Hef and JFK and Bond

Yesterday was my birthday, which I proudly share with the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy. Which got me thinking. While it’s obvious Ian Fleming, Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman are the three of the main reasons why Bond fans continue to enjoy the six decades of films… JFK is someone who deserves a lot of credit for the overall legacy of James Bond.

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In an interview in 1961, a reporter asked President Kennedy what type of books he liked read. Kennedy was known to be a big fan of Fleming’s 007 novels and listed From Russia With Love as one of his top ten favorite books of all-time. Once the public found out about what this extremely popular President enjoyed reading, the Fleming-Bond books became best-sellers.

The two men did get a chance to meet. Fleming was invited to a party in Washington D.C. held by President Kennedy, very early in his first term. They had a quite an intriguing conversation about the crisis with Cuba. Fleming told the President a very peculiar way to get rid of the Communist leader of Cuba, Fidel Castro. Sounding like something straight out of Bond story, Fleming said that Castro’s beard was the key. Without his trademark beard, Castro would be normalized. Fleming said that the U.S. should announce that they found that beards attract radioactivity and any man with a beard could become radioactive and sterile. If Castro fell for it, he would immediately shave it all off and the Cuban people would see him as just an ordinary man. It’s reported that JFK had a good laugh about this bizarre suggestion. This tale makes me want to view the pre-title sequences of Goldfinger and Octopussy again in a different mindset.

I think JFK fancied himself as an American Bond. It’s comforting to know that one of the last films he ever saw was the adaption of his favorite 007 adventure, From Russia With Love in November 1963.

But it wasn’t just cool Kennedy who helped make Bond, James Bond iconic. Let’s not forget about the ultimate bachelor in his robe and pjs; smoking a pipe.

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Hugh Hefner ties into James Bond and the 1960s perfectly. Hef lived the life that most men wanted to live. It was his decadent magazine (Playboy) that first published Ian Fleming’s James Bond short story, “The Hildebrand Rarity”. Following that publication  came five other 007 stories. A three-part version of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, “The Property of a Lady”, a serialized “You Only Live Twice”, and then Fleming’s final 007 work “The Man with The Golden Gun”.

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And then we have the connection between Bond and Playboy in the film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. While waiting to crack a safe in Bern law office, James grabs a copy of the February 1969 issue of Playboy. Bond (played by George Lazenby) takes a good look at the monthly centerfold, and has a smile on his face like a horny teen boy. I guess that could be James Bond’s inner child.

In Diamonds Are Forever (the very next Bond flick), the character Tiffany Case finds Bond’s wallet (which James put inside the jacket of the deceased Peter Franks). And of course, she takes out his Playboy Club membership card. Can’t you just imagine James hanging out with the bunnies in the grotto?

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Actors/Actresses Used in Multiple Roles

“Hey, where have I seen that face before?” If you are watching any James Bond movie, you might see many familiar faces throughout the storied franchise. The casting directors have never been afraid to take on the continuity police.

Here are some actors and actresses that you have seen a couple of times as different characters.

 

MAUD ADAMS

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Maud Adams is probably the most famous one of these multi-used performers. First as Scaramanga’s mistress in TMWTGG and then as the title character in Octopussy. She and Roger Moore had terrific chemistry. You can add a 3rd movie to her Bond resume. She is an extra somewhere in A View To A Kill, when James is first seen in San Francisco.

 

CHARLES GRAY

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When we first see Gray in 1967’s You Only Live Twice, he’s a Bond ally named Henderson, who doesn’t last too long with a knife stuck into his back. In some strange casting four years later, he portrays the iconic villain Blofeld.

 

WALTER GOTELL

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Sure we love him as the pseudo-friendly head of the KGB in a bunch of the films, but we can’t forget that he first played a commander of Spectre in 1963’s From Russia With Love.

 

SHANE RIMMER

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He went from working for NASA, to working for Willard Whyte, to being a submarine commander! That’s an impressive Bond film resume.

 

JOE DON BAKER

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This big southern boy started out in the Bond universe as arms dealer Brad Whitaker in The Living Daylights, and then less than 10 years later popped back up as Felix Leiter-wannabe Jack Wade in a couple of Brosnan ones.

