Friday, October 5, 2012

The James Bond Movies Turn 50!

On October 5, 1962 some obscure movie from United Artists called DR.NO had its world premiere in London.

The world has not been the same since that day.

There have been 22 official James Bond movies with six different official actors. I'm not counting the first CASINO ROYALE, the film that starred David Niven as Bond. Nor am I counting NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN, the THUNDERBALL pseudo-remake from the 80s that starred Sean Connery.

"Bond, James Bond" is only one of the many Bond-isms that have entered world-wide Popular Culture.

In Japan his nick-name was "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang." Dionne Warwicke actually recorded a song with that title, but it was never released as a single in the US. You can hear it in the movie THUNDERBALL when an assassin tries to kill Bond during an open-air dance party.

I have tried twice to read the James Bond novels by Ian Fleming. My buddy Brian loved them and said that I would enjoy them, too. I just couldn't get into it. A few years later I tried again and still quit after the first few chapters. 

My father used to take us to see the old Sean Connery films when they were on double-feature or drive-in feature shows. And back in the 70s their "Network Television Premiere" of each movie was a big deal. And of course, he would take us to see the new ones when they came out. When I was a youngster I liked Roger Moore; as  I (and Roger) got older I realized the appeal of Sean Connery. He's my favorite now.

Pierce Brosnan and Timothy Dalton were both acceptable as Bond and I enjoyed their films. The Brosnan film with the invisible car was terrible, but his first, GOLDENEYE, was really good. 

I have to say, however, that I don't really like Daniel Craig in the role. I saw CASINO ROYALE and didn't like it, so I haven't seen QUANTUM OF SOLACE and I probably won't see the newest one, either.

Next week I'll do a "Magnificent Seven" for James Bond and talk about My Seven Favorite James Bond Films. 

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