After yesterday’s nod to the CES with my post on the best James Bond gadgets, today’s post is a nod to the evil Seattle Seahawks, who knocked my beloved Washington Redskins out of the NFL playoffs. Accordingly, today’s Bond ranking is for the best James Bond film villains!
1. Ernst Stavro Blofeld – with five official appearances (From Russia With Love, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and Diamonds Are Forever) plus another implied appearance (For Your Eyes Only), this guy clearly takes the cake. Plus he’s the archetype for Dr. Evil.
2. Auric Goldfinger – Audacious name, audacious behaviors, and audacious one-liners! “Do you expect me to talk?” “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!”
3. Dr. No – although I don’t love this movie, Julius No did set the tone for the series as the original sophisticated genius villain.
4. Raoul Silva – Javier Bardem’s Skyfall villain was oh so creepy from his very first minute of screentime.
5. Francisco Scaramanga – The Man With the Golden Gun, played by young Saruman! (OK, Christopher Lee)
6. Karl Stromberg – This acquatic Scandinavian was the best of the “infinitely wealthy man who essentially wants to destroy the world as we know it” villains.
7. Tan-Sun Moon / Gustav Graves – Die Another Day was a terrible movie but the Gustav Graves incarnation of the film’s villain certainly had charisma.
8. Le Chiffre – There really wasn’t much to this guy: no under-volcano lair, no super powers . . . just a desperate need for cash and a willingness to do anything to get it. It’s a testament to how well made Casino Royale was that his character was so compelling.
9. Hugo Drax – Another ultrawealthy genius – not nearly as interesting a character as in the novel version of Moonraker, though.
10. Donald Grant – the anti-Bond in From Russia With Love – again, the novel develops his backstory much more richly.
11. Alec Trevelyan / Janus – 006 turning coat against England in Goldeneye? Well that’s payback 220 years too late for Benedict Arnold! At least he is portrayed by Boromir / Ned Stark.
12. Maximillian Largo – The villain in Never Say Never Again sure looked a lot like Phil Collins.
13. Max Zorin – I expected more from an ultrawealthy Christopher Walken villain, but he wasn’t helped much by the poor script of A View To A Kill.
14. Emilio Largo – The Thunderball villain (AKA #2) loses out to his remake from Never Say Never Again because of the p a i n f u l l y slow underwater fight scenes.
15. Dr. Kananga / Mr. Big – When the Live And Let Die villain removes his mask, it’s one of the most underwhelming “reveals” in movie history.
16. Dominic Greene – Quantum of Solace had very little good about – including a lame villain with weird, bulging eyes.
17. Elliot Carver – Jonathan Pryce is capable of a better performance than what we saw in this “mad media mogul” but he certainly wasn’t helped by the script of Tomorrow Never Dies.
18. Franz Sanchez – A South American drug lord killing someone and exacting a vendetta in License to Kill? Yawn, just like 100 other 80s movies / TV shows.
19. Aristotle Kristatos – For Your Eyes Only’s villain had nothing remarkable about him other than that he tried to play himself off as a good guy at first.
20. Kamal Khan – When your heroine is named Octopussy, you really need a more interesting counterpoint than this unmemorable villain.
21. Georgi Koskov / Brad Whittaker – The Living Daylights had not one but two lame general villains.
22. Elektra King – Sophie Marceau as the victim-becomes-persecutor villain of The World Is Not Enough was really forgettable. They should have just stuck with Maria Grazia Cucinotta from the opening scene/boat chase!