Monday, October 24, 2011

The Best Bond Girl Of All Time - Janice Rule

... and she wasn't even in a Bond film. Let's just call her the best Spy Girl of all time.

Janice plays Sheila Sommers in the Matt Helm spy spoof, The Ambushers. Dean Martin is Matt Helm and the movie is over-the-top camp with Dino leering and drinking his way through the scenes. The plot is thin, the extras are silly and the gadgets are ridiculous. Having said that, the chemistry between Dean Martin and Janice Rule is terrific. Unlike the wooden sex toys that are the Bond girls, Janice's character is sassy and fun. The interplay between the two of them is on par with The Thin Man love-sparring between William Powell and Myrna Loy.

Janice and Dino. A great combination.

It may be that the lively, perhaps ad-libbed banter between these two would have been impossible in a Bond movie where they had to at least try to be serious. The only Bond girl that comes close to Janice's joie de vivre is Miss Moneypenny and that's probably because she was played for laughs - the running joke being that she would never win James Bond.

The Ambushers is not a great movie or even a decent spy film. It's a fun way to blow 90 minutes and wonder what the Bond films could have been like had they been a little more human.


Mostly Nothing said...

Makes me want to see this now. Dino sounds like the perfect spoof.

I'd give the nod to Diana Rigg in On Her Majesties Secret Service. Her character stood up to Bond and was her own person.

In fact, that was the best story of the Bonds before Daniel Craig. Unfortunately, it was the with George Lazenby. He is the only human that could kill Bond.

K T Cat said...

MN, you bring up an interesting conundrum. In Bond, the stories are real and the characters are fake. In Matt Helm, the stories are fake and the characters are real.


Anonymous said...

I agree completely re Janice Rule. True, Diana Rigg was very good in "On Her Majesty's..." and terrific elsewhere, but she was still just a Bond girl. Janice rule ruled. When I saw "The Ambushers" I very nearly could not stand the silliness and modest production values, but Rule was sassy, pretty and totally fetching. Something special, so much so that I began tracking her other movie and TV appearances.

K T Cat said...

You make a good point about Janice Rule being fetching. I thought she was more enticing by far than any of the Bond girls. It's not about measurements and costumes.

Leslie James said...

Janice Rule and Natalie Wood were the most stunning actresses I've ever seen. Rule's eyes could charm a snake.