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Le Chiffre was a fictional Soviet intelligence operative. The primary antagonist of the 1954 Climax! episode, Casino Royale, the character was portrayed by Austro-Hungarian-American actor Peter Lorre, and was the first on-screen adaption of the literary character who first appeared in Ian Fleming's 1953 novel of the same name.

Film biography

Known only as "The Cipher" (in various languages), Le Chiffre mentions that he acquired the nickname from his experiences as a displaced person after the Second World War; being just a number on a passport. He is the chief Soviet intelligence agent operating in the region and is controlled through Leningrad Section II through Paris. British agent Clarence Leiter describes him as the most dangerous man they've ever had; a fanatic, ruthless, incorruptible and everything he does is entirely legal. But his weakness is gambling with Soviet funds - losing 80,000,000 francs; something which has come to the attention of his Soviet handlers and a problem which the British, French and Americans intend to take advantage of. American agent "Card Sense Jimmy Bond" is dispatched to Casino Royale in a bid to bankrupt Le Chiffre in a game of Baccarat, preventing him from recouping the 80 million by gambling with his remaining 26 million francs. He is always accompanied by three armed guards and carries a firearm, along with three razor blades concealed in his cigarette case, hat band and in the sole of his left shoe.

Aware of his opponents' plans, Le Chiffre has one of his men make an attempt on Bond's life outside the Casino and later has Bond's former love interest, Valerie Mathis, visit him in his suite to dissuade the spy from playing against him at the Baccarat table. He has Bond's suite bugged with a microphone and monitors the conversation. She apparently fails to convince him and Bond proceeds to play the following day, despite failed attempts by Le Chiffre to procure Bond's funds and threats on Valerie's life. The game initially goes in Le Chiffre's favor and Bond is cleaned out. However, Mathis secretly provides a further 35,000,000 francs, enabling him to continue the game and defeat Le Chiffre - winning 87,000,000 francs. He leaves the table while one of his guards holds Bond at gunpoint with a gun disguised as a walking cane. After overcoming his opponent, Bond hides his winnings. Le Chiffre corners him in his hotel room, bringing Valerie with him; revealing that she is in fact an agent of the French Secret Service, the Deuxième Bureau. He binds Bond's wrists and feet with rope and tortures the spy with a pair of pliers in order to discover the location of the cheque. In a desperate bid to stop the torture, Valerie discloses that she saw Bond with a screwdriver as she arrived - leading the men to leave them in the bathroom as they search the suite. Le Chiffre accidentally leaves his cigarette case and razor, which the pair use to cut their bonds as Le Chiffre finds the money. They overcome their captors and as Mathis tries to extract the cheque from Le Chiffre's pocket, he pulls out one of his razor blades and holds her hostage. She slips from his grasp as he opens the hotel door and Bond shoots him dead.

Gallery

See also

References

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