 

GEORGE BAKER

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You aren’t going to get more British than his performance as genealogist Sir Hilary Bray in OHMSS; and Baker then followed it up as a Royal Navy captain in TSWLM.

 

JEREMY BULLOCH

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Thats right. Boba Fett himself. Bulloch played one of the submarine crewmen in the opening of TSWLM, and then later played Q assistant Smithers.

 

NADIM SAWALHA

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We all know him as Jaws food AKA Aziz Fekkesh in The Spy Who Loved Me, but we can’t overlook his looking for James Bond in Tangiers in TLD.

 

BURT KWOUK

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I always remember him more as the Spectre P.A. announcer in YOLT, rather than as Mr. Ling in Goldfinger.

 

MARTINE BESWICK

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And yes, it’s Martine and NOT Martin! She first entered the world of 007 as one of the two gypsy fighting girls in FRWL. She had more of a part when she came back two years later as agent named Paula in Thunderball.

 

MARC LAWRENCE

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Okay, this one is a little controversial to me. I have my doubts that he played two different gangsters in Diamonds Are Forever and The Man With The Golden Gun.

 

NADIA REGIN

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Even with her limited screen time as Kerim Bey’s unsatisfied mistress in FRWL, and as the girl who makes Sean Connery say “positively shocking” in the classic Goldfinger pre-titles sequence, Nadia will always be remembered as an iconic early Bond girl.

 

TSAI CHIN

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She went from giving James her “very best duck” in 1967, to playing poker with him in 2006. She will flip you in YOLT and she will bluff you in Casino Royale.

 

ALBERT MOSES

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Albert makes Bond a martini in The Spy Who Loved Me. Six years later in Octopussy, he is a true ally of James as Saruddin.

 

MARY STAVIN

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Mary was one of Octopussy’s acrobatic circus girls; and then in the very next movie she gives Bond a helping hand in AVTAK. She and James take a very awkward five day trip from Siberia to Alaska.

007 Most Iconic Moments

Daniel Craig is currently in Jamaica filming his fifth (and final?) Bond movie. Now is about the time the word “legacy” pops up. Each actor has those truly Bondian moments that last a cinematic lifetime. Here are seven classic 007 moments from each actor. The kind of moments that define the character of James Bond – 007.

Of course, it’s easier for the actors who played James at least four times to build a legacy. Sadly, George Lazenby and Timothy Dalton only were in a total of three films. But I believe they each had their own 007 moment.

For George Lazenby, it’s got to be wearing the kilt. It takes balls.

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For Timothy Dalton, his moment is also a very Fleming moment. It’s intense, dark, and oddly humorous. Don’t be a problem solver. Be a problem eliminator.

 

SEAN CONNERY

001. “Bond, James Bond”

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002. The Laser scene.

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003. “Shocking. Positively shocking.”

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004. The train fight.

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005. “I think he got the point.”

 

006. Taking a bath, Japanese style.

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007. Plenty of Vegas style.

 

 

ROGER MOORE

001. The ski jump.

 

002. “My name is Bond… James Bond.”

 

003. Kicking the car over the cliff.

 

004. “What a helpful chap.”

 

005. Just clowning around.

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006. The lucky dice.

 

007. The head nod.

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PIERCE BROSNAN

001. “The name’s Bond… James Bond.”

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002. The dam bungee jump.

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003. The motorcycle chase vs the helicopter.

 

004. Parking garage mayhem.

 

005. Fight with Xenia.

 

006. The boat chase.

 

007. A sword fight at the gentlemen’s club.

 

 

DANIEL CRAIG

001. Getting his 00 status.

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002. “The name’s Bond, James Bond.”

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003. A perfect shot.

 

004. Fixing cufflinks.

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005. Winning the Aston Martin DB5.

 

006. On the train with Vesper.

 

007. Hobby? Resurrection.

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The Gunbarrels: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

Ever since I was a little kid, the OPENING gunbarrel for 007 has thrilled me. The moving target, the walk, the music, the pose, the running blood, etc. Every actor has his different style, and every composer puts their own spin on one of the most famous themes in film music history.

Here’s how I rate all 24ish (I mean some aren’t true gunbarrels) from the franchise.

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THE GOOD 

 

 

THE BAD 

 

 

THE UGLY 

 

 

 

007 World: James Bond Theme Park

Stars Wars. Harry Potter. Why should Disney and Universal have all the theme park fun?

