It is the iconic introduction of a 00 agent ( the elite section of MI6 who have a discretionary ‘License to Kill’ in the field in order to complete their mission) , 007, was a fictional character created by Ian Fleming, a British Secret Service agent who can be summed up as “a peerless spy, notorious womanizer, and masculine icon”.
One of the main features that drew Fleming’s readers, and the Bond movies’ audiences were the superbly advanced gadgets, cars, extremely notorious villains, and very importantly, the quintessential element of glamour, the love affairs of James Bond, more commonly known as the Bond girls.
Bond’s was married only once, in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, to Teresa di Vicenzo, but their marriage was short-lived as she was tragically murdered on their wedding day by Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the antagonist.
Bond girls are the epitome of beautiful women. Their beauty is accentuated by the fabulous clothing they wear, that range from formal and elegant, to downright skimpy and seductive. Bond’s suave, but chauvinistic behaviour can notably observed when he flirts with women, and entraps them with his appeal, although most of them find him repulsive at first.
The title of a Bond girl can be loosely applied to many characters appearing throughout the films. They range from being James Bond’s love interest, either as an ally or a villain, a simple encounter, vital to Bond’s mission, or perhaps just a light distraction directing us away, momentarily, from the main plot. They range from enemy agents, country simpletons, spies, heiresses, fighter pilots, treasury agents, and even nuclear physicists to name a few, usually with double entendre names, to generate appeal among the mass viewers.
The top 10 Bond girls:
10. Vesper Lynd – Born on a ‘dark and stormy night’ and thus named after the Latin for ‘evening’, Lynd was also the origin of ‘shaken, not stirred’ quote. The Vesper Martini comes from her and was first mentioned in the 1953 novel by Fleming. Played by Eva Green, in Casino Royale (2006), she was the fifth French actress to play a leading Bond girl.
9. Elektra King – Played by Sophie Marceau in The World is Not Enough, her best dialogue is her last, when she tells Bond, “You can’t kill me. You’ll miss me.” And this is followed by Pierce Brosnan, playing James Bond, pulling the trigger, with the quote, “I never miss.”
8. Pussy Galore – Her evocative name, the witty banter, and the subtle humor in ‘Goldfinger’, make up a memorable part of the early series. When most people think of Bond girls, Honor Blackman’s performance is usually one of the first that comes to mind.
7. Melina Havelock : Carole Bouquet as Melina Havelock was the perfect actress to bring in. She played Melina Havelock, who witnesses the brutal murder of her parents by hitman Hector Gonzalez, who she tracks down and kills with a crossbow. Unsatisfied by his death alone, she seeks out the man who ordered the hit. Melina was a very strong character, and more integral to the story than most Bond girls. Most importantly, she was played by a competent actress who gave some drama and life to the film.
6. Teresa Di Vicenzo : If there was ever a girl that James Bond really fell for, it has to have been Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo (played by Diana Rigg) , later known as Tracy Bond, after their marriage. When Bond first meets her, he saves her from a suicide attempt, as Tracy tries to drown herself in the sea. For the first time in the series, Bond gets caught up with some thugs, and the girl gets away. The two slowly fall in love throughout the film, and Tracy is tragically killed minutes after their marriage, by Bond’s nemesis Blofeld.
5. Anya Amasova : Played by Barbara Bach and appearing in 1977’s ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’, Amasova is one of the few early matches for Bond. Bond is almost killed by her boyfriend in the Austrian alps, and when they first meet, her men take care of Bond while she casually walks away. When Anya discovers that Bond killed her boyfriend, she vows to kill him when the mission is over. An intriguing character, that really helps to make the film.
4. Tatiana Romanova : Played by Daniela Bianchi, Tatiana Romanova appeared in ‘From Russia with Love’ in 1963. She was assigned a mission by Rosa Klebb, to lure James Bond into Instanbul so that he could steal a Lektor decoding machine. Klebb would then send henchman Red Grant to kill Bond and steal the machine after Bond had assumed all the risk. Of course, Tatiana isn’t told the whole story, and believes she is working for the mothertland.
3. Natalya Simonova : Although Pierce Brosnan made four Bond films, ‘Goldeneye’ is still widely considered his best. It’s success above the rest can be attributed to the script, the director Martin Campbell (who also directed Casino Royale), and Polish-Swedish beauty Izabella Scorupco. Natalya Simonova was the highlight of the 90s Bond girls – intelligent, cute, and portrayed by a convincing actress.
