– The latest adventure of the legendary secret agent 007 starts in the cinema on Thursday. Reason enough for a collection of superlatives: the most impressive Bond girls, the driest sayings or the most diabolical villains. Everything you need to know about James Bond
Next week is Bond week. “No Time to Die” will be shown in cinemas on Thursday. It is the 25th part in the series about the legendary British secret agent with the number 007. As the anticipation rises, we take a look back at almost 60 years of Bond. With a strictly subjective collection of superlatives.
The most diabolical villains
All Bond villains have one thing in common: They kill without scruples. The series is not exactly known for the subtle nuances, the world is usually neatly divided into black and white. The good guy kills too, but he eventually does it for Her Majesty the Queen and the rest of the free world.
James Bond quiz
Great actors like Christopher Walken, Christopher Lee or Robert Carlyle were allowed to play the 007 counterpart, but three villains stand out in particular. 3rd place goes to Javier Bardem, who performs a unique feat as Raoul Silva in “Skyfall” (2012): He wins! For the whole film he tries to kill the secret service boss M – and in the end M is dead. Silva is killed in it too, but he is suicidal from the start. Mission accomplished, you could say.
Sophie Marceau took second place as oil heiress Elektra King in “The World Is Not Enough” (1999). A woman as the second worst villain? Yes, indeed. The perfidious is King’s amazing change. First of all, she is the good one. Then she is the good one who has involuntarily succumbed to evil – Stockholm Syndrome. But in the end she shows her true colors: She only used the crazy villain Renard for her revenge the whole time. Devil! Bond would never kill a defenseless woman, she thinks, and tries to run away. But Bond shoots her. Marceau is the ideal cast for this villain, who is not drawn in black and white at all.
Sophie Marceau is in dire straits of Bond.
© imago stock & people, NNZ
But the meanest of all Bond opponents is and remains Gert Fröbe. As the eccentric millionaire Auric Goldfinger, he gives the third and perhaps best film in the series its title: Goldfinger (1964). Fröbe plays with a childlike joy in evil, paired with the street cunning of the self-made man. “Do you expect me to speak?” Asks Bond, strapped to the devil’s machine. “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.”
Legendary villain: Gert Fröbe as Auric Goldfinger.
© imago images / United Archives, NNZ
The driest sayings
Which brings us to the proverbs. Nobody is as quick-witted as Bond. He orders his vodka martini shaken, not stirred. He introduces himself with: “My name is Bond. James Bond. “But that’s just the running gags.
In “Live and Let Die” (1973), for example, he utters this timeless wisdom: “Morning hour is the beginning of all vice.” In “Never Say Never” (1984) a beauty apologizes to him: “How clumsy of me, me got you all wet. “Bond replies,” Yes, but my martini is still dry. That is the main thing. “
In “Fireball” (1965), Bond judges: “A beautiful rifle. Fits more to a woman. “Whereupon villain Emilio Largo asks:” Do you know anything about weapons, Mr. Bond? “The reply:” No, but about women. “
Wait a minute, what’s that ringing? Ah, my internal sexism alert. Another quick saying: Bond friend Tanaka claims in “You Only Live Twice” (1967): “In Japan men come first, women second.” Which leads Bond to the prognosis: “Here I will calm down put. “Well, that’s really enough now.
The most impressive Bond girls
Top. Just escaped from one sexism issue, the next one is waiting. But: You don’t have to rate Bond girls according to their beauty or sex appeal. There were definitely multi-faceted female characters who contributed far more to the franchise than just their good looks.
Grace Jones for example, she plays May Day in “In the Face of Death” (1985). You can see the role critically. May Day is a good-looking, superhuman, whip-wielding man-woman who of course still gets into bed with Bond (she’s on top, though). “Overdrawn” is probably the correct expression.
