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Was Sean Connery the Ideal James Bond?
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The late Sean Connery was a great movie star, but was he ideally cast as James Bond?

The question that always ran through my mind watching Connery as Bond was “Why is this magnificent Scottish prole playing the quintessential English gentleman?” Especially because there are so many other actors who could play the English gentleman?

These days, British actors tend to come from upscale backgrounds, but back in the time of Connery, Caine, O’Toole and the like, they were more working class.

Bond author Ian Fleming was born to a rich family in the stratospheric London neighborhood of Mayfair. His Scottish grandfather had made the family money in finance, but they were genteel Englishmen by that point.

Ian wrote a lot of himself into Bond, but I’d guess that the single best source for his character was his cruelly handsome older brother Peter Fleming, a taciturn wit and gifted shooter who was one of the more glamorous travel writers of the 1930s, a field in which numerous wordsmiths such as Waugh and Orwell competed.

In a review of Master of Deception: The Wartime Adventures of Peter Fleming by Alan Ogden, D.J. Taylor writes in The New Criterion:

Fleming’s war travels were every bit as far-flung and hair-raising as his pre-war tours of China. They began with a role in the disastrous Norway campaign of 1940: the dispatches he brought back are thought to have hastened Prime Minister Chamberlain’s resignation. Significantly, Fleming disliked Chamberlain, whom he had met at a house party in the early months of the war, not only for his lackluster military strategy but also for being a feeble shot and not looking the part. (“He is slow and tends to let birds pass before him before he fires. He looks every inch the townsman in his rusty tweeds, handling his gun a trifle gawkishly.”)

Fleming loved wildlife and loved killing it. When his friend King George VI died in 1952, Fleming wrote in his diary, ” “I think he was a very good, but probably not a great, shot.”

Subsequently, he trained a team of guerrilla fighters in Kent with the aim of delaying a possible post-invasion Nazi advance. A visiting dignitary described the hollowed-out badger’s sett beneath the forest floor that made do as an operational base as “pure Boy’s Own Paper stuff.”

Fleming played a major role in setting up Operation Gladio-style saboteur cells in the English countryside in case of German invasion.

There were later missions to mainland Greece, Crete, Cairo, India, Burma, and China. While always happy to risk his neck at moments of crisis—he was lucky to escape when the ship in which he was retreating from Greece suffered a direct hit—Fleming made a speciality of intelligence work, specifically deception: the burned-out jeep with the bundle of forged plans in the front seat designed to frustrate the Japanese advance; the carefully abandoned haversack full of misleading information; the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force member in the Allied Commander Lord Mountbatten’s HQ in Ceylon instructed to write letters about spurious troop movements to a non-existent boyfriend in the hope that they would be steamed open by enemy agents.

After the war Peter passed up the offer of a safe Tory seat in Parliament to be the country squire and shoot partridges.

 
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  1. Why is this magnificent Scottish prole playing the quintessential English gentleman

    I’ve heard Ian Fleming wasn’t crazy about the casting. And based on what we know about CIA and other intelligence people, a much more effeminate type would make sense. Although, field operatives seem normally masculine, if a bit too hopped up on the need for action.

    The upper class of England destroyed the British Empire. Regular Englishmen and Germans would never have continued the insanity of WWI. And that would’ve meant no WWII.

    But the “great man” Churchill loved his games with human lives.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    @RichardTaylor


    The upper class of England destroyed the British Empire.
     
    The British Empire was mostly useless. And, if the Brits had held on to it much longer, Britain would have been thoroughly "Blacked." Remember the wise words of De Gaulle:

    Those who advocate integration have the brain of a hummingbird, even if they are very scholarly. Try to integrate oil and vinegar. Shake the bottle. After a while, they will separate again. The Arabs are Arabs, the French are French. You think that the French body can absorb 10 million Muslims, who tomorrow will be 20 million and after-tomorrow 40 million? If we go for integration, if all the Arabs and all the Berbers of Algeria were considered as Frenchmen, how would you stop them from coming to live in the home country, given that the standard of living is so much higher? My village would no longer be called Colombey-les-Deux-Églises [Colombey-the-Two-Churches], but Colombey-the-Two-Mosques.
     

    Ian wrote a lot of himself into Bond, but I’d guess that the single best source for his character was his cruelly handsome older brother Peter Fleming, a taciturn wit and gifted shooter who was one of the more glamorous travel writers of the 1930s, a field in which numerous wordsmiths such as Waugh and Orwell competed.
     
    Interesting side note: If you read the books, Bond is described as looking like Hoagy Carmichael:

    https://www.pianorarescores.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Hoagy-Carmichael.jpg

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon

    , @Pop Warner
    @RichardTaylor

    Ian Fleming initially thought Connery was too much of an "overgrown stuntman" to play the refined Englishman James Bond. Connery was a bodybuilder before he went into acting, so he was something of an Arnold before Arnold and not a proven actor like Cary Grant (Flemings preference for Bond but too old at that point). After Dr No, Fleming liked Connery so much that he wrote in Bond a Scottish father.

    Another great choice for Bond would have been Christopher Lee, Fleming's cousin and someone who was on the shortlist for Bond (along with future Bond Roger Moore). I personally think Lee would have been phenomenal; he had the cruel good looks that Bond is described as having and looks the part of the suave Englishman

    , @SunBakedSuburb
    @RichardTaylor

    "I've heard Ian Fleming wasn't crazy about the casting."

    Fleming reportedly warmed to the Magnificent Scot after Dr. No. Fleming had American musician and actor Hoagy Carmichael in mind, looks wise, for 007. Carmichael closely resembles Peter Fleming. Carmichael is featured in To Have And Have Not (1945), an entertaining gangster film directed by Howard Hawks. The Bogart-Bacall team are the leads.

    , @JimDandy
    @RichardTaylor

    If Connery didn't match the source material, too bad for the source material.

    Replies: @anonymous as usual

    , @Neoconned
    @RichardTaylor

    While Hitler was a blood hungry human monster who had to be dealt with i always found it interesting that the "Allies" declared war on Germany for "invading Poland" but would not do the same for the Soviet Union.....which also.....invaded Poland a week or so later....

    You are right....the elites and aristocrats in both England and France simply put hated Germany and Germans.

    That moron Hitler probably could have conquered Europe had he maintained his peace with Stalin....

    Replies: @JMcG, @Buffalo Joe

    , @Cking
    @RichardTaylor

    WWI and WWII were always the operation of Foreign Policy to annihilate the German people and their superior economic productive powers. Being an Anglophile blinds us to the reality and leads to admiration and/or acceptance of anything; Churchill was a mass murderer, still revered to this day. The British Upper-Class conducted mass-murder offensives in Ireland and all over Europe for centuries, why sigh for the 'good old days'? Ian Fleming's story and Sean Connery's portrayal of the British secret agent 007 as a degenerate 'hero' most men would aspire to was great entertainment yet not an admirable work of art or of modern history. The James Bond series did an awful lot to debase the British and American standard of Liberal-Conservative society. It was a brilliant piece, a sophisticated device transporting cancer throughout Western culture.

    JFK was publicly executed in Dallas, America was immersed in hysteria, grief, and pessimism. Then came the Beatles; the American psyche never recovered from the British Invasion. Yes, this era, the British supervised subversion of the West, should be studied.

  2. If you liked the James Bond character, then Sean Connery was probably the ideal James Bond. If you didn’t much care for the character in the first place, then Roger Moore was better, because he always impressed me as not taking the part too seriously and playing it with one eye on the camera. I never watched a single James Bond movie after Roger Moore and Daniel Craig always looked the part of a James Bond villain.

    Isn’t the next 007 to be played by a black woman?

    • Replies: @IHTG
    @Diversity Heretic

    Take the Dalton pill, bro.

    , @ThreeCranes
    @Diversity Heretic

    "Daniel Craig always looked the part of a James Bond villain."

    True, but he is by far the most muscular, masculine, kick-ass Bond. The other guys played the role as you say, "with one eye on the camera". Craig looks as though he doesn't need or use a stuntman. Not so much an English gentleman as a longshoreman's son. Whereas the others would have been toast without their high tech gizmos (courtesy of Q), Craig is not the guy you want to climb into the Octagon with.

    , @Jim Don Bob
    @Diversity Heretic


    Isn’t the next 007 to be played by a black woman?
     
    Yes, in the next bond film a black woman has been given the 007 designation because Daniel Craig is still distraught over the death of his girl friend, or something. I have seen the trailers, and while the stunts look great as always, the movie doesn't look very good which is perhaps why its release has been pushed back again to Spring 2021.

    Perhaps Sean Connery was not Bond as Fleming originally envisioned him, but SC's good looks and his ability to deliver the dumb Bond lines make me think of him whenever I think of Bond.

    This is perfect: https://youtu.be/TXxKZkE2MGo?t=19

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

    , @tyrone
    @Diversity Heretic

    Connery was the best bond …….but……..that park our chase scene in the opening of casino royale …….

    , @Mikeja
    @Diversity Heretic

    Connery was a good enough actor that he could pull off being upper class. But as you say I preferred Moore because he played it for laughs and the scripts got so ridiculous that worked better for me

    , @Anonymous Jew
    @Diversity Heretic

    I thought it was Tom Hardy, which sets up another discussion: why is James Bond getting shorter and shorter?

    , @Liberty Mike
    @Diversity Heretic

    Complete agreement on Moore.

    The single best 007 performance: Moore, in For Your Eyes Only

    The single best Bond offering: For Your Eyes Only

    The single best Bond opening: For Your Eyes Only

    The single Best Bond song: For Your Eyes Only

    The most realistic Bond film: For Your Eyes Only

    The most single romantic Bond scene: Timothy Dalton with Maryam D'Abo where she insists upon retrieving her cello.

  3. Moore was original Bond. Connery replaces him. How is it taken?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @David 'The Diversity Mastermind' Lammey

    If Connery replaced Moore, I think the reaction would have been: Wow, this guy is really good, but he's not the real James Bond.

    Replies: @Chrisnonymous, @David In TN

    , @YetAnotherAnon
    @David 'The Diversity Mastermind' Lammey

    Wasn't Moore's Bond very much a re-run of Moore's Simon Templar - "The Saint"? Always a touch of humour about the performance.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Saint_(TV_series)


    NBC picked up the show as a summer replacement in its evening schedule in 1966 because of the strong performance in the United States of the first two series in first-run syndication. The programme, therefore, ended its run with both trans-Atlantic primetime scheduling and colour episodes. It also proved popular beyond the UK and US, eventually airing in over 60 countries, and made a profit in excess of £350m for ITC.

     

    First episode of The Saint - premiered 4 October 1962

    First Bond film (Dr No) - premiered 5 October 1962.

    Is it just me btw, or does Daniel Craig's Bond resemble Vladimir Putin?

    Replies: @ScarletNumber, @ScarletNumber

    , @Dr. DoomNGloom
    @David 'The Diversity Mastermind' Lammey


    Moore was original Bond. Connery replaces him. How is it taken?
     
    In this scenario, Moore gets the best scripts, I'm not convinced it gets to Connery.
  4. I don’t think any actor could have been the ideal Bond. There were far too many boxes to tick. For example, Bond was meant to be a Commander in Naval Intelligence and capable frogman and diver. The only Bond who ever looked the part for that was Timothy Dalton.
    Indeed, Bond should have been retired at the end of Dalton’s tenure. Bond was very much a Cold War hero. When he returned after Dalton’s departure, the Cold War was over and the Franchise increasingly had to cannibalise the plots of previously filmed books. I never found Brosnan or Craig convincing in the role.

    • Agree: Old and Grumpy
    • Replies: @Lurker
    @Verymuchalive


    Bond was very much a Cold War hero.

     

    Ironically Bond rarely had any dealings with the Soviets at all. Its usually super villains threatening the economic status quo.
    , @syonredux
    @Verymuchalive

    The cinematic Bond mostly avoided the Cold War.In the Connery era, Bond spent most of his time fighting SPECTRE, not the Soviets.I think that For Your Eyes Only was the only Bond movie where the Soviets/Communists were the bad guys. In Octopussy , The Living Daylights, and A View To a Kill, the threat came from rogue Soviet operatives. Goldfinger is a partial exception, as the Red Chinese were in cahoots with the film’s main villain, the eponymous Goldfinger.

    The literary Bond was rather different, with most of the early books concentrating on the Soviet menace: Casino Royale , Live and Let Die, From Russia, With Love, Moonraker (That one has holdover German Nazis conspiring with the Soviets to nuke London).

    Replies: @Verymuchalive, @Bardon Kaldian

    , @David In TN
    @Verymuchalive

    I recall when Timothy Dalton was cast as James Bond, one of the producers said something like: "We must never forget Bond is a killer. Dalton looks like he could pull the trigger."

    As Sean Connery looked when he shot Professor Dent in Doctor No.

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    , @Stebbing Heuer
    @Verymuchalive

    Number of Bond films produced since the attacks of September 11, 2001: 6

    Number of Bond films in which the villain or villains is/are islamic terrorists: 0

    Our elites are vile.

  5. @Diversity Heretic
    If you liked the James Bond character, then Sean Connery was probably the ideal James Bond. If you didn't much care for the character in the first place, then Roger Moore was better, because he always impressed me as not taking the part too seriously and playing it with one eye on the camera. I never watched a single James Bond movie after Roger Moore and Daniel Craig always looked the part of a James Bond villain.

    Isn't the next 007 to be played by a black woman?

    Replies: @IHTG, @ThreeCranes, @Jim Don Bob, @tyrone, @Mikeja, @Anonymous Jew, @Liberty Mike

    Take the Dalton pill, bro.

  6. when you think about it, the only ‘quintessential English gent’ who played Bond was Roger Moore.

    Sean Connery – Scot
    Pierce Brosnan – Irish
    George Lazenby – Aussie
    Timothy Dalton – proper actor, doesn’t count
    Daniel Craig – not a gentleman

    But then there was David Niven in the original (spoof) Casino Royale. Put the ‘quint’ in ‘essential’, I think.

    And the next one… in these enlightened and vibrant days, the odds against a straight, white Englishman must be 99/1?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Tyrade


    But then there was David Niven in the original (spoof) Casino Royale. Put the ‘quint’ in ‘essential’, I think.

     

    A few of the Bond themes are okay as pop songs, but none come close to Bacharach's. And he threw in "The Look of Love" as a bonus.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBLeACT_KBQ


    No piece of music encapsulates the 1960s for me like that one. Perhaps because they played it so much on The Dating Game? So SoCal.


    Just posted yesterday, the Bond themes in succession below illustrate well the decline of popular music over the decades. Adele sounds like more of a man than Sam Smith. Sheryl Crow (!) is in there too. She and Burt are both natives of Missouri, but from about as far apart as you can get.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p65i9Ur1M0g

    Replies: @prosa123, @James O'Meara

  7. @David 'The Diversity Mastermind' Lammey
    Moore was original Bond. Connery replaces him. How is it taken?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @YetAnotherAnon, @Dr. DoomNGloom

    If Connery replaced Moore, I think the reaction would have been: Wow, this guy is really good, but he’s not the real James Bond.

    • Agree: Bardon Kaldian
    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    @Steve Sailer

    If Moore had come first, there would have been no franchise. Moore's 70's Bond wouldn't have cut it in the 60s.

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon

    , @David In TN
    @Steve Sailer

    In 1965, English novelist Kingsley Amis published The James Bond Dossier, a critical analysis of the James bond novels.

    Amis said little about the Bond movies. He wrote that "Sean Connery is all wrong as James Bond." Amis felt Connery wasn't convincing as an English gentleman.

  8. I wonder what percentage of Bond viewers have ever read any of the books. Less than 1% at a stretch, I would say,

    • Replies: @James Braxton
    @Henry's Cat

    Anyone who has knows that James Bond the character is Scottish/Swiss not English.

    , @A. Hipster
    @Henry's Cat

    I've read them all, and got them all .... and after the first post-Moore Bond movie I totally lost interest in them, they lost all their good spirited charm and humor.

    I also got Kingsley Amis' very amusing The James Bond Dossier.

    One thing you learn reading the books is that Bond served in the Navy in the WWII ... so he certainly should be retired.

    The books are extremely silly but entertaining, the Amis book describes how Fleming wasn't upper class but worshiped them a lot. And the most admirable upper class thing for Fleming was gambling at a posh Casino ...

    Reading the the books it's hard to say if Fleming really believed that games like roulette required strategy and intelligence ....that is, was he rather stupid or not?

    If memory serves, in the book 'You only live twice' there is an extended scene of Bond playing Rock Paper Scissors .... well, maybe that game is not in practice totally random, but Fleming makes it sound like Chess match between Grand Masters ...

    Replies: @PiltdownMan

    , @Realist
    @Henry's Cat


    I wonder what percentage of Bond viewers have ever read any of the books.
     
    I read the first eight as paper backs in the late 50's and early 60's as a teenager.

    Replies: @Muggles, @Wielgus

    , @YetAnotherAnon
    @Henry's Cat

    "I wonder what percentage of Bond viewers have ever read any of the books."

    In pre-pornified days Bond was a shocker. This New Statesman review of Dr No, by then-left-winger Paul Johnson.

    https://www.newstatesman.com/society/2007/02/1958-bond-fleming-girl-sex


    I have just finished what is without a doubt the nastiest book I have ever read. It is a new novel entitled Dr. No and the author is Mr. Ian Fleming. Echoes of Mr Fleming’s fame had reached me before, and I had been repeatedly urged to read his books by literary friends whose judgement I normally respect. When his new novel appeared, therefore, I obtained a copy and started to read. By the time I was a third of the way through, I had to suppress a strong impulse to throw the thing away, and only continued reading because I realised that here was a social phenomenon of some importance.

    There are three basic ingredients in Dr No, all unhealthy, all thoroughly English: the sadism of a school boy bully, the mechanical two-dimensional sex-longings of a frustrated adolescent, and the crude, snob-cravings of a suburban adult. Mr Fleming has no literary skill, the construction of the book is chaotic, the entire incidents and situations are inserted, and then forgotten, in a haphazard manner. But the three ingredients are manufactured and blended with deliberate, professional precision; Mr Fleming dishes up his recipe with all the calculated accountancy of a Lyons Corner House.
     

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    , @TTSSYF
    @Henry's Cat

    I thought Diamonds are Forever was excellent. Jill St. John was miscast as Tiffany Case.

    Replies: @Ancient Briton

    , @Alden
    @Henry's Cat

    I read most of the books. Loved the Harlem book and movie one and Spy Who Loved Me. . I only like about the first 4 movies. After that they descended into block buster comic book explosions and auto chases. I did like the later one with Christopher Walken as the villain

    In the books his girls all wore white shirt style blouses tucked into a gray pleated skirt narrow black belt short fingernails natural polish. The girls drove James was passenger. Stick shifts on narrow curving dangerous mountain roadside. Always a couple paragraphs about what good drivers the girls were .

    Replies: @James O'Meara

    , @sb
    @Henry's Cat

    I disagree at least for Boomers .
    Teenage boys often read the Bond books in the 1960s . They then just passed the public library test of acceptability ( at least where I lived )

    , @Anon
    @Henry's Cat


    I wonder what percentage of Bond viewers have ever read any of the books. Less than 1% at a stretch, I would say,
     
    Until “Casino Royale,” none of the Bond movies have been based on Fleming novels since the 1960s, I think - although “Octopussy” and “The Living Daylights” were based on some of his short stories, and the unofficial Bond film, “Never Say Never Again,” which brought back Connery (and featured a yacht that Donald Trump briefly owned) was based on “Thunderball.”

    The Bond films have a life of their own now. In his literary genre he is several generations in the past: before Jason Bourne, before Jack Ryan. There are still probably quite a few James Bond readers out there - I’ve read a couple of them - but not like they used to be. Besides, who reads anything but Twitter anymore?

    Replies: @James O'Meara

    , @dfordoom
    @Henry's Cat


    I wonder what percentage of Bond viewers have ever read any of the books. Less than 1% at a stretch, I would say,
     
    Back in the days of the Connery Bond movies the Bond books were very big sellers. I imagine a lot more than 1% of viewers back then had read the books. Probably a minority, but a sizeable minority.

    These days it's likely to be fewer than 1%. Nobody who had read the books would accept the atrociously awful Daniel Craig as Bond. Has the average movie-goer of t0day ever read any actual books?
  9. I’d read that Fleming didn’t care much at first for Connery, a Scot’s Scot, playing the quintessential Englishman, but warmed to him and even started imparting Scot qualities into the character.

    I never really cared for Connery in the role, and at first thought Moore was a better cast, but Pierce Brosnan played Bond with as much panache and more natural humour. I trust most of us would agree that Timothy Dalton was an outright disaster.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    @The Alarmist

    I thought Dalton was much closer to the Bond of the books. I’d place him just a hair below Connery, though I know I’ll be ripped to shreds for that opinion. He was much more believable as a killer, less so as a womanizer.

    , @Feryl
    @The Alarmist

    I actually bought Dalton the most as a plausibly smooth and smart secret agent who could take of himself physically if necessary,though he wasn't the most entertaining or charming (Connery, Moore, and Brosnan definitely best Dalton in that race).

    Lazenby was too young and short-lived to get a chance to really lock into the role, but he did good in the fight scenes at least.

    Craig is the worst. I suppose as a thuggish hitman or street instigator type operater I might buy him. But a high level spy? No way. He doesn't have 1/50th of the required smooth charm and people skills.

    Replies: @SunBakedSuburb, @R.G. Camara

    , @Anonymous
    @The Alarmist


    I trust most of us would agree that Timothy Dalton was an outright disaster.
     
    Nah, I think that they have all brought d something to the role.

    Connery: rogue,
    Moore: gentleman,
    Brosnan: playboy,
    Dalton: killer,
    Craig: ptsd.
  10. James Bond was – supposedly – born to a Scottish father (the ancestral family home was Skyfall, located in a damp and unappealing part of the Highlands, as depicted in one of the recent movies) and a Swiss mother.

    Nothing English except the accent and manners he presumably acquired at Eton, which he is supposed to have attended briefly before being sent to Fettes, a Scottish school.

    Lots of posh Scots are sent to English schools, giving them accents indistinguishable from those of their English-born classmates (I once worked with such a Scot, himself an Old Etonian).

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    @Richard of Melbourne

    "Lots of posh Scots are sent to English schools, giving them accents indistinguishable from those of their English-born classmates"

    A recent example is the spook, Remainer and former Conservative MP Rory Stewart, who fought Brexit and failed, failed to become Tory leader, and headed off to Harvard. He became a Tory candidate despite never having voted for them in his life.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rory_Stewart

    Harking back to Roger Moore and The Saint, I hadn't realised Saint creator Leslie Charteris was in fact Leslie Yin, born to a Chinese father and British mother.


    Charteris relocated to the United States in 1932, where he continued to publish short stories and also became a writer for Paramount Pictures, working on the George Raft film, Midnight Club.

    However, Charteris was excluded from permanent residency in the United States because of the Chinese Exclusion Act, a law which prohibited immigration for persons of "50% or greater" Oriental blood. As a result, Charteris was forced to continually renew his six-month temporary visitor's visa. Eventually, an act of Congress personally granted his daughter and him the right of permanent residence in the United States, with eligibility for naturalization, which he later completed.
     
    His brother was quite a character too.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Henry_Bowyer-Yin

    Replies: @James O'Meara, @James O'Meara

    , @Bill Jones
    @Richard of Melbourne


    Lots of posh Scots are sent to English schools, giving them accents indistinguishable from those of their English-born classmates
     
    Indeed, Some of the even try to pass as White.
    , @Stebbing Heuer
    @Richard of Melbourne


    (I once worked with such a Scot, himself an Old Etonian)
     
    And from a noble family, no less.

    How's your history coming along? ;-)

  11. The Bond novels might never have got off the ground if Fleming had gone ahead with the original title of his first, Live and Let Die. He was going to call it The Undertaker’s Wind.

  12. Radical idea:

    it simply doesn’t matter who plays 007.

    Bond films live and die with the quality, the sheer fascination, of the bad guys. Goldfinger, From Russia With Love, even Live and Let Die, are terrific. Thunderball and Octopussy are very weak entries.

    They have had a bad habit lately of making the bad guys in Bond films, indifferent, effeminate, and completely forgettable. You can believe Yaphet Kotto has a plan to take over the world heroin trade, I can’t even remember who the bad guy is in Quantum of Solace.

    That being said I do think Dalton was by far the best actor in the role; the films he made just weren’t very good and he should have been given better material.

  13. Never cared all that much for 007 movies, but Sean Connery was the more watchable Bond.
    Moore and Brosnan were too unserious/comedic, Dalton miscast, the ones with Craig were awful (despite the critics loving them). They can use now a black lesbian now for all I care.

  14. Probably a more interesting question (which almost never seems to get asked) is: who would have been the most convincing Blofeld? Personally, I think they should have cast Lord Rothschild.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Digital Samizdat

    Brutalist architect Ernő Goldfinger was the origin of Auric Goldfinger.

  15. Anonymous[185] • Disclaimer says:

    Famously, Ian Fleming wanted David Niven to play James Bond.

    Fleming variously insulted Sean Connery as “that fucking truck driver” or as “an over developed stuntman”.

    Curious Ian Fleming factoid:

    Following Rudolf Hess’ bizarre solo mission to Scotland, Fleming, who was high up in Royal Navy intelligence, suggested to the British cabinet that Aleister Crowley should be charged with the initial interrogation of Hess.
    What the cabinet made of Fleming’s suggestion is not known.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    @Anonymous

    There has to be a really interesting file locked up somewhere in Whitehall on the subject of that Rudolph Hess flight. What exactly was the reason they kept him shut up in Spandau for so long?

    Replies: @Muggles, @David In TN

    , @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race
    @Anonymous

    If David Niven was going to do Bond, Fleming may not have seen Bond as particularly an ultimate ladies' man--sophisticated upper-class but not so much masculine charisma--nowhere near Connery or Moore in that way. In fact, although I could see him as a fine actor, I didn't think he was that much of a STAR--but his Oscar-winner, Separate Tables, was pretty fantastic, and had an amazing cast. I haven't seen Casino Royale.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @James O'Meara

    , @Gordo
    @Anonymous


    Following Rudolf Hess’ bizarre solo mission to Scotland, Fleming, who was high up in Royal Navy intelligence, suggested to the British cabinet that Aleister Crowley should be charged with the initial interrogation of Hess.
     
    Aleister Crowley shared an interest in mysticism with Hess, and Crowley was apparently an MI6 asset so maybe not such a mad idea.
    , @dfordoom
    @Anonymous


    Famously, Ian Fleming wanted David Niven to play James Bond.
     
    Wasn't David Niven an actual commando in WW2? Involved in actual operations behind enemy lines? That might explain why Fleming wanted him in the rôle.
  16. In some spaces — being first, the first one is all that matters. And In this case, Mr. Connery was the it man for that role at that time — and was an international hit.

    Fair thee well . . . and thanks.

    ————————————-

    Quintessential Englishman : George Lazenby (Australian)

    • Agree: Cking
    • Replies: @Ancient Briton
    @EliteCommInc.

    George, as Bond wore a kilt in OHMSS.

    Replies: @sb

  17. @David 'The Diversity Mastermind' Lammey
    Moore was original Bond. Connery replaces him. How is it taken?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @YetAnotherAnon, @Dr. DoomNGloom

    Wasn’t Moore’s Bond very much a re-run of Moore’s Simon Templar – “The Saint”? Always a touch of humour about the performance.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Saint_(TV_series)

    NBC picked up the show as a summer replacement in its evening schedule in 1966 because of the strong performance in the United States of the first two series in first-run syndication. The programme, therefore, ended its run with both trans-Atlantic primetime scheduling and colour episodes. It also proved popular beyond the UK and US, eventually airing in over 60 countries, and made a profit in excess of £350m for ITC.

    First episode of The Saint – premiered 4 October 1962

    First Bond film (Dr No) – premiered 5 October 1962.

    Is it just me btw, or does Daniel Craig’s Bond resemble Vladimir Putin?

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    @YetAnotherAnon


    Is it just me btw, or does Daniel Craig’s Bond resemble Vladimir Putin?
     
    Yes he does. I'm not sure why they selected him, but it seems to be working, as the movies continue to be popular. As for me, I like David Niven.
    , @ScarletNumber
    @YetAnotherAnon


    Wasn’t Moore’s Bond very much a re-run of Moore’s Simon Templar – “The Saint”? Always a touch of humour about the performance.
     
    Not only that, he played Seymour Goldfarb, Jr., in The Cannonball Run at the same time For Your Eyes Only came out. I'm surprised the executives at EON would let him play a role so similar at the same time.
  18. Anonymous[185] • Disclaimer says:

    On the topic of Kipling, British Imperialism, Sean Connery, derring-do, ‘real man’ etc, the life story of the Victorian British Army captain, William Raikes Hodson, ‘Hodson of Hodson’s Horse’ is instructive.

    In an unbelievable tight situation, during the Indian Mutiny, of the 1850s, Hodson found himself alone – with only a service revolver – facing a baying mob of literally hundreds of Indian Muslim fanatics, and oh, a couple of mughal prince captives of his. Literally backed into a corner, Hodson’s courage did not fail him, and he then and there summarily executed the hostages, cold bloodedly, with single shots to the brain. He then, in thorough public school English Victorian fashion, barked, growled and yelped at the mob – who all faded away!!!!!!

    You won’t be too surprised to learn that Hodson was the son of an Anglican clergyman.

    • Replies: @Numinous
    @Anonymous

    This is a BS story. Hodson was a savage who murdered his (underage) captives in cold blood (like what happened in Yekaterinburg half a century later). At no time was he in any personal danger. And by that time, the war was already won (i.e., the rebellion had been crushed).

  19. I heard once that as soon as Fleming saw Connery walk into the audition he said something along the lines of “That’s him. That’s James Bond”

    I have no verification for that story but Connery does bare resemblance to Fleming’s brother.

    • Replies: @Alden
    @Mike Tre

    Fleming, his brother and Connery were all tall dark and handsome.

  20. David Niven sure looked right as an older retired sir James.

  21. @Henry's Cat
    I wonder what percentage of Bond viewers have ever read any of the books. Less than 1% at a stretch, I would say,

    Replies: @James Braxton, @A. Hipster, @Realist, @YetAnotherAnon, @TTSSYF, @Alden, @sb, @Anon, @dfordoom

    Anyone who has knows that James Bond the character is Scottish/Swiss not English.

  22. @Henry's Cat
    I wonder what percentage of Bond viewers have ever read any of the books. Less than 1% at a stretch, I would say,

    Replies: @James Braxton, @A. Hipster, @Realist, @YetAnotherAnon, @TTSSYF, @Alden, @sb, @Anon, @dfordoom

    I’ve read them all, and got them all …. and after the first post-Moore Bond movie I totally lost interest in them, they lost all their good spirited charm and humor.

    I also got Kingsley Amis’ very amusing The James Bond Dossier.

    One thing you learn reading the books is that Bond served in the Navy in the WWII … so he certainly should be retired.

    The books are extremely silly but entertaining, the Amis book describes how Fleming wasn’t upper class but worshiped them a lot. And the most admirable upper class thing for Fleming was gambling at a posh Casino …

    Reading the the books it’s hard to say if Fleming really believed that games like roulette required strategy and intelligence ….that is, was he rather stupid or not?

    If memory serves, in the book ‘You only live twice’ there is an extended scene of Bond playing Rock Paper Scissors …. well, maybe that game is not in practice totally random, but Fleming makes it sound like Chess match between Grand Masters …

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    @A. Hipster


    The books are extremely silly but entertaining,
     
    The Spy Who Loved Me is probably the silliest. Fleming's attempt at telling an entire Bond story by having a female character voice her inner life and romantic experience of meeting James Bond was misconceived, and, as is to be expected, truly bad.
  23. Sean Connery is to me the real James Bond, but to my wife, ten years younger, it is Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan.

    She likes the movies more than I do. In fact, I am very tired of the whole thing. It is formulaic and unreal to the point where I can no longer suspend disbelief.

    • Agree: Chrisnonymous
    • Replies: @Feryl
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Bond movies I thought were good (but never great):

    Connery era:
    Goldfinger
    Thunderball

    Moore era:
    For Your eyes only

    Dalton:
    License to kill

    Brosnan:
    Goldeneye

    That's a lousy batting average. Most of the movies are too long and have needlessly complex plots, and the Moore and Brosnan era had too much campy humor even for the time period in which they were made (Goldfinger and License to kill are probably the most straightforward). The earlier ones also had ESL/dubbing issues with many of the actors, something that hurts a lot of 60's-early 80's European movies).

    I never held it against the actors that most of these movies were not very well scripted or well paced.

    Replies: @Chrisnonymous, @The Wild Geese Howard

  24. the quintessential Englishman

    Don’t be daft: in the novels he’s half Scots, half Swiss.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    @dearieme

    Apparently after Sean Connery took the role in the movies, Ian Fleming adjusted Bond's biography in future books to fit in with Connery.

    I read several of the books as a teenager before I ever saw a Bond movie. I remember seeing Goldfinger in Spanish in Spain in about 1965, and falling asleep before the end.

    But I loved the books as a teenager.

  25. @Henry's Cat
    I wonder what percentage of Bond viewers have ever read any of the books. Less than 1% at a stretch, I would say,

    Replies: @James Braxton, @A. Hipster, @Realist, @YetAnotherAnon, @TTSSYF, @Alden, @sb, @Anon, @dfordoom

    I wonder what percentage of Bond viewers have ever read any of the books.

    I read the first eight as paper backs in the late 50’s and early 60’s as a teenager.

    • Replies: @Muggles
    @Realist

    Yes, I read them all too, in the sixties. From the public library.

    This is one role where the initial actor chosen for the part wasn't necessarily the exact model the author described. Based on his older brother as has been noted. He also had another brother who did the exotic travelling.

    But once the first film and later ones were huge hits, Connery made Bond into himself. There are some actors and actresses (quaint but now obsolete word, for some reason by deranged misplaced feminism) who are initially cast and they become the part, regardless of prior depictions or descriptions.

    Authors rarely have any say at all about casting. When they do results vary widely, not usually good.

    Connery was a man's man, whereas the later Bonds were more conventionally very handsome women's men. Not effeminate, but not as seemingly lethal in action. Of course he aged out of that part. Like very beautiful women, an extremely handsome man would be a poor secret agent or operative. Too noticeable. Connery could pass for many types of people (workers, bureaucrat, military, criminal, etc.) whereas Moore and Dalton would not.

    Very handsome men rarely engage in normal or risky occupations. Other than marry already rich wives.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Peter D. Bredon, @Verymuchalive

    , @Wielgus
    @Realist

    I have read some of them. You Only Live Twice and Casino Royale. The first is mainly memorable for an argument between the Japanese Tiger Tanaka and Bond about Britain's decline in the world.

  26. @Henry's Cat
    I wonder what percentage of Bond viewers have ever read any of the books. Less than 1% at a stretch, I would say,

    Replies: @James Braxton, @A. Hipster, @Realist, @YetAnotherAnon, @TTSSYF, @Alden, @sb, @Anon, @dfordoom

    “I wonder what percentage of Bond viewers have ever read any of the books.”

    In pre-pornified days Bond was a shocker. This New Statesman review of Dr No, by then-left-winger Paul Johnson.

    https://www.newstatesman.com/society/2007/02/1958-bond-fleming-girl-sex

    I have just finished what is without a doubt the nastiest book I have ever read. It is a new novel entitled Dr. No and the author is Mr. Ian Fleming. Echoes of Mr Fleming’s fame had reached me before, and I had been repeatedly urged to read his books by literary friends whose judgement I normally respect. When his new novel appeared, therefore, I obtained a copy and started to read. By the time I was a third of the way through, I had to suppress a strong impulse to throw the thing away, and only continued reading because I realised that here was a social phenomenon of some importance.

    There are three basic ingredients in Dr No, all unhealthy, all thoroughly English: the sadism of a school boy bully, the mechanical two-dimensional sex-longings of a frustrated adolescent, and the crude, snob-cravings of a suburban adult. Mr Fleming has no literary skill, the construction of the book is chaotic, the entire incidents and situations are inserted, and then forgotten, in a haphazard manner. But the three ingredients are manufactured and blended with deliberate, professional precision; Mr Fleming dishes up his recipe with all the calculated accountancy of a Lyons Corner House.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @YetAnotherAnon


    Mr Fleming has no literary skill...
     
    Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang: The Magical Car is alright to read aloud. But it has the most extreme punctuation imaginable, enough to embarrass a high school amateur, and Mimsie Pott is the worst female character I've ever come across in fiction or film. All she does is cry. I can see why she was replaced by Truly Scrumptious in the movie. (Sally Ann Howes, like co-star Dick Van Dyke, is still with us, at 90.)

    The Potts' daughter Jemima has some spirit, though.
  27. @Henry's Cat
    I wonder what percentage of Bond viewers have ever read any of the books. Less than 1% at a stretch, I would say,

    Replies: @James Braxton, @A. Hipster, @Realist, @YetAnotherAnon, @TTSSYF, @Alden, @sb, @Anon, @dfordoom

    I thought Diamonds are Forever was excellent. Jill St. John was miscast as Tiffany Case.

    • Replies: @Ancient Briton
    @TTSSYF

    Well the collar did match the cuffs (I assume).

  28. I just never liked Bond films, the most I’ve watched is about 15 minutes at a time. They just seemed superficial and just plain boring.

    Danger Man*, the TV show starring Patrick McGoohan, was far superior.

    *Secret Agent

  29. Graham Chapman as Australian Big-Game Hunter: “I love animals! That’s why I like to kill ’em!”

    The Flemings I know best are the film director and the guy who discovered penicillin. Imagine doing Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz in the same year. Now that’s productivity.

    Or saving millions of lives by accident. We could use someone like that about now, presuming that you think saving millions of lives is a good thing. I’m not here to judge.

  30. “‘De Undertaker blow de bad air out of the island night-times from six till six. Den every morning de Doctor’s Wind come and blow de sweet air in from de sea… Guess you and de Undertaker’s Wind got much de same job.”

    — Live and Let Die

    I guess at some point in the last 60 years, representing black accents by using “d” in place of “th” fell out of fashion.

    • Replies: @Paul Mendez
    @PiltdownMan


    I guess at some point in the last 60 years, representing black accents by using “d” in place of “th” fell out of fashion.
     
    I think it’s a plausible imitation of a Caribbean black accent, which is what I assume your quote was trying to represents.

    Replies: @James O'Meara

    , @Lurker
    @PiltdownMan

    It's still OK if you're a wigger.

    , @Pop Warner
    @PiltdownMan

    One of the chapter names of Live and Let Die is titled "Nigger Heaven" (how one black man in the chapter describes Harlem). A lot of that book would be unacceptable today.

    In fact, there's a good bit of old-school race realism and Anglo-Germanic exceptionalism in the books. Bond is constantly trying to figure out the ethnic origins of each villain. He takes note that Mr Big, the black Live and Let Die villain, has some European ancestry judging by his thinner lips, and this explains why he's the leader and not some thug. Same with Dr No, the half Chinese half European villain whose henchmen are mostly Chinese Negroes. Bond thinks Le Chiffre, the villainous accountant and card wizard, has jewish ancestry based on his earlobes and spends about a page determining that Goldfinger is a Balt based on looks alone. It's a common habit of Fleming to give characters partial German ancestry to explain their leadership qualities or physical strength.

    Replies: @James O'Meara, @Ray P, @MEH 0910

    , @Twodees Partain
    @PiltdownMan

    What you're quoting is kind of a general Caribbean islander's accent, not a general black accent. In Dr. No, there were a few Islander characters whose dialect would differ from that of black people in other places..

    , @Anonymous
    @PiltdownMan

    That looks like it could be the dialogue of a Dutchman talking.

  31. I cannot answer the question properly, because I have always admired Sean Connery as a manly personality, but have regarded the James Bond idea as a farce.

    First few Bond movies were good & watchable, but later Connery Bond films, as well as all Moore’s, treat Bond as it should be- a comedy. British spying was great until Soviets simply steamrolled over it (3rd, 4th, 5th,…. man), so that I could never take a British spy story arc seriously.

    Also, his gadgets were ludicrous, as were super-villains. Only Bond girls were something…. I don’t know what, but they were.

    The Bond character is as absurd as Harry Potter & I simply don’t get it why would anyone watch it. Except, of course- as a comedy.

    • Replies: @Father O'Hara
    @Bardon Kaldian

    My own take is that James Bond was a series of several movies starring Sean Connery. And that's it. The other movies were just goofy or brutal,in the case of Craig,adventure movies starring different guys playing a guy named James Bond. He could've been named Horace Finkelstein,for all I cared.
    Bond was of a particular actor and a particular time,that being the 60s,before,as Bob Hope said,the "serious stuff" started.

    Its fitting that JFK loved the books. He gave Bond a 60s New Fronteah imprimatur.

    Bond,by Connery,was part of the British Invasion,sort of a shot across the bow. Our innate Anglophilia was arousd by Bond, soon after bowled over by the Beatles. I recall one passing remark,where Connery jokes about the Fab Four; delightful!

    It was also about Technicolor,and beautiful women in bikinis and the Caribbean seen through the eyes of a young boy who had heretofore only seen movies with Jerry Lewis and Buddy Hackett, etc.

    When Connery,older,came back to do a Bond,it just wasn't worth the effort.
    The real question, could anyone else have played Zardoz?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @James O'Meara, @MEH 0910, @Bardon Kaldian

  32. They were going for different things at different points in the film series. They were ready to treat it lighter and with double entendres and more tongue in cheek in the Roger Moore era. A movie called Octopussy in the Sean Connery era? Wouldn’t have happened.

    And darker for the Daniel Craig era. Which they made clear from the beginning of his first movie Casino Royale which opens with his first killing in a brutal black and white scene in a bathroom. And The Bond Girl betrays Bond.

  33. …the burned-out jeep with the bundle of forged plans in the front seat designed to frustrate the Japanese advance; the carefully abandoned haversack full of misleading information; the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force member in the Allied Commander Lord Mountbatten’s HQ in Ceylon instructed to write letters about spurious troop movements to a non-existent boyfriend in the hope that they would be steamed open by enemy agents.

    How much happened in the 20th century because well-to-do overgrown children wanted to LARP as spies and adventurers?

    Incidentally, I believe some historians make the argument that German intelligence wasn’t fooled by this stuff, but passed it upstairs anyway, because German intelligence, or elements therein, were part of a rival faction, and sought to undermine Hitler et al. (This jibes well with the stuff on Admiral Canaris’s Wikipedia page.)

    (My personal conspiracy theory is that the Allies, or elements therein, intended to use Germany to destroy Russia (and thereby communism), and vice versa, and that this explains much of the activity on the western front in the early years of the war: the Phoney War, France’s “defeat”, German restraint at Dunkirk, the half-heartedness of Germany’s attempts at subduing Britain, Rudolf Hess’s “peace mission”, everything Canaris did, etc, etc. Plans changed when the Russians turned the tide at Stalingrad: the Allies realised they were going to have to invade western Europe themselves, to stop the Russians taking it all; their friends in Germany tried to remove Hitler ahead of schedule, but failed and/or were betrayed by the Allies, who decided not to make peace with Germany as they’d promised. This makes as much sense to me as anything I’ve read from legit historians.)

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    That was pretty much the official Soviet view of the war - that the 'war' between Germany and the western powers was in fact an elaborate ruse, at least to begin with, and that in reality all the capitalist powers were united behind Germany's attempt to destroy the USSR.

    Replies: @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

  34. @Buzz Mohawk
    Sean Connery is to me the real James Bond, but to my wife, ten years younger, it is Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan.

    She likes the movies more than I do. In fact, I am very tired of the whole thing. It is formulaic and unreal to the point where I can no longer suspend disbelief.

    Replies: @Feryl

    Bond movies I thought were good (but never great):

    Connery era:
    Goldfinger
    Thunderball

    Moore era:
    For Your eyes only

    Dalton:
    License to kill

    Brosnan:
    Goldeneye

    That’s a lousy batting average. Most of the movies are too long and have needlessly complex plots, and the Moore and Brosnan era had too much campy humor even for the time period in which they were made (Goldfinger and License to kill are probably the most straightforward). The earlier ones also had ESL/dubbing issues with many of the actors, something that hurts a lot of 60’s-early 80’s European movies).

    I never held it against the actors that most of these movies were not very well scripted or well paced.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    @Feryl

    I used to think like this, but I have revised my view over time. Giving consideration for increasing budgets in later films, I think they basically peak with the first two, Dr. No and From Russia with Love, and go downhill from there. The first Timothy Dalton movie and the first Daniel Craig maybe break this trend. Maybe.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon, @Jim Don Bob

    , @The Wild Geese Howard
    @Feryl

    Great list. I would add On Her Majesty's Secret Service, mainly for setting, score, Diana Rigg, and the bioweapon based threat.

    I probably hold the films in slightly higher esteem.

    Then, you have the films that had some great set pieces, yet could never put it all together. The Living Daylights falls into this category.

    Tomorrow Never Dies should have been great, but they ruined it by revealing the big bad and his plot far too early.

    Goldfinger revealed the big bad early, but held his main plot until later in the film.

  35. @The Alarmist
    I’d read that Fleming didn’t care much at first for Connery, a Scot’s Scot, playing the quintessential Englishman, but warmed to him and even started imparting Scot qualities into the character.

    I never really cared for Connery in the role, and at first thought Moore was a better cast, but Pierce Brosnan played Bond with as much panache and more natural humour. I trust most of us would agree that Timothy Dalton was an outright disaster.

    Replies: @JMcG, @Feryl, @Anonymous

    I thought Dalton was much closer to the Bond of the books. I’d place him just a hair below Connery, though I know I’ll be ripped to shreds for that opinion. He was much more believable as a killer, less so as a womanizer.

  36. More interesting than who played the best James Bond is why these books – which were awful – got turned into movies. Maybe it was a Space-Age thing, plus a Cold-War thing, and the former provided gadgetry and the latter provided rivalry, and…I still don’t understand why anyone who’d decided to make a movie with both would reach as low as an Ian Fleming novel for characters.

    Good to see, in any case, Peter Fleming getting a little press here. I think I’ve read everything he published in book form. Even The Flying Visit, which I found in the Texas Tech library. News From Tartary inspired me to study Turkish and Russian. Brazilian Adventure is, I still think, the best book ever written about that country. Perhaps because Fleming’s party was out of the range of news for most of the expedition, it lacks details which would date it; it is mostly about Brazilians themselves, and from about my third visit in 1993 to my nineteenth three weeks ago, I have maintained the book still captures the place. (I’d found the volume in the UT Austin library in 1989.)

    OT, here might be a fruitful topic: old travel books that somehow remain instructive. I’d add Brian Hall’s The Impossible Country, which even though Yugoslavia doesn’t exist anymore, and the book hardly said anything about Slovenia, has clued me to much in that country. On the other hand, I would not fully include Paul Theroux’s The Old Patagonian Express. It may still be a good introduction to Argentina but I think it really is way out of date on Central America. (Another, even OT-er mental exercise: remember when Nicaragua and El Salvador were in the news a lot? I do. Then they vanished. I daresay they’ve done well since. And maybe there’s a connection.)

    • Agree: AceDeuce
    • Replies: @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race
    @John

    I read several of Theroux's travel books. The most important for me was The Happy Isles of Oceania, although I had determined to get to Tahiti well before that--since I saw the movie of South Pacific at age 7--and did go there twice. Plus, my father brought back from the Pacific War a 1941 The Pacific Islands Year Book (which I still have) that was totally intoxicating, and was much more important than Theroux's book (where he did not cover French Polynesia as well as he did the Solomons and even New Zealand.) He was all over the Pacific--New Guinea, Guadalcanal, Rabaul, Fiji, and was annoyed I wanted to go to islands which had only one war incident, and that during WWI, from German warships. There were cannon still up high in Bora Bora from WWII, never used as I recall, which I saw on the 4WD tour--I never take tours but this was the only way and I got my share of Israeli honeymooners. The one in Tahiti was much better, driven by a Marquesan.

    Also liked The Kingdom by the Sea about Britain (including N. Ireland), and to some degree Riding the Iron Rooster, his train ride through China.

    He tends to go from this Romanticism to his New England Scold thing sometimes, so that the travel books sometimes sound a bit fictional. I like a couple of his novels better--esp. Picture Palace and The Family Arsenal, both better than The Mosquito Coast, which seems so mechanical. But he was very athletic, kayaked a lot in the Pacific one, knew how to travel.

    , @JMcG
    @John

    Have you read Patrick Leigh Fermor?

    , @Muggles
    @John


    News From Tartary inspired me to study Turkish and Russian
     
    Yes, that Peter Fleming book deserves a wide audience. I read it this last winter and as I told a friend, after reading that you'll never complain about hardships on your own little vacation trip.

    Very revealing about places still in the news. Unfortunately my paperback didn't have the map which you should have. Names have changed but you can still figure out he took the only route available. I highly recommend it.

    And the Swiss woman he was with! Why haven't feminists taken up her as a heroine? Online reviews of her book also chronicling their journey aren't very kind. English wasn't her first language and her insights evidently not very interesting. Still how many modern women could do that?

    When you read about what these early travelers did (early 20th century) you have to admire those who traveled to tough places. A lot of "eccentric" Brits out in the very dangerous boondocks. I have thought that the "Tartary" book would be a great semester long basis for a university course on far western Chinese geography and culture. Refreshing to read such clear, concise and candid observations about very different places and people.

    https://www.amazon.com/News-Tartary-Peter-Fleming/dp/1531842631

    If nothing else it will take your mind off current political/pandemic nonsense. Thanks for your reference here!

    Replies: @John

    , @dfordoom
    @John


    More interesting than who played the best James Bond is why these books – which were awful – got turned into movies.
     
    By the standards of the day the Bond books offered a lot more sex and violence than previous spy thrillers. Fleming did to spy fiction what Mickey Spillane did for crime fiction.

    That's why the Bond books were so successful and that's why they were made into movies.

    The books were also popular in Britain because they offered a fantasy alternative reality in which Britain still counted for something, rather than being a pathetic grovelling American vassal state which is what postwar Britain really was.

    There was a subtle anti-American subtext in the books.

    Replies: @syonredux, @syonredux

  37. @The Alarmist
    I’d read that Fleming didn’t care much at first for Connery, a Scot’s Scot, playing the quintessential Englishman, but warmed to him and even started imparting Scot qualities into the character.

    I never really cared for Connery in the role, and at first thought Moore was a better cast, but Pierce Brosnan played Bond with as much panache and more natural humour. I trust most of us would agree that Timothy Dalton was an outright disaster.

    Replies: @JMcG, @Feryl, @Anonymous

    I actually bought Dalton the most as a plausibly smooth and smart secret agent who could take of himself physically if necessary,though he wasn’t the most entertaining or charming (Connery, Moore, and Brosnan definitely best Dalton in that race).

    Lazenby was too young and short-lived to get a chance to really lock into the role, but he did good in the fight scenes at least.

    Craig is the worst. I suppose as a thuggish hitman or street instigator type operater I might buy him. But a high level spy? No way. He doesn’t have 1/50th of the required smooth charm and people skills.

    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
    @Feryl

    "Craig is the worst"

    Daniel Craig is a talented actor but his 007 has been given superpowers in the era of the comic book movies. Casino Royale (2006), directed by Martin Campbell, is one of the best films of the franchise. The subsequent Craig films, while gloriously made, have become less intriguing. It'll be interesting to see if EON Productions bends the knee to the Western anti-racism cult and casts Idris Elba or another UK black as James Bond. Elba is another quality UK actor but he's black. I'll stop watching the movies if Bond turns black because I'm prejudiced.

    Replies: @Mikeja, @Thursday, @Wilkey

    , @R.G. Camara
    @Feryl

    In Craig's defense, all of his movies have been prequels; that is, they are set up to show how Bond becomes Bond. How could a ruthless spy/assassin become a charming, debonair gentlemen with an iron fist in a silk glove, who keeps his emotions in check and always has an ironic witty line at hand?

    We see it. In Casino Royale, we see him make his first two kills at the beginning, and then make aggressive mistakes of a young angry man: killing the African bombmaker, nearly destroying an airport in Miami, banging only married women to avoid falling in love, and then blowing himself up in a casino in Montenegro. And then falling in love---only to be betrayed by his love.

    The next three movies see him dealing with the aftermath of that: a bitterness towards Vesper, a drinking problem, a revenge mission. But slowly he learns about a sophisticated, hidden world not even his bosses know about: SPECTRE, Quantum, Blofeld. Along the way he learns that MI6 has lots of dark secrets (the spy left behind played by Javier Bardem) and sees his own family estate in Scotland blown to bits.

    He thinks he's lost at life, but he finds a female companion he loves, and learns how to avoid the quick kill to get information and what he needs, and learns how to have ironic detachment from even his bosses, who are not always trustworthy.

    In the last film, we see Bond going into the traditional superior's office with the double door. It's a signal that Bond has become the Bond we know.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon, @Truth

  38. I thought the inspiration for James Bond was supposed to be the playboy Serbian diplomat/spy, Duško Popov.

    • Replies: @AceDeuce
    @Paul Mendez

    Not sure about that, but Fleming was on the record as saying that Bond, in his own mind's eye, resembled Hoagy Carmichael. Fleming was initially skeptical about Connery, but changed his mind and thought that he did a good job.

