|“||Our intention is to demand a ransom from the North Atlantic Treaty powers of 280 million dollars. A hundred million pounds.||„|
|~ Largo's plan.|
|“||You let him get the better of you!||„|
|~ Largo to one of his henchmen Quist.|
Emilio Largo is the main antagonist of the James Bond novel and film Thunderball. He was played by Adolfo Celi, whose voice was dubbed over by Robert Rietty.
In the novel, Largo is "No. 1" in the SPECTRE hierarchy; however, unlike the film, the number is randomly assigned as a security precaution. Nonetheless, Largo is the successor to Ernst Stavro Blofeld and the supreme commander of "Plan Omega". Largo is a large, handsome, athletic man, but his good looks are hard and smarmy. Attractive to women, Largo has satyr-like lips, oiled hair, and a hooked, Roman nose. He is a ruthless, successful criminal who womanizes and lives the high life among wealthy companions. This makes Largo's cover as a seeker of sunken treasure perfect. Largo makes use of a private hydrofoil yacht, the Disco Volante. Purchased with SPECTRE funds for £200,000, the ship was specially commissioned for use in the shallow Bahamian waters. The craft plays a pivotal role in the seizure and transportation of the two nuclear weapons. Largo also obtained a rented beach property for the operation named Palmyra at Lyford Key. It serves as a residence for his "niece" and a few of his men. Largo and the crew of the Disco Volante kill the NATO traitor Giuseppe Petacchi and steal the two nuclear warheads aboard the jet. Largo then reports the successful recovery of the weapons to Blofeld via radio. SPECTRE afterwards announces its existence to the world by threatening to destroy a major city in the United States or United Kingdom, unless a ransom of £100,000,000 is paid. This plan is dubbed "Plan Omega" by Blofeld and is overseen by Largo. Largo is shot through the neck with a harpoon by his mistress, Domino, while he and Bond engage in underwater fighting.
In the 1965 film adaptation, Largo is portrayed as a grey-haired man in his late 40s who wears an eye patch and works for the criminal organization, SPECTRE. In the film, Largo is "No. 2" and head of their current extortion operation. As with the novel, Largo has two main headquarters; a villa at Palmyra and his private yacht, the Disco Volante. Unlike the novel, his estate at Palmyra plays a much greater role in the film adaptation. When not transporting the warheads, Largo spends much of his time at the villa, which now includes a large swimming pool filled with his prized shark collection. Bond is later knocked into the shark pool, but manages to narrowly escape. Largo's scheme in Thunderball, at the time, was unique and ingenious. It involved the theft of two nuclear weapons from NATO at sea to which he would then use to hold the world hostage by threating to detonate the two devices in England or the United States unless they paid the ransom of £100 million British pounds. This scheme has been used countless times since Thunderball and is even a joke in the Austin Powers series of movies.
In the film, his death is less gruesome than the novel, but more dramatic. As Bond and Largo do battle on the bridge of the Disco Volante, the spy is knocked to the floor by a sudden collision. In the confusion Largo snatches a nearby pistol and holds 007 at gunpoint. As he prepares to pull the trigger Domino shoots him in the back with a harpoon. He turns and collapses dead on the ship's wheel, jamming the controls. Unable to move the body and with seconds to spare, Bond, Domino and Kutze leap overboard as the Disco Volante runs aground and explodes violently.
Never Say Never Again
In the unofficial movie Never Say Never Again, which is actually a remake of Thunderball, Largo is named Maximillian instead of Emilio and is portrayed by Klaus Maria Brandauer.
Largo is a well known, blond-haired, millionaire and philanthropist, who secretly works for the evil organisation SPECTRE. As in the novel Thunderball, Largo is "Number One" in the SPECTRE hierarchy; however, unlike the EON film series, the number does not directly correlate with the member's importance or seniority. Largo is the supreme commander of the organisation's latest and grandest extortion exercise dubbed "The Tears of Allah". It is mentioned that he was born in Bucharest, Romania, in 1945, making him 38 when the events of the film take place.
Largo's two main headquarters are his super-yacht The Flying Saucer, which is the original translation of the name in the Thunderball novel, and a Moorish castle Palmyra located on the north coast of Africa. Largo is also a skilled game designer, having created a video game called Domination, a two-player game where one player, as red, battles another player, being blue, in real-world nations on a video screen. The object of the game is to make regions of the country match your color while fending off the other player's attempts to do so. Each game also pays a corresponding amount of money, dependent on the size of the nation, which the loser must pay, as well as receiving an electric shock of increasing intensity. A player who removes his hands from the joystick automatically loses. After losing a few games, Bond wins a potentially fatal game for control of the entire world when Largo takes his hands off the joystick. He declines Largo's offer to pay up, instead settling for a dance with Domino.
He is killed by his mistress Domino, being shot in the back with a harpoon gun during an undersea cave fight over control a nuclear weapon, being placed in a key geologic location called The Tears of Allah, which will destroy the middle east's underground oil reserves.