Ahead of SPECTRE, we look back at some of the greatest James Bond villains!
On November 6, Daniel Craig will reprise his role as James Bond for the fourth time in SPECTRE, the first film in the current reboot era to use the classic organization for James Bond villians, SPECTRE. Although it also may be revealed that SPECTRE played a role in Craig’s earlier Bond films, Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, and Skyfall.
For SPECTRE, Christoph Waltz is playing Franz Oberhauser. We’re not quite sure yet where he ranks among the all-time James Bond villains, but he describes himself in the trailer as the author of Bond’s pain. Long time Bond fans suspect that Waltz is actually playing one of the other James Bond villains from the franchise’s history, but we’ll refrain from that speculation until SPECTRE is closer to release.
The best films in the seres have James Bond villains who can give Bond everything he can handle and more. And no matter who he’s playing in SPECTRE, Waltz has his work cut out for him. Through 24 movies, Bond has gone up against some of the most memorable villains in cinema history. These are the men (and sometimes, women) who expect Bond “to die,” even if they can’t resist putting Bond into an elaborate death trap. And their aspirations usually go far beyond Bond himself. These are the would-be world dominators, the master criminals, or even the over-the-top henchmen that help make the Bond films so entertaining. 007 needs a good challenge, and there’s nothing worse than James Bond villains who don’t pose a true threat to Britain’s greatest secret agent.
Before SPECTRE invades theaters, ComingSoon.net has chosen ten of the most memorable James Bond villains of all-time. But feel free to share your favorite Bond villains in the comment section below!
James Bond Villains: Dr. Julius No
One of the first Bond villains is still one of the very best, and he was the title character of Dr. No, the first Bond movie! Dr. Julius No (Joseph Wiseman) essentially turned to supervillainy because he was rejected by both the Americans and the Russians, so he joined SPECTRE and set himself up with a cool island headquarters with a plan to disrupt NASA’s space missions with an atomic-powered radio beam. Like you do.
Dr. No also had a pair of artificial hands that he used to beat the hell out of Bond. But his artificial hands lacked the dexterity and movement of real hands, which led to his demise. If Dr. No reappears in the rebooted Bond series, he probably won’t have the same problem.
James Bond Villains: Auric Goldfinger
Goldfinger featured German actor Gert Frobe as Auric Goldfinger, a man obsessed with gold. From a physical standpoint, Frobe was just about perfect in the role. The problem was that he didn’t speak English, so Goldfinger’s voice was provided by Michael Collins.
Unlike some other Bond villains, Goldfinger’s singular focus was on enriching himself and rendering the US gold reserves useless. Goldfinger is also the villain who uttered the instantly classic line “No Mr Bond, I expect you to die!”
James Bond Villains: Oddjob
Technically, Oddjob (Harold Sakata) was just a henchman to Auric Goldfinger. But he’s arguably just as memorable as Goldfinger himself. Oddjob had specially designed bowler hat which he could use to kill his targets by throwing it at them. This has been widely parodied ever since, but Oddjob actually murdered Tilly Masterson (Tania Mallet) with his signature hat in the film.
Perhaps most impressively, Oddjob had a sense of menace solely from Sakata’s performance. He had no lines in the Goldfinger movie. Oddjob has also been used in numerous James Bond video games, which kept his legacy alive long after his cinematic counterpart was killed off.
James Bond Villains: Ernst Stavro Blofeld
Ernst Stavro Blofeld is perhaps the ultimate Bond villain, and one of the very few to appear in multiple films, as portrayed by Anthony Dawson in From Russia with Love, Donald Pleasence in You Only Live Twice, Telly Savalas in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and Charles Gray in Diamonds Are Forever.
Blofeld was the leader of SPECTRE, and one of the few Bond villains to truly hurt James Bond. In On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Blofeld murders Bond’s wife, Tracy (Diana Rigg), after Bond foiled Blofeld’s plan to blackmail the world into giving him the legitimacy he desired. Bond got his revenge in Diamonds Are Forever, Sean Connery’s last film in the official 007 series.
James Bond Villains: Francisco Scaramanga
Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) is the title character of The Man with the Golden Gun, and one of the few Bond villains who could match 007 in terms of skill. And while some may laugh at Scaramanga’s destructive plans for solar energy and his ridiculous third nipple, his climactic duel with Bond is still one of the most memorable fights in the series.
James Bond Villains: Karl Stromberg
You really have to give Karl Stromberg (Curt Jürgens) credit for having one of the most audacious evil plans in Bond history. In The Spy Who Loved Me, Stromberg attempted to force the US and the USSR into starting a nuclear war so he could rebuild human civilization from his undersea colony, Atlantis.
And Stromberg’s plan very nearly succeeded!
James Bond Villains: Jaws
Karl Stromberg also had a memorable henchman known as Jaws (Richard Kiel), who immediately became an iconic Bond villain thanks to Kiel’s impressive size and his mouth full of metal teeth. The producers of The Spy who Loved Me must have realized what they had with Jaws, as he survived his initial appearance while Stromberg did not.
Jaws was immediately used in the next Bond movie, Moonraker… which seemed to go out of its way to ruin his character by giving Jaws a romance with a woman named Dolly (Blanche Ravalec) before Jaws ultimately sided with Bond in the final confrontation with Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale), a supervillain who essentially stole Stromberg’s plans to repopulate the Earth… but Drax wanted to do it from space.
James Bond Villains: Xenia Onatopp
Pierce Brosnan’s first Bond movie, GoldenEye, had two really great villains in Sean Bean’s 006, a.k.a. Alec Trevelyan, and Famke Janssen’s Xenia Onatopp. But we’re going with Xenia Onatopp because of her very amusing name and her even more hilarious method of killing people by crushing them with her thighs while experiencing a sexual thrill.
As Moneypenny once said, we’re sure you’ll stay “Onatopp of things.”
James Bond Villains: Le Chiffre
Before Mads Mikkelsen was Hannibal Lecter, he was Le Chiffre in Casino Royale, and one of the first Bond villains in the Daniel Craig reboot era. Most of the tension with Le Chiffre came at the poker table as Bond attempted to keep him from winning a high stakes tournament and continuing to finance terrorism around the world.
But Le Chiffre also came close to fatally poisoning Bond and he even tortured 007 before getting murdered by the next villain on our list.
James Bond Villains: Mr. White
In the reboot era, Jesper Christensen’s Mr. White is the man who always gets away. Even though Bond captured Mr. White at the end of Casino Royale, White was quickly freed in Quantum of Solace and he remains at large. In that film, White was also revealed to be a senior member of Quantum, the organization behind Le Chiffre.
White will make his return in SPECTRE, which will also introduce his daughter, Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), an innocent woman who is targeted by White’s enemies. Dr. Swann may even be Bond’s newest love interest. If White lives through the events of SPECTRE as well, that may be one of the more complex relationships in Bond’s history.