The name’s Bond. Bondathon. With 24 official James Bond films to conquer before No Time To Die hits theaters (someday!), Bond fan Anna Swanson and Bond newbie Meg Shields are diving deep on 007. With shaken martinis and beluga caviar in hand, the Double Take duo is making their way through the Bond corpus by era, so hang up your hats and pay attention. In this entry, we’re ranking the Bond Girls.
Defining a Bond Girl is harder than it sounds. Of course, there are obvious qualifiers. Bond Girls are romantic and/or sexual partners of James Bond. They are secondary characters who are usually allies and sometimes adversaries of our martini-sipping, gun-slinging hero. They are famously beautiful and infamously ill-fated. But, as with all things, there are exceptions. And such aberrations tend to be pointed and sometimes political twists on the standard formula. Even still, there are characteristics that are difficult to put into words: maybe it has to do with a spark between them and 007…maybe it has to do with how the camera looks at them.
In the process of cataloging every woman who might qualify as a Bond Girl, we decided to cast a rather wide net that resulted in 55 women in total, but even this required some cuts. Just because Bond interacts with a woman or shows a glint of interest, that does not automatically grant Bond Girl status. Conversely, there are a few examples of Bond Girls who have fleeting courtships with 007 and may only appear in one scene but still count.
There are a number of illustrious women in the franchise who do not appear on this list. For example, Moneypenny. Ask any Bond fan worth their salt and they’ll agree with us that Bond and Moneypenny are characters meant to flirt mercilessly but never actually get it on. In short, she doesn’t count. Neither does Judi Dench’s M. Of course, there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to sorting the “girls in Bond movies” from the Bond Girls. At the end of the day, we took a cue from 007 himself and relied on instinct.
55. Tiffany Case
Played by: Jill St. John
Appears in: Diamonds are Forever
Tiffany Case enjoys the unique distinction of being both the first major American Bond Girl and the most annoying Bond Girl. So that’s something. She’s a ditzy, wise-cracking, money-loving diamond smuggler; initially, she’s a baddie who eventually flips when she learns that her employer wants her dead to tie up loose ends. Her chaotic wig changes are what Diamonds Are Forever deserves. She’s bumbling, grating, selfish, and causes more harm than good. We’ll never know what Bond saw in her.
54. Log Cabin Girl, a.k.a. Martine Blanchaud
Played by: Sue Vanner
Appears in: The Spy Who Loved Me
Not even given a name in the film (Martine comes from the novelization), “Log Cabin Girl” is pretty blink-and-you’ll-miss-her. She’s a Bond betrayer who sets him up for death the second he removes himself from the warmth of her bear-skin rug. Still, being a covert KGB agent who hangs out in the French Alps seems pretty rad. We wish we’d known Log Cabin Girl long enough to at least know her name.
53. Plenty O’Toole
Played by: Lana Wood
Appears in: Diamonds are Forever
Plenty O’Toole is commonly regarded as one of the worst Bond Girls, and though this is not without good reason—she is unabashedly opportunistic and more than a little annoying—we don’t think she’s the worst. Plenty might not be much to write home about, but she is hastily and unceremoniously killed off to make room for an even worse Bond Girl who dominates the run time. In any other movie, we’d be complaining about her until the cows come home, but compared to Tiffany Case, maybe she’s not so bad.
Played by: Serena Gordon
Appears in: GoldenEye
Caroline, an MI6 psychological evaluator sent to check up on Bond, is yet another example of a Bond Girl who just isn’t given much to do. In her brief moments, she’s charmed by his cheekiness and doesn’t last long when trying to uphold professionalism. Too bad for her she’s just not as exciting as the next girl.
51. Pola Ivanova
Played by: Fiona Fullerton
Appears in: A View to a Kill
Points to Fiona Fullerton for managing to deliver one of the goofiest lines in the entire Moore era (an accomplishment in and of itself) when Pola informs Bond that the hot tub bubbles tickle her…Tchaikovsky! She does little else in the film besides seducing Bond and then being duped by him. But at least we get a laugh out of one of her three scenes.