Hunter.

How about Bruce the shark in Jaws?

So many good candidates, but I think the prize should go to Max Schreck in Nosferatu.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Horror movies have their own brand of villains, don't they?
How about Damien in THE OMEN. What's scarier than a scary kid. Ditto Patty McCormack in THE BAD SEED.

Kieran Shea said...

What makes villains scary for me are when actors play against type. I'm w/ everybody on Mitchum...but I'm also a HUGE fan of Hopper's FRANK BOOTH and Stockwell's BEN in Blue Velvet.

Todd Mason said...

Ed--I can believe that MacDonald hated CAPE FEAR, despite Mitchum being perfectly cast...it completely screwed up the point of the novel...that the married couple by about page ten realize that they have to become THE EXECUTIONERS of the title. Whether they like that or not. Also dumbed it down, and made it less original.

My ex was half asleep when the first tv ads came on for the film version of THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, which she'd just read, and through a blurry reception and blurrier eyes she thought Lecter was being played in the ad by Tony Randall. Now, THAT would've been scary as hell...Perkins as Bates only moreso. But, no, it was Hambone.

Sterling Hayden as General Jack D. Ripper, the craziest of the many crazies in DR. STRANGELOVE...unless Strangelove is.

Paul D. Brazill said...

The camp computer in 2001 is horrible.