James Bond began his long and successful film career in 1962 with the hit film Dr. No. That’s 43 years of killing villains, drinking martinis and bedding attractive women. Even with all this mileage, he’s still bouncing from one exotic location to another with the same signature style.
There have been 23 films with the 24th one called S.P.E.C.T.R.E. due out on November 6th. Daniel Craig is the fifth actor to play bond and there are rumors this next one is to be his last and the search for the next 007 has already begun. Whoever fills Bond’s tuxedo next time around, we can only hope the next batch of films live up to the tradition of exciting escapism that fans have enjoyed for more than two generations. As a Bond fan, you’re familiar with the characters, plots and gadgets that have made the super spy a movie icon, but that doesn’t mean you know everything about Bond… James Bond.
20. Theme Music
The tune known as the “James Bond Theme” is one of the most recognizable pieces of music in film history. The dramatic, declamatory jazz riff announces excitement in store for the viewer. The bit of music is usually used during the opening sequence with the shots of the gun barrel. You’ll also hear it peppered throughout the movies fueling Bond’s daring exploits.
19. The Gadgets
We’re familiar with Bond’s cars, guns and an array of other exotic devices he uses his missions. But he also carries a more mundane piece of technology – a pager. He keeps it with him for the same reason many people carried them before cell phones, so he can stay in contact with the office.
18. M and Q
“M” is the code name for Bond’s boss at M-6 who sends him on his missions. None of the characters, including Bond, know M’s real name, but it is eventually revealed to be the initial of his last name, Messervy, a Vice Admiral in Britain’s Royal Navy. “Q”, the armorer who outfits agents, is referred to as Major Botthroyd in the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me.
The assassin known as Jaws appears in only 2 Bond films, but is one of the franchise’s most popular characters. He is based on a character from the Ian Fleming novels called “Horror,” who also had metal capped teeth. The towering beast is eventually tamed by true love and gives up his murderous ways.
16. Ian Fleming
The prolific author of the Bond novels was inspired by his stint in Naval Intelligence during World War II. He published Casino Royale in 1953. Although it was not a huge success, Fleming kept writing and published Live and Let Die two years later with a better reception. Several more quickly followed and by the early 1960s, the first film was in production. Dr. No was released in 1962 with Sean Connery playing 007.
15. The Other Bond Girl
The studio was concerned that the accents of the exotic bond ladies would make difficult to understand them. The solution was Nikki van der Zyl, a “revise” artist who contributed voice work to most Bond films from 1962 to 1979. Ms. Zyl has received no film credit for her work or any royalties, but should be given her due as a Bond girl.
14. George Lazenby
George who? Most movie fans aren’t familiar with actor George Lazenby who played James Bond in the 1969 On Her Majesties Secret Service. The Australian actor, though handsome and suave, was not quite embraced by fans. However, contrary to the popular perception, he was not fired from the role, instead he chose to follow his agents advice and not reprise the role.
The ghost-like criminal group is called Special Executive for Counter-Intelligence Terrorism Revenge and Extortion, or S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Agents of the organization have appeared throughout the series starting with Dr. No. The latest film, aptly titled Spectre, promises to reveal some of the secrets of this criminal enterprise and its relationship with Bond.
The mastermind of the villainous group is called Ernst Stavro Blofeld, who is also known as”Number One,” his designation within the organization. He was voiced and later played by several actors including Donald Pleasance, Max von Sydow and Telly Savalas. Blofeld is known for his gray Mao suit and white cat. He was killed off in For Your Eyes Only, because Eon productions lost the rights to the character.
11. Best Bond Girl
There have been so many beautiful and memorable Bond Girls that its difficult to narrow it down to just one. However, most fans think the first is still the best. Ursula Andress played Honey Ryder in the the first movie, Dr. No. She didn’t have the cheesiest name though; that honor probably goes to Dr. Holly Goodhead from Moonraker. However, Ms. Andress did project an unbeatable combination of sexy and strength that still appeals to fans decades later.
10. Best Bond Movie
Roger Craig and his recent entries have reignited the franchise, but which Bond movie is considered the best? From Russia With Love, Casino Royale and even Roger Moore’s The Spy Who Loved Me are in the conversation. But one film continues to dazzle fans and critics with the Midas touch: Goldfinger. This one has everything: a great song, an impressive villain, a grandiose scheme and Sean Connery at his best.
“We work overseas to help make the UK a safer and more prosperous place.” This phrase greets visitors to Britain’s real-life spy agency that our fictional super spy works for. The organization’s real name is Special Intelligence Service or SIS, but is often referred to by its more common name – Military Intelligence, Section Six or MI6.
8. Title Sequences
Maurice Binder is the man behind the iconic title sequences that have become such a huge part of the Bond movie experience. He designed the sequences from Dr. No through License to Kill. The hit songs, innovative special effects and inspired editing are combined to create memorable performances in their own right. What other movies can boast that fans actually anticipate watching the titles sequences?
7. A Tale of Two Casinos
The first movie version of Fleming’s novel Casino Royale was release in 1967 with David Niven playing James Bond. Woody Allen plays Dr. Noah, head of the criminal gang SMERSH. he movie is a send up of spy thrillers and although it enjoyed some commercial success, it was not generally well-received by critics. Not until 2006 when the franchise was rebooted did Casino Royale get its due as an actual Bond movie.
6. Gun Barrel Sequence
There are many pieces that combine to form the iconic Bond movie formula. One of these pieces is the the gun barrel sequence that follows the title sequence. This gun barrel sequence is the transition from the title sequence to the movie’s opening. The shot was filmed with a pin hole camera shooting through a real gun barrel. This simple technique created an unforgettable effect that’s a must have for every Bond movie.
5. First James Bond
Do you think Sean Connery’s turn as 007 in Dr. No was the first Bond to make it to the screen? It wasn’t. In 1954, Ian Fleming sold the rights to his novel to CBS for $1,000. Barry Nelson played Bond in an episode for Climax Mystery Theater. CBS made Bond an American and the character was sometimes called “Jimmy” instead of the more appropriately British “James.”
4. Fans in High Places
The Fleming novels were a hit in England – not so much in the USA. That is until a certain president took a liking to them. Yes, apparently John F. Kennedy had time to read the spy novels. They made such an impression on the president he reportedly asked Fleming how to get the Communist dictator Fidel Castro. Fleming apparently came up with a plot to try to get the dictator to shave his beard – supposedly compromising his machismo.
3. Never Say Never
To make a long story short, other filmmakers obtained the rights to make a bond picture and they cast former Bond actor Sean Connery after Roger Moore had taken over. The result was the mediocre 1983 Never Say Never Again, a remake of an earlier Connery Movie, Thunderball. Bond was busy in 1983; it was also the year Roger Moore starred as Bond in the more entertaining movie Octopussy.
2. Secret Behind the Photo
For Many Bond fans, the movie poster that accompanied the 1981 For Your Eyes Only is indelibly imprinted on their brains. Those long, perfect legs seem to go on forever and the skimpy bikini bottom was considered a little too revealing at the time. Photographer Morgan Kane achieved this revealing shot by instructing the model to wear the bikini bottoms backwards. She must have thought it was a strange request, but we’re glad she complied.
1. The Bond Family
Ian Fleming seemingly killed off 007 in the novel You Only Live Twice. Along with his death came am obituary in which family details are revealed. His father was a Scottish weapons manufacturer and his mother was Swiss. Both parents died when James was a boy. At seventeen, he enlisted in the Royal Navy and was later recruited into the intelligence service. We also learn the Bond family motto: The World is Not Enough.