James Bond (film series)
The James Bond film series are
spy films inspired by Ian Fleming's novels about the fictional MI6agent Commander James Bond (codename 007). EON Productionshave produced twenty-one films between 1962 and 2006, and another film is planned for 2008. In addition, there are two independent productions and an American television adaptation of the first novel. Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzmanco-produced the EON films until 1975, when Broccoli remained the sole producer. Since 1995, Broccoli's daughter Barbara and stepson Michael G. Wilsonhave co-produced them. Six actors have portrayed 007 so far.
Broccoli's and Saltzman's family company,
Danjaq, has held ownership of the James Bond film series through Eon, and maintained co-ownership with United Artistssince the mid-1970s. From the release of "Dr. No" (1962) up to "For Your Eyes Only" (1981), the films were distributed solely by UA. When Metro-Goldwyn-Mayerbought UA in 1981, MGM/UA Entertainment Co. was formed and distributed the films until 1995. MGM solely distributed three films from 1997 to 2002 after UA retired as a mainstream studio. Beginning in 2006 with "Casino Royale", MGM and Columbia Picturesco-distribute the franchise, as Columbia's parent company, Sony Pictures Entertainment, bought MGM in 2005. The twenty-one Bond films have grossed over $4 billion dollars in the worldwide box office, being the second most profitable film series ever after "Harry Potter". [cite news|url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117971747.html?categoryid=1236&cs=1|title='Potter' toots box office horn|date= 2007-09-10|accessdate=2007-09-11|author=Diane Garrett|publisher=Variety]
* Total Box Office-adjusted and Budget-adjusted calculated in 2008 U.S. dollars based on U.S. Consumer Price Index. [ [http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl CPI Inflation Calculator ] ]
Up to 1987's "
The Living Daylights", the James Bond films bore titles from the original novels and short stories of Ian Fleming. Following this, the next five films all had original titles, leaving six Fleming titles that had yet to be used in the official series. (However, material from the story "Risico" is used in the story of the film "For Your Eyes Only" and material from "The Property of a Lady" is used in the film " Octopussy", and material from "The Hildebrand Rarity" appears in the film " License to Kill".)
With the announcements of "Casino Royale" (2006) and "Quantum of Solace" (2008), the remaining four to be used are "Risico", "The Hildebrand Rarity", "The Property of a Lady" and "007 in New York". Prior to the announcement of the title of the 22nd Bond film, media reports from sources such as "Variety" and other entertainment industry publications speculated at that "Risico" and "The Property of a Lady" were being considered for what was eventually titled "Quantum of Solace"; "Property of a Lady" was also a title considered for a never-made early-1990s Bond film. [Andy Lane and Paul Simpson, "The Bond Files" (Virgin Publishing, 2002), p. 436]
"Licence to Kill" and "The World Is Not Enough" were lines from Ian Fleming novels and "GoldenEye" was the name of Ian Fleming's estate in Jamaica as well as an operation he planned during World War II. The only titles that did not come from Ian Fleming were "Tomorrow Never Dies" and "Die Another Day".
First Bond film
Previous attempts to adapt the
James Bond novelsresulted in a 1954 television episode of " Climax!", based on the first novel, "Casino Royale", and starring American actor Barry Nelsonas "Jimmy Bond". Ian Flemingdesired to go one step further and approached Alexander Kordato make a film adaptationof either "Live and Let Die" or "Moonraker", but Korda was not interested. [Smith & Lavington 6] On 1 October 1959, it was announced that Fleming would write an original film script featuring Bond for producer Kevin McClory. Jack Whittinghamalso worked on the script. However, Alfred Hitchcockand Richard Burtonturned down roles as director and star respectively. McClory was unable to secure the financing for the film, and the deal fell through. Fleming used the story for his novel "Thunderball" (1961).cite book |author= James Chapman |title= Licence to Thrill |publisher= Cinema and Society |year= 1999 |location= London/ New York City|pages= 19-64 |isbn= 1-86064-387-6]
In 1956, producer
Albert R. Broccoliexpressed interest in adapting the Bond novels, but his colleague Irving Allenwas unenthusiastic. In 1961, Broccoli, now partnered with Harry Saltzman, purchased the film rights to all the Bond novels (except "Casino Royale") from Fleming. However, numerous Hollywood film studios did not want to fund the films, finding it "too British" or "too blatantly sexual". [cite book |author= Lee Pfeiffer, Dave Worrall |title= The Essential Bond |publisher= Pan Macmillan |year= 1999 |location= Boxtree |pages= 13 |isbn= 0-7522-1758-5] The producers wanted $1 million to either adapt "Thunderball" or "Dr. No", and reached a deal with United Artistsin July 1961. The two producers set up EON Productionsand began production of "Dr. No".
A contest was set up to 'find James Bond', and six finalists were chosen and screen-tested by Broccoli, Saltzman, and Fleming. The winner of the contest was a 28-year-old model named Peter Anthony, who, according to Broccoli, had a
Gregory Peckquality, but proved unable to cope with the role. [Cork and Scivally, 31.] The producers turned to Sean Conneryfor five films. According to one story, Connery had been suggested by Polish director Ben Fisz, a friend of Saltzman. Saltzman viewed Connery in "On the Fiddle" (also called “Operation Snafu”), the actor's eleventh film. By other accounts, Broccoli first saw Connery in a screening of " Darby O'Gill and the Little People" (1959). [ Barnes & Hearn 8] Connery had worked as a milkman, truck driver, bricklayer, coffin polisher, and life guard, among other jobs, before getting a break as a dancer in the chorus line of "South Pacific" in 1950. ["The Book of Bond, James Bond" by Hoyt L. Barber & Harry L. Barber Cyclone Books Page 121 ISBN 1-890723-20-7]
Broccoli and Fleming were cool on Connery, but accepted him after rejecting Richard Johnson,
James Mason, Rex Harrison, David Niven, Trevor Howard, Patrick McGoohan, and Broccoli's friend Cary Grant. As Broccoli later said, “I wanted a ballsy guy…Put a bit of veneer over that tough Scottish hide and you've got Fleming's Bond instead of all the mincing poofs we had applying for the job”. Already balding, Connery wore a toupee in all his Bond films. Connery stated that “the character is not really me, after all”. [ Barnes & Hearn 8-9] Ian Fleming, after seeing the preview screening of the first film "Dr. No", told his research assistant, “Dreadful. Simply dreadful.” Barnes & Hearn 16] "Dr. No" received mixed reviews, some quite hostile, and even received a rebuke by the Vatican. Fleming eventually warmed up to Connery sufficiently to establish a Scottish ancestry for Bond in the late novels.
The role of “Dr. No” went to Joseph Wiseman, after
Noel Coward, Christopher Lee, and Max von Sydowwere suggested. [ Barnes & Hearn 14] With just two weeks to go before filming, the part of the first principal Bond girl “Honey Ryder” had yet to be cast. Director Young had seen a picture of Swiss-born actress Ursula Andress, then wife of John Derek, when visiting Darryl F. Zanuckover at Fox, and he borrowed the photo and showed it to the producers, who quickly approved the deal. [ Barnes & Hearn 12]
On the next film "From Russia with Love" the producers doubled the budget, and shot locales in Europe, which had turned out to be the more profitable market for "Dr. No". [ Barnes & Hearn 22] Much of the team from the first film returned. [Smith & Lavington 33-35] The film was the first to feature the pre-title sequence and the first to feature Desmond Llewelyn as “Major Boothroyd”, now called the “Equipment Officer”, who finally becomes “Q” in the third film. Llewelyn appears in a total of seventeen Bond films, the most for any actor playing the same role.Smith & Lavington 27] The final confrontation between Bond and assassin “Donald Grant” (
Robert Shaw) takes place on the Orient Expressand Bond owes his life to Major Boothroyd's deadly attaché case. [Smith & Lavington 29] It is also the second and last film to feature the role of Sylvia Trench, who was supposed to continue through the series as Bond's somewhat regular bed partner between assignments. ["The Ultimate James Bond Fan Book" by Deborah Lipp Published 2006 S&R Publishers Pages 67 ISBN 0-9766372-8-6] It is also the only film where the supervillain's face is hidden. [Smith & Lavington 30] The violence of the second film was decidedly pumped up from the previous film, with more than double the homicides. [Lipp 66 ]
Adding to the appeal of mounting the picture, "From Russia with Love" was also cited by President
John F. Kennedyas one of his ten favourite books. [ Barnes & Hearn 20] It was likely the last film Kennedy saw before his death. [According to William Manchester's book "Death of a President".] Some critics still resisted the Bond allure on the second Connery film, branding "From Russia with Love" “a movie made for kicks”, but audiences loved it and some critics raved, such as Bosley Crowtherwho proclaimed “Don't Miss It!”. [Smith & Lavington 36] It is the first of the series to have virtually all the elements that appear throughout the series. [Lipp 62-64]
For the next film, "Goldfinger", Guy Hamilton took over as director from Terence Young, putting more humor into Bond's character and more double entendres on the table.Barnes & Hearn 41] For the important role of “Pussy Galore”,
Honor Blackmanwas lured away from her role on the "Avengers" television series, which later offered up Diana Riggas well. [Barnes & Hearn 34] For Goldfinger, Theodore Bikelwas considered but the role went to Gert Frobe, a well-known actor in Europe, whose heavy accent required that his voice be dubbed. [Lipp 91]
"Goldfinger" is the most noted Bond film by popular culture. The use of a menacing laser, newly invented just years before and not widely known to the public, was a cutting edge demonstration of real technology, and a setup to perhaps one of the most memorable lines of the Bond films:
BOND: Do you expect me to talk? GOLDFINGER: No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!” [Smith & Lavington 48]The premiere in the UK created a near riot. In America, it became the fastest-grossing film ever to date. It was the first Bond film to win an Oscar (category: Best Effects, Sound Effects).
