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Greatest Movie Antagonists of All Time


Guest Brian M

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Guest Brian M

Okay, just who is the best antagonist (bad guy) in the history of movies?

I'll start us off with the one, the only:

hans_gruber_ultimate_villain.jpg

diehard.jpg

HansGruberDeath.jpg

The actor: Alan Rickman

The film: Die Hard

The year: 1988

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As much as I thought the film was rubbish I though Alan Rickman's Sheriff of Nottingham was much better than Hans Gruber as a baddie (or antagonist for those of you who don't understand what a baddie is).

However neither are on a par with Vader!!

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As much as I thought the film was rubbish I though Alan Rickman's Sheriff of Nottingham was much better than Hans Gruber as a baddie (or antagonist for those of you who don't understand what a baddie is).

However neither are on a par with Vader!!

I agree with this...... his Sherifff of Nottingham was ... well the film was crap he dragged it up buy the boot laces... complete brilliant !!! I would go as far as to say one of my favorite performances of all time.

I also agree with Jack Nicholson... that was awesome.

And maybe it was over hyped to get a mention here, but Anthony Hopkins as Dr Lector (sp?) ... brilliant also !!

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Guest Brian M

Vader, while iconic, is an obvious and trite choice from a tired mind that so often struggles to see beyond the obvious. Where exactly is the performance in Vader? The nuance? Oh yes. That'd be where the actor in the suit clenches his fist 'menacingly', while James Earl Jones lays down his voice over, many months later. Yes?

icon_rolleyes.gif

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Alan Rickman is amazing as the "bad guy" isn't he?

He was great in Robin Hood (and not many were good), he was wicked in Die Hard, he's slimy in Harry Potter and he's a complete b*stard in Sweeney Todd.

He's just great as the bad guy. Which is why I had some trouble with seing him in Love Actually.

Gary Oldman also does a great badguy.

As for the greatest antagonist I'd pick someone like Darth Vader.

Dr. Lecter is also great. Scary as h*ll and brilliantly portrayed by Hopkins. The last person you'd want to ask for help...

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Oldman, is great in 5th element too, and The professional, he just plays a good bad guy.

Nicholson is great too in the Shining.

The sheriff of Nottingham was the only good point of Robin Hood

However, one of my favourinte antoagonists........

alex.jpg

Alex, from A Clockwork Orange

Scott

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I thought Oldman was superb in Leon as the crazed cop , he was also excellent in Air force 1 , ok sh*te movie.

Rickman as Hans Gruber is for me the best bad guy ever , should have got an oscar for that role. Same too for Sheriff of Nottingham, absolute quality.

How about Joe Pesci in Goodfellows and Casino, a proper bar steward.

Ben Kingsley in Sexy bar steward, f**king brilliant.

Alan Ford as Bricktop , excellent, a right c**t.....And i quote

Do you know what nemesis means? A righteous infliction of retribution, manifested by an appropriate agent. Personified in this case by an horrible c**t; me.

Christopher Walkin in True Romance.

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Some good ones have been mentioned already, but I'll throw some more into the mix:

Frank(Henry Fonda) from Once Upon a Time in the West.

Real life characters like Adolf Hitler and Amon Göth, probably don't count, but I'll give an honorable mention to Bruno Ganz who was great in Downfall as Hitler and also to Ralph Fiennes who was great as Göth in Schindler's list.

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icon_lol.gif Vader is an obvious choice whereas coming up with Gruber must have taken weeks of careful consideration before the film was found sitting at the very top of the pile of 'Lad's favourite beers and pizza night in film'

I don't recall the question being being which baddie is a great baddie because of artistic performance, Vader the package was the baddie that struck fear into a generation of people who watched it a certain age and in a certain era. Gruber was more of a comical character whose 'baddiness' was always diminshed because you knew he was going to get beaten by a jive talking copper with a bad vest.

I await to see how the question gets changed again.

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Guest Brian M
Gruber was more of a comical character whose 'baddiness' was always diminished because you knew he was going to get beaten by a jive talking copper with a bad vest.

And there you were thinking Vader would win all along, huh? Sorry that didn't work out for you.

An antagonist can be a person (Gruber, etc), a thing (Volcano erupting, etc), an emotional construct (family unity, etc). Hell, it can even be the protagonist himself (though inner conflict is more a literary tradition than a cinematic one). But given it's motion pictures we're talking about in this thread, and given a 'bad guy' is played by an ACTOR - hence me specifying, 'bad guy' in my original post - (thanks for getting that one wrong Loz and Liam. Nice work from both of you icon_rolleyes.gif ), then it's safe to assume that the actor's performance as the said 'bad guy' is part and parcel of what makes his role so memorable. Something which, when combined with great dialogue and a powerful narrative structure, lifts the film to a whole new level.

If you strip performance out of the equation you could say the Alien from Alien, the Predator from Predator, the shark from Jaws and Hal from 2001, are great antagonists (and they are). As is Jason from Friday the 13th and Michael from Halloween. And yes, you can certainly throw Vader into this list of iconic antagonists. But compared to Nicholson in The Shining, Hopkins in Silence, Malcolm in Clockwork, Al in Scarface, Glen in Fatal Attraction, (etc, etc)...Vader is nothing more nor less than a cool black guy doing a great voice over.

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Damn this bait is good.

5400.jpg

p.s. Jaws is the best antagonist ever and he doesn't even have a speaking part. Now that is acting talent!

(Although I must add that I wasn't too happy with the amount of nepotism on show when his family kept getting parts after his untimely death.)

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Colonel Kurtz(Marlon Brando) in Apocalypse Now!

Then two antagonists of a different kind: Keyser Söze in The Usual Suspects and Tajomaru in Rashomon. Those who've seen the films, know why I've mentioned them together here. I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen the films as they're both worth seeing. icon_wink.gif

Brad Pitt is not just a pretty face, he has done a few pretty memorable performances as a baddie: Tyler Durden in Fight Club, Jeffrey Goines in Twelve Monkeys and Early Grace in Kalifornia.

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Interesting shout with Kurtz, interesting because I guess many don't really see him as a villain.

If I actually had to pick one which would have Brian saying 'see that is what I meant, now you're nursing the ego of my thread' then it would be Nurse Ratched from 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'

Also in the running would be Dr Szell from Marathon Man, Norman Stanfield in Leon, Norman Bates and Alex from A Clockwork Orange.

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