Puella Bondus for the RCBA

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has decided that he isn’t finished talking about James Bond.

More specifically, he is almost finished talking (writing?) about James Bond, but has not yet begun to discuss that equisite sub-species of humanity known as the “Bond Girl” (latin: Puella Bondus - NB: your Maximum Leader’s Latin is very sketchy at this point so he will welcome any helpful hints on the whole genus/species naming conventions.)

As for the discussion of Commander Bond himself, your Maximum Leader was going to point out one little problem with Casino Royale that did have to do with James Bond’s pedigree. That issue has been taken up by our good friend Wing Commander Seal. So, go visit Mr. Seal and read up on the biography of Commander Bond.

Then, there was Mr. Elk, who linked a site which asked “Who is your favourite Bond Girl?” It was that post that was the inspiration for this little missive by your Maximum Leader.

You see, your Maximum Leader is partial to a great many Bond Girls. Something he’s learned about himself by thinking of this post is that he likes a great many Bond Girls who hail (by birth at least) from France. The again confirms your Maximum Leader’s belief that he loves a great many things French, but is not at all partial to France’s Government.*

Anyhoo…

Allow us to move along here and go over your Maximum Leader’s favourite “Bond Girls.”

1) Carole Bouquet (For Your Eyes Only)

Carole Bouquet
Your Maximum Leader will give his number one vote to Carole Bouquet. Ms. Bouquet is now Mrs. Gerard Depardieu (if what your Maximum Leader reads is correct.) That saddens your Maximum Leader greatly. For your Maximum Leader, while no Sean Connery - or frankly even Sean Astin, is a better looking man than Gerard Depardieu. Of course, your Maximum Leader is not as good an actor as M. Depardieu. Indeed, your Maximum Leader’s only film/stage role worth noting was as Prince Geoffrey in “The Lion in Winter.” But if Ms. Bouquet was looking for someone she could have, at least, rung up your Maximum Leader to see if he was available.

Now, your Maximum Leader will completely agree with Mrs P that if Ms. Bouquet had spent more time working on acting and less time working on how to stare, she might be a more memorable Bond Girl. Your Maximum Leader chalks up Ms. Bouquet’s lack of acting ability to the fact that she is really just a model. In fact, at the time she was selected for the role she was, if your Maximum Leader remembers, the “face” of Clinique Cosmetics. Now, you are probably wondering why, if she wasn’t all that good an actress why on earth would your Maximum Leader choose her as his all time favourite Bond Girl? Why for looks of course.

Allow your Maximum Leader to write plainly here. These ranking are, solely, a beauty contest. He’s not making any judgements about which Bond Girl is a better actress, or delivered her lines better, or any other such thing. This is purely a list of how good-looking a particular actress was at the time they starred in a Bond flick. Your Maximum Leader’s personal taste being the only judging criteria.

2) Halle Berry (Die Another Day)

Halle Berry
Frankly, Halle Berry is one of the most stunningly beautiful women on the face of the Earth. As it turns out, she can - more or less - act as well. Witness her winning an Oscar for that film she did will Billy Bob Thornton. Of course, some might go so far as to say that she won the Oscar because she filmed a sex scene with the aforementioned Mr. Thornton and acted as though she enjoyed it. No small feat that was. So, Halle Berry makes the list. For the sake of full disclosure, your Maximum Leader must once again admit that he has not even watched “Die Another Day.” So he cannot comment on he character portrayal in the movie at all.

3) Daniela Bianchi (From Russia With Love)

Daniela Bianchi
As your Maximum Leader has already noted, “From Russia With Love” is his favourite Bond movie. For a while your Maximum Leader’s adolecent days were filled visions of Daniela Bianchi which he lustfully memorized from a Betamax copy of the film he watched repeatedly. While your Maximum Leader has not really favoured blondes, he will make a noteworthy exception for Ms. Bianchi.

