Contributed by: The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia by Steven Jay Rubin

A popular weapon in the James Bond series, first introduced as a torture device in Goldfinger. In that film, Bond (Sean Connery) is captured and strapped onto a solid gold table, where the laser beam begins to eat away at the metal and is headed for 007’s privates. “Do you expect me to talk?” Bond asks. “No, Mr. Bond,” replies Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe), “I expect you to die.” Fortunately, Bond saves his loins by uttering the magic words “Operation Grand Slam,” the name of Goldfinger’s supposedly top-secret plan to detonate a Red Chinese A-bomb inside Fort Knox. Fearing what 007 might know and have already shared with his colleagues in British intelligence, Goldfinger has him shot with a tranquilizer dart and shipped to Kentucky. [Spy Movie Navigator note, the first laser was projected through a ruby, not a laser.  Watch our YouTube video on lasers heer for more on that.

Laser beams reappear in Diamonds Are Forever when it is revealed that Blofeld (Charles Gray), posing as abducted billionaire aircraft manufacturer Willard Whyte (Jimmy Dean), is building a formidable space weapon that projects a deadly beam through a shield of diamonds. (According to the real Willard Whyte, the first laser was projected through a diamond.) [Spy Movie Navigator note: Whyte is wrong here, the first laser was projected through a ruby, not a diamond.  Watch our YouTube video here for more on the use of lasers in spy movies.]

In The Man with the Golden Gun, Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) shows Bond (Roger Moore) how his solar energy collector can create a type of laser cannon, which he uses to obliterate 007’s seaplane. In Moonraker, Q Branch builds a laser rifle that American space troops employ against Hugo Drax’s space station. A similar laser is built into the nose of an American shuttle that Bond (Roger Moore) uses to destroy the deadly nerve gas spheres that are headed for the Earth’s atmosphere.

In Never Say Never Again, Q-like engineer Algernon (Alec McCowen) supplies Bond (Sean Connery) with a tiny laser embedded in his wristwatch, which can cut through manacles.

In Die Another Day, billionaire environmentalist Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens) and his henchman Zao (Rick Yune) plan to torture captured NSA operative Jinx (Halle Berry) with multiple laser beams inside Graves’s Ice Palace. Similar lasers are utilized by Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) on his foster brother James Bond (Daniel Craig) in his North African complex in Spectre.


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