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Bond Girls

Movies | By Joe for The Top 13 on March 18, 2010

With the recent rumors that Camille Montes Rivero, the female lead in Quantum of Solace, may become only the second Bond girl to appear in multiple James Bond films (the first, Sylvia Trench, appeared in the franchise's very first two films), we got to thinking about which Bond girls are our favorites. We considered a number of attributes in assembling this Top 13, including intelligence, charisma, impact on the Bond franchise and popular culture, and, of course, sex appeal. So in the spirit of James Bond films, pour yourself a martini and enjoy the Top 13 Bond Girls of all time.

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Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore

1

Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore

Goldfinger (1964)

There is simply no question that Pussy Galore is the greatest Bond girl of all time. Honor Blackman was just 39 years old when she played Galore, and though she was five years older than Sean Connery, she had little trouble kicking Bond's butt. Blackman's character is Auric Goldfinger's right-hand woman until she realizes that he is planning to detonate an atomic device. At that point, she switches sides and helps Bond avert the disaster. It's no secret that Galore's character was written as a lesbian, and Blackman elegantly plays the part to perfection, particularly considering the day and age in which Goldfinger was released. Galore didn't need scantily clad outfits or Bond to save her to hold her own. She's a tough, smart, attractive, and independent Bond girl who turns out to have a heart of gold.

Diana Rigg as Teresa di Vicenzo

2

Diana Rigg as Teresa di Vicenzo

On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

Although George Lazenby (in his first real film role and his only appearance as Bond) hardly could fill Connery's shoes, On Her Majesty's Secret Service is still tolerable because Diana Rigg is such a fantastic Bond girl. Though we don't want to give too much away, Rigg plays the damsel in distress with a twist. And while this is not among the better Bond movies, it's worth watching just to see Rigg in the role of the Contessa Teresa. While hunting the villain Blofeld, Bond falls for and marries di Vicenzo with a tragic result. Tracy Bond, as she's known at the end of the movie, ends up being the only Bond girl who 007 mentions throughout the rest of the series (or at least until the franchise's reboot).

Famke Jansen as Xenia Onatopp

3

Famke Jansen as Xenia Onatopp

GoldenEye (1995)

Jansen, a stunning Dutch model and actress, plays Onatopp as a cold, sexy killer with nothing but ice running through her veins. This is hands down the baddest girl in the Bond franchise. Onatopp uses sex as her favorite weapon and clearly derives sexual pleasure from killing. Indeed, the former Soviet fighter pilot engages in a steamy and suggestive cat-and-mouse game in a bathhouse with new 007 Pierce Brosnan that ends with Bond pulling his gun on her. There's no redemption for Onatopp and she never plays the victim. She's a sexy, smart killer that would make any guy think that death might not be so bad if it was at her hands - or thighs, as one character in GoldenEye discovers.

Jill St. John as Tiffany Case

4

Jill St. John as Tiffany Case

Diamonds are Forever (1971)

Diamonds are, after all, a girl's best friend, and in this case (pardon the pun), the adage was never more appropriate. The ravishing Jill St. John plays Tiffany Case, a ditzy but greedy diamond smuggler who gets in way over her head when she finds out she's been smuggling for the evil Blofeld. Ultimately, Case avoids several attempts on her life and helps Bond (played by Connery in his last official outing as 007) follow the smuggled diamonds to Blofeld's doorstep. St. John was among the first Bond girls to appear significantly younger than Bond; nevertheless, she more than holds her own.

Barbara Bach as Anya Amasova

5

Barbara Bach as Anya Amasova

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

Agent XXX - need we say more? A Russian spy on the same mission as Bond, Amasova (played by Mrs. Ringo Starr) is his competition for a secret microfilm and they try to outdo each other for much of the film. Eventually, they fall in love and work together to foil the plot of Karl Stromberg, a fairly substandard Bond villain. What makes the movie tolerable is Bach's chemistry with Roger Moore and their constant sexual innuendo. But once she finds out that 007 killed her lover, she promises to return the favor once the mission ends. Nevertheless, when she's captured by Stromberg, Bond can't help but rescue her. And, of course, Agent XXX thanks him by living up to her name.

Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder

6

Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder

Dr. No (1962)

Typically viewed as the first Bond girl (even if she wasn't the first woman to be with Bond on film), Ryder is extremely independent and is initially wary of Bond's motives, rebuffing his offers of help. After ultimately realizing his intentions are pure, Ryder overcomes her own personal demons and helps Bond stop the sinister plan of Dr. No. The stunning Urusla Andress doesn't make her first appearance until halfway through Dr. No, emerging from the ocean in a white bikini with a dagger at her side. That entrance has become among the most iconic moments in the franchise's history.

