Bond Villains And Their Monologues

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When you've spent months – heck, years – hollowing out volcanoes, developing space programmes, flicking through goon CVs and signing off monorail plans, the payoff has to be spectacular. And this is the conundrum Bond villains struggle with time and again. Where's the joy in pulling the trigger on world domination unless they can make 007 squirm as they talk him through the plan? Here are some of the most egregious examples.

Dr. No

Big villain: Dr. No
Working for: SPECTRE

Joseph Wiseman as Dr. No

The plan: To mess up the launch of the US space shuttle using an atomic radio beam.

Not only does the super-smart Dr. No reveal his plan to 007 in one of those third act smug-offs Bond villains so revel in, he also decides to tell him what everyone else in his criminal enterprise is up to as well. Not so smart now, are we doc?

Giveaway speech: “Missiles are only the first step to prove our power. East, west: just points of a compass, each as stupid as each other. I work for SPECTRE, ‘Special Executive for Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion’, the four great cornerstones of power.”

What he should have done: Shot him.

From Russia With Love

Big villain: Red Grant
Working for: SPECTRE

Red Grant from From Russia With Love

The plan: Steal the Soviet LEKTOR decoding machine, kill Bond, light a well-earned cigar.

A rare occasion when the big bad doesn’t really turn up in person, prefering to pull the strings from a safe distance and leave the dirty work to henchpeople of varying competence and footwear. His force majeur is Red Grant, a ruthless assassin with a big mouth who reveals (a) the SMERSH/SPECTRE subterfuge, (b) Blofeld’s quest for LEKTOR, and (b) a complete inability to match wine and food… all in about 15 minutes. D’oh.

Giveaway speech: “My orders are to kill you and deliver the LEKTOR. How I do it is my business. It'll be slow and painful.” (Red Grant)

What he should have done: Shot him. With that gun.


Big villain: Auric Goldfinger

Auric Goldfinger

The plan: To destroy the US gold reserve, thus sending the value of his own gold into the stratosphere. Cunning beggar.

Every Bond villain likes a grandstand moment but Goldfinger has two. This is greedy, especially when Bond eavesdrops on his first run-through of Operation Grand Slam and then eeks out the remaining details (location of bomb, end game, plans for spending the loot etc.) not by torture or sleight of hand but BY ASKING HIM.

Giveaway speech: “Once the population, including the military, has been immobilised my task force will approach Fort Knox in motorised equipment along Bullion Boulevard, which runs past the depository here and intersects with Gold Vault Road. This fence surrounding the depository, as Mr. Strap reminded us, is electrified. It will be dynamited!”

What he should have done: Asked Oddjob to shoot him.


Big villain: Emilio Largo
Working for: SPECTRE

Emilio Largo in Thunderball

The plan: To steal two nuclear bombs and then extort the shit out of everyone.

Italian sea-stallion Emilio Largo develops a pretty darn clever scheme to secure $100m for his SPECTRE paymasters, only to go and ruin it all by failing to spot 007 disguised as a frogman and then loudly announcing his point of attack. It’s Miami, in case you didn’t get it Bond. M-I-A-M-I. Not a monologue exactly, but still, couldn’t they have worked all this stuff out earlier?

Giveaway speech: “Once we pick up the merchanise, head for our target area: Miami.”

What he should have done: Shot him.

You Only Live Twice

Big villain: Ernst Stavro Blofeld
Working for: SPECTRE

Ernst Blofeld in You Only Live Twice

The plan: To spark a nuclear war between East and West.

He’s got great lines (“You only live twice, Mr. Bond”), his own piranha pond and a volcano to call home, but Ernst Stavro Blofeld just can’t keep his plan in his pants. Here he employs the first use of what we like to call the ‘Gold Class’ approach to Bond villainy, whereby Bond gets to watch his evil scheme come to fruition while scouring a surprisingly unguarded command centre for nobs to twiddle or important-looking devices to unplug. In this case, he leaps on the one marked “Open Crater” with ninja-ery consequences.

Giveaway speech: “As you see, I am about to inaugurate a little war. In a matter of hours when America and Russia have annihilated each other we shall see a new power rule the world.”

