|James Bond character|
Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore
|First appearance||Goldfinger (1959 novel)|
|Last appearance||Goldfinger (1964 film)|
|Created by||Ian Fleming|
|Portrayed by||Honor Blackman|
|Affiliation||Auric Goldfinger (film)
The Cement Mixers (novel)
|Classification||Bond girl / Henchwoman|
Pussy Galore is a fictional character in the 1959 Ian Fleming James Bond novel Goldfinger and the 1964 film of the same name. In the film, she is played by Honor Blackman. The character returns in the 2015 Bond continuation novel Trigger Mortis by Anthony Horowitz, set in the 1950s two weeks after the events of Goldfinger.
In Fleming's 1959 novel Goldfinger, Pussy Galore is the only woman in the United States known to be running an organised crime gang. Initially trapeze artists, her group of performing catwomen, "Pussy Galore and her Abrocats", is unsuccessful, and so the women train as cat burglars instead.
Her group evolves into an all-lesbian organisation, based in Harlem, known as the Cement Mixers. In the novel, she has black hair, pale skin, and (according to Bond) the only violet eyes that Bond has ever seen. She is in her thirties, her voice low and attractive. Pussy tells Bond that she became a lesbian after she was sexually abused by her uncle at the age of 12.
Auric Goldfinger enlists the help of Pussy and her Cement Mixers to carry out "Operation Grand Slam", a scheme to kill all the soldiers guarding Fort Knox by poisoning their water supply with a water-borne nerve agent (GB, also called sarin), and then to use a stolen nuclear weapon to blow open the U.S. Bullion Depository there and steal one billion dollars in gold bullion from it. Goldfinger chooses the Cement Mixers because he needs a group of women to impersonate the nurses in fake emergency medical teams he plans to send into the poison-stricken Fort Knox.
After Bond and Felix Leiter foil "Grand Slam", Galore runs into Bond while impersonating a stewardess on Goldfinger's hijacked escape flight to the Soviet Union (which carries his remaining fortune in gold). Bond, having previously been drugged by a fake vaccination, has been kidnapped and transported onto the plane to join Goldfinger, who is determined to kill him at last.
However, Bond punctures one of the airplane's windows with a knife (causing Goldfinger's henchman Oddjob to be blown out and plunge to his death), then tackles Goldfinger, and, in the ensuing struggle, kills him. Bond then forces the crew of the airplane to reverse course. When the gold-heavy craft runs out of fuel, and the crew must ditch it in the ocean, Bond and Pussy are the only ones who manage to escape onto a life raft. It is hinted at the end of the novel that Pussy is sent to prison, as she says to Bond, "Will you write to me in Sing Sing?"
Her original band of Amazonian catwomen appear as characters in the film, but as small-aircraft pilots rather than trapeze artists.
Pussy returns in the 2015 Bond continuation novel Trigger Mortis by Anthony Horowitz, set in the 1950s two weeks after the events of Goldfinger. The novel contains material written, but previously unreleased, by Fleming.
Concerned about censors, the producers of the 1964 film adaptation of Goldfinger considered changing the character's name to "Kitty Galore", but decided to keep the original name after the British newspapers began to refer to the actress who was preparing for the role, Honor Blackman, as "Pussy" after she was shown in a picture with Prince Phillipe, with the caption "Prince and Puss" in the lead-up to production.
In the film, Pussy is first seen when Bond wakes up in Goldfinger's private jet, having been knocked out with a tranquiliser gun by a Goldfinger henchman. He is lying on a couch when he regains consciousness, and since the first thing he sees when he opens his eyes is her stunning blonde-framed visage leaning over him, the dialog runs as follows:
James Bond: Who are you?
Pussy Galore: My name is Pussy Galore.
James Bond: I must be dreaming.
