Bond Series: Women in First Decades of James Bond Movies

James Bond, the indefatigable British secret agent, is one of the greatest screen creations.

The newest James Bond movie, The Living Daylights, starring a new Bond Timothy Dalton, is scheduled to open later this month. The Museum of Modern Art celebrates this event with a retrospective of Bond films.

Sixteen James Bond films have been made, grossing collectively over one billion dollars. Clearly, it is one of the most successful film series. One of the crucial elements accounting for its success is the anonymity and mythic sexuality of the women in the narratives.

Bond’s women appear to have come from out of nowhere. They are beautiful and sexually alluring, but they have rarely appeared in other films. Furthermore, every woman is helpless without Bond. In “Goldfinger,” the lesbian leader abandons the gay view and leaps into bed with Bond, saying that she “had never met a man before.”

Throughout the Bond movies, sexual wish fulfillment abounds. Kingsley Amis has pointed out that only twice in the thirteen novels written by Ian Fleming did Bond fail to seduce the girl. In Live and Let Die, Solitaire says early on, “I hoped that one day I would kiss a man like that.”

The entire plot of From Russia with Love, depends on an inexpressively beautiful corporal in the K.G.B. falling so violently in love with Bond’s photograph that she will defect to the Western powers with, bringing with her an unobtainable decoding machine, demanding only that Bond will come and carry her away the moment she crosses the communist frontier.