10 Best Bond VillainsMar 17, 2002 Write an essay on this topic.
The Bottom Line There have been many who have wanted to kill James Bond 007. But which have posed the best threat to our intrepid hero? For your eyes only...
"Goodbye, Mr. Bond."
This simple statement has been heard many times throughout the James Bond film series. Always laced with malevolence, these words usually are a precursor to the final battle that always sees our hero win the day and our villain meet his maker. But of these many evil souls, which ones posed the best threat to 007 throughout the Bond series? In no particular order, here are the top 10 for the United Artist range of films. And at the very end, I'll list my personal favorite, which may or may not shock those Bond fans out there.
Now, pay attention, 007...
1. Auric Goldfiner (Goldfinger): The series most classic film boasts the most classic villain in Mr. Goldfinger, who as the title song says "wants only gold." Bond must match wits him not only on the golf course but during a large scale attack on Fort Knox and in an out of control plane falling out of the sky. Just when you think Bond has beaten the evil Mr. Goldfinger, he keeps turning up. And as he states most famously, the only thing he wants from 007 is, "I expect you die!".
2. General Orlov (Octopussy): No other villain in the Bond films has had such arresting eyes as the USSR's finest, Orlov. Though he and Bond hardly share any screen time, Orlov does make for a classic bad guy, with a grandiose plan for domination of western Europe, the replacing of Soviet treasures with forgeries, and the best sulking ever seen in a Bond film. Just watch the scene where he outlines his plan for an invasion of western Europe to his superiors and be amazed.
3. Scaramanga (Man With the Golden Gun): While Golden Gun has been villified by many Bond fans as the single worst Bond film, one has got to admit that Christopher Lee made for one great villain. Dapper, suave, with a thick layer of evil hiding just beneath the surface, Francisco Scaramanga made for direct competition to 007. Both men appreciated the good things in life, had a thing for the ladies, and could kill with remarkable accuracy. Has Bond met his match? Behold Scaramanga and find out for yourself.
4. Rosa Klebb (From Russia With Love): While Blofeld made his screen debut in this film entry, it is former Soviet military leader, Rosa Klebb, who makes the biggest impression. Short, glass-wearing, unattractive, and quite possibly lesbian, Klebb is the one holding the strings in the game that pits Bond against the Soviets with the Turks playing a large role. Just when you think it was safe to go to Venice, Klebb shows up with deadly shoes to ruin your holiday. A wonderful performance. Go see why one should love to hate Rosa Klebb of SPECTRE.
5. Sanchez (Licence to Kill): Most Bond villains have been big talkers but unimpressive in the physical sense. Would there be much suspense in a fist fight between 007 and Stromberg or Drax? Not at all. What makes Sanchez such a threat is that one could believe he could whoop Bond in a fair fight. For example, the very final scenes see Sanchez recovering from a truck wreck before Bond. He's Bond's age, attractive, and deadly. He poses a serious threat to 007 in every sense, and Bond very nearly ruins his career and ends his life in finally defeating him. Bond's licence to kill may have been revoked, but who really needs a licence anyway?
6. Dr. No (Dr. No): He's got medal hands! He steals famous works of art! He wants to topple US missiles being fired from Florida! He hates common policemen! The Bond franchise gets its first great villain in its debut film. If nothing else, watch No's last great battle with Bond. The image of the metal hands sinking beneath the water is terrific. Make an appointment with the Doctor right away.
7. Max Zorin (A View to a Kill): Here's another lacklustre Bond film with a wonderful villain. For the first and only time in the series, the Bond bad guy was portrayed by an Oscar winner, namely Christopher Walken. Walken brings a creepiness that makes the viewer quite uncomfortable. A product of Nazi fertilization experimentation, Zorin not only orders the death of others without blinking an eye, he goes as far as to kill dozens of his own men. No other villain giggled right before his death either. Creepy stuff.
8. Ernst Stavro Blofeld (You Only Live Twice): I'm not considering the appearance of Blofeld in other Bond films where you don't see his face. Of the three gentlemen who played Blofeld on screen fully, Donald Plesence made the biggest impression of them all. With his bald head, gray Neru suit, disgusting facial scar, and peculiar tone to his voice, this Blofeld was ripe for parody. Hence Dr. Evil who is totally based on Plesence's performance. I admit being a bit disappointed that Blofeld no longer had the deep, threatening voice heard in earlier films, but there's no doubting the villainy of this head of SPECTRE. His utterance of "Kill Bond now!" is a classic.
9. Kristatos (For Your Eyes Only): After the outrageous villains of the two previous Bond entries, this film's bad guy is totally down to earth. He doesn't want to destroy the world and create sea-based or space-based utopias. No, he has stolen a British missile guidance system and wants to sell it to the Soviets. Reminiscent of FRWL's plot, FYEO showcases a clever yet cold villain with a taste for underaged girls and white doves. Kristatos could easily have been a 00 agent, but has decided to find his fortune independently.
10. 006 (Goldeneye): Alec Trevelyn actually was a 00 agent and then decided to find his fortunes outside the law. His knowledge of 00 procedure, equipment, and mind-set makes 006 possibly Bond's most threatening adversary. To make matters worse, 006 and 007 used to be very good friends. For Bond, defeating 006 is a mix of professional duty and personal justice. While initially reluctant to harm Trevelyn, Bond does his duty in the end and must kill his friend. Powerful.
There you have it, dear reader. And now of this menagerie of malevolence, which is my favorite bad guy?
You may be shocked...
Then again, perhaps you won't...
The best Bond villain is Sanchez from Licence to Kill. Not only is he a physical threat to 007, he is utterly ruthless. He feeds Felix Leiter to sharks, allows his men to rape and kill Leiter's brand new bride, cuts out his mistress' lover's heart, whips his mistress, throws his co-hort into a decompression chamber and then releases the pressure thereby causing the co-horts head to explode, tries to feed Bond into a shredder, shoots his own financial advisor with an Uzi, and then goes after a badly injured 007 with a machete. He is one bad dude, and the best Bond villain to hate.
As always, I thank you for tolerating a Bond fan who just loves to categorize things.
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