Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Who's Your Favorite Villain?


"The more successful the villain, the more successful the picture" ~ Alfred Hitchcock 

There are lots of famous villains throughout the history of fiction. Dracula, The Wicked Witch of the West, Darth Vader, Norman Bates, the dude who melted Frosty the Snowman (evil bastard).

Oftentimes, a story's antagonist is every bit as compelling, and sometimes more so, than the hero. I think we are so fascinated by villains because they are flawed, as we are flawed. Of course 'flawed' would be the understatement of the year for some villains, but you get my drift.

And would heroes exist if not for villains?

To me, the most compelling fictional villain will always be Hannibal Lecter. What a fascinating, character. Though I would damn sure never accept one of his dinner invitations.

Who is your favorite villain in movie, television, or literary history?

122 comments:

  1. Most favorite? Not sure who is at the top. Dig Q from Star Trek TNG, Vader from Star Wars, Robert De Niro in Heat, and Kevin Spacy in The Usual Suspects.

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  2. It would have to be the drunk lee grant from AIRPORT 77
    When she compares her husband's ( Christopher lee) 's penis to a miniature bottle of brandy

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  3. Geee ... no one ... I'm not a villain lover .. not even in the form of spirit or ghost or vampire or whatever ... they are scary ..

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  4. lechter is def a fav...though loki from the avengers is pretty cool too....and there are so many to pick from...ha...i def like a good villain...they can make a movie....the joker by ledger.....nice....

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  5. I don't think I have a favorite villain. I can't think of one right now... maybe Scrouge, hahaha. I usually have favorite heros.

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  6. Hannibal is a def. fave!! But we just saw Maleficent this weekend ... and it might be the Angelina Jolie talking (because let's face it - she is hot! *wink*) ... but I am thinking she is my new fave villain!!!! :)

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  7. Agent Ward from Agents of SHIELD, assuming he is actually the bad guy. And, reading Alex's comment above, I loved Q too - he always had so much fun!

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  8. Joker, Loki, Lecter, Gruber, Darth Vader and Logan from 24, such a douche bag, all pop in.

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  9. I cannot think of a favourite. :)

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  10. I LOVE Hannibal! He is definitely my favorite. I watch those movies all the time. I was NOT a fan of the TV show, though.

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  11. You have to know I'm going to pick Loki, but also Mr. Dark from Something Wicked This Way Comes.
    Thank you Keith.

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  12. I think I liked the old Frankenstein from when I was young! He was really scary to me!

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  13. This movie still gives me the heebie-jeebies even when I know what's going to happen.

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  14. The villains are usually the most interesting characters. :) I love Darth Vader, Hannibal Lecter, Lord Voldemort, Leatherface, Norman Bates, Michael Myers, that mean teacher in Ferris Bueller....
    The villain I hate the most is the hunter in Bambi!

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  15. Hard to pick just a single one

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  16. I can't - won't! - pick a favorite but one that always leaps into my mind first is Annie Wilkes from Stephen King's MISERY. Kathy Bates was amazing in the movie role and the character on paper is truly terrifying.

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

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  17. HL is a very good choice. On the comic side I go for Dr. Evil.

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  18. The bloke in Cape Fear. He could not be killed. Was it De Niro?

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  19. That's a good question. Offhand, I don't know?

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  20. oooo...good question!!! I like your choice too but only because I think he is the most talented man in the whole wide acting world...he is amazing. I like Ed Norton in a movie that I can't remember the name of...he pretended to be challenged and got away with murder..but again..probably because he's a great actor...and...Kevin Spacey?? now you've got me naming all my favorite actors Keith!!

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  21. I shy away from villains and bad guys, too scary, lol.

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  22. I could never watch hannibal too much for me-I am not into villians too much either-I usually hallmark channel movies-lol but I do love a good western or adventure story

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  23. I am not a big fan of villains :)

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  24. Well I have to admit that without villains, whether animal, person, place or thing, all events, books and movies would be rather boring. I don't have any that come to mind as favorites because I never root for the bad guy, BUT if I had to pick, it would be Sauron's ring...it always tried to get home to it's master, and in doing so ruined so many lives. It stood for money, greed, power...the roots of all evil kinda thing.

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  25. Eli Wallach as "Tuco" in "The Good the Bad and the Ugly." and Tom Hiddleston's Loki. The bad guys mostly give me the creeps. Couldn't bring myself to watch Hannibal.

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  26. I agree with you re Hannibal Lector - chilling! I like Jack Nicholson as a bad guy too - he's an amazing actor.

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  27. I'm not much on villains since there are so many out there, but Dexter of the television series was a very delightful favorite. He got rid of the bad guys. He had a code he followed that must be met before he would kill them. He was quite enjoyable to watch.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  28. OK, a lot of villains frighten me. I would not choose Hannibal Lecter. Smiles. I will have to go for Captain Hook. Frightening enough to make the plot interesting....but nothing that would give a person nightmares.

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  29. Villains are interesting! How an author portrays a villain signifies the norm of good and bad in the specific society. I would pick Satan from Paradise Lost.

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  30. The villains from Pulp Fiction. Such singularly American types...

    Pearl

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  31. I don't want to think of villains, the world is full of them.

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  32. Wow, Keith - - this is the first time that you've truly stumped me. There are such an enormous amount of villians to choose from that I can't single one out. I'm sure I'll think of one - much later, when it's too late to post my answer.

    Well, how about those three delightfully evil witches in the movie "Hocus Pocus"?

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  33. Mine is without doubt the one in the picture above :-) Hannibal Lector from The silence of the lambs...but is he really the villain in that movie? Second is Norman Bates from Psycho...
    They are so cold blooded and frightening....but really complex too......

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  34. What an interesting question, I have never thought of it. I don't know...maybe Captain Hook...sailing the seas forever with only a hook for a hand and Smee as his partner, awaiting the dreadful time crock.

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  35. I can't remember his name for the moment but he played the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin of Sherwood - oh I've remembered - Alan Rickman - he stole the film from Kevin Costner - and maybe the baddie in Waterworld, can't remember his name either - something Hopper?

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  36. oh man, Michael Corleone!!!! i think Puzo brought a villain character to the new level with Michael Corleone. Seriously. maybe a lot of people don't even categorize him as a villain. i guess it's because we're not aware that he's the guy. Hannibal for sure. and i a few months ago I watched an episode of Hex, and michael fassbender as a horny devil definitely it. he's so hot in that one. ha! not to mention him in x-men.

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  37. I don't really care for villains, but if I were forced to pick one it would be Norman Bates, from a purely psychological perspective. That kind of stuff fascinates me.

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  38. i think my favorite villains are from the gundam - any of the gundam series in the franchise. i love watching because the storyline always makes such a great case for each side.. fighting for what they believe in. i also really love anime and robots :)

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  39. I tried to to think of one but they tend to be the 'bad guy good guys..' like the Magnificent 7 .. those 2 in Pulp Fiction or Easy Rawlins from the Walter Mosely Books ( he's my fav!)
    Actually, now I think about it, there are a couple of villains I like. The Vinnie Jones character in the film Lock Stock & 2 Smokin' Barrels .. and the other one with the big Afro.

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  40. A good bad guy, no irony there! Recently one that stands out was the actress that played "Ma Ma" in the reboot of Dredd. Crazy...whew!

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  41. Dear OE, I tend not to go to movies where I'll be scared. I'm a person who puts herself into the picture and can't disassociate from it and so I feel things a little too deeply if I see images that imprint on my brain and spirit.

    When I was a child, the wicked person who scared me the most was Snow White's step-mother. I can still see her looking into the mirror at Snow White and the look of rage and jealousy that flowed her face. Peace.

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  42. I think that heroes will still exist even without villains.
    I like Darth Vader the best among all time bad guys. My kids and me are always confused if he was even a bad guy or circumstances made him that way. I guess that is another post.

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  43. Villain is such a blanket term. The bad guys always have the cooler costumes, the better lines, and neater powers. The only reason the good guys win is because of a social and cultural expectation. of course, it is said history is written by the victor, and how many of what would be termed villains have become heroes in historians eyes?

    Meditate on that...

    Darth Vader was my childhood hero. He could choke you with a glance. But, I must say, my favorite so called bad guy is Scorpius from Farscape. To my mind he's what would've happened if Vader and Hannibal Lecter had a baby.

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  44. Not that he is a villain, but he is the protagonist. Javert from Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables." Fascinating character

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  45. Ohh, you've picked a good one. He did play that role to a T.
    As for the guy who melted Frosty, I think Santa Clause was waaaaaaaaaay too lenient on him.

