Historical Circuit: The 9 Best Female Villains in Film

Film Villainesses

You might have heard about a quiet little film coming out this weekend called Suicide Squad.

A new movie all about the villains? Sounds like fun! And the fact that Margot Robbie‘s Harley Quinn seems to have such a big role makes my feminist heart very happy. So this week, to celebrate an exciting new female villain, we’re taking a look at the best female villains ever on film.

But we’re going even a little farther than that. This list isn’t just about female villains. This is about female villains that are the only or main villain in their story.

That means: as much as I loved to hate Bellatrix LeStrange and Dolores Umbridge from the Harry Potter series, or Mama Fratelli of The Goonies, or even have a soft spot for one or two of the incarnations of Catwoman (I’ll let you guess which), I’ve cut them from the list in favor of women who hold the spotlight all on their own. And let me tell you, there are some seriously wicked ladies on this list.

Click through the gallery to see the list:

What do you think?

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Written by Karen M. Peterson

Karen Peterson is a writer from Southern California. When she is not at the ballpark cheering on her LA Angels, she can usually be found in a movie theater or in front of the television. Karen is obsessed with awards shows, and loves everything from the smallest indie film to the biggest of big budget spectacles. She is also unapologetically in love with Tom Cruise.


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Luke McGowan

C’mon, Karen, a six way tie for ninth place?


I don’t know how I feel about this list since it’s the right people in the wrong order. Personally;
1. The Disney Pantheon of Villainesses
2. Nurse Ratched
3. Annie Wilkes
4. The Wicked Witch
5. Alex Forrest
6. Regina George
7. Miranda Priestley
8. Joan Crawford
9. Baby Jane Hudson

Chris James

Love the list! Especially the Regina George shout out!


What’s even more interesting about “What ever happened to Baby Jane?” is that Davis and Crawford hated themselves in real life. Crawford was even determined to accept the Academy Award for Best Actress on behalf of the eventual winner provided that it wasn’t Davis for her role, which she did when Anne Bancroft won for “The Miracle Worker”.

Sara Juarez

Since this is “Historical Circuit”, I will forgive the omission of the greatest female villain in recent memory, Amy Dunn from Gone Girl.


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