Terrible movie husbands might be abusers, murderers, emotional blackmailers, philanderers, or generally men who demean and belittle women. And, in some cases, all of these. Some right nasty pieces of work have emerged as terrible movie husbands over the years and here are some of them.
1 Flap Horton, Terms of Endearment
He might have one of the most awful names of the terrible movie husbands but he’s not the worst character. More of a rogue than anything, Flap just can’t accept his familial responsibilities nor stay faithful to his wife. His future mother in-law warns that his wife is marrying a serial liar and adulterer but of course, she goes unheard.
2 Mister (Albert) – the Color Purple
One of the most terrible husbands in the movies (and literary works) is an accolade that definitely belongs to Albert in this harrowing tale of African Americans in the early 20th century. As if having been abused, beaten and raped by her father is not enough, poor Celie is passed on to “Mister,” who continues the cycle of emotional, physical and sexual abuse and even moves his mistress into the marital home for his wife to wait on her hand and foot.
3 Carlo Rizzi – the Godfather
In a story that features more than one candidate for the title of worst husbands in the movies, Carlo Rizzi is not only a horrid man, but he’s pretty dumb. If you are going to choose any woman to marry and then physically abuse, you should have the sense to pick someone who isn’t the daughter and sister of a generation of mafia mobsters. Like most bad movie husbands, he gets his comeuppance in the end – rather violently, naturally.
4 Jerry Lundegard – Fargo
With the genius and crazy plot that the Coen Brothers weave so magically in this film, it is easy to forget that Jerry Lundegard is a bit of a slimeball when it comes to husband material. I won’t spoil the plot if you haven’t seen it – you really should watch it – but let’s leave it that there’s a planned kidnap and blackmail that leads to murder and mayhem.
5 Ike Turner – What’s Love Got to do with It
Is it more disturbing when terrible husbands in the movies are based on fact? I think it probably is, even if we don’t know how much is true and how much is dramatic licence. Jealousy and rage lead Ike to abuse his singing superstar wife and constantly batter it into her that she would have been nothing without him.
6 Humbert Humbert – Lolita
James Mason gives a towering performance as the epitome of an older man obsessed with a younger woman; so obsessed in fact, that he marries her mother to be closer to the object of his desires. If you really want to be creeped out, the scene where he makes love to his new wife while staring at a picture of his stepdaughter will do it.
7 Guy Woodhouse – Rosemary’s Baby
Guy Woodhouse doesn’t abuse his wife – he is a smug, sleazy man who wants to schmooze his way up the greasy pole of success. But, I think that allowing your wife to become a handmaiden of Satan and be raped by The Beast in front of a coven of occultists pretty much qualifies you as one of the worst film husbands ever – don’t you?
8 Earl Hunterson – Waitress
Earl Hunterson is a jerk. He’s not very palatable as a husband from the off when he is nothing more than a demanding, if somewhat dim-witted loser (why did she fall in love with him?), but throughout the story he grows increasingly controlling and unstable. This situation is made worse when he finds out his wife has been trying to hide her pregnancy from him. Does the film have a happy ending? You’ll have to watch it to find out!
9 Jack Torrence – the Shining
Here’s Johnny. I know it can be frustrating when you have to wait to use the bathroom, but not many people resort to breaking the door down with a fire axe. Jack Nicholson is immense and ends up as one of the worst movies husbands in history thanks to extenuating circumstances. You can’t really say, though, that there is any excuse for turning into an axe-wielding maniac, terrifying the life out of your wife and kid.
Which terrible husbands from the movies make you want to punch the screen?
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