One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about the early James Bond movies is their choice of super-villains. The best were mad, megalomaniac geniuses (usually trying to take over the world!) with a clever wit, a flamboyant sense of style, and often a very cool ‘lair’. But what if the classic stars of the 30’s and 40’s had been available in their prime to play these villains.
This discussion occurred to me when I thought of how great it would be to see my favourite actor Claude Rains as a Bond villain. His skill at creating three-dimensional (and even sympathetic) villains would have been perfect for the kind of classy bad guy that we loved-to-hate in the Bond films. What I love about Rains’ villains is that they were so suave and charming, often with a puckish sense of humour. Always urbane and civilized, and then suddenly quite menacing. (Those secret glares he gives Cary Grant in Notorious are deadly… and if looks could kill in Deception, Bette Davis would not have survived her wedding reception piano recital.)
He even had a villain-stroking-a-cat scene long before Blofeld!
Clearly, Claude Rains would have been a worthy nemesis for Mr. Bond.
So which classic actors would you choose to play a Bond villain?
Lorre actually was. Matter of fact, he was the first. In the television version of Casino Royale.
I was about 5, so I was probably watching the villians on "Wild, Wild, West".
Cigarettes on celluloid don't really hurt anybody, do they? They are certainly less dangerous than those tee martunis
in our hands. ;-)
Two: Brian Donlevy or George Sanders.
My choice would be George Sanders. His sinister wit in Rebecca and All About Eve would make him perfect as a Bond villain. I can see him now engaging in some crackling dialogue with Bond about his dastardly plans. Get goosebumps imagining that. And Sanders work in the Falcon series also proves he can handle some action as well. Smart, witty, imposing enough to make a worthy foil for 007.
Yeah -- Conrad Veidt and a few packs of good cigarettes and you're ready to shot.
I only remember George's brother(Tom Conway) playing the Saint.
Hi Mad.....I didn't know that George Sanders ever played The Saint. I only remember his brother Tom Conway , as The Saint.