Dominated by the Villain, […] Fleming’s woman has already been previously conditioned to domination, life for her having assumed the role of the villain. The general scheme is (1) the girl is beautiful and good; (2) has been made frigid and unhappy by severe trials suffered in adolescence; (3) this has conditioned her to the service of the Villain; (4) through meeting Bond she appreciates human nature in all its richness; (5) Bond possesses her but in the end loses her. (1)
Umberto Eco began a new era of Bond scholarship when this passage first appeared in Il caso Bond: le origini, la natura, gli effetti del fenomeno 007 in 1965 (then, The Bond Affair, 1966).
Eco posited a model that he argues fits (with small qualifications) 13 of the 16 major Women in Ian Fleming’s Bond novels. (2)
This model is widely supported, especially by Tony Bennett and Janet Woollacott in Bond and Beyond: The Political Career of a Popular Hero, published in 1987. (3) They even argue that Eco’s analysis applies to the Bond films.
Variously differing views are taken by O. F. Snelling in Double O Seven: James Bond: A Report (4), Kingsley Amis in The James Bond Dossier (5), Tim Greaves in The Bond Women: 007 Style (6), and Maryam d’Abo and John Cork in Bond Girls Are Forever: The Women of James Bond (7), among others.
This article begins with a brief look at the creation of Bond, followed by a detailed look at 007’s sexual partners (the Bond Women) in the books and films. (8) It is followed by a point-by-point examination of the Eco model, in an attempt to accurately define the true Bond Woman.
The Birth of Bond
On 15 January 1952, at “Goldeneye” on the island of Jamaica, Ian Lancaster Fleming, Old Etonian and former agent of Naval Intelligence, began work on a novel. He claimed it was a distraction from his upcoming marriage to Anne Charteris:
“Horrified by the prospect of marriage and to anesthetize my nerves, I sat down, rolled a piece of paper into my battered portable and began.” (9)
The novel, Casino Royale, was finished on 18 March 1952 and Fleming was married six days later.
An unputdownable yarn with graphic scenes of high adventure, gruesome torture and female bondage (10), Casino Royale is also notable for its deconstruction of British manhood. Fleming had unleashed a torrent of anxiety about his personal transition from playboy to husband, instilling in secret agent James Bond a near pathological fear of women:
Women were for recreation. On a job, they got in the way and fogged things up with sex and hurt feelings and all the emotional baggage they carried around. One had to look out for them and take care of them.
‘Bitch,’ said Bond […] (11)
The ‘bitch’, of course, is British agent 3030, Vesper Lynd, the first and greatest of all the Bond Women.
James is certainly impressed, even if his desires are dark:
He wanted her cold and arrogant body. He wanted to see tears and desire in her remote blue eyes and to take the ropes of her black hair in his hands and bend her long body back under his. (12)
But first there is a job to be done:
The prospect of working with her stimulated him. At the same time he felt a vague disquiet. On an impulse he touched wood. (13)
Bond is right to feel disquiet, because Vesper will completely outsmart him, leaving him a physical and psychological wreck.
After succeeding in their Casino Royale mission, and while recovering from a savaging of his genitals that may have left him impotent, Bond abandons his fear of being entrapped by a woman and falls for Vesper.
In her room at L’Auberge du Fruit Défendu on the Normandy coast, prior to a romantic dinner of broiled lobster and champagne, Bond asks:
‘Will you marry me?’
She snorted. ‘You need a slave, not a wife.’
‘I want you.’
‘Well, I want my lobster and champagne, so hurry up.’
‘All right, all right,’ said Bond. (14)
Soon after, Vesper commits suicide, unable to balance being with Bond and being blackmailed by the Soviets.
The book ends with the famous passage:
‘This is 007 speaking. This is an open line. It’s an emergency. Can you hear me? Pass this on at once. 3030 was a double, working for Redland.
‘Yes, dammit, I said “was”. The bitch is dead now.’ (15)
It can be argued that everything Bond does from this point on is shaped by how Vesper swept into, and took over, his life.
Seducing or Seduced by the Bond Woman?
Eco: “Bond possesses her”
Snelling: “Offhand, I can think of no character in fiction so lucky in love as James Bond. Almost every personable female he meets seems more than ready to hop into bed with him at his merest nod.” (16)
Charles McCarry: “There is nothing one man admires in another so much as sexual luck.” (17)
One can define a Bond Woman in many ways, but it is generally understood to mean a woman Bond sleeps with or wishes to. That is why Miss Moneypenny (Private Secretary to M) and Leolia Ponsonby (a secretary in the 00 Section) are not included in the list of the 16 major Bond Women. Flirtatious games are one thing, a genuine desire to seduce is another.
Also not included are the many minor ‘dalliances’ Bond has along the way (including the lose of “his virginity and his note-case” at 16 in Paris (18) and so forth), which have no meaningful bearing on the direction of the main narrative.
In order of publication, the novels and Women are:
Casino Royale (1953)
Vesper Lynd (30+) (19) is a British agent. She and Bond slowly fall in love while he recuperates from his brutal injuries:
In their talk there was nothing but companionship with a distant undertone of passion. In the background there was the unspoken zest of the promise which, in due course and in their own time, would be met. (20)
Partially recovered, Bond and Vesper drive to L’Auberge du Fruit Défendu (her choice), where she rejects his clumsy advances. It is only that night, after his marriage proposal is rejected (quoted earlier), that they finally come together:
It was only half past nine when he stepped into her room from the bathroom and closed the door behind him.
The moonlight shone through the half-closed shutters and lapped at the secret shadows in the snow of her body on the broad bed. (21)
The next day, Bond ends the affair, having discovered Vesper’s betrayal of him and the mission. Vesper is soon dead and, too late, Bond realizes how the Soviets have destroyed this rare chance at happiness.
Partners: 1. Woman seduces Bond: 0. Bond seduces Woman: 0. Mutual seductions: 1 (Vesper).
* * *
Live and Let Die (1954)
Simone (Solitaire) Latrelle (25) is a Haitian reader of Tarot cards and possibly (but not certainly) a virgin. She is waiting for someone to help her escape from the evil Mr. Big, who exploits her talents and wants to marry her.
When Bond turns up, Solitaire does all she can to seduce him. She sits down “almost touching his right knee” (22) and “nonchalantly drew her forearms together in her lap so that the valley between her breasts deepened” (23). Moments later, she deliberately lies during a Tarot reading ordered by Mr. Big to test Bond’s fidelity. She says his bogus reasons for being in Harlem are actually genuine. “‘He speaks the truth,’ she said coldly.” (24)
Despite this, Kinsley Amis writes in The James Bond Dossier:
Some sorts of wish-fulfilment do abound in the Bond chronicles. Only twice [sic] in thirteen books does he fail to seduce the girl who has taken his fancy. Resistance to his approaches is never prolonged. On the contrary, it tends to collapse the moment he appears. ‘I hoped I would one day kiss a man like that,’ Solitaire says at a very early stage [actually, p. 113] in Live and Let Die. ‘And when I first saw you, I knew it would be you.’ One gets the general drift. (25)
Like so many others, Amis has toppled head-first into a narrative trap set by Fleming, who invites the reader to think it’s all about the irresistible sexual charisma of Bond, when, in fact, 007 is here just a pawn in a woman’s web.
Did not Amis learn the lesson of Casino Royale one year earlier, where Bond is completely out of his depth in Vesper’s double game? Did he not see that delicious double meaning dangled so cheekily by Fleming in front of the reader’s eyes when Solitaire says, “And when I first say you, I knew it would be you”?
Solitaire took matters firmly in her own hands from the start, but Bond has a broken finger -“‘Curse this arm,’ he said. ‘I can’t hold you properly or make love to you. It hurts too much.’” – and puts off further physical contact for quite a while (117 pages, in fact).
After surviving being dragged naked with Solitaire over a coral reef, a nude Bond is sponge-bathed back to health by a male British agent named Strangways! Despite this (or because of it), on the book’s last page Bond says to Solitaire:
‘We’re going to a house on stilts with palm trees and five miles of golden sand. And you’ll have to look after me very well because I shan’t be able to make love with only one arm.’
There was open sensuality in Solitaire’s eyes as she looked up at him. She smiled innocently.
‘What about my back?’ she said. (26)
John Cork writes in Bond Girls Are Forever:
It was the character of Solitaire […] that set the tone for what we think of as the Bond woman. Strong, exotic, sexually aware, Solitaire was the kind of woman who simply did not appear in the popular literature of the day, at least not as a good girl. [She is] the first incarnation of the sexually liberated heroine […] (27)
Partners: 1. Woman seduces Bond: 1 (Solitaire). Bond seduces Woman: 0. Mutual seductions: 0.
* * *
Galatea (Gala) Brand (25+) is a policewoman working for British Special Branch on a mission with Bond. But she never has eyes for him.
At the end of the book, having not slept with 007, Gala rejects his amorous proposal and reveals she is marrying Detective-Inspector Vivian.
‘Oh,’ said Bond. He smiled stiffly. ‘I see. […] I was going to take you off to a farmhouse in France […] And after a wonderful dinner I was going to see if it’s true what they say about the scream of a rose.’
She laughed. ‘I’m sorry I can’t oblige. But there are plenty of other girls waiting to be picked.’ (28)
Partners: 0. Woman seduces Bond: 0. Bond seduces Woman: 0. Mutual seductions: 0. Failures: 1 (Gala).
* * *
Diamonds are Forever (1956)
Tiffany Case (27) is a ditzy American criminal and possibly the weirdest of the Bond Women. It is very difficult to be precisely sure what she is ever thinking or doing.
When Bond first meets “T. Case” (he sees her name on a Pan-American Airways label), Fleming writes: “T? […] Teresa? Tess? Thelma? Trudy? Tilly? None of them seemed to fit.” (29) This is extraordinary; it is almost as if Bond is imagining the Women he is still to meet: Teresa (di Vicenzo), Tilly (Masterton) …
Tiffany seems underwhelmed by Bond at first, treating him “with a touch of condescension. […] His nonchalance seemed to irritate her.” (30)
Later, over their first drink together, Tiffany boldly states: “I’m not going to sleep with you, […] so don’t waste your money getting me tight.” (31) Really! What sort of man does she think Bond is? And this is before he has even made a move.
Many chapters later, Tiffany drags Bond into his cabin aboard ship. “I want it to be in your house, James.” (32) And so it will be: “I want it all, James. Everything you’ve ever done to a girl. Now. Quickly.” (33)
Never having had so forward an offer, Bond accepts without hesitation and guides her gently to the cabin floor. This leads Snelling to rightly ask:
I can’t imagine why he chooses the floor with a perfectly good luxury liner bed an arm’s length away, but I’ve no doubt at all that he knows what he’s doing After all, Bond has enough experience in this gentle art. (34)
Partners: 1. Woman seduces Bond: 1 (Tiffany). Bond seduces Woman: 0. Mutual seductions: 0.
* * *
From Russia, With Love (1957)
Tatiana (Tania) Romanova (24) is a Soviet spy who is ordered to sleep with Bond by her superior, Rosa Klebb:
‘You will meet this man. You will seduce him. In this matter you will have no silly compunctions. Your body belongs to the state. Since your birth, the State has nourished it. Now your body must work for the State. Is that understood?’ (35)
While Fleming is regularly accused of preferencing British values and standards above all others, it is worth pointing out that M. orders Bond to do exactly the same, albeit with more subtlety:
Bond shrugged his shoulders. […] ‘Should be a piece of cake, sir. As far as I can see there’s only one snag. She’s only seen photographs of me and read a lot of exciting stories. Suppose that when she sees me in the flesh, I don’t come up to her expectations.’
‘That’s where the work comes in,’ said M. grimly. ‘[…] It’s up to you to see that you do come up to her expectations.’ (36)
Bond finds Tatiana in his Istanbul hotel bed, naked except for a strip of black velvet around her neck. Bond plays at being reticent, until finally he relents and pulls back the sheet.
Partners: 1. Woman seduces Bond: 1 (Tatiana). Bond seduces Woman: 0. Mutual seductions: 0.
* * *
Dr No (1958)
Honeychile (Honey) Rider (20), as the whole world knows, stands near naked in front of a stupefied Bond on a Caribbean beach. What she doesn’t do is walk out from the water, as most people believe. (37) She is already on the beach, innocently collecting seashells, Bond viewing her from behind. This leads to Fleming’s infamous description of her bottom as “almost as firm and rounded as a boy’s” (38).
At the end, after victory over Doctor No, Honey leaves a note on Bond’s pillow: “You are staying with me tonight […] you owe me slave-time. I will come at seven. Your H.” (39)
Partners: 1. Woman seduces Bond: 1 (Honeychile). Bond seduces Woman: 0. Mutual seductions: 0.
* * *
This is the first Fleming novel with more than one Bond Woman.
Jill Masterton (age unknown) works for a gold fetishist, Auric Goldfinger, helping him cheat at cards. Bond enters her unlocked hotel room and finds her sitting on some cushions, watching through binoculars Goldfinger’s card game below.
‘Whoryou? Whatyouwant?’ The girl’s hand was up to her mouth. Her eyes screamed at him. (40)
Bond quickly calms, rather than charms, her. She clearly dislikes Goldfinger and is happy to go along with Bond’s plan of humiliating the card-cheat.
Later, on a train and after Bond has taken her hostage, she is willingly initiated into the joys of sexual life.
Tilly Masterton (24) meets Bond in Switzerland, where she is trying to kill Goldfinger in revenge for painting her sister Jill gold.
Tilly puzzles Bond from the start: “There was something faintly mannish and open-air about the whole of her behaviour and appearance.” (41) He’s still puzzled long after he’s got to know her and been kidnapped by Goldfinger: “She was beautiful – physically desirable. But there was a cold, hard centre to her that Bond couldn’t understand or define.” (42)
In his book The Sexual Fix, Stephen Heath, who (like Eco) bizarrely changes Tilly’s surname to Masterson, writes:
Tilly Masterson […] The woman-enigma, the woman-problem. But, of course, Bond can understand and define the cold, hard centre: she is ‘one of those girls whose hormones had got mixed up’ (the result of ‘fifty years of emancipation’), one of ‘a herd of unhappy sexual misfits – barren and full of frustrations’. (43)
Not that it matters: Bond and Tilly never make it to bed together.
Pussy Galore (30+) is leader of a lesbian criminal gang, The Cement Mixers. At the end of the book, after Goldfinger’s plot to rob Fort Knox has come unstuck and the Stratocruiser crashes into the sea, Bond and Pussy are rescued by the Weathership Charlie.
The connecting door with the next cabin opened and the girl came in. She was wearing nothing but a grey fisherman’s jersey that was decent by half an inch. […] She said, ‘People keep on asking if I’d like an alcohol rub and I keep on saying that if anyone’s going to rub me it’s you, and if I’m going to be rubbed with anything it’s you I’d liked to be rubbed with. [….] So here I am.’ (44)
Partners: 2. Woman seduces Bond: 1 (Pussy). Bond seduces Woman: 1 (Jill). Mutual seductions: 0. Failures: 1 (Tilly).
* * *
Thunderball (written in collaboration with Kevin McClory, 1961)
Patricia Fearing (age unknown) is a health worker at Shrublands. She is sexually assaulted by Bond after some osteopathic treatment:
[…] when she told him to release his hands, he did nothing of the sort. He tightened them, pulled her head sharply towards him, and kissed her full on the lips. She ducked quickly down through his arms and straightened herself, her cheeks red and her eyes shinning with anger. (45)
Later, after he blacks out on the rack, he is massaged by Patricia wearing fur gloves and then given some dandelion tea:
‘That was marvellous. Now how about some more of the mink treatment. And by the way. Will you marry me? You’re the only girl I’ve ever met who knows how to treat a man properly.’
She laughed. ‘Don’t be silly. And turn over on your face. It’s your back that needs treatment.’
