According to GQ, the James Bond producers will be looking for their next villain before they look for their next 007. When they’re coming up with a new Bond adventure, they think of who the gentleman spy will be pursuing before they think of how that pursuit will pan out.
Going back to Sean Connery’s initial run in the role, Bond’s villains have always been memorable. From Dr. Julius No to Auric Goldfinger to Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Connery’s Bond villains are full of threatening one-liners that fans still quote today.
10/10 Dr. No Insults A Captive Bond
“You Are Just A Stupid Policeman… Whose Luck Has Run Out.”
Sometimes, a Bond villain’s quip is perfectly timed with the arrival of their backup. During 007’s back-and-forth with the titular SPECTRE menace in Dr. No, No tells Bond, “You are just a stupid policeman…”
Then, at the perfect moment, a metal door clatters open and some armed guards ambush Bond. Dr. No finishes his thought: “…whose luck has run out!”
9/10 Mr. Wint Finishes Mr. Kidd’s Sentence In Diamonds Are Forever
“If God Had Wanted Man To Fly…” “…He Would Have Given Him Wings, Mr. Kidd.”
Like most aspects of Connery’s last official Bond film, Diamonds Are Forever, Blofeld’s top henchmen Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd are considered to be a disappointment. The characters have been criticized for being too camp to be truly menacing, but they still have plenty of memorable quotes.
Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd often finish each other’s sentences. When Mr. Kidd starts a thought – “If God had wanted man to fly…” – Mr. Wint finishes it: “…He would have given him wings, Mr. Kidd.”
8/10 Auric Goldfinger Explains His Love Of Gold
“All My Life, I’ve Been In Love With Its Color… Its Brilliance… Its Divine Heaviness…”
Every Bond villain has a unique quirk or eccentricity. Dr. No has metal hands, Jaws has metal teeth, Blofeld strokes his white Persian cat, and Francisco Scaramanga does his killing with a golden gun. The eponymous baddie in Goldfinger is, of course, dangerously obsessed with gold.
As he explains to Bond, Goldfinger has been infatuated with gold since a young age: “This is gold, Mr. Bond. All my life, I’ve been in love with its color… its brilliance… its divine heaviness…”
7/10 Blofeld’s Mustache-Twirling Monologue In You Only Live Twice
“As You Can See, I Am About To Inaugurate A Little War…”
When he was introduced in You Only Live Twice as the head honcho of SPECTRE with a god complex, delusions of grandeur, and a secret lair in a hollowed-out volcano, Ernst Stavro Blofeld quickly became a globally recognizable symbol of megalomaniacal evil.
His fearsome monologue casually outlines his evil plan: “As you can see, I am about to inaugurate a little war. In a matter of hours, after America and Russia have annihilated each other, we shall see a new power dominating the world.”
“You’d Better Fasten Your Safety Belt.”
The main villain in Thunderball is the eyepatch-wearing Emilio Largo, but his diabolical sidekick – femme fatale Fiona Volpe – steals the show. Luciana Paluzzi gives a terrific performance in the role, sharing palpable chemistry with Connery.
When she’s got Bond in the passenger seat of her little blue Mustang, Fiona tells him, “You’d better fasten your safety belt,” before putting her foot down on the gas.
5/10 Oddjob’s Only Spoken Line In Goldfinger
Auric Goldfinger’s brutal enforcer Oddjob is one of the most iconic henchmen in the history of the franchise. His role in Goldfinger paved the way for such memorable side villains as Jaws, Tee Hee, May Day, and Mr. Hinx. When Bond enjoys a round of golf with Goldfinger, Oddjob makes his on-screen debut.
Goldfinger describes Oddjob as “an admirable manservant but mute.” He speaks just one line of dialogue in the film when he pretends to find Goldfinger’s missing golf ball and exclaims, “Ah-ha!”
4/10 Red Grant Confronts Bond On The Orient Express
“How I Do It Is My Business. It’ll Be Slow And Painful.”
The primary antagonist in From Russia with Love is Colonel Rosa Klebb, a Soviet brute working for SPECTRE, but henchman Red Grant seizes the spotlight. In the opening scene, Grant is given the job of assassinating Bond after successfully dispatching a decoy during a training exercise.
When Grant finally tracks down Bond and confronts him aboard the speeding Orient Express, he bluntly explains, “My orders are to kill you and deliver the Lektor. How I do it is my business. It’ll be slow and painful.”
3/10 Blofeld Politely Threatens To Murder 007
“I Shall Look Forward To Personally Exterminating You, Mr. Bond.”
Much like Thanos or Emperor Palpatine, Blofeld had to live up to a few movies’ worth of build-up when he finally debuted in You Only Live Twice. Thanks to Donald Pleasence’s iconic performance, Blofeld managed to live up to the hype.
Instead of simply telling 007, “I’m gonna kill you,” like a lesser action movie villain would’ve done, Blofeld threatens his arch-nemesis much more eloquently: “I shall look forward to personally exterminating you, Mr. Bond.”
2/10 Dr. No Compliments His Own Devious Mind
“The Successful Criminal Brain Is Always Superior. It Has To Be.”
During Bond’s first of several snappy interactions with Dr. No, the villain explains what the initials in SPECTRE stand for: “Special Executive for Counter Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion. The four great cornerstones of power, headed by the greatest brains in the world.”
Bond interjects to remind Dr. No that these “greatest brains in the world” are “criminal brains.” Dr. No quips back, “The successful criminal brain is always superior. It has to be.”
1/10 When Bond Asks If Goldfinger Expects Him To Talk
“No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You To Die!”
When it comes to the most iconic moments in Bond history, his immortal introduction – “Bond, James Bond” – is bound to come up, as are the gun barrel openings, the submersible Lotus Esprit, and his martini order (“shaken, not stirred”).
But arguably the most iconic scene from the franchise is when Goldfinger has Bond strapped to a table with a laser beam creeping up between his legs. Bond says, “Do you expect me to talk?” and Goldfinger famously replies, “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!”