Leading up to an exciting and exclusive interview appearing in The Saint – available Thursday, March 7 – here is an introduction to our story:

The James Bond series sets the bar for how action movies should be made – plots filled with conniving villains and beautiful Bond girls, incredible cars, and top of the line gadgets. With just about every movie filled with these elements, it can be difficult to choose the best of the best, but aspects of each stand out:

Casino RoyaleVillains and Henchmen
Bond villains have varied widely over the decades, but a consistent theme is that they all have unique traits. Francisco Scaramanga, played by Christopher Lee, in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) and Oddjob, played by Harold Sakata, in Goldfinger (1964), are two of the most memorable Bond villains for their unusual weapons. Both of these characters are relatively simple, and yet also the most recognisable: Oddjob for his hat that doubles as a guillotine, and Scaramanga for his infamous golden gun.

More recently, Le Chiffre, played by Danish actor Mads Mikkelson, in Casino Royale (2006), stands out as being a villain with a remarkable depth of character – by the end of the movie he has left Bond’s character rather shaken not stirred. This is largely the reason for the film’s acclaim, as both Craig and Mikkelson have intricate and unpredictable storylines, which marks for a changing, darker nature of the Bond character.

The most memorable, however,  is Jaws. Played by the 7’2’’ American actor, Richard Kiel, Jaws features in both The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. His iconic metal mouth and monstrous height make him a favourite among avid Bond fans.

Ursela Andress flickrBond Girls
Halle Berry is likely the most famous Bond girl, but my personal favourite is the beautiful Ursula Andress, as Honey Ryder in 1964’s Dr. No. Starring in the first of the film franchise, Andress sets the standard for the perfect Bond girl: she has a friendly yet quiet personality that makes her the most unpredictable of characters. Her unassuming nature means that she hesitates to fall for Sean Connery as he attempts to protect her from Dr. No’s security forces – a tease if ever there was.

Gadgets and Cars
The two most memorable gadgets are Sean Connery’s jetpack from Thunderball (1965) and Bond’s Omega watches that feature anything from bombs, to lasers, to strobes.  His watches define style and luxury.  As all Bond fans accept, it is Q who musht be thanked for almost all of these iconic gadgetry inventions.

The two best Bond cars are his Aston Martin DB5 – featured in many early Bond films –  and Daniel Craig’s Aston Martin DBS V12. They are famous for their gadgets (not least their ejector seats…) and are of a timeless and beautiful style.

While the Bond franchise has changed greatly over the last fifty years,these ‘Best of Bond’ villains, girls, and gadgets will likely remain staples of the standard for Bond movies to come.

Photo credits: Flickr Creative Commons

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