Bond films wouldn't be half so interesting, popular - or, let's face it, nearly as scenic - without that crucial ingredient: the Bond girl. It's always big news when a new Bond girl is cast in an upcoming 007 film. Often winning a role as a Bond girl can be a mixed blessing. While a few actresses can look back fondly at their experiences as a Bond girl at the end of a long and fruitful career, many more have found their casting a hindrance, their high-profile appearance perhaps branding them, often unfairly, as lightweight cheesecake, and failing to lead on to the bigger and better parts they initially dreamed of.
Either way, for better or worse, these actresses have become part of the worldwide Bond legacy, forever linked to this 50-year-old series in the eyes of fans past, present and future.
So, then...What are the ingredients that make for a good Bond girl?
Beauty goes without saying. While beauty is, as they say, in the eye of the beholder, I think few could argue that nearly every actress to appear on screen in a James Bond film has been quite attractive, to say the least (personally speaking, I would have to exclude the mannish Grace Jones from that assessment, though I'm sure she has her fans).
Therefore, beauty and sex appeal alone are not enough. The women who have lit up the screen in the James Bond series, the ones that truly stand out, bring a special something extra to the role: either a worldly sophistication, an easy elegance, a sureness or confidence of manner, or a fierce intelligence. And even more importantly, a memorable Bond woman needs an allure, an aura of mystery, that exquisite unknowability that drives regular men to distraction - an allure sufficiently powerful enough to turn the head of the notoriously bed-hopping, love 'em and leave 'em 007.
Pretty much every Bond movie has at least something to recommend it, either a cool bit of business, a nice action scene, a good line or character, etc. But for me, these five are the dregs of the series. In ascending order, then, here are my least favorite Bond films:
October 4th is International James Bond Day, and 2012 is the 50th Anniversary of the 007 franchise. To commemorate this occasion, I thought I'd dedicate several posts over this week to one of the all-time great series in movie history.
We movie geeks love to make lists. So, here's my first list revolving around the Bond series. And what's more typical of a list than a Top Ten? So, without further ado, here are The Stalking Moon's picks for the very best of Bond.
For decades, On Her Majesty's Secret Service (hereafter OHMSS), the sixth 007 film and the first without Sean Connery, was treated as the red-headed stepchild of the series. Gradually, over the years, its reputation has increased, until it’s now considered one of the best of all Bond films. I think it’s THE best...and here are some of my reasons why.
It’s made, and set, in the 60s, where Bond belongs
As much as I love parts of later Bond films (or all, in some cases - for example, 2006's Casino Royale), to me, Bond belongs in the 1960s. Not only was that decade the height of the Bond craze (which in turn spawned the spy craze in movies, TV and comics), but it's a time that just feels right for the character. Bond (especially in the movies) is a creature of excess, and the Bond films, with their emphasis on hedonism, fashion and globe-hopping, fit right into that 60s aesthetic. OHMSS came out in 1969, at the apex of the decade, and acts as a capper to a magical six film run. Things would never quite be the same for 007 again.
Opinionated ramblings about new and old movies (mostly old, as that's the way I like 'em!)
Blogs of Note
Stuart Galbraith IV's World Cinema Paradise
Movie Morlocks (TCM's Classic Movie Blog)
50 Westerns from the 50s
Riding the High Country
Tipping My Fedora
Thrilling Days of Yesteryear
Laura's Miscellaneous Musings
Classic TV and Film Cafe
Just a Cineast
She Blogged By Night
Chess, Comics, Crosswords, Books, Music, Cinema
Out of the Past -
A Classic Film Blog
Pretty Sinister Books
They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To
In So Many Words...
Greenbriar Picture Shows
My Love of Old Hollywood
Tales of the Easily Distracted
Another Old Movie Blog
Lasso the Movies
Kevin's Movie Corner
Films From Beyond the Time Barrier
Carole & Co.
Rupert Pupkin Speaks
Vienna's Classic Hollywood
The Lady Eve's Reel Life
ClassicBecky's Brain Food
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