- Bond girl
Selection of Bond girls
Top row, left to right:
Ursula Andress ("Honey Ryder" in Dr. No)
Eva Green ("Vesper Lynd" in Casino Royale)
Halle Berry ("Jinx" in Die Another Day)
Middle row, left to right:
Olga Kurylenko ("Camille Montes" in Quantum of Solace)
Jane Seymour ("Solitaire" in Live and Let Die)
Michelle Yeoh ("Wai Lin" in Tomorrow Never Dies)
Bottom row, left to right:
Sophie Marceau ("Elektra King" in The World Is Not Enough)
Denise Richards ("Christmas Jones" in The World Is Not Enough)
Rosamund Pike ("Miranda Frost" in Die Another Day)
A Bond girl is a character or actress portraying a love interest, or sex interest, of James Bond in a film, novel, or video game. They occasionally have names that are double entendres or puns, such as "Pussy Galore", "Plenty O'Toole", "Xenia Onatopp", or "Holly Goodhead". Bond girls are considered "ubiquitous symbol[s] of glamour and sophistication."
Bond girls are often victims rescued by Bond, fellow agents or allies, villainesses, or members of an enemy organisation (most typically the villain's accomplice, assistant or mistress). Some are mere eye candy and have no direct involvement in Bond's mission; other Bond girls play a pivotal role in the success of the mission. Other female characters such as Judi Dench's M, and Miss Moneypenny are not Bond girls.
Nearly all of Ian Fleming's Bond novels and short stories include one or more female character who qualifies as a Bond girl, most of whom have been adapted for the screen. While having some individual traits, the Fleming Bond girls, at least in their literary forms, also have a great many characteristics in common. One of these is age: The typical Bond girl is in her early to mid-twenties, roughly ten years younger than Bond, who seems to be perennially in his mid-thirties. Examples include Solitaire (25), Tatiana Romanova (24), Vivienne "Viv" Michel (23), and Kissy Suzuki (23). The youngest Bond girl may be Gala Brand; she is named for the cruiser in which her father is serving at the time of her birth. If this were the Arethusa-class Galatea launched in 1934, then Gala is possibly as young as 18 at the time she meets Bond and certainly no older than 20, though she and Bond do not sleep together. If on the other hand the Galatea in question is the cruiser sold for scrap in 1921, Gala is possibly the oldest of the Bond girls, being in her mid- to late-30s and possibly as old as 40. The indications are, however, that she is young, so a 40-year-old Bond girl is unlikely in this case. Bond's youngest sexual partner in the books is Mariko Ichiban, an 18-year-old masseuse in You Only Live Twice. The eldest Bond girls are Pussy Galore, who Bond speculates to be in her early 30s and 29-year-old Domino Vitali.
Bond girls follow a fairly well-developed pattern of beauty. They possess splendid figures and tend to dress in a slightly masculine, assertive fashion, with few pieces of jewellery and that in a masculine cut, wide leather belts, and square-toed leather shoes. (There is some variation in dress, though, and Bond girls have made their first appearances in evening wear, in bra and panties and, on occasion, naked.) They often sport light though noticeable sun-tans (although a few, such as Solitaire, Tatiana Romanova, and Pussy Galore, are not only tanless but remarkably pale), and they generally use little or no makeup and no fingernail or toenail polish, also wearing their nails short. Their hair may be any colour ranging from blonde (Mary Goodnight) to auburn (Gala Brand) to brown (Tatiana Romanova) to blue-black (Solitaire) to black (Vesper Lynd), though they typically wear it in a natural or casual cut that falls heavily to their shoulders. Their features, especially their eyes and mouths, are often widely spaced (e.g. Vesper Lynd, Gala Brand, Tiffany Case, Tatiana Romanova, Honey Ryder, Viv Michel, Mary Goodnight). Their eyes are usually blue (e.g. Vesper Lynd, Gala Brand, Tatiana Romanova, Honey Ryder, Tracy Bond, Mary Goodnight), and sometimes this is true to an unusual and striking degree: Tiffany Case's eyes are chatoyant, varying with the light from grey to grey-blue, while Pussy Galore has deep violet eyes, the only truly violet eyes that Bond had ever seen. The first description of a Bond girl, Casino Royale's Vesper Lynd, is almost a template for the typical dress as well as the general appearance of later Bond girls; she sports nearly all of the features discussed above. In contrast, Dominetta "Domino" Vitali arguably departs to the greatest degree from the template, dressing in white leather doeskin sandals, appearing more tanned, sporting a soft Brigitte Bardot haircut, and giving no indication of widely-spaced features. (The departure may be due to the unusual circumstances behind the writing of the novel Thunderball, in which Domino appears.) Even Domino, however, wears rather masculine jewellery.