Ian Flemingdied before getting to see the film.
The production of the fourth Bond film "Thunderball" was delayed by legal disputes. In court case, McClory sued Fleming, because Fleming had used "Thunderball"'s story and characters without permission. He won the film rights to "Thunderball", so when Broccoli and Saltzman made "Thunderball", it was a co-production with McClory. Part of the deal they made ensured McClory was unable to make "Thunderball" into a film for ten years.cite news | title = The Lost Bond | publisher =
Total Film| date = 2008-02-27| url = http://www.totalfilm.com/features/specials/the_lost_bond | accessdate=2008-03-19]
Apart from Connery, the principal parts were hotly contested. For the lead Bond girl “Domino”, a slew of top female actresses were considered including
Raquel Welch, Julie Christie, and Faye Dunawaybut the role went to former Miss France Claudine Auger. [Barnes & Hearn 45] Always with an eye toward European audiences, the producers gave the part of supervillain “Emilio Largo” to popular Italian actor Adolfo Celi.Barnes & Hearn 46] Connery was eager to start but admitted in a pre-production interview that “My only grumble about the Bond films is that they don't tax one as an actor. All one needs is the constitution of a rugby player to get through 18 weeks of swimming, slugging, and necking…I'd like to see someone else tackle Bond.”
Connery would later state that "Thunderball" was his personal favourite performance as Bond (though in later statements, he claims that his favourite is "From Russia with Love"). [Lipp 103] "Thunderball" was the most successful Bond film to date, based on total box office, earning nearly $1 billion (inflation-adjusted to 2008 US dollars). It also inspired other spy films of the 1960s, including the "Harry Palmer" trilogy featuring
Michael Caine, the "Derek Flint" series with James Coburn, the "Matt Helm" series with Dean Martin. [Smith & Lavington 66]
For the fifth Bond film with Connery, "You Only Live Twice" Bond comes face-to-face for the first time with arch-nemesis Blofeld (played by
Donald Pleasance) Number One in SPECTRE, the world's most powerful criminal organization. The title comes from a pseudo- haikuwritten by Fleming in the book, “You only live twice/Once when you're born/And once when you look death in the face.” [Smith & Lavington 87] The Bond films are hugely popular in Japan and when the crew arrived for shooting, they were treated exuberantly. [Barnes & Hearn 74] Connery, however, was somewhat resigned to the project, lacking the enthusiasm he sported for "Thunderball". [Smith & Lavington 82] Glimpses of Japanese culture were progressive (again a smart bow to Asian audiences by the producers) and the martial arts and ninja sequences novel for the time. [Lipp 140]
"You Only Live Twice" is the very first James Bond film to jettison the plot premise of the Fleming source material, although the film retains setting the plot entirely in Japan and the use of Blofeld as the main villain and a Bond girl named Kissy Suzuki. This would be common during the Roger Moore era, but this is the only Connery film to do so this radically.
After "You Only Live Twice", and despite the posters boasting that "Sean Connery is James Bond", Connery announced that it was his last film as Bond. The producers had no desire to give up the franchise. Australian model
George Lazenbybecame the new 007 in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969). Timothy Dalton, a later Bond, declined claiming he was too young for the role. Lazenby had little acting experience beyond a series of chocolate advertisements. [Smith & Lavington 99] His screen tests were satisfactory, and he was offered a contract for seven films. However, convinced by his agent that the secret agent would be archaic in the 1970s, Lazenby left the series after one film. [cite video| title =Inside On Her Majesty's Secret Service | medium=DVD | location= "OHMSS" Ultimate Edition DVD | publisher =MGM Home Entertainment Inc| year= 2000]
Lazenby's reviews were generally underwhelming. Many felt that he is physically convincing but looks foolish in his many loud costume changes and delivers his lines poorly. [Lipp 159] The film also featured the only breaking of the "fourth wall" (the actor talking directly to the audience) in the entire Bond series. Lazenby cracks, in reference to Connery's Bond: "This never happened to the other fellow." [Lipp 161]
In "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", a conscious attempt was made to establish continuity with previous Bond films by showing scenes from several previous Bond films during the title sequence. Furthermore, when Bond is packing up items in his office, several mementos of previous cases, such as the breathing device from "Thunderball", are shown, while the score plays musical motifs from those previous films. This device would never be used again in introducing a new Bond actor.
After Lazenby turned down "Diamonds Are Forever" (1971), the producers decided to return to the formula of "Goldfinger". Director,
Guy Hamilton, returned, as well as the regular cast. Sean Connery received a remarkable contract: a record US$1.25 million salary, plus 12.5 percent of the gross profits and an additional US$145,000 per week overtime if filming extended beyond 18 weeks. Connery admitted: "I was really bribed back into it...But it served my purpose...Playing James Bond again is still enjoyable." [Barnes & Hearn 51] The original idea was to bring back "Goldfinger" for a sequel, but that was cancelled. [Lipp 173]
In Fleming's novels, Bond attempts to get revenge for the death of his wife in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" in "You Only Live Twice". But since this had been filmed "prior to" "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", Blofeld (played by English actor
Charles Gray) is put into the story of "Diamonds Are Forever" to give Bond an opportunity to give Blofeld his comeuppance. This results in expanding Fleming's "Blofeld trilogy" into a tetralogy.
In early 1972, the search for Connery's replacement began.
Jeremy Brett, Michael Billington, and Julian Gloverwere considered for the next film in the series, "Live and Let Die" (1973), with the forty-five year old Roger Mooregetting the nod. [Barnes & Hearn 106] Moore would become the longest-serving Bond, spending twelve years in the role and making seven official films, starting with "Live and Let Die".Lipp 186] [Smith & Lavington 128] One critic noted, “Roger Moore has none of the gravitas of Sean Connery…he does fit slickly into the director's presentation of Bond as a lethal comedian”. [Smith & Lavington 126]
In strong contrast to the laborious attempts to establish George Lazenby as being the same character as Connery via office momentos and short clips from earlier films, "Live and Let Die" goes to some length to make Moore a different character. He does "not" drink a martini that is shaken not stirred. He gets no office briefing from Q, and he smokes a cigar instead of cigarettes. Over the course of the Moore films, classic Bondisms would creep back in. In particular, fans would demand the return of "Q".
Roger Moore's third film, "The Spy Who Loved Me" (1977), became a turning point for the series in two ways: it was the first film produced by Broccoli alone, as Harry Saltzman was forced to sell his half of the Bond film franchise in 1975 for twenty million pounds following huge debts; [cite video
title = Harry Saltzman SHOWMAN
medium = Television documentary
publisher = MGM
accessdate = 05
accessyear = 2007
quote =] and also the first to include a completely original storyline, as Ian Fleming had given permission to use only the title of the novel. [(2000). Inside The Spy Who Loved Me [DVD] . MGM Home Entertainment.] Production was plagued by McClory, who in 1975 leapt as his chance to create his rival Bond franchise, hiring
Len Deightonto write and Connery to star once more. Their script, entitled "James Bond Of The Secret Service", had to be changed to "Warhead" because of EON's objections. Filming was to begin in February 1977, and Paramount Pictureswould back the film with a $22 million budget. Moore's second film, "The Man With The Golden Gun", was a box office disappointment, and Broccoli was determined not to be upstaged. Their battle resulted in SPECTREbeing replaced by Karl Strombergin " The Spy Who Loved Me", as McClory claimed ownership of SPECTRE (who were introduced in " Thunderball"). Nonetheless, Broccoli launched lawsuits against "Warhead", and the script was dumped. Eventually, Connery starred in " Never Say Never Again" (1983).
