Here’s a look at Lachaise, the Swiss banker Patrick Malahide played all too briefly in 1999’s “The World Is Not Enough“:
Alas, poor Lachaise was destined to be killed off before the opening credits. 🙁 James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) meets Lachaise in Bilbao, Spain, in order to retrieve some money recovered from a murdered MI-6 agent. Bond is acting as the go-between for Sir Robert King (David Calder, who appeared with Mr. Malahide in both “Minder” and “The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries“), a friend of M (Judi Dench) whose daughter Elektra King (Sophie Marceau) has been kidnapped (of course, naming your daughter “Elektra” in any kind of movie ‘verse guarantees you’re going to end up dead and your daughter will seek revenge at some point). King paid the MI-6 agent a substantial sum for a report on his daughter’s whereabouts, but the agent was killed before he could deliver. Lachaise won’t reveal how he got the money, although he’s very happy to return it – minus a few incidentals and service charges, naturally. Tailored suits and cigars are expensive.
Bond’s less interested in the money than in the identity of the person who betrayed the agent. A smug Lachaise, who has taken the precaution of disarming Bond and having a few henchmen present, refuses to say, pointing out that “the numbers are not on [Bond’s] side” (see, banker humour!). Unfortunately, he barely gets a chance to light his cigar before Bond uses his remote-controlled Walther PPK (I’m assuming it’s Bond’s famous Walther) – carelessly left out on Lachaise’s desk and conveniently pointing in the right direction, tsk tsk! – to rapidly kill off the henchmen. Hmm, a slight miscalculation on Lachaise’s part.
Bond then proceeds to threaten Lachaise for the betrayer’s name, grabbing him by the tie and pressing his gun to Lachaise’s throat to encourage a quick answer (the resulting publicity photo seems to be awfully popular on Google searches). Lachaise resists for a second or two, but then, because he’s evil (small “e”, no plans for world domination and dies before the opening credits) and therefore cowardly, he offers to reveal the name if he’s given protection. However, before Bond can reply, Lachaise takes a dagger to the back of the neck (eeeuuww…), thrown by his Beautiful Yet Treacherous™ Assistant (Maria Grazia Cucinotta, who deserves a better billing than “Cigar Girl”), whom everyone forgot all about in the scrum. She runs off and Bond unceremoniously drops Lachaise’s body on the floor, more mayhem ensuing as he makes his escape – with the money, of course – into the rest of the movie. Moral of the story: Don’t do banking with James Bond.
It seems a rather ignominious and unsatisfying end for a small “e” evil yet clever banker. Admin and I are sure that Lachaise would have actually planned the whole thing much more carefully than it appeared, keeping back a portion of the cash and getting his assistant to help him fake his own death so he could escape without being pursued by Bond. Surely silly mistakes like leaving Bond’s gun out on his desk and only having three henchmen around are a dead giveaway the whole thing was on purpose! Anyway, it’s too bad Lachaise was done so quickly. He was so delightfully smug and sarcastic (and stylish) that it would’ve been fun to see him tormenting Bond for a lot longer.