Throughout its long and storied history, the James bond franchise has seen some of the best villains in all of cinema with many of them immortalized through film parodies, video games, books etc. Some of the best villains in the Bond series are well known for not just their dastardly plans or signature weapons but the way they’ve met their ends with many of them being so iconic, so we’re going to rank the 10 most satisfying villain deaths in James Bond movies!
Dr. Kananga, Xenia Onatopp, Emile Locque, Professor Dent, Dario, Kamal Khan & Gobinda
Deaths in James Bond – Dr Julius No
The main bad guy of the very first 007 movies, Dr No was a half Chinese/half German nuclear scientist who was a member of the criminal the organization called S.P.E.CT.R.E who enjoys things like describing the acronym of said organization, installing a great amount of fear in his underlings and preventing U.S. air shuttles from entering into space. The latter point leads to James Bond heading to the islands of Jamaica where a few MI6 agents and an island local named Quarrel are killed by many of Dr No’s henchmen. Upon finally meeting with the nefarious doctor in his lair, James Bond persistently tries to anger him which leads to Julius No demonstrating the power of his metal hands, which were the result of a nuclear experiment gone wrong.
After escaping his prison cell and donning a nuclear protection suit, 007 enters the reactor/control room where the doctor patiently waits to disrupt an up-and-coming shuttle launch at Cape Canaveral. Thinking quickly, Bond begins to overload the atomic reactor with the water inside boiling at rapid speed leading to a quick fight between Bond and No and while the doctor’s metal hands are strong enough to destroy small statues, he can’t properly grasp the structure his own as he sinks further into the radioactive water. This results in Dr No being boiled to death inside of his reactor and becoming the first of many villains to have one of their special weapons or attributes working against them in the world of 007.
Deaths in James Bond – Elliot Carver
While the idea of the media making baseless claims and instigating a conflict might not be a new idea today, back in 1997 the makers of the 18th bond film ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ decided to make an influential newspaper and media magnate the big bad in their movie.
Carver’s plan in Tomorrow Never Dies is to force the U.K. and the Chinese to start a war with each other and upon the creation of a new government in China, Carver wants exclusive broadcasting rights with the area while also looking to be the first to report the news on the conflict before anyone else for profit and ratings.
Throughout the film, Carver uses everything from a razor bladed torpedo to sink a British naval ship to having his men gun down any survivors with Chinese rifles to even hiring the services of Dr Kaufman, an assassin and specialist in forensic medicine to kill Carver’s wife after discovering that she has a history with 007.
In the final moments of the film, Elliot Carver holds Bond at gunpoint while bragging that 007’s efforts were completely in vain, unaware that Bond has activated the razor bladed torpedo inside the stealth ship which is barreling right towards them leaving Carver to die at the hands of his mechanized monster while Bond manages to escape death.
Deaths in James Bond – Max Zorin
Christopher Walken plays Max Zorin, the rich industrialist and former KGB agent who’s also the result of Nazi medical experiments and he plans to destroy Silicon Valley by causing a double earthquake in California that will eliminate any competition to Zorin Industries when it comes to the then lucrative microchip market of the 1980s. Along with many of his associates like the enigmatic henchwoman May Day, Zorin cheats and kills anyone who gets in his way including his men as seen by the moment when he and another one of his employees completely gun down an entire group of Zorin’s mineworkers and even comes close to killing James Bond by leaving him to die inside a sinking automobile or setting an elevator that Bond’s trapped in on fire.
Max’s masterplan gets undermined after May Day helps Bond upon being betrayed by her boss/lover and this all culminates with 007 fighting with an axe-wielding Max Zorin on top of the Golden Gate Bridge but Bond gets the better of him which leaves Zorin dangling from the bridge before he falls off the bridge plummeting to the water meeting his end or as Bond describes it the 2004 video game, Everything or Nothing: “Yes, we once played bridge together…he lost”.
Deaths in James Bond – Elektra King
The first major female big bad in the film series, Elektra King was one of the few villains to get close to James Bond…in more ways than one, but she’s also a master manipulator as she plays numerous people to satisfy her vanity and come one step closer to reaching her goals. After being kidnapped by an anarchist named Renard as part of a major extort plot Elektra’s father, Sir Robert King refuses to pay any money to rescue his daughter under the advice of a family friend and head of the British intelligence, M; Soon Elektra begins to use her sexuality to seduce Renard to her side and plots to get revenge on both her father and M.
