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Topic: Jan Werich in costume as Blofeld in YOLT

According to Wikipedia: Werich was originally cast by producer Harry Saltzman to play Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice. Upon his arrival at the Pinewood set, both producer Albert R. Broccoli and director Lewis Gilbert felt that he was a poor choice, resembling a "poor, benevolent Santa Claus". Nonetheless, in an attempt to make the casting work, Gilbert continued filming. After several days, both Gilbert and Broccoli determined that Werich was not menacing enough, and recast Blofeld with Donald Pleasence in the role.



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Re: Jan Werich in costume as Blofeld in YOLT

He would have been an interesting Blofeld. Whats funny is that Max Von Sydow's Blofeld looked a lot like Jan Werich.

I've also heard that Werich could speak little English?

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger

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Re: Jan Werich in costume as Blofeld in YOLT

There is one shot of him in YOLT, from the back of the chair in the
Control room talking to Bond. You can see the top of his head ( with Hair) !  ajb007/lol

"Let his death be a particularly unpleasant and humiliating one."

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Re: Jan Werich in costume as Blofeld in YOLT

Without seeing footage - we cant comment on Werich. He lacks the creepiness of Pleasance however..

1. For Your Eyes Only      2. The Living Daylights    3 From Russia with Love  4. Casino Royale  5. OHMSS  6. Skyfall

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Re: Jan Werich in costume as Blofeld in YOLT

There probably is Footage lying around somewhere.

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger

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Re: Jan Werich in costume as Blofeld in YOLT

I would have preferred him -- there's something wonderfully twisted about making the villain look like a childhood "friend."  With Pleasence, they got a villainous look but no menace, kind of like Dominic Green in QoS.

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Re: Jan Werich in costume as Blofeld in YOLT

Gassy Man wrote:

I would have preferred him -- there's something wonderfully twisted about making the villain look like a childhood "friend."  With Pleasence, they got a villainous look but no menace, kind of like Dominic Green in QoS.

I don't think Werich would have been menacing either. I haven't seen him in very many films, but I haven't seen him menacing. And that's why they fired him.

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Re: Jan Werich in costume as Blofeld in YOLT

He could have been menacing for the exactly the reason his general appearance didn't seem so.  But if his eyes and voice showed menace, he could have been quite effective.  What I've read about the criticism of him mostly focuses on his appearance.  Pleasence has a cold, rat-like appearance, but his voice and hollow eyes aren't so much menacing as weaselly, sniveling.

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Re: Jan Werich in costume as Blofeld in YOLT

Like GM said, he still could of played Blofeld in a menacing Way (ala Pleasence) despite his more innocent Look.

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger

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Re: Jan Werich in costume as Blofeld in YOLT

Gassy Man wrote:

He could have been menacing for the exactly the reason his general appearance didn't seem so.  But if his eyes and voice showed menace, he could have been quite effective.  What I've read about the criticism of him mostly focuses on his appearance.  Pleasence has a cold, rat-like appearance, but his voice and hollow eyes aren't so much menacing as weaselly, sniveling.

There was something creepy about Pleasance. An almost 'other world' quality..

1. For Your Eyes Only      2. The Living Daylights    3 From Russia with Love  4. Casino Royale  5. OHMSS  6. Skyfall

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Re: Jan Werich in costume as Blofeld in YOLT

A lot of his Roles called for him to play darker characters.

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger

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Re: Jan Werich in costume as Blofeld in YOLT

I had no problem with Donald Pleasance playing Blofeld.  The main error in his portrayal, I think, was in directing him to stand and move.  Pleasance's Blofeld was far more effective when seated: can you imagine how powerful his role would have been had he been able to command EVERYTHING (including his own movement) from his chair?  Zipping about on his chair across different levels and via tunnels would have given him a Mekon-like quality, and that is VERY creepy and menacing...

https://www.google.co.nz/webhp?sourceid … -8#q=Mekon

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Re: Jan Werich in costume as Blofeld in YOLT

I personally think they got the Balance of Sitting/Standing Scenes right  ajb007/martini

But having Blofelds Chair moving about the whole Place would have given him some more Menace.

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger

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Re: Jan Werich in costume as Blofeld in YOLT

Stannah stairlift?  ajb007/smile

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Re: Jan Werich in costume as Blofeld in YOLT

Even the most evil need help  ajb007/lol

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger

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Re: Jan Werich in costume as Blofeld in YOLT

A nice mobility scooter to get around that big base.  ajb007/wink

"Let his death be a particularly unpleasant and humiliating one."

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Re: Jan Werich in costume as Blofeld in YOLT

Back in '67 when YOLT was released, I found DP a major disappointment. Gone was the mysterious, dark haired man in FRWL and TB. He was replaced with a short, bald little man with a squeaky voice. The YOLT Blofeld was a cliche even then.

When Charles Gray showed up, it was an improvement, but as he played for laughs - not so much. They should have let Dawson keep the role and just given him obscure camera angles and the Lazenby style dubbing. IMO EON messed up!

Jan Werich would have been just fine.

"The beggar who is sitting in the marketplace is completely deaf in so much as far as listening to the song that is coming from the Mockingbird is concerned."

The .25 Beretta of Ian Fleming's James Bond
The Handguns of Ian Fleming's James Bond

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Re: Jan Werich in costume as Blofeld in YOLT

Since he'd already been seen as Prof Dent in DN, Dawson couldn't have been "unveiled" as Blofeld in YOLT. Pity, really. IMHO, there's never been a definitive screen Blofeld... yet. Each of the various actors has caught something of the character but none has nailed it.

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Re: Jan Werich in costume as Blofeld in YOLT

If they hadn't already squandered him in Thunderball, Guy Doleman might have been a reasonable choice for Blofeld.  He certainly had the voice and bearing for it.

Of the actors who were around, Gunther Meisner or even the director, Otto Preminger, could have evoked the non-British qualities of the mysterious Blofeld.  But, my choice should they go the traditional villain route would have been Christopher Lee.

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Re: Jan Werich in costume as Blofeld in YOLT

I suppose you could say that Blofeld is bold in YOLT due to an Identity Change (Similar to the Novels)

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger

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Re: Jan Werich in costume as Blofeld in YOLT

"Since he'd already been seen as Prof Dent in DN, Dawson couldn't have been "unveiled" as Blofeld in YOLT."

Don't agree, Charles Gray was "Henderson" in YOLT and returned to play Blofeld in DAF. While Dent was a more memorable character, he would have been thousands of times better than the bald headed, one eyed, squeaky voiced goof we ended up with.

"The beggar who is sitting in the marketplace is completely deaf in so much as far as listening to the song that is coming from the Mockingbird is concerned."

The .25 Beretta of Ian Fleming's James Bond
The Handguns of Ian Fleming's James Bond

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Re: Jan Werich in costume as Blofeld in YOLT

Pleasance's portrayal was perfect  ajb007/martini

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger

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Re: Jan Werich in costume as Blofeld in YOLT

Santa Claus Blofeld vs paranoid bald Blofeld......easy choice for me  ajb007/tongue

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Re: Jan Werich in costume as Blofeld in YOLT

A creepy bearded dude who sneaks into children's bedrooms v
A lovely kind bald man who keeps tropical fish ?  Tough call !  ajb007/lol

"Let his death be a particularly unpleasant and humiliating one."

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Re: Jan Werich in costume as Blofeld in YOLT

But the fuzzy white Beard would match any white Cat  ajb007/lol

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger