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Best Bond Villain?

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Mark Kermode Mark Kermode | 10:13 UK time, Tuesday, 23 October 2012

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.

  • 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.

  • 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."

  • Comment number 4.

    Irma Bunt -You have to be good to kill Tracy Bond.
    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)

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Comment number 19.

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

  • 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.

  • Comment number 21.

    I haven't seen Skyfall yet, so I can't really comment on Javier Bardem's manic Silva. But, so far my favourite Bond villains are Blofeld (Donald Pleasance), Auric Goldfinger and Xenia Onatopp. The reason why I think Donald Pleasance was absolutely brilliant as Blofeld in You Only Live Twice is simply because he created one of the most iconic villains in cinema history. Creating quiet but disturbing evil that is truly embodied by his hate-filled, reptilian eyes. Just a shame he was only in one Bond movie.
    However, Auric Goldfinger is one of the most memorable villains in Bond history, creating one of the most famous and most memorable lines of all time, "No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die."
    But, there was also one Bond villain who absolutely embodied the femme fatale, but also was sadism incarnate. That villain was Xenia Onatopp. What made her formidable was her desire for Lust Murder, having sexual satisfaction from killing her prey. She was a sociopath and a psychopath.

  • Comment number 22.

    Red Grant (Robert Shaw) is the best villian. Goldfinger, Scaramanga, Oddjob, Jaws and Max Zorin are more iconic if anything. Blofeld too. Robert Shaw actually seems threatening and like someone has already mentioned, in the actual confrontation you think Bond may lose.

  • Comment number 23.

    Forget your Blofeld's and Goldfinger's! The best one by far was Christopher Walken's Max Zorin in "A view to a kill" Now AVTAK isn't the best bond film, infact it's probably Moore's weakest entry in the series, but Walken was quite an off the wall choice for the villian at a time of fairly routine MOR Bond productions. I believe they originally offered it to David Bowie who turned it down and Walken doesn't have an entirely different look in the film to the one Bowie had at that time. Still my favourite by far.

  • Comment number 24.

    The one villain that I feel often gets forgotten about is Renard the Anarchist in The World is Not Enough, Robert Carlisle gives a haunting performance as someone who is even more emotionally cold than 007, knows his doom is near and wants to bring the world with him.

    Besides, who can forget lines like "No hard feelings, Mr. Bond, but soon you will feel nothing at all." or my personal favourite "Welcome to my Nuclear family."

  • Comment number 25.

    Aristotle Kristatos, played by Julian Glover, in For your eyes only. One of the lesser known Bond villains but for me, the best. I like him the best because he brings sophistication and also realism to the roger moore films, which previously contained too much of the supernatural. Kristatos is also a sly villain, not only convincing Bond that his rival Columbo is the villain but also he is an ally.

  • Comment number 26.

    While i have many favourites i think Franz Sanchez from Licence To Kill tops it, i wont talk about the character specifically as he has already been talked about above, i'm pleasently suprised he has his fans as i always feel like the only person who loves the Dalton films.

    But i will mention Licence To Kill in general, while Brosnan was the Bond of my youth, i actually grew up with Moore, so when i watched Licence To Kill it was a pleasant shock that I was watching a genuinely new type of Bond, it was action packed, violent and viscious. Sanchez personifies this beautifully.

    And on a lighter note, it's always amused me that the one film named after Bond's licence is the film where he actually had it taken away! Bond's quest was all personal.

  • Comment number 27.

    The Zorin / Mayday combo from A View To A Kill is easily the most memorable. Walken seems to channel Bowie (the original choice) from The Man Who Fell To Earth in giving Zorin a completely inhuman and dangerously intellectual aura while Grace Jones complements that with her physical might. It might not be the best Bond, but Zorin at least gets the fantastic airship / Golden Gate Bridge set piece to exit on.

    Sean Bean is also up there; he works terrifically well as a dark mirror-image of Brosnan's Bond, despite his terribly dated plan to steal all the money from the famously wealthy Bank of England.

  • Comment number 28.

    I've just rewatched Goldfinger and Gert Frobe's performance is outstanding, as are Donald Pleasance as Blofeld and Chrisopher Lee as Scaramanga. But Goldeneye was my first Bond film so for me it's Sean Bean as Alec Trevelyan. His personal vendetta against Bond and against Britain as well as being a former MI6 agent combines the best qualities of the physical threat of Red Grant and the grand scheme of someone like Goldfinger or Hugo Drax from Moonraker (the book not the film). Maybe not the most memorable but perhaps the most personal enemy Bond has had.

  • Comment number 29.

    live and let die is hands down the best and definitive bond film. everything in it is memorable

    and subsequently the

    Best Villians

    1: Mr big
    2: Tee hee
    3: Baron Samedi
    4: Jaws
    5: Oddjob/nick nack

    i remember no one else i would also say that some of these responses have been popularised by the success of the computer game goldeneye on the n64

  • Comment number 30.

    @6 Another vote for Baron Samadi, the sight of him laughing as he sits on the end of the train is enough to leve even Bond himself shacken and ......(you know the rest!!!!)

    I also vote for the 'Blofelds' as each actor brough something different to the role at the same time as keeping him the same evil villian we had seen before.

    My all time favourate villians are Mr Kidd and Mr Wint from Diamonds are Forever, these two bad guys who seem to be enjoying each other company as much as they are enjoy there work. There seems to be a deep friendship between them, which makes them great fun to watch.

    Non of the more recent bond villians have yet to be as iconic and Connery era villians.

  • Comment number 31.

    Denise Richards for her role as Dr. Christmas Jones. A supremely intelligent scientist who happens to look like a girl band bland model and wander around in hot pants? Dreadful acting, too.

  • Comment number 32.

    As with many other Bond fans this is one that keeps us arguing, but for me the quintessential Bond villain is Francisco Scaramanga.
    Lee shows him to be a charismatic psychopath, a gun for hire who seems to revel in the kill ' She was a difficult shot, but a most gratifying one'.
    He was of course Bonds 'shadow' who only had two flaws, his greed, and his admiration of Bond (which of course would be his undoing).
    And Bond seems to have a grudging admiration for him, the life Bond could have if only he wasn't loyal to her madge........

  • Comment number 33.

    Stromberg. A great villain with webbed fingers to compliment his undersea fantasies. A fantastic, Thunderbirds-esque base, a marvellously o.t.t ship that swallows other ships, a button to blow up helicopters, a lift that drops victims into a shark pool and the first villain to hire Jaws to kill Bond!

  • Comment number 34.

    Sean Bean as 006/Janus.

    Tremendous character, superbly acted by Sean Bean. At first you thought he was an ally (and of course Sean auditioned to be Bond) but turns to be his powerful and clever nemesis. Unlike many of those fought against Jimmy B, Janus was believable, full of pathos, and could beat him in a fight (which Bond returned the favour at the end).

  • Comment number 35.

    Although i think the film is pretty shoddy to say the least I really liked Matthieu Almaric's performance as Dominic Green in Quantum of Solace. The film's not much cop but he manages to be quietly menacing despite having nothing to work with script-wise.

  • Comment number 36.

    Having recently seen the documentary "Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007", surely there is a strong argument that Kevin McClory is the greatest Bond villain of all time? The amount of trouble that this guy put upon Fleming, Broccoli and Saltzman meant that it wasn't until early Noughties that we were able to finally get the true adaptation Casino Royale deserved!

    Film-wise, Goldfinger is the best! Although his "I expect you to die" line is matched by that of one Hugo Drax of Moonraker :-

    "Look after Mr Bond... See that some harm comes to him."

  • Comment number 37.

    Man with The Golden Gun was the first Bond I saw in the cinema as a child, and I was astonished by the third nipple thing. In retrospect Scaramanga is one of the few villains who is an equal to Bond, where the rest are just superior by wealth and/or science. Too bad the film was a pretty uneven outing, but Christopher Lee is great.

    I was also very impressed as a child by a Jersey Shore pizza eaterie that had a signed photo of OddJob on the wall. He was one of the best henchmen, and apart from "Jaws", one of the few memorable ones. Can we not get good henchpeople nowadays?

    Overall, though, I'd have to say Blofeld is the most iconic. As an improviser I know that you can instantly convey the Bond universe by miming stroking a white cat, and making any blandly sinister statement ending in ".... Mr Bond!" You don't even have to be a good mime, or impersonator to pull it off, such is the strength of that image.

