Saturday, July 18, 2015

A View to a Kill (1985) | Women

I'm kind of surprised that Kimberly Jones even gets a name. All she does is pilot the iceberg boat and "keep Bond company" on the way out of Siberia, but I like her. She seems to enjoy her job and why wouldn't she? She gets to drive that cool, swanky ride and hang out with super spies. I sort of want a whole TV show about her and her iceberg boat.

May Day is way more interesting as a villain than a romantic partner for Bond, so I'll save most of my thoughts for that post. I don't have a good idea about why she gets into bed with Bond; it's not like he's going to spill any important information because of it. I guess the one thing it does is shows us that she's not monogamous with Zorin. She and Zorin have a strange relationship that seems to be partly a battle for control and power, so maybe having sex with Bond is a way for her to show Zorin the limits of his control over her.

Not that Zorin seems to care, which means either a) that I'm way off the mark or b) his not being bothered is his own way of maintaining control. Walken plays Zorin so nonchalantly that it's hard to get a read on what he's thinking.

Pola Ivanova is a fun character. She's not in the movie much and is only there to give Bond information that he hasn't been able to pick up on his own, but I love the idea that he sometimes runs into former flings in his line of work. Rumor has it that Ivanova was originally intended to be Anya Amasova from The Spy Who Loved Me, but Barbara Bach wasn't interested in reprising her role. If that's true, it's too bad it didn't work out. That would have been even more fun.

And then there's Stacey Sutton, California State Geologist and daughter of an oilman whom Zorin put out of business. She's played by Tanya Roberts, who had replaced Shelley Hack (who'd in turn replaced Kate Jackson) on Charlie's Angels in 1980. That led to her roles in The Beastmaster and Sheena, which is where the Bond producers found out about her. She's not great in the part, but I like the post on Hill Place that defends her against her most aggressive critics. The author argues (successfully, I think) that the role of Stacey doesn't play to whatever strengths Roberts had as an actor, and that director John Glen seems to have done little to help her improve.

It's not that Roberts is unconvincing as a scientist, it's that the character is just bland and kind of dumb. She's only as necessary to the story as Pola Ivanova is: solely there to give Bond a crucial clue. The problem is that she sticks around well after she's done what the story needs from her. As far as Roberts' acting goes, she does just fine as a companion for Bond. Like I said earlier, their relationship is pretty innocent up until the last shot of the movie. The shower scene ruins it, because if that had been left out, Bond's relationship with Stacey is almost paternal. He very clearly notices that she's an attractive woman, but as I quoted yesterday for the Best Quip, he's "trying not to think about it." That's a cool relationship and Roberts holds up her end of it just fine.

My Favorite Bond Women

1. Tracy Bond (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
2. Melina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only)
3. Paula Caplan (Thunderball)
4. Tatiana Romanova (From Russia With Love)
5. Fiona Volpe (Thunderball)
6. Domino Derval (Thunderball)
7. Holly Goodhead (Moonraker)
8. Mary Goodnight (The Man with the Golden Gun)
9. Andrea Anders (The Man with the Golden Gun)
10. Honey Rider (Dr. No)

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