James Bond Movies Given Trigger Warnings

By Zack Zagranis | Published

sean connery

News about forthcoming James Bond movies—including who will play the iconic superspy next—is scarce. So, to tide fans over until there’s something to report on the next 007 saga, we have news regarding some old James Bond films instead. Namely, the British Film Institute has seen fit to slap some of Bond’s problematic early adventures with content warnings.

Goldfinger And You Only Live Twice Labeled Offensive

The BFI is celebrating the work of British composer John Barry with a new season of films from the ’60s and ’70s containing material that modern viewers might find offensive. Included in the season titled John Barry: Soundtracking Bond and Beyond are two James Bond movies—Goldfinger (1964) and You Only Live Twice (1967) which have received the same blanket disclaimer as all of the other films on the docket.

The disclaimer warns that the movies “contain language, images or other content that reflect views prevalent in its time, but will cause offense today. The titles are included here for historical, cultural, or aesthetic reasons, and these views are in no way endorsed by the BFI or its partners.”

You Only Live Twice Labeled As Containing Racial Sterotypes

One of the James Bond films, however, was slapped with an additional content warning specific to its content. You Only Live Twice—which features a scene where Sean Connery as Bond attempts to pass as Japanese—received the warning that it “contains outdated racial stereotypes.”

Goldfinger, on the other hand, didn’t receive anything other than the blanket trigger warning afforded to all the movies in the season, although it easily could have. The film includes a scene where Connery as Bond forces himself upon a character named—no, we aren’t making this up—Pussy Galore on top of some hay in a barn.

James Bond Cures Pussy Galore In Goldfinger?

bond girl

The scene in question is, according to James Bond creator Ian Fleming there to show that the “laying on of hands” from “the right man” was all that Pussy needed to cure her of the “psycho-pathological malady” of being a lesbian. She likes girls, and her name is Pussy Galore…yikes. Between the homophobia and the implied rape, that particular scene is worthy of a trigger warning all on its own.

The Preferable Method

sean connery

While some are already up in arms over what they perceive as another example that the “woke” have taken over, others recognize such content warnings for what they are: a preferable alternative to censorship. Many streaming services have seen fit to go back and censor older content by removing things that would be considered offensive in today’s climate or—in the case of the alarming number of ’80s sitcoms with blackface episodes—getting rid of the content altogether.

Content warnings like those the BFI includes with its films or the ones Disney+ put before certain episodes of The Muppet Show ensure that younger generations are aware that this older content contains questionable material while still maintaining the integrity of said material.

James Bond Isn’t Canceled…Yet

idris elba

As much as older fans don’t want to admit it, James Bond was a very problematic character back in the day. Rather than try to erase heavy drinking, womanizing, racist Bond from history, content warnings let audiences know, “Yeah, this guy kinda sucks. Now that we’ve addressed that though, please enjoy this otherwise awesome action movie.” Sure, putting a warning about tobacco use before that Bugs Bunny cartoon you loved as a kid might seem like the byproduct of a culture that has become too sensitive, but it’s better than completely erasing the cartoon from existence.James Bond is still James Bond, we just have a different context for what that means in 2024.