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Blofeld (Hollis/Rietty)

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Ernst Stavro Blofeld is a fictional character and a supervillain from the James Bond series of novels and films, who was created by Ian Fleming and Kevin McClory. An evil genius with aspirations of world domination, he is the archenemy of the British Secret Service agent James Bond and is head of the global criminal organisation SPECTRE. A character bearing his likeness was played on screen by John Hollis in the 1981 film For Your Eyes Only.

Shared background

Beginning in 1962, the EON series of Bond films placed a far greater emphasis on the SPECTRE organisation, which effectively replaced SMERSH as the primary antagonists of the early movies. As a result of this move, SPECTRE's leader, Blofeld, also plays a more prominent role than he had in the novels.

Film biography

Blofeld appears in the pre-credit sequence of For Your Eyes Only as an anonymous, wheelchair-bound, bald villain. Clues to his identity are the trademark white Angora cat, similar clothes to his previous onscreen appearances and dialogue indicating that he and 007 had met before. It is hinted that Blofeld plotted away for years in an attempt to exact revenge on James Bond for foiling his plans and for the downfall of his criminal organization SPECTRE.

Bond, whilst paying respects at his wife Tracy's grave, Blofeld attempts to exact revenge on Bond by trapping him in a remotely controlled helicopter. Bond eventually regains control over the aircraft as Blofeld attempts to crash it into a factory, and, after toying with his nemesis, Bond drops a pleading Blofeld down an industrial chimney stack at a gasworks, presumed deceased.

Contoversy

Blofeld remains unnamed and unlisted in this film’s end credits. The entire sequence was conceived by the producers as a means of providing an "immediate continuity link" to the earlier films, as it was originally planned to have a new actor take over the role of Bond in the film - often rumored to have been Timothy Dalton (although Roger Moore ultimately returned to the part). The anonymity of the villain was due to the legal dispute between Kevin McClory and Eon Productions over the Thunderball copyrights.

In addition, right before Blofeld was killed, he begs to Bond to spare him, and bribes him with a delicatessen in stainless steel. This line had been added in by the producer of the film, Albert R. Broccoli, as a throwback to Mafia slang for a very cushy bribe used during the time and place he was growing up in (as at the time, having a delicatessen in stainless steel was considered luxurious especially if the owner was a street vendor).

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