‘How do you know?’ (46)
While the banter has a sexual edge, it never feels as if they will ever sleep together. Others might disagree.
Dominette (Domino) Petacchi (29) is the Italian mistress of mobster Emilio Largo. Domino’s surname is usually given as Vitali, but she is a sometime actress and that is merely her stage name.
Bond first sees her outside The Pipe of Peace (a cigarette store) in Nassau. She offers to drive him to a bar (he is thirsty), but she “didn’t talk to Bond or seem to be aware of him” (47). Over a vodka and tonic, he tries to charm her but gets: “If you’ve got to flirt, don’t be obvious.” (48) She leaves him at the bar and tells him to get a taxi home. One last attempt to seduce her is rejected and Bond is left to mutter “Bitch” (49), his infamous description of women. How the shadow of Vesper hovers.
It is only much later that Domino and Bond mutually fall into sex when he has to save her on the beach from sea-egg spines stuck in her foot. The chapter is entitled “How to Eat a Girl”. How did Fleming get away with it?
Partners: 1. Woman seduces Bond: 0. Bond seduces Woman: 0. Mutual seductions: 1 (Domino). Failures: 1 (Patricia).
* * *
The Spy Who Loved Me (with Vivienne Michel, 1962)
Vivienne Michel (23) is a French-Canadian editorial assistant on holiday in America, where she is terrorised in a motel in the Adirondack Mountains by some hoods. Bond accidentally comes along (his car tyre goes flat) and rescues her from imminent rape. The story is told in the first person and Vivien Michel is listed as co-author.
After the hoods are killed, Fleming and Michel write:
I felt like blushing. I said obstinately, ‘I don’t mind what you think, James, but I’m not going to leave you tonight. You can choose either [cabin] 2 or 3. I’ll sleep on the floor.
He laughed, and reached out and hugged me to him. ‘If you sleep on the floor, I’ll sleep on the floor too. But it seems rather a waste of a fine double bed. Let’s say Number 3.’ He stopped and looked at me, pretending to be polite. ‘Or would you rather Number 2?’
‘No. Number 3 would be heavenly.’ (50)
That sounds about as mutual as it can get.
Partners: 1. Woman seduces Bond: 0. Bond seduces Woman: 0. Mutual seductions: 1 (Vivienne).
* * *
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1963)
La Comtesse Teresa (Tracy) Di Vicenzo (25) seduces Bond as a reward for bailing her out (to the tune of two million old francs) at the Royale-les-Eaux Casino. Bond had seen her earlier that night when she passed him at great speed on the road to Royale-les-Eaux.
After personally losing another two million francs, Bond finds Teresa sitting with a half-finished bottle of Pol Roger:
She gave him a sideways, appraising glance. ‘Why did you rescue me when I made the “coup du déshonneur”?’
Bond shrugged. ‘Beautiful girl in distress. Besides, we made friends between Abbeville and Montreuil this evening. You drive like an angel.’ […]
She looked at him gravely, considering him. […] She said, ‘My name is Tracy. […] I am not interested in conversation. And you have earned your reward.’
She rose abruptly. So did Bond, confused. ‘No. I will go alone. You can come later. The number is 45. There, if you wish, you can make the most expensive piece of love of your life. It will have cost you four million francs. I hope it will be worth it.’ (51)
Ruby Windsor (age unknown) is a patient at Blofeld’s clinic, Piz Gloria, in the Swiss Alps, having treatment for her allergy to chickens. She takes the bold step of visiting Bond in his room and, with dexterous hand movements (the room is bugged with microphones), suggests they talk in the secrecy of his bathroom. She seems to be more interested in information than sex, but when Bond makes his move, kissing her full on the mouth, “she didn’t recoil. She just stood there like a great lovely doll, passive, slightly calculating, wanting to be a princess.” (52)
Later that night, Bond enters her room and the cuddling begins.
Partners: 2. Woman seduces Bond: 1 (Tracy). Bond seduces Woman: 1 (Ruby). Mutual seductions: 0.
* * *
You Only Live Twice (1964)
Kissy Suzuki (23) is a diver for clams on the island of Kuro, Japan. Bond lives with her (but does not marry her, as in the film) while tracking down Blofeld’s henchwoman, Irma Blunt.
Kissy, like others before her (most notably Vesper), restores Bond to health after he is injured during a mission. Keen to make love with him, but worried about his inactive sexual state, she goes to a sex shop to buy toad sweat and other herbal remedies. Few women have gone to this much trouble to bed Bond. All of which has a dramatic effect because, at the end, Kissy is pregnant with Bond’s only known child.
Partners: 1. Woman seduces Bond: 1. Bond seduces Woman: 0. Mutual seductions: 0.
* * *
The Man with the Golden Gun (1965)
Mary Goodnight (25+) is a former secretary to 007 and now a British agent who shares a mission with Bond.
Bennett and Woollacott claim that Bond and Goodnight sleep together (“Bond subsequently possess Mary Goodnight” (53)). As evidence, they quote:
Bond put his hand under the soft chin and lifted up her mouth and kissed her full on the half-open lips. He said, ‘Why didn’t we ever think of doing that before, Goodnight? Three years with only that door between us! What must we have been thinking of?’ (54)
But all Bond and Goodnight are doing is kiss in the public bar of a hotel. No sex between them has occurred, or ever does, within the confines of the novel. What happens afterwards is in dispute.
At the close of the book, Goodnight invites Bond to stay in a spare room at her villa. He seems ambiguous at best:
He said, and meant it, “Goodnight. You’re an angel.” (55)
The wordplay on “Goodnight” is presumably deliberate, given Fleming continues:
At the same time, he knew, deep down, that love from Mary Goodnight, or from any other woman, was not enough for him. It would be like taking ‘a room with a view’. For James Bond, the same view would always pall. (56)
That doesn’t sound like he is accepting her offer, though John Cork in Bond Girls believes he does. (57)
Anyway, who knows what twist of fate might have intervened in the unlikely event Bond did decide to bed down with Goodnight.
Partners: 0. Woman seduces Bond: 0. Bond seduces Woman: 0. Mutual seductions: 0.
|BOOK||PARTNERS||WOMAN SEDUCES BOND||BOND SEDUCES WOMAN||MUTUAL SEDUCTIONS||FAILURES|
|Live and Let Die||1||1||0||0||0|
|Diamonds are Forever||1||1||0||0||0|
|From Russia, With Love||1||1||0||0||0|
|The Spy Who Loved Me||1||0||0||1||0|
|On Her Majesty’s Secret Service||2||1||1||0||0|
|You Only Live Twice||1||1||0||0||0|
|The Man with the Golden Gun||0||0||0||0||1|
There are only two occasions where one can meaningfully claim that Bond seduces the Woman: Jill Masterton and Ruby Windsor. But, as we have seen, both cases are debatable.
There are seven Women who clearly seduce Bond: Solitaire Latrelle, Tiffany Case, Tatiana Romanova, Honeychile Rider, Pussy Galore, Tracy di Vicenzo and Kissy Suzuki.
The other three relationships are ‘mutual’, in that it is difficult to say who seduced whom: Vesper Lynd, Domino Petacchi and Vivienne Michel.
Bond’s has one major failure among the major Bond Women, Gala Brand. There are three other minor failures or ‘disappointments’: Tilly Masterton, Patricia Fearing and Mary Goodnight.
So, of the 12 Women who sleep with Bond, seven (or 58%) do the seducing. Bond only seduces 2 (17%) and the rest (25%) are mutual.
This is not as Eco and others would have you believe.
* * *
It is generally agreed that the films are different to the books in regard to the Women and Bond’s relationships with them. But are they?
In order of release:
Ian Fleming’s Dr. No (Terence Young, 1962)
James Bond (Sean Connery) comes in contact with nine women, five of whom he sees only in passing and has no time to pursue, even if he had the desire to.
As mentioned above, Bond does not ever attempt to seduce Miss Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell), but he does go to bed with three Women:
Sylvia (Eunice Gayson) (58), the first Woman Bond sleeps with on screen, actually seduces him.
After meeting Bond at a casino, Sylvia breaks into his flat (how is that possible if 007 is a security-conscious secret agent?), and stands there playing golf in nothing but one of his shirts. Bond has little time to spare before his flight to Jamaica, but find time he does.
Introducing James Bond through Sylvia Trench was a stroke of pure genius. Having a woman of such rarefied tastes hurl herself at 007, elevated Bond himself. (59)
Sylvia then becomes a steady (if not sole) girlfriend of 007, re-appearing in Ian Fleming’s From Russia With Love (Terence Young, 1963).
Miss Taro (Zena Marshall) works for the sinister Dr. No (Joseph Wiseman) and is forced into having sex by Bond. He has turned up to her house, eluding the efforts of Dr. No’s henchmen to kill him en route. She is surprised, to say the least, to see him.
Bond then overhears her talking on the phone and realizes she is being told to keep Bond on the premises until another killer can arrive. Bond coldly lets her know that the only way he’ll stay is if she sleeps with him. This is very close to rape, but apparently secret agents do this sort of thing all the time.
Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress), her surname changed from Rider in the novel, is Bond’s main love interest for the movie. It is a pity the filmmakers bowed to the censorship of the time and had Honey wear a bikini rather than appear as Fleming so perfectly imagined the scene. Few agree, however, as this moment is universally regarded as one of the sexiest in cinema.
Starting an occasional trend, Honey cuddles with Bond in the last sequence (aboard a boat, a franchise favourite). One assumes things will mutually grow more sexual after the final credits, not that one can tell with any certainty.
The Bond Girls from Dr. No marked a new kind of woman in the cinema. Sylvia Trench, Miss Taro and Honey Ryder were strong-willed, resourceful, and sexually independent. They signalled […] a new generation of women who wanted and expected more out of life. (60)
Partners: 3. Woman seduces Bond: 1 (Sylvia). Bond seduces Woman: 1 (Miss Taro). Probable mutual seductions: 1 (Honey).
* * *
Ian Fleming’s From Russia With Love (Terence Young, 1963)
Sylvia reappears from Dr. No and has fun with Bond down by the river. Bond decides to delay a meeting with “M” (Bernard Lee) to more fully enjoy the moment (a joke that will be reprised in the film series).
As in the novel, Tatiana (Daniela Bianchi) is blackmailed into going to bed with Bond by Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya). (Here, Klebb works for SPECTRE, not SMERSH.)
Bond is likewise instructed by M. (Bernard Lee) to do the same. When Bond remarks, mirroring the book, “Suppose when she meets me in the flesh I don’t come up to expectations”, M. coldly replies, “Just see that you do.”
Tatiana makes things pretty easy for Bond by walking naked across his hotel room in Istanbul (a rare and pioneering moment of narrative nudity) and gets into bed. All she has on is a black velvet choker. Bond enters and things take the inevitable course, all recorded on film as Tatiana, the seductress, intended.
She and Bond end the film happily together in a gondola.
Vida (Aliza Gur) and Zora (Martine Beswick) are two women involved in a catfight at a Gypsy camp. Bond pleads that the hideous spectacle be stopped, and in doing so is asked to personally settle the dispute. Kerim Bey (Pedro Armendáriz) brings the girls to Bond’s caravan and says, “Vavra [Francis de Wolff] said for you to decide. So, decide. They’re both yours.” Kerim laughs and Bond replies: “This may take some time.” The ménage à trois is implied, not seen.
As Bond has made no effort to seduce these Women (his agreeing to arbitrate the dispute was an innocent act), one must assume that whatever happens happens mutually, as each has something to gain.
Bond does not attempt to seduce Rosa Klebb. Now, that would have been interesting.
Partners: 4. Woman seduces Bond: 1 (Tatiana). Bond seduces Woman: 0. Mutual seductions: 3 (Sylvia, Vida, Zora).
* * *
Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger (Guy Hamilton, 1964)
While Bonita (Nadja Regin) lies stunned on the floor of Bond’s hotel room, 007 delivers the greatest pre-credits punch-line ever: “Shocking … positively shocking.” It is clear that Bonita and Bond have slept together prior to the film’s narrative starting because, when Bond takes off his shoulder holster, a near-naked Bonita says, “Why do you always wear that thing?” The odds are it was Bond who seduced her, in the line of duty.
Dink (Margaret Nolan) is a masseuse at the Miami hotel. The confident way Bond introduces her to Felix Leiter (Cec Linder) and the body language between them (the bottom slap and reaction, especially) suggests these two are already an item. As there is no contrary evidence, one must assume any seduction was mutual.
Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton), her surname changed from Masterton, helps Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe) cheat at cards. Bond seduces her and, almost straight away, she is rendered gold.
Tilly Masterson (Tania Mallet) has all the possibilities of being a great Bond Woman, but the filmmakers sell her short. Childishly, Bond is affronted when Tilly doesn’t swoon in his presence. His “I hate to leave you here all alone” is meet with “I can take care of myself.” A gentleman, and Bond is certainly not one on this occasion, would never reply: “Yes, I’m sure you can.” The audience is totally on her side when she turns Bond down.
Tilly is Bond’s first on-screen failure.
Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman) is a lesbian who, at first, is underwhelmed by Bond’s presence. Then, seemingly against all the odds, she sleeps with Bond in a stable full of hay.
It is a delightful and spirited meeting of equals, until Bond presses his weight down on top of her and ignores her resistance. However, they end the film in a park, happily cuddling under a parachute.
She is the first Bond woman who is Bond’s equal in virtually every aspect. She can fight, make love, seduce, and scheme right alongside 007. She is, like her name, unique. (61)
Mei-Lei (Mai Ling) is a flight attendant on Goldfinger’s plane. Bond tries to seduce her, but fails to get any response.
Partners: 4. Woman seduces Bond: 0. Bond seduces Woman: 2 (Bonita, Jill). Mutual seductions: 2 (Dink, Pussy). Failures: 2 (Tilly, Mei-Lei).
* * *
Ian Fleming’s Thunderball (Terence Young, 1965)
Patricia (Molly Peters) is a nurse at Shrublands, where Bond is recovering from injuries. It is pure desire on Bond’s part, though his seduction technique (pinning her with his arms and forcing a kiss upon her lips) would get him into a lot of trouble these days. But it gets worse.
After nearly dying on the rack, Bond tells Patricia:
“Well, somebody’s going to wish the day never happened.”
“Oh, you wouldn’t tell Dr Wayne. Please, I’d lose my job.”
“Well, I … I suppose my silence could have a price.”
“You don’t mean … oh, no …”
That is sexual harassment on a major scale.
Fiona (Luciana Paluzzi) is a fiery and fast-driving executioner for SPECTRE who seduces Bond. He finds her naked in the bath of his assistant, Paula (Martine Beswick). When she asks, “Would you mind giving me something to put on?”, he thoughtfully hands her a pair of gold slippers. She then tells him, “Shouldn’t you get out of those wet clothes. You’ll catch your death of cold.” He agrees.
Domino (Claudine Auger) is the niece of SPECTRE’s number 2 man, Largo (Adolfo Celi). She has sex with Bond while scuba diving underwater. “I hope we didn’t frighten the fish”, Bond remarks as they leave the water (the pristine nature of their bathing costumes giving no indication as to what happened below).
Paula is a mystery. There is no sense of any past sexual contact with Bond, but she is very displeased and possessive when Fiona turns up for a date with 007. It is possible Paula has slept with Bond, but one can’t be certain.
Partners: 3. Woman seduces Bond: 1 (Fiona). Bond seduces Woman: 1 (Patricia). Mutual seductions: 1 (Domino).
* * *
Casino Royale (Val Guest, Ken Hughes, John Huston, Joseph McGrath, Robert Parrish [and Richard Talmage], 1967)
This non-‘official’ spoof has numerous 007s, male and female, and countless scantily clad women, many of whom are uncredited. The film is a narrative swirl and difficult for deconstructionists to make meaningful sense of. Who, for instance, is James Bond?
