James Bond: 10 Greatest Henchmen

In anticipation of SPECTRE, FilmDungeon.com editor Jeppe Kleyngeld lists his favourite things about the James Bond series in 12 unique features. Enjoy!

10. Zao
Film: DIE ANOTHER DAY
Played by: Rick Yune
Quote: ‘How’s that for a punch line?’
Zao 1
Why memorable: This Korean version of pinhead has business with 007 for messing up his face. In DIE ANOTHER DAY, he forms a very strong and fierce opponent for Bond. Finally gets impaled by a falling chandelier in the main villain’s ice palace.

9. Gobinda
Film: OCTOPUSSY
Played by: Kabir Bedi
Quote: ‘The Englishman has escaped!’ [he doesn’t talk very much]
Gobinda 1
Why memorable: A tall, strong and tough, but silent Sikh. He is the loyal servant and assassin of baddie Kamal Khan in OCTOPUSSY. He performs various duties at Khan’s Monsoon palace, as well as dealing with his master’s enemies, including Bond. Not an easy opponent -obviously- due to his sheer strength and brutal personality.

8. Tee Hee
Film: LIVE AND LET DIE
Played by: Julius W. Harris
Quote: ‘There are two ways to disable a crocodile you know. One way is to take a pencil, and jam it into the pressure hole behind his eye. Oh the other’s twice as simple. You just put your hand in his mouth… and pull his teeth out! Heh, heh’
Tee Hee 2
Why memorable: He is two metres tall, smiles a lot, has a hook for hand… Oh, and he is a big crocodile fan. Tee Hee is the perfect bad guy. His hook is unfortunately also his downfall. Bond disables it when Tee Hee attacks him in the train in the final scene and kicks him out of the window.

7. Mr. Kidd and Mr. Wint
Film: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
Played by: Putter Smith and Bruce Glover
Quote: Mr. Kidd: ‘If god had wanted man to fly…’ Mr. Wint: ‘…he would have given him wings, Mr. Kidd’
Mr. Kidd and Mr. Wint 1
Why memorable: This homosexual couple takes sardonic pleasure at murdering anybody their employer wants dead. Their methods vary from slipping a scorpion down their victim’s neck to blowing their helicopter out of the sky. They get awfully close to killing Bond a few times (especially when they put him in an incinerator), but the problem is they are too sadistic to just simply shoot James, giving him opportunities to escape.

6. Dario
Film: LICENCE TO KILL
Played by: Benicio Del Toro
Quote: ‘Don’t worry. We gave her a nice Honeymooooon…’
Dario 2
Why memorable: Benicio Del Toro, one of the greatest Latino actors around, plays Dario, a real sick puppy who works for drug dealer Sanchez. Dario was with the Contras revolutionaries before finding employment within Sanchez’s cocaine empire, a job that perfectly suits his sadistic needs. Del Toro was only 21 when he portrayed this stiletto wielding sicko. It is a great performance; every line that comes out of his mouth has real venom in it. Dario is a truly scary opponent for 007.

5. Xenia Onatopp
Film: GOLDENEYE
Played by: Famke Janssen
Quote: ‘Enjoy it while it lasts’
Xenia Onatopp 2
Why memorable: Dutch actress Famke Janssen portrays the woman with the meanest thighs in cinema history. She uses them to give opponents of her employer – the Janus Syndicate – the finest death imaginable. Nearly gets an orgasm from shooting a bunch of Russian computer programmers. This tough former fighter pilot is hard to defeat, but eventually gets strangled herself when Bond shoots down the helicopter she is attached to by wire.

4. Fatima Blush
Film: NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN
Played by: Barbara Carrera
Quote: [holding Bond at gun point] ‘You’re quite a man, Mr. James Bond, but I am a superior woman. Guess where you get the first one?’
Fatima Blush 1
Why memorable: Femme fatales are pretty rare in the Bond universe and Fatima Blush is a particularly delicious one, so she deserves a strong position here. Fatima dresses in black and red, is sexy and beautiful, keeps a snake for company and is violently and psychotically crazy. Vanity is her fatal flaw; she forces Bond to confess on paper that she gave him the finest sexual experience of his life, providing him with the golden opportunity to kill her.

3. Donald Grant
Film: FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE
Played by: Robert Shaw
Quote: ‘You may know the right wines, but you’re the one on your knees’
Donald Grant 1
Donald Grant 2
Why memorable: Donald Grant, convicted murderer. Escaped Dartmoor Prison in 1960. Recruited by SPECTRE in Tangiers in 1962. Grant is an excellent killer and a worthy opponent for Bond. A real übermensch; blonde, athletic, strong and emotionless. His fatal flaw is talking too much rather than just shooting his target.

