James Bond: Ranking Every Blofeld From Worst To Best
6. Max Von Sydow (Never Say Never Again, 1983)
As an unofficial, rogue James Bond film, made outside of Eon Productions and its gunmetal fist, Never Say Never Again is only able to offer faint facsimiles representing beloved characters in very limited settings.
Indeed, such were the conditions under which producer Kevin McClory and his assembled team were allowed to make this competing 007 picture that a very specific template had to be followed. With McClory possessing the rights to the original Thunderball plot, and nothing more, that's exactly what the film trotted out with Sean Connery in eager tow.
Remaking Thunderball, then, gave us not only the familiar-yet-different figures of Largo and Domino, but also the nefarious SPECTRE chief himself. Max von Sydow's take on the character is delivered with the dignified elegance you'd expect from an actor of his calibre - yet, it's hard not to notice the lack of prestige surrounding his lone scene.
With Blofeld hosting a SPECTRE meeting in a setting that more resembles an empty classroom than Thunderball's iconic executive conference hall, the scene is sadly emblematic of Never Say Never Again's bargain-bin Bondness. Next to the extravagant, sinister, tough portrayals of the character that von Sydow had to follow, how could he and the film's visible lack of shine hope to compete?
Still, at least he was better than the delicatessen dude.