There is a Sir James Bond (David Niven), who goes to bed with no women, though he falls for Agent Mimi (Alias Lady Fiona) (Deborah Kerr). Then there is Sir James’ nephew, but he is called Jimmy Bond (Woody Allen), so that doesn’t count.
Vesper Lynd (Ursula Andress) becomes an 007 midway through the film, but she sleeps with no one after the name change. Ditto Cooper (Terence Cooper), who sleeps with Moneypenny (Barbara Bouchet), but that is before he is made a James Bond. And so it goes.
Partners: 0. Woman seduces Bond: 0. Bond seduces Woman: 0. Mutual seductions: 0.
* * *
Ian Fleming’s You Only Live Twice (Lewis Gilbert, 1967)
What should one make of Bond’s time in Hong Kong with the woman Bond calls Ling, but is credited as Chinese Girl (Hong Kong) (Tsai Chin)? Many authors count her as one of Bond’s conquests. But is she?
Bond and Chinese Girl (Hong Kong) are seen naked kissing in bed. Bond asks (with wicked dialogue courtesy of Roald Dahl):
“Why do Chinese girls taste different to other girls?
“You think we better, eh?”
“No, just different. Like Peking Duck is different from Russian caviar. But I love ‘em both.”
“Darling, I give you the very best duck.”
“Well, that’ll be lovely.”
The reference to “taste” is regarded by some critics as implying sexual activity has occurred. What is not discussed by critics is how Bond, an Eton-educated man, says “different from” instead of “different to”. The English school system has let him down rather badly.
Later in the same scene, Bond says: “We’ve had some interesting times together, Ling. I’ll be sorry to go.” Chinese Girl (Hong Kong) then presses a red button, Bond’s bed retracts into the wall and British Hong Kong police charge in and fire their weapons. The wall-bed is opened and Bond is pronounced dead.
After Bond’s burial at sea and his ‘revival’ in a submarine, he meets Miss Moneypenny, who asks:
“Oh, by the way, how was the girl?”
“The Chinese one we fixed you up with.”
“Oh, another five minutes and I would have found out.”
“She’ll never know what she missed.”
So, Bond’s bedroom activities were interrupted by the police before anything sexual happened and Chinese Girl (Hong Kong) was working for the British intelligence to help fake Bond’s death. It is unlikely, therefore, that anything sexual happened. The “taste” was just a kiss.
But how does one explain Bond’s “We’ve had some interesting times together, Ling” if Moneypenny (and others) only arranged her for this one event? Poor scriptwriting may be the answer.
In Tokyo, the head of the Japanese Secret Service, Tiger Tanaka (Tetsuro Tamba), takes Bond to his home, where he gets a massage from Bond’s Masseuse (Jeanne Roland). Bond tells her:
“Last time someone gave me a massage was in Hong Kong. But, unfortunately, I had to cut it short. We were rudely interrupted by a couple of gunmen. So, we never got ‘round to finishing it.”
Aki (Akiko Wakabayashi) silently replaces Bond’s Masseuse. She is one of Tiger Tanaka’s special agents.
“This time you shall finish it”, she says.
“No one will disturb you tonight. I think I will enjoy very much serving under you.”
Helga Brandt (Karen Dor) is no 11 in SPECTRE. She threatens a rope-bound Bond with torture, using a plastic surgeon’s scalpel:
“I’ve got you now”, she says.
“Well, enjoy yourself”, Bond replies.
Despite being fiercely slapped, Bond tries to bribe her with money and a flight to Europe, and Helga cuts away his ropes. He then slices through her dress straps and mutters “Ah, the things I do for England.” The next day, she tries to kill him on a plane.
After Aki is killed by the drip of poison intended for Bond, 007 is sent to an island to marry Kissy (Mie Hanna), another of Tiger Tanaka’s agents. This is the first of Bond’s two marriages. Almost all commentators claim that the film Bond is only married once, dismissing the Kissy nuptials as fake. However, there is not a shred of evidence to support that reading. Bond is told by Tiger he is getting married and he does. And, despite Kissy’s protests that their living together is only in the name of duty, and while Kissy refuses Bond’s offer of sharing a bed for appearances’ sake, they do fall in love with each other. (Akiko is forgotten very quickly.)
As has become a series trend (with Honey in Dr. No and Domino in Thunderball), Bond has not made love with Kissy by the end of the film. One suspects they will soon afterwards. But it may be a little uncomfortable: they are in an inflatable lifeboat atop a British submarine.
Partners: 3. Woman seduces Bond: 2 (Aki, Helga). Bond seduces Woman: 0. Probable mutual seductions: 1 (Kissy).
* * *
Ian Fleming’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (Peter Hunt, 1969)
As in the novel, Bond bails Tracy (Diana Rigg) out at a casino by claiming she was his partner. He later finds her in the bar. She tosses him the key to her suite and says, “I hope I’ll be worth it.”
But things aren’t that simple. In her suite, Bond is attacked by a man. Bond wins and retreats to his room, bleeding. There, after a wilful and under-dressed Tracy points Bond’s gun at him (he’s not happy), they move to a lounge on the terrace, where they lie together talking:
“Think about me as the woman you’ve just bought.”
“Who needs to buy?”, Bond says disdainfully. “Look, you don’t owe me a thing.”
This is a major change from the Fleming novels, where prostitutes are definitely on Bond’s agenda and 007 is far less moralistic.
“I think you’re in some kind of trouble”, says Bond. “Would you like to talk about it?”
“No, Mr Bond. The only thing you need know about me is that I pay my debts.”
And so she does.
Later, they fall in love and marry. (There is no mention of Bond’s previous marriage to Kissy.) That same day, Tracy is shot dead by Irma Bunt (Ilse Steppat).
At the females-only clinic at Piz Gloria, Bond arrives in the disguise of Sir Hilary Bray. Over dinner, he talks of a book on heraldry in his possession containing references to “golden balls”. Ruby (Angela Scouter) is so keen on reading it she writes her room number of his thigh with red lipstick (he’s wearing a kilt). As Ruby has already made a point of seductively eating a chicken leg just inches from his face, it is fair to assume she is out to seduce Bond. However, when he breaks into her room later that night, she seems more interested in the book than Bond, until he presses the point.
On returning to his own room, Bond finds Nancy (Catherina Von Schell) waiting for him. She, too, claims to want the book, but takes the opportunity to pull Bond down onto the bed.
Though both dalliances could be called mutual, one should credit the first to Bond (he does more of the work) and the second to Nancy (same reasoning).
Partners: 3. Woman seduces Bond: 2 (Tracy, Nancy). Bond seduces Woman: 1 (Ruby). Mutual seductions: 0.
* * *
Ian Fleming’s Diamonds Are Forever (Guy Hamilton, 1971)
On the trail of Blofeld (Charles Gray), Bond (Sean Connery) strangles Marie (Denise Perrier) without giving her the chance to get properly acquainted.
Tiffany Case (Jill St John) entertains Bond the first time in her underwear and turns up again in lingerie, lying seductively on his hotel bed. What is Bond supposed to do? In a particularly unpleasant scene (like much in this unlikeable film), Tiffany and Bond look the least-happy bed companions in Bond history. No matter, they end up standing together on the balcony of a ship at sea. But, despite being in Bond’s arms, Tiffany seems to only have eyes for diamonds in the sky.
Bond almost gets to bed with Plenty O’Toole (Lana Wood), but some bad guys cramp his style, tossing poor Plenty into a hotel swimming pool from several storeys above.
As for Bambi (Lola Larson) and Thumper (Trina Parks), they try to kill Bond the moment they see him. No chance of any romance there.
Partners: 1. Woman seduces Bond: 1 (Tiffany). Bond seduces Woman: 0. Mutual seductions: 0.
* * *
Ian Fleming’s Live and Let Die (Guy Hamilton, 1973)
Immediately after the opening credits, Bond (Roger Moore) is seen in bed with Beautiful Girl (Madeline Smith) in his apartment.
At 5:48am, “M” (Bernard Lee) and Moneypenny arrive. Despite just having spoken French, Beautiful Girl is apparently a missing Italian secret agent called Miss Caruso by “M”.
When the unwanted intruders leave, and with Beautiful Girl now speaking Italian, she and Bond get back to it. There is no indication of who seduced whom.
Rosie (Gloria Hendry) breaks into Bond’s hotel room with a gun, but is quickly overpowered. She sees a voodoo hat on his bed and panics. Bond is calm: “Why, it’s just a hat, darling, belonging to a small-headed man of limited means who lost a fight with a chicken.” Very funny, Mr Bond, but shouldn’t it be “who won a fight with a chicken”, given its feathers are neatly placed around the hat?
Rosie is not reassured by Bond’s joking about:
“It’s a warning. Get it out of here … Oh, please, please don’t leave me alone tonight. James, please promise me.”
“All right, darling, if you insist. I promise.”
As it later turns out that Rosie is working for Kananga Mr. Big (Yaphet Kotto), as the credits credit him, it is clear this is a set-up and that Rosie seduced Bond.
Solitaire (Jane Seymour) is Bond’s principal love interest and they make it to bed in unusual circumstances. Bond breaks into her house and dons the High Priestess robe she wears for Tarot readings. Solitaire enters, justifiably upset at this sacrilege. Bond says:
“The cards say we will be lovers”
“You’re mistaken. It’s impossible, forbidden for me … Now, you must go.”
“But you do believe … I mean, really believe … in the cards?”
“Well, they have never lied to me.”
“Then, they won’t now … Pick one.”
She draws The Lovers. Bond:
“You knew the answer before it was given. Strangely enough, somehow, so did I.”
Bond then reveals (to the audience only) that the deck was stacked with only The Lovers cards. Bond has clearly seduced her.
Partners: 3. Woman seduces Bond: 1 (Rosie). Bond seduces Woman: 1 (Solitaire). Mutual seductions: 1 (Beautiful Girl).
* * *
Ian Fleming’s The Man with the Golden Gun (Guy Hamilton, 1974)
Andrea (Maud Adams) is the mistress of the assassin Scaramanga (Christopher Lee). Bond breaks into her Peninsular Hotel room in Hong Kong and finds her naked in a shower. Unlike Connery’s Bond, who cheekily hands Fiona a mere pair of slippers in Thunderball, Moore’s Bond hands Andrea a fluffy bathrobe. Bond then tortures her (very unpleasant) and leaves.
Much later, Andrea enters his hotel room – where Goodnight (Britt Ekland) has just tried to seduce Bond and is hiding under the blankets – and unburdens herself to him:
“He’s a monster. I hate him,”
“Then leave him.”
“You don’t walk out on Scaramanga. There’s no place he wouldn’t find me.”
“You need a good lawyer.”
“I need 007. Who do you think sent that bullet to London with your number on it? […] I want him dead. Name your price … anything. I’ll pay it. … You can have me, too, if you like. I’m not unattractive.
Bond doesn’t disagree and goes to bed with her, Goodnight hiding in the cupboard. Like many a good Bond Woman, Andrea is resourceful, clever and totally in charge.
If Goodnight fails the first time around to seduce Bond, she at least gets him at the end, on the “slow boat to China”. It’s been a long haul for her, but she deserves the credit.
Cork does not have a high opinion of Goodnight:
Goodnight becomes the film’s bumbling heroine […] She ends the film wandering on Scaramanga’s island in a bikini, blithely causing problems such as setting off a chain reaction that blows the island to bits. Needless to say, Bond finds this exasperating, but left without an alternative, he happily takes her into his arms at film’s end. (62)
Bond also tries to seduce the belly dancer Saida (Carmen Sautoy), but runs out of time. That is also the problem with the delightful Chew Mee (Françoise Thierry), swimming naked in a pool of one of Scaramanga’s (temporary) employers.
Partners: 2. Woman seduces Bond: 2 (Andrea, Goodnight). Bond seduces Woman: 0 . Mutual seductions: 0.
* * *
Ian Fleming’s The Spy who Loved Me (Lewis Gilbert, 1977)
Bond begins his part of the film in the snow-covered Austrian mountains with Log Cabin Girl (Sue Vanner). The audience is not told who seduced whom. Regardless, as soon as Bond is gone, Log Cabin Girl is on the phone to the Soviets, setting Bond up for death.
In Egypt, Bond visits an old mate from Cambridge, Sheikh Hosein (Edward de Souza), in his desert tent. After an offer of sheep’s eyes, Hosein enquires:
“Can I persuade you to accept a bed for the night?”
“That’s kind of you, Hosein, but I really feel I …
An Arab Beauty (Dawn Rodrigues) appears holding a red flower. Bond’s eyes widen.
“Are you quite sure I can’t persuade you to stay the night?”
“When one is in Egypt, one should delve deeply into its treasures.”
Major Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach) is a Soviet agent Bond meets briefly near the Sphinx. He runs into her again at the Mujaba Club, where a game of one-upmanship ensues, both demonstrating how much they know about the other. Amasova:
“Commander James Bond, recruited to the British Secret Service from the Royal Navy. Licensed to kill and has done so on numerous occasions. Many lady friends but married only once. Wife killed in …
“All right, you’ve made your point.”
Given Amasova is clearly a brilliant and well-informed spy, it is extraordinary that she doesn’t know of Bond’s betrothal to Kissy (in You Only Live Twice). Bond has been married twice, not once.
Bond runs into Amasova again on a felucca sailing along the Nile:
“It’s getting cold.”
“Is there anything I can do to warm you up?”
“You don’t have to worry about me, Mr Bond. I went on a survival course in Siberia.”
“Yes, I believe a great many of your countrymen do. … What did they teach you there?”
“That it’s very important to have a positive mental attitude?” […]
“When necessary, shared … bodily … warmth.”
“That’s the part I like.”
Naturally, Bond thinks he is onto a winner (he is far less suspicious than Connery’s Bond), but all he gets is the powder from a fake cigarette blown into his face. Yet again, Bond is at the mercy of a Woman.
Told by “M” that he is now to work with Amasova, Bond tries to seduce her on a train and fails. After rescuing her from the teeth of Jaws (Richard Kiel), they happily share a bunk together.
At the end, they are snuggled together in a sea-rescue capsule.
Bond wants to sleep with Felicca (Olga Bisera), but has no time. Ditto Hotel Receptionist (Valerie Leon).
Presumably Bond does have time to make a play for Naomi (Caroline Munro), along with the other Arab Beauties, but there is no evidence he tries.
Partners: 3. Woman seduces Bond: 0. Bond seduces Woman: 0. Mutual seductions: 3 (Log Cabin Girl, Arab Beauty, Anya).
* * *
Ian Fleming’s Moonraker (Lewis Gilbert, 1979)
Bond’s most notable screen failure is probably Hostess Private Jet (Leila Shenna) in the pre-credits sequence. He does his best to woo her (he’s on “the last leg”, as a verbal lead-in from Moneypenny has it), but she pulls a gun on him.
Corinne Dufour (Corinne Clery), a helicopter pilot for the Drax Corporation, flies Bond to the French château of Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale), transposed most unconvincingly to California from France. But then Drax has a thing for European possessions on his estate, including Lady Victoria Devon (Françoise Gayat), Countess Labinsky (Catherine Serre), Mademoiselle Deradier (Béatrice Libert) and Signoria Del Mateo (Chicinou Kaeppler). Bond has no time to properly make their acquaintances.
Bond enters Corinne’s boudoir at night to find her dressed in a silk négligée. She has clearly been hoping he will come and immediately begins flirting:
“My mother gave me a list of things not to do on a first date.”
“Maybe you won’t need it. It’s not what I came for.”
“No? What do you want, then?”
“Would your feelings be shattered if I were to say information?”
“Why should I tell you anything?”
Bond kisses her.
“You presume a great deal, Mr Bond.”
He kisses her again. She walks to the bed, tempting him more. But rather than cuddle her, Bond quizzes her for information and she makes a few vague remarks about a “secret laboratory”. She then lies back, tempting Bond once more to make love to her.