James Bond movies are going strong with 25 official movies over nearly 60 years. There are plenty of film plots, memorable characters and cool gadgets to make a 007 theme park a major tourist attraction.

Before I continue, I want to give a shoutout to James Bonding (theme park episode), as well as Brad Hamilton for his awesome videos of what “The Spy Who Loved Me” and  “Moonraker” and “Tomorrow Never Dies” would all look like as theme park rides.

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What Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, and the rest of EON Productions, need to realize is that they have enough material for an entire 007 theme park, and not just a pavilion in some other company’s park.

Here are some things I’d like to see at the park.

NAME: 007 World

LOCATION: Orlando/Central FL. Why? Besides that I live in Orlando? It is theme park heaven. It’s always a tourist destination. And most importantly, tons of land to develop.

PAVILIONS: Each ride, attraction, restaurant, etc., will be located in different pavilions throughout 007 World. Think of it in the same vein as Disney’s Epcot.

  1. London. Of course. This is the park entrance. You will have MI6, Big Ben, double-decker buses, and shops on Savile Row for you to get a custom made suit a la Bond.
  2. Latin America – Mexico City, “Isthmus City“, Rio, the Amazon, the Bolivian desert, etc.
  3. The Alps/Winterland – Think of all the skiing locations and snow scenes from Bond movies: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Spy Who Loved Me, A View To A Kill, The Living Daylights, The World Is Not Enough, Spectre. There will be replicas of Piz Gloria and the clinic where Madeleine Swann works.
  4. Europe – Not much needs to be said considering all the European locations. Paris, Venice, Athens, Hamburg and many others come to mind.
  5. The Caribbean – The beaches of Jamaica, Bahamas, Cuba, etc.
  6. The Middle East – Istanbul, Tangier, Cairo. Just think about riding the Orient Express as if you are in From Russia With Love. Or experiencing the Pyramid show like in The Spy Who Loved Me.
  7. Asia – You Only Live Twice (Japan), The Man With The Golden Gun (Thailand), Skyfall (China) are just a few of examples where the world of Bond meets Asian culture. As well as all that India has to offer, as it did in Octopussy.
  8. Russia – Yes, the old Soviet Union gets its own pavilion. Be like James. Shoot in and out of Russia.
  9. America – The old Vegas strip, New Orleans, the Louisiana swamps, Key West and San Francisco.

 

HOTELS: Yes, there will be gambling at all of them.

  • The Casino Royale in the European Pavilion.
  • The Ice Palace (Die Another Day) in the Alps/Winterland Pavilion.
  • Phang Nga Bay (The Man With The Golden Gun) in the Asian Pavilion.
  • The Golden Dragon (Skyfall) in the Asian Pavilion.
  • The Whyte House (Diamonds Are Forever) in the American Pavilion.
  • The Ocean Club (Casino Royale) in the Caribbean Pavilion.
  • Ian Fleming’s Goldeneye House in the Caribbean Pavilion.
  • Perla de las Dunas (Quantum of Solace) in the Latin American Pavilion.

 

HALL OF BONDS in the London Pavilion Just like Disney’s “Hall of Presidents.” Except with Ian Fleming doing the Mark Twain part, along with six robot Bond actors. There will be a museum inside with some iconic Bond memorabilia, plus rare film footage about Fleming’s work, the actors, the role of 007, the entire film franchise, etc.

 

RESTAURANTS: There will be food all throughout the park and at the hotels, but these will be some of the main attraction restaurants.

  • Crab Key – Seafood – Caribbean Pavilion (Dr. No)
  • The Orient Express – Continental – European Pavilion  (From Russia With Love)
  • Monsoon Palace – Indian – Asian Pavilion (Octopussy)
  • Le Jules Verne at the Eiffel Tower – French – European Pavilion (A View To A Kill)
  • Fillet of Soul – Cajun – American Pavilion (Live And Let Die)
  • Piz Gloria – Continental – Alps/Winterland Pavilion (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service)
  • The Mojaba Club – Middle Eastern – Middle Eastern Pavilion (The Spy Who Loved Me)

 

PARADES: You can’t have a theme park without them!

