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Mr. Albert Wint and Mr. Charles Kidd are fictional characters in the James Bond novel and film, Diamonds Are Forever. In the novel, Wint and Kidd are members of The Spangled Mob. In the film, it is assumed that they are henchmen for the villain, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, though the characters share no scenes with and are not seen taking instructions from Blofeld (or anyone else, except for Bert Saxby) — though the fact that they are waiting for Bond's body when Blofeld sends him down the lift to Willard Whyte's private parking garage is an indication. One of their key trademarks is to enjoy making quips after killing their targets, and also when making one of their failed attempts to kill Bond.[1] In the film, Mr. Wint is played by the clean-shaven actor Bruce Glover and Mr. Kidd by bespectacled jazz musician Putter Smith in a rare acting role.

Novel

As killers and "enforcers" to the Spangled Mob, it is Wint and Kidd's mission, among other things, to make sure the smuggling of the diamonds and everything connected to it go off without a hitch. If something does go wrong, Wint and Kidd (they are never referred to as "Mr." in the novels) are sent to "persuade" the perpetrators never to make a mistake again. They are obviously quite sadistic and give evidence of enjoying their jobs. This is particularly evident in a scene that Bond witnesses in a mud-bath, where they pour boiling mud over the face of a jockey who they believe has prevented a Mob-owned horse from winning a race.

From London to New York City it is their job to tail whoever is smuggling the diamonds internationally to ensure that the smuggler does not get any ideas about going into business for himself. For this, the duo pose as American businessmen who call themselves "W. Winter" and "B. Kitteridge". Although they are both hardened assassins, Wint is pathologically afraid of travel. When he must do so, he wears an identifying name tag and a sticker that says "My blood group is F." He also has to be paid a special bonus by his employers. Because of his phobia, Wint picked up the nickname "Windy", although no one would dare call him that to his face. Kidd is nicknamed "Boofy" due to his "pretty-boy" appearance. Felix Leiter suspects that they are both homosexual, a point emphasised in the film. Wint has a large red wart on one thumb, a detail that leads to his being positively identified.

In a ghost town outside Las Vegas, the leading gangster, Seraffimo Spang, penetrates Bond's cover and orders Wint and Kidd to torture Bond to learn his true identity. Wint and Kidd then perform a "Brooklyn stomping," kicking Bond into unconsciousness while wearing football cleats, after which Tiffany Case helps him escape. After they kidnap Tiffany on the Queen Elizabeth, Bond comes to her rescue by climbing down the side of the ship and diving into her cabin via the porthole. They have a fight, and Bond shoots them both. To avoid trouble, he then fakes evidence in the cabin to make it look like a murder-suicide. After the killings, Bond considers his relationship with Tiffany and wonders if it will last forever. But he notices the dead eyes of the assassins staring at him. Bond imagines they say "nothing lasts forever, except what you did to me!", a reference to the book's title.

Film

Mr. Wint and his partner Mr. Kidd are American assassins working for Blofeld. Their assignment is to kill off every link in a Slumber Brothers mobster diamond-smuggling "pipeline" running from South Africa to the United States via The Netherlands, and to steal the diamonds from the mobsters so as to divert them to Blofeld, who is using them for a laser satellite. The pair takes a sadistic pleasure in their work — for example, to Wint's amusement Kidd photographs the body of the old lady (Mrs. Whistler) they have drowned in the canals of Amsterdam, joking about sending the pictures to the primary-age children to whom she was a school teacher. This is typical of an overtly morbid sense of humour they share, completing each other's sentences as a game and delighting in competing over laboured, blackly humorous puns. Thus an attempt to incinerate James Bond alive in a crematorium is "a glowing tribute" and "heart-warming." They also amuse themselves with the twisted application of proverbs — for example, after blowing up a helicopter in flight Kidd begins the old quote, "If God had wanted man to fly ..." to which Wint concludes: "He would have given him wings, Mr. Kidd"; and Wint saying "If at first you don't succeed, Mr. Kidd", followed by Kidd's reply, "Try, try again, Mr. Wint."

It is strongly implied (though not confirmed) in the film that the two are lovers. They are seen holding hands in one scene; and at one point, Mr. Kidd remarks that Tiffany Case is attractive, only to receive a glare from Mr. Wint, prompting him to add, "... for a lady".