  • Comment number 38.

    Bond villains should steal the film, by and large. And the very best ones do tend to do that, no matter how bad the film. Favourites include Gert Frobe, Joseph Wiseman, Curt Jurgens, Christopher Lee and Yaphet Kotto. But for me, the very best in terms of sheer style and villainy has to be Michael Lonsdale as Drax. He actually has some fine lines and they are delivered beautifully with a measured sinister menace.

  • Comment number 39.

    Can I make a slightly contentious nomination for Robert Davi's Sanchez, in the under-rated 'License to Kill'? Bond villains tend to veer towards pantomine theatrics, but Davi plays things impressively straight, radiating an aura of danger with every glower of his pockmarked, worn, threatening visage. He actually manages to rack up a pretty decent bodycount in the process, including a memorable 'amputation by shark'.

    'License' was one of the only Bond films that felt ragged, thrilling and real to me as a kid, largely as a result of the villain posing a credible threat, and it's very much a forerunner of the more realistic and grounded Daniel Craig films. Dalton was a great Bond, too.

  • Comment number 40.

    Whilst agreeing about Bloefeld and Goldfinger... often overlooked is Klaus Maria Brandauer as Largo in Never Say Never Again... marvellous performance.

  • Comment number 41.

    Also gree that Dalon was an under-rated "edgy" Bond.

  • Comment number 42.

    My top five are:

    5.) Francisco Scaramanga
    4.) Red Grant
    3.) Mr Wint and Mr Kidd
    2.) Auric Goldfinger
    1.) Ernst Stavro Blofeld

    Though I do get the feeling that Javier Bardem's Raoul Silva will shake things up a bit!

  • Comment number 43.

    A tough one for many, but Scaramanga from The Man With The Golden Gun will always be a personal favourite. Having always been a fan of Chritopher Lee was the perfect match for Bond.

  • Comment number 44.

    I'd go for Sean Bean as Alex Trevelyan from Goldeneye. He's one of the few Bond villains with a personal relationship to 007 and can actually pose a threat to him in a fight unlike Blofeld or Goldfinger. Red Grant in FRwL runs a close second but he loses out since he's really only a henchman for Spectre rather than a villain in his own right.

  • Comment number 45.

    A bit of a tangent here ... Football Managers as Bond Villains? Wrote this a while back

    Javier Bardem looks like a winner, though not sure about the blonde locks. Dr No was chilling (no pun intended) as he was so ... cold. I'll stop now.

  • Comment number 46.

    Silly people! Best Bond villain ever was Mr. Big/Kananga from Live and Let Die. A voodoo priest, kind of, and Harlem drug lord all in one who gives heroin away for free to build addiction among his clientele and uses voodoo to scare people into staying away from his product...what's not to love. Mix in the intro jazz funeral that's actually an assassination ploy, the best Bond theme song ever, and a large dose of Yaphet Kotto and a new but very cool Roger Moore, you get the best villain in the franchise's history. Long live Mr. Big! And if any of you mistake the previous sentence for a Sex and the City reference, hang your head in shame.

  • Comment number 47.

    Hugo Drax (from Moonraker) is not the best Bond villain ever, admittedly, since nobody on Earth particularly noticed what he was up to, but he does have the best ever Bond villain line: "James Bond, you appear with the tedious inevitably of an unloved season"

  • Comment number 48.

    I cannot quite remember the names. I think Rosa Klebb was the knife in shoe lady and I think Oddjob was the one with the bowler hat.

    Actually, Dr K, I think you'd fit perfectly in a Bond movie. I'm not quite sure "which side" would fit you best!

  • Comment number 49.

    Having found my typing fingers again that went missing at 41 above...

    Dalton is an edgy uder-rated Bond and Robert Davi an excellent villain.

    Also - Mark - wouldn't Jason Issacs make a great Bond villain.

  • Comment number 50.

    I'm probably going to be in the minority here but I really enjoy Le Chiffre from Casino Royale as a villian. He's a much more realistic character, he's basically a henchman for a bigger company, yet he's still smart enough to outwit Bond in the poker game, and need I mention the wince-inducingly realistic torture scene.Also on a personal note, I always have a soft spot for Christopher Walken so I'm throwing Max Zorin up there as well.

