Famous villains in movies

Famous villains in movies

Luke Chval

Whether it’s anti-heroes who are the main focus of the film, or villains who are counterpart to a hero, every film needs a villain. This is mainly caused by the conflict of a movie. Every movie has a conflict, and every conflict must have a person or force to cause that conflict, which is the role of the villain in cinema. So here they are, the most famous and despicable villains of cinema.

Image used under Fair Use Doctrine
Image used under Fair Use Doctrine
Norman Bates, Psycho

I remember watching Psycho for the first time when I was around 10 years old. I had already seen other acclaimed horror films such as Halloween, but I was never frightened by a film that much in my life.

The iconic shower scene is the climax of the movie and makes the villain truly come to life. The villain was created perfectly in a person that could seem harmless, but then was uncontrollably killing people with no motive.

The Terminator, Terminator

It is hard to find a better villain than one whose sole intent and purpose is to destroy all of mankind.

Like Norman Bates, Terminator makes a great villain because it is void of any moral compass, and is therefore unable of being stopped unless by physical force. One of the most villainous parts of the Terminator is it’s unwillingness to be destroyed, and incredible resistance to bullets and fire.

Hans Gruber, Die Hard

The cunning, evil, mastermind villain from the classic Christmas movie makes this list because although he is not recklessly violent, or incapable of morality, but because he is portrayed so well, so ominously, by the talented Alan Rickman, whose unique cold voice fits a perfect cold villain.

Hans Gruber is unforgiving, cruel, and harsh on the hostiles he keeps in the movie, making him a great villain to hate.

Gordon Gekko, Wall Street

Gordon Gekko is a different kind of villain. He doesn’t shoot a gun or violently stab people.

The scary thing about Gordon Gekko is that he is the real villain. There is no real Terminator, the man that Norman Bates is based off of is dead, and Die Hard is just an action movie with a thief who dies. Gordon Gekko may be fictional, but his character is real, he portrays all the alive people who illegally take advantage of the stock exchange and steal from everyone. That’s what made Michael Douglas’ character so formidable in that movie, the realization that this crime exists.

Michael Corleone, The Godfather Part II

Michael Corleone begins his start as an evil New York crime lord in the first movie in the Godfather series by shooting a corrupt police captain. However the villainous description that feat alone gains him is overshadowed by the second film.

Corleone kills rival crime lords, commits perjury throughout a U.S Senate hearing, threatens witnesses into suicide, and even kills his own brother for making a foolish mistake and accidentally betraying him. Michael Corleone is one of the greatest anti-heroes ever written in cinema, and lives up to the expectations of evil.

Travis Bickle, Taxi Driver

Travis Bickle is another of the mentally incapacitated villains that were common in films in the ‘60s and ‘70s. He is tormented by his past of Vietnam, drives his taxi incredibly long hours, and then goes into a mad craze to get into shape and buys several guns illegally and practices drawing them in the mirror.

He attempts to assassinate a Senator running for president, but the Secret Service agents ward him off, but in a final effort to redeem himself conducts a raid on a brothel and shoots several men while trying to save a teenage prostitute that he cares for and is worried about. Bickle may be an anti-hero, but as a great villain in the beginning, he redeems himself in the very end.

By Luke Chval

So, do you think I left anyone out? Who is your favorite villain?