When you make your list of the best James Bond films of all time, I'm sure different ones come to mind for each of you. Some people prefer early Bond like From Russia With Love starring Sean Connery, or 80's Bond like The Spy Who Loved Me starring Roger Moore or modern Bond like GoldenEye starring Pierce Brosnan. I'm sure there are even a few On Her Majesty's Secret Service fans out there who prefer George Lazenby and his take on Bond. No matter what your favorite Bond film is (or your favorite Bond actor for that matter), you can always count on a James Bond film to deliver the goods in a few key areas: spectacular action sequences, cool gadgets, memorable villains bent on world domination and, of course, a bevy of beautiful, sexy Bond girls.
Bond girls are a great tradition in the 007 franchise and have been involved in it from the very beginning. In most cases, especially in the films of the 60's and 70's, the Bond girls served mostly as eye candy or a casual fling for 007. As the series progressed, however, the Bond girls evolved from their more ornamental status and developed brains, skills and often played key roles in helping Bond complete his missions. Although, even when they did help him, they still ended up spending some "quality time" with the super-spy in the bedroom, ski lodge, car, submarine or wherever else you could imagine. But really, none of them seemed to mind.
No matter what Bond film is your favorite, Bond girls can be counted on to be smart, beautiful and in some cases as tough and deadly as Bond himself. But sometimes all they really need to do is look good in a bikini to fulfill their Bond girl duties. On that note, and in honor of the latest upcoming Bond film Casino Royale, following are my picks for the seven hottest Bond girls of all time. Alright, enough of me, let's get to the girls:
Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress) in Dr. No (1962) -- The first, and many would argue, the best Bond girl. She emerged from the ocean like a bronzed goddess wearing a white bikini and set the standard for all beautiful, sexy, smart, and tough (but often vulnerable) Bond girls to follow. According to legend, this Swiss Miss' accent was so thick during filming that her voice had to be completely dubbed in post-production. Although, I'm pretty sure the audience (at least the male portion) were not too concerned with what she was saying and instead, had their attention focused a little lower than her mouth. Dubbed, silent or if she was using sign language, Andress was a spectacular start to a tradition that has endured for almost 45 years-- sexy Bond girls. Plus, her name is Honey Ryder -- which started yet another tradition of "interesting" names for Bond girls that also continues today. Andress was the mold that fans everywhere are glad was never broken.
Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi) in From Russia With Love (1963) -- A tall, cool blond that ably carried on the tradition started by Ursula Andress in Dr. No. Her mission: seduce Bond for the evil SPECTRE and set him up to be killed as revenge for the death of Dr. No. Of course, instead of seducing Bond, she falls for him (can you blame her?) and ends up paying the price. Sadly, she won't be the last one to fall into that trap. Bianchi, a former Ms Rome, also had a very think accent like Andress and was dubbed in post-production. But again, her snappy dialog wasn't the most impressive thing about this beauty and her power of speech, or lack of, did nothing to stop her from being a memorable, sexy Bond girl worthy of this list.
Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman) in Goldfinger (1964) -- Ah, Pussy. Her name alone conjures up all sorts of "interesting" images. Combine that with a body that doesn't quit and this sultry Bond vixen really sparked my imagination when I first saw this film (in the 80's on VHS. remember VHS?). Pussy's as tough as a man, can fly a plane while simultaneously leading her bodacious band of female fliers and was the first Bond girl to almost be a match for 007 in a fight or in the hay. Plus, I'm pretty sure she swung both ways. Now that's hot.
Tracy Di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg) in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) -- Like Honor Blackman above, Dania Rigg was also an established TV star -- having appeared as the leather-clad and delectable Emma Peel in The Avengers before she took the role of Tracy Di Vicenzo in this Bond film. She has the distinction of being the only Bond girl to ever get 007 to the altar. Sadly, they didn't really have "all the time in the world" because she's killed by Bond's arch-nemesis Blofeld at the end of the movie. Needless to say, this puts Bond off marriage for good and contributes greatly to his aloof and uncaring attitude toward women later in the series. He just doesn't want to get hurt again ladies and really, can you blame him? No matter the outcome for this Bond girl, Diana Rigg's seriously sexy and intelligent portrayal makes you believe she's a woman worthy of settling down with the great 007. Plus, she's super-hot. Did I mention that? Let's be sure to be clear on that point.
Tiffany Case (Jill St. John) in Diamonds are Forever (1971) -- One of my favorite Bond girls because all she really had to do was run around in a colorful bikini getting into trouble -- and look spectacular doing it. She was funny, smart and sexy as hell. One of my favorite scenes in the film is when she tries to help Bond by taking the super-important cassette tape that runs the bad guy's computer (yes, a cassette tape. 1971, remember?) and sticks it down the back of her bikini bottom. That's an image that I still carry with me to this day. Plus, Jill St. John's performance was part comic, part devious, part sassy, but all sexy, so that made this rather flat film all the more watchable. Tiffany Case was definitely a diamond in the rough.
Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach) in The Spy who Loved Me (1977) -- What can I say about this Bond girl that could possibly do her justice? She's an exotic, sexy KGB spy that goes by the code name XXX. But wait, there's more. This agent is just as at home kicking ass as knocking boots and in all ways, was the first modern Bond girl that could take 007 in a fight (fair or otherwise). 1977 was a great year for me (and male audiences everywhere) when it came to tough, attractive women who knew how to handle themselves but yet, still needed a man once in awhile. Princess Leia and Anya Amasova -- who could ask for anything more? "Shared bodily warmth?" Yes please.
Xenia Onatop (Famke Janssen) in GoldenEye (1995) -- Not a Bond girl in the strictest sense, but more a girl who wants to kill Bond. Luckily, in one of the sexiest, most erotic ways possible -- between her impossibly strong and supple thighs. If you gotta go, I can't think of a better way. According to legend, this super-sexy assassin is the first Bond girl shown having an orgasm on screen. Well, she really did seem to enjoy her work. Famke really distinguishes herself here (in one of her earliest roles) as the tough, sexy (and slightly crazy) Onatop -- who likes it, well, on top. Sadly, she makes the other, more traditional, Bond girls in this film pale in comparison. Or maybe, I just like bad girls better? It's entirely possible.
As for the latest Bond film, Casino Royale, and its Bond girl, Vesper Lynd (played by Eva Green), it remains to be seen if she'll be able to claim a spot on the list of hottest Bond girls. However, from what I've seen of her so far, I think she might just have a chance.
Ok, those are my picks? Did I miss one of your favorites?