  • Comment number 51.

    For me the best Bond villain is not an individual but an organisation which was almost an entity haunting Bond itself...

    1st = SPECTRE.

    2nd = Donald Pleasance' take on Blofeld.

    3rd = Auric Goldfinger.

  • Comment number 52.

    Really hard decision, I could go for Scaramanga or even the fantastic vision of James Bond gone evil as personified by Sean Bean as Alec Trevelyan aka 006... but I'll make a decision a few others have which is great, Robert Davi as Sanchez in Licence to Kill is cold ruthless and calculating, a real menace and threat and a realistic menace as opposed to some of the others... massively underrated

  • Comment number 53.

    I agree with those who mentioned Robert Davi as the drug lord Sanchez in the ‘Yojombo’ Bond film Licence to kill. Nice to see that film has a fan base as it’s the closest they’ve come to depicting Fleming’s Bond (not Daniel Craig as you mentioned, Mark, just sayin’).

    Although Moonraker is one of the sillier films, Hugo Drax is a very disturbing villain, When you think about it, he didn’t have a monetary incentive, he wanted to wipe out all human life on Earth and repopulate it with a superior race. He’s essentially Adolf Hitler in space.

    Blofeld would be my favourite from the books, but I felt they never really nailed him in the films. He could have been so much more terrifying had they not messed up You Only Live Twice making it before OHMSS when it should really have been a gritty revenge sequel.

  • Comment number 54.

    obviously its Orson Welles in 1967s Casino royale.Mads Mikkelsen was good too in remake.

  • Comment number 55.

    *That should be 'Yojimbo'

  • Comment number 56.

    The perfect Bond villain to be is still Robert Shaw's Red Grant in From Russia with Love. He match Bond's wits just as well as any other villain, and also has the physical braun, skill and stamina to take him on. While other villains are comparable, such as Sean Bean's Alec Trevalyn in Goldeneye, Grant has one thing Trevalyn doesn't, he's one of those dastardly Russian. Grant is the perfect cold war counterpoint to Bond.

  • Comment number 57.


  • Comment number 58.

    I might be really showing my young age here, but the best Bond villain for me is Alec Trevelyan/006 (Sean Bean) from GoldenEye. Mainly because it was the the film that introduced me to the Bond universe, but he did make a change fro the usual campy bond villain, he was other side of the coin to Bond and had a personal vendetta with Bond which made their relationship interesting - "For England, James? No...for me."

    If I have to have one of the pre-GoldenEye bond films it's probably Baron Samadi. I think because there is a sense of mystery to him and is the only Bond villain to be classed as supernatural.

    A Dark horse in the Bond Villain Catalogue (and I'm surprised this has only come up once) is Renard from The World is not Enough. OK, it was a fairly poor story and less said about "Nuclear Scientist" Denise Richards the better, but Robert Carlyle gives a really good preformance calm and collected - "Welcome to my Nuclear family".

  • Comment number 59.

    I'd have to say it's Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean) from Goldeneye.

    Firstly, he's a mirror for Bond himself, an evil twin - what Bond could become if he went bad. Plus as a 00 agent it means he has the same training which presumably makes him the intellectual and physical match for Bond. He also attacks him right in the core; while most of the villains just try to kill Bond with bombs and venomous animals, Trevelyan gets inside his mind, destroying him from the inside out. "I might as well ask you if all those vodka martinis ever silence the screams of all the men you've killed... or if you find forgiveness in the arms of all those willing women for all the dead ones you failed to protect." Classic.

    Trevelyan also ticks all the villian boxes:
    Cool lair (both underwater AND in a volcano)
    Sexy henchwoman
    Un-ending supply of disposable soldiers
    Sinister nickname ('Janus')
    Sexually threatens Bond's love interest
    Great motivation (both megalomanical self-interest AND political retribution)
    Charismatic British actor

    All in all, complete the complete package.

  • Comment number 60.

    Has to be Robert davi as Franz sanchez in Licence to Kill, firstly he fits perfectly opposite Timothy dalton's version of james bond, secondly he's one of the very few villains in the franchise to have something close to what you might call a character arc and finally the performance itself from Davi actually stands the test of time.

  • Comment number 61.

    Nik Nak

  • Comment number 62.

    Trevelyan - has the best speech of any Bond villain (even if it does puncture a film that's essentially a reboot by destroying Bond's rationale) with the 'Put it away, James, it's insulting to think I haven't anticipated your every move.'
    Also in the climactic fight he is more than capable of beating Bond, and were it any other film he would.
    It's a shame that the Brosnan Bonds had brilliant villains (even the abysmal Die Another Day had more than chilling performances from Toby Stephens and Rosamund Pike) but never scripts that really knew how to accommodate such well-designed and complex characters. Elliott Carver comes a close second for best Bond Villain.

    Worst Bond villain - Stromberg for having the weakest 'what-I'll-fall-back-on-for-if-Bond-gets-into-my-inner-chamber-and-sits-down-at-the-end-of-the-table-weapon.

  • Comment number 63.

    Robert Shaw silently stalking 007 with the same slick, cold blooded efficiancy that Bond himself exibits made for a villain as equally compelling to watch as the hero.
    You could also argue he was the perfect metaphor for that cold war era, as neither men engages in conflict but the menace always remains in the shadows.
    I cant wait to see the new film, Bardem is always great to watch.
    I hope the other characters get the same kind of screen time that Eva Green got in Casino Royale, which made her the best Bond girl In my opinion, ironically, by being a real character and thus much more than just a "bond girl" if you see what I mean.
    By the way, when are we doing the next film club ?. I think it should be a horror film for halloween, can I nominate john carpenters They Live, is probably more sci fi but i'd like to see it get some appreciation for a change.

  • Comment number 64.

    My vote is for Baron Von Greenback

  • Comment number 65.

    I'll probably be the only one rooting for Jonathan Pryce (and I assume you only mentioned him in your video for a chance to throw in your Rupert Murdock Freudian slip). Maybe he wasn't the scariest of all villains but I just think that Jonathan Pryce fitted so perfectly into the role and was such a delightful screen presence that I'll have to give him my vote.

    Anyway, lost interest in Bond with Casino Royal - think it took itself way too seriously for what it was, and that ball-crushing scene that everybody keeps praising was an asinine gimmick.

  • Comment number 66.

    I thought of this question for a very long time and I always come back to the same answer. Donald 'Red' Grant played by Robert Shaw. This villain both in the book and the film proved to be the ultimate secret agent assassin. The way in which he humiliates and degrades Bond moments before the villains death on the Orient Express is stunning, never before have I seen 007 so compromised. The villain was so good, his spirit is perhaps seen again in 1967 with Blofelds almost superhuman bodyguard 'Hans' played by Ronald Rich. And then later on you can definitely see it in the eyes of Doctor Kauffmans prodigy Mr Stamper (played by Gotz Otto) in the classic underrated Bond film 'Tomorrow Never Dies' (1997)

    Worst Bond Villian, Hugo Drax. Just a silly rehash of Carl Stromberg from the previous Bond film 'Spy who loved me'. Evil for the sake of being evil, a very silly man for thinking he can solve all his problems by building himself a space station and destroying all human life on earth. How was he going to solve the food problem again?

  • Comment number 67.

    Philip Seymour Hoffman in Mission Impossible III.

  • Comment number 68.

    For iconic, you have to go with Blofeld;after all, this is the only villain (apart from Jaws) who has appeared in more than one Bond films. That's including From Russia With Love,Thunderball and his cameo in For Your Eyes Only. No arguments, that is him being dropped into a chimney and promising to buy Bond a delicatassen in stainless steel.

    But for me, my fave is Elliot Carver. A lot of people don't think he's scary enough, but that's not the point. Carver is from the league of villains who is just barking mad, and a psychopath to boot. Just look at the scene of him sitting alone after ordering the execution of his wife - there's no remorse, no pity. His scheme is actually excellent, from the stable of a lot of villains plots; start a war and get the sides to blame each other. Pryce is fantastic in the role, despite a sometimes naff script. His death is brilliant too; rule of great villains: you should always have a great death.

    And Dr K, of course he's modelled on Murdoch, but he's also modelled on Maxwell too.

  • Comment number 69.

