November 03, 2015 05:15 PM

Of all the features that make a James Bond movie – the theme songs, the shootouts, the puns – perhaps the most important asset of all is the girl. In each of his adventures, Bond has been paired with a stunningly beautiful woman. Sometimes they’ve been strong. Sometimes they’ve been deadly. Sometimes they’ve turned out to be villainesses.

With the release of Spectre, we’ve met two new Bond women: Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci) and Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux). But what about the Bond girls who came before them? Here’s our take.

22. Mary Goodnight in The Man With the Golden Gun

An inexperienced new agent played by Britt Ekland, Mary is one of the faintest of Bond’s flames. For example, there’s one scene where Bond shoves her in a dresser while he has sex with the film’s No. 2 love interest, Andrea Anders (Maud Adams) – and Mary still falls for him in the end.

21. Stacey Sutton in A View to Kill

She’s a wealthy oil heiress who works as a geologist. So that’s cool. Former Charlie’s Angels star Tanya Roberts looks great as Stacey, but it’s hard for her to stand out in a Bond film that also features Christopher Walken, Grace Jones and Alison Doody as villains.

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20. Kara Milovy in The Living Daylights

A virtuosic cellist who’s also a KGB sniper: a real renaissance woman! Kara (Maryam d’Abo) is tough and deadly, but ultimately not as much of a standout as other Bond love interests.

19. Pam Bouvier in License to Kill

A U.S. army vet working for the CIA and posing as a member in a drug trafficking scheme, Pam (Carey Lowell) seems a little vanilla – especially in comparison to the film’s No. 2 girl, Lupa Lamora (Talisa Soto) – but she proves capable enough to be an asset during Bond’s mission. It may seem weird that Lowell made a bigger impression on Law and Order than she did as a Bond girl, but that just might be the case here.

18. Dr. Holly Goodhead in Moonraker

Holly (Lois Chiles) is a CIA agent who’s also a NASA astronaut, and therefore she has spacefaring skills that no other Bond girls possess. However, what fans probably remember best about Dr. Goodhead (aside from that name) is Chiles herself looking beautiful opposite Roger Moore.

17. Solitaire in Live and Let Die

It’s not a knock against Jane Seymour’s beauty that she’s on this end of the list. She’s gorgeous as Solitaire, the psychic tarot card reader who aids Bond, but her character is a little awkward. You see, she’s a virgin, and her ability to foretell the future is reliant solely upon the fact that her virginity remains intact. Bond, of course, has sex with her and renders her quite ordinary – again, aside from looking pretty.

16. Tiffany Case in Diamonds Are Forever

Tiffany (Jill St. John) is a diamond smuggler who was named for her birthplace, Tiffany & Co. That’s a decent backstory but not nearly as good a name as the film’s No. 2 girl, Plenty O’Toole (Lana Wood). It’s only when Plenty gets murdered as a result of being mistaken for Tiffany that Tiffany abandons her thieving ways and helps Bond take down the bad guy. Glitzy and money-grubbing, she’s a perfect fit for Bond’s first Las Vegas adventure.

15. Dr. Christmas Jones in The World Is Not Enough

Some people treat Denise Richards’ Bond girl turn as a punchline, and even Richards herself mocked having played a nuclear physicist on 30 Rock – the line was “I played a nuclear psychologist in a James Bonk movie” – but Richards was only playing the latest in a long line of ridiculously beautiful scientific geniuses to team up with Bond. She gets a pass. It’s campy. We’re into it.

14. Melina Havelock in For Your Eyes Only

For a Bond girl who’s neither a secret agent nor a skilled scientist, Melina (Carole Bouquet) does well enough. She’s handy with a crossbow, and her quest to avenge her murdered parents ties in neatly with Bond’s mission. A negative? Bond has to warn her off her deadly lust for vengeance. And if James Bond is suggesting that you need to stop killing people, you have a problem.

13. Camille Montes in Quantum of Solace

Camille (Olga Kurylenko) is a good match for Bond. They’re both tortured souls seeking a way to distance themselves from their heartache. And she’s definitely the heroine of the film, but those looking back on Quantum might be better able to recall the scenes with Strawberry Fields (Gemma Arterton), the hapless British agent who meets a memorably nasty end.

