Anthony Hopkins, evil priest! We're already trembling in fear for the horror film 'The Rite,' which opens Friday. Hopkins joins a long list of priests, preachers and pastors who've gone to the dark side out of lust for power, a beautiful woman or something far more sinister.
Once upon a time, thanks to the strict Production Code, Hollywood wasn't allowed to portray the clergy in a negative light, so that when Alfred Hitchcock brought 'Jamaica Inn' to the screen in 1939, the evil preacher in the book had to be turned into an evil squire. But once the code was lifted, all hell was allowed to break loose, and corrupt men of the cloth became a cinema staple. Not to mention an all-too-true reality, as shown in the 2006 documentary 'Deliver Us From Evil,' which profiles an infamous self-admitted pedophile priest.
Of course, priests aren't the only religious leaders who've committed abuses of all kinds in movies; there have been calculating cardinals, bad bishops and wicked reverends, as well. Rutger Hauer, Hopkins' co-star in 'The Rite,' makes our list twice, as a heroic knight cursed by an evil bishop and a priest who puts the sin in 'Sin City.'
Warning: SPOILERS galore for 'Angels & Demons' and 'The Last Exorcism.'