Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Bond Babes of the Eighties

Yes, the World waits with bated breath, whatever that is, for Skyfall, Daniel Craig's third outing as 007... speculation is rife; what is it about?, will it be his Goldfinger?; but such questions are mere triviality – what we want to know is, are the girls hot?. Get over it, accept it and move on; no-one cares if the girl in peril is a growler, sod 'er, let the bloody train run over her; put her out of her misery – but a babe... Somebody stop that train!, quick – the bolt-cutters!.
Our (I suspect for 'our' I could have just put 'my', but hey-ho...) trip through the Ladies of the James Bond films continues with the inevitability of an unloved season, to the Eighties.

The Eighties. Just after the Seventies, but before the – you've kept up, good; a decade that saw, for the first time the British Prime Minister wearing a dress (Openly and in public, that is) the American President was doing the best acting of his life and the Evil Empire was . The decade saw the amusing; Pac-Man, the Sinclair C-5, the unsettling; the Falklands conflict, a British miner's strike and Rioting in cities across Britain, but also the truly horrific; the Yuppie and... Culture Club. I really cannot apologise enough; it wasn't just these oily crevice-creepers with their loud braces, filo-faxes and 'Money justifies anything' mindsets, but some of the WORST music ever unleashed upon an unsuspecting World. If Culture Club doesn't curdle your wee-wee then all I can really trump them with is Duran-Duran and Bros... and I'll have to let the Durans off as they 'did a Bond'. (If you are unaware of Bros, thank your God and keep a candle lit to His Majesty for His Benevolence. Seriously, don't even contemplate Youtubing these monstrosities...)

The Bond of the Day was the suave and perhaps visibly ageing Roger Moore – but still with two triumphs ahead of him – coming down to Earth after the ambitious Moonraker our last line of defence started the decade in grittier style, the muted and (for Bond) fairly subtle For Your Eyes Only...

The Main Girl is Melina Havelock, the remarkably beautiful French actress Carole Bouquet is out for revenge against the man who ordered her parents killed. Her father, a British agent, was working to recover a bit of kit called ATAC, a high-tech box that enables something or other – and the Ruskies want it!. Toting a Barnett crossbow, she crosses paths with Bond – providing the love interest, but also proving herself to be an agent in her own right. (See?, no sexism here!)

Another Dolly (Hah!) that catches Bond's eye is Countess Lisl von Schlaf, who turns out to be nothing of the sort – she's an ordinary working-class lass who is fated to die at the hands of Kristatos's hench-dudes. Cassandra Harris plays the role engagingly – Bond's 'Goodbye, Countess' at her death is a nice touch, showing a Bond with a conscience. Harris' husband visited the set; he must have liked what he saw, as that was just the first time Pierce Brosnan would walk onto a 007 stage.

Bibi Dahl; Personally, I'd pay good cash to see a film called Teenage Nymphomaniac on Ice, but this is Bond Damnit and he's just too-British for all that sort of carryings-on. Personally, Lynn-Holly Johnson's performance here annoyed the kerrapp out of me, but each to their own...

OCTOPUSSY – 1983 and in my opinion, Roger Moore's final Bond. I know, but am I really alone here? - anyway, we'll get to Adieu to yer Thrills soon enough...
And we're off! - Bond sneaks into a hangar on an enemy airbase – using a horse show as cover. He's rumbled, but escapes, with the help of the lovely Bianca, (Tina Hudson) who drives off and leaves 007 behind in a horse box. 
 The only way out would be, oh, perhaps a teensy-tiny jet-plane with folding wings that could fit into, well a horse box. If you only see one film involving a jet plane coming out from a horses ahse this year...
The action slows down slightly to follow a plot involving faked Faberge Eggs and here's where we see the glamorous Magda, played by Swedish actress Kristina Wayborn. 

The land of Ikea, Abba and Volvo cars (I like my types like my music; stereo...) also gives us the lady of the title; Octopussy herself, none other than our old friend Maud Adams making a welcome return. Nearly a decade after Golden Gun and the girl hasn't aged a bit. She starts off bad (ish), but soon reveals an honourable side, a remarkable beauty as befits Roger Moore's last great outing...

Trivia fans might want to look out for novelist James Clavell's daughter – Michaela Clavell plays Moneypenny's assistant, the not-that-amusingly-named Penelope Smallbone.

A VIEW TO A KILL – yes. Anyway, lets just get through this as best we can, eh?.
Bond is rescued by a Submarine disguised as an iceberg, piloted by agent Kimberley Jones. The girl playing Jones being one Mary Stavin, from Sweden (She was in Octopussy too, so I'm told). The one-time girlfriend of footballer George Best, Stavin was Miss World 1977. (I really should make the time for a decent sexism joke, but the men amongst you have heard them all and the women wouldn't get it anyway...) (Boom-boom!).

