From Goldfinger To Octopussy: 6 Classic Bond Villains

Wednesday, May 9 by Joseph Gibson

Everybody loves James Bond, but here's a little open secret: Everybody loves the villains more. They're flamboyant, cool, and evil, which is a pretty lethal combination when it comes to movie characters. As evidence of their popularity, they've been parodied endlessly, but here is a guide to the real deals – six of the best Bond villains.

  1. Dr. No His name might seem like a rejected Abbott and Costello routine, but this Bond villain has chops to spare. All the classic elements are here: Huge and elaborate lair, world-conquering scheme, and a pebble in his foot by the name of 007. He also has a pair of cool metal claws, so his status as a classic Bond villain is undeniable (the fact that he was the first of the movie Bond villains doesn't hurt).
  2. Auric Goldfinger here, it's gold. He's obsessed with the stuff, but his massive collection of gold just isn't enough for him. So he hatches an elaborate scheme to break into Fort Knox, but not to steal the gold. He wants to bombard it with lethal amounts of radiation, rendering it worthless and increasing the value of his own gold exponentially. It's just crazy enough to work! Or not.
  3. Ernst Stavro Blofeld The definitive Bond villain, Blofeld is the famous "man behind the scenes." His basic look, mannerisms, and pet cat were co-opted by Mike Myers for his Dr. Evil character, but Blofeld still manages to cut an intimidating figure, particularly in the early Bond films in which you don't see his face like "From Russia With Love."
  4. Mr. Big The first black Bond villain has a scheme worthy of the gritty 70s urban environment he inhabits: Flood the drug market with free heroin, thus driving all competitors out of business and creating hordes of new addicts (and customers). Played with fatal charm by Yaphet Kotto, he also has one of the best death scenes of any Bond villain, getting inflated by a compressed air capsule until he bursts.
  5. Scaramanga The man with the golden gun is your typical Bond villain in many ways – he's got a giant lair, a scheme to sell a "Solex Agitator," and an unusual physical deformity in the form of a third nipple. But he differs in one important way: He's got a personal grudge with James Bond, and he wants to kill the only person he considers his equal in the field of killing. The showdown between the two gunmen is one of the best in the series.
  6. Max Zorin Can you think of a better actor to play a Bond villain than Christopher Walken (Christopher Lee, who played Scaramanga, maybe, but other than him)? Walken plays the rich and evil Zorin to the hilt, and although "A View To A Kill" is nobody's favorite Bond movie, Walken is almost as memorable as ever.