Are you like me, movie fans? I've always preferred the villains in a movie to the good guys. Heroes tend to be bland and boring, but their evil nemesis is invariably far more interesting. Often we end up rooting for the characters we're supposed to be booing! These are some of the wicked movie characters you can't help but love …
1 Shere Khan (Jungle Book)
Who doesn't love Shere Khan? There have been many different actors who have 'played' the wicked tiger, but his most fun appearance had to be the 1967 Disney cartoon. Here he was played by George Sanders, an actor blessed with a rich voice that gives Shere Khan a wonderfully villainous aura. In this clip, he's toying with the unfortunate snake Kaa …
2 Norman Stansfield (Leon)
When you want a bad guy for your movie, get a British actor. And if that British actor is Gary Oldman, you know you're in for a scenery-chewing treat. In Leon, Oldman plays a corrupt cop hunting the girl who witnessed him killing her family. He's a thoroughly bad guy, but you can't help enjoying his scenes.
3 Bridget Gregory (the Last Seduction)
Proving that the best villains aren't always male, Bridget Gregory bulldozes her way through a swathe of hapless men. Starting by stealing a bagful of drug money from her husband, she moves on to ruining the life of small-town boy Mike. Bridget is completely amoral and ruthless, and an awful lot of fun to watch.
4 Hedley Lamarr (Blazing Saddles)
If you still haven't watched Blazing Saddles, then be sure to watch this hilarious Western spoof from Mel Brooks. It's a comedy classic full of quotable lines and wonderful characters. Chief among them is villainous Hedley Lamarr ('That's Hedley!'), a deliciously bad guy trying to take over town …
5 Sheriff of Nottingham (Robin Hood)
There are many different versions of the wicked Sheriff of Nottingham to choose from, and all of them far more entertaining than the titular hero! One of my favorites was Alan Rickman in the Kevin Costner version, who delivered lines like 'Locksley! I'll cut your heart out with a spoon!' with absolute relish. It wouldn't be difficult to outclass Costner playing an English folk hero, but Rickman achieved it with aplomb.
6 Hans Gruber (Die Hard)
The original is often the best, which was arguably true in the first of the Die Hard franchise. Not least because here was Alan Rickman again as the villain. Bruce Willis may have had plenty of wisecracks, but he had his work cut out trying to shine against Rickman's bad guy.
7 Jaws (Bond Movies)
There was something oddly endearing about Jaws, the metal-toothed henchman who first appeared in The Spy Who Loved Me. He was such a hit that he survived the original plans to kill him off, and returned in Moonraker. Everyone cheered when Jaws found romance (in the shape of a woman half his size). There's someone for everyone!
So if you also love the bad guys in movies, here's some more for you to root for. Sometimes it's the characters, sometimes the performances, but villains are often so much fun to watch. Who's your favorite movie villain, and why do you love them?