Best Bond Villain?

Tuesday 23 October 2012, 11:13

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

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You can't have failed to notice that Skyfall, the new James Bond film, is out this week. But who is the best Bond villain of them all?

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    Comment number 1.

    In terms of performance I prefer Christopher Lee for his charisma and screen presence, which matches well with Roger Moore. Joseph Wiseman's Doctor No is often overlooked when it comes to arch enemies but the stillness and intensity that he brought to the role for me cuts through many of the more ostentatious characters presented since 1962.

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    Comment number 2.

    Goldfinger + Oddjob
    Pleasance as Bloefeld
    Adolfo Celi as Largo

    Jaws was a comedy act who fitted the tone of the Roger Moore Bond movies but lacked a sense of real threat.

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    Comment number 3.

    I would have to go for Goldfinger. You could certainly argue that other characters are more complete, but when anybody ever brings up Bond villains my first thought is always of that famous line, "No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die."

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    Comment number 4.

    Blofeld
    Irma Bunt -You have to be good to kill Tracy Bond.
    Scaramanga
    Dr. No
    Quantum's boss (I know we don't know who he is, but it just reminds me of Blofeld, we didn't know his name until the 5th film)

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    Comment number 5.

    It has to be Goldfinger for me with Gert Frobe positively bleeding a greasy sense of opulence and consumption in every frame he appears. Also his "crime as art" speech, defining the key motivation for super-villainy in all it's forms.

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    Comment number 6.

    it's gotta be be Blofeld. he is 007's Professor Moriarty.

    but I always loved Rosa Klebb and her switchblade shoes

    Oddjob and that iconic bowler hat

    and let's not forget James Bond faced the devil himself, Baron Samadi, sitting on the train at the end of Live and Let Die

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    Comment number 7.

    Max Zorin
    Purely for the otherworldly performance of Christopher Walken against Roger Moore.Kind of like seeing Sean Penn in 'A touch of Frost'. A bad Bond movie,but a great villain.

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    Comment number 8.

    As someone who knows the James Bond films and books very well, I 'll have to agree with most people as say that Donald Pleasence's version of Blofeld from 'You Only Live Twice' was the best Bond villain, and has become iconic for movie villains. He's the guy who has a tank full of piranha fish that he uses to dispose of people who fail him. I could used a tank like that sometimes!

    However, can I make the case that the most sadistic Bond villain and henchman are Robert Davi's Franz Sanches and Benicio Del Toro's Dario from 'Licence to Kill'? These guys are willing to cut out a man's heart at the beginning of the film, rape and murder a woman on her wedding day, have Felix Leiter throw to the sharks, and kill a man by decompression until his head explodes!

    Also, Dario used to be with the Contras until they threw him out. Too sadistic for an organisation known for its acts of violence? Gee, he must be bad!

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    Comment number 9.

    I agree with Max Zorin/Christopher Walken as being a fantastic Bond villain. Classic portrayal of money grabbing insanity.

    But I thought Sean Bean was brilliant also!

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    Comment number 10.

    Can't give it to Scaramanga. Christopher Lee is fantastic as always, but that film is among the silliest in the series. I believe Bond even explains Scaramanga's own plan to him at one point.

    I probably have to vote for Blofeld as well. No other Bond villain is as persistent. But for best henchman/woman, I've always liked Fiona Volpe from Thunderball.

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    Comment number 11.

    You can never go wrong with Christopher Walken. His performance as the deranged microchip executive was the best part of "A View to a Kill". And as a side note, the theme song by Duran Duran is much better than you gave it credit for, Mark.

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    Comment number 12.

    I would have to say that, while I think Donald Pleasance was absolutely brilliant as Blofeld in You Only Live Twice, and is certainly the most iconic of all the Bond villains, he isn't my favourite. I've always thought Robert Shaw's Red Grant was a fantastic villain in From Russia With Love, which is incidentally also my favourite Bond film. He seems, more than any other villain in the series, an acute threat to Bond and is a cold, and efficient killer.

