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The Bond Films

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Guest 24k

Over in the Casino Royale thread, I confessed to not having much experience with Bond films except a handfuls of the older Connery ones, the infamous Lazenby attempt, and one or two Moore versions. Dalton and Brosnan had alluded me entirely and now Craig has brought me back into the fold.

 

Being this is my third day into an illness which I sincerely hope is not e.coli-driven (very similar symptoms), my bed-ridden and Gatorade-mania has driven me to distraction. I have watched all 14 of my favorite Christmas movies. I have seen nine episodes of the original Hitchcock Presents series. And thus I will begin the Bond franchise - from beginning to end, with reports as I go. Hopefully not too jaded by frequent trips to the W.C., thus I launch into...

 

1962 - Dr. No.

I'm trying to figure out how long it has been since I've seen this film (maybe when it is in the theatres?). Stylistic, catching opening of frantically-moving blinking dots -- quite energetic and typically 1960s. I'm not entirely sure if the man in the bullet's chamber (the shadow who turns and shoots) IS actually Sean Connery. I think someone else filmed the opening. Regardless, this movie which introduces us to Bond was quite fun. We see the suave, sexual being who beds women for his country (and pleasure) and kills when needed. The villain is mentioned and hinted at but only seen near the end; also suave.

 

It is slightly sci-fi in its use of atomic power (for 1962) in that radiation washes off (the shower scene after Connery and Andress is caught). I suppose all the Bond films work towards that "looking slightly into the future" aspect and I anticipate seeing more futuristic themes as my sojourn into these films continues.

 

Lastly, a word on his car -- while not being chauffer-driven, on the Caribbean island, he drives a Sunbean Alpine. Still a classy car.

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My favorite Bond is From Russia with Love . It's the least gimmick driven, has glorious shots of Istanbul, a great Gypsy cat fight, and of course, Lotte Lenya as dykey Rosa Klebb and her dagger shoes.

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My favorite Bond is From Russia with Love . It's the least gimmick driven, has glorious shots of Istanbul, a great Gypsy cat fight, and of course, Lotte Lenya as dykey Rosa Klebb and her dagger shoes.

And even a plot point about what wine to drink with which dish.

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My vote goes to Dr. No.

 

After all, it has Ursula Undress. Er, Andress.

Beautiful, but in some ways more interesting in The Tenth Victim.

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Guest 24k

1963 - From Russia With Love

 

Shockingly, I don't recall ever having seen this movie! While there is a memory of a very blonde Robert Shaw, my usual superlative mind for arcane movie trivia is leaving me blank on this one -- and I really liked it!

 

Like Monkeymay indicated, the locale was stunning -- and the gypsey cat fight quite funny. Bond started making a few innuendo, which I don't recall there having been any previously. I also liked the fact that the antagonist, although prevalent with the stroking of the white cat, was not an overwrought, comic book character. It was spy against spy, with less emphasis on the sci-fi nature which I know will be coming my way.

 

I'm not sure I really liked the character of Tatiana Romanova -- I probably wouldn't have minded her obsessive-compulsive behaviour if she had died somewhere along the way (like she should have!). The wine-pairing scene was quite funny as well and I appreciated the development of SPECTRE as a force.

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which is the one where bond and the girl ski down a hill on a cello? Which then, riddled with bullet holes, manages to sound lovely when she gives a concert?

 

 

Actually, give a vote for the Brosnan one with Michelle Yeoh. She kicks ass too! In the best scene he is in a car chase in a parking lot and he is driving the car by remote control, crouched in the back seat. The look on his face is priceless: It is such a boy-getting-a-kick-out-of-his-computer-toys look.

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Seeing the films in rapid succession may make for some interesting insights. Goldfinger certainly raised the bar for spy flicks. This pretty well wiped out such competitors as Harry Palmer, Matt Helm, Flint and others. But it also put the producers in a box. Each succeeding film somehow had to outdo the previous one. The villain more sinister. His lair more incredible. The gadgets used by Bond more over the top. Bond had to be captured, face off against the villain in his world, not be killed but somehow escape just in time to save humanity. In short, the makers fell into the traps so cleverly lampooned in the Austin Powers films. Casino Royale seems a success in getting out of this rut.

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Guest 24k

1964 - Goldfinger

 

Well, Hollywood, I anticipated exactly your sentiments and part of my fears is that I will reach a point of disgust for the subsequent films trying to top each other. Unsure how many of these I'll be able to do in fast succession without a break, but I'll make a valiant effort!