The two use numerous methods of killing their targets (or trying to), some highly creative:

  • Placing a scorpion down the shirt of a South African dentist.
  • Using a time bomb to blow up the helicopter which was meant to pick up the doctor's merchandise.
  • Drowning Mrs. Whistler in the Amstel River.
  • Sealing Bond in a coffin and sending him into a crematorium furnace. (In their dry style of humour, Wint refers to this as "very moving", referring to the conveyor belt carrying the coffin. Kidd replies that it is "heart warming" and Wint summarises it as "a glowing tribute"). Bond escapes when his mob contacts discover that the diamonds he had given them are fakes and retrieve the coffin from the crematorium.
  • Burying Bond alive by putting him into a length of pipeline to be buried in the desert outside Las Vegas — the second time he has been unconscious at their mercy, yet again they opt for an overly elaborate kill. Bond escapes by short-circuiting a pipeline welding device, forcing some workers to inspect it.
  • Drowning Plenty O'Toole with her legs tied to a block of concrete, in a swimming pool just deep enough to submerge her only up to the tip of her nose, and by doing so killing her as slowly as possible.
  • In a deleted scene made available in DVD release, the pair's shooting of the character Shady Tree is achieved via a joke prop gun that first produces a flag with "BANG!" written on it, before a real bullet.

Their final attempt to kill Bond and Case takes place on a cruise liner after Bond foils Blofeld's plot. They pose as stewards in the couple's suite, serving them a romantic dinner consisting of Oysters Andaluz, shashlik, tidbits, prime rib au jus and Salade Utopia. Dessert is La Bombe Surprise — in the most literal sense, since a bomb is really hidden in it. However, Bond links the smell of Wint's cologne to his misadventure in the pipeline and quickly realises that something is wrong. He remarks that his cologne is "strong enough to bury anything" and that "I've smelt that aftershave before and both times I've smelt a rat." After tasting a glass of Mouton Rothschild '55, Bond casually remarks that he had expected a claret with such a grand dinner. When Mr. Wint replies that the cellars are unfortunately poorly stocked with clarets, Bond exposes the henchman's ignorance, replying that Mouton Rothschild in fact is a claret. Realising Bond has blown their cover, the pair finally turn on him with physical violence. Mr. Kidd ignites the shashlik skewers, aiming to impale Bond while Mr. Wint strangles him with a chain. During the struggle, Bond first neutralises Kidd by splashing Courvoisier on the flaming skewers, setting Kidd on fire. Within seconds, he is engulfed in flames, and in desperation jumps overboard. After this elimination of Mr. Kidd, Tiffany throws the dessert at a notably distressed Mr. Wint, but she misses — and this reveals the bomb hidden in the bombe. When Wint is distracted by the sight, Bond gains the upper hand against him, pulling the villain's coat-tails between his legs and tying his hands and the bomb together with them. Bond hoists Mr. Wint overboard and the bomb explodes before he hits the water.

Homages and parodies

  • These two are parodied as the characters "Mr. Wink" and "Mr. Fibb" in the animated series Codename: Kids Next Door.[2]
  • The minor antagonist Specs and Trapper in the animated series Static Shock, are based on Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd. Likewise, the two assassins Touch and Go in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003 TV series share many personality characteristics with Kidd and Wint, particularly their ironic humour and habit of addressing each other.
  • The pair is parodied in Daniel Waters' Sex and Death 101, which features a lesbian couple named Bambi Wint and Thumper Kidd. The women not only have the surnames of the male assassins (and the first names of Willard Whyte's female bodyguards), but also converse in the same distinctive, polite speech patterns.[3]
  • A London diamond jewellery store, established 2002, is named Wint&Kidd after the characters.[4]
  • In the Fallout 3 add-on Broken Steel, a pair of ghouls the player may encounter on a mission are named "Wint" and "Kidd".[5]
  • In the second episode of the first series of The League of Gentlemen, two surveyors arrive in Royston Vasey called Mr. Wint & Mr. Kidd. The characters use the same genteel speech patterns as Wint & Kidd in Diamonds Are Forever.[6]

Reception

Cracked.com included them on the list of the worst James Bond henchmen.[7] However, Hollywood.com included them on the list of the ten best James Bond villains.[8]

References

External links

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