    I'm going to have to go with Hugo Drax from Moonraker. Okay, it's one of the silliest Bonds of all time but Drax's plan is both insidious and apocalyptic, floating around the heavens like some kind of celestial Hitler with his plot to annhilate the human race and replace it with his own Master-Race. Played with icy aristocratic contempt by Michael Lonsdale - although his piano miming skills leave a lot to be desired - he also presides over one of the franchises most ruthless scenes as Corinne Dufour is chased down and mauled by his vicious pet Dobermans.

    As for henchmen I have to mention Baron Samedi, for although he does very little in Live & Let Die his creepy presence pervades the film and provides the franchise with one of its best endings.

  • Comment number 70.

    The best Bond villain is Red Grant played fantastically by Robert Shaw. The best Bond films are usually the ones with the best villains. From Russia With Love has the best Bond (Connery), and the best villain (Shaw), and it is the best Bond film.

  • Comment number 71.

    For whatever reason, the Bond villains don't stand out to me as much as their henchmen. Oddjob from "Goldfinger" and Jaws from both "The Spy Who Loved Me" and "Moonraker" are worth noting but I think my favorite has to be Famke Janssen as Xenia Onatopp in "Goldeneye" because, to put it plainly, she just gives me the willies!

  • Comment number 72.

    I'm a sucker for henchmen, specifically Jaws and Pussy Galore. A hired goon with a tiny repetoire of silly attacks is better than any super-villian, no matter how big their island.

  • Comment number 73.

    Robert Shaw as Red Grant in From Russia with Love was the most genuinely menacing Bond villain and the one I would least like to bump into on a dark night. Mind you Donald Pleasance as Blofeld (or in any other role for that matter) never fails to make me shift uncomfortably in my seat. But surely a special mention should go to Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd from Diamonds are Forever. They've appeared on several lists as the worst Bond villains but how could you not have a soft spot for them?

  • Comment number 74.

    I agree with many of my learned friends that Red Grant is one of the best vilains, however let us not forget his boss Rosa Klebb. I rather like the disembodied voice of Blofeld in From Russia with Love, though I think he's referred to as No. 1.

    Stomberg utters "kill him" rather well, whilst Joseph Wiseman as Dr. No is often overlooked.

    Jaws is laughable I'm afraid and a reminder of how poor the later Roger Moore's films were. Kananga has stupidest death scene in Live and Let Die - it's just a blow-up doll exploding!!! Christopher Walken gets the hamiest villain award! He spends the whole film smirking.

  • Comment number 75.

    I absolutly love Mr Wint And Mr Kidd, their quips to each other is fantastic. They're so surreal they deserve their own tv series, where each week they kill a daytime celebrity cook with a poisonous Arachnid of some kind... I think it'd be a hit.

  • Comment number 76.

    Christopher Walken's gleefully sadistic portrayal of Max Zorin is one of the few highlights of "A View to a Kill." Zorin was so evil, in fact, that most critics and even Roger Moore himself would famously lambast the movie for its particular, the scene where Zorin mows down a bunch of construction workers with a submachine gun. Yet it's precisely the ruthless nature of the character and Christopher Walken's calculated performance that makes the film memorable. Not to mention Walken's hilarious delivery of the line "I'm happiest - in the saddle!"

  • Comment number 77.

    @75 Great Idea, if anyone should have a spin-off its the Bert and Ernie of Bond.

  • Comment number 78.

    I've been watching an (official) Bond film a day, just finished Die Another Day. My feelings after watching nearly all of them is that the best Bond baddies are the ones who are most like the opposites of JB himself. So 3. Scaramanga - Private hitman instead of gov hitman. 2. Red Grant - SPECTRE version of Bond. 1. 006/Janus - 00 Agent gone bad.

  • Comment number 79.

    I remember as a kid going to see Diamonds Are Forever, and being really scared by the creepy elegance of Blofeld, as played by the brilliant Charles Gray. For me, he'll always be the best Bond villain, although that's not the best Bond film.
    Was impressed,too, by the smarminess of Mathieu Amalric as Dominic Greene in Quantum...

  • Comment number 80.

    The Pleasence version of Blofeld is easily the most iconic for me and I do love the soft-spoken creepiness he brings to it over the other versions of the character.
    In terms of performance I'd have to give it to Max Zorin by simple viture of Christopher Walken being a Bond villain.
    In terms of favourite plan though, as a huge misanthrope, Hugo Drax has a special place in my heart even if he appeared in amongst the worst film.

