Sir Godfrey Tibbett is an accomplished horse trainer with a secret life as a skilled operative for the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS/MI6). As a key ally to James Bond, Sir Godfrey plays a crucial role in the investigation of the enigmatic industrialist, Max Zorin.
First brought to life by the late, British actor Patrick Macnee in the 1985 James Bond film, A View to a Kill, Sir Godfrey Tibbett’s character wasa minor character, but has left a lasting impact.
Sir Godfrey Tibbett
James Bond meets Sir Godfrey Tibbett at a horse racing event at Royal Ascot. Puzzled, Tbibbett mentions never having seen a horse perform so exceptionally in the final stages of a race and suspects the horse owner, Max Zorin of foul play.
Subsequently, Tibbett joins Bond at Zorin’s Chateau, posing as his chauffeur. Playing the role, Bond speaks down to his “chauffeur” believing the room to be bugged. And as expected, Zorin’s henchmen had planted a microdot in a lamp and eavesdrop on the conversation.
Bond cleverly plays a recording to mislead them, and he and Tibbett discuss Zorin’s plans on the veranda. Tibbett jokingly mentions the challenges of pretending to be a mistreated servant.
When night falls, Bond and Tibbett discover Zorin’s hidden underground surgery room and warehouse. They fend off an attack from one of Zorin’s henchmen, incapacitate him, and confine him in a shipping crate.
However, after discovering Bond’s true identity, Zorin plots to kill both men. Tibbett is the first target, possibly because Bond had asked him to contact M away from the chateau. Pretending to carry out his chauffeur duties, Tibbett drives a 1962 Rolls Royce into a car wash, where May Day, concealed in the back seat, strangles him.
Meanwhile, Zorin tries to make Bond’s death appear accidental by having him thrown from a horse. When that plan fails, Bond sees May Day pointing a gun at him from inside the Rolls Royce, wearing Tibbett’s driving cap. Bond is forced into the car next to Tibbett’s lifeless body, and the vehicle is driven into a lake.
On the shoreline, Zorin and his henchmen watch, ready to shoot Bond if he surfaces. Bond manages to escape by unscrewing a tire cap and using the compressed air to stay submerged until Zorin, believing 007 is dead, has gone.
Daniel Patrick Macnee (1922-2015) was an English actor renowned for his role in the 1960s and 70s TV series, The Avengers. Born in London and educated at Summer Fields School and Eton College, Macnee served in the Royal Navy during World War II before starting his acting career in Canada.
He gained fame playing secret agent John Steed in The Avengers and later appeared in films like A View to a Kill (1985) and This Is Spinal Tap (1984). Macnee also acted in several Sherlock Holmes productions, interestingly portraying both Holmes and Watson at different times.