James Bond and the Ladies

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I remember watching James Bond as a kid and being enchanted by this handsome, charming and overly confident man. One thing I couldn’t understand was why he never stayed with any of his temporary partners. It took me years to understand that James Bond didn’t have much respect for the ladies. They were beautiful and they served well as a finite entertainment but that was about it.

The portrayal of women in James Bond movies up until Daniel Craig times was quite upsetting. They didn’t have much brains, mostly looks. The ones that were smarter were the villains and therefore not within James’ interests. Watching these weak female characters constantly hoping for someone to rescue them was tedious. “Oh James” was a twisted version of Prince Charming who would come to rescue but leave before the real fairy tale could start.

With Daniel Craig’s Bond the female characters become stronger. M being a woman is the best example of that change. Craig is also getting fewer females to have fun with in his movies. For  some of them he even has some feelings, with others he’s really in love and he admits it.

I don’t know whether it’s due to the times that can’t take the limited vision of feminity or whether simply the old Bond formula brought too few people to the cinemas. The fact remains that women in movies with Craig start to actually be characters and not just pretty faces.

Having said that, we know that James will never settle down. The idea of him as a father of family is bizarre and highly unrealistic. The movies couldn’t focus on that aspect of his existence. Hence, Bond will forever remain the slightly assholish bachelor. The question is whether it makes sense to make yet another movie with a different version of the same plot.

I’d been a fan of the series for years but with Pierce Brosnan’s Bond I grew tired  Then Craig brought about a change and especially with “Skyfall” my faith in Bond movies was restored. Nevertheless, after “Spectre” which was a bitter disappointment for me and many other fans, I’m asking myself if the cinema would be better off without James Bond. Maybe the skills of script writers, directors and actors should be used for creation and not recreation. They say people like what they know but I’d say there’s a limit to it.

Tell me Dear Rinser, are you a fan of James Bond movies? Can the old story of a mighty agent and his ladies survive in the modern world?

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10 comments

  1. bklynboy59 · December 23, 2015

    Great post! I admit I haven’t seen Spectre yet..but I will soon enough. But the Daniel Craig run of Bond did answer the question as to why he treats women as disposable parts in the first movie …Casino Royale. Whe his love interest who he was madly in love with …betrayed him in the end as part of a deal to spare his life. Since then he trust no one nor lets them get close enough to hurt or betray him again. And I did like SkyFall a lot….it was the most personal James bond to date and yet it was ok where do you go from here. I believe the secret agent and his ladies are very much relevant now more than ever especially when you consider the scope of the world scene as it is with terrorism etc.
    On a side note, the mold of which James Bond is made after was the original writer’s experience in the military and a friend of his who retired of which the character was named after.

    Liked by 1 person

    • zlotybaby · December 23, 2015

      I think Spectre (especially the end) comes as a surprise. Still, it’s not as good as Skyfall. It doesn’t offer anything new, apart from what happens in the end. I think the strength of the movies with Craig was the unexpected. M being a woman, James falling in love. I wished they continued that way. I’m not sure whether you saw the new Star Wars but I had the same impression of it. As I saw one of the reviewers say “it was made to please not to surprise”. Unfortunately as much as we love what we know we need to have twists to that too, otherwise we get bored.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jess · December 24, 2015

    For me I don’t think James Bond is necessarily the problem- after all, we can’t get rid of all misogynistic characters because then everyone would be faultless and film would be boring- I think the problem is the lack of variation and diversity in general. The James Bonds are one of many film collections that use women for crappy meaningless roles, as if they’re the after thought. I think it adds to the issue of women being seen as sex objects but also think it’s unfair to push all the blame onto them, like I’ve seen a lot of people doing recently? Although we have to take a moment to appreciate Moneypenny, I wish they’d just make a film about her tbh. Super thought provoking post xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • zlotybaby · December 25, 2015

      I appreciate Moneypenny and M. Also women that Craig beds tend to actually have personalities. I don’t think it’s a problem that Bond is a sexist either. I just regret that there’s no female agent series to follow or a male agent movie in which women are important. I miss strong female characters in the cinema. As you say, it’s a diversity problem. If there were more action movies portraying females in a more interesting way, Bond would be just one of many. Now, it’s the norm.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. EnglishRosiee · December 24, 2015

    Being one of these typical girly girly I know not much about James Bond (except that he is a hot Alpha Male type that is so lacking in our world today) but from my limited knowledge I’d say that it’s a shame that Bond Girls are these ‘pretty but not-so-clever types’. And despite the fact that Judy Dench is amazing, why could they not have cast a typically good looking, young, sexy female as M – is not possible for a women to be ambitious, intelligent and BEAUTIFUL. Oh yes, its a MAN’S world and only Mr Bond can have it ALL.

    Liked by 2 people

    • zlotybaby · December 25, 2015

      I see what you mean but I think there’s a reason why she wasn’t also beautiful (she used to be, though). If she was young and beautiful you’d get feminists raging that looks only matter in case of females. Besides, Bond is charming but apart from Timothy Dalton and Sean Connery I didn’t find most of the actors particularly visually appealing (eg Riger Moore, tfu!).

      Like

  4. Pingback: The Lobster – Love in a Dystopian Future | rinse before use

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