“What about that list of your mother’s?”
“I never learned to read.”
Realizing he has no choice, Bond makes love to her. She has completely seduced him.
Bond has no time for Blonde Beauty (Irka Bochenko) and Museum Guide (Anne Lonnberg), both at the Venini glass showroom.
The dalliance with Manuela (Emily Bolton) is a close call (and generally regarded as the fastest seduction in Bond history). She sits provocatively on a couch, in a see-through outfit that falls away to reveal a naked leg. Bond is not one to remain unstirred, asking “how do you kill five hours in Rio if you don’t Samba?”
Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles) is a Vassar-educated astronaut from NASA, working on secondment to the Drax corporation.
John Cork writes that, “She is just as conniving as Bond when it comes to the mercenary use of sex.” (63) This is true.
Bond breaks into her suite at Venice’s Hotel Danieli, where he plays with various of her possessions: a pen that injects poison, a diary that fires darts, a perfume bottle that sprays fire.
“Standard CIA equipment and the CIA placed you with Drax, correct?”
“Very astute of you, James.”
“Oh, not really. I have friends in low places.”
“Could this possibly the moment for us to pool our resources?”
“It could have its compensations.”
She kisses Bond, but he is far more interested in opening and searching her desk drawer. When he realizes she will never be honest with him, he gives in to her seduction:
“Oh, I suppose you’re right, Holly. We would be better off working together? Détente.”
They fall into bed and make love. As with Major Anya Amasova in The Spy Who Loved Me, one gets the impression Bond is trailing the Woman in talent and nous. No matter: Holly and Bond happily end the film congressing weightlessly in space.
Partners: 3. Woman seduces Bond: 2 (Corinne, Holly). Bond seduces Woman: 1 (Manuela). Mutual seductions: 0. Failures: 1 (Hostess).
* * *
For Your Eyes Only (John Glen, 1981)
It does not happen often, but Bond rejects a very willing candidate in Bibi (Lynn-Holly Johnson), on the bizarre grounds that she is too young. Tim Greaves refers to “the teenager’s ebullience” (64) in his fastidiously researched The Bond Women: 007 Style, but Bibi’s age is never given in the film. Johnson was 21 at the time of filming and looks it.
For Bond to turn down an attractive and naked twentysomething is irresponsible, given she is being mentored by the probable Villain. The situation is made worse by his inane comment: “You get your clothes on and I’ll buy you an ice cream.” What were the scriptwriters and director thinking?
Bond has to wait till he meets Countess Lisl (Cassandra Harris) before he finds anyone with whom he wishes to embrace. She is having dinner with Columbo (Topol) on a casino terrace in Corfu. They argue, she leaves and Bond offers her a lift to her beach house.
“May I call you tomorrow, Countess?”
“I’m a night person. I have champagne and oysters in the fridge.”
Bond enters and the inevitable happens.
Afterwards, by the open fire, Bond asks:
“What did Columbo whisper to you [on the casino terrace]?”
“That you were a spy. To find out all about you.”
“And have you?”
“Have I ever!”
Thus, Lisl has seduced Bond on Columbo’s orders, and Bond was happy to play along.
Melina (Carole Bouquet) is a classic Bond heroine, independent and feisty. Like Tilly Masterson in the film Goldfinger, she takes it upon herself to right a family wrong and kill the killer of a loved one. Bond is patronising towards her, but she is doing just fine.
In the end, all Bond does sexually onscreen with Melina is take a nude swim. Moments beforehand, they are seen kissing on a boat in their bathrobes. This often implies a post-coital moment, but not here. As they stand and get ready for a midnight dip, Bond pushes the robe from her shoulders, leaving her naked.
“For your eyes only, darling.”
Melinda says this in such a way it can only mean Bond hasn’t seen her naked before. However, the swim implies sexual congress is not far off and it will be mutual.
Partners: 2. Woman seduces Bond: 1 (Lisl). Bond seduces Woman: 0. Mutual seductions: 1 (Melina). Bond rejects Woman: 1 (Bibi).
* * *
Octopussy (John Glen, 1983)
Bianca (Tina Hudson) works with Bond during the pre-credits sequence in an unnamed South American country. There is a hint of a past romantic closeness and Bond says he will meet her again in Miami, but there really isn’t anything to suggest Bianca and Bond have, or ever will, make love. His goodbye kiss to her is way too chaste.
At Headquarters, Miss Moneypenny has an assistant, Penelope Smallbone (Michaela Clavell), but her brief meeting with Bond suggests any future relationship with 007 is as unlikely as one with Moneypenny.
The film’s first real Bond Woman is Magda (Kristina Wayborn). She is first seen working with Kamal Khan (Louis Jordan) – Tim Greaves believes she is his girlfriend (65) – at an auction for a Fabergé egg. Later at a hotel in India, she invites him to her dinner table. A photographer takes their picture and Magda does all the running.
“You don’t mind?”, Magda asks.
“Why, has Kamal forgotten what I look like already?”
“It’s for me.”
“So that if I should depart this world suddenly you’ll have something to remember me by?”
“Something like that. It’s for my scrapbook. I collect memories.”
“Well. Let’s get on with making a few.
Later, post-sex and holding an empty champagne glass, Magda utters one of the franchise’s most outrageous double entendres: “I need refilling.” Not surprisingly, Bond does a double-take.
Octopussy (Maud Adams) tries to buy Bond’s services at her palace:
“Oh James, we are two of a kind. There are vast rewards for a man of your talents willing to take risks.”
“I’m not for hire.”
“Oh, a man of principle … with a price on his head. Naturally, you’ll do it for Queen and Country. I have no country. I have no price on my head.
She goes to her bedroom, where they fall onto the bed.
At the end, they are cuddled together on Octopussy’s boat on her lake. It is the first time Bond has finished a film in a Bond Woman’s domain.
While staying nearly 48 hours at Octopussy’s ‘floating’ palace, Bond has plenty of opportunity to seduce some of the 17 Octopussy Girls, but appears to make no effort in that direction. But then Roger Moore’s Bond is starting to look a little too world-weary for such activities.
The same problem may be at work with the servant Schatzi (Brenda Cowling). When she shows Bond to his guest room, she flirts outrageously. It is an offer he implies he will follow up, but we know he won’t.
Partners: 2. Woman seduces Bond: 1 (Magda). Bond seduces Woman: 0. Mutual seductions: 1 (Octopussy).
* * *
Never Say Never Again (Irvin Kershner, 1983)
First up in this remake of Thunderball is Patricia (Prunella Gee), a doctor at Shrublands. When she works on his spine, Bond quips:
“You know, there is a more beneficial therapy for a man’s lower back.
“Really? And what might that be?”
She gives his back a good crack.
Later, at night, Patricia comes to his room.
“I thought I’d surprise you, James.”
“Well, you have. Come in.”
Soon they are in bed. Mark that down to Patricia.
The feisty Fatima (Barbara Carrera) crashes into Bond’s arms when she water-skies up the ramp to a water’s-edge bar:
“Oh, how reckless of me. I made you all wet.”
“Yes, but my martini’s still dry.”
During the subsequent conversation, Fatima does all the leading.
Later, on a boat, it is the same, Fatima tossing Bond a wetsuit:
“Ah, I think that will take care of you perfectly.”
“I’m sure it will. You’re remarkably well-equipped.”
“Thank you …”
Bond starts undressing.
“You affect me, James.”
“Well, that’s bad. Going down, one should always be relaxed … Is it far to the reef?”
“Far enough. We’ve got time to kill.
Fatima embraces Bond and soon they are having sex, something rarely seen in a Bond movie.
Then there is the fishing-keen Lady in Bahamas (Valerie Leon). She and Bond meet briefly and exchange pleasantries. Later, he gives her fishing line a good tug, emerging from underwater in his wetsuit:
“It’s you!”, she exclaims.
“Well, you did say you’d catch me later.”
They return to the hotel and make love.
Finally, there is Domino (Kim Bassinger), mistress to the evil Largo (Klaus Maria Brandauer). Bond pretends to be her masseuse and works on her back. “Could you go a little lower?”, she inevitably asks.
After dancing with Bond at a casino, she ends the film with Bond snoozing in a swimming pool (the shot makes him rather look old and doddery). Domino hands Bond a fruit cocktail instead of the desired martini. When he complains, Domino remarks:
“You’ll never give up your old habits, James.”
“No, you’re wrong. Those days are over.”
Bond and Domino are acting like a very settled and happy couple. There is no sexy clinch, but few would doubt that they have been lovers for quite a while, which may explain Bond’s lethargy.
Partners: 4. Woman seduces Bond: 2 (Patricia, Fatima). Bond seduces Woman: 0. Mutual seductions: 2 (Lady, Domino).
* * *
A View to a Kill (John Glen, 1985)
This is an equal high watermark for Bond, with four bed partners. But he seduces only one of them, Kimberley Jones (Mary Stavin). Kimberley pilots Bond home from a mission in the Artic in a boat camouflaged as an iceberg. When she moves near him, he revs the engine and she topples down next to him.
“Call me James. It’s five days to Alaska.”
May Day (Grace Jones) is a personal assistant to the dastardly Max Zorin (Christopher Walken). At Zorin’s château at Chantilly, Bond waits naked in bed for May Day to arrive. She sees him from the doorway.
“May Day, where have you been? I’ve been waiting for you to take care of me personally.”
May Day turns to Zorin (unseen by Bond), who nods that she should go in and sleep with him. She silently drops her robe.
“I see you’re a woman of very few words.”
In bed, May Day does a Lilith and insists on being on top.
Pola Ivanova (Fiona Fullerton) is a Soviet spy who, when caught by Bond spying on Zorin’s operation, does the right thing and hops into a hot tub with him. This is, after all, a time of détente, even if Bond and Pola both have double-cross on their minds.
Stacey Sutton (Tanya Roberts) is a good girl, “an ordinary woman in extraordinary circumstances” (66), as Cork puts it. A rather lacklustre heroine (she was duded out of an oil inheritance by Zorin and wants it back), she ends up with Bond in her shower, another rare case of Bond finishing in a Woman’s domain. There is no indication of who led whom there.
Bond never gets near Jenny Flex (Alison Doody), perhaps because Doody was only 19 at the time of filming. Moore’s Bond has become rather age-gap puritanical, as witnessed by his rejection of the 21-year-old Bibi as too young in For Your Eyes Only.
Partners: 4. Woman seduces Bond: 0. Bond seduces Woman: 1 (Kimberly). Mutual seductions: 3 (May Day, Pola, Stacey).
* * *
The Living Daylights (John Glen, 1987)
There was a lot of press coverage when Timothy Dalton was hired to replace Roger Moore. Dalton said the Bond franchise had entered a new, more responsible era and that Bond’s reckless bed hopping would stop. John Cork is a believer:
[The filmmakers] needed to confront a growing crisis. Since the early Eighties, the spectre of AIDS/HIV had brought serious reconsideration of the more casual aspects of the sexual revolution. By 1986, health professionals urged restraint and responsibility in the media in the depiction of sex.
In The Living Daylights, for the first time, it is not clear whether or not Bond ever sleeps with any of the women he meets on his mission […] Bond first meets a woman (Kell Tyler) on a yacht who offers him champagne, but he never even kisses her on-screen. (67)
What actually happens is Bond parachutes out of a jeep that is falling from the Rock of Gibraltar and guides himself towards a large pleasure craft. Lying there in a bikini is Girl on Yacht (Kell Tyler), holding a champagne glass and talking on an early model mobile phone:
“It’s so boring here […] There’s nothing but playboys and tennis pros. If only I could find a real man.
Bond lands on the deck, near the Woman.
“I need to use your phone”, he says. […] “Exercise Control 007 here. I’ll report in an hour.”
Girl on Yacht hands him a glass of champagne. Bond smiles.
“Better make that two.”
Apart from this being an obvious reprise of the moment by the river between Bond and Sylvia in From Russia, With Love, there is absolutely no doubt Bond and Girl on Yacht are about to have sex. Cork has overly bought the press hype.
Next up is the Czechoslovakian cellist Kara Milovy (Maryam d’Abo), girlfriend and pawn of General Georgi Koskov (Jeroen Krabbé). Cork claims that she and Bond never sleep together during the film, but they do … twice.
The first time is on the Ferris wheel in Vienna. Beforehand, as they walk around the amusement park, Kara tells Bond: “Take me on the wheel.” The pun is deliberate.
Aboard, Bond switches off the cabin’s interior light. Soon after, the Ferris wheel stops, with Bond and Kara at the zenith.
“What’s wrong?”, Kara asks. “Why did we stop?”
“I arranged it. We could be here all night.”
Bond moves across and tries to kiss her.
“Don’t”, she says. “It’s impossible. Knowing you only two days and all I can think of is how we would be together.
“Don’t think. Just let it happen.”
Bond lays Kara gently down on the bench seat, John Barry’s “Bond Love Theme” soaring on the soundtrack and the camera panning to a stuffed elephant’s very long nose. Surely, there is no doubt what any of this means.
The second time is at the hideout of Kamran Shah (Art Malik), Bond and Kara shown starting to make love in their guest bedroom.
Unusually for the series, it is clear that the Woman, Kara, is leaving Bond at the end – on a world concert tour.
So, even though Timothy Dalton said in press interviews Bond only slept with one Woman (which one did he have in mind?), and despite the sensitive New Age tone to Bond’s dialogue (“Don’t think. Just let it happen.”), Bond goes to bed with two women, the franchise standard.
Of the non-partners, Rubavitch (Virginia Hey) is the girlfriend of General Leonid Pushkin (John Rhys-Davies). Bond treats her in a most ungentlemanly manner, ripping her clothes off in the name of duty. But has no interest in her.
There is a new Miss Moneypenny (Caroline Bliss) and she seems genuinely interested in Bond, rather than just flirting with him as Lois Maxwell’s Moneypenny did. The end result is the same.
Other women include Liz (Catherine Rabett) and Ava (Duliece Liecer). Bond turns down their offer to party. He didn’t realize it at the time, but they work for Felix Leiter (John Terry).
Finally, there is the Czech pipeline worker, Rosika Miklos (Julie T. Wallace), but Bond spends just seconds with her.
Partners: 2. Woman seduces Bond: 0. Bond seduces Woman: 1 (Kara). Mutual seductions: 1 (Girl on Yacht). Bond rejects Woman: 2 (Liz, Ava).
* * *
Licence to Kill (John Glen, 1989)
Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell) is a freelance pilot who does jobs for both the CIA and Felix Leiter (David Hedison). She and Bond make a getaway together in a powerboat, but it runs out of fuel. Pam:
“‘Out of gas.’ I haven’t heard that one in a long time.”
After Pam and Bond verbally test each other out, Pam moves forward, touches some blood on his check and kisses him.
“Why don’t you wait till you’re asked?”
“Then why don’t you ask me?”
They end the film fully clothed in a swimming pool.
Lupe Lamora (Talisa Soto) is the girlfriend of a psychotic drug baron, Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi), who whips her when he’s mad. It takes a long time for her to get to bed with Bond, seducing him in a guest bedroom at Sanchez’s house.
At the end, though, Bond cruelly tosses her aside for Pam. Some audience members find it odd Bond opts for dull old Pam over Lupe, who has a ‘broken wing’ like other great Fleming heroines (68). But even those few who like this film don’t consider it a true Bond film. It is just a not-very-bright action movie that Bond mistakenly wandered into. No wonder Timothy Dalton opted out.
Partners: 2. Woman seduces Bond: 1 (Lupe). Bond seduces Woman: 0. Mutual seductions: 1 (Pam).
* * *
GoldenEye (Martin Campbell, 1995)
Pierce Brosnan’s Bond begins the film driving through the South of France at great speed with Caroline (Serena Gordon), who is supposed to be evaluating him psychologically, but probably knows more about him physically.
