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 Why oh why are there so many different actors playing Ernst Stavro Blofeld?

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PostSubject: Why oh why are there so many different actors playing Ernst Stavro Blofeld?   Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:28 am

I know that this is a comment that could be made about other characters in the James Bond film series (Felix Leiter, Chief of Staff etc.), but here goes on Blofeld:

We know from the original Bond novels that Blofeld is a master of disguise - this being so, he changes his appearance through plastic surgery and weight-loss/facial hair, contact lenses etc. Why then do so many differemnt type of actors portray him on the screen - why not just have the same actor from YOLT to DAF (which in itself, was filmed out of continuity). All three Blofelds look different/behave differently. Why could Charles Gray not just have played a character called Jack Spang or Sigmund Stromberg - he had grey hair like the Blofeld of OHMSS, but he was a very poor Blofeld. Telly Savalas was bald like Donald Pleasance, and he had the requisite "missing earlobes" but he was the only one to reflect some of the characterisation of the Blofeld of the books. Blofeld could have been such a better villain in the film series, as it is he's a pantomine villain from a cartoon strip - a Dr Evil influence in Pleasance form or a fey, theatrical and campy Blofeld as played by Gray in DAF - plastic surgery perhaps explains this face change (Gray also dresses in drag), plus his fate is left unclear. In FYEO we had Blofeld (with neck-brace from OHMSS incarnation) completely blanking DAF as it in turn completely blanks DAF and Blofeld here acts as the punch line to a rather long and silly visual joke in the pre-titles sequence that seems at odds with the revert to serious Bond that summed up the whole FYEO film experience.

I intend to look at the filmic Blofeld in an article called 'The Many Faces and Deaths of Ernst Stavro Blofeld (1964-1981)'.

I do think that with Kananga there was a deliberate attempt to move away from all of the Blofeld/SPECTRE crap of the Dr. No-DAF years and to create a freelance villain that was interesting in his own light and that didn't have to rely on the SPECTRE claptrap as his organisation - he had much more to do as an actor as a result - a great gift that was partly squandered due to Tom Mankiewicz's script.

Thanks for reading. I'd love to hear your views on this vexed subject of Blofeld in the films.


Last edited by SILHOUETTE MAN on Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Why oh why are there so many different actors playing Ernst Stavro Blofeld?   Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:46 am

And then there's how different the 'unseen' Blofeld of FRWL and TB sounds compared to Pleasance ... and then how different Pleasance sounds to Savalas and Gray. I guess you just gotta roll with it.
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Walecs
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PostSubject: Re: Why oh why are there so many different actors playing Ernst Stavro Blofeld?   Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:10 am

SILHOUETTE MAN wrote:
I intend to look at the filmic Blofeld in an article called 'The Many Deaths of Ernst Stavro Blofeld (1964-1981)'.

When will you make this? I'm looking forward it.
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PostSubject: Re: Why oh why are there so many different actors playing Ernst Stavro Blofeld?   Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:34 am

Walecs wrote:
SILHOUETTE MAN wrote:
I intend to look at the filmic Blofeld in an article called 'The Many Deaths of Ernst Stavro Blofeld (1964-1981)'.

When will you make this? I'm looking forward it.

Well, I've got the (related) article 'The Strange Death of Colonel Sun' coming up next, so it'll be some time after that on The Bondologist Blog.

http://www.thebondologistblog.blogspot.co.uk
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PostSubject: Re: Why oh why are there so many different actors playing Ernst Stavro Blofeld?   Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:15 am

I would have loved Blofeld to stay behind the curtain until OHMSS. Though I like Blofeld in DAF - for comedic purposes and his creepy voice - it would have been scarier for him to remain hidden, or played by one actor.

What's really funny/strange in the Bond movies is that Blofeld is played by so many people and that so many actors come back to play different parts.

It's like a Monty Python skip troupe or something. The same actors coming back puts me off.
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PostSubject: Re: Why oh why are there so many different actors playing Ernst Stavro Blofeld?   Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:28 pm

I wish that the Blofeld we got was the same Blofeld as from FRWL/TB. No one was ever as threatening as the voice of Eric Pohlmann and I have never understood why they didn't just ask him to be Blofeld.
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