Happy 50th birthday, Mr Bond
About this time fifty years ago, the first Bond movie graced the silver screens with Sean Connery as 007, paving the way an unprecedented cultural revolution. Ian Fleming probably had no idea what he was setting the world up for when he created this debonair British spy.
As we prepare to welcome the 24th Bond movie – SkyFall premieres on November 9, we celebrate 007 as a cultural icon both in real life and in the movies.
The Unforgettable Women: We would come to know them as the Bond girls. Notable among them is Halle Berry, who in playing Jinx in 2002’s Die Another Day, proved to the world that a Bond girl is more than just a pretty face.
The Villains: There has only ever been one Scaramanga and not only does he have a golden gun, he also has a double nipple – as we found out in Christopher Lee’s 1974 portrayal of him in The Man with the Golden Gun
The Cars and other Cool Stuff: It is hard to talk about an Aston Martin and not refer to Mr Bond, nor a Walther PKK for that matter, 007’s signature weapon of choice.
The Corny Dialogue: Famous among them: “We meet again, Mr Bond”, “The name is Bond, James Bond” (also stolen by Duran Duran in the video to the title soundtrack of 1985’s A View to a Kill – the name is le Bon, Simon le Bon) and my personal favorite “No, not here! This is my home. Take Mr Bond to school”.
The Supporting Cast: M, Q, Miss MoneyPenny
and a host of others
The Bond Actors: Even when the plot is somewhat cryptic and hard to follow as was the case in 2008’s Quantum of Solace, it is totally worth seeing James strut his stuff on the screen. Eight actors have played 007 in their career although five of them have been famous for it. Sean Connery introduced the whole world to him in 1962’s Dr No, but he was actually preceded by Barry Nelson, who was first actor to portray Bond in the 1954 British TV version of Casino Royale. Connery passed it on to George Lazenby but before that, a spoof of Casino Royale saw David Niven playing Bond. Lazenby was taken over by Roger Moore and then Timothy Dalton played him briefly before passing the baton to Pierce Brosnan and our current Bond is played by Daniel Craig
Dr. No 1962
From Russia With Love 1963
You Only Live Twice 1967
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service 1969
Diamonds Are Forever 1971
Live and Let Die 1973
The Man with the Golden Gun 1974
The Spy Who Loved Me 1977
For Your Eyes Only 1981
Never Say Never Again 1983
A View to a Kill 1985
The Living Daylights 1987
Licence to Kill 1989
Tomorrow Never Dies 1997
The World is Not Enough 1999
Die Another Day 2002
Casino Royale 2006
Quantum of Solace 2008
The Music: A number of famous voices have featured on the soundtrack to the Bond movies including Duran Duran, Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Carly Simon, Lulu, Gladys Knight, Tina Turner, Sheryl Crow, Madonna, Jack White & Alicia Keys, A-ha!, Sheena Easton and most recently Adele
Let’s raise our shaken not stirred martini glasses to the incomparable Mr Bond: