Helga Brandt is a henchman in the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice. She is the personal secretary to Japanese industrialist Mr. Osato and a member of the criminal organization, SPECTRE. She was portrayed by German actress Karin Dor.
This sexy young red-haired German woman lives in Japan and works for Mr. Osato as a secretary in her position as SPECTRE agent number 11, consequently she is given all the ‘dirty work’ by Osato. An expert in torture using plastic surgeons tools, Bond is spared the integration when she stupidly decides to have a bit of pleasure for herself before she gets down to work for her demanding superiors. However, she seems to be a quite conscientious and devoted henchwoman in her thankless daily work for her bosses as an assistant, a secretary, a pilot, a waitress and a hit-woman. She almost succeeds in killing James Bond, but when she finally fails and due to her low rank in the hierarchy, Blofeld shows not an ounce of leniency toward her and she has to pay it with her life with one of the worst and painful death in a Bond movie.
Meeting Mr. FisherEdit
Miss Brandt is first encountered by James Bond (Sean Connery) (posing as Mr. Fisher, the new managing director of Empire Chemicals) during his scheduled meeting with Osato. Arriving by helicopter, Osato introduces himself and his 'confidential secretary', who proceeds to offer Bond a glass of champagne. During their meeting the industrialist notices Bond's sidearm via concealed x-ray equipment. Helga takes some notes about Mr. Fisher but as soon as Bond leaves Osato strictly orders her to kill him. Making the call, she arranges for a car-load of assassins to intercept Bond, but is subsequently foiled by the actions of Aki (Akiko Wakabayashi).
Later at the Kobe docks Bond is captured while investigating and is taken aboard the ship to see Helga, who is now heavily made-up and seductively dressed. Now alone with him, the beautiful young woman is about to torture him with a dermatome in order to discover his true identity, but suddenly, thinking she will have time to kill him later, she decides to enjoy herself first and allows herself to be seduced by him, pretending to defect to his side. While she kisses him, Bond lies to the sexy redhead, saying that he is an idustrial spy and offers Helga $150,000 to help escape back to Tokyo. She first refuses, saying her boss would kill her, but after an hesistation she frees Bond, lets him unzip her dress and has sex with him.
Shortly after, the pair board a Meyers 200 aeroplane supposedly bound for Tokyo. However, in mid-flight, while she is applying her makeup, Brandt decides to remain loyal to her bosses, and traps Bond with her lipsick and a wooden restraint and parachutes out to safety; leaving the spy to try and regain control of the plummeting plane. Unfortunately for Helga, making an emergency landing, 007 narrowly escapes the plane before it violently explodes, convincing Brandt of his death.
The following day, Helga is seen in a red tailored skirt working for her bosses in Blofeld's hideout, where she helps to the capture of a Soviet spacecraft. Blofeld then summons Osato and her (by calling her "number 11") to his quarters for an urgent report, and reprimands them for failing to kill Bond. Confused, Helga claims that Bond was killed a long time ago as the newspapers said, but she then understands that Mr. Fisher was in reality James Bond and that she failed to kill him because she enjoyed herself during her task. Osato is also responsible but places the full blame on his assistant, noting that he strictly ordered her to kill Bond. Panic-stricken, Helga argues that Osato also had ample opportunity to do it himself, but Blofeld dryly reminds her that SPECTRE doesn't tolerate failure. She then remains speechless and petrified, knowing she could be very severely punished for her failure and hoping her life will be spared.
Blofeld then decides to give Osato a last chance but to punish Helga by killing her in a very nasty way, as a warning for Osato. Ordering the ashamed redhead to leave, he initially allows her to believe that he is going to let her live too, but then presses a hidden foot pedal, causing the walkway under Brandt to collapse and plunges her by surprise into a pool full of pet piranha fish. The poor girl vainly call Osato for help but is quickly pulled under and screams out with pain as she is eaten alive and stripped to the bone from head to toe in a few seconds, intimidating Osato and the two Red Chinese who witness the horrible death. Bond apparently remains unaware of her terrible fate as she is never mentioned again in the film after her death.
Behind the scenesEdit
- According to Karin Dor, who is a natural brunette, the producers wanted a "blonde German girl (to play Helga Brandt) but they ended up with me". As a compromise, they dyed Dor's hair red for the movie, turning Brandt into something of a Fiona Volpe clone.
- Even though there was no Helga Brandt in the novels, Brandt was the name of Emilio Largo's mechanic in the Ian Fleming novel Thunderball.
- Her first name is never mentioned in the film.