Her Word Was Her Bond: Johanna Harwood, Bond’s First Woman Screenwriter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Johanna Harwood was the first, and until Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s hiring on No Time to Die, the only woman screenwriter to work on the Bond films. Harwood was there at the beginning, gaining credits for her work on Dr No (1962) and From Russia with Love (1963), but her chequered experiences of trying to gain leverage within the film industry as a writer, having to contend with institutionalised as well as individualised sexism, prompted her eventual decision to leave Bond, her former employer Harry Saltzman, and the film industry behind. Her story not only provides valuable insights into the genesis of Bond on screen, it also shows the importance of incorporating production studies into discussions of gender and James Bond films, thinking about off-screen as well as on-screen female representation. Beyond Bond, it also illuminates some of the obstacles faced by women trying to build a career in the film industry in the 1960s (not that their problems are limited to that decade) and how film production labour done by women frequently goes uncredited or is discredited, despite its often formative importance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrom Blofeld to Moneypenny
Subtitle of host publicationGender in James Bond
EditorsSteven Gerrard
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-83867-165-5
ISBN (Print)978-1-83867-163-1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2020

Publication series

NameEmerald Studies in Popular Culture and Gender


  • Dr No
  • From Russia with Love
  • James Bond
  • Johanna Harwood
  • female screenwriters
  • script supervisors

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