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|James Bond character|
|First appearance||Goldfinger (1959 novel)|
|Last appearance||Trigger Mortis (2015 novel)|
|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 organized 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 organization, 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, and her voice is low and attractive. Born into poverty in the rural southern United States, she fell into juvenile delinquency. Attempting to go straight, she joined the circus and became an acrobat. 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 nuclear weapon which he had purchased from a quartermaster storekeeper at an Allied military base in Germany for one million dollars to blow open the United States Bullion Depository and contaminate the one billion dollars of gold stored there with the nuclear bomb to make it radioactive, which will vastly increase the value of his gold holdings. Goldfinger chooses the Cement Mixers because he needs a group of women to impersonate the nurses in the 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 into 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?"
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.
In the film, Galore 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 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 corners Galore in a barn and forcibly holds her down and kisses her. She initially tries to fight him off, but as he overpowers her, she eventually succumbs.
She then secretly turns against Goldfinger; she alerts the CIA to her employer's scheme, and they help her replace the deadly nerve gas that Goldfinger is planning to have her aviators spray over Fort Knox with a different, harmless substance.
Having foiled Goldfinger's plan, Bond boards the President's private plane to travel to the White House. Goldfinger, now a fugitive, forces Galore to participate in hijacking the plane in order to force the pilot to fly him to Cuba. However, Bond defeats Goldfinger by shooting out the plane's window and causing him to be sucked out of the plane at high altitude and to plunge to his death. Bond then saves Galore from the crashing plane: they both bail out, land safely in an unidentified tropical region, and are presumed to have sex under their parachute.
Pussy ranked second in a poll of favourite Bond girls by Entertainment Weekly in 2007, beaten only by Ursula Andress' character Honey Ryder. 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 — U.S. censors almost cut it from Goldfinger."
Lauren Spungen criticized the portrayal of homosexuality in the characters of Klebb and Galore, arguing that the "battle between heterosexuality and homosexuality" is a metaphor for the battle of "good and evil".
In popular culture
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).
Two Republic F-105 Thunderchief aircraft, both single-seat D-models, were christened "Pussy Galore" and "Pussy Galore II" by Capt Victor "Vic" Vizcarra in 1965 and 1967. Both aircraft were lost during the Vietnam War. Pussy Galore I was shot down over Hanoi. Pussy Galore II was damaged in a ground accident in Taiwan and was a total write-off. Both planes had nose art with female genitalia overlaying openings used to refuel the jets while airborne via aerial refueling. The markings never lasted long, as wing commanders tended to go apoplectic when they were seen.
Megabus UK has a coach that is a play on Pussy Galore. It is called "Bussy Galore"
- 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. 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.
- Sandiford, Theda (24 October 2012). "Pussy Galore - The Complete History of Bond Girls". complex.com.
- "Countdown! The 10 best Bond girls | James Bond | Movie Commentary | DVD". Entertainment Weekly. New York City: Meredith Corporation. 20 September 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
- Ladenson, Elisabeth (2001). "Lovely Lesbians; or, Pussy Galore". GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. 7 (3): 417–423. doi:10.1215/10642684-7-3-417. ISSN 1527-9375. S2CID 144609937.
- Spungen, Lauren (1 March 2017). "When Can Homophobia Live and Let Die?: An Examination of Sexual Deviance in the James Bond Franchise". Film Matters. 8 (1): 12–17. doi:10.1386/fm.8.1.12_1.
- Lindner 2009, p. 76.
- "GMT Master History". GMT Master History. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
- "Here's why this Infamous F-105 Thunderchief was an Incredible Morale Booster". 31 August 2019.