  39. @Diversity Heretic
    If you liked the James Bond character, then Sean Connery was probably the ideal James Bond. If you didn't much care for the character in the first place, then Roger Moore was better, because he always impressed me as not taking the part too seriously and playing it with one eye on the camera. I never watched a single James Bond movie after Roger Moore and Daniel Craig always looked the part of a James Bond villain.

    Isn't the next 007 to be played by a black woman?

    Replies: @IHTG, @ThreeCranes, @Jim Don Bob, @tyrone, @Mikeja, @Anonymous Jew, @Liberty Mike

    “Daniel Craig always looked the part of a James Bond villain.”

    True, but he is by far the most muscular, masculine, kick-ass Bond. The other guys played the role as you say, “with one eye on the camera”. Craig looks as though he doesn’t need or use a stuntman. Not so much an English gentleman as a longshoreman’s son. Whereas the others would have been toast without their high tech gizmos (courtesy of Q), Craig is not the guy you want to climb into the Octagon with.

  40. It’s been a while since I read it but I believe that Umberto (“Name of the Rose” etc) Eco was a fan of Connery as ?admitted in his essay on the narrative structure of the Fleming novels – in “The Bond Affair” of 1966.

    And having had a quick look at the prices of copies of the book, I should have a good look for mine.

  41. @PiltdownMan

    "'De Undertaker blow de bad air out of the island night-times from six till six. Den every morning de Doctor's Wind come and blow de sweet air in from de sea... Guess you and de Undertaker's Wind got much de same job."

    — Live and Let Die
     
    I guess at some point in the last 60 years, representing black accents by using "d" in place of "th" fell out of fashion.

    Replies: @Paul Mendez, @Lurker, @Pop Warner, @Twodees Partain, @Anonymous

    I guess at some point in the last 60 years, representing black accents by using “d” in place of “th” fell out of fashion.

    I think it’s a plausible imitation of a Caribbean black accent, which is what I assume your quote was trying to represents.

    • Replies: @James O'Meara
    @Paul Mendez

    My mother, though not black, was from Nassau, and I would agree with that.

  42. Bond blended the attributes of the two Fleming brothers. Peter was the highly athletic commando type who got up to all kinds of worldwide adventures. Ian was the drinker and womanizer.

  43. @Steve Sailer
    @David 'The Diversity Mastermind' Lammey

    If Connery replaced Moore, I think the reaction would have been: Wow, this guy is really good, but he's not the real James Bond.

    Replies: @Chrisnonymous, @David In TN

    If Moore had come first, there would have been no franchise. Moore’s 70’s Bond wouldn’t have cut it in the 60s.

    • Replies: @Peter D. Bredon
    @Chrisnonymous

    Why say you that? I would think the other way round: the 60s was the younger Moore who could reasonably play the Bond-like Saint but was too old by the time he replaced Connery. By his last film he insisted on the script giving him a more grandfatherly, avuncular role with women, as there was such an age difference as to be rather creepy.

  44. @Feryl
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Bond movies I thought were good (but never great):

    Connery era:
    Goldfinger
    Thunderball

    Moore era:
    For Your eyes only

    Dalton:
    License to kill

    Brosnan:
    Goldeneye

    That's a lousy batting average. Most of the movies are too long and have needlessly complex plots, and the Moore and Brosnan era had too much campy humor even for the time period in which they were made (Goldfinger and License to kill are probably the most straightforward). The earlier ones also had ESL/dubbing issues with many of the actors, something that hurts a lot of 60's-early 80's European movies).

    I never held it against the actors that most of these movies were not very well scripted or well paced.

    Replies: @Chrisnonymous, @The Wild Geese Howard

    I used to think like this, but I have revised my view over time. Giving consideration for increasing budgets in later films, I think they basically peak with the first two, Dr. No and From Russia with Love, and go downhill from there. The first Timothy Dalton movie and the first Daniel Craig maybe break this trend. Maybe.

    • Agree: PiltdownMan
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    @Chrisnonymous

    I agree - those were the best - the movies in which Bond was portrayed primarily as a thug. Because that's what he was supposed to be. I think Dalton is highly underrated.

    Patrick McGoohan was offered the part of James Bond, but he turned it down. Likely he found the character's licentiousness and amorality to be distasteful. Just as well, as he went on to make The Prisoner which was far superior.

    Still in all, Bond movies are silly. They were all style over substance. They were the motion picture counterpart of Playboy, selling a dream of rakish bachelor life. They might have been among the first movies to be built around product placement.

    If you've never seen them, check out The Ipcress File and the other Harry Palmer movies. Palmer (played by Michael Caine) is the anti-Bond - a cog in a bureacratic machine who actually seems mortal.

    Replies: @Bugg

    , @Jim Don Bob
    @Chrisnonymous


    I think they basically peak with the first two, Dr. No and From Russia with Love, and go downhill from there.
     
    I agree. They became silly formula movies with great stunts, improbable villains, and beautiful women.

    The great Robert Shaw in the From Russia with Love train fight scene:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75b8fBQEijI
  45. Bond’s mother was French-Swiss.

  46. Connery actually did a surprisingly good job for the BBC in Shakespeare’s Henry IV as Hotspur. His reading of the lines wasn’t the most refined, but he brought a lot of energy to the part and then Hotspur isn’t the most refined character. Worth checking out.

  47. Roger Moore was the only convincing Bond. Also the movies he was in were easier to watch because they were taking it all with a touch of humor.

  48. Contrary to what others have posted, Ian Fleming DID like Connery as Bond, and even went so far as to retcon Bond into being Scottish in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

    Fleming’s original novels have also become somewhat underrated in spite of being still in print and the source of the world’s most popular movie franchise. Fleming’s characterization and plotting is economical and if you’re in the know or just up on your Cold War history, it’s obvious that the more outré elements were thrown in to help clear publication review.

    They should stop with the bond movies for a while. They end up being more reflective of the era that produced them than anything else and every bond actor since Connery gets a mixed bag of good (or just ok) and bad films to work through.

  49. Anon[283] • Disclaimer says:

    Doesn’t this all come down to whether the Ian Fleming genre fiction was great literature that must be slavishly reproduced on film, or trashy source material licensed for ideas to be picked and chosen from? Isn’t the latter closer to the truth? If so, who cares who the best actor would have been to literally represent the books’ contents?

  50. @David 'The Diversity Mastermind' Lammey
    Moore was original Bond. Connery replaces him. How is it taken?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @YetAnotherAnon, @Dr. DoomNGloom

    Moore was original Bond. Connery replaces him. How is it taken?

    In this scenario, Moore gets the best scripts, I’m not convinced it gets to Connery.

  51. I’ve always thought Connery was horribly miscast in that role. Patrick McGoohan would have been the best Bond.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @slumber_j

    McGoohan plays a Bond-inspired character in Ice Station Zebra.

    , @dfordoom
    @slumber_j


    Patrick McGoohan would have been the best Bond.
     
    The story is that he turned down the part because he thought it was immoral. McGoohan was a very conservative Catholic. He only did Danger Man with the proviso that the character not be depicted as a cild-blooded killer.
  52. @Verymuchalive
    I don't think any actor could have been the ideal Bond. There were far too many boxes to tick. For example, Bond was meant to be a Commander in Naval Intelligence and capable frogman and diver. The only Bond who ever looked the part for that was Timothy Dalton.
    Indeed, Bond should have been retired at the end of Dalton's tenure. Bond was very much a Cold War hero. When he returned after Dalton's departure, the Cold War was over and the Franchise increasingly had to cannibalise the plots of previously filmed books. I never found Brosnan or Craig convincing in the role.

    Replies: @Lurker, @syonredux, @David In TN, @Stebbing Heuer

    Bond was very much a Cold War hero.

    Ironically Bond rarely had any dealings with the Soviets at all. Its usually super villains threatening the economic status quo.

  53. @PiltdownMan

    "'De Undertaker blow de bad air out of the island night-times from six till six. Den every morning de Doctor's Wind come and blow de sweet air in from de sea... Guess you and de Undertaker's Wind got much de same job."

    — Live and Let Die
     
    I guess at some point in the last 60 years, representing black accents by using "d" in place of "th" fell out of fashion.

    Replies: @Paul Mendez, @Lurker, @Pop Warner, @Twodees Partain, @Anonymous

    It’s still OK if you’re a wigger.

  54. Maybe someday, with Deep Fake technology, they can make the perfect James Bond movie, with 007 being played by John Wayne.

  55. Supposedly, both Cubby Broccoli and Ian Fleming both initially thought Connery was wrong for the role and it was their wife (Broccoli) and girlfriend (Fleming) who convinced them otherwise. As someone already noted, Fleming came to like Connery so much he wrote a Scottish background for Bond into later stories.

  56. SC was just a total badass…..always spoke his mind and never apologized.

    If all white men were like Sean nobody would DARE fuck with us…..but most white men are Paul Ryan pussies…..Sean was the real shit.

    Sean, Mel, and Clint. The rest of Hollywood are cunts.

    I once admired Deniro but now I hate him. When I was a kid I actually liked Rob Reiner…..but he’s turned out to be very possibly the most vile POS on this earth, ranking up there with Tim Wise.

    I never accepted any of the other Bonds. SC was really the ONLY Bond.

    I admire very few people, TBH, but SC is at the top of my list.

  57. @Paul Mendez
    I thought the inspiration for James Bond was supposed to be the playboy Serbian diplomat/spy, Duško Popov.

    Replies: @AceDeuce

    Not sure about that, but Fleming was on the record as saying that Bond, in his own mind’s eye, resembled Hoagy Carmichael. Fleming was initially skeptical about Connery, but changed his mind and thought that he did a good job.

  58. Ian wrote a lot of himself into Bond, but I’d guess that the single best source for his character was his cruelly handsome older brother Peter Fleming,

    I feel that people who are looking for a source for the worldly spy of fame are not looking for a source for Ian Fleming’s inspiration. There is a more recent biography of Ian Fleming that doesn’t gloss over the nastiness, like his seducing his friend’s wife and their honeymoon, but there is an earlier biography that explores the relationship of Fleming’s own life with the Bond books. Much of Fleming’s pedestrian life spent pursuing booze and vacations was spun into spy stories. For example, the plot of the novel Live and Let Die is essentially Bond flying to New York and taking a train down to Florida and then a boat in the Caribbean, and this is basically what Fleming did on his yearly vacations to the USA. The oyster bar Fleming frequented in NYC even features in the book. For those imagining that the novels are ripping spy stories, it comes as a shock how much of the books are Bond’s inner life. For example, the “Vesper” cocktail (which actually is delicious, but I believe is not a martini, but is actually a higher-alcohol-content variation of a cocktail called the “Old Etonian”, which Fleming would have been familiar with as an old Etonian) was made famous by Fleming’s novel Casino Royale, but what actually features in the novel is Fleming’s description of how and how well Bond can use the drink to find the right balance between inebriation and drunkenness in order to play cards well. That is 100% autobiography, I have no doubt. See also the obvious BDSM allusions in the end of Live and Let Die and Fleming’s own sexual obsessions.

    If you don’t see Fleming’s rather pathetic life reflected in the novels, try his travelogue Thrilling Cities. Fleming was not an unskilled writer, and there are moments of literary merit like his initial description of taking off on an airplane, but as actual travelogue, the book is complete shit, mostly due to the fact that Fleming is an entirely uncurious drunk who is content to go to, for example, Hong Kong and just stay in his hotel and collect some salacious second-hand stories about old Hong Kong madames. Hong Kong! Seen from the perspective of the exoticism that enticed the original 60s and 70s movie-goers, Albert R. Broccoli is the true author of James Bond.

  59. Fleming’s great service to literature was plowing his James Bond royalties into book collecting:

    (1) He helped found and finance the great journal The Book Collector:

    http://www.thebookcollector.co.uk/

    And (2) he assembled a high-spot collection that was one of the principal contributions to the great Printing and the Mind of Man exhibition:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Printing_and_the_Mind_of_Man

    • Replies: @anonymous as usual
    @Percy Gryce

    The Folio Society versions of the Fleming novels are extraordinary, you should check them out.

  60. If YOU HAVE ACTUALLY READ THE NOVELS, Craig is the best Bond. But if you go by the movies, it’s probably a tossup between the other actors.

    • Replies: @James Speaks
    @Redneck farmer

    I have not read the books, but I agree. Craig represents the cvombination of intelligence, drive, with and brute force with a bit of antisocial behavior added to make the character plausible. Even if Ian Fleming envisioned a more genteel character, Craig is most credible. Sean Connery is a close second.

    , @Michelle
    @Redneck farmer

    I am an outlier here, because, I actually love Timothy Dalton's portrayal of Bond. He is the best, and most noted actor of all. Craig is my close second.

    Replies: @Wielgus, @Feryl, @PiltdownMan

  61. @RichardTaylor

    Why is this magnificent Scottish prole playing the quintessential English gentleman
     
    I've heard Ian Fleming wasn't crazy about the casting. And based on what we know about CIA and other intelligence people, a much more effeminate type would make sense. Although, field operatives seem normally masculine, if a bit too hopped up on the need for action.

    The upper class of England destroyed the British Empire. Regular Englishmen and Germans would never have continued the insanity of WWI. And that would've meant no WWII.

    But the "great man" Churchill loved his games with human lives.

    Replies: @syonredux, @Pop Warner, @SunBakedSuburb, @JimDandy, @Neoconned, @Cking

    The upper class of England destroyed the British Empire.

    The British Empire was mostly useless. And, if the Brits had held on to it much longer, Britain would have been thoroughly “Blacked.” Remember the wise words of De Gaulle:

    Those who advocate integration have the brain of a hummingbird, even if they are very scholarly. Try to integrate oil and vinegar. Shake the bottle. After a while, they will separate again. The Arabs are Arabs, the French are French. You think that the French body can absorb 10 million Muslims, who tomorrow will be 20 million and after-tomorrow 40 million? If we go for integration, if all the Arabs and all the Berbers of Algeria were considered as Frenchmen, how would you stop them from coming to live in the home country, given that the standard of living is so much higher? My village would no longer be called Colombey-les-Deux-Églises [Colombey-the-Two-Churches], but Colombey-the-Two-Mosques.

    Ian wrote a lot of himself into Bond, but I’d guess that the single best source for his character was his cruelly handsome older brother Peter Fleming, a taciturn wit and gifted shooter who was one of the more glamorous travel writers of the 1930s, a field in which numerous wordsmiths such as Waugh and Orwell competed.

    Interesting side note: If you read the books, Bond is described as looking like Hoagy Carmichael:

    • Replies: @Peter D. Bredon
    @syonredux

    Fun fact: the first portrait of "James Bond" appears on an British paperback of Casino Royale. The artist based it on Richard Conte, a Hollywood tough guy well known back then (Ocean's Eleven) but today largely remembered as Don Barzini in The Godfather. Despite this, and despite the description of Bond in the book, he's given a sort of reddish head of hair, "because Scottish"?

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/gallery/2013/apr/12/sixty-years-james-bond-casino-royale#img-3

  62. Actually:

    Sir William Samuel Stephenson CC MC DFC, (23 January 1897 – 31 January 1989) was a Canadian soldier, airman, businessman, inventor, spymaster, and the senior representative of British Security Coordination (BSC) for the entire western hemisphere during World War II. He is best known by his wartime intelligence codename Intrepid. Many people consider him to be one of the real-life inspirations for James Bond.[1] Ian Fleming himself once wrote, “James Bond is a highly romanticizedized version of a true spy. The real thing is … William Stephenson.”[2]

    • Agree: AceDeuce
  63. @Verymuchalive
    I don't think any actor could have been the ideal Bond. There were far too many boxes to tick. For example, Bond was meant to be a Commander in Naval Intelligence and capable frogman and diver. The only Bond who ever looked the part for that was Timothy Dalton.
    Indeed, Bond should have been retired at the end of Dalton's tenure. Bond was very much a Cold War hero. When he returned after Dalton's departure, the Cold War was over and the Franchise increasingly had to cannibalise the plots of previously filmed books. I never found Brosnan or Craig convincing in the role.

    Replies: @Lurker, @syonredux, @David In TN, @Stebbing Heuer

    The cinematic Bond mostly avoided the Cold War.In the Connery era, Bond spent most of his time fighting SPECTRE, not the Soviets.I think that For Your Eyes Only was the only Bond movie where the Soviets/Communists were the bad guys. In Octopussy , The Living Daylights, and A View To a Kill, the threat came from rogue Soviet operatives. Goldfinger is a partial exception, as the Red Chinese were in cahoots with the film’s main villain, the eponymous Goldfinger.

    The literary Bond was rather different, with most of the early books concentrating on the Soviet menace: Casino Royale , Live and Let Die, From Russia, With Love, Moonraker (That one has holdover German Nazis conspiring with the Soviets to nuke London).

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    @syonredux

    As you say, the early books were largely concentrated on the Soviet menace. That was part of the argument I was making.

    In the Bond film series, SMERSH is usually replaced with SPECTRE – a global terrorist organisation.

    Only in From Russia with Love is Smersh permitted to remain ( correct me if I'm wrong ). But to anyone with a passing knowledge of the books, SPECTRE =SMERSH was obvious. Bond lost his context after the end of the Cold War, and should have been retired. I've never been able to watch a Bond film after Dalton's last effort. When you're rehashing earlier films in the series, it's time to stop.
    But like everything in showbiz, if the punters continue to pay the money, continue.

    Replies: @syonredux

    , @Bardon Kaldian
    @syonredux

    This is what I've always found strange. Bond was fighting some super villains who never existed in reality. He should have been an operative cold-warrior.

    Instead, he basically opted out of politics. What was the purpose of such a character, anyway?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @syonredux

  64. @RichardTaylor

    Why is this magnificent Scottish prole playing the quintessential English gentleman
     
    I've heard Ian Fleming wasn't crazy about the casting. And based on what we know about CIA and other intelligence people, a much more effeminate type would make sense. Although, field operatives seem normally masculine, if a bit too hopped up on the need for action.

    The upper class of England destroyed the British Empire. Regular Englishmen and Germans would never have continued the insanity of WWI. And that would've meant no WWII.

    But the "great man" Churchill loved his games with human lives.

    Replies: @syonredux, @Pop Warner, @SunBakedSuburb, @JimDandy, @Neoconned, @Cking

    Ian Fleming initially thought Connery was too much of an “overgrown stuntman” to play the refined Englishman James Bond. Connery was a bodybuilder before he went into acting, so he was something of an Arnold before Arnold and not a proven actor like Cary Grant (Flemings preference for Bond but too old at that point). After Dr No, Fleming liked Connery so much that he wrote in Bond a Scottish father.

    Another great choice for Bond would have been Christopher Lee, Fleming’s cousin and someone who was on the shortlist for Bond (along with future Bond Roger Moore). I personally think Lee would have been phenomenal; he had the cruel good looks that Bond is described as having and looks the part of the suave Englishman

  65. @PiltdownMan

    "'De Undertaker blow de bad air out of the island night-times from six till six. Den every morning de Doctor's Wind come and blow de sweet air in from de sea... Guess you and de Undertaker's Wind got much de same job."

    — Live and Let Die
     
    I guess at some point in the last 60 years, representing black accents by using "d" in place of "th" fell out of fashion.

    Replies: @Paul Mendez, @Lurker, @Pop Warner, @Twodees Partain, @Anonymous

    One of the chapter names of Live and Let Die is titled “Nigger Heaven” (how one black man in the chapter describes Harlem). A lot of that book would be unacceptable today.

    In fact, there’s a good bit of old-school race realism and Anglo-Germanic exceptionalism in the books. Bond is constantly trying to figure out the ethnic origins of each villain. He takes note that Mr Big, the black Live and Let Die villain, has some European ancestry judging by his thinner lips, and this explains why he’s the leader and not some thug. Same with Dr No, the half Chinese half European villain whose henchmen are mostly Chinese Negroes. Bond thinks Le Chiffre, the villainous accountant and card wizard, has jewish ancestry based on his earlobes and spends about a page determining that Goldfinger is a Balt based on looks alone. It’s a common habit of Fleming to give characters partial German ancestry to explain their leadership qualities or physical strength.

    • Replies: @James O'Meara
    @Pop Warner

    Fleming was a "race realist" in the sense that any normal person back then was. As Sailer would say, back then people were allowed to "notice" things. Spying is all about "noticing" things.

    In Fleming's case it's distorted a bit by his understandable irritation over Americans taking over -- he's really quite snobbish and dismissive of them. As for dialect, far worse than his ebonics is his rendering of American gangsters; he likely never met one, and they all use outdated slang for 30s Warner Bros pictures.

    M and Bond discuss Mr Big (note British lack of period -- or full stop -- after Mr) and it's really quite meritocratic. "The blacks are making the name in all fields now, why not crime and espionage?" [Paraphrased]. Give Mr Big some Moscow training to get up to speed and why not be a super-villain? I suppose this would be consider condescending today: AA for black villains! How dare you impose your White standards?

    What the woke really have a problem with is Quarrel, who's in two books (LLD and Dr No) but only one film, because they killed him off. It's not the dialect but the relationship: real lord and gameskeeper stuff. Kingsley Amis says this in The James Bond Dossier:

    "I will merely point out the other side  of this part of the Byronic picture, the friendliness Bond feels  for those possessed of instinctive dignity who treat him as an  equal: Darko Kerim in From Russia, with Love, Vavra (the  gipsy in the same book), Quarrel in Live and Let Die and Dr  No. With Quarrel, Bond’s relationship is ‘that of a Scots laird  with his head stalker; authority was unspoken and there  was no room for servility.’ This is —isn’t it? — exactly how  natural aristocrats are supposed to feel and behave. Perhaps  they do, if they exist. Certainly Bond’s Scottishness makes  such an attitude in him a couple of degrees more believable."

    Replies: @Pop Warner

    , @Ray P
    @Pop Warner

    ***** SPOILERS ******

    Hugo Drax in the Moonraker novel is a fanatical German villain whose sexual inadequacies (thumb sucking) are emphasized.

    , @MEH 0910
    @Pop Warner


    Same with Dr No, the half Chinese half European villain whose henchmen are mostly Chinese Negroes.
     
    https://www.newstatesman.com/society/2007/02/1958-bond-fleming-girl-sex

    Then the enemy arrives – huge, inhuman Negro-Chinese half-castes, known as Chingroes, under the diabolical direction of Dr No.
     
  66. As I said on the other article about Connery, HE IS THE ONLY JAMES BOND IMO. I found the other James Bond movies sans Connery unwatchable.

    Now if you want to talk about miscasting someone with a role they aren’t suited for, lets talk about Tom Cruise, cast as the 6’4″ or is it 6’5″ fictional Jack Reacher. I mean what is Cruise’s height? Isn’t he about 5’6″ to 5’7″ on a good day. What next, Mark Wahlberg, playing Larry Bird?

    But in all fairness, one of the most iconic figures ever created in the fictional world of Hollywood, Rocky Balboa, was played by Sylvester Stallone, who despite his muscles was no heavyweight. Stallone who was probably 5’9″ or 5’10” with the right footwear played a heavyweight boxer. Stallone, despite his muscles is not a large man with a heavy bone structure. REAL life former boxer George Chuvalo remarked after meeting Stallone, that Stallone portraying a heavyweight in the movies was something of a stretch, he looked more like a welterweight to me stated Chuvalo. Hmm, me thinks Stallone might have been a natural 154-160 pound guy if he was in fighting shape and without the prior weight training. Plus, the movie screen makes you look bigger.

  67. @slumber_j
    I've always thought Connery was horribly miscast in that role. Patrick McGoohan would have been the best Bond.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @dfordoom

    McGoohan plays a Bond-inspired character in Ice Station Zebra.

  68. It would have been best for Broccoli to cast an American like Clint Eastwood or Adam West as Bond. (Both of them got the offer) Keeping the role for a Brit only served to mislead Brits into thinking they were somehow important players on the international scene, which they hadn’t been since 1920. And what a mess they left. In the heyday of Bond, the only British secret agents with guns were in Ulster and they were doing decidedly non-heroic things like shooting kids. Somehow that never made it into a Bond script!

    • Replies: @Peter D. Bredon
    @Bragadocious

    I lost track; at the end of the day, as the Brits say, did any of those toffee-nosed gits in the "secret service" turn out NOT be be a Soviet mole?

    Sort of like everyone in the KKK or American Nazi Party is a Fed. The Soviets invented the idea of "controlled opposition." (That's why Smiley's version of MI6 was a "Circus" led by "Control")

  69. If there was ever a guy that I wish I could morph into it was Sean Connery. Handsome and perfect size and the build to look great in clothes. On the other hand, Roger Moore was the worst of the Bonds, didn’t have the slight bit of edgyness the others had. Just my opinion.

    • Replies: @Pericles
    @Buffalo Joe

    Moore's Bond slapped around and bullied a girl in The Man with the Golden Gun. I seem to recall it was the one bond girl who returned for an encore too. Connery's Bond earlier did similar things, including swinging one girl into the line of fire of an assassin. A bit caddish, one might call it. Later films dialed this element down to about zero.

  70. In addition to all the known ones there’s a lost (sort of ) James Bond story called Per Fine Ounce. South African writer Geoffrey Jenkins was friends with Ian Fleming and in the late 1950’s they discussed writing a new Bond story set in the gold mining industry. Jenkins prepared a synopsis which later turned up in Fleming’s papers. The two planned to do on-scene research in South Africa, but Fleming’s death in 1964 ended that plan.
    About a year later Jenkins took the synopsis to the publisher of the Bond stories and proposed writing a full manuscript. The company agreed, but ended up not publishing the full story supposedly because it was of low quality.
    Exactly what became of the full manuscript is a mystery. Rumor says that the publishers still have a copy, but the company maintains that they sent it back to Jenkins after deciding not to publish it. Jenkins’ heirs have 18 pages, and allowed two pages to be shown on a Bond fansite in 2010, but deny possession of the full document. In the 1970’s Jenkins himself used some of the story’s thematic elements in his novel A Cleft of Stars, but for legal reasons was not able to use the Bond character or indeed any secret agent characters at all.
    Getting back to my first sentence, the lost story is a “sort of” James Bond story because Jenkins rather than Fleming wrote it, however he collaborated with Fleming on the synopsis. Of course with the full manuscript being lost there’s no way to know how closely it adhered to the synopsis and therefore the extent of Fleming’s input.

    • Replies: @ChrisZ
    @prosa123

    Thanks Prosa. I'm an admirer of the literary Bond, but this information is new to me.

  71. Possibly the biggest British spy operation in the history of the British Empire was called British Security Coordination (BSC), based out of Rockefeller Center and led by the Canadian spy Sir William Stephenson–a man called Intrepid.

    Ian Fleming was friends with Stephenson and worked with him. They owned property together in Jamaica. The James Bond character is probably based on Stephenson.

    People forget that for much of American history, the British Empire was seen as the enemy of the United States and the biggest threat to our independence. Brits were often portrayed as villains and bad guys in American culture. After World War I, a large number of Americans believed that the British duped us into fighting that war. There was a huge backlash against the British here in the United States and a rise in anti-British sentiment.

    Churchill set up BSC in 1940 to combat anti-British sentiment and produce anti-German propaganda in the United States. Churchill tasked BSC to use the black arts of spycraft to bring the U.S. into the war against Germany.

    According to an August 2006 article in the British newspaper The Guardian, “BSC became a huge secret agency of nationwide news manipulation and black propaganda.” The article stated that BSC represented one of the largest covert operations in British spying history and that as many as 3,000 British agents were “spreading propaganda and mayhem in a staunchly anti-war America.”

    As explained in Thomas Mahl’s book “Desperate Deception,” the BSC engaged in kidnapping, honeypot operations against anti-war politicians and public citizens, the production of fake news, fake documents and fake poll results, the use of agent provocateurs, particularly against the American First movement, financial support of pro-war politicians and organizations, manipulation of elections, and possibly murder.

    Ian Fleming was involved with this.

    FDR was aware of the BSC and was friends with Stephenson. In fact, Stephenson convinced FDR to create the OSS, which later became the CIA. There is even a statue of the Stephenson in the atrium at CIA headquarters.

    Personally, I think the James Bond books and movies were a continuation of the BSC’s propaganda operation meant to influence the American people to see the Brits not as enemies, but view the enemies of the British establishment as enemies of the American people. The goals of British foreign policy for more than a century has been to keep the Americans in, the Russians out and the British on top. They are still pursuing those goals today.

    • Replies: @Bragadocious
    @Brian O'Brien

    Good comment -- you must be a Plastic Paddy. j/k

    Seriously are there a bigger group of dopes than Canadians? British officers shot 25 of them in WW1 for "cowardice" and the Canucks came back begging for more. Let's make it 50 this time! They got their asses handed to them at Dieppe and of course Brits were in charge. But that don't mean nothin eh! Brits are the good guys!

    , @Ray P
    @Brian O'Brien

    In the Casino Royale novel, Bond's first kill is when he shoots a Japanese cypher expert through the window of s skyscraper in NYC during the war from the building opposite.

  72. Fleming loved wildlife and loved killing it.

    Sounds like Theodore Roosevelt:

    In hunting, the finding and killing of the game is after all but a part of the whole. The free, self-reliant, adventurous life, with its rugged and stalwart democracy; the wild surroundings, the grand beauty of the scenery, the chance to study the ways and habits of the woodland creatures—all these unite to give to the career of the wilderness hunter its peculiar charm. The chase is among the best of all national pastimes; it cultivates that vigorous manliness for the lack of which in a nation, as in an individual, the possession of no other qualities can possibly atone.

    -Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter

    Ian Fleming was not Woke:

    “It’s like this.” He began his antics with the pipe. “The Jamaican is a kindly lazy man with the virtues and vices of a child. He lives on a very rich island but he doesn’t get rich from it. He doesn’t know how to and he’s too lazy. The British come and go and take the easy pickings, but for about two hundred years no Englishman has made a fortune out here. He doesn’t stay long enough. He takes a fat cut and leaves. It’s the Portuguese Jews who make the most. They came here with the British and they’ve stayed. But they’re snobs and they spend too much of their fortunes on building fine houses and giving dances. They’re the names that fill the social column in the Gleaner when the tourists have gone. They’re in rum and tobacco and they represent the big British firms over here–motor cars, insurance and so forth. Then come the Syrians, very rich too, but not such good businessmen. They have most of the stores and some of the best hotels. They’re not a very good risk. Get overstocked and have to have an occasional fire to get liquid again. Then there are the Indians with their usual flashy trade in soft goods and the like. They’re not much of a lot. Finally there are the Chinese, solid, compact, discreet–the most powerful clique in Jamaica. They’ve got the bakeries and the laundries and the best food stores. They keep to themselves and keep their strain pure.” Pleydell-Smith laughed. “Not that they don’t take the black girls when they want them. You can see the result all over Kingston–Chigroes–Chinese Negroes and Negresses. The Chigroes are a tough, forgotten race. They look down on the Negroes and the Chinese look down on them. One day they may become a nuisance. They’ve got some of the intelligence of the Chinese and most of the vices of the black man. The police have a lot of trouble with them.”

    Dr No

  73. IMO, Connery was the only actor to ever actually play Bond. Once Roger Moore became the character, there were no more Bond films, just car-chase/ explosion/ gadgetry displays, given the title of a Fleming novel or story, with the names of some of the characters. As such, the Bond character as told in the Fleming tales never appeared again in the 007 flicks.

    I’ve been told that a few of the latest films with Daniel Craig are more based on the Fleming tales in the titles, but I haven’t seen any of them, having given up on 007 flicks once the formula was changed to garbage.

  74. @PiltdownMan

    "'De Undertaker blow de bad air out of the island night-times from six till six. Den every morning de Doctor's Wind come and blow de sweet air in from de sea... Guess you and de Undertaker's Wind got much de same job."

    — Live and Let Die
     
    I guess at some point in the last 60 years, representing black accents by using "d" in place of "th" fell out of fashion.

    Replies: @Paul Mendez, @Lurker, @Pop Warner, @Twodees Partain, @Anonymous

    What you’re quoting is kind of a general Caribbean islander’s accent, not a general black accent. In Dr. No, there were a few Islander characters whose dialect would differ from that of black people in other places..

  75. @Feryl
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Bond movies I thought were good (but never great):

    Connery era:
    Goldfinger
    Thunderball

    Moore era:
    For Your eyes only

    Dalton:
    License to kill

    Brosnan:
    Goldeneye

    That's a lousy batting average. Most of the movies are too long and have needlessly complex plots, and the Moore and Brosnan era had too much campy humor even for the time period in which they were made (Goldfinger and License to kill are probably the most straightforward). The earlier ones also had ESL/dubbing issues with many of the actors, something that hurts a lot of 60's-early 80's European movies).

    I never held it against the actors that most of these movies were not very well scripted or well paced.

    Replies: @Chrisnonymous, @The Wild Geese Howard

    Great list. I would add On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, mainly for setting, score, Diana Rigg, and the bioweapon based threat.

    I probably hold the films in slightly higher esteem.

    Then, you have the films that had some great set pieces, yet could never put it all together. The Living Daylights falls into this category.

    Tomorrow Never Dies should have been great, but they ruined it by revealing the big bad and his plot far too early.

    Goldfinger revealed the big bad early, but held his main plot until later in the film.

  76. “Was Sean Connery the Ideal James Bond?”

    old fans universally seem to think so, younger fans have various opinions on who was the best Bond. Connery was certainly the best actor to play Bond. but was he the best Bond? it is a question similar to who was the best Dr Who.

    i think it matters who you first saw as Bond. that guy will usually always be Bond to you, and the other actors will be some impostor that you never get used to.

    on a related note it wasn’t until recently that i realized how bad the Moore movies were. not a comment on Moore as Bond really, so much as how campy and unserious the movies were. they just aren’t that good compared to other eras of Bond.

    i’ve heard old fans complain about gadgets and starting to lose interest when Bond movies became about the trick technology Bond would get from headquarters at the beginning of the movie.

    • Replies: @Thursday
    @prime noticer

    The Spy Who Loved Me and For Your Eyes Only are quite good. But then there are the 5 other Moore movies.

    Replies: @SunBakedSuburb

  77. @Diversity Heretic
    If you liked the James Bond character, then Sean Connery was probably the ideal James Bond. If you didn't much care for the character in the first place, then Roger Moore was better, because he always impressed me as not taking the part too seriously and playing it with one eye on the camera. I never watched a single James Bond movie after Roger Moore and Daniel Craig always looked the part of a James Bond villain.

    Isn't the next 007 to be played by a black woman?

    Replies: @IHTG, @ThreeCranes, @Jim Don Bob, @tyrone, @Mikeja, @Anonymous Jew, @Liberty Mike

    Isn’t the next 007 to be played by a black woman?

    Yes, in the next bond film a black woman has been given the 007 designation because Daniel Craig is still distraught over the death of his girl friend, or something. I have seen the trailers, and while the stunts look great as always, the movie doesn’t look very good which is perhaps why its release has been pushed back again to Spring 2021.

    Perhaps Sean Connery was not Bond as Fleming originally envisioned him, but SC’s good looks and his ability to deliver the dumb Bond lines make me think of him whenever I think of Bond.

    This is perfect:

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    @Jim Don Bob


    its release has been pushed back again to Spring 2021
     
    I would say that is more to the pandemic than anything else. Comedies such as Borat 2 and Coming 2 America have been sold off to Amazon, but for an action movie you want the big screen.
  78. @RichardTaylor

    Why is this magnificent Scottish prole playing the quintessential English gentleman
     
    I've heard Ian Fleming wasn't crazy about the casting. And based on what we know about CIA and other intelligence people, a much more effeminate type would make sense. Although, field operatives seem normally masculine, if a bit too hopped up on the need for action.

    The upper class of England destroyed the British Empire. Regular Englishmen and Germans would never have continued the insanity of WWI. And that would've meant no WWII.

    But the "great man" Churchill loved his games with human lives.

    Replies: @syonredux, @Pop Warner, @SunBakedSuburb, @JimDandy, @Neoconned, @Cking

    “I’ve heard Ian Fleming wasn’t crazy about the casting.”

    Fleming reportedly warmed to the Magnificent Scot after Dr. No. Fleming had American musician and actor Hoagy Carmichael in mind, looks wise, for 007. Carmichael closely resembles Peter Fleming. Carmichael is featured in To Have And Have Not (1945), an entertaining gangster film directed by Howard Hawks. The Bogart-Bacall team are the leads.

  79. @prime noticer
    "Was Sean Connery the Ideal James Bond?"

    old fans universally seem to think so, younger fans have various opinions on who was the best Bond. Connery was certainly the best actor to play Bond. but was he the best Bond? it is a question similar to who was the best Dr Who.

    i think it matters who you first saw as Bond. that guy will usually always be Bond to you, and the other actors will be some impostor that you never get used to.

    on a related note it wasn't until recently that i realized how bad the Moore movies were. not a comment on Moore as Bond really, so much as how campy and unserious the movies were. they just aren't that good compared to other eras of Bond.

    i've heard old fans complain about gadgets and starting to lose interest when Bond movies became about the trick technology Bond would get from headquarters at the beginning of the movie.

    Replies: @Thursday

    The Spy Who Loved Me and For Your Eyes Only are quite good. But then there are the 5 other Moore movies.

    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
    @Thursday

    "But then there are the 5 other Moore movies."

    My brother refers to Roger Moore as the "Bath Bond" because in his first outing as oo7, Live And Let Die (1973), Moore arrives in enemy territory, checks into his hotel while under visual surveillance, then immediately jumps into a bubbly tub and begins a luxurious shave. That film and The Man With The Golden Gun (1974) are the best Bath Bonds. Golden Gun is actually quite surreal; the weirdest film of the series. Moore is not a great actor; but he's quite charming and kills it with the beautiful ladies. I grew up in the 70s watching The Saint reruns, so I was predisposed to liking Moore.

    Replies: @Ray P

  80. Kingsley Amis, in the still-definitive (tho vastly out of date) James Bond Dossier, mostly about “Book Bond” but with a bit on the new “Movie Bond,” disparages Connery as someone who “could play a Edinbugh businessman but never a Scottish laird.” He’s alluding to the Scottish heraldry guy Bond disguises himself as in OHMSS, and as it happens, that film was the first to not star Connery.

    Revisionism isn’t just for the Holocaust. Bond revisionists now consider George Lazenby to be the better Bond, and OHMSS to be the best Bond film (best cinematography, screenplay, music, Blofeld, Bond Girl, etc.) although possibly second to the Craig Casino Royale. Both, of course, non-Connery.

    And yes, it was thought so at the time. Harry and Cubby desperately wanted Lazenby to sign on for a half dozen films, but he refused, thinking he’d made his point — I’m as good as Connery — and like Connery wanted to move on. Vengeful producers created the legend of OHMSS as a disaster; would a Hollywood producer named Salzman lie to you? Not even for a stainless steel delicatessen!

    Operation Kid Brother (aka OK Connery, aka Operation Double 007) is actually quite a bit of fun and much better than one might think. Sean’s brother isn’t much good, but it’s full of actual Bond actors: Aldolfo Celi is a much better villain than in Thunderball, we get several Bond Bad Girls from earlier movies, we get to actually see Anthony Dawson as (kinda) Blofeld, it’s great to see Moneypenny and M out in the field (played by Lois and Lee themselves). Possibly the best Bond score — Ennio Morricone! His title song is so over the top that on Mystery Science Theater Crow said that “he couldn’t possibly live up to the song the wrote about him,” and that “he’s probably just an accountant named Wallace,” which is a nice shout out to The Untouchables, starring Sean Connery.

    • Agree: Liza
    • Replies: @Thursday
    @James O'Meara

    Lazenby had decent physical presence, but was a horribly wooden actor. The film somehow survives him anyway. If you get all the other elements right, I guess you don’t really need a good actor as your lead in one of these films.

    Replies: @Wilkey

    , @AceDeuce
    @James O'Meara

    I think that Lazenby did a good job, but, acting aside, OHMSS is probably the truest and best adaptation of any of Fleming's Bond books/stories to be made into a film.

    , @dfordoom
    @James O'Meara


    Bond revisionists now consider George Lazenby to be the better Bond, and OHMSS to be the best Bond film (best cinematography, screenplay, music, Blofeld, Bond Girl, etc.) although possibly second to the Craig Casino Royale. Both, of course, non-Connery.
     
    OHMSS is very very good. The Craig Casino Royale is of course appalling. It's just an incredibly boring film with an incredibly boring star. You have to admire someone who can make Bond boring.

    And BTW, Judi Dench is an atrocious M.

    Best Bond films: From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, OHMSS, Octopussy.

    Worst Bond films: Licence To Kill, everything with Daniel Craig.
  81. The question that always ran through my mind watching Connery as Bond was “Why is this magnificent Scottish prole playing the quintessential English gentleman?”

    Fleming gave James Bond a Scottish father and a French-Swiss mother.

    You can’t knock Connery, but I’ve always felt that Roger Moore seemed more appropriate for the part. Tall, more upperclass type, charming, but always a twinkle in his eye like he was a little in on the joke. Take the part too seriously (see: Timothy Dalton) and the Bond franchise loses its appeal.

    Of course I also preferred Moore to Connery because Moore was Bond in the first movie I saw in theatre, “A View to a Kill.” He was at least a decade too old for the part by then, and the Bond girl in that movie, Tanya Roberts, was frankly quite awful. But it did have Grace Jones and, even better, Christopher Walken, as one of the best Bond villains of all time. It also had a killer theme song (though overall I prefer the classier theme songs from the Connery era).

    While Moore defined James Bond for me, it was Carey Lowell, from “License to Kill,” four years later, who set the standard for Bond girls for me. I was 13 at the time, so I need say nothing else.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    @Wilkey


    the Bond girl in [A View to a Kill], Tanya Roberts, was frankly quite awful.
     
    She was one of the replacement Charlie's Angels, replacing Shelly Hack, who replaced Kate Jackson. She was also awful in That 70s Show.

    It also had a killer theme song (though overall I prefer the classier theme songs from the Connery era)
     
    Well you can't beat Goldfinger, but it's cliche to call that the best one.

    Replies: @syonredux

  82. @Buffalo Joe
    If there was ever a guy that I wish I could morph into it was Sean Connery. Handsome and perfect size and the build to look great in clothes. On the other hand, Roger Moore was the worst of the Bonds, didn't have the slight bit of edgyness the others had. Just my opinion.

    Replies: @Pericles

    Moore’s Bond slapped around and bullied a girl in The Man with the Golden Gun. I seem to recall it was the one bond girl who returned for an encore too. Connery’s Bond earlier did similar things, including swinging one girl into the line of fire of an assassin. A bit caddish, one might call it. Later films dialed this element down to about zero.

  83. @Pop Warner
    @PiltdownMan

    One of the chapter names of Live and Let Die is titled "Nigger Heaven" (how one black man in the chapter describes Harlem). A lot of that book would be unacceptable today.

    In fact, there's a good bit of old-school race realism and Anglo-Germanic exceptionalism in the books. Bond is constantly trying to figure out the ethnic origins of each villain. He takes note that Mr Big, the black Live and Let Die villain, has some European ancestry judging by his thinner lips, and this explains why he's the leader and not some thug. Same with Dr No, the half Chinese half European villain whose henchmen are mostly Chinese Negroes. Bond thinks Le Chiffre, the villainous accountant and card wizard, has jewish ancestry based on his earlobes and spends about a page determining that Goldfinger is a Balt based on looks alone. It's a common habit of Fleming to give characters partial German ancestry to explain their leadership qualities or physical strength.

    Replies: @James O'Meara, @Ray P, @MEH 0910

    Fleming was a “race realist” in the sense that any normal person back then was. As Sailer would say, back then people were allowed to “notice” things. Spying is all about “noticing” things.

    In Fleming’s case it’s distorted a bit by his understandable irritation over Americans taking over — he’s really quite snobbish and dismissive of them. As for dialect, far worse than his ebonics is his rendering of American gangsters; he likely never met one, and they all use outdated slang for 30s Warner Bros pictures.

    M and Bond discuss Mr Big (note British lack of period — or full stop — after Mr) and it’s really quite meritocratic. “The blacks are making the name in all fields now, why not crime and espionage?” [Paraphrased]. Give Mr Big some Moscow training to get up to speed and why not be a super-villain? I suppose this would be consider condescending today: AA for black villains! How dare you impose your White standards?

    What the woke really have a problem with is Quarrel, who’s in two books (LLD and Dr No) but only one film, because they killed him off. It’s not the dialect but the relationship: real lord and gameskeeper stuff. Kingsley Amis says this in The James Bond Dossier:

    “I will merely point out the other side  of this part of the Byronic picture, the friendliness Bond feels  for those possessed of instinctive dignity who treat him as an  equal: Darko Kerim in From Russia, with Love, Vavra (the  gipsy in the same book), Quarrel in Live and Let Die and Dr  No. With Quarrel, Bond’s relationship is ‘that of a Scots laird  with his head stalker; authority was unspoken and there  was no room for servility.’ This is —isn’t it? — exactly how  natural aristocrats are supposed to feel and behave. Perhaps  they do, if they exist. Certainly Bond’s Scottishness makes  such an attitude in him a couple of degrees more believable.”

    • Replies: @Pop Warner
    @James O'Meara


    What the woke really have a problem with is Quarrel, who’s in two books (LLD and Dr No) but only one film, because they killed him off
     
    Yes and no. Quarrel dies in both the Dr No book and movie, but chronologically Live and Let Die happened before Dr No in the book canon. When Live and Let Die was adapted to the screen long after Dr No they got around this by making him Quarrel Jr, who took Quarrel's role from the book.
  84. @Pop Warner
    @PiltdownMan

    One of the chapter names of Live and Let Die is titled "Nigger Heaven" (how one black man in the chapter describes Harlem). A lot of that book would be unacceptable today.

    In fact, there's a good bit of old-school race realism and Anglo-Germanic exceptionalism in the books. Bond is constantly trying to figure out the ethnic origins of each villain. He takes note that Mr Big, the black Live and Let Die villain, has some European ancestry judging by his thinner lips, and this explains why he's the leader and not some thug. Same with Dr No, the half Chinese half European villain whose henchmen are mostly Chinese Negroes. Bond thinks Le Chiffre, the villainous accountant and card wizard, has jewish ancestry based on his earlobes and spends about a page determining that Goldfinger is a Balt based on looks alone. It's a common habit of Fleming to give characters partial German ancestry to explain their leadership qualities or physical strength.

    Replies: @James O'Meara, @Ray P, @MEH 0910

    ***** SPOILERS ******

    Hugo Drax in the Moonraker novel is a fanatical German villain whose sexual inadequacies (thumb sucking) are emphasized.

  85. @Paul Mendez
    @PiltdownMan


    I guess at some point in the last 60 years, representing black accents by using “d” in place of “th” fell out of fashion.
     
    I think it’s a plausible imitation of a Caribbean black accent, which is what I assume your quote was trying to represents.

    Replies: @James O'Meara

    My mother, though not black, was from Nassau, and I would agree with that.

  86. @Feryl
    @The Alarmist

    I actually bought Dalton the most as a plausibly smooth and smart secret agent who could take of himself physically if necessary,though he wasn't the most entertaining or charming (Connery, Moore, and Brosnan definitely best Dalton in that race).

    Lazenby was too young and short-lived to get a chance to really lock into the role, but he did good in the fight scenes at least.

    Craig is the worst. I suppose as a thuggish hitman or street instigator type operater I might buy him. But a high level spy? No way. He doesn't have 1/50th of the required smooth charm and people skills.

    Replies: @SunBakedSuburb, @R.G. Camara

    “Craig is the worst”

    Daniel Craig is a talented actor but his 007 has been given superpowers in the era of the comic book movies. Casino Royale (2006), directed by Martin Campbell, is one of the best films of the franchise. The subsequent Craig films, while gloriously made, have become less intriguing. It’ll be interesting to see if EON Productions bends the knee to the Western anti-racism cult and casts Idris Elba or another UK black as James Bond. Elba is another quality UK actor but he’s black. I’ll stop watching the movies if Bond turns black because I’m prejudiced.

    • Replies: @Mikeja
    @SunBakedSuburb

    Elba is an excellent actor but there’s no way someone that black is upper-class. If they wanted to go woke they should make Bond the issue of a scandalous elopement between an upper class girl and an Obama Sr type. Bond is an outsider in the books - familiar with the establishment but not of it. Making him mixed race could play off that.

    I don’t see Elba as mixed race though

    , @Thursday
    @SunBakedSuburb

    Craig is a good enough actor, but he has neither looks, nor charm. Casino Royale is one of the better Bond books and they stuck reasonably close to it for the newer movie, so it worked out fairly well. But the other Craig films have been considerably less interesting.

    , @Wilkey
    @SunBakedSuburb


    It’ll be interesting to see if EON Productions bends the knee to the Western anti-racism cult and casts Idris Elba or another UK black as James Bond. Elba is another quality UK actor but he’s black. I’ll stop watching the movies if Bond turns black because I’m prejudiced.
     
    I’ll stop watching Bond movies if they make him black because I’m tired of this shit; and because James Bond is supposed to be white; and because I’m tired of this shit; and because invent your own damned superheroes; and because I’m tired of this shit.

    Idris Elba is a decent actor, but he’s damn near 50. He’s only four years younger than Daniel Craig, who is already aging out of the role. Roger Moore was 58 for his last Bond film and he was already several years too old for the part. And Moore aged much better than Elba has.

    And to be quite blunt, I think whites are better at acting than blacks. Oh pardon me, is that racist? It’s ok to say blacks are better dancers or better athletes, but not to say that whites are better actors? Well ok then. There are good actors and there are amazing actors. I’ve seen a fair number of good black actors, but anytime I’ve left the theater saying “Holy shit, that guy (or girl) was amazing!” it has always been for a white actor or actress. Always.

    For the studios part I think they’ll keep Bond white because, as much as I’m not a fan of Daniel Craig, the latest Bond films are raking in money. The last several installments have raked in about a billion each. Do you know how much the first Disney Star Wars film, “The Farce Awakens,” grossed? $2,068 million. And how much the last one, “The Rise of Skywalker,” grossed? $1,074 million - or barely half the first one. Between that, “The Last Jedi,” and their other two Star Wars films, Wokeness probably cost Disney about $2 billion. And it’s not necessarily the case that box offices decline for sequels, especially not trillogies. The box office for “The Lord of the Rings” climbed with every installment. The box office for “The Hobbit” trilogy, which wasn’t nearly as good, fell a bit, but not by much. But a near-50% drop? Insane. In the era of COVID, even Disney can’t afford to pass up $2 billion, let alone whatever studio it is that owns the Bond franchise.

    So sure, cast a black James Bond - and watch your profits tank.

    Replies: @Diversity Heretic

  87. @Chrisnonymous
    @Steve Sailer

    If Moore had come first, there would have been no franchise. Moore's 70's Bond wouldn't have cut it in the 60s.

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon

    Why say you that? I would think the other way round: the 60s was the younger Moore who could reasonably play the Bond-like Saint but was too old by the time he replaced Connery. By his last film he insisted on the script giving him a more grandfatherly, avuncular role with women, as there was such an age difference as to be rather creepy.

  88. for the record, i mostly agree with the consensus.

    Connery – the best actor, but not the best Bond. he’s plainly Scottish, and isn’t Bond supposed to be English? my dad is old, and this is who he prefers.
    Moore – for decades, he was James Bond to me. but looking back, the movies were not that good. also Moore is kind of weak and unathletic, and old, and doesn’t look like he could handle himself in an altercation, which hurts the movies even more looking back on them.
    Dalton – never worked for me, seemed to the reaction everybody else had.
    Brosnan – now we’re talking. had the looks and the personality. my mom’s favorite Bond, because he was the most handsome and suave. she rewatches the best couple Brosnan movies over and over.
    Craig – James Blonde. like others said, not a gentleman. that makes the movies more interesting as a change of pace since he’s crude and ruthless when he as to be. some of the best Bond movies were made here. the most polarizing Bond. appears they have written him in the movies now as distantly Scottish.

    James Bond isn’t interesting anymore, as other said. it’s the same plot every time. Bond saves the world from the supervillian and gets the girl. he is definitely a Cold War relic, and the characters have even discussed this on screen. it’s time for him to be done. at this point we’re into fan fiction territory with vibrant Bond, the same territory Star Wars has entered.

  89. @syonredux
    @RichardTaylor


    The upper class of England destroyed the British Empire.
     
    The British Empire was mostly useless. And, if the Brits had held on to it much longer, Britain would have been thoroughly "Blacked." Remember the wise words of De Gaulle:

    Those who advocate integration have the brain of a hummingbird, even if they are very scholarly. Try to integrate oil and vinegar. Shake the bottle. After a while, they will separate again. The Arabs are Arabs, the French are French. You think that the French body can absorb 10 million Muslims, who tomorrow will be 20 million and after-tomorrow 40 million? If we go for integration, if all the Arabs and all the Berbers of Algeria were considered as Frenchmen, how would you stop them from coming to live in the home country, given that the standard of living is so much higher? My village would no longer be called Colombey-les-Deux-Églises [Colombey-the-Two-Churches], but Colombey-the-Two-Mosques.
     

    Ian wrote a lot of himself into Bond, but I’d guess that the single best source for his character was his cruelly handsome older brother Peter Fleming, a taciturn wit and gifted shooter who was one of the more glamorous travel writers of the 1930s, a field in which numerous wordsmiths such as Waugh and Orwell competed.
     
