Drama is all about conflict - you take a character, give them a goal, stick some obstacles in their way, and in the simplest of terms you’ve got yourself a screenplay. For every great movie hero, you need a great villain, and over 100 plus years of film, there have been some humdingers.
To that end, as often as not, the villain is the best part of the movie. It’s just so much more fun to be bad; for an actor to cut loose and embrace their dark side.
There are great villains, and then there are the truly iconic ones. These are the baddies who have evolved beyond their source movies, who exist beyond their role as something for a good guy to overcome.
Sometimes they’re reinvented and reimagined time and again, or become the heroes of their own story. Others they steal the show to such a degree that you can’t help but cheer for them.
Cinema’s most iconic villains become the first thing you think of when talking about the film itself. They may not emerge the winner, but they stick in the mind like nothing else.