2. Jill Masterson : Shirley Eaton played the golden girl Jill Masterson in ‘Goldfinger’ in 1964, and was one of the first throw away Bond girls. Bond breaks into Auric Goldfinger’s hotel suite, and catches Masterson helping him cheat at cards by using binoculars and an earpiece. Bond seduces her and makes Goldfinger lose his money by threatening to call the beach police. To get his revenge, Goldfinger kills her and paints her entire body in gold paint. This image of the golden girl is one of the most memorable and iconic of the series, and Shirley Eaton was even featured on the cover of Life magazine.
1. Honey Ryder : The original Bond girl is, to most viewers, still the best. When Ursula Andress, playing Honey Ryder, stepped out of the sea in a white bikini, she set a standard for every Bond girl to follow. Complete with a hunting knife and sea shells, Honey Ryder may not be as iconic as the golden girl, but the scene still remains one of the most memorable of Dr. No, and the series as a whole.
The least preferred 10 Bond girls:
10. Bibhi Dahl : Played by the American ice skater and actress Lynn-Holly Johnson, her character tries to seduce James Bond countless times and is one of the most two-dimensional representations of a Bond girl.
9. Plenty O’Toole – She was Bond’s opportunistic would-be girlfriend from the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever. She was played by actress Lana Wood. Her lack of emotions in acting makes her one of the least preferred Bond girls.
8. May Day : She appears in the 1985 film A View to a Kill as the chief bodyguard and enforcer of the film’s villain, Max Zorin. She is an original character, created specifically for the film and is played by actress Grace Jones. The character made a return as a playable multiplayer character in the Nintendo 64 game, GoldenEye (1995).
7. Sévérine : Sévérine is the representative of villain Raoul Silva in the 2012 James Bond film Skyfall. Appearing as a classic femme fatale, Sévérine’s dark and sinister past is catching up with her and although initially posing as a potential enemy to Bond, she soon realizes he is probably her best opportunity of a way out of the dangerous world she is living in. She is portrayed by Bérénice Marlohe. Severine is the first leading (exempting secondary or supporting) Bond girl to be killed by the hands of the main villain.
6. Octopussy : Played by the Swedish actress Maud Adams, the character of Octopussy was created for the 1983 film adaption of Ian Fleming’s short story. In the Fleming story, Octopussy, Octopussy was the name of the pet octopus that Major Dexter Smythe loved. The role of Octopussy was heavily symbolic and, towards the end of the novel, a key element in the story. Octopussy is the only main villain to switch sides. Fans consider her to be the least malevolent female villain. These are the two major reasons why she is one of the least preferred Bond girls.
5. Christmas Jones : Jones was nuclear physicist from the 1999 Bond film – The World is Not Enough. She was played by Denise Richards. Despite Richards describing the character as “brainy”, “athletic”, and had “depth of character, in contrast to Bond girls from previous decades”, she was anything but, and therefore, is a part of this list.
4. Jinx : Giacinta ‘Jinx’ Johnson is an NSA operative who teams up with James Bond to spy on rogue North Korean agent Zao and investigate his ties with diamond magnate Gustav Graves. She appears in the 2002 film Die Another Day and is portrayed by American actress Halle Berry. An Oscar-winning actress Berry showcases her character with plastic acting and is not one of the most preferred Bond girls, despite her glamour.
3. Paris Carver : Paris Carver appeared in the 1997 James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies and was the wife of the film’s antagonist, Elliot Carver. She was played by Teri Hatcher. The novelisation of the film reveals that Paris was a model who had met Bond at a party and dated him for a few months before she found out that Bond had cheated on her. However, Hatcher’s morose acting while portraying Carver’s character puts her in this list.
2. Lisl von Schlaf : The mistress of Milos Columbo in the 1981 film For Your Eyes Only, is played by Cassandra Harris. After her death, this was said about her -“I would laugh if my heart were not so heavy about my poor Lisl.” And her character was not missed.
1. Kissy Suzuki : Portrayed by actress Mie Hama in the 1967 feature film adaptation of You Only Live Twice, she conforms to the more conventional narrative stereotypes of a Bond girl, such as joining forces with Bond for a set mission such as the infiltration of the volcano base as explored and ending up in his arms in the end.
Bond girls. The epitome of glamour in cinema.