The Unrelenting Emile Locque: A Bond Henchman to Remember
Emile Leopold Locque is the Belgian henchman serving Greek smuggler Aristotle Kristatos in the 1981 James Bond film, For Your Eyes Only. Portrayed by late British actor Michael Gothard, Locque’s ruthless nature has left a lasting impression on the Bond universe, and as the Bond universe moved into the 1980s.
Emile Locque, once a notorious enforcer in Brussels’ criminal underworld, was sentenced to life in prison on January 31, 1975, after being found guilty of numerous vicious homicides. While serving time in Namur Prison, Belgium, he managed to escape by murdering his psychiatrist.
Following his escape, Locque worked with drug cartels in Hong Kong and France, where he caught the eye of Greek drug smuggler Aris Kristatos. Impressed by Locque’s capabilities, Kristatos swiftly enlisted him to join his criminal enterprise.
Locque first encounters James Bond at a private estate in Madrid, Spain, where he delivers payment to Cuban hitman Hector Gonzales for assassinating marine archaeologist Sir Timothy Havelock and his wife.
As Melina Havelock, their vengeful daughter, shoots Gonzales from a hidden location using a crossbow, Bond escapes amidst the chaos. Locque remains calm, retrieves the case of money, and makes a discreet getaway.
Back in London, Bond uses Q Branch’s Identigraph system to identify the man who paid off Gonzales. Q assembles a composite image, eventually adding Locque’s signature steel-rimmed, octagonal glasses. The Identigraph connects with police databases and prints Locque’s headshot, revealing he was recently spotted in Italy.
Arriving at the Italian ski resort of Cortina, Bond goes a biathlon event with Aris Kristatos’ protégée, Bibi Dahl. As Bond leaves the biathlon course, Locque seizes the opportunity to kill him, signaling enforcer Claus and an accomplice to intercept him.
Meanwhile, henchman Erich Kriegler tries to snipe Bond from above, but Bond evades the mercenaries and reaches the Olympic ski jump’s relative safety. Locque and Claus get into the elevator with Bond, where Bond notices the dove pin on Locque’s lapel.
At the top, they split up—Locque blocks Bond’s retreat while Claus plans to kill him on the 90-meter Olympic ski jump descent. With no alternatives, Bond uses the slope, fights Claus, and escapes.
Later, Locque murders Luigi Ferrara, Bond’s Italian contact, by slitting his throat. To further incriminate Kristatos’ rival, Milos “The Dove” Columbo, Locque leaves a white dove lapel pin in the dead man’s hand. After discovering the body, 007 heads to Corfu to learn more about The Dove.
As Bond and Columbo’s mistress Lisl von Schlaf are together on the beach, Locque and his men ambush them. Using dune buggies, Claus and another driver force Lisl into Locque’s vehicle’s path, killing her instantly, causing Bond great distress.
Moments later, Claus grazes Bond with his buggy and holds him at gunpoint. He orders Bond into Locque’s car but is hit in the back by a harpoon fired by one of Columbo’s men. In the confusion, Locque speeds away.
Later, under the cover of darkness, Bond joins Columbo and his crew in raiding one of Kristatos’ opium-processing warehouses in Albania. They see Locque supervising a shipment of raw opium smuggled in massive rolls of newsprint.
As Columbo’s men open fire, Bond cautiously follows Locque into the warehouse, discovering naval mines similar to the one that sank the St. Georges, hinting at sabotage. While his men provide cover, Locque rigs one of the mines with explosives and retreats to a nearby escape car. Bond notices the explosives, and they manage to get out just in time.
Recovering from the blast, 007 sees Locque’s car leaving and chases on foot. After intercepting Locque on a hilltop, Bond shoots him in the shoulder, making him lose control of the vehicle. The gunshot doesn’t kill Locque, but his car ends up dangling precariously over a cliff’s edge.
Bond approaches the teetering car, holding up the dove pin Locque left on Ferrara’s body. He tosses it back to its owner through the passenger window. As the ground starts to give way, Bond coldly kicks the car over the edge, sending Locque to his death on the jagged rocks below.
Michael Alan Gothard, born in London on June 24, 1939, was a versatile English actor known for roles like Kai in Arthur of the Britons and Emile Leopold Locque in the 1981 James Bond film For Your Eyes Only, and he suggested the iconic octagonal glasses for his character.
Gothard’s career took off after joining the New Arts Theatre and attending evening acting classes. With appearances in various films and TV series, his breakout role came in the film Scream and Scream Again.
Despite continued success, Gothard, who struggled with depression, took his own life on December 2, 1992, at age 53.