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    Comment number 13.

    I always thought Donald Pleasence was miscast as Blofeld because as soon as he stands up the height difference becomes immediately apparent and he ceases to be threat, Telly Savalas was closer to Fleming's vision. Jonathan Price was about as menacing as Simon Mayo, Mayo too was all wrong for Bond, in fact he wasn't even Basildon Bond. Yaphet Koto was good as Kananga but racial politics meant he was the only black villain. For me the early films got it right as the actors seemed to inhabit the roles, Joseph Wiseman as Dr No, Gert Frobe as Goldfinger, but the best was Robert Shaw as Red Grant in From Russia with Love because when he came face to face with Bond, i thought only one of them will make to the end and it might not be Bond.

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    Comment number 14.

    Here's a List Of Bond Villains (Film) for convenience.

    Christopher Lee is very good as a mercenary Bond and Robert Shaw as a nemesis always one-step ahead of Bond, but my personal favorite is Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean) in Goldeneye: Good old, 006 decides to get stinking rich and exact revenge for always being Bond's fall guy, finally!!

    Where's "your" white cat, though in the above? (Cat symbolises cruelty playing with it's prey)

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    Comment number 15.

    It has to be Robert Shaw as 'Red Grant', the only Bond villain who could possible match Bond, and psychotic with it. Although if it has to be the ultimate nemesis it is probably Ernst Stavro Blofeld, although I preferred it when we didn't see his face, just his hand stroking his pussy (sorry I went a bit Roger Moore there, or was it Mike Myers)

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    Comment number 16.

    My favorite villain Franz Sanchez from License to Kill.

    The reason is that he wasn't some madman out to get rich, conquer the world or create his own master race or anything else that required a fiendish master plan. He was just a normal drug lord who made the mistake in picking a fight with the wrong man. The best part he does not know why Bond did what he did until the final confrontation.

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    Comment number 17.

    Robert Shaw's Red Grant, in From Russia With Love, is my all-time favourite Bond villain. A superb actor, at the top of his game, playing a character who poses a real threat to 007. Never mind that Grant is able to outsmart him, and yet still falls into that eternal trap of trying to talk Bond to death instead of just shooting him- he has real presence throughout the film, and engages in one of the series' best fight sequences when he meets his demise. Good show, old man.

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    Comment number 18.

    Francz Sanchez from License To Kill is by far my favourite, because he is sadistic, violent and realistic. Not to mention he can be interpreted as the darker mirror image of Bond himself. Both are men value loyalty, both are violent and both are on the verge of being sociopath's. The charm and welcoming nature they possess mask the violent killer instinct they both possess.

    As for the most hillarious Bond villian; Elliot Carver from Tomorrow Never Dies. Hillarious, megalomaniacal, and camp. The man is about as scary as Basil Fawlty. Plus he's an idiot, you don't kill Terri Hatcher just like that!

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    Comment number 19.

    Baron Samedi. Scary voodoo guy on the back of the train in live and let die. Seriously scary voodoo guy.

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    Comment number 20.

    Even though he isn't one of the bigger names like Jaws, Goldfinger or Oddjob, Anthony Dawson as both Blofeld and Professor Dent shouldn't be forgotten. His understated role through the whole of From Russia With Love builds the mystery to Blofelds identity, which later aids Donald Pleasance's unveiling as Blofeld. Professor Dent is a completely different character to Blofeld, he is just a pawn in the grand scheme of Dr. No's plan, but his twitchy cowardly presence and gaunt rubbery face leave Professor Dent as a competent villain in Dr. No.

    I've also got to agree on Benicio Del Toro and Robert Davi in Licence to Kill who are both dark, evil characters and genuinely hold the biggest threat to Bond's character; who is left beaten and bruised at the end of Licence to Kill. Easily the most underrated and ambitious Bond film.

 

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