Why do movie villains always drive German cars? Imagine a supervillain driving a Fiat or Toyota… doesn’t work, does it? Some quotes from the discussion on www.quora.com.
– They’re (perceived to be) expensive. Suggests the villain is good at what they do, successful, and has money.
– German cars often have strong masculine lines.
– They’re performance-capable, so will play the part if and when a car chase is required.
– They look good – both in person and on camera.
Jens Wuerfel, film semiotician | lived and slept inside a video store for two years
How many times have you seen the hero jump into a car and … then it wouldn’t start?
How many times have you seen the villain jump into a car and then it wouldn’t start?
Now guess why!
Brian Dunlap, I work on a series of tubes
They’re (perceived to be) expensive. Suggests the villain is good at what they do, successful, and has money.
They’re performance-capable, so will play the part if and when a car chase is required.
They look good – both in person and on camera.
I’d imagine that first reason is the main one. If the villain is someone to be contended with, they’ll have been successful at what they do, powerful, likely wealthy. A hot, new German sedan suggests all of that.
Another question worth answering? Why, in movies, are government officials always in big, black limos? A few Executive Branch, appointed officials might get limos. But movies often have congressmen and senators being driven around in stretch limos. In DC, you’re more likely to see a senator driving themselves around in a Ford Escape hybrid (American brand, eco-friendly) than a limo. But, for the movie, the limo suggests wealth and power. That Escape wouldn’t have much movie impact.
Albert Ferrer, Media guy from Spain
Because American television is so funny the villain has to drive a car not made in US, probably. And since the German automotive industry is the most powerful outside US (meaning traditional expensive German brands BMW, Mercedes and Audi make the best non-US cars), they’re the ones they drive.
Juergen Nieveler, Living here for almost 38 years – does that count?
Imagine a supervillain driving a Fiat or Toyota… doesn’t work, does it?
Alex Jouravlev, abstraction consultant
Good marketing budgets with plenty of money for product placements. At the same time: Bad guy’s car is more likely to be open for consideration – the hero may require image-building set of wheels. Say Batman must drive Batmobile, this is not for sale. What his nemesis must drive? You have no idea – wonderful, let’s talk to product placement people.
Fred Landis, Investigative Reporter
Hollywood has a theology based on the Nazis being the ultimate Evil and the ultimate villains. Those are not German cars they are Nazi cars.
This includes any characteristic associated with Nazis. In any Hollywood murder mystery, as soon as any character makes a racist statement, that will be the villain, the murderer.
It is amazing how many producers drive Nazi cars.
Cliff Makanda, Williams College 2018
German cars are usually expensive,and are associated with luxury.
People are more familiar with german cars because they have been around for along time. Putting a villian ,with an unknown car brand, does not make a movie memorable.
Pete Colligan, Software Architect and Data Scientist
The European car marketing in the U.S. (product placement) combined with the fact that any good villain is sophisticated and worldly enough so as not to be considered your average thug.
Zen Savona, I drive
German cars (particularly BMW, Mercedes and the higher end of the Audi range) tend to have very strong and masculine lines; being a villain is often a harsh and masculine role.
Jiāngshān 姜山, the world’s student
Because Germany is suuuuper evil.