The Great Villain Blogathon – Day 5 Recap

•April 29, 2017 • Leave a Comment

The Great Villain Blogathon – Day 4 Recap

•April 28, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Silver Screenings

Cinematic villains come from all socioeconomic groups, but they usually have two things in common: (1) they’re powerful and (2) they’re rich. And if they’re not either, they’re working hard to be both. Today’s villains provide a good cross-section of these motivations in action.

Bloggers: If you’ve uploaded your entry, but it’s not included in today’s recap, never fear! We shall include it in tomorrow’s recap, hosted by Speakeasy.

Until then, we know you’ll enjoy today’s Featured Villains.

Cinematic Scribblings

F. Murray Abraham as Antonio Salieri in Amadeus (1984)

The Midnite Drive-In

Ricardo Montalban as Khan in Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan (1982)

Whimsically Classic

Anne Baxter as Eve Harrington in All About Eve (1950)

Shadows and Satin

Raymond Burr in three of his best Bad Guy roles

Realweegiemidget Reviews

Leonardo DiCaprio as Calvin J. Candie in Django Unchained (2012)

Anna, Look!

Richard Attenborough as…

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The Great Villain Blogathon: Big, Bad Burr

•April 28, 2017 • 14 Comments

Perry Mason was a good guy.

Ironside was a good guy.

But Raymond Burr, the fella who brought these good guys to life, was so much more fun when he was a dyed-in-the-wool, no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners villain.

To celebrate our annual Great Villain Blogathon, I’m taking a look at Burr’s best bad guy roles.

Join me, won’t you?

Desperate (1947)

The lowdown:

Helmed by one of my favorite noir directors, Anthony Mann, this feature focuses on Steven Randall (Steve Brodie), a blissfully married truck driver whose wife, Anne (Audrey Long), is expecting their first child. Eager to beef up the family coffers, Steve is enticed by childhood pal Walt Radak (Burr), into hauling a shipment of perishables, but tries to back out of the job when he learns that his cargo consists of stolen goods. When Steve signals a passing cop, gunfire is exchanged, killing the policeman and leaving Walt’s kid brother, Al, charged with murder. Steve goes on the lam with Anne, but Walt tracks him down like a hound dog after a sack of bacon, blaming Steve for Al’s conviction and subsequent death sentence, and planning to exact revenge by killing Steve at the same moment of Al’s execution.

Burr gives the business to one of his underlings in Desperate.

Favorite quote:

Walt eventually catches up with Steve and offers him a “last meal,” telling him: “I’m sorry I can’t give you a choice of food, but it won’t make much difference. You’re not going to live long enough to get any nourishment out of it.”

Other stuff:

Steve Brodie said that he was responsible for Burr’s casting in the role. “Ray was . . . testing for a biblical part, so I suggested his name to the producer, Michael Kraike, for our picture,” Brodie said. “Kraike liked the idea, and for the next decade villain roles were about the only parts Raymond Burr played.”

Raw Deal (1948)

The low down:

Dennis O’Keefe stars in this first-rate feature (also directed by Mann) as Joe Sullivan, a gangster imprisoned for a crime committed by his boss, Rick Coyle (Burr). Coyle helps Joe bust out of the big house, but his motivation is far from selfless; he suspects that Joe will spill the beans about Coyle’s guilt and he wants to give him a permanent gag order, if you know what I mean. When Joe learns of Coyle’s real motivation, he deftly avoids a massive dragnet and, accompanied by his faithful girlfriend, Pat (Claire Trevor), goes after his former boss.

Now THAT’S a menacing look!

Favorite quote:

I dig Coyle’s rationale for helping Joe to escape from prison: “He was screaming he wanted out,” Coyle tells his underlings. “When a man screams, I don’t like it. Especially a friend. He might scream loud enough for the D.A. to hear. I don’t want to hurt the D.A.’s ears. He’s sensitive.”

Other stuff:

Raw Deal was praised by one critic for its taut action and “slambang finale,” but Burr’s notices were mixed; while the critic for the Motion Picture Herald noted his “good performance [as] a sinister and sadistic criminal boss,” the actor was dismissed in Variety as “reminiscent of the late Laird Cregar in bulk and manner but . . . deficient in a sinister quality.” (Well, damn.)

Pitfall (1948)

The lowdown:

Burr was a standout bad guy in Pitfall, where he played a psychotic detective named Mack MacDonald. The film’s action centers on insurance agent Johnny Forbes (Dick Powell), whose general boredom with life is the perfect incentive for stepping out on his wife when he meets a beautiful blonde, Mona Stevens (Lizabeth Scott). What he didn’t bargain for was the hulking, creepy MacDonald, who is obsessed with Mona and wholly unappreciative of anyone who stands in his way.

He can’t keep his eyes off of Lizabeth Scott.

Favorite quote:

Referring to Mona, MacDonald says, “She probably doesn’t appeal to you, but for me, she’s just what I told the doctor to order.”

Other stuff:

Burr was universally applauded for his portrayal of the villainous detective – the critic for the New York Times raved: “As the heavy, literally and figuratively, a newcomer named Raymond Burr does a sinister and fascinating job.  He is a big man and unless we are mistaken, his weight, histrionically and otherwise, will make an impression on the screen in days to come.”

His Kind of Woman (1951)

The lowdown:

In this film, one of my favorite guilty pleasures, Burr is syndicate boss Nick Ferraro, who has been exiled to Italy and plans to return to his old stomping grounds by murdering and assuming the identity of professional gambler Dan Milner, played by Robert Mitchum. (Now if that isn’t villainous, I just don’t know what is.) After first disposing of a federal immigration official (Tim Holt) who gets wind of his scheme, Ferraro has Milner abducted and spirited aboard his yacht, where he plans to make the nefarious switcheroo.

