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14 Movie Villains Who Were Doomed By Their Greed

Updated June 23, 2021 1.7k votes 267 voters 50.9k views14 items

List RulesVote up the villains who were too greedy to win.

The greediest villains throughout film history often meet their death by materialism. These villains are so single-minded in their search for riches that they let everything else slip away. Sometimes this is a metaphorical loss of focus, such as when they stop paying attention to their family and other important things, and sometimes they literally focus so hard on the money that they fall off of a cliff and plummet to their demise. 

Thematically, a villain in a family-friendly movie dying due to their own greed makes a lot of sense. Filmmakers want young viewers to understand that villains would ruin themselves eventually, even if a hero didn't step in. At the end of the day, crime doesn't pay. Greed is an all-consuming force that requires more and more of a villain until they're all but a shell of their former self, totally obsessed with whatever their vice may be.

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    Beni Gabor Would Have Escaped Hamunaptra If He Had Left His Gold In 'The Mummy'

    There are few characters in all of pop culture greedier than Beni Gabor from The Mummy. Beni has absolutely zero loyalties to anyone but himself and aligns with whomever he thinks will keep him alive at any given moment, even if that means joining forces with an undead sorcerer. 

    Towards the end of the film, Imhotep shows a surprising amount of generosity to Beni and allows him to walk free. Instead of taking one or two treasures and escaping, Beni can't help but make multiple trips, filling his camel up to the brink with as many treasures as possible. Eventually, Beni accidentally triggers the destruction of the temple he's in by placing a heavy bag full of gold on a lever. While running behind his former friend Rick O'Connell to try and escape, Beni still drags his bag of treasure along and waits too long to drop his gold, leaving Beni sealed inside the treasure room to be eaten alive by flesh-devouring beetles. Honestly, a fitting end for such a greedy man.

    Doomed by greed?
  • Satipo is the guide that Indiana Jones hires to help him find a temple in the middle of a jungle. As the duo walks through the temple in the film, Indiana Jones has to keep Satipo safe from a number of booby traps. One would think Satipo understands how much he needs Indiana to stay alive, but greed seemingly blinds him from that level of common sense. 

    After Indiana steals the idol from the temple, Satipo gets a head start on making their escape. Satipo uses Indiana's whip to cross a large gap, and Indiana asks Satipo to throw the whip back over to his side. Satipo tells Indiana that he will, as long as Indiana throws over the golden idol first. Indiana has no choice, so he throws the idol, but Satipo chooses to run away instead of throwing Indiana the whip. Indiana eventually makes it over the gap and finds Satipo further into the temple, where he has been impaled by a booby trap that Indiana almost certainly would have saved him from.

    Doomed by greed?
  • Elsa Schneider is a femme fatale who seduces both Jones men in her attempts to find the Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Throughout the film, Elsa makes it clear she's willing to do anything to acquire the Grail. By the end of the film, Elsa manages to find the treasure, and she is not willing to give it up easily. 

    Elsa breaks one of the core rules of the temple containing the Holy Grail by attempting to remove the cup from the temple's walls. Doing so causes the Temple to immediately crack apart, and the floor under Elsa gives out. Luckily for her, Indiana grabs her arm, saving her from plummeting to the unknown depths below. However, almost dying doesn't teach Elsa any lessons, and she decides to reach out across the chasm and try to grab the Grail one last time. Indiana is unable to hold her, and she falls to her doom. When faced with survival and that one piece of treasure, she loses all sense of self-preservation in favor of greed.

    Doomed by greed?

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  • The Master of Lake-Town is a truly odious character. While his city burns in The Battle of the Five Armies, the Master is solely concerned with making sure he and his riches make it out safely. He's basically the human embodiment of the greediness of a dragon, so it's only fitting that the Master of Lake-Town and Smaug would go down together. 

    Thanks to his hoard of wealth weighing down the boat, the Master of Lake-Town doesn't make it out of town in a hurry, so he's still around when Smaug is slain and falls to the earth below. More specifically, Smaug plummets down directly on top of the Master of Lake-Town and his barge of riches, completely crushing him.

    Doomed by greed?