Thursday, June 04, 2015

The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) | Women

Andrea Anders is a fascinating, tragic character. Maud Adams plays her with the perfect combination of determination and abject terror. She's a sex slave who's trying desperately to escape. And she comes up with a fantastic idea to do that, sneaking one of Scaramanga's bullets out of his arsenal, having it engraved with 007's number, and sending it to MI6. It's a genius idea and it totally works until Scaramanga figures out that she's "betrayed" him.

Bond treats her badly, but I'm not as critical of him here as I am about the way he treats his supposed allies in Live and Let Die. Anders is in the enemy camp and Bond doesn't trust her. I wish he was more helpful to her instead of just using her as a tool to get the Solex, but that's no one's interpretation of James Bond. He's a screwed up character.

I appreciate how businesslike and passionless the build up is to their having sex. Neither seems all that interested in it, but are going to do it because they assume it's expected of them. I imagine that Bond is more interested than Anders, because he's a horn dog, but I also know that he could have sent Anders home and enjoyed a way more passionate evening with Goodnight who's dutifully hiding in the closet. I mean, I assume that Goodnight would be the preferable partner, because as flighty as she can be, she's pretty awesome.

Goodnight gets a bad rap as an inept agent, but I like her and think she's mostly helpful. She doesn't always think things through, but her instincts are good and she knows her turf.

I also like how she has enough history with Bond to know what he's like, but she still likes him. As a kid, I always assumed that women all wanted to capture Bond and marry him or something, but really I imagine that Goodnight's just looking for a hook up. She gives him a weird, jealous look when he gets in the car with Hip and his nieces, but I have no idea what that's about. Does she think he's going on a date with two teenage girls and that Hip is the chauffeur? If so, Bond has quite the reputation.

Overall, I see Goodnight as a less seasoned Bond. She's attracted to him, but she also wants to be like him. She even has a go at quips; some good ("I laid him out cold" after tossing a bad guy into liquid helium) and some horrible ("I always wanted to take a slow boat from China"). She has a long way to go, but I adore her spirit.

My Favorite Bond Women

1. Tracy Bond (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
2. Paula Caplan (Thunderball)
3. Tatiana Romanova (From Russia With Love)
4. Fiona Volpe (Thunderball)
5. Domino Derval (Thunderball)
6. Mary Goodnight (The Man with the Golden Gun)
7. Andrea Anders (The Man with the Golden Gun)
8. Honey Rider (Dr. No)
9. Sylvia Trench (Dr. No and From Russia With Love)
10. Aki (You Only Live Twice)

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