He wants Milner to see it coming. Yikes.

Favorite quote: In a particularly vicious scene, Ferraro rouses the dazed and beaten Milner, explaining, “I want him to be fully conscious. I don’t like to shoot a corpse. I want to see the expression on his face when he knows it’s coming.”

Other stuff:

Lee Van Cleef was original slated to play the part of Nick Ferraro, but producer Howard Hughes wanted Burr. And that was all she wrote.

If you’re not familiar with Raymond Burr’s bad-guy performances, do yourself a favor and check these out!

You only owe it to yourself.


This post is my contribution to the Great Villain Blogathon 2017, hosted by my pals Kristina at Speakeasy, Ruth at Silver Screenings, and yours truly! Be sure to check out the totally fabulous posts that our talented contributors served up for this year’s event!

The Great Villain Blogathon 2017 – Day 3 Recap

•April 27, 2017 • 11 Comments

Villains, anyone??

It’s Day 3 of the 2017 Great Villain Blogathon, and our bad guys and gals are still going strong! We’ve got enough nasty ne’er-do-wells, conscienceless creeps, and mercenary miscreants to satisfy any fiendish appetite!

So settle in and take a gander at today’s Featured Villains. (And if you’re a blogger who uploaded an entry today that’s not listed below, never fear. Ruth will include it in her recap on Friday!)

Don’t be a fraidy-cat. Enjoy!

Silver Screenings

Sonny Tufts as Steve in The Virginian (1946)

I Found It At The Movies

Patrick McGoohan as King Edward I in Braveheart (1995)

Mike’s Take on the Movies

Al Lettieri in The Getaway (1972) and Mr. Majestyk (1974)

Movies Silently

Ben Turpin as Mr. Flip (1909)

Life’s Daily Lessons Blog

Where Would We Be Without Villains?

Portraits by Jenni

Gladys Cooper as Mrs. Henry Vale in Now, Voyager (1942)

No Nonsense with Nuwan Sen

Indirect/Invisible Villain in Nocturnal Animals (2016)

Moody Moppet

Fairuza Balk as Nancy Downs in The Craft (1996)

See you tomorrow for Day 4!

The Great Villain Blogathon 2017 – Day 2 Recap

•April 26, 2017 • 13 Comments

Day 2 of the 2017 Great Villain Blogathon has been practically overflowing with despicable, diabolical, and totally depraved villains, from silent screen sinners to malevolent moms with bouffant ‘dos.

Treat yourself and dive in to today’s Featured Villains. (And if you’re a blogger who uploaded an entry today that’s not listed below, don’t fret. I’ll include it in Thursday’s recap!)

Don’t be scared. Enjoy!

Classic Movie Man

Richard Widmark as Jefferson T. “Jefty” Robbins in Road House (1948)

Angelman’s Place

Damien Thorne in The Omen Trilogy

Seven Doors of Cinema

Dennis Hopper as Frank Booth in Blue Velvet (1986)


Robert Patrick as the T-1000 in Terminator 2 (1991)

Charlene’s (Mostly) Classic Movie Reviews

Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

Thoughts All Sorts

Lena Headey as Ma-Ma in Dredd (2012)

Classic Movie Treasures

Claude Rains as Alexander Sebastian in Notorious (1946)

That William Powell Site

William Powell’s Silent Villains

Moon in Gemini

Kate Beckinsale as Lady Susan Vernon in Love and Friendship (2016)

In So Many Words . . .

Angela Lansbury as Eleanor Shaw Iselin in The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

The Andrea Chronicles

Ingrid Bergman in Hedda Gabler (1962)

Wide Screen World

Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price in Unbreakable (2000)

Are You Thrilled

Glenn Close as Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction (1987)


Richard Burton as John Morlar in The Medusa Touch (1978)

Lemon Shark

When Does a Victim Become a Villain?

See you tomorrow for Day 3!


The Great Villain Blogathon 2017 – Day 1 Recap

•April 25, 2017 • 4 Comments

Silver Screenings

What an incredible Day 1 of the 2017 Great Villain Blogathon!

From cowboys to robots to dangerous dames, we’ve collected an impressive bunch of villainous characters today.

Bloggers: If you’ve uploaded your entry, but it’s not included in today’s recap, never fear! We shall include it in tomorrow’s recap, hosted by Shadows and Satin.

In the meantime, enjoy today’s Featured Villains.

Love Letters to Old Hollywood
James Mason as Philip Vandamm in North by Northwest (1959)

The James Bond Social Media Project
Richard Kiel as Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979)

That Other Critic
Jason Voorhees in the Friday the 13th Series

Plain, Simple Tom Reviews
Robert Mitchum as Rev. Harry Powell in The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Caftan Woman
An array of actors as Casper Gutman in The Maltese Falcon adaptations

The Midnite Drive-In

Yul Brunner as…

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The Great Villain Blogathon 2017 Starts Tuesday!

•April 21, 2017 • 9 Comments

It’s not too late to get on board the Villain Train!!

Silver Screenings


The villains are back in town starting next Tuesday (April 25). If you haven’t signed up, it’s not too late to join!

Each evening, your three co-hosts – Shadows & Satin, Speakeasy and Silver Screenings – will take turns posting the day’s madcap adventures.

The list of participants can be found at Speakeasy HERE. All related links will be added to this original announcement post for handy reference and archiving.

See you next week!

Image: Villains Wikia

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