The 25 greatest movie villains of all time

10. Norman Bates

As played by: Anthony Perkins in Psycho (1960) 

The villain: A profoundly messed-up young man who not only murdered his mother, but decided to adopt her personality as penance. Absolutely hates women, and won't hesitate to reach for the knife in order to avoid being corrupted by them. Misogyny personified.

Meanest moment: Something happens in the shower. Can't remember what exactly... 

Nicest quality: He loves his dear old mum. Well, if killing her, preserving her corpse and wearing her clothes can be described as love. 

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9. Warden Samuel Norton

 As played by: Bob Gunton in The Shawshank Redemption 

The villain: The warden of Shawshank prison is a small, petty crook who is happy to sanction the murder of an inmate in order to keep the details of his book-fiddling antics out of the public eye. When the authorities finally catch up with him he takes the easy way out, putting a bullet in his head before they can get him. The coward! 

Meanest moment: The aforementioned murder, which not only sees him order the cold-blooded murder of young Tommy Williams but wipes out Andy Dufresne's last chance of clearing his name. 

Nicest quality: He does keep his end of the bargain with Andy, giving him preferential treatment in exchange for his accountancy scam. Still, he's not exactly brimming with moral fibre is he?

Watch The Shawshank Redemption now on Amazon Prime Video

8. Mr. Potter

As played by: Lionel Barrymore in It's A Wonderful Life (1946)

The villain: One of the few villains on this list who gets away with his dirty deeds scot-free, Potter is the wealthy businessman who holds the town of Bedford Falls in his grubby stranglehold.  

Meanest moment: Potter sets Georges suicide plan in motion with the following gloating rebuke: "A miserable little clerk crawling in here on your hands and knees and begging for help. No securities, no stocks, no bonds. Nothin' but a miserable little $500 equity in a life insurance policy. You're worth more dead than alive!" 

Nicest quality: He really is an unrelenting shit AND he doesn't get his comeuppance either. The closest thing he has to a nice quality is the luck of the Devil himself! 

Watch It's a Wonderful Life now on Amazon Prime Video

7. Amon Goeth

As played by: Ralph Fiennes in Schindlers List (1993) 

The villain: Fiennes is a revelation as the cold and callous death camp commandant who appears entirely psychotic in his inability to empathise with the inmates under his jurisdiction. A terrifying reminder of the startling inhumanity of the Nazi regime. 

Meanest moment: The shooting practice he indulges in. Needless to say, he has plenty of moving targets to choose from. 

Nicest quality: He eventually acquiesces to Schindler's plan, although not before pocketing a hefty bribe. 

Watch Schindler's List now on Amazon Prime Video

6. Jack Torrance

As played by: Jack Nicholson in The Shining (1980) 

The villain: Compared to the more sympathetic character found in Stephen King's novel, Stanley Kubrick's Torrance seems thoroughly sick of his wife and child even before the Overlook starts to exert its evil influence. Although Shelley Duvall's constant shrieking would be enough to drive anyone to axe-murder. 

Meanest moment: Forget the axe in the door bit: the real terror is when Jack taunts Wendy up the staircase: "Wendy, darling, light of my life, I'm not gonna hurt ya.... I'm just gonna bash your brains in!" Terrifying stuff. 

Nicest quality: He's determined to see his job as caretaker through to the agreed date, even he must lose his mind and kill his family to do so. Solid work ethic.

Watch The Shining now on Amazon Prime Video