    Interesting side note: If you read the books, Bond is described as looking like Hoagy Carmichael:

    https://www.pianorarescores.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Hoagy-Carmichael.jpg

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon

    Fun fact: the first portrait of “James Bond” appears on an British paperback of Casino Royale. The artist based it on Richard Conte, a Hollywood tough guy well known back then (Ocean’s Eleven) but today largely remembered as Don Barzini in The Godfather. Despite this, and despite the description of Bond in the book, he’s given a sort of reddish head of hair, “because Scottish”?

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/gallery/2013/apr/12/sixty-years-james-bond-casino-royale#img-3

  90. @Bragadocious
    It would have been best for Broccoli to cast an American like Clint Eastwood or Adam West as Bond. (Both of them got the offer) Keeping the role for a Brit only served to mislead Brits into thinking they were somehow important players on the international scene, which they hadn't been since 1920. And what a mess they left. In the heyday of Bond, the only British secret agents with guns were in Ulster and they were doing decidedly non-heroic things like shooting kids. Somehow that never made it into a Bond script!

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon

    I lost track; at the end of the day, as the Brits say, did any of those toffee-nosed gits in the “secret service” turn out NOT be be a Soviet mole?

    Sort of like everyone in the KKK or American Nazi Party is a Fed. The Soviets invented the idea of “controlled opposition.” (That’s why Smiley’s version of MI6 was a “Circus” led by “Control”)

  91. @Redneck farmer
    If YOU HAVE ACTUALLY READ THE NOVELS, Craig is the best Bond. But if you go by the movies, it's probably a tossup between the other actors.

    Replies: @James Speaks, @Michelle

    I have not read the books, but I agree. Craig represents the cvombination of intelligence, drive, with and brute force with a bit of antisocial behavior added to make the character plausible. Even if Ian Fleming envisioned a more genteel character, Craig is most credible. Sean Connery is a close second.

  92. @syonredux
    @Verymuchalive

    The cinematic Bond mostly avoided the Cold War.In the Connery era, Bond spent most of his time fighting SPECTRE, not the Soviets.I think that For Your Eyes Only was the only Bond movie where the Soviets/Communists were the bad guys. In Octopussy , The Living Daylights, and A View To a Kill, the threat came from rogue Soviet operatives. Goldfinger is a partial exception, as the Red Chinese were in cahoots with the film’s main villain, the eponymous Goldfinger.

    The literary Bond was rather different, with most of the early books concentrating on the Soviet menace: Casino Royale , Live and Let Die, From Russia, With Love, Moonraker (That one has holdover German Nazis conspiring with the Soviets to nuke London).

    Replies: @Verymuchalive, @Bardon Kaldian

    As you say, the early books were largely concentrated on the Soviet menace. That was part of the argument I was making.

    In the Bond film series, SMERSH is usually replaced with SPECTRE – a global terrorist organisation.

    Only in From Russia with Love is Smersh permitted to remain ( correct me if I’m wrong ). But to anyone with a passing knowledge of the books, SPECTRE =SMERSH was obvious. Bond lost his context after the end of the Cold War, and should have been retired. I’ve never been able to watch a Bond film after Dalton’s last effort. When you’re rehashing earlier films in the series, it’s time to stop.
    But like everything in showbiz, if the punters continue to pay the money, continue.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    @Verymuchalive


    Only in From Russia with Love is Smersh permitted to remain ( correct me if I’m wrong ).
     
    No. In the film version, Rosa Klebb and Donovan Grant were SPECTRE operatives. SPECTRE was playing the Brits and the Soviets against one another.

    But to anyone with a passing knowledge of the books, SPECTRE =SMERSH was obvious.
     
    SPECTRE had nothing to do with SMERSH. SMERSH was a Soviet communist organization, while SPECTRE was an apolitical criminal gang that was interested in profit:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z39yOZpcji0

    Replies: @Verymuchalive

  93. @Diversity Heretic
    If you liked the James Bond character, then Sean Connery was probably the ideal James Bond. If you didn't much care for the character in the first place, then Roger Moore was better, because he always impressed me as not taking the part too seriously and playing it with one eye on the camera. I never watched a single James Bond movie after Roger Moore and Daniel Craig always looked the part of a James Bond villain.

    Isn't the next 007 to be played by a black woman?

    Replies: @IHTG, @ThreeCranes, @Jim Don Bob, @tyrone, @Mikeja, @Anonymous Jew, @Liberty Mike

    Connery was the best bond …….but……..that park our chase scene in the opening of casino royale …….

  94. @Diversity Heretic
    If you liked the James Bond character, then Sean Connery was probably the ideal James Bond. If you didn't much care for the character in the first place, then Roger Moore was better, because he always impressed me as not taking the part too seriously and playing it with one eye on the camera. I never watched a single James Bond movie after Roger Moore and Daniel Craig always looked the part of a James Bond villain.

    Isn't the next 007 to be played by a black woman?

    Replies: @IHTG, @ThreeCranes, @Jim Don Bob, @tyrone, @Mikeja, @Anonymous Jew, @Liberty Mike

    Connery was a good enough actor that he could pull off being upper class. But as you say I preferred Moore because he played it for laughs and the scripts got so ridiculous that worked better for me

  95. @Thursday
    @prime noticer

    The Spy Who Loved Me and For Your Eyes Only are quite good. But then there are the 5 other Moore movies.

    Replies: @SunBakedSuburb

    “But then there are the 5 other Moore movies.”

    My brother refers to Roger Moore as the “Bath Bond” because in his first outing as oo7, Live And Let Die (1973), Moore arrives in enemy territory, checks into his hotel while under visual surveillance, then immediately jumps into a bubbly tub and begins a luxurious shave. That film and The Man With The Golden Gun (1974) are the best Bath Bonds. Golden Gun is actually quite surreal; the weirdest film of the series. Moore is not a great actor; but he’s quite charming and kills it with the beautiful ladies. I grew up in the 70s watching The Saint reruns, so I was predisposed to liking Moore.

    • Replies: @Ray P
    @SunBakedSuburb

    In Golden Gun, Moore's Bond is saved from a gang of irate martial artists (who were successfully beating him) in Thailand by a pair of kick-ass teenage girls which is fairly embarrassing.

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon

  96. @John
    More interesting than who played the best James Bond is why these books - which were awful - got turned into movies. Maybe it was a Space-Age thing, plus a Cold-War thing, and the former provided gadgetry and the latter provided rivalry, and...I still don't understand why anyone who'd decided to make a movie with both would reach as low as an Ian Fleming novel for characters.

    Good to see, in any case, Peter Fleming getting a little press here. I think I've read everything he published in book form. Even The Flying Visit, which I found in the Texas Tech library. News From Tartary inspired me to study Turkish and Russian. Brazilian Adventure is, I still think, the best book ever written about that country. Perhaps because Fleming's party was out of the range of news for most of the expedition, it lacks details which would date it; it is mostly about Brazilians themselves, and from about my third visit in 1993 to my nineteenth three weeks ago, I have maintained the book still captures the place. (I'd found the volume in the UT Austin library in 1989.)

    OT, here might be a fruitful topic: old travel books that somehow remain instructive. I'd add Brian Hall's The Impossible Country, which even though Yugoslavia doesn't exist anymore, and the book hardly said anything about Slovenia, has clued me to much in that country. On the other hand, I would not fully include Paul Theroux's The Old Patagonian Express. It may still be a good introduction to Argentina but I think it really is way out of date on Central America. (Another, even OT-er mental exercise: remember when Nicaragua and El Salvador were in the news a lot? I do. Then they vanished. I daresay they've done well since. And maybe there's a connection.)

    Replies: @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race, @JMcG, @Muggles, @dfordoom

    I read several of Theroux’s travel books. The most important for me was The Happy Isles of Oceania, although I had determined to get to Tahiti well before that–since I saw the movie of South Pacific at age 7–and did go there twice. Plus, my father brought back from the Pacific War a 1941 The Pacific Islands Year Book (which I still have) that was totally intoxicating, and was much more important than Theroux’s book (where he did not cover French Polynesia as well as he did the Solomons and even New Zealand.) He was all over the Pacific–New Guinea, Guadalcanal, Rabaul, Fiji, and was annoyed I wanted to go to islands which had only one war incident, and that during WWI, from German warships. There were cannon still up high in Bora Bora from WWII, never used as I recall, which I saw on the 4WD tour–I never take tours but this was the only way and I got my share of Israeli honeymooners. The one in Tahiti was much better, driven by a Marquesan.

    Also liked The Kingdom by the Sea about Britain (including N. Ireland), and to some degree Riding the Iron Rooster, his train ride through China.

    He tends to go from this Romanticism to his New England Scold thing sometimes, so that the travel books sometimes sound a bit fictional. I like a couple of his novels better–esp. Picture Palace and The Family Arsenal, both better than The Mosquito Coast, which seems so mechanical. But he was very athletic, kayaked a lot in the Pacific one, knew how to travel.

  97. Connery was Scots-Irish, and his Bond was perfection. What Connery brought to the character is sexiness, wit, and impeccable timing–and he was able to make Fleming’s Bond, a killer asshole, likable. And Daniel Craig’s Bond is also tremendous

  98. @SunBakedSuburb
    @Feryl

    "Craig is the worst"

    Daniel Craig is a talented actor but his 007 has been given superpowers in the era of the comic book movies. Casino Royale (2006), directed by Martin Campbell, is one of the best films of the franchise. The subsequent Craig films, while gloriously made, have become less intriguing. It'll be interesting to see if EON Productions bends the knee to the Western anti-racism cult and casts Idris Elba or another UK black as James Bond. Elba is another quality UK actor but he's black. I'll stop watching the movies if Bond turns black because I'm prejudiced.

    Replies: @Mikeja, @Thursday, @Wilkey

    Elba is an excellent actor but there’s no way someone that black is upper-class. If they wanted to go woke they should make Bond the issue of a scandalous elopement between an upper class girl and an Obama Sr type. Bond is an outsider in the books – familiar with the establishment but not of it. Making him mixed race could play off that.

    I don’t see Elba as mixed race though

  99. @Anonymous
    Famously, Ian Fleming wanted David Niven to play James Bond.

    Fleming variously insulted Sean Connery as "that fucking truck driver" or as "an over developed stuntman".

    Curious Ian Fleming factoid:

    Following Rudolf Hess' bizarre solo mission to Scotland, Fleming, who was high up in Royal Navy intelligence, suggested to the British cabinet that Aleister Crowley should be charged with the initial interrogation of Hess.
    What the cabinet made of Fleming's suggestion is not known.

    Replies: @JMcG, @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race, @Gordo, @dfordoom

    There has to be a really interesting file locked up somewhere in Whitehall on the subject of that Rudolph Hess flight. What exactly was the reason they kept him shut up in Spandau for so long?

    • Replies: @Muggles
    @JMcG


    There has to be a really interesting file locked up somewhere in Whitehall on the subject of that Rudolph Hess flight. What exactly was the reason they kept him shut up in Spandau for so long?
     
    Something to do with the "Royal family" no doubt. At least certain members.

    No one here will be alive long enough to know what's in that file. Give it another 100 years or until the end of the British monarchy, whichever comes first.
    , @David In TN
    @JMcG

    The Russians wanted Hess kept in Spandau. They believed Hess' flight was part of a plot to ally Britain with the Germans against the Soviet Union.

    Replies: @JMcG

  100. @John
    More interesting than who played the best James Bond is why these books - which were awful - got turned into movies. Maybe it was a Space-Age thing, plus a Cold-War thing, and the former provided gadgetry and the latter provided rivalry, and...I still don't understand why anyone who'd decided to make a movie with both would reach as low as an Ian Fleming novel for characters.

    Good to see, in any case, Peter Fleming getting a little press here. I think I've read everything he published in book form. Even The Flying Visit, which I found in the Texas Tech library. News From Tartary inspired me to study Turkish and Russian. Brazilian Adventure is, I still think, the best book ever written about that country. Perhaps because Fleming's party was out of the range of news for most of the expedition, it lacks details which would date it; it is mostly about Brazilians themselves, and from about my third visit in 1993 to my nineteenth three weeks ago, I have maintained the book still captures the place. (I'd found the volume in the UT Austin library in 1989.)

    OT, here might be a fruitful topic: old travel books that somehow remain instructive. I'd add Brian Hall's The Impossible Country, which even though Yugoslavia doesn't exist anymore, and the book hardly said anything about Slovenia, has clued me to much in that country. On the other hand, I would not fully include Paul Theroux's The Old Patagonian Express. It may still be a good introduction to Argentina but I think it really is way out of date on Central America. (Another, even OT-er mental exercise: remember when Nicaragua and El Salvador were in the news a lot? I do. Then they vanished. I daresay they've done well since. And maybe there's a connection.)

    Replies: @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race, @JMcG, @Muggles, @dfordoom

    Have you read Patrick Leigh Fermor?

  101. @PiltdownMan

    "'De Undertaker blow de bad air out of the island night-times from six till six. Den every morning de Doctor's Wind come and blow de sweet air in from de sea... Guess you and de Undertaker's Wind got much de same job."

    — Live and Let Die
     
    I guess at some point in the last 60 years, representing black accents by using "d" in place of "th" fell out of fashion.

    Replies: @Paul Mendez, @Lurker, @Pop Warner, @Twodees Partain, @Anonymous

    That looks like it could be the dialogue of a Dutchman talking.

  102. @James O'Meara
    @Pop Warner

    Fleming was a "race realist" in the sense that any normal person back then was. As Sailer would say, back then people were allowed to "notice" things. Spying is all about "noticing" things.

    In Fleming's case it's distorted a bit by his understandable irritation over Americans taking over -- he's really quite snobbish and dismissive of them. As for dialect, far worse than his ebonics is his rendering of American gangsters; he likely never met one, and they all use outdated slang for 30s Warner Bros pictures.

    M and Bond discuss Mr Big (note British lack of period -- or full stop -- after Mr) and it's really quite meritocratic. "The blacks are making the name in all fields now, why not crime and espionage?" [Paraphrased]. Give Mr Big some Moscow training to get up to speed and why not be a super-villain? I suppose this would be consider condescending today: AA for black villains! How dare you impose your White standards?

    What the woke really have a problem with is Quarrel, who's in two books (LLD and Dr No) but only one film, because they killed him off. It's not the dialect but the relationship: real lord and gameskeeper stuff. Kingsley Amis says this in The James Bond Dossier:

    "I will merely point out the other side  of this part of the Byronic picture, the friendliness Bond feels  for those possessed of instinctive dignity who treat him as an  equal: Darko Kerim in From Russia, with Love, Vavra (the  gipsy in the same book), Quarrel in Live and Let Die and Dr  No. With Quarrel, Bond’s relationship is ‘that of a Scots laird  with his head stalker; authority was unspoken and there  was no room for servility.’ This is —isn’t it? — exactly how  natural aristocrats are supposed to feel and behave. Perhaps  they do, if they exist. Certainly Bond’s Scottishness makes  such an attitude in him a couple of degrees more believable."

    Replies: @Pop Warner

    What the woke really have a problem with is Quarrel, who’s in two books (LLD and Dr No) but only one film, because they killed him off

    Yes and no. Quarrel dies in both the Dr No book and movie, but chronologically Live and Let Die happened before Dr No in the book canon. When Live and Let Die was adapted to the screen long after Dr No they got around this by making him Quarrel Jr, who took Quarrel’s role from the book.

  103. @Brian O'Brien
    Possibly the biggest British spy operation in the history of the British Empire was called British Security Coordination (BSC), based out of Rockefeller Center and led by the Canadian spy Sir William Stephenson--a man called Intrepid.

    Ian Fleming was friends with Stephenson and worked with him. They owned property together in Jamaica. The James Bond character is probably based on Stephenson.

    People forget that for much of American history, the British Empire was seen as the enemy of the United States and the biggest threat to our independence. Brits were often portrayed as villains and bad guys in American culture. After World War I, a large number of Americans believed that the British duped us into fighting that war. There was a huge backlash against the British here in the United States and a rise in anti-British sentiment.

    Churchill set up BSC in 1940 to combat anti-British sentiment and produce anti-German propaganda in the United States. Churchill tasked BSC to use the black arts of spycraft to bring the U.S. into the war against Germany.

    According to an August 2006 article in the British newspaper The Guardian, “BSC became a huge secret agency of nationwide news manipulation and black propaganda.” The article stated that BSC represented one of the largest covert operations in British spying history and that as many as 3,000 British agents were “spreading propaganda and mayhem in a staunchly anti-war America.”

    As explained in Thomas Mahl's book “Desperate Deception,” the BSC engaged in kidnapping, honeypot operations against anti-war politicians and public citizens, the production of fake news, fake documents and fake poll results, the use of agent provocateurs, particularly against the American First movement, financial support of pro-war politicians and organizations, manipulation of elections, and possibly murder.

    Ian Fleming was involved with this.

    FDR was aware of the BSC and was friends with Stephenson. In fact, Stephenson convinced FDR to create the OSS, which later became the CIA. There is even a statue of the Stephenson in the atrium at CIA headquarters.

    Personally, I think the James Bond books and movies were a continuation of the BSC's propaganda operation meant to influence the American people to see the Brits not as enemies, but view the enemies of the British establishment as enemies of the American people. The goals of British foreign policy for more than a century has been to keep the Americans in, the Russians out and the British on top. They are still pursuing those goals today.

    Replies: @Bragadocious, @Ray P

    Good comment — you must be a Plastic Paddy. j/k

    Seriously are there a bigger group of dopes than Canadians? British officers shot 25 of them in WW1 for “cowardice” and the Canucks came back begging for more. Let’s make it 50 this time! They got their asses handed to them at Dieppe and of course Brits were in charge. But that don’t mean nothin eh! Brits are the good guys!

  104. Daniel Craig is the best James Bond. That’s a fact, not an opinion.

  105. @Chrisnonymous
    @Feryl

    I used to think like this, but I have revised my view over time. Giving consideration for increasing budgets in later films, I think they basically peak with the first two, Dr. No and From Russia with Love, and go downhill from there. The first Timothy Dalton movie and the first Daniel Craig maybe break this trend. Maybe.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon, @Jim Don Bob

    I agree – those were the best – the movies in which Bond was portrayed primarily as a thug. Because that’s what he was supposed to be. I think Dalton is highly underrated.

    Patrick McGoohan was offered the part of James Bond, but he turned it down. Likely he found the character’s licentiousness and amorality to be distasteful. Just as well, as he went on to make The Prisoner which was far superior.

    Still in all, Bond movies are silly. They were all style over substance. They were the motion picture counterpart of Playboy, selling a dream of rakish bachelor life. They might have been among the first movies to be built around product placement.

    If you’ve never seen them, check out The Ipcress File and the other Harry Palmer movies. Palmer (played by Michael Caine) is the anti-Bond – a cog in a bureacratic machine who actually seems mortal.

    • Agree: Jonathan Mason
    • Thanks: Chrisnonymous
    • Replies: @Bugg
    @Mr. Anon

    McGoohan also was born to Irish parents living in Queens, NY. Doubt the Bond series could have plausibly cast an Irish-American. Was a regular in many American tv series in the 1970s like "Colombo". One of the few American actors who has credibly play Irish and English roles, as he memorably did in "Braveheart" as Edward Longshanks.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon

  106. Anonymous[175] • Disclaimer says:

    Remember that Hollywood special effects and set design have changed dramatically over the course of the Bond franchise.

    In the early Bond films, special effects and set design were still too cheesy and unrealistic that one couldn’t take the Bond role and movie too seriously and play it completely straight. Whoever was playing Bond did have to ham it up a bit and have some panache. In this respect, Connery was great in the role, whereas Roger Moore and the others were mostly forgettable.

    With Pierce Brosnan in the 90s, you finally have high quality special effects and sets that can realistically depict fantastical settings and action sequences. But also as a result, these later Bond films are mainly about extreme action sequences, stunts, explosions, etc. The Bond character is sort of in the background and the films are mainly a vehicle for special effects and action. With the greater realism, the Bond character is played completely straight, but he’s also forgettable and in the background. Brosnan very much looks the part of Bond, but he’s a stiff and wooden and not very charismatic, which doesn’t really matter though since the effects and action now take center stage.

    Craig’s Bond continue the realism but in a gritter fashion. Also Craig looks like he should be Bond’s chauffeur or bodyguard, rather than Bond himself.

  107. @SunBakedSuburb
    @Feryl

    "Craig is the worst"

    Daniel Craig is a talented actor but his 007 has been given superpowers in the era of the comic book movies. Casino Royale (2006), directed by Martin Campbell, is one of the best films of the franchise. The subsequent Craig films, while gloriously made, have become less intriguing. It'll be interesting to see if EON Productions bends the knee to the Western anti-racism cult and casts Idris Elba or another UK black as James Bond. Elba is another quality UK actor but he's black. I'll stop watching the movies if Bond turns black because I'm prejudiced.

    Replies: @Mikeja, @Thursday, @Wilkey

    Craig is a good enough actor, but he has neither looks, nor charm. Casino Royale is one of the better Bond books and they stuck reasonably close to it for the newer movie, so it worked out fairly well. But the other Craig films have been considerably less interesting.

  108. On the subject of Bond movies, one must mention the theme songs that were rejected:

    Like this one, for Thunderball, sung by Shirley Bassey:

    And this one, also for Thunderball, sung by Johnny Cash.

    yes, Johnny Cash:

    • Thanks: MEH 0910
    • Replies: @D. K.
    @Mr. Anon

    I was wholly unaware that Shirley Bassey was both able and willing to immitate the vocal stylings of Dionne Warwick. Bassey's thundering "Goldfinger" remains the quintessential '007' theme song.

    Replies: @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race, @MEH 0910, @MEH 0910

  109. But what is all this intense scrutiny in service of? What, then, is the importance of James Bond? I think Joel Hodgson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame actually put it best:

    “Bond movies really represented the adult world, you know; drinking cocktails and being a secret agent and having your skills highly valued and having beautiful women being interested in you, were all things you felt were something I have to look forward to, this is what’s waiting for me at the end of my childhood.”

    In other words, Peak White Civilization. Alas, by the time Hodgson reached “the end of my childhood” he could only become the host of a “cowtown puppet show,” called Mystery Science Theater. So there’s that.

    See my review of Jef Costello’s The Importance of James Bond: https://counter-currents.com/2017/05/looking-for-pop/

  110. Having just read this thread and considering the one yesterday, it’s mostly in memory I value Bond. I read only Thunderball, and saw only Goldfinger and Thunderball, which I quite enjoyed. But I was never that much of a fan. I thought Connery was perfect for the role, but didn’t follow his career through the years, although there are some now I definitely need to catch up on–absurd I haven’t seen The Man Who Would Be King and The Untouchables, although nothing else has quite caught me.

    I was trying to think of English actors who could have done Bond. Lawrence Harvey was probably a better actor, and equally suave and debonair–and I wouldn’t have known he was Jewish till I read it. Although not perhaps ‘humorous’ and slightly exhibitionistic as Connery was. Some said Roger Moore was more ‘upper-class’ but that’s upper-class-seeming, because he was a policeman’s son. I didn’t see any of his Bond films, although I always liked him in The Saint. Lookswise, Mark Eden was right, but maybe he wasn’t enough of a heavyweight–he looked very strapping in his brief appearance as Kim Stanley’s husband in Seance on a Wet Afternoon.

    The only one that really comes to mind that would have been effective is French–don’t they have Meryl-Streep-accent-actors too?–Jean-Louis Trintignant. This is due to his performance in the superb The Outside Man of 1972 with Ann-Margret, Roy Scheider, and Angie Dickinson. This was a great noir, and I don’t know anybody else who’s seen it. He had the nonchalant attitude and the looks to do Bond, but I don’t think he would have necessarily wanted to– and I haven’t seen that lightness in him, though, that Bond needs to have some of.

    • Replies: @prosa123
    @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race

    I was trying to think of English actors who could have done Bond. Lawrence Harvey was probably a better actor, and equally suave and debonair–and I wouldn’t have known he was Jewish till I read it.

    Not just Jewish but a native Lithuanian speaker. As a small child his family moved to South Africa, where the accent is quite different than in Britain, yet as an adult he sounded fully British. Not to mention playing a completely convincing American in The Manchurian Candidate.
    Had he been the original Bond he wouldn't have stayed in the series any longer than Connery did, however, as he died young. It's also rather a pity that his daughter was a hopeless drug addict.

    Replies: @James O'Meara, @Wielgus

  111. @James O'Meara
    Kingsley Amis, in the still-definitive (tho vastly out of date) James Bond Dossier, mostly about "Book Bond" but with a bit on the new "Movie Bond," disparages Connery as someone who "could play a Edinbugh businessman but never a Scottish laird." He's alluding to the Scottish heraldry guy Bond disguises himself as in OHMSS, and as it happens, that film was the first to not star Connery.

    Revisionism isn’t just for the Holocaust. Bond revisionists now consider George Lazenby to be the better Bond, and OHMSS to be the best Bond film (best cinematography, screenplay, music, Blofeld, Bond Girl, etc.) although possibly second to the Craig Casino Royale. Both, of course, non-Connery.

    And yes, it was thought so at the time. Harry and Cubby desperately wanted Lazenby to sign on for a half dozen films, but he refused, thinking he’d made his point — I’m as good as Connery — and like Connery wanted to move on. Vengeful producers created the legend of OHMSS as a disaster; would a Hollywood producer named Salzman lie to you? Not even for a stainless steel delicatessen!

    Operation Kid Brother (aka OK Connery, aka Operation Double 007) is actually quite a bit of fun and much better than one might think. Sean's brother isn't much good, but it's full of actual Bond actors: Aldolfo Celi is a much better villain than in Thunderball, we get several Bond Bad Girls from earlier movies, we get to actually see Anthony Dawson as (kinda) Blofeld, it's great to see Moneypenny and M out in the field (played by Lois and Lee themselves). Possibly the best Bond score -- Ennio Morricone! His title song is so over the top that on Mystery Science Theater Crow said that "he couldn't possibly live up to the song the wrote about him," and that "he's probably just an accountant named Wallace," which is a nice shout out to The Untouchables, starring Sean Connery.

    https://youtu.be/oKr1v2VyzCY

    Replies: @Thursday, @AceDeuce, @dfordoom

    Lazenby had decent physical presence, but was a horribly wooden actor. The film somehow survives him anyway. If you get all the other elements right, I guess you don’t really need a good actor as your lead in one of these films.

    • Replies: @Wilkey
    @Thursday

    My vague recollection of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" is that the climactic scene features more of the Bond Girl, the recently departed Diana Rigg, than of Lazenby, which perhaps should tell you just how awful an actor Lazenby was.

    No one in their right mind thinks Lazenby was a good James Bond. Timothy Dalton and Daniel Craig are far better.

  112. Actually, the ideal James Bond was Cary Grant.

    Fleming wrote Bond with Grant as a model looks-wise and polite-behavior-wise, and wanted Grant to play him in Dr. No. The producers supposedly offered the role to Grant, but Grant thought he was “too old” for the role—which was a typical Grant thing to do.

    Grant turned down numerous offers to play as a love interest for Audrey Hepburn because he thought it was ridiculous that such a young girl would like an old man like him. Various movie roles that would’ve put them together were filled with other older male stars (Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday, Gary Cooper in Love in the Afternoon), and most everyone agrees Grant would’ve knocked those roles out of the park.

    Most everyone would’ve easily accepted a teen/early 20s girl like Hepburn having romantic feelings for Cary Grant because he was, after all, Cary Grant—everyone, that is, but Grant himself.

    Grant finally relented to paired with Hepburn in Charade, when she was a bit older. But Grant only relented if the story had her pursuing him romantically, and not the other way around—because he thought that would’ve been creepy.

    Of course, Charade became a hit and a classic. Too bad Grant didn’t relent earlier, Audrey Hepburn-Grant could’ve become one of the greatest screen couples of all time.

  113. @Realist
    @Henry's Cat


    I wonder what percentage of Bond viewers have ever read any of the books.
     
    I read the first eight as paper backs in the late 50's and early 60's as a teenager.

    Replies: @Muggles, @Wielgus

    Yes, I read them all too, in the sixties. From the public library.

    This is one role where the initial actor chosen for the part wasn’t necessarily the exact model the author described. Based on his older brother as has been noted. He also had another brother who did the exotic travelling.

    But once the first film and later ones were huge hits, Connery made Bond into himself. There are some actors and actresses (quaint but now obsolete word, for some reason by deranged misplaced feminism) who are initially cast and they become the part, regardless of prior depictions or descriptions.

    Authors rarely have any say at all about casting. When they do results vary widely, not usually good.

    Connery was a man’s man, whereas the later Bonds were more conventionally very handsome women’s men. Not effeminate, but not as seemingly lethal in action. Of course he aged out of that part. Like very beautiful women, an extremely handsome man would be a poor secret agent or operative. Too noticeable. Connery could pass for many types of people (workers, bureaucrat, military, criminal, etc.) whereas Moore and Dalton would not.

    Very handsome men rarely engage in normal or risky occupations. Other than marry already rich wives.

    • Agree: Realist
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @Muggles


    Very handsome men rarely engage in normal or risky occupations
     
    Excellent observation.

    Replies: @JMcG

    , @Peter D. Bredon
    @Muggles

    " an extremely handsome man would be a poor secret agent or operative. Too noticeable."

    Arguably Bond's biggest problem as a "secret agent" (never a spy!) is that everyone from bellboys to master criminals seems to know him. "Ah, welcome Mr. Bond!" He even hands out his business card (like Patrick Bateman and pals).

    Replies: @Muggles

    , @Verymuchalive
    @Muggles


    Connery was a man’s man, whereas the later Bonds were more conventionally very handsome women’s men
     
    Actually, Connery was a very handsome man when he was younger, but in a strong, masculine way. My aunt can attest to that - she dated him several times ( in the 1950s ). So he was excellent in portraying the hard side to Bond, the man licensed to kill.
    You are right: Connery was a man's man. After Bond, he didn't bother about a toupee, as can be seen in The Man Who Would Be King ( 1975 ). I understand that some roles may require wearing a hairpiece, but Connery didn't bother, publicly or privately. Real men don't wear toupees.
    So many aging male actors persist in wearing rugs. They're nearly all products of Drama Schools or Universities, with all the baggage that goes with it. Connery had worked in a number of hard, tough jobs before becoming an actor. ( He even worked as my aunt's milkman - which is how she met him ).Needless to say, he didn't bother about cosmetic surgery.

    Connery could pass for many types of people (workers, bureaucrat, military, criminal, etc.)
     
    He didn't wear a rug and allowed himself to age naturally. So he could play a wide range of roles.
    50 years from now - all being well - Connery's films will continued to be watched. Whereas nobody will watch Tom Cruise films.
  114. @Anonymous
    Famously, Ian Fleming wanted David Niven to play James Bond.

    Fleming variously insulted Sean Connery as "that fucking truck driver" or as "an over developed stuntman".

    Curious Ian Fleming factoid:

    Following Rudolf Hess' bizarre solo mission to Scotland, Fleming, who was high up in Royal Navy intelligence, suggested to the British cabinet that Aleister Crowley should be charged with the initial interrogation of Hess.
    What the cabinet made of Fleming's suggestion is not known.

    Replies: @JMcG, @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race, @Gordo, @dfordoom

    If David Niven was going to do Bond, Fleming may not have seen Bond as particularly an ultimate ladies’ man–sophisticated upper-class but not so much masculine charisma–nowhere near Connery or Moore in that way. In fact, although I could see him as a fine actor, I didn’t think he was that much of a STAR–but his Oscar-winner, Separate Tables, was pretty fantastic, and had an amazing cast. I haven’t seen Casino Royale.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race

    Niven was a star off-screen, a legendary raconteur. His WWII service remains kind of cloudy. My guess is he was used a fair amount to charm the Americans in British interests: e.g., Monty and Patton are meeting with Ike over who gets fuel: send Niven along to tell some of those jokes that the Yanks like.

    But he wasn't super charismatic on screen. Niven wished to be Cary Grant onscreen, and Cary Grant, an insecure man, wished to be Niven offscreen.

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon

    , @James O'Meara
    @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race

    From Niven to Connery as exemplar of "masculine charisma" ... the producers needed to teach Connery how to play someone who wasn't a thug .... by that standard, Red Grant had more "masculine charisma" than Bond and so Robert Shaw should have replaced Connery... no wonder we've now wound up with Negroes as the masculine ideal.

    Replies: @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race, @syonredux

  115. @Chrisnonymous
    @Feryl

    I used to think like this, but I have revised my view over time. Giving consideration for increasing budgets in later films, I think they basically peak with the first two, Dr. No and From Russia with Love, and go downhill from there. The first Timothy Dalton movie and the first Daniel Craig maybe break this trend. Maybe.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon, @Jim Don Bob

    I think they basically peak with the first two, Dr. No and From Russia with Love, and go downhill from there.

    I agree. They became silly formula movies with great stunts, improbable villains, and beautiful women.

    The great Robert Shaw in the From Russia with Love train fight scene:

  116. @Richard of Melbourne
    James Bond was - supposedly - born to a Scottish father (the ancestral family home was Skyfall, located in a damp and unappealing part of the Highlands, as depicted in one of the recent movies) and a Swiss mother.

    Nothing English except the accent and manners he presumably acquired at Eton, which he is supposed to have attended briefly before being sent to Fettes, a Scottish school.

    Lots of posh Scots are sent to English schools, giving them accents indistinguishable from those of their English-born classmates (I once worked with such a Scot, himself an Old Etonian).

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon, @Bill Jones, @Stebbing Heuer

    “Lots of posh Scots are sent to English schools, giving them accents indistinguishable from those of their English-born classmates”

    A recent example is the spook, Remainer and former Conservative MP Rory Stewart, who fought Brexit and failed, failed to become Tory leader, and headed off to Harvard. He became a Tory candidate despite never having voted for them in his life.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rory_Stewart

    Harking back to Roger Moore and The Saint, I hadn’t realised Saint creator Leslie Charteris was in fact Leslie Yin, born to a Chinese father and British mother.

    Charteris relocated to the United States in 1932, where he continued to publish short stories and also became a writer for Paramount Pictures, working on the George Raft film, Midnight Club.

    However, Charteris was excluded from permanent residency in the United States because of the Chinese Exclusion Act, a law which prohibited immigration for persons of “50% or greater” Oriental blood. As a result, Charteris was forced to continually renew his six-month temporary visitor’s visa. Eventually, an act of Congress personally granted his daughter and him the right of permanent residence in the United States, with eligibility for naturalization, which he later completed.

    His brother was quite a character too.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Henry_Bowyer-Yin

    • Replies: @James O'Meara
    @YetAnotherAnon

    "fought Brexit and failed, failed to become Tory leader, and headed off to Harvard. '

    Seems an all too appropriate career path.

    , @James O'Meara
    @YetAnotherAnon

    "I hadn’t realised Saint creator Leslie Charteris was in fact Leslie Yin, born to a Chinese father and British mother."

    Neither I, despite having started to read the series from time to time since last year. No one every mentions this relevant fact. Doesn't that make his books vibrantly diverse, and wouldn't publishers point that out?

  117. @Muggles
    @Realist

    Yes, I read them all too, in the sixties. From the public library.

    This is one role where the initial actor chosen for the part wasn't necessarily the exact model the author described. Based on his older brother as has been noted. He also had another brother who did the exotic travelling.

    But once the first film and later ones were huge hits, Connery made Bond into himself. There are some actors and actresses (quaint but now obsolete word, for some reason by deranged misplaced feminism) who are initially cast and they become the part, regardless of prior depictions or descriptions.

    Authors rarely have any say at all about casting. When they do results vary widely, not usually good.

    Connery was a man's man, whereas the later Bonds were more conventionally very handsome women's men. Not effeminate, but not as seemingly lethal in action. Of course he aged out of that part. Like very beautiful women, an extremely handsome man would be a poor secret agent or operative. Too noticeable. Connery could pass for many types of people (workers, bureaucrat, military, criminal, etc.) whereas Moore and Dalton would not.

    Very handsome men rarely engage in normal or risky occupations. Other than marry already rich wives.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Peter D. Bredon, @Verymuchalive

    Very handsome men rarely engage in normal or risky occupations

    Excellent observation.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    @Anonymous

    I did!

    Replies: @anonymous as usual

  118. James Bond Sucks. It’s boring and lame and was forced on us for some godawful MIC reason that is beyond your, or my, understanding.

  119. @Feryl
    @The Alarmist

    I actually bought Dalton the most as a plausibly smooth and smart secret agent who could take of himself physically if necessary,though he wasn't the most entertaining or charming (Connery, Moore, and Brosnan definitely best Dalton in that race).

    Lazenby was too young and short-lived to get a chance to really lock into the role, but he did good in the fight scenes at least.

    Craig is the worst. I suppose as a thuggish hitman or street instigator type operater I might buy him. But a high level spy? No way. He doesn't have 1/50th of the required smooth charm and people skills.

    Replies: @SunBakedSuburb, @R.G. Camara

    In Craig’s defense, all of his movies have been prequels; that is, they are set up to show how Bond becomes Bond. How could a ruthless spy/assassin become a charming, debonair gentlemen with an iron fist in a silk glove, who keeps his emotions in check and always has an ironic witty line at hand?

    We see it. In Casino Royale, we see him make his first two kills at the beginning, and then make aggressive mistakes of a young angry man: killing the African bombmaker, nearly destroying an airport in Miami, banging only married women to avoid falling in love, and then blowing himself up in a casino in Montenegro. And then falling in love—only to be betrayed by his love.

    The next three movies see him dealing with the aftermath of that: a bitterness towards Vesper, a drinking problem, a revenge mission. But slowly he learns about a sophisticated, hidden world not even his bosses know about: SPECTRE, Quantum, Blofeld. Along the way he learns that MI6 has lots of dark secrets (the spy left behind played by Javier Bardem) and sees his own family estate in Scotland blown to bits.

    He thinks he’s lost at life, but he finds a female companion he loves, and learns how to avoid the quick kill to get information and what he needs, and learns how to have ironic detachment from even his bosses, who are not always trustworthy.

    In the last film, we see Bond going into the traditional superior’s office with the double door. It’s a signal that Bond has become the Bond we know.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    @R.G. Camara

    I liked the first of the Daniel Craig movies, Casino Royale. All the movies since Goldeneye have labored under a huge handicap - Judi Dench. Does anybody like her? Half the movies involve Bond rescuing M, and an equal number turn on some kind of revenge plot. Revenge is such a lazy and juvenile plot device.

    Replies: @Ray P, @James O'Meara

    , @Truth
    @R.G. Camara


    We see it. In Casino Royale, we see him make his first two kills at the beginning, and then make aggressive mistakes of a young angry man: killing the African bombmaker, nearly destroying an airport in Miami, banging only married women to avoid falling in love, and then blowing himself up in a casino in Montenegro. And then falling in love—only to be betrayed by his love.
     
    Yeah, but he's 40 and looks 45.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara

  120. Anon[418] • Disclaimer says:

    I own the first 4 Bond movies:
    Dr. No
    From Russia with Love (Connery’s persoanal fave)
    Goldfinger
    Thunderball.

    The first three a joyous trips back in time. I wish the world was as classy as it was back then.

    Fleming had doubts about Connery initially, but Cubby Broccoli and his wife both had made the decision….Connery would be perfect for the role. After seeing Dr. No, Ian Fleming was elated. The pros (Broccoli and director Guy Hamilton) had picked and directed the right man. They were great entertainments. I wish today’s youth would give them a watch to see what real class and style are.

    “Do you expect me to talk?”
    “No Mr. Bond I expect you to die”.

    • Replies: @Sandmich
    @Anon

    I have the blu-ray mega pack and yeah it's hard to beat those first four, Goldfinger in particular which is hugely influential all by itself. However most of them are still some form of watchable of varying quality, with only Die Another Day being the only one that's unwatchably bad (they had wanted to parlay Halle Berry's character in that movie into a series of not-Bond Bond films, but the movie was so bad that the idea was scrapped).

  121. @Pop Warner
    @PiltdownMan

    One of the chapter names of Live and Let Die is titled "Nigger Heaven" (how one black man in the chapter describes Harlem). A lot of that book would be unacceptable today.

    In fact, there's a good bit of old-school race realism and Anglo-Germanic exceptionalism in the books. Bond is constantly trying to figure out the ethnic origins of each villain. He takes note that Mr Big, the black Live and Let Die villain, has some European ancestry judging by his thinner lips, and this explains why he's the leader and not some thug. Same with Dr No, the half Chinese half European villain whose henchmen are mostly Chinese Negroes. Bond thinks Le Chiffre, the villainous accountant and card wizard, has jewish ancestry based on his earlobes and spends about a page determining that Goldfinger is a Balt based on looks alone. It's a common habit of Fleming to give characters partial German ancestry to explain their leadership qualities or physical strength.

    Replies: @James O'Meara, @Ray P, @MEH 0910

    Same with Dr No, the half Chinese half European villain whose henchmen are mostly Chinese Negroes.

    https://www.newstatesman.com/society/2007/02/1958-bond-fleming-girl-sex

    Then the enemy arrives – huge, inhuman Negro-Chinese half-castes, known as Chingroes, under the diabolical direction of Dr No.

  122. But Ian Fleming wrote an obituary of Bond – in OHMSS – giving a Scottish father, so the Celtic roots are there.
    NB I also see Bond as the quintessential hero of the days when Brits sallied forth from their small Island using grit, dexterity and wits to outmaneuver more numerous competitors. See for example Buchan’s 1916 thriller Greenmantle. Bond, like earlier Imperial heroes, was often in dire straits but to keep moving forwards was an article of faith.

    NB If one wants to know how good a Bond Connery was ask yourself why his successors have been comparable failures? (Craig’s Casino Royale smacked of the Connery era, but it proved a one-off.)

    James Bond 007 :: MI6 – The Home Of James Bond
    The Times
    Commander James Bond, C.M.G., R.N.V.R.

    M. writes:–

    As your readers will have learned from earlier issues, a senior officer of the Ministry of Defence, Commander James Bond, C.M.G., R.N.V.R., is missing, believed killed, while on an official mission to Japan. It grieves me to have to report that hopes of his survival must now be abandoned. It therefore falls to my lot, as the Head of the Department he served so well, to give some account of this officer and of his outstanding services to his country.

    James Bond was born of a Scottish father, Andrew Bond of Glencoe, and a Swiss mother, Monique Delacroix, from the Canton de Vaud. His father being a foreign representative of the Vickers armaments firm, his early education, from which he inherited a first-class command of French and German, was entirely abroad. When he was eleven years of age, both his parents were killed in a climbing accident in the Aiguilles Rouges above Chamonix, and the youth came under the guardianship of an aunt, since deceased, Miss Charmian Bond, and went to live with her at the quaintly-named hamlet of Pett Bottom near Canterbury in Kent. There, in a small cottage hard by the attractive Duck Inn, his aunt, who must have been a most erudite and accomplished lady, completed his education for an English public school, and, at the age of twelve or thereabouts, he passed satisfactorily into Eton, for which College he had been entered at his birth by his father. It must be admitted that his career at Eton was brief and undistinguished and, after only two halves, as a result, it pains me to record, of some alleged trouble with one of the boys’ maids, his aunt was requested to remove him. She managed to obtain his transfer to Fettes, his father’s old school. Here the atmosphere was somewhat Calvinistic, and both academic and athletic standards were rigourous. Nevertheless, though inclined to be solitary by nature, he established some firm friendships among the traditionally famous athletic circles at the school. By the time he left, at the early age of seventeen, he had twice fought for the school as a light-weight and had, in addition, founded the first serious judo class at a British public school. By now it was 1941 and, by claiming an age of nineteen and with the help of an old Vickers colleague of his father, he entered a branch of what was subsequently to become the Ministry of Defence. To serve the confidential nature of his duties, he was accorded the rank of lieutenant in the Special Branch of the R.N.V.R., and it is a measure of the satisfaction his services gave to his superiors that he ended the war with the rank of Commander. It was about this time that the writer became associated with certain aspects of the Ministry’s work, and it was with much gratification that I accepted Commander Bond’s post-war application to continue working for the Ministry in which, at the time of his lamented disappearance, he had risen to the rank of Principal Officer in the Civil Service.

    The nature of Commander Bond’s duties with the Ministry, which were, incidentally, recognized by the appointment of C.M.G. in 1954, must remain confidential, nay secret, but his colleagues at the Ministry will allow that he performed them with outstanding bravery and distinction, although occasionally, through an impetuous strain in his nature, with a streak of the foolhardy that brought him in conflict with higher authority. But he possessed what almost amounted to “The Nelson Touch” in moments of the highest emergency, and he somehow contrived to escape more or less unscathed from the many adventurous paths down which his duties led him. The inevitable publicity, particularly in the foreign press, accorded some of these adventures, made him, much against his will, something of a public figure, with the inevitable result that a series of popular books came to be written around him by a personal friend and former colleague of James Bond. If the quality of these books, or their degree of veracity, had been any higher, the author would certainly have been prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act. It is a measure of the disdain in which these fictions are held at the Ministry, that action has not yet — I emphasize the qualification — been taken against the author and publisher of these high-flown and romanticized caricatures of episodes in the career of a outstanding public servant.

    It only remains to conclude this brief in memoriam by assuring his friends that Commander Bond’s last mission was one of supreme importance to the State. Although it now appears that, alas, he will not return from it, I have the authority of the highest quarters in the land to confirm that the mission proved to be one hundred per cent successful. It is no exaggeration to pronounce unequivocally that, through the recent valorous efforts of this one man, the Safety of the Realm has received mighty reassurance.

    James Bond was briefly married in 1962, to Teresa, only daughter of Marc-Ange Draco, of Marseilles. The marriage ended in tragic circumstances that were reported in the press at the time. There was no issue of the marriage and James Bond leaves, so far as I am aware, no relative living.

    M.G. writes:
    I was happy and proud to serve Commander Bond in a close capacity during the past three years at the Ministry of Defence. If our fears for him are justified, may I suggest these simple words for his epitaph? Many of the junior staff here feel they represent his philosophy:

    “I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”

  123. Oh… my… god!!

    I think we can all agree that Sean Connery was a great actor and a dynamic human being.

    The LEAST all Americans who love cinema can do is to fight to make his dying wish a reality!

  124. Anonymous[175] • Disclaimer says:
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    ...the burned-out jeep with the bundle of forged plans in the front seat designed to frustrate the Japanese advance; the carefully abandoned haversack full of misleading information; the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force member in the Allied Commander Lord Mountbatten’s HQ in Ceylon instructed to write letters about spurious troop movements to a non-existent boyfriend in the hope that they would be steamed open by enemy agents.
     
    How much happened in the 20th century because well-to-do overgrown children wanted to LARP as spies and adventurers?

    Incidentally, I believe some historians make the argument that German intelligence wasn't fooled by this stuff, but passed it upstairs anyway, because German intelligence, or elements therein, were part of a rival faction, and sought to undermine Hitler et al. (This jibes well with the stuff on Admiral Canaris's Wikipedia page.)

    (My personal conspiracy theory is that the Allies, or elements therein, intended to use Germany to destroy Russia (and thereby communism), and vice versa, and that this explains much of the activity on the western front in the early years of the war: the Phoney War, France's "defeat", German restraint at Dunkirk, the half-heartedness of Germany's attempts at subduing Britain, Rudolf Hess's "peace mission", everything Canaris did, etc, etc. Plans changed when the Russians turned the tide at Stalingrad: the Allies realised they were going to have to invade western Europe themselves, to stop the Russians taking it all; their friends in Germany tried to remove Hitler ahead of schedule, but failed and/or were betrayed by the Allies, who decided not to make peace with Germany as they'd promised. This makes as much sense to me as anything I've read from legit historians.)

    Replies: @Anonymous

    That was pretty much the official Soviet view of the war – that the ‘war’ between Germany and the western powers was in fact an elaborate ruse, at least to begin with, and that in reality all the capitalist powers were united behind Germany’s attempt to destroy the USSR.

    • Replies: @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @Anonymous

    Cool, that either means I'm right or I'm a useful idiot

  125. @EliteCommInc.
    In some spaces -- being first, the first one is all that matters. And In this case, Mr. Connery was the it man for that role at that time -- and was an international hit.




    Fair thee well . . . and thanks.



    -------------------------------------

    Quintessential Englishman : George Lazenby (Australian)

    Replies: @Ancient Briton

    George, as Bond wore a kilt in OHMSS.

    • Replies: @sb
    @Ancient Briton

    Of course George Lazenby is the Bond who dare not speak it's name . Or something .

    Always thought it would be a good idea for wannabe Australian citizens - who must do a written test of "Australian values "as one requirement for citizenship - to have to answer a question about who is their favourite James Bond . That would be a good test of their commitment to Australian ways . ( or something )

  126. @Verymuchalive
    I don't think any actor could have been the ideal Bond. There were far too many boxes to tick. For example, Bond was meant to be a Commander in Naval Intelligence and capable frogman and diver. The only Bond who ever looked the part for that was Timothy Dalton.
    Indeed, Bond should have been retired at the end of Dalton's tenure. Bond was very much a Cold War hero. When he returned after Dalton's departure, the Cold War was over and the Franchise increasingly had to cannibalise the plots of previously filmed books. I never found Brosnan or Craig convincing in the role.

    Replies: @Lurker, @syonredux, @David In TN, @Stebbing Heuer

    I recall when Timothy Dalton was cast as James Bond, one of the producers said something like: “We must never forget Bond is a killer. Dalton looks like he could pull the trigger.”

    As Sean Connery looked when he shot Professor Dent in Doctor No.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    @David In TN


    As Sean Connery looked when he shot Professor Dent in Doctor No.
     
    I saw Dr. No when it came out and that scene, like the train fight in From Russia With Love, has stuck with me for years because of how casually SC shot Dent. Connery was perfect in the first two movies.

    Replies: @David In TN

  127. @TTSSYF
    @Henry's Cat

    I thought Diamonds are Forever was excellent. Jill St. John was miscast as Tiffany Case.

    Replies: @Ancient Briton

    Well the collar did match the cuffs (I assume).

  128. @Steve Sailer
    @David 'The Diversity Mastermind' Lammey

    If Connery replaced Moore, I think the reaction would have been: Wow, this guy is really good, but he's not the real James Bond.

    Replies: @Chrisnonymous, @David In TN

    In 1965, English novelist Kingsley Amis published The James Bond Dossier, a critical analysis of the James bond novels.

    Amis said little about the Bond movies. He wrote that “Sean Connery is all wrong as James Bond.” Amis felt Connery wasn’t convincing as an English gentleman.

  129. @Muggles
    @Realist

    Yes, I read them all too, in the sixties. From the public library.

    This is one role where the initial actor chosen for the part wasn't necessarily the exact model the author described. Based on his older brother as has been noted. He also had another brother who did the exotic travelling.

    But once the first film and later ones were huge hits, Connery made Bond into himself. There are some actors and actresses (quaint but now obsolete word, for some reason by deranged misplaced feminism) who are initially cast and they become the part, regardless of prior depictions or descriptions.

    Authors rarely have any say at all about casting. When they do results vary widely, not usually good.

    Connery was a man's man, whereas the later Bonds were more conventionally very handsome women's men. Not effeminate, but not as seemingly lethal in action. Of course he aged out of that part. Like very beautiful women, an extremely handsome man would be a poor secret agent or operative. Too noticeable. Connery could pass for many types of people (workers, bureaucrat, military, criminal, etc.) whereas Moore and Dalton would not.

    Very handsome men rarely engage in normal or risky occupations. Other than marry already rich wives.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Peter D. Bredon, @Verymuchalive

    ” an extremely handsome man would be a poor secret agent or operative. Too noticeable.”

    Arguably Bond’s biggest problem as a “secret agent” (never a spy!) is that everyone from bellboys to master criminals seems to know him. “Ah, welcome Mr. Bond!” He even hands out his business card (like Patrick Bateman and pals).

    • LOL: Bardon Kaldian
    • Replies: @Muggles
    @Peter D. Bredon


    Arguably Bond’s biggest problem as a “secret agent” (never a spy!) is that everyone from bellboys to master criminals seems to know him. “Ah, welcome Mr. Bond!” He even hands out his business card (like Patrick Bateman and pals).
     
    Yes, good point.

    I think he nearly always went about in exotic places under some cover name/story. So not every bell boy knew his actual name or occupation. But it was rather thin, especially later on.

    All of the Big villains seemed to know him or his reputation. His role was more of a special operations "operator" as they are now deemed. He would travel under false passports but his real mission was to kill people or steal things, or both. Sometimes to discover plot details and disrupt them.

    We are led to believe all of the Big Guys know who all of the British operators ( 00 types) really are on sight. Low level criminals, hirelings or random other bad guys might not know who he was, until too late. Other than the Russians, a lot of governments seemed to be unaware of who he was when he was on their 3rd World turf. Sometimes local police assets. Though I was under the impression these were often longstanding British MI-5 local contacts. This was sometimes made clear. I suspect even in reality the most useful local assets are the heads of the local police.
  130. @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race
    @Anonymous

    If David Niven was going to do Bond, Fleming may not have seen Bond as particularly an ultimate ladies' man--sophisticated upper-class but not so much masculine charisma--nowhere near Connery or Moore in that way. In fact, although I could see him as a fine actor, I didn't think he was that much of a STAR--but his Oscar-winner, Separate Tables, was pretty fantastic, and had an amazing cast. I haven't seen Casino Royale.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @James O'Meara

    Niven was a star off-screen, a legendary raconteur. His WWII service remains kind of cloudy. My guess is he was used a fair amount to charm the Americans in British interests: e.g., Monty and Patton are meeting with Ike over who gets fuel: send Niven along to tell some of those jokes that the Yanks like.

