Top 10 James Bond Villains
With over twenty Bond movies released through five decades, the James Bond series has had more than its fair share of great villains. Many have been parodied and copied over the years, and their influence can't be overstated. But which ones really stand out, as the most memorable and iconic villains of the series?
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#5 Red Grant
Red Grant was a psychopathic killer working for SPECTRE, with the objective of stealing the Lektor decoding machine, and killing James Bond. Appearing in From Russia with Love, Grant was played by English actor Robert Shaw, who would later star in the film Jaws.
Shaw played the role perfectly, really making the pages of the novel come to life on the screen. From the knuckleduster punch on SPECTRE Island, to the impersonation aboard the Orient Express, it was a great performance all throughout. Red Grant was is one of the classic villains of the 60s Bond films.
#4 Rosa Klebb
With a poison tipped steel shoe knife and a whip, what's not to love about this torture famed SMERSH defector? Appearing in From Russia with Love, Lotte Lenya was a perfect match for the role of Rosa Klebb. It's almost as if Ian Fleming had written the novel with her in mind.
Klebb defected to SPECTRE, and led a mission to steal a Lektor decoding machine and humiliate the British secret service. Lenya was fierce and demanding to her subordinates, who she had hand picked for the mission. But when Bond turned out to be too much for them, Klebb was left trembling at the hands of Blofeld.
In third place comes Oddjob, the personal bodyguard to Auric Goldfinger in 1964's Goldfinger. Oddjob is widely remembered for the scene where he throws a steel rim bowler hat at a statue, slicing off it's head. He would later repeat the same routine, killing Bond girl Tilly Masterson.
Harold Sakata was perfect for the role of this silent man, bringing an aura of strength and danger to the character. Oddjob was based on the character from the novel, where he was trained in Karate, and ate cats! Like Jaws, Oddjob also features prominently in most James Bond video games.
Goldfinger was not only one of the best James Bond films, but also one the best casting choices of the series. German actor Gert Frobe played the role of Auric Goldfinger, and he was the perfect match. He didn't speak English, which caused a bit of confusion on the set, but he fit in well with the rest of the cast.
His appearance, gestures, and mannerisms were well suited for the character, and he is arguably one of the closest matches in the series to the character in the novel. Goldfinger also spoke the most memorable and oft-quoted line of the James Bond films:
"No Mr Bond, I expect you to die!"
#1 Ernst Stavro Blofeld
No matter how iconic Goldfinger is, there is no dispute that the ultimate villain in the series is in fact Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the notorious leader of SPECTRE.
Not only did he have the most appearances of all the villains in the series, he also had a notable presence in the novels, something that I think deserves recognition. He was an integral part of the Blofeld trilogy of novels Thunderball, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and You Only Live Twice, which are probably my favourite three novels in the series.
From left-to-right in the above image is Telly Savalas in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Anthony Dawson in From Russia with Love, Charles Gray in Diamonds Are Forever, and Donald Pleasence in You Only Live Twice.
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