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Ladislav Kutze

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Ladislav Kutze or Kotze was was a physicist who was employed by SPECTRE to examine and adapt the atomic bombs which the organization had stolen from the British. He appears in both the novel Thunderball and its film adaptation. Kutze was portrayed by George Pravda.

Novel biography

In the Ian Fleming novel Thunderball, the character is instead referred to simply as Kotze. Kotze, SPECTRE no. 5, was an East German physicist who had defected. He survived the events of Thunderball, but was captured and told all he knew about SPECTRE.

Film biography

In the 1965 film adaptation of Thunderball, Kotze's name was changed to Ladislav Kutze. He was a Polish nuclear physicist working with SPECTRE to maintain and examine the two nuclear bombs which the organization had stolen from the British.

Kutze's motivation was primarily one of scholarly interest in the mechanics of the weapons themselves. Indeed, he was particularly excited to have been given the opportunity to examine the atomic warheads.

He eventually redeems himself by releasing Domino Derval following her torture at Largo's hands and expresses regret over his part in enabling use of the atomic weapons, stating that he had disposed of the arming device by throwing it overboard - thus rendering the bombs harmless.

Curiously, his fate is unknown. At the end of 'Thunderball', Bond (perhaps unintentionally) abandons him somewhere off the coast of Florida. It is likely that he perished, as his last words were "I never learned to swim," to which Bond replied "never too late to learn" before throwing him a life preserver.

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