She may be friend or foe. Brilliant or a bimbo. In cahoots or innocent.
Her sexually loaded name has sometimes been cause for schoolboy snickers.
But she is always beautiful, and nearly always shows a lot of skin.
The Bond Girl is an essential ingredient in all 23 of the James Bond movies, including “Skyfall,” which opens Friday. Daniel Craig, as British secret agent 007, reportedly has a steamy tryst with French beauty Berenice Marlohe as Severine.
In the early Bond movies, 007 would enjoy his sport with the girls and move on. Blame his globe-trotting job for his lack of commitment, says the new book “50 Years of James Bond,” published by Life.
Others say the Bond Girls have had to change with the times, just as Bond himself has, in response to a post-feminist era. Julie Pelton, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, is not so sure.
“Even the most autonomous, independent and intelligent Bond Girls tend to be stereotypically feminine: young, extremely beautiful and unrealistically thin,” Pelton said. “But there has been an increase in the number of major female characters in the Bond films ... they also use weapons more.”
Pelton said the portrayal of Bond Girls is no more or less objectionable or objectified than many other women in movies and television. “It would be nice if future Bond Girls were able to break this mold,” she said.
Ah, but it's such a glamorous mold. Here are some memorable Bond Girls from the 50-year span of the longest-lasting franchise in the movies.
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Bond Girl gallery: Click the arrows, see the girls