“James, it is really necessary to drive quite so fast?
“More often than you think.”
“I enjoy a spirited ride as much as the next girl, but …”
Bond sees Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen) pull alongside in a red Ferrari.
“Who’s that?”, Caroline wonders aloud.
“The next girl.”
After Bond dangerously races Xenia’s Ferrari, Caroline tells Bond to stop the car. He does so, dramatically:
“As you can see, I have no problem with female authority.”
He then reveals a bottle of chilled bottle Bollinger in the centre console.
“James, you’re incorrigible. What am I going to do with you?”
“Let’s toast your evaluation, shall we?”
Xenia Onatopp is one of the wildest women in cinema. Her sexual pleasure at seeing and delivering death and destruction is awesome. She and Bond flirt many times, and Xenia tries hard to squash him to death, but Bond never sleeps with her.
Natalya Simonova (Izabella Scorupco) is a Russian computer programmer. Kidnapped by Janus (Sean Bean), she is placed in a helicopter with Bond to meet the Grim Reaper. Bond, of course saves her, and does so again after the train on which they are trapped blows up.
“Do you destroy every vehicle you get into?”
“Standard Operating Procedure … Boys with toys.”
When they are next seen, driving through Cuba in a car, it is obvious they have spent intimate time together. They end the film in a helicopter – safely, this time.
She is a strong, forceful character. She even hijacks an enemy helicopter to help save Bond from a collapsing satellite transmitter. (69)
One should expect nothing less from a Bond Woman.
Bond also flirts with a (yet another) new Moneypenny (Samantha Bond), but gets no closer to her than her predecessors.
That is also the case with the new M (Judi Dench). There is certainly a lively tension between Bond and his boss, but it probably isn’t sexual.
Partners: 2. Woman seduces Bond: 0. Bond seduces Woman: 1 (Caroline). Mutual seductions: 1 (Natalya). Failures: 1 (Xenia).
* * *
Tomorrow Never Dies (Roger Spottiswoode, 1997)
Bond is first seen (post-credits) in bed with Danish Professor Inga Bergstrom (Cecile Thomsen). There is no indication of how they got there. One must assume it was mutual.
At the launch party for Elliott Carver (Jonathan Pryce), Bond meets a blonde PR Lady (Daphne Deckers), but time allows for no distractions. In fact, he doesn’t even experience any frissons from her presence.
This same lack of Bondian desire is shown to the blonde woman standing next to Carver. What is happening here? Has Bond lost it?
Paris Carver (Teri Hatcher) is an old flame of Bond’s, but now married to the insane Elliott. She comes to Bond’s Atlantic Hotel room to seduce him:
“I was curious who Carver would send.”
“He’s on to you.”
“Well, we know where you stand. You made your bed.” […]
She closes the door.
“Why did you marry him?”
“He told me he loved me.”
“Oh, that sounds good.”
“Do you know I used to look in the papers every day for your obituary.”
“Well, I’m sorry I keep disappointing you.”
“What was it, James? Did I get too close? Did I get too close for comfort?”
They kiss and go to bed.
Chinese agent Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh), after the usual feisty banter with Bond, has to wait till the end on a raft to get close to him. She seems in control of the seduction, but let’s call it mutual.
“They’re looking for us, James.”
“Let’s stay undercover.”
That’s it? Are the filmmakers kidding?
Despite the lush and romantic score from David Arnold, the pairing of Bond and Wai Lin is easily the weakest (so far) in any Bond movie. There is zero spark.
Cork disagrees, finding the lack of chemistry a plus:
The pair work as a team, and remarkably, have no sexual interplay, or even much flirting before the film draws to a close. […] Wai Lin’s sex appeal comes from her abilities and her confidence and not just her physical beauty. She carries just as much self-assurance as 007, and she carries it well. (70)
Partners: 3. Woman seduces Bond: 1 (Paris). Bond seduces Woman: 0. Mutual seductions: 1 (Inga). Probable mutual seductions: 1 (Wai Lin).
* * *
The World is Not Enough (Michael Apted, 1999)
After Cigar Girl (Maria Grazia Cucinotta) turns into a terrorist and slips from his grasp, and life, Bond seduces Dr Molly Warmflash (Serena Scott Thomas). Bond makes the moves, but Molly demands her pound of flesh (“You’d have to promise to call me … this time”).
Elektra (Sophie Marceau), one of the great Bond Women, is a psychotic Villain in the grand tradition of Xenia Onatopp.
At a casino, Elektra risks $1million on high-card draw.
“Wait”, Bond says to the croupier. “Bury the top three cards.”
“You’re determined to protect me, aren’t you?”, says Elektra.
“Perhaps from yourself. You don’t have to do this.”
“There’s no point in living if you can’t feel alive.”
Elektra loses and gets up to leave.
“Elektra, this is a game I can’t afford to play.”
They are next seen in bed.
Elektra is an accomplished seductress, playing the strong, confident superwoman when it suits, and displaying a childlike fragility when that facade will help achieve her goals. The combination is exhilarating and enticing for 007. As producer Barbara Broccoli said […] ‘Bond thinks he has found Tracy […], but he’s really found Blofeld.’ (71)
Christmas Jones (Denise Richards) is a nuclear physicist who doesn’t like Xmas jokes. Fortunately, Bond has others in his repertoire. When she and Bond jump down from the exploded pipeline, Christmas remarks:
“The world’s greatest terrorist running around with six kilos of weapons-grade plutonium can’t be good. I gotta get it back or someone’s gonna have my ass.”
“First things first.”
At the end the film, in a hotel bed, Bond does get to tell another Xmas joke, the infamously corny, “I thought Christmas only comes once a year.”
Partners: 3. Woman seduces Bond: 0. Bond seduces Woman: 1 (Molly). Mutual seductions: 2 (Elektra, Christmas).
* * *
Die Another Day (Lee Tamahori, 2002)
Bond sleeps with two women. The first is Jinx (Halle Berry), the least successful Bond Woman in film history. At least she lets Tomorrow Never Die’s Wai Lin off the hook.
Bond sees Jinx emerge from the water in a listless redoing of Honey’s Rider’s defining moment in Dr. No. It goes downhill from there:
“Magnificent view”, Bond remarks to Jinx.
“It is, isn’t it. Too bad it’s lost on everybody else.” [Meaning what, exactly]
“I can learn to like it … if I had the time.”
“How much time have you got?”
The scene is so badly acted – apart from Berrry’s gaucheness, Brosnan looks as if he’d rather be at the dentist having root-canal work – it feels as if sex together is the last these two secret agents would ever wish to endure. But into bed they tumble.
The other Woman, and one of finest in Bond films, is, of course, Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike), British secret agent and terribly naughty lady. Her dialogue with Bond is some of the best ever written.
After a duel with Graves (Toby Stephens), Bond says to Miranda:
“Can I expect the pleasure of you in Iceland?”
“I’m afraid you’ll never have that pleasure, Mr Bond.”
Cork writes, “As her name implies, she is emotionally cold and remains unimpressed with Bond when the pair meet.” (72) The opposite is surely true. One can immediately sense the emotional and sexual fire within Miranda, just as one does in the icy blondes in Alfred Hitchcock’s films. A disinterested woman would not say, “I’m afraid you’ll never have that pleasure, Mr Bond.” She would simply walk away.
In an extraordinary tense and rich scene, Miranda then meets with M (Judi Dench):
“Before you leave on your mission for Iceland”, M says, “tell me what you know of James Bond.”
“He’s a 00 and a wild one as I discovered today. He’ll light the fuse on any explosive situation and be a danger to himself and others. Kill first, ask questions later. I think he’s a blunt instrument whose primary method is to provoke and confront. A man no one can get close to. A womaniser.”
Brilliant! So brilliant, in fact, the filmmakers borrowed Miranda’s “blunt instrument” remark and gave it to M to say in Casino Royale, where critics enthused so enthusiastically that one wonders if any of them actually saw Die Another Day.
The sexual energy of the Miranda’s tirade (and the brilliant ordering of Bond’s faults, ending with “A womaniser”) is turned by Pike, an actress on fire with her part, into one of the great Bond Woman moments.
Miranda’s encounter with Bond in a snow-covered car park is just as good.
Bond is walking away from some of Graves’ thugs, when Miranda reaches out and grabs him. Before he can blink, she is kissing him.
“M warned me this would happen.”
“Oh, that’s why you tried so hard not to be interested in me.”
“Oh god, you’re even worse than your file says.” (Pike’s delivery of that line gets this writer’s vote as the sexiest repartee in Bond.)
Bond and Miranda observe the thugs
“They don’t look convinced”, Bond says. “Come on, put your back into it, heh?”
They kiss again.
“Remember, I know all about you, 007. Sex for dinner, death for breakfast. Well, it’s not going to work with me.” […]
They kiss even more passionately.
“Mmmm, You’re getting good at this.”
“Oh, stop it. …. Are we still being watched?”
“No, they left ages ago.”
“Oh god, you’re impossible. […]”
And into bed they go. Not that that weakens Miranda’s resolve. Next morning, Graves orders her to kill Bond and she is thrilled:
“I enjoyed last night, James, but it really is death for breakfast.”
The greatest mistake this film makes – and it makes many – is that Bond is not allowed to kill Miranda.
Bond is too smart to get playful with Peaceful (Rachel Grant), realizing she is a Chinese agent before the audience can even blink an eye. Verity (a libelled Madonna; she acts just fine) is just there for moral support.
Partners: 2. Woman seduces Bond: 0. Bond seduces Woman: 0. Mutual seductions: 2 (Jinx, Miranda).
* * *
Casino Royale (Martin Campbell, 2006)
In this, the masterwork of all Bond films and the only one seriously faithful to Fleming, Bond (Daniel Craig) sleeps with just one Woman: Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), the greatest of cinema’s Bond Woman. (Many writers list Solange (Caroline Murino) as a bed partner, but it is clear that Bond leaves her before things get serious.)
Vesper and Bond meet on the train to Montenegro.
“I’m the money”, she says.
“Every penny of it”, he replies.
After they finish eating dinner, the dialogue turns razor-sharp. Vesper:
“Now, having just met you, I wouldn’t go so far as calling you a cold-hearted bastard […] but it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine you think of women as disposable pleasures rather than meaningful pursuits. So, as charming as you are Mr Bond, I will be keeping my eye on our government’s money and off your perfectly formed arse.”
The subsequent dinner in the casino restaurant after Bond beats Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) at Texas Hold ‘Em is even more astonishing, but let’s leap to Lake Como, where Bond is recovering from near emasculation. Vesper is with him as he wakes:
“You all right?”, Bond asks.
“I can’t resist waking you up. Every time I do, you look at me as if you haven’t seen me in years. Makes me feel reborn.”
“If you’d just been born, wouldn’t you be naked?”
“You have me there.”
Vesper leans forward and whispers.
“You can have me anywhere.”
“Yeah. Here, there, anywhere you like.”
“Does this mean that you’re warming to me?”
“Yeah, that’s how I would describe it.”
“It’s just that not so long ago I would have described your feelings towards me as … I’m trying to think of a better word than loathing.”
“I’m a frank and complicated woman.”
“That is something to be afraid of.”
After the Swiss banker arrives to arrange payment to Bond, Vesper adds:
“You know, James … I just want you to know that if all that was left of you was your smile and your little finger, you’d still be more of a man than anyone I’ve ever met.”
“That’s because you know what I can do with my little finger.”
“I’ve no idea.”
“But you’re aching to find out.”
She shakes her head slightly.
“You’re not going to let me in, are you? You’ve got your armour back on. That’s that.”
“I have no armour left. You stripped it from me. Whatever is left of me … whatever is left of me, whatever I am … I’m yours.”
The desire and caring is mutual. But then Vesper commits suicide, brilliantly visualised by director Martin Campbell in a sunken Venetian lift. This is a love story with the romanticism and dramatic power of Leo McCarey at his best. And, like in Love Affair (1939) and An Affair to Remember (1957), it is about a man who must deconstruct himself down to almost zero so that he can, in the rebuilding, become a man receptive to, and deserving of, love.
Just imagine what might have been had the Bond film series started with an intelligent adaptation like this of the first and greatest Bond novel, and then carefully worked forward. At least today’s producers have had the great common sense to make Quantum of Solace (Marc Forster, 2008) follow on from Casino Royale.
Partners: 1. Woman seduces Bond: 0. Bond seduces Woman: 0. Mutual seductions: 1.
* * *
Quantum of Solace (Marc Forster, 2008)
For those capable of believing anything, the ghastly named Strawberry Fields (Gemma Arterton) has some vague affiliation with British Intelligence. Clearly a young woman way out of her depth, she meets Bond and Mathis at La Paz airport. The dialogue, sadly, is not up to its predecessor’s standards:
“Mr Bond, my name is Fields. I’m from the consulate.”
“Of course you are. And what do you do at the consulate, Fields?”
“That’s not important. My orders are to turn you around and put you on the first plane back to London. […] Mr Bond, these orders come from the highest possible authority.”
“Taxi! Fields, when is the next flight to London?”
“Well then, we have all night.”
“If you attempt to flee, I will arrest you, drop you off in the gaol and take you to the plane in chains. Understand?”
“Perfectly. After you.”
“I think she has handcuffs”, adds Mathis.
“Do hope so”, Bond replies.
Soon after, with no build up other than Bond asking Strawberry to help him find the hotel stationery, Bond and Strawberry are in bed. The audience at the Melbourne preview screening gave a loud gasp of disbelief. There had been so little spark between them, so little screen time together, that their having sex feels absurd.
The scriptwriters try to dig themselves out of the hole by later having M denounce Bond for his callous seduction of the females he meets, including Strawberry. But, of course, M was not there and has absolutely no idea what happened. So, why does M think it was Bond’s fault? How moronic does M think women are that Bond can so easily brainwash them?
This is what happened. Bond looked at Strawberry from an adjoining room and said: I can’t find the … um … the stationery. Come and help me look.” Strawberry gives a gasp of annoyance, thinks for a second and then her eyes glow with desire. Clearly, she has wanted Bond from the word go and, after realizing he is interested, she happily goes for it. Thus, Strawberry is a typically independent Bond Woman, and not the stupid and easily manipulated pawn M assumed.
Not long after, Strawberry is found naked and dead, drowned in oil. Rather than try and eke some drama or pathos from the moment, director Marc Forster goes instead for the cheap effect of mimicking the death scene of Jill Masterton/Masterson in Goldfinger, where she is found naked and painted gold.
The other Bond Woman is Camille (Olga Kurylenko), who is perfectly suited to Bond on many levels, but he shows little sexual interest in her … and vice versa. Their parting at the end suggests that, had they both not been haunted by events from the past – she by the murder of her father, he the death of Vesper – they might have had a chance. But the scene comes out of nowhere and is largely at odds with their body language in the rest of the film.
Camille, therefore, must be counted as a failure for Bond. However, as Quantum of Solace has no real ending – it feels like the last page of a chapter in an epic and tiresome book – it is possible there could be a romantic resolution in the future. But Quantum of Solace is so dire a movie, so bleak and incoherent an experience, that it would be better if the producers scrapped what they are doing, got rid of the joyless Paul Haggis and his grim cohorts, and started again from scratch. First up, they should call director Martin Campbell and plead, “Help!”