Once Sir Robert is killed in an explosion inside MI6 headquarters, Elektra becomes the inheritor of her father’s oil industry before encountering James Bond; Throughout the film ‘The World is Not Enough’ Bond and Elektra form a passionate relationship with each other and King rekindles her friendship with M until it’s later revealed that she’s been playing 007 and M for fools and locks M inside a prison cell awaiting death. The final act of the film sees Bond chasing Elektra to the top of her hideout where 007 demands her to tell Renard to call off the rest of the plan but she arrogantly believes that despite all of his bravado, Bond wouldn’t kill her in cold blood, but that he’ll miss.
Unfortunately for Elektra, Bond’s love for queen and country trumps his feelings for her and he shoots the oil heiress straight in the chest killing her instantly before quipping with the line “I never miss”.
Deaths in James Bond – Oddjob
The silent Korean bodyguard with a razor rimmed bowel hat is undoubtedly one of the most famous henchmen in all of cinema as he serves the gold smuggler and businessman, Auric Goldfinger so loyal that even though he’ll most likely die upon the nuclear bomb going off inside Fort Knox, he still fights 007 to the death to prevent his bosses plan from being foiled.
He’s first seen as a shadowy figure who leaves Bond unconscious in his hotel room until his fully revealed during Bond’s golfing session with Goldfinger which is notably for the famous scene when Oddjob uses his hat to cut the neck of a stone status clean off. Oddjob goes on to kill several people in the movie until he goes on to confront bond in a very one-sided fight with the Korean wrestler kicking Bond’s ass throughout the whole thing.
Much like the previously mentioned Dr No, it’s Oddjob’s signature weapon that ends up becoming his undoing as Bond throws the steel hat into a bunch of metal bars leading to Oddjob retrieving the hat only for 007 to use an exposed and still active cable wire on the metal bars causing the jolt of electricity to fry the bars and Oddjob himself. The story has it that Harold Sakata (the man who played Oddjob in the film) had suffered severe burns on his hand during the making of his character’s death scene due to the pyrotechnics being used, however, Sakata himself didn’t let go of the hat unless he was instructed to do so by the director…proof if a proof is needed that Sakata is just as determined and loyal as his hat wielding persona.
Deaths in James Bond – Auric Goldfinger
Well, I just talked about the demise of his loyal servant, so now it’s time to talk about the man himself and how he kicks the bucket. The main antagonist and namesake of the film, Auric Goldfinger’s master plan called ‘Operation Grand Slam’ were to eradicate the gold supply of Fort Knox with a nuclear weapon to make sure his gold supplies become more valuable for nearly 60 years.
Course 007 was able to stop his plan from succeeding, but Goldfinger manages to escape the building before he can be arrested by the authorities however it’s not until Bond takes a trip to Washington on a commercial jet that the gold obsessed baddie re-emerges to kill his archrival before making his escape to Cuba on the same jet.
A brawl breaks out between Bond and Goldfinger on the jet with the businessman’s golden gun discharging a shot into one of the windows which leads to cabin pressure inside the jet thus causing Goldfinger to be sucked out of the jet through the open window leading to his death with Bond quipping to the pilot that Goldfinger was “Playing his golden harp”.
Deaths in James Bond – Donald “Red” Grant
SPECTRE’s agent of death in the 1963 film ‘From Russia with Love’, Red Grant is assigned by his superiors to kill 007 as an act of revenge for the death of Dr Julius No and to bring back a decoding device known as a lektor which SPECTRE plans to return to the Russians for a hefty price. Throughout the film, Grant keeps tabs on James Bond and follows him about to make sure the British spy remains alive (for now) but is also able to get the lektor and to make certain that this happens Grant kills a lot of people including Bond’s allies in Turkey, Ali Kerim Bey on board the Orient Express. Not too long after Grant reveals himself and his true intentions to Bond, the pair have a very physical fight inside the Orient Express with Bond looking to be killed by Grant’s garrote wire installed into his watch. However, Bond pulls out a knife hidden inside his briefcase and he stabs Grant before using the villain’s weapon against him…yet another example of a bond villains’ weapon being used against them leading to their demise.
