So, I've decided to watch the James Bond films in order and comment about them. I will be limiting myself to the movies featuring the only two actors that I feel portrayed Bond properly--i.e. Sean Connery and Roger Moore--and ignoring anything else that calls itself a Bond movie (with the possible exception of the 1967 Casino Royale). To begin with, 1962's Dr. No. A quick synopsis courtesy of The James Bond Films:

Dr. No intends to destroy a U.S. moon rocket from his nuclear-powered base on an island near Jamaica.

Now for my thoughts on the movie:

* First appearance of Bond shooting the camera with blood pouring down from the top--No Bond theme until after the shot, and Bond is wearing a fedora. I like fedoras, but Bond just doesn't seem a fedora type of guy.

* I like the danciing silhouettes during the opening titles.

* I love the styling of old cars.

* Silencers made guns really quiet back then.

* Bond and Baccarat...they go together like peanut butter and chocolate, or rum and cola.

* Lois Maxwell looks quite lovely as Moneypenny, and her flirtation with Bond seems more playful than his other interactions with women...very likeable.

* Hmm...not sure how close this movie is in time to the Cuban missile crisis, but I know the timing is close.

* I never knew Bond used a Beretta before the Walther.

* No Q...no gadgets either.

* I should like to return to my hotel finding a beautiful woman wearing my pajamas and practicing putting in my room, although I can also see how that would be off-putting as well.

* Jack Lord is supposed to be in Hawaii, not Jamaica.

* The fighting in this movie seems almost to be a parody of itself--however, I'm sure that's more to do with 50 years of similar movies since then.

* The police commissioner in Kingston, Jamaica is a white man...doesn't sound quite right to me. A-Ha! Jamaica had not declared it's indepence from Great Britain in 1962.

* He doesn't say "shaken, not stirred" but that is how he orders his vodka martini.

* Why is the bartender East Indian? Eh, likely the British connection again.

* Lots of product placement for Red Stripe. Hooray Beer!

* I guess rasslin' alligators doesn't quite prepare you for Bond, James Bond.

* Very Marvel comics...the good guys fight, then team up.

* So...all the natives have American accents...

* Disembodied voices are so cool and scary sometimes.

* The way women hunger after Bond is quite funny.

* Backup vodka is always a good idea when you're a superspy.

* You know, if I woke up in the middle of the night and found a huge tarantula on my back, my first instinct would likely be to roll over and attempt to smush it.

* I love how the orchestra is in sync with him smashing the spider with his shoe.

* Ruh-Roh! The pretty eavesdropping secretary is a bad girl!

* And that's what you get for being a bad guy in a big ugly car.

* Bond womanizes...of course, she's likely to be dead by the end of their date.

* He was nice...he only had her arrested.

* Quarrel is a dead man...I know it.

* Ursula Andress...yes, please!

* Oh sure, the old "breathing through a hollow reed underwater" trick.

* Yup, 1962, black guy, red shirt...Quarrel just got it.

* Okay, superspy 101...do not drink or eat anything the enemy offers you.

* Umm...yeah...Ursula...yeah...

* With names like Sister Lily and Sister Rose, they'd better be sinister.

* He sends Honey off to be ... mistreated. That's the Bond I'm familiar with.

* Ooohhh, S.P.E.C.T.R.E.!

* Sure, electrify the grating, but don't take away his rubber-soled shoes. Good move.

* A gruesome, but fitting end for Dr. No.

* And of course, Bond is the mack...

Reasonably fun, I suppose, but a very uneven movie. There are a lot of unanswered questions, and key points of the plot make as much sense as the Adam West Batman! series. Still, if you don't take it too seriously, it's not bad.

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Years back, when I was taping THE SAINT from a variety of sources (and none of the stations ever seemed to run the episodes they had in any regular, sensible order, so it took years longer than it should have to get all of them), I couldn't shake the feeling that the Bond producers spent more time mining Roger Moore SAINT episodes for incidents in his Bond films than they did the books.

This contined in VENDETTA.  Once Templar escaped the mountain-top house, his trek thru the surrounding countryside, pursued by thugs in cars and on motorcycles, and especially the part where he gets on a bus and causes an accident when it drives thru an archway (he orders the driver to jam on the brakes. causing the pursuing car to ram the back of the bus-- the bus also prevents pursuit as it's blocking the archway) reminded me of scenes in the middle of LIVE AND LET DIE.  Later, the sequence when Templar asks the Italian Army to wait and give him 10 minutes to go in and rescue the girl BEFORE they raid the place, turned up again (more or less) in THE SPY WHO LOVED ME.  And then, while watching the end credits, I noticed Steven Berkoff played one of the thugs-- he was the #2 villain in OCTOPUSSY!

Kirk G said:

Did anybody see the tribute to James Bond movies during the Oscar presentation last night?  I missed it.

But I did see Adelle's great performance of the theme song to "Skyfall".



David Warren said:

It was more an excuse to show beautiful women in not much.

Other than that is was average.


Well, it did have the great Shirley Bassey belt out Goldfinger one more time; she's still got it! But before the show, I said to my wife, "Wouldn't it be cool if they got all the actors who played Bond together on stage?" Supposedly, that was the plan, but, according to Deadline Hollywood Daily -- and noplace else, so I don't know how much credence I can give this report -- Sean Connery refused to participate because of his ongoing feud with Bond producer Cubby Broccoli and family, and Pierce Brosnan also refused because he doesn't like them either. Roger Moore and Daniel Craig would have,  she says, but she makes no mention of Timothy Dalton or George Lazenby.          

"ongoing feud with Bond producer Cubby Broccoli and family"

Keep in mind... Broccoli's been DEAD since GOLDENEYE came out!

"and Pierce Brosnan also refused because he doesn't like them either"

Seems silly, doesn't it?  He did 4 films, then they replaced him, apparently, before HE was ready to go.

Henry R. Kujawa said:

"ongoing feud with Bond producer Cubby Broccoli and family"

 

Keep in mind... Broccoli's been DEAD since GOLDENEYE came out!

 

Note the remark was: "... Cubby Broccoli and FAMILY."


Henry R. Kujawa said:

"and Pierce Brosnan also refused because he doesn't like them either"

 

Seems silly, doesn't it?  He did 4 films, then they replaced him, apparently, before HE was ready to go.

 

Sounds reason enough to hold a grudge, if one was to hold a grudge.

 

As a fan, however, I wish they had put aside the grudges for that one night.

I wonder how many more John Barry "007" scores we might have gotten if Eon wasn't so cheap?

SIDEBAR:

I've been listening to the biography of Ian Fleming on Audible.com and discovered something shocking...not quite offensive.

The book is SO long, it's broken into to parts, and at 8 hours 8 minutes and 45 seconds into the first part, there's an audio glitch that couldn't be an accident. It's a quote from about 15 minutes earlier in the book.  The author is discussing how Ian Fleming came to name his new house that's he's had built in Jamaica as "Goldeneye", when the quote (that I heard just 15 minutes earlier,) comes flying in out of nowhere again.  

The quote is a description of a high society woman with an insatiable sex drive, who frequently will show up in public dressed in costume (I'm not making this up) as an American Indian or an Egyptian princess. And once she was seen with two Navajo Indians in tow, one on either arm, and when she is asked why, she replied "Cause I'm F***ing them both!"

This is the quote that is dropped in out of nowhere!

I've just called Audible.com to check if this was just a download error on our part, but the  clerk confirms that it's in the original master file that they have been providing.And he fell all over himself apologizing  and promised they would get it fixed right away.

So, let me see if I get this right... the quote you describe above has nothing to do with Fleming and wasn't supposed to be on there... RIGHT?

: )

It's funny, because by the description of her costumes, it sounds a lot like CHER to me...!



Henry R. Kujawa said:

So, let me see if I get this right... the quote you describe above has nothing to do with Fleming and wasn't supposed to be on there... RIGHT?

: )

 Almost... the author is describing the social life of Jamaica, as I recall...and some of the colorful characters that have taken up residence there.  And why he finds it necessary to describe this nympho, I'm not sure.  There may have been a rumor at the time, linking her to the then-single Fleming, and given his cavileer attitude toward sex, there may have been some affair.  But he goes no farther than to describe her, and insert the quote, her response to questions of why she is "keeping" two of them.

It's that exact line, that is repeated and dropped in, quite unexpectedly and unnecessarily in the middle of the line about how Fleming wanted to name his estate Goldeneye.

 

As the author begins to describe the protracted relationship with Annie Rothmeir, later to become Ann Fleming, he has commented about their frequent liasons and that they may have had sado-masicistic overtones as far back as when Fleming was sleeping with her when she was married to another man...a good friend, in fact.  There are several references to either canning, or beating, or welts or the need for excessive number of damp towels to reduce the swelling caused by beatings.  (Yousa!)

The quote kind of reminds me of a bit of "Night of the Iguana."

Watched The Spy Who Loved Me  over the weekend and it may be the best of the Moore outings. I saw the film at the drive-in upon its original release and I may have seen it on TV one other time a few years later but that was it. I remembered Jaws and the underwater HQ  and the chase sequence in the Egyptian ruins but otherwise it was almost like seeing it for the first time. I agree with Randys assessment of Stromberg as villain - he just doesn't come across as nasty as intended. This may be due to the fact he is mostly shown seated in his "office" in Atlantis - not very threatening.

Started my own re-watch of the Connery Bonds a couple of weeks ago with Dr.No. I'm watching them in order of release so this week it was From Russia With Love, which holds up remarkably well for a film that will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of its release this October. I saw the film numerous times in the 70's and 80's but this viewing was first time in a long time. Some have criticized the film as being too slow moving but I think it was paced quite well for an espionage adventure flick. With what came after, the Q rigged attache case seemed quaint. Rosa Krebs and Red Grant made for a great villainous pair - too bad for them they would be upstaged by Goldfinger and Oddjob in the very next film.

I'm in the middle of watching THE FIFTEEN-YEARS-LATER AFFAIR (1983).  Early in the story, "JB", driving the Aston Martin car from GOLDFINGER and THUNDERBALL, sees Napoleon Solo is in trouble, and decides to help out.  In a chase scene that is somehow FAR LESS stupid than the one in DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, "JB" uses one built-in weapon in his car after another to get the bad guys off Solo's trail.  After 2 baddies' cars crash into each other, he looks straight at the camera, smiles, and says, "Shaken-- but not stirred!"

There are really times when I wish George Lazenby had been Bond all the way thru the 1970's.  We might have gotten VERY different (and far more intense and exciting) films if he had.

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