James Bond 50: M for Mother


As the world’s most famous spy celebrates 50 years as a movie star, the time has come to celebrate everything we love about him. In 22 blog posts, I’ll find something in every Bond movie, from Dr. No (1962) to Quantum of Solace (2008), that’s worth illustrating. Yes, even the bad ones.

In the seventeenth film of this franchise, six years after Licence to Kill, a lot had changed. There was a new 007, Pierce Brosnan, the Cold War had ended, and M had become a woman. In Judi Dench’s portrayal of the new MI6 chief, M assumed a maternal touch. This character had always worried about Bond’s freewheeling adventures, but in Dench’s guise she correctly criticized him for his outdated behavior toward women and also challenged him – would he be able to survive the fall of the Soviet Union and remain a valuable asset to British intelligence? This mother-son affair would continue in every subsequent film, culminating in Skyfall this autumn where their relationship promises to be genuinely tested.

My 2006 review of GoldenEye.

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