Nefarious, despicable and set on destroying the world, Bond villains have been as memorable as they have been nefarious. Aided by a motley crew of colorful henchmen, 007's arch foes harbor a deep-rooted hatred of mankind that leads to their obsessive drive to see its end.
Standing in their way, of course, is James Bond himself, who uses both charm and skill to foil their plots. Bond villains employ a host of Rube Goldberg-like methods of dispatching Bond, only to fail and meet an extraordinary and often appropriate end themselves. Here is a list of six classic Bond villains from the Sean Connery and Roger Moore eras.
The first Bond villain to appear on film, Dr. Julius No (Joseph Wiseman) – the unwanted child of a German missionary and daughter of a wealthy Chinese family – plots to sabotage U.S. missile tests by using radio waves to disrupt their guidance systems in order to exact revenge against the West. But Bond (Sean Connery) foils his plot by infiltrating Dr. No’s base and causing a meltdown that destroys his lab. Throughout the movie, Dr. No tries to dispatch Bond with a trio of blind hitmen, a deadly tarantula and finally his own metal hands, only to meet his own demise when 007 boils him alive in a vat of radioactive water.
Best line: “Unfortunately I misjudged you, Mr. Bond. You are just a stupid policeman whose luck has run out.”
Played by German actor Gert Fröbe, Auric Goldfinger consistently ranks as one of the most recognized Bond villains thanks in large part to his famous line before trying to dispatch of 007 (Connery) with a laser beam. Obsessed with gold, Goldfinger plans on detonating a nuclear bomb inside Fort Knox in order to destabilize the U.S. gold market and increase the value of his own stockpile. He dispatches Pussy Galore and hat-wielding henchman Oddjob to take care of Bond, only to find himself sucked out the broken window of a decompressed plane.
Best line: “No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die.”
Though he appeared incognito in From Russia With Love (1963) and Thunderball (1965), Ernst Stavro Blofeld finally appeared in full on screen in You Only Live Twice. Played here by the great Donald Pleasance, Blofeld plots to start World War III by pitting the U.S. against the Soviet Union by hijacking two manned experimental aircraft, only to see his planned foiled when Bond (Connery) alerts the Japanese Secret Service. Unlike most other villains, Blofeld manages to survive his confrontation with Bond in order to makes further appearances in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) and Diamonds Are Forever (1971), only to be disposed of in the beginning of For Your Eyes Only (1981).
Best line: “Extortion is my business. Go away and think it over, gentlemen. I’m busy.”
Certainly one of the darker and more complex villains, Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) considers himself as Bond’s worthy counterpart and believes that he is the only one who can kill the 007 (Roger Moore). His plan involves using the Solex Agitator to harvest the solar power of the sun and turn it into a weapon, while also planning on using his unique one-shot golden gun – which consists of a pen, cigarette case, cigarette lighter and cuff link – to kill off Bond. But it’s Bond who manages to fire the fatal shot in Scaramanga’s hall of mirrors before he retrieves the Solex for MI6.
Best line: “I like a girl in a bikini. No concealed weapons.”
Like Hugo Drax after him, Karl Stromberg (Curt Jürgens) plans on destroying the Earth’s population in order to rebuild civilization. Stromberg attempts to provoke World War III after hijacking nuclear submarines from the U.S. and the Soviet Union in order to rebuild civilization underneath the sea. Using everyone’s favorite henchman Jaws (Richard Kiel) to take care of Bond, Stromberg ultimately fails thanks to 007’s partnership with Russian agent Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach) and is dispatched himself when Bond fires four shots underneath his dining table.
Best line: “Farewell, Mr. Bond. That word has, I admit, a welcome ring of permanence about it.”
Sure, Moonraker gets a lot of flak from both fans and critics, but for me it’s one of the best movies of the Roger Moore era. It’s campy, over-the-top and features one of the least glamorous Bond Girls of the entire franchise. But one of the film’s greatest assets is villain Hugo Drax, played with unusual calm by the great French actor Michael Lonsdale. Drax’s plan is to kill everyone on Earth with lethal gas dispatched from stolen Space Shuttles and repopulate the planet with genetically perfect humans. Once Bond gets wind of his plan, Drax sends henchmen Chang (Toshiro Suga) and Jaws (Richard Kiel) to take care 007, only to find himself pushed out of an airlock into space once his plans unravel.
Best line: “Look after Mr. Bond. See that some harm comes to him.”