 

The gadgets begin in earnest with Goldfinger with the introduction of the <sigh>Aston Martin</sigh>. This is also the first film to showcase an opening song (could we have handled Bobby Vinton or Paul Anka singing about Dr. No?) which is arguably the best and most memorable movie theme song EVER.

 

I think part of the interest of Goldfinger lies in its villain's intention inasmuch seemed physically plausible -- vs. the sci-fi plots to rule the world. And what childhood fantasy didn't include taking over Fort Knox? We are beginning to see the display of the strong woman in Pussy Galore. I like the fact that throughout the film, he and Pussy flirt but he doesn't succeed with her until the end. We don't get as much of the thinking, show-off Bond in his world knowledge with only an opening reference to the proper temperature to drink '53 Dom. Mostly, he follows Goldfinger around and occasionally reacting instead of acting.

 

This is classic Bond and with the addition of the car, makes him a complete man.

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1964 - Goldfinger

 

Well, Hollywood, I anticipated exactly your sentiments and part of my fears is that I will reach a point of disgust for the subsequent films trying to top each other. Unsure how many of these I'll be able to do in fast succession without a break, but I'll make a valiant effort!

 

The gadgets begin in earnest with Goldfinger with the introduction of the <sigh>Aston Martin</sigh>. This is also the first film to showcase an opening song (could we have handled Bobby Vinton or Paul Anka singing about Dr. No?) which is arguably the best and most memorable movie theme song EVER.

 

I think part of the interest of Goldfinger lies in its villain's intention inasmuch seemed physically plausible -- vs. the sci-fi plots to rule the world. And what childhood fantasy didn't include taking over Fort Knox? We are beginning to see the display of the strong woman in Pussy Galore. I like the fact that throughout the film, he and Pussy flirt but he doesn't succeed with her until the end. We don't get as much of the thinking, show-off Bond in his world knowledge with only an opening reference to the proper temperature to drink '53 Dom. Mostly, he follows Goldfinger around and occasionally reacting instead of acting.

 

This is classic Bond and with the addition of the car, makes him a complete man.

 

Love Goldfinger - complete with a Korean villian. Shows that we're not entirely all about Calculus. And Pussy Galore? C'mon.

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Honorable mention to "The Man With The Golden Gun." I am not a Roger Moore fan...but it has a great theme song sung by Lulu, and Herve Villechaize is in it, and Brit Ekland as "Mary Goodnight." And the villain (played by Christopher Lee) is called Scaramanga.

 

(my father is a Bond fanatic, I saw a lot of Bond films zillions of times as a kid)

 

 

He has a powerful weapon

He charges a million a shot,

An assassin that's second to none,

The man with the golden gun.

 

Lurking in some darkened doorway,

Or crouched on a roof top somewhere,

In the next room, or this very one

The man with the golden gun.

 

Love is required whenever he's hired,

It comes just before the kill.

No-one can catch him, no hit man can match him

For his million dollar skill.

 

One golden shot means another poor victim,

Has come to a glittering end,

For a price, he'll erase anyone

The man with the golden gun.

 

His eye may be on you or me.

Who will he bang?

We shall see. Oh yeah!

 

Love is required whenever he's hired,

It comes just before the kill.

No-one can catch him, no hit man can match him

For his million dollar skill.

 

One golden shot means another poor victim,

Has come to a glittering end,

If you want to get rid of someone,

The man with the golden gun

Will get it done

He'll shoot anyone

With his golden gun.

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1964 - Goldfinger

This is also the first film to showcase an opening song (could we have handled Bobby Vinton or Paul Anka singing about Dr. No?) which is arguably the best and most memorable movie theme song EVER.

 

Personally, I prefer "You Only Live Twice" -- think it's a much better song all around, but the horn hook in "Goldfinger" is a classic for sure.

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Guest 24k

1965 - Thunderball

 

I guess from what I have read, this is considered the "underwater" Bond. Song-wise, Tom Jones couldn't hold a candle to Shirley Bassey and it was nice to see Connery in the gun barrel of the opening credits. Perhaps because of my illness (projected to be Norovirus at this point), but I am beginning to get bored.

 

The problem I had with the underwater sequences was keeping straight who was fighting with whom -- also, the sound of head-butting underwater was rather silly. I liked the female antagonist as seeing stronger women who get the best of Bond (on occasions) pleases me. I have to admit that there were more females interracting that got me confused; probably because of their 60s boufant hairdos, but they all sort of looked a like and which one was his assistant vs. who was the "niece" etc hurt my head.

 

I may have to re-visit this one several months down the line as I might have over-Bonded myself.

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