Here’s a random little tidbit of information – during the production of the film Skyfall the planning documentation used the term ‘Bond Women’ instead of the traditional ‘Bond Girls’. This reflects a change in attitude more than anything else and has no bearing on this article whatsoever but we needed a way to open this Top 10 without sounding like “LOOK AT ALL THE GIRLS!!!!”
This Top 10 is the result of a collaboration between Super Marcey of supermarcey.com and G-Funk of houseofgeekery.com – enjoy!
It would be amiss to compile a feature on the most significant girls in the Bond franchise without including the one who turned his life around, gave him a new hope only to become a new driving force for him to pursue his foes.
Most Bond girls are introduced fitting a certain archetype – either the damsel in distress or the tough chick – but Tracy was immediately earmarked as something different. Bond spies the girl wandering in the ocean with the intention of not coming back, and even when he rescues her she flees. Whilst most women Bond encounters are all to quick to fall into his arms at a wink Tracy wanted nothing to do with him (or anyone else) and implication is that something in her life has left her damaged.
Later 007 is contacted by her father Marc-Ange, the leader of a crime syndicate Union Course. Marc-Ange tells Bond of Tracy’s troubled past and offers him a dowry of a million pounds to wed her, hoping that it would offer her stability. Bond declines but does agree to continue courting Tracy in exchange for information of Blofeld. Over the course of mission Bond’s finds that his feelings for Tracy grow and they eventually get married with Bond turning his back on his life as a spy after the pursuit of Blofeld.
They soon learn, however, is that while Bond turned his back on the world of espionage it doesn’t mean he can leave free of consequence. While driving away from the wedding Blofeld assassinates Tracy, leaving her dead in Bond’s arms. Before returning back on duty Bond embarks on a mission of revenge, strong-arming any and all in his way until he can find his way back to Blofeld.
Bond’s grief over losing Tracy became a recurring motif throughout the series, being revisited at several points over the decades before the plot is recreated in Casino Royale.
By Super Marcey
Moonraker is a film that sits on the bottom of most people’s Bonds lists. I do enjoy Moonraker, I think it is a really fun and adventurous film. One of the things which stuck out for me about the film was Dr. Holly Goodhead – and it isn’t just her name that appeals.
The character is one that is very strong, she does not take any rubbish, and instead of being on the receiving end of slaps and punches she throws them. She is a tough and strong willed character, one who shared a connection with Bond and proved to be helpful during their adventures against Drax.
I like strong female characters, and she certainly stands out brightly among the women of the Moore era. The performance by Lois Chiles is fantastic, she really elevated the character and put a lot into her.
After Moonraker crashed and burned James Bond returned with a grittier and realistic adventure and had a girl to match. Melina Havelock is the daughter of two marine biologists who were helping the British government seek out a missing missile control device before it fell into the wrong hands. Having survived an attack that killed both of her parents Melina immediately sought revenge. Bond is assigned the task of finding those responsible for the attack and tracks down Hector Gonzalo’s, the hitman who pulled the trigger, only to be captured. Fortunately for 007 Melina had also tracked down Gonzalo’s and put a crossbow bolt into his side, facilitating Bond’s escape.
Melina Havelock fits in perfectly with the traditional espionage tale that is spun in this Bond adventure. She’s no less exoctic then the most memorable of Bond girls but rather than serving as a kidnap victim or scenery she puts herself in the firing line equipped with her deadly crossbow.
By Super Marcey
Ms Onatopp is surely one of the most maniacal characters to ever appear in a Bond film, and easily the most maniacal female character. She shows up in the film, and right away we are drawn to her beauty and perhaps a little excited when we see her wild side. Famke Janssen is brilliant in the role, showing a crazy yet highly determined dominant woman.
When she is done with her prey, she wraps her legs around them and squeezes the life out. Kind of like a python, and it is not often this woman does not get things done. She proved to be a rather tough foe for Bond, and I am sure he was even turned on by her personality and those drop dead gorgeous looks.
We were given a femme fatale and a villain (albeit not the main one) with Ms Onatopp, she remains one of the most memorable characters in the Bond series and a personal favourite.
By Super Marcey
Before seeing Casino Royale, I was a huge fan of Eva Green. I was rather excited by the prospect of her being a Bond girl, and I really wanted to see a well rounded character who could match Bond. Expectations were so highly exceeded, not only does Eva Green nail this performance, but Vesper Lynd the character was fleshed out and someone that we the audience really cared about.
She was vibrant and charismatic, the chemistry between Vesper and Bond was electric. Her character was one that was not afraid to take action, but she showed she was not a heartless and emotionless person (the scene of her traumatised after an attack in the stairwell is just one example). The audience through the film fall in love with her, as done Bond. The twist that happens with her character is an something unexpected and it really hurts, her later sacrifice is hard to watch and a knife to the heart. This is a woman that Bond wants to be with, he is in love and willing to leave MI6 behind. What happens between them is something that will stick with him for a long time.