    But he wasn’t super charismatic on screen. Niven wished to be Cary Grant onscreen, and Cary Grant, an insecure man, wished to be Niven offscreen.

    • Replies: @Peter D. Bredon
    @Steve Sailer

    "But he wasn’t super charismatic on screen. Niven wished to be Cary Grant onscreen, and Cary Grant, an insecure man, wished to be Niven offscreen."

    They starred together in The Bishop's Wife, a Christmasy film still well worth seeing. The odd thing is that Niven plays the Bishop, Grant the angel who helps rekindle the Bishop's marriage, but originally the roles were reversed. Can't recall at what point they realized they had made a terrible mistake. If you see or remember the film, it's hard to imagine with the original casting.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  131. @YetAnotherAnon
    @Henry's Cat

    "I wonder what percentage of Bond viewers have ever read any of the books."

    In pre-pornified days Bond was a shocker. This New Statesman review of Dr No, by then-left-winger Paul Johnson.

    https://www.newstatesman.com/society/2007/02/1958-bond-fleming-girl-sex


    I have just finished what is without a doubt the nastiest book I have ever read. It is a new novel entitled Dr. No and the author is Mr. Ian Fleming. Echoes of Mr Fleming’s fame had reached me before, and I had been repeatedly urged to read his books by literary friends whose judgement I normally respect. When his new novel appeared, therefore, I obtained a copy and started to read. By the time I was a third of the way through, I had to suppress a strong impulse to throw the thing away, and only continued reading because I realised that here was a social phenomenon of some importance.

    There are three basic ingredients in Dr No, all unhealthy, all thoroughly English: the sadism of a school boy bully, the mechanical two-dimensional sex-longings of a frustrated adolescent, and the crude, snob-cravings of a suburban adult. Mr Fleming has no literary skill, the construction of the book is chaotic, the entire incidents and situations are inserted, and then forgotten, in a haphazard manner. But the three ingredients are manufactured and blended with deliberate, professional precision; Mr Fleming dishes up his recipe with all the calculated accountancy of a Lyons Corner House.
     

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Mr Fleming has no literary skill…

    Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang: The Magical Car is alright to read aloud. But it has the most extreme punctuation imaginable, enough to embarrass a high school amateur, and Mimsie Pott is the worst female character I’ve ever come across in fiction or film. All she does is cry. I can see why she was replaced by Truly Scrumptious in the movie. (Sally Ann Howes, like co-star Dick Van Dyke, is still with us, at 90.)

    The Potts’ daughter Jemima has some spirit, though.

  132. @Brian O'Brien
    Possibly the biggest British spy operation in the history of the British Empire was called British Security Coordination (BSC), based out of Rockefeller Center and led by the Canadian spy Sir William Stephenson--a man called Intrepid.

    Ian Fleming was friends with Stephenson and worked with him. They owned property together in Jamaica. The James Bond character is probably based on Stephenson.

    People forget that for much of American history, the British Empire was seen as the enemy of the United States and the biggest threat to our independence. Brits were often portrayed as villains and bad guys in American culture. After World War I, a large number of Americans believed that the British duped us into fighting that war. There was a huge backlash against the British here in the United States and a rise in anti-British sentiment.

    Churchill set up BSC in 1940 to combat anti-British sentiment and produce anti-German propaganda in the United States. Churchill tasked BSC to use the black arts of spycraft to bring the U.S. into the war against Germany.

    According to an August 2006 article in the British newspaper The Guardian, “BSC became a huge secret agency of nationwide news manipulation and black propaganda.” The article stated that BSC represented one of the largest covert operations in British spying history and that as many as 3,000 British agents were “spreading propaganda and mayhem in a staunchly anti-war America.”

    As explained in Thomas Mahl's book “Desperate Deception,” the BSC engaged in kidnapping, honeypot operations against anti-war politicians and public citizens, the production of fake news, fake documents and fake poll results, the use of agent provocateurs, particularly against the American First movement, financial support of pro-war politicians and organizations, manipulation of elections, and possibly murder.

    Ian Fleming was involved with this.

    FDR was aware of the BSC and was friends with Stephenson. In fact, Stephenson convinced FDR to create the OSS, which later became the CIA. There is even a statue of the Stephenson in the atrium at CIA headquarters.

    Personally, I think the James Bond books and movies were a continuation of the BSC's propaganda operation meant to influence the American people to see the Brits not as enemies, but view the enemies of the British establishment as enemies of the American people. The goals of British foreign policy for more than a century has been to keep the Americans in, the Russians out and the British on top. They are still pursuing those goals today.

    Replies: @Bragadocious, @Ray P

    In the Casino Royale novel, Bond’s first kill is when he shoots a Japanese cypher expert through the window of s skyscraper in NYC during the war from the building opposite.

  133. @YetAnotherAnon
    @David 'The Diversity Mastermind' Lammey

    Wasn't Moore's Bond very much a re-run of Moore's Simon Templar - "The Saint"? Always a touch of humour about the performance.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Saint_(TV_series)


    NBC picked up the show as a summer replacement in its evening schedule in 1966 because of the strong performance in the United States of the first two series in first-run syndication. The programme, therefore, ended its run with both trans-Atlantic primetime scheduling and colour episodes. It also proved popular beyond the UK and US, eventually airing in over 60 countries, and made a profit in excess of £350m for ITC.

     

    First episode of The Saint - premiered 4 October 1962

    First Bond film (Dr No) - premiered 5 October 1962.

    Is it just me btw, or does Daniel Craig's Bond resemble Vladimir Putin?

    Replies: @ScarletNumber, @ScarletNumber

    Is it just me btw, or does Daniel Craig’s Bond resemble Vladimir Putin?

    Yes he does. I’m not sure why they selected him, but it seems to be working, as the movies continue to be popular. As for me, I like David Niven.

  134. @syonredux
    @Verymuchalive

    The cinematic Bond mostly avoided the Cold War.In the Connery era, Bond spent most of his time fighting SPECTRE, not the Soviets.I think that For Your Eyes Only was the only Bond movie where the Soviets/Communists were the bad guys. In Octopussy , The Living Daylights, and A View To a Kill, the threat came from rogue Soviet operatives. Goldfinger is a partial exception, as the Red Chinese were in cahoots with the film’s main villain, the eponymous Goldfinger.

    The literary Bond was rather different, with most of the early books concentrating on the Soviet menace: Casino Royale , Live and Let Die, From Russia, With Love, Moonraker (That one has holdover German Nazis conspiring with the Soviets to nuke London).

    Replies: @Verymuchalive, @Bardon Kaldian

    This is what I’ve always found strange. Bond was fighting some super villains who never existed in reality. He should have been an operative cold-warrior.

    Instead, he basically opted out of politics. What was the purpose of such a character, anyway?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Bardon Kaldian

    The Cold War was not waged very hard in popular entertainment.

    Replies: @syonredux, @Mr. Anon, @PiltdownMan

    , @syonredux
    @Bardon Kaldian


    This is what I’ve always found strange. Bond was fighting some super villains who never existed in reality. He should have been an operative cold-warrior.
     
    He was in the books, but not in the films. Of the first five books (CASINO ROYALE, LIVE AND LET DIE, MOONRAKER, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, and FROM RUSSIA, WITH LOVE) only one (DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER) did not feature villains who were linked to the USSR.

    Instead, he basically opted out of politics. What was the purpose of such a character, anyway?
     
    To make money. Hardline anti-Communism would have turned-off Leftist filmgoers.
  135. I don’t remember a lot of the older bond films I have little interest in rewatching them. I remember them as being very cheesy and on the level of a made for TV movie. I liked Casino Royale and Skyfall of the Craig series but that’s all.

    I haven’t seen any mentions of Connery as Indian Jones father in The Last Crusade which was a good part for him I thought. I remember his scenes being pretty funny and I thought he worked well with Harrison Ford.

  136. @YetAnotherAnon
    @David 'The Diversity Mastermind' Lammey

    Wasn't Moore's Bond very much a re-run of Moore's Simon Templar - "The Saint"? Always a touch of humour about the performance.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Saint_(TV_series)


    NBC picked up the show as a summer replacement in its evening schedule in 1966 because of the strong performance in the United States of the first two series in first-run syndication. The programme, therefore, ended its run with both trans-Atlantic primetime scheduling and colour episodes. It also proved popular beyond the UK and US, eventually airing in over 60 countries, and made a profit in excess of £350m for ITC.

     

    First episode of The Saint - premiered 4 October 1962

    First Bond film (Dr No) - premiered 5 October 1962.

    Is it just me btw, or does Daniel Craig's Bond resemble Vladimir Putin?

    Replies: @ScarletNumber, @ScarletNumber

    Wasn’t Moore’s Bond very much a re-run of Moore’s Simon Templar – “The Saint”? Always a touch of humour about the performance.

    Not only that, he played Seymour Goldfarb, Jr., in The Cannonball Run at the same time For Your Eyes Only came out. I’m surprised the executives at EON would let him play a role so similar at the same time.

  137. @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race
    Having just read this thread and considering the one yesterday, it's mostly in memory I value Bond. I read only Thunderball, and saw only Goldfinger and Thunderball, which I quite enjoyed. But I was never that much of a fan. I thought Connery was perfect for the role, but didn't follow his career through the years, although there are some now I definitely need to catch up on--absurd I haven't seen The Man Who Would Be King and The Untouchables, although nothing else has quite caught me.

    I was trying to think of English actors who could have done Bond. Lawrence Harvey was probably a better actor, and equally suave and debonair--and I wouldn't have known he was Jewish till I read it. Although not perhaps 'humorous' and slightly exhibitionistic as Connery was. Some said Roger Moore was more 'upper-class' but that's upper-class-seeming, because he was a policeman's son. I didn't see any of his Bond films, although I always liked him in The Saint. Lookswise, Mark Eden was right, but maybe he wasn't enough of a heavyweight--he looked very strapping in his brief appearance as Kim Stanley's husband in Seance on a Wet Afternoon.

    The only one that really comes to mind that would have been effective is French--don't they have Meryl-Streep-accent-actors too?--Jean-Louis Trintignant. This is due to his performance in the superb The Outside Man of 1972 with Ann-Margret, Roy Scheider, and Angie Dickinson. This was a great noir, and I don't know anybody else who's seen it. He had the nonchalant attitude and the looks to do Bond, but I don't think he would have necessarily wanted to-- and I haven't seen that lightness in him, though, that Bond needs to have some of.

    Replies: @prosa123

    I was trying to think of English actors who could have done Bond. Lawrence Harvey was probably a better actor, and equally suave and debonair–and I wouldn’t have known he was Jewish till I read it.

    Not just Jewish but a native Lithuanian speaker. As a small child his family moved to South Africa, where the accent is quite different than in Britain, yet as an adult he sounded fully British. Not to mention playing a completely convincing American in The Manchurian Candidate.
    Had he been the original Bond he wouldn’t have stayed in the series any longer than Connery did, however, as he died young. It’s also rather a pity that his daughter was a hopeless drug addict.

    • Replies: @James O'Meara
    @prosa123

    Harvey of course had his own spy role in A Dandy in Aspic; I'd say both book and movie (the UK book differs from the US version, which is based on Derek Marlowe's screenplay adaptation) are the best of the spy genre.

    Fun fact: director Anthony Mann died during production and Harvey picked up and finished the film himself. Now that's a Bond level of improvisation and expertise!

    https://counter-currents.com/2016/12/passing-the-buck-spy-dandy-ubermensch/

    , @Wielgus
    @prosa123

    I don't find his accent particularly British. Listening to it you can sense something else there, though perhaps a bit of South Africa rather than Lithuania. He sounded quite British in The Manchurian Candidate but was playing an upper-crust American. He put on a Cockney accent in The Long And The Short And The Tall but I did not find it totally convincing.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XMaUELbTJk
    He sings the song "Bless Them All" in this recording but actually sounds rather American.

    Replies: @James O'Meara

  138. @Bardon Kaldian
    @syonredux

    This is what I've always found strange. Bond was fighting some super villains who never existed in reality. He should have been an operative cold-warrior.

    Instead, he basically opted out of politics. What was the purpose of such a character, anyway?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @syonredux

    The Cold War was not waged very hard in popular entertainment.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    @Steve Sailer

    The degree to which Cold War-era spy films and TV series avoided confronting the Red Menace is pretty amazing. As previously noted, the Bond films steered clear of the Commies, favoring, instead, SPECTRE (Barring only GOLDFINGER, the baddie in every Connery Bond flick), evil eugenicists (the baddies in THE SPY WHO LOVED ME and MOONRAKER), Third-World drug kingpins (the Blaxploitation-influenced LIVE AND LET DIE), and narcissistic assassins (Christopher Lee in THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN). It wasn't until 1981 that Bond, in FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, actually went up against the Soviets.

    THE MAN FROM UNCLE carried it a step further, as they had the East and the West teaming-up against THRUSH.

    THE AVENGERS had some Cold War stuff early on, but the Emma Peel era mostly focused on fantastical threats.

    The literary Mike Hammer was a staunch Cold Warrior. For example, in 1951's One Lonely Night, Hammer boasts that “I killed more people tonight than I have fingers on my hands. I shot them in cold blood and enjoyed every minute of it. I pumped slugs into the nastiest bunch of bastards you ever saw and here I am calmer than I’ve ever been and happy too. They were Commies, Lee. They were red sons-of-bitches who should have died long ago.” But did the film-and-television version act in a similar fashion? Not that I know of.

    Replies: @James O'Meara, @ChrisZ

    , @Mr. Anon
    @Steve Sailer


    The Cold War was not waged very hard in popular entertainment.
     
    In North by Northwest and Mission Impossible they just referred to "The Other Side" or "The East".

    That would be an interesting exercise - to actually name all the espionage movies that dealt with, or at least referred to, the actual sides in the Cold War. It probably wouldn't be a lot.

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon

    , @PiltdownMan
    @Steve Sailer


    The Cold War was not waged very hard in popular entertainment.
     
    When I was a kid, the only Cold War movie I remember seeing was a comedy, The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming! In it, New England townsfolk end up befriending the crew of a Soviet submarine that comes ashore, and save it from US Navy jets. The movie was made in 1966, at the height of the Cold War.

    PS: Listening to the video clip today, Alan Arkin's "Russian" accent sounds distinctly Israeli.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycLPm3UJhY0

    Replies: @Diversity Heretic

  139. Anyway, Connery’s Bond- I don’t know about Fleming’s concept of that character- was a killer. It is, I think, much more important distinction than class or other markers.

    Moore was definitely not a killer, and this difference remains crucial.

  140. @SunBakedSuburb
    @Thursday

    "But then there are the 5 other Moore movies."

    My brother refers to Roger Moore as the "Bath Bond" because in his first outing as oo7, Live And Let Die (1973), Moore arrives in enemy territory, checks into his hotel while under visual surveillance, then immediately jumps into a bubbly tub and begins a luxurious shave. That film and The Man With The Golden Gun (1974) are the best Bath Bonds. Golden Gun is actually quite surreal; the weirdest film of the series. Moore is not a great actor; but he's quite charming and kills it with the beautiful ladies. I grew up in the 70s watching The Saint reruns, so I was predisposed to liking Moore.

    Replies: @Ray P

    In Golden Gun, Moore’s Bond is saved from a gang of irate martial artists (who were successfully beating him) in Thailand by a pair of kick-ass teenage girls which is fairly embarrassing.

    • Replies: @Peter D. Bredon
    @Ray P

    Even more embarrassing is how the scene is shot .. it appears that the guy with the car who "rescues"him at the end of the scene roars away leaving him accidentally behind., shrugging his shoulders. I think that was a goof that they incorporated into the filming.

    Replies: @Ray P

  141. @The Alarmist
    I’d read that Fleming didn’t care much at first for Connery, a Scot’s Scot, playing the quintessential Englishman, but warmed to him and even started imparting Scot qualities into the character.

    I never really cared for Connery in the role, and at first thought Moore was a better cast, but Pierce Brosnan played Bond with as much panache and more natural humour. I trust most of us would agree that Timothy Dalton was an outright disaster.

    Replies: @JMcG, @Feryl, @Anonymous

    I trust most of us would agree that Timothy Dalton was an outright disaster.

    Nah, I think that they have all brought d something to the role.

    Connery: rogue,
    Moore: gentleman,
    Brosnan: playboy,
    Dalton: killer,
    Craig: ptsd.

    • LOL: The Alarmist
  142. @Tyrade
    when you think about it, the only 'quintessential English gent' who played Bond was Roger Moore.

    Sean Connery - Scot
    Pierce Brosnan - Irish
    George Lazenby - Aussie
    Timothy Dalton - proper actor, doesn't count
    Daniel Craig - not a gentleman

    But then there was David Niven in the original (spoof) Casino Royale. Put the 'quint' in 'essential', I think.

    And the next one... in these enlightened and vibrant days, the odds against a straight, white Englishman must be 99/1?

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    But then there was David Niven in the original (spoof) Casino Royale. Put the ‘quint’ in ‘essential’, I think.

    A few of the Bond themes are okay as pop songs, but none come close to Bacharach’s. And he threw in “The Look of Love” as a bonus.

    No piece of music encapsulates the 1960s for me like that one. Perhaps because they played it so much on The Dating Game? So SoCal.

    Just posted yesterday, the Bond themes in succession below illustrate well the decline of popular music over the decades. Adele sounds like more of a man than Sam Smith. Sheryl Crow (!) is in there too. She and Burt are both natives of Missouri, but from about as far apart as you can get.

    • Thanks: mark green
    • Replies: @prosa123
    @Reg Cæsar

    A few of the Bond themes are okay as pop songs, but none come close to Bacharach’s. And he threw in “The Look of Love” as a bonus.

    Still active at age 92.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    , @James O'Meara
    @Reg Cæsar

    As mentioned above, the theme from Operation Kid Brother (aka OK Connery) is arguably the greatest of the Bond songs.

    The music is peak Morricone Euro-pop; if you can't take "Kristy's" breathy imitation of Shirley Bassey, just drink in the instrumental middle 8, with the Tijuana Brass horns, Broadway style drums and the unbeatable Morricone touch, the wordless chorus. Why hasn't anyone written a Bond opera, or rock opera?

    The lyrics of course are ridiculous but (in English, there's an Italian version as well which I can't vouch for) only in the way Bond himself is ridiculous, or at least the Bond fad at the time. As Crow T. Robot said on MST3k, "He can't possibly live up to the song they wrote about him," which is true of all the Bond songs. And yet, he does, which is why we're still talking about him.

    https://youtu.be/zfXEL6bVFQI

  143. @Digital Samizdat
    Probably a more interesting question (which almost never seems to get asked) is: who would have been the most convincing Blofeld? Personally, I think they should have cast Lord Rothschild.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Brutalist architect Ernő Goldfinger was the origin of Auric Goldfinger.

  144. @Mr. Anon
    @Chrisnonymous

    I agree - those were the best - the movies in which Bond was portrayed primarily as a thug. Because that's what he was supposed to be. I think Dalton is highly underrated.

    Patrick McGoohan was offered the part of James Bond, but he turned it down. Likely he found the character's licentiousness and amorality to be distasteful. Just as well, as he went on to make The Prisoner which was far superior.

    Still in all, Bond movies are silly. They were all style over substance. They were the motion picture counterpart of Playboy, selling a dream of rakish bachelor life. They might have been among the first movies to be built around product placement.

    If you've never seen them, check out The Ipcress File and the other Harry Palmer movies. Palmer (played by Michael Caine) is the anti-Bond - a cog in a bureacratic machine who actually seems mortal.

    Replies: @Bugg

    McGoohan also was born to Irish parents living in Queens, NY. Doubt the Bond series could have plausibly cast an Irish-American. Was a regular in many American tv series in the 1970s like “Colombo”. One of the few American actors who has credibly play Irish and English roles, as he memorably did in “Braveheart” as Edward Longshanks.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    @Bugg


    One of the few American actors who has credibly play Irish and English roles, as he memorably did in “Braveheart” as Edward Longshanks.
     
    And Scottish. He played James Stewart, Earl of Moray in Mary Queen of Scots, and quite well too.
  145. @Verymuchalive
    @syonredux

    As you say, the early books were largely concentrated on the Soviet menace. That was part of the argument I was making.

    In the Bond film series, SMERSH is usually replaced with SPECTRE – a global terrorist organisation.

    Only in From Russia with Love is Smersh permitted to remain ( correct me if I'm wrong ). But to anyone with a passing knowledge of the books, SPECTRE =SMERSH was obvious. Bond lost his context after the end of the Cold War, and should have been retired. I've never been able to watch a Bond film after Dalton's last effort. When you're rehashing earlier films in the series, it's time to stop.
    But like everything in showbiz, if the punters continue to pay the money, continue.

    Replies: @syonredux

    Only in From Russia with Love is Smersh permitted to remain ( correct me if I’m wrong ).

    No. In the film version, Rosa Klebb and Donovan Grant were SPECTRE operatives. SPECTRE was playing the Brits and the Soviets against one another.

    But to anyone with a passing knowledge of the books, SPECTRE =SMERSH was obvious.

    SPECTRE had nothing to do with SMERSH. SMERSH was a Soviet communist organization, while SPECTRE was an apolitical criminal gang that was interested in profit:

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    @syonredux

    The quote was from the Wikipedia entry SMERSH ( James Bond )
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMERSH_(James_Bond)

    It seems very well referenced, so maybe you should take your complaint up with them, not me.
    From the same source:
    In the film series, Bond's archenemy became SPECTRE, which first appeared in Fleming's novel Thunderball (1961). SPECTRE is introduced in the first film, Dr. No (1962), in which Julius No explains to Bond that it is the acronym for the SPecial Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion, the four great cornerstones of power. Film versions of novels where SMERSH appears substituted either SPECTRE or independent villains.

    Although twice referred to, SMERSH never appears in the official film series; first, in From Russia with Love (1963), Bond initially thinks he is fighting SMERSH, only to learn that the villains are from SPECTRE, including Rosa Klebb, the former head of operations for SMERSH who has secretly defected to SPECTRE. Bond's love interest Tatiana Romanova says she knows Klebb as SMERSH's head of operations, and obeys her orders, presuming them from SMERSH. Second, The Living Daylights (1987) features a faked SMERSH re-activation. Throughout, it is referred to with its full name, Smiert Spionam (alternative spelling of Smert' Shpionam), rather than the better-known acronym; General Pushkin, then head of KGB, says it has been inoperative for 20 years. SMERSH is also an element in the 1967 spoofed film adaptation of Casino Royale that centres upon Le Chiffre's attempted recovery of SMERSH monies via baccarat at the Royale casino.

    So SMERSH is actually referenced in From Russia with Love
    I hope that has been of help.
    .

    Replies: @syonredux, @PiltdownMan

  146. The late Sean Connery was a great movie star, but was he ideally cast as James Bond?

    One only has to read a page or two of Gregory McDonald’s Fletch novels to see that Chevy Chase was perfect casting.

    • Agree: Cortes
    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    @Reg Cæsar


    One only has to read a page or two of Gregory McDonald’s Fletch novels to see that Chevy Chase was perfect casting.
     
    The first few Fletch novels were amusing, then they became annoying. So they were perfect for the post-SNL Chevy Chase.
  147. @Muggles
    @Realist

    Yes, I read them all too, in the sixties. From the public library.

    This is one role where the initial actor chosen for the part wasn't necessarily the exact model the author described. Based on his older brother as has been noted. He also had another brother who did the exotic travelling.

    But once the first film and later ones were huge hits, Connery made Bond into himself. There are some actors and actresses (quaint but now obsolete word, for some reason by deranged misplaced feminism) who are initially cast and they become the part, regardless of prior depictions or descriptions.

    Authors rarely have any say at all about casting. When they do results vary widely, not usually good.

    Connery was a man's man, whereas the later Bonds were more conventionally very handsome women's men. Not effeminate, but not as seemingly lethal in action. Of course he aged out of that part. Like very beautiful women, an extremely handsome man would be a poor secret agent or operative. Too noticeable. Connery could pass for many types of people (workers, bureaucrat, military, criminal, etc.) whereas Moore and Dalton would not.

    Very handsome men rarely engage in normal or risky occupations. Other than marry already rich wives.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Peter D. Bredon, @Verymuchalive

    Connery was a man’s man, whereas the later Bonds were more conventionally very handsome women’s men

    Actually, Connery was a very handsome man when he was younger, but in a strong, masculine way. My aunt can attest to that – she dated him several times ( in the 1950s ). So he was excellent in portraying the hard side to Bond, the man licensed to kill.
    You are right: Connery was a man’s man. After Bond, he didn’t bother about a toupee, as can be seen in The Man Who Would Be King ( 1975 ). I understand that some roles may require wearing a hairpiece, but Connery didn’t bother, publicly or privately. Real men don’t wear toupees.
    So many aging male actors persist in wearing rugs. They’re nearly all products of Drama Schools or Universities, with all the baggage that goes with it. Connery had worked in a number of hard, tough jobs before becoming an actor. ( He even worked as my aunt’s milkman – which is how she met him ).Needless to say, he didn’t bother about cosmetic surgery.

    Connery could pass for many types of people (workers, bureaucrat, military, criminal, etc.)

    He didn’t wear a rug and allowed himself to age naturally. So he could play a wide range of roles.
    50 years from now – all being well – Connery’s films will continued to be watched. Whereas nobody will watch Tom Cruise films.

    • Thanks: Muggles, PiltdownMan
  148. @Bardon Kaldian
    @syonredux

    This is what I've always found strange. Bond was fighting some super villains who never existed in reality. He should have been an operative cold-warrior.

    Instead, he basically opted out of politics. What was the purpose of such a character, anyway?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @syonredux

    This is what I’ve always found strange. Bond was fighting some super villains who never existed in reality. He should have been an operative cold-warrior.

    He was in the books, but not in the films. Of the first five books (CASINO ROYALE, LIVE AND LET DIE, MOONRAKER, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, and FROM RUSSIA, WITH LOVE) only one (DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER) did not feature villains who were linked to the USSR.

    Instead, he basically opted out of politics. What was the purpose of such a character, anyway?

    To make money. Hardline anti-Communism would have turned-off Leftist filmgoers.

  149. @syonredux
    @Verymuchalive


    Only in From Russia with Love is Smersh permitted to remain ( correct me if I’m wrong ).
     
    No. In the film version, Rosa Klebb and Donovan Grant were SPECTRE operatives. SPECTRE was playing the Brits and the Soviets against one another.

    But to anyone with a passing knowledge of the books, SPECTRE =SMERSH was obvious.
     
    SPECTRE had nothing to do with SMERSH. SMERSH was a Soviet communist organization, while SPECTRE was an apolitical criminal gang that was interested in profit:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z39yOZpcji0

    Replies: @Verymuchalive

    The quote was from the Wikipedia entry SMERSH ( James Bond )
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMERSH_(James_Bond)

    It seems very well referenced, so maybe you should take your complaint up with them, not me.
    From the same source:
    In the film series, Bond’s archenemy became SPECTRE, which first appeared in Fleming’s novel Thunderball (1961). SPECTRE is introduced in the first film, Dr. No (1962), in which Julius No explains to Bond that it is the acronym for the SPecial Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion, the four great cornerstones of power. Film versions of novels where SMERSH appears substituted either SPECTRE or independent villains.

    Although twice referred to, SMERSH never appears in the official film series; first, in From Russia with Love (1963), Bond initially thinks he is fighting SMERSH, only to learn that the villains are from SPECTRE, including Rosa Klebb, the former head of operations for SMERSH who has secretly defected to SPECTRE. Bond’s love interest Tatiana Romanova says she knows Klebb as SMERSH’s head of operations, and obeys her orders, presuming them from SMERSH. Second, The Living Daylights (1987) features a faked SMERSH re-activation. Throughout, it is referred to with its full name, Smiert Spionam (alternative spelling of Smert’ Shpionam), rather than the better-known acronym; General Pushkin, then head of KGB, says it has been inoperative for 20 years. SMERSH is also an element in the 1967 spoofed film adaptation of Casino Royale that centres upon Le Chiffre’s attempted recovery of SMERSH monies via baccarat at the Royale casino.

    So SMERSH is actually referenced in From Russia with Love
    I hope that has been of help.
    .

    • Replies: @syonredux
    @Verymuchalive


    So SMERSH is actually referenced in From Russia with Love
    I hope that has been of help.
     
    They're referenced, but SMERSH is not the enemy. The baddies in the film version of FROM RUSSIA, WITH LOVE are SPECTRE.As Bond notes, "it wasn't a Russian show at all":

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmTs5bF0-mQ

    SPECTRE is simply playing the Brits and the Sovs against one another:


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lL_q-rVZqR0

    Replies: @Verymuchalive

    , @PiltdownMan
    @Verymuchalive

    I wish the movies had used "SMERSH."

    It would have been amusing to hear Connery explain that SMERSH stood for Smert Shpionam in that distinctive accent.

  150. @James O'Meara
    Kingsley Amis, in the still-definitive (tho vastly out of date) James Bond Dossier, mostly about "Book Bond" but with a bit on the new "Movie Bond," disparages Connery as someone who "could play a Edinbugh businessman but never a Scottish laird." He's alluding to the Scottish heraldry guy Bond disguises himself as in OHMSS, and as it happens, that film was the first to not star Connery.

    Revisionism isn’t just for the Holocaust. Bond revisionists now consider George Lazenby to be the better Bond, and OHMSS to be the best Bond film (best cinematography, screenplay, music, Blofeld, Bond Girl, etc.) although possibly second to the Craig Casino Royale. Both, of course, non-Connery.

    And yes, it was thought so at the time. Harry and Cubby desperately wanted Lazenby to sign on for a half dozen films, but he refused, thinking he’d made his point — I’m as good as Connery — and like Connery wanted to move on. Vengeful producers created the legend of OHMSS as a disaster; would a Hollywood producer named Salzman lie to you? Not even for a stainless steel delicatessen!

    Operation Kid Brother (aka OK Connery, aka Operation Double 007) is actually quite a bit of fun and much better than one might think. Sean's brother isn't much good, but it's full of actual Bond actors: Aldolfo Celi is a much better villain than in Thunderball, we get several Bond Bad Girls from earlier movies, we get to actually see Anthony Dawson as (kinda) Blofeld, it's great to see Moneypenny and M out in the field (played by Lois and Lee themselves). Possibly the best Bond score -- Ennio Morricone! His title song is so over the top that on Mystery Science Theater Crow said that "he couldn't possibly live up to the song the wrote about him," and that "he's probably just an accountant named Wallace," which is a nice shout out to The Untouchables, starring Sean Connery.

    https://youtu.be/oKr1v2VyzCY

    Replies: @Thursday, @AceDeuce, @dfordoom

    I think that Lazenby did a good job, but, acting aside, OHMSS is probably the truest and best adaptation of any of Fleming’s Bond books/stories to be made into a film.

  151. The ” real ” bond ?

    Pal of Flemings seemingly.

    This is in the Isle of Lewis, Trump’s maternal homeland up near the arctic circle.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2185458/Aristocrat-bed-hopping-ways-inspired-James-Bond-author-donates-250-acre-Scottish-island-National-Trust.html

  152. @Peter D. Bredon
    @Muggles

    " an extremely handsome man would be a poor secret agent or operative. Too noticeable."

    Arguably Bond's biggest problem as a "secret agent" (never a spy!) is that everyone from bellboys to master criminals seems to know him. "Ah, welcome Mr. Bond!" He even hands out his business card (like Patrick Bateman and pals).

    Replies: @Muggles

    Arguably Bond’s biggest problem as a “secret agent” (never a spy!) is that everyone from bellboys to master criminals seems to know him. “Ah, welcome Mr. Bond!” He even hands out his business card (like Patrick Bateman and pals).

    Yes, good point.

    I think he nearly always went about in exotic places under some cover name/story. So not every bell boy knew his actual name or occupation. But it was rather thin, especially later on.

    All of the Big villains seemed to know him or his reputation. His role was more of a special operations “operator” as they are now deemed. He would travel under false passports but his real mission was to kill people or steal things, or both. Sometimes to discover plot details and disrupt them.

    We are led to believe all of the Big Guys know who all of the British operators ( 00 types) really are on sight. Low level criminals, hirelings or random other bad guys might not know who he was, until too late. Other than the Russians, a lot of governments seemed to be unaware of who he was when he was on their 3rd World turf. Sometimes local police assets. Though I was under the impression these were often longstanding British MI-5 local contacts. This was sometimes made clear. I suspect even in reality the most useful local assets are the heads of the local police.

  153. @JMcG
    @Anonymous

    There has to be a really interesting file locked up somewhere in Whitehall on the subject of that Rudolph Hess flight. What exactly was the reason they kept him shut up in Spandau for so long?

    Replies: @Muggles, @David In TN

    There has to be a really interesting file locked up somewhere in Whitehall on the subject of that Rudolph Hess flight. What exactly was the reason they kept him shut up in Spandau for so long?

    Something to do with the “Royal family” no doubt. At least certain members.

    No one here will be alive long enough to know what’s in that file. Give it another 100 years or until the end of the British monarchy, whichever comes first.

  154. @Steve Sailer
    @Bardon Kaldian

    The Cold War was not waged very hard in popular entertainment.

    Replies: @syonredux, @Mr. Anon, @PiltdownMan

    The degree to which Cold War-era spy films and TV series avoided confronting the Red Menace is pretty amazing. As previously noted, the Bond films steered clear of the Commies, favoring, instead, SPECTRE (Barring only GOLDFINGER, the baddie in every Connery Bond flick), evil eugenicists (the baddies in THE SPY WHO LOVED ME and MOONRAKER), Third-World drug kingpins (the Blaxploitation-influenced LIVE AND LET DIE), and narcissistic assassins (Christopher Lee in THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN). It wasn’t until 1981 that Bond, in FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, actually went up against the Soviets.

    THE MAN FROM UNCLE carried it a step further, as they had the East and the West teaming-up against THRUSH.

    THE AVENGERS had some Cold War stuff early on, but the Emma Peel era mostly focused on fantastical threats.

    The literary Mike Hammer was a staunch Cold Warrior. For example, in 1951’s One Lonely Night, Hammer boasts that “I killed more people tonight than I have fingers on my hands. I shot them in cold blood and enjoyed every minute of it. I pumped slugs into the nastiest bunch of bastards you ever saw and here I am calmer than I’ve ever been and happy too. They were Commies, Lee. They were red sons-of-bitches who should have died long ago.” But did the film-and-television version act in a similar fashion? Not that I know of.

    • Replies: @James O'Meara
    @syonredux

    "THE AVENGERS had some Cold War stuff early on, but the Emma Peel era mostly focused on fantastical threats."

    The New Avengers brought back the Soviet element, partly due to Patrick Magee's age, and I suppose to capitalize on perestroika, the Smiley TV series, etc. Steed would recall some bit of Cold War tradecraft when needed. "How did you know they wouldn't take a head shot?" "Soviets always aim for the body... if you miss, you maim." Brrrr. Magee of course was in AVTAK, while Joanna Lumley was in OHMSS.

    Spillane: he hated Kiss Me Deadly (a great film, actually, but the shitlib writer/directors downplayed the Soviet angle; also, they were trying to "expose" the sadism of Spillane and make people hate the Hammer character, which backfired -- the Catholic League condemned the film .... for sadism!). In response, he made his own version of The Girl Hunters. Filmed in England (which location work in NYC) it stars Shirley Easton, right before Goldfinger. Spillane himself plays Hammer, which work better than, say, Ayn Rand as Dominique Falcone. Love seeing him swanning around NYC in a white trenchcoat ("Only a cop would wear a white trenchcoat. Probably trying to pass as a fag" -- Burroughs, Naked Lunch)

    https://counter-currents.com/2014/02/mike-hammer-occult-dick-kiss-me-deadly-as-lovecraftian-tale/

    Replies: @syonredux, @syonredux, @Mr. Anon

    , @ChrisZ
    @syonredux

    Syon, Umberto Eco pegs Spillane's Hammer books as an inspiration for Fleming's Bond (at least his early novels). It seemed a very unlikely comparison to me, until I finally read the Hammer books, at which point it became obvious. Eco notes that Hammer in "I, the Jury" is haunted by his WW2 killing of a Japanese in cold blood, and Fleming acknowledges his debt to Spillane by having Bond recollect his wartime assassination of a Japanese while on assignment in New York in "Casino Royale." But there are more important similarities between the two books, including betrayal by the hero's love interest, and memorable final lines expressing the hero's hardened heart (Hammer: "It was easy'" answering the question of how he could kill a woman he loved; Bond: "The bitch is dead," reporting the suicide of his beloved) .

    I think that as a novelist, Fleming said everything he had to say about James Bond *as a character* in "Casino Royale," which can stand on its own as a novel of the Cold War. The rest of the Bond series is merely Fleming recapitulating the character arc he had already devised for Bond in his first outing, but extended over a dozen genre books.

    Replies: @David In TN

  155. @SunBakedSuburb
    @Feryl

    "Craig is the worst"

    Daniel Craig is a talented actor but his 007 has been given superpowers in the era of the comic book movies. Casino Royale (2006), directed by Martin Campbell, is one of the best films of the franchise. The subsequent Craig films, while gloriously made, have become less intriguing. It'll be interesting to see if EON Productions bends the knee to the Western anti-racism cult and casts Idris Elba or another UK black as James Bond. Elba is another quality UK actor but he's black. I'll stop watching the movies if Bond turns black because I'm prejudiced.

    Replies: @Mikeja, @Thursday, @Wilkey

    It’ll be interesting to see if EON Productions bends the knee to the Western anti-racism cult and casts Idris Elba or another UK black as James Bond. Elba is another quality UK actor but he’s black. I’ll stop watching the movies if Bond turns black because I’m prejudiced.

    I’ll stop watching Bond movies if they make him black because I’m tired of this shit; and because James Bond is supposed to be white; and because I’m tired of this shit; and because invent your own damned superheroes; and because I’m tired of this shit.

    Idris Elba is a decent actor, but he’s damn near 50. He’s only four years younger than Daniel Craig, who is already aging out of the role. Roger Moore was 58 for his last Bond film and he was already several years too old for the part. And Moore aged much better than Elba has.

    And to be quite blunt, I think whites are better at acting than blacks. Oh pardon me, is that racist? It’s ok to say blacks are better dancers or better athletes, but not to say that whites are better actors? Well ok then. There are good actors and there are amazing actors. I’ve seen a fair number of good black actors, but anytime I’ve left the theater saying “Holy shit, that guy (or girl) was amazing!” it has always been for a white actor or actress. Always.

    For the studios part I think they’ll keep Bond white because, as much as I’m not a fan of Daniel Craig, the latest Bond films are raking in money. The last several installments have raked in about a billion each. Do you know how much the first Disney Star Wars film, “The Farce Awakens,” grossed? $2,068 million. And how much the last one, “The Rise of Skywalker,” grossed? $1,074 million – or barely half the first one. Between that, “The Last Jedi,” and their other two Star Wars films, Wokeness probably cost Disney about $2 billion. And it’s not necessarily the case that box offices decline for sequels, especially not trillogies. The box office for “The Lord of the Rings” climbed with every installment. The box office for “The Hobbit” trilogy, which wasn’t nearly as good, fell a bit, but not by much. But a near-50% drop? Insane. In the era of COVID, even Disney can’t afford to pass up $2 billion, let alone whatever studio it is that owns the Bond franchise.

    So sure, cast a black James Bond – and watch your profits tank.

    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    @Wilkey

    How well do James Bond films do in Asia? Asians, especially Chinese, do not like black action heroes, so a desire to please Asian audiences may keep James Bond white for another series.

  156. @Verymuchalive
    @syonredux

    The quote was from the Wikipedia entry SMERSH ( James Bond )
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMERSH_(James_Bond)

    It seems very well referenced, so maybe you should take your complaint up with them, not me.
    From the same source:
    In the film series, Bond's archenemy became SPECTRE, which first appeared in Fleming's novel Thunderball (1961). SPECTRE is introduced in the first film, Dr. No (1962), in which Julius No explains to Bond that it is the acronym for the SPecial Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion, the four great cornerstones of power. Film versions of novels where SMERSH appears substituted either SPECTRE or independent villains.

    Although twice referred to, SMERSH never appears in the official film series; first, in From Russia with Love (1963), Bond initially thinks he is fighting SMERSH, only to learn that the villains are from SPECTRE, including Rosa Klebb, the former head of operations for SMERSH who has secretly defected to SPECTRE. Bond's love interest Tatiana Romanova says she knows Klebb as SMERSH's head of operations, and obeys her orders, presuming them from SMERSH. Second, The Living Daylights (1987) features a faked SMERSH re-activation. Throughout, it is referred to with its full name, Smiert Spionam (alternative spelling of Smert' Shpionam), rather than the better-known acronym; General Pushkin, then head of KGB, says it has been inoperative for 20 years. SMERSH is also an element in the 1967 spoofed film adaptation of Casino Royale that centres upon Le Chiffre's attempted recovery of SMERSH monies via baccarat at the Royale casino.

    So SMERSH is actually referenced in From Russia with Love
    I hope that has been of help.
    .

    Replies: @syonredux, @PiltdownMan

    So SMERSH is actually referenced in From Russia with Love
    I hope that has been of help.

    They’re referenced, but SMERSH is not the enemy. The baddies in the film version of FROM RUSSIA, WITH LOVE are SPECTRE.As Bond notes, “it wasn’t a Russian show at all”:

    SPECTRE is simply playing the Brits and the Sovs against one another:

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    @syonredux

    I agree. But anyone with a knowledge of the books would realise that all the SMERSH references had been altered, or replaced by SPECTRE, no doubt for sound box office reasons you have alluded to elsewhere.

  157. @Richard of Melbourne
    James Bond was - supposedly - born to a Scottish father (the ancestral family home was Skyfall, located in a damp and unappealing part of the Highlands, as depicted in one of the recent movies) and a Swiss mother.

    Nothing English except the accent and manners he presumably acquired at Eton, which he is supposed to have attended briefly before being sent to Fettes, a Scottish school.

    Lots of posh Scots are sent to English schools, giving them accents indistinguishable from those of their English-born classmates (I once worked with such a Scot, himself an Old Etonian).

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon, @Bill Jones, @Stebbing Heuer

    Lots of posh Scots are sent to English schools, giving them accents indistinguishable from those of their English-born classmates

    Indeed, Some of the even try to pass as White.

  158. @Mr. Anon
    On the subject of Bond movies, one must mention the theme songs that were rejected:

    Like this one, for Thunderball, sung by Shirley Bassey:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oREmbGD84Kw

    And this one, also for Thunderball, sung by Johnny Cash.

    yes, Johnny Cash:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-AN5mJF13A

    Replies: @D. K.

    I was wholly unaware that Shirley Bassey was both able and willing to immitate the vocal stylings of Dionne Warwick. Bassey’s thundering “Goldfinger” remains the quintessential ‘007’ theme song.

    • Replies: @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race
    @D. K.

    She didn't. That has to be Dionne Warwick that he's mistaken for Bassey. Bassey is a great singer, and I agree about Goldfinger, but here:

    Tom Jones, 'Thunderball' (1965)
    Jones wasn't their first choice: Shirley Bassey, Dionne Warwick and Johnny Cash also submitted songs for Thunderball, but at the last possible minute they opted for the Welsh singer.

    No way if both Warwick and Bassey submitted songs that Bassey would imitate Dionne, and she couldn't have possibly done that anyway. Nobody could.

    , @MEH 0910
    @D. K.

    That is Dionne Warwick singing that version of the rejected title theme:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderball_(soundtrack)#Title_theme_change


    The original main title theme to Thunderball was titled "Mr. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang", which was written by John Barry and Leslie Bricusse. The title was taken from an Italian journalist who in 1962 dubbed agent 007 as "Mr. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang". Barry had thought he could not write a song about a vague "Thunderball" term or the film's story, so his song was a description of the character James Bond.[2]

    The song was originally recorded by Shirley Bassey. When there were concerns with the length of the track compared to the needed titles, it was later rerecorded by Dionne Warwick as Bassey was not available and featured a longer instrumental opening designed so the lyrics would not be heard until after the title "Thunderball" appeared in Maurice Binder's title design.[3] Neither version was released until the 1990s. The song was removed from the title credits after United Artists requested that the theme song contain the film's title in its lyrics.[4] When it was planned to use the Warwick version in the end titles Shirley Bassey sued the producers[5][6] with the result being that neither version was heard in the film and different instrumental versions of the theme appeared on the High Fidelity (Bassey's) and Stereo (Warwick's) soundtrack LPs.[7]
     

    Barry teamed up with lyricist Don Black and wrote "Thunderball" in a rush.[8] Tom Jones, who sang the new theme song, allegedly fainted in the recording booth after singing the song's final, high note.[8] Jones said of the final note, "I closed my eyes and I held the note for so long when I opened my eyes the room was spinning."[9]

    Country musician Johnny Cash also submitted a song to Eon productions titled "Thunderball" but it wasn't used.[10] The lyrics of Cash's "Thunderball" describe the film's story.[11]

    The producers' decision to change the film's theme song so close to the release date meant that only some of the film's soundtrack had been recorded for release on LP.[8] Adding to the delay issues, Barry had written large amounts of the score around the original theme and woven it throughout the score (along with the recurring underwater "Search For Vulcan" motif). After "Thunderball" was written, Barry wrote, orchestrated, and recorded several new pieces interpolating it. Barry's scores always included a track which gave the film's theme song a full statement in the form of a sensitive, slowed-down instrumental ballad, often played over a romantic moment or a scene set in a nightclub or casino[citation needed]; he re-arranged "Thunderball" as a lush, subtly jazzy orchestral piece in the easy listening style that was popular at the time.

    Though "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" was dropped as the theme song, some of the pieces which included its melody remained part of the score, and it receives full statements twice: by full orchestra and jazz rhythm quartet with bass, drums, guitar, and vibraphone in the track "Café Martinique" (immediately followed by the "Vulcan" cue), and as a wild, bongo-laden cha-cha-cha in "Death of Fiona." The scene which includes the latter takes place at Club Kiss Kiss, and features the bongo drumming of bandleader King Errisson. Because Thunderball's score had, essentially, two main themes to work from, as well as the "Search For Vulcan" cue, the "007 Theme" and the "James Bond Theme," it is arguably[weasel words] the richest of the early Bond scores, thematically speaking.
     

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon

    , @MEH 0910
    @D. K.

    Here's the Shirley Bassey version of the rejected title theme:

    Thunderball - alternate title seq. - Shirley Bassey - HD STEREO
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1debbldqGc

    Replies: @Mr. Anon

  159. @John
    More interesting than who played the best James Bond is why these books - which were awful - got turned into movies. Maybe it was a Space-Age thing, plus a Cold-War thing, and the former provided gadgetry and the latter provided rivalry, and...I still don't understand why anyone who'd decided to make a movie with both would reach as low as an Ian Fleming novel for characters.

    Good to see, in any case, Peter Fleming getting a little press here. I think I've read everything he published in book form. Even The Flying Visit, which I found in the Texas Tech library. News From Tartary inspired me to study Turkish and Russian. Brazilian Adventure is, I still think, the best book ever written about that country. Perhaps because Fleming's party was out of the range of news for most of the expedition, it lacks details which would date it; it is mostly about Brazilians themselves, and from about my third visit in 1993 to my nineteenth three weeks ago, I have maintained the book still captures the place. (I'd found the volume in the UT Austin library in 1989.)

    OT, here might be a fruitful topic: old travel books that somehow remain instructive. I'd add Brian Hall's The Impossible Country, which even though Yugoslavia doesn't exist anymore, and the book hardly said anything about Slovenia, has clued me to much in that country. On the other hand, I would not fully include Paul Theroux's The Old Patagonian Express. It may still be a good introduction to Argentina but I think it really is way out of date on Central America. (Another, even OT-er mental exercise: remember when Nicaragua and El Salvador were in the news a lot? I do. Then they vanished. I daresay they've done well since. And maybe there's a connection.)

    Replies: @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race, @JMcG, @Muggles, @dfordoom

    News From Tartary inspired me to study Turkish and Russian

    Yes, that Peter Fleming book deserves a wide audience. I read it this last winter and as I told a friend, after reading that you’ll never complain about hardships on your own little vacation trip.

    Very revealing about places still in the news. Unfortunately my paperback didn’t have the map which you should have. Names have changed but you can still figure out he took the only route available. I highly recommend it.

    And the Swiss woman he was with! Why haven’t feminists taken up her as a heroine? Online reviews of her book also chronicling their journey aren’t very kind. English wasn’t her first language and her insights evidently not very interesting. Still how many modern women could do that?

    When you read about what these early travelers did (early 20th century) you have to admire those who traveled to tough places. A lot of “eccentric” Brits out in the very dangerous boondocks. I have thought that the “Tartary” book would be a great semester long basis for a university course on far western Chinese geography and culture. Refreshing to read such clear, concise and candid observations about very different places and people.

    If nothing else it will take your mind off current political/pandemic nonsense. Thanks for your reference here!

    • Replies: @John
    @Muggles

    You are welcome! And I agree completely about News From Tartary making the great foundation for a college course.

    Why haven't feminists taken up Kini Maillart? I've wondered the same thing. I do know this, from having looked at such items of hers that got translated into English: she was a bore. But how can THAT be an impediment? I guess she was the wrong KIND of bore. That may matter. Hard as that is to believe.

    To answer @JMcG: yes, I have read, and enjoyed, Patrick Leigh Fermor. He never slept in his car in Mississippi, or bivouacked in Iowa on a bicycle ride...but he could have. He was totally ready for anything. But to return to my original inquiry - when I go off-topic, I at least stay on my own! - I am not sure his stuff would really instruct anyone now. About his ample writings on Greece, I cannot say because I have never been there. Nor have I visited the eastern European places he did. I was in Vienna as recently as last year, a city from which you can take a commuter train to Bratislava, or Pressburg as Fermor knew it; but I did not do that. I will guess that I would have recognized nothing. Fermor himself spoke German pretty much all the time in those parts, but I doubt anyone there does now. (No more than anyone does in Ljubljana, which no one calls Laibach anymore.)

  160. @JMcG
    @Anonymous

    There has to be a really interesting file locked up somewhere in Whitehall on the subject of that Rudolph Hess flight. What exactly was the reason they kept him shut up in Spandau for so long?

    Replies: @Muggles, @David In TN

    The Russians wanted Hess kept in Spandau. They believed Hess’ flight was part of a plot to ally Britain with the Germans against the Soviet Union.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    @David In TN

    I don’t doubt it, but why did we agree to keep him locked up like that? It just seems far out of proportion to anything he actually did.

    Replies: @David In TN

  161. @Bardon Kaldian
    I cannot answer the question properly, because I have always admired Sean Connery as a manly personality, but have regarded the James Bond idea as a farce.

    First few Bond movies were good & watchable, but later Connery Bond films, as well as all Moore's, treat Bond as it should be- a comedy. British spying was great until Soviets simply steamrolled over it (3rd, 4th, 5th,.... man), so that I could never take a British spy story arc seriously.

    Also, his gadgets were ludicrous, as were super-villains. Only Bond girls were something.... I don't know what, but they were.

    The Bond character is as absurd as Harry Potter & I simply don't get it why would anyone watch it. Except, of course- as a comedy.

    Replies: @Father O'Hara

    My own take is that James Bond was a series of several movies starring Sean Connery. And that’s it. The other movies were just goofy or brutal,in the case of Craig,adventure movies starring different guys playing a guy named James Bond. He could’ve been named Horace Finkelstein,for all I cared.
    Bond was of a particular actor and a particular time,that being the 60s,before,as Bob Hope said,the “serious stuff” started.

    Its fitting that JFK loved the books. He gave Bond a 60s New Fronteah imprimatur.

    Bond,by Connery,was part of the British Invasion,sort of a shot across the bow. Our innate Anglophilia was arousd by Bond, soon after bowled over by the Beatles. I recall one passing remark,where Connery jokes about the Fab Four; delightful!

    It was also about Technicolor,and beautiful women in bikinis and the Caribbean seen through the eyes of a young boy who had heretofore only seen movies with Jerry Lewis and Buddy Hackett, etc.

    When Connery,older,came back to do a Bond,it just wasn’t worth the effort.
    The real question, could anyone else have played Zardoz?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Father O'Hara

    London-New York jetliners became a regular thing in 1959, which helped the Anglophilia of the 1960s.

    Also, the Brits had been pretty beaten down for years after 1945 by how broke they were. Finally around 1960 they, as Austin Powers would say, started to get their mojo back. They had lots of glamor and goodwill left over from WWII, so Brits liked the Beatles and Sean Connery benefited from it.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

    , @James O'Meara
    @Father O'Hara

    Serving Dom Perignon at the wrong temperature "is like listening to the Beatles without earmuffs."

    At that point -- Goldfinger -- they thought the Beatles would be just a passing fad. Eventually, they and their "youth culture" surpassed Bond; that line marks the point where Bond "cool" became "square" (or he lost his mojo, if you will). Kids used to want to become adults (see Joel Hodgson's remark about Bond above) like Bond or Sinatra; then, overnight, they became "squares".