The best-known characteristic of Bond girls except for their uniform beauty is their pattern of suggestive names (the most risqué and famous being Pussy Galore). Some of these have explanations in the novels. While Solitaire's real name is Simone Latrelle, she is known as Solitaire because she excludes men from her life; Gala Brand, as noted above, is named for her father's cruiser, HMS Galatea; and Tiffany Case received her name from her father, who was so angry that she was not a boy that he gave her mother a thousand dollars and a compact from Tiffany's and then walked out on her. Conjecture is widespread that the naming convention began with the first Bond novel Casino Royale, in which the name "Vesper Lynd" is a pun on West Berlin, signifying Vesper's divided loyalties as a double agent under Soviet control. Several Bond girls, however, have normal names (e.g. Tatiana Romanova, Mary Ann Russell, Judy Havelock, Viv Michel, Tracy Bond [née Teresa Draco, aka Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo]).
Most Bond girls are apparently (and sometimes expressly) sexually experienced by the time they meet Bond (although there is evidence that Solitaire is a virgin). Not all of their experiences, however, are positive, and many Bond girls have a history of sexual violence that often alienates them from men (until Bond comes along). This darker theme is notably absent from the early films. Tiffany Case was gang-raped as a teenager; Honey Ryder, too, was beaten and raped as a teenager by a drunken acquaintance. Pussy Galore was subjected at age 12 to incest, and rape, by her uncle. While there is no such clear-cut trauma in Solitaire's early life, there are suggestions that she, too, avoids men because of their unwanted advances in her past. Kissy Suzuki reports to Bond that during her brief career in Hollywood when she was 17, "They thought that because I am Japanese I am some sort of an animal and that my body is for everyone." The abuse and violence facing the women is also evident in the films, such as Lupe Lamora being abused by her lover Franz Sanchez in Licence to Kill, as was Andrea Anders in The Man with the Golden Gun, who sent a golden bullet to Bond in the hope he would track down her cold lover Francisco Scaramanga and "set her free", later saying "he's a monster, I hate him". The implication is that these episodes often turn the Bond girls in question against men, though upon encountering Bond they overcome their earlier antipathy and sleep with him not only willingly but eagerly. The cliché reaches its most extreme (perhaps absurd) level in Goldfinger. In this novel Pussy Galore is clearly a practicing lesbian when she first meets Bond, but at the end of the novel she sleeps with him. When, in bed, he says to her "They told me you only liked women," she replies "I never met a man before."
Many Bond girls have some sort of independent job or even career, and often it is not a particularly respectable one for 1950s women. Vesper Lynd, Gala Brand, Tatiana Romanova, Mary Ann Russell, and Mary Goodnight are in intelligence or law enforcement work. By contrast, Tiffany Case and Pussy Galore are very independent-minded criminals, the latter even running her own syndicate. Most other Bond girls, even when they have more conventional or glamorous jobs, show an investment in their independent outlook on life. While the Bond girls are clearly intended as sex objects, they nevertheless have a degree of independence that the Bond films tended to dispense with until nearly 1980.
