(a.k.a. Number 1): Billionaire entrepreneur who is also a psychotic SPECTRE master spy, portrayed brilliantly by Klaus Maria Brandauer in Never Say Never Again. Like Emilio Largo in Thunderball (of which this film is a remake), Maximilian Largo is involved in a nuclear blackmail scheme involving two hijacked NATO nuclear weapons. He also has a beautiful mistress named Domino Petachi (Kim Basinger). Largo reports to Blofeld (Max von Sydow), resides in the Bahamas, and travels aboard his huge oceangoing yacht, The Flying Saucer—the English translation of the Italian “Disco Volante.” Born in Bucharest, Romania, in 1945, Largo has no criminal record or associations. His assets, worth $2.492 billion, include shipping, timber, and hotels.
When Captain Jack Petachi (Gavan O’Herlihy) helps arm two NATO cruise missiles with nuclear warheads, the weapons are directed to land in the Bahamas, where they’re recovered by Largo’s underwater troops. SPECTRE’s scheme is to demand a ransom, equivalent to 25 percent of the annual oil purchases of each country in NATO (plus Japan), or one of the stolen warheads will be detonated. The bombs themselves have been planted under the White House and in the Tears of Allah archaeological excavation, which marks the beginning of a huge oil field in the Middle East.
Bond (Sean Connery) meets Largo and Domino in the south of France, where 007 survives a hair-raising video game called Domination, plus an assassination attempt by Largo’s SPECTRE associate Fatima Blush (Barbara Carrera). Tracking Largo’s yacht to his North African estate, Palmyra, Bond is captured and thrown into a medieval dungeon populated by bleached bones and hungry vultures. He escapes, rescues Domino from a group of sleazy Arab traders, boards a US Navy submarine, and heads for one final confrontation with Largo in his Tears of Allah dig. Attempting to escape with the one remaining cruise missile, Largo meets the identical fate of his Thunderball alter ego—he’s speared by an avenging Domino.