    Mad Men had a similar scene, where Don's newer, younger wife gives him a copy of Rubber Soul before leaving for the West Coast, asking him to play the last track. When she's gone, he puts it on -- Tomorrow Never Knows -- and after minute or two he switches it off. Copyright worries? No, it just shows that hip Don is now a square.

    I think that season ends with Don in a bar, as the jukebox plays "You Only Live Twice" (Sinatra, hip Nancy, that is), which is the story of Don's life or lives.

    It would have been fun if Weiner had continues Mad Men as a series like Bond, with a new, younger actor playing "Don Draper" at the same age in new decades.

    Replies: @Matra, @Ray P

    , @MEH 0910
    @Father O'Hara


    The real question, could anyone else have played Zardoz?
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zardoz#Casting

    In April 1973 Boorman announced the film would star Burt Reynolds and Charlotte Rampling.[10] Reynolds had just worked with Boorman on 1972's Deliverance. However, Reynolds had to pull out due to illness and was replaced by Connery.[11] "Connery had just stopped doing the Bond films and he wasn’t getting any jobs, so he came along and did it," said Boorman.[9] Connery's casting was announced in May 1973 the week before filming was to begin.[12]
     
    A Look at the Background of Zardoz
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D97oaGcz5gc

    See the review at: https://sfdebris.com/videos/films/zardoz.php
     

    Replies: @James O'Meara

    , @Bardon Kaldian
    @Father O'Hara

    A very good analysis.

  162. @Steve Sailer
    @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race

    Niven was a star off-screen, a legendary raconteur. His WWII service remains kind of cloudy. My guess is he was used a fair amount to charm the Americans in British interests: e.g., Monty and Patton are meeting with Ike over who gets fuel: send Niven along to tell some of those jokes that the Yanks like.

    But he wasn't super charismatic on screen. Niven wished to be Cary Grant onscreen, and Cary Grant, an insecure man, wished to be Niven offscreen.

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon

    “But he wasn’t super charismatic on screen. Niven wished to be Cary Grant onscreen, and Cary Grant, an insecure man, wished to be Niven offscreen.”

    They starred together in The Bishop’s Wife, a Christmasy film still well worth seeing. The odd thing is that Niven plays the Bishop, Grant the angel who helps rekindle the Bishop’s marriage, but originally the roles were reversed. Can’t recall at what point they realized they had made a terrible mistake. If you see or remember the film, it’s hard to imagine with the original casting.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Peter D. Bredon

    Offscreen, Niven was the favorite dinner guest of the rich, powerful, and witty, while Grant was constantly going to psychiatrists about his Impostor Syndrome: everybody thinks I'm Cary Grant, but I'm really poor little Archibald Leach. They all told him he'd made more people happy for 2 hours than any movie star ever, so of course he was Cary Grant by now. But he didn't believe them.

    Finally, a psychiatrist in the late 1950s gave him LSD and told him he'd earned the right to be Cary Grant, and this time he believed him and cheered up.

  163. @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race
    @Anonymous

    If David Niven was going to do Bond, Fleming may not have seen Bond as particularly an ultimate ladies' man--sophisticated upper-class but not so much masculine charisma--nowhere near Connery or Moore in that way. In fact, although I could see him as a fine actor, I didn't think he was that much of a STAR--but his Oscar-winner, Separate Tables, was pretty fantastic, and had an amazing cast. I haven't seen Casino Royale.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @James O'Meara

    From Niven to Connery as exemplar of “masculine charisma” … the producers needed to teach Connery how to play someone who wasn’t a thug …. by that standard, Red Grant had more “masculine charisma” than Bond and so Robert Shaw should have replaced Connery… no wonder we’ve now wound up with Negroes as the masculine ideal.

    • Replies: @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race
    @James O'Meara

    Whatever. None of that makes any sense, at least not to me. So anyway they did teach Connery not to be such a 'thug', never knew that till these threads. I just discover today that I really care little about Ian Fleming's books and that it was just the movies I saw, and only Connery's, that have left a lasting impression--and it's only when taken as a whole--all his Bond work--that they actually do mean much to me: I don't think of any of the Bond movies as extraordinary the way I do hundreds of other films, but his essaying of Bond is pretty damned *bright*. I'm sure that if Jeremy Irons had been old enough, he could have done it. You'd probably call Robert Mitchum a 'thug' too. I think he was one of the most interesting and even mysterious American actors, and did Philip Marlowe in Farewell My Lovely with Charlotte Rampling better than Bogart, who was much more of a swell than Bridgeport's Mitchum. Mitchum better than Dick Powell in the same story, but called Murder My Sweet, with the great devil-woman Claire Trevor. I looked for a good Philip Marlowe a long time after reading all the Chandler novels, and discovered this Mitchum treasure by accident; it's a beautiful film.


    so Robert Shaw should have replaced Connery… no wonder we’ve now wound up with Negroes as the masculine ideal.
     
    Wouldn't you say that's a bit a of a stretch--going from Niven to Connery's 'thug' and Shaw 'should have done Bond' to 'our Negro masculine ideal'?

    Anyway, to some degree, it even makes sense that Negroes are to some degree one of the obviously important 'masculine ideals': It's SPORTS, with Michael Jordan, Reggie Jackson, Tiger Woods, Wilt Chamberlain, dozens more--including the women!...more than movies. You seem to be saying that Connery led us to the point of some 'generalized Negro masculine ideal', but surely you can't have meant that...

    Another British Smoothie, Michael York, is probably a bit too 'tender' for Bond, although his acting ability was always fairly unlimited; but maybe a bit too refined (Bond is not subtle.) Steve has been talking about Cary Grant/David Niven. Grant would never have been able to get Bond right and make of him an icon, which Connery has done--even for people like me who don't really think Ian Fleming's books are exactly great literature. In fact, this fictional hero over many novels is probably everywhere, but nothing else comes to mind right now but Marlowe to match Bond--and yet Chandler was really an artist with those Romantic noirs, they're among the most unique American creations. One of the great writers of LA. So maybe some people find Fleming an artist. Is interesting that Los Angeles has always been by far the most noirish city--much more than NYC, although there were a few. Nothing as good as Double Indemnity. But there's Fante with Ask the Dust, and Didion's essays in The White Album have a lot of that L.A. noir atmosphere (while living in that Franklin Ave. house) that some of us have gone in search of (her novels less so.) Film Forum here did a month of 'London noir', and man, did it ever not work after you've read a lot of L.A. writers. I guess Ellroy was the last one doing it seriously and on a big scale (and, though they're very good, they're sometimes overblown and all the movies made from the books were terrible, including L.A. Confidential, raved over by people who haven't read the book to see just what butchery they did to it), and I think David Lynch's Mulholland Drive may have been the last truly noir film, and that was some film. But Mulholland Falls with Nick Nolte was also a fine neo-noir film about 5 years earlier. Five years after Mulholland Drive was De Palma's film of The Black Dahlia, which I found atrocious. But it was a testament to how irrelevant noir was by then. I saw a noir play off-Broadway around 2004, and that was nowhere. I could still feel the atmosphere as late as 2001 when I started going to L.A. a lot--the Hollywood area was still very sinister along Western-, but I thought it had vanished just a few years later.

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon, @James O'Meara

    , @syonredux
    @James O'Meara

    Masculinity is a complicated thing. It's all about getting the right mixture of toughness and smoothness. Add in too much toughness, and the result is a coarse thug; pour in too much smoothness, and you get a sissified fop. Get the ingredients in proper balance, and you get the masculine ideal, a perfect combination of the tough and the smooth, the rugged and the refined.

    Connery, in his natural state, was a bit on the coarse side of the equation, but, after some helpful instruction from Terence Young, he was able to project the proper synthesis.

    Replies: @Buffalo Joe, @Bardon Kaldian

  164. @YetAnotherAnon
    @Richard of Melbourne

    "Lots of posh Scots are sent to English schools, giving them accents indistinguishable from those of their English-born classmates"

    A recent example is the spook, Remainer and former Conservative MP Rory Stewart, who fought Brexit and failed, failed to become Tory leader, and headed off to Harvard. He became a Tory candidate despite never having voted for them in his life.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rory_Stewart

    Harking back to Roger Moore and The Saint, I hadn't realised Saint creator Leslie Charteris was in fact Leslie Yin, born to a Chinese father and British mother.


    Charteris relocated to the United States in 1932, where he continued to publish short stories and also became a writer for Paramount Pictures, working on the George Raft film, Midnight Club.

    However, Charteris was excluded from permanent residency in the United States because of the Chinese Exclusion Act, a law which prohibited immigration for persons of "50% or greater" Oriental blood. As a result, Charteris was forced to continually renew his six-month temporary visitor's visa. Eventually, an act of Congress personally granted his daughter and him the right of permanent residence in the United States, with eligibility for naturalization, which he later completed.
     
    His brother was quite a character too.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Henry_Bowyer-Yin

    Replies: @James O'Meara, @James O'Meara

    “fought Brexit and failed, failed to become Tory leader, and headed off to Harvard. ‘

    Seems an all too appropriate career path.

  165. @YetAnotherAnon
    @Richard of Melbourne

    "Lots of posh Scots are sent to English schools, giving them accents indistinguishable from those of their English-born classmates"

    A recent example is the spook, Remainer and former Conservative MP Rory Stewart, who fought Brexit and failed, failed to become Tory leader, and headed off to Harvard. He became a Tory candidate despite never having voted for them in his life.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rory_Stewart

    Harking back to Roger Moore and The Saint, I hadn't realised Saint creator Leslie Charteris was in fact Leslie Yin, born to a Chinese father and British mother.


    Charteris relocated to the United States in 1932, where he continued to publish short stories and also became a writer for Paramount Pictures, working on the George Raft film, Midnight Club.

    However, Charteris was excluded from permanent residency in the United States because of the Chinese Exclusion Act, a law which prohibited immigration for persons of "50% or greater" Oriental blood. As a result, Charteris was forced to continually renew his six-month temporary visitor's visa. Eventually, an act of Congress personally granted his daughter and him the right of permanent residence in the United States, with eligibility for naturalization, which he later completed.
     
    His brother was quite a character too.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Henry_Bowyer-Yin

    Replies: @James O'Meara, @James O'Meara

    “I hadn’t realised Saint creator Leslie Charteris was in fact Leslie Yin, born to a Chinese father and British mother.”

    Neither I, despite having started to read the series from time to time since last year. No one every mentions this relevant fact. Doesn’t that make his books vibrantly diverse, and wouldn’t publishers point that out?

  166. @David In TN
    @Verymuchalive

    I recall when Timothy Dalton was cast as James Bond, one of the producers said something like: "We must never forget Bond is a killer. Dalton looks like he could pull the trigger."

    As Sean Connery looked when he shot Professor Dent in Doctor No.

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    As Sean Connery looked when he shot Professor Dent in Doctor No.

    I saw Dr. No when it came out and that scene, like the train fight in From Russia With Love, has stuck with me for years because of how casually SC shot Dent. Connery was perfect in the first two movies.

    • Replies: @David In TN
    @Jim Don Bob

    Yes, you could say Doctor No and From Russia With Love were the best there would ever be. The scene in FRWL were Grant (Robert Shaw) holds a gun on Bond makes you imagine Bond is in real danger more than any other scene in the entire series.

    From Russia With Love had an air of Cold War tension fitting the time.

    Replies: @James O'Meara

  167. @Bugg
    @Mr. Anon

    McGoohan also was born to Irish parents living in Queens, NY. Doubt the Bond series could have plausibly cast an Irish-American. Was a regular in many American tv series in the 1970s like "Colombo". One of the few American actors who has credibly play Irish and English roles, as he memorably did in "Braveheart" as Edward Longshanks.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon

    One of the few American actors who has credibly play Irish and English roles, as he memorably did in “Braveheart” as Edward Longshanks.

    And Scottish. He played James Stewart, Earl of Moray in Mary Queen of Scots, and quite well too.

  168. @Ray P
    @SunBakedSuburb

    In Golden Gun, Moore's Bond is saved from a gang of irate martial artists (who were successfully beating him) in Thailand by a pair of kick-ass teenage girls which is fairly embarrassing.

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon

    Even more embarrassing is how the scene is shot .. it appears that the guy with the car who “rescues”him at the end of the scene roars away leaving him accidentally behind., shrugging his shoulders. I think that was a goof that they incorporated into the filming.

    • Replies: @Ray P
    @Peter D. Bredon

    Moore's Bond endured a lot of comic mishaps of this sort which indicates how the producers had decided to play up the humour when he came aboard in the nineteen seventies.

  169. @Steve Sailer
    @Bardon Kaldian

    The Cold War was not waged very hard in popular entertainment.

    Replies: @syonredux, @Mr. Anon, @PiltdownMan

    The Cold War was not waged very hard in popular entertainment.

    In North by Northwest and Mission Impossible they just referred to “The Other Side” or “The East”.

    That would be an interesting exercise – to actually name all the espionage movies that dealt with, or at least referred to, the actual sides in the Cold War. It probably wouldn’t be a lot.

    • Replies: @Peter D. Bredon
    @Mr. Anon

    Why, it's almost as if the folks in Hollywood wanted to downplay or even trivialize it.

    Or is it a Commie habit, to leave the enemy vague, since they keep changing: Hitler-Stalin pact, Eastasia vs Oceania, etc.

    Does anyone know how Soviet films handled it?

  170. @Reg Cæsar

    The late Sean Connery was a great movie star, but was he ideally cast as James Bond?

     

    One only has to read a page or two of Gregory McDonald's Fletch novels to see that Chevy Chase was perfect casting.

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    One only has to read a page or two of Gregory McDonald’s Fletch novels to see that Chevy Chase was perfect casting.

    The first few Fletch novels were amusing, then they became annoying. So they were perfect for the post-SNL Chevy Chase.

  171. @Anonymous
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    That was pretty much the official Soviet view of the war - that the 'war' between Germany and the western powers was in fact an elaborate ruse, at least to begin with, and that in reality all the capitalist powers were united behind Germany's attempt to destroy the USSR.

    Replies: @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    Cool, that either means I’m right or I’m a useful idiot

  172. There’s no way today’s Bond could talk to a black man like Connery talked to the Quarrel character in Dr. No. He ridicules him for his superstition, and orders him to fetch his slippers. Quarrel complies cheerfully to commands of “Boss.”

    Best Bond films probably were Goldfinger, You Only Live Twice, the Daniel Craig Casino Royale, and Dr. No. Certainly the first three I list had the best music. Listen to the Goldfinger soundtrack album; it’s excellent.

  173. @R.G. Camara
    @Feryl

    In Craig's defense, all of his movies have been prequels; that is, they are set up to show how Bond becomes Bond. How could a ruthless spy/assassin become a charming, debonair gentlemen with an iron fist in a silk glove, who keeps his emotions in check and always has an ironic witty line at hand?

    We see it. In Casino Royale, we see him make his first two kills at the beginning, and then make aggressive mistakes of a young angry man: killing the African bombmaker, nearly destroying an airport in Miami, banging only married women to avoid falling in love, and then blowing himself up in a casino in Montenegro. And then falling in love---only to be betrayed by his love.

    The next three movies see him dealing with the aftermath of that: a bitterness towards Vesper, a drinking problem, a revenge mission. But slowly he learns about a sophisticated, hidden world not even his bosses know about: SPECTRE, Quantum, Blofeld. Along the way he learns that MI6 has lots of dark secrets (the spy left behind played by Javier Bardem) and sees his own family estate in Scotland blown to bits.

    He thinks he's lost at life, but he finds a female companion he loves, and learns how to avoid the quick kill to get information and what he needs, and learns how to have ironic detachment from even his bosses, who are not always trustworthy.

    In the last film, we see Bond going into the traditional superior's office with the double door. It's a signal that Bond has become the Bond we know.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon, @Truth

    I liked the first of the Daniel Craig movies, Casino Royale. All the movies since Goldeneye have labored under a huge handicap – Judi Dench. Does anybody like her? Half the movies involve Bond rescuing M, and an equal number turn on some kind of revenge plot. Revenge is such a lazy and juvenile plot device.

    • Replies: @Ray P
    @Mr. Anon


    Judi Dench. Does anybody like her?
     
    Women such as my sister. She was a little upset ("oh, what a shame") when Dame Judi died at the end of Skyfall. Of course, I never cared for her since her first appearance, chastising and berating Bond for being a sexist, misogynist dinosaur.

    The retiring Bond, Daniel Craig, has also been very popular with ladies (by which I mean older women - not so much those in their twenties) in my experience.
    , @James O'Meara
    @Mr. Anon

    "Half the movies involve Bond rescuing M, "

    More than that, she was doing that in the later Brosnan films too. Apart from being an woman of a certain age, the idea of the head of MI6 risking exposure, capture or death in the field is absurd. That would be like Bush flying into combat against Saddam. Although that is a great idea...

  174. @Steve Sailer
    @Bardon Kaldian

    The Cold War was not waged very hard in popular entertainment.

    Replies: @syonredux, @Mr. Anon, @PiltdownMan

    The Cold War was not waged very hard in popular entertainment.

    When I was a kid, the only Cold War movie I remember seeing was a comedy, The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming! In it, New England townsfolk end up befriending the crew of a Soviet submarine that comes ashore, and save it from US Navy jets. The movie was made in 1966, at the height of the Cold War.

    PS: Listening to the video clip today, Alan Arkin’s “Russian” accent sounds distinctly Israeli.

    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    @PiltdownMan

    Alan Arkin spoke Russian, so the accent may be authentic. My favorite line in the movie is when he goes to the house seeing to find a boar after having run his submarine aground and says, "We are obviously . ; . Norwegian!"

  175. @A. Hipster
    @Henry's Cat

    I've read them all, and got them all .... and after the first post-Moore Bond movie I totally lost interest in them, they lost all their good spirited charm and humor.

    I also got Kingsley Amis' very amusing The James Bond Dossier.

    One thing you learn reading the books is that Bond served in the Navy in the WWII ... so he certainly should be retired.

    The books are extremely silly but entertaining, the Amis book describes how Fleming wasn't upper class but worshiped them a lot. And the most admirable upper class thing for Fleming was gambling at a posh Casino ...

    Reading the the books it's hard to say if Fleming really believed that games like roulette required strategy and intelligence ....that is, was he rather stupid or not?

    If memory serves, in the book 'You only live twice' there is an extended scene of Bond playing Rock Paper Scissors .... well, maybe that game is not in practice totally random, but Fleming makes it sound like Chess match between Grand Masters ...

    Replies: @PiltdownMan

    The books are extremely silly but entertaining,

    The Spy Who Loved Me is probably the silliest. Fleming’s attempt at telling an entire Bond story by having a female character voice her inner life and romantic experience of meeting James Bond was misconceived, and, as is to be expected, truly bad.

  176. The story I have read is that Bond, the way we know him now, was a factor of Sean Connery immitating Dr. No Director Terrence Young.

    If you read the Bond novels, Bond seems to be more of a bored civil servant than what we think of him today, and the Flemings were more tweedy, bow-tie intellectual types than Young who was a macho type and a well-known cad.

    Fleming originally wanted Cary Grant for the role.

  177. @Percy Gryce
    Fleming's great service to literature was plowing his James Bond royalties into book collecting:

    (1) He helped found and finance the great journal The Book Collector:

    http://www.thebookcollector.co.uk/

    And (2) he assembled a high-spot collection that was one of the principal contributions to the great Printing and the Mind of Man exhibition:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Printing_and_the_Mind_of_Man

    Replies: @anonymous as usual

    The Folio Society versions of the Fleming novels are extraordinary, you should check them out.

  178. @Peter D. Bredon
    @Steve Sailer

    "But he wasn’t super charismatic on screen. Niven wished to be Cary Grant onscreen, and Cary Grant, an insecure man, wished to be Niven offscreen."

    They starred together in The Bishop's Wife, a Christmasy film still well worth seeing. The odd thing is that Niven plays the Bishop, Grant the angel who helps rekindle the Bishop's marriage, but originally the roles were reversed. Can't recall at what point they realized they had made a terrible mistake. If you see or remember the film, it's hard to imagine with the original casting.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Offscreen, Niven was the favorite dinner guest of the rich, powerful, and witty, while Grant was constantly going to psychiatrists about his Impostor Syndrome: everybody thinks I’m Cary Grant, but I’m really poor little Archibald Leach. They all told him he’d made more people happy for 2 hours than any movie star ever, so of course he was Cary Grant by now. But he didn’t believe them.

    Finally, a psychiatrist in the late 1950s gave him LSD and told him he’d earned the right to be Cary Grant, and this time he believed him and cheered up.

  179. @Father O'Hara
    @Bardon Kaldian

    My own take is that James Bond was a series of several movies starring Sean Connery. And that's it. The other movies were just goofy or brutal,in the case of Craig,adventure movies starring different guys playing a guy named James Bond. He could've been named Horace Finkelstein,for all I cared.
    Bond was of a particular actor and a particular time,that being the 60s,before,as Bob Hope said,the "serious stuff" started.

    Its fitting that JFK loved the books. He gave Bond a 60s New Fronteah imprimatur.

    Bond,by Connery,was part of the British Invasion,sort of a shot across the bow. Our innate Anglophilia was arousd by Bond, soon after bowled over by the Beatles. I recall one passing remark,where Connery jokes about the Fab Four; delightful!

    It was also about Technicolor,and beautiful women in bikinis and the Caribbean seen through the eyes of a young boy who had heretofore only seen movies with Jerry Lewis and Buddy Hackett, etc.

    When Connery,older,came back to do a Bond,it just wasn't worth the effort.
    The real question, could anyone else have played Zardoz?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @James O'Meara, @MEH 0910, @Bardon Kaldian

    London-New York jetliners became a regular thing in 1959, which helped the Anglophilia of the 1960s.

    Also, the Brits had been pretty beaten down for years after 1945 by how broke they were. Finally around 1960 they, as Austin Powers would say, started to get their mojo back. They had lots of glamor and goodwill left over from WWII, so Brits liked the Beatles and Sean Connery benefited from it.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    @Steve Sailer

    But why was Bond, Connery's Bond, so universally popular? I think had in it something almost archetypal for males, and that goes beyond current politics & British propaganda.

    Early Bond was a male dream come true in its essential form: be a masculine man living dangerously in- mostly- high society, bedding gorgeous women who are not simply bimbos & triumphing over your enemies with, frequently, physical force, sometimes combined with mental.

    Who could resist that?

    As master politician, a dictator- he would be unappealing; as just a lothatrio -nice, but incomplete; as knocking out enemies only in some backwater naturalist environment of criminal underworld- that would have been not more than a mafia criminal.

    Bond lived in an intersection of high & low worlds; lived a modern life; lived dangerously & fast; lived a life on what is basically the right side with a tinge of seductive cruelty which only added to the appeal.

    With early Connery, that was a winning combination.

    Replies: @ChrisZ, @Peter D. Bredon

  180. @prosa123
    @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race

    I was trying to think of English actors who could have done Bond. Lawrence Harvey was probably a better actor, and equally suave and debonair–and I wouldn’t have known he was Jewish till I read it.

    Not just Jewish but a native Lithuanian speaker. As a small child his family moved to South Africa, where the accent is quite different than in Britain, yet as an adult he sounded fully British. Not to mention playing a completely convincing American in The Manchurian Candidate.
    Had he been the original Bond he wouldn't have stayed in the series any longer than Connery did, however, as he died young. It's also rather a pity that his daughter was a hopeless drug addict.

    Replies: @James O'Meara, @Wielgus

    Harvey of course had his own spy role in A Dandy in Aspic; I’d say both book and movie (the UK book differs from the US version, which is based on Derek Marlowe’s screenplay adaptation) are the best of the spy genre.

    Fun fact: director Anthony Mann died during production and Harvey picked up and finished the film himself. Now that’s a Bond level of improvisation and expertise!

    https://counter-currents.com/2016/12/passing-the-buck-spy-dandy-ubermensch/

  181. @syonredux
    @Steve Sailer

    The degree to which Cold War-era spy films and TV series avoided confronting the Red Menace is pretty amazing. As previously noted, the Bond films steered clear of the Commies, favoring, instead, SPECTRE (Barring only GOLDFINGER, the baddie in every Connery Bond flick), evil eugenicists (the baddies in THE SPY WHO LOVED ME and MOONRAKER), Third-World drug kingpins (the Blaxploitation-influenced LIVE AND LET DIE), and narcissistic assassins (Christopher Lee in THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN). It wasn't until 1981 that Bond, in FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, actually went up against the Soviets.

    THE MAN FROM UNCLE carried it a step further, as they had the East and the West teaming-up against THRUSH.

    THE AVENGERS had some Cold War stuff early on, but the Emma Peel era mostly focused on fantastical threats.

    The literary Mike Hammer was a staunch Cold Warrior. For example, in 1951's One Lonely Night, Hammer boasts that “I killed more people tonight than I have fingers on my hands. I shot them in cold blood and enjoyed every minute of it. I pumped slugs into the nastiest bunch of bastards you ever saw and here I am calmer than I’ve ever been and happy too. They were Commies, Lee. They were red sons-of-bitches who should have died long ago.” But did the film-and-television version act in a similar fashion? Not that I know of.

    Replies: @James O'Meara, @ChrisZ

    “THE AVENGERS had some Cold War stuff early on, but the Emma Peel era mostly focused on fantastical threats.”

    The New Avengers brought back the Soviet element, partly due to Patrick Magee’s age, and I suppose to capitalize on perestroika, the Smiley TV series, etc. Steed would recall some bit of Cold War tradecraft when needed. “How did you know they wouldn’t take a head shot?” “Soviets always aim for the body… if you miss, you maim.” Brrrr. Magee of course was in AVTAK, while Joanna Lumley was in OHMSS.

    Spillane: he hated Kiss Me Deadly (a great film, actually, but the shitlib writer/directors downplayed the Soviet angle; also, they were trying to “expose” the sadism of Spillane and make people hate the Hammer character, which backfired — the Catholic League condemned the film …. for sadism!). In response, he made his own version of The Girl Hunters. Filmed in England (which location work in NYC) it stars Shirley Easton, right before Goldfinger. Spillane himself plays Hammer, which work better than, say, Ayn Rand as Dominique Falcone. Love seeing him swanning around NYC in a white trenchcoat (“Only a cop would wear a white trenchcoat. Probably trying to pass as a fag” — Burroughs, Naked Lunch)

    https://counter-currents.com/2014/02/mike-hammer-occult-dick-kiss-me-deadly-as-lovecraftian-tale/

    • Replies: @syonredux
    @James O'Meara


    Spillane himself plays Hammer, which work better than, say, Ayn Rand as Dominique Falcone.
     
    Isn't it Francon? I've never read the book, but I did see the King Vidor film adaptation. It's pretty good.

    As I recall, for a cinematic version of Dagny Taggert, Rand had various va-va-voom types in mind : Farrah Fawcett, Faye Dunaway, Raquel Welch.
    , @syonredux
    @James O'Meara

    Watch out for Cybernauts!


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ_Jly7v2W4


    ....Which are not to be confused with Fembots.....


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7ML07F-pXk

    , @Mr. Anon
    @James O'Meara


    Spillane: he hated Kiss Me Deadly (a great film, actually, but the shitlib writer/directors downplayed the Soviet angle; also, they were trying to “expose” the sadism of Spillane and make people hate the Hammer character, which backfired — the Catholic League condemned the film …. for sadism!)
     
    Kiss Me Deadly was indeed a good movie. Ralph Meeker must be about the most underrated actor ever. He was great, not only in that movie, but in Paths of Glory, The Anderson Tapes, and The Night Stalker. The rest of the cast was spot-on too. A great piece of film-noir, whatever Spillane thought of it.
  182. I saw a comment about Robert Mitchum vs. Bernie Reynolds, I read about the Mitchum fight vs. the heavyweight boxer a few years back. Hmm? I don’t know? Reynolds did fight some big names and with a lot of these Hollywood guys, a lot of this shit is pure, well, shit. The way Hollywood operates, I wouldn’t be surprised that IF this event did happen as reported that Reynolds didn’t take a dive after a handsome payoff to boost Mitchum’s image as a Hollywood bad boy. A heavyweight fighter of any note, is not going to lose a fight to any Hollywood actor, I can assure you that. Of course, anyone can be knocked out, but this story sounds like a Hollywood fairy tale. My gawd, I remember watching those YouTube videos of Mickey Rourke boxing. Here, Hollywood was portraying this guy as someone who was talented at boxing but gave it up to act, and lawd, that guy can’t fight for shit. Pathetic is too kind a word. Great actor, but no fighter even in his wildest fantasies.

    Two legit tough guys in the movie biz I think were William Smith, ( the dude with the huge arms who played Falconetti on Rich Man, Poor Man, not Will Smith the black guy, ) Smith was also a pretty brainy guy, could speak fluent Russian as well. Rod Taylor was another. Smith and Taylor had a memorable fight scene in the movie, “Darker Than Amber.” Both these guys would plaster some guy like Mitchum, and my bet is that Reynolds was either extremely drunk, took a dive, or was looking for some publicity or lawsuit, who knows?

    • Replies: @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race
    @Trinity

    Glad to hear somebody mention William Smith. Sort of an early bodybuilder actor, and had a brief mainstream few years, including Any Which Way You Can with Eastwood, who naturally had to win the fight--more famous. He was good in the Laredo television western, and did all those fabulous Hell's Angels movies in the early 70s, including Angels Die Hard, which I've got an old vhs of; I think that was the best one. He was even a child actor, whom you can see in The Song of Bernadette (as a little boy already looks like the Muscle Beach character he'd become) and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. All the biker movies were the best though--did C.C. and Company with Joe Namath and Ann-Margret--very hot when Smith puts his hand under Ann-Margret's chin. Even Namath calls him 'Your Majesty', nevermind it was joking--Smith was a kind of ultimate of that sort. But was stuck for decades in totally B-things. These were good when he was young and the biker movies, but after Falconetti and the Eastwood movie, he didn't get any more parts in mainstream movies. Had a great voice too, I never understood why he didn't become A-list.

    Replies: @syonredux, @Trinity

    , @syonredux
    @Trinity


    I wouldn’t be surprised that IF this event did happen as reported that Reynolds didn’t take a dive after a handsome payoff

     

    Anything's possible in Hollywood. That being said, Mitchum doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who went in for that kind of self-promotion. Plus, the fact that Mitchum fought dirty (in his own words, “[i]t wasn’t Marquis of Queensberry rules") lends credibility to the tale.

    Agree on the fight scene in DARKER THAN AMBER. It was very "raw" and powerful:



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aABT-FjR4_M

    Replies: @Trinity

  183. @Father O'Hara
    @Bardon Kaldian

    My own take is that James Bond was a series of several movies starring Sean Connery. And that's it. The other movies were just goofy or brutal,in the case of Craig,adventure movies starring different guys playing a guy named James Bond. He could've been named Horace Finkelstein,for all I cared.
    Bond was of a particular actor and a particular time,that being the 60s,before,as Bob Hope said,the "serious stuff" started.

    Its fitting that JFK loved the books. He gave Bond a 60s New Fronteah imprimatur.

    Bond,by Connery,was part of the British Invasion,sort of a shot across the bow. Our innate Anglophilia was arousd by Bond, soon after bowled over by the Beatles. I recall one passing remark,where Connery jokes about the Fab Four; delightful!

    It was also about Technicolor,and beautiful women in bikinis and the Caribbean seen through the eyes of a young boy who had heretofore only seen movies with Jerry Lewis and Buddy Hackett, etc.

    When Connery,older,came back to do a Bond,it just wasn't worth the effort.
    The real question, could anyone else have played Zardoz?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @James O'Meara, @MEH 0910, @Bardon Kaldian

    Serving Dom Perignon at the wrong temperature “is like listening to the Beatles without earmuffs.”

    At that point — Goldfinger — they thought the Beatles would be just a passing fad. Eventually, they and their “youth culture” surpassed Bond; that line marks the point where Bond “cool” became “square” (or he lost his mojo, if you will). Kids used to want to become adults (see Joel Hodgson’s remark about Bond above) like Bond or Sinatra; then, overnight, they became “squares”.

    Mad Men had a similar scene, where Don’s newer, younger wife gives him a copy of Rubber Soul before leaving for the West Coast, asking him to play the last track. When she’s gone, he puts it on — Tomorrow Never Knows — and after minute or two he switches it off. Copyright worries? No, it just shows that hip Don is now a square.

    I think that season ends with Don in a bar, as the jukebox plays “You Only Live Twice” (Sinatra, hip Nancy, that is), which is the story of Don’s life or lives.

    It would have been fun if Weiner had continues Mad Men as a series like Bond, with a new, younger actor playing “Don Draper” at the same age in new decades.

    • Replies: @Matra
    @James O'Meara

    It doesn't change your point but if he played "Tomorrow Never Knows" then it was Revolver, not Rubber Soul. Sometimes the US & UK versions were different but I don't think that's the case here.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber, @James O'Meara

    , @Ray P
    @James O'Meara

    The irony is that Bond is still going strong while the Beatles are largely dead.

  184. @Mr. Anon
    @Steve Sailer


    The Cold War was not waged very hard in popular entertainment.
     
    In North by Northwest and Mission Impossible they just referred to "The Other Side" or "The East".

    That would be an interesting exercise - to actually name all the espionage movies that dealt with, or at least referred to, the actual sides in the Cold War. It probably wouldn't be a lot.

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon

    Why, it’s almost as if the folks in Hollywood wanted to downplay or even trivialize it.

    Or is it a Commie habit, to leave the enemy vague, since they keep changing: Hitler-Stalin pact, Eastasia vs Oceania, etc.

    Does anyone know how Soviet films handled it?

  185. @Verymuchalive
    I don't think any actor could have been the ideal Bond. There were far too many boxes to tick. For example, Bond was meant to be a Commander in Naval Intelligence and capable frogman and diver. The only Bond who ever looked the part for that was Timothy Dalton.
    Indeed, Bond should have been retired at the end of Dalton's tenure. Bond was very much a Cold War hero. When he returned after Dalton's departure, the Cold War was over and the Franchise increasingly had to cannibalise the plots of previously filmed books. I never found Brosnan or Craig convincing in the role.

    Replies: @Lurker, @syonredux, @David In TN, @Stebbing Heuer

    Number of Bond films produced since the attacks of September 11, 2001: 6

    Number of Bond films in which the villain or villains is/are islamic terrorists: 0

    Our elites are vile.

  186. @James O'Meara
    @syonredux

    "THE AVENGERS had some Cold War stuff early on, but the Emma Peel era mostly focused on fantastical threats."

    The New Avengers brought back the Soviet element, partly due to Patrick Magee's age, and I suppose to capitalize on perestroika, the Smiley TV series, etc. Steed would recall some bit of Cold War tradecraft when needed. "How did you know they wouldn't take a head shot?" "Soviets always aim for the body... if you miss, you maim." Brrrr. Magee of course was in AVTAK, while Joanna Lumley was in OHMSS.

    Spillane: he hated Kiss Me Deadly (a great film, actually, but the shitlib writer/directors downplayed the Soviet angle; also, they were trying to "expose" the sadism of Spillane and make people hate the Hammer character, which backfired -- the Catholic League condemned the film .... for sadism!). In response, he made his own version of The Girl Hunters. Filmed in England (which location work in NYC) it stars Shirley Easton, right before Goldfinger. Spillane himself plays Hammer, which work better than, say, Ayn Rand as Dominique Falcone. Love seeing him swanning around NYC in a white trenchcoat ("Only a cop would wear a white trenchcoat. Probably trying to pass as a fag" -- Burroughs, Naked Lunch)

    https://counter-currents.com/2014/02/mike-hammer-occult-dick-kiss-me-deadly-as-lovecraftian-tale/

    Replies: @syonredux, @syonredux, @Mr. Anon

    Spillane himself plays Hammer, which work better than, say, Ayn Rand as Dominique Falcone.

    Isn’t it Francon? I’ve never read the book, but I did see the King Vidor film adaptation. It’s pretty good.

    As I recall, for a cinematic version of Dagny Taggert, Rand had various va-va-voom types in mind : Farrah Fawcett, Faye Dunaway, Raquel Welch.

  187. @Richard of Melbourne
    James Bond was - supposedly - born to a Scottish father (the ancestral family home was Skyfall, located in a damp and unappealing part of the Highlands, as depicted in one of the recent movies) and a Swiss mother.

    Nothing English except the accent and manners he presumably acquired at Eton, which he is supposed to have attended briefly before being sent to Fettes, a Scottish school.

    Lots of posh Scots are sent to English schools, giving them accents indistinguishable from those of their English-born classmates (I once worked with such a Scot, himself an Old Etonian).

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon, @Bill Jones, @Stebbing Heuer

    (I once worked with such a Scot, himself an Old Etonian)

    And from a noble family, no less.

    How’s your history coming along? 😉

  188. @R.G. Camara
    @Feryl

    In Craig's defense, all of his movies have been prequels; that is, they are set up to show how Bond becomes Bond. How could a ruthless spy/assassin become a charming, debonair gentlemen with an iron fist in a silk glove, who keeps his emotions in check and always has an ironic witty line at hand?

    We see it. In Casino Royale, we see him make his first two kills at the beginning, and then make aggressive mistakes of a young angry man: killing the African bombmaker, nearly destroying an airport in Miami, banging only married women to avoid falling in love, and then blowing himself up in a casino in Montenegro. And then falling in love---only to be betrayed by his love.

    The next three movies see him dealing with the aftermath of that: a bitterness towards Vesper, a drinking problem, a revenge mission. But slowly he learns about a sophisticated, hidden world not even his bosses know about: SPECTRE, Quantum, Blofeld. Along the way he learns that MI6 has lots of dark secrets (the spy left behind played by Javier Bardem) and sees his own family estate in Scotland blown to bits.

    He thinks he's lost at life, but he finds a female companion he loves, and learns how to avoid the quick kill to get information and what he needs, and learns how to have ironic detachment from even his bosses, who are not always trustworthy.

    In the last film, we see Bond going into the traditional superior's office with the double door. It's a signal that Bond has become the Bond we know.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon, @Truth

    We see it. In Casino Royale, we see him make his first two kills at the beginning, and then make aggressive mistakes of a young angry man: killing the African bombmaker, nearly destroying an airport in Miami, banging only married women to avoid falling in love, and then blowing himself up in a casino in Montenegro. And then falling in love—only to be betrayed by his love.

    Yeah, but he’s 40 and looks 45.

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
    @Truth

    lol. What are you babbling about, little Media Matters moron?

  189. @prosa123
    In addition to all the known ones there's a lost (sort of ) James Bond story called Per Fine Ounce. South African writer Geoffrey Jenkins was friends with Ian Fleming and in the late 1950's they discussed writing a new Bond story set in the gold mining industry. Jenkins prepared a synopsis which later turned up in Fleming's papers. The two planned to do on-scene research in South Africa, but Fleming's death in 1964 ended that plan.
    About a year later Jenkins took the synopsis to the publisher of the Bond stories and proposed writing a full manuscript. The company agreed, but ended up not publishing the full story supposedly because it was of low quality.
    Exactly what became of the full manuscript is a mystery. Rumor says that the publishers still have a copy, but the company maintains that they sent it back to Jenkins after deciding not to publish it. Jenkins' heirs have 18 pages, and allowed two pages to be shown on a Bond fansite in 2010, but deny possession of the full document. In the 1970's Jenkins himself used some of the story's thematic elements in his novel A Cleft of Stars, but for legal reasons was not able to use the Bond character or indeed any secret agent characters at all.
    Getting back to my first sentence, the lost story is a "sort of" James Bond story because Jenkins rather than Fleming wrote it, however he collaborated with Fleming on the synopsis. Of course with the full manuscript being lost there's no way to know how closely it adhered to the synopsis and therefore the extent of Fleming's input.

    Replies: @ChrisZ

    Thanks Prosa. I’m an admirer of the literary Bond, but this information is new to me.

  190. @James O'Meara
    @syonredux

    "THE AVENGERS had some Cold War stuff early on, but the Emma Peel era mostly focused on fantastical threats."

    The New Avengers brought back the Soviet element, partly due to Patrick Magee's age, and I suppose to capitalize on perestroika, the Smiley TV series, etc. Steed would recall some bit of Cold War tradecraft when needed. "How did you know they wouldn't take a head shot?" "Soviets always aim for the body... if you miss, you maim." Brrrr. Magee of course was in AVTAK, while Joanna Lumley was in OHMSS.

    Spillane: he hated Kiss Me Deadly (a great film, actually, but the shitlib writer/directors downplayed the Soviet angle; also, they were trying to "expose" the sadism of Spillane and make people hate the Hammer character, which backfired -- the Catholic League condemned the film .... for sadism!). In response, he made his own version of The Girl Hunters. Filmed in England (which location work in NYC) it stars Shirley Easton, right before Goldfinger. Spillane himself plays Hammer, which work better than, say, Ayn Rand as Dominique Falcone. Love seeing him swanning around NYC in a white trenchcoat ("Only a cop would wear a white trenchcoat. Probably trying to pass as a fag" -- Burroughs, Naked Lunch)

    https://counter-currents.com/2014/02/mike-hammer-occult-dick-kiss-me-deadly-as-lovecraftian-tale/

    Replies: @syonredux, @syonredux, @Mr. Anon

    Watch out for Cybernauts!

    ….Which are not to be confused with Fembots…..

  191. Fleming describes 007 in the books as resembling composer-pianist Hoagy Carmichael. You know the guy wrote that little ditty called “STARDUST”?

  192. @James O'Meara
    @syonredux

    "THE AVENGERS had some Cold War stuff early on, but the Emma Peel era mostly focused on fantastical threats."

    The New Avengers brought back the Soviet element, partly due to Patrick Magee's age, and I suppose to capitalize on perestroika, the Smiley TV series, etc. Steed would recall some bit of Cold War tradecraft when needed. "How did you know they wouldn't take a head shot?" "Soviets always aim for the body... if you miss, you maim." Brrrr. Magee of course was in AVTAK, while Joanna Lumley was in OHMSS.

    Spillane: he hated Kiss Me Deadly (a great film, actually, but the shitlib writer/directors downplayed the Soviet angle; also, they were trying to "expose" the sadism of Spillane and make people hate the Hammer character, which backfired -- the Catholic League condemned the film .... for sadism!). In response, he made his own version of The Girl Hunters. Filmed in England (which location work in NYC) it stars Shirley Easton, right before Goldfinger. Spillane himself plays Hammer, which work better than, say, Ayn Rand as Dominique Falcone. Love seeing him swanning around NYC in a white trenchcoat ("Only a cop would wear a white trenchcoat. Probably trying to pass as a fag" -- Burroughs, Naked Lunch)

    https://counter-currents.com/2014/02/mike-hammer-occult-dick-kiss-me-deadly-as-lovecraftian-tale/

    Replies: @syonredux, @syonredux, @Mr. Anon

    Spillane: he hated Kiss Me Deadly (a great film, actually, but the shitlib writer/directors downplayed the Soviet angle; also, they were trying to “expose” the sadism of Spillane and make people hate the Hammer character, which backfired — the Catholic League condemned the film …. for sadism!)

    Kiss Me Deadly was indeed a good movie. Ralph Meeker must be about the most underrated actor ever. He was great, not only in that movie, but in Paths of Glory, The Anderson Tapes, and The Night Stalker. The rest of the cast was spot-on too. A great piece of film-noir, whatever Spillane thought of it.

  193. @James O'Meara
    @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race

    From Niven to Connery as exemplar of "masculine charisma" ... the producers needed to teach Connery how to play someone who wasn't a thug .... by that standard, Red Grant had more "masculine charisma" than Bond and so Robert Shaw should have replaced Connery... no wonder we've now wound up with Negroes as the masculine ideal.

    Replies: @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race, @syonredux

    Whatever. None of that makes any sense, at least not to me. So anyway they did teach Connery not to be such a ‘thug’, never knew that till these threads. I just discover today that I really care little about Ian Fleming’s books and that it was just the movies I saw, and only Connery’s, that have left a lasting impression–and it’s only when taken as a whole–all his Bond work–that they actually do mean much to me: I don’t think of any of the Bond movies as extraordinary the way I do hundreds of other films, but his essaying of Bond is pretty damned *bright*. I’m sure that if Jeremy Irons had been old enough, he could have done it. You’d probably call Robert Mitchum a ‘thug’ too. I think he was one of the most interesting and even mysterious American actors, and did Philip Marlowe in Farewell My Lovely with Charlotte Rampling better than Bogart, who was much more of a swell than Bridgeport’s Mitchum. Mitchum better than Dick Powell in the same story, but called Murder My Sweet, with the great devil-woman Claire Trevor. I looked for a good Philip Marlowe a long time after reading all the Chandler novels, and discovered this Mitchum treasure by accident; it’s a beautiful film.

    so Robert Shaw should have replaced Connery… no wonder we’ve now wound up with Negroes as the masculine ideal.

    Wouldn’t you say that’s a bit a of a stretch–going from Niven to Connery’s ‘thug’ and Shaw ‘should have done Bond’ to ‘our Negro masculine ideal’?

    Anyway, to some degree, it even makes sense that Negroes are to some degree one of the obviously important ‘masculine ideals’: It’s SPORTS, with Michael Jordan, Reggie Jackson, Tiger Woods, Wilt Chamberlain, dozens more–including the women!…more than movies. You seem to be saying that Connery led us to the point of some ‘generalized Negro masculine ideal’, but surely you can’t have meant that…

    Another British Smoothie, Michael York, is probably a bit too ‘tender’ for Bond, although his acting ability was always fairly unlimited; but maybe a bit too refined (Bond is not subtle.) Steve has been talking about Cary Grant/David Niven. Grant would never have been able to get Bond right and make of him an icon, which Connery has done–even for people like me who don’t really think Ian Fleming’s books are exactly great literature. In fact, this fictional hero over many novels is probably everywhere, but nothing else comes to mind right now but Marlowe to match Bond–and yet Chandler was really an artist with those Romantic noirs, they’re among the most unique American creations. One of the great writers of LA. So maybe some people find Fleming an artist. Is interesting that Los Angeles has always been by far the most noirish city–much more than NYC, although there were a few. Nothing as good as Double Indemnity. But there’s Fante with Ask the Dust, and Didion’s essays in The White Album have a lot of that L.A. noir atmosphere (while living in that Franklin Ave. house) that some of us have gone in search of (her novels less so.) Film Forum here did a month of ‘London noir’, and man, did it ever not work after you’ve read a lot of L.A. writers. I guess Ellroy was the last one doing it seriously and on a big scale (and, though they’re very good, they’re sometimes overblown and all the movies made from the books were terrible, including L.A. Confidential, raved over by people who haven’t read the book to see just what butchery they did to it), and I think David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive may have been the last truly noir film, and that was some film. But Mulholland Falls with Nick Nolte was also a fine neo-noir film about 5 years earlier. Five years after Mulholland Drive was De Palma’s film of The Black Dahlia, which I found atrocious. But it was a testament to how irrelevant noir was by then. I saw a noir play off-Broadway around 2004, and that was nowhere. I could still feel the atmosphere as late as 2001 when I started going to L.A. a lot–the Hollywood area was still very sinister along Western-, but I thought it had vanished just a few years later.

    • Replies: @Peter D. Bredon
    @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race

    https://counter-currents.com/2018/06/the-way-of-mitchum/

    Replies: @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race

    , @James O'Meara
    @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race

    "You’d probably call Robert Mitchum a ‘thug’ too. "

    Not at all! I agree with this chap and the book he's reviewing, an excellent collection of rules of manliness taken from Mitchum movies; it beats Jordan Peterson all bloody:

    https://counter-currents.com/2018/06/the-way-of-mitchum/

    Replies: @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race

  194. @Anonymous
    @Muggles


    Very handsome men rarely engage in normal or risky occupations
     
    Excellent observation.

    Replies: @JMcG

    I did!

    • Replies: @anonymous as usual
    @JMcG

    I did too, more than once. Well at least once anyway.

  195. @David In TN
    @JMcG

    The Russians wanted Hess kept in Spandau. They believed Hess' flight was part of a plot to ally Britain with the Germans against the Soviet Union.

    Replies: @JMcG

    I don’t doubt it, but why did we agree to keep him locked up like that? It just seems far out of proportion to anything he actually did.

    • Replies: @David In TN
    @JMcG

    The rule seems to have been as long as one of the Powers wanted Hess (who was sentenced to Life) kept in Spandau, he had to be kept in Spandau. The others, Americans included, were willing to release Hess but the Soviets were not.

  196. @D. K.
    @Mr. Anon

    I was wholly unaware that Shirley Bassey was both able and willing to immitate the vocal stylings of Dionne Warwick. Bassey's thundering "Goldfinger" remains the quintessential '007' theme song.

    Replies: @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race, @MEH 0910, @MEH 0910

    She didn’t. That has to be Dionne Warwick that he’s mistaken for Bassey. Bassey is a great singer, and I agree about Goldfinger, but here:

    Tom Jones, ‘Thunderball’ (1965)
    Jones wasn’t their first choice: Shirley Bassey, Dionne Warwick and Johnny Cash also submitted songs for Thunderball, but at the last possible minute they opted for the Welsh singer.

    No way if both Warwick and Bassey submitted songs that Bassey would imitate Dionne, and she couldn’t have possibly done that anyway. Nobody could.

  197. @D. K.
    @Mr. Anon

    I was wholly unaware that Shirley Bassey was both able and willing to immitate the vocal stylings of Dionne Warwick. Bassey's thundering "Goldfinger" remains the quintessential '007' theme song.

    Replies: @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race, @MEH 0910, @MEH 0910

    That is Dionne Warwick singing that version of the rejected title theme:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderball_(soundtrack)#Title_theme_change

    The original main title theme to Thunderball was titled “Mr. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang”, which was written by John Barry and Leslie Bricusse. The title was taken from an Italian journalist who in 1962 dubbed agent 007 as “Mr. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang”. Barry had thought he could not write a song about a vague “Thunderball” term or the film’s story, so his song was a description of the character James Bond.[2]

    The song was originally recorded by Shirley Bassey. When there were concerns with the length of the track compared to the needed titles, it was later rerecorded by Dionne Warwick as Bassey was not available and featured a longer instrumental opening designed so the lyrics would not be heard until after the title “Thunderball” appeared in Maurice Binder’s title design.[3] Neither version was released until the 1990s. The song was removed from the title credits after United Artists requested that the theme song contain the film’s title in its lyrics.[4] When it was planned to use the Warwick version in the end titles Shirley Bassey sued the producers[5][6] with the result being that neither version was heard in the film and different instrumental versions of the theme appeared on the High Fidelity (Bassey’s) and Stereo (Warwick’s) soundtrack LPs.[7]

    [MORE]

    Barry teamed up with lyricist Don Black and wrote “Thunderball” in a rush.[8] Tom Jones, who sang the new theme song, allegedly fainted in the recording booth after singing the song’s final, high note.[8] Jones said of the final note, “I closed my eyes and I held the note for so long when I opened my eyes the room was spinning.”[9]

    Country musician Johnny Cash also submitted a song to Eon productions titled “Thunderball” but it wasn’t used.[10] The lyrics of Cash’s “Thunderball” describe the film’s story.[11]

    The producers’ decision to change the film’s theme song so close to the release date meant that only some of the film’s soundtrack had been recorded for release on LP.[8] Adding to the delay issues, Barry had written large amounts of the score around the original theme and woven it throughout the score (along with the recurring underwater “Search For Vulcan” motif). After “Thunderball” was written, Barry wrote, orchestrated, and recorded several new pieces interpolating it. Barry’s scores always included a track which gave the film’s theme song a full statement in the form of a sensitive, slowed-down instrumental ballad, often played over a romantic moment or a scene set in a nightclub or casino[citation needed]; he re-arranged “Thunderball” as a lush, subtly jazzy orchestral piece in the easy listening style that was popular at the time.

    Though “Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” was dropped as the theme song, some of the pieces which included its melody remained part of the score, and it receives full statements twice: by full orchestra and jazz rhythm quartet with bass, drums, guitar, and vibraphone in the track “Café Martinique” (immediately followed by the “Vulcan” cue), and as a wild, bongo-laden cha-cha-cha in “Death of Fiona.” The scene which includes the latter takes place at Club Kiss Kiss, and features the bongo drumming of bandleader King Errisson. Because Thunderball‘s score had, essentially, two main themes to work from, as well as the “Search For Vulcan” cue, the “007 Theme” and the “James Bond Theme,” it is arguably[weasel words] the richest of the early Bond scores, thematically speaking.

    • Replies: @Peter D. Bredon
    @MEH 0910

    "The song was removed from the title credits after United Artists requested that the theme song contain the film’s title in its lyrics."

    All I'm asking for, is a THEME, with the frickin' TITLE in the frickin' LYRICS!

    I've never been able to find out what "Thunderball" is supposed to mean. Yeah, I know, ha ha ha but all that's all post-film memes. In film, M says "Operation... Thunderball" and then looks around like he's waiting for someone who dares to laugh.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon

  198. “George, as Bond wore a kilt in OHMSS.”

    He did.

    But if someone asked me to leave my life as an athlete to wear a Kilt in a James bond opposite Dianna Rigg . . . my only response would be

    “Get some Haggis and bring the bag pipes.

    For Queen and country”

    Fair thee well my fine lady lass Dianna Rigg.

