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James Bond 007
The James Bond Story



Added on January 7, 2007
I have seen Casino Royale in November. There are still some things to improve: Eva Green was not sexy enough. Daniel Craig's blue eyes and his hair color are not very Bond-like. Still, Casino Royale is better than the last Bond films which were mainly product placement with thin stories. Daniel Craig is the most masculine Bond since Sean Connery. However, the best choice for the role of James Bond would have been Toby Stephens. In 2002 in Die Another Day in the role of Bond's antagonist Gustav Graves, Toby Stephens delivered a Bond caricature that was better than the original interpreted by Pierce Brosnan.

Article added in December 2000
The James Bond Story begins with Sean Connery who created the myth of 007 on the big screen with Dr. No. in 1962. For a lot of people, including myself, he remains the best Bond ever. Until today, Sean Connery is the male sex-symbol. As the Australian model George Lazenby took over the part in 1969. Lazenby lacked the necessary strong personality and tried to fight in the name of her Majesty, the Queen of England. Moreover, he had the bad luck to play in the only untypical Bond film ever. On Her Majesty's Secret Service was almost an "ordinary" film. 007 was no supernatural hero of an adult fairy-tale but a man of flesh and blood with profound human feelings in an almost realistic story in which he loses the woman of his life, another bad idea. It is an underrated film which did not meet the public's expectations for a Bond film and was, therefore, not appreciated.
 
In the 1970s, Roger Moore incorporated a "lighter" version of the agent with the license to kill. The films became a special type of sophisticated comedy. Towards the end of Moore's career as Bond, it became necessary for him to be able to make fun of himself and not to take everything too seriously because, otherwise, he would have looked ridiculous at 57.
 
In the mid-1980s, the 40-year old Timothy Dalton tried to give Bond more personality, seriousness and even vulnerability. But the two films by the Shakespeare actor proved to be less than successful. As with George Lazenby before, the public did not appreciate the more "real-life" approach of Dalton. Since the 1990s, Pierce Brosnan is at the service of her Majesty. At the beginning, he was a rather thin and lightweight man for a Bond. His comedy-background did not enhance his chances of success. But after years of weight-lifting he fills the suits he wears better and he has adapted quite well to incarnating the shining and bigger than real-life agent. He combines elegance, sophistication, virility and danger with his sense of humor. Not the worst Bond so far.
 
The DVD The James Bond Story summarizes the few things that we know about the Bond-character: his mother was Swiss, his father English. Both were killed by an avalanche when James was eleven years old. Bond was kicked out of Eton and afterwards attended the former school of his father. He served in the military where the British Secret Service recruited him from the Royal Navy and granted him the license to kill. The movie-goer remembers this information from The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977.
 
The popularity of the Bond movies is due to the fairy-tale character of its hero, but also largely to special effects and stunts which, of course, were not performed by the actors themselves but by some of the finest stuntmen in the business. In Live and Let Die one of them leaps over the backs of several real crocodiles. He had to perform the stunt several times to succeed, as the DVD The James Bond Story documents. With a single viewing of the movie, a lot of spectators probably do not even realize that the scene was a real stunt. Regarding the special effects, in some films they were exaggerated and, therefore, ridiculous, e.g. in Moonraker. The KGB thought the gadgets used by Bond were real and part of the equipment of Western agents.
 
The Bond movies have achieved a cult status partly because of the fact that 007 has never been politically correct. He uses force, violence and kills in cold blood in the name of his fatherland. He makes love to a lot of beautiful women. Because he is a man, only a few spectators realize that, besides numerous non-professional affairs, he often prostitutes himself in the service of Her Majesty, the Queen. Nobody would trust him with their wife. His misogyny is also not politically correct. A lot of men - and women - like this macho attitude. Furthermore, Bond is sophisticated, fashionable and extravagant.
 
The author and creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming (1908-64), worked during the Second World War for the intelligence service of the British Navy. But he was no spy and even less some kind of "Bond". In search of a simple, flat name for his main character, Fleming came across James Bond, the author of the novel Birds of the West Indies which is very British Raj. Fleming incorporated several characteristics from there into his James Bond, among them the famous stiff upper lip and the British humor. Bond is an archetype who travels to foreign countries, solves problems without showing deep human feelings and, afterwards, leaves for new adventures on a new job assigned to him. The James Bond Story is an informative, but a rather short DVD. The story is told by Miranda Richardson. Get the DVD from
Amazon.com.
 
Check the biographical article on Sean Connery.


Tomorrow Never Dies,
1997. Get it from
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The World Is Not Enough,
1999. Get it from
- Amazon.com
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- Amazon.de
- Amazon.fr



GoldenEye
, 1995.
Get it from
- Amazon.com
- Amazon.co.uk
- Amazon.de







The James Bond Story
Get it from Amazon.com


Dr. No., 1963.
Get it from
- Amazon.com
- Amazon.co.uk
- Amazon.de 
 

From Russia With
Love
, 1964.
- Amazon.com
- Amazon.de 
 

Never Say Never
Again
, 1983.
Get it from
- Amazon.com
 

Diamonds are
Forever
, 1971.
- Amazon.com 
- Amazon.co.uk
 

You Only Live
Twice
, 1967.
- Amazon.com
- Amazon.de 
 

Goldfinger, 1964.
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- Amazon.com 
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- Amazon.de 
 

Thunderball, 1965.
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- Amazon.com
- Amazon.de


On Her Majesty's
Secret Service
,
1969. Get it from
- Amazon.com
- Amazon.de


Live and Let Die,
1973. Get it from
- Amazon.com 
- Amazon.co.uk
- Amazon.de 


The Man With
The Golden Gun
,
1974. Get it from
- Amazon.com
- Amazon.co.uk
- Amazon.de 


Octopussy
, 1983.
Get it from
- Amazon.com 
- Amazon.co.uk