Jan Werich in costume as Blofeld in YOLT

Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 18,942MI6 Agent
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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Comments

  • AlphaOmegaSinAlphaOmegaSin EnglandPosts: 10,924MI6 Agent
    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
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    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) ! :))
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • broadshoulderbroadshoulder Acton, London, UKPosts: 1,363MI6 Agent
    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
  • AlphaOmegaSinAlphaOmegaSin EnglandPosts: 10,924MI6 Agent
    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
  • Gassy ManGassy Man USAPosts: 2,961MI6 Agent
    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.
  • Matt SMatt S Oh Cult Voodoo ShopPosts: 6,550MI6 Agent
    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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  • Gassy ManGassy Man USAPosts: 2,961MI6 Agent
    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.
  • AlphaOmegaSinAlphaOmegaSin EnglandPosts: 10,924MI6 Agent
    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
  • broadshoulderbroadshoulder Acton, London, UKPosts: 1,363MI6 Agent
    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
  • AlphaOmegaSinAlphaOmegaSin EnglandPosts: 10,924MI6 Agent
    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
  • 002002 New ZealandPosts: 558MI6 Agent
    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=chrome-instant&rlz=1C1KMZB_enNZ640NZ640&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=Mekon
  • AlphaOmegaSinAlphaOmegaSin EnglandPosts: 10,924MI6 Agent
    I personally think they got the Balance of Sitting/Standing Scenes right -{

    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
  • The Wicker ManThe Wicker Man EnglandPosts: 434MI6 Agent
    Stannah stairlift? :)
    1.ohmss 2.cr 3.frwl 4.ltk 5.gf 6.tswlm 7.sf 8.op 9.tld 10.dn 11.lald 12.tb 13.fyeo 14.ge 15.mr 16.yolt 17.tnd 18.avtak 19.sp 20.twine 21.qos 22.tmwtgg 23.daf 24.dad
  • AlphaOmegaSinAlphaOmegaSin EnglandPosts: 10,924MI6 Agent
    Even the most evil need help :))
    1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    A nice mobility scooter to get around that big base. ;)
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • 72897289 Beau DesertPosts: 1,691MI6 Agent
    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.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 32,239Chief of Staff
    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.
  • Gassy ManGassy Man USAPosts: 2,961MI6 Agent
    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.
  • AlphaOmegaSinAlphaOmegaSin EnglandPosts: 10,924MI6 Agent
    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
  • 72897289 Beau DesertPosts: 1,691MI6 Agent
    "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.
  • AlphaOmegaSinAlphaOmegaSin EnglandPosts: 10,924MI6 Agent
    Pleasance's portrayal was perfect -{
    1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger
  • GrindelwaldGrindelwald Posts: 1,276MI6 Agent
    Santa Claus Blofeld vs paranoid bald Blofeld......easy choice for me :p
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,697MI6 Agent
    A creepy bearded dude who sneaks into children's bedrooms v
    A lovely kind bald man who keeps tropical fish ? Tough call ! :))
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • AlphaOmegaSinAlphaOmegaSin EnglandPosts: 10,924MI6 Agent
    But the fuzzy white Beard would match any white Cat :))
    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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