Claus is an assassin who appears in the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only (1981). Working for Aris Kristatos and under the supervision of his chief enforcer, Locque, he attempts to murder Bond in the Italian ski resort of Cortina. He is later part of the squad which murders Lisl (Cassandra Harris). The character is played by Charles Dance.

Film biography

Arriving in the Italian ski resort of Cortina, Bond narrowly saves the life of Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet) after she is attacked by two men on motorcycles. Although Bond apparently kills one of the assassins, the second escapes. It is unknown if the fleeing cyclist was Claus or another mercenary.

Later, Bond attends a biathlon event with Aris Kristatos‘ protégée, Bibi Dahl. Observing Bond leave the biathlon course, and sensing an opportunity to kill him, Locque signals for Claus and his accomplice to cut him off. Meanwhile, his fellow henchman, Eric Kriegler, attempts to snipe Bond from above. Bond manages to evade Kriegler, skiing into the path of Claus. Performing a somersault leap from a mound of snow, 007 knocks Claus to the ground and, despite a flurry of small arms fire, manages to escape to the relative safety of the Olympic ski jump.

Following him, Locque and Claus enter a lift with Bond. At the top, the pair split up – Locque preventing Bond from retreating back and Claus preparing to kill him on the way down the 90-meter Olympic ski jump. At the same time, Kriegler arrives at the base of the jump and prepares to snipe Bond. With no other option available, the spy is forced to use the slope. As he begins his descent, Claus forces his way on to the jump and brawls with Bond. Both men make the jump and as they land, Bond knocks Claus off his feet and makes his escape.

Claus makes one final appearance later in the film; as he and another unnamed driver aid Locque in his attempt to murder Bond and Lisl. Using dune buggies, the pair drive Lisl into the path of Locque’s vehicle. She is killed instantly. Seconds later Claus clips Bond with his buggy and holds him at gunpoint. He orders him into Locque’s vehicle, but never finishes his sentence; he is struck in the back by a harpoon fired by one of Columbo’s men.

Behind the scenes

The role was early in Dance’s career; in 1989 he would go on to play Ian Fleming in Anglia Television’s Goldeneye: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming, a dramatised portrayal of the life of Ian Fleming.

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