`She’ll have our guts for garters!’

"Really, Mr. Bond...."

“Really, Mr. Bond….”


Margaret Thatcher, the first woman British prime minister, died April 8 at the age of 87. Her passing revived a debate about her political career and impact on the U.K.

Us? Besides all that we were reminded about her sort-of-appearance as a Bond woman in the person of actress Janet Brown (1923-2011).

The Bond movies, when producer Albert R. Broccoli was at the helm, avoided politics generally. We’d occasionally hear references to “the P.M.” or “the Prime Minister” for the U.K. or “the President” for the U.S. But you never saw the person holding the office, even from a rear or obscured view.

That changed in a big way with 1981’s For Your Eyes Only, which came out early in Thatcher’s tenure. After Bond (Roger Moore) wasn’t able to bring in a Cuban hitman alive for questioning, the Defence Minister proclaims, referring to the P.M., “She’ll have our guts for garters!” Few in the audience needed an additional explanation, given Thatcher’s reputation as a tough leader.

But the film’s ending, with 007 having successfully keeping a critical device out of Soviet hands, went where no Bond film had gone before.

Q sets up a satellite call between the P.M. to congratulate Bond herself. 007, after a rough mission, would prefer spending some quality time with heroine Melina (Carole Bouquet) and leaves his watch/communications device with Melina’s parrot.

Then, we see what’s supposed to be the exterior of No. 10 Downing Street. But this time, there’s no obscurred view. We see Janet Brown as Thatcher on the phone, thinking she’s congratulating Bond. For an added bonus, actor John Wells shows up as Thatcher’s husband, Denis.

It’s a slapstick sequence that stands out in a movie that made a concerted effort to be a “back to basics” 007 story after 1979’s Moonraker. The film’s long climatic sequence had been tense, so evidently Broccoli & Co. felt a longer laugh was called for. In any event, no Bond movie ever tried anything like this since involving an actual politician.

Anyway, here it is (at least until it gets yanked from YouTube):

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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: