It was half a century ago that Swiss actress Ursula Andress came out of the waves singing "Underneath the Mango Tree" in the Sean Connery-driven Dr. No. Since that time, the Bond girl has become a symbol for sex, glamour, sophistication, and strength. The stunning actresses that have portrayed Bond girls have rocketed into international fame. Now we have two new faces and names to memorize: Bérénice Marlohe and Naomie Harris.
Newly anointed Bond girls Bérénice Marlohe (L) and Naomie Harris (R) with Daniel Craig at the SkyFall press conference
Harris will play Eve, the lead bond girl in Skyfall. So far, we don't know much about Eve (not even a surname). But Harris herself has said that Eve will be a "field agent that believes she is Bond's equal, but is really his junior." The French beauty Bérénice Marlohe plays Sévérine — a character Marlohe has described as "glamorous and enigmatic."
Without anything more than preliminary details, it's difficult to gauge where these new Bond girls will fall in the list of some 70 others that have come before them. What we do know, though, is that the competition is stiff. Many of the Bond girl performances have become nothing short of iconic.
Here are who we consider to be the top five Bond girls, and the SkyFall sirens' stiffest competition:
5. Not Honey Ryder
Just about every list of Bond girls ranks Honey Ryder either in the top three or as the number one Bond girl of all time. But just because she's the first, doesn't mean she's the best. In fact, Ursula Andress was all but forgettable except for the white bikini scene. Her heavy Swiss accent was even dubbed over in post-production. So, we're going to give the number five spot to Pussy Galore — the first Bond girl to kick ass. Pussy Galore could fly and she could fight. Plus, Honor Blackman's fiery performance made us look past the name at the first Bond girl who was really a match for Bond himself.
4. Anya Amasova
The alluring KGB agent plays second to Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me. American actress Barbara Bach played the part with far more sex appeal than her predecessors. Plus, where Pussy Galore was a match for Bond, Amasova actually outwits and outdoes Bond on several occasions as the two of them race toward accomplishing the same mission.
3. Camille Montes Rivero
The beautiful Olga Kurylenko brought several new layers of depth to the Bond girl format in Quantum of Solace. She was vulnerable — having witnessed the rape and murder of her family as only a young girl. She was all business — she would not be swayed, bought, or affected by her villainous overlords or Bond's charms. And, she was full of hate. Previous Bond girls carried vendettas — that's nothing new. But each of them let their cold hearts be warmed by the British super-spy. Montes remains a woman on a mission, and that's why she comes in at our number three spot.
2. Elektra King
In the Pierce Brosnan Era of Bond films, Bond girls were often dopey, weakly-written characters. Not Elektra King. Sophie Marceau's villainous femme fatale is evil through-and-through. Complete with Stockholm Syndrome, she does some pretty crazy stuff. King cuts her ear off to prove a point. She almost kills M, and then successfully kidnaps her. She tortures Bond and almost snaps his neck. And she almost causes a nuclear meltdown to contaminate the Istanbul Strait — a passage of water that is the lifeblood for millions of people — just to drive her oil competitors out of business. Oh, and she plays the victim for most of the film so we actually feel sorry for her. That's all in one movie. As far as Bond girls go, Elektra King was as prolific and dastardly as they come.
1. Vesper Lynd
The drop-dead gorgeous Eva Green is hands down the best Bond girl of all time. A working-woman with overtly feminist tendencies, an insatiable ambition, and a secret plan, Vesper is the first — and maybe the only — real, complex woman in the Bond series. She is passionate. She is forgiving. She is unforgiving. She denies Bond on several occasions — and she's not playing hard to get, she's just saying no. She's beautiful. And, most importantly, she gets under James' skin like no other woman ever has. In essence, Vesper Lynd makes James Bond who he is. No other Bond girl can make that claim.
So, SkyFall is on its way. Eventually we'll get to see the new Bond girls in action. Will either of them find a place in the upper echelon of the Bond girl pantheon? There's no way to know that yet — but looking at the list above, we doubt it.
About the author: Elli is an avid skier and tennis player who enjoys writing in her spare time for USBundles.com – home of CenturyLink.
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