We were trading e-mails with a fellow Bond fan the other day and the question came up: How many times did 007 actually kill the main villain, anyway? By that, we mean, when Bond was actually was trying to kill him or her, not merely responsible for the death.
The film Bond is great at killing thugs or the occasional femme fatale such as Fiona Volpe or Xenia Onatopp. But the main villains? The ones pulling the strings? The answer may be not as often as you might think. Here’s a quick a look at the 22 films in the series produced by Eon Productions:
Dr. No: No. Bond and Dr. No were fighting on the good doctor’s nuclear reactor after the villain came after the agent. Dr. No perished in the reactor, but Bond was already scrambling to get out of there. Dr. No would have made if he had normal hands instead of two metal ones. You can easily say Bond was responsible, but 007 didn’t really kill him.
From Russia With Love: Bond killed Red Grant on the Orient Express, but Grant’s not really the main villain. Rosa Klebb was killed by Tatiana. Kronsteen, who dreamed up the plot, was killed by SPECTRE after the plan failed. No.
Goldfinger: No. Goldfinger and Bond were scuffling, each trying to get Goldfinger’s gold-plated semi-automatic. A shot goes off by accident (fired by Bond or Goldfinger?) goes through a window on a jet, with Goldfinger get sucked out of the aircraft. Responsible? Sure. Actually killing him? No.
Thunderball: No. Largo was killed by Domino with a speargun.
You Only Live Twice: No. Blofeld got away.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service: No. Blofeld got away.
Diamonds Are Forever: Not clear, we’re not certainly shown that he did. (Tom Mankiewicz wrote a scene where Bond definitively killed Blofeld but it wasn’t filmed.) Based on the pre-credits sequence of For Your Eyes Only, you’d have to say no, but there were legal issues clouding whether that film’s character was really Blofeld or a guy who looks a lot like him.
Live And Let Die: Yes. Bond shoves a gas capsule down Kananga’s mouth, causing him to explode like a balloon.
The Man With The Golden Gun: Yes. Bond shoots Scaramanga.
The Spy Who Loved Me: Yes. Bond shoots Stromberg.
Moonraker: Yes. Bond sends Drax through an air lock into outer space. Even if he hadn’t done that, Drax would have been died from a poison dart Bond fired into the villain.
For You Eyes Only: No. Columbo killed Kristatos.
Soviet soldiers Border guards killed Gen. Orlov. Kamal Khan dies in an airplane crash.
A View To a Kill: Unclear. Bond and Zorin are fighting on the Golden Gate Bridge. But did Zorin just slip or did Bond knock him off intentionally?
The Living Daylights: Half-yes. Bond kills co-main villain Brad Whitaker, but Koskov was still alive when being taken into custody by the KGB. (Life expectancy after that? Hmmm…)
Licence to Kill: Yes. Bond lights a gasoline-soaked Sanchez on fire.
GoldenEye: No. Bond dropped the former 006 from an impressive height, hoping to kill him, definitely trying to kill him. But the villain survived and isn’t killed until he’s hit by wreckage from his villain’s lair.
Tomorrow Never Dies: Yes. Bond made sure Carver was carved up.
The World Is Not Enough: Yes. Bond shoots Elektra.
Die Another Day: Yes. Bond sends Graves/Col. Moon into an engine of the villain’s aircraft.
Casino Royale: No. Le Chiffre is killed by Quantum as Bond lays helpless.
Quantum of Solace: No. Bond leaves Greene alive (albeit out in a desert) and he’s killed by Quantum. M tells Bond that Greene was found with oil in his stomach (Bond had left a can of oil with Greene) and two shots in the back of the skull. Bond intended for Greene to die in the desert, but Quantum (at least Quantum had a motive) had its own ideas.
Filed under: James Bond Films Tagged: | A View To A Kill, Casino Royale, Diamonds Are Forever, Die Another Day, Dr. No, Eon Productions, For Your Eyes Only, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, How many main villains did 007 kill?, James Bond Films, Live and Let Die, Moonraker, Octopussy, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Quantum of Solace, The Living Daylights, The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, The World Is Not Enough, Thunderball, Tomorrow Never Dies, You Only Live Twice