05 December 2011

007 Girls, Part 2

DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER was released in December, 1971 and was the last "official" Bond film to star Sean Connery (he'd return   13 years later for "NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN").

This was the first 007 film I saw in a movie theater, and since I was in my early teens, I thought that hot pants and tube tops were the zenith of female fashion (and really, why did they mess with success? sigh.). Therefore Bond Girl Jill St John really only had to stand there and she'd rack up votes for Best Bond Girl. She's my friend THJ's favorite , which started this whole debate. (I suspect he is thinking of Susan St James, whom he used to have an unhealthy thing for.)
 Her birth names is Jill Arlyn Oppenheim and she was 30 when she co-starred with Connery as Tiffany Case. With and IQ of 162 she was, as THJ points out, smart enough to stay off her husband Robert Wagner's boat.

Also in this film is  (very) Minor Bond Girl Lana Wood, who just couldn't get out from her sister Natalie's shadow. Most of her scenes were cut, and what remains aren't very memorable. Her character, Plenty O'Toole, is murdered by the bad guys, otherwise she'd just be classified as Eye Candy.
From Russia with Love is, along with On Her Majesty's Secret Service, one of the few James Bond films that actually follow the book it was titled after fairly closely. As such, it's a better book than movie, although purists like it. Twenty year old Italian actress Daniela Bianchi played the part of the defecting Russian cipher clerk who Bond had to smuggle out of the Soviet Union in the 1963 film.

Minor Bond girls this time out include Eunice Gayson making her second and last appearance as Sylvia Trench and Jamacian Martine Beswick, who would also have a small part in THUNDERBALL. She appeared in numerous B movies in the 60s and 70s, and in the 80s capped her career, such that it was, with guest shots on a number of American TV shows such as Falcon Crest, Hammer, & Hart To Hart.

Martine Beswick

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