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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 July, 2003, 12:22 GMT 13:22 UK
'Nasty' title for Caine's Carter
Sir Michael Caine
The Get Carter director was surprised Sir Michael took the role
Sir Michael Caine's menacing performance in the film Get Carter has earned the title of the all-time nastiest screen character.

The film, which was released in 1971, sees Sir Michael play ruthless gangland killer Jack Carter, who throws a rival off a car park roof to get him out of the way.

The character was chosen as the biggest screen character by experts for Total Film magazine.

In second position was Burt Lancaster's role as JJ Hunsecker in Sweet Smell of Success from 1957.

Third placed was the John Malkovich's portrayal of the malevolent Vicomte de Valmont in Dangerous Liaisons.

Top ten screen villains
1. Jack Carter - Get Carter (Sir Michael Caine
2. JJ Hunsecker - Sweet Smell of Success (Burt Lancaster
3. Vicomte de Valmont - Dangerous Liaisons (John Malkovich)
4. Gordon Gekko - Wall Street (Michael Douglas)
5. Buddy Ackerman - Swimming with Sharks (Kevin Spacey)
6. Arthur Potter - It's a Wonderful Life (Lionel Barrymore)(
7. Gunnery Sgt Harman - Full Metal Jacket (R Lee Ermey)
8. Captain William Bligh - Mutiny on the Bounty (Charles Laughton)
9. Dennis Peck - Internal Affairs (Richard Gere)
10. Melvin Udall - As Good As It Gets (Jack Nicholson)

Talking about his role in cult movie Get Carter, Sir Michael said he used his experiences growing up in south London to give his character a nasty edge.

Shake down

He told Total Film magazine: "We made it very violent for the time because I had this bee in my bonnet that British films treated gangsters as though they were stupid or funny.

"Never did I meet any of them who was stupid or remotely funny.

"It was only violent insofar as I wanted to get across the point that if you whack a bloke eight or 10 times in the face, he isn't going to get up, shake himself down and come back at you."

And director Mike Hodges admitted he was surprised an actor of Sir Michael's standing agreed to stake his reputation on playing such a vicious character, even going as far as making Jack Carter more ruthless than the script called for.

Other nasty characters who made it onto the list included Wall Street's power-hungry broker Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas.

The cruel and miserly businessman Arthur Potter, played by Lionel Barrymore, from It's A Wonderful Life, and Captain Bligh from the 1935 sea-faring flick Mutiny on the Bounty, also received mentions.

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11 Feb 03  |  Entertainment
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07 Aug 02  |  England
Get Carter: Original and best
11 Jun 99  |  Entertainment
Lecter voted top screen villain
04 Jun 03  |  Entertainment


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