He was a good Bond villain in a daft Bond film, “Moonraker.”
“Look after Mister Bond. See that some harm comes to him.”
But the Paris-born French actor Michael Lonsdale, who died today at 89, was in two thrillers I have never been able to channel-surf past — “Day of the Jackal,” about the 1960s hunt for a hit man sent to kill DeGaulle, and “Ronin,” the last great John Frankenheimer action picture, an all-star espionage/heist thriller.
By that stage in his life, Lonsdale was all but retired, forgotten, by English language filmmakers anyway. Not by Frankenheimer. Great film, and Lonsdale — quiet, meticulous professionals were his forte — was terrific in a small role, explaining the story’s title to the audience, and to De Niro and Jean Reno.