Moore's fourth film Moonraker was the last Bond film to use the title of a Fleming novel before 2006's "Casino Royale". The next two films, For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy used both of the titles of Bond short story anthologies and each incorporated material from multiple stories in those anthologies. The film Octopussy can be read as a sequel to Fleming's short story of the same name.
Moore showed interest in departing the series after 1981's "For Your Eyes Only", and a string of younger actors, including
James Brolin, Oliver Tobias, and Michael Billington, screen-tested for the part. However, EON eventually persuaded him to return in 1983's " Octopussy", due to a non-EON Bond film, " Never Say Never Again", being released in the same year. [ (2000). Inside Octopussy [DVD] . MGM Home Entertainment. Retrieved on 2007-08-04.] Because he was rather old for the required action and the demands of the character (Moore was 58 at the time), stunt doubles were employed often (over a hundred stuntmen in total), and only the close-ups are surely Moore. [Lipp 31] Moore would only regret his last film, " A View to a Kill" (1985), which was poorly received by critics.Barnes & Hearn 169]
In undertaking the challenge of creating his own version of Bond, Moore merged some to the characteristics of his role in his series
The Saintwith the Bond persona. Critics thought this Bond more of a charmer, more debonair, more calculating, and more casually lascivious in a somewhat detached but amused manner. He appears just as strong physically as Connery (at least in the early pictures), but not quite as graceful in action. Moore's adaptation applied more fantasy and humor than other Bonds. The series managed to stay afloat by adding contemporary material and new characters to shore up the dated Fleming plots. [Smith & Lavington 117]
Pierce Brosnanwas scheduled to take over for Roger Moore, but when his cancelled television show " Remington Steele" was renewed in 1986, another Bond was required. Several actors were screen-tested, including Sam Neilland Lewis Collins. Timothy Dalton, who had been considered to replace Sean Connery in 1968 was cast for " The Living Daylights". [cite video
date2 = |month2 = |year2 = |title = Inside The Living Daylights
medium = DVD |publisher = MGM Home Entertainment
location = |accessdate = |time = |id = |quote =]
Best known for his stage and television roles and trained in the British Shakespearean tradition, Dalton's Bond differs noticeably from his predecessors. The "
Guardian" remarked “Dalton hasn't the natural authority of Connery nor the facile charm of Moore, but Lazenby he is not.” [Barnes & Hearn 178] The film returned to “realism” and a more creditable plot, with less fantasy and less gratuitous humor.
To save on production costs and taxes, Eon decided to shoot the next Bond film "
Licence to Kill" in Mexico rather than at Pinewood Studios in the UK. The film's darker and more violent plot elicited calls for cuts by the British Board of Film Classification. " Licence to Kill" is the first Bond film by EON to not use the title of any Fleming novel or short story (although it uses material from the Fleming short story "The Hildebrand Rarity"). It and subsequent Bond films were novelised.
Reviews for the film were generally negative. With box office admissions close to that of "The Man With The Golden Gun", the worst attended Bond film to date, some thought that replacing the basic style and elegance of a Bond film with “realism” was a mistake.Barnes & Hearn 192]
Dalton had signed for three films, but in 1989, the same year of his second appearance, "
Licence to Kill", MGM/UAwas sold to the Australian based broadcasting group Quintex, which wanted to merge the company with Pathé. Danjaq, the Swiss based parent company of EON, sued MGM/UA because the Bond back catalogue was being licensed to Pathé, who intended to broadcast the series on television in several countries worldwide without the approval of Danjaq. These legal disputes engendered a six-year hiatus in the series. [cite web | title=GoldenEye - The Road To Production | publisher=mi6.co.uk | url=http://www.mi6.co.uk/sections/articles/ge_roadtoproduction.php3 | date=2003-06-23 | accessdate=2007-01-04] Owing to the disputes, Dalton's third film's production was postponed up to 1994. [cite news |title = Interview with Dalton |work = The Daily Mail| date = 1993-08-06] It never began and in April 1994, Dalton resigned from the role. [cite video|people = Michael G. Wilson, Martin Campbell, Pierce Brosnan, Judi Dench, Desmond Llewelyn |date2= |month2= |year2 = 1999
title = The Making of 'GoldenEye': A Video Journal| medium = DVD|publisher = MGM Home Entertainment
location= |accessdate = 2007-10-17 |time =
The end of the Dalton era marked the end of the era of a common creative team that had worked on the Bond films from the beginning in 1962, including Albert Broccoli as producer who died shortly after the release of the first Brosnan film. Over the course of 16 Bond films, all had been produced or co-produced by Albert Broccoli, 14 had title sequences designed by Maurice Binder, 13 had been scripted or co-scripted by Richard Maibaum, 11 had been scored by John Barry, and 7 had set designs by Ken Adam. All films except Lazenby's "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" had been directed by either Terence Young (3 films), Guy Hamilton (4 films), Lewis Gilbert (3 films), or John Glen (the final 5 films). None of them worked on a Bond film again after the last Timothy Dalton film.
To replace Dalton, the producers cast
Pierce Brosnan, who had been prevented from taking over the role from Roger Moorein 1985 because of his contract for " Remington Steele". [cite news | first = Maggie | last = Fox | title = Pierce Brosnan Is New James Bond | url = http://www.klast.net/bond/ge_news2.html | publisher = Reuters| date = 1994-06-08| accessdate = 2006-11-12] [cite news | first = Kimberly | last = Last | title = Pierce Brosnan's Long and Winding Road To Bond | url = http://www.klast.net/bond/pb_road.html | work = GoldenEye (magazine) | year = 1995| accessdate = 2006-11-12] By then, the world had changed drastically and Brosnan had gone through changes as well. Shortly after " Remington Steele" was cancelled in 1987, Brosnan's wife was diagnosed with cancer and he cared for her until she died in 1991. In the next three years he worked only occasionally, so by 1994 he was ready to take on the Bond role. He stated his hopes for remaking Bond, “I would like to see what is beneath the surface of this man, what drives him on, what makes him a killer. I think we will peel back the onion skin, as it were”. He also relished the fact that "Goldfinger" was the first film he had ever seen and now he would get to play Bond, “Little did I think I would be playing the role someday.” [Barnes & Hearn 196]
In keeping with changing times, the new Bond is a non-smoker and he favours Italian-made suits. More importantly, Brosnan's "
GoldenEye" was the first film of the series to be produced since the disintegration of the Soviet Union. This cast doubt over whether Bond was still relevant in the modern world, as many of the previous films pitted him against Soviet adversaries. [cite book| last = Comentale| first = Edward P. | coauthors = Stephen Watt, Skip Willman| title = Ian Fleming and James Bond: The Cultural Politics of 007| origdate = | origyear = | origmonth = | accessdate = 2007-10-21| edition = | series = | date = | year = 2005 | month = | publisher = Indiana University Press| location = | isbn = 978-0253345233| id = | pages = | chapter = | quote = | ref =] Gone is state-sponsored criminality, now replaced by Russian mobs and gangsters. Another major change was casting Judi Denchas “M”, reflecting that MI5 (another UK intelligence agency) was now headed by a female, Dame Stella Rimington. Incidentally, actress Samantha Bond was cast as “ Miss Moneypenny”.Barnes & Hearn 195]
Some of the film industry felt that it would be "futile" to make a comeback for the Bond series, and that it was best left as "an icon of the past".cite book |last=Pfeiffer |first=Lee |coauthors=Worrall, Dave |title=The Essential Bond: The Authorized Guide to the World of 007 |origyear=1998 |accessdate=2007-05-20 |publisher=Boxtree |language=English |isbn=0752215620 |pages=169 |chapter="GoldenEye"] However, when released, the film was viewed as a successful revivification that effectively adapted the series for the 1990s.cite web | title=GoldenEye | publisher=Variety | first=Todd | last=McCarthy | url=http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117904690.html?categoryid=31&cs=1 | date=
1995-11-15| accessdate=2006-11-18] The film had the highest admissions since Connery's "You Only Live Twice". Tom Shone commented, “Brosnan shares none of Connery's virtues but has also been careful to avoid Moore's vices. It doesn't give him much room for maneuver, but then maneuvering in tight corners is the one thing Brosnan is quite good at.” Another critic stated, “The film is located precisely on the cusp between fantasy and near reality. For the first time in a Bond film there is something that could be called emotion.” And another, “Bond is back with a bang.” [Smith & Lavington 252]
After the triumph of "
GoldenEye", there was pressure to recreate success in its follow-up, " Tomorrow Never Dies" also at MGM. The studio had recently been sold to billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, who wanted the release to coincide with their public stock offering, and the worldwide audience. Co-producer Michael G. Wilsonsaid, "You realise that there's a huge audience and I guess you don't want to come out with a film that's going to somehow disappoint them." The rush to complete it meant the budget spiralled to around $110 million. [cite web |first=Richard |last=Ashton|title=Tomorrow Never Dies|url=http://www.hmss.com/films/mgw/mgw97.html |publisher=hmss.com |year=1997 |accessdate=2007-01-06] Most of the locales were in Asia. Breaking completely with Fleming, with no direct references to the novels, the plot is nevertheless reminiscent of "The Spy Who Loved Me". The incorporation of stealth technology and cruise missiles makes the story somewhat up-to-date.
