Greed is a funny thing in the movies, well, not always funny, but interesting and kind of intriguing since it can be shown in a number of ways, not the least of which is the acquisition of wealth and/or power in a manner that’s meant to lift one person up and ruin another. But there are other ways that greed is depicted, and some of the most despicable figures in the movie shave exhibited some of the most memorable moments when it comes to absolute greed and what it can do to those who don’t pay attention to the downside of gaining said wealth.
There are a lot of greedy characters in the movies, and it’s tough to pick among them for the worst, but there are those that are a little more despicable simply because of the lengths they’re willing to go to in order to acquire the wealth and status they covet.
With that in mind, here are five of the greediest characters in the movies.
5. Gordon Gekko
Anyone whose motto reads as “Greed is good” needs to sit back and examine that idea since the whole idea that greed is a positive thing might need to be kept in check just in case the wrong people are listening in. But the truth is that greed does play a big part in the world, and it’s not always as subject to karmic justice as many other sins are, though it does happen. This character is the type of guy that would likely convince a poor person that’s about to lose their house to invest the money they don’t have into something that will line his own pockets while leaving the homeowner high and dry.
4. Veruca Salt
Veruca is a good example of why hands-off parenting doesn’t work that well, especially since her father apparently can’t say no to this spoiled little brat without having to endure a tantrum that would shame most Karens. But while Veruca is a difficult and snotty kid, she does manage to get her comeuppance in the movie without suffering a fatality that might have been well-earned at one point. The remake wasn’t any better since while the original was a bad egg, the follow-up was a bad nut that was allowed to fall into the trash compactor, which served to fuel a morbidly funny scene.
3. Daniel Plainview
It could be said that Daniel is a man with a plan, but he’ll only tell you as much of it as he thinks you need to hear. In the meantime, he’ll be finding ways to take what wasn’t a part of the bargain but wasn’t exactly written in as being off-limits either. In other words, Daniel is a guy that knows how to talk his way around just about anyone, and he doesn’t like to lose.
He also doesn’t like to be humiliated, as this is pointed out at a few points in the movie since he’s not exactly the forgiving type. This is the kind of businessman that’s never happy with what he has or thinks he has enough but is motivated by the need to get more, and more, and then even more.
2. Randolph and Mortimer Duke
Amazingly, these two brothers make Plainview look like a cuddly bear by comparison since their smiles hide a double dose of trouble that’s absolutely vile in nature, which is kind of a shame since Don Ameche was able to play a very likable good guy as well. But getting back to the point, one has to remember that these two decided to ruin the life of a hardworking individual (yes, he was a snob, but he was still honest) in order to see how he would turn out of he were poor, destitute, and cut off from the only life he knew. Yeah, that’s balanced, right? Plus, one would think that the stakes would be rather high, but they did this for a single dollar. Would that make you snap? That might make me snap.
Smaug takes the top of the list since not only was he a greedy individual, the guy took over a WHOLE MOUNTAIN. It’s not exactly expected that a dragon would share the hoard that he took over by force, but the fact is that Smaug played up to the stereotype that dragons love treasure and gold with a single-minded purpose that’s hard to fathom.
When Smaug took over the dwarven stronghold, he didn’t hesitate to run the dwarves off and then go pulling a Scrooge McDuck in the spoils of his conquest. One has to wonder how long he’d been sleeping amidst his gold when Bilbo finally along and nearly tripped over him.
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