  199. @D. K.
    @Mr. Anon

    I was wholly unaware that Shirley Bassey was both able and willing to immitate the vocal stylings of Dionne Warwick. Bassey's thundering "Goldfinger" remains the quintessential '007' theme song.

    Replies: @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race, @MEH 0910, @MEH 0910

    Here’s the Shirley Bassey version of the rejected title theme:

    Thunderball – alternate title seq. – Shirley Bassey – HD STEREO

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    @MEH 0910

    Despite the producers changing the title song from "Mr. Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang" to "Thunderball", you can still here the KKBB motif in a lot of the music cues (which is good, because it's a good song). I like the "Thunderball" song as well. KKBB is about James Bond, Thunderball is about Largo, and - as you point out - the song that Johnny Cash submitted was about the plot of the movie.

    By the way, for all you fans of Shirley Bassey songs for 1960s spy movies, there was also this one, "The Liquidator", music by another great - Lalo Schifrin (composer of the Mission Impossible theme):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDx_HYOAzMA

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

  200. @Jim Don Bob
    @David In TN


    As Sean Connery looked when he shot Professor Dent in Doctor No.
     
    I saw Dr. No when it came out and that scene, like the train fight in From Russia With Love, has stuck with me for years because of how casually SC shot Dent. Connery was perfect in the first two movies.

    Replies: @David In TN

    Yes, you could say Doctor No and From Russia With Love were the best there would ever be. The scene in FRWL were Grant (Robert Shaw) holds a gun on Bond makes you imagine Bond is in real danger more than any other scene in the entire series.

    From Russia With Love had an air of Cold War tension fitting the time.

    • Agree: PiltdownMan
    • Replies: @James O'Meara
    @David In TN

    FRWL is arguably the only "real" or "normal" film in the series; it might fit in with Ipcress File or Smiley's People.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  201. Anonymous[162] • Disclaimer says:

    Steve Sailer:

    “Was Sean Connery the ideal James Bond?

    It depends. Flemming’s own personal casting for the role was David Niven. When they pointed out to him that he was American and therefore couldn’t protray an upper-class English spy, Flemming replied:

    “I don’t care. I just want the best man for the job.”

    Flemming believed that Niven had the aristocratic manners and elegant nody type to play Bond. He was found Connery too brutish and coarse for the role. Bond is not supposed to be a thick-necked mesomorphic brute, like a gladiator, a truck driver or NFL lineman. This type of men has historically been associated with the low classes. Bond is supposed to be an aristocrat who serves his country in a dangerous job, but he is not a Rambo type character.

    If you read the novels, Flemming describes Bond as thin, handsome and intelligent. His face and jaw are chiseled, but he is not an overly macho brute. He is also not an extravert in terms of personality. He is cold, calculating and naturally suspicious. As in fact, you would want a spy to be. An ultra-extravert like Chris Rock or Rodney Dangerfield would be captured and torrured to death very quickly.

    Flemming didn’t like Connery at first because of his manners, his big, bulky body and his excessive “in-your-face” type of masculinity, which is not very aristocratic. Aristocrats are supposed to be capable of being self-effecing and humble in attitude(“noblesse oblige”)

    But Connery wasn’t all wrong for the part. He certainly had the handsomeness. His body, although big and quite muscular, wasn’t exactly that of an extreme mesomorph. It was still long and lanky, and extremely shapely and well-proportioned. Also, Connery was 6’2l, only 1″ taller than Bond, who was supposed to be 6’1(the perfect male height). 6’1 and 6’2 is considered the perfect height for a human male, just like 5’7 is considered to be the perfct height for a human female. Shorter than this, and the man loses some of his charisma as height is considered a masculine trait. This is not to say that shorter man can’t have charisma. Napoleon was 5’2 and had charisma to spare. But it does take a toll. And taller than this, and the man starts to look funny and disproportional. Men taller than 6’2 need to have unusually large and thick bone structures to still look good, like Liam Neeson. A man who is 6’7 or 6’8 will look like a bean pole even if his shoulders are wide and he is over 225 lbs in muscle.

    Besides his looks, height and perfect body that had a mesomorph muscular structure but with a more gracile ectomorphic bone structure, Connery also had the personality of Bond. Connery was an introvert with tremendous self-confidence and a manly air about himself. Like Bond, Connery had a natural dramatic, theatrical flair and was very stylish and cool in his dress, body language, manner of speech and general attitude.

    Here is the kicker: Flemming eventuall liked Connery so much as Bond that he re-wrote Bond’s character to have a Scottish father. How much is that for an endorsement? When the creator of a character likes you so much as that character that he re-writers the character to be more like you. If that doesn’t sell you on Connery being Bond, then nothing will.

    In conclusion, Connery wasn’t the perfect Bond because no one can be exactly like a fictional character. But he was as close as it got. So yes, he was the best Bond. All other actors that played Bond were more dissimilar to the character than Connery.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack, David In TN
    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    @Anonymous


    David Niven. When they pointed out to him that he was American
     
    Niven was English.

    Replies: @Wielgus

  202. Connery may not have been the ideal Bond, but he was the best so far. He was able to believably portray athleticism, humor, intelligence and ruthlessness. Roger Moore was less believable in his athleticism and ruthlessness (which always seemed too jokey). As for an actor who could combine those four qualities plus convincingly play an upper crust Englishman? Maybe George Sanders? (although probably not quite as athletic as Connery).

  203. @syonredux
    @Steve Sailer

    The degree to which Cold War-era spy films and TV series avoided confronting the Red Menace is pretty amazing. As previously noted, the Bond films steered clear of the Commies, favoring, instead, SPECTRE (Barring only GOLDFINGER, the baddie in every Connery Bond flick), evil eugenicists (the baddies in THE SPY WHO LOVED ME and MOONRAKER), Third-World drug kingpins (the Blaxploitation-influenced LIVE AND LET DIE), and narcissistic assassins (Christopher Lee in THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN). It wasn't until 1981 that Bond, in FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, actually went up against the Soviets.

    THE MAN FROM UNCLE carried it a step further, as they had the East and the West teaming-up against THRUSH.

    THE AVENGERS had some Cold War stuff early on, but the Emma Peel era mostly focused on fantastical threats.

    The literary Mike Hammer was a staunch Cold Warrior. For example, in 1951's One Lonely Night, Hammer boasts that “I killed more people tonight than I have fingers on my hands. I shot them in cold blood and enjoyed every minute of it. I pumped slugs into the nastiest bunch of bastards you ever saw and here I am calmer than I’ve ever been and happy too. They were Commies, Lee. They were red sons-of-bitches who should have died long ago.” But did the film-and-television version act in a similar fashion? Not that I know of.

    Replies: @James O'Meara, @ChrisZ

    Syon, Umberto Eco pegs Spillane’s Hammer books as an inspiration for Fleming’s Bond (at least his early novels). It seemed a very unlikely comparison to me, until I finally read the Hammer books, at which point it became obvious. Eco notes that Hammer in “I, the Jury” is haunted by his WW2 killing of a Japanese in cold blood, and Fleming acknowledges his debt to Spillane by having Bond recollect his wartime assassination of a Japanese while on assignment in New York in “Casino Royale.” But there are more important similarities between the two books, including betrayal by the hero’s love interest, and memorable final lines expressing the hero’s hardened heart (Hammer: “It was easy’” answering the question of how he could kill a woman he loved; Bond: “The bitch is dead,” reporting the suicide of his beloved) .

    I think that as a novelist, Fleming said everything he had to say about James Bond *as a character* in “Casino Royale,” which can stand on its own as a novel of the Cold War. The rest of the Bond series is merely Fleming recapitulating the character arc he had already devised for Bond in his first outing, but extended over a dozen genre books.

    • Agree: syonredux
    • Replies: @David In TN
    @ChrisZ

    In the Kingley Amis book on the Bond Novels, Amis wrote something like: "Compared to Mike Hammer, Bond is a shining example to youth."

    Replies: @ChrisZ

  204. @Jim Don Bob
    @Diversity Heretic


    Isn’t the next 007 to be played by a black woman?
     
    Yes, in the next bond film a black woman has been given the 007 designation because Daniel Craig is still distraught over the death of his girl friend, or something. I have seen the trailers, and while the stunts look great as always, the movie doesn't look very good which is perhaps why its release has been pushed back again to Spring 2021.

    Perhaps Sean Connery was not Bond as Fleming originally envisioned him, but SC's good looks and his ability to deliver the dumb Bond lines make me think of him whenever I think of Bond.

    This is perfect: https://youtu.be/TXxKZkE2MGo?t=19

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

    its release has been pushed back again to Spring 2021

    I would say that is more to the pandemic than anything else. Comedies such as Borat 2 and Coming 2 America have been sold off to Amazon, but for an action movie you want the big screen.

  205. @Redneck farmer
    If YOU HAVE ACTUALLY READ THE NOVELS, Craig is the best Bond. But if you go by the movies, it's probably a tossup between the other actors.

    Replies: @James Speaks, @Michelle

    I am an outlier here, because, I actually love Timothy Dalton’s portrayal of Bond. He is the best, and most noted actor of all. Craig is my close second.

    • Replies: @Wielgus
    @Michelle

    I thought he was pretty good, perhaps no.2 after Connery.

    Replies: @Michelle

    , @Feryl
    @Michelle

    You're not crazy. Dalton was serious but not, unlike Craig, sullen and mopey. Connery played the part with more of an icy wit, which did work. But Dalton's urgent seriousness was refreshing and long over-due given how the detours into camp that the later Connery films, and most of the Moore films, derailed the character.

    The Living daylights did pretty well at the box office, though license to kil did mediocre. Then Hollywood squabbling that dragged on for years caused Dalton to call it quits just as Goldeneye was on the verge of being made. Brosnan did last longer in the part, though I think his flms descended into campy excess ala the 70's era films. Also, Brosnan in my opinion just looked much better in Goldeneye. After that he started rapidly aging, suggesting that he took the part too late. Ironically, Moore was the oldest yet aged the most gradually of any of the Bond actors. Too bad Lazenby didn't retain the role, as he had a good 10-15 years left before age decay sets in (peak physical strength is from the late 20's-late 30's).

    Craig BTW always looked middle-aged. Bond should have some degree of youthful bravado and unworn good looks.

    Replies: @Michelle

    , @PiltdownMan
    @Michelle

    After my wife saw Timothy Dalton in his first Bond movie, she exclaimed (to my surprise) "that wasn't James Bond, he was like a nice little boy you want to pat on the head."

  206. @Father O'Hara
    @Bardon Kaldian

    My own take is that James Bond was a series of several movies starring Sean Connery. And that's it. The other movies were just goofy or brutal,in the case of Craig,adventure movies starring different guys playing a guy named James Bond. He could've been named Horace Finkelstein,for all I cared.
    Bond was of a particular actor and a particular time,that being the 60s,before,as Bob Hope said,the "serious stuff" started.

    Its fitting that JFK loved the books. He gave Bond a 60s New Fronteah imprimatur.

    Bond,by Connery,was part of the British Invasion,sort of a shot across the bow. Our innate Anglophilia was arousd by Bond, soon after bowled over by the Beatles. I recall one passing remark,where Connery jokes about the Fab Four; delightful!

    It was also about Technicolor,and beautiful women in bikinis and the Caribbean seen through the eyes of a young boy who had heretofore only seen movies with Jerry Lewis and Buddy Hackett, etc.

    When Connery,older,came back to do a Bond,it just wasn't worth the effort.
    The real question, could anyone else have played Zardoz?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @James O'Meara, @MEH 0910, @Bardon Kaldian

    The real question, could anyone else have played Zardoz?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zardoz#Casting

    In April 1973 Boorman announced the film would star Burt Reynolds and Charlotte Rampling.[10] Reynolds had just worked with Boorman on 1972’s Deliverance. However, Reynolds had to pull out due to illness and was replaced by Connery.[11] “Connery had just stopped doing the Bond films and he wasn’t getting any jobs, so he came along and did it,” said Boorman.[9] Connery’s casting was announced in May 1973 the week before filming was to begin.[12]

    A Look at the Background of Zardoz

    See the review at: https://sfdebris.com/videos/films/zardoz.php

    • Replies: @James O'Meara
    @MEH 0910

    Reynolds and Connery did eventually appear together, sort of :

    https://youtu.be/bEghu90QJH4

  207. @Wilkey

    The question that always ran through my mind watching Connery as Bond was “Why is this magnificent Scottish prole playing the quintessential English gentleman?”
     
    Fleming gave James Bond a Scottish father and a French-Swiss mother.

    You can’t knock Connery, but I’ve always felt that Roger Moore seemed more appropriate for the part. Tall, more upperclass type, charming, but always a twinkle in his eye like he was a little in on the joke. Take the part too seriously (see: Timothy Dalton) and the Bond franchise loses its appeal.

    Of course I also preferred Moore to Connery because Moore was Bond in the first movie I saw in theatre, “A View to a Kill.” He was at least a decade too old for the part by then, and the Bond girl in that movie, Tanya Roberts, was frankly quite awful. But it did have Grace Jones and, even better, Christopher Walken, as one of the best Bond villains of all time. It also had a killer theme song (though overall I prefer the classier theme songs from the Connery era).

    While Moore defined James Bond for me, it was Carey Lowell, from “License to Kill,” four years later, who set the standard for Bond girls for me. I was 13 at the time, so I need say nothing else.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

    the Bond girl in [A View to a Kill], Tanya Roberts, was frankly quite awful.

    She was one of the replacement Charlie’s Angels, replacing Shelly Hack, who replaced Kate Jackson. She was also awful in That 70s Show.

    It also had a killer theme song (though overall I prefer the classier theme songs from the Connery era)

    Well you can’t beat Goldfinger, but it’s cliche to call that the best one.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    @ScarletNumber


    She was one of the replacement Charlie’s Angels, replacing Shelly Hack, who replaced Kate Jackson. She was also awful in That 70s Show.
     
    In Miss Roberts defense, it should be noted that she possessed certain noteworthy corporeal attributes...


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEcwmzeSOwg

    Replies: @Anon

  208. @RichardTaylor

    Why is this magnificent Scottish prole playing the quintessential English gentleman
     
    I've heard Ian Fleming wasn't crazy about the casting. And based on what we know about CIA and other intelligence people, a much more effeminate type would make sense. Although, field operatives seem normally masculine, if a bit too hopped up on the need for action.

    The upper class of England destroyed the British Empire. Regular Englishmen and Germans would never have continued the insanity of WWI. And that would've meant no WWII.

    But the "great man" Churchill loved his games with human lives.

    Replies: @syonredux, @Pop Warner, @SunBakedSuburb, @JimDandy, @Neoconned, @Cking

    If Connery didn’t match the source material, too bad for the source material.

    • Replies: @anonymous as usual
    @JimDandy

    I really wish I had said that.

  209. @MEH 0910
    @D. K.

    That is Dionne Warwick singing that version of the rejected title theme:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderball_(soundtrack)#Title_theme_change


    The original main title theme to Thunderball was titled "Mr. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang", which was written by John Barry and Leslie Bricusse. The title was taken from an Italian journalist who in 1962 dubbed agent 007 as "Mr. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang". Barry had thought he could not write a song about a vague "Thunderball" term or the film's story, so his song was a description of the character James Bond.[2]

    The song was originally recorded by Shirley Bassey. When there were concerns with the length of the track compared to the needed titles, it was later rerecorded by Dionne Warwick as Bassey was not available and featured a longer instrumental opening designed so the lyrics would not be heard until after the title "Thunderball" appeared in Maurice Binder's title design.[3] Neither version was released until the 1990s. The song was removed from the title credits after United Artists requested that the theme song contain the film's title in its lyrics.[4] When it was planned to use the Warwick version in the end titles Shirley Bassey sued the producers[5][6] with the result being that neither version was heard in the film and different instrumental versions of the theme appeared on the High Fidelity (Bassey's) and Stereo (Warwick's) soundtrack LPs.[7]
     

    Barry teamed up with lyricist Don Black and wrote "Thunderball" in a rush.[8] Tom Jones, who sang the new theme song, allegedly fainted in the recording booth after singing the song's final, high note.[8] Jones said of the final note, "I closed my eyes and I held the note for so long when I opened my eyes the room was spinning."[9]

    Country musician Johnny Cash also submitted a song to Eon productions titled "Thunderball" but it wasn't used.[10] The lyrics of Cash's "Thunderball" describe the film's story.[11]

    The producers' decision to change the film's theme song so close to the release date meant that only some of the film's soundtrack had been recorded for release on LP.[8] Adding to the delay issues, Barry had written large amounts of the score around the original theme and woven it throughout the score (along with the recurring underwater "Search For Vulcan" motif). After "Thunderball" was written, Barry wrote, orchestrated, and recorded several new pieces interpolating it. Barry's scores always included a track which gave the film's theme song a full statement in the form of a sensitive, slowed-down instrumental ballad, often played over a romantic moment or a scene set in a nightclub or casino[citation needed]; he re-arranged "Thunderball" as a lush, subtly jazzy orchestral piece in the easy listening style that was popular at the time.

    Though "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" was dropped as the theme song, some of the pieces which included its melody remained part of the score, and it receives full statements twice: by full orchestra and jazz rhythm quartet with bass, drums, guitar, and vibraphone in the track "Café Martinique" (immediately followed by the "Vulcan" cue), and as a wild, bongo-laden cha-cha-cha in "Death of Fiona." The scene which includes the latter takes place at Club Kiss Kiss, and features the bongo drumming of bandleader King Errisson. Because Thunderball's score had, essentially, two main themes to work from, as well as the "Search For Vulcan" cue, the "007 Theme" and the "James Bond Theme," it is arguably[weasel words] the richest of the early Bond scores, thematically speaking.
     

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon

    “The song was removed from the title credits after United Artists requested that the theme song contain the film’s title in its lyrics.”

    All I’m asking for, is a THEME, with the frickin’ TITLE in the frickin’ LYRICS!

    I’ve never been able to find out what “Thunderball” is supposed to mean. Yeah, I know, ha ha ha but all that’s all post-film memes. In film, M says “Operation… Thunderball” and then looks around like he’s waiting for someone who dares to laugh.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    @Peter D. Bredon


    I’ve never been able to find out what “Thunderball” is supposed to mean. Yeah, I know, ha ha ha but all that’s all post-film memes. In film, M says “Operation… Thunderball” and then looks around like he’s waiting for someone who dares to laugh.
     
    I think it was supposed to mean "Fireball" - as in the nuclear fireball that would result from the detonation of the weapons that Largo stole. Maybe Fleming misheard the term. Or maybe he just thought it sounded better.
  210. @David In TN
    @Jim Don Bob

    Yes, you could say Doctor No and From Russia With Love were the best there would ever be. The scene in FRWL were Grant (Robert Shaw) holds a gun on Bond makes you imagine Bond is in real danger more than any other scene in the entire series.

    From Russia With Love had an air of Cold War tension fitting the time.

    Replies: @James O'Meara

    FRWL is arguably the only “real” or “normal” film in the series; it might fit in with Ipcress File or Smiley’s People.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @James O'Meara

    For Your Eyes Only is the From Russia With Love of Roger Moore movies. It's not as good, of course, but it has some decent segments that aren't as relentlessly silly as Moonraker.

    Replies: @syonredux

  211. @MEH 0910
    @D. K.

    Here's the Shirley Bassey version of the rejected title theme:

    Thunderball - alternate title seq. - Shirley Bassey - HD STEREO
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1debbldqGc

    Replies: @Mr. Anon

    Despite the producers changing the title song from “Mr. Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang” to “Thunderball”, you can still here the KKBB motif in a lot of the music cues (which is good, because it’s a good song). I like the “Thunderball” song as well. KKBB is about James Bond, Thunderball is about Largo, and – as you point out – the song that Johnny Cash submitted was about the plot of the movie.

    By the way, for all you fans of Shirley Bassey songs for 1960s spy movies, there was also this one, “The Liquidator”, music by another great – Lalo Schifrin (composer of the Mission Impossible theme):

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    @Mr. Anon


    Lalo Schifrin (composer of the Mission Impossible theme)
     
    His most iconic song for sure, but this one is a close second. It sounds familiar from being used elsewhere.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOWkPk2ETXc

    Replies: @D. K., @James O'Meara

  212. @MEH 0910
    @Father O'Hara


    The real question, could anyone else have played Zardoz?
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zardoz#Casting

    In April 1973 Boorman announced the film would star Burt Reynolds and Charlotte Rampling.[10] Reynolds had just worked with Boorman on 1972's Deliverance. However, Reynolds had to pull out due to illness and was replaced by Connery.[11] "Connery had just stopped doing the Bond films and he wasn’t getting any jobs, so he came along and did it," said Boorman.[9] Connery's casting was announced in May 1973 the week before filming was to begin.[12]
     
    A Look at the Background of Zardoz
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D97oaGcz5gc

    See the review at: https://sfdebris.com/videos/films/zardoz.php
     

    Replies: @James O'Meara

    Reynolds and Connery did eventually appear together, sort of :

    • LOL: Bugg
  213. The ONLY BOND.

    And only Zed.

  214. @RichardTaylor

    Why is this magnificent Scottish prole playing the quintessential English gentleman
     
    I've heard Ian Fleming wasn't crazy about the casting. And based on what we know about CIA and other intelligence people, a much more effeminate type would make sense. Although, field operatives seem normally masculine, if a bit too hopped up on the need for action.

    The upper class of England destroyed the British Empire. Regular Englishmen and Germans would never have continued the insanity of WWI. And that would've meant no WWII.

    But the "great man" Churchill loved his games with human lives.

    Replies: @syonredux, @Pop Warner, @SunBakedSuburb, @JimDandy, @Neoconned, @Cking

    While Hitler was a blood hungry human monster who had to be dealt with i always found it interesting that the “Allies” declared war on Germany for “invading Poland” but would not do the same for the Soviet Union…..which also…..invaded Poland a week or so later….

    You are right….the elites and aristocrats in both England and France simply put hated Germany and Germans.

    That moron Hitler probably could have conquered Europe had he maintained his peace with Stalin….

    • Replies: @JMcG
    @Neoconned

    The Soviets also invaded Finland, with essentially zero response from the west. Well, we shipped the Finns some Brewster Buffalos, which they likely used to shoot down some of the P-39s we sent to the Soviets. Later, the Brits teamed up with the Soviets to invade Iran.
    There’s an awful lot that gets elided from our history books.

    Replies: @Joe Stalin

    , @Buffalo Joe
    @Neoconned

    Neo, Hitler likely would have conquered Europe if he didn't fancy himself to be a military strategist and let his generals plan and execute the war. The Germans had jet planes,Panzer and Tiger tanks and the dreaded 88 cannons. He ran his army out of troops.

    Replies: @JMcG, @Feryl

  215. @Mike Tre
    I heard once that as soon as Fleming saw Connery walk into the audition he said something along the lines of “That’s him. That’s James Bond”

    I have no verification for that story but Connery does bare resemblance to Fleming’s brother.

    Replies: @Alden

    Fleming, his brother and Connery were all tall dark and handsome.

  216. @Thursday
    @James O'Meara

    Lazenby had decent physical presence, but was a horribly wooden actor. The film somehow survives him anyway. If you get all the other elements right, I guess you don’t really need a good actor as your lead in one of these films.

    Replies: @Wilkey

    My vague recollection of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” is that the climactic scene features more of the Bond Girl, the recently departed Diana Rigg, than of Lazenby, which perhaps should tell you just how awful an actor Lazenby was.

    No one in their right mind thinks Lazenby was a good James Bond. Timothy Dalton and Daniel Craig are far better.

  217. @ScarletNumber
    @Wilkey


    the Bond girl in [A View to a Kill], Tanya Roberts, was frankly quite awful.
     
    She was one of the replacement Charlie's Angels, replacing Shelly Hack, who replaced Kate Jackson. She was also awful in That 70s Show.

    It also had a killer theme song (though overall I prefer the classier theme songs from the Connery era)
     
    Well you can't beat Goldfinger, but it's cliche to call that the best one.

    Replies: @syonredux

    She was one of the replacement Charlie’s Angels, replacing Shelly Hack, who replaced Kate Jackson. She was also awful in That 70s Show.

    In Miss Roberts defense, it should be noted that she possessed certain noteworthy corporeal attributes…

    • Replies: @Anon
    @syonredux

    ...

  218. @Henry's Cat
    I wonder what percentage of Bond viewers have ever read any of the books. Less than 1% at a stretch, I would say,

    Replies: @James Braxton, @A. Hipster, @Realist, @YetAnotherAnon, @TTSSYF, @Alden, @sb, @Anon, @dfordoom

    I read most of the books. Loved the Harlem book and movie one and Spy Who Loved Me. . I only like about the first 4 movies. After that they descended into block buster comic book explosions and auto chases. I did like the later one with Christopher Walken as the villain

    In the books his girls all wore white shirt style blouses tucked into a gray pleated skirt narrow black belt short fingernails natural polish. The girls drove James was passenger. Stick shifts on narrow curving dangerous mountain roadside. Always a couple paragraphs about what good drivers the girls were .

    • Replies: @James O'Meara
    @Alden

    "In the books his girls all wore white shirt style blouses tucked into a gray pleated skirt narrow black belt short fingernails natural polish. The girls drove James was passenger. Stick shifts on narrow curving dangerous mountain roadside. Always a couple paragraphs about what good drivers the girls were "

    He also described Honeychile Rider as having "more powerful muscles than is usual in a woman and the behind was almost as firm and rounded at a boy's," prompting Cyril Connolly in his review to ask "What on Earth could he have been thinking."

    The typical Bond Girl is more like the "strong wahmen" of today's Hollywood, the sort denounced by Sailerites and others as "unreal," "impossible" and "a homosexual Hollywood fantasy."

    Replies: @syonredux

  219. @Reg Cæsar
    @Tyrade


    But then there was David Niven in the original (spoof) Casino Royale. Put the ‘quint’ in ‘essential’, I think.

     

    A few of the Bond themes are okay as pop songs, but none come close to Bacharach's. And he threw in "The Look of Love" as a bonus.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBLeACT_KBQ


    No piece of music encapsulates the 1960s for me like that one. Perhaps because they played it so much on The Dating Game? So SoCal.


    Just posted yesterday, the Bond themes in succession below illustrate well the decline of popular music over the decades. Adele sounds like more of a man than Sam Smith. Sheryl Crow (!) is in there too. She and Burt are both natives of Missouri, but from about as far apart as you can get.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p65i9Ur1M0g

    Replies: @prosa123, @James O'Meara

    A few of the Bond themes are okay as pop songs, but none come close to Bacharach’s. And he threw in “The Look of Love” as a bonus.

    Still active at age 92.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @prosa123


    Still active at age 92.
     
    He's got a ways to go to catch up to Irving Berlin and Elliot Carter, both of whom who worked past 100.

    Berlin managed to outlive his copyrights on "Alexander's Ragtime Band" and other early works. It was 58 years after renewal in those days. "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" and "Baby It's You" are already there, with "Close to You" and "Wives and Lovers" reaching the mark next year, but the law now has greatly extended the terms. Burt is safe.

    I like how Irving Caesar ("Tea For Two") managed to drag his life out just long enough to break the other Irving's record. He was struck by a car in Manhattan late in life. He jumped right up and yelled at the driver, "Don't you know who I am? I'm the man who wrote 'Swanee'!"

    He once produced a Broadway show for which he wrote the words, music, book, and wore several other hats. When it bombed, he looked around for someone to blame. 🍑holes named Irving have the fight in them to carry one to 100, it seems!
  220. @James O'Meara
    @David In TN

    FRWL is arguably the only "real" or "normal" film in the series; it might fit in with Ipcress File or Smiley's People.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    For Your Eyes Only is the From Russia With Love of Roger Moore movies. It’s not as good, of course, but it has some decent segments that aren’t as relentlessly silly as Moonraker.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    @Steve Sailer


    For Your Eyes Only is the From Russia With Love of Roger Moore movies. It’s not as good, of course, but it has some decent segments that aren’t as relentlessly silly as Moonraker.
     
    FOR YOUR EYES ONLY was a deliberate course correction after the STAR WARS-inspired silliness of MOONRAKER, a literal return to Earth, as it were. It's noteworthy for being the most low-tech Bond since DR NO and FROM RUSSIA, WITH LOVE , and Bond, for the first time in the series, faces off against the Soviets.

    Plus, it also had the almost superhumanly beautiful Carole Bouquet:



    https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-0Vxgtqhlnp0/W9oaT5MYDkI/AAAAAAAAVEU/xW4NrJKBpd8RLPNw42xYkiojVU-zX6JKgCLcBGAs/s1600/JBDb%2BMelina.jpg

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/b8/28/e9/b828e9bab2cd8f2f97376847fdbc34ab.jpg

    Replies: @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race

  221. @syonredux
    @Verymuchalive


    So SMERSH is actually referenced in From Russia with Love
    I hope that has been of help.
     
    They're referenced, but SMERSH is not the enemy. The baddies in the film version of FROM RUSSIA, WITH LOVE are SPECTRE.As Bond notes, "it wasn't a Russian show at all":

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmTs5bF0-mQ

    SPECTRE is simply playing the Brits and the Sovs against one another:


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lL_q-rVZqR0

    Replies: @Verymuchalive

    I agree. But anyone with a knowledge of the books would realise that all the SMERSH references had been altered, or replaced by SPECTRE, no doubt for sound box office reasons you have alluded to elsewhere.

  222. @Father O'Hara
    @Bardon Kaldian

    My own take is that James Bond was a series of several movies starring Sean Connery. And that's it. The other movies were just goofy or brutal,in the case of Craig,adventure movies starring different guys playing a guy named James Bond. He could've been named Horace Finkelstein,for all I cared.
    Bond was of a particular actor and a particular time,that being the 60s,before,as Bob Hope said,the "serious stuff" started.

    Its fitting that JFK loved the books. He gave Bond a 60s New Fronteah imprimatur.

    Bond,by Connery,was part of the British Invasion,sort of a shot across the bow. Our innate Anglophilia was arousd by Bond, soon after bowled over by the Beatles. I recall one passing remark,where Connery jokes about the Fab Four; delightful!

    It was also about Technicolor,and beautiful women in bikinis and the Caribbean seen through the eyes of a young boy who had heretofore only seen movies with Jerry Lewis and Buddy Hackett, etc.

    When Connery,older,came back to do a Bond,it just wasn't worth the effort.
    The real question, could anyone else have played Zardoz?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @James O'Meara, @MEH 0910, @Bardon Kaldian

    A very good analysis.

  223. @Steve Sailer
    @Father O'Hara

    London-New York jetliners became a regular thing in 1959, which helped the Anglophilia of the 1960s.

    Also, the Brits had been pretty beaten down for years after 1945 by how broke they were. Finally around 1960 they, as Austin Powers would say, started to get their mojo back. They had lots of glamor and goodwill left over from WWII, so Brits liked the Beatles and Sean Connery benefited from it.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

    But why was Bond, Connery’s Bond, so universally popular? I think had in it something almost archetypal for males, and that goes beyond current politics & British propaganda.

    Early Bond was a male dream come true in its essential form: be a masculine man living dangerously in- mostly- high society, bedding gorgeous women who are not simply bimbos & triumphing over your enemies with, frequently, physical force, sometimes combined with mental.

    Who could resist that?

    As master politician, a dictator- he would be unappealing; as just a lothatrio -nice, but incomplete; as knocking out enemies only in some backwater naturalist environment of criminal underworld- that would have been not more than a mafia criminal.

    Bond lived in an intersection of high & low worlds; lived a modern life; lived dangerously & fast; lived a life on what is basically the right side with a tinge of seductive cruelty which only added to the appeal.

    With early Connery, that was a winning combination.

    • Replies: @ChrisZ
    @Bardon Kaldian

    "An intersection of high and low worlds" is a perceptive description.

    BTW, I think "Bardon Kaldian" would be a good name for a Bond villain.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

    , @Peter D. Bredon
    @Bardon Kaldian

    To repeat myself:

    I think Joel Hodgson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame actually put it best:

    “Bond movies really represented the adult world, you know; drinking cocktails and being a secret agent and having your skills highly valued and having beautiful women being interested in you, were all things you felt were something I have to look forward to, this is what’s waiting for me at the end of my childhood.”

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

  224. @Mr. Anon
    @MEH 0910

    Despite the producers changing the title song from "Mr. Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang" to "Thunderball", you can still here the KKBB motif in a lot of the music cues (which is good, because it's a good song). I like the "Thunderball" song as well. KKBB is about James Bond, Thunderball is about Largo, and - as you point out - the song that Johnny Cash submitted was about the plot of the movie.

    By the way, for all you fans of Shirley Bassey songs for 1960s spy movies, there was also this one, "The Liquidator", music by another great - Lalo Schifrin (composer of the Mission Impossible theme):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDx_HYOAzMA

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

    Lalo Schifrin (composer of the Mission Impossible theme)

    His most iconic song for sure, but this one is a close second. It sounds familiar from being used elsewhere.

    • Replies: @D. K.
    @ScarletNumber

    A month and a half before "Cool Hand Luke" was released, fifty-three years ago yesterday, "Mannix" premiered on CBS:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7TdnvEpgl0

    (MeTV now shows "Mannix" on Tuesday through Saturday mornings, 2-3 a.m. E.S.T.)

    , @James O'Meara
    @ScarletNumber

    Back in the 60s that was the music used at the opening of Channel 7 Eyewitness News in Detroit (possibly other ABC affiliates?). It's got that typewriter/teletype thing going on in the middle section. It was decades before I saw CHL and realized that's what I had been hearing.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

  225. @Henry's Cat
    I wonder what percentage of Bond viewers have ever read any of the books. Less than 1% at a stretch, I would say,

    Replies: @James Braxton, @A. Hipster, @Realist, @YetAnotherAnon, @TTSSYF, @Alden, @sb, @Anon, @dfordoom

    I disagree at least for Boomers .
    Teenage boys often read the Bond books in the 1960s . They then just passed the public library test of acceptability ( at least where I lived )

    • Agree: Wielgus
  226. @Bardon Kaldian
    @Steve Sailer

    But why was Bond, Connery's Bond, so universally popular? I think had in it something almost archetypal for males, and that goes beyond current politics & British propaganda.

    Early Bond was a male dream come true in its essential form: be a masculine man living dangerously in- mostly- high society, bedding gorgeous women who are not simply bimbos & triumphing over your enemies with, frequently, physical force, sometimes combined with mental.

    Who could resist that?

    As master politician, a dictator- he would be unappealing; as just a lothatrio -nice, but incomplete; as knocking out enemies only in some backwater naturalist environment of criminal underworld- that would have been not more than a mafia criminal.

    Bond lived in an intersection of high & low worlds; lived a modern life; lived dangerously & fast; lived a life on what is basically the right side with a tinge of seductive cruelty which only added to the appeal.

    With early Connery, that was a winning combination.

    Replies: @ChrisZ, @Peter D. Bredon

    “An intersection of high and low worlds” is a perceptive description.

    BTW, I think “Bardon Kaldian” would be a good name for a Bond villain.

    • LOL: PiltdownMan
    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    @ChrisZ


    BTW, I think “Bardon Kaldian” would be a good name for a Bond villain.
     
    https://media.tenor.com/images/c9d88773a49be1b37018592a9c63415c/tenor.gif
  227. @Ancient Briton
    @EliteCommInc.

    George, as Bond wore a kilt in OHMSS.

    Replies: @sb

    Of course George Lazenby is the Bond who dare not speak it’s name . Or something .

    Always thought it would be a good idea for wannabe Australian citizens – who must do a written test of “Australian values “as one requirement for citizenship – to have to answer a question about who is their favourite James Bond . That would be a good test of their commitment to Australian ways . ( or something )

  228. @Wilkey
    @SunBakedSuburb


    It’ll be interesting to see if EON Productions bends the knee to the Western anti-racism cult and casts Idris Elba or another UK black as James Bond. Elba is another quality UK actor but he’s black. I’ll stop watching the movies if Bond turns black because I’m prejudiced.
     
    I’ll stop watching Bond movies if they make him black because I’m tired of this shit; and because James Bond is supposed to be white; and because I’m tired of this shit; and because invent your own damned superheroes; and because I’m tired of this shit.

    Idris Elba is a decent actor, but he’s damn near 50. He’s only four years younger than Daniel Craig, who is already aging out of the role. Roger Moore was 58 for his last Bond film and he was already several years too old for the part. And Moore aged much better than Elba has.

    And to be quite blunt, I think whites are better at acting than blacks. Oh pardon me, is that racist? It’s ok to say blacks are better dancers or better athletes, but not to say that whites are better actors? Well ok then. There are good actors and there are amazing actors. I’ve seen a fair number of good black actors, but anytime I’ve left the theater saying “Holy shit, that guy (or girl) was amazing!” it has always been for a white actor or actress. Always.

    For the studios part I think they’ll keep Bond white because, as much as I’m not a fan of Daniel Craig, the latest Bond films are raking in money. The last several installments have raked in about a billion each. Do you know how much the first Disney Star Wars film, “The Farce Awakens,” grossed? $2,068 million. And how much the last one, “The Rise of Skywalker,” grossed? $1,074 million - or barely half the first one. Between that, “The Last Jedi,” and their other two Star Wars films, Wokeness probably cost Disney about $2 billion. And it’s not necessarily the case that box offices decline for sequels, especially not trillogies. The box office for “The Lord of the Rings” climbed with every installment. The box office for “The Hobbit” trilogy, which wasn’t nearly as good, fell a bit, but not by much. But a near-50% drop? Insane. In the era of COVID, even Disney can’t afford to pass up $2 billion, let alone whatever studio it is that owns the Bond franchise.

    So sure, cast a black James Bond - and watch your profits tank.

    Replies: @Diversity Heretic

    How well do James Bond films do in Asia? Asians, especially Chinese, do not like black action heroes, so a desire to please Asian audiences may keep James Bond white for another series.

  229. @PiltdownMan
    @Steve Sailer


    The Cold War was not waged very hard in popular entertainment.
     
    When I was a kid, the only Cold War movie I remember seeing was a comedy, The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming! In it, New England townsfolk end up befriending the crew of a Soviet submarine that comes ashore, and save it from US Navy jets. The movie was made in 1966, at the height of the Cold War.

    PS: Listening to the video clip today, Alan Arkin's "Russian" accent sounds distinctly Israeli.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycLPm3UJhY0

    Replies: @Diversity Heretic

    Alan Arkin spoke Russian, so the accent may be authentic. My favorite line in the movie is when he goes to the house seeing to find a boar after having run his submarine aground and says, “We are obviously . ; . Norwegian!”

  230. @Mr. Anon
    @R.G. Camara

    I liked the first of the Daniel Craig movies, Casino Royale. All the movies since Goldeneye have labored under a huge handicap - Judi Dench. Does anybody like her? Half the movies involve Bond rescuing M, and an equal number turn on some kind of revenge plot. Revenge is such a lazy and juvenile plot device.

    Replies: @Ray P, @James O'Meara

    Judi Dench. Does anybody like her?

    Women such as my sister. She was a little upset (“oh, what a shame”) when Dame Judi died at the end of Skyfall. Of course, I never cared for her since her first appearance, chastising and berating Bond for being a sexist, misogynist dinosaur.

    The retiring Bond, Daniel Craig, has also been very popular with ladies (by which I mean older women – not so much those in their twenties) in my experience.

  231. @Peter D. Bredon
    @Ray P

    Even more embarrassing is how the scene is shot .. it appears that the guy with the car who "rescues"him at the end of the scene roars away leaving him accidentally behind., shrugging his shoulders. I think that was a goof that they incorporated into the filming.

    Replies: @Ray P

    Moore’s Bond endured a lot of comic mishaps of this sort which indicates how the producers had decided to play up the humour when he came aboard in the nineteen seventies.

  232. @Neoconned
    @RichardTaylor

    While Hitler was a blood hungry human monster who had to be dealt with i always found it interesting that the "Allies" declared war on Germany for "invading Poland" but would not do the same for the Soviet Union.....which also.....invaded Poland a week or so later....

    You are right....the elites and aristocrats in both England and France simply put hated Germany and Germans.

    That moron Hitler probably could have conquered Europe had he maintained his peace with Stalin....

    Replies: @JMcG, @Buffalo Joe

    The Soviets also invaded Finland, with essentially zero response from the west. Well, we shipped the Finns some Brewster Buffalos, which they likely used to shoot down some of the P-39s we sent to the Soviets. Later, the Brits teamed up with the Soviets to invade Iran.
    There’s an awful lot that gets elided from our history books.

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
    @JMcG

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjUH7JaoTZU

    Replies: @JMcG

  233. @Muggles
    @John


    News From Tartary inspired me to study Turkish and Russian
     
    Yes, that Peter Fleming book deserves a wide audience. I read it this last winter and as I told a friend, after reading that you'll never complain about hardships on your own little vacation trip.

    Very revealing about places still in the news. Unfortunately my paperback didn't have the map which you should have. Names have changed but you can still figure out he took the only route available. I highly recommend it.

    And the Swiss woman he was with! Why haven't feminists taken up her as a heroine? Online reviews of her book also chronicling their journey aren't very kind. English wasn't her first language and her insights evidently not very interesting. Still how many modern women could do that?

    When you read about what these early travelers did (early 20th century) you have to admire those who traveled to tough places. A lot of "eccentric" Brits out in the very dangerous boondocks. I have thought that the "Tartary" book would be a great semester long basis for a university course on far western Chinese geography and culture. Refreshing to read such clear, concise and candid observations about very different places and people.

    https://www.amazon.com/News-Tartary-Peter-Fleming/dp/1531842631

    If nothing else it will take your mind off current political/pandemic nonsense. Thanks for your reference here!

    Replies: @John

    You are welcome! And I agree completely about News From Tartary making the great foundation for a college course.

    Why haven’t feminists taken up Kini Maillart? I’ve wondered the same thing. I do know this, from having looked at such items of hers that got translated into English: she was a bore. But how can THAT be an impediment? I guess she was the wrong KIND of bore. That may matter. Hard as that is to believe.

    To answer : yes, I have read, and enjoyed, Patrick Leigh Fermor. He never slept in his car in Mississippi, or bivouacked in Iowa on a bicycle ride…but he could have. He was totally ready for anything. But to return to my original inquiry – when I go off-topic, I at least stay on my own! – I am not sure his stuff would really instruct anyone now. About his ample writings on Greece, I cannot say because I have never been there. Nor have I visited the eastern European places he did. I was in Vienna as recently as last year, a city from which you can take a commuter train to Bratislava, or Pressburg as Fermor knew it; but I did not do that. I will guess that I would have recognized nothing. Fermor himself spoke German pretty much all the time in those parts, but I doubt anyone there does now. (No more than anyone does in Ljubljana, which no one calls Laibach anymore.)

    • Thanks: JMcG
  234. @Anonymous
    On the topic of Kipling, British Imperialism, Sean Connery, derring-do, 'real man' etc, the life story of the Victorian British Army captain, William Raikes Hodson, 'Hodson of Hodson's Horse' is instructive.

    In an unbelievable tight situation, during the Indian Mutiny, of the 1850s, Hodson found himself alone - with only a service revolver - facing a baying mob of literally hundreds of Indian Muslim fanatics, and oh, a couple of mughal prince captives of his. Literally backed into a corner, Hodson's courage did not fail him, and he then and there summarily executed the hostages, cold bloodedly, with single shots to the brain. He then, in thorough public school English Victorian fashion, barked, growled and yelped at the mob - who all faded away!!!!!!

    You won't be too surprised to learn that Hodson was the son of an Anglican clergyman.

    Replies: @Numinous

    This is a BS story. Hodson was a savage who murdered his (underage) captives in cold blood (like what happened in Yekaterinburg half a century later). At no time was he in any personal danger. And by that time, the war was already won (i.e., the rebellion had been crushed).

  235. @ChrisZ
    @syonredux

    Syon, Umberto Eco pegs Spillane's Hammer books as an inspiration for Fleming's Bond (at least his early novels). It seemed a very unlikely comparison to me, until I finally read the Hammer books, at which point it became obvious. Eco notes that Hammer in "I, the Jury" is haunted by his WW2 killing of a Japanese in cold blood, and Fleming acknowledges his debt to Spillane by having Bond recollect his wartime assassination of a Japanese while on assignment in New York in "Casino Royale." But there are more important similarities between the two books, including betrayal by the hero's love interest, and memorable final lines expressing the hero's hardened heart (Hammer: "It was easy'" answering the question of how he could kill a woman he loved; Bond: "The bitch is dead," reporting the suicide of his beloved) .

    I think that as a novelist, Fleming said everything he had to say about James Bond *as a character* in "Casino Royale," which can stand on its own as a novel of the Cold War. The rest of the Bond series is merely Fleming recapitulating the character arc he had already devised for Bond in his first outing, but extended over a dozen genre books.

    Replies: @David In TN

    In the Kingley Amis book on the Bond Novels, Amis wrote something like: “Compared to Mike Hammer, Bond is a shining example to youth.”

    • Replies: @ChrisZ
    @David In TN

    I think that assessment is right, David. Spillane’s formula of sex and violence made him a fortune—which must have greatly appealed to, if not motivated, Fleming. But Fleming (in my view) distilled it through the British tradition of Victorian/Edwardian adventure writers (Conan Doyle, Buchan, Rohmer), resulting in a more urbane hero.

    Amis’ “Dossier” book is a good read, as is the one Bond novel he wrote, “Colonel Sun.” But he wrote them in the ‘60s, when the distinctions between Mike Hammer and James Bond seemed more stark. Today, with a half century of literary depravity intervening, the two characters seem much tamer, and their kinship more evident. Thanks for the reply.

  236. @prosa123
    @Reg Cæsar

    A few of the Bond themes are okay as pop songs, but none come close to Bacharach’s. And he threw in “The Look of Love” as a bonus.

    Still active at age 92.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Still active at age 92.

    He’s got a ways to go to catch up to Irving Berlin and Elliot Carter, both of whom who worked past 100.

    Berlin managed to outlive his copyrights on “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” and other early works. It was 58 years after renewal in those days. “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” and “Baby It’s You” are already there, with “Close to You” and “Wives and Lovers” reaching the mark next year, but the law now has greatly extended the terms. Burt is safe.

    I like how Irving Caesar (“Tea For Two”) managed to drag his life out just long enough to break the other Irving’s record. He was struck by a car in Manhattan late in life. He jumped right up and yelled at the driver, “Don’t you know who I am? I’m the man who wrote ‘Swanee’!”

    He once produced a Broadway show for which he wrote the words, music, book, and wore several other hats. When it bombed, he looked around for someone to blame. 🍑holes named Irving have the fight in them to carry one to 100, it seems!

  237. Anon[370] • Disclaimer says:

    Thanks for the informative article. Nice work.

    I heard somewhere that Ronald Dahl was one of the agents directly under Fleming’s control and that he may have influenced the character. Like it was a fusion between Dahl and his brother, with Dahl being the affable, charm your panties off womanizer and I guess his brother being the source material for the ruthless, no remorse killer.

    I really liked Dalton as Bond. He looked like how I felt he should, and the movies were a bit grittier and there were real consequences for losing, which was rare in the Moore era. I despise Moore as Bond, he was just awful and I feel his entire set of movies is unwatchable. Brian was probably the best overall fit for the character and was brilliant in many ways but the series was totally mordibund when he was wearing the tux, which is a shame it was a big missed opportunity.

    • Agree: Wielgus
  238. @Peter D. Bredon
    @MEH 0910

    "The song was removed from the title credits after United Artists requested that the theme song contain the film’s title in its lyrics."

    All I'm asking for, is a THEME, with the frickin' TITLE in the frickin' LYRICS!

    I've never been able to find out what "Thunderball" is supposed to mean. Yeah, I know, ha ha ha but all that's all post-film memes. In film, M says "Operation... Thunderball" and then looks around like he's waiting for someone who dares to laugh.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon

    I’ve never been able to find out what “Thunderball” is supposed to mean. Yeah, I know, ha ha ha but all that’s all post-film memes. In film, M says “Operation… Thunderball” and then looks around like he’s waiting for someone who dares to laugh.

    I think it was supposed to mean “Fireball” – as in the nuclear fireball that would result from the detonation of the weapons that Largo stole. Maybe Fleming misheard the term. Or maybe he just thought it sounded better.

  239. @Steve Sailer
    @James O'Meara

    For Your Eyes Only is the From Russia With Love of Roger Moore movies. It's not as good, of course, but it has some decent segments that aren't as relentlessly silly as Moonraker.

    Replies: @syonredux

    For Your Eyes Only is the From Russia With Love of Roger Moore movies. It’s not as good, of course, but it has some decent segments that aren’t as relentlessly silly as Moonraker.

    FOR YOUR EYES ONLY was a deliberate course correction after the STAR WARS-inspired silliness of MOONRAKER, a literal return to Earth, as it were. It’s noteworthy for being the most low-tech Bond since DR NO and FROM RUSSIA, WITH LOVE , and Bond, for the first time in the series, faces off against the Soviets.

    Plus, it also had the almost superhumanly beautiful Carole Bouquet:

    • Replies: @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race
    @syonredux

    Carole Bouquet was indeed Too Beautiful for You in 1989, in which she starred with Gerard Depardieu, and then was married to him from 1997 to 2005. Good in Lucie Aubric in the 90s, and most famous early on for Bunuel's That Obscure Object of Desire. Interesting that one of Deneuve's and Depardieu's best movies, Techine's Les Temps Qui Changent, was made while he was still married to Bouquet. Just saw she's 63 now, and has 'partnered' with Philippe Sereys de Rothschild. Now more into wineries and vineyards in Sicily.

    Delphine Seyrig is the only French actress I find more beautiful: https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ALeKk034gAeCYH0-XY3vh9li7JQkSdMPGg:1604362550578&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=delphine+seyrig+images&client=firefox-b-1-d&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiM1aufjOXsAhULTt8KHb-TCosQjJkEegQIChAB&biw=1366&bih=591#imgrc=wdQelA_KaTO4uM

    That's in Last Year at Marienbad, in which she was extraordinary. She's no longer with us, but made several fantastic movies, including Truffaut's Stolen Kisses, with Jean-Pierre Leaud.

    Seyrig and Deneuve are greater actresses than Bouquet, I'd say, but they are all three stunningly gorgeous women, which I couldn't say for Isabelle Huppert (and also cannot stand her anymore.) Deneuve still makes 2 or 3 movies a year, and they are always of fine quality.

  240. @Realist
    @Henry's Cat


    I wonder what percentage of Bond viewers have ever read any of the books.
     
    I read the first eight as paper backs in the late 50's and early 60's as a teenager.

    Replies: @Muggles, @Wielgus

    I have read some of them. You Only Live Twice and Casino Royale. The first is mainly memorable for an argument between the Japanese Tiger Tanaka and Bond about Britain’s decline in the world.

  241. @Michelle
    @Redneck farmer

    I am an outlier here, because, I actually love Timothy Dalton's portrayal of Bond. He is the best, and most noted actor of all. Craig is my close second.

    Replies: @Wielgus, @Feryl, @PiltdownMan

    I thought he was pretty good, perhaps no.2 after Connery.

    • Agree: JMcG
    • Replies: @Michelle
    @Wielgus

    I give you that.

  242. @Anon
    I own the first 4 Bond movies:
    Dr. No
    From Russia with Love (Connery's persoanal fave)
    Goldfinger
    Thunderball.

    The first three a joyous trips back in time. I wish the world was as classy as it was back then.


    Fleming had doubts about Connery initially, but Cubby Broccoli and his wife both had made the decision....Connery would be perfect for the role. After seeing Dr. No, Ian Fleming was elated. The pros (Broccoli and director Guy Hamilton) had picked and directed the right man. They were great entertainments. I wish today's youth would give them a watch to see what real class and style are.


    "Do you expect me to talk?"
    "No Mr. Bond I expect you to die".

    Replies: @Sandmich

    I have the blu-ray mega pack and yeah it’s hard to beat those first four, Goldfinger in particular which is hugely influential all by itself. However most of them are still some form of watchable of varying quality, with only Die Another Day being the only one that’s unwatchably bad (they had wanted to parlay Halle Berry’s character in that movie into a series of not-Bond Bond films, but the movie was so bad that the idea was scrapped).

  243. @prosa123
    @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race

    I was trying to think of English actors who could have done Bond. Lawrence Harvey was probably a better actor, and equally suave and debonair–and I wouldn’t have known he was Jewish till I read it.

    Not just Jewish but a native Lithuanian speaker. As a small child his family moved to South Africa, where the accent is quite different than in Britain, yet as an adult he sounded fully British. Not to mention playing a completely convincing American in The Manchurian Candidate.
    Had he been the original Bond he wouldn't have stayed in the series any longer than Connery did, however, as he died young. It's also rather a pity that his daughter was a hopeless drug addict.

    Replies: @James O'Meara, @Wielgus

    I don’t find his accent particularly British. Listening to it you can sense something else there, though perhaps a bit of South Africa rather than Lithuania. He sounded quite British in The Manchurian Candidate but was playing an upper-crust American. He put on a Cockney accent in The Long And The Short And The Tall but I did not find it totally convincing.

    He sings the song “Bless Them All” in this recording but actually sounds rather American.

    • Replies: @James O'Meara
    @Wielgus

    Harvey could only play one character, but it was to perfection. Not British, not American, not Lithuanian, not upper class or working class, just a generic smug prick. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

    He would have been awesome as Patrick Bateman.