Eva Green as Vesper Lynd

7

Eva Green as Vesper Lynd

Casino Royale (2006)

If it's true that behind every damaged man is a woman who's done a number on him, in Bond's case, we have Vesper Lynd, as played by the exotic, gorgeous Eva Green. Green was hardly another model or pretty face merely cast to look good on the movie poster, but instead an established young actress brought in to play a crucial role that was absolutely needed to properly re-boot the series. She's fragile, elegant, and vulnerable, but wickedly smart, matching wits and then more with Daniel Craig in his first venture as 007. We get the feeling from the beginning of Casino Royale that their relationship is doomed, and seeing things get better before they go horribly wrong, with Green in the tragic role of Lynd, makes the entire film compelling.

Jane Seymour as Solitaire

8

Jane Seymour as Solitaire

Live and Let Die (1973)

Roger Moore (finally) took the reigns over from Connery in 1973's Live and Let Die, the only Bond movie to explore supernatural themes and to touch on issues of race (the film features an underrated Yaphet Kotto as Dr. Kananga, the franchise's first ethnically diverse villain). Of course, this Top 13 is about Bond girls, and no such list would be complete without mentioning Dr. Kananga's psychic, Solitaire. The beautiful Jane Seymour, only 22 when this film was released, plays the role of Solitaire with an innocent sexuality so well, that when Bond (Moore was more than twice her age) finally does seduce her, it feels almost inappropriate.

Shirley Eaton as Jill Masterton

9

Shirley Eaton as Jill Masterton

Goldfinger (1964)

Though she may not be on screen very long, Shirley Eaton's Jill Masterton is one of the most iconic Bond girls in the history of the franchise. Her character plays a small, but crucial role in the film: She tries to help Auric Goldfinger cheat at a poolside card game, only to have Bond foil the ruse and then hook up with Masterton. Goldfinger's reaction to this turn of events clues the audience in that he won't take even the smallest betrayal lightly, and sends Bond a very clear message not to mess with him. The image of her corpse, painted from head to toe in gold, is one of the most infamous scenes in movie history.

Grace Jones as May Day

10

Grace Jones as May Day

A View to a Kill (1985)

Let's get this out of the way: A View to a Kill is hardly among the better Bond films. A mild sendoff for longtime 007 Roger Moore (who appeared too old for the role two films earlier), this movie also features one of the worst acting jobs ever by a lead Bond girl - Tanya Roberts received a Razzie nomination for her work as Stacey Sutton. Nevertheless, three things make A View to a Kill an enduring Bond film: (i) a killer Duran Duran song; (ii) the always fantastic Christopher Walken as Max Zorin, the psychopathic villain; and (iii) Grace Jones as Zorin's bodyguard and lover, May Day, who ultimately sacrifices her life to help Bond stop Zorin's sinister plot. It is rightfully the fantastic Jones - not Roberts nor Walken - who graced many of the movie's posters with Moore.

Lois Chiles as Holly Goodhead

11

Lois Chiles as Holly Goodhead

Moonraker (1979)

It might seem that, with a few notable exceptions included on this Top 13, the team behind the Bond franchise didn't care all that much whether their Bond girls could actually act. Denise Richards as the nuclear scientist Dr. Christmas Jones in The World Is Not Enough? Absolutely asinine. On the other end of the spectrum, Lois Chiles as the astronaut and CIA agent Dr. Holly Goodhead, who helps Bond travel into space to battle the evil Orson Welles-like Mr. Drax, somehow worked out just fine. Though completely implausible, Chiles was so sexy and smart in the role, that particularly when compared to many other Bond girls, it was surprisingly easy to suspend disbelief.

Claudine Auger as Domino Derval

12

Claudine Auger as Domino Derval

Thunderball (1965)

A former Miss France and runner-up in the 1958 Miss World competition, Auger beat out bold-faced names such as Julie Christie, Raquel Welch, and Faye Dunaway for the role of Dominetta Palazzi, whose named was changed to Domino Derval to better reflect Auger's heritage. While Thunderball is slow to get started and drags at times, Auger is stunning and her chemistry with Connery's 007 is palpable. Initially, Derval is in league with the villain Largo as his mistress, but after Bond (to whom she has by then made love) informs her that Largo killed her brother, she gains her revenge by shooting Largo in the neck with a speargum as he is about to kill a weakened Bond in an underwater cave.

Britt Ekland as Mary Goodnight

13

Britt Ekland as Mary Goodnight

The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

Tall, leggy blonde? Check. Double entendre nickname? Check. Knife fight with a midget? Check. We've got ourselves a Bond girl. Swedish star Ekland - appearing once again with Christopher Lee (the pair had starred the prior year in the fantastically bizarre cult horror film The Wicker Man) – doesn't start out as the object of Bond's affections; that honor goes to Maud Adams as Andrea Anders. But after escaping a massive island explosion with Roger Moore as 007, Ekland's Mary Goodnight - who plays Bond's assistant in the Far East - gets her man.

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Comments Leave a comment

stillathreat ★★

My favorites on this list are Eva Green and Famke Jansen, but I think I need to go back and watch The Spy Who Loved Me.

11:45 AM   Mar 18, 2010

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