The Accent of Evil: Your Favorite British Villains

Ahead of BBC AMERICA’s month-long Accent of Evil film series starting September 4th, I asked Anglophenia readers to reveal their favorite British, big-screen baddies. I’m loving some of the old school, B-movie choices that you’ve sent me alongside some more recent selections.

Abelundercity on Twitter forwarded me a few great names, including Christopher Lee‘s long-running role as Dracula in the Hammer Horror films (1958-1973). Abel calls Lee’s Dracula “the last scary vampire.”

And of course, there’s the camp-tastic Vincent Price, who wasn’t an actual Brit (although he often played one in his movies). Abelundercity singles out Price’s performance as Edward Lionheart in 1973′s Theatre of Blood, which he calls “gleefully ghoulish with a hat tip to the Bard.” Here’s the trailer, which is about a 17 on the cheese scale. Dame Diana Rigg, who plays Lionheart’s daughter in the film, is gorgeous as usual here:

Miglet on Twitter loves to hate Basil Rathbone‘s Sir Guy of Gisborne from the 1938 Errol Flynn Robin Hood film. Mr. Rathbone didn’t quite have the sex appeal of Richard Armitage‘s leather-clad, modern-day version, but he did have a bad-ass goatee:

Miglet also casts her vote for one of the greatest animated villains of all-time, Scar from Disney’s The Lion King, voiced with casual cruelty by Jeremy Irons. Tangent: Was Scar gay? Inquiring minds in the jungle want to know…

Bob Hoskins, a.k.a. the Cockney Cagney, has played an entire police lineup of gangsters and criminals, and Fatmanafterdark cites his breakout bad-guy role, Harold Shand in The Long Good Friday, opposite Helen Mirren:

Other suggestions included Jason Isaacs‘s Colonel Tavington in The Patriot, Peter Cushing‘s General Tarkin in Star Wars, and even David Tennant‘s sinister turn as lethal Lothario Brendan Block in the telefilm Secret Smile. (If you want to see Mr. Tennant behaving very un-Doctor-like, check out his very rude bedside manner in Secret Smile.)

As a reminder, the villains who’ll be featured in BBC AMERICA’s Accent of Evil series are:

Alan Rickman in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Jeremy Irons in Die Hard With a Vengeance
Malcolm McDowell in Star Trek: Generations
Terence Stamp and Sarah Douglas in Superman II

Who would you add to this list of the top British film baddies?

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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