    Replies: @Wielgus

  244. @James O'Meara
    @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race

    From Niven to Connery as exemplar of "masculine charisma" ... the producers needed to teach Connery how to play someone who wasn't a thug .... by that standard, Red Grant had more "masculine charisma" than Bond and so Robert Shaw should have replaced Connery... no wonder we've now wound up with Negroes as the masculine ideal.

    Replies: @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race, @syonredux

    Masculinity is a complicated thing. It’s all about getting the right mixture of toughness and smoothness. Add in too much toughness, and the result is a coarse thug; pour in too much smoothness, and you get a sissified fop. Get the ingredients in proper balance, and you get the masculine ideal, a perfect combination of the tough and the smooth, the rugged and the refined.

    Connery, in his natural state, was a bit on the coarse side of the equation, but, after some helpful instruction from Terence Young, he was able to project the proper synthesis.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    @syonredux

    syon, Connery, as Bond, had the "it" factor that women can't quite explain but they know when a man has "it.' The Bond character comes across as smooth because he was always well dressed, and dressed well. A true gentleman licensed to kill.

    , @Bardon Kaldian
    @syonredux

    We should not confuse masculinity with erotic charisma. For instance, Richard Francis Burton- doesn't matter whether he was gay or not- was a hyper-masculine man, but without erotic charisma; great Romantic lovers like Franz Liszt, Victor Hugo or Byron had been incredible magnets for females of all walk of life (especially aristocracy), but I don't think they were too masculine.

  245. @RichardTaylor

    Why is this magnificent Scottish prole playing the quintessential English gentleman
     
    I've heard Ian Fleming wasn't crazy about the casting. And based on what we know about CIA and other intelligence people, a much more effeminate type would make sense. Although, field operatives seem normally masculine, if a bit too hopped up on the need for action.

    The upper class of England destroyed the British Empire. Regular Englishmen and Germans would never have continued the insanity of WWI. And that would've meant no WWII.

    But the "great man" Churchill loved his games with human lives.

    Replies: @syonredux, @Pop Warner, @SunBakedSuburb, @JimDandy, @Neoconned, @Cking

    WWI and WWII were always the operation of Foreign Policy to annihilate the German people and their superior economic productive powers. Being an Anglophile blinds us to the reality and leads to admiration and/or acceptance of anything; Churchill was a mass murderer, still revered to this day. The British Upper-Class conducted mass-murder offensives in Ireland and all over Europe for centuries, why sigh for the ‘good old days’? Ian Fleming’s story and Sean Connery’s portrayal of the British secret agent 007 as a degenerate ‘hero’ most men would aspire to was great entertainment yet not an admirable work of art or of modern history. The James Bond series did an awful lot to debase the British and American standard of Liberal-Conservative society. It was a brilliant piece, a sophisticated device transporting cancer throughout Western culture.

    JFK was publicly executed in Dallas, America was immersed in hysteria, grief, and pessimism. Then came the Beatles; the American psyche never recovered from the British Invasion. Yes, this era, the British supervised subversion of the West, should be studied.

  246. @Anonymous
    Famously, Ian Fleming wanted David Niven to play James Bond.

    Fleming variously insulted Sean Connery as "that fucking truck driver" or as "an over developed stuntman".

    Curious Ian Fleming factoid:

    Following Rudolf Hess' bizarre solo mission to Scotland, Fleming, who was high up in Royal Navy intelligence, suggested to the British cabinet that Aleister Crowley should be charged with the initial interrogation of Hess.
    What the cabinet made of Fleming's suggestion is not known.

    Replies: @JMcG, @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race, @Gordo, @dfordoom

    Following Rudolf Hess’ bizarre solo mission to Scotland, Fleming, who was high up in Royal Navy intelligence, suggested to the British cabinet that Aleister Crowley should be charged with the initial interrogation of Hess.

    Aleister Crowley shared an interest in mysticism with Hess, and Crowley was apparently an MI6 asset so maybe not such a mad idea.

  247. @James O'Meara
    @Father O'Hara

    Serving Dom Perignon at the wrong temperature "is like listening to the Beatles without earmuffs."

    At that point -- Goldfinger -- they thought the Beatles would be just a passing fad. Eventually, they and their "youth culture" surpassed Bond; that line marks the point where Bond "cool" became "square" (or he lost his mojo, if you will). Kids used to want to become adults (see Joel Hodgson's remark about Bond above) like Bond or Sinatra; then, overnight, they became "squares".

    Mad Men had a similar scene, where Don's newer, younger wife gives him a copy of Rubber Soul before leaving for the West Coast, asking him to play the last track. When she's gone, he puts it on -- Tomorrow Never Knows -- and after minute or two he switches it off. Copyright worries? No, it just shows that hip Don is now a square.

    I think that season ends with Don in a bar, as the jukebox plays "You Only Live Twice" (Sinatra, hip Nancy, that is), which is the story of Don's life or lives.

    It would have been fun if Weiner had continues Mad Men as a series like Bond, with a new, younger actor playing "Don Draper" at the same age in new decades.

    Replies: @Matra, @Ray P

    It doesn’t change your point but if he played “Tomorrow Never Knows” then it was Revolver, not Rubber Soul. Sometimes the US & UK versions were different but I don’t think that’s the case here.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    @Matra

    You are correct; it was Revolver

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLLL9DKpUa4

    , @James O'Meara
    @Matra

    You are right indeed. And apparently Capitol did delete three songs that had already appeared on Yesterday and Today, but not this one nor its position at the end of side one.

  248. @James O'Meara
    @Father O'Hara

    Serving Dom Perignon at the wrong temperature "is like listening to the Beatles without earmuffs."

    At that point -- Goldfinger -- they thought the Beatles would be just a passing fad. Eventually, they and their "youth culture" surpassed Bond; that line marks the point where Bond "cool" became "square" (or he lost his mojo, if you will). Kids used to want to become adults (see Joel Hodgson's remark about Bond above) like Bond or Sinatra; then, overnight, they became "squares".

    Mad Men had a similar scene, where Don's newer, younger wife gives him a copy of Rubber Soul before leaving for the West Coast, asking him to play the last track. When she's gone, he puts it on -- Tomorrow Never Knows -- and after minute or two he switches it off. Copyright worries? No, it just shows that hip Don is now a square.

    I think that season ends with Don in a bar, as the jukebox plays "You Only Live Twice" (Sinatra, hip Nancy, that is), which is the story of Don's life or lives.

    It would have been fun if Weiner had continues Mad Men as a series like Bond, with a new, younger actor playing "Don Draper" at the same age in new decades.

    Replies: @Matra, @Ray P

    The irony is that Bond is still going strong while the Beatles are largely dead.

  249. @Diversity Heretic
    If you liked the James Bond character, then Sean Connery was probably the ideal James Bond. If you didn't much care for the character in the first place, then Roger Moore was better, because he always impressed me as not taking the part too seriously and playing it with one eye on the camera. I never watched a single James Bond movie after Roger Moore and Daniel Craig always looked the part of a James Bond villain.

    Isn't the next 007 to be played by a black woman?

    Replies: @IHTG, @ThreeCranes, @Jim Don Bob, @tyrone, @Mikeja, @Anonymous Jew, @Liberty Mike

    I thought it was Tom Hardy, which sets up another discussion: why is James Bond getting shorter and shorter?

  250. The Bond books always make much of how his face is cold, arrogant and even cruel. None of this was true of any of the Bond actors except, possibly, Daniel Craig, who definitely does not have the Anglo-Norman face that says ‘gentleman’ in Britain. One modern actor who might be able to do it, if he gained a few pounds of muscle? Laurence Fox, who played Lord Palmerston in the TV series Victoria, among other roles. His face looks innately cruel and arrogant, and I expect it helps that he was a ‘public school’ boy (Harrow).

    • Replies: @James O'Meara
    @LFM

    "The Bond books always make much of how his face is cold, arrogant and even cruel. None of this was true of any of the Bond actors except, possibly, Daniel Craig,"

    Largely true, but I think in the scene in Dr No where Bond coolly shoots the already done for Dr Dent a couple more times in the back, which shocked audiences, Connery does convey that kind of look when the camera cuts back to him.

  251. @ChrisZ
    @Bardon Kaldian

    "An intersection of high and low worlds" is a perceptive description.

    BTW, I think "Bardon Kaldian" would be a good name for a Bond villain.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

    BTW, I think “Bardon Kaldian” would be a good name for a Bond villain.

  252. Anon[371] • Disclaimer says:
    @Henry's Cat
    I wonder what percentage of Bond viewers have ever read any of the books. Less than 1% at a stretch, I would say,

    Replies: @James Braxton, @A. Hipster, @Realist, @YetAnotherAnon, @TTSSYF, @Alden, @sb, @Anon, @dfordoom

    I wonder what percentage of Bond viewers have ever read any of the books. Less than 1% at a stretch, I would say,

    Until “Casino Royale,” none of the Bond movies have been based on Fleming novels since the 1960s, I think – although “Octopussy” and “The Living Daylights” were based on some of his short stories, and the unofficial Bond film, “Never Say Never Again,” which brought back Connery (and featured a yacht that Donald Trump briefly owned) was based on “Thunderball.”

    The Bond films have a life of their own now. In his literary genre he is several generations in the past: before Jason Bourne, before Jack Ryan. There are still probably quite a few James Bond readers out there – I’ve read a couple of them – but not like they used to be. Besides, who reads anything but Twitter anymore?

    • Replies: @James O'Meara
    @Anon

    This young guy not only reviews all the movies, but spent a year reading, for the first time, all the books, in sequence. Not at all unimpressed by most of them (they do, after all, decline along with Fleming's health)

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLb49SiBMb6Dde8TBQ0Wdykw76-5lpjjua

  253. @Matra
    @James O'Meara

    It doesn't change your point but if he played "Tomorrow Never Knows" then it was Revolver, not Rubber Soul. Sometimes the US & UK versions were different but I don't think that's the case here.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber, @James O'Meara

    You are correct; it was Revolver

  254. @Anonymous
    Steve Sailer:

    "Was Sean Connery the ideal James Bond?

    It depends. Flemming's own personal casting for the role was David Niven. When they pointed out to him that he was American and therefore couldn't protray an upper-class English spy, Flemming replied:

    "I don't care. I just want the best man for the job."

    Flemming believed that Niven had the aristocratic manners and elegant nody type to play Bond. He was found Connery too brutish and coarse for the role. Bond is not supposed to be a thick-necked mesomorphic brute, like a gladiator, a truck driver or NFL lineman. This type of men has historically been associated with the low classes. Bond is supposed to be an aristocrat who serves his country in a dangerous job, but he is not a Rambo type character.

    If you read the novels, Flemming describes Bond as thin, handsome and intelligent. His face and jaw are chiseled, but he is not an overly macho brute. He is also not an extravert in terms of personality. He is cold, calculating and naturally suspicious. As in fact, you would want a spy to be. An ultra-extravert like Chris Rock or Rodney Dangerfield would be captured and torrured to death very quickly.

    Flemming didn't like Connery at first because of his manners, his big, bulky body and his excessive "in-your-face" type of masculinity, which is not very aristocratic. Aristocrats are supposed to be capable of being self-effecing and humble in attitude("noblesse oblige")

    But Connery wasn't all wrong for the part. He certainly had the handsomeness. His body, although big and quite muscular, wasn't exactly that of an extreme mesomorph. It was still long and lanky, and extremely shapely and well-proportioned. Also, Connery was 6'2l, only 1" taller than Bond, who was supposed to be 6'1(the perfect male height). 6'1 and 6'2 is considered the perfect height for a human male, just like 5'7 is considered to be the perfct height for a human female. Shorter than this, and the man loses some of his charisma as height is considered a masculine trait. This is not to say that shorter man can't have charisma. Napoleon was 5'2 and had charisma to spare. But it does take a toll. And taller than this, and the man starts to look funny and disproportional. Men taller than 6'2 need to have unusually large and thick bone structures to still look good, like Liam Neeson. A man who is 6'7 or 6'8 will look like a bean pole even if his shoulders are wide and he is over 225 lbs in muscle.

    Besides his looks, height and perfect body that had a mesomorph muscular structure but with a more gracile ectomorphic bone structure, Connery also had the personality of Bond. Connery was an introvert with tremendous self-confidence and a manly air about himself. Like Bond, Connery had a natural dramatic, theatrical flair and was very stylish and cool in his dress, body language, manner of speech and general attitude.

    Here is the kicker: Flemming eventuall liked Connery so much as Bond that he re-wrote Bond's character to have a Scottish father. How much is that for an endorsement? When the creator of a character likes you so much as that character that he re-writers the character to be more like you. If that doesn't sell you on Connery being Bond, then nothing will.

    In conclusion, Connery wasn't the perfect Bond because no one can be exactly like a fictional character. But he was as close as it got. So yes, he was the best Bond. All other actors that played Bond were more dissimilar to the character than Connery.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

    David Niven. When they pointed out to him that he was American

    Niven was English.

    • Replies: @Wielgus
    @ScarletNumber

    I think he told people he was born in Scotland but was actually born in London. He was an officer in the Highland Light Infantry before resigning (after escaping from arrest for insubordination) and heading to Hollywood.

  255. @JMcG
    @David In TN

    I don’t doubt it, but why did we agree to keep him locked up like that? It just seems far out of proportion to anything he actually did.

    Replies: @David In TN

    The rule seems to have been as long as one of the Powers wanted Hess (who was sentenced to Life) kept in Spandau, he had to be kept in Spandau. The others, Americans included, were willing to release Hess but the Soviets were not.

  256. @Neoconned
    @RichardTaylor

    While Hitler was a blood hungry human monster who had to be dealt with i always found it interesting that the "Allies" declared war on Germany for "invading Poland" but would not do the same for the Soviet Union.....which also.....invaded Poland a week or so later....

    You are right....the elites and aristocrats in both England and France simply put hated Germany and Germans.

    That moron Hitler probably could have conquered Europe had he maintained his peace with Stalin....

    Replies: @JMcG, @Buffalo Joe

    Neo, Hitler likely would have conquered Europe if he didn’t fancy himself to be a military strategist and let his generals plan and execute the war. The Germans had jet planes,Panzer and Tiger tanks and the dreaded 88 cannons. He ran his army out of troops.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    @Buffalo Joe

    Joe,
    Hiler’s generals didn’t want to:
    Remilitarize the Rhineland
    Annex Austria
    Occupy the Czech Sudetenland
    Invade Poland.
    Invade Norway
    Invade the Low Countries
    Invade France.

    There’s no wonder at all that Hitler thought he was a better strategist than his generals. If he hadn’t bothered with Africa and the Balkans, who knows what might have happened. There probably wouldn’t be millions of muslims in Germany and France now.

    , @Feryl
    @Buffalo Joe

    The Third Reich's military forces were some of the best ever (relatve to the competition), but what good is that when leadership sucks? Meanwhile, as the Anglosphere circles the drain Germany itself is doing better while America's German diaspora is erupting with Teutonic fervor (which is why the German suffused regions of the Midwest, Texas, and Western US have taken on a much edgier bent lately, and the local blacks seem to be joining the festivities too).

  257. @syonredux
    @James O'Meara

    Masculinity is a complicated thing. It's all about getting the right mixture of toughness and smoothness. Add in too much toughness, and the result is a coarse thug; pour in too much smoothness, and you get a sissified fop. Get the ingredients in proper balance, and you get the masculine ideal, a perfect combination of the tough and the smooth, the rugged and the refined.

    Connery, in his natural state, was a bit on the coarse side of the equation, but, after some helpful instruction from Terence Young, he was able to project the proper synthesis.

    Replies: @Buffalo Joe, @Bardon Kaldian

    syon, Connery, as Bond, had the “it” factor that women can’t quite explain but they know when a man has “it.’ The Bond character comes across as smooth because he was always well dressed, and dressed well. A true gentleman licensed to kill.

  258. @Trinity
    I saw a comment about Robert Mitchum vs. Bernie Reynolds, I read about the Mitchum fight vs. the heavyweight boxer a few years back. Hmm? I don't know? Reynolds did fight some big names and with a lot of these Hollywood guys, a lot of this shit is pure, well, shit. The way Hollywood operates, I wouldn't be surprised that IF this event did happen as reported that Reynolds didn't take a dive after a handsome payoff to boost Mitchum's image as a Hollywood bad boy. A heavyweight fighter of any note, is not going to lose a fight to any Hollywood actor, I can assure you that. Of course, anyone can be knocked out, but this story sounds like a Hollywood fairy tale. My gawd, I remember watching those YouTube videos of Mickey Rourke boxing. Here, Hollywood was portraying this guy as someone who was talented at boxing but gave it up to act, and lawd, that guy can't fight for shit. Pathetic is too kind a word. Great actor, but no fighter even in his wildest fantasies.

    Two legit tough guys in the movie biz I think were William Smith, ( the dude with the huge arms who played Falconetti on Rich Man, Poor Man, not Will Smith the black guy, ) Smith was also a pretty brainy guy, could speak fluent Russian as well. Rod Taylor was another. Smith and Taylor had a memorable fight scene in the movie, "Darker Than Amber." Both these guys would plaster some guy like Mitchum, and my bet is that Reynolds was either extremely drunk, took a dive, or was looking for some publicity or lawsuit, who knows?

    Replies: @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race, @syonredux

    Glad to hear somebody mention William Smith. Sort of an early bodybuilder actor, and had a brief mainstream few years, including Any Which Way You Can with Eastwood, who naturally had to win the fight–more famous. He was good in the Laredo television western, and did all those fabulous Hell’s Angels movies in the early 70s, including Angels Die Hard, which I’ve got an old vhs of; I think that was the best one. He was even a child actor, whom you can see in The Song of Bernadette (as a little boy already looks like the Muscle Beach character he’d become) and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. All the biker movies were the best though–did C.C. and Company with Joe Namath and Ann-Margret–very hot when Smith puts his hand under Ann-Margret’s chin. Even Namath calls him ‘Your Majesty’, nevermind it was joking–Smith was a kind of ultimate of that sort. But was stuck for decades in totally B-things. These were good when he was young and the biker movies, but after Falconetti and the Eastwood movie, he didn’t get any more parts in mainstream movies. Had a great voice too, I never understood why he didn’t become A-list.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race

    William Smith was perfectly cast as Conan's father in Milius' Conan The Barbarian

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVx4LafsvSU

    , @Trinity
    @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race

    Man, I love C.C & Company. haha. I love the beginning where Broadway Joe enters the grocery store and goes down the aisle and makes himself a ham sammich, drinks a carton of milk, opens up a package of napkins, all without paying. He then goes up to the cashier and purchases a pack of gum IF I remember right and asks for saving stamps.

    William Smith is a fascinating character. The guy could speak a few different languages IF I remember right, was a Korean war vet as well I think, been awhile since I looked him up, but I remember his Wiki entry said he was very fluent in Russian. I loved him as Falconetti in Rich Man, Poor Man, and of course, as the character, "Moon," in the cheesy but very watchable, C. C. & Company.

  259. @Buffalo Joe
    @Neoconned

    Neo, Hitler likely would have conquered Europe if he didn't fancy himself to be a military strategist and let his generals plan and execute the war. The Germans had jet planes,Panzer and Tiger tanks and the dreaded 88 cannons. He ran his army out of troops.

    Replies: @JMcG, @Feryl

    Joe,
    Hiler’s generals didn’t want to:
    Remilitarize the Rhineland
    Annex Austria
    Occupy the Czech Sudetenland
    Invade Poland.
    Invade Norway
    Invade the Low Countries
    Invade France.

    There’s no wonder at all that Hitler thought he was a better strategist than his generals. If he hadn’t bothered with Africa and the Balkans, who knows what might have happened. There probably wouldn’t be millions of muslims in Germany and France now.

  260. @Matra
    @James O'Meara

    It doesn't change your point but if he played "Tomorrow Never Knows" then it was Revolver, not Rubber Soul. Sometimes the US & UK versions were different but I don't think that's the case here.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber, @James O'Meara

    You are right indeed. And apparently Capitol did delete three songs that had already appeared on Yesterday and Today, but not this one nor its position at the end of side one.

  261. @syonredux
    @Steve Sailer


    For Your Eyes Only is the From Russia With Love of Roger Moore movies. It’s not as good, of course, but it has some decent segments that aren’t as relentlessly silly as Moonraker.
     
    FOR YOUR EYES ONLY was a deliberate course correction after the STAR WARS-inspired silliness of MOONRAKER, a literal return to Earth, as it were. It's noteworthy for being the most low-tech Bond since DR NO and FROM RUSSIA, WITH LOVE , and Bond, for the first time in the series, faces off against the Soviets.

    Plus, it also had the almost superhumanly beautiful Carole Bouquet:



    https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-0Vxgtqhlnp0/W9oaT5MYDkI/AAAAAAAAVEU/xW4NrJKBpd8RLPNw42xYkiojVU-zX6JKgCLcBGAs/s1600/JBDb%2BMelina.jpg

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/b8/28/e9/b828e9bab2cd8f2f97376847fdbc34ab.jpg

    Replies: @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race

    Carole Bouquet was indeed Too Beautiful for You in 1989, in which she starred with Gerard Depardieu, and then was married to him from 1997 to 2005. Good in Lucie Aubric in the 90s, and most famous early on for Bunuel’s That Obscure Object of Desire. Interesting that one of Deneuve’s and Depardieu’s best movies, Techine’s Les Temps Qui Changent, was made while he was still married to Bouquet. Just saw she’s 63 now, and has ‘partnered’ with Philippe Sereys de Rothschild. Now more into wineries and vineyards in Sicily.

    Delphine Seyrig is the only French actress I find more beautiful: https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ALeKk034gAeCYH0-XY3vh9li7JQkSdMPGg:1604362550578&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=delphine+seyrig+images&client=firefox-b-1-d&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiM1aufjOXsAhULTt8KHb-TCosQjJkEegQIChAB&biw=1366&bih=591#imgrc=wdQelA_KaTO4uM

    That’s in Last Year at Marienbad, in which she was extraordinary. She’s no longer with us, but made several fantastic movies, including Truffaut’s Stolen Kisses, with Jean-Pierre Leaud.

    Seyrig and Deneuve are greater actresses than Bouquet, I’d say, but they are all three stunningly gorgeous women, which I couldn’t say for Isabelle Huppert (and also cannot stand her anymore.) Deneuve still makes 2 or 3 movies a year, and they are always of fine quality.

  262. @LFM
    The Bond books always make much of how his face is cold, arrogant and even cruel. None of this was true of any of the Bond actors except, possibly, Daniel Craig, who definitely does not have the Anglo-Norman face that says 'gentleman' in Britain. One modern actor who might be able to do it, if he gained a few pounds of muscle? Laurence Fox, who played Lord Palmerston in the TV series Victoria, among other roles. His face looks innately cruel and arrogant, and I expect it helps that he was a 'public school' boy (Harrow).

    Replies: @James O'Meara

    “The Bond books always make much of how his face is cold, arrogant and even cruel. None of this was true of any of the Bond actors except, possibly, Daniel Craig,”

    Largely true, but I think in the scene in Dr No where Bond coolly shoots the already done for Dr Dent a couple more times in the back, which shocked audiences, Connery does convey that kind of look when the camera cuts back to him.

  263. @Anon
    @Henry's Cat


    I wonder what percentage of Bond viewers have ever read any of the books. Less than 1% at a stretch, I would say,
     
    Until “Casino Royale,” none of the Bond movies have been based on Fleming novels since the 1960s, I think - although “Octopussy” and “The Living Daylights” were based on some of his short stories, and the unofficial Bond film, “Never Say Never Again,” which brought back Connery (and featured a yacht that Donald Trump briefly owned) was based on “Thunderball.”

    The Bond films have a life of their own now. In his literary genre he is several generations in the past: before Jason Bourne, before Jack Ryan. There are still probably quite a few James Bond readers out there - I’ve read a couple of them - but not like they used to be. Besides, who reads anything but Twitter anymore?

    Replies: @James O'Meara

    This young guy not only reviews all the movies, but spent a year reading, for the first time, all the books, in sequence. Not at all unimpressed by most of them (they do, after all, decline along with Fleming’s health)

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLb49SiBMb6Dde8TBQ0Wdykw76-5lpjjua

  264. @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race
    @James O'Meara

    Whatever. None of that makes any sense, at least not to me. So anyway they did teach Connery not to be such a 'thug', never knew that till these threads. I just discover today that I really care little about Ian Fleming's books and that it was just the movies I saw, and only Connery's, that have left a lasting impression--and it's only when taken as a whole--all his Bond work--that they actually do mean much to me: I don't think of any of the Bond movies as extraordinary the way I do hundreds of other films, but his essaying of Bond is pretty damned *bright*. I'm sure that if Jeremy Irons had been old enough, he could have done it. You'd probably call Robert Mitchum a 'thug' too. I think he was one of the most interesting and even mysterious American actors, and did Philip Marlowe in Farewell My Lovely with Charlotte Rampling better than Bogart, who was much more of a swell than Bridgeport's Mitchum. Mitchum better than Dick Powell in the same story, but called Murder My Sweet, with the great devil-woman Claire Trevor. I looked for a good Philip Marlowe a long time after reading all the Chandler novels, and discovered this Mitchum treasure by accident; it's a beautiful film.


    so Robert Shaw should have replaced Connery… no wonder we’ve now wound up with Negroes as the masculine ideal.
     
    Wouldn't you say that's a bit a of a stretch--going from Niven to Connery's 'thug' and Shaw 'should have done Bond' to 'our Negro masculine ideal'?

    Anyway, to some degree, it even makes sense that Negroes are to some degree one of the obviously important 'masculine ideals': It's SPORTS, with Michael Jordan, Reggie Jackson, Tiger Woods, Wilt Chamberlain, dozens more--including the women!...more than movies. You seem to be saying that Connery led us to the point of some 'generalized Negro masculine ideal', but surely you can't have meant that...

    Another British Smoothie, Michael York, is probably a bit too 'tender' for Bond, although his acting ability was always fairly unlimited; but maybe a bit too refined (Bond is not subtle.) Steve has been talking about Cary Grant/David Niven. Grant would never have been able to get Bond right and make of him an icon, which Connery has done--even for people like me who don't really think Ian Fleming's books are exactly great literature. In fact, this fictional hero over many novels is probably everywhere, but nothing else comes to mind right now but Marlowe to match Bond--and yet Chandler was really an artist with those Romantic noirs, they're among the most unique American creations. One of the great writers of LA. So maybe some people find Fleming an artist. Is interesting that Los Angeles has always been by far the most noirish city--much more than NYC, although there were a few. Nothing as good as Double Indemnity. But there's Fante with Ask the Dust, and Didion's essays in The White Album have a lot of that L.A. noir atmosphere (while living in that Franklin Ave. house) that some of us have gone in search of (her novels less so.) Film Forum here did a month of 'London noir', and man, did it ever not work after you've read a lot of L.A. writers. I guess Ellroy was the last one doing it seriously and on a big scale (and, though they're very good, they're sometimes overblown and all the movies made from the books were terrible, including L.A. Confidential, raved over by people who haven't read the book to see just what butchery they did to it), and I think David Lynch's Mulholland Drive may have been the last truly noir film, and that was some film. But Mulholland Falls with Nick Nolte was also a fine neo-noir film about 5 years earlier. Five years after Mulholland Drive was De Palma's film of The Black Dahlia, which I found atrocious. But it was a testament to how irrelevant noir was by then. I saw a noir play off-Broadway around 2004, and that was nowhere. I could still feel the atmosphere as late as 2001 when I started going to L.A. a lot--the Hollywood area was still very sinister along Western-, but I thought it had vanished just a few years later.

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon, @James O'Meara

    • Replies: @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race
    @Peter D. Bredon

    Wonderful review you did. It was excellent and is also to some degree going to be a guide if I order the book (which I likely will.) Thanks for sending! I read all of it. Yeah, there has been nobody like Mitchum, and also one more note to make of the stupidity of the Oscars--one nomination for supporting role for him. It's not just that they're dumb now, with all emphasis on their own 'special picture-people wokeness', they've been dumb almost since the beginning. I'd give them a few first few years at most...after that, all that cheap Hollywood sentimental self-congratulatory business, although that has certainly been consistent to this day.

    I was pretty sure he hadn't made a film with Marlene Dietrich, and he hadn't, but that wouldn't have stopped that nympho--so they probably...did...but again, Mitchum would have thought her outrageous appetite very funny, and wouldn't have cared what she thought--and god knows she wouldn't have even noticed. His self-confidence and self-possession were greater than Brando's--and he had a lot more humour. I mentioned in another post in one of these Connery threads that he would laugh onscreen at some of his co-stars: It wasn't an actual laugh, of course, but rather a certain kind of sexually knowing smile which proved his effortlessness of always being in charge--not really cruelly, but rather a merciless teasing enjoyment of the other. Some qualities like Connery in the 'toughness department'.

    I think it was his aging that made him the best Marlowe--weary from no sleep and too many fights and waking up in some terrible and unfamiliar place. And Charlotte Rampling was a gorgeous and perfect Velma. Really a great voice too. You'd hear it without having known beforehand and know that's who it was. There are voices like that you couldn't miss--Rosemary Clooney you'd know anywhere, and on that Thunderball discussion about Bassey and Warwick, that seemed the most extraordinary idea of Bassey imitating Warwick. Warwick is my favourite female singer, and that's a voice I'd know anywhere too.

    Replies: @dfordoom

  265. @JimDandy
    @RichardTaylor

    If Connery didn't match the source material, too bad for the source material.

    Replies: @anonymous as usual

    I really wish I had said that.

    • Thanks: JimDandy
  266. @JMcG
    @Anonymous

    I did!

    Replies: @anonymous as usual

    I did too, more than once. Well at least once anyway.

  267. @Michelle
    @Redneck farmer

    I am an outlier here, because, I actually love Timothy Dalton's portrayal of Bond. He is the best, and most noted actor of all. Craig is my close second.

    Replies: @Wielgus, @Feryl, @PiltdownMan

    You’re not crazy. Dalton was serious but not, unlike Craig, sullen and mopey. Connery played the part with more of an icy wit, which did work. But Dalton’s urgent seriousness was refreshing and long over-due given how the detours into camp that the later Connery films, and most of the Moore films, derailed the character.

    The Living daylights did pretty well at the box office, though license to kil did mediocre. Then Hollywood squabbling that dragged on for years caused Dalton to call it quits just as Goldeneye was on the verge of being made. Brosnan did last longer in the part, though I think his flms descended into campy excess ala the 70’s era films. Also, Brosnan in my opinion just looked much better in Goldeneye. After that he started rapidly aging, suggesting that he took the part too late. Ironically, Moore was the oldest yet aged the most gradually of any of the Bond actors. Too bad Lazenby didn’t retain the role, as he had a good 10-15 years left before age decay sets in (peak physical strength is from the late 20’s-late 30’s).

    Craig BTW always looked middle-aged. Bond should have some degree of youthful bravado and unworn good looks.

    • Replies: @Michelle
    @Feryl

    I actually forgot about Brosnan, who, like Connery's Scottishness, had an Irishness about him, though he was gorgeous. You are also correct about the exponential aging. Moore was beautiful, but a tad too effeminate for me.

    Replies: @Feryl

  268. @Buffalo Joe
    @Neoconned

    Neo, Hitler likely would have conquered Europe if he didn't fancy himself to be a military strategist and let his generals plan and execute the war. The Germans had jet planes,Panzer and Tiger tanks and the dreaded 88 cannons. He ran his army out of troops.

    Replies: @JMcG, @Feryl

    The Third Reich’s military forces were some of the best ever (relatve to the competition), but what good is that when leadership sucks? Meanwhile, as the Anglosphere circles the drain Germany itself is doing better while America’s German diaspora is erupting with Teutonic fervor (which is why the German suffused regions of the Midwest, Texas, and Western US have taken on a much edgier bent lately, and the local blacks seem to be joining the festivities too).

  269. @JMcG
    @Neoconned

    The Soviets also invaded Finland, with essentially zero response from the west. Well, we shipped the Finns some Brewster Buffalos, which they likely used to shoot down some of the P-39s we sent to the Soviets. Later, the Brits teamed up with the Soviets to invade Iran.
    There’s an awful lot that gets elided from our history books.

    Replies: @Joe Stalin

    • Replies: @JMcG
    @Joe Stalin

    Thanks for posting that. My wife worked for a Finnish company a while ago, and I always hoped to visit. The story of their resistance to the Soviets in the Winter War and the Continuation War is incredible.

  270. @Verymuchalive
    @syonredux

    The quote was from the Wikipedia entry SMERSH ( James Bond )
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMERSH_(James_Bond)

    It seems very well referenced, so maybe you should take your complaint up with them, not me.
    From the same source:
    In the film series, Bond's archenemy became SPECTRE, which first appeared in Fleming's novel Thunderball (1961). SPECTRE is introduced in the first film, Dr. No (1962), in which Julius No explains to Bond that it is the acronym for the SPecial Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion, the four great cornerstones of power. Film versions of novels where SMERSH appears substituted either SPECTRE or independent villains.

    Although twice referred to, SMERSH never appears in the official film series; first, in From Russia with Love (1963), Bond initially thinks he is fighting SMERSH, only to learn that the villains are from SPECTRE, including Rosa Klebb, the former head of operations for SMERSH who has secretly defected to SPECTRE. Bond's love interest Tatiana Romanova says she knows Klebb as SMERSH's head of operations, and obeys her orders, presuming them from SMERSH. Second, The Living Daylights (1987) features a faked SMERSH re-activation. Throughout, it is referred to with its full name, Smiert Spionam (alternative spelling of Smert' Shpionam), rather than the better-known acronym; General Pushkin, then head of KGB, says it has been inoperative for 20 years. SMERSH is also an element in the 1967 spoofed film adaptation of Casino Royale that centres upon Le Chiffre's attempted recovery of SMERSH monies via baccarat at the Royale casino.

    So SMERSH is actually referenced in From Russia with Love
    I hope that has been of help.
    .

    Replies: @syonredux, @PiltdownMan

    I wish the movies had used “SMERSH.”

    It would have been amusing to hear Connery explain that SMERSH stood for Smert Shpionam in that distinctive accent.

  271. @Michelle
    @Redneck farmer

    I am an outlier here, because, I actually love Timothy Dalton's portrayal of Bond. He is the best, and most noted actor of all. Craig is my close second.

    Replies: @Wielgus, @Feryl, @PiltdownMan

    After my wife saw Timothy Dalton in his first Bond movie, she exclaimed (to my surprise) “that wasn’t James Bond, he was like a nice little boy you want to pat on the head.”

  272. @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race
    @James O'Meara

    Whatever. None of that makes any sense, at least not to me. So anyway they did teach Connery not to be such a 'thug', never knew that till these threads. I just discover today that I really care little about Ian Fleming's books and that it was just the movies I saw, and only Connery's, that have left a lasting impression--and it's only when taken as a whole--all his Bond work--that they actually do mean much to me: I don't think of any of the Bond movies as extraordinary the way I do hundreds of other films, but his essaying of Bond is pretty damned *bright*. I'm sure that if Jeremy Irons had been old enough, he could have done it. You'd probably call Robert Mitchum a 'thug' too. I think he was one of the most interesting and even mysterious American actors, and did Philip Marlowe in Farewell My Lovely with Charlotte Rampling better than Bogart, who was much more of a swell than Bridgeport's Mitchum. Mitchum better than Dick Powell in the same story, but called Murder My Sweet, with the great devil-woman Claire Trevor. I looked for a good Philip Marlowe a long time after reading all the Chandler novels, and discovered this Mitchum treasure by accident; it's a beautiful film.


    so Robert Shaw should have replaced Connery… no wonder we’ve now wound up with Negroes as the masculine ideal.
     
    Wouldn't you say that's a bit a of a stretch--going from Niven to Connery's 'thug' and Shaw 'should have done Bond' to 'our Negro masculine ideal'?

    Anyway, to some degree, it even makes sense that Negroes are to some degree one of the obviously important 'masculine ideals': It's SPORTS, with Michael Jordan, Reggie Jackson, Tiger Woods, Wilt Chamberlain, dozens more--including the women!...more than movies. You seem to be saying that Connery led us to the point of some 'generalized Negro masculine ideal', but surely you can't have meant that...

    Another British Smoothie, Michael York, is probably a bit too 'tender' for Bond, although his acting ability was always fairly unlimited; but maybe a bit too refined (Bond is not subtle.) Steve has been talking about Cary Grant/David Niven. Grant would never have been able to get Bond right and make of him an icon, which Connery has done--even for people like me who don't really think Ian Fleming's books are exactly great literature. In fact, this fictional hero over many novels is probably everywhere, but nothing else comes to mind right now but Marlowe to match Bond--and yet Chandler was really an artist with those Romantic noirs, they're among the most unique American creations. One of the great writers of LA. So maybe some people find Fleming an artist. Is interesting that Los Angeles has always been by far the most noirish city--much more than NYC, although there were a few. Nothing as good as Double Indemnity. But there's Fante with Ask the Dust, and Didion's essays in The White Album have a lot of that L.A. noir atmosphere (while living in that Franklin Ave. house) that some of us have gone in search of (her novels less so.) Film Forum here did a month of 'London noir', and man, did it ever not work after you've read a lot of L.A. writers. I guess Ellroy was the last one doing it seriously and on a big scale (and, though they're very good, they're sometimes overblown and all the movies made from the books were terrible, including L.A. Confidential, raved over by people who haven't read the book to see just what butchery they did to it), and I think David Lynch's Mulholland Drive may have been the last truly noir film, and that was some film. But Mulholland Falls with Nick Nolte was also a fine neo-noir film about 5 years earlier. Five years after Mulholland Drive was De Palma's film of The Black Dahlia, which I found atrocious. But it was a testament to how irrelevant noir was by then. I saw a noir play off-Broadway around 2004, and that was nowhere. I could still feel the atmosphere as late as 2001 when I started going to L.A. a lot--the Hollywood area was still very sinister along Western-, but I thought it had vanished just a few years later.

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon, @James O'Meara

    “You’d probably call Robert Mitchum a ‘thug’ too. ”

    Not at all! I agree with this chap and the book he’s reviewing, an excellent collection of rules of manliness taken from Mitchum movies; it beats Jordan Peterson all bloody:

    https://counter-currents.com/2018/06/the-way-of-mitchum/

    • Replies: @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race
    @James O'Meara

    Good then. Your remark had been a little minimal for me to know whether I had any way of interpreting it.

    That 'chap' sent me that just a few hours ago, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, should be a good guide to the book itself. I noticed he mentioned you there.

    Cheers!

  273. @ScarletNumber
    @Mr. Anon


    Lalo Schifrin (composer of the Mission Impossible theme)
     
    His most iconic song for sure, but this one is a close second. It sounds familiar from being used elsewhere.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOWkPk2ETXc

    Replies: @D. K., @James O'Meara

    A month and a half before “Cool Hand Luke” was released, fifty-three years ago yesterday, “Mannix” premiered on CBS:

    (MeTV now shows “Mannix” on Tuesday through Saturday mornings, 2-3 a.m. E.S.T.)

  274. @Trinity
    I saw a comment about Robert Mitchum vs. Bernie Reynolds, I read about the Mitchum fight vs. the heavyweight boxer a few years back. Hmm? I don't know? Reynolds did fight some big names and with a lot of these Hollywood guys, a lot of this shit is pure, well, shit. The way Hollywood operates, I wouldn't be surprised that IF this event did happen as reported that Reynolds didn't take a dive after a handsome payoff to boost Mitchum's image as a Hollywood bad boy. A heavyweight fighter of any note, is not going to lose a fight to any Hollywood actor, I can assure you that. Of course, anyone can be knocked out, but this story sounds like a Hollywood fairy tale. My gawd, I remember watching those YouTube videos of Mickey Rourke boxing. Here, Hollywood was portraying this guy as someone who was talented at boxing but gave it up to act, and lawd, that guy can't fight for shit. Pathetic is too kind a word. Great actor, but no fighter even in his wildest fantasies.

    Two legit tough guys in the movie biz I think were William Smith, ( the dude with the huge arms who played Falconetti on Rich Man, Poor Man, not Will Smith the black guy, ) Smith was also a pretty brainy guy, could speak fluent Russian as well. Rod Taylor was another. Smith and Taylor had a memorable fight scene in the movie, "Darker Than Amber." Both these guys would plaster some guy like Mitchum, and my bet is that Reynolds was either extremely drunk, took a dive, or was looking for some publicity or lawsuit, who knows?

    Replies: @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race, @syonredux

    I wouldn’t be surprised that IF this event did happen as reported that Reynolds didn’t take a dive after a handsome payoff

    Anything’s possible in Hollywood. That being said, Mitchum doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who went in for that kind of self-promotion. Plus, the fact that Mitchum fought dirty (in his own words, “[i]t wasn’t Marquis of Queensberry rules”) lends credibility to the tale.

    Agree on the fight scene in DARKER THAN AMBER. It was very “raw” and powerful:

    • Thanks: Trinity
    • Replies: @Trinity
    @syonredux

    Definitely what a real life fist fight between two large men would look like in real life.

    IF I am not mistaken, Taylor did in fact box before becoming an actor and I think he was even considered for a role playing 007 himself. He was an Aussie, but as mentioned, Connery was Scottish, so what the hell?

  275. @Alden
    @Henry's Cat

    I read most of the books. Loved the Harlem book and movie one and Spy Who Loved Me. . I only like about the first 4 movies. After that they descended into block buster comic book explosions and auto chases. I did like the later one with Christopher Walken as the villain

    In the books his girls all wore white shirt style blouses tucked into a gray pleated skirt narrow black belt short fingernails natural polish. The girls drove James was passenger. Stick shifts on narrow curving dangerous mountain roadside. Always a couple paragraphs about what good drivers the girls were .

    Replies: @James O'Meara

    “In the books his girls all wore white shirt style blouses tucked into a gray pleated skirt narrow black belt short fingernails natural polish. The girls drove James was passenger. Stick shifts on narrow curving dangerous mountain roadside. Always a couple paragraphs about what good drivers the girls were ”

    He also described Honeychile Rider as having “more powerful muscles than is usual in a woman and the behind was almost as firm and rounded at a boy’s,” prompting Cyril Connolly in his review to ask “What on Earth could he have been thinking.”

    The typical Bond Girl is more like the “strong wahmen” of today’s Hollywood, the sort denounced by Sailerites and others as “unreal,” “impossible” and “a homosexual Hollywood fantasy.”

    • Replies: @syonredux
    @James O'Meara


    prompting Cyril Connolly in his review to ask “What on Earth could he have been thinking.”
     
    Wasn't it Noel Coward?


    Noel Coward's thoughts on Miss Ryder's boyish bottom:

    I was also slightly shocked by the lascivious announcement that Honeychile’s bottom was like a boy’s! I know that we are all becoming progressively more broadminded nowadays, but really old chap, what could you have been thinking of?
     
    https://literary007.com/2019/10/06/master-and-commander-noel-coward-and-ian-fleming/
  276. @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race
    @Trinity

    Glad to hear somebody mention William Smith. Sort of an early bodybuilder actor, and had a brief mainstream few years, including Any Which Way You Can with Eastwood, who naturally had to win the fight--more famous. He was good in the Laredo television western, and did all those fabulous Hell's Angels movies in the early 70s, including Angels Die Hard, which I've got an old vhs of; I think that was the best one. He was even a child actor, whom you can see in The Song of Bernadette (as a little boy already looks like the Muscle Beach character he'd become) and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. All the biker movies were the best though--did C.C. and Company with Joe Namath and Ann-Margret--very hot when Smith puts his hand under Ann-Margret's chin. Even Namath calls him 'Your Majesty', nevermind it was joking--Smith was a kind of ultimate of that sort. But was stuck for decades in totally B-things. These were good when he was young and the biker movies, but after Falconetti and the Eastwood movie, he didn't get any more parts in mainstream movies. Had a great voice too, I never understood why he didn't become A-list.

    Replies: @syonredux, @Trinity

    William Smith was perfectly cast as Conan’s father in Milius’ Conan The Barbarian

  277. @Reg Cæsar
    @Tyrade


    But then there was David Niven in the original (spoof) Casino Royale. Put the ‘quint’ in ‘essential’, I think.

     

    A few of the Bond themes are okay as pop songs, but none come close to Bacharach's. And he threw in "The Look of Love" as a bonus.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBLeACT_KBQ


    No piece of music encapsulates the 1960s for me like that one. Perhaps because they played it so much on The Dating Game? So SoCal.


    Just posted yesterday, the Bond themes in succession below illustrate well the decline of popular music over the decades. Adele sounds like more of a man than Sam Smith. Sheryl Crow (!) is in there too. She and Burt are both natives of Missouri, but from about as far apart as you can get.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p65i9Ur1M0g

    Replies: @prosa123, @James O'Meara

    As mentioned above, the theme from Operation Kid Brother (aka OK Connery) is arguably the greatest of the Bond songs.

    The music is peak Morricone Euro-pop; if you can’t take “Kristy’s” breathy imitation of Shirley Bassey, just drink in the instrumental middle 8, with the Tijuana Brass horns, Broadway style drums and the unbeatable Morricone touch, the wordless chorus. Why hasn’t anyone written a Bond opera, or rock opera?

    The lyrics of course are ridiculous but (in English, there’s an Italian version as well which I can’t vouch for) only in the way Bond himself is ridiculous, or at least the Bond fad at the time. As Crow T. Robot said on MST3k, “He can’t possibly live up to the song they wrote about him,” which is true of all the Bond songs. And yet, he does, which is why we’re still talking about him.

  278. @Bardon Kaldian
    @Steve Sailer

    But why was Bond, Connery's Bond, so universally popular? I think had in it something almost archetypal for males, and that goes beyond current politics & British propaganda.

    Early Bond was a male dream come true in its essential form: be a masculine man living dangerously in- mostly- high society, bedding gorgeous women who are not simply bimbos & triumphing over your enemies with, frequently, physical force, sometimes combined with mental.

    Who could resist that?

    As master politician, a dictator- he would be unappealing; as just a lothatrio -nice, but incomplete; as knocking out enemies only in some backwater naturalist environment of criminal underworld- that would have been not more than a mafia criminal.

    Bond lived in an intersection of high & low worlds; lived a modern life; lived dangerously & fast; lived a life on what is basically the right side with a tinge of seductive cruelty which only added to the appeal.

    With early Connery, that was a winning combination.

    Replies: @ChrisZ, @Peter D. Bredon

    To repeat myself:

    I think Joel Hodgson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame actually put it best:

    “Bond movies really represented the adult world, you know; drinking cocktails and being a secret agent and having your skills highly valued and having beautiful women being interested in you, were all things you felt were something I have to look forward to, this is what’s waiting for me at the end of my childhood.”

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    @Peter D. Bredon

    Yes- but, then, why is/was it popular among men in their 30s, 40s, 50s,...?

  279. “The degree to which Cold War-era spy films and TV series avoided confronting the Red Menace is pretty amazing.”

    Rocky and Bullwinkle tackled the red menace head on with Boris and Natasha.

  280. @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race
    @Trinity

    Glad to hear somebody mention William Smith. Sort of an early bodybuilder actor, and had a brief mainstream few years, including Any Which Way You Can with Eastwood, who naturally had to win the fight--more famous. He was good in the Laredo television western, and did all those fabulous Hell's Angels movies in the early 70s, including Angels Die Hard, which I've got an old vhs of; I think that was the best one. He was even a child actor, whom you can see in The Song of Bernadette (as a little boy already looks like the Muscle Beach character he'd become) and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. All the biker movies were the best though--did C.C. and Company with Joe Namath and Ann-Margret--very hot when Smith puts his hand under Ann-Margret's chin. Even Namath calls him 'Your Majesty', nevermind it was joking--Smith was a kind of ultimate of that sort. But was stuck for decades in totally B-things. These were good when he was young and the biker movies, but after Falconetti and the Eastwood movie, he didn't get any more parts in mainstream movies. Had a great voice too, I never understood why he didn't become A-list.

    Replies: @syonredux, @Trinity

    Man, I love C.C & Company. haha. I love the beginning where Broadway Joe enters the grocery store and goes down the aisle and makes himself a ham sammich, drinks a carton of milk, opens up a package of napkins, all without paying. He then goes up to the cashier and purchases a pack of gum IF I remember right and asks for saving stamps.

    William Smith is a fascinating character. The guy could speak a few different languages IF I remember right, was a Korean war vet as well I think, been awhile since I looked him up, but I remember his Wiki entry said he was very fluent in Russian. I loved him as Falconetti in Rich Man, Poor Man, and of course, as the character, “Moon,” in the cheesy but very watchable, C. C. & Company.

  281. @syonredux
    @Trinity


    I wouldn’t be surprised that IF this event did happen as reported that Reynolds didn’t take a dive after a handsome payoff

     

    Anything's possible in Hollywood. That being said, Mitchum doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who went in for that kind of self-promotion. Plus, the fact that Mitchum fought dirty (in his own words, “[i]t wasn’t Marquis of Queensberry rules") lends credibility to the tale.

    Agree on the fight scene in DARKER THAN AMBER. It was very "raw" and powerful:



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aABT-FjR4_M

    Replies: @Trinity

    Definitely what a real life fist fight between two large men would look like in real life.

    IF I am not mistaken, Taylor did in fact box before becoming an actor and I think he was even considered for a role playing 007 himself. He was an Aussie, but as mentioned, Connery was Scottish, so what the hell?

  282. @syonredux
    @ScarletNumber


    She was one of the replacement Charlie’s Angels, replacing Shelly Hack, who replaced Kate Jackson. She was also awful in That 70s Show.
     
    In Miss Roberts defense, it should be noted that she possessed certain noteworthy corporeal attributes...


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEcwmzeSOwg

    Replies: @Anon

  283. @David In TN
    @ChrisZ

    In the Kingley Amis book on the Bond Novels, Amis wrote something like: "Compared to Mike Hammer, Bond is a shining example to youth."

    Replies: @ChrisZ

    I think that assessment is right, David. Spillane’s formula of sex and violence made him a fortune—which must have greatly appealed to, if not motivated, Fleming. But Fleming (in my view) distilled it through the British tradition of Victorian/Edwardian adventure writers (Conan Doyle, Buchan, Rohmer), resulting in a more urbane hero.

    Amis’ “Dossier” book is a good read, as is the one Bond novel he wrote, “Colonel Sun.” But he wrote them in the ‘60s, when the distinctions between Mike Hammer and James Bond seemed more stark. Today, with a half century of literary depravity intervening, the two characters seem much tamer, and their kinship more evident. Thanks for the reply.

  284. @Henry's Cat
    I wonder what percentage of Bond viewers have ever read any of the books. Less than 1% at a stretch, I would say,

    Replies: @James Braxton, @A. Hipster, @Realist, @YetAnotherAnon, @TTSSYF, @Alden, @sb, @Anon, @dfordoom

    I wonder what percentage of Bond viewers have ever read any of the books. Less than 1% at a stretch, I would say,

    Back in the days of the Connery Bond movies the Bond books were very big sellers. I imagine a lot more than 1% of viewers back then had read the books. Probably a minority, but a sizeable minority.

    These days it’s likely to be fewer than 1%. Nobody who had read the books would accept the atrociously awful Daniel Craig as Bond. Has the average movie-goer of t0day ever read any actual books?

  285. anon[145] • Disclaimer says:

    @David in TN

    “The others, Americans included, were willing to release Hess but the Soviets were not.”

    Anyone of the occupying powers had the right of veto on Hess’ release. According to my German teacher, usually it was the Soviets who took this role. But every now and then the Soviets would mischievously refrain from exercising their veto, whereupon the Brits would jump in.

    “What exactly was the reason they kept him shut up in Spandau for so long?”

    The whole business of Hess at Spandau is very strange.

  286. @Anonymous
    Famously, Ian Fleming wanted David Niven to play James Bond.

    Fleming variously insulted Sean Connery as "that fucking truck driver" or as "an over developed stuntman".

    Curious Ian Fleming factoid:

    Following Rudolf Hess' bizarre solo mission to Scotland, Fleming, who was high up in Royal Navy intelligence, suggested to the British cabinet that Aleister Crowley should be charged with the initial interrogation of Hess.
    What the cabinet made of Fleming's suggestion is not known.

    Replies: @JMcG, @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race, @Gordo, @dfordoom

    Famously, Ian Fleming wanted David Niven to play James Bond.

    Wasn’t David Niven an actual commando in WW2? Involved in actual operations behind enemy lines? That might explain why Fleming wanted him in the rôle.

  287. @John
    More interesting than who played the best James Bond is why these books - which were awful - got turned into movies. Maybe it was a Space-Age thing, plus a Cold-War thing, and the former provided gadgetry and the latter provided rivalry, and...I still don't understand why anyone who'd decided to make a movie with both would reach as low as an Ian Fleming novel for characters.

    Good to see, in any case, Peter Fleming getting a little press here. I think I've read everything he published in book form. Even The Flying Visit, which I found in the Texas Tech library. News From Tartary inspired me to study Turkish and Russian. Brazilian Adventure is, I still think, the best book ever written about that country. Perhaps because Fleming's party was out of the range of news for most of the expedition, it lacks details which would date it; it is mostly about Brazilians themselves, and from about my third visit in 1993 to my nineteenth three weeks ago, I have maintained the book still captures the place. (I'd found the volume in the UT Austin library in 1989.)

