Website last updated: 7-5-2024

Steven Jay Rubin celebrates Judi Dench on her 86th birthday

By: Steven Jay Rubin
Dame Judi Dench M James Bond
The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia presents This Day in James Bond Movie History - wishing Dame Judi Dench a very Happy Birthday.

Unless you’ve been living in a submarine with no radio, you’d know that Dame Judi Dench has played M in the James Bond series seven times, starting with Pierce Brosnan in GoldenEye (1995), and continuing all through the Brosnan era into the first three Daniel Craig films.

She’s been terrific – bringing a sense of stern, no-nonsense, bureaucratic discipline to the role, but not without a strong dose of humanity.

When she coldly tells Bond in GoldenEye that he’s a sexist, misogynistic dinosaur, a relic of the Cold War, you sense a sea change in the relationship Bond has with his superior. But M is no fool, she knows and appreciates 007’s skills. Her highpoint was Skyfall (2012), where the vendetta of villainous Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) strikes close to home.

Daniel Craig as James Bond and Dame Judi Dench as M in Skyfall
Daniel Craig and Dame Judi Dench in Skyfall. © 2012 Danjaq LLC. & Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). All rights reserved.

It’s interesting that with all the female heroes in film and television these days, from Wonder Woman and Black Widow to the more recent chess master Beth Harmon in Queen’s Gambit, Ms. Dench led the way, breaching the men’s club at MI6, and smoothing a space in Bond lore forever.

So let’s race a glass of bourbon to the Dame Judi on her birthday.

All text. Copyright © 2020 Steven Jay Rubin. All rights reserved.



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