Most of the novels focus on one particular romance, as some of them do not occur for a while into the novel (Casino Royale is a good example). However, several exceptions have been made: In Goldfinger, the Masterton sisters are considered Bond girls (although Tilly is a lesbian), and after their deaths, Pussy Galore (also a lesbian) becomes the primary Bond girl. In Thunderball, Bond romances Patricia Fearing, followed by Domino Vitali. In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Bond enters into a relationship and an eventual marriage with Teresa 'Tracy' di Vicenzo, and sleeps with Ruby Windsor, a patient he meets in Blofeld's hideout while posing as a genealogist. In You Only Live Twice, Bond has relationships with Kissy Suzuki, mainly, but also romances Mariko Ichiban, and a girl so insignificant that she is unnamed.
Several Bond girls have obvious signs of inner turmoil (Vesper Lynd or Vivienne Michel), and others have traumatic pasts. Most Bond girls that are allowed to develop are flawed, and several have unhappy sexual backgrounds (Honey Ryder, Pussy Galore, Tiffany Case, Vivienne Michel, and Kissy Suzuki, among others). It is perhaps this vulnerability that draws them to Bond, aside from Bond himself being irresistible to women.
The inspiration for all of Fleming's Bond girls may be Muriel Wright, whohas a claim to be the fons et origo of the species: pliant and undemanding, beautiful but innocent, outdoorsy, physically tough, implicitly vulnerable and uncomplaining, and then tragically dead, before or soon after marriage.
Wright was 26 and "exceptionally beautiful" when she and Fleming met in 1935. A talented rider, skier, and polo player, Wright was independently wealthy and a model. She was slavishly devoted to Fleming despite his repeated unfaithfulness until dying in an air raid in 1944, devastating him, who called Wright "too good to be true":
Ursula Andress as "Honey Ryder" in Dr. No (1962) is often considered the quintessential Bond girl. She was preceded by Eunice Gayson as "Sylvia Trench" and Zena Marshall as "Miss Taro" in the same film.
There have been many attempts to break down the numerous Bond girls into a top 10 list for the entire series; characters who often appear in these lists include Anya Amasova, Jill Masterson, Teresa di Vicenzo and Honey Ryder, who is often at Number 1 on the list.
Entertainment Weekly put "Bond bathing suits" on its end-of-the-decade, "best-of" list, saying, "And you thought spies were supposed to be inconspicuous! Halle Berry's orange bikini in Die Another Day (2002) and Daniel Craig's supersnug powder blue trunks in Casino Royale (2006) suggest that neither 007 star can keep a secret."
Roles and impact
Often Bond girls who have trysts with James Bond are later discovered as villainesses, e.g. Fatima Blush (Barbara Carrera) in Never Say Never Again (1983), Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen) in Goldeneye (1995), Elektra King (Sophie Marceau) in The World Is Not Enough (1999), and Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike) in Die Another Day (2002).
To date, only two Bond girls have actually captured James Bond's heart. The first, Tracy di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg), married Bond in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), though she is shot dead by Irma Bunt and Ernst Stavro Blofeld at story's end. Initially, her death was to have begun Diamonds Are Forever (1971); but that idea was dropped during filming of On Her Majesty's Secret Service when George Lazenby renounced the James Bond role. One writer opined that, although the theme is not expressly revealed in the film, the Diamonds Are Forever pre-title sequence in which James Bond vigorously pursues Blofeld demonstrated "an effort to avenge Tracy di Vicenzo's murder." The second was Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) in Casino Royale (2006). James Bond professes his love to her and resigns from MI6 so they can have a normal life together. Later, he learns that she was actually a double agent, working for his enemies. The enemy organization Quantum had ostensibly kidnapped her former lover and was blackmailing her to secure her cooperation. She did truly fall in love with Bond, though as Quantum closed in on her, she died by drowning in a lift in a building under renovation in Venice.
