Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More Watch: First Trailer For ‘Serena’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper Watch: First Trailer For ‘Serena’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made Revisiting On The Rise: Where Are Our 2012 Picks Now? Revisiting On The Rise: Where Are Our 2012 Picks Now? Oscars: Dust Settles On The Fall Festivals With No Clear Best Picture Front-Runner (Yet) Oscars: Dust Settles On The Fall Festivals With No Clear Best Picture Front-Runner (Yet) Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Watch: NYFF Trailer Has Snippets Of ‘Inherent Vice’ Footage For Those Checking For Trailers Several Times A Day Watch: NYFF Trailer Has Snippets Of ‘Inherent Vice’ Footage For Those Checking For Trailers Several Times A Day TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth Boardwalk Empire - Season 5 - Episode 1 Recap: “Golden Days For Boys & Girls” Boardwalk Empire - Season 5 - Episode 1 Recap: “Golden Days For Boys & Girls” The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: The 5 Best Bond Girls

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com November 9, 2012 at 12:37PM

We've been looking all week at the various aspects of the James Bond films, picking out the best villains and best action scenes. We've also named the worst films in the franchise, along with the best. But there's one essential ingredient of the series that we haven't yet touched on that couldn't really be ignored -- the Bond girls.
12
Skyfall Bond Girls

We've been looking all week at the various aspects of the James Bond films, picking out the best villains and best action scenes. We've also named the worst films in the franchise, along with the best. But there's one essential ingredient of the series that we haven't yet touched on that couldn't really be ignored -- the Bond girls.

Even when franchise staples like gadgets and the theme songs weren't always in place, Bond's love interests -- both friendly and villainous -- have been an essential part of the recipe, with the ladies of the 007 series blessedly evolving over time from damsels-in-distress who crumble at Bond's feet to independent, ass-kicking heroines in their own right (though "Skyfall" marks something of a backwards step in some respects). So with that in mind, we're closing off Bond Week at The Playlist by picking out our five favorite Bond girls. Did we miss your favorite? Argue your case in the comments section below.

Ursula Andress
Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress) - "Dr. No"
The very first Bond flick also provides, as you might imagine, the very first Bond girl, who remains (with the possible exception of Jill Masterson in "Goldfinger," who's in and out of the film in about ten minutes) by some distance the most iconic, even 50 years on. Most of the first half of "Dr. No" is an estrogen-free zone, with only the first appearance of Lois Maxwell's Miss Moneypenny, and a mysterious photographer working for the titular villain keeping up the side of the fairer sex. But things change once Bond reaches the bad guy's private island of Crab Key, and Swiss actress Ursula Andress makes one of cinema's most unforgettable entrances, clad only in a white bikini, and singing Bond theme composer Monty Norman's "Underneath The Mango Tree" while collecting sea shells (the scene was paid homage to, gender reversed, in Daniel Craig's "Casino Royale," albeit without the shells and the singing). Julie Christie had originally been considered for the part, but a photo taken by Andress' husband John Derek won producers over, and the relatively unexperienced actress got the gig. Andress was ultimately dubbed over, but even so, she makes quite the impression as Bond's assistant for the second half. By modern standards, it's an underwritten role, but no list of Bond girls could ever be complete without Andress in that bikini on the Caribbean beach.

Diana Rigg
Tracy Di Vincenzo (Diana Rigg) - "On Her Majesty's Secret Service"
Over 50 years and 23 films, no Bond girl has the lasting impact as Contessa Tracy Di Vincenzo, or as she became known, somewhat briefly, Mrs. Tracy Bond. As we've said, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" isn't just notable for being an excellent Bond, but for the way that it places a central romance at its core more than almost any other 007 film. Lazenby's Bond meets her in unusual circumstances, saving her from attempted suicide. As it turns out, she's the daughter of crime boss Marc-Ange Draco, who offers Bond a million pounds to marry his troubled daughter. It's a curious set-up that almost feels like a marriage plot comedy, but as time goes on, there's genuine feeling that develops between the pair (although not enough to stop Bond from seducing someone else, in a rather sour and misjudged note), and by the time that 007 proposes to her, it feels surprisingly earned. It helps that we've got one of the best actresses ever to play a Bond girl. Brigitte Bardot had been considered for the part, but one suspects that it really wouldn't have worked without Diana Rigg, who like previous Bond girl Honor Blackman, came to the attention of producers through rival spy TV series "The Avengers." Rigg is undeniably beautiful, but she's also a fantastic actress (having trained at top drama school RADA, and spent five years with the Royal Shakespeare Company prior to playing Emma Peel) and, aided by a script with unexpected depth, makes Diana into one of the relatively few three-dimensional female leads in the early years of the franchise. Interestingly, she was originally meant to survive the film, with her murder at Blofeld's hands intended to be kept back for the pre-credits of the next film. But after discovering that George Lazenby had no intention of returning, the filmmakers were forced to move her death to the end of the film. The result is the most powerful conclusion in Bond history.


This article is related to: Features, Skyfall


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates