As promised, and it’s been a while since I’ve done a list, I am going to rank one of the most talked about parts of any James Bond film, the women. 007 has had many, and I do mean MANY women of the past 24 films (and more in the books), but who is the best Bond girl, or woman if I have to be PC. Here is how I will go about it.
- Only one Bond girl per film, or they have to play a major role if there is two, so no hook-ups only not to be seen again in the movie.
- No bad guys on this list, so sorry fans of Fiona, Elektra and Onatopp fans they won’t be here.
- Official Bond films, only sorry Kim Basinger fans.
- This is going to apply to at least one; they do not necessarily have to end up with Bond in the end but at least the main sidekick. So here we go.
24. Mary Goodnight. Every time I see this character I feel like I’m losing brain cells. From The Man with the Golden Gun, Goodnight (played by Britt Ekland) is very familiar with Bond and “helps” him out. From where I am watching all I see her do is moon over Bond, get into stupid situations of her own making and look good in a bikini. Do not get me wrong Goodnight is gorgeous, but that is all she has got. Bond even was getting annoyed with her; course that did not stop him from bedding her. She was just one of many reason why this is not one of my favorite Bond movies.
23. Dr. Christmas Jones. I bet you expected this character to be at the bottom on my list, for a while she was until I saw Golden Gun. Portrayed by Denise Richards (this is how high they were aiming this character) Jones is a nuclear physicist who almost ruined Bond’s mission in killing Renard and preventing him from stealing plutonium, but somehow is the only person he actually saves (I’m guessing it had to do with her short shorts). She helps Bond in locating a stolen bomb, but Jones realizes half the plutonium in the bomb is missing. Bond convinces her to let the bomb explode, as he suspected the other woman in the movie Elektra is involved (he is of course right). Jones also realizes what Renard and Elektra are up to, before getting captured along with Bond. Bond has to rescue her from the sub and the two head to Turkey and consummate their relationship. I’m just gonna be like everyone else and say it: Richards is not a great actress and the fact that they thought she could be a nuclear physicist is honestly laughable. While I do not think the film itself is bad I absolutely did not like this Bond girl.
22. Severine. Much like another Bond girl on this list this one I felt was just thrown in to the plot, and basically did nothing. Portrayed by Berenice Lim Marlohe the only things Severine brought to the plot was her pretty face, her dress, a scene with her and Bond in the shower and her death. Bond deduces she was not only working for the man he was after (Silva) as his mistress in the sex trafficking operation, which made the scene with her and Bond in the shower kinda uncomfortable to watch because he basically ambushed her. To top everything off after Silva kills her Bond seemingly cared more for the Scotch than seeing a woman he just slept with dead. I understand she wasn’t the main woman in this movie, but come on; she could have been a little more useful other than that.
21. Camille Montes. If there ever was a Bond girl just basically thrown into the plot it was this one. Portrayed by Olga Kurylenko in Quantum of Solace Camille is determined to get close to Dominic Greene, in one way or another, due to his connection to General Medrano, the person responsible for the death of her family. She plays dumb when he is around, but wants revenge. Bond ends up saving her neck many times throughout the movie because of her carelessness and determination, before she finally agrees to have him help her. Camille does get her revenge on Medrano, and she and Bond part only with a kiss, the two don’t actually hook up which is actually surprising. Do not get me wrong Olga is gorgeous and acting wise she is not terrible, but that out of the way the character of Camille could have been better. It kinda felt that she was forced into the plot in an unnatural way unlike some of the other girls (although she is more useful than Severine). My feelings about this Bond girl are a little mixed, but overall she is not the most useful Bond girl.
20. Stacey Sutton. Much like with Goodnight when I see this character I feel like I’m losing brain cells (not to mention one of the definitions of damsel in distress.) Portrayed by Tanya Roberts in A View To a Kill Stacey is a geologist Zorrin attempts to buy off but she absolutely refuses to let her family’s business go. She rebuffs Bond when they first meet, but after he tracks her down, and she helps him fight off guys sent to kill her she agrees to help him figure out what Zorrin is up to. It takes her a while to realize he is a secret agent, he said he was with a magazine and well Stacey is not the sharpest tool in the shed. However even after she discovers the truth she still wants to help. She and Bond get separated in the mine and Stacey eventually gets out. When she sees James she runs to him only to get abducted by Zorrin. She is scrappy and fights back, only for her to nearly fall off the Golden Gate Bridge a few times. She and Bond are last seen in the shower together. Now while Stacey is gorgeous she basically is a feistier version of Goodnight. Other than that she is useless. Literally you take her out of the movie and other than her driving the firetruck do we really need her? I’ll answer: NOPE!
19. Pam Bouvier. I do like this character, but honestly I was kinda disappointed with Pam. Portrayed by Carey Lowell. Pam is a CIA informant in Licence To Kill who helps Bond on his rogue mission to find Sanchez and avenge Felix. She starts off as very tough, but I felt that after she and Bond slept together she became less tough. She quickly fell for him and seemed everything she did was for Bond; becoming very sidekick and less on her own. At the end of the film she becomes upset when it seems Bond chose Lupe, only to be very happy when Bond chooses her at the end. I like Lowell on Law & Order, but again I was disappointed that a tough CIA person would so quickly fall for Bond and become kinda whiny.
18. Dr. Madeline Swann. I felt like this one had a lot more to offer, but did not show it. Portrayed by Lea Seydoux in Spectre Bond searches for Madeline as she is not only a key in getting closer to Spectre and the man behind it, but because he made a promise to her father Mr. White before killing himself. Despite coming in with a false identity Bond does not lie to Madeline about how her father died, as she was never close with him after her parents divorced she responds coldly. It wasn’t until she is captured by Hinx, and does her best to fight out, does she reluctantly agree to help Bond. After discovering the evidence Mr. White had on Spectre, and the pictures of her in his office, Madeline becomes committed in finding them. She and Bond grow very close, and even when she is shown the video of her father committing suicide her feelings for Bond do not change. However once she returns to England she tells Bond despite the fact that she loves him she cannot be with him (she doesn’t want to repeat her parents’ mistakes). It doesn’t stop Blofeld from kidnapping her, however Bond doesn’t shoot Blofeld when he has the chance in front of Swann and he leaves with her. I will give Swann credit for leaving Bond, which not many of the girls do, despite her feelings for him because she knew this was who he was and she couldn’t handle it. While I don’t think she will be in the next film it was a nice touch. However as I said before I felt like she could have been more in the fighting and she was very capable of handling herself, oh well.
17. Aki/Kissy. I know I said one Bond girl per film, but I have trouble deciding who is supposed to be the MAIN Bond girl in You Only Live Twice. I know a lot say Kissy, but I think Aki also plays a major part in the film, so I had to pick both of them for this spot. Aki, portrayed by Akiko Wakabayashi, appears to be working for Mr. Henderson, but is actually an agent for Japanese SIS. She helps Bond the most between the two ladies constantly driving him out of danger and getting help. When Tanaka says Bond must become Japanese and take a wife he immediately looks at Aki, but a girl was already chosen. Later that night an assassin attempts to poison Bond, but inadvertently gets Aki. After Aki’s death Kissy, portrayed by Mie Hama (and voiced by Nikki van der Zyl), becomes Bond’s “wife” and sidekick. While she is not Aki, Kissy does play her part as a ninja, helping Bond get to the volcano and actually takes part in the final battle. Starting with Aki, I like her a bit more than Kissy. Aki is very skilled with helping Bond and seems to lead more with her heart than her head. However she does do what Bond tells her to do, and her death is very sad. I admit I was a little annoyed her death does not seem to be acknowledged or even grieved after by Tanaka or Bond, and Bond almost immediately starts a relationship with Kissy, but it happens frequently in Bond films. Kissy meanwhile is sadly not as remembered as Aki. While she does have more action than Aki by actually taking place in the final battle and showing more skill than Aki, between the two women I think people remember Aki more than her.
16. Dominique “Domino” Derval. A character in my opinion is overlooked, probably because Kim Basinger also played this in Never Say Never Again but as I said I’m not counting her. Portrayed by Claudine Auger (and voiced by Nikki van der Zyl) in Thunderball, Domino is the sister of Francois Derval, the man murdered on the orders by her guardian/lover Largo. Bond makes contact with her to get closer to Largo, and it is not long before she becomes enamored with him. The two have sex in the ocean and Bond tells Domino of her brother’s death. She quickly agrees to help Bond, despite the dangers as she has already been hurt by Largo, saying “what more can he do to me.” Unfortunately Domino is caught and tortured by Largo. She is freed by Largo’s nuclear physicist Kutze, finally realizing what he signed up for, and she shoots Largo in the back with a harpoon avenging herself and her brother. Now is Domino a memorable character in this film, no. Is she the most memorable female, no, but what I like about this character is later in the film. Domino knows why Bond made love to her, but she agrees anyway for her brother. I also like how she is the one to kill Largo. Sadly I think because of the Kim Basinger’s Domino this version is easily forgotten, which is sad because Auger is just as beautiful as Basinger, although if I have to be honest Basinger is probably the better actor than Auger. Nonetheless this version of Domino is a good, not great character in one of my favorite Bond films.
15. Melina Havelock. A character I think doesn’t get enough credit, although she is not one of my favorites. Portrayed by Carole Bouquet in For Your Eyes Only Melina is thrown into the plot right away as her parents were murdered on the orders of Kristatos. Driven by revenge she joins Bond to find the people responsible as well as find the ATAC. Melina is a character I have often heard described as beautiful but boring. While the beautiful part is no debating boring I somewhat doubt. While she does have the same facial expressions throughout the film Melina is one of the more driven of the Bond girls, determined to get revenge on the people who killed her parents. As I have said before she is not one of my favorites mostly because of the age gap and lack of chemistry between Bouquet and Moore.
14. Dr. Holly Goodhead. While Moonraker is not one of the best reviewed, or even liked, Bond films, she is one of the better parts. Portrayed by Lois Chiles, Goodhead appears to work for Drax as an astronaut, but Bond soon concludes and confirms she is a CIA agent on the same mission as him. Unlike another agent later on this list, Goodhead welcomes Bond to aid the investigation, among other things. Unfortunately she does not have as much action as other agents Bond has romantic relationships in the franchise. That being said Chiles is a better actress than some of the others on this list (for the most part) and when she does get into a fight she actually attempts, and more than often succeeds in fighting back. She also doesn’t need to be rescued as much as other girls which is something I like.
13. Kara Milovy. I have seen I’m not the only person who likes this character this much. Portrayed by Maryam d’Abo in The Living Daylights, Kara is a cellist and the girlfriend of General Georgi Koskov who he dupes into helping him look like he is defecting from Russia, Bond shoots at the gun realizes she has no clue what she is doing. Kara tells Bond, she owes him everything. Somewhat gullible she is tricked by Bond into thinking he is a friend of Koskov and goes with him to Vienna. Contacting Koskov Kara is tricked into believe Bond is there to kill her, course this is after she slept with him, but Bond convinces her Koskov is lying to her, pointing out where she is injured because he’s the one who took out the gun. Kara from then on helps Bond and actually fights back against the bad guys. I will admit having her screaming for James a lot does annoy me, but I still like this character development. Yes she is arguably the most gullible of the Bond girls, but once she realizes Bond is there to help her she is learns to fight back. Because she trusts Bond she wants to be by his side, course her worrying about Bond nearly gets them killed a lot, but I like how she gets a happy ending. Bond does show more concern for her which I find refreshing even if I don’t think he was in love with her, I think he cared but was not in love. While she is very damsel in distress I still like Kara.
12. Tiffany Case. Maybe not the bravest or smartest, but this girl has balls (metaphorical obviously they would have been obvious in that skimpy bikini at the end of the film.) Portrayed by Jill St. John in Diamonds Are Forever, Tiffany is a diamond smuggler Bond (posing as Peter Franks) meets unknowingly working for SPECTRE. She believes she and Franks are going to make millions with the stolen diamonds, but after realizing they are killing off anyone in contact with the diamonds she agrees to help Bond. She (maybe intentionally) gets taken by Blofeld and tries to help stop him. She and Bond go on a romantic cruise at the end of the movie, even with the attempted killing by Mr. Kidd and Mr. Wint. Tiffany is very pretty and has that bad girl attitude which is something I loved about her in the film. She might have been higher on this list if it wasn’t for her character development. Her attitude diminishes as the film progresses on and the last 20 minutes of seeing her are not so great. Tiffany in an attempt to help Bond switches the tapes in Bloefeld’s plan, but did not realize Bond had already switched the tapes and had put the real one back in. She gets caught again and almost thrown in the cell with Bond if Felix hadn’t shown up. She also does very little in the battle, only shooting the machine gun at wild until she falls off the ship. Despite that Tiffany is a good character and I like her a lot. I also love how Jill St. John embraces being a Bond girl, more so than the others. She has said to those who may have regrets of being a Bond girl shouldn’t have taken the part.
11. Anya Amasova aka Triple X. This one I am pretty sure I am gonna to get in a lot of trouble for not putting her in my top 10. Played by Barbara Bach in The Spy Who Loved Me, Anya is an agent for the Soviet Union tasked with finding out what happened to a Soviet submarine, same with Bond but with a British sub. She also finds out her lover had been killed by another agent, at the time she did not know it was Bond. She and Bond reluctantly join forces, but it is not long before they get close. When she finds out, she tells Bond she will kill him when the mission is over, however she does not because of her feelings for him. Do not get me wrong I like Anya a lot and she came close to my top 10, however Bach I thought was a little stiff in her performance and the fact she did not take place in the final battle, her being an agent, bothers me. Sorry to disappoint.
10. Giacinta Johnson aka Jinx. One of the few Bond girls where despite getting caught can usually find a way out for herself; she’s not a damsel in distress but can get herself in a few pickles. Portrayed by Halle Berry in Die Another Day, Jinx (who gets that nickname because she was born on Friday the 13th and hasn’t had the best luck in relationships) is an NSA agent on the same mission as Bond, finding Zao. She and Bond hit it off right away and eventually join forces. She is captured by Miranda Frost and left to be drowned, but Bond rescues her. Jinx and Bond sneak onto Graves plane Jinx takes the controls and gets into a fight with Miranda with Jinx coming out on the winning end. Jinx is without question not only one of the sexiest Bond girls but one of the toughest. She is not afraid to shoot and also throw out a good insult while at it. That alone made her a top candidate for my top 10.
9. Wai Lin. For the longest time she was my favorite Bond girl because of, for lack of a more appropriate word, how bad-ass she was; in fact so many liked this character MGM considered her for a spin off but sadly it was not to be. Portrayed by Michelle Yeoh in Tomorrow Never Dies, Wai Lin is a Chinese agent on the same mission as Bond investigating Elliot Carver over a missing encoder and other stealth items stolen from the People’s Liberation Army. Wai Lin and Bond work together to stop Carver. I really like this character because of how tough she is, and how she doesn’t give in to Bond so quickly; I find her to be a female version of Bond in a way. Something that made me really like her is after escaping Carver and she and Bond shower (fully clothed) she uses the handcuffs to trap him saying she works alone. Michelle Yeoh actually performed her own stunts in the movie which made me really like this character a lot more. Wai Lin is not a damsel in distress and even when caught she found a way out. If I had to make a tiny complaint it was the chemistry between Lin and Bond. While there were glances saying they found each other attractive I didn’t really pick up any or all chemistry between them. Other than that I love Wai Lin.
8. Tatiana Romanova. I am probably the only person who likes this character this much, but I’ve always found Tatiana interesting. Portrayed by Daniela Bianchi (and voiced by Barbara Jefford) in the film From Russia with Love, Tatiana was recruited by the evil Rosa Klebb under the impression she was working for her country of Russia to seduce Bond and take a code machine called a Lektor. Unknown to Tatiana, Klebb has been working for SPECTRE and the plan is to kill Bond, along with taking the machine. Tatiana follows through with the plan believing Klebb, even falling for Bond in the process. When Bond catches on with the plan and threatens Tatiana she refuses to give in despite her love for Bond. I’ve always found that admirable for some reason. Tatiana doesn’t speak too much after as she gets drugged by Grant in an effort to make it look like a murder suicide, Bond prevents the plan from completion. Presumably after explaining what had happened, they arrive in Venice to be encountered by Klebb. It seemed Tatiana would go along with the plan, but would turn against Klebb, shooting her to save Bond (this might be why she is so high on my list.) While other Bond girls have killed (on screen and off) I believe Tatiana was the first Bond girl on screen to actually kill someone (I know Honey did but we did not see it.) Not a popular character to most, but it doesn’t stop me from liking Tatiana.
7. Octopussy. While Octopussy is not too memorable a film, this character has gone down as one of the best Bond girls. Portrayed by Maude Adams in Octopussy, she teases the line between good and evil. You don’t really know if she is on Bond’s side or not. Running her own smuggling ring, circus and cult Octopussy is an associate to Kamal Khan and for a short period of time the only reason why Khan doesn’t kill Bond. The reason being, her father was a man Bond was tasked to arrest for treason, but instead allowed him to kill himself instead of facing trial. It is not long before she and Bond get together. Khan soon double crosses Octopussy and attempts to kill her and Bond. When Octopussy realizes she has been deceived she along with her cult fight back against Khan, only for her to get captured. Of course Bond rescues her. Maude Adams is so fantastic in the role, much better than in Golden Gun, and unlike many of the girls in the Roger Moore era is age appropriate for him to be with. I also love her wardrobe in this film.
6. Solitaire. I’m pretty sure you are wondering why a damsel in distress like Solitaire is so high on my list, so please allow me to clarify. I have nothing against damsels in distress; though I prefer a woman can get herself out of a situation and not be “Oh James” around Bond. That being said I absolutely love Jane Seymour as the beautiful tarot reading Solitaire in Live and Let Die. She works for Dr. Kananga reading the future via tarot cards, hence why he always appears to be one step ahead of Bond. When Bond pulls a Lovers card it becomes hard for Solitaire to see. She can only maintain her powers so long as she remains a virgin, which Kananga has sworn to take only when she becomes useless to him. However Bond beats him to it. Solitaire, now apparently horny and wants to be free from Kananga, helps Bond but is taken back to Kananga. She is sent to be killed after discovering her powers are gone, but Bond frees her twice. What I love about Solitaire, aside from her wardrobe, is Jane Seymour’s performance. She is a great actress and her facial expressions are on par with another Bond actress I will talk about little later on. She might be a damsel in distress, but Solitaire is still one of my favorite Bond girls.
5. Pussy Galore. Besides being one of the most iconic names ever, Pussy is highly regarded as one of the best Bond girls. Portrayed by Honor Blackman in the film Goldfinger. Pussy is Goldfinger’s pilot, and nothing more according to her. She tells Bond to turn off the charm as she is “immune.” In the books she is a lesbian and it is implied in the film, but that doesn’t stop Bond from flirting. While I have stated in an earlier blog Goldfinger is my favorite Bond film I have one problem and that is when Pussy and Bond get together as it appeared he forced himself on her (although she does give in.) She does help Bond after they sleep together and is with him after the plane crashes before going at it again. Pussy is not only beautiful but she doesn’t give in to Bond too easily. She is also well equipped to take care of herself. For a while Pussy was my favorite until I saw a few other films.
4. Honey Rider. This one is a top 10 staple when it comes to Bond girls. Portrayed by Ursula Andress (voiced by Nikki van der Zyl and sung by Diana Coupland), Honey Rider appears in Dr. No and is considered to be the first Bond girl (although Bond hooks up with 2 other women in the film.) To say she has one of the most iconic and best entrances in Bond films, or any films, is an understatement. Honey comes out of the water in a white bikini drop dead gorgeous and from there she has Bond’s attention. However if Honey was just a beautiful face she would not be this high on my list. As depicted in the book as well she is a very independent woman, having lost her parents at an early age, a fire in the books while she suspects Dr. No killed her father in the film. She also says her landlord raped her when she was younger and the first chance she got took revenge by placing a deadly spider above his bed and scaring him to death. While she does play a more active role in the book than the film, there is no doubt why Honey Rider is the Bond girl others are measured against.
3. Natalya Simonova. Talk about character development, especially for a Bond girl. Portrayed by Izabella Scorupco, she is one of the smartest, beautiful and quick to adapt Bond girls I personally have seen in any one the movies, and thankfully I have found I’m not only person who likes this character this much. In GoldenEye Natalya is involved in the story early on being the only survivor on the attack of GoldenEye. She reaches out to her “friend” Boris, not knowing he is the one who told the bad guys where to go. She meets Bond after being trapped in a helicopter and he is has to save both of them. She and Bond work together to track down GoldenEye and stop Trevelyan’s plans. I personally feel that Natalya is the smartest Bond girl, not just because of her computer skills, but because of how quick she is to adapt to the situation around her, at least she is the smartest out of the Brosnan girls in my opinion. While Bond is usually the one to destroy the bad guys’s plan it is actually Natalya who makes sure GoldenEye fires back onto itself, which I really enjoyed. After Boris betrays her the only person she trusts is Bond, which makes their relationship pretty easy, and also makes her exasperated when explosions keep happening. One of my favorite Bond girls.