    OT, here might be a fruitful topic: old travel books that somehow remain instructive. I'd add Brian Hall's The Impossible Country, which even though Yugoslavia doesn't exist anymore, and the book hardly said anything about Slovenia, has clued me to much in that country. On the other hand, I would not fully include Paul Theroux's The Old Patagonian Express. It may still be a good introduction to Argentina but I think it really is way out of date on Central America. (Another, even OT-er mental exercise: remember when Nicaragua and El Salvador were in the news a lot? I do. Then they vanished. I daresay they've done well since. And maybe there's a connection.)

    Replies: @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race, @JMcG, @Muggles, @dfordoom

    More interesting than who played the best James Bond is why these books – which were awful – got turned into movies.

    By the standards of the day the Bond books offered a lot more sex and violence than previous spy thrillers. Fleming did to spy fiction what Mickey Spillane did for crime fiction.

    That’s why the Bond books were so successful and that’s why they were made into movies.

    The books were also popular in Britain because they offered a fantasy alternative reality in which Britain still counted for something, rather than being a pathetic grovelling American vassal state which is what postwar Britain really was.

    There was a subtle anti-American subtext in the books.

    • Agree: Wielgus
    • Replies: @syonredux
    @dfordoom

    The subtext of the Fleming Bond books was that Britain could still get it up.

    Replies: @Liberty Mike

    , @syonredux
    @dfordoom

    Fleming really loved slamming the Germans. Donovan Grant, the psychopathic killer who worked for SMERSH in FROM RUSSIA,WITH LOVE, was explicitly described as the son of a German circus weightlifter. MOONRAKER is about a German Nazi posing as an English industrialist who wants to nuke London in revenge for Germany losing WW2. In "The Hildebrand Rarity" (one of the Bond short stories collected in FOR YOUR EYES ONLY), Bond runs into an obnoxious American who's really a filthy German:


    You see, his father was a German, a Prussian really. He's got that silly German thing of thinking Europeans and so on are decadent, that they aren't any good any more. It's no use arguing with him. It's just a thing he's got.'
     

    So that was it! The old Hun again. Always at your feet or at your throat. Sense of humour indeed! And what must this woman have to put up with, this beautiful girl he had got hold of to be his slave--his English slave? Bond said: 'How long have you been married?'

     

    Replies: @syonredux, @R.G. Camara

  288. @James O'Meara
    @Alden

    "In the books his girls all wore white shirt style blouses tucked into a gray pleated skirt narrow black belt short fingernails natural polish. The girls drove James was passenger. Stick shifts on narrow curving dangerous mountain roadside. Always a couple paragraphs about what good drivers the girls were "

    He also described Honeychile Rider as having "more powerful muscles than is usual in a woman and the behind was almost as firm and rounded at a boy's," prompting Cyril Connolly in his review to ask "What on Earth could he have been thinking."

    The typical Bond Girl is more like the "strong wahmen" of today's Hollywood, the sort denounced by Sailerites and others as "unreal," "impossible" and "a homosexual Hollywood fantasy."

    Replies: @syonredux

    prompting Cyril Connolly in his review to ask “What on Earth could he have been thinking.”

    Wasn’t it Noel Coward?

    Noel Coward’s thoughts on Miss Ryder’s boyish bottom:

    I was also slightly shocked by the lascivious announcement that Honeychile’s bottom was like a boy’s! I know that we are all becoming progressively more broadminded nowadays, but really old chap, what could you have been thinking of?

    https://literary007.com/2019/10/06/master-and-commander-noel-coward-and-ian-fleming/

  289. @slumber_j
    I've always thought Connery was horribly miscast in that role. Patrick McGoohan would have been the best Bond.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @dfordoom

    Patrick McGoohan would have been the best Bond.

    The story is that he turned down the part because he thought it was immoral. McGoohan was a very conservative Catholic. He only did Danger Man with the proviso that the character not be depicted as a cild-blooded killer.

  290. @ScarletNumber
    @Mr. Anon


    Lalo Schifrin (composer of the Mission Impossible theme)
     
    His most iconic song for sure, but this one is a close second. It sounds familiar from being used elsewhere.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOWkPk2ETXc

    Replies: @D. K., @James O'Meara

    Back in the 60s that was the music used at the opening of Channel 7 Eyewitness News in Detroit (possibly other ABC affiliates?). It’s got that typewriter/teletype thing going on in the middle section. It was decades before I saw CHL and realized that’s what I had been hearing.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    @James O'Meara

    Very good, James. That's exactly what I was going for. When ABC started Eyewitness News in New York, they used this as its theme. It was then ported to the other ABC O&O stations, including WXYZ in Detroit. It's funny when people watch CHL for the first time, as the song is instantly recognizable.

  291. @Peter D. Bredon
    @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race

    https://counter-currents.com/2018/06/the-way-of-mitchum/

    Replies: @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race

    Wonderful review you did. It was excellent and is also to some degree going to be a guide if I order the book (which I likely will.) Thanks for sending! I read all of it. Yeah, there has been nobody like Mitchum, and also one more note to make of the stupidity of the Oscars–one nomination for supporting role for him. It’s not just that they’re dumb now, with all emphasis on their own ‘special picture-people wokeness’, they’ve been dumb almost since the beginning. I’d give them a few first few years at most…after that, all that cheap Hollywood sentimental self-congratulatory business, although that has certainly been consistent to this day.

    I was pretty sure he hadn’t made a film with Marlene Dietrich, and he hadn’t, but that wouldn’t have stopped that nympho–so they probably…did…but again, Mitchum would have thought her outrageous appetite very funny, and wouldn’t have cared what she thought–and god knows she wouldn’t have even noticed. His self-confidence and self-possession were greater than Brando’s–and he had a lot more humour. I mentioned in another post in one of these Connery threads that he would laugh onscreen at some of his co-stars: It wasn’t an actual laugh, of course, but rather a certain kind of sexually knowing smile which proved his effortlessness of always being in charge–not really cruelly, but rather a merciless teasing enjoyment of the other. Some qualities like Connery in the ‘toughness department’.

    I think it was his aging that made him the best Marlowe–weary from no sleep and too many fights and waking up in some terrible and unfamiliar place. And Charlotte Rampling was a gorgeous and perfect Velma. Really a great voice too. You’d hear it without having known beforehand and know that’s who it was. There are voices like that you couldn’t miss–Rosemary Clooney you’d know anywhere, and on that Thunderball discussion about Bassey and Warwick, that seemed the most extraordinary idea of Bassey imitating Warwick. Warwick is my favourite female singer, and that’s a voice I’d know anywhere too.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race


    I think it was his aging that made him the best Marlowe–weary from no sleep and too many fights and waking up in some terrible and unfamiliar place. And Charlotte Rampling was a gorgeous and perfect Velma.
     
    I agree on both counts.
  292. @Mr. Anon
    @R.G. Camara

    I liked the first of the Daniel Craig movies, Casino Royale. All the movies since Goldeneye have labored under a huge handicap - Judi Dench. Does anybody like her? Half the movies involve Bond rescuing M, and an equal number turn on some kind of revenge plot. Revenge is such a lazy and juvenile plot device.

    Replies: @Ray P, @James O'Meara

    “Half the movies involve Bond rescuing M, ”

    More than that, she was doing that in the later Brosnan films too. Apart from being an woman of a certain age, the idea of the head of MI6 risking exposure, capture or death in the field is absurd. That would be like Bush flying into combat against Saddam. Although that is a great idea…

  293. @James O'Meara
    Kingsley Amis, in the still-definitive (tho vastly out of date) James Bond Dossier, mostly about "Book Bond" but with a bit on the new "Movie Bond," disparages Connery as someone who "could play a Edinbugh businessman but never a Scottish laird." He's alluding to the Scottish heraldry guy Bond disguises himself as in OHMSS, and as it happens, that film was the first to not star Connery.

    Revisionism isn’t just for the Holocaust. Bond revisionists now consider George Lazenby to be the better Bond, and OHMSS to be the best Bond film (best cinematography, screenplay, music, Blofeld, Bond Girl, etc.) although possibly second to the Craig Casino Royale. Both, of course, non-Connery.

    And yes, it was thought so at the time. Harry and Cubby desperately wanted Lazenby to sign on for a half dozen films, but he refused, thinking he’d made his point — I’m as good as Connery — and like Connery wanted to move on. Vengeful producers created the legend of OHMSS as a disaster; would a Hollywood producer named Salzman lie to you? Not even for a stainless steel delicatessen!

    Operation Kid Brother (aka OK Connery, aka Operation Double 007) is actually quite a bit of fun and much better than one might think. Sean's brother isn't much good, but it's full of actual Bond actors: Aldolfo Celi is a much better villain than in Thunderball, we get several Bond Bad Girls from earlier movies, we get to actually see Anthony Dawson as (kinda) Blofeld, it's great to see Moneypenny and M out in the field (played by Lois and Lee themselves). Possibly the best Bond score -- Ennio Morricone! His title song is so over the top that on Mystery Science Theater Crow said that "he couldn't possibly live up to the song the wrote about him," and that "he's probably just an accountant named Wallace," which is a nice shout out to The Untouchables, starring Sean Connery.

    https://youtu.be/oKr1v2VyzCY

    Replies: @Thursday, @AceDeuce, @dfordoom

    Bond revisionists now consider George Lazenby to be the better Bond, and OHMSS to be the best Bond film (best cinematography, screenplay, music, Blofeld, Bond Girl, etc.) although possibly second to the Craig Casino Royale. Both, of course, non-Connery.

    OHMSS is very very good. The Craig Casino Royale is of course appalling. It’s just an incredibly boring film with an incredibly boring star. You have to admire someone who can make Bond boring.

    And BTW, Judi Dench is an atrocious M.

    Best Bond films: From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, OHMSS, Octopussy.

    Worst Bond films: Licence To Kill, everything with Daniel Craig.

  294. @Wielgus
    @prosa123

    I don't find his accent particularly British. Listening to it you can sense something else there, though perhaps a bit of South Africa rather than Lithuania. He sounded quite British in The Manchurian Candidate but was playing an upper-crust American. He put on a Cockney accent in The Long And The Short And The Tall but I did not find it totally convincing.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XMaUELbTJk
    He sings the song "Bless Them All" in this recording but actually sounds rather American.

    Replies: @James O'Meara

    Harvey could only play one character, but it was to perfection. Not British, not American, not Lithuanian, not upper class or working class, just a generic smug prick. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    He would have been awesome as Patrick Bateman.

    • Agree: Wielgus
    • Replies: @Wielgus
    @James O'Meara

    In amongst the brainwashing, his portrayal of Raymond in The Manchurian Candidate has a tragic quality in that nobody likes him (except Josie, who he loves but kills as a result of the brainwashing). The character in the book is the same and Harvey is perfectly cast in the role.

  295. @James O'Meara
    @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race

    "You’d probably call Robert Mitchum a ‘thug’ too. "

    Not at all! I agree with this chap and the book he's reviewing, an excellent collection of rules of manliness taken from Mitchum movies; it beats Jordan Peterson all bloody:

    https://counter-currents.com/2018/06/the-way-of-mitchum/

    Replies: @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race

    Good then. Your remark had been a little minimal for me to know whether I had any way of interpreting it.

    That ‘chap’ sent me that just a few hours ago, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, should be a good guide to the book itself. I noticed he mentioned you there.

    Cheers!

  296. @James O'Meara
    @ScarletNumber

    Back in the 60s that was the music used at the opening of Channel 7 Eyewitness News in Detroit (possibly other ABC affiliates?). It's got that typewriter/teletype thing going on in the middle section. It was decades before I saw CHL and realized that's what I had been hearing.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

    Very good, James. That’s exactly what I was going for. When ABC started Eyewitness News in New York, they used this as its theme. It was then ported to the other ABC O&O stations, including WXYZ in Detroit. It’s funny when people watch CHL for the first time, as the song is instantly recognizable.

  297. @dearieme
    the quintessential Englishman

    Don't be daft: in the novels he's half Scots, half Swiss.

    Replies: @Jonathan Mason

    Apparently after Sean Connery took the role in the movies, Ian Fleming adjusted Bond’s biography in future books to fit in with Connery.

    I read several of the books as a teenager before I ever saw a Bond movie. I remember seeing Goldfinger in Spanish in Spain in about 1965, and falling asleep before the end.

    But I loved the books as a teenager.

  298. @dfordoom
    @John


    More interesting than who played the best James Bond is why these books – which were awful – got turned into movies.
     
    By the standards of the day the Bond books offered a lot more sex and violence than previous spy thrillers. Fleming did to spy fiction what Mickey Spillane did for crime fiction.

    That's why the Bond books were so successful and that's why they were made into movies.

    The books were also popular in Britain because they offered a fantasy alternative reality in which Britain still counted for something, rather than being a pathetic grovelling American vassal state which is what postwar Britain really was.

    There was a subtle anti-American subtext in the books.

    Replies: @syonredux, @syonredux

    The subtext of the Fleming Bond books was that Britain could still get it up.

    • Agree: Wielgus, dfordoom
    • Replies: @Liberty Mike
    @syonredux

    Hence, Moore's reply to Geoffrey Keen's query in the final scene of The Spy Who Loved Me where he was getting it on with Barbara Bach in full view of Geoffrey Keen and Walter Gotell:


    Freddy Gray: Bond, what do you think you are doing?

    Bond: Keeping the British end up, sir.

  299. James Bond had a strong Caribbean connection: Ian Fleming wrote his Bond books in Jamaica; he got the name James Bond from the author of a book on the birds of the Caribbean islands; the iconic James Bond, Sean Connery, settled in the Bahamas and that’s where he died a few days ago; and the real-life man who largely inspired the Bond character, Porfirio Rubirosa, was a native of the Dominican Republic:

    https://www.voelkerlitigationgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/Will-the-Real-James-Bond-Please-Stand-Up-Voelker-on-Rubirosa.pdf

    Over the years, many have been named
    as the inspiration for the fictional James
    Bond. Or was he fictional at all? The
    decades long question, asked by many,
    has been answered: Porfirio Rubirosa or,
    as he would have more aptly introduced
    himself, “the name is Rubirosa, Porfirio
    Rubirosa,” is the real James Bond.

    Rubi was a bon vivant,
    international playboy,
    secret agent, polo
    player, treasure hunter, jewel thief,
    womanizer, avid golfer, millionaire,
    gigolo, jet-setter, diplomat, boxer, pilot
    and race car driver all rolled up into one
    man. But, Rubirosa was even more; he
    was a rare algorithm of charm, good
    looks, ruthlessness and cruelty.

    Like Bond, Rubi thrived on danger and
    the thrill of the chase. Propelled by that
    je ne sais quoi, he was more than a
    “man’s man.” Having what was referred
    to as tigeurismo, he was the world’s most
    interesting man.

    In the late 1940’s and 50’s, Rubirosa
    was a center of
    attention for the gossip
    columnists. Rubi
    appeared in hundreds
    of articles, as readers
    throughout the world
    were mesmerized by his life, adventures
    and romantic interests. Rubirosa tried to
    dispel insight into his secret life with
    claims that he did not work, insisting
    rather that women were his job. Truth in
    fact, Rubirosa was as comfortable with a
    gun in his hand as he was with a
    woman at his side. It would have
    been literally impossible for
    Fleming to have not taken careful
    note of Rubirosa prior to penning
    the Bond novels, especially since
    he was a favorite subject of
    Caribbean and European
    journalists.

    Even the
    FBI, who had Rubirosa
    under constant
    surveillance for three
    decades (1935 to 1965)
    while he frolicked in
    the United States,
    concluded the
    playboy’s lifestyle
    closely matched that of
    Bond.

    Fleming
    described Bond in one of his early
    novels, From Russia With Love, as a
    boxer. Likewise, it was known at the
    time, Rubi worked out regularly with a
    sparring partner to maintain his strength
    and agility.

    Rubi was strikingly handsome, and, like
    Bond, he too wore suits handmade in
    England and was always seen sporting a
    fresh manicure and pedicure. He was
    named to the Best Dressed Men’s List
    on several occasions. Rubirosa is also
    often cited as Ralph Lauren’s inspiration
    for the iconic Polo brand.

    Fleming’s early
    descriptions of Bond are undoubtedly
    based upon the looks and characteristics of Rubirosa.
    Bond was portrayed in the early novels written by Fleming as slim,
    with black hair, cold-eyed and cruel.

    There can be little doubt, given
    their many mutual friends, Fleming and
    Rubirosa had crossed paths and were
    acquainted with each other.
    Like 007, Rubi was no slouch behind the
    wheel, and loved fast cars and their
    advanced gadgetry. He raced in dozens
    of races, including Le Mans.

    Fleming was restrained from identifying
    Rubirosa as his inspiration
    ……. given
    Rubirosa’s Creole or mixed racial
    background, Fleming’s audience in the
    1950’s and early 60’s may not,
    unfortunately, have been very accepting
    of such a revelation. But, even after the
    passage of over 50 years following their
    deaths, it is now clear Porfirio Rubirosa
    was Fleming’s inspiration for 007 and
    was the real James Bond

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    @Menes

    There are many candidates. As far as I recall, Rubirosa was, essentially, an executioner, licensed-killer for dictator Trujillo.

    Replies: @Menes

  300. @Joe Stalin
    @JMcG

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjUH7JaoTZU

    Replies: @JMcG

    Thanks for posting that. My wife worked for a Finnish company a while ago, and I always hoped to visit. The story of their resistance to the Soviets in the Winter War and the Continuation War is incredible.

  301. @ScarletNumber
    @Anonymous


    David Niven. When they pointed out to him that he was American
     
    Niven was English.

    Replies: @Wielgus

    I think he told people he was born in Scotland but was actually born in London. He was an officer in the Highland Light Infantry before resigning (after escaping from arrest for insubordination) and heading to Hollywood.

  302. @James O'Meara
    @Wielgus

    Harvey could only play one character, but it was to perfection. Not British, not American, not Lithuanian, not upper class or working class, just a generic smug prick. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

    He would have been awesome as Patrick Bateman.

    Replies: @Wielgus

    In amongst the brainwashing, his portrayal of Raymond in The Manchurian Candidate has a tragic quality in that nobody likes him (except Josie, who he loves but kills as a result of the brainwashing). The character in the book is the same and Harvey is perfectly cast in the role.

  303. @Peter D. Bredon
    @Bardon Kaldian

    To repeat myself:

    I think Joel Hodgson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame actually put it best:

    “Bond movies really represented the adult world, you know; drinking cocktails and being a secret agent and having your skills highly valued and having beautiful women being interested in you, were all things you felt were something I have to look forward to, this is what’s waiting for me at the end of my childhood.”

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

    Yes- but, then, why is/was it popular among men in their 30s, 40s, 50s,…?

  304. @Menes
    James Bond had a strong Caribbean connection: Ian Fleming wrote his Bond books in Jamaica; he got the name James Bond from the author of a book on the birds of the Caribbean islands; the iconic James Bond, Sean Connery, settled in the Bahamas and that's where he died a few days ago; and the real-life man who largely inspired the Bond character, Porfirio Rubirosa, was a native of the Dominican Republic:

    https://www.voelkerlitigationgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/Will-the-Real-James-Bond-Please-Stand-Up-Voelker-on-Rubirosa.pdf

    Over the years, many have been named
    as the inspiration for the fictional James
    Bond. Or was he fictional at all? The
    decades long question, asked by many,
    has been answered: Porfirio Rubirosa or,
    as he would have more aptly introduced
    himself, "the name is Rubirosa, Porfirio
    Rubirosa," is the real James Bond.

    Rubi was a bon vivant,
    international playboy,
    secret agent, polo
    player, treasure hunter, jewel thief,
    womanizer, avid golfer, millionaire,
    gigolo, jet-setter, diplomat, boxer, pilot
    and race car driver all rolled up into one
    man. But, Rubirosa was even more; he
    was a rare algorithm of charm, good
    looks, ruthlessness and cruelty.

    Like Bond, Rubi thrived on danger and
    the thrill of the chase. Propelled by that
    je ne sais quoi, he was more than a
    "man's man.” Having what was referred
    to as tigeurismo, he was the world's most
    interesting man.

    In the late 1940’s and 50’s, Rubirosa
    was a center of
    attention for the gossip
    columnists. Rubi
    appeared in hundreds
    of articles, as readers
    throughout the world
    were mesmerized by his life, adventures
    and romantic interests. Rubirosa tried to
    dispel insight into his secret life with
    claims that he did not work, insisting
    rather that women were his job. Truth in
    fact, Rubirosa was as comfortable with a
    gun in his hand as he was with a
    woman at his side. It would have
    been literally impossible for
    Fleming to have not taken careful
    note of Rubirosa prior to penning
    the Bond novels, especially since
    he was a favorite subject of
    Caribbean and European
    journalists.

    Even the
    FBI, who had Rubirosa
    under constant
    surveillance for three
    decades (1935 to 1965)
    while he frolicked in
    the United States,
    concluded the
    playboy’s lifestyle
    closely matched that of
    Bond.

    Fleming
    described Bond in one of his early
    novels, From Russia With Love, as a
    boxer. Likewise, it was known at the
    time, Rubi worked out regularly with a
    sparring partner to maintain his strength
    and agility.

    Rubi was strikingly handsome, and, like
    Bond, he too wore suits handmade in
    England and was always seen sporting a
    fresh manicure and pedicure. He was
    named to the Best Dressed Men’s List
    on several occasions. Rubirosa is also
    often cited as Ralph Lauren’s inspiration
    for the iconic Polo brand.

    Fleming’s early
    descriptions of Bond are undoubtedly
    based upon the looks and characteristics of Rubirosa.
    Bond was portrayed in the early novels written by Fleming as slim,
    with black hair, cold-eyed and cruel.

    There can be little doubt, given
    their many mutual friends, Fleming and
    Rubirosa had crossed paths and were
    acquainted with each other.
    Like 007, Rubi was no slouch behind the
    wheel, and loved fast cars and their
    advanced gadgetry. He raced in dozens
    of races, including Le Mans.

    Fleming was restrained from identifying
    Rubirosa as his inspiration
    ....... given
    Rubirosa’s Creole or mixed racial
    background, Fleming’s audience in the
    1950’s and early 60’s may not,
    unfortunately, have been very accepting
    of such a revelation. But, even after the
    passage of over 50 years following their
    deaths, it is now clear Porfirio Rubirosa
    was Fleming’s inspiration for 007 and
    was the real James Bond

     

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

    There are many candidates. As far as I recall, Rubirosa was, essentially, an executioner, licensed-killer for dictator Trujillo.

    • Replies: @Menes
    @Bardon Kaldian

    If Rubirosa was indeed a "licensed killer" that's yet another thing he had in common with Bond, who was "licensed to kill" by M15.

    More about Rubirosa:

    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2002/11/porfirio-rubirosa-200211


    The Legend Of Rubirosa

    In the 50s jet set, Porfirio Rubirosa was the ultimate man’s man, with his polo, Ferraris, and macho adventures. But what made the Latin diplomat truly unforgettable were his women—an endless parade including Barbara Hutton, Doris Duke, Ava Gardner, and Jayne Mansfield—and the physical endowment that enslaved them.

    In life Porfirio Rubirosa played polo, piloted B-25 bombers, raced Ferraris at Le Mans, and hunted for sunken treasure in the Caribbean. The inspiration for the romantic hero in the 1966 Harold Robbins potboiler, The Adventurers, “he was the ultimate man’s man,” says banker Gerard Bonnet, a polo-playing friend from Paris. “Everyone wanted his style of macho. He believed in the bond of male friendship. All the men I know loved Rubi. The ones who didn’t were jealous of him.”

    But it was Rubi’s success with the fair sex that made him a legend. He was widely seen to be in the same class as Don Juan and Casanova. His conquests included Eva Perón, Ava Gardner, Jayne Mansfield, Veronica Lake, and Dolores Del Rio; the full tally, though, will never be known. One friend sheepishly confirms that Rubi, who married the two richest women in the world, one after the other—Doris Duke and Barbara Hutton—slept with “thousands of women” while living in Paris in the 1950s and 60s. Columnist Taki Theodoracopulos recalls that when Rubi got drunk he would take out his guitar and sing, “I’m just a gigolo.”..... “he exuded a sense of danger and romance and adventure,” says Taki’s wife, writer Alexandra Theodoracopulos.

    Notorious for her supposed Nazi sympathies, Darrieux became so unpopular that she and Rubi were ambushed on the Boulevard Malesherbes in Paris while driving in an open car. Three bullets hit Rubi near his kidneys as he threw his body over Darrieux to protect her.

    Jimmy’s disco in Paris, owned by the legendary Régine, was Rubi’s preferred haunt. “When he came in, everything changed, like magic,” remembers Régine. “All of a sudden, the women were on fire. It was everything—his eyes, his hair. He never went running after the women, the women were throwing themselves at him.

    His habit of sending a single rose notwithstanding, when Gabor awoke, her room was filled with flowers, and the card read, “Don Porfirio Rubirosa, Minister Plenipotentiary of the Dominican Republic,” plus the magic words “To the most beautiful of women.” That night, in the Oak Bar, Gabor saw “his dark eyes on me. He moved closer, but did not touch me. A terrific magnetism emanated from this man, silent and restrained.”

    Three months later, Rubi and Rodin went to visit President and Mrs. Kennedy for the weekend in Hyannis Port, along with Frank Sinatra, Ted Kennedy, and Pat Kennedy Lawford. (Rubi had known the Kennedys since meeting Joe senior on the Riviera, where he summered following the war.) They all went for a three-hour cruise on the president’s yacht, the Honey Fitz. Rubi was there also to talk business: the Organization of American States had ordered a trade embargo of the Dominican Republic because Ramfis Trujillo had tried to have the president of Venezuela killed, and Rubi asked J.F.K. both to support Ramfis Trujillo’s new regime and to get the sanctions lifted.
     
    Steve Sailer writes for Taki Theodoracopulos's online magazine. Maybe he should ask Taki what he thinks about Rubirosa being the main inspiration for Bond?

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

  305. @Bardon Kaldian
    @Menes

    There are many candidates. As far as I recall, Rubirosa was, essentially, an executioner, licensed-killer for dictator Trujillo.

    Replies: @Menes

    If Rubirosa was indeed a “licensed killer” that’s yet another thing he had in common with Bond, who was “licensed to kill” by M15.

    More about Rubirosa:

    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2002/11/porfirio-rubirosa-200211

    The Legend Of Rubirosa

    In the 50s jet set, Porfirio Rubirosa was the ultimate man’s man, with his polo, Ferraris, and macho adventures. But what made the Latin diplomat truly unforgettable were his women—an endless parade including Barbara Hutton, Doris Duke, Ava Gardner, and Jayne Mansfield—and the physical endowment that enslaved them.

    In life Porfirio Rubirosa played polo, piloted B-25 bombers, raced Ferraris at Le Mans, and hunted for sunken treasure in the Caribbean. The inspiration for the romantic hero in the 1966 Harold Robbins potboiler, The Adventurers, “he was the ultimate man’s man,” says banker Gerard Bonnet, a polo-playing friend from Paris. “Everyone wanted his style of macho. He believed in the bond of male friendship. All the men I know loved Rubi. The ones who didn’t were jealous of him.”

    But it was Rubi’s success with the fair sex that made him a legend. He was widely seen to be in the same class as Don Juan and Casanova. His conquests included Eva Perón, Ava Gardner, Jayne Mansfield, Veronica Lake, and Dolores Del Rio; the full tally, though, will never be known. One friend sheepishly confirms that Rubi, who married the two richest women in the world, one after the other—Doris Duke and Barbara Hutton—slept with “thousands of women” while living in Paris in the 1950s and 60s. Columnist Taki Theodoracopulos recalls that when Rubi got drunk he would take out his guitar and sing, “I’m just a gigolo.”….. “he exuded a sense of danger and romance and adventure,” says Taki’s wife, writer Alexandra Theodoracopulos.

    Notorious for her supposed Nazi sympathies, Darrieux became so unpopular that she and Rubi were ambushed on the Boulevard Malesherbes in Paris while driving in an open car. Three bullets hit Rubi near his kidneys as he threw his body over Darrieux to protect her.

    Jimmy’s disco in Paris, owned by the legendary Régine, was Rubi’s preferred haunt. “When he came in, everything changed, like magic,” remembers Régine. “All of a sudden, the women were on fire. It was everything—his eyes, his hair. He never went running after the women, the women were throwing themselves at him.

    His habit of sending a single rose notwithstanding, when Gabor awoke, her room was filled with flowers, and the card read, “Don Porfirio Rubirosa, Minister Plenipotentiary of the Dominican Republic,” plus the magic words “To the most beautiful of women.” That night, in the Oak Bar, Gabor saw “his dark eyes on me. He moved closer, but did not touch me. A terrific magnetism emanated from this man, silent and restrained.”

    Three months later, Rubi and Rodin went to visit President and Mrs. Kennedy for the weekend in Hyannis Port, along with Frank Sinatra, Ted Kennedy, and Pat Kennedy Lawford. (Rubi had known the Kennedys since meeting Joe senior on the Riviera, where he summered following the war.) They all went for a three-hour cruise on the president’s yacht, the Honey Fitz. Rubi was there also to talk business: the Organization of American States had ordered a trade embargo of the Dominican Republic because Ramfis Trujillo had tried to have the president of Venezuela killed, and Rubi asked J.F.K. both to support Ramfis Trujillo’s new regime and to get the sanctions lifted.

    Steve Sailer writes for Taki Theodoracopulos’s online magazine. Maybe he should ask Taki what he thinks about Rubirosa being the main inspiration for Bond?

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    @Menes

    https://www.thrillist.com/vice/porfirio-rubirosa-the-most-interesting-man-in-the-world


    In the 1930s and 40s, with phony diplomatic cover in Paris, Berlin, and Buenos Aires, and with his first wife, Flor, in tow — the daughter of Rafael Trujillo, the brutish dictator of the Dominican Republic — he is said to have carried out political killings for his father-in-law, who in turn rewarded him with blank checks.
     
    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/01/31/rubirosa

    Indeed. Porfirio Rubirosa, the infamous midcentury rake and rumored assassin who, when asked about his line of work, claimed that women were his “full-time job,” counted among his conquests Doris Duke (one of the world’s richest women at the time) and Marilyn Monroe. Rubirosa was also reportedly one of Ian Fleming’s inspirations for James Bond.
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEwjLlPOpWs
  306. @Menes
    @Bardon Kaldian

    If Rubirosa was indeed a "licensed killer" that's yet another thing he had in common with Bond, who was "licensed to kill" by M15.

    More about Rubirosa:

    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2002/11/porfirio-rubirosa-200211


    The Legend Of Rubirosa

    In the 50s jet set, Porfirio Rubirosa was the ultimate man’s man, with his polo, Ferraris, and macho adventures. But what made the Latin diplomat truly unforgettable were his women—an endless parade including Barbara Hutton, Doris Duke, Ava Gardner, and Jayne Mansfield—and the physical endowment that enslaved them.

    In life Porfirio Rubirosa played polo, piloted B-25 bombers, raced Ferraris at Le Mans, and hunted for sunken treasure in the Caribbean. The inspiration for the romantic hero in the 1966 Harold Robbins potboiler, The Adventurers, “he was the ultimate man’s man,” says banker Gerard Bonnet, a polo-playing friend from Paris. “Everyone wanted his style of macho. He believed in the bond of male friendship. All the men I know loved Rubi. The ones who didn’t were jealous of him.”

    But it was Rubi’s success with the fair sex that made him a legend. He was widely seen to be in the same class as Don Juan and Casanova. His conquests included Eva Perón, Ava Gardner, Jayne Mansfield, Veronica Lake, and Dolores Del Rio; the full tally, though, will never be known. One friend sheepishly confirms that Rubi, who married the two richest women in the world, one after the other—Doris Duke and Barbara Hutton—slept with “thousands of women” while living in Paris in the 1950s and 60s. Columnist Taki Theodoracopulos recalls that when Rubi got drunk he would take out his guitar and sing, “I’m just a gigolo.”..... “he exuded a sense of danger and romance and adventure,” says Taki’s wife, writer Alexandra Theodoracopulos.

    Notorious for her supposed Nazi sympathies, Darrieux became so unpopular that she and Rubi were ambushed on the Boulevard Malesherbes in Paris while driving in an open car. Three bullets hit Rubi near his kidneys as he threw his body over Darrieux to protect her.

    Jimmy’s disco in Paris, owned by the legendary Régine, was Rubi’s preferred haunt. “When he came in, everything changed, like magic,” remembers Régine. “All of a sudden, the women were on fire. It was everything—his eyes, his hair. He never went running after the women, the women were throwing themselves at him.

    His habit of sending a single rose notwithstanding, when Gabor awoke, her room was filled with flowers, and the card read, “Don Porfirio Rubirosa, Minister Plenipotentiary of the Dominican Republic,” plus the magic words “To the most beautiful of women.” That night, in the Oak Bar, Gabor saw “his dark eyes on me. He moved closer, but did not touch me. A terrific magnetism emanated from this man, silent and restrained.”

    Three months later, Rubi and Rodin went to visit President and Mrs. Kennedy for the weekend in Hyannis Port, along with Frank Sinatra, Ted Kennedy, and Pat Kennedy Lawford. (Rubi had known the Kennedys since meeting Joe senior on the Riviera, where he summered following the war.) They all went for a three-hour cruise on the president’s yacht, the Honey Fitz. Rubi was there also to talk business: the Organization of American States had ordered a trade embargo of the Dominican Republic because Ramfis Trujillo had tried to have the president of Venezuela killed, and Rubi asked J.F.K. both to support Ramfis Trujillo’s new regime and to get the sanctions lifted.
     
    Steve Sailer writes for Taki Theodoracopulos's online magazine. Maybe he should ask Taki what he thinks about Rubirosa being the main inspiration for Bond?

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

    https://www.thrillist.com/vice/porfirio-rubirosa-the-most-interesting-man-in-the-world

    In the 1930s and 40s, with phony diplomatic cover in Paris, Berlin, and Buenos Aires, and with his first wife, Flor, in tow — the daughter of Rafael Trujillo, the brutish dictator of the Dominican Republic — he is said to have carried out political killings for his father-in-law, who in turn rewarded him with blank checks.

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/01/31/rubirosa

    Indeed. Porfirio Rubirosa, the infamous midcentury rake and rumored assassin who, when asked about his line of work, claimed that women were his “full-time job,” counted among his conquests Doris Duke (one of the world’s richest women at the time) and Marilyn Monroe. Rubirosa was also reportedly one of Ian Fleming’s inspirations for James Bond.

  307. @Diversity Heretic
    If you liked the James Bond character, then Sean Connery was probably the ideal James Bond. If you didn't much care for the character in the first place, then Roger Moore was better, because he always impressed me as not taking the part too seriously and playing it with one eye on the camera. I never watched a single James Bond movie after Roger Moore and Daniel Craig always looked the part of a James Bond villain.

    Isn't the next 007 to be played by a black woman?

    Replies: @IHTG, @ThreeCranes, @Jim Don Bob, @tyrone, @Mikeja, @Anonymous Jew, @Liberty Mike

    Complete agreement on Moore.

    The single best 007 performance: Moore, in For Your Eyes Only

    The single best Bond offering: For Your Eyes Only

    The single best Bond opening: For Your Eyes Only

    The single Best Bond song: For Your Eyes Only

    The most realistic Bond film: For Your Eyes Only

    The most single romantic Bond scene: Timothy Dalton with Maryam D’Abo where she insists upon retrieving her cello.

  308. @syonredux
    @dfordoom

    The subtext of the Fleming Bond books was that Britain could still get it up.

    Replies: @Liberty Mike

    Hence, Moore’s reply to Geoffrey Keen’s query in the final scene of The Spy Who Loved Me where he was getting it on with Barbara Bach in full view of Geoffrey Keen and Walter Gotell:

    Freddy Gray: Bond, what do you think you are doing?

    Bond: Keeping the British end up, sir.

  309. @dfordoom
    @John


    More interesting than who played the best James Bond is why these books – which were awful – got turned into movies.
     
    By the standards of the day the Bond books offered a lot more sex and violence than previous spy thrillers. Fleming did to spy fiction what Mickey Spillane did for crime fiction.

    That's why the Bond books were so successful and that's why they were made into movies.

    The books were also popular in Britain because they offered a fantasy alternative reality in which Britain still counted for something, rather than being a pathetic grovelling American vassal state which is what postwar Britain really was.

    There was a subtle anti-American subtext in the books.

    Replies: @syonredux, @syonredux

    Fleming really loved slamming the Germans. Donovan Grant, the psychopathic killer who worked for SMERSH in FROM RUSSIA,WITH LOVE, was explicitly described as the son of a German circus weightlifter. MOONRAKER is about a German Nazi posing as an English industrialist who wants to nuke London in revenge for Germany losing WW2. In “The Hildebrand Rarity” (one of the Bond short stories collected in FOR YOUR EYES ONLY), Bond runs into an obnoxious American who’s really a filthy German:

    You see, his father was a German, a Prussian really. He’s got that silly German thing of thinking Europeans and so on are decadent, that they aren’t any good any more. It’s no use arguing with him. It’s just a thing he’s got.’

    So that was it! The old Hun again. Always at your feet or at your throat. Sense of humour indeed! And what must this woman have to put up with, this beautiful girl he had got hold of to be his slave–his English slave? Bond said: ‘How long have you been married?’

    • Replies: @syonredux
    @syonredux

    MOONRAKER is Fleming's most anti-German Bond book. The reader is constantly made to feel unease at the mere thought of Germans on England's green and pleasant land. Sir Hugo Drax (actually Hugo von der Drache, a German masquerading as an Englishman) is the nightmare German made real:


    "You can spare us the jokes," said Bond roughly. "Get on with your story, Kraut."

    Drax's eyes blazed momentarily. "A Kraut. Yes, I am indeed a Reischsdeutscher"--the mouth beneath the red moustache savoured the fine word--"and even England will soon agree that they have been licked by just one single German. And then perhaps they'll stop calling us Krauts--BY ORDER!" The words were yelled out and the whole of Prussian militarism was in the parade-ground bellow.
     
    , @R.G. Camara
    @syonredux

    Hating Germans has been an English since WW1. And Fleming and his readers vividly remembered the Blitz and the Nazi sweep through France quite well.

    In fact, WW2 and Bond's snobbery went hand in hand. In an interview, Fleming talked about how much he liked Bond being such a high-falutin' toff who judges people by their wine selection and clothing and only insisted on five-star everything when he traveled or worked.

    The reason? During WW2 the Brits were on such rationing and so impoverished that, after the war, the victory celebration also became a giant release for everyone to feast and spoil themselves after so many years of tightening the belt.

    So Bond's expensive taste was very much for the audience of his time. Hard for most of us now to imagine it, given how we haven't had such deprivations or fears of conquest.

    Replies: @syonredux, @Wielgus

  310. @syonredux
    @James O'Meara

    Masculinity is a complicated thing. It's all about getting the right mixture of toughness and smoothness. Add in too much toughness, and the result is a coarse thug; pour in too much smoothness, and you get a sissified fop. Get the ingredients in proper balance, and you get the masculine ideal, a perfect combination of the tough and the smooth, the rugged and the refined.

    Connery, in his natural state, was a bit on the coarse side of the equation, but, after some helpful instruction from Terence Young, he was able to project the proper synthesis.

    Replies: @Buffalo Joe, @Bardon Kaldian

    We should not confuse masculinity with erotic charisma. For instance, Richard Francis Burton- doesn’t matter whether he was gay or not- was a hyper-masculine man, but without erotic charisma; great Romantic lovers like Franz Liszt, Victor Hugo or Byron had been incredible magnets for females of all walk of life (especially aristocracy), but I don’t think they were too masculine.

  311. @Lace the Artist Formerly Known as Race
    @Peter D. Bredon

    Wonderful review you did. It was excellent and is also to some degree going to be a guide if I order the book (which I likely will.) Thanks for sending! I read all of it. Yeah, there has been nobody like Mitchum, and also one more note to make of the stupidity of the Oscars--one nomination for supporting role for him. It's not just that they're dumb now, with all emphasis on their own 'special picture-people wokeness', they've been dumb almost since the beginning. I'd give them a few first few years at most...after that, all that cheap Hollywood sentimental self-congratulatory business, although that has certainly been consistent to this day.

    I was pretty sure he hadn't made a film with Marlene Dietrich, and he hadn't, but that wouldn't have stopped that nympho--so they probably...did...but again, Mitchum would have thought her outrageous appetite very funny, and wouldn't have cared what she thought--and god knows she wouldn't have even noticed. His self-confidence and self-possession were greater than Brando's--and he had a lot more humour. I mentioned in another post in one of these Connery threads that he would laugh onscreen at some of his co-stars: It wasn't an actual laugh, of course, but rather a certain kind of sexually knowing smile which proved his effortlessness of always being in charge--not really cruelly, but rather a merciless teasing enjoyment of the other. Some qualities like Connery in the 'toughness department'.

    I think it was his aging that made him the best Marlowe--weary from no sleep and too many fights and waking up in some terrible and unfamiliar place. And Charlotte Rampling was a gorgeous and perfect Velma. Really a great voice too. You'd hear it without having known beforehand and know that's who it was. There are voices like that you couldn't miss--Rosemary Clooney you'd know anywhere, and on that Thunderball discussion about Bassey and Warwick, that seemed the most extraordinary idea of Bassey imitating Warwick. Warwick is my favourite female singer, and that's a voice I'd know anywhere too.

    Replies: @dfordoom

    I think it was his aging that made him the best Marlowe–weary from no sleep and too many fights and waking up in some terrible and unfamiliar place. And Charlotte Rampling was a gorgeous and perfect Velma.

    I agree on both counts.

  312. @syonredux
    @dfordoom

    Fleming really loved slamming the Germans. Donovan Grant, the psychopathic killer who worked for SMERSH in FROM RUSSIA,WITH LOVE, was explicitly described as the son of a German circus weightlifter. MOONRAKER is about a German Nazi posing as an English industrialist who wants to nuke London in revenge for Germany losing WW2. In "The Hildebrand Rarity" (one of the Bond short stories collected in FOR YOUR EYES ONLY), Bond runs into an obnoxious American who's really a filthy German:


    You see, his father was a German, a Prussian really. He's got that silly German thing of thinking Europeans and so on are decadent, that they aren't any good any more. It's no use arguing with him. It's just a thing he's got.'
     

    So that was it! The old Hun again. Always at your feet or at your throat. Sense of humour indeed! And what must this woman have to put up with, this beautiful girl he had got hold of to be his slave--his English slave? Bond said: 'How long have you been married?'

     

    Replies: @syonredux, @R.G. Camara

    MOONRAKER is Fleming’s most anti-German Bond book. The reader is constantly made to feel unease at the mere thought of Germans on England’s green and pleasant land. Sir Hugo Drax (actually Hugo von der Drache, a German masquerading as an Englishman) is the nightmare German made real:

    “You can spare us the jokes,” said Bond roughly. “Get on with your story, Kraut.”

    Drax’s eyes blazed momentarily. “A Kraut. Yes, I am indeed a Reischsdeutscher”–the mouth beneath the red moustache savoured the fine word–“and even England will soon agree that they have been licked by just one single German. And then perhaps they’ll stop calling us Krauts–BY ORDER!” The words were yelled out and the whole of Prussian militarism was in the parade-ground bellow.

  313. [Reply to syonredux @ 314:]

    “…the mouth beneath the red moustache savoured the fine word…”

    What a memorable description of the villain in full monologue mode. The literary Drax would have made such a great cinematic villain, but the “Moonraker” film dispensed with everything but his name, making him an urbane European in a Nehru jacket. A great disappointment, although something of Fleming’s Drax was resurrected in the Max Zorin character Christopher Walken later played.

    Syon, do you think, as I do, that Fleming lifted the plot of “Moonraker” from the Basil Rathbone film, “Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror”?

    • Replies: @syonredux
    @ChrisZ


    Syon, do you think, as I do, that Fleming lifted the plot of “Moonraker” from the Basil Rathbone film, “Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror”?
     
    Could be. The plot similarities (Germans masquerading as Englishmen, etc) are certainly suggestive.
  314. @ChrisZ
    [Reply to syonredux @ 314:]

    "...the mouth beneath the red moustache savoured the fine word..."

    What a memorable description of the villain in full monologue mode. The literary Drax would have made such a great cinematic villain, but the "Moonraker" film dispensed with everything but his name, making him an urbane European in a Nehru jacket. A great disappointment, although something of Fleming's Drax was resurrected in the Max Zorin character Christopher Walken later played.

    Syon, do you think, as I do, that Fleming lifted the plot of "Moonraker" from the Basil Rathbone film, "Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror"?

    Replies: @syonredux

    Syon, do you think, as I do, that Fleming lifted the plot of “Moonraker” from the Basil Rathbone film, “Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror”?

    Could be. The plot similarities (Germans masquerading as Englishmen, etc) are certainly suggestive.

  315. @Truth
    @R.G. Camara


    We see it. In Casino Royale, we see him make his first two kills at the beginning, and then make aggressive mistakes of a young angry man: killing the African bombmaker, nearly destroying an airport in Miami, banging only married women to avoid falling in love, and then blowing himself up in a casino in Montenegro. And then falling in love—only to be betrayed by his love.
     
    Yeah, but he's 40 and looks 45.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara

    lol. What are you babbling about, little Media Matters moron?

  316. @syonredux
    @dfordoom

    Fleming really loved slamming the Germans. Donovan Grant, the psychopathic killer who worked for SMERSH in FROM RUSSIA,WITH LOVE, was explicitly described as the son of a German circus weightlifter. MOONRAKER is about a German Nazi posing as an English industrialist who wants to nuke London in revenge for Germany losing WW2. In "The Hildebrand Rarity" (one of the Bond short stories collected in FOR YOUR EYES ONLY), Bond runs into an obnoxious American who's really a filthy German:


    You see, his father was a German, a Prussian really. He's got that silly German thing of thinking Europeans and so on are decadent, that they aren't any good any more. It's no use arguing with him. It's just a thing he's got.'
     

    So that was it! The old Hun again. Always at your feet or at your throat. Sense of humour indeed! And what must this woman have to put up with, this beautiful girl he had got hold of to be his slave--his English slave? Bond said: 'How long have you been married?'

     

    Replies: @syonredux, @R.G. Camara

    Hating Germans has been an English since WW1. And Fleming and his readers vividly remembered the Blitz and the Nazi sweep through France quite well.

    In fact, WW2 and Bond’s snobbery went hand in hand. In an interview, Fleming talked about how much he liked Bond being such a high-falutin’ toff who judges people by their wine selection and clothing and only insisted on five-star everything when he traveled or worked.

    The reason? During WW2 the Brits were on such rationing and so impoverished that, after the war, the victory celebration also became a giant release for everyone to feast and spoil themselves after so many years of tightening the belt.

    So Bond’s expensive taste was very much for the audience of his time. Hard for most of us now to imagine it, given how we haven’t had such deprivations or fears of conquest.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    @R.G. Camara

    Fleming's prejudices are a lot of fun. Here he is on the Mafia:


    “There’s nothing extraordinary about American gangsters,” protested Bond. “They’re not Americans. Mostly a lot of Italian bums with monogrammed shirts who spend the day eating spaghetti and meat-balls and squirting scent over themselves…. greaseballs who filled themselves up with pizza pie and beer all week and on Saturdays knocked off a garage or drug store so as to pay their way at the races.”
     
    -DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
    , @Wielgus
    @R.G. Camara

    Rationing went on for quite some time after WW2 - in fact the entire life of Attlee's Labour government and well into the 1950s. I remember elderly relatives - now long dead - commenting on the ration system.
    The rather austere reality of postwar Britain - also reflected in Orwell's 1984, meant Fleming was to a degree satisfying an urge for escapism and sophistication.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  317. @Wielgus
    @Michelle

    I thought he was pretty good, perhaps no.2 after Connery.

    Replies: @Michelle

    I give you that.

  318. @Feryl
    @Michelle

    You're not crazy. Dalton was serious but not, unlike Craig, sullen and mopey. Connery played the part with more of an icy wit, which did work. But Dalton's urgent seriousness was refreshing and long over-due given how the detours into camp that the later Connery films, and most of the Moore films, derailed the character.

    The Living daylights did pretty well at the box office, though license to kil did mediocre. Then Hollywood squabbling that dragged on for years caused Dalton to call it quits just as Goldeneye was on the verge of being made. Brosnan did last longer in the part, though I think his flms descended into campy excess ala the 70's era films. Also, Brosnan in my opinion just looked much better in Goldeneye. After that he started rapidly aging, suggesting that he took the part too late. Ironically, Moore was the oldest yet aged the most gradually of any of the Bond actors. Too bad Lazenby didn't retain the role, as he had a good 10-15 years left before age decay sets in (peak physical strength is from the late 20's-late 30's).

    Craig BTW always looked middle-aged. Bond should have some degree of youthful bravado and unworn good looks.

    Replies: @Michelle

    I actually forgot about Brosnan, who, like Connery’s Scottishness, had an Irishness about him, though he was gorgeous. You are also correct about the exponential aging. Moore was beautiful, but a tad too effeminate for me.

    • Replies: @Feryl
    @Michelle

    Moore was flippant and comedic. I dunno if it ever read as fruity to me. Moore acted as a mercenary in The Wild Geese (1978), and he played it more serious and cold than his Bond generally was. I thought he was quite believable in the role (keep in mind that Moore had WW2 miltary experience).BTW, though Moore himself said that he played Bond at way too old an age, he always looked younger than Connery....And Connery was 4 years younger than Moore!

    About 5 years before goldeneye, Brosnan did a British movie called Taffin. It's quite entertaining, and Brosnan if anything is more effective when he doesn't have to compete with big budget action.

  319. @R.G. Camara
    @syonredux

    Hating Germans has been an English since WW1. And Fleming and his readers vividly remembered the Blitz and the Nazi sweep through France quite well.

    In fact, WW2 and Bond's snobbery went hand in hand. In an interview, Fleming talked about how much he liked Bond being such a high-falutin' toff who judges people by their wine selection and clothing and only insisted on five-star everything when he traveled or worked.

    The reason? During WW2 the Brits were on such rationing and so impoverished that, after the war, the victory celebration also became a giant release for everyone to feast and spoil themselves after so many years of tightening the belt.

    So Bond's expensive taste was very much for the audience of his time. Hard for most of us now to imagine it, given how we haven't had such deprivations or fears of conquest.

    Replies: @syonredux, @Wielgus

    Fleming’s prejudices are a lot of fun. Here he is on the Mafia:

    “There’s nothing extraordinary about American gangsters,” protested Bond. “They’re not Americans. Mostly a lot of Italian bums with monogrammed shirts who spend the day eating spaghetti and meat-balls and squirting scent over themselves…. greaseballs who filled themselves up with pizza pie and beer all week and on Saturdays knocked off a garage or drug store so as to pay their way at the races.”

    -DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER

  320. @Michelle
    @Feryl

    I actually forgot about Brosnan, who, like Connery's Scottishness, had an Irishness about him, though he was gorgeous. You are also correct about the exponential aging. Moore was beautiful, but a tad too effeminate for me.

    Replies: @Feryl

    Moore was flippant and comedic. I dunno if it ever read as fruity to me. Moore acted as a mercenary in The Wild Geese (1978), and he played it more serious and cold than his Bond generally was. I thought he was quite believable in the role (keep in mind that Moore had WW2 miltary experience).BTW, though Moore himself said that he played Bond at way too old an age, he always looked younger than Connery….And Connery was 4 years younger than Moore!

    About 5 years before goldeneye, Brosnan did a British movie called Taffin. It’s quite entertaining, and Brosnan if anything is more effective when he doesn’t have to compete with big budget action.

  321. @R.G. Camara
    @syonredux

    Hating Germans has been an English since WW1. And Fleming and his readers vividly remembered the Blitz and the Nazi sweep through France quite well.

    In fact, WW2 and Bond's snobbery went hand in hand. In an interview, Fleming talked about how much he liked Bond being such a high-falutin' toff who judges people by their wine selection and clothing and only insisted on five-star everything when he traveled or worked.

    The reason? During WW2 the Brits were on such rationing and so impoverished that, after the war, the victory celebration also became a giant release for everyone to feast and spoil themselves after so many years of tightening the belt.

    So Bond's expensive taste was very much for the audience of his time. Hard for most of us now to imagine it, given how we haven't had such deprivations or fears of conquest.

    Replies: @syonredux, @Wielgus

    Rationing went on for quite some time after WW2 – in fact the entire life of Attlee’s Labour government and well into the 1950s. I remember elderly relatives – now long dead – commenting on the ration system.
    The rather austere reality of postwar Britain – also reflected in Orwell’s 1984, meant Fleming was to a degree satisfying an urge for escapism and sophistication.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Wielgus

    Casino Royale is a hungry Englishman's fantasy about being able to go to the Continent with a lot of government money in your pocket and order anything on the menu.

  322. @Wielgus
    @R.G. Camara

    Rationing went on for quite some time after WW2 - in fact the entire life of Attlee's Labour government and well into the 1950s. I remember elderly relatives - now long dead - commenting on the ration system.
    The rather austere reality of postwar Britain - also reflected in Orwell's 1984, meant Fleming was to a degree satisfying an urge for escapism and sophistication.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Casino Royale is a hungry Englishman’s fantasy about being able to go to the Continent with a lot of government money in your pocket and order anything on the menu.

    • Agree: R.G. Camara

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