This is a huge theme and one can find a villain in almost any film. Wandering through the Shelves chose another great theme because we all can love, despise, and get all uptight about villains as we watch a film. These are the villains that came into my brain( yes smoke did come out of my ears) before more flooded in(yes, more smoke) so here are the first 3 that I thought of.
Bela Lugosi is only thought of a drug-infested hasbeen who starred in Ed Wood films but, he did star on stage and brought Dracula to the screen as the sexy villain. Yes, sexy...I’m not sure how, but women swooned when he spoke, showed some gentlemanly ways and sunk his teeth into the neck of women. He killed and wanted the lady love all to his own only to pay for it in the end. This film became a major hit and the reason why Dracula was often looked at as one sexy beast. I could have gone with the 1978 version starring Frank Langella as good ole Drac and he did set my teen heart a flutter, but it was all due to Bela. We know the Dracula story so you should give this old film a try and think back to the audiences of the day. When Bela died, he ended up dressed as Dracula, cape and all.
2. THE LITTLE FOXES-1941
Regina Giddens is one mean mother-F@&>!€ who does her best to make life miserable for anyone around her. For some strange reason the nice Herbert Marshall married her providing her with a really nice life and they had a daughter who is equally nice. Now this rich bitch can’t wait for some deal to go through that she and her equally nasty but somewhat dim-witted brothers want that she will stop at nothing to gain control. She is so mean that she even will not get up to give her husband his heart medicine to stop a heart attack. Bette Davis really created a great character with this film and, even though Tallulah Bankhead originated the role on the stage, you can’t help but hate Bette in this role. A great film about the sleazy family Hubbard and the people they destroy. A film very much worth seeing.
3. ROAD TO PERDITION-2002
There are actually more than one villain in this film starting with the lead, played so well by Tom Hanks, who is the enforcer for the crime boss played by Paul Newman in his final on-screen role as John Rooney. Tom Hanks plays Micheal Sullivan, happily married with 2 young boys, who is a mob enforcer. One evening his very curious son hides in the car and witnesses his dad in action along with the sniveling son of the crime boss, play by Daniel Craig of James Bond fame. Daniel Is Connor Rooney, the son of Paul who dreams of being great but is just an a-hole, He takes action by murdering Tom Hanks's wife and youngest son to send the message that his son must keep quiet. Well, Tom knows they must go on the run so he can keep his oldest son and himself alive. Paul love Tom but he must be there for his son so a hitman, who is creepy as hell, is hired to get the job done. Jude Law plays Harlen Maguire who truly gets off killing by taking pictures of them while they die. He is the worst villain in this film. Another great film from the acting, the story to the music and cinematography. Well worth seeing.
So which 3 would you choose?
The first villian that popped into my head was Darth Vader and then his grandson Kylo Ren. Of course, that is what happens when your grandson is a Star Wars freak, just like Nana, lol.ReplyDelete
I have seen your first two movies. I would not have thought of Bette Davis but she was actually a villian in a few movies now that you mention her. I do not think I saw Road to Perdition but I will certainly check it out. Sounds great.
Darth is one of the most famous villains and I still have to see the latest Star Wars films. Which I hope to see. I hope you see Road To Perdition which is excellent.Delete
I've seen a lot of Lugosi's films. Watched a lot of matinee horror films as a kid.ReplyDelete
Villains - I'd have to go with some geek favorites. Darth Vader, Khan, the Terminator...
Yes to the matinee. Khan is great and Ricardo Montalban should have been up for an Oscar and won.Delete
"I am..... (20 minute pause for effect)..... Dracula."ReplyDelete
I remember the time Bela Lugosi was low on cash.
He put the bite on me.
It should come as no surprise that I have watched Dracula 1931`many times over the years. We also studied the film in my college course on history of the cinema. One of my favorite Draculas was Francis Lederer, a Czech actor who lived to be 100 years old. In the 1958 horror movie The Return of Dracula, Lederer starred as Bellac Gordal (Dracula for realsies), a long lost cousin from the old country who came to a small town in California to visit family members. He falls for his beautiful blonde niece Rachel played by Norma Eberhardt. You need to remember that, through history, American women have found European men more charming, more interesting, than American men, With that advantage working in his favor, creepy Bellac/Dracula used that old black vampire magic to put Rachel under his spell, sweep her off her feet and put her in the mood for some necking. Long story short - she went down for the count.
The radiant Teresa Wright was one of my favorite actresses. In the years before I got into blogging I filled an entire scrapbook with pictures and trivia about her movie roles. As a Teresa completist, I have seen all of her films including her first one - The Little Foxes,
Tom Hanks is one of Mrs. Shady's favorite actors and Paul Newman is one of my faves. We own Road To Perdition on DVD.
My three movie villain picks would be James Mason as Phillip Vandamm in North by Northwest, Peter Sellers as Clare Quilty in Lolita (which also stars James Mason and the late Sue Lyon), and Gert Fröbe as Auric Goldfinger in my favorite 007 film.
Thanks, BB. Have a fine Thursday and a safe and happy weekend!
Francis Lederer was so good in Pandora’s Box and I would love to see that Dracula film. Oh and who can resist George Hamilton in Love At First Bite. Theresa Wright is an excellent actress and you must love her to have seen all her films and have a scrapbook of her. We have the DVD and the soundtrack to Road To Perdition. James Mason is a perfect villain in North by Northwest and so put upon in Lolita. I almost chose Fröbe who was great as Goldfinger.Delete
Off topic, but I wanted you to know that I just watched the video you linked to on another blog showing how the introduction of wolves miraculously transformed Jellystone Park. Nature does indeed have a way of figuring things out if given the chance.Delete
Isn't that amazing? I saw a longer version of it on Facebook a few years back and was amazed. I love wolves.Delete
I was just talking about Road to Perdition the other day. I've never seen it, and probably should. I've seen parts of this version of Dracula but otherwise I'm 0/3 here.ReplyDelete
You should see Road To Perdition which is excellent. I think you would like The Little Foxes too.Delete
Oh The Little Foxes! Bette really gets a chance to spill wickedness out all over the place. One bit that I've notice though is that bile seems only directed at her family. In different bits of conversation strewn throughout the picture by the servants or shopkeepers they mention she's not the stingy type so she obviously presents another face in public. But for her family the fangs are out!
I've never been that big a fan of the Dracula story, maybe because it's been poked and prodded endlessly, but this one does have plenty of style.
Road to Perdition is quite the anomaly in Tom Hanks's career but it carries it off well. A wonderful capper for Paul Newman's career as well.
This turned out to be easier than I expected and I had to leave a fourth choice-The Sign of the Ram-off because I thought of it too late.
The Shadow on the Wall (1950)-Businessman David Starrling (Zachary Scott) is knocked unconscious by a mysterious figure during a confrontation with his faithless wife Celia (Kristine Miller) and wakes to find Celia murdered. The couple’s young daughter Susan (Gigi Perreau), witnessed her mother's death but saw only a shadow on the wall and is unaware that the killer is Celia's evil sister, her Aunt Dell (Ann Sothern). Dell, now terrified of discovery must find a way to do away with her own niece before Susan realizes the truth. One of Ann Sothern’s rare villainess roles this includes future First Lady Nancy Reagan (billed as Nancy Davis) in a major supporting role.
M (1931)-Moody, expressionist classic tells the tale of Hans Beckert (Peter Lorre), a serial killer who preys on children. When he becomes the focus of a massive Berlin police manhunt his crimes are so repellant that other criminals join the police in his pursuit. Lorre is brilliant in the lead.
Sweet Smell of Success (1957)-Vicious New York columnist J.J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster) is a powerful man capable and willing to make or destroy Broadway careers in print. However he can’t seem to control is his younger sister Susan (Susan Harrison) who he is abnormally fond of and who is in a relationship with jazzman Steve Dallas (Marty Milner) of which he strongly disapproves. To get his way Hunsecker recruits publicist Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis) who he describes as “A cookie full of arsenic” to find a way to split the couple, no matter how ruthless the method. Well-acted portrait of deeply rotten people.
Bette Davis was truly at odds with her director right down to the makeup she was to wear...Bette won. I think, if I watched every Dracula movie made I would be 105 yrs old by the time I would be done. I really want to see your first pick which sounds really good. M is so good and so chilling and relevant even today. I almost chose Sweet Smell of Success but I felt I need to see it again but I do remember both Burt and Tony’s roles being despicable.Delete
Hi Birgit.....watching House of cards USA...now there is a villain!....thank goodness for box sets keeping us sane...take care xxxxReplyDelete
I still have to see that show. For this time , thank goodness for DVD’s ...we are watching Poldark.Delete
Loved the Bette Davis Film and the Road to Perdition, haven't seen this Drac though. Kate xReplyDelete
They are so good. Dracula is good even though it’s a bit stagey now.Delete
You sure picked some villainous films all right. Tom Hanks being a bad guy though is just sick and wrong;)ReplyDelete
Hahahaaa...well, he is a noble bad guy trying to make sure his child stays alive.Delete
I've never seen those three, but I have heard of them. I don't know what I'd pick. Off the top of my head, I'm blank.ReplyDelete
When you think about it, almost every film has some sort of villain.Delete
I've seen 2 of the 3 this week. That is a big deal for me who usually doesn't know any. It's a great topic this week. Stay safe from this awful virus!ReplyDelete
Wow! Glad you saw 2 of them and yes, keeping safe. You too!!Delete
I'm not sure I've seen the Bette Davis one, but the other two are good ones. So many villains out there from which to choose.ReplyDelete
First one that popped into my weird brain was Dennis Hopper's Frank character in Blue Velvet. David Lynch had some great albeit weird characters in his films.
Also, I guess maybe Kurtz in Apocalypse Now is kind of a villain. He certainly seemed evil.
Hitler also pops into my mind so I'll go with a film about the last week of his life, 2004's Downfall. It's been over a decade since I saw that one, but I recall liking it very much.
Tossing It Out
There are so many Hitler movies out there but your choice was picked by someone else. I am not sure if I saw this one. Kurtz is perfect as the Villain and I have to see this film again. I still have to see Blue Velvet and one reason I haven't is because of the weirdness of David Lynch.Delete
I've heard of Dracula (who hasn't?), but have never seen it or any of the films you reviewed this week. I suspect that part was made for Davis. She was such a great actress, I bet she played the part to the hilt.ReplyDelete
That part was made for Tallulah Bankhead who could play "Bitch" very well but Davis is perfect in this role.Delete
Love your choices here, Birgit! I'm sure it was Bela's accent that made the women swoon. Bette Davis was amazing in so many roles, including this one. I was totally engrossed in Road To Perdition and agree, the performances were all excellent. When it comes to great villians, my first thoughts were: Hannibal Lector and The Joker (as portrayed by the Heath Ledger).ReplyDelete
It is all about the accent that can make women swoon. Hannibal is a great choice and so is this Joker (I hated Joaquin Phoenix's portrayal)Delete
I think Vincent Price was as good as any when it came to demons and antagonists, mad scientists and sinster characters. my picks include the 1984 classic Bloodbath at the House of Death, Fun with Mr. Future and now 30 years old Edward Scissorhands.ReplyDelete
My #1 favorite villain is "Mike" (Hank Salas) in the movie 'MY BODYGUARD' (1980). He played that character *perfectly* by actually downplaying the menace. He talked and acted so calmly, like he was just absolutely filled with supreme confidence that he could kick-ass any time he wanted to.
My #2 choice is the robot "Gunslinger" (Yul Brynner) in 'WESTWORLD' (1973). There is something really scary about a bad guy who literally has no feelings and no compunction about killing another person for absolutely no reason whatsoever. And those lines were killer, too: "Get this boy a bib. He needs his mama."
At #3, I have "Max Cady" (Robert Mitchum) in 'CAPE FEAR' (1962). And for the same reason as "Mike" at #1 above. Mitchum played a psychopath out for revenge so-ooo cool, calm and collected. There's something extra unnerving about that kind of portrayal, where the bad guy seems like a sleeping volcano, but one that could erupt at any moment.
Going in a completely different direction, my favorite TV villain would probably have to be "Siegfried" (Bernie Kopell) from the old TV spy comedy 'GET SMART'.
Hi Birgit - I haven't seen any of these ... but hope to catch a few films from times gone by - during the winter - while we're not doing much else. Take care and stay safe - HilaryReplyDelete
Yes, so many...ReplyDelete
I really don't like the movie but I think Billy Zane's character is the best part of Titanic.
Same for Alan Rickman's Sheriff of Nottingham in Costner's Robin Hood.
All-time, it's gotta be the Wicked Witch of the West.
This is a broad topic! At first, I was a bit hung up on the definition of a "villain." Are we looking at traditional and stereotypical villains such as Dracula, Darth Vader, Khan, Voldemort, Wicked Witch, Dr. No, etc.? They seem -to me - to fit this category best.ReplyDelete
I'm going in a different direction, however, and mention characters who really did disgust me as awful people... that's how well they played their roles. The first is Willem Dafoe as Bobby Peru in the movie Wild at Heart. He played the role so well, I was truly grossed out by him. Same for Brad Pitt playing Early Grace in the movie Kalifornia. The third cold-hearted bastard would be Henry Fonda playing Frank in Once Upon a Time in the West. Truly chilling with no redeeming qualities... and Fonda nailed it.
Enjoy those Christmas lights:)ReplyDelete
Road to Perdition is a great one!ReplyDelete
Road to Perdition is a really good one indeed. Dracula would sure top many a villain list.ReplyDelete
I haven't seen any of these but I really want to check out this version of Dracula, mainly because there's Bela Lugosi and I've been meaning to watch his films.ReplyDelete
Is Road to Perdition like the only bad guy role Tom Hanks played? Anyway it is such an excellent movie, a favourite.ReplyDelete