Partners: 1. Woman seduces Bond: 0. Bond seduces Woman: 0. Mutual seductions: 1. Failures: 1.
|FILM||PARTNERS||WOMAN SEDUCES BOND||BOND SEDUCES WOMAN||MUTUAL SEDUCTIONS (incl. PROBABLES)||FAILURES||BOND REJECTS WOMAN|
|From Russia With Love||4||1||0||3||0||0|
|You Only Live Twice||3||2||0||1||0||0|
|On Her Majesty’s Secret Service||3||2||1||0||0||0|
|Diamonds are Forever||1||1||0||0||0||0|
|Live and Let Die||3||1||1||1||0||0|
|The Man with the Golden Gun||2||2||0||0||0||0|
|The Spy who Loved Me||3||0||0||3||0||0|
|For Your Eyes Only||2||1||0||1||0||1|
|Never Say Never Again||4||2||0||2||0||0|
|A View to a Kill||4||0||1||3||0||0|
|The Living Daylights||2||0||1||1||0||2|
|Licence to Kill||2||1||0||1||0||0|
|Tomorrow Never Dies||3||1||0||2||0||0|
|The World is Not Enough||3||0||1||2||0||0|
|Die Another Day||2||0||0||2||0||0|
|Quantum of Solace||1||0||0||1||1||0|
In the 24 official and non-‘official’ Bond films (so far), Bond sleeps with 60 women. There are three ‘failures’ (where Bond tries hard and fails), one ‘almost’ (time beats him) and one ‘incomprehensible’ (Bond makes no effort when they are perfect for each other).
As well, there are 93 other Women Bond has time to seduce, or be seduced by, but doesn’t. That means, Bond sleeps with 60 of 153 Women or 39%. (That is not counting the other 114 or so Women he meets but doesn’t have the time to test his luck with.)
Of the 60 bed (and floor, boat, raft, space, etc.) partners, 30 (or 50%) are mutual seductions. Bond only seduces 11 women (18.3%), while he is seduced 19 times (31.7%).
In other words, Bond is almost twice as likely to be seduced by a Woman as he is to seduce her. Why do academics (and M) insist otherwise?
* * *
Bond’s Women are young, hence “girl”
Eco: “The general scheme is (1) the girl […]”
Bennett and Woollacott: “It is, moreover, always a girl he encounters, never a woman.” (73)
Snelling: “Of course, almost without exception the girls in the books are fresh, young and sexually exciting” (74)
Umberto Eco repeatedly refers to “the girl” (as, indeed, does Fleming). Furio Colombo in The Bond Affair goes even further and employs the term “girl-child” (75).
In the novels, Fleming gives nine specific ages and there are clues to five others. The youngest is Honeychile Rider (20), the oldest Vesper Lynd and Pussy Galore (both in their thirties). The average age is at least 25.
She is always a Woman, never a girl.
Producer Albert R. Broccoli insisted that Bond’s love or sex interest must be a woman, not a girl, “Otherwise it becomes rape. Bond’s ladies […] must give the impression of being experienced with men.” (76)
Character ages are rarely given in films, but the average age of the actresses at the start of principal photography (and many had birthdays during production) is 27.8.
Yet again, these are Women, not girls.
* * *
Eco: “the girl is beautiful”
Response to physical beauty is, of course, largely subjective. However, it is clear that Fleming wished that most of his female characters be seen as physically attractive. And, in his attempts to render them so, he created a physical type to which most of Bond’s romantic interests conform.
The mistake made by commentators is to claim these Women are usually blonde. Amis, for one, gets it wrong in The James Bond Dossier (77) and again in The Book of Bond or Every Man His Own 007, written under the pseudonym of Lt.-Col. William (‘Bill’) Tanner. (78) A study of the novels shows that Fleming has a clear preference for women with black or dark-brown hair. There are only four (out of 16) true blondes: Tiffany Case, Honeychile Rider, Jill Masterton and Ruby Windsor. Mary Goodnight once had blue-black hair but now it is golden, while Tracy di Vicenzo’s is described as fair.
In fact, the Bond Woman archetype can be paraphrased as:
Dark hair; blue eyes; high cheek bones; small nose; wide, sensuous mouth; clean sweeping jawline; lightly suntanned skin; little-to-no make-up and jewellery; about 5’7” in height; and, as Kingsley Amis writes, with “fine, firm, faultless, splendid, etc., breasts” (79).
The most common hair shade of the Bond Women in the cinema is also dark, not fair. It would be impolite to generalise further about the actresses’ physical attributes.
* * *
Eco: “the girl is […] good”
Inner goodness may not always be readily apparent, given that several of the Bond Women are working for the Villain. However, “good” is an accurate description of 15 of Fleming’s 16 major Bond Women. Tiffany is the worry.
The films differ from the novels in that several of Bond’s companions are evil, rather than just in service of a Villain. One thinks, in the early films, of Miss Taro, Bonita, Fiona and Helga Brandt. More recent ones include Elektra and Miranda Frost.
When Fleming created a truly evil woman, such as Rosa Klebb, he never put her in bed with Bond. The films take a different position, though significantly Bond never sleeps with the pathologically disturbed Xenia Onatopp.
* * *
In the service of the Villain
Eco: “Dominated by the Villain, […] Fleming’s woman has already been previously conditioned to domination […] this has conditioned her to the service of the Villain”
Eco argues this is true of 13 of Fleming’s Bond Women. He does not include in his list: Tracy di Vicenzo, a wealthy playgirl without any connection to the villainous Blofeld; and Vivienne Michel, for reasons already discussed.
However, of the 13 Eco includes, his analysis is not true of:
Gala Brand, a member of the British Special Branch on a mission with Bond. Eco says she “became the secretary of Hugo Drax, and established a relationship of submission to him” (80). Yes, but only by choice. She can hardly infiltrate Drax’s company by being stroppy and uncontrollable. Her submissiveness is fake.
Honeychile Rider is an innocent beachcomber. Eco says she “has a purely symbolic relationship with the power of Dr. No, except that at the end Dr. No offers her naked body to the crabs” (81). The only trouble with that theory is that Honeychile only knows of, and encounters, Doctor No after she has come under Bond’s protection. This is not a case of “previously conditioned”.
Jill Masterton helps Auric Goldfinger cheat at cards. She can hardly be said to be dominated by him. After all, Goldfinger lets her leave with Bond on the train. Had Bond not been so naïve and sent her back, she’d still be alive.
Tilly Masterton is the vengeful sister of Jill. She has never met Goldfinger, so to argue that she is “dominated […] by Goldfinger” (82) is silly. Is the sister of a slain soldier dominated by the person who killed him? Of course not.
Domino Petacchi is Emilio Largo’s mistress. Eco claims she “is subservient to the wishes of Blofeld through the physical relationship with the vicarious figure of Emilio Largo” (83). On those grounds, Eco would have to include practically every human in a sexual or romantic relationship with someone who is answerable to a bad boss. Anyway, Domino is innocent of both Largo’s and Blofeld’s treachery.
Ruby Windsor is a patient at Blofeld’s ‘resort’ who, according to Eco, is “under the hypnotic control of Blofeld” (84). Presumably Eco believes anyone visiting a hypnotist to cure, say, a smoking addiction is being “dominated”. It is a trivialising use of the word.
Kissy Suzuki is a diver for clams. Eco claims Kissy “lives on her island in the shade of the cursed castle of Blofeld, suffering a purely allegorical domination shared by the whole population of the place” (85). That is like saying all Americans are dominated by the inhabitant of the White House.
Of those Fleming Women Eco lists, the only ones left who possibly fit his model are Vesper, Tatiana, Pussy, Solitaire and Tiffany:
Vesper is blackmailed by the Soviets, but the actual Villain is Le Chiffre, who is in danger of being killed by the Soviets. Technically, Vesper isn’t dominated by the Villain but by a subordinate character. However, if one allows a little leeway, Vesper can be included.
Tatiana is blackmailed by Rosa Klebb, certainly the Villain in Tatiana’s life and (sometimes) Bond’s.
Pussy, Solitaire and Tiffany do, at some stage, work for the benefit of the Villain.
In conclusion, only Vesper, Tatiana, Solitaire, Pussy and Tiffany can be meaningfully said to be on “dominated by the Villain”; that is, in only five of Eco’s 13 examples.
The reality is that, of the Fleming’s 16 major Bond Woman, 69 percent are not dominated by the Villain.
Eco is simply wrong.
Eco was writing about the novels, but does his theory hold true for the films? Certainly Tony Bennett and Janet Woollacott think so:
Initially in the service of the villain, and thus on the ‘wrong’ side, in the contest between good and evil […]
The list of possible inclusions is not as long as one may think. There are only 12 Women who are indisputably bad, dominated by the Villain and in his or her service:
Miss Taro (Dr. No)
Pussy Galore (Goldfinger)
Helga Brandt (You Only Live Twice)
Rosie (Live and Let Die)
Log Cabin Girl (The Spy who Loved Me)
Fatima (Never Say Never Again)
May Day (A View to a Kill)
Pola Ivanova (A View to a Kill)
Elektra (The World is Not Enough) and
Miranda Frost (Die Another Day).
Furthermore, there are 2 who are blackmailed by the Villain into bad deeds:
Tatiana (From Russia with Love), a Soviet secret agent being blackmailed by her KGB superior, Rosa Klebb; and
Vesper Lynd (Casino Royale).
Then there are those dominated by, but not truly aiding, the Villain:
Jill Masterson (Goldfinger), who only helps Goldfinger cheat at cards;
Solitaire (Live and Let Die), a clairvoyant working for Kananga Mr. Big. She is terrified of him and, after briefly meeting Bond, lies to him;
Andrea (The Man with the Golden Gun), the girlfriend of the assassin Scaramanga (Christopher Lee). But she hates him. Like Solitaire, she is dominated by the Villain but not in his service;
Corinne Dufour (Moonraker), one of Drax’s pilots. She seems unconnected to his evil;
Kara Milovy (The Living Daylights), girlfriend of General Georgi Koskov (Jeroen Krabbé). She is in his thrall and unable to see his dark side;
Lupe Lamora (Licence to Kill), girlfriend of the ghastly Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi), who whips her. That she stays with him not only suggests that she fears for her life but that she has a thing for bad and powerful men; and
Paris Carver (Tomorrow Never Dies), married to the Villain and dominated by him. The level of her service is debatable.
Bad but unclassifiable:
Tiffany (Diamonds are Forever), who works both for Blofeld and herself. Ultimately, she is too independently minded to be in the service of anyone but herself; and
Magda (Octopussy), who technically works for Octopussy but does a lot of work on the side for Kamal Khan. She doesn’t initially realize how bad a Villain he really is. When she does, she abandons him.
Not really that bad:
Octopussy (Octopussy). She is not really a Villain – a little smuggling and pilfering aside – because she is in no meaningful way at war with Bond or Britain. In fact, she seems a nice enough Woman, who is looking for something and someone to help occupy her overly fertile mind.
Not bad at all:
Domino (Thunderball), innocent ‘niece’ of the evil Largo (Adolfo Celli). She has no knowledge of his criminal activities.
Major Anya Amasova (The Spy Who Loved Me), a Soviet agent working with Bond in a spirit of Anglo-Soviet co-operation. She is no way dominated by a Villain. However, she does want Bond dead after discovering that he killed her lover in Berngarten. However, when faced with the chance to kill Bond aboard a sea-rescue capsule at the end, she chooses instead to share her body heat with him.
Domino (Never Say Never Again), an innocent at the hands of Largo (Klaus Maria Brandauer).
Natalya Sirminova (GoldenEye), a Russian computer programmer who seems loyal to the State. She is not in any way ‘bad’ or dominated.
Strawberry Fields (Quantum of Solace) works for the British Consulate in Bolivia. She is loyal and true.
In the 24 official and non-‘official’ Bond films (so far), Bond sleeps with 60 women. Of these, only 22 are dominated by a Villain in any meaningful way and only 1 (Tiffany) is independently ‘bad’. That is, 37 percent.
To argue, as many do, that the Woman is usually in the service of the Villain is just plain wrong.
* * *
Bond ideologically repositions the ‘girl’ ideologically
Eco: “through meeting Bond [the girl] appreciates human nature in all its richness”
Bennett and Woollacott: In winning ‘the girl’ from the service of the villain and, in the process, into his own bed, Bond ‘repositions’ her both sexually and ideologically.
Eco does not appear to differentiate, as perhaps he ought, between Bond’s mere presence on the scene and his having slept with a Woman. Eco writes of how Bond frees the Woman from the Villain’s domination and, thus, from her unhappy past. In the process, she goes through an ideological transformation: that is, she now sides with Bond instead of the Villain.
There are five Bond Women on the ‘wrong’ side ideologically:
Vesper Lynd, a double agent, sleeps with Bond only near the end of Casino Royale, after the mission is completed. But she does not have a complete ideological transformation and commits suicide. So, in Eco’s terms, she is a failure for Bond.
Solitaire Latrelle has decided to escape Mr. Big before meeting Bond and is waiting for someone to help her. When she decides that person is Bond, she blackmails him into aiding her. Her ideological conversion, therefore, is independent of Bond.
Tiffany Case ideologically abandons her employer after meeting Bond, but well before sleeping with him. However, Fleming makes it clear that she is partially attracted to Bond by the fact he is not a criminal like those she works for and with. It is telling that, when she later suspects Bond of being a crook, she immediately loses interest in him.
Tatiana Romanova sleeps with Bond on their first meeting; she has been ordered to do so by Rosa Klebb, just as Bond has been so instructed by M. Her ideological conversion is post-sex, but Fleming tosses in intriguing hints that Tatiana may have planned a defection to the West before meeting Bond (a result of Klebb’s lesbian attack, perhaps?). However, most of the evidence suggests that her conversion must be put down to Bond’s presence and the sexual magnetism she feels he exudes.
Pussy Galore is one of Bond’s most challenging conquests. But Pussy abandons Goldfinger only at the very last moment: that is, after the raid on Fort Knox. Clearly the decision to defect reflects her sudden realisation that Bond represents a better route to safety than does Goldfinger. One can’t count this as an ideological transformation.
Anyway, the decision was made entirely by Pussy, her contact with Bond to this point having been only minimal and non-sexual. It is thus quite incorrect for Bennett and Woollacott to write:
in repositioning Pussy Galore sexually, Bond also repositions her ideologically, detaching her from the service of the villain and recruiting her in support of his own mission. (86)
Only one Woman changes ideological sides after sleeping with Bond (Tatiana); two do so independently of him (Solitaire, Tiffany); one doesn’t fully (Vesper); and one does after having spent time with Bond, but not having slept with him (Pussy).
This is scant support for Eco’s theory.
Fiona says to Bond in Thunderball:
“James Bond, who only has to make love to a woman and she starts to hear heavenly choirs singing. She repents and immediately returns to the side of right and virtue.”
This may be the perception of Fiona and many critics, but does the evidence support it?
Miss Taro does not change sides ideologically after meeting and sleeping with Bond – she is evil to the end. According to Eco’s criteria, she must be considered a failure for 007.
From Russia With Love
The film leaves until the last moment the revelation of whether Tatiana, a Soviet agent acting under the orders of Rosa Klebb, has had an ideological conversion. When Klebb enters Tatiana and Bond’s hotel suite in Venice, Tania looks as if she has no intention of giving her away to Bond. It is only after Tatiana has left the room that she begins siding with Bond and charges back to disarm Klebb. Her attraction to Bond must be regarded as a primary factor in this decision. However, since she is a victim of blackmail for the entire film, with death her only out, it is absurd to claim she was ever ideologically at one with Klebb’s beliefs. Surely she just sees Bond as a means to escape (a not uncommon Bond Woman situation). Most list Tatiana as a repositioning victory for Bond, but there is no real evidence for it.
In the celebrated opening, Bond leaves Bonita stunned in the floor, totally unrepositioned ideologically.
Pussy Galore converts after sleeping with Bond in the stable. Unlike in the novel, Pussy is ideologically repositioned by Bond.
Bond fails to reposition Fiona, who goes to her death still hell-bent on killing him (Bond expertly spinning her into the path of bullet from one of her associate’s guns). A total failure.
Domino is not a dominated Woman, but she turns against Largo not because of any kiss or sexual passion. As she tells Bond: “James, understand. I’m doing this for my brother.”
As Bond sleeps with no one in this film, there is no chance of any repositioning.
