TCM SPOTLIGHT: Villains: March Malice - 3/20-3/25
This month on TCM villains will have their due by pairing some of the most nefarious characters in 32 different categories and letting viewers decide who reigns as the worst of them all. Villains run the gamut and come in all shapes, sizes and forms.
The couplings begin with Psycho Killers Norman Bates, played with chilling perfection by Anthony Perkins in Psycho (1960); and Mark Lewis, portrayed by Carl Boehm, in Peeping Tom (1960) with a creepiness that made his movie a cult favorite. Technology Kills! covers such high-tech threats as the android gunslinger played by Yul Brynner in Westworld (1973) and HAL 9000, the spaceship computer that takes on a life of its own in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).
Movies featuring Western Outlaws include The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), with Lee Marvin as the ruthless desperado of the title, and Hombre (1967), with Richard Boone as the marauding bandit Grimes.
True Crime gives us Martha Beck and Ray Fernandez (Shirley Stoler and Tony LoBianco), the killers of The Honeymoon Killers (1970) and Bonnie and Clyde (1967), the legendary bank robbers played by Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty.
Femmes Fatales don't come any deadlier than Phyllis Dietrichson played with icy brilliance by Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity (1944); or Vera, the sultry hitchhiker brought to scary life by Ann Savage in Detour (1945).
Two Killer Kids who wreck the lives of the grownups around them are Patty McCormack's Rhoda Penmark, the little psycho of The Bad Seed (1956); and Ann Blyth's Veda Pierce, the scheming daughter of Mildred Pierce (1945).
Many Dark Forces loom large over their opponents such as Margaret Hamilton as the green-faced Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz (1939); and Sala Baker as Sauron, the ominous Dark Lord of Mordor in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003).
Among the classic movie Aliens Among Us are those seed pods that transform into human replicants in Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956); and that, well, thing played by James Arness in The Thing from Another World (1951).
You Animal! is a category that showcases such savage beasts as Larry Talbot, the werewolf played by Lon Chaney Jr. in The Wolf Man (1941); and Irena Dubrovna Reed, the pantheresque beauty acted by Simone Simon in Cat People (1942).
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