    Billy the Kid was the first one who came to mind for me, so I'm going with him, though I'm sure I'll think of others the whole rest of the day. :)

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  46. Joker from the Batman series :D

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  47. Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter. That guy is simply wicked!

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  48. There are a lot of them. I like the one you put in the picture. He was good!

    I also like the wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz. The grandmother from the V.C. Andrew's series Flowers in the Attic was crazy interesting. Especially when she wrote about her past.

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  49. Walter White. He's considered a villain, right?

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  50. Hannibal is right up there for me. Kathy Bates' alcoholic husband in Delores Claiborne makes me cringe. Bane invites me to feel claustrophobic. Also, the wicked witch and the flying monkeys from Oz- I want to cover my eyes just visualizing them!! Have a fabulous week Keith!

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  51. Harry Potter's Lord Voldemort has my vote!

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  52. First, thanks for stopping by. I see your Optimistic comments in my blog reading; nice to make your acquaintance.
    Even as a youngster I didn't make it through "horror" movies as either to boring or too horrible. I went completely off the genre in college, when I met Jack Merridew. If I am drawn into the reality, I am terrified, and I don't like that.

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  53. I don't watch horror - and don't read much of it either. That said, many (most?) heroes would be improved if their flaws were revealed. Often I think that villians are more believable than the alternative.

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  54. Hannibal was quite the villain but my favorite was Norman Bates, Anthony Perkins was amazing in Psycho .
    My hubby and I now watch Bates Motel and the character playing Norman (as a young man) is very good.

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  55. Ah a bit of fun today Keith!

    OK then - Annie Wilkes, MISERY
    -shiver- -shake- -look over the pillow- -squeeze eyes shut and peer through lashes-

    (I think Cathy Bates is one of the most underrated and best actresses on the planet who can play almost any genre of character imaginable)

    Oh dear dare I pull out the old CD??? -brrrrr-

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    1. Oh dear it's too early in the morning for all of my brain cells to be firing - I meant K for Cathy and DVD not CD!! :/

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  56. My favorite villain is the Gorke and he's from a famous Finnish children's book/animation series called the Moomins. He's creepy, yet a little bit of a wuss, too.

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  57. You do pose interesting questions.

    And in this case, I have to agree with you. Hannibal Lecter was indeed a fascinating character. Loved that film. Watched it recently as it happens.

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  58. Snidely Whiplash ... you too young to remember him? great villain ...

    "Curses! But though I be foiled to-day, my proud beauty, a time will come! Ha-ha! (Boo! Hiss!)"

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  59. I have to agree that the more nasty the villain... the better the picture... hence why I love Silence of the Lambs... so I would definitely choose Hannibal Lecter as one of the most complex villains...

    Of course I am a Star Wars fan and I think Darth Vader was an extremely vial villain too ....

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  60. My favorite villain of all time is Maleficent. I have not seen the new movie, yet, but I'm very excited and am going to be super critical and hope they did it right.

    I don't know why I love her so much, but maybe because she's just so darn evil and if I were to be an evil villain, I would want to be just like her turning into a dragon and what not!

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  61. my favorite villains are both cartoon characters who turn good in the end - Gru and Megamind! I also love Cruella De Vil. i'm a cartoony gal!

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  62. Actually he is also my favorite villain too ~ That movie scared the hell out of me, yikes ~

    Also, it would be cool to know your family tree Keith ~ Maybe you have some German ancestors, smiles ~

    Have a wonderful week ~

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  63. I never really though about it before, but I think I'd say Dexter. He's a villain but kills other villains.

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  64. Sometimes the villain is not a villain at all. Just the perceptions of those who don't understand. Robin Hood was my favourite "villain." We could use a Robin Hood right about now, either him or Guy Fawkes.

    Be well, Keith.

    Gary

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  65. Watership down had some mean characters.

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  66. I'm a huge wimp and really don't like villains. Wouldn't the world be so much nicer without them? Okay - taking off those rosy glasses now, I'll have to go with Lecter - but only because I saw that movie by accident. Yeah - I said I am a huge wimp...

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  67. I never thought about it - maybe the Grinch.