    Though honestly I've been a huge fan of the Craig villains. Mr White and Dominic Greene are easily my favouites after Blofeld. White especially as modernised, even icier version of Blofeld and the over-wrought laughter as he mocks M for having no idea Quantum even exists gets me every time.

    Honourable mention to Willem Defoe's Bond Villain in 'Everything or Nothing'. He made a great villain in the vein of Walken's Zorin and that game really feels like the fifth Brosnan film, it certainy made for a better Bond story than 'Die Another Day'. The likeness and voices of all the cast (M, Q, Brosnan and even Richard Kiel!) really made it feel like a legitimate part of the franchise rather than just a quick cash-in use of the licence.

  • Comment number 81.

    An underrated choice would be Emilion Largo played by Adolfo Celi(here's a case of someone that would not have needed to change his name for a villain part!) in Thunderball. The moment he appeared on screen with his pirate patch, you know you're going for a ride. The guy is intimidation and class in one body, like a Evil Bond. Forget Sam Jackson, this is Nick Fury!

  • Comment number 82.

    I have to say I'm a fan of Franz Sanchez, as played by Robert Davi in the underrated License to Kill. Like any good drug baron, he was charming, suave, and ruthlessly violent. An intimidating villain, but not a cartoonish one.

  • Comment number 83.

    Well I dont know who the the worst one has been. But having just watched `Youve been Trumped` which many thanks to you i recorded off BBC2, I know exactly who should be the next one !!!! Donald Trump , Satan himself.What a fantastic Bond villain he`d be, I would love to watch Craig kick his ass, BIGTIME

  • Comment number 84.

    In the films: Dr No. As previously mentioned subtle, intense and metal hands.
    In the books: Red Grant, his backstory alone would make a superb movie.

    Just to get it off my chest, but when Daniel Craig finishes his stint I like to see someone be bold enough to go back to the source material; make some 007 movies in the era the books are set in and actually do justice to the original stories (it worked for Harry Potter). Chris Nolan or Tomas Alfredson at the helm with Michael Fassbender as Bond.
    Won't happen but I can dream can't I?

    Seeing that little clip from Skyfall are they channeling Batman & The Joker?

  • Comment number 85.

    Emile Locque. Ice cold.

  • Comment number 86.

    Christopher Walken in A View To A Kill. Still the only Bond villain who actually laughed when he died.

  • Comment number 87.

    Robert Davi as Sanchez in License to Kill. What he has that no other real bond villian has (henchmen not included) is a sense of realism. The Dalton films in my opinion are sadly cast aside when in fact if we didn't have Dalton i don't believe we'd have the realism of the Daniel Craig films. Sanchez is a real character set in a real world, these people existed in '89. Goldfinger, Blofeld and Dr No never did.

  • Comment number 88.

    As The Spy Who Loved Me is my favourite Bond film (and the first one I ever saw at the cinema - Waltham Cross 1977), I'll have to go for Karl Stromberg as well as #33.

    He had the coolest underwater lair complete with helicopters and a shark tank! Plus, he also had Jaws (Richard Kiel) and Naomi (Caroline Munro) at his disposal!

    Also, anyone interested in the Bond cars, remember that the Top Gear '50 Years of Bond Cars Special' is on BBC2 on 29th october!

  • Comment number 89.

    It has to be SPECTRE agent Rosa Klebb, the evil female villain in From Russia with Love.

    Although she is a slight, and ageing, woman, she proves a worthy adversary against Bond in the film's finale.

    After the nail-biting fight with Red Grant is over and Bond is safely back in Venice, Klebb tricks her way in to the hotel room as a maid.

    Connery recognies Klebb and you can hear the fear in his voice, before she unleashes her poison-laced dagger shoes.

  • Comment number 90.

    Honorable Mentions: Zao (there's just something about a guy with diamonds on his face) , Miranda Frost (she is the greatest girl in Bond movies for my money) and they would be more memorable but I blame it on script and directors. Now my favorite Villain is Goldfinger and here is why, it's simple economics because for the price of one you get 2 great Villains, yes I'm talking about Oddjob. So my greatest Villain is Goldfinger/Oddjob, as a kid this (whan I watched tBond movies) are the ones that carved them self in my memory as great Villains.