You Only Live Twice
The only ‘bad’ girl Bond has sex with is Helga Brandt, but he fails totally to put her on the straight and narrow. One of his greatest repositioning failures.
One Her Majesty’s Secret Service
No one Bond sleeps with in this film needs ideological repositioning. Irma Bunt is desperately in need of it, but Bond never gets close to her.
Diamonds Are Forever
Tiffany begins on the ‘wrong’ side and ends on the ‘right’, shifted by Bond. But she is such a twitty character that no one really knows in what direction she will flit off on next. Hard to consider her a victory for Bond, but many do.
Live and Let Die
Unlike in the book, Solitaire does not appear to have planned to escape from Kananga Mr. Big before meeting Bond, though she is clearly frightened of him.
At their first meeting in her boss’ Harlem offices, she does a reading for Bond:
“I know who you are, what you are and why you have come. You have made a mistake. You will not succeed.”
This is puzzling. If Solitaire is the brilliant Tarot reader she is supposed to be, why has she got this wrong? (We know Bond will succeed and, indeed, he does.) As Kananga Mr. Big is not within earshot, it is unlikely she is deliberately lying out loud to deceive him – unless, of course, the place is all miked up, which it may be.
As Bond is about to leave, he draws The Lovers card (“Us?”, he asks of Solitaire). She is clearly troubled, but not as much as when she some time later draws The Lovers as representing Bond’s fate in a reading for Kananga Mr. Big. She lies and says she sees death for Bond. This shows she has already changed sides and it is before she sleeps with Bond.
Rosie is still working for the Villain after Bond sleeps with her, so another failure. At least he is there to see her die, shot by a remote-control gun.
The Man with the Golden Gun
Andrea despises Scaramanga and wants him dead. The reason she sleeps with Bond is because she hopes she can seduce (or even pay) him into killing Scaramanga. There is no ideological repositioning here.
The Spy who Loved Me
Bond sleeps with Log Cabin Girl, but she wants him dead as soon as he departs. A dismal failure.
There is only one Woman associated with the Villain with whom Bond makes love and that is Corinne Dufour. She is said by most critics to change sides after sleeping with him. John Cork is one:
Corinne Dufour […] also aids 007. Bond offers to sleep with her if she will uncover information. Corinne goes for the idea, and the following day, Drax, having discovered her treachery, unleashes her guard dogs on her. (87)
But that is not what happens. While Corinne seduces Bond, she does nothing to help Bond in his mission against Drax. She even tries to stop Bond opening Drax’s hidden safe. What she doesn’t do is denounce him to Drax, but that may well have been an attempt to protect herself.
For Your Eyes Only
As Bond never sleeps with anyone associated with the Villain, there is no one to reposition.
Magda is the only Woman who can be said to be in the service of the Villain, and the link is tenuous at best. When she discovers Khan’s connection to General Orlov (Steven Berkoff), she sides with Octopussy, her true boss. So, Bond’s sleeping with her more than an hour of screen time earlier has had no influence on her ideological position.
Never Say Never Again
Bond kills Fatima with the Q-designed pen, having failed totally to reposition her ideologically. No other Women in this film is in need of re-alignment.
A View to a Kill
May Day does change sides, but it is a very long time after sleeping with Bond and only after she has been abandoned by her boss. Bond had nothing to do with this ideological repositioning.
Pola Ivanova fails to cheat Bond out of a cassette tape recording, just as he fails to reposition her. She is naughty to the end.
The Living Daylights
Bond makes love with Kara Milovy on the Vienna Ferris wheel, but that does not stop her drugging him on Koskov’s orders. They later make it to a proper bed, but only after she realizes what a Villain her former boyfriend is. Bond has not repositioned her.
Licence to Kill
Lupe Lamora stays with Sanchez not only because she fears for her life, but because she has a thing for bad and powerful men. She starts helping Bond before he sleeps with her, but this is not a girl in love. She is one with an eye to the main chance.
At the end, Bond jokes that Lupe and President Hector Lopez (Pedro Armendáriz) look perfect together. She even leads him away, clearly to bed, which proves that she still does have an thing for bad and powerful men. In which case, Bond has not repositioned her ideologically.
Bond doesn’t sleep with anyone bad.
Tomorrow Never Dies
The only Woman associated with the Villain Bond sleeps with is old flame Paris Carver. She is like many such Women waiting for a white knight to rescue her from hell. It cannot be said Bond repositions her. After all, she seduces him and is killed almost immediately afterwards.
The World is Not Enough
Despite enjoyable sex with Bond, Elektra tortures him on a garrotte.
“You should have killed me when you had the chance. But you couldn’t, not me, not a woman you have loved.”
“You meant nothing to me … One last screw.”
When Bond is freed and chases Elektra upstairs, she knows she is going to die and is sexually excited at the thought. As he points a gun at her, she says seductively:
“James, you can’t kill me … not in cold blood. […] You’d miss me.”
Bond shoots and kills her.
“I never miss.”
Bond has failed totally to reposition her. She is one of his saddest failures.
Die Another Day
The only ‘bad’ girl is Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike) and she stays bad till the end. Another iconic failure.
Vesper goes to her death, unable to live with what she has done. Blackmailed, she acted against Bond’s interests, but then agrees to steal the Casino Royale money to save his life, knowing he will despise her and that she will inevitably die. Has he repositioned her? Yes. Vesper is Bond’s greatest success and yet his most monumental failure. He is totally unable to understand what was trapping her, and thus save her.
Quantum of Solace
There is no Woman who needs repositioning.
As well, there are the failures where Bond doesn’t even get to first base:
Mei-Lei (Goldfinger) spends hours with Bond, resisting his sexual advances and denying his attempts to turn her to his side.
Hostess Private Jet (Moonraker), whom Bond is totally unable to reposition. His only consolation is that she presumably dies when the plane crashes.
Xenia Onatopp (GoldenEye) never sleeps with Bond, but his presence certainly fails to reposition her ideologically. She dies just as spectacularly bad as ever.
Of Bond’s 23 sexual conquests of women dominated by the Villain, or a Villain in her own right, Bond ideologically repositions only 2 (or 9%).
As well, Bond’s fails to reposition the three ‘bad’ women he is unable to seduce. This means his overall success rate is just 8%.
For Bennett and Woollcott and others to state that Bond inevitably succeeds in ideologically repositioning ‘bad’ girls is just plain wrong.
* * *
Frigid, unhappy (or worse)
Eco: “the girl […] has been made frigid and unhappy by severe trials suffered in adolescence”
Bennett and Woollacott: “[The] enigma takes the form of a disturbing ‘out-of-placeness’ in the respect that, to varying degrees and in different ways, ‘the girl’ departs from the requirements of femininity as specified by patriarchal ideology.” (88)
Snelling: “most of the girls with whom Bond gets mixed up seem to deviate slightly from the norm. You can’t say that there is always a touch of perversion about them – that is far too strong – and aberration isn’t quite the word, either, but there is something a bit queer about the majority of them.” (89)
Writers on Bond have come up with many terms for what they see as a “dislocation” or “deviant” sexuality in the Bond Woman, an “out-of-placeness” or “frigidity”. Many, they claim, have endured “setbacks”. But have they?
Of Fleming’s 16 major Bond Women, the label of sexual “out-of-placeness” applies meaningfully to only five Women, at best:
Tiffany Case (Diamonds are Forever)
Tiffany was raped by a gang of hoods when she was 16. She is lonely and scared. She finds Bond attractive as much for his moral rightness as for his sexuality.
Honeychile Rider (Dr No)
Honeychile was raped at 15 and is a ‘virgin’ at 20. Fleming may portray her as an innocent, or “unformed”, but she has no sexual hang-ups.
Tilly Masterton (Goldfinger)
Tilly is a ‘lesbian’ who later falls for Pussy Galore. (90)
Pussy Galore (Goldfinger)
Pussy was raped at 12 and is a lesbian.
Tracy di Vicenzo (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service)
Tracy di Vicenzo is promiscuous and possibly in need of psychiatric help; Fleming describes her as “A girl with a wing, perhaps two, down.” (91) She is Fleming’s most neurotic heroine, partly because of a short, unhappy marriage and the early death of a child.
Other possibilities for “dislocated” Women, but ultimately rejected, are:
Vesper (Casino Royale)
Bennett and Woollacott include Vesper for a “challenging aggressiveness” (92). However, there is no evidence to support this reading. Rather, Fleming portrays her, as he does almost all his Women, as being independently minded.
Solitaire (Live and Let Die)
Gala Brand (Moonraker)
Bennett and Woollacott claim Gala Brand has a “resisting frigidity” (95), but revise their opinion on the next page to a “reserve”. She is certainly not sexually dislocated in any way, happily turning Bond down and marrying a Detective-Inspector.
Bennett and Woollacott claim that Domino (like Vesper) has a “challenging aggressiveness” (96). But there is no aggressiveness in her behaviour with men. As for Bennett and Woollacott’s ‘negative’ description of Domino as being “over-masculine” (97), because she drives like a man, that is not only inaccurate but misses the point that Bond likes women to be good drivers. As he tells the hell-raising speedster Tracy di Vicenzo, “You drive like an angel.” (98)
Vivienne Michel (The Spy Who Loved Me)
Vivienne was orphaned at eight and has had two unhappy love affairs (by 23), one ending in an abortion. Fleming, continuing his bird imagery, has her write, “I had been a bird with a wing down. Now I had been shot in other.” (99) Despite these setbacks, Vivienne exhibits no sexual or psychological hang-ups; again, she is just someone waiting for a suitable lover.
As for Eco’s argument that the Women are “frigid”, the insurmountable problem for Eco is that there isn’t a “frigid” Woman in all of Fleming.
Bond encounters five genuinely “dislocated” women out of the 16 (that is, 31%).
The films don’t provide much joy for those looking to test the “sexually dislocated” theory. The films’ scriptwriters have made little attempt to give the Bond Women any complexity and their sexual make-up is rarely hinted at.
Honey Ryder (Dr. No)
Honey does tell Bond how she had been raped, but there is no evidence of her being a ‘virgin’ subsequently, or of her being inhibited about sex; the impression is quite the contrary. The casting of Ursula Andress is significant.
Pussy and Tilly (Goldfinger)
Bennett and Woollacott write that, in the film Goldfinger,
neither Tilly nor Pussy are represented as lesbians […] Unmarked by sexual deviance, [Pussy] is treated with respect by Goldfinger and handles Bond with little trouble. (100)
But Pussy is quite clearly represented as a lesbian, albeit with a little more understatement than in the novel. (101)
Tilly (Tania Mallet) is not represented as either sexually confused or gay.
Tracy (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service)
Tracy is independent, intelligent, scarred by a bad marriage and possibly a touch neurotic. She is, then, a close approximation of her novelistic counterpart. But she is not sexually dislocated.
Solitaire (Live and Let Die)
Solitaire is a virgin. After she goes to bed with Bond, she says, “So, it’s finally happened. Just as it did to my mother and her mother before her.”
Fatima (Never Say Never Again)
Fatima appears to have put her sexuality totally in the service of evil. And she certainly doesn’t seem too keen on Bond’s genitals, pointing a gun directly at them.
Octopussy is an interesting case, for, though she lives exclusively surrounded by women, there is no evidence that she is not attracted to men.
May Day (A View to a Kill)
There is a case to be made that May Day has a sexual dislocation in that she is a total psychopath.
Lupe Lamora (Licence to Kill)
Lupe Lamora has a sickness for nasty and powerful men.
Xenia Onatopp (GoldenEye)
Xenia is terrifyingly perverse, having, like Fatima, put her sexuality totally in the service of pain and death.
Elektra (The World is Not Enough)
Like Xenia, Elektra is sexually crazed.
Of the 59 Bond Women in the films, only 7 – Pussy, Solitaire, Fatima, May Day, Lupe Lamora, Xenia Onatopp and Elektra – are sexually deviant or dislocated. Percentage wise (12%), that is little more than a third of what is in the books (31%). In other words, the cinematic Women are more sexually straight than the literary Women.
* * *
Bond repositions girls of “dislocated” or “deviant” sexuality
Bennett and Woollacott: “Once the mystery of ‘the girl’s’ displaced sexuality has been accounted for, the problem she poses is one of action: will Bond successfully respond to the challenge of effecting her sexual readjustment and, thereby, ‘correctly’ realigning her within the patriarchal order? Usually, of course, he does. In thus responding to the challenge posed by ‘the girl’, putting her back into place beneath him (both literally and metaphorically), Bond functions as an agent of the patriarchal order” (102)
As we have seen, of Fleming’s 16 major Bond Women, there are 5 sexually “out-of-place” Women:
Tiffany and Bond are much delayed in making love and, despite her being tortured by gangsters straight afterwards, it is a happy sexual relationship that develops. They even discuss marriage, after having lived together for some time, but she finally decides to marry an American Marine Corps Major.
Though she has long been sexually inactive, when Honeychile finally meets a suitable partner, in this case Bond, she has no hesitation about sleeping with him. However, as in many Fleming novels, this is delayed by outside forces.
Tilly is one of the select few not to have slept with Bond, so there is no sexual repositioning here.
Pussy finally sleeps with Bond after having changed to the side of ‘right’ and after Bond’s mission has been completed, her boss sucked out into space. Clearly it is Pussy who is making the moves, free from any pressure from Bond. It is she who has independently opted to try heterosexual sex. Bond has done nothing except exist in her presence.
Stephen Heath takes a different tack, arguing: “she fits in the end, finally cured, identity established, his and hers, in her place, name confirmed – pussy galore.” (103) But there is nothing in Fleming’s text that suggests in any way that Pussy is “cured” [sic]. Who knows whom she will sleep with next and whether that person will be male or female.
The same goes for Heath’s claim that Bond puts Pussy “in her place”. As Pussy has seduced Bond (even Heath admits that), how can Bond have been put her in her place? Surely, it would be more logical to say she has put Bond in his place. Unless, of course, you accept the notion, and Heath may, that Bond has control over women’s minds and wills. But if that isn’t a patriarchal fantasy, what is?
Tracy di Vicenzo
Tracy’s first sexual experience with Bond is a loveless one, Tracy ‘repaying’ his expensive chivalry at the gaming table. It is a long time before they meet again, but, when they do, both realise they have found an ideal mate. However, Tracy is killed after the wedding ceremony and it is Bond who becomes “dislocated” as he staggers through the first part of You Only Live Twice.
Bond sleeps with four of the only five genuinely “dislocated” women (out of 16) and can be convincingly argued to have repositioned only two (Tiffany and Tracy).
The argument put forward by Bennett and Woollacott simply isn’t supportable.
Again, the films don’t provide much joy for those looking to test these theories.
As already discussed, especially as played by Ursula Andress, Honey is in no need of sexual repositioning.
Bennett and Woollacott claim, “The Pussy Galore of the film requires no sexual positioning” (104), which is particularly odd as Pussy is the only woman Bond actually does sexually reposition! Bond literally presses Pussy into trying heterosexual sex and she does emerge from the stable a ‘new woman’.
Tracy does seem happy about her sexual relationship with Bond, even if one often senses in Diana Rigg’s performance a grim forbearance of her partner’s screen efforts. However, Tracy is not in need of sexual repositioning.
After Solitaire and Bond have made love, she says:
“The power, I’ve lost it. The High Priestess is wife to the Prince no longer of this world, the spiritual bridge to the Secret Church. By compelling me to earthly love, the cards themselves have taken away my powers.”
This has led several writers, including Robert Sellers (105) and Sally Hibbin (106), to claim that Solitaire loses her powers after she sleeps with Bond. But this is incorrect: Solitaire failed to notice that Bond used a rigged pack of Tarot cards before she slept with him. The powers had already deserted her.
Though Bond does sleep with Fatima, he fails utterly to reposition her within the patriarchal order.
After a night with Bond, Octopussy doesn’t behave at all like a Woman repositioned.
