OK, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars fans, move over and make way for the longest running film franchise there is…James Bond! The new Bond movie, SPECTRE, comes out this Friday, November 6, and is the 23rd official James Bond movie. As many Bond fans already know, SPECTRE is the organization of criminals in the first several bond movies, which just begs the question: Who are the best Bond villains ever? Here are my top 5.
OK, some of you might disagree with me on this one. But, I have to give a nod to the new Bond films, and Le Chiffre played by Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, is a perfect foe for Bond in Casino Royale. Le Chiffre and Bond throw down at a marathon poker game reminiscent of the climactic gambling scenes in the Ian Flemming novels.
Probably the most memorable Bond villain of all time is from The Spy Who Loved Me. Richard Kiel’s Jaws was bigger than life and almost a comic book villain, with his huge stature and steel teeth. I would have ranked him higher, but he just had to come back and make a lackluster appearance in Moonraker and have a very contrived romance.
Who can forget The Man with the Golden Gun, Scaramanga, charmingly played by Christopher Lee. Lee was considered by his step-cousin, none other than Ian Fleming himself, to play Dr. No in the first Bond film, but Joseph Wiseman had already been cast. Lee made a great foe with his makeshift Golden Gun and classic pistol duel at the end of the film.
“No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.” When you speak the most memorable line of any Bond villain, you have to make the list. Goldfinger was played by German actor Gert Fröbe, who ironically did not speak a word of english and had to be dubbed in after filming. Still, Fröbe gives a wonderful performance, and with a henchman like Oddjob, how can you not be one of Bond’s baddest villains?
Ernst Stavro Blofeld
No matter how popular and iconic any Bond villain is, none can compare to the notorious leader of SPECTRE, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Played by many actors in different films, the most notable performances are given by Telly Savalas in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Donald Pleasance in You Only Live Twice. Remembered for his iconic white cat, Blofeld will always be Bond’s ultimate villain.
Who are your favorite Bond villains? Enjoy SPECTRE this weekend.
Jim is Art Director at Half Price Books Corporate.