Plenty of women have been introduced to the Bond franchise touted as the girl who can equal Bond. Doesn’t need to be rescued, doesn’t fall head over heals for his charms and so forth. Few actually life up to the hype but those who do are certainly memorable. Anya Amasova aka Agent Triple XXX is one of these. Introduced as a rival for Bond in pursuing a stolen microfilm and easily keeps pace with Bond. With just as many gadgets and espionage skills she often gets into places that Bond cannot.
Over the course of the film Bond and Amasova are eventually ordered to join forces in order to complete the mission. Things seem to be par for course until Amasova discovers that one Bond’s previous mission he killed her boyfriend, another spy. A professional first and foremost Agent Triple XXX tells Bond that they will finish their mission, and then she will kill him, bringing a new and interesting dynamic to the usual Bond routine.
There isn’t a huge amount of variation in the typical Bond villains but they have their own unique features. Except that they’re all men. In TWINE Bond faced an enemy who was unlike any he’d ever encountered before. Elektra King entered Bond’s life as a victim, a former kidnap victim whose father had just been murdered. 007 was sent to protect her and as expected they predictably ended up in the sack together. Everything turned on it’s head when it was revealed that Elektra had been manipulating Bond – and practically everyone she’d ever met – from the beginning.
It would’ve been easy from the producers to settle on the notion of Bond facing off against a woman he’d already seduced but instead they developed the character into something more interesting. The casting of fantastic actress Sophie Marceau was the smartest thing they did with the part as she keeps the performance subtle even after she’s been uncovered as a villain. There’s something immensely cold about the way she heartlessly manipulates people who have put their trust into her, making her one of the deadliest foes that Bond has ever faced.
By Super Marcey
Honey Ryder is the beauty that starred in the first official Bond film Dr. No, and even if you don’t remember her name, you will surely remember her iconic scene. Rising out of the water in a white bikini with a knife at her side. She also had seashells – but that is a fact that can easily slip by when not paying full attention. The amazing entrance she made into the film set tongues wagging, and she definitely felt like a good companion for Bond for the film.
Not only was Honey Ryder absolutely stunning on the eyes, her performance was well balanced by the lovely Ursula Andress. Ryder played perfectly against Connery’s first outing as Bond, the chemistry was very clearly there. She was ready for any sort of adventure, even if she wasn’t entirely trusting of Bond and he of her.
Ryder is a strong character, one that embodies so many qualities in just the right way. She has an innocent look about her, a tough attitude and a beauty that hypnotises. She really is a quintessential Bond girl.
On more than a few occasions the marketing behind the Bond movies have pushed a Bond girl to the forefront with the promise of them not being a ‘typical Bond girl’, with the most recent example being Jinx in Die Another Day. There rarely deliver on the promise, winding up being kidnapped before being rescued and sexed up by Bond.
Wai Lin was the one who could actually hold her own against Bond. Being a member of the Chinese spy network she’s as highly trained in espionage as 007 but with the added bonus of having awesome kung-fu skills. She’s also got her own array of gadgetry, dropping mention that they not only have access to the MI6 equipment but have improved it. Bond and Wai Lin first encounter each other while under cover at Elliot Carver’s party, where Wai Lin implies that she knows Bond isn’t what he seems – something Carver picks up on and has Bond captured. Meanwhile, he offers Wai Lin a job.
Even after Bond discovers Wai Lin’s real identity she easily keeps pace with him as they leap off buildings and co-steer a motorbike against a helicopter. She even gives Bond the slip pretty easily when she was done with him, but didn’t begrudge him catching back up to help her in a fight. Not that their relationship hinges on hostility – instead they share plenty of sly smirks as one professional to another when they find themselves in straits. The only issue is Wai Lin in the obligatory make-out session at the end of the film. It seems out of character for her.
by Super Marcey
The most recognisable name in the Bond series is Pussy Galore, even people who do not know much about Bond seem to know that name. It sticks out, it is memorable, it is cheeky, but what about the actual character?
Ms Galore set a high standard for the franchise with women characters, she was strong, fun, cheeky and she wasn’t someone who hesitated to take charge. I find those strong characters far more interesting, and the fact that Ms Galore was a pilot and had her own female crew was pretty cool. I can imagine back in the 60’s something like that was empowering for women, and I bet men paid attention to that as well.
The character is more than just a pretty face, she embodied a lot and was a good match for Connery and his Bond. Ms Galore was the real deal, a great character and a superb performance by Honor Blackman. There is a reason why she is at the top of this list and fan favourite, we love Pussy Galore.
Fascinating picks. Personally, Natalya from Goldeneye is my favorite.
Interesting list but I don’t like seeing Carey Lowell being snubbed once again… 🙂 She is by far one of the most underrated Bond girls in my book!
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