What he should have done: Shot him.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Big villain: Ernst Stavro Blofeld
Working for: SPECTRE

Ernst Blofeld in On Her Majesty's Secret Service

The plan: To be honest, we’re surprised SPECTRE hadn’t fired Blofeld by this point. Still, here he is with an extortionate scheme that seems to be loosely based on M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening. Total agri-catastrophe! In your face Jolly Green Giant! etc.

Blofeld’s threat to sterilise the planet’s supplies of grub unless he’s pardoned for previous crimes are devious and devilish, if a little counterproductive. Do you really want to live on tinned beans for eternity, Blofeld?

Giveaway speech: “Total Infertility! In plants and animals. Not just disease in a few herds, Mr Bond. Or the loss of a single crop. But the destruction of a whole strain. Forever! Throughout an entire continent. If my demands are not met, I shall proceed with the systematic extinction of whole species of cereals and livestock all over the world!”

What he should have done: Carefully loaded his pistol and... shot him.

Diamonds Are Forever

Big villain: Ernst Stavro Blofeld
Working for: SPECTRE

Ernst Blofeld in Diamonds Are Forever

The plan: To use a job-lot of smuggled diamonds to build a giant laser and wreak untold damage on large cities.

For most of the movie Blofeld seems to have learnt from his previous mistakes, coyly refusing to give the game away to 007, even when you can see the temptation tiptoe across his face. This impressive self-discipline lasts exactly until the moment he decides to give Bond a guided tour of his oil rig, talking him through his hardwear, plan and headquarters. He would have shown him his sock drawer if 007 hadn't started sabotaging things.

Giveaway speech: “All satellites are controlled by a coded tape. The trick is, of course, to have the code.”

What he should have done: Shot him.

Live and Let Die

Big villain: Dr. Kananga

Dr. Kananga in Live and Let Die

The plan: First, to grow a load of heroin (using voodoo to scare off the inquisitive); then, to flood the US with it, creating a massive new market of junkies.

A man of many faces (well, two), Dr. Kanaga is not only the corrupt ruler of the Carribean island of San Monique but also a druglord called Mr. Big and owner of a successful chain of bars called Fillet Of Soul. Busy man, although not too busy to explain his nefarious scheme for importing drugs into America to James Bond in microdetail.

Giveaway speech: “When the number of addicts in the country doubles I will start to market the acres that you blundered into the other day. That heroin will be very expensive indeed, leaving myself and the phone company the only two going monopolies in this nation for years to come.”

What he should have done: You guessed it. It begins in “BANG”.

The Man With The Golden Gun

Big villain: Scaramanga
Working for: Hai-Fat

Scaramanga in The Man With The Golden Gun

The plan: To steal the British solex agitator and use it to harness solar power into a big old laser. Also: to kill Bond with a golden bullet.

Wildly ahead of the curve on renewable energy and home entertainment, Scaramanga hatches a scheme that even he doesn’t really understand. “Science was never my strong point,” he tells Bond as he struggles to explain what exactly he’s got planned. Seriously, Brian Cox he ain’t.

Giveaway speech: “This way the highest bidder can build hundreds of these stations and sell franchises for hundreds more. He will literally have the sun in his pocket – a monopoly on solar power.”

What he should have done: Just shot him. Not in a maze. In the head.

The Spy Who Loved Me

Big villain: Karl Stromberg

Karl Stromberg in The Spy Who Loved Me

The plan: To get NATO and the Soviets to destroy the world, and then to create “a new and beautiful world beneath the sea”. Like in The Little Mermaid.

Give him his due, Stromberg was ahead of the curve – they didn’t start wearing those one-tone military suits in North Korea until the ‘90s. Then again, his plan to restart civilisation from a giant underwater spider smacks of weird. It is also cribbed directly from Blofeld in You Only Lived Twice, adding plagiarism to a lengthy rap sheet.

Giveaway speech: “Within minutes New York and Moscow will cease to exist, global destruction will follow and a new era will begin. I’m not interesting in extortion, I want to change the face of history. Today, civilisation as we know it is corrupt and decadent. Inevitably it will destroy itself – I’m merely accelerating the process.”

What he should have done: Shot him.


Big villain: Hugo Drax

Hugo Drax in Moonraker

The plan: To build a new civilisation in space. First though, Earth must be destroyed in a viral holocaust. Why? Because.

