Tag Archives: Topol military service

Of Pistachios and the Emperor Ming

As a child of the early 1980s, the first Bond movie I saw in the theatre was Sir Roger Moore’s For Your Eyes Only, and today I will fight for that film’s reputation. I just thought it was great and it still holds up. Definitely in the top 10 Bond films, maybe even the top five.

It also had one of the best-supporting rouges, the pistachio-munching Greek smuggler Milos Columbo, played by Chaim Topol.

In the film, I noticed Milos carrying his Tokagypt Type 58 in an unusual manner, especially considering Moore’s PPK behind him. 

The grip, even today, still seems unusual but it is clearly keeping in mind both muzzle and trigger awareness.

One reason for that is Topol– whose father was in the Haganah back in the old British Palestine Mandate days– served in the Israeli Defense Forces as a teen, then most of his adult life in the reserves returning to active duty in the Sinai Campaign in 1956, the Six-Day War in 1967 (leaving the cast of Fiddler on the Roof at Her Majesty’s Theatre, London, for that campaign), and the Yom Kippur war of 1973. Yes, he was in an entertainment troop, but he still served and, in Israeli fashion, surely had a good bit of small arms experience.

Of course, Topol is now gone at age 87, having been iconic to most people for being the Fiddler guy, whereas to me he will always be Milos Columbo and Professor Hans Zarkov from that 1980 sci-fi camp classic, Flash Gordon, a movie so great it has never been remade.

Take it out Milos: