5 Classic Bond Movie Tropes

An image of the iconic James Bond gun barrel sequence featuring James Bond (played by Daniel Craig) aiming his handgun directly at the viewer with one hand against a white background while framed inside a circle with black and grey around the outside in the design of a gun barrel

The Bond franchise has been alive and well since it’s dawn in the early 1960’s, leading the pack in action sequences, high-class espionage, and, of course, formulaic themes. Through 25 movies spanning over the last 58 years, we’ve seen all forms of Bond from Connery to Craig sipping back shaken martinis, driving Aston Martins, and donning a black tuxedo packed to the cuff links with deadly gadgets.

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For all of you Bond buffs out there, it’s almost impossible to overlook some of these classic tropes that give Mr. Bond his mark. With the next chapter of Bond in No Time to Die set to hit Regal theatres on April 10th, let’s take a look at some of our favorite, classic Bond movie tropes.

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The Silent Henchman

Goldfinger-Connery and Sakata
James Bond (Sean Connery) and Oddjob (Harold Sakata) in Goldfinger (1964)

Seen in a series of deadly henchmen ranging from “Jaws” in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) all the way up to Dave Bautista’s roll in the latest movie, Spectre (2015), the silent-but-deadly foe is a staple in the Bond franchise. Forced to use his wits, Bond must think on his toes when facing off against these brutes as they are simply just too big to punch out. As far as henchmen go, however, Harold Sakata's “Oddjob” from 1964’s Goldfinger really set the pace—unflinching, impossibly strong, and can kill a man only using his hat. 

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The Tropical Getaway

The Man with the Golden Gun-Lee and Moore
Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) and James Bond (Roger Moore) in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

What could make a better backdrop for violent fist fights, chase scenes, and devastating explosions than a tropical paradise? From the Bahamas to Venice, Italy, Bond has traveled across the world to some of the most beautiful locations on Earth for something as simple as a 5-minute conversation. Did he need to go all the way to Rio de Janeiro to shoot a guy? Probably not, but that’s just part of the charm. When it comes to Bond, it’s hard to tell at times whether he’s a covert agent or running a travel blog. 

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The Femme Fatale

Thunderball-Luciana Paluzzi
Fiona Volpe (Luciana Paluzzi) in Thunderball (1965)

Whether it be junk food, shopping, or over-the-top spy movies, we all have our weak spots. For Mr. Bond, it’s women. You can’t make it through any Bond movie without finding at least one (or five) striking women who deviate 007 from his mission. But many of the women that catch Bond’s eye aren’t your typical damsel in distress—quite the opposite, actually. Whether it’s S.P.E.C.T.R.E. jack-of-all-trades Fiona Volpe or the enigmatic Sévérine, when Bond meets his downfall it’s usually at the hands of these femme fatales. 

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The “I’ve Been Expecting You, Mr. Bond.”

Skyfall-Craig and Bardem
James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Silva (Javier Bardem) in Skyfall (2012)

For a secret agent, 007 always seems to be seen from a mile away when encountering any of his nemeses. One of the most common themes in Bond movies is, surprisingly, the lack of surprise when he finally goes face to face with the main villain. As he saunters into their secret lairs and hideaways, one can’t help but wonder why these villains don’t just take him out quickly. Instead, Bond is usually met with some strenuous lecture revealing the intricacies of their diabolical plan, usually leading to Bond’s miraculous escape. Really should’ve cut down on that monologue. 

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The Bond Villain Scar

You Only Live Twice-Pleasence
Blofeld (Donald Pleasence) in You Only Live Twice (1967)

Finally, the pièce de résistance to all Bond movies: the horribly disfigured villain. Made famous by Bond’s arch nemesis Ernst Blofeld in his first appearance in From Russia With Love (1963), the trend of Bond villains sporting a nasty scar has been brought back in later releases as seen with Le Chiffre in 2006’s Casino Royale and Raoul Silva in Skyfall (2012). Judging by the brief appearances of Rami Malek’s Safin in the trailers for No Time To Die, it would appear that this trend may continue on into the new Bond movies. 

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It’s no doubt that the new releases in the franchise have added a more modern flare to the classic series, but when you’ve developed a formula as perfect as that for Bond movies, you can’t help but hope to see some old, familiar themes. So suit up and get ready for the next chapter of James Bond when No Time To Die hits Regal on April 10th. 

 

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