4) Sophie Marceau (The World is Not Enough)

Sophie Marceau
Another French woman, the second of this list, Sophie Marceau comes in at number four on your Maximum Leader’s list of Bond Girls. Of course, your Maximum Leader also liked her in “Braveheart” and “A Midsummer’s Night Dream.” (NB: That film was particularly poorly done in your Maximum Leader’s opinion, but Ms. Marceau was good as Hyppolita. Mrs. Villain liked her in a version of “Anna Karenina” we watched on PBS once. Your Maximum Leader didn’t like the production much, but now can visualize Sophie Marceau as Anna…)

5) Claudine Auger (Thunderball)

Claudine Auger
Yet another French woman on the list. Claudine Auger played Domino in Thunderball. Her portrayal of the character was far better than that of Kim Basinger in “Never Say Never Again.” You will recall that “Never Say Never Again” was the not-Bond-film. Due to that dispute over who owned the rights to “Thunderball” some schmoe was allowed partial ownership of the story and promptly took advantage of the ruling to get Sean Connery out of retirement for one more stab at the role of 007. All in all it is a fine film, but in the end, your Maximum Leader prefers the original. And prefers Claudine to the “other” Domino.

6) Ursula Andress (Dr No)

Ursula Andress
Your Maximum Leader was, like so many countless men out there, titilated the moment Ursula Andress came out of the ocean in that white bikini in “Dr No.” The fact that she also was wearing a knife made he seem just a little dangerous on top of being sexy. (NB to female readers: Sexy + Dangerous = Irresistable) Ms Andress is Swiss, from Bern, which makes her a Francophone - in as much as most Swiss are tri-lingual - and she lived for a time in Paris. Your Maximum Leader wonders if this makes her at least partially French?

7) Famke Janssen (Goldeneye)

Famke Janssen
Famke Janssen is the second of two Bond Girl villains on the list (the first being Sophie Marceau). Xenia Onatopp is a parody of the sexy villain - really now screwing your targets to death? - in Bond films. But she pulled it off well. Ms Janssen is quite sexy in fact. Her turns in the X-Men movies have, no doubt, endeared her to millions of young men. (Humm… She and Halle Berry both in X-Men movies? Bond Girl as stepping stone to comic book adaptation blockbuster?) Your Maximum Leader will admit that his favourite Janssen role happens to be her portrayal of Kamala in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode entitled “The Perfect Mate.”
8) Eva Green (Casino Royale)

Eva Green
Another French woman. Your Maximum Leader will admit that he thought Eva Green was English or American affecting a British accent. As it turns out her last name is “Green” pronounced “Gren.” Miss. Green’s turn as Vesper Lynd is quite good. She has an actual dramatic range that is evident in the film. Your Maximum Leader didn’t recognize her from the only other role he’s seen her play, that of the Princess in “Kingdom of Heaven” - which was a very disappointing film all in all. He’s read that Miss Green’s role in Bertolucci’s “The Dreamers” drew oohs and aahs from hormonally normal men for her full frontal nude scenes. Perhaps that will be a rental someday…

9) Michelle Yeoh (Tomorrow Never Dies)

michelle yeoh
Your Maximum Leader has always thought of Michelle Yeoh as a particularly sexy woman. He can’t recall the first time he saw her in a film, but he thinks it was some martial arts movie recommended to him by his best friend Kevin, the Big Hominid. Most people recall her from “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” - which itself is a fine film and worthy of a recommendation.

10) Corrine Clery (Moonraker)

Corinne Clery
The fifth and final French woman on the list. Corinne Clery was one of those minor Bond women who end badly. If you recall her role at all (and frankly there is no reason you should), she played a helicopter pilot who was torn apart by dogs in “Moonraker.” As your Maximum Leader has already gone on the record stating that “Moonraker” is the absolute nadir of the whole Bond franchise, it is rather ironic that even one thing about the film should be included in a “best of Bond” list. Corinne Clery is good looking enough to make the list.

So there you have it. Your Maximum Leader’s list of his top ten favourite Bond Girls… Oh… The title of this post mentions the RCBA… As we all know your Maximum Leader (a nominal Catholic at best - although he’s found himself going to Mass recently) is fond of the study of beauty. Film-making is an “art.” You do the math…

Oh yes… There if your Maximum Leader could make one request of the producers of the next Bond film… It would be to consider the dreamy Jennifer Love Hewitt as a Bond Girl. It would do your Maximum Leader’s heart good…

Carry on.

Things your Maximum Leader loves about France (in no particular order):
Sexy French women,
French haute cuisine,
French low-country cuisine,
the way the French scramble eggs,
French wine,
Marianne - One wonders if Melissa Theuriau was given proper consideration?,
and baguettes.

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