  • Comment number 91.

    Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze-"You're not sending ME to the COOLER!".

    OH wait sorry wrong franchise!!!

  • Comment number 92.

    Dr Noah/Jimmy Bond in Casino Royale,who plans to use biological warfare,to make all women beautiful and kill all men over 4ft 6" tall,leaving him as the "big man",who gets all the girls.The man with the,fiendishly brilliant master plan.

  • Comment number 93.

    Pleasance as Blofeld or Michael Lonsdale as Drax.

  • Comment number 94.

    Robert Davi's Franz Sanches. He is the only Bond villain you can truly believe exists and find sinister. He's not got a world domination. He's a drug baron and simply want's to see cocaine. And he's not going to let anyone stand in his way.

  • Comment number 95.

    I'd have to say Mads Mikkelson's Le Chiffre in Casino Royale. The attempts to make him physically flawed (weeping blood, asthma) are so comically in your face that they can only be brilliant. But here's the key... he's not the big bad. Certainly he is presented this way for the majority, but he has unseen superiors, people he owes money too, people he is afraid of. And not to mention he's offed in such an early and anti-climactic way in order to proceed with the plot, it draws comparisons to Nolan's bat-baddies.

  • Comment number 96.

    I'm not sure about 'the best' (which I think is a toss-up between Robert Shaw, Christopher Lee and Robert Davi), however I can tell you who I think the worst are;

    1. Sean Bean as Alex Trevelyan - whose accent ranged from twee 'recieved English' pronunciation, to his native broad Yorkshire when the character was required to get shouty and angry...

    2. Jonathan Pryce as Elliot Carver - I love Jonathan Pryce (in a manly way!) as an actor, 'Brazil' being in my top 5 - but his performance as the 'evil' Carver was, almost literally, the worst kind of scenery chewing in the Bond canon...

    3. Toby Stephens as Gustav Graves - I don't know why, but the character didn't work - even though the script gave the reasons, Graves telling Bond that he based himself on Bond (the Graves character having emerged from a Cuban 'gene therapy clinic having formerly been, very definitely, a North Korean army renegade officer)... too supercilious and sneery.

    There are all 'villains' of the Pierce Brosnan era; which is unfortunate, as he was - again, in my view - the second best Bond, until the arrival of Daniel Craig (who is probably the best; apologies to Mr Connery). At least two of the films - 'Goldeneye' and 'Tomorrow Never Lies' are pretty good films.

    In my view the role of Elliot Carver was let down by a poorly scripted character with no depth (perhaps that was the point, a supremely shallow media mogul), and the aforemention OTT acting (probably a directorial failure). Toby Stephens was too young, too unknown and too inexperieced as an actor to do justice to a (likewise) not very well written character.

    Which leaves Sean Bean; again an actor who can surprise and delight (as he did just a few weeks ago with his cross-dressing teacher character in the BBC's 'The Street' - brilliant work). Trevelyan's subtleties and moodiness were beyond him - at that time. Definetely the worst 'villain'.

  • Comment number 97.

    I think Christopher Walken is a much underrated villain in a much underrated film. The scene near the end of 'A View to a Kill' where he takes a machine gun and mows down the people who have been loyally working for him is one of the most chillingly callous actions by any Bond villain.

  • Comment number 98.

    For me it has to be Christopher Walken as Max Zorin in A View To A Kill. It's the first Bond film I can remember seeing as a child and has remained a firm favourite ever since. Walken is suitably bonkers as the villain, with just the right mix of psychopath and raving loony. Plus, it wouldn't really matter what he was in, Walken is always a mesmerising presence in any role he plays, no matter how garbage the film is!

  • Comment number 99.

    Roger Moore, for his criminal portrayal of 007.

  • Comment number 100.

    I think for the moment, I will have to go with Red Grant, played by Robert Shaw, from "FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE". I'm not sure why I would put him above such masterminds as Blofeld, Dr No, Goldfinger and Scaramanga, but I feel that the man is a mastermind in a completely different level. Those other guys all had their own dreams of world domination; Grant was simply following orders but somehow managed to make a sport out of it. He studies Bond, and can put up an act in front of him, and he takes his time when taking out his target. He really is the cold blooded kind, and in a way, is Bond's equal in that regard.


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