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greginak

good piece. one of standard, dumb articles that come out every time there is a bond movie is about the supposedly new tough, strong, different "bond girl"(however you define it) that is going to bury the bad sexist past. it's like the people who write those articles have never seen a bond flick. diana rigg completely kicks ass and is as hot as can be. no "bond girl" will ever top her.

cebm

I wanted to be Emma Peel when I grew up and

Judi Dench is...just so damn good at everything.

sfmike

Ursula Andress was my all-time favorite, but I believe it was "Dr. No" rather than "Thunderball" where she graced us with her goddess-like presence.

Lance

Shoot! Of course it was! Thanks for the catch, Mike. I fixed it.

Mike Schilling

What happened to Grace Jones anyway?

She and Otis Sistrunk are now teaching at UMars.

D.R.Scott

On Her Majesty's Secret Service was a curious anomaly in a number of ways, I think.

In my opinion, Diana Rigg was more than just the best "Bond" girl in the series. Besides being intelligent, strong-minded and elegant, Rigg was the only woman that Bond truly respected. When he fell in love with her, you believed it because you understood the reason why. (Unfortunately, it was that same strength of character that kept Rigg from being a bigger star than she was. Hollywood had no idea what to do with a woman who refused to objectify herself.)

It's also why the conclusion was so shattering emotionally. As you wrote, Rigg wasn't a prop to be tossed aside casually, and you knew that for a cold-blooded secret agent who killed people for a living, this was a tragedy that would follow him for the rest of his life. None of the subsequent Bond movies would ever come close to humanizing the 007 character.

But the other reason this particular Bond movie worked so well was George Lazenby, a gifted actor who had the bad luck to follow Sean Connery. In retrospect, although the producer's decision was vilified at the time, I thought the decision to cast Lazenby was an inspired one. Lazenby was a ruggedly handsome man who carried himself with a sly confidence, and was able to artfully negotiate that precarious balance between knowing how to kill a man if he had to while ordering the proper bottle of wine. Connery and Lazenby were men, not callow pretty boys carrying a fake Walther PPK. It's why the relationship he had with Rigg felt like a love story starring two adults as opposed to an zit-faced adolesscent practicing corny pick up lines he studied from his daddy's "Playboy".

In comparison, Roger Moore, however, was a fraud who should have played James Bond's butler. But then, it was easier for Moore to ease into Bond's Aston Martin because of all the flak Lazenby took. If the films stayed with Lazenby, I think the series would have been more mature and realistic. Instead, once Moore was firmly in place, the movies began their downward spiral into terminal silliness.

Every time I watch On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the words "might have been" keep echoing in my head.

chachabowl

"James Bond" and "007" as the cover identity and code for separate agents over many years would explain the continuity problem of Judi Dench's "M" resenting the Brosnan "Bond" at the start of "Goldeneye," then years later promoting the Craig "Bond" to Double-0 status in "Casino Royale."

The wife and I saw "Quantum of Solace" today, she thought it ran too long, and I thought it flew by--- not to spoil anything, but it does feel like the middle part of a trilogy. (And speaking of Bond Girls, that was some visual homage to "Goldfinger" late in the movie.)

Being old enough to remember when theaters would show 2 to 3 older Bond movies a day in the weekend before a new one would come out, I like Craig's take on the role: his Bond is more physical, brasher, and sadly aware that everything has a cost.

actor212

Grace Jones regularly charts in the UK and in the US on BIllboard's Dance charts.

As to Bond being an identity passed on...Fleming gave Bond parents, names and all, in "On Her Majesty's...". His father is Andrew and mother is Monique Delacroix.

Best Bond girl?

That's easy: Rosa Klebb.

LauraJMixon

Grace Jones is as magnificent as ever. Here is her website:

http://www.theworldofgracejones.com/

And here is a review of a recent work of hers:

http://www.shaviro.com/Blog/?p=653

chachabowl

Playing around with the identity topic some more, wasn't "George Kaplan" the fictional government agent that was used to track Philip Vandamm in "North By Northwest"? With planted evidence along the way to make him seem real? Until Roger Thornhill showed up to accidentally assume the cover identity.

I shared the theory with my wife about Bond being a cover identity for different agents over time, and she said, "Of course it is, didn't you know that?"

Falstaff

On a total tangent... I'm kind of embarrassed to bring this up, because I know serious people aren't supposed to like fan fiction. Still, I'm reminded of a story I read shortly after the second "Casino Royale" came out, a bit of fanfic where, as part of a much longer story, M points out to Bond that, at the time she joined the Service, female agents were expected to have certain skills and expected to undertake certain missions. Ahem.

I don't know. I look at Dench's M and I can totally believe that; she's smart enough to have been that and shed that part of her life like an old coat. And she's weathered worse storms, I think, than Bond has. (At least, the Craig Bond. I don't know about the others.)

Rosie

Although I liked Scott's comments about Lazenby, I disliked his comments about Roger Moore:


"In comparison, Roger Moore, however, was a fraud who should have played James Bond's butler. But then, it was easier for Moore to ease into Bond's Aston Martin because of all the flak Lazenby took. If the films stayed with Lazenby, I think the series would have been more mature and realistic. Instead, once Moore was firmly in place, the movies began their downward spiral into terminal silliness."


BLAME SEAN CONNERY, not Roger Moore. It was during Connery's tenure that the Bond films became silly and stupid, starting with "GOLDFINGER". "ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE" was a mere stint of relief until the worst Bond film ever made, "DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER".

Gary Farber

"...being the worst Bond film of all time...."

I have to put Man With The Golden Gun up against this. That was a film in which the opponent was made super competent, and James Bond was made completely incompetent, and a joke.

That just won't do.

I think poorly of almost all of the Roger Moore Bond films, with the exception of For Your Eyes Only, in which Bond returned to being semi-competent, and Carole Bouquet was a strong, competent, woman who didn't sleep with Bond.

But MWTGG was just terrible, with a fat southern joke of a sheriff, and no redeeming aspects.

Rosie

I still believe that "DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER" is the worst James Bond movie ever made. Granted, I feel that "THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN" isn't that far behind. But I can say the same about "DR. NO", "TOMORROW NEVER DIES" and the one Bond movie I truly despise, "GOLDFINGER".

Lee

Why would you call Judi Dench a Bond Girl? She's not a Bond Girl. She's "M".

domepuppy

If it's female and it's a Bond movie, it's a Bond Girl. Including Moneypenny. Do yourself a favor and don't tell Judi or Diana or Ursula they're not Bond Girls. They'll have you killed. Ok, we're going to pretend you never wrote this and I promise not to tell anyone about it. Now go lie down.

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