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Count Lippe

Nice to have met you, Mr. Bond.
~ Lippe sabotaging Bond's traction table.

Count Lippe, better known simply as Lippe, is a major antagonist in the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball. He is a fictional criminal and enforcer who is working for the criminal organization known as SPECTRE. He is based on the villain of the same name from Ian Fleming's 1961 novel.

He was portrayed by the late Guy Doleman in Thunderball, and by the late Pat Roach Never Say Never Again, who also played Thoth Amon in Conan The Destroyer, the German Mechanic in Raiders of the Lost Ark and the Chief Guard in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Biography

A nobleman of undetermined nationality, Count Lippe is first encountered by James Bond at the Shrublands health spa. He is ultimately revealed to be an agent of SPECTRE, charged with hiring Angelo Palazzi to impersonate NATO pilot François Derval. The spa itself is conveniently close to the RAF airbase from which SPECTRE plans to hijack a Vulcan bomber and its atomic payload.

On his first meeting with Lippe, Bond notices a criminal tattoo (a red square with a spike through it - a Tong symbol) on the man's wrist. Suspicious, he searches Lippe's room, but is seen leaving by Palazzi who is bandaged after plastic surgery. Lippe tries to murder Bond with a spinal traction machine, but is foiled by Patricia Fearing. As in the novel, Bond retaliates against Lippe by trapping him in a steam bath and turning up the heat.

Later that evening, Lippe and Angelo arrive at a Whitbread House hotel where the unsuspecting François Derval is relaxing with his mistress, SPECTRE assassin Fiona Volpe. Making a call from the public telephone box outside, Lippe informs the pilot that they have a car waiting to take him to the air base. The pair then proceed up to Derval's room and murder him with a poison gas pistol. After receiving his payment from Volpe, Palazzi demands more - a quarter of a million dollars. The Count threatens Angelo with a silenced pistol, but is instructed by the more pragmatic Volpe to put it away. She agrees to his demands to avoid further complications.

Using a fake ambulance, which Lippe had arranged, they transport the dead and bandaged Derval back to Shrublands to make it appear that he is Palazzi. As they dispose of the body they are suddenly interrupted by Bond and are forced to abandon the corpse in the traction room. As he makes a phone call, one of Lippe's assistants makes an attempt on Bond's life, but is ultimately killed. On his way out of the traction room, Bond trips the fire alarm, forcing the Count to flee the scene.

The following morning, Bond leaves due to an urgent call from the office. Lippe notices him leaving and sets off in pursuit of Bond's DB5. Approaching from behind, the Count attempts to shoot 007 with a revolver. As Bond prepares the car's defenses, Lippe's vehicle suddenly bursts into flames - shot from behind by the rockets of a masked assassin's motorcycle. As the assassin streaks past, Lippe's vehicle careers out of control and topples into a ditch where it explodes violently. It is revealed that Lippe was killed by Volpe on Blofeld's orders, as punishment for his poor judgement in hiring the greedy Palazzi.

Never Say Never Again

Lippe (Pat Roach) - Profile.png

Unlike the previous versions of Count Lippe, in Never Say Never Again there is no mention of him being a count. Also he is not directly involved in SPECTRE's plot to have Jack Petachi (this film's version of François Derval/Angelo Palazzi) steal NATO nuclear warheads. Instead, he is merely an assassin sent by Fatima Blush to kill Bond at the health clinic. Unlike previous versions of the character, Lippe possesses almost superhuman strength, similar to EON characters Oddjob and Jaws. He and Bond have a fight that wrecks the building. As the fight between him and Bond reaches the clinic's samples laboratory, Bond grabs a beaker of fluid (revealed to be Bond's urine specimen) and throws its contents into his assailant's face; Lippe is seemingly blinded, moves back screaming in pain and collapses on a flasks shelf, impaling himself on the broken shards of glass, killing him.

Trivia

  • During his death's scene, Lippe was portrayed by the late stuntman Bob Simmons, who also played Jacques Bouvar in the same film and Ivan in The Spy Who Loved Me. Simmons also played Bond in the gun barrel sequences for Dr. No, From Russia With Love and Goldfinger, as well as a henchman who is blown up by Bond's exploding Lotus in For Your Eyes Only.
  • The Assassination of Lippe just shows how petty Blofeld is to his subordinates as well as being money-pitching, beside his usual ruthlessness, as Lippe did complete his job successfully by enabling Largo to have two nuclear bombs to extort NATO, even though he hired a greedy but competent infiltrator to complete the mission successfully. However, for Blofeld, going over budget is still justifying enough to have Lippe killed.

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