But May Day is also a strong, black woman who played a key role in an ’80s blockbuster. Anyway. And after May Day is betrayed by the nasty Zorin, she changes to the good side. She detonates the explosive device that is supposed to flood Silicon Valley outside the designated mine shaft, dies in the process and thus saves some filthy rich microchip producers. Thanks be to her.
The woman with the greatest influence on Bond, however, is Vesper Lynd, played by Eva Green in “Casino Royale” (2006). The series had previously reached a dead end with Pierce Brosnan as Bond. Action, cool sayings, bizarre story, more action, and then a little more action. The recipe, which was always the same, had had its day; Bond was to be reinvented.
In Casino Royale, played by Daniel Craig for the first time, Bond gets an emotional side: he falls in love with Vesper Lynd and wants to quit his job because of her. But Lynd has deceived him. Because she was blackmailed, but still. Lynd dies and Bond becomes the chauvinist we know.
© imago / ZUMA Press, NNZ
The tough shell, all because of a disappointed love. You get the feeling that today’s producers just couldn’t live with Bond women for no reason badly treated. In any case, Eva Green plays one of the less conspicuous, less spectacular Bond girls, but at the same time probably the most influential woman in the series – whose death should also play a role in the new Bond.
Back to the subject of sexism. There are scary scenes, especially in the Bond films of the 60s and 70s. “No means no” is a concept that is alien to Bond. From today’s perspective that sometimes hurts, but you don’t have to let the fun of the films take away from you. There is probably no movie from the 60s and 70s that does completely without sexism – a patriarchal society is inevitably reflected in the cinema.
James Bond and the women: Especially in the older films, it is sometimes scary how 007 treats the opposite sex. Here – with Shirley Eaton in “Goldfinger” – the world is all right.
© imago stock & people, NNZ
The most breakneck chases
Back to lighter topics. We don’t have to talk about cars here, even if one could think in some Bond scenes that one would have ended up in “The Fast and the Furious”. Cars are boring. Bond has delivered chases in a helicopter, on a plane, on horseback, in an airboat, with a jetpack, on a snowboard, in an amphibious Lotus Esprit, in a pimped up Venetian gondola or on a surfboard between collapsing icebergs in an arctic tsunami.
The scene in Goldeneye (1995) is legendary when Bond breaks through the wall behind the fleeing car with a tank. He frightens the evil General Orumov so much that he has to take a swig from his flask. Then of course he destroys a few houses and countless cars on the hunt – in the end he straightens his tie.
The motorcycle chase in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul (“Skyfall”) is great, as is the parkour tour of a construction site in “Casino Royale”. Climb onto the crane at a dizzying height and then descend again in three gigantic leaps – but always roll off nicely. In “Octopussy” (1983) Bond escapes a heat-seeking anti-aircraft missile in a light aircraft by making a sharp right turn. Don’t try this at home.
However, Bond delivered perhaps the most beautiful hunts in the snow. Ski legend and fashion guru Willy Bogner made four Bond films between 1969 and 1985 for breathtaking images on the camera. He takes it to extremes in “In tödlicher Mission” (1981). It is probably the only scene in film history in which a four-man bobsleigh, a skier and a motorcyclist whiz down a bobsleigh track at top speed at the same time.
The most exotic ways Bond is supposed to be killed
James Bond should: be eaten by crocodiles; being bitten by a poisonous spider; being strangled with leg scissors during sex; getting, uh, stretched on a stretch bench in a resort hotel; be blown up with a bomb in a Soviet armored train. And a particularly nasty contemporary named Rosa Klebb wanted to stab him with a poisoned ladies’ shoe snap knife. There were certainly numerous other species, but the research comes to an end somewhere. The author of these lines would have loved to spend the past working week watching all 24 Bond films again. His supervisor had other plans.
The best Bond actor
Which brings us to the most talked-about question. You can write a book about it or make it short. No Bond actor was really bad or inappropriate, not even the short-time workers Dalton and Lazenby. But one was better than all the others, and his name is Sean Connery. Period.