Villains and Badmen; or Real-Life vs. Reel-Life

Villains are loathsome but intriguing, often more so than the better-than-common-man heroes. Real-life villains, like John Wesley Hardin, tend to be vicious thugs who blame everyone else for not being able to keep their pistols in their holsters. Reel-life villains, like Jack Palance’s Jack Wilson of Shane, don’t need no stinkin’ back story–their evilness is as alluring as one of those sparkly-skinned vampires, and they’re way, way cooler.

Quiz Answers: How Well Do You Know Your Silver-Screen Western Villains?

The empty-souled bounty hunter: Angel Eyes (Lee van Cleef) in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

“He paid me a thousand. I think his idea was that I kill you.” [He and his target laugh] “But you know the pity is when I’m paid, I always follow my job through.”

The truly terrifying: Henry Fonda, who played classic lawman hero Wyatt Earp in My Darling Clementine, became Earp’s child-killing doppelganger Frank in Once Upon a Time in the West

“People scare better when they’re dying.”

The psychopath: Little Bill Daggett in Unforgiven (1992) played with supreme viciousness by Gene Hackman

“I’m going to hurt you. And not gentle like before…but bad.”

The suave: Glenn Ford’s Handsome Ben Wade in the original 3:10 to Yuma (1957) not only wants to escape…he wants some ass.

Ben Wade: “I don’t mind a skinny girl, just so she has blue eyes to make up for it. You got blue eyes?”

Emmy [bartender]: “Brown.”

Ben Wade: “That’s all right. They don’t have to be blue.”

[They kiss passionately.]

The Pretty: Park Chang-yi (the Bad) in The Good, the Bad, the Weird (Joheunnom nabbeunnom isanghannom) (2008, South Korea)

“People must know they are going to die, and yet they live as though they never will. Hilarious.”

The hired gun with a heart of ice: Jack Palance as Jack Wilson in Shane

Rufus Ryker [who hired Jack Wilson to chase off Shane and the homesteaders]: “I’ll kill him if I have to.”

Jack Wilson: “You mean I’ll kill him if you have to.”

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