Brosnan portrayed Bond in two more films, "
The World Is Not Enough" (1999) and " Die Another Day" (2002), and one video game, " Everything or Nothing" (2004), before it was anounced by EON that Brosnan was no longer required as the film series was about to be rebooted and the search for a new 007 (eventually Daniel Craig) was on. Though strong in its action scenes, production values, and acting, some critics found the final two Brosnan films to be too hyperkinetic with little time to savor the characters. [Lipp 430]
Following the success of "
GoldenEye", McClory also attempted to remake " Thunderball" again as "Warhead 2000". Liam Neesonand Timothy Dalton were considered for 007, while Roland Emmerichand Dean Devlinwere developing the film at Sony Pictures. MGM launched a $25 million lawsuit against Sony, and McClory claimed a portion of the $3 billion profits from the Bond series. Sony backed down after a prolonged lawsuit, and McClory gave up. In exchange, MGM paid $10 million for the rights to "Casino Royale", which had come into Sony's possession after its acquisition of the companies behind "Climax!" years before.
Pierce Brosnanhad originally signed a deal for three films, with an option for a fourth, when he was cast in the role of James Bond. This was fulfilled with the production of " Die Another Day" in 2002. However, at this stage Brosnan was approaching his 50th birthday, and speculation began that the producers were seeking to replace him with a younger actor. [cite news|title=Is Brosnan too old to be 007?|url=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-207653/Is-Brosnan-old-007.html|publisher=Daily Mail|date= 2004-02-09|accessdate=2008-08-05] Brosnan kept in mind that both aficionados and critics were unhappy with Roger Moore playing the role until he was 58, but he was receiving popular support from both critics and the franchise fanbase for a fifth installment. For this reason, he remained enthusiastic about reprising his role.cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/film/3592361.stm|title=Brosnan uncertain over more Bond|publisher=BBC NEWS|accessdate=2007-02-22|date=2004-04-02] Throughout 2004, it was rumored that negotiations had broken down between Brosnan and the producers to make way for a new and younger actor. [cite news|title=Is Brosnan too old to be 007?|accessdate=2007-02-22|date=2004-02-09|work=Daily Mail|url=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/showbiz/showbiznews.html?in_article_id=207653&in_page_id=1773] This was denied by MGMand EON Productions. In July 2004, Brosnan announced that he was quitting the role, stating "Bond is another lifetime, behind me"; this is thought by some to be a failed negotiating ploy.cite news|url=http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,673018,00.html|title=Bond No More|work=Entertainment Weekly|accessdate=2007-02-22|last=Rich|first=Joshua|date=2004-07-27] However, in February 2005 Brosnan officially announced he was stepping down.
Casting involved a widespread search for a new actor to portray James Bond, despite Brosnan having proven to be a very popular Bond. Throughout 2004 and 2005, a whole legion of potential new actors to portray James Bond were speculated on by the media, ranging from established Hollywood actors, such as
Eric Bana, Hugh Jackman, Goran Višnjić, Julian McMahon, Gerard Butler, and Clive Owen, to many unknown actors from a number of different countries, including Sam Worthington, Alex O'Loughlin, and Rupert Friend. [cite web|title=Dallas & Casino Royale Casting Rumors|url=http://www.movieweb.com/news/95/9395.php|work=Variety|publisher=MovieWeb, Inc|date= 2005-09-28| accessdate=2007-03-21] At one point producer Michael G. Wilsonclaimed there was a list of over 200 names being considered. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/film/4337224.stm|title=Michael G. Wilson said 200 actors had been considered|publisher=BBC.co.uk|date= 2006-11-14|accessdate=2007-04-04] English actor Colin Salmon, who had played the role of MI6 operative Charles Robinson in earlier Bond films alongside Pierce Brosnan, was also considered for the role and raised speculation that he might become the first black Bond. [cite news|title=Bets off as actor backed for Bond|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/film/4065229.stm|publisher=BBC.co.uk|date= 2004-12-04|accessdate=2007-04-04] According to Martin Campbell, however, Henry Cavillwas the only actor in serious contention for the role. But being only 22-years-old at the time, he was considered too young.cite web|author=Chavez, Kellvin|url=http://www.latinoreview.com/films_2005/sonypictures/zorro2/mc-interview.html|publisher=Latino Review|title=Exclusive interview with Martin Campbell on Zorro and Bond|accessdate=2007-03-23]
In May 2005,
Daniel Craigannounced that MGM and producers Michael G. Wilsonand Barbara Broccolihad assured him that he would get the role of Bond, but EON Productions at that point had not yet approached him. [cite web|title=Craig, Vaughn on Bond|url=http://filmforce.ign.com/articles/609/609721p1.html|publisher=IGN Entertainment, Inc.|date= 2005-05-03|accessdate=2006-08-10] Later, Craig stated that the producers had indeed offered him the role, but he had declined until a script was available for him to read. [cite web|title=Seven's Deadly Sins|url=http://film.guardian.co.uk/interview/interviewpages/0,,1949392,00.html|publisher=" The Guardian"|date= 2006-11-17|accessdate=2007-04-03]
Bolstered by the success of
Universal Pictures’ rival Jason Bourne franchise (as well as Warner Bros.’s reboot of the Batman franchise), the decision was made at MGM and EON to "bring Bond back to his roots" by eliminating the increasingly silly gadgets and outlandish fantasy elements that had begun to define the series, and introducing a tougher, darker, and more realistic Bond that was more in line with the Bond of Ian Fleming's original novels than with any of his previous screen incarnations. Thus, the 21st Bond film, "Casino Royale" (2006), in addition to being the first film adaptation of a Fleming novel since 1979's "Moonraker", was to be a reboot of the franchise, establishing a new timeline and narrative framework not meant to precede any previous film. [cite web|title=IGN: Interview: Campbell on Casino Royale|url=http://movies.ign.com/articles/659/659741p1.html|work=IGN.com|publisher=IGN Entertainment, Inc|date= 2005-10-19|accessdate=2007-03-22] This not only freed the Bond franchise from more than forty years of continuity, but allowed the film to show a less experienced and more vulnerable Bond. [cite web|url=http://www.space.com/entertainment/061116_bond_review.html|title=New James Bond Proves Worthy of Double-0 Status|accessdate=2007-06-16|publisher=SPACE.com|date= 2006-10-21] As with the previous introductions of new Bonds, the film provided the opportunity to remove production excesses and to get back to basics.
