Top Movie Villains
With Halloween only a couple of weeks away, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) released its list of the top 100 movie villains on October 1. The greatest screen villain of all time? According to OFCS, it’s Darth Vader as played by David Prowse and voiced by James Earl Jones in the original Star Wars trilogy. Second place went to Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter, with Anthony Perkins’ Norman Bates (Psycho) rounding out the winning trio.
Erik Childress, a member of the OFCS Governing Committee says, "In many ways, the villains are the most important aspect of classic films – what would Star Wars be without Darth Vader or The Wizard of Oz without the Wicked Witch of the West? With this list, we can unapologetically say that we love a great villain!"
As one of the organization’s 132 voting members, my top three picks made the list of 100 – but I’m disappointed they were not even in the top 25. Aaron Eckhart as Chad in In the Company of Men earned the number 27 spot; Glenn Close’s Alex in Fatal Attraction finished 33rd; and Richard Widmark as Tommy Udo in Kiss of Death came in at 56.
It was quite a chore, but lots of fun, to choose from terrific performances in over 400 films nominated. Unlike many of my colleagues, I didn’t consider comic villains, such as Jack Nicholson’s "Joker," nor voices in animated features including Lucille La Verne, who spoke for the queen in Snow White. Both Nicholson and La Verne appear in the final 100.
After Vader, Lecter, and Bates, OFCS also ranked the following Villains in the top ten (listed in order):
Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber in Die Hard
Dennis Hopper’s Frank Booth in Blue Velvet
Robert Mitchum’s Rev. Harry Powell in The Night of the Hunter
Douglas Rain as the voice of HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey
Margaret Hamilton’s Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz
Max Schreck as Count Orlock in Nosferatu
Ricardo Montalban’s Khan Noonien Singh in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
OFCS membership is international in scope and includes writers from the U.S., Europe, Canada, Latin America, Australia, and Africa. Governing Committee members are Chicago-based Erik Childress of eFilmCritic, New York-based Phil Hall of Film Threat, and Liverpool's Ian Waldron-Mantgani of The UK Critic. For a complete list of "The Top 100 Villains of All Time," go to http://www.ofcs.org, the OFCS Web site hosted by Rotten Tomatoes.