Deaths in James Bond – Franz Sanchez
The head of his drug cartel and luxury casino, Franz Sanchez rules over the Republic of Isthmus through intimidation, murder and bribery he also demands a near sadistic level of loyalty amongst his allies less they are killed off in some gory and over the top ways by Sanchez himself. After escaping his trip to prison, Sanchez and his men capture Felix Leiter one of the DEA agents responsible for the drug baron’s arrest and is also friends with James Bond. Leiter soon learns that his new wife, Della was sexually assaulted and killed under Sanchez’s order before Leiter himself is maimed after the drug kingpin overseas a shark biting off most of his leg and leaving a bloody note that reads “He disagreed with something that ate him”.
This leads to Bond going on a personal vendetta to kill those responsible for his friend’s near-death experience and after spending much of the film playing Sanchez off against his men, the two of them go on to fight all around a moving tanker filled with cocaine laced oil.
Crawling to safety after the tanker crashes, Bond is stopped by an angry and bleeding Sanchez who’s looking to hack up the British agent with his machete, until 007 mentions to Franz if he’d like to know why he did what he did which results in Bond grabbing a lighter given to him by Felix and Della and setting Sanchez on fire before the flames reach towards the tanker and causing a massive explosion. The look of panic and agonist on Sanchez as he set it on fire trying to put the flames out helps to make his death all the more satisfying and rightfully deserved for such a ruthless villain.
Deaths in James Bond – Hugo Drax
Hugo Drax is the head of the industrial aerospace company called ‘Drax Industries’ which attempts to use his space shuttles and well-trained employees to create a new society in space while dropping hazardous chemicals on Earth which will lead to the deaths of millions of people.
In the final act of the film, Bond chases after Drax until he corners him into a section of the deteriorating space station; Drax nervously backs away from an approaching James Bond when he quickly grabs hold of a gun located on the floor and mentions how he’ll have the pleasure of putting 007 out of his misery.
But just when it looks like Drax has the upper hand, Bond slowly raises his hands to reveal the dart shooting feature of his wristwatch with a poison dart being shot right into the heart of the insane industrialist. However, James Bond is far from finished with Hugo Drax as he calmly pushes his rival into the airlock chamber before opening the door and jettison Drax into the cold dark void of space to die of either the poison dart or a lack of oxygen… or maybe both.
This, of course, leaves Bond to make some of his famous quips like “Take a giant step for mankind” & telling his female ally when asking about the fate of Drax “Oh he had to fly”
Deaths in James Bond – Alec Trevelyan
Bond’s closest friend turned traitor: Alec Trevelyan makes it to the top of this list not just because he’s played by the legendary Sean Bean but much like the previously mentioned Hugo Drax, Trevelyan ends up meeting not one but two grisly fates by the end of the film…
The now-iconic and former 006, Trevelyan and a few of his associates steal the controls to an electromagnetic space satellite called Goldeneye to use it to destroy all of the financial records in Britain but not before hacking into their systems and transferring all of England’s funds to himself and his criminal organization while also getting revenge against the British for betraying his people during World War II which led to his parent’s death.
The film’s third act sees both Bond and Trevelyan having a brutal fight throughout the latter’s control centre in Cuba when the intervention of Bond’s female ally, Natalya Simonova leads to Bond getting the upper hand but just before Alec falls off of the small piece of his control centre, Bond grabs him in a moment that leaves many including Trevelyan himself shocked as it appears that Bond will save his friend from certain death.
This leads to Alec saying a familiar phrase that both men shared: “For England James?”… However instead of replying with “For England Alec.” as he usually does, 007’s response to his former friend is simply: “No… For Me”
Bond then lets go of his grip and drops Alec down to the concrete surface below which at first looks to have killed him, but instead his bleeding from the mouth and still breathing albeit with all of his bone broken and internal organs messed up. Instead of letting Alec succumb to his injuries and die alone, Bond sets the control centre to blow up in a ball of fire with Trevelyan screaming in fear as he’s about to meet his death by way of a giant hunk of flaming debris landing on him while also having his plans come crashing down. A fitting way for such a character to meet his end, thus making it my pick for the most satisfying death for a villain in a 007 film.