By August 2005, speculation was high that the then 37-year-old Daniel Craig was being seriously considered, although full casting for the role was not actually done until September. Then, on 14 October 2005, EON Productions and Sony Pictures Entertainment confirmed to the public at a press conference in London that Daniel Craig, who would soon become one of the stars of Steven Spielberg's "Munich", would be the sixth actor to portray James Bond. [cite web|url=http://film.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,12589,1592512,00.html|publisher=
Guardian Unlimited|title=Daniel Craig confirmed as 006th screen Bond|accessdate=2007-05-15] Significant controversy followed the decision, as it was doubted if the producers had made the right choice. Throughout the entire production period Internet campaigns such as
danielcraigisnotbond.comexpressed their dissatisfaction and threatened to boycott the film in protest. [cite news|url=http://www.moono.com/news/news01533.html|title=Anti-Bond protests|publisher=Moono|accessdate=2007-04-03] Craig, unlike previous actors, was not considered by the protesters to fit the tall, dark, handsome and charismatic image of Bond to which viewers had been accustomed.cite web|title=Blond, James Blond|url=http://money.cnn.com/2006/11/08/commentary/mediabiz/index.htm|work=CNN|publisher=CNN|date=
2006-11-06|accessdate=2007-04-02] "The Daily Mirror" ran a front page news story critical of Craig, with the headline, "The Name's Bland — James Bland". [cite news|title=The Name's Bland.. James Bland|publisher= Daily Mirror|date= 2005-10-15|url=http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/tm_objectid=16251427&method=full&siteid=94762&headline=the-name-s-bland---james-bland-name_page.html|accessdate =2006-12-27] However, reviews for "Casino Royale" were favourable and the film became the highest grossing of the series. Roger Ebert commented, “Daniel Craig makes a superb Bond: Leaner, more taciturn, less sex-obsessed, able to be hurt in body and soul, not giving a damn if his martini is shaken or stirred.” [cite web|url=http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070816/REVIEWS/708160301/1023|title=Casino Royale|accessdate=2008-06-16]
As production of "Casino Royale" reached its conclusion, producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli announced that pre-production work had already begun on the 22nd Bond film. After several months of speculation as to the release date, Wilson and Broccoli officially announced on 20 July 2006 that the follow-up film, "Quantum of Solace", [cite news | title = New Bond film title is confirmed | publisher =
BBC News Online| date = 2008-01-24| url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7206997.stm | accessdate=2008-01-24] would be released on 2 May 2008 and that Craig had been signed to play Bond, with an option for a third film. [cite news|url=http://www.mi6.co.uk/news/index.php?itemid=4418|title=Campbell and Broccoli explain the shift from Brosnan to Craig, hints for Bond 22 plotlines|date=2006-11-18|publisher=MI6 News] On 25 October 2007, MGM CEO Harry Sloan revealed at the Forbes Meet II Conference that Craig had signed on for four more Bond films, through to "Bond 25". [cite news | last=Bond | first=Paul | title =Sloan sees hope in talks | publisher= The Hollywood Reporter| date= 2007-10-26| url=http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3i11356e5762144f434339ff37e128990b | accessdate=2007-11-03] However, when later asked by reporters if this was true, Craig responded, "Well, that's what's been said, it's not that it's not true, because I haven't signed up. What I've done is I've signed up on the next movie, after that we'll see. That's the way I'm doing it, and certainly it's not four more - that's the truth. It's certainly not four more." [cite news | last=Barnes | first=Jessica | title =Daniel Craig Denies Signing for Four More 'Bond' Films | publisher= Cinematical| date= 2007-11-29| url=http://www.cinematical.com/2007/11/29/daniel-craig-denies-signing-for-four-more-bond-films/ | accessdate= 2008-10-05]
Quantum of Solace" (2008) is set to be released on 31 October 2008 in the UK and 14 November 2008 in North America, changed from its original release date of 7 November 2008 after "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" was pushed back to summer 2009.
Gun barrel sequence
Each Bond film begins with the unique gun barrel sequence, accompanied by the opening bars of the
James Bond theme. Graphic artist Maurice Bindercreated the gun barrel sequence. ["the James Bond Films and Genre" "Licence to Thrill: A Cultural History of the James Bond Films" by James Chapman Published 2001 Columbia Univ Pr Page 61 ISBN 0231120494] The view is of Bond as seen through the barrel of a gun that is being trained on him by an unknown assailant. Bond wheels around and shoots directly at the gun/camera, followed by the assassin's blood spilling across the barrel. Accompanying the action is the highly recognizable James Bond theme. It was composed by Monty Norman, orchestrated by trumpeter and composer John Barryand by Burt Rhodes, and played by Barry's orchestra (the guitar riff being played by session guitarist Vic Flick). [ Barnes & Hearn 15] In "Casino Royale", the gunbarrel sequence appears at the end of the pre-title sequence and is incorporated into the plot.
In "Dr. No", the gun-barrel sequence was followed by the main title sequence, but in all but one of the subsequent films, a pre-title sequence or “teaser” follows that is loosely connected ("
The World is not Enough") or not at all connected ("Goldfinger") with the film's plot, and which is, in turn, followed by the opening credits. [Lipp 85] Since "Thunderball" the teasers begin in the gun barrel sequence, sighting through the barrel.Lipp 318] The teasers are mini-films which set the emotional mood and heighten the anticipation for the action to come. In some of the teasers, we see the villains doing their evil deeds. In several films, Bond is bedding with a woman when he gets called to a new assignment. Bond does not even appear in three of the teasers. Most often, however, in the teaser Bond is either beginning or completing a mission or dodging villains through an extraordinary escape.
These title sequences incorporate visual elements reflecting each film's theme and, often silhouettes of nude or provocatively clad women set against swirling images. Maurice Binder is the Title Designer for thirteen Bond films. [Lipp 32] A contemporary artist usually sings during this sequence (starting with "Goldfinger"), and an instrumental version of the main track may also be featured as a
leitmotifduring the film, which repeats in various moods (tense, romantic, adventurous, etc.). [Lipp 28]
The title song doesn't always match the name of the film, as in "The Spy Who Loved Me" where
Carly Simonsings "Nobody Does It Better" (which does contain the film's title in one line) and in " Octopussy" where Rita Coolidgesings "All Time High" (which contains no reference to the film's title). [Lipp 194] Of the title songs, John Barry composed ten. [Barber & Barber 240-242]
Besides "Dr. No", the lone film to vary from this combination of sequences, to date, has been "Casino Royale" (2006). This film is a reboot of the franchise, establishing a new timeline and narrative framework; [cite web|title=IGN: Interview: Campbell on Casino Royale |url=http://movies.ign.com/articles/659/659741p1.html |work=IGN|publisher=IGN Entertainment, Inc|date=
2005-10-19|accessdate=2007-03-22] and many of the conventions of the series were consciously left out of the film, or are re-introduced. To this end, the gun barrel sequence is not used to start the film, but is instead re-introduced to conclude the pre-title sequence that depicts Bond's qualifying for "00" status, leading directly into the opening credits. The upcoming Bond film," Quantum of Solace" will reinstate the gun barrel introduction.
The core of the Bond films are the agent's personality, tastes, and skills, evolved and interpreted from the Fleming James Bond character by the various actors who have played the role. Much of the films' appeal is watching Bond be Bond. As befits his profession, Fleming's Bond is tough, ruthless, detached, suspicious, egotistical, and amoral—a man of action given to few words. He is athletic, graceful, and quick-acting, and thoroughly enjoys good food, fine liquor, and beautiful women. Bond is stylish and well-groomed, prefers single-breasted suits and dinner jackets. [Barber & Barber 42]
Bond's prowess as a lover is well-established in the films. There are numerous double-entendres in the series referring to the size and potency of Bond's male organ, and his use of aphrodisiacs, especially when he is in the arms of a
Bond girl. He is frequently “rising to the occasion”. [Lipp 79-80] His sexual skills turn enemies into allies, as is the case with “Pussy Galore”. [Lipp 38] A few women manage to resist Bond's charms but overall about fifty-five women have had sex with Bond in the series to date, about three per film on average. [Lipp 40]
Flirting with Moneypenny
With the exception of the 2006 version of "Casino Royale", every Bond film to date includes a sequence in which Bond interacts with
Miss Moneypenny, the personal assistant to M, Bond's superior. A running jokethroughout the film series is Moneypenny's unrequited love for Bond and his playful flirting with her. She flirts back, jokes and sometimes pouts, hoping to wrangle a proposal and a wedding ring out of him. One of the opening scenes in " GoldenEye" and a fantasy sequence in " Die Another Day" mark the only occasions in the EON film series in which Moneypenny was actually shown in a romantic embrace with Bond. The character was dropped from the reboot film "Casino Royale", the first Bond film (official or unofficial) in which Moneypenny did not appear, and the character will not appear in "Quantum of Solace" either.cite news |title=Daniel Craig boosts Bond franchise. Actor invigorates long-running action film series |author=Danny Graydon |publisher=Variety |date=2007-06-09 |url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117971501.html?categoryId=2670 |accessdate=2008-01-09] In many of the films, established in "Dr. No", the tossing of Bond's hat onto a coat rack in M's office signals the start of another adventure. There have been several variations on this theme. As Bond leaves the office in "Goldfinger", Miss Moneypenny takes the hat from him and tosses it herself, hoping to induce him to stay. In "Thunderball", he is cut off in mid-toss when Moneypenny announces that he is late. And when Bond is in Venice in " Moonraker", he tosses his gondolier's hat onto a vacant gondola.