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  68. I usually enjoy the villain's story because, like you said, they are so compelling. I've always been drawn to Maleficent (and I'm not just saying this because the movie is out, I always thought that her scenes were beautiful in Sleeping Beauty and she was the only Disney villain who truly scared me) and I like stories that I've seen surrounding the evil stepmother from Snow White. Outside of Disney villains... that's a hard question! I'd have to think about it a bit.

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  69. Let me see......Gladiator is one of my favorite movies, so when Commodus, Emperor of Rome, was killed by Maximus in the end, it was a thrilling end to the show.

    Funny that you have Hannibal Lecter on here. My husband is fascinated by all of his shows too.

    ~Sheri

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  70. Hannibal Lecter gets my vote - he was one scary villain.
    Also enjoy Christopher Walken when he plays a villainous character.

    Enjoy the rest of the week
    Carolyn

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  71. Hannibal Lecter was certainly creepy! I tend to go for comedies and romances, though, so I don't know of many villains in the movies/TV shows/books I enjoy.

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  72. Peter Wiggin from the Enderverse - Shadow of the Hegemon, etc. by OSC. He was a one-dimensional villain in Ender's Game, but the Shadow series expands his character and shows how he became ruler of the world - not evil, just complicated.

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  73. Wow! I've been thinking about this all day and couldn't come up with my absolute favorite villain. I didn't see Silence of the Lambs because I thought it would freak me out. I was thinking of Moriarty, Lex Luthor, Goldfinger... My brain went everywhere.

    I remember my son telling me after we went to see Les Miz that his favorite character was Inspector Javert. I was appalled. "He's the bad guy!" I told him.

    "But he was just doing what he felt was right and he was doing his duty as faithfully as he could," Jon insisted.

    Hmmm.... OK... This made it even harder to find my favorite villain.

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  74. I would have to say Walter White too.

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  75. Fun question! Since my favourite movie is The Princess Bride, I have to say.. " My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

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  76. I don't have so much inspiration in villains since i like comedy stories lot.

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  77. It's got to be Gru from Despicable Me! :)

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  78. #1- I have to say I agree with the commenter that said "villain" is a blanket term. #2- I have to agree with the commenter that sad Dexter was one of their favorites, me too. #3- My favorite has to be Dracula. As in, Bram Stoker's Dracula. The book is fascinating and my favorite Dracula movie has to be the one starring Gary Oldman as Dracula. I was the weird kid that always watched that movie :)

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  79. I like villains who showcase acting ability rather just fight with hero… Prakesh raj is one of a best villain as well characteristic artist I like in Indian languages!

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  80. Baby Jane Hudson in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
    Bette Davis, one of my all time favs, is just so creepy in this movie!

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  81. Yes yes yes! Hannibal Lecter is extremely fascinating. He's definitely one of my favourite villains. I believe it was the acting genius of Anthony Hopkins that made this character so popular. And another favourite is the joker played by Heath Ledger. I've never liked the joker's part but when Heath Ledger played it, I loved it! It's really tragic that he died so young. He was a great actor.

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  82. For me, it has to be Robert De Niro's "Max Cady", in "Cape Fear"...he scared me half to death!!
    I can honestly say I couldn't sleep for days after watching this...

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  83. Snow Queen!
    She is beautiful, has nice clothes,a great coach, loves children and promises them lovely gifts. It's true she has icy heart but there are other people having cold hearts.

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  84. Iago as villain from Othello.Shylock from Merchant of Venice.As hero Rhett buttler from Gone with the Wind<3<3

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  85. You mean I have to pick JUST one? Truth, my favorites are the anti-heroes who you really think are the villains until something happens and totally throws you off kilter. Best. Moments. Ever.

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  86. Oh man that's a hard one but my first choice would be Hannibal Lector. Then Pinhead would be my second choice.

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  87. I've been thinking about this all day and truth be told I am having a hard time picking a villain. I'm going to have to go with Darth Vader since I am a Star Wars fan.

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  88. I have always loved Gollum from LOTR. He freaked me out as a kid, and still does to be quite honest :) but his story is fascinating and his conflict engaging. I also think that a huge villian in almost every show is the struggle that the hero has with himself.

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  89. I'd have to say Fagin, from Oliver Twist.

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  90. I'm not sure if the G-Man from the Half Life series counts, but if he does, he's mine.

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  91. I don't watch very much tv and can't tell you the last time I went to the theater so I don't have a favorite villain but Hannibal completely freaked me out, for days after seeing that movie. I did love the godfather series so perhaps Michael Corleone?

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  92. I'm not sure if he is really a villain but on re-reading ' Wuthering Heights' I was struck by how fierce Heathcliffe is- so perhaps he can be my favourite villain for now?

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  93. Yes, Hannibal Lecter is terrifying! But nothing is as terrifying as the real villains in life who do evil deeds...

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  94. Don't care for villains but think I know a couple of them in person..

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  95. Oh my gosh… those eyes of his FREAK ME OUT… seriously…

    I love villains that I root for. When I WANT to see a villain succeed. Those are the best crafted villains, IMO. :)

    And also, thank you for you kind, supportive comment on my blog today, Keith. It certainly helps and means a lot. Thank you. :)

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  96. He is too scary for me. I never made it through the entire film, and it ruined me from viewing Anthony Hopkins in any other movie without cringing.
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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  97. Voldemort is my almost favorite villain, but really, the most frightening are children villains, "Children of the Corn".

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  98. John Malkovich in "The Line of Fire". Classic. :-)

    Greetings from London.

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  99. My favourite villain is Long John Silver. He used to scare me half to death when I was a kid watching him on TV!! I loved it!

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  100. I'm one of the few that know Hannibal Lecter only by hearsay. Never even saw the movie. (movies?) Odd as it may sound, my all-time favorite would be Ursula from The Little Mermaid. And being a Trekkie, I have a fondness for Q, although he was at times almost not a villain. But there are as many villains as heroes, I suppose.

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  101. My favourite is Jack Nicholson..in the shining! damn creepsme out.

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  102. Yeah, Lecter is super creepy but one of those amazing villains who is amongst the most memorable of all time.

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  103. I wouldn't want to be invited to dinner by him, but I would love to talk to him! I want to know what he would find out about me :)
    I haven't commented for so long because I just can't come up with who's my favorite villain! I agree with everybody else's favorites - Gollum,Darth Vader or Lord Voldemort. Oh I know! It's Gargamel in The Smurfs! Hah :D
    Let's watch all these movies together, honey! :)

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  104. The alien in Aliens!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  105. If I had to pick one....I would say The Joker. Which I know isn't very original, but I really never like the bad guy. This was a hard one to pick. I'm usually the person screaming at the TV wanting the bad guy to be killed off. The Walking Dead would be a good example of that. ;)

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  106. My favorite Is Hannibal Lecter!
    I remember well when I saw his movie for first time! I was shocking and fascinated!

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  107. Dexter...Dexter Morgan has to be my all-time favourite!

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  108. Very true. Hannibal Lecter is one of (fictional) history's most compelling villains.
    Mads Mikkelsen's portrayal of Hannibal the Cannibal is also charmingly, calculatingly terrifying.
    My all time favourite is Dracula/Nosferatu - the only "true" vampire, not the pretty boys depicted today.
    And, let's hear it for the ladies...
    Cersei - cold, calculating and becoming ever more unhinged.
    Esther - the (33 year old) orphan.
    Sister Mary Eunice - shivers.
    The White Witch of Narnia.
    Elle Driver - one-eyed beautiful snake.
    Cruella de Vil - collector of animals' coats.


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  109. Wow, that is such a tough one for me. I am a huge Disney fan, so I would have to say that any of those villains (Cruella, Ursula, The Evil Queen, Maleficent) appeal to me.

    I liked Tony Soprano and Dexter also.

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  110. I don't watch TV ... period ... and villains ? why, the heck would I wanna enjoy any of them ? Why anybody would, is beyond my understanding ... maybe that's why so many shootings in high schools and places these days ...

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  111. that is tough - Anthony Hopkins rocks!! loved Jack Nicholson as the Joker. but i just can not pick a ultimate fav. it just can't be done. i can pick many. never just one. ha. ha! ( :

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  112. Hahaha, me neither. I agree, this is actually one of my favorite movies of all time. I think it's time I can introduce this movie to my munchkins. On the summer movie list.
    Cortne

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  113. I always prefer heroes to villains.... and I don't like modern world's obsession with crime, gore and villains. If I have to pick a villain it would be someone who has a deep explanation of how he or she became one....

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  114. James Mason from North by Northwest-He was debonair and every bit the villain

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