Creating Blofeld's duplicates (Diamonds are Forever)

One of Blofeld's doubles oversees the creation of a third duplicate, in Diamonds Are Forever (1971).

Blofeld's doubles were fictional, surgically-altered, identical decoys of SPECTRE founder and head, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. A total of three duplicates were created, with the third killed by James Bond mid-way through plastic surgery. The doubles appeared in EON Productions' 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever and were portrayed by stuntmen George Leech and Bill Morgan, as well as Blofeld actor Charles Gray.

Film biography

Mud bath

Blofeld's last double (played by Bill Morgan), having been drowned by Bond

Blofeld Double: "You killed my only other double, I'm afraid. After his death, volunteers were understandably... rather scarce."
Blofeld: "Such a pity. All that time and energy wasted, simply to provide you with one mock, heroic moment."
―Blofeld reveals himself to Bond. — Gnome-speakernotesListen (file info)[src]

Once again pursued by a vengeful 007, Blofeld begins creating identical decoys of himself using a team of plastic surgeons. Expecting Bond to find him at any moment, Blofeld demands that his chief surgeon completes an operation that evening. Later that night, the operation begins in a cavernous operating theatre, with a volunteer double lying in an 80 degree mud bath. After the surgeons leave, Bond enters and removes his disguise. The volunteer recognises 007 and gently lifts a pistol out of the mud bath. The spy spots the gun and, as the man sits upright to shoot him, he pulls a release cord; dumping a heavy quantity of mud on top of the henchman, until he is overwhelmed and drowns. After checking the man's identity, Bond is suddenly confronted by one of the two finished Blofeld doubles. "Making mud pies, 007?", Blofeld quips, mentioning that, if Bond hadn't drowned the man, he would have been physically identical to himself in a matter of days. The double expresses regret at not being able to see the operation come to fruition. Bond kills the decoy (who he assumes to be the real Blofeld) by plunging him into a superheated mudbath pool. However, the real Blofeld and his final double continued to evade capture, kidnapping and taking the place of reclusive billionaire Willard Whyte in Las Vegas. Following a trail to Whyte's hotel penthouse apartment, 007 breaks in and is unexpectedly confronted with two identical Blofelds. Causing the villain's cat to flee to its master, Bond kills one of the Blofelds, but he turns out to be a look-alike. All of the doubles were flawless copies, down to posessing their own white blue-eyed Persian cat.

Behind the scenes

DVD commentary for the film explains that stuntman George Leech stood in for scenes showing the patient having mud applied to his face, with stuntman Bill Morgan standing in when the patient rises up out of the mud, drowns and when he is examined by Bond. Both actors were uncredited.

In the original novel, Bond witnesses a horse jockey being tortured by Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd, when they pour a bucket of scalding hot mud onto the jockey, as he takes a mud bath. In the novel, there is no mud bath cloning process at all; it was worked into the script as a likely homage to the source text.

Albert J. Luxford, who worked on special effects for the film recalled how mashed potatoes were mixed with cocoa to create fake mud for the opening titles sequence. What the crew didn't expect was the fact that, under hot studio lights, the mashed potatoes began to "cook", creating a bad smell on set.


See also


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