With the exception of "doomed" Bond girls, there is no explanation offered as to why the love interest is gone by the next film and is never mentioned or alluded to again. This is not always the case in the novels, as references to previous Bond girls may be made in novels subsequent to their appearances; Tiffany Case and Honey Ryder are revealed to have married other men in From Russia With Love and The Man With The Golden Gun respectively and Bond briefly wonders about Solitaire in Doctor No. A strange case is Mary Goodnight, who appears in On Her Majesty's Secret Service and You Only Live Twice as Bond's secretary before becoming a full-fledged Bond girl in The Man With The Golden Gun.
Effect on career
The role of a Bond girl, as it has evolved in the films, is typically a high-profile part that sometimes can give a major boost to the career of unestablished actresses, although there have been a number of Bond girls that were well-established prior to gaining their role. For instance, Diana Rigg and Honor Blackman were both Bond girls after becoming stars in England for their roles in the television series, The Avengers. Additionally, Halle Berry won an Academy Award in 2002—the award was presented to her while she was filming Die Another Day. Teri Hatcher was a star as well, having starred in the television series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and her photograph, wrapped in nothing but a cape, was an internet sensation before being cast in Tomorrow Never Dies. A few years after playing a Bond girl, she became one of the highest-paid actresses on television by starring in Desperate Housewives. Kim Basinger has perhaps had the most successful post-Bond career. After her breakout role in Never Say Never Again, Basinger has since won an Academy Award for her performance in L.A. Confidential and starred in the blockbuster films Batman and 8 Mile.
Legend has it that appearing as a Bond girl will damage an actress' subsequent career. Lois Chiles is often cited as another example, although her career did not suffer as a result of portraying Holly Goodhead. In fact, Chiles had lost her younger brother to Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and decided to take a three year break from acting, from which her career never recovered. Notable exceptions to the so-called "curse" (actresses who went on to experience fulfilling careers) include Jane Seymour, Famke Janssen, Teri Hatcher, Halle Berry, Diana Rigg, and Kim Basinger. Casting for the female lead in Casino Royale was hindered by the fears of potential actresses; before Casino Royale, the Bond series was thought by some to have become stagnant and therefore less desirable to young actresses. The role of Vesper Lynd nevertheless went to the up-and-coming actress Eva Green, who won BAFTA's Rising Star Award for her performance.
The character of Sylvia Trench is the only Bond girl character who recurs in a film (Dr. No and From Russia with Love (1963)). She was meant to be Bond's regular girlfriend, but was dropped after her appearance in the second film.
In the series of films, five actresses have made reappearances as different Bond girls: Martine Beswick and Nadja Regin both first appeared in From Russia with Love, and then appeared in Thunderball and Goldfinger respectively. Maud Adams played Andrea Anders in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) and the title character in Octopussy (1983); she also is an extra in A View to a Kill (1985). Tsai Chin also appeared in two small roles, first as the Chinese/British agent "Ling" in You Only Live Twice and later as one of the poker players, Madame Wu, in Casino Royale. Diane Hartford also appeared in two small roles: Bond's pick-up dance partner at the Kiss Kiss Club in Thunderball and as a card player in the Bahamas in Casino Royale.
Including the unofficial James Bond films, Casino Royale and Never Say Never Again, several actresses also have been a Bond girl more than once; Ursula Andress in Dr. No (1962) and Casino Royale (1967); Angela Scoular, in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) and Casino Royale (1967); Valerie Leon in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Never Say Never Again (1983).
Lists of Bond girls
Novel Bond girl Casino Royale Vesper Lynd Live and Let Die Solitaire Moonraker Gala Brand Diamonds Are Forever Tiffany Case From Russia, with Love Tatiana Romanova Dr. No Honey Rider Goldfinger Pussy Galore
"From a View to a Kill" Mary Ann Russell "For Your Eyes Only" Judy Havelock "Quantum of Solace" "Risico" Lisl Baum "The Hildebrand Rarity" Liz Krest Thunderball Dominetta "Domino" Vitali
The Spy Who Loved Me Vivienne Michel On Her Majesty's Secret Service Teresa di Vicenzo
You Only Live Twice Kissy Suzuki (main girl)
The Man with the Golden Gun Mary Goodnight "The Living Daylights" Trigger "The Property of a Lady" Maria Freudenstein "Octopussy" Trudi Oberhauser "007 in New York" Solange
Mary Goodnight was a supporting character in several Bond novels before graduating to full Bond girl in The Man with the Golden Gun. The short stories "Quantum of Solace," "The Living Daylights," and "The Property of a Lady" feature female characters in prominent roles, but none of these women interact with Bond in a romantic way.