Only 3 actresses have played Moneypenny, as
Lois Maxwellwas Moneypenny opposite Connery, Lazenby, and Moore. She was followed by Caroline Bliss, who was Dalton's Moneypenny, and Samantha Bond, who was Brosnan's Moneypenny. The three have arguably divergent interpretations of the role, just as do the six actors who have played Bond.
Getting assignment from M
Once past Moneypenny, Bond is called in to see “M” in his office to receive his assignment. “M” is the head of MI6, Her Majesty's Secret Service (MI5, Military Intelligence, section 5, is roughly equivalent to the American FBI and MI6 to the CIA). [Lipp 262] In several films, Bond receives the assignment at a secret headquarters or out of the office. Bond enters, often finding “M” is a subdued state of agitation over a new threat to world peace. “M” typically shows confidence in his/her best agent but feels a need to rein Bond in for his risky methods and often chides him for his indiscretions.Lipp 263]
Universal Exports is used as a cover name for the British Secret Service in the films. It has been featured repeatedly in the films in various ways such as a direction sign in "Dr. No", the abbreviation "UnivEx" in "
From Russia with Love", a brass name plate in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", Bond's helicopter in " For Your Eyes Only", a building with a sign in " The Living Daylights", an identity card in " The World Is Not Enough", and a folder in "Casino Royale". Bond has also given his introductions as a Universal Exports employee in " You Only Live Twice", " Octopussy", " Licence to Kill", " The World Is Not Enough", and " Die Another Day".
The character of “M” does not appear in
For Your Eyes Only. This film was made shortly after the death of long-time “M” actor, Bernard Lee. Bond gets his briefing from the Minister of Defence in this film. Beginning with the Brosnan series, “M” was a woman played by Judi Dench, a Shakespearean actress well-known for playing authority figures. Altogether, three actors have played “M”. Bernard Leewas “M” for Connery, Lazenby, and earlier Moore films. Robert Brown was “M” for the last two Moore films and the two Dalton films. Judi Denchwas “M” for all the Brosnan films and is Daniel Craig's “M”.
Technical briefing with Q
After getting his assignment, Bond is often sent to Q Branch for the technical briefing in which he receives special equipment to be used in his mission. Originally, in the novels, gadgets were relatively unimportant. This did not change in the first bond film, "Dr. No". However, they took on a higher profile in the film version of "From Russia with Love", and their use has continued ever since, exceptions being "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" and "
For Your Eyes Only" in which Bond was given few gadgets. In "Dr. No", the head of Q Branch is the “Armourer” Major Boothroyd, not yet called “Q”, who instructs Bond on a new firearm, the Walther PPK. [Smith & Lavington 11] Beginning with "From Russia with Love" the briefings involve various gadgets and technology, and Boothroyd is referred to as Q starting in "Goldfinger". Each Bond film thereafter up until " Die Another Day" contains a technical briefing of some kind, usually given by “Q”, with the exception of " Live and Let Die", in which “Q” does not appear and Bond himself describes his mission equipment to “M” and Moneypenny, and "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" in which “Q” does not brief 007 but is demonstrating to “M”.
“Q” is sometimes shown joining Bond in the field, taking with him a portable workshop and his staff. These workshops are established in unusual locations, such as an
Egyptian tomb in " The Spy Who Loved Me" and a South American monasteryin " Moonraker". [Smith & Lavington 145, 157] On two occasions, in "Octopussy" and " Licence to Kill", “Q” takes active roles in Bond's missions. With the 2006 "Casino Royale" reboot, the character of “Q” was, like Moneypenny, dropped, and although Bond still receives a supply of mission equipment, no technical briefing is shown on screen. [Lipp 453] It has been announced that " Quantum of Solace" will not feature “Q”, either.
There are several running jokes in the lab. Established in "Goldfinger" is “Q's” continuing disgust at how his equipment is often lost, damaged or destroyed by Bond during missions (though “Q's” expectations of the “pristine” return of his equipment are clearly unrealistic). Another is how easily distracted Bond is in the lab (“Now pay attention”) as “Q” rattles off details about the use of the equipment which Bond needs to commit to memory. Another running joke is Bond's amused reaction to “Q” latest devices and “Q's” indignant response (“I never joke about my work”). There are also sight gags showing new equipment being worked on which are not quite ready for field use. In the field, however, Bond always remembers the details and takes advantage of the equipment to the fullest. [Lipp 151]
Desmond Llewelynplayed “Q” in every film except for "Doctor No" (“Q's” first appearance), "Live and Let Die" (from which "Q" is absent) and " Die Another Day" (“Q's” final appearance). Llewelyn is the only actor to have appeared opposite as many as five actors playing James Bond. John Cleeseplayed the role of "Q" in " Die Another Day" after appearing as Q's assistant in " The World is Not Enough".
Off to exotic locales
For the most part, Bond is sent to do his work in attractive, exotic locales. [Lipp 297] Occasionally he will be assigned to war-torn or gloomy locations, but at some point his villains will be encountered in sunny paradises like Nassau, Jamaica, or Greece, or in exotic places like Istanbul, Thailand, India, or Japan. He averages about three foreign countries per film. In all, Bond's adventures have taken him to over 60 countries (not including the UK), as well as outer space. [Lipp 298-299]
Meeting up with allies
Once in the field, Bond frequently meets up with a local ally upon arrival. These allies can be his foreign counterparts like
Tiger Tanakain Japan, or CIA counterparts like Felix Leiter, or his own staff in a secret location. The allies can also be female, some of whom succumb to Bond's charms. [Lipp 37] Some allies are of only passing help and others are essential to the mission. Some like “Tiger Tanaka” open up new worlds to Bond while others, like “Sheriff J.W. Pepper”, are less than helpful. [Lipp 73]
parring with the supervillain
At some point, Bond tracks down the supervillain and they have their initial sparring match, which can be verbal or some sport (golf, hunting) or an encounter at the casino. Bond inevitably wins, heightening the supervillain's hatred for Bond. Bond villains are generally charismatic, highly intelligent, thoroughly evil adversaries worthy of Bond. Their arrogance usually invites a comeuppance from Bond, in word and deed. At times, Bond brazenly tries to lure away and seduce a supervillain's mistress, both to save her and to validate his male superiority over his enemy. In six films,
Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the Number One of world-wide criminal organization SPECTRE (Special Executor for Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion), is Bond's nemesis. [Barber & Barber 263] In other films, the supervillain can be a free-lance criminal or a megalomanical industralist. In " GoldenEye", Bond's enemy is former colleague agent 006. [Lipp 115]
Neither of the two Timothy Dalton films has a typical Bond supervillain. Some consider this a possible cause of Dalton's failure to catch on with American audiences.
Romancing the Bond girl
At some point on the mission, Bond meets the principal
Bond girl, a character portraying Bond's love interest or one of his main sex objects. [Lipp 34] There is normally one Bond girl central to the plot, plus others who cross his path, helpful or not. In most films, they are victims rescued by Bond, ally agents, villainesses, or henchwomen. Some of them partner with Bond on the assignment. Five of the Bond girls are “bad” girls who turn “good” under Bond's influence. [Lipp 39] Some, such as Honey Ryder, solely encounter the secret agent and become passive participants in the mission. Two of them (excluding novels by other authors)— Gala Brandand Vivienne Michel—appear only in the novels and have been excluded from the films. Sylvia Trenchis the only recurring Bond girl (Bond's off-assignment girlfriend) while Swedish actress Maud Adamshas played two different Bond girls in two films, "The Man with the Golden Gun" and "Octopussy". [Smith & Lavington 185] Bond has fallen in love with only Tracy di Vicenzo in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" and Vesper Lyndin "Casino Royale", but both of them die at or near the end of the respective films. [Smith & Lavington 192-193]
Bond girls often have highly suggestive names of which the most notorious was "Goldfinger"'s
Pussy Galore. Others included Holly Goodheadfrom "Moonraker", Mary Goodnightfrom "The Man with the Golden Gun", Honey Ryderfrom "Doctor No", Plenty O'Toolefrom "Diamonds Are Forever", and Xenia Onatoppfrom " GoldenEye".
Keeping with the greater Hollywood tradition, every Bond film features chase scenes, usually more than one per film. [Lipp 167] Bond and his allies prove their evading skills in a wide variety of vehicles, from custom aircraft and watercraft to buses, trucks, even tanks and moon-buggies. Perhaps the most unusual chase features a special gondola which leaves the canals of Venice to continue the chase on land. [Lipp 168] Also notable chases are: the original gadget-car chase in the Aston-Martin DB5 in "Goldfinger"; the ski sequence in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", and the tank chase in "
GoldenEye". [Lipp 167-168]
Fighting off the henchman
Bond encounters many colorful characters who do the dirty work for the supervillain. The first henchmen introduced in the film series are the three assassins (the “Three Blind Mice”) who appear in the title sequence even before Bond appears. [Lipp 22] The blond muscleman henchman, of which there are six, is introduced in "From Russia with Love" in the guise of “Donald Grant” (Robert Shaw) who fights Bond to the death in the tight confines of the Orient Express.Lipp 228] Bond also battles an array of femme fatales, who first seduce and then try to kill Bond, such as “Xenia Onatopp” in "
Goldeneye". Other notable henchmen are “Jaws” (7'2” actor Richard Kiel) with his superhuman dentures, one of only three undefeated henchmen in the series [Lipp 230] and “Oddjob”, Goldfinger's silent sideman with a deadly hat and a killer grip.Lipp 231] Another surviving henchman of note is “Baron Samedi” (Jeffrey Holder), the voodoo villain with one of the most distinctive voices in the acting industry.
Protracted attempted killing of Bond
The main villain often attempts to kill Bond in some kind of slow and protracted way such as abandoning him to sharks or alligators, or having him strapped to a table with a laser beam or a buzz saw.This convention was parodied in a card game entitled "Before I Kill You, Mr. Bond" in which players had the choice to kill a spy quickly and easily or in a protracted way. The latter was less likely to succeed but got the player more points if it succeeded. The same convention was parodied in a Saturday Night Live sketch in which a talk show host asked three Bond villains what was the best way to kill James Bond. They all answered "Just shoot him. Don't mess around with laser beams or sharks. He'll figure a way out of it. Just shoot him."
The climax of most Bond films is the final confrontation with the supervillain and an army of cohorts, often in his lair. The supervillain's lair can be a secret island ("Dr. No" and "The Man With The Golden Gun"), oil rig ("Diamonds Are Forever"), super-yacht ("Thunderball"), or stealth ship ("
Tomorrow Never Dies") among others. Bond usually sabotages the lair and with time ticking, dispatches the supervillain, rescues the principal Bond girl, and they escape as the lair blows up. [Lipp 183] In some cases, the supervillain escapes, as in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" and "Live and Let Die".Lipp 282]
So far only two Bond films, "Casino Royale" and "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", do not end with the principal Bond girl alive. Otherwise, Bond is kissing the principal Bond girl, making love to her, or implying that he will do so. Sometimes an embarrassed “M” catches Bond during his embraces. Most endings feature a double entendre, and in three of the films, the Bond girl purrs “Oh, James”. [Lipp 283] Every film except "Dr. No" (1962) and "Thunderball" (1965) has either the line "James Bond will return..." or "James Bond will be back" at the end of the closing credits. Until "Octopussy" (1983), the title of the next film to be produced was also named, although these were sometimes incorrect, as the filmmakers decided to adapt another novel, or in the case of "A View to a Kill", the final title of the film was shortened from the original proposed title, "From a View to a Kill".
Bond's famous introduction, " [My name is] Bond, James Bond," became a
catchphraseafter it was first uttered by Sean Conneryin his opening scene in the first film, "Dr. No". In That film, Bond uses this line right after Sylvia Trench says she is "Trench, Sylvia Trench". On 21 June 2005, this was honoured as the 22nd historically greatest cinema quotation by the American Film Institute, in its 100 Years Series. [cite web | url = http://www.afi.com/tvevents/100years/quotes.aspx | title = "Bond. James Bond" 22nd greatest line in cinema history | work = AFI's 100 Years… 100 Movie Quotes | accessdate = July 13 | accessyear = 2005] To date, "From Russia with Love", "Thunderball", and "You Only Live Twice" are the only films in which Bond does not give his trademark introduction — although in "Thunderball", the villainous character Fiona Volpemocks him by saying it to him (as does Valentin Dmitrovitch Zukovsky in " The World Is Not Enough"). Similar in-jokes see Bond's introduction being rudely interrupted (in "Goldfinger") or greeted with disdain ("The Spy Who Loved Me") or even lethal disinterest (in "Live and Let Die", when Mr. Big shoots back: "Names is for tombstones… waste him!"). In the 2006 film "Casino Royale" that reboots the franchise, Bond does not utter this line until the end of the film.
In the 1990 television film "The Secret Life of Ian Fleming", allegedly based on Fleming's own World War II spy experiences, Fleming (played by Sean Connery's son, Jason Connery) says his name is "Fleming, Ian Fleming".
Bond usually evinces a preference for vodka martinis, and his instruction on how it must be prepared, "
Shaken, not stirred," quickly became another catchphrase. This line was honoured by the AFI as the 90th most-memorable cinema quotation. The description is first said by Doctor No in the 1962 film (demonstrating to Bond that he is familiar with his tastes). Bond himself first uses the line in 1964's "Goldfinger". In "You Only Live Twice", when Bond is offered a martini "stirred, not shaken" and asked if that is right, he politely says, "Perfect. Cheers." In " GoldenEye", Zukovsky mockingly describes Bond as being "shaken, but not stirred" by his recent abduction. In " Die Another Day", when handed a Vodka Martini on a turbulent airplane, he says, "Lucky I asked for it shaken." In "Casino Royale", the in-joke is a furious Bond's reply — "Do I look like I give a damn?" — to a bartender's innocent query of "Shaken or stirred?".
Vehicles and aircraft
In most films, Q designs a variety of automobiles that are useful in Bond's missions, with the models of Bentley,
Aston Martin, Lotus, BMWand Ford being driven frequently. The most famous car is the Aston Martin DB5, seen in "Goldfinger", "Thunderball", "GoldenEye", "Tomorrow Never Dies" and "Casino Royale". The films have used a number of different Aston Martin DB5s for filming and publicity; one of which was sold in January 2006 at an auction in Arizonafor $2,090,000 to an unnamed European collector. It was originally sold for £5,000 in 1970. [cite web | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4633986.stm | title = Aston Martin DB5 auction | work = James Bond car sold for over £1m | accessdate = February 8 | accessyear = 2006] Bond also shows his taste for aircraft, like a gyrocopterin "You Only Live Twice" and an Acrostar Jet in "Octopussy", as well as marine vehicles such as a Lotus Espritthat could convert into a submarine in "The Spy Who Loved Me" and other submarines resembling an iceberg ("A View to a Kill") or an alligator ("Octopussy").
The films have been awarded two
Academy Awards: for Sound Effects (now Sound Editing) in "Goldfinger" (1964) and for Visual Effects in "Thunderball" (1965). In 1982, Albert R. Broccoli received The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award. [cite web |title=Academy Awards Database |publisher=Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences |url=http://awardsdatabase.oscars.org |accessdate=2007-11-03] Additionally, several of the songs, including Paul McCartney's "Live and Let Die", Carly Simon's " Nobody Does it Better", and Sheena Easton's "For Your Eyes Only", have been nominated for Academy Awards for Original Song.
IGNchose the James Bond series as the second best film franchise of all time, behind " Star Wars". [cite web |title=Top 25 Movie Franchises of All Time: #2 |publisher= IGN|url=http://movies.ign.com/articles/752/752240p1.html |accessdate=2007-12-16]
Prior to Eon's start in 1961, "Casino Royale" was adapted as a one-hour television episode of
CBS' series " Climax!". After Eon's formation, only two James Bond films were produced without the company's consent, due to the production rights of two Ian Fleming novels being lost.
In 1955, Ian Fleming sold the film rights of "Casino Royale" to producers Michael Garrison and
Gregory Ratoff. These were later sold to producer Charles K. Feldman. Feldman initially went to Broccoli and Saltzman with a proposition to produce the film, however due to their negative experiences with Kevin McCloryon "Thunderball" they declined. Feldman decided to start his own production and approached Connery who offered to do the film for $1 million dollars, which Feldman rejected. Since his previous film, the madcap comedy " What's New, Pussycat?", had been a success, Feldman decided to make a satirical Bond film in similar vein. Problems ensued however when the star, Peter Sellers, walked off the project with scenes uncompleted, and script re-writes and directorial changes (the film ended up with five) caused the budget to escalate far beyond that of any Bond picture hitherto. The "Casino Royale" spoof was released in 1967.