2. Vesper Lynd. Probably not surprised to see her this high. Portrayed by Eva Green Vesper appears halfway through Casino Royale as a British treasury agent who is assigned to help Bond and protect the 10 million for the buy in at Le Chiffre’s Texas Hold Em. It is obvious from the start the two are attracted to each other with very subtle flirting. After their mission is successful, not without a few close calls with death and Vesper refusing to give him more money, the two have a romantic dinner; until Le Chiffre’s men show up and kidnap them. Bond hears Vesper being tortured but does not give in to Le Chiffre’s demands. Short time later Bond and Vesper are let go and finally give in to their feelings; Bond even resigns to be with her, but much like with another Bond girl this “happy ending” ends in tragedy. However when M calls Bond and says the money from the game was not deposited and when the banker in charge says the money was begin withdrawn Bond realizes Vesper is a double agent. He follows her and kills her clients, but Vesper refuses his attempts to save her and she drowns herself. M tells Bond Vesper’s lover was captured by the organization employing Le Chiffre and threatened to kill him unless she turned; in turn during the torture Vesper agreed to give the money in exchange for Bond’s life, she also left Bond the name and how to find Mr. White. Bond denounces his feelings for Vesper, famously stating “The bitch is dead”, however in Quantum of Solace it is clear he is not over Vesper. He also discovers her lover Yusef is actually an agent of Quantum who makes women fall for him and when he is “taken” they are forced to become double agents. Seeing how Vesper’s betrayal wasn’t her fault, Bond tracks Yusef down, explains the scheme to his latest would be victim and leaves him for MI6. He then drops Vesper’s necklace in the snow. It would not be the last time we would see Vesper in the Craig version of Bond; in Spectre Blofeld gladly takes credit for her death to torture Bond. Vesper is one of the two Bond girls where we all know he fell in love with, and much like the other one her horrific death shapes Bond into who he is the rest of the franchise. Eva Green is also a fantastic actress and the way she portrays Vesper is a woman who kinda steps on the line between good and evil, but leads with her heart. In my opinion Vesper is the last great Bond girl (as of this date).
- Contessa Terresa di Vicenzo, aka Tracy Bond. I guarantee no one is surprised she is at this spot. Portrayed by Diana Rigg, Tracy was not in a good place when she met Bond in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” After her cheating husband was killed in a car accident with his mistress and losing a child to spinal meningitis Tracy drives to a beach looking to drown herself. Little did she know Bond was right behind her and he saved her life. She then thanks him at the hotel they are both staying at, though Bond has to fight off a few guys, literally. Turns out Tracy is the daughter of Marc-Ange Draco, a crime-lord with legitimate businesses. Seeing Tracy happier with Bond, Draco offers his services to 007 if he keeps seeing Tracy. Desperate to find Blofeld Bond agrees, but even after he has information he continues to spend time with Tracy. When he has to leave for his mission it is not long before Tracy inadvertently joins to help Bond. When hiding from Blofeld and his henchmen Bond professes his love for Tracy and proposes. Tracy is soon captured by Blofeld, but Bond and her father rescue her, and she puts up a fight against the henchmen. Bond and Tracy marry, but it ends in tragedy after Blofeld and Blunt drive past shooting, just missing Bond but killing Tracy. Tracy is one of two women Bond truly falls for and sadly the same two whose deaths affect Bond the next few films. While she was not the first women Bond fell for in the books, she was in the film franchise and a major factor in the future; she is also so far the only woman to marry Bond. Tracy’s death haunts Bond and is mentioned multiple times in multiple films even after the actor changed. What I also love about Tracy is Diana Rigg’s performance. One of the best actresses of her generation, Rigg can tell more with a look than a monologue could in ten minutes. If I were to rank the best acted Bond girls, Rigg would still be number one, props to the writing as well. Also in my opinion if another person had played Tracy they may not have done the character as sweet and headstrong, but possibly spoiled brat which she is not. For all that and more Tracy deserves to be the number one Bond girl/woman.
So that is my list what is yours?