rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Movies » Readers' Choice: The Greatest Villains of all time

Readers' Choice: The Greatest Villains of all time

Last updated on: July 4, 2011 14:45 IST

Readers' Choice: The Greatest Villains of all time

     Next

Next
Raja Sen in Mumbai

Previously, dear reader, we've asked you to rank and list the best actors and best actresses, and this time we asked you about the bad guys.

Villains are a colourful, entertaining lot, but beneath the over character styling lurks a great actor infusing darkness and evil into the role. Here's a look at the ten men you picked as the best of the baddest:

10. Gulshan Grover

A menacing character with an unpredictable streak, one never knew just how horribly cruel Grover would turn out to be. He started out as a youngster, the spoilt scion of the headline villain, but soon grew into his own, fighting heroes and terrorizing nubile young things with a certain flair.

And who can forget Ram Lakhan, where he memorably christened himself 'Bad Man'?


Image: Gulshan Grover

     Next

9. Jeevan

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
A man with a truly unique career in the movies, Jeevan started off playing Narad Muni in a series of mythologicals, saying 'Narayan, 'Narayan' at every given opportunity.

And he then went from that to a complete image overhaul as he turned his screen persona into that of a smarmy, wily, often comedic villain. His distinctive voice and exaggerated manner of speech was his calling card.

Image: Jeevan

Prev     Next

8. Ranjeet

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Hindi cinema's de facto rapist, Ranjeet was a brawny fellow who routinely pounced onto young women on screen. Usually wearing leather jackets unzipped to flaunt his hairy chest, he'd take his time lecherously threatening his prey before giving in to instinct and attacking them.

While other actors (like Shakti Kapoor, say) came to be associated with rape, there was only one Ranjeet.

Image: Ranjeet

Prev     Next

7. Anupam Kher

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
One of the most versatile and overexposed performers, Kher has literally done every kind of role on the big screen.

He's done far more than his fair share of evil roles -- from ruthless businessman to cruel father to cold-hearted crime boss -- but the one performance that makes him a legendary villain came in Karma, where he played the nefarious Dr Dang.

Image: Anupam Kher

Prev     Next

6. Danny Dengzongpa

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
One of the best actors on this list, Dengzongpa committed himself to his roles, making for a villain who seemed believable at all times, regardless of the film around him.

Cold as a frozen pistol, Danny seemed heartless but his villainy was tinged with the sadness of a man wronged, a fallen hero who is now bad. His two best performances, of course, are Bhaktawar in Hum and Kancha Chinha in Agneepath.

Image: Danny Denzongpa

Prev     Next

5. Prem Chopra

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
'Please allow me to introduce myself' is a decidedly unique calling card for a bigscreen baddie, but this smooth, clean-cut fellow used to do it using his actual name.

He was like a Reggie Mantle to the hero's Archie, except he routinely knocked up women and remorselessly shoved them off cliffs whenever they told him they were about to bear his child. "Prem naam hai mera, Prem Chopra," he'd say, and the rest is legend.

Image: Prem Chopra

Prev     Next

4. Ajit

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Hindi cinema's own Bond-sized baddie, Ajit brought suavity and finesse to the Bollywood villain. He had everything Ernst Stavrol Blofeld could recommend: darkly lit lairs, molls, a dapper wardrobe.

And what he added to the mix was a cold and calculating tone of voice, menacing in it's exactitude, delivered without emotion and in a voice that made generations of mimicry artists flourish. He gave the villain Style.

Image: Ajit

Prev     Next

3. Pran

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
The thing with Pran was that you could never be sure just what side he was on. He could be the villain, sure, but he could also be a good guy masquerading as a bad guy, or even a good guy who was simply misunderstood.

He was a fine actor who had earned equal footing as the hero, and while he made his on-screen persona mostly grating and insufferable, and the only thing you could be sure of when you saw Pran pop up in a film was that he'd surprise you.

Image: Pran

Prev     Next

2. Amrish Puri

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
The father of all villains, as they'd say in a certain kind of movie. Well, Puri played the vile antagonist innumerable times, and always played his part to perfection.

A booming baritone, a usually bald head, those big eyes widened to twice their size when angered, Puri was larger than life. There are too many memorable performances, but the man's legacy remains Mogambo.

Image: Amrish Puri

Prev     Next

1. Amjad Khan

Prev     More
Prev

More
He might not have played villain that many times, but the first time he did he created a character that remains unparalleled. Sholay became a film *about* the dacoit and not the heroes, about the mythical Gabbar Singh.

Amjad brought a hysterical edge to the character, underscoring his harsh ruthlessness with a mad whimsy. There are villains many throughout Hindi film history, but they'd all quake in their boots at the sight of Gabbar. And with good reason, too.

Image: Amjad Khan

Prev     More