Which actor/actress made the best villain/heavy?

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movieman1957
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Post by movieman1957 »

It helps he just looks creepy.

On another note his appearances on Saturday Night Live are fond in the memory of that show's fans. (I am not completely one of them at least not for a long time.)
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Post by klondike »

Kevin Spacey made my scalp twitch and my stomach lurch in Se7en.
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Post by Sue Sue Applegate »

CHio: To say nothing of his cache!

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Post by Bogie »

As for Villainess, Kathy Bates was pretty chilling in MISERY.
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Post by Mr. O'Brady »

I like everyone's choices so far, especially Mitchum, but still no mention of my favorite, Bruce Dern. Gotta love the guy that killed John Wayne!
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Post by Hollis »

Yeah, but he saved the forest in "Silent Running!" I guess he can't be all bad.

As always,

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Post by cinemalover »

Mr. O'Brady,
Welcome to our corner of the world. I hope you'll enjoy and stay awhile.

Another great villain of more recent vintage is the always entertaining Alan Rickman. I loved him as the Sheriff in Robin Hood:Prince of Thieves (1991) and as the uber-cruel Hans Gruber in Die Hard (1988).
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Post by klondike »

Wow, I nearly forgot -
Chuck Connors, as the cruel, lurking, nasty, brutal, rapacious Buck Hannassey in The Big Country!
(Or was it the Far Country? :x - Nope, nope, wait, I'm sure it was The Big Country, cause it co-starred Burl Ives & Charles Bickford, 'stead of Walter Brennan & John McIntyre.)
Whew, nearly had myself a "senior moment" there!
:?
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Post by MissGoddess »

klondike wrote:Wow, I nearly forgot -
Chuck Connors, as the cruel, lurking, nasty, brutal, rapacious Buck Hannassey in The Big Country!
(Or was it the Far Country? :x - Nope, nope, wait, I'm sure it was The Big Country, cause it co-starred Burl Ives & Charles Bickford, 'stead of Walter Brennan & John McIntyre.)
Whew, nearly had myself a "senior moment" there!
:?
I find it so cool that a guy who could play the most upright, stalwart and loving father all those years on "The Rifleman" could be so convincing as the most snivelling, cowardly dastard in The Big Country!
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Post by cinemalover »

Henry Fonda, going completely against type, in Once Upon a Time in the West!
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Post by moira finnie »

MissGoddess wrote:
klondike wrote:Wow, I nearly forgot -
Chuck Connors, as the cruel, lurking, nasty, brutal, rapacious Buck Hannassey in The Big Country!
(Or was it the Far Country? :x - Nope, nope, wait, I'm sure it was The Big Country, cause it co-starred Burl Ives & Charles Bickford, 'stead of Walter Brennan & John McIntyre.)
Whew, nearly had myself a "senior moment" there!
:?
I find it so cool that a guy who could play the most upright, stalwart and loving father all those years on "The Rifleman" could be so convincing as the most snivelling, cowardly dastard in The Big Country!
Well, if you want a "different" Chuck Connors, please read on...The mention of heroes playing bad guys and your recollections of such reminded me of a movie called Ride Beyond Vengeance (1966) that I saw one night last week, (thank goodness for insomnia, eh?) Directed by Bernard McEveety (a longtime Gunsmoke director), it stars Chuck Connors as a buffalo hunter who leaves his upper crust bride (Kathryn Hays, whose sweet beauty belies her character's rage) to earn his fortune before returning to her. On his way back to her a long time later, he is waylaid by a group who, thinking he is a thief, take his money, and, thinking themselves fine fellows for not hanging the man, proceed to brand and beat him. No, I'm not kidding, Chuck was "branded" at two different career points. Long story short, he awakens, realizes what has happened to him and returns to wreak his revenge on his enemies. Connors is appealing, horrifically violent, and bitterly sad, but gives a performance that most actors could only dream of having a crack at during an average career.
Image
Chuck when his character returns from the dead to his hometown.

The rest of the cast is unbelievably good too: Gary Merrill plays his father, Joan Blondell is a local busybody commenting on everything, Paul Fix shows up without his teeth to do a great turn as a codger trying to nurse some pepper plants along in the unforgiving desert, and Michael Rennie pops up as a banker with eyes for Hays, (and a lot of secrets to hide). The top honors for the supporting cast, who, for once in their lives have truly meaty, flamboyant roles are Bill Bixby (who is unbelievably good in a scary way), Claude Akins as a sympathetic psycho who has an imaginary friend he talks to all day, and Frank Gorshin, who has a fantastic scene of exposition that might have been a career making cameo a few decades earlier.
Image
Now, a few caveats: this movie is very violent. It's not the blood gushing kind of realistic violence, but it's almost nonstop and always so wild that you can't believe where the movie is going next. The budget was said to be under $400k and the shooting schedule was under a month. The sets are obviously something from a studio backlot, but the acting is so intensely vivid by everyone that it almost overrides the lack of production values. It has an interesting framing device for the story showing James "Dan-o" MacArthur in the present as a census taker visiting the town of Coldiron and interviewing barkeep Arthur O'Connell about the background of the town and its people.

Maybe not a great movie, perhaps not everyone's cup of tea, (I don't usually like any violence, but this film drew me in inexorably), but absolutely fascinating. It is on dvd and is on the Encore Western Channel this month at the times shown below in the Eastern Time zone. I hope that anyone who's seen this film will let me know their thoughts.


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Post by knitwit45 »

Thanks for the heads-up on this one, Moira, I will record it for sure! sounds like a really good "oater".

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Post by MissGoddess »

Hi Moira...your write up was fantastic, many thanks! I actually started to watch this movie on Encore the other day but had to step out so I missed most of it. I saw the scenes...in flashback I think...where he leaves his girl and I thought it was already looking like an interesting and above-average western. I'd never heard of it before. After what you've written I will make a point to catch one of the upcoming showings. I like that tall Irishman. :wink:
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Post by jdb1 »

Yes, Moira, thanks for the tip.

I'd be very interested to see Bill Bixby in this movie, after your description. This was a seriously underrated actor who, because he played mostly light comedy (and was in The Hulk on TV), was written off as a lightweight. I never thought so.

He was wonderful in the TV version of Courtship of Eddie's Father (another highly underrated exercise), and he had some really affecting moments as the lonely, outcast and tormented Dr. David Banner in The Hulk.

Will & Grace's Eric McCormack reminds me somewhat of Bixby, especially since I saw McCormack in an Off-Broadway play, "Some Girls," a while back.

As for Big Chuck -- well, what could be bad?
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Post by ChiO »

jdb1 said:
As for Big Chuck -- well, what could be bad?
That wouldn't have anything to do with where he was born or the first major league baseball team he played for, now, would it?

You know, he hit two home runs for our beloved Cubs, but, alas, he didn't get them a into a World Series, da bum.
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