counterparts. Despite Ian Fleming’s famous disdain for the Scot, Connery is the alpha dog of the Bond tribe. You Only Live Twice, the crown jewel of the ‘Blofeldt Trilogy’, is his finest hour.
The fifth film in the Bond canon is sublime. Roald Dahl’s screenplay provides Bond with some brilliant dialogue and manages to mix bombastic cinematic ambition with gritty espionage action. Of course it’s the best.
“You’re forgetting, Moneypenny, that I left Cambridge with a double first in Oriental languages.”
It’s 007 in Japan! Not only does he undergo surgery to look ‘convincingly’ like a Japanese rural fisherman, he drinks sake, pilots a gyrocopter and watches sumo wrestlers.
Bond is the consummate Brit abroad; bedding the local women, brawling with security guards and remaining suspicious of just about every foreigner he meets. And all in a damned fine suit.
Let’s not forget his accomplices – Tiger Tanaka, the subterranean spymaster who cackles as his grunts drop cars in the sea from helicopters (“How is that for Japanese efficiency?”) – and Q, who appears ruddy-faced and grumpy with the heat to dispense murderous stationary whilst modelling some fetching khaki shorts.
“I shall look forward personally to exterminating you, Mr Bond.”
It also has the finest villain in film history. Cat lover Ernst Stavro Blofeldt is despicable, Machavellian and brilliant. What’s the easiest way to provoke an apocalyptic war between two superpowers? Well, kidnap their space rockets with your own Pacman-esque spacecraft and bring them back to your volcanic lair, of course.
Donald Pleasance’s rendition of SPECTRE’s main man simply oozes style. Who else would have the chutzpah – the sheer force of will – to build a monorail-equipped volcano base with a piranha pool and a drawbridge?
You can keep your realism and emotional subplots to yourself. I’ll take Sean Connery and a glass of sake any day of the week.
Chicks man can you dig it? James bond can dig it he can dig it hard. Not with a shovel or anything that would be creepy, although sometimes with a shovel. I mean how many of these girls survive?
As we return from a disturbing tangential trail we turn to Bond Girls. This is the first topic in our week long discussion of all things Bond. The Girl is so vitally important in every Bond film, regularly the plot pivots on that one vital post-coital fist fight. Ask someone old about Dr. No (1962), ask your Dad.
Done? did you get grossed out by his response regarding Ursula Andress on the beach, that is how men remember that film. No offence to Connery Dr. No marked an excellent performance by him but Andress coming out of the water? That’s where it is, soul brother. The most famous moments throughout Bonds history arguably revolve around a women Jill Masterson dipped in gold in Goldfinger (1964) the excellent motorbike chase through Hong Kong in The World is Not Enough (1999) and Pussy Galores name in Goldfinger.
These are a few examples off the top of my head, there are so many more. The sheer quantity of Bond girls or women is staggering in a 2009 survey it was found that in the first 20 Bond films James had “strong” sexual encounters with 46 women and “mild” encounters with a further 52. This is only slightly more muted in the books where Fleming was often criticized for his inclusion of so much sex and violence. His rebuttal in this desert island discs is pretty convincing (link) If you don’t want to listen to the whole thing basically he says the whole of history is sex and violence why shouldnt they be included in his books? A sensible point. Fleming also states that there is around one girl a book and one book a year, James is a bachelor and this is entirely reasonable.
Now enough maths and justification, lets get down to business “Angus Niven’s Favourite Bond Girls”
now this isn’t “nuts” I wont be judging them on looks, instead I have based my decision using a meticulous methodology factoring in performance effect on the plot but mostly focusing on double entendre… Begin!
Disappointing name right? you were hoping for Mary Loves-Cock or something. Don’t worry she’s coming, Xenia was the first Bond girl in my life (Goldeneye, 1995) so she is first on this list. Lets get down to business, Xenia “derives sexual satisfaction from killing”. I could leave the article there, ludicrous. Xenia kills several people in flagrante, just wraps her pythonic thighs around them and crushes them to death. As far as I know she is the only mid-coital fist fight James undertakes, totally bonkers but completely incredible, also “Xenia Onatopp” isn’t a terrible pun.
Hey look its Xenia Onatopp, on top! Good clean fun (until she sexes you to death)
Read the name again.
Outrageous, utterly beyond rageous. 1971 was a strange time, probably. Ms O’Toole starred in Diamonds are Forever, James meets her at a casino or something, at one point she is thrown from a hotel room window. Really it doesn’t matter. Just look at her name
Dr Holly Goodhead
From an early age we are told that “the old Bonds are the best, apart from Moonraker. Moonraker is crap” This is largely true, Moonraker is a calamity, everything is wrong the sci-fi, Bond’s performance, the script. Everything but Dr Holly Goodhead’s name, its just fabulous. She may be a humble “space scientist” but she captured my heart and mind.
Pussy Galore is arguably the quintessential Bond Girl. Hilarious name? Check. Leader of an all women pilot squadron? Check. Raped by James Bond? Check. Seriously go back and watch the scene on the hay, its pretty much full on sexual assault. Other than that Galore is a consistently good Bond girl, name alone gets her up there but elite all women fighter squadron that really sends it home.
What? Monneypenny? I know many would argue she doesn’t fit the remit. Well those people are liars and idiots Monneypenny is the ultimate Bond girl she is a constant source of sexual tension and double entendres. Monneypenny is a fixture in the Bond universe, I feel adrift if she isnt there always ready with some truely filthy turn of phrase or gaze so infused sexually charged it buckles the knees. Genuinely some of the franchises finest lines come from Moneypenny for example when she interrupts James in bed with a Danish language professor “Oh James you always were a cunning linguist”. Thats gold, I cant top that. How do you talk about a line like that, it is simply majestic
Fun fact: James cant look at a women like that for more than 2 minutes, due to the risk of impregnation
Honorary mention goes to “Dr Christmas Jones” Denise Richards character from “The World is Not Enough”. A perfectly average Bond girl, there was no way she was making the list. However she deserves a mention for being the protagonist of one of my favourite lines. I will close this article with it, because frankly if its good enough to close The World is not enough its good enough for this article
James Bond: [in bed with Jones] I was wrong about you.
Dr. Christmas Jones: Yeah, how so?
James Bond: I thought Christmas only comes once a year.
[NB I have been informed that perhaps it should be “Bond Women”. I agree that none of these characters are underage, or at least I hope to god they’re not. I just don’t think that referring to them as “Bond Girls” diminishes them in anyway. If you are offended by me and everyone else referring to them as “Bond Girls” leave a comment I’d love to discuss this and find out why.]