Stand by your man (Strangling a cat)

Posted on December 15, 2012


The entertainment of Valentin Zukovsky’s bar in ”GoldenEye” is unintentionally amusing as it contains the paradox of Russian Country & Western singers. In the mid-1990’s it is the symbol of a new era of Russian society. No censorship and now embracing the popular culture of the former cold war enemy. And the old KGB agent now deals with guns and clubs as an entrepreneur in the free and criminal market.

Producer Barbara Broccoli went to St. Petersburg doing research for the film and she stated: ”The visit to Russia proved one thing for certain: our script is accurate. /…/ You also find that in certain restaurants there are guys walking around with Italian suits and bad haircuts and Mercedes and BMW’s parked outside. /…/ the city, like Russia as a whole, is in enormous conflict. Whenever there are economic problems, certain people will always exploit the situation and that is exactly what is happening. Capitalism is a new force. It is a testing ground and new frontier.”

The many examples of new Russia are necessary in ”GoldenEye” (1995) because so much had happened post-iron curtain since we last met James Bond. The years 1989-1995 were quite significant in the modern history of European politics and Bond producers had to make it clear that 007 was still needed. The character and the series had to be re-established in this new period. The Russian girls including Zukovsky’s mistress are yet another example of the changing Russia. All dressed up as over-the-top cowgirls they attempt to cover a true American Country classic: Tammy Wynette’sStand by your man”.
Stand by your man 1968

Stand by your man” was co-written by Tammy Wynette and Billy Sherrill and released as a single on the Epic label in the United States in September 1968, alongside the album with the same name. The song topped the American Country chart that year and was later named #1 on Country Music Television’s list of the Top 100 Country Music Songs. The song wasn’t released in the UK until 1975 and reached number one in the UK chart. “Stand by your man” has been covered by many. Another hilarious version is seen in the 1980 film “The Blues Brothers”.

Tammy Wynette was born Virginia Wynette Pugh in Mississippi 1942, and changed her name when Epic signed her in 1966. She had a amazing career and was one of the great women of American country music. She did have a stormy personal life and did not really ”Stand by her man” getting married five times. She died in 1998 just 55 years old after major health problems and illnesses. Some of her last successes included joining the all-star line-up for the special recording of Lou Reed’s ”Perfect Day”, topping the charts in 1997 and some years before making it to #1 in eighteen countries together with KLF and their single ”Justified and Ancient (Stand by your Jams)”.Irina

The scene in ”GoldenEye” has later been infamous as the role Zykovsky’s mistress Irina was an early role for actress Minnie Driver who later landed bigger roles as well as an Academy Award nomination for ”Good Will Hunting”. A personal favourite is the 1996 drama ”Sleepers”.

Irina wore a red satin dress with black embrioded flowers and lots of cleavage. ”You go mad once in a while with Bond designs – and that was my moment”, said Costume Designer Lindy Hemming at the time.

Source reference ”The Making of GoldenEye” by Garth Pearce.

Posted in: GoldenEye