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Monday
Dec312012

Reader Rank: 2012's 007 Mania featuring the Bond Girls

Though we've really just begun our Year in Review of 2012 no such survey would be feel complete without at least a perfunctory visit to the shadowy world of super spy Bond, James Bond. Skyfall, the 23rd official James Bond feature released to coincide with the franchise's 50th anniversary is already the top grossing Bond of all time with $1 billion at the global box office. That's enough cash to get any Bond Villain (or Bond Villain parody) rubbing his fingers together with greed "one beeeeeeeiiiillion dollars"

Bérénice Marlowe as "Severine" in SKYFALL

Just before Skyfall came out I asked readers to submit their own rankings of the Bond films. It's such a big tallying project that I think I'll have to save the main results for the Skyfall DVD release (so if you still want to submit your ballot email it to me with "Bond Rank" in the title line and make sure to rank every Bond film you've seen in the email). I have finished the less strenuous task of tabulating the numbers for your favorite Bond Girls. How does the newbie Bérénice Marlohe as Severine stack up for all of you? I personally thought she was sensational with a lethal mix of smooth outer beauty and deep inner terror that had me imagining the feeling of skating on dangerously thin ice that's cracking loudly underneath your feet. I've included her in my "sexpot of the year" nominees. Pity that she has to share that new Film Bitch Awards page with her captor/lover Silva (Javier Bardem) who is nominated in the "villain of the year" category. 

cue theme music....

READER'S RANK: THE BEST BOND GIRLS

Maud Adams has the Trivia Bonus distinction of having played two different Bond Girls in her career. "Andrea" in The Man With the Golden Gun (1974) and the title character in Octopussy (1983)

Honorable Mentions (aka 007 More Women Who Scored Well With Readers): Natalya (GoldenEye), Tatiana (From Russia With Love), Elektra King (The World is Not Enough), Malina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only), Fiona Volpe (Thunderball) and Maud Adams as Octopussy. I love this comment about the latter from Andrew:

The character is not that much fun in the movie itself, but just the fact that she's basically a brothel madam named "Octopussy" is pretty great."

The 007 Top Girls with a few key reader quotes after the jump...

Michelle Yeoh. The only official Bond girl to have later headlined an Best Picture Oscar Nominee (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon)

007 WAI LIN (Michelle Yeoh) Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

my favorite part of every promotion campaign for every James Bond movie is how every Bond girl actress claims that she is completely unlike every Bond girl before her, a strong woman rather than a hot chick. I believe it was Michelle Yeoh who started this..."

          -Christof 

 


Famke Jannsen as one of the deadliest of all Bond Girls

006 XENIA ONATOPP (Famke Janssen) GoldenEye (1995)

I can't actually remember if she has full on sex with Bond, or just a really sexual fight scene that includes an orgasm. This fact really encapsulates why she's my favorite."
          -Andrew

 I'm not sure my prepubescent self was ready for her."
          -Sam 

Not only is Xenia probably the best Bond girl of the modern era, but  SHE KILLED PEOPLE USING HER THIGHS. WHAT. THE. FUCK. 
          -Derreck 

 


Does Anya get bonus points for having the best theme song?

005 MAJOR ANYA AMASOVA (Barbara Bach) The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

She holds Bond accountable for his actions, something no Bond Girl ever did before.  I love when they each try to one up the other."
     -Tom 

 


Honey Ryder's watery entrance was so indelible that it took 44 years and James Bond himself (in the form of Daniel Craig) to top it as ocean bathing suit entrances go

004 HONEY RYDER (Ursula Andress) Dr. No (1962)

Got revenge by planting deadly arachnid: yes!"
     -Catherine 

You can't argue with the white bikini."
     -Wallace 

 

The top three were way way out front -- we're talking doubling or tripling the scores of the other top choices -- and neck and neck and neck throughout voting. Eventually it fell in the following order though the voting was so close you might want to consider it a three-way tie.

At the very least Honor Blackman wins the "Best Bond Girl Names Contest"

003 PUSSY GALORE (Honor Blackman) in Goldfinger (1964)

AMAZING."
         -Jon C. 

She knows judo, has her own flying circus and doesn't need Bond to kick ass."
         -Wallace 

No one comes close in my opinion."
         - Josh 

 


Mrs Bond, Mrs James Bond

002 CONTESSA TERESA di VICENZO (Diana Rigg) in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

Totally unique in the pantheon"
     -Paul

 

 

001 VESPER LYND (Eva Green) in Casino Royale (2006)

Dark and beautiful and everything a revamped Bond Girl needed to be."
           -Josh 

 

Finally, I'll let Wil H, subatomic cowboy, explain why Teresa & Vesper were the two up top and hit such a chord with Bond fanatics and moviegoers. 

The two woman Bond has had the most emotional relationship with in the movies. Of course, they are both dead by the end, but what are you gonna do? Eva Green and Diana Rigg are great, though Green might come off slightly better since she's acting with a better scene partner. The closest they've come to approaching the level of emotional stakes with Bond girls that you feel with these two are probably Natalya in Goldeneye and Kara in The Living Daylights.  
     -Wil H" 

ARE YOU PLEASED WITH THE RESULTS? For an alternate list please see Deborah's "007 Femme Fatales" ...and if you need more Bond, there's plenty.

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Reader Comments (18)

I was from Malaysia, so does Michelle Yeoh. So imagine back then when she became the Bond Girl the whole nation went crazy and all the media never stopped reporting it. She was the first star from our nation to truely hit big internationally. All of us are proud of her. And rightly so, as she is the first Bond Girl who actually fight side by side with Bond.

December 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

OK maybe it's not right to say I "was" from Malaysia, as I AM STILL living in Malaysia, LOL.

December 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

PJ -- she's also one of the most successful actresses outside of the James Bond series too so stay proud. Love love love her. Wish she had had other movies as rich as Crouching Tiger since then but those don't come along very often.

December 31, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I'm glad people are liking Eva Green's performance as much as i do. Ever since Casino, i've been such a fan of hers.

But it seems as if my love for Elektra King is in the minority. Oh well. I really hope the Craig era gets a woman who ends up being the HBIC/Main villain of a nefarious operation. Maybe Kate Winslet could have a go at that or Daniel could just turn over in bed and ask Rachel Weisz if she's interested.

December 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDerreck

Ugh. I hate Honey Ryder. Such a dull Bond Girl. And not even that attractive. But I love the rest of the list. Disappointed Elektra King didn't make it higher.

December 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

no eva green picture? shame.

I think I have seen every bond picture (except for skyfall), and I like this list, specially for anya, xenia and vesper. but I agree with sad man: I remember ursula andress' character as being very bland.

December 31, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

Xenia is way up top for me. Can you even imagine Goldeneye without her lip-licking-and-biting, all-purpose commando, machine gun-waving batshit psycho presence to elevate it? And speaking of sexpots, I'd like to know just how many sexually budding young people in 1995 who saw that movie in theatres later turned to S&M (anyone have the statistics?).

December 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTK

Denise Richards as Dr Christmas Jones doesn't even show up? I demand a recount ;-)

December 31, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrami (ramification)

Octopussy certainly did not run a brothel! She ran a crime ring, and as a cover and a sideline, a meditation retreat for women.

Christof is off in his estimations by over 30 years. The first "Bond girl" to explain to the media that she was completely different from those other Bond girls, strong and independent rather than just hot, was Honor Blackman (Pussy Galore) in 1964.

December 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Lipp

Deborah: A meditation retreat for women?! Lol, right...just for hot women dressed like prostitutes.

December 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

Adam: Dressed like prostitutes? What? Do you mean the women wearing saris or the circus performers in their tumbling costumes? (I failed to mention she also ran a circus as a cover for her smuggling operation.)

December 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Lipp

Honestly, I don't care much either way, but I'll leave you with this link.

http://i1.cdnds.net/11/44/618x401/618w_james_bond_in_pictures_8.jpg

December 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

@ Derreck and sad man-- I agree with everything you said. since Bond movies are becoming more prestige, maybe we can get more prestige actresses to play the Bond Women. If they ever make a script with a female main villain they will probably ask Angelina Jolie to play the part.

December 31, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertom

No love for Pam Bouvier or Solitaire? Oh, well - this is a pretty diverse list. And the top three match my top three, so I can't complain too much.

December 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKeith Gow

Keith -- both Bouvier and Solitaire won votes... but they were basically in the third tier from reader votes. all told 40 different bond girls won at least one vote.

December 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

My same exact top 2, so no complaints, even if Honey Ryder is pretty much the most overrated person, place, or thing in the Bond universe.

Nobody wants to talk about Sévérine? Fine, then I will: so damn sexy - one of the hottest Bond women ever - and so good with the smokey repartee, and then she's killed in such a trashy, throw-away manner that completely ruined the whole character for me. Very mean-spirited scene.

And I have to say, I really quite adored Naomie Harris as Eve in Skyfall, too, and if I'd seen the movie before voting, she would have been on my list. Without spoiling anything for the uninitiated, I'll just say that the window left open for her to return is the single most exciting thing to me about the next Bond movie.

December 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTim

Severine is a classic Fleming woman with a Fleming name. She was so tragic, so clearly abused, that I found it hard to see her as hot or smouldering or anything other than broken. And there should have been more acknowledgement of her demise. Beautifully portrayed, though.

December 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Lipp

I really don't get the enduring love of Ursula Andress' character. Okay, she looks hot, but she's easily one of the most useless Bond girls ever.

December 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSean C.

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