Hollywood aspires to provide audiences with “likeable” leads, but an iconic film is often only as good as its main villain. More than mere obstacles, these essential characters mock common morals and chew up the scenery accordingly. They give the film itself more dimension while inspiring heightened levels of audience engagement. On the way home from the theater, it’s probably the villain that gets people talking the most. (Here are the 50 most popular villains of all time.)
The history of cinema is not lacking in examples. From Darth Vader to Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the main villains have left their respective movies with lasting legacies. Behind each of these founding characters, of course, hides a talented actor, without whom the role would fall through. Think Vader without the booming voice of James Earl Jones or Lecter without the creepy portrayal of Hopkins and you’ll quickly get the idea. (These are the most popular “Star Wars” characters.)
To compile a list of the most memorable movie villains, 24/7 Tempo exercised its editorial discretion to determine which performances made a particularly lasting impression of evil, gleaning information about production dates and the cast of IMDban online movie and TV series database owned by Amazon.
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