In 'The Help,' Southern society girl Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard) is as polished and polite as possible, but that pretty smile hides a mean, racist streak as wide as the Mississippi. It just proves, as Hamlet once said, "One may smile and smile and be a villain." Here's our collection of female characters who tried to put a pleasant face on evil as they schemed, bullied and even committed murder to get what they wanted.

Here's a discussion we had about some of the themes in 'The Help':

Gallery photos 1-8, 10-15: Everett Collection; 9: Dreamworks.