The most prominent Bond girl is featured first, followed by the rest in order of appearance.
EON Productions call themselves the "official" producer of the James Bond film series, having produced 22 films between 1962 and 2008 as listed above. However, other James Bond productions have been made over the years by other producers and studios. These productions are described as "unofficial" by EON Productions and as such, so are the Bond girls featured therein.
Film Bond girl Actress Casino Royale
(1954 television production)
Valerie Mathis Linda Christian Casino Royale
Agent Mimi/Lady Fiona McTarry
Never Say Never Again
Lady in Bahamas
Saskia Cohen Tanugi
Game Bond girl Actress (if applicable) Agent Under Fire Zoe Nightshade Caron Pascoe (voice) Nightfire Dominique Paradis
Lena Reno (voice)
Jeanne Mori (voice)
Kimberley Davies (voice)
Tamlyn Tomita (voice)
Everything or Nothing Serena St. Germaine
Dr. Katya Nadanova
GoldenEye: Rogue Agent Pussy Galore
Jeannie Elias (voice)
Jenya Lano (voice)
From Russia with Love Tatiana Romanova
Daniela Bianchi (likeness)
Kari Wahlgren (voice)
Blood Stone Nicole Hunter Joss Stone (likeness and voice)
In 2002, former Bond girl Maryam d'Abo co-wrote the book Bond girls Are Forever: The Women of James Bond. This book later became a DVD exclusive documentary featuring d'Abo and other Bond girls, including Ursula Andress. In some locations, the documentary was released as a gift with the purchase of Die Another Day on DVD. The featurette was included on the DVD release of Casino Royale (2006) with an updated segment referencing the newest film.
In 2001, Robert A. Caplen authored Shaken and Stirred: The Feminism of James Bond, 1962-1979, which discussed the cultural impact of the Bond girl within the context of the feminist and Women's Liberation movements. The work was later published as Shaken & Stirred: The Feminism of James Bond. In 2003, scholarly critiques of Pussy Galore and Miss Moneypenny, authored by Professors Elizabeth Ladenson and Tara Brabazon, respectively, were published in The James Bond Phenomenon: A Critical Reader. In 2009, researchers at Cleveland State University and Kent State University published an article, Shaken and Stirred: A Content Analysis of Women's Portrayals in James Bond Films, which provided a quantitative content analysis of 195 female characters appearing in twenty James Bond films.
- ^ Caplen, Robert A., Shaken & Stirred: The Feminism of James Bond (Xlibris, 2010), pref.
- ^ For a general discussion of the characteristics of the Fleming Bond girl, see the relevant chapters of O. F. Snelling, 007 James Bond: A Report (Signet, 1965).
- ^ James Bond (character)#Birth year debate
- ^ a b Fleming, Ian, Live and Let Die (MacMillan, 1954), ch. 10.
- ^ Fleming, Ian, From Russia, With Love (MacMillan, 1957), ch. 9.
- ^ Fleming, Ian, The Spy Who Loved Me (Glidrose, 1962), ch. 2.
- ^ Fleming, Ian, You Only Live Twice (Glidrose, 1964), ch. 12.
- ^ Fleming, Ian, Moonraker (MacMillan, 1955), ch. 16.
- ^ a b From Russia, With Love, ch. 8
- ^ a b Fleming, Ian, Goldfinger (Glidrose, 1959), ch. 17.
- ^ Snelling, 007 James Bond: A Report.
