James Bond is known for his elegance and fearlessness in the face of danger. Being the top superspy in MI-6, there is no shortage of danger, especially when it comes to eliminating possible threats to the United Kingdom. While pursuing these threats, Bond has met several powerful adversaries, from brutish thugs to criminal masterminds with armies at their backs.
Though Bond always defeats the villain in the end, he still retains his notoriously dry sense of humor. He always makes sure to add a bit of amusement into things, even when his life is at risk.
A Good Squeeze – Goldeneye (1995)
Pierce Brosnan delivers a flawless one-liner towards the end of Goldeneyein which Brosnan made his debut as 007. Bond and his girlfriend find themselves attacked by Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen), a villainous henchman who has a particular talent. Aside from being great with guns and hand-to-hand combat, she also has a knack for squeezing the air out of her opponent’s lungs with her legs.
Bond nearly finds himself killed by this exact maneuver. Fortunately, his girlfriend provides enough of a distraction that he hooks Onatopp to her helicopter via a rope, and shoots the pilot, sending the aircraft spinning out of control. This drags Onatopp upwards, where she is crushed between two large tree branches. Bond then coolly says “she always did enjoy a good squeeze.” Perfect.
Golden Harp – Goldfinger (1964)
Goldfinger stars Sir Sean Connery as Bond in the series’ third installment. The titular villain is Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe), a kingpin with an affinity for all things golden. He’s a particularly elusive villain, and the ending drives that point home. Just when Bond thinks he defeated, he pops up right at the end to hijack 007’s plane. After a brief scuffle, Goldfinger’s gun accidentally goes off, which shatters a window.
Goldfinger is then immediately sucked out as the cabin depressurizes. Bond then makes his way to the cockpit, where his current lady love is stationed. She worriedly inquires as to where Goldfinger is, to which Bond replies “he’s playing his golden harp.”
They’ll Print Anything – Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Pierce Brosnan stars as Bond once again in the series’ eighteenth instillment. In this installment, Bond is sent to recover a stolen GPS encoder, where he, naturally, finds some adversaries he needs to dispose of. Gunfire and fistfights ensue, with Bond felling enemy after enemy in his wake.
One unfortunate henchman in particular gets the worst of it, as Bond brawls with him on a catwalk and sends him toppling over the railing, right into a newspaper printing press. The result, as one can imagine, is pretty gruesome, with the henchman becoming nothing more than a dark red smear across the paper. Bond simply looks at the mess and utters “they’ll print anything these days.”
Inflated Ego – Live and Let Die (1973)
Live and Let Die sees Roger Moore debut as the smooth-talking superspy in the series’ eighth installment. It’s a bit of an oddity in the franchise, and the final fight scene is a perfect example of why.
During a fight with the film’s primary adversary, Kananga (Yaphet Kotto), Bond uses a pistol that fires gas rounds on his foe. What results is likely one of the funniest deaths in the history of cinema, and Bond only adds to the humor. The gas inside the pistol’s round makes Kananga inflate like a balloon, rapidly ascend to the ceiling, and explode. Bond promptly smirks and says “he always did have an inflated opinion of himself.”
All Those Feathers – The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Roger Moore once again returns for 007‘s tenth installment. During one of the series’ common car chases, a typical brainless henchman on a motorcycle accidentally sends his sidecar, acting as a missile, into a truck full of pillows, covering him head to toe in feathers, in pure cartoon fashion.
Blinded by the feathers, the disoriented villain is sent careening off the road and to the ocean below, screaming the whole way. Bond simply remarks “all those feathers, and he still can not fly.”
Gutsy Move – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
George Lazenby appears in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, in his first and only time portraying James Bond. Much of the film centers around a ski resort, and it is only a matter of time before Bond finds himself skiing down a slope whilst being pursued by several baddies. This would be the series’ first ski chase, but far from the last. Though, there is one point that makes it stand out from the others.
One of Bond’s pursuers has the misfortune of falling into an industrial snow plow during the chase, which begins to spew red snow. In the epitome of gallows humor, all Bond has to say about the brutal death is “he had lots of guts.” Sure, it maybe isn’t the most original pun, but it’s the delivery that really sells it here.
Need a Hand? – Live and Let Die (1973)
Another great quip from 1973’s Live and Let Die. This time, the line comes right at the end of the movie. The world is saved, Bond gets the girl, the villain is defeated – all in a day’s work for 007. Though there is still one loose end. Kananga’s second-in-command henchman, a nasty-looking fellow with a clawed prosthetic arm finds Bond in his train cabin as his mistress is getting ready for bed.
A fight ensues, which ends with Bond tearing off the prosthetic arm and throwing his opponent out the window. His girlfriend inquires what all the noise was about, to which Bond replies, “just being disarming, darling.” Clever.
Point Taken – Thunderball (1965)
Much of Thunderball takes place in and around the ocean. The typical tools that Bond uses aren’t quite as effective in the aquatic environments, so he is forced to adapt. Eventually, he finds himself wielding a harpoon meant for ocean hunting.
He is forced to use it when an assassin sneaks up on him from behind. Bond, of course, sees him coming a mile away and shoots the harpoon at the man’s chest, pinning him to a tree. What Bond says isn’t exactly an original pun by today’s standards, but Sean Connery really makes the line “I think he got the point” work.
Going to a Funeral – Dr. No (1962)
The very first 007 film is nothing short of a masterpiece, and it remained a masterpiece for the sixty years it’s been out. It is in this film that the very first James Bond one-liner can be heard, which occurs shortly after a car chase.
Some baddies begin pursuing Bond in a hearse, which is fitting, considering the fate that awaits them. During the chase the car inevitably gets trashed and is sent barreling off of a cliff. Seems to be a common thing in the series. As the hearse tumbles down the rocky slope, Bond shrugs and says “I think they were on their way to a funeral.” The funeral in question implied to be their own, of course.
Miss Me? – The World is Not Enough (1999)
Normally, 007 movies have two recurring character types – the love interest, and the villain. Sometimes, however, these lines become blurred. One such example is Elektra, who serves not only as a villain in the highly underrated film. The World is Not Enoughbut also as Bond’s current mistress.
It is only inevitable before Bond is forced to take her down for the good of his country. He threatens her with a pistol, but she taunts him, saying he can not kill her because he’d miss her too much. Bond, ever the romantic, promptly shoots her in the face and clarifies “I never miss.” He was right.
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