Sunday, November 4, 2012

50 Years of Bond, James Bond...

By Anant Mathur (November 4, 2012)

This year marks the 50th year of the James Bond-007 film series. The 23rd film in the series, Skyfall, releases this Friday. To better prepare you for Skyfall here are a few secrets and facts you need to know:

-Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel Casino Royale was published in 1953.

-The film that kicked of the James Bond-007 series of films was the Sean Connery starer Dr. No, it was directed by Terence Young who also directed two other Bond films - From Russia With Love and Thunderball.

-Sean Connery left the series after You Only Live Twice (Bond #5). 

-In 1969, George Lazenby took over with Bond #6 - but he decided to leave the series after just 1 film - On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Connery was asked to come back for Diamonds Are Forever because Roger Moore was not available due to his commitment to his TV series The Saint

-Roger Moore finally took over from Live and Let Die (Bond #8) and did seven Bond films in total before Timothy Dalton took over for 2 films, followed by Pierce Brosnan (4 films) and Daniel Craig who has done 3 films and signed on to do at least 2 more (at the time of this post).

-Sean Connery was 32 when the first James Bond film Dr. No was Released. Roger Moore is 3 years older than Sean Connery. Moore was 45 when he took over from Connery who was 42 at the time. 

-Roger Moore Played Bond for 12 years - the longest of any actor. He was also the oldest actor to play Bond when he retired from the series at the age of 58.

-George Lazenby was the youngest actor to play James Bond. He was 30 years old when On Her Majesty's Secret Service was released in 1969. Lazenby was also the only actor still in his 20s when shooting of the film began.

-Several editors of the Bond film series also directed a few of the later films. Peter R. Hunt who was the editor for the first 5 Bond films got to direct Bond #6 (On Her Majesty's Secret Service) before he left the series. John Glen was editor of OHMSS and also edited 2 Others before directing Roger Moore in 3 films and Timothy Dalton in both his appearances as Bond. 

-John Glen has directed the most number of Bond films with 5 credits as director.

-James Bond's weapon of choice is the Walther PPK.

-'M' is the head of the Foreign Intelligence wing of Her Majesty's Secret Service.

-Q Branch, The Armorer Division of HMSS, has long been a position of pride for its head, who goes by the codename of Q.

-James Bond was once married to Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo.

-SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion) is a fictional global terrorist organization featured in the James Bond series.

-Quantum is a fictional criminal organization, featured as the antagonists in the James Bond films Casino Royale, and its sequel, Quantum of Solace. Quantum filled in for SMERSH from the Casino Royale novel, and subsequently became a sort of successor or revision to both SMERSH from the early novels and SPECTRE from the early years of the film series.

-Ernst Stavro Blofeld is a supervillain from the James Bond series. Blofeld is head of the global criminal organisation SPECTRE and is commonly referred to as Number 1, an official numerical position given to members of SPECTRE. Blofeld appears or is heard in 6 films.

-Miss Moneypenny, is secretary to M. Although she has a small part in the films, it is always highlighted by the underscored romantic tension between her and James Bond.

-Felix Leiter is an operative for the CIA and Bond's friend. After losing a leg and his hand to a shark attack, Leiter joined the Pinkerton Detective Agency.

-Sylvia Trench was the first "Bond Girl", she was played by Eunice Gayson and appeared in the first two Bond films. 

-Maud Adams is the only actress to appear three times in the Bond film series. She played Andrea Anders in The Man with the Golden Gun
, then she was Octavia Charlotte Smythe in the film Octopussy and had a cameo as an extra in Roger Moore's last Bond film, A View to a Kill.

Sylvia Trench, Honey Rider, Tatiana Romanova, Pussy Galore, Jill Masterton, Domino Vitali, Kissy Suzuki, Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo, Tiffany Case, Plenty O'Toole, Solitaire, Mary Goodnight, Andrea Anders, Anya Amasova, Holly Goodhead, Melina Havelock, Octopussy, Stacey Sutton, Kara Milovy, Pam Bouvier, Lupe Lamora, Natalya Simonova, Xenia Onatopp, Paris Carver, Wai Lin, Christmas Jones, Elektra King, Jinx, Solange Dimitrios, Vesper Lynd, Camille Montes, Strawberry Fields and Sévérine.

To truly understand the character of James Bond in film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service is a crucial film in the series, and thus, should not be watched until the first 5 films have been seen and no other Bond film in the series should be watched until OHMSS has been seen. It has many secrets and revelations that help you understand the transformation of Bond from Connery to Lazeby to Moore and the rest.

Top 10 of Bond...

© Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved.

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