- ^ Fleming, Ian, The Man with the Golden Gun (Glidrose, 1965), ch. 4
- ^ a b Fleming, Ian, Live and Let Die (MacMillan, 1954), ch. 7.
- ^ a b Fleming, Ian, Casino Royale (Glidrose, 1953), ch. 5.
- ^ Fleming, Ian, Casino Royale (Glidrose, 1953), ch. 5; ibid., Moonraker (MacMillan, 1955), ch. 11; ibid., Diamonds are Forever (MacMillan, 1956), ch. 5; ibid., From Russia, With Love (MacMillan, 1957), ch. 8; ibid., Doctor No (Glidrose, 1958), ch. 8; ibid., The Spy Who Loved Me (Glidrose, 1962), ch. 2; ibid., The Man with the Golden Gun (Glidrose, 1965), ch. 4.
- ^ Fleming, Ian, Casino Royale (Glidrose, 1953), ch. 5; ibid., Live and Let Die (MacMillan, 1954), ch. 7; ibid., Moonraker (MacMillan, 1955), ch. 11; ibid., From Russia, With Love (MacMillan, 1957), ch. 8; ibid., Doctor No (Glidrose, 1958), ch. 8; ibid., The Spy Who Loved Me (Glidrose, 1962), ch. 2; ibid., On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (Glidrose, 1963), ch. 3; ibid., The Man with the Golden Gun (Glidrose, 1965), ch. 4.
- ^ Fleming, Ian, Diamonds are Forever (MacMillan, 1956), ch. 5.
- ^ Fleming, Ian, Thunderball (Glidrose, 1961), ch. 11
- ^ Fleming, Ian, Diamonds are Forever (MacMillan, 1956), ch. 22.
- ^ Fleming, Ian, Diamonds are Forever (MacMillan, 1956), ch. 8.
- ^ Fleming, Ian, Doctor No (Glidrose, 1958), ch. 11.
- ^ a b Fleming, Ian, Goldfinger (Glidrose, 1959), ch. 23.
- ^ Fleming, Ian, You Only Live Twice (Glidrose, 1964), ch. 14.
- ^ a b Macintyre, Ben (2008-04-05). "Was Ian Fleming the real 007?". The Times. http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/specials/for_your_eyes_only/article3652410.ece. Retrieved March 08, 2011.
- ^ The 10 Best Bond Girls | Movies | EW.com
- ^ [dead link]
- ^ Geier, Thom; Jensen, Jeff; Jordan, Tina; Lyons, Margaret; Markovitz, Adam; Nashawaty, Chris; Pastorek, Whitney; Rice, Lynette; Rottenberg, Josh; Schwartz, Missy; Slezak, Michael; Snierson, Dan; Stack, Tim; Stroup, Kate; Tucker, Ken; Vary, Adam B.; Vozick-Levinson, Simon; Ward, Kate (11 December 2009), "THE 100 Greatest MOVIES, TV SHOWS, ALBUMS, BOOKS, CHARACTERS, SCENES, EPISODES, SONGS, DRESSES, MUSIC VIDEOS, AND TRENDS THAT ENTERTAINED US OVER THE PAST 10 YEARS". Entertainment Weekly. (1079/1080):74-84
- ^ Caplen, Robert A., Shaken & Stirred: The Feminism of James Bond (Xlibris, 2010), ch. 0011.
- ^ Curse Of The Bond Girl
- ^ http://cocatalog.loc.gov, Registration No. TXu001060400.
- ^ Caplen, Robert A., Shaken & Stirred: The Feminism of James Bond (Xlibris, 2010).
- ^ Lindner, Christoph, ed., The James Bond Phenomenon: A Critical Reader (Manchester University, 2003), chs. 11-12.
- ^ SpringerLink - Sex Roles, Volume 62, Numbers 11-12
- Cult Sirens: Bond girls
- What happens to Bond girls? Article on the fate of the actresses that played the iconic Bond girls
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