When plans for a James Bond film were scrapped in the late 1950s, a story treatment entitled "Thunderball", written by Ian Fleming,
Kevin McCloryand Jack Whittingham, was adapted as Fleming's ninth Bond novel. Initially the book was only credited to Fleming. McClory filed a lawsuit that would eventually award him the film rights to the title in 1963. Afterwards, he made a deal with EON Productionsto produce a film adaptationstarring Sean Connery in 1965. The deal stipulated that McClory could not produce another adaptation until a set period of time had elapsed, and he did so in 1983 with " Never Say Never Again", which featured Sean Connery for a seventh time as 007. Since it was not made by Broccoli's production company, Eon Productions, it is not considered a part of the "official" film series. A second attempt by McClory to remake "Thunderball" in the 1990s with Sony Pictureswas halted by a legal dispute resulting in the studio abandoning its aspirations for a rival James Bond series.
Eon later acquired the rights for both films. "Never Say Never Again" was bought from
Warner Bros.in 1997, [cite press release
title = Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. announces acquisition of Never Say Never Again James Bond assets
publisher = MGM
date = 1997-12-04
url = http://mgm.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=47&printable
accessdate = 2008-03-16] and "Casino Royale" was traded with Sony, along with the adaptation rights of the novel, in exchange for $10 million and the filming rights of "Spider-Man" (coincidentally, McClory died on 20 November 2006, a mere six days after the release of Eon's official version of "Casino Royale"). [cite news|title=Sony Pictures, in an accord with MGM, drops its plan to produce new James Bond films.|publisher=
New York Times|date= 1999-03-30|url= http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F30814FC35540C738FDDAA0894D1494D81&n=Top%2fNews%2fBusiness%2fSmall%20Business%2fMarketing%20and%20Advertising|accessdate=2008-03-16]
In addition to "
Quantum of Solace" being scheduled for 31 October 2008, "Bond 23" has been tentatively scheduled for a worldwide release in 2010. [cite news | author = Dave McNary | url = http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117968535?categoryid=13&cs=1 | title = Hollywood films' dating game: Opening weekends being set for '09, '10" | publisher = Variety | date = 2007-07-13| accessdate = 2007-07-14] Daniel Craigwill play Bond for the third time in a row. Michael G. Wilson indicated "Bond 23" will be a stand-alone film, and not follow on directly from "Quantum of Solace". [cite news |author=Anthony Breznican |title=James Bond series takes a 'Quantum' leap |publisher= USA Today|date= 2008-04-04|url=http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/news/2008-04-03-bond-quantum_N.htm |accessdate=2008-04-04] He also felt he might delay the film by another year, as the 22nd film is leaving him exhausted. "Quantum of Solace" director Marc Forstersaid he will not return to direct. [cite news | author = Ryan Pearson | title = James Bond Finds 'Solace' a Bit Chile | publisher = Associated Press| date = 2008-04-05| url = http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jU4-YrPzgNDMrUxWaDiQpEFHDPvgD8VRJ7EG0 | accessdate=2008-04-05]
In October 2007, MGM chief Harry Sloan stated Craig was signed on for "Bond 24" and "Bond 25". [cite news | author = Paul Bond | title = Sloan sees hope in talks | publisher =
The Hollywood Reporter| date = 2007-10-26| url = http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3i11356e5762144f434339ff37e128990b | accessdate=2007-11-03] EON Productions signed on Craig after $100,000 worth of worldwide market research, which showed the actor to be a highly popular casting choice. Craig said he would stand to earn about $100 million for a total of four films. [cite news | author = Bill Zwecker | title = Talk About Bonded! | publisher = Chicago Sun-Times| date = 2007-11-02| url = http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/zwecker/632177,CST-FTR-zp02.article | accessdate=2007-11-03] When asked whether he had signed on for four more Bond films (rather than four total), he made clear this was false. [cite news | title = Roundtable: Room One | publisher = HisDarkMaterials.org | date = 2007-11-27| url = http://www.hisdarkmaterials.org/information/his-dark-materials-movies/the-golden-compass/transcripts/roundtable-room-one | accessdate=2007-11-29]
Barbara Broccoliexpressed interest in filming in New York Cityfor "Bond 23". [cite news|author=Liz Smith|title=Frank Langella preps for 'Seasons': James Bond about to go bad in 'I, Lucifer'|work=Variety|date=2008-09-10|url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117991992.html|accessdate=2008-09-11]
Influence on films and television
The success of the James Bond series in the 1960s led to various spy TV series, such as "
I Spy, Get Smart", and " The Man from U.N.C.L.E.", the last having enjoyed contributions by Fleming towards its creation. Bond has also received many homages and parodies in popular media, in works such as the " Austin Powers" series by writer, producer and comedian Mike Myers, " Johnny English" (2003), " Bons baisers de Hong Kong", " OK Connery", the "Flint" series starring James Coburnas Derek Flint, and the " Matt Helm" films starring Dean Martin. [cite book |last= Chapman |first= James |year= 1999 |title= Licence To Thrill: A Cultural History Of The James Bond Films |publisher= I.B. Tauris|isbn= 1-86064-387-6] George Lucashas said on various occasions that Sean Connery's portrayal of Bond was one of the primary inspirations for the Indiana Jonescharacter, a reason Connery was chosen for the role of Indiana's father in the third film, " Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade". [ [http://www.starpulse.com/news/index.php/2006/08/28/indiana_jones_was_supposed_to_be_like_ja Bond Inspiration For Indiana Jones] ] [cite book |last= Fleurier |first= Nicolas |year= 2006 |title= James Bond & Indiana Jones. Action figures |publisher= Histoire & Collections |isbn= 2-35250-005-2]
Video game adaptations
James Bond has starred in many
video games, with a few being direct adaptations of the films. Between 1985 and 1990, Mindscape made text adventureversions of "Goldfinger" and "A View to a Kill", and Domarkproduced side scrolling shooter games based on "Licence to Kill", "The Spy Who Loved Me", "The Living Daylights", "Live and Let Die" and "A View to a Kill".
The popularity of the James Bond video game didn't really take off, however, until 1997's "
GoldenEye 007", a Nintendo 64 first-person shooterdeveloped by Rare based on "GoldenEye", along with additional and extended missions.cite web | last=Hollis | first=Martin | authorlink=Martin Hollis|date= 2004-09-02| url=http://www.zoonami.com/briefing/2004-09-02.php | title=jjfjThe Making of GoldenEye 007 | publisher=Zoonami | accessdate=2006-05-13] It received the BAFTA Interactive Entertainment "Games Award" and is widely considered one of the best games ever. [cite journal | title=100 Greatest Games Of All Time | journal=Computer and Video Games | year=2000 | month=January | issue=218|pages=53–67] [cite web | url=http://www.bafta.org/site/webdav/site/myjahiasite/shared/import/Interactive_Awards_Winners_1998-2005.pdf | title=BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Awards | format=PDF | pages=1 | publisher=British Academy of Film and Television Arts | accessdate=2006-05-13] Electronic Artsreleased two tie-in games, the third-person shooter"Tomorrow Never Dies" (1997, PlayStation) and "The World Is Not Enough" (2000, PlayStation, N64 and Game Boy Color) before starting original games, such as " Agent Under Fire" (2001, Playstation 2, Xboxand GameCube) and " Nightfire" (2002, Playstation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Windows, Macintoshand Game Boy Advance), which were the most similar games to the style of "GoldenEye", and "" (2004, Playstation 2, Xbox, GameCube and Nintendo DS), which bears no relation to the film " GoldenEye", nor the game of the same title. EA also released " Everything or Nothing" (2004, Playstation 2, Xbox, GameCube and Game Boy Advance), a third-person shooter starring Pierce Brosnan in his fifth and final appearance as Bond. The success of this game led to a follow-up based on "From Russia with Love" (2005, Playstation 2, Xbox, GameCube and Playstation Portable), which even included Sean Connery's likeness and voice acting.
Activision studios, Treyarch, Beenox, Eurocom, and Vicarious Visions are developing "Quantum of Solace" which is based on "Casino Royale" and the new upcoming movie "Quantum of Solace". The game will be released in November to coincide with the movie.
* [http://www.007.com/ James Bond Official Website]
* [http://www.pinewoodgroup.com/ Pinewood Studios - home of Bond]
* [http://bondpedia.net/article/Portal:Films Bondpedia; The Bond Encyclopedia]
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