The new Bond movies have been praised by some for taking a more realistic approach, but one of the things we miss about the films of yore is the array of goofy underlings making 007's life a constant pain in the ass. From the sinister (Red Grant) to the senseless (that dude with diamonds in his face), they have a storied and occasionally regrettable history, so today we look at five that stand out the most. And not always in a good way.
5. Nick Nack (Herve Villechaize) - The Man With the Golden Gun (1974)
Lest anyone look back too fondly on the Roger Moore era, remember that: Sean Connery got to fight Robert Shaw, Daniel Craig chased parkour cofounder Sébastien Foucan up a crane before shooting him in an embassy...hell, even Timothy Dalton got to drop Andrew Wisniewski to his howling death. Moore, on the other hand, barely held his own against a little person that Craig or Dalton would've neck-snapped in a nanosecond:
4. Mr. Kidd and Mr. Wint (Putter Smith and Bruce Glover) - Diamonds are Forever (1971)
I'm sure there are those who are able to watch Diamonds are Forever without wincing at Connery's increasingly forced quips and Jill St. John's "acting"; they're the same people who drink Vitamin Water and buy Nickelback albums. For me, the only reason to sit through it are these merry, gay SPECTRE assassins. Here, Kidd (the David Crosby doppelganger) and Wint (Crispin Glover's dad) suffer one final indignity at the hands of a smug 007. "Mouton Rothschild is a claret," you fools!
3. Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya) - From Russia With Love (1963)
One of the following facts about the SPECTRE agent with a poison knife in her shoe is a lie:
1. She actually kills Bond in the novel. Author Ian Fleming brought him back due to overwhelming fan outcry. 2. Her name is a play on the Russian expression for "women's rights:" khleb i rozy (хлеб и розы in Cyrillic). 3. Patrick Swayze wanted her to play the main villain in Road House, but had to be informed she'd passed away in 1981.
2. Oddjob (Harold Sakata) - Goldfinger (1964)
All the golfball-crushing abilities and nifty guillotine hats in the world won't take the pain away when Mike Myers plunders your legacy for a few cheap laughs. Missing from the film: Oddjob's penchant for eating cats.
1. Jaws (Richard Kiel) - The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker (1977, 1979)
Signaling a change in the franchise's tone from (relatively) serious to WTF?, Jaws ended up as little more than comedy relief in Moonraker. I know it's hard to believe that a seven-foot bad guy who kills well-armed opponents by biting their necks because they're incapable of shooting him anywhere but his shiny metal teeth wouldn't be taken seriously, but it really happened. I almost disqualified him because he became a good guy in the end, and a weakness for nerdy chicks with big boobs is a personality trait one doesn't generally look for in a henchman.
-- Pete Vonder Haar
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.