9. The knife shoe
Much love has been given to James Bond’s gadgets, but what about his detractors? From Russia with love featured the memorable Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya) as the villain. She is a ruthless colonel and Soviet counterintelligence agent, as well as a SPECTER double agent (!), who needed her own set of surprise weapons. Disguised as a housekeeper, she pounces on Bond towards the end of the film, pointing a gun at him before being disarmed by Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi). But it’s what’s hidden in her shoe that has become much more iconic to fans of the series and gives her an edge in the ensuing conflict.
Although the shoes themselves look basic, they have a small blade at the tip, which is hidden in the sole. She swings this weapon at Bond, with the blade covered in poison designed to get the job done. He fights her off with a chair before Tatina lands the final shot, firing Klebb’s own gun. While using the gadget may not have been as effective given that it’s in a rather difficult location to use, it’s also a pain to defend against and may have taken a lucky shot to one of 007’s legs landed. So, as a piece of movie history, it’s a classic design that spoke to the shock factor in the climate scene.
8. Dentonite Toothpaste
A Bond movie wouldn’t be complete without explosives. All sorts of situations need a little dynamite to get an agent going, and Q usually had an ingenious method for hiding these deadly gadgets in plain sight. In front of Permission to kill, the film took an unexpected approach, relying on a household item. However, unlike other equipment in the series, this was not based on any real brand.
His Majesty’s Secret Service had turned a tube of toothpaste into an explosive device. Comically titled Detonite, the false branding alluded to the contents within. It’s terrifying that someone accidentally used this product as it was intended, but James Bond took advantage of the gadget when he made an assassination attempt on Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi). Although his goal was unsuccessful, the toothpaste itself was destroyed without any problems. A cleverly disguised cigarette pack became the detonator in another spectacular design choice.
7. The watches
It’s a bit of an honorable mention, but James Bond doesn’t go anywhere without his trusty watch. Throughout the saga, he has showcased some of the best wristwatches, many of which are based on real world products. Of course, that makes the concept even cooler for viewers, who could very well own one of these items (hence the high price many watchmakers pay to get their wares included). However, as is often the case with Bond’s gear, these accessories aren’t always what they seem, and Q equips them with some nifty upgrades.
For example, The spy who loved me saw Bond using a digital watch that could send printable messages to him; a technology that clearly predicted real progress in the world of smart devices. Famous, 007’s Rolex Submariner in Live and let die had a small circular saw with which to cut his way out of the prison, while the wrist piece also contained a small electromagnet.
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