Despite his way with words and choice of spacesuits, Drax is a slightly dour villain – certainly by early Bond standards. But what he lacks in piranhas, sharks and Korean henchmen, he pours into the boldest plan yet. Alas, he knows it. Hubristically, he explains the whole eugenics-based plot in a long monologue that just ends up upsetting Jaws. Drax and double drax.

Giveaway speech: “No doubt you have realised the splendour of my conception. First a necklace of death about the Earth: 50 globes, each releasing its nerve gas over a designated area; each capable of killing 100m people. The human race, as you know it, will cease to exist. Then, a rebirth. A new world.”

What he should have done: Shot him with a laser.

For Your Eyes Only

Big villain: Aristotle Kristatos

Aristotle Kristatos in For Your Eyes Only

The plan: To earn himself a motza by selling top-secret British secret Polaris secrets to the Soviet Union; ceding control system of Britain’s Polaris missiles to the Soviet Union. The big bastard.

Suave Greek tycoon Aristotle Kristatos is played by Julian Glover, an actor once linked with the part of 007 himself before Roger Moore snaffled it. Kristatos, shortly before hatching a plan to kill Bond in as complicated a way as possible, makes an unusual villain error by revealing the final destination of the stolen device in the presence of a parrot. Said bird then repeats it in Bond’s presence and the secret is out.

Giveaway speech: “ATAC to St. Cyril’s.” (Parrot)

What he should have done: Shot him with a gun. Not a crossbow. A GUN.


Big villain: General Orlov

General Orlov in Octopussy

The plan: One of those schemes that’s so far-fetched Bond has to help explain it, the gist is a swap of Russian treasure with nuclear bombs, an “accidental” warhead detonation and total nuclear disarmament. This will enable the Soviet Union to invade western Eur… actually, what’s the use? It’s NEVER GONNA HAPPEN.

Nasty General Orlov, a man prepared to vaporise a chunk of Germany on the off-chance of pursuading NATO to disarm, has a pretty hokey plan, even by Bond villain standards. Word to the wise: if your scheme involves clowns, octopi, bears and a big top, you’re not on course for global domination, you’re in Madagascar 3.

Giveaway speech: “Is it better than letting a handful of old men in Moscow bargain away our advantage in disarmament talks?”

What he should have done: Shot him.

A View To A Kill

Big villain: Max Zorin
Working for: Zorin Industries

Max Zorin in A View To A Kill

The plan: To monopolise the global tech industry by blowing up Silicon Valley – much like Lex Luthor in Superman. That’s Plan A. Plan B is probably “to hide Bill Gates’ glasses”.

Relieved of his Worst Bond Villain Hair by Javier Bardem’s bottle-blond rug, Zorin still holds a claim to hatching one of the most short-term plans. The whole strategem hinges on there being no-one else in the entire world who could make microchips. Worse, he leaves a trail of clues, like that mysterious racehorse and those plans in the San Francisco City Hall. All that’s left is the giveaway monologue…

Giveaway speech: “We are now in the unique position to form an international cartel to control not only production, but distribution of these microchips. There is one obstacle – Silicon Valley in San Francisco.”

What he should have done: Shot him in the head. Like in Deerhunter.

The Living Daylights

Big villain: Brad Whitaker

Brad Whitaker in The Living Daylights The plan: To flood the Afghan conflict with new weapons and fresh impetus using the profits from Mujahideen opium sales.

American arms dealer and wannabe Expendable Brad Whitaker has to share the slimelight with another baddie, ex-KGB man Georgi Koskov. This brings benefits – a stack of ill-gotten KGB funds, a slick new pal, the keys to the Porsches in Condorman, etc. – but, despite a touch of world-weary resignation at 007’s annoying failure to be seduced by either cash or toy soldiers, also sadly deprives him of his moment of classic evil grandstanding. Or, as they call it in Bond villain circles, “dialogue”.

Giveaway speech: “It’s too bad Bond. You know, you could have been a live rich man instead of a dead poor one.”

What he should have done: Cleaned one of his muskets, loaded it, shot him. Simple.

