There’s probably some superfan who’s successfully counted the number of people who’ve snuffed it, onscreen and off, over the course of 22 Bond films (and the two that shall not be named). Not all are memorable – most are mugs usually shot or thrown about like, erm, stuntmen by a big explosion – but every Bond movie has at least someone – baddie, girl, minion or traitor – who buys the farm in an ‘innovative’ method.
Here are ten of our favourites…
Max Zorin (A View to a Kill)
It’s the Christopher Walken-style flourish that Christopher Walken gives his send off as the engineered by Nazis/developed by the KGB/road tested by capitalism millionaire psycho Max Zorin that takes his fall from the Golden Gate Bridge out of the mundane. This superbaddie actually laughs as he scrabbles for a handhold after being bested by a bloke 20 years his senior, before flailing like an unarticulated dummy into San Francisco bay.
Sandor (The Spy Who Loved Me)
Sandor’s a rubbish henchman who dresses like Matt Smith’s Doctor Who and has all the mobility of a Weeble. It doesn’t take long before he’s clinging onto Bond’s tie atop a Cairo hotel, struggling to keep his balance, before finally giving 007 the info he needs to know. Bond flips his tie away and Sandor gets splatted several storeys below. What a helpful chap.
Milton Krest (Licence to Kill)
Anthony Zerbe’s typically slimy ‘oceanographer’ has been set up by Bond as ripping off boss Franz Sanchez’s drug money and gets locked in the depressurisation chamber where its stashed. One axe later and the sleazebag’s head has puffed up and popped in a conflagration of strawberry jam. There’s also a good joke about money laundering. Given that Licence borrows from the book of Live and Let Die, this leads us nicely to…
Dr Kananga (Live and Let Die)
The silliest death in any Bond film. Yaphet Kotto’s Caribbean drug dealing despot and 007 splash about in a swimming pool and are menaced by sharks – which Kananga points out to Bond. For this rare act of charity on a Bond villain’s part Kananga’s rewarded with a compressed gas pellet in the gob which blows him up like a dodgy porn doll and he explodes with no blood, guts or bone in sight. Must have been all that latex from his Mr Big ‘disguise’.
Gustav Graves (Die Another Day)
The most hated Bond film of all time at least gives its slightly limp bad guy a decent exit; not only does the remarkably westernised North Korean get electrocuted by his own Robocop suit, he then gets sucked into the engine of a motheringly big aeroplane. If you can’t kill ‘em right the first time, make sure you make no mistake the second.
Mr Solo (Goldfinger)
One of a grand tradition of ‘baddie consortium’ members who baulk at a scheme too wild even for them, and who get zapped as an ‘example’. Ole’ Solo quite rightfully thinks breaking into Fort Knox is a hiding to nothing, and Auric sends him off with a consignment of gold and a cheery wave. If Oddjob shooting Solo isn’t enough, the bowler-hatted one drops him at a car wrecking yard and has him turned into a cube of metal and gristle, before he’s sent back to Goldfinger’s ranch to have the gold re-extracted.
Corinne Dufour (Moonraker)
Drax’s assistant is inevitably irresistible to 007’s charms and helps him crack the droll aerospace loon’s safe to get some secret plans. At the following day’s shooting party, where a tweed-clad Bond hunter gets offed by Bond himself, Drax wises up to his lady-friend’s treachery and sets the dogs on her. The slow motion scene of poor Corrine being chased and downed by the hounds as sunlight streams through the trees is quite unsettling (especially against the general silliness of the film).
Auric Goldfinger (Goldfinger)
Any one-on-one duff-up between a portly middle-aged German and a young lithe Scotsman isn’t an even one, but old Auric gives it a good go, before in a very ill-advised move shoots a window out on the plane said scrap is happening aboard. Goldfinger then bounces like a deflating balloon around the speedily depressurising cabin before getting sucked out the window, like a meat into a sausage skin, with a ludicrous facial expression to match.
Jill Masterson (Goldfinger)
One of the series’ most iconic scenes (most recently revisited with an oily homage in Quantum of Solace) – Shirley Eaton spread-eagled on a bed covered in paint. Gold paint. Bond’s sickened and disturbed expression says it all.
Tracy (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service)
There’s been no death scene in Bond history to match this one; the sheer emotional impact of the brave decision to end the first non-Connery Bond on such a downbeat note, that those who’d never read the book would never have seen coming. It also debunks the lazy theory that George Lazenby couldn’t act. He knocks it out the park with this one.
Which death scene is your favourite in the James Bond movies? Let us know below…
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