Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Countdown: The Watchers' Top 10 Bond Henchmen

As we said last week, even the best Bond villain can't try to take 007 down him (or her)self; they usually need some form of help in the form of a henchman or henchwoman. They're as integral to Bond villainy as the outlandish base and delusions of grandeur. So after some deliberation, here we present The Watchers' Top 10 Bond Henchmen

(played by Harold Sakata in Goldfinger)

A dab hand with a razor-sharp bowler hat, Oddjob has become- like Pleasence's Blofeld with the villains- a shorthand for what a 'Bond henchman' is. It's a solid performance by former Olympic gold medal winning wrestler Sakata, full of silent menace.

(played by Robert Shaw in From Russia With Love)

A solid man-mountain, Grant is one of the most dangerous men Bond has been up against. Trained by SPECTRE to revenge the death of Dr. No, his only mission is to kill Bond. Shaw's performance is excellent as the stone-cold killer

(played by Richard Kiel in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker)

When you mention Bond films to most people, it doesn't take them long to get round to Jaws. A towering giant with large metal teeth, first an out-and-out bad guy in The Spy Who Loved Me then moving into a slightly more neutral position in Moonraker, Jaws is an iconic a part of the Bond franchise.

(played by Famke Janssen in GoldenEye)

The most fatale of femmes, Xenia's ample charms and killer thighs make for an entertaining and very sensual combination; Janssen plays the role to the hilt, making a real impact on screen in one of her first film roles.

(played by Putter Smith and Bruce Glover in Diamonds Are Forever)

Are Mr Kidd and Mr Wint a gay couple? Maybe. There are certainly a couple of subtle and not-so-subtle hints that they may be, but the performances of Smith and Glover mean they are an entertaining double-act and very much in fitting with the campy tone of the film.

(played by Herve Villechaize in The Man With The Golden Gun)

Scaramanga's manservant, aiding his master in his schemes, even going so far as smuggling himself aboard the train at the end of the film to take Bond out. His slightly perverse relationship with Scaramanga- trying to use others to take his employer out- is an interesting take on the usual villain/henchman dynamic.

(played by Lotte Lenya in From Russia With Love)

Klebb is a former SMERSH agent defected to SPECTRE. Strict and slightly terrifying, Klebb is miles away from the real Lenya who was, by all accounts, a gentle and friendly person. We count her as a henchman rather than a villain as the true villain of From Russia With Love is the unidentified Blofeld.


(played by Jesper Christensen in Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace)

The mysterious Mr. White acts as Le Chiffre's superior in Casino Royale but is actually an underling in a much larger criminal organization- Quantum. He is trying to regain money lost by Le Chiffre and maintain Quantum's integrity- and will go to any lengths to do that.

(played by Vincent Schiavelli in Tomorrow Never Dies)

A fun little cameo from superlative character actor Schiavelli as Paris Carver's assassin, also sent to finish Bond off in his hotel room in Hamburg. Deadly, sinister yet impeccably polite, there's a lot of humour in his short but very memorable scene.

(played by Alan Cumming in GoldenEye)

Boris is a cunning little runt, a software programmer at the Severnaya site allied with Trevelyan and Ouromov, helping to capture Natalya. Cumming gives a very fun performance of nerdy charm, coupled with his 'I'm invincible' catchphrase.

So those are our favourites - how about yours? Let us know in the comments below.

For every yin, there must be a yang - so for each of our favourites, there is a least favourite. Next week, we will reveal our choices for the worst/most ineffectual/weakest Bond villains.

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