2. Oddjob
Film: GOLDFINGER
Played by: Harold Sakata
Quote: ‘Urchhh’
Oddjob 1
Why memorable: ‘He is an admirable manservant but mute. And not a very good caddy.’ That is Auric Goldfinger’s description of his Korean henchman Oddjob. We would describe him as a near indestructible brute who can wield his razor-sharp hat like a lethal weapon. ‘Remarkable’, says Bond, when Oddjob decapitates a statue at the golf club. ‘But what does the club secretary have to say?’

1. Jaws
Film: THE SPY WHO LOVED ME and MOONRAKER
Played by: Richard Kiel
Quote: ‘Well, here’s to us’ [in MOONRAKER, his only line in the movies.]
Jaws 1
Why memorable: Indestructible, steel-mouthed brute who can bite his way through metal as easy as flesh. Works as a hitman for whoever wants to hire him. Basically survives anything, including a dive of a cliff, an explosion and a swim with a lethal shark (he bites the shark to death instead of the other way around). Jaws is the only henchman that appears in more than one movie. Halfway through his second appearance in MOONRAKER, he switches sides when he falls in love with a girl. Still the greatest henchman ever.

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The Story of Film: Time Traveling For the Cinemad

By Jeppe Kleyngeld

It had to be done someday; making a literal odyssey through the history of cinema and documenting it into a film. The traveller is Mark Cousins. The film is a 15 hour documentary called ‘The Story of Film’. Through cinematic innovation, the story of film is told, from the silent era to the multimillion dollar digital age, covering all continents, major cinematic hallmarks and most talented people in cinema.

The Story of Film 1

The beginning
In 1885 George Eastman of Kodak came up with the idea of film on a role. Then Edison figured that if you spin the images in a box you get the illusion of movement. Lumiere went on to invent the film projector and with that: Cinema! It is not difficult to imagine the excitement of those first screenings. When cinemas started appearing everywhere, it enabled people – who did not travel back then – to see other countries. Not just places, but other worlds. Like what the position of woman was in other countries.

After the invention came the content. And despite of what many believe, it is not the money men that drive cinema. They can’t. Because what you need is the visual ideas, and a clear understanding of what is in people’s hearts. It is psychology that became the driving force of film if anything.

Cousins continues to show us the birth of basic cinema language and techniques that are now common, such as editing, the close up, tracking shots and flashbacks. The road trip then takes us further to the places and the people that brought life to this sublime art form.

1910s
In this period a lot was happening in Scandinavia. Maybe it was the Northern Light, Cousins comments. Or the sense of destiny and mortality in Scandinavian literature that made Danish and Swedish movies more graceful and honest. In 1906 the first feature film was shot in Australia: ‘The Story of the Kelly Gang’. The first feature film in Hollywood was ‘The Squaw Man’ (1914). In 1911 the first movie studio was build. Another interesting thing about this period was that a lot of women were working in Hollywood writing and directing, such as Lois Weber and Alice Guy. They did not always get the credits though.

1920s
In Hollywood, cinema became big business in this period (and a men’s world as well). The 1920s saw the birth of an industry in Hollywood. But the studio system did not get in the film, according to Stanley Donen (director ‘Singing in the Rain’). There were also rebels that emerged – like Orson Welles – that tried to break the bubble. In Europe, cinema developed also. Thematically, the city was often the Big Evil. Think for example ‘Metropolis’ and ‘Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans’. In Japan it was as if the Japanese filmmakers tried to compensate for the massacres their country caused by making very humanistic films. In 1921, the first great Japanese movie was made: ‘Souls on the Road’.

1930s
A lot of innovations were introduced in the 1930s like sound and the use of two camera’s with overhead lighting. From Hollywood came horror movies like ‘Frankenstein’ which borrowed heavily from Germany (Der Golem). And the first gangster pictures appeared, which is an original American genre. The cartoon also arrived and was a very successful new genre. Mickey Mouse was a smash hit and in 1937 came the even more successful ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’. In Britain, the legendary Alfred Hitchcock started working. He understood the basic human emotion ‘fear’ like no other, and his films are still extremely influential to this day.

1940s
The war years meant less glory, and more gloomy films. In Italy we witnessed the birth of neo realism. The sensational ‘The Bicycle Thieves’ (1939) is a movie that best illustrates this style. In 1941 came ‘Citizen Kane’ – a film that is still often considered by many as one of the greatest movies of all time. It used deep staging so audiences could choose where to look. This was previously used in films like ‘Gone With the Wind’ (1939) and ‘Stagecoach’ (1939), which Welles said to have seen 39 times. A dark genre arrived in Hollywood, called Film Noir. These films, such as ‘Double Indemnity’ usually had characters with flaws that drove them towards their faith, even while they tried to avoid it. The decade ended as depressing as it began with a massive communist hunt in Hollywood: the studios had to fire the (alleged) lefties. This is still a major trauma in Hollywood.

