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:
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.
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.
Filed under: James Bond Films Tagged: | A View To A Kill, Barbara Bach, Barbara Broccoli, Britt Ekland, Carey Lowell, Carole Bouquet, Denise Roberts, Diamonds Are Forever, Die Another Day, For Your Eyes Only, Goldeneye, Halle Berry, Izabella Scorupco, James Bond Films, Jane Seymour, Jill St. John, Licence to Kill, Live and Let Die, Lois Chiles, Maryam d'Abo, Maud Adams, Michelle Yeoh, Moonraker, Octopussy, Tanya Roberts, The Living Daylights, The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, The World Is Not Enough, Tomorrow Never Dies