We live in a world obsessed with heroes, there’s no denying that. Be it older screen heroes like Humphrey Bogart or Errol Flynn to the more contemporary superhero craze, or even the (long overdue) evolution of the female screen hero, there’s little question that the world we live in finds itself in dire need of a steady supply of heroes. And with heroes on the mind, it begs the question…what of the bad guy? Everybody knows that you can’t have a good hero without a proper antagonist, but when will they get their due? That’s what we’re going for today, and we’ve taken some time to compile a list of the very best baddies in movie history, and we’re going to outline them today and why we think they’ve earned on a place on this list. Was this a difficult list to make? You bet!
We couldn’t believe how many awesome antagonists we managed to come up with, but we’ve successfully whittled it down and ranked the 25 most notorious bad guys in the history of cinema. Enjoy!
25. Ernst Stavvo Blofeld (James Bond Series)
It’s difficult to talk about 007’s most iconic bad guy as a singular entity given that he’s been played by a different actor in almost every film appearance. Despite the frequent appearance changes, Blofeld remains a classic antagonist primarily because he’s the epitome of the evil genius archetype that is often the subject of parody (most famously in the Austin Power films). Set aside the lampoons though and it’s not hard to see why Blofeld is still considered such a great baddie to this day. Although primarily featured in the early Bond films, Blofeld has managed to leave a sizable mark on the franchise as a whole, to the point where last year’s Spectre brought the character back after an absence of over three decades. Blofeld’s various world domination plots and Persian cat tropes gave him pop culture infamy, but it was his involvement in the slaying of Bond’s wife Tracy (Diana Rigg) at the end of 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service that truly cemented his place among cinema’s greatest.