There is no evidence Bond helps May Day overcome her psychosis, even though there is no doubt she seems a nicer person just before dying.
Bond fails totally to heal Lupe of her penchant for nasty and powerful men.
Xenia is trouble, but Bond fails to seduce her or reposition her sexually.
Elektra is sexual monster like Xenia (she tortures men to help strengthen their erections) and she embraces death with a smile, totally unrepositioned by Bond.
Bond sexually repositions just 1 Women. As with the novels, the theory doesn’t hold water.
* * *
Bond loses ‘the girl’
Eco: “(5) Bond possesses her but in the end loses her.”
Of the 12 Women who have an affair with Bond, one commits suicide (Vesper) and three are murdered: Tatiana, Jill and Tracy.
As for the remaining 8 Bond Women:
Solitaire intends spending two weeks with Bond before they part. Cork writes:
The novel ends with Bond and Solitaire anticipating a libidinous fortnight together after their adventure. Neither appears to hold any illusions about a future beyond. Neither carries any guilt or any emotional burden as a consequence of their actions. (107)
Tiffany Case and Bond spend several happy months together in London. The reason for Tiffany deciding to leave Bond is revealed by 007 to M. in From Russia, With Love: (108)
“Well, sir, we did get on well. And there was some idea we might get married. But then she met some chap in the American Embassy. On the Military Attaché’s staff. Marine Corps major. And I gather she is going to marry him. They’ve both gone back to the States, as a matter of fact. Probably better that way. Mixed marriages aren’t often a success.” (109)
It is surprising, then, that Bennett and Woollacott should write:
Constructed according to the formula ‘equal but yet subordinate’, her destiny is not to be a housewife – in Diamonds are Forever [actually, From Russia, With Love], Tiffany case flirts with this possibility, only to reject it – but a free and equal partner, neither dependent on Bond nor encumbering him with duties and responsibilities, but who none the less, when it comes to the crunch (in bed) knows her place. (110)
Clearly Tiffany’s destiny is to be a housewife. First she wants to marry Bond, and then she gets engaged to a Marine Corps major.
As for poor old Bond, he has failed in the marriage stakes yet again. He was engaged to Vesper but she died. He married Tracy and she died. He loved Gala but she married another. Tiffany does the same.
Meanwhile, Kissy Suzuki happily adopts the role of housewife to Bond as she brings him back to life.
All of this sounds like Bond is the kind of fellow who falls in love with Women who want to get married.
Of the unmarried Women (as far as we know; they may all have grandchildren by now), one is Honeychile Rider. How does Bond leave her? Infuriatingly, this is never revealed. It is risky to presume, but it is possible that Bond left her in Jamaica when he returned to London post-mission. If this is the case, she would be the first Bond Woman to be abandoned in the line of duty.
We are also left in the same amount of dark about Bond’s relationship with Pussy Galore. Really, she ought to be in gaol, not out cavorting with 007.
There is also a narrative ellipsis regarding Domino Petacchi, whom Bond presumably leaves in the Bahamas to return to England.
Vivienne Michel awakes after a night with Bond to find him gone. “There was only the dent down the bed where he had lain, and the smell of him on the pillow.” (111) He’s also left a note, saying goodbye. Bond had been driving from Toronto to Washington to report on a case, and now he is back on the road. Duty calls.
Ruby Windsor is clearly only a one-night stand (to gather information about Blofeld) and Bond leaves her to continue on his mission to rid the world of his wife’s killer. It is difficult to believe either Ruby or Bond had any regrets.
Finally, there is Kissy Suzuki. After all the hard work she put into nursing him back to health, he ups and leaves Japan for the USSR, where he is captured and brainwashed. He returns to London to try and kill M.
Eco argues that,
in the moment in which the Woman solves the opposition to the Villain by entering into a purificating-purified, saving-saved relationship, she returns to the domination of the negative. (112)
That isn’t true. Of the 8 women Bond is sexually involved with who live, not one returns to the service of the Villain. All 8 Women are, at novel’s end, totally free of “the domination of the negative”, including Tiffany Case, who remains bad but is dominated by nobody.
Eco is wrong.
Of the 44 women who sleep with Bond in the films and live, it appears as if Bond leaves 23 (39%) to continue his mission or they leave him to continue theirs. There is nothing to suggest any of them suffered from the separation, with the exception of Miss Taro. That’s not because Bond leaves her, but because he has had her arrested!
Of the 20 Women who end up in Bond’s arms at the end (33.9%), not one reappears in another film. There is no information as to whether Bond left them or they him. It is tempting to think Honey Ryder and Domino may have suffered a little at the separation, but one really shouldn’t guess at suffering on anyone’s part.
In fact, there is overwhelming evidence the Women enjoyed their time with Bond and will enjoy their time with others as well.
One thinks of Sylvia Trench, Tatiana, Pussy, Dink, Beautiful Girl, Tiffany Case, Major Anya Amasova, Melina, Octopussy, Stacey Sutton, Wai Lin and Christmas Jones, to name just a few.
Can you imagine anyone of them being sad? As Bond might say, “You must be joking.”
* * *
“She is, naturally enough, beautiful. More importantly, she is independent, defiant, and probably dangerous. She [… is] one of the lasting icons of feminine strength, beauty and resilience of the past half-century […] And, despite the popular conception, [she is] anything but subservient to 007.”
– Maryam d’Abo (113)
Bond Women are strong, modern, tough, independent, resourceful, sexually confident women, which may just be why audiences love them so much.
In fact, about the only person who suffers throughout many of these love affairs is none other than James Bond.
Bond began narrative life in Fleming’s novel Casino Royale, an already scared and damaged man with an almost pathological fear of female sexuality. He falls in love with Vesper, abandoning his tough shell, and is almost destroyed in the process. From then on, he walks lost in the wasteland of his emotional relationships, occasionally opening his heart – to a Gala, a Tiffany, a Tracy – only to be rejected or denied love, his heart crushed.
Though the film Bond is a relatively tough and resilient creature, Fleming’s original creation is a man without love and hope, a man as much a psychological wreck at the end of The Man With the Golden Gun, dithering about what to do with Mary Goodnight, as at his ‘birth’ in Casino Royale.
What crueller irony could there possibly be than that the world thinks of him as a ruthless seducer of women, who toys with their hearts and tosses them callously aside.
He must weep at the thought.
- Umberto Eco, “Narrative Structures in Fleming”, originally published in Italian in Oreste del Buono and Umberto Eco (Eds), Il caso Bond: le origini, la natura, gli effetti del fenomeno 007 (Milano: Bompiani, 1965), then republished in English in The Bond Affair (London: Macdonald, London, 1966), p. 49. Eco’s website, www.umbertoeco.com, calls The Bond Affair an “unreliable translation”. Part of Eco’s article (the same translation) is reprinted in Bernard Waites, Tony Bennett and Graham Martin, Popular Culture: Past and Present (London: Croom Helm in association with The Open University Press, 1982). This is more freely available and is referenced from now on.
- Bond Women missing from Eco’s list are Vivienne Michel in The Spy Who Loved Me (1962), a book Eco considers “quite untypical” (Waites et al, p. 244), Patricia Fearing (Thunderball, 1961), for whatever undisclosed reason, and Mary Goodnight (The Man with the Golden Gun, 1965).
- Tony Bennett and Janet Woollacott, Bond and Beyond: The Political Career of a Popular Hero (Basingstoke: Macmillan Education, 1987).
- O. F. Snelling, Double O Seven: James Bond: A Report (London: Neville Spearman-Holland Press, 1964). There is a paperback edition with the slightly revised title of 007: James Bond: A Report from Panther in 1965.
- Kingsley Amis, The James Bond Dossier (London: Jonathan Cape, 1965).
- Tim Graves, The Bond Women: 007 Style (London: 1-Shot Publications, 2002).
- Maryam d’Abo and John Cork, with Tim Greaves (Editorial Consultant), Bond Girls Are Forever: The Women of James Bond (London: Boxtree, 2003).
- This article is based in part on a much shorter two-part article, “The Bond Age” and “Bond Age Women”, published in Cinema Papers, No. 68, pp. 32-7, and No. 67, pp. 20-5. Since that article was written, seven more Bond films have been released (with another due later this year).
- Quoted in Henry A. Zeigler, Ian Fleming: The Spy Who Came In with the Gold (New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1965), p. 88.
- It is a pity Martin Campbell’s otherwise dazzling Casino Royale (2006) side-steps the bondage scene with Vesper after she is kidnapped at the Casino: “Apart from her legs, which were naked to the hips, Vesper was only a parcel. Her long black velvet skirt […] lifted over her arms and head and tied above her head with a piece of rope. Where her face was, a small gap had been torn in the velvet so that she could breathe. She was not bound in any other way and she lay quiet, her body moving sluggishly with the swaying of the car.” (p. 107). It is a crucial prefiguring of the subsequent scene where Bond is stripped and tied up on a seatless chair. That made it into the movie.
- Ian Fleming, Casino Royale (London: Jonathan Cape, 1953) p. 33. All quotes from the Bond novels are from first editions, as new editions (hardback and paperback) are riddled with errors and re-punctuation.
- Ibid, p. 98.
- Ibid, p. 39.
- Ibid, p. 168.
- Ibid, p. 189. Eco writes (p. 242): “Bond’s reaction when it [Vesper’s suicide] happens has the [Mickey] Spillane characteristic of transforming love into hatred and tenderness into ferocity: ‘She’s dead, the bitch’ Bond telephones to his London office […]” Given Bond never says in Casino Royale, “She’s dead, the bitch”, one must ask whether Eco wrote his article based on Italian translations of the Bond novels rather than the English originals. Is this one reason why he is sometimes so at odds with Fleming?
- Snelling, p. 43.
- Charles McCarry, Lucky Bastard (New York: Random House, 1998), p. 30.
- See Ian Fleming, “From a View to a Kill”, in For Your Eyes Only: Five Secret Occasions in the Life of James Bond (London: Jonathan Cape, 1960), pp. 14-5. John Pearson beautifully fleshes out this episode (the girl was Alys and the brothel the Elysée on Place Vendôme) in his imagined James Bond: the authorized biography of 007 (London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1973), pp. 44-5.
- Fleming never reveals Vesper’s age in Casino Royale, but evidence in the book suggests she is most likely in her thirties, given she served in the RAF during the war; it is now 1951.
- Casino Royale, p. 157.
- Ibid, p. 171.
- Ian Fleming, Live and Let Die (London: Jonathan Cape, 1954), p. 72.
- Ibid, p. 74.
- Amis, p. 45. Amis’ errors in quoting Fleming have been silently corrected.
- Live and Let Die, p. 240.
- d’Abo and Cork, p. 17.
- Ian Fleming, Moonraker (London: Jonathan Cape, 1955), p. 255-6.
- Ian Fleming, Diamonds are Forever (London: Jonathan Cape, 1956), p. 45. Eco claims that Gala “marries somebody else, although unwillingly” (Eco in Waites, et al, p. 253). There is no evidence in Fleming’s novel to support Eco’s claim.
- Ibid, pp. 46 and 47.
- Ibid, p. 84.
- Ibid, p 231.
- Ibid, p 232.
- Snelling, p. 65.
- Ian Fleming, From Russia, With Love (London: Jonathan Cape, 1957), p. 88.
- Ibid, p. 113.
- For example: “Emerging naked from the sea at Crab Key, she […]”, Bennett and Woollacott, p. 121.
- Ian Fleming, Dr No (London: Jonathan Cape, London: Jonathan Cape, 1958), p. 92.
- Ibid, pp. 252.
- Ian Fleming, Goldfinger (London: Jonathan Cape, 1959), p. 48.
- Ibid, p. 180.
- Ibid, p. 230.
- Stephen Heath, The Sexual Fix (London and Basingstoke: The Macmillan Press, 1982), p. 96.
- Goldfinger, pp. 316-7.
- Ian Fleming, Thunderball (London: Jonathan Cape, 1961), p. 30.
- Ibid, p. 37.
- Ibid, p. 117.
- Ibid, p. 120.
- Ibid, p. 123.
- Ian Fleming with Vivienne Michel, The Spy Who Loved Me (London: Jonathan Cape, 1962), p. 192.
- Ian Fleming, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (London: Jonathan Cape, 1963), pp. 40-1.
- Ibid, p. 146.
- Bennett and Woollacott, p. 131.
- Ian Fleming, The Man with the Golden Gun (London: Jonathan Cape, 1965), p. 61.
- Ibid, p. 221.
- “Fleming does not have Bond recoil in horror at Goodnight’s vision of domestic bliss. […] it is one Bond accepts.” Cork, p. 36.
- All character names are per the end credits of a film. Thus, it is Sylvia, not Sylvia Trench.
- Cork, p. 27.
- Ibid, p. 29.
- Ibid, p. 36.
- Ibid, p. 57.
- Ibid, p. 61.
- Greaves, p. 60.
- Greaves, p. 66.
- Cork, p. 69.
- Ibid, p. 70.
- Fleming describes Tracy di Vicenzo as “A girl with a wing, perhaps two, down” (On Her Majesty’s Secrete Service, p. 40). See later discussion in main text.
- Cork, p. 77.
- Ibid, p. 78.
- Ibid, p. 81.
- Ibid, p. 83.
- Bennett and Woollacott, p. 115.
- Snelling, p. 46.
- Furio Colombo, “Bond’s Women”, in del Buono and Eco, p. 100.
- Quoted in Peter Haining, James Bond: A Celebration (London: Planet, London, 1987), p. 167.
- “Her hair oscillates between blonde (clear favourite) and black or dark brown”, Amis, p. 55.
- “Ideally you need to be a blonde”, Lt.-Col. William (‘Bill’) Tanner, pseudonym for Kingsley Amis, The Book of Bond or Every Man His Own 007 (New York: Viking, 1965), p. 93.
- Amis, p. 55.
- Eco, in Waites et al, p. 252.
- Bennett and Woollacott, p. 117.
- Cork, p. 61.
- Bennett and Woollacott, p. 115.
- Snelling, p. 46.
- In the first version of this article, Bennett and Woollacott were taken to task for calling Tilly a lesbian, quoting a passage from Goldfinger where Fleming has Bond think “she is one of those girls whose hormones had got mixed up” (p. 269). A later passage that states “Tilly Masterton was gazing at Miss Galore with worshipping eyes and lips that yearned” (p. 240) was completely overlooked by this author. Bennett and Woollacott were correct.
- On Her Majesty’s Secrete Service, p. 40.
- Bennett and Woollacott, p. 115.
- Live and Let Die, p. 72.
- Ibid, p. 103.
- Bennett and Woollacott, p. 116.
- Ibid p. 115.
- Ibid, p. 119.
- On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, p. 40.
- Ian Fleming, The Spy Who Loved Me (London: Jonathan Cape, 1962), p. 79.
- Bennett and Woollacott, p. 157.
- Not only are her riding outfit and pant suits stereotypically given to lesbians in 1960s films, there is also her all-girl crew, whom she eyes quite lasciviously. Most explicit is the dialogue, ranging from her “I’m strictly the outdoor type” to Bond’s “You’re a girl of many parts, Pussy.” This is said while Pussy holds a gun at crutch level and points it straight out at Bond. Not exactly subtle, but amusing in context.
- Bennett and Woollacott, p. 116.
- Heath, p. 97.
- Bennett and Woollacott, p. 163.
- Robert Sellers, “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: Bond for Beginners”, The Face, London, July 1987, pp. 48-58.
- Sally Hibbin, The Official James Bond 007 Movie Book (Twickenham: Viscount Books, 1987), p. 65.
- Cork, p. 17.
- From Russia, With Love, p. 102.
- Ibid, p. 108.
- Bennett and Woollacott, p. 123.
- The Spy Who Loved Me, p. 205.
- Eco, p. 253.
- d’Abo, 11.