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.

007 press kits Part II: The Living Daylights

The Living Daylights had a relatively modest press kit but it had three stills compared to just one for Never Say Never Again. The stills consisted of: a photo of star Timothy Dalton, which was part of the main poster art; a closeup still of Dalton in a tuxedo, apparently from the Koskov/KGB defection sequence after the main titles; and a publicity shot of Dalton and co-star Maryam d’Abo, taken during shooting in Vienna.

In a biography of Dalton, we’re told:

One of Britain’s most distinguished stage and screen actors, Dalton was selected for the role of the world’s best known secret agent after an exhaustive worldwide search and montsh of speculation by the news media and the movie-going public.

“When I was about 25, Mr. Broccoli very kindly asked me if I’d be interested in taking over the role of James Bond from Sean Connery,” Dalton recalls. Frankly, I thought it would be a very stupid move — I considered myself too young and Connery too good. I was approached again several years later, but had already been asked to appear in ‘Flash Gordon.’ So when the schedules came back together this time, I was delighted to accept and embraced this film with a lot of joy and enthusiasm.”

In the main press release, the production team commented on Dalton:

“He’s different,” says Albert R. Broccoli, producer of all fifteen of the United Artists Bond films, “Timothy is a very physical Bond and tried to do most of his own stunts.” “Timothy Dalton is one of a kind — as were his predecessors,” agrees director John Glen. “He’s a fine actor and he shows great aptitude for the role. He’s athletic, enthusiastic, and a good sense of humor, all of which are essential for us.”

The latter comment is interesting, given that Dalton didn’t like delivering the trademark Bond quips, and his two films are criticized by some fans for being humorless at times. Then again, in press releases, the principals didn’t necessarily say what they’re quoted as saying. Often, the writer of the release drafts a statement and it’s sent to the executive or person involved for approval. So it’s possible, Glen was simply shown the quote and approved it, rather than actually saying it.

Because it was the 25th anniversary film, there is also a two-and-a-half page biography of Ian Fleming.

Creator of James Bond, the suave secret agent who changed the direction of both spy literature and motion picture history, Ian Fleming was renowned as a man of laughter, warmth and compassion — all the things the hero of his novels is not!