She then asserts that the nature of her employment for Goldfinger is that she's "a damn good pilot", clearly intending to suggest that there is no relationship of a more intimate nature between them, and tells Bond, "You can turn off the charm. I'm immune." She is the leader of Pussy Galore's Flying Circus, a group of women aviators connected with Goldfinger's "Operation Grand Slam" (played in certain scenes by stuntmen in blonde wigs). In a later scene, Pussy uses judo to attack Bond after she catches him eavesdropping on Goldfinger's plan, and turns him over to Goldfinger.
However, Bond eventually seduces the previously "immune" Pussy. She then secretly turns against Goldfinger; she alerts the Central Intelligence Agency to her employer's scheme, and they help her replace the deadly nerve gas that Goldfinger is planning have her aviators spray over Fort Knox with a different, harmless substance (the soldiers below appear to die, but are actually faking).
Having foiled Goldfinger's plan, Bond boards the President's private plane to travel to the White House. Goldfinger, now a fugitive millionaire, forces Pussy to participate in hijacking the plane in order to force the pilot to fly him to Cuba. However, Bond defeats Goldfinger, who is blown out the window at high altitude, thus suffering what, in the novel, had been Oddjob's fate. Bond then saves Pussy from the crashing plane: they both bail out (this is shown only on radar), land safely in an unidentified tropical region, and make love under their parachute.
During an interview for the documentary Bond Girls Are Forever, Blackman commented that, when she was playing the role of Pussy, she knew her character had been written as a lesbian in the novel. She also said she had played the role as if she had been abused in the past.
Fleming's encounter in Sweden with aviatrix Jean Batten who was flying in Sweden during 1939 whilst Britain was smuggling mercenary (Eagle Squadron) pilots to Finland may have provided inspiration for the character Pussy Galore. Batten is also known to have been active flying in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. The mercenary Eagle Squadron made famous during the Battle of Britain was the brain child of William Stephenson (later Sir William Stephenson) who himself was a fighter pilot in WW1. Stephenson was active in military intelligence in Sweden during 1939.
|This section requires expansion. (September 2012)|
Pussy ranked second in a poll of favourite Bond girls by Entertainment Weekly in 2007, beaten only by Ursula Andress' character Honey Rider. Yahoo! Movies had her name included in the 2012 list of the best Bond girl names, calling it "The most famous Bond Girl name, and also the rudest – US censors almost cut it from Goldfinger."
The 1997 parody film Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery features a character named Alotta Fagina in an apparent reference to Galore (and perhaps also to the many other double-entendre named Bond girls, such as Octopussy and Holly Goodhead).
Her name is also the inspiration for a character, Pussy LaGore, in the Carmageddon video game series.
At the end of Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century series, a group of former Bond girls appear to help Mina Murray and Orlando. Among them is one who is clearly modeled after Honor Blackman referred to as Cathy, i.e. the full form of 'Kitty.' She is seen openly flirting with Orlando, indicating that she has now reverted to lesbianism.
- Thomson, Ian (6 June 2008). "Devil May Care, by Sebastian Faulks, writing as Ian Fleming; For Your Eyes Only, by Ben Macintyre". The Independent. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
- Goldfinger, chapters 17 & 18
- "James Bond: Pussy Galore returns in new novel". BBC News (BBC). 28 May 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
- Flood, Alison (28 May 2015). "New James Bond novel Trigger Mortis resurrects Pussy Galore". The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 28 May 2015.
- Furness, Hannah (28 May 2015). "Pussy Galore returns for new James Bond novel Trigger Mortis". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
- Wikiquote:Goldfinger (film)
- "My Life". victoria.ac.nz.
- "Eagle Squadrons". rafmuseum.org.uk.
- Literature and the Glocal City: Reshaping the English Canadian Imaginary, Pub Routledge 2014, by Ana María Fraile-Marcos pp.165-166
- "Countdown! The 10 best Bond girls | James Bond | Movie Commentary | DVD | Entertainment Weekly". Ew.com. 20 September 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
- Lindner 2009, p. 76.
- GMT Master History, Rolex GMT-Master, GMT-Master, Rolex. "GMT Master History". GMT Master History. Retrieved 29 March 2012.