Film Forum: Bad Guys

This is an ongoing discussion between friends about the best in motion pictures.

With the exception of Frank, none of us knows what we’re talking about.

That’s never stopped us before.

This week’s question: If you had to be a bad guy from a movie, who would it be?

Kevin Lester: Can’t Draw 

I will show my nerd streak and say Darth Vader.  He has the force and
can choke people from across the room.  He’s a dude in a black suit
that gets to tell guys in white suits what to do.  There’s something
racially progressive about that.  He gets to marry Natalie Portman.

But then what about having my limbs burned off, losing my wife and not
knowing if my kids are alive while working for a jerk.  On second
thought, no.  I’m going with Boba Fett.

Jeff Merrill: The Musician

Verbal Kint from The Usual Suspects.  Not sure if I necessarily wanted to actually be the guy, but sure wouldn’t mind being that clever.

Marty Duren: The Social Media Strategist

I don’t know that I’ve ever been convinced to play at bad guy, but three that come to mind are Andy Griffith as John Wallace in “Murder in Coweta County.” Based on a true story, Wallace was a ruthless and shameless murderer in Georgia. Kevin Spacey as Verbal Kint in “The Usual Suspects” was one of the more brilliant portrayals ever committed to film. Most recently, Barry Pepper as Lucky Ned Pepper in “True Grit” was a short, but memorable, portrayal.

Frank Glidden: The Actor

This is a three way tie for me. In no particular order. Al Pacino in Scarface. Who didn’t want to be Tony Montana? First you get the money, then the power, then you get the women. Enough said. Robert De Niro in Goodfellas. He played Jimmy Conway as a cool headed badguy, most of the time. The complete opposite of Joe Pesci’s hot headed Tommy character. The only time Jimmy didn’t keep a cool head was when he was cleaning up Tommy’s messes. Jimmy was the guy you wanted to be your friend. Last on this list, a lot of people may not think about. Johnny Depp, as George Jung in Blow. Here was the kid next door who rose to control a cocaine empire. So much money he had to buy another boat just to store it. A likable every man’s guy. I wanted to be these three guys when I saw these movies, that is until you see how it ended for all three of them.

Shane Burchfiel: The Agrarian

Anton Chigurh. This guy, without equivocation, is just nasty. He kills, blows up, and destroys without hesitation. He’s a machine. Never does he change his disposition, tone, facial expression, or emotion. Always calm, never stopping, even under dire circumstances and always thinking 3 steps ahead. He gets in your head, then he really goes to work on you.

Merv Waldrop: The Master

My nomination for movie bad guy is Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men. He was cold hearted and evil personified. I was scared to sleep in my house alone for a week after seeing that film.

Here is a dialogue between Chigurh and a gas station owner that is chilling.

Jay Sanders: The Right Reverend 

The best bad guys are the ones that don’t even let you know that they’re bad guys until a couple of years after you’ve seen the movie.  I love movies where you spend two hours cheering for a guy to make it only to realize later, “Hey, that dude was kind of a jerk.  He probably deserved to go to jail.”  But it’s too late.  You’ve already identified with the villain and made him your own.  You are Sonny.

Casey Harpe: The Newlywed 

Actually it’s 2 bad guys. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Paul
Newman & Robert Redford). Robbing trains, riding horses, shooting at
people…awesome. My close second is actually another duo played by
the same actors. Henry Gondorff & Johnny Hooker in “The Sting.” They
pull off a huge, elaborate con against a notorious criminal banker.
These guys will definitely make you want to become really good at
poker, horse-race betting, and taking stuff that doesn’t belong to
you.