Rogues list of James Bond’s best villains

 

hcohen@MiamiHerald.com

For 50 years we’ve rooted for 007. But as long-time fans of the spy series know, a James Bond film rises or falls on the quality of its villain.

The 23rd official Bond film, Skyfall, soars on the performance of Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva, a flamboyant MI6 agent turned cyber terrorist. Bardem’s Silva proudly and wickedly takes his place among Bond’s greatest rogues:

•  Ernst Stavro Blofeld: Bond’s most prolific baddie Blofeld is the evil genius head of the global crime organization, SPECTRE, who plots world domination from the niftiest lairs (a remodeled volcano in You Only Live Twice, for instance).

•  Auric Goldfinger ( Goldfinger, 1964): Goldfinger savors one of the most recognized bits of Bond-foe repartee:

Bond: “Do you expect me to talk?”

Goldfinger: “No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die!”

•  Jaws ( The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977, and Moonraker, 1979): So good in Spy as a steel-toothed henchman who puts the bite on Bond, Jaws returns for a second time in Moonraker, in which he switches allegiance and saves Roger Moore’s 007 and Bond Girl Holly Goodhead.

•  Rosa Klebb ( From Russia With Love, 1964). Klebb’s shoe collection includes a pair with a poisoned tip. “She’s had her kicks,” Sean Connery’s Bond quips upon the SPECTRE agent’s death.

•  Hugo Drax ( Moonraker, 1979): Drax plots to wipe out mankind by launching 50 globes of a toxin from outer space so that he can repopulate the earth with a master race of genetically perfect specimens. But first the guy’s got some killer quips: “Mr. Bond, you persist in defying my efforts to provide an amusing death for you.”

Follow @HowardCohen on Twitter.

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