1950s
In America in the fifties, we had the suburban, Christian society. But under the surface there was anger, frustration and tension. Classic films like ‘On the Waterfront’ (1954) and ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ (1955) best illustrate this. In Europe four legendary directors led the way in changing cinema. They were Jacques Tati, Robert Bresson, Ingmar Bergman and Federico Fellini, and they made films more personal and self aware than they had ever been. The era ended with the new wave to which French director Jean-Luc Godard belonged and in Italy Pier Paolo Pasolini. The later used religious music for everyday struggles. He felt consumerism was taking over.

The Story of Film 2

1960s
Sergio Leone made his first ‘spaghetti western’ (Italian made Western) and introduced deep focus, which was made possible by the Italian cinematic invention technoscope in 1960. This gives Leone’s movies an epic feel to them. Thematically, Leone was inspired by Japanese Master Akira Kurosawa (lone gunman / lone samurai). Filmmaking went global in the sixties. In Eastern Europe, directors like Roman Polanski and Milos Forman started their careers. In the Soviet Union, one of the greatest directors ever started working: Andrei Tarkovsky, who knew how to create remarkable imagery. According to Tarkovsky: ‘Imagery contains an awareness of the infinite.’ Late sixties, film schools were popping up all around the USA and a new generation was on its way.

1970s
After the realism in movies in the sixties, the seventies saw a return of old fashioned, romantic and entertaining cinema – and of the box office smash hits, think ‘Star Wars’, ‘The Exorcist’ and ‘Jaws’. ‘The Godfather’ was the return of an old Hollywood genre: the gangster film. New kids were fighting to open up new form, most notably Martin Scorsese with ‘Taxi Driver’ and ‘Mean Streets’. When people think of the seventies, they think about Spielberg, Lucas, Coppola and Scorsese. But there was more. In i.a. Britain and Italy, identity was a major theme. In Germany, Rainer Werner Fassbinder (woman in closed places) and Wim Wenders (men in open spaces) had their glory years. And Werner Herzog the explorer went across the world. He was not so much interested in the feminism or Americana of his contemporaries, but in prime evil life. After John Ford, he is the most important landscape filmer in the history of film. The 70’s also saw the arrival of Asian mainstream, epic films from India (‘Sholay’) and a lot of cinematic activity in Africa.

1980s
After the magnificent seventies came the not-so-great eighties. ‘Protest’ is the central theme of this decade. The 5th generation in China – Chen Kaige and Zhang Yimou – made interesting movies. From Russia came one of the greatest war movies: ‘Come and See’. In America, ‘Top Gun’ was a smash hit, and many movies were influenced by music video’s, like ‘Flashdance’. In France, filmmakers got more into popular culture, which was a protest in itself. Notable directors that moved up in the film world were David Lynch (with ‘Blue Velvet’) and David Cronenberg in Canada with ‘Videodrome’, a prophetic vision of the modern world in which the real and the televisual are dangerously confused.

1990s
Described by Cousins as the last days of celluloid, before the coming of digital. And directors like Wong Kar Wai and Hou Hsiao-hsien used celluloid devotedly. The 90s saw passionate films about other worlds (‘The Matrix’), but also an obsession about reality, for example in the work of Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami who tried to eliminate all dolly’s and clapperboards from the set. From Japan came horror movies about the fear for technology, like ‘Tetsuo’ about a man blending with metal. In Copenhagen, filmmakers returned to primitive filmmaking with Dogma, while Hollywood saw the increasing use of digital effects (‘Terminator 2’ / ‘Gladiator’ / ‘Jurassic Park’). Not only what was in the camera changed, what happened in front of the camera changed as well. Modern became post-modern: The idea that there are no new truths and everything is recycled. Tarantino made this his trade, but respected established directors, like Scorsese, used it as well.

2000s
Documentaries – like ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ – did as well as blockbusters and blockbusters tried to be like documentaries. Innovative movies were made in the USA. Like ‘Requiem For a Dream’: The great distortion movie. The subconscious got at work in ‘Mulholland Drive’. And in Thailand: ‘Tropical Malady’, a film that changes from simplistic tale of friendship to the mythical story of the hunter and the hunted. The film reincarnates like its main character. Another innovative example is ‘Russian Ark’, which consists of one 90 minute long take showing Aristocrats walking downstairs in a massive palace towards the slaughter.

And the future of cinema? Who knows. Perhaps one day we can share dreams like in ‘Inception’. One thing is for sure: Whatever form it may take, the art of cinema is here to stay and deserves to be celebrated likes this.

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