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What do we expect from villains?


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19 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Considering the common connection here between Rickman and Rathbone is that they both were "superfluous-u spellers" ;) , perhaps this article here might help explain this, TB?...

https://www.countrylife.co.uk/out-and-about/theatre-film-music/why-british-actors-make-the-best-bad-guys-144095

(...and Tim Roth is too, ya know...another one of those "superfluous-u spellers",  that is)

In your earlier post you also mentioned John Malkovich. An American who seems to be on par with the Brits when it comes to playing these types of roles.

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2 minutes ago, Cigarjoe cellph said:

I like villains who are shown as real people, screwed up for sure but real people.

El Indio in For A Few Dollars More, for example was a fully fleshed out madman.

Sergio Leone did the same for Lee Van Cleef. If you watch him in his 1950's Westerns whenever he was used as a villain he was often used as screaming hot head who though looking menacing didn't last long.

Leone had him slow down his lines and used his face, Van Cleef called it " his beady-eyed sneer" to ooze menace.

Good point about how a director can influence the actor's interpretation of the character.

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Villains in "A" budget superhero movies tend to stand out. The bad guys in the Batman movies and the Superman movies, like ham posted, are memorable.

But there are also memorable villains in "B" films. The villains in RKO's cheaply made Dick Tracy series of the mid-1940s certainly stand out. Especially Gruesome played by Boris Karloff in DICK TRACY MEETS GRUESOME (1947).

Screen Shot 2020-02-25 at 10.03.50 AM.jpeg

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I love villains, they're usually my favorite character in the movie.  If I don't love the villain, it's usually because they were annoying or some other reason--like Jar Jar Binks, e.g.  Oftentimes the hero is so boring that you want the villain to succeed! 

One of my favorite villains is Veda in Mildred Pierce.  She's my favorite character in the movie.  I'm only sorry that the film doesn't end the way that the book does, with my girl getting away with it all.  Veda is a girl that knows what she wants, and nothing her mother tries to do for her will satiate her desire to have the finer things in life.

Re: true crime type stories, especially ones involving serial killers I find fascinating.  No I am not rooting for the serial killer, because real people are being killed; but I find the serial killer's mind to be very interesting--how he (or she) plans their murders, the type of victim they seek, the way in which they contact their victim, the way they conduct their crime, how they manage to stay on the lam for so long, what slip up causes them to finally get caught.  Their childhoods I find interesting too, because there's always something there that may have contributed to their future life as a serial killer. 

Sometimes a villain, even a truly disgusting, heinous villain, can be interesting because you wonder why they're this way and how they can be so evil. 

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3 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

In your earlier post you also mentioned John Malkovich. An American who seems to be on par with the Brits when it comes to playing these types of roles.

True, I did.

However, you might remember a few years back when this idea that British actors were being "typecast" as villains all too often became somewhat of a common talking point, don't ya?!

(...and besides of course, this afforded me yet another opportunity here to kid 'em about that whole "superfluous-u" thing) ;)

 

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10 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

I love villains, they're usually my favorite character in the movie.  If I don't love the villain, it's usually because they were annoying or some other reason--like Jar Jar Binks, e.g.  Oftentimes the hero is so boring that you want the villain to succeed! 

One of my favorite villains is Veda in Mildred Pierce.  She's my favorite character in the movie.  I'm only sorry that the film doesn't end the way that the book does, with my girl getting away with it all.  Veda is a girl that knows what she wants, and nothing her mother tries to do for her will satiate her desire to have the finer things in life.

Re: true crime type stories, especially ones involving serial killers I find fascinating.  No I am not rooting for the serial killer, because real people are being killed; but I find the serial killer's mind to be very interesting--how he (or she) plans their murders, the type of victim they seek, the way in which they contact their victim, the way they conduct their crime, how they manage to stay on the lam for so long, what slip up causes them to finally get caught.  Their childhoods I find interesting too, because there's always something there that may have contributed to their future life as a serial killer. 