Licence To Kill

Big villain: Franz Sanchez

Franz Sanchez in Licence To Kill

The plan: Exploit a clever new way of smuggling cocaine to expand drug baron Sanchez’s empire into new markets.

By this point in Bond history the bad guys were starting to learn from their mistakes. Out were the monologues, Powerpoint presentations and information packs; in were the circumspect asides, bet-you-can’t-figure-out-what-we’re-up-to grins and iguanas. Sanchez is a dangerous man – he doesn’t even wear socks for chrissakes – and he’s made even more deadly by his reluctance to spill his guts… right up to the point when he shows Bond his entire operation and then watches him destroy it. Whoops.

Giveaway speech: “Your monthly delivery will be ocean-going tanker and we’ll send our chief chemist along to oversee the process.” (Truman-Lodge)

What he should have done: Shot him.


Big villain: Alec Trevelyan

Alec Trevelyan in Goldeneye

The plan: Closest in spirit to Silva’s Skyfall scheming, married to Tinker Tailor-era grudges, Trevelyan’s plot is a revenge mission. He’s going to hack into British satellites and use them to bring London to a grinding halt. Like you need a satellite for that.

Trevelyan is the deadliest kind of villain: the good guy who’s broken bad, like 007 gone all Walter White. He knows all the “00” gadgets, has the motivation and a plan to destroy Britain’s infrastructure. Sadly as we know, vengeance without explanatory exposition is just pissing in the wind for a self-respecting Bond villain, so Trevelyan gives 007 the full monty.

Giveaway speech: “It’s not just erasing bank records – it’s everything on every computer in greater London. Tax records, stock market, credit ratings, land records, criminal records… in 16 minutes the United Kingdom will re-enter the Stone Age.”

What he should have done: Shot him.

Tomorrow Never Dies

Big villain: Elliot Carver

Elliot Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies

The plan: To provoke Britain into attacking China, killing its leaders and ultimately leaving the sympathetic General Chang a free run at power.

Evil media mogul Rupert Mur... – sorry, Elliot Carver – wants to start a war between Britain and China to bring a friendly force to power and gain access to China’s lucrative TV market. To the untrained eye this may seem an unnecessarily complicated way of letting people in Shanghai watch Wigan vs. Stoke, but Carver is unfeasibly impressed with it. First he tells Michelle Yeoh about it, then he tells Bond, throwing in some Randolph Hearst quotes for good measure.

Giveaway speech: “I’m sending this missile into Beijing where General Chang has just called an emergency meeting of the Chinese high command. Unfortunately, General Chang will be delayed in traffic, arriving just after the missile has killed your leaders and too late to stop the airforce sinking the entire British fleet.”

What he should have done: Bought Google.

The World Is Not Enough

Big villain: Elektra King

Elektra King in The World is Not Enough

The plan: To nuke Istanbul and destroy the oil pipelines of competitive multinationals.

Oil heiress Elektra King belatedly provides Bond with a top tier female antagonist, although inevitably sex clouds the picture in a way that it didn’t with, say, Karl Stromberg. This complicates the third reel showdown which turns out to be part exposition, part awkward meeting of exes. While Bond tries to dismiss it all as a bad case of martini goggles, Elektra gets on with torturing him and explaining her plan. Never has a garroting been so saucy.

Giveaway speech: “It is my oil – mine. And my family’s. It runs in my veins, thicker than blood. I’m going to redraw the map and when I’m done the whole world will know my name.”

What she should have done: Strangled him with the strangle device.

Die Another Day

Big villain: Gustav Graves/Colonel Tan-Sun Moon

Gustav Graves in Die Another Day

The plan: To score a bunch of blood diamonds and use them to build a laser (yep, another one) to vaporise South Korea’s minefields and allow North Korea to invade and reunify the nations.

Points for discretion go to Die Another Day’s Janus-like uber villain. He shows a Blofeld-esque reluctance to explain his plan in any detail and only ever spills the beans in a brief exchange with his father when Bond has his hands full elsewhere. Unfortunately, 007 has long since been clued up by the trail of clues he’s left lying around.

Giveaway speech: “Do you see, father? Icarus is clearing the minefield for our troops. If the Americans don’t run, Icarus will destroy them.”

What he should have done: Shot him with the laser.