Who were the 007 women standing with a clipboard?

Barbara Broccoli, co-boss of Eon Production, which produces 007 movies, gave an interview that generated a long story in the London Evening Standard. Many of Broccoli’s quotes have been chewed over. One passage caught our eye:

Barbara Broccoli

We can also credit Broccoli with tackling the sexism of 007. “Fortunately, the days of Bond girls standing around with a clipboard are over,” she says drily.

The writer, Liz Hoggard, doesn’t appear to have pressed Broccoli for specific examples of “clipobard” Bond girls. The Eon co-boss gives a pass in general to 007 heroines of the early movies: “Actually, when you read the early books, and watch the early films, the women were very interesting, exotic, complicated people. I always get into such an issue when I talk about these things. But they were pretty strong in their own right.” (emphasis added)

Broccoli specifically exempts Ursula Andress’s Honey Rider and Honor Blackman’s Pussy Galore. But that still begs the question — who were the “clipboard” Bond heroines?

For argument’s sake, let’s skip the first six Eon Bond films (five of which were relatively faithful adapations of Ian Fleming novels) and survey the possibilities. We’ll also skip the Casino Royale-Quantum of Solace reboot because Broccoli and her half-brother, Michael G. Wilson, remolded the franchise as they wished. Without further ado:

Tiffany Case (Jill St. John): Tiffany starts out Diamonds Are Forever as a tough, shrewd character but does engage in some slapstick before the 7th Eon 007 film ends.

Solitaire (Jane Seymour): Virginal with apparent supernatural powers (prior to having sex), Solitaire didn’t show a lot of self-defense skills.

Mary Goodnight (Britt Ekland): Played mostly for laughs in The Man With The Golden Gun.

Major Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach): Top agent of the KGB, the female lead of the Spy Loved Me was the first “Bond’s equal” character.

Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles): An astronaut *and* a CIA agent. Another “Bond’s equal” character. Bond needs her to fly a Moonraker shuttle to Drax’s space station. As noted in a reader comment below, she was holding a clipboard. But she’s neither helpless nor ditzy.

Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet): Young woman seeking revenge for her slain parents and carries a mean crossbow.

Octopussy (Maud Adams): Successful businesswoman and smuggler.

Stacey Sutton (Tanya Roberts): A professional woman (a geologist) but not always very self-aware (a noisy blimp sneaks up on her).

Kara Milovy (Maryam d’Abo):A talented musician but has a tendency to be manipulated by men.

Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell): One-time CIA agent and skilled pilot.

Natalya Simonova (Izabella Scorupco): Russian computer programmer, Bond can’t defeat the former 006 without her help.

Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh): Ace Chinese secret agent, another “Bond’s equal” character.

Dr. Christmas Jones (Denise Richards): Another professional woman (skilled in dealing with nuclear weapons), though many fans felt casting of Richards undercut that.

Jinx Johnson (Halle Berrry): Operative for the U.S. NSA, yet another “Bond’s equal” character.

9 Responses

  1. If memory serves, I do believe Holly Goodhead is holding a clipboard when she first meets Bond at the Drax shuttle compound in MOONRAKER.

  2. And Major Amasova does get tied up in TSWLM.

  3. Klaus Hergersheimer, G Section, was a transvestite. Or was that Blofeld in DAF? I forget… 🙂

  4. Babs is a complete hypocrite. She used the Bond character in drag – a good cause, but used in a bad way.

    Then, in SF she finds it perfectly fine to have Bond in a completely revolting, disgusting scene, where Bond pretty much rapes a woman that has been used and abused by men, psychologically, emotionally and physically (the latter can be considered the worst, of course).

    He knows it and he takes advantage of it.

    Or how about Bond still having sex with young women old enough to be the character’s daughter, as is many times the case along the canon. Nothing wrong with it – but practically always (when the actor reaches a certain rage range)? Come on. Christmas Jones comes to mind.

    Not to mention, as well indicated in the list above, the fact that it seems the only way they seem to be able to portray a strong woman, is by making her Bond’s equal. As if a woman doesn’t know how to shoot or fight is not a strong person by definition.

    Babs should just keep her trap shut.

  5. “My character’s not like every other Bond girl, she’s more like Bond”
    – maybe they all learn that line for every press event 😉

  6. […] The video blog avoids criticism of earlier Bond movies, where actresses talk about how their character is “Bond’s equal,” unlike previous films. Also, in 2012, Eon Productions co-boss Barbara Broccoli said, “Fortunately, the days of Bond girls standing around with a clipboard are over.” […]

  7. If Severine was raped by Bond in Skyfall, then why were the scenes of them with sexual eye contact so strongly pointed out? Also, she could have cried out for help if she did not want Bond to make love to her.

  8. […] have said the same thing about their Bond woman characters. And Barbara Broccoli, the boss at Eon, has said much the same thing over the […]

  9. […] decade ago, Eon boss Barbara Broccoli dismissed some Bond women characters as being […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: