What is it about smiling that can turn an otherwise ordinary bad guy into a memorable villain? Smiles, we are told, reveal that someone is happy about something. A villain, though, uses a smile for a different purpose: not to reveal, but to conceal. A great movie villain often doesn't see himself as a villain, but nevertheless, he knows that the best way to fit in -- to deflect suspicion and give the appearance that he is anything but a villain -- is a simple smile.
Not too long ago, we took a look at 15 famous screen villainesses who hid some serious dark sides beneath sunny, smiley exteriors. Now, it's time for the men -- and we bet you can't guess who comes in at No. 1. (Hint: He's not human.)
- 20. Claudius (Derek Jacobi), 'Hamlet'
- 19. El Guapo (Alfonso Arau), 'Three Amigos!'
- 18. John Milton (Al Pacino), 'The Devil's Advocate'
- 17. Dr. Evil (Mike Myers), 'Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery'
- 15. Daryl Van Horne (Jack Nicholson), 'The Witches of Eastwick'
- 15. Harry Lime (Orson Welles), 'The Third Man'
- 14. Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe), 'Goldfinger'
- 13. The Joker (Jack Nicholson), 'Batman'
- 12. Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), 'Wall Street'
- 11. Damon Killian (Richard Dawson), 'The Running Man'
- 10. Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper), 'Blue Velvet'
- 9. Max Cady (Robert De Niro), 'Cape Fear'
- 8. Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen), 'Reservoir Dogs'
- 7. David Lo Pan (David Hong), 'Big Trouble in Little China'
- 6. Noah Cross (John Huston), 'Chinatown'
- 5. Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman), 'Superman'
- 4. Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), 'A Nightmare on Elm Street'
- 3. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), 'The Silence of the Lambs'
- 2. Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), 'Psycho'
- 1. The Shark (Bruce), 'Jaws'
Photos courtesy of Everett Collection, Miramax, Fox.