You can't have heroes without villains, so who are the best at being bad?
Here's a few starters:
HAL 9000 (2001: A Space Odyssey)
Norman Bates (Psycho)
Daniel Plainview (There Will Be Blood)
Amon Goeth (Schindler's List)
I'm gonna have to agree with Heath Ledger's Joker. Most movie villains have a reason for their villainy, but Ledger's Joker was completely and totally anarchic. There was no rhyme or reason to his madness. He was simply pure, unadulterated mayhem.
The Joker - specifically from the Dark Knight. Heath Ledger's take on the Joker is what i believe encapsulates a true villain. More concerned with sending messages and thoroughly capable of controlling the actions of the hero.
Great choices all round so far.
Wesley - I especially like the reason behind your choice. Heroes and villains are often motivated by a similar passion or sense of disillusionment but happen to channel it in different ways. This, along with what you've pointed out, are why antagonists are so fascinating.
but you did not tell us who YOUR best villain of all time was?
I couldn't possibly choose just one. The few I've mentioned previously are up there, and Heath Ledger's Joker is absolutely one of the all time best in my eyes.
I will tell you that my favorite villain in fiction (encompassing all mediums) is almost undoubtedly Ozymandias in the graphic novel of Watchmen (who's not rendered nearly as well in the movie version). His motives are almost honorable, but his actions are absolutely heinous.
That's easy...Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth...She drives the whole play and is the epitome of a woman you never, ever want to meet...or maybe Leobin in the Battlestar seasons. You can't help but like him no matter how many times he's bad.
How about childhood villains?
Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty
Hexxus (voiced by Tim Curry) in Fern Gully
the JOKER and not just heath ledger in the dark knight either (even though that is my favorite joker and i LOVE that movie). the joker is the greatest because he doesn't want to eliminate the hero (batman obviously) but he wants to control the hero... don't really have time to really give all the reasons why (but i might come back later and explain) but maybe if you read the comic books too you would understand.
Not only is there a need to control, but an acute awareness that without a hero, the villain cannot exist, and vice versa. Heath Ledger's Joker sums it up pretty nicely when he tells Batman, "You complete me."
Wow...not one Darth Vader?
The man could "force choke" you through a view screen!
He didn't even have to be in the same room!
i was gonna say...it took FOREVER for SOMEBODY to say Vader...
how about Agent Smith from The Matrix Trilogy?
Damien from the Omen Trilogy?
Count Orlock in Nosferatu?
Let's also not forget that nefarious evil-doer Dark Helmet!
I'm a bit surprised that nobody has said Michael Myers or Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees either
I have to go with Robert DeNiro and Val Kilmer in Heat. Not only do they play the villains brilliantly, they are also able to portray their "bad boy" characters and make the audience feel compassionate for them simultaneously!
i agree with rhamson. heath ledger is definitely the best villain i've ever seen in a movie, "dark knight." followed closely by daniel plainview in "there will be blood", played by daniel day lewis.
It is very hard to only have one, but here is a dose of some very "hard" villains;(not necessarily in order)
1.Laurence Olivier-Szell- Marathon Man-1976
2.Javier Bardem- Anton Chigurh- No Country for Old Men-2007
3.Robert Blake- Perry Smith-In Cold Blood-1967
4.Daniel Day Lewis-Daniel Plainview -There will be Blood-2007
5.James Cagney- Cody Jarrett -White Heat- 1949
1. Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker
2. Brad Pitt's character in Fight Club
4. Darth Vader
5. Kahn from Star Trek
Does Darth Maul qualify? He certainly was the baddest dude in the prequel trilogy as well as being the one of the better things to come from them.
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