As for an authentic villain, the real thing, the absolute, the artist, one rarely meets him even once in a lifetime. The ordinary bad hat is always in part a decent fellow.
Author: Sidonie Gabrielle Colette (1873-1954)
Profession: French Author
I have known a vast quantity of nonsense talked about bad men not looking you in the face. Don't trust that conventional idea. Dishonesty will stare honesty out of countenance any day in the week, if there is anything to be got by it.
Author: Charles Dickens (1812-1870)
Profession: British Novelist
As there is a use in medicine for poisons, so the world cannot move without rogues.
Author: Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
Profession: American Poet, Essayist
Gamesters and highwaymen are generally very good to their whores, but they are very devils to their wives.
Author: John Gay (1688-1732)
Profession: British Playwright, Poet
In the old days villains had moustaches and kicked the dog. Audiences are smarter today. They don't want their villain to be thrown at them with green limelight on his face. They want an ordinary human being with failings.
Author: Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980)
Profession: Anglo-American Filmmaker
A villain must be a thing of power, handled with delicacy and grace. He must be wicked enough to excite our aversion, strong enough to arouse our fear, human enough to awaken some transient gleam of sympathy. We must triumph in his downfall, yet not barbarously nor with contempt, and the close of his career must be in harmony with all its previous development.
Author: Agnes Repplier (1858-1950)
Profession: American Author, Social Critic
When it comes to the point, really bad men are just as rare as really good ones.
Author: George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
Profession: Irish-born British Dramatist
The experience of the gangster as an experience of art is universal to Americans. There is almost nothing we understand better or react to more readily or with quicker intelligence. In ways that we do not easily or willingly define, the gangster speaks for us, expressing that part of the American psyche which rejects the qualities and the demands of modern life, which rejects ''Americanism'' itself.
Author: Robert Warshow