James Bond and Water

         Much ballyhoo has been made in the study of the world’s greatest secret agent, James Bond, when it comes to his various vices. He smokes. He drinks. He drives fast. He’s the pleasure-seeking adventurer. And the women. We must not forget the many women of the James Bond films. Indeed James can’t end a mission without having a beautiful beauty in his arms.

          But what of water? More than half of the films end with James not only in the arms of a woman but also in some proximity of water. This heretofore-unexplored phenomenon of the James Bond films must be explored and understood. Look at the list below and now you can see the truth. James, for some reason, needs water at the end of a mission. Why?

  1. Dr. No – James is in a boat with Honey Rider
  2. From Russia With Love – James is in a small boat in Venice with Tatiana Romanova.

  3. Goldfinger – James is on the ground among a parachute and Pussy Galore. No water.

  4. Thunderball – James is on the ocean in a life raft with Domino Vitali just before they are whisked out of the life raft by a passing plane.

  5. You Only Live Twice – James is on the ocean in yet another life raft with Kissy Suzuki before a submarine surfaces beneath them.
  6. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – James is in a car when Blofeld kills his new wife, Tracy, is in a drive-by-shooting. No water.
  7. Diamonds Are Forever – James is on a luxury cruise on the ocean with Tiffany Case.
  8. Live and Let Die – James is on a train with Solitaire. No water.
  9. The Man With the Golden Gun – James is on Scaramanga’s wooden sailing barge with Mary Goodnight.
  10. The Spy Who Loved Me – James is on the ocean in one of Stromberg’s luxurious life  pods with Anya Amasova “keeping the British end up”.
  11. Moonraker – James is in orbit with Holly Goodhead taking her “around the world one more time”. The weightlessness of the ocean of outer space could simulate floating on  water. Still, no water.
  12. For Your Eyes Only – James is taking a moonlight swim with Melina Havelock.
  13. Octopussy –  James is on Octopussy’s yacht taking advantage of his “weakened  condition”.
  14. Never Say Never Again – While not an official Bond, in keeping with tradition, James is in a swimming pool with his latest love Domino Pitachi.
  15. A View to a Kill – James is in the shower “cleaning up a few details” with Stacey Sutton. No floating but plenty of water.
  16. The Living Daylights – James sneaks backstage at a classical music concert to be with  Kara Milovy. No water, just champagne.
  17. License to Kill – James jumps into a swimming pool and pulls Pam Bouvier in with him.
  18. Goldeneye – James is somewhere on the island of Cuba? With Natalya Simonova. No  water, just a lot of grass, trees and a bunch of marines.
  19. Tomorrow Never Dies – James is on the ocean with Wai Lin romantically enjoying the fact that he just averted a war between England and China.
  20. The World Is Not Enough – James is in a room taking a well-deserved Christmas Jones holiday. No water.
  21. Die Another Day – James and Jinx are in a house, romantically wondering if they can keep a bunch of diamonds forever. No water but the house is by the ocean.
  22. Casino Royale – In the Bond reboot, the film's climax involves Bond losing his lady love, who drowns in the waters of Venice. This perhaps explains the beginnings of James's fixation with water. But the film does not end in water; just James  coming into his own by confronting the mysterious Mr. White in the front of his house, which is by the ocean.
  23. Quantum of Solace – This first ever direct sequel did not end in water but in the desert. It should be noted that the plot of the film deals with the the stealing and holding of Bolivia's supplies of fresh water. Hmmmm....

          So there you go of 23 films, 13 of them end in water. If you count the proximity to water for the beach houses in Die Another DayCasino Royale, as well as the baddie's plans in Quantum of Solace, that’s 16. If one includes the floating at the end of “Moonraker” that’s 17.

          17 of 23!

          Clearly, if one includes actual dousings, effects, and proximity, James Bond has a psychological fixation to water.

          What does it mean? Is it a subconscious need on his part? Does he feel dirty and has the need for a cleaning? Does it represent a baptism, a washing away of the guilt that he feels for all of the bad guys that he’s just killed? Could it be that James has a thing for water when it comes to being with the women? Does a mission not feel truly complete until he’s around that water? Is he thirsty? Or, less enjoyably, is it pure luck that the screenwriters sought fit to end the films thusly.

          I hate to muddy the waters but I felt it was my responsibility to add yet another question to the psychological puzzle that is the man, James Bond.

          Call your local shrink and let me know.


(2009. By Frederick Holbrook)


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