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Author Topic: Best villians  (Read 398 times)
jbrunton007
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« on: February 07, 2018, 11:49:12 PM »

Clint Eastwood was the first Anti Hero in Hollywood. A lot of the "hero's" in films before him were 1 dimensional non complex and the lines between the good guys and bad guys were clearly defined. And a lot of the heroes of the time before Eastwood were golden boys, figureheads for law and order and morality. They seemed to be too perfect and beyond reproach or flawed. The joke was never on John Wayne and he always got the last word.  Clint Eastwood changed that. He did / does always get the last word, but beyond that he generally plays kind of a mysterious bad guy. Even when he plays a "good guy" he is generally a rebel. If he isn't an outlaw then he is bending the law. In his films he has murdered, tortured, raped women, physically assaulted women, and killed if not murdered. He rarely plays a good guy. So it seems in his films, the writers, Directors, producers and actors have compensated by making the bad guys worse guys. In fact the villains of Eastwood films are arguably the worst villains in any film. And when they finally meet justice the audience cheers for the Eastwood character because he "did what he had to do", "called them out for what they were", or "they got what they deserved". WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE EASTWOOD MOVIE VILLIANS? It isn't as easy of a question to answer as you might think because there are tons of them created by great writers, directors, and played by fantastic actors that were talented and driven enough to somehow create a character that could go toe to toe with the most beloved and feared anti hero in Hollywood history.
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KC
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2018, 02:06:23 AM »

Hi, jbrunton007, and welcome to the Board. Good topic.

In the terms of your post, I'd give "Best villain" to Little Bill Daggett of Unforgiven. In broad outline, the audience is cheering for William Munny because he  "did what he had to do," and Daggett, a sadistic bully, "got what he deserved," but the screenplay is more subtle then that.

The key line is Munny's "Deserve's got nothing to do with it." When you think about "the things he done" in his past, and how he has now fallen back into the the bloody ways he forswore for the love of a good woman, Munny is as bad a guy as Eastwood has ever played. And when you think about Daggett's past (less the boasts and exaggerations), and that he is now determined to impose a kind of rule of law (roughly enforced though it is) on the godforsaken town of Big Whiskey, and taking a stand against vengeance killings—you are left brooding on which of them is worse, and which of them "deserves" to walk away alive from the carnage in Greely's that night.
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Gant
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2018, 03:16:53 AM »

Hadn't Munny killed women and children ? ( I may have that wrong)
If so.... then mean bully as he is it's hard to think of Daggert as a worse character than Munny...
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2018, 08:28:29 PM »

Hadn't Munny killed women and children ? ( I may have that wrong)
If so.... then mean bully as he is it's hard to think of Daggert as a worse character than Munny...

You are quite correct.

Quote
DAGGETT: You'd be William Munny outta Missouri. Killed women and children.

MUNNY: That's right. I've killed women and children. I've killed just about everything that walks or crawls at one time or another. And I'm here to kill you, Little Bill, for what you did to Ned.

And this is just what makes the film so fascinating to me, because it plays on the expected roles of heroes and villains in Westerns, and the audience's relation to them. I distinctly remember thinking, the first time I saw it, "He's killed women and children! Can I still like him?"

Daggett is still my "worst villain" (meaning the best), because he is a believable foil for Munny, acting from credible motives, not just a cartoon bad guy like, say, Stockburn in Pale Rider—and he's still bad enough for the audience to be rooting for Munny to kill him, despite the confusion of emotions we may be experiencing.

(By the way, Munny's line was swiped practically word for word, short of the last sentence, by the screenwriter for a far inferior Western, released late last year: Hostiles.)
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