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|“||What's the most you ever lost in a coin toss?||„|
|~ Anton Chigurh's most famous quote.|
|~ Chigurh's second most famous quote.|
|“||If the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use was the rule?||„|
|~ Chigurh to Wells.|
Anton Chigurh is the main antagonist of the 2005 novel No Country For Old Men, and its 2007 film of the same name. He is described as a ruthless hitman who was one of the pioneers of the unstoppable killing machine genre.
He was portrayed by Javier Bardem, who also portrayed Raoul Silva in Skyfall, Felix Marti in The Gunman, Felix Reyes Torrena in Collateral, Captain Armando Salazar in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and Him in Mother!.
In the novel he is portrayed as the main antagonist even though he never shared a scene with the story's main protagonist, Ed Tom Bell. His main weapon of choice is a Captive Bolt Pistol, which he uses to smash holes in human skulls or open door locks. He also uses a silenced semi-automatic shotgun, which comes in handy in the scene where he single-handedly killed a group of Mexicans who were sent to kill Chigurh's target, Llewelyn Moss. He also carries with him TEC-9 pistol. He also collects coins which he always carries for luck.
In the movie he appears wearing tough jeans, leather boots and bowl cut hair and has brown eyes (as opposed to blue eyes in the book). Sometimes before he kills his victim, he plays a coin toss. He has a great deal of endurance. Capable of withstanding pain from a shotgun ricochet and a broken or fractured arm. He also has a broad medical knowledge and can even take care of his own wounds. He also shows some level of intelligence as seen when he escapes a sheriff's precinct and steals medical supplies from a drug store filled with civilians and security.
Chigurh has a talent for improvisation, like using an antique coin to open an air vent, killing a policemen with his own handcuffs and using a boy's shirt as a sling.
Chigurh is a hitman who has no remorse or compassion for other human beings. He is described by one character in the novel as a "psychopathic killer". His main weapon of choice is a captive bolt pistol, which he uses to either kill his victims or to destroy cylinder locks on doors. He also wields a suppressed semi-automatic shotgun and pistol (a TEC-9 in the film adaptation). In 1980, he is hired to retrieve a bag of money from a drug deal that went wrong, but discovers that a hunter named Llewelyn Moss has taken it already and has left town. Chigurh tracks Moss down to a motel using a receiver that connects to a transponder hidden in the satchel of money. However, Moss unintentionally tricks Chigurh into believing he was in the room next to his when he hides the money in the ventilation system. That room was being occupied by a group of Mexican gangsters who were set to ambush Moss. Chigurh brutally murders the Mexicans (one of them begged Chigurh not to kill him, only for him to shoot him anyway) and searches for the money, but it is nowhere to be found.
Chigurh finds out about a bounty hunter named Carson Wells who, like Chigurh, has been hired to retrieve the bag of money. Chigurh kills Wells after Wells tries to make a deal with Moss. Chigurh ruthlessly tracks Moss down until Moss is eventually killed by Mexican gangsters at another motel. Once again Moss hid the money in the vents, which was unseen by the Mexicans at the time of their ambush of Moss. However after his experience with Moss before, Chigurh knows where the money will be. He arrives at the scene of the crime after the police have left, retrieves the money from the vent and returns it to his employers.
Near the end, Chigurh pays a visit to Moss' grieving widow and debates whether or not to kill her, relying on a coin toss. After leaving her house, Chigurh is involved in a car crash, leaving him badly injured with a compound fracture of his left ulna and walking with a limp. He then offers money to a teenager on a bicycle to give him his T-shirt. He and the teenager create a sling for his injured arm and Chigurh leaves the scene before the ambulance arrives.
Anton Chigurh is nothing more or less than a good and ultimate personification of psychopathy, havoc or antisocial tendencies. He is sadistic, cold-blooded, and unsympathetic, as he enjoys from killing people following the reason that he is also emotionless and antisocial. Most of all, his most known feature is that he is quite remorseless. He kills without any remorse or debt but always with deliberation. Judging from his killing penchant, he has a fondness in murdering old people.
Chigurh is described as an unstoppable and cold-hearted evil and as a man whose having his own set of morals, although that they are twisted. While he is not killing at random or without any purpose, his reasons are sometimes can be abstract. His personal hobby is more than only killing people or wreaking havoc is to decide people's fate. He sees in himself as sort of a hand of a fate, and as a special instrument which exacts what is supposed to happen upon those which he see accountable.
He gives his various victims he encounters a great chance to survive by making deals, either personally or rather by his own most favorite way; flipping coins, as he always say "What it is the most you ever loss on a coin toss?". In the novel, Chigurh is depicted as a man of great endurance, capable of withstanding the pain of a fractured arm and multiple gunshot wounds, among others. In the film, Anton kills or attempts to kill nearly every person as he meets. The only people he spares are the gas station proprietor who correctly guesses his coin flip or the woman at the very trailer park just as Chigurh hears a toilet flush, the woman at the front desk of the hotel, and the two bicycle riding kids who give him one of their shirts after Chigurh's car accident. (It is implied that he spared the accountant after killing the man who hired Wells.)
In addition, Chigurh is also an extremely destructive and dangerous individual who wreaks havoc every single time that he does a killing or a job.
Critics have praised Bardem's portrayal of Chigurh, which won him an Oscar, a Golden globe and a BAFTA for his performance. Chigurh has been added to numerous lists of greatest villains. The Nostalgia Critic named him the 3rd scariest performance of all time, placing him above the Joker due to viewing him as a more complex character (while the Joker relished in causing anarchy and misery, Anton seemed to feel that he had no choice but to do so). UGO.com ranked him in top 11 silver screen psychos. He is ranked #46 in The 100 Greatest Movie Character of Empire.com and he also appeared in The Simpsons and Disaster Movie.
- Javier Bardem jokingly said that "he won't be getting laid for weeks" after seeing for the first time his new haircut.
- Actor Javier Bardem himself considers Chigurh the evilest villain he has ever portrayed, stating that "he’s the least human of them all. Chigurh is just violence. There's no empathy. There's no reason, there's no goal. There's nothing to him more than being that horrible fate in people’s lives."
- It wasn't featured in the movie what happened between the tossing of a coin between Anton and Carla, but it is heavily hinted that he did kill her when Chigurh left the house and inspects his shoes, probably to see if there is any blood that may produce a shoe-print.
- In the book, he does shoot Carla after she calls Heads but the coin lands on Tails.
- If counted he is responsible for 24 deaths in No Country For Old Men.
- Professional wrestler Chris Jericho's heel persona from 2008 to 2010 was inspired by Chigurh.
- Despite playing a sadistic cold blooded villain, Javier is a strong pacifist who is against actual violence.
- There's a theory that Chigurh was a soldier in the Vietnam War much like Moss, which could explain not only his talent for improvising and endurance, but also his psychopathic and detached personality.