- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 2, 2013

Novelist Ian Fleming, who created fictional spy James Bond, was born on May 28, 1908. His stepcousin, actor Christopher Lee, celebrated his 91st birthday last week. Lee played Francisco Scaramanga, the villain in the Bond film “The Man With the Golden Gun” (1974). In honor of the birthdays of Fleming and Mr. Lee and the continuing honoring of the 50th anniversary of the James Bond movie franchise, The List this week looks back at the top 10 villains in the Bond films.

  • 10. Dr. Kananga — “Live and Let Die” (1973) — Dr. Kananga (Yaphet Kotto) is the ruler of the Caribbean island of San Monique. Disguised as an American crime lord, Mr. Big, Kananga plans to flood the United States market with 2 tons of free heroin, thus driving all of the heroin distributors out of business. In doing so, he would become the sole marketer of the drug. Kananga is one of the few villains to have a life-and-death struggle with 007, fighting him with a knife before finally succumbing to an exploding shark gun pellet.
  • 9. Emilio Largo — “Thunderball” (1965) —Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi), SPECTRE’s No. 2, steals two nuclear bombs from NATO and threatens to use them against Miami Beach unless SPECTRE receives 100 million pounds. Rather than just issue commands for his underlings to follow, Largo is one of the few Bond villains who is hands on, donning scuba gear to help retrieve the hijacked nuclear weapons, chasing after Bond after the spy infiltrates his villa, and joining his men in fighting Bond underwater in the film’s climax.
  • 8. Dr. Julius No — “Dr. No” (1962) — Dr. Julius No (Joseph Wiseman) is a nuclear scientist in Jamaica who works for SPECTRE and intends to divert rocket launches from Cape Canaveral. With his prosthetic metal hands, Dr. No is a chillingly menacing figure who does not hesitate to torture Bond after he refuses Dr. No’s offer to join SPECTRE.
  • 7. Max Zorin — “A View to a Kill” (1985) — Max Zorin (Christopher Walken) is an industrialist who plans to end the domination of Silicon Valley by flooding it, thus ensuring that his company, Zorin Industries, would be the sole distributor of electronic microchips. Born as part of a German World War II experiment, during which his mother was injected with steroids, Zorin is extremely psychotic. He doesn’t hesitate to kill anybody who stands in his way, even his lover May Day (Grace Jones), whom he attempts to drown. Zorin meets his end as he falls off the Golden Gate Bridge while attempting to kill 007.
  • 6. Hugo Drax — “Moonraker” (1979) — Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale) is an industrialist with a diabolical plan to destroy Earth with nerve gas in order to build a master race in space. Drax mostly sits back and gives orders to kill Bond while he attempts to carry out his scheme. Bond kills Drax with a poison dart before managing to thwart the villain’s plan with the help of CIA agent Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles).
  • 5. Karl Stromberg — “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977) — Karl Stromberg (Curt Jurgens) is a German shipping magnate who hijacks two nuclear submarines with the hope of using their missiles to ignite a thermonuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union, in order to build a new civilization under the sea. Jaws (Richard Kiel), Stromberg’s 7-foot-2 henchman with metal teeth, attempts to kill Bond numerous times but always fails. At the end of the movie, Stromberg takes matters into his own hands, attempting to kill 007 first by dropping him into a shark tank and then by shooting an explosive bullet at him. Bond escapes both attempts, then shoots Stromberg.
  • 4. Rosa Klebb — “From Russia With Love” (1963) — Rosa Klebb, a Russian spy who defected to SPECTRE, implements a plan to have 007 steal a decoding machine from the Soviets before being assassinated, thus giving SPECTRE the device as well as revenge for Bond killing Dr. No. When the plan fails, she attempts to retrieve the machine and kill Bond with a poisoned-laced blade hidden in her shoe.
  • 3. Ernst Stavro Blofeld — The head of SPECTRE finally appears onscreen in “You Only Live Twice”(1967) — Portrayed by Donald Pleasence, Blofeld wants to incite a nuclear war between the United States and Soviet Union by hijacking their spacecrafts. In “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (1969), Blofeld, this time played by Telly Savalas, threatens to unleash biological warfare unless he is paid a ransom. After being thwarted, Blofeld gets his revenge by helping assassinate Bond’s wife, Tracy (Diana Rigg), on their wedding day. In “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971), Blofeld is played by Charles Gray. He plans to threaten Earth with a diamond laser from the sky. Bond stops him and seems to kill him by bashing Blofeld’s sub into the side of a building. In the opening scene of “For Your Eyes Only” (1981), a man in a wheelchair hijacks the electronic controls of a helicopter carrying 007. Bond manages to gain control of the helicopter, then proceeds to drop the man down a chimney. It is up to the audience to decide whether or not this is Blofeld. Regardless of the movie, Blofeld is always seen petting a white cat.
  • 2. Auric Goldfinger — “Goldfinger” (1964) — Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) plans to detonate a nuclear bomb inside Fort Knox, making the United States’ gold supply radioactive and increasing the price of his own gold holdings. Goldfinger is ruthless, not hesitating to have his henchman Oddjob (Harold Sakata) suffocate his mistress by covering her in gold paint following her romantic rendezvous with 007.
  • 1. Francisco Scaramanga — “The Man With the Golden Gun” (1974) —Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee), the highest-priced assassin in the world, charges $1 million to kill people with golden bullets from his golden gun. A man of taste and refinement, Scaramanga lives with his henchman Nick Nack (Herve Villechaize) on an island in the South China Sea. There he builds a laser he intends to sell to the highest bidder. This laser can harness the sun’s rays to be used for destruction. Since Scaramanga considers 007 his equal, he thus challenges him to a duel — between 007’s Walther PPK and his golden gun. Bond uses his skill as well as his wits to kill Scaramanga in the final showdown in a hall of mirrors.

Compiled by John Sopko