Sometimes a villain, even a truly disgusting, heinous villain, can be interesting because you wonder why they're this way and how they can be so evil. 

Your post reminds me of the real life serial killer Jack the Ripper. We have Laird Cregar playing him in THE LODGER (1944). Then Jack Palance plays him in the remake MAN IN THE ATTIC (1953). In the Palance version, he is shown as a psycho-sexual deviant. Where we are led to believe he achieves a sort of ecstasy when strangling and killing those beautiful women.

ce9f1-screen2bshot2b2016-10-252bat2b6-05-222bpm.png?w=660

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6 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Your post reminds me of the real life serial killer Jack the Ripper. We have Laird Cregar playing him in THE LODGER (1944). Then Jack Palance plays him in the remake MAN IN THE ATTIC (1953). In the Palance version, he is shown as a psycho-sexual deviant. Where we are led to believe he achieves a sort of ecstasy when strangling and killing those beautiful women.

ce9f1-screen2bshot2b2016-10-252bat2b6-05-222bpm.png?w=660

Yes. I think I saw Laird Cregar in The Lodger, but I fell asleep.  I'll need to re-watch.  If I remember right, Cregar looks rather thin, and I think this is his last film.

While obviously Jack the Ripper was horrible and murdered a lot of women, knowing the motive behind it doesn't make me sympathize with the serial killer, but it brings a level of understanding to know why he's doing it and what his motive is.  

Then there's a movie like M.  Do we even know why M is abducting and killing children? 

Not that he's a serial killer, but Humbert Humbert in Lolita is another example of this.  No, he shouldn't be preying after young girls, but knowing that he lost his first true love at that same age, and subconsciously has been trying to find that same love again, makes his motives easier to understand.  No I am not sympathizing with a grown man lusting after a child; but I am empathizing with someone who lost the love of their life and hasn't been able to attain that same feeling. 

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15 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

Yes. I think I saw Laird Cregar in The Lodger, but I fell asleep.  I'll need to re-watch.  If I remember right, Cregar looks rather thin, and I think this is his last film.

You must be thinking of Hangover Square. Cregar played a killer in that also and he was slimmed down and it did turn out to be his last film

Laird Cregar in Hangover Square (1945)

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1 minute ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

You must be thinking of Hangover Square. Cregar played a killer in that also and he was slimmed down and it did turn out to be his last film

Laird Cregar in Hangover Square (1945)

I haven't seen Hangover Square.  Maybe Cregar just looked thinner in The Lodger than he had in previous movies of his that I'd seen. 

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19 hours ago, TopBilled said:

I see an anti-hero as being a lovable rogue. A bad boy who has redeemable traits.

Is that how you define it?

Another example is on the Netflix series Jessica Jones, the first season. Jessica is supposed to be the hero and Kilgrave the  villain . I had friends who sincerely thought Kilgrave was the sympathetic character in that he seemed to only want love. Whereas Jessica was a hard drinking loner.

Its not just what they do what can determine who is whom but, why they do it. Their motivations. Like the old analogy of a person stealing food to feed their starving family. Are they the hero or the villain ? I would say a little bit of both.

I would define it as a combination of motivation and actions and results. Its really a case by case thing.

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17 minutes ago, GGGGerald said:

Its not just what they do what can determine who is whom but, why they do it. Their motivations. Like the old analogy of a person stealing food to feed their starving family. Are they the hero or the villain ? I would say a little bit of both.

Everyone wants money.  But not everyone robs a bank  (Although Sean Connery said it best:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMNUcNokvkU )

Everyone wants the girl.  But not everyone carries her off.

And let's be honest, who doesn't want the hero to shut up and lose once in a while?--Out of the entire hot, steaming mess that was Mission: Impossible 2, you had to admire the Dougray Scott villain taunting Tom Cruise for "Grinning like an idiot", unquote.

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18 minutes ago, GGGGerald said:

Another example is on the Netflix series Jessica Jones, the first season. Jessica is supposed to be the hero and Kilgrave the  villain . I had friends who sincerely thought Kilgrave was the sympathetic character in that he seemed to only want love. Whereas Jessica was a hard drinking loner.

Kilgrave was the more compelling character, to me.  Perhaps it was the actor (David Tennant) but he and Luke Cage were both more interesting than Jessica Jones.  I really felt a void when those two weren't on the show.

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8 hours ago, Dargo said:

Considering the common connection here between Rickman and Rathbone is that they both were "superfluous-u spellers" ;) , perhaps this article here might help explain this, TB?...

https://www.countrylife.co.uk/out-and-about/theatre-film-music/why-british-actors-make-the-best-bad-guys-144095

(...and Tim Roth is too, ya know...another one of those "superfluous-u spellers",  that is)

Reminds me of the commercial:

 

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8 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

Cripes!

That'll just open the floodgates for a sh*tload of needless  "prequels".  :rolleyes:  As for your opening post....

Villains should be all those and more.   We should be clearly repulsed by them, otherwise they might seem too sympathetic to be true "villains".   And since we do go see movies(or tune in to see them) they should be succinctly entertaining.  Just not to the point of being too likable.     Of course, as movie "aficionados",  we might tend to blur the line between a good performance as a villain, and  the true nature of the beast.   Outside of movies, nobody cares how the serial killer, rapist, child molester or other criminal madman got that way.  Cares not a fig if he or she were abused as a child or not.  Personally, I couldn't care LESS what kind of childhood JEFFERY DAHMER  or TED BUNDY  had.  And knowing it isn't going to prevent any future psychos from cropping up.  And knowing too won't bring any of their victims back, so why bother trying to dredge up sympathy for their past?  Or ANY villain's past, actual or fictional? 

Sepiatone

I personally would tend to agree with you. They did the crime, put them away, done !

But, there are those who are always looking for answers. Often where there are none. Want to know "why". Want to have "closure" . There are those who actually do care about the childhood of criminals. They want to delve deeper into the mindset who would do such a dastardly thing. That's probably why true crime in books, TV, movies, podcasts, etc... is so popular these days. It gets to the point of wanting to sympathize with a monster.

I don't mind when its a fictional character. But, in real life, not interested. I'd rather not give them any extra attention at any level.

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On 2/25/2020 at 9:43 AM, Det Jim McLeod said:

I like to see the villain get what's coming to him, like the Scorpio killer in Dirty Harry. He is a disgusting, nasty violent creep who murders just for the thrill of it. He is also a racist and abusive to children, so he has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. The final showdown with tough cop Clint Eastwood is very satisfying.

Image result for andy robinson dirty harry images

Andy Robinson, was a great villain, surprised he didn't have a bigger career in film.

 

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2 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

While Richard Conte played both good and bad guys in many fine noirs,   I feel he was at his best as a villain in films like The Big Combo and  Cry of the City. 

image.jpeg.e941b34b1a4fea11d16a6e6e91e38020.jpegimage.jpeg.9270407b58dc812c38de9b6c24492e6a.jpeg

Yes...fantastic, underrated actor. He's also a bit on the shady side in THE BROTHERS RICO (1957).

SCREEN.jpeg

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With a villian, I think it is important sometimes to see other dimensions outside of evil. I personally feel that one way that some films fall short can be by just showing villains as cardboard cutouts. They need to be made of a bit more flesh and soul. Take Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. the point why people remember her is not just that she was capable of terrible things, but also that she isn't over the top and also because, in her way, she only thinks she is doing the right thing. of course it isn't, but that's in her eyes.

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Currently I've been watching an interesting storyline play out on the British soap Emmerdale. This is a long-running story. Three years ago one of the village's heroines became engaged to a clean cut lawyer. They were this beautiful looking couple, both very successful.

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On the wedding night Pierce (Jonathan Wrather) rap*d Rhona (Zoe Henry). She fled from the scene, then gave evidence. He was arrested, tried in court and ultimately convicted. That took about six months to play out on screen. She divorced him, but she did go to see him at the prison. It was clear Pierce Harris was evil and would probably never change.

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In the meantime Rhona met another guy, fell in love with him and became engaged to marry this other guy. Two years went by. Pierce, who received a 5 year prison sentence was just released after serving about half his sentence, for good behavior. He's come back to the village, intent on proving that he loves Rhona.

This time around we are seeing Pierce from the perspective of how the rape ruined his life, not just how it ruined Rhona's life. They are not glossing over the fact that he still violated her. But they are now suggesting how Pierce and men like him are brought up a certain way in society to think they can have a woman submit to them at their will and command. The story still has a feminist slant to it, but they are also examining how society creates a villainous man. Rhona's petrified of him, she will never trust him again. But she also knows he's a damaged man, and he originally was a man she loved.

Screen Shot 2020-02-26 at 5.46.31 PM.png

So we are getting this whole complexity in terms of his evil acts and how it's affected them both, plus her son and their friends. Especially the friends who had testified at the trial against him. On a soap opera, there is the luxury of time, across hundreds of episodes, to go in-depth and look at all the shades of black, white and gray.

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Well heck, TB! With a face like THAT, she should've KNOWN the guy was trouble when she first met him!!!

screen-shot-2020-02-26-at-5.45.49-pm.png

I mean, take a LOOK at this guy here! This dude has "trouble" written all over his FACE, wouldn't ya SAY?! And THAT starts with "T" and that rhymes with "P", and I suppose you know what THAT stands for in this case, don't YA?! 

Uh-huh,  like the guy is a real BIG one!

(...hey now, I said IS, not HAS here...although, I suppose that might have been the very reason she stuck with the guy for as long as she did, huh) ;)

 

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13 hours ago, Dargo said:

Well heck, TB! With a face like THAT, she should've KNOWN the guy was trouble when she first met him!!!

screen-shot-2020-02-26-at-5.45.49-pm.png

I mean, take a LOOK at this guy here! This dude has "trouble" written all over his FACE, wouldn't ya SAY?!

Yes, Dargo. Definitely the look of a villain. Jonathan Wrather is such a great actor that I hope they find a way to keep Pierce Harris on Emmerdale long-term. I have a feeling they will ultimately redeem him (somewhat).

None of Rhona's other relationships last, but Pierce keeps playing an ongoing role in her life. Rhona's son has Downs Syndrome, so the writers do make a point of having Pierce behave kindly to his former stepson, though he's done all these other horrible things to Rhona and Rhona's friends. It's a complex character and as I said, on a soap that produces 300 episodes per year, there is time to explore his villainy and what makes him tick from different angles.

They present him as a ruthless attorney and as a man who can't sort out his personal life.

Screen Shot 2020-02-27 at 7.44.38 AM.jpeg

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Well you know,  in spite of anyone's efforts there will NEVER be any actor, screenwriter, producer or whatever that will ever be able to create a  more foul, heinous, hideous and sub-humanly evil villain than some of the real things.

 

Sepiatone

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Joseph Cotten as "Uncle Charlie" from Shadow of a Doubt has to be one of the best villains ever. An innocent, small town would never expect one of it's own to be a serial killer. His performance is so realistic and unsettling.

Joseph+Cotton+Shadow+of+a+Doubt.PNG

Also...

Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte. Cotten just does a great job at playing the bad guy.

joe-cotten.jpg

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13 hours ago, Rudy's Girl said:

Joseph Cotten as "Uncle Charlie" from Shadow of a Doubt has to be one of the best villains ever. An innocent, small town would never expect one of it's own to be a serial killer. His performance is so realistic and unsettling.

I totally agree on this. The most chilling thing about it was the villain was a well dressed, soft spoken gentleman, which is why he was able to get away with his crimes since no one would suspect him. 

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