  • The Junkanoo (once daily) – Caribbean Pavilion (Thunderball)
  • Funeral Celebration (once daily) – American Pavilion (Live And Let Die)
  • Carnival (once daily) – Latin American Pavilion (Moonraker)
  • Day of the Dead (once daily, only in October) – Latin American Pavilion (Spectre)
  • Christmas (once daily, only in December) – The Alps/Winterland Pavilion (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service)

 

SHOWS: Exhibitions throughout the day at the park.

  • The 007 Stunt Spectacular in the London Pavilion.
  • James Bond Musical Spectacular in the American Pavilion.

 

RIDES/ATTRACTIONS: Each film will have at least one.

Dr. No – Dr. No’s Mechanical Dragon (Caribbean Pavilion)

From Russia With Love – The SPECTRE Hedge Maze (European Pavilion)

Goldfinger – The Aston Martin DB5 Ride (European Pavilion)

Thunderball – Operation: Underwater Battle (Caribbean Pavilion)

You Only Live Twice – Ninja Training (Asian Pavilion)

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – The Bobsled Ride (The Alps/Winterland Pavilion)

Diamonds Are Forever – Moon Buggy Escape (American Pavilion)

Live And Let Die – The Great American Boat Race (American Pavilion)

The Man With The Golden Gun – Scaramanga’s Fun House (Asian Pavilion)

The Spy Who Loved Me – Ski Like Bond VR (The Alps/Winterland Pavilion); The Lotus Esprit Ocean Drive (European Pavilion)

Moonraker – The Moonraker Rollercoaster (Latin American Pavilion)

For Your Eyes Only – Rock Climbing with Bond VR (European Pavilion)

Octopussy – The Jungle Hunt (Asian Pavilion)

A View To A Kill – The Great Fire Engine Ride (American Pavilion)

The Living Daylights – The Cello Snow Chase (The Alps/Winterland Pavilion)

Licence To Kill – Sky Fishing Pilot (American Pavilion)

Goldeneye – Tank Ride In The Streets (Russian Pavilion)

Tomorrow Never Dies – The BMW Obstacle Course (European Pavilion)

The World Is Not Enough – The Great English Boat Chase (European Pavilion)

Die Another Day – The Hovercraft Minefield (Asian Pavilion)

Casino Royale – Parkour with Bond VR (Caribbean Pavilion)

Quantum Of Solace – Airplane Fight (Latin American Pavilion)

Skyfall – The Skyfall Haunted Mansion (European Pavilion)

Spectre – Helicopter Control (Latin American Pavilion)

 

 

What a Bond TV Series Should Look Like

While I will always take watching a brand new Bond movie on the big screen, I can’t ignore the fact that taking the franchise over to the small screen is an intriguing possibility. The film franchise has run out of Fleming titles, but most of the Fleming novels haven’t been properly adapted. And we have four decades worth of non-Fleming Bond novels that haven’t been touched.

I believe there is a perfect way to handle this. An original James Bond streaming series on Netflix, or Hulu, or Amazon Prime, etc. The series will be set in the time period of the original novels. 1950s, 1960s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s. Each new season/decade will give us new actors playing James Bond, M, Moneypenny, Q, Felix Leiter, and any other recurring characters.

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SEASON 1: The 50s (Each episode will be 80 minutes long)

Episode 1 – Forever and a Day

Episode 2 – Casino Royale

Episode 3 – Live and Let Die

Episode 4 – Moonraker

Episode 5 – Diamonds Are Forever

Episode 6 – From Russia With Love

Episode 7 – Dr. No

Episode 8 – Goldfinger

Episode 9 – Trigger Mortis

 

SEASON 2: The 60s (each episode will be 50 minutes long)

Episode 1 – From a View to a Kill

Episode 2 – For Your Eyes Only

Episode 3 – Quantum of Solace

Episode 4 – Risico

Episode 5 – The Hildebrand Rarity

Episode 6 – Octopussy

Episode 7 – The Living Daylights

Episode 8 – The Property of a Lady

Episode 9 – 007 in New York

 

SEASON 3: The 60s (Each episode will be 80 minutes long) 

Episode 1 – Thunderball

Episode 2 – The Spy Who Loved Me

Episode 3 – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Episode 4 – You Only Live Twice

Episode 5 – The Man with the Golden Gun

Episode 6 – Devil May Care

Episode 7 – Colonel Sun

Episode 8 