Dramatic Villians

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  • Dramatic Villians

    Caught Platoon the other night and was reminded of what a total fvcker the Tom Berenger character was. Of course the scene where he leaves Dafoe to the wolves is the defining moment of his wickedness. But the fact that he was a very real person (neither an over-the-top character nor implausible overacting) did, I think, render him all the more effective as a villain. Why? Because the more real the villain (or the more real the context in which he's portrayed), the lesser our ability to deny that that sort of wickedness exists in the world, and that we in fact could encounter it ourselves. Which is all the more horrifying, I think.

    Any other great dramatic villains you want to throw out there?
    Just one more reason to get hammered tonight.



  • #2
    Re: Dramatic Villians

    I think Hannibal Lector takes the cake (or is it liver?) in this arena....

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    • #3
      Re: Dramatic Villains

      I think Hannibal Lector is a subject unto himself. We've had this discussion here before -- was he the villain or was Buffalo Bill? After all, Hannibal was summoned to assist our protag in the capture of Buffalo Bill. Of course, as we know, things didn't quite go as planned...
      Just one more reason to get hammered tonight.


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      • #4
        Re: Dramatic Villians

        LITTLE BILL in UNFORGIVEN...he was wicked, but the townsfolk loved/feared and wanted him to act that way. He was a very human character who didn't see himself as a villain...but as virtuous. That's usually the most wicked sort.

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        • #5
          Re: Dramatic Villians

          True, it's a subject of debate as to whether he or Bill was the actual villian on SILENCE, but not in HANNIBAL or RED DRAGON. As such, I'd plop him on the list....

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          • #6
            Re: Dramatic Villians

            Captain Hadley in The Shawshank Redemption.

            This isn't the Howard Johnson's.

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            • #7
              Re: Dramatic Villians

              Darabont, I think, also does a fine job in the GREEN MILE; although "Wild Bill" (Rockwell) is as ott a villain as there is, the prison guard, Percy, really got under my skin as a character.

              Characters in powerful institutional positions who abuse their power, victimising those under them, often make excellent villains. The head sister who runs the reformatory in the MAGDALENE SISTERS, played by Geraldine McEwan, is a thoroughly despicable character but in the context, realistic too; especially as the story was based on true events, and according to its writer-director, Peter Mullan, even toned down so it wouldn't be completely unpalatable.
              "I blame Le Kilt. If the hot or not thread is anything to go by, we all assumed areola were against the rules. It's a slippery nipple, um, slope." - BROUGHCUT

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              • #8
                Re: Dramatic Villians

                Captain Hadley in The Shawshank Redemption.
                I was going to say the Warden.

                He does some very cruel things, but you can see the decision he makes and why he makes it. Andy is sort of the forbidden fruit for him. Andy can help him get rich. So when it is revealed that Andy is innocent of his crime and should be released, the Warden is placed in a very tight spot. Let Andy go and risk getting caught for his transgressions, or get rid of the evidence. He does the latter and we hate him for it.

                Ironically enough, I never liked PLATOON all that much. And a lot of it had to do with the characters. They seemed very one dimensional to me. Thinly veiled metaphors for Stone's views on society and politics, IMHO. I find this to be true for most of his films. The decisions his characters make all seem to have intended purposes that are not intrinsically tied to the drama within the story itself, IMO. They don't seem like actual players in the micro aspects of the stories, but rather pawns in Stone's macro message.

                When the Warden in Shawshank decides to kill the kid and cover the evidence exonerating Andy, however, I can see exactly why he did it. He dug himself into a hole and he had one easy way out of it. In his mind he couldn't just let Andy go, or his world could come crashing down around him. He was reacting to the drama in the story. Not just killing because the author wanted to show that authority is the root of evil or some abstract belief. The Warden was simply exhibiting the ugly side of human behavior. He was acting out of self interest within the framework of the story.

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                • #9
                  Re: Dramatic Villians

                  Any villian (malkovich) who can speak softly over the phone and make Eastwood clench his jaw and squint in anger has my vote.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Dramatic Villians

                    Cruella De Vil. Best villain Disney ever created next to Eisner...

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                    • #11
                      Re: Dramatic Villians

                      michael corleone

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                      • #12
                        Re: Dramatic Villians

                        All of you are wrong. The best villain ever put to film was Tony Montana aka Scarface. I still can't believe Pacino didn't win an oscar for that role. When people talk about a character that came out about twenty years ago and talk about him like he came out yesterday that's best villain worthy." Say Hello to my little friend"

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                        • #13
                          Re: Dramatic Villians

                          All of you are wrong. The best villain ever put to film was Tony Montana aka Scarface. I still can't believe Pacino didn't win an oscar for that role. When people talk about a character that came out about twenty years ago and talk about him like he came out yesterday that's best villain worthy." Say Hello to my little friend"
                          I would side with you... only if he was actually the villain in the story. He was the protag.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Dramatic Villians

                            Prescribe halt with the screenwriter talk just a minute. Would you intoduce a guy like Tony M. to your daughter? Alright. Protag whatever Say goodbye to the bad guy.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Dramatic Villians

                              Jaime O'Hara played by Vince Vaughn in Rudy.

                              But he made up for it, by getting a score for Rudy.
                              "Entertaining the world is a full time, up at dawn, never ending siege, the likes of which you will never fully understand."
                              Billy Thrilly 2005

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