After compiling my personal top ten Bond Girls list a few days ago, I thought now would be the most appropriate time to list my top ten worst Bond Girls of the past fifty years. Yes, we may have seen memorable Bond Girls such as Honey Ryder and Vesper Lynd over the past fifty years, but we’ve also seen some horrendous and utterly forgettable (or at least we thought they’d be) ones to go with them.
This list may suprise you: unlike others, Denise Richard’s nuclear physicist Christmas Jones isn’t at the number one spot and after careful consideration, she’s survived from being on the list all together. Another one that got away entirely after thorough thought is Britt Eckland’s clumsy MI6 operative Mary Goodnight who kept moving up the pile as the characters were closely studied. More recently, Gemma Arterton’s niave agent Strawberry Fields has also managed to be spared on the dreaded list: mainly due to the red hair.
This list is not solely compiled due to character: I’ve taken into account writing, directing, cast choices and story to make it as fair as I could be, so on that note, we’ll start with number ten.
10. Stacey Sutton portrayed by Tanya Roberts in ‘A View to a Kill’
Miss Sutton normally finds herself close to the number one spot but for me she nearly dodged the bullet of being on the list entirely. We know that she was helpless in most situations, screaming “help me James” at every opportunity she could but on the whole, Roberts played the character quite well. She was a smart and brave character who helped Moore’s Bond on many occasions, especially when it came to dealing with facts. The fall-down of this character belongs with the writing, and not with Roberts.
9. Paris Carver portrayed by Teri Hatcher in ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’
Not the only ‘Carver’ on the list; Paris was a useless character, who to me, was only included to boost Hatcher’s ego. It may sound harsh but it’s opinion: Hatcher was boring, wooden and looked slightly too old for the part (I only recently found out she was pregnant while filming, what’s that all about). The character wasn’t that developed either; knowing how ruthless her husband is, why would she threaten her life by even wanting to spend a second with Bond? Silly cow, you deserved ninth place.
8. Holly Goodhead portrayed by Lois Chiles in ‘Moonraker’
Well, where to start really? The concept of the character, one similar to The Spy Who Loved Me’s Anya Amasova, is quite interesting: a strong, smart woman who can handle herself against the enemy. It’s the execution of the character that weakens the final vision of Dr Goodhead as, without wanting to be rude, Chiles acting was borderline dreadful. The expression’s on her face, the tone of her voice; a tree could display better emotion. Sure, she looked the part, but her acting made her pale in comparison to the secondary Bond Girl Corinne Dufour who didn’t get the extended screen-time she fully deserved.
7. Natalya Simonova portrayed by Izabella Scorupco in ‘Goldeneye’
The thing with Natalya is remembrance factor: a word that’s not in her vocabulary. Representing the modern woman of the time, Scorupco was okay, but that’s not what Bond fans want to see. When remembering Bond Girls we remember Honey Ryder for her entrance, Pussy Galore for her name alone, Xenia Onatopp for her killer thighs; what do we remember with Simonova? Her computer programming? Poor character throughout the film’s developing stages: they must have known she wasn’t going to be memorable.
6. Tiffany Case portrayed by Jill St. John in ‘Diamonds are Forever’
This may anger some fans but when watching ‘Diamonds are Forever’ I couldn’t help but think “I wish she’d have been booted off instead of Lana Wood’s Plenty O’Toole”. Wood was in the film for around two minutes and she made more of a solid impression than Jill St. John did in the entire movie. For me, there’s a lot of things wrong with ‘Diamonds are Forever’; it’s probably one of the weakest of the twenty three and John didn’t do anything to try and save it from sinking further, instead she was weighing it down.
5. Giacinta ‘Jinx’ Johnson portrayed by Halle Berry in ‘Die Another Day’
Once again this could anger a few fans but the facts and realities are this: Berry is a great actress and has proven her acting skills on countless times, but at the same time she has had her fair few flops of portrayals and this for me goes hand in hand with her dreadful ‘Catwoman’ performance. Part of me blames Berry for her over-acting and corny-ness but the other part of the blame goes to the writers: I think they wrote the part especially for Berry and wrote the part as a stereotyped ‘Halle Berry’ Bond Girl. What they should have done was create a unique and interesting Bond Girl and then challenged Berry to see if she was up to it. Berry was out-shined in ‘Die Another Day’ by newcomer Rosamund Pike and I think she should leave the ‘bikini-coming-out-of the-water’ thing to the iconic Andress.
4. Linda portrayed by Kell Tyler in ‘The Living Daylights’
If you had two minutes on screen as a Bond Girl, wouldn’t you want to try and make it as memorable as you can? Look at Lana Wood and Shirley Eaton for examples. Kell Tyler looked bored, as if it was an inconvenience for her to take part in the film. She may have had the bikini body for a stereotypical Bond Girl but her mannerisms and attitudes didn’t seem to pull off so well. It’s a good job Maryam d’Abo came in pretty swiftly to steal part of the limelight, not only as the Bond Girl, but for the entire-film.
3. Rosie Carver portrayed by Gloria Hendry in ‘Live and Let Die’
It always surprises me when I look at other peoples worst Bond Girls list to never find Hendry’s name mentioned: in a word, she was ‘tripe’. The writing of the character was under-developed, the cast choice was a poor one and Hendry proved that by illustrating her talentless acting. At some points she looked directly at the camera which can be awkward to watch as a viewer when they should be acting like they aren’t being filmed. Its a good job she was only in the film twenty minutes because any longer and people would have been walking out the cinema and snapping the DVD’s. It’s a shame Hendry didn’t get to leave her memorable mark as a Bond Girl but she was just too much of an amateur at the time.
2. Octopussy portrayed by Maud Adams in ‘Octopussy’
Adams was a bore: easily one of the most forgettable Bond Girls (and she even played two) of all times and on top of that she was too old to play the role of Octopussy. The film was at the bottom of Moore’s pile and Adams did nothing to save it. She was wooden as an actress and her character was uninspired: if any actress was to play two Bond Girls during the fifty years, surely it was someone who left more of an impression the first time round at least? Maud Adams is everything that was wrong with the Roger Moore Bond films: she brought cheesy-ness to both ‘Octoupussy’ and ‘The Man With the Golden Gun’, was uninteresting and most of all, dated. As already stated, she was too old the second time around. If it wasn’t for Kristina Wayborn’s Magda, you could have skipped this film.
1. Ruby Bartlett portrayed by Angela Scoular in ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’
I often find that Diana Rigg is the only Bond Girl cited in ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’: for the record there were three with Ruby Bartlett and Nancy also starring. Annoying, is the word to describe Ruby: she is a narrow representation of British women of the sixties with a squeeky voice and an annoying presences. It’s a shame to hear about Scoular’s sad personal life post-Bond but being honest, Bartlett truly is the worst Bond Girl of the franchise which started five decades ago. Watching the epic ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ back you often find yourself wanting to fast-forward her scenes since she’s that irritating. Forget Deinise Richards and Karin Dor, this woman deserves her gold medal, just in the wrong race.
My list may suprise a few fans: some may agree that some of the Bond Girls are overlooked in lists such as these while some will argue my rankings and contenders. I wanted to be honest here, and not follow what others have said in the past: sure, some may despise Denise Richards in ‘The World is Not Enough’, but others like me, don’t see her too bad. Some other fan-favourites such as Jane Seymour’s virginal Solitaire were almost in the firing line here: sure Seymour was stunning but the character was as developed as the ‘Twilight’ saga is.
Feel free to comment and put forwards your views and remember, it’s all personal opinion. Your opinion is just as interesting as mine so tell us your top ten and worst ten Bond Girls of the past fifty years.