Gary Oldman: The Best Bad Guy of All

Jul 5, 2001 (Updated Mar 1, 2002)

The Bottom Line Gary Oldman is a great villain, and has been typecast as such for about ten years...

Okay. It's gotten to the point that I've noticed Gary Oldman everywhere. He never plays a protaganist. He's always the villain. So, I decided to do a top ten list of movies focusing on Gary Oldman as the bad dude. Sit back and've likely seen one or two of these movies and never realized that it was the same guy playing the antagonist...

1986 - SID & NANCY: Gary Oldman is Sid Vicious. He doesn't just play the Sex Pistol, he is the man. It's a great movie altogether, although it's not a happy one. It's also important to point out that Oldman's portrayal of Vicious is almost disturbing...we see both his life and death. A definite cult classic.

1991 - JFK: How much more evil a man could Oldman play than Lee Harvey Oswald? Well, this movie shows Oldman as that man who cut JFK's life off very short. It's a pivotal moment in both the film and in real life. This is a great film as directed by Oliver Stone. I recommend it to everybody in that it presents a theory about Kennedy's assasination.

1992 - BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA: Possibly the best hairdo of all, this is also one of Oldman's most disturbing portrayals. He is Prince Vlad Dracula in the story as Stoker had intended it. Uber-director Francis Ford Coppola has created a near-masterpiece with Oldman as the reclusive, lonely vampire. Beautifully shot, I'd recommend this to horror and monster movie lovers alike. Oldman is definitely typecast following this film.

1993 - TRUE ROMANCE: Oldman is a pimp, a bad pimp, in this violent flick. Although his part as the utterly evil sounding Drexl Spivey is brief, it's also pretty important to the film's plot. And, to make matters worse, he must have been at least a bit wimpy to let little ol' Christian Slater knock him off. Funny and twisted, it's good fun for all.

1994 - THE PROFESSIONAL: My favorite film of all time, Oldman plays corrupt cop Norman Stansfield in this Luc Besson masterpiece. Co-starring Natalie Portman as the sole surviving Mathilda from a murdered family and Jean Reno as the "professional," this is one of Oldman's most chilling performances. This is a must see for Oldman fans and movie goers alike. It's tender, touching, violent, and hate-filled all in the same breath.

1995 - MURDER IN THE FIRST: In this true story of a petty criminal who is put in solitary confinement for years, Oldman is an evil warden named Glenn. You learn to hate him for his behaviour and for his lack of respect for humans (like Henry played by Kevin Bacon). Set in Alcatraz and the courtroom, this is an interesting thriller and yet another evil-Oldman part.

1997 - THE FIFTH ELEMENT: Director Luc Besson must have fallen in love with Oldman in "The Professional" to cast him in this colorful, interesting, fun futuristic movie. Oldman is the evil Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg. But Zorg isn't just any other ruthless criminal, noooo....he's a wimpy little dude that has to boss other people around to get his way. And, for that matter, he's got a really strange haircut. Funny, beautiful film.

1997 - AIR FORCE ONE: What's this? Oldman is a Russian bad dude fighting with the US president played by Harrison Ford. Yes! Oldman is Ivan Korshunov . He's a terrorist out for blood and money. He's one bad mamma jamma. Great, action filled film. A definite must-see for action buffs everywhere.

1998 - LOST IN SPACE: A luke warm remake of the television series, Oldman plays Dr. Zachary Smith...bad dude extrodinaire. He's sabotaged the space family Robinson's ship. A pretty decent role in a not-so-good film (although, I have to say I was entertained).

2001 - HANNIBAL: The worst bad guy of all, Mason Verger, is even worse than the reknowned Hannibal Lector. Verger is one of the first victims of Lector. Now, he wants revenge. I didn't even realize this was Oldman until the credits ran. It's difficult to look at his malformed face and listen to his ruined voice, but then again that's what Oldman does best. A great film (despite what some people say). A must see for crime, horror, and movie fans alike.

So, as you can see, Oldman has been a bad guy many times. He's been in good movie, bad movies, and mediocre films alike. He's costarred in my favorite film ("The Professional"). If you haven't experienced the whole Gary Oldman filmography, maybe today is a good time to start. He's one bad dude (or apple as Donny Osmond would have you think).

Happy viewing!

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