I spoke to James over at Mr Rumsey’s Film Related Musings to give me the final post for my Bond run, which was a major success. I want to thank everyone who followed it and got involved with it and put their opinions out there. It was great fun, and I think that James put together a fantastic post, pointing out the difficult things that you see throughout the Bond films. Definitely a unique list! If you haven’t checked out James’s site, I would highly recommend it!
Bond is one of my all-time favourite characters, and is undeniably one of the silver screen’s biggest and best heroes; he always saves the day, and is (often) undeniably cool whilst doing so. However, he has done more than his fair share of despicable things in his time ranging from his treatment of Sévérine, the former victim of the sex trade, to locking a guy in a draw full of maggots in Licence to Kill. Here are my top five examples of Bond at his worst.
It should go without saying, but expect big spoilers in this post!
Best friend turned villain, Alec Trevelyan (aka 006) is saved from plummeting to his death by Bond, but not for long. Trevelyan asks ‘For England James?’ to which, with no trace of forgiveness in his eyes, Bond replies ‘No, for me’ before then dropping his former friend to his death. It’s a cold, cold moment for Brosnan’s Bond, only beaten by…
Bond had a lot of options here; including just wrestling the radio out of Elektra’s hands, instead though he chooses to kill her in cold blood. Now I think it’s fair to say that Bond had a reasonable amount of feelings for Elektra, but even putting that aside, he unnecessarily kills her in front of a family friend, M. It’s a cruel, and unnecessary death, made worse by how Bond uses it to taunt Elektra’s lover Renard shortly afterwards.
Leaving Dominic Greene in the desert
Bond drops Dominic Green in the middle of his own desert with nothing but a can of motor oil. ‘I bet you make it twenty miles before you consider drinking that.’ he quips. It’s a very cold and over the top death for this villain, especially considering Greene is not one of the villains who has hurt Bond by killing his wife, leading his second great love to her death in Venice, or by turning from best friend into betrayer – all of whom have had much quicker deaths or even have been let off the hook entirely!
Treatment of Solitaire
In Live and Let Die Bond meets Solitaire, a tarot card reader in the employment of notorious gangster Mr Big. She is only useful as an employee if she still has her talents, which she only keeps if she remains a virgin. Of course Bond cannot resist such temptation and tricks her into believing that he and her are destined to be lovers with a false set of cards. She doesn’t have any useful information for him, and as a result of Bond’s trickery she is effectively marked for death by her boss, loses all power she ever had, and is reduced to being a scared, useless Bond girl. If it weren’t for Bond’s totally flippant and uncaring attitude towards ruining her life, then this might be somewhat more forgivable.
Treatment of Pussy Galore
There are far, far too many uncomfortable moments where Bond ‘seduces’ a woman by forcing himself upon her, but the worst has to be Pussy Galore’s rape scene. Of course the film doesn’t paint Bond as the villain here, but after the two of them spar Bond forces her into kissing him and does not relent until she finally gives in to him. It’s horrific to watch and is made worse when you read the book and can confirm what is hinted at in the film; that she is in fact a lesbian who Bond thinks he can ‘turn straight’ through violently assaulting her. The fact that he succeeds in his attempts is just unforgivable.
So there we have it, my top five deplorable Bond moments! It should be said that I embrace this side of the Bond character, with exception to his treatment of women of course. He can be a really unpleasant person at times, which makes him far more interesting and three-dimensional. In my opinion, the series is at its weakest when he is painted as a nice hero, rather than a tough, complex character.
Are there any moments that I missed which should be on here? Do you like or dislike this side of Bond’s character? Let me know what you think in the comment box below!