We all remember the villainous henchmen, the witty one-liners and the spectacular set pieces. But there are times when the Bond franchise goes slightly off the rails. Here are seven of the most questionable decisions…

Bond becomes a clown

James Bond clown
Image via Octopussy

The main plot of Octopussy involves a Soviet dissident looking to bring about Western disarmament by triggering an “accidental” explosion. Serious stuff. But the decision to have Bond dress up as a clown in order to infiltrate a circus slightly undercuts the tone.

Still, the moment he goes up to an American general, red-nosed and baggy-trousered, and exclaims, “I’m a British agent!” is priceless.

 

Mr Wint and Mr Kidd

Mr Wint and Mr Kidd
Image via Diamonds Are Forever

These, of course, are the decidedly camp henchmen from Diamonds Are Forever.

They flirt with each other, slap on women’s perfume and hold hands—when they’re not viciously killing people.

You could say that the sexual attitudes on display here are outdated, except that this pair would be totally ridiculous in any era.

 

What’s that noise all about?

The Man With the Golden Gun contains one of the most famous stunts in movie history: a car jumps across a river from one wooden platform to another, completing a barrel roll in the process.

It’s a great moment… completely ruined by composer John Barry adding a comic slide-whistle sound effect over the top. The stunt driver must have been thrilled.

 

Grace Jones and Roger Moore

Grace Jones and Roger Moore
Image via A View to a Kill

The Jamaican singer was always an odd choice for a Bond girl in A View to a Kill, but pairing her with Roger Moore, who was 57 at the time, was stretching credulity to breaking point—especially as you can practically see him wheezing during the action sequences.

Moore himself later admitted, "I was only about 400 years too old for the part."

 

The death of Jill Masterton

Jill Masterson dead goldfinger
Image via Goldfinger

Who can forget the sight of Jill Masterton (Shirley Eaton) lying dead in bed in Goldfinger, covered head to toe in gold paint?

“She died of skin suffocation,” Bond tells M. “It’s been known to happen to cabaret dancers. It’s all right so long as you leave a small bare patch at the base of the spine to allow the skin to breathe.”

It’s one of the iconic moments in Bond history—so maybe we can overlook the fact that, medically speaking, it’s a load of old cobblers.

 

An invisible car (no, really)

Say what you will about the male-fantasy element of Bond, the best of the films at least try to keep one foot in reality.

Not so Die Another Day, which gives full reign to computer-generated effects and outlandish plot developments.

At one point, Bond drives around a palace in a vehicle with special “camouflage” technology that renders it invisible. Oh, and the palace is made out of ice. No, this isn’t Batman.

 

The whole of Moonraker

Moonraker space station
Image via Moonraker

The villainous Hugo Drax has built an enormous space station, from which he intends to bombard Earth with poison-gas globes and render the human race extinct.

How, you may wonder, has he managed to get this space station into orbit without anyone noticing? “Drax must have a radar-jamming system,” ventures one character. And presumably a telescope-jamming system as well.

 

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