It’s been a long time since I posted anything to do with Bond, too long in fact! In the lead up to Skyfall I posted a lot of Bond themed top tens but for some reason I missed off the women of Bond. Recently I thought it was about time to address that omission! Read on for my top ten ladies to share the silver screen with 007…
10. Melina Havelock
Yes yes I know, she’s a controversial choice. Some fans think she is great and others detest her. I fall into the first camp due to the fact that she is a genuinely interesting character, which for the women back then was a pretty rare gift. She is not all that interested in sleeping with Bond as she is set on her own revenge mission and 007 just so happens to be a means to an end for her. She can handle herself with that deadly crossbow, and in a film (For Your Eyes Only) that makes some bold choices in terms of direction and upping Moore’s grit, she stands out as one of the best alterations to what was a somewhat stale formula.
9. Pussy Galore
There’s never any doubt that she will be on a list like this, I suppose then the surprise is her coming in at ninth place. There are two main reasons as to why she is not higher. The first is the sexuality issue where Bond rapes her into being straight, that’s a pretty damaging character trait. The second is that I just find her a little boring. She has several classic moments which get her into the top ten, but otherwise her character doesn’t have much depth or interest. She’s basically just a henchmen who is turned good by Bond’s sexual prowess.
8. Natalya Simonova
Here’s a Bond girl who feels believable and who isn’t just there as eye candy. She is intelligent, choosing brains over brawn, and uses her computer skills to save the day on more than one occasion. If it weren’t for her Bond would genuinely have struggled, which is always a good test of whether one of his companions is actually a decent character.
7. Honey Ryder
The classic who set the template for all others. She became a sex icon as soon as she stepped out of the water and in many ways all of the other women on this list are variations on her. Like Pussy Galore she makes every list and it’s almost a sin for her not to be considered amongst the best due to both her classic status and also her nice performance in Dr. No.
6. Elektra King
One of the highlights of The World is Not Enough is Sophie Marceau’s performance as Elektra King. She’s a complex and Janus faced women whose plans all derive from a source of love, honour and family. She was imprisoned at the hands of her future lover and there she found the strength to seek revenge against her enemies and try to restore glory to her family name. She’s an intriguing and well performed character who is often sidelined due to a general dislike of her film.
The best of the helpless Bond women as I call them. These are the ones who run around and have to be saved over and over by Bond without any skills of their own. The reason Solitaire is far and away the best of the bunch is because Bond caused her to be that way. She begins the film as a powerful tarot card reader, and only loses that power when Bond tricks her into losing her virginity in order to see if he can woo some information out of her. It’s a disturbing tactic by Bond but it makes her dependance on him justified in my eyes.
4. Tracy Draco
Tracy is one of two women to truly capture Bond’s heart. She outshines Lazenby’s Bond throughout On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, proving to be the best of the early Bond girls due to Diana Rigg’s acting talent and the fact that she seems like a fully rounded, capable character.
3. Xenia Onatopp
At the opposite end of the spectrum is Xenia Onatopp. She is a crazy, sex obsessed villain who likes nothing more than gunning helpless victims down and crushing her victims to death between her thighs. She isn’t subtle but this character is one of the most fun, outlandish and memorable Bond villains of all time.
2. Vesper Lynd
Vesper Lynd is a real match for Bond. She is cunning, intelligent and can out think and outfox him when she wants to. Eva Green’s performance is excellent in Casino Royale and she is, in many respects, the best Bond girl of all time. The only problem I have with Vesper is that I don’t completely buy the fact that Bond falls in love with her. The scene where Craig confesses his love doesn’t quite work for me and the love they share does damage her for me just a little… putting her in second place.
1. Kara Milovy
OK this may seem to be a bit of a random choice, but I really love Kara and Bond’s relationship in The Living Daylights. It is the only one throughout all of the Bond franchise where I think that the chemistry feels completely natural, and where the relationship between the two is given time to develop and is treated as an important factor within the film. Casino Royale comes close, but when it comes to believing in a pairing between Bond and a leading lady, I don’t think that there is a better example across the last fifty or so years.
So, what did you think? Am I a raving lunatic for putting Pussy Galore in ninth place and Kara Milovy in first? Or do you agree with some of my choices? Let me know in the comment box below!