Deformed Villains

Bond has a history of deformed villains. This goes back to Fleming, who would create really odd-looking villains, but also enjoyed giving small oddities to his heroes and heroines. In the novels, Honeychile Ryder had a broken nose, and Domino Vitali had a limp, and of course, Leiter had a hook hand after Live and Let Die.

Most of Connery’s villains were deformed in some way: Dr. No’s artificial hands, Largo’s eyepatch, Blofeld’s long facial scar when he was first seen in YOLT. Fleming liked to use sexual “perversity” (in which category he included homosexuality) as a sort of “deformity,” and among Connery’s villains we have the lesbian Rosa Klebb, the gay couple Wint & Kidd, and Goldfinger, who liked to paint women gold for kicks.

By the Brosnan era, we had a crop of pretty “normal” villains. GE was great, with Alex’s facial scarring and Xenia’s serious perversity, but the villains in TND and TWINE were decidedly ordinary, and the only oddity in DAD was a case of “very expensive acne.”

So it was a delight that CR gave us a bonafide freak.
Dig that crazy scar

Facial scar: Check. Bleeding eye: Check. Frequent use of unexplained inhaler: Check.

The novel explains that Le Chiffre is a dexedrine addict and that’s what’s in the inhaler. I’d have liked if it was explained in the movie, because otherwise it just looks like maybe he has asthma. But there was so much going on in CR, maybe another explanation would have been a mistak.


3 Responses to “Deformed Villains”

  1. Boromir006 Says:

    Sometimes things like that are better left unexplained. It’s nice when a movie chooses to retain a little ambiguity rather than spelling out every character trait for the audience… how much cooler a villain was Darth Vader before we saw the whiny brat he used to be?

  2. Deborah Lipp Says:

    Oh, I agree. It’s just that an inhaler seems so ordinary. When Fleming wrote it in the 50s, you didn’t see them, they weren’t in common use for asthma, and asthma itself was a less common disease. So it was odd and a little bizarre in 1953, but now it’s commonly used to denote weakness in a character: He has asthma so he can’t run, etc.

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