There's a plot, there's a girl; but first! May Day, not a cry for help, more of a scream for mercy....
The extraordinary Jamaican model/singer Grace Jones adds /actress with her portrayal of an athletic killer, genetically-enhanced from birth as is her boss, Zorin (Christopher Walken playing the part tongue firmly in cheek). 
Day knocks off agents at an alarming rate, base-jumps off the Eiffel tower and generally scares the life out of us doing so. 

Badly under-used are hench-wimmin Jenny Flex and Pan-Ho, brought to the screen by the Irish actress Alison Doody and the wonderfully named Papillon Soo-Soo. It's a pity too; as both are widely famous now; Doody's roles including the duplicitous Nazi-stunna Elsa in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Soo-Soo for, well, do the words 'Me so horny?' or 'Me love you long-time' ring any bells? - yep; the Vietnamese hooker in Kubrick's full-on War flick Full Metal Jacket.

Stacey Sutton, the main girl here is played by a very pretty American actress - Tanya Roberts, who certainly looks the part if the film never quite does.

Fiona Fullerton (And most British men of a certain age certainly would, I can tell you. Repeatedly.)
is Pola Ivanova, the lyrically-named Russian spy, working with dear old Walter Gotell as the Soviet Union's answer to 'M'. There's a hot-tub scene, which Moore seems to enjoy enormously.

(AHH-A-AH-AHH) THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS – It had to happen; my favourite Bond received his pension book and bus pass, which meant two things; Sales of reversible safari-suits and double-breasted blazers crashed and badly misjudged speculation rocketed; who would step into Bond's shoes and spend the next three weeks practising that introduction?.
The name was Dalton. Timothy Dalton. And of course, you all know the rest; he only did two films. Why? - was it his accent?, did the – notoriously fickle – American audience have trouble understanding his 'Norvern' accent?, was it the – also notorious – production difficulties experienced during Licence to Kill?. I thought he was brilliant – just about spot – on. The man had class, an established Shakey-spearian actor with an athletic frame and an earnest approach combining vitality with humour and a genuine, believable emotional side to his character. Whatever the reasons, Dalton only graced the series twice – and this really was a pity.

And the girls?;
Maryam d'Abo (Above) is Kara Milovy, the main Bond Girl – but first, we meet 'Linda' (Kell Tyler) who is all alone, bored on a yacht. Chatting to a friend on her portable phone, she wishes for a real man – and before she can rub her magic lamps here's Bond parachuting onto her!. 
 The champagne firm Bollinger were quick off the mark with the promotional poster (Inset)

British character actress Julie T.Wallace, (Above) fresh from her success in Fay Weldon's TV hit The Life & Loves of a She-Devil is Rosika Miklos, an ally of Bond's in a small role for a big girl. An even smaller role – with the smallest outfit ever seen in a Bond, (i.e. topless) goes to Australian Virginia Hey, who plays Rubavitch, General Pushkin's erm, recreational-assistant. You've seen her before; she was the main good-girl-wearing-white in Mad Max 2 – The Road Warrior with Mel, also the blue alien-girl in Sci-Fi series Farscape.
Oh, dear old Lois Maxwell bowed out with A View To a Kill; Caroline Bliss plays the new Moneypenny;

...and there's still room for that old standard - the Bond-surrounded-by-Babes photo!.

LICENCE TO KILL – Not exactly a Babe-Fest, this one, but the girls that appear are a pleasing mix of brains and beauty.
It all revolves around Sanchez (Robert Davi is magnificent, as is Benicio Del-Toro as his sidekick), a South American drug-Tzar who offers $2,000,000 bribes to bent (That's British for corrupt, not gay) DEA officials to free him from arrest. His girly is Lupe Lamora, pronounced Loopy and she must be; the guy's a real charmer. Whipping Lupe with an iguana is his idea of charm, after having her lover's heart cut out (Mercifully the latter is off-screen). Brooklyn actress Talisa Soto plays the role with haughty-beauty and dignified small-town-gal-makes-good airs.

Along the way we meet Loti – a sort of Ninja from Hong Kong Narcotics, who comes a cropper and really is only there as A: A plot device to convince Sanchez Bond is really ex-British Intelligence and not remotely obviously about to stitch him up in a massive and preferably exploding fashion. B?; Oh, yes, she was Miss something-or-other in Playboy in 1988 – I can't show you the pictures I found on-line due to reasons of taste, but Diana Lee-Hsu is deffo-worth a quick Google...

I'll wind up the Bond Babes of the Eighties – reluctantly – with my favourite from Licence, CIA pilot and generally useful gal to know Pam Bouvier, American actress Carey Lowell is feisty and nobody's fool. I was glad when Bond offloaded Lupe on El Presidente and dived after Pam – she's the hotter of the two in my eyes...

Oh have another two then...

Well, so much for the Eighties – the decade that saw me discover girls in general – and dear old Tim too; there were to be no more Bond's until half-way through the Nineties... and a new Bond means new girls too...

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