Special Report

Most Memorable Movie Villains

Source: Courtesy of RKO Radio Pictures

Mr. Potter
> Movie: “It’s A Wonderful Life” (1946)
> Played by: Lionel Barrymore

Oscar-winning actor Lionel Barrymore provided the voice of Ebenezer Scrooge for radio dramas of “A Christmas Carol” in the early 1940s. That made him a perfect fit for the miserly Mr. Potter, who tries to drive George Bailey (James Stewart) out of business in director Frank Capra’s holiday classic.

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

Harry Powell
> Movie: “The Night of the Hunter” (1955)
> Played by: Robert Mitchum

This noirish thriller flopped upon its debut but gained a loyal following over time, influencing directors such as Martin Scorsese. Its story is primarily powered by Robert Mitchum’s stone-cold performance as the ruthless con-man Reverend Harry Powell, who has “LOVE” and “HATE” tattooed on his knuckles. The character was voted 29th on AFI’s list of top movie villains. This is the only film directed by famed actor Charles Laughton.

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Dracula
> Movie: “Horror of Dracula” (1958)
> Played by: Christopher Lee

Christopher Lee made his first appearance as Dracula in this British adaptation, which was followed by multiple sequels. Time Out film critic David Jenkins described Lee as “a menacing and complex presence who never lets his fangs and cape dominate.”

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Norman Bates
> Movie: “Psycho” (1960)
> Played by: Anthony Perkins

The homicidal caretaker of a nondescript motel, Norman Bates set an early template for the slasher sub-genre in this Hitchcock classic. Actor Anthony Perkins imbues Bates with a palpable psychological dimension, making the film something of a character study. He would reprise the role in three sequels.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

“Baby Jane” Hudson
> Movie: “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” (1962)
> Played by: Bette Davis

An act of pure jealousy looms over this haunting horror classic, about the bitter relationship between two former showbiz sisters. When crafting her performance, Bette Davis may have drawn inspiration from her real-life animosity toward co-star Joan Crawford. Their behind-the-scenes rivalry was the subject of the recent FX series “Feud.”

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