12. Natalya Simonova in GoldenEye

The first computer geek Bod girl, Natalya (Izabella Scorupco) comes off as smart, capable and tough in the first Pierce Brosnan outing. She’s also one of the most fully realized Bond girls, and that’s in part a result of Scorupco’s great performance.

11. Kissy Suzuki in You Only Live Twice

Kissy (Mie Hama) makes her entrance saving Bond’s life on his first mission in Japan. In addition to being a Japanese agent, she’s also an expert pearl diver – and why yes, that does come in handy in this adventure. Perhaps most notably, she’s the first non-Caucasian woman to fulfill the role of Bond’s main sidekick/love interest as well as one of the few to never need Bond to rescue her.

10. Octopussy in Octopussy

A formidable ally, Octopussy (Maud Adams) treads the line between love interest and minor villain, but that’s just one facet of a character who also happens to be a jewel-smuggling, circus-owning entreprenuer who lives in a floating palace in India. She’s the only Bond girl to have the movie named after her, but notably it’s just a nickname: She’s actually Octavia Smythe. (Random tidbit: In the original Ian Fleming story “Octopussy,” the name refers to someone’s pet octopus and not a sexy woman. Go figure.)

9. Tatiana Romanova in From Russia With Love

Stunningly gorgeous and as nearly as deadly as Bond himself, Tatiana (Daniela Bianchi) is a Soviet spy whom Bond converts into an ally – and, of course, a lover.

8. Domino Derval in Thunderball

A strong contender in the Bong girl rankings, Domino (Claudine Auger) is the mistress to the film’s villain and the one who ultimately does him in – with a harpoon no less. Bonus points for having a cool name that isn’t a double entendre.

7. Jinx Johnson in Die Another Day

There was a time when Halle Berry’s character was discussed as a candidate for her own movie. It didn’t happen, but watch Die Another Day and you can see how some saw potential in the character. Jinx was particularly appealing in her interactions with the film’s female villain, Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike).

6. Wai Lin in Tomorrow Never Dies

Teri Hatcher may have been the actress most familiar to American viewers, but her character gets iced early on. Most leaving the theater were probably talking about Michelle Yeoh’s character, a Chinese spy with awesome martial arts skills.

5. Honey Rider in Dr. No

She’s widely regarded as the first Bond girl, even if Sylvia Trench (Eunice Grayson) shows up earlier in the film first and even reappears in the sequel From Russia With Love. But it’s no wonder Honey (Ursula Andress) left an impression: she’s gorgeous, scantily clad and a capable ally for Bond as he attempts to take down Dr. No. Honey gets props for being the one to whom every subsequent Bond girl has been compared.

4. Anya Amasova in The Spy Who Loved Me

Codenamed Agent XXX (because of course), Anya (Barbara Bach) is a KGB agent working alongside Bond. She may well be his equal, and the two eventually fall in love (because of course) even though Anya spends a significant chunk of the film swearing murderous revenge against Bond because he killed her lover. All’s well that ends well, right?

3. Teresa di Vicenzo in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Affectionately known as Tracy (Diana Rigg), this countess-socialite-jetsetter may not have the super spy skills possessed by other Bond love interests, but she does have one thing she can lord over all Bond’s other loves: She’s the only one to marry him. She’s murdered shortly after, tragically, and she remained a great lost love quietly mourned by Bond in subsequent movies.

2. Pussy Galore in Goldfinger

She knows judo, she’s a capable pilot, and she’s a handy ally for Bond. She’s also presumably overcome a lifetime of teasing for having the name. Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman) is also a lesbian – it’s not stated outright in the movie – until Bond wins her over, because that’s yet another of the amazing feats of which 007 is capable.

1. Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale

When the franchise was rebooted, they also rebuilt the love interest from the ground up. And boy did they do a good job. Vesper is many things to Daniel Craig’s Bond: lover, betrayer, victim and villain. Portrayed brilliantly by Eva Green, the character has been haunting the new Bond ever since.

Note that there is no “official” Bond girl for Skyfall. You could make the argument that it could be Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) or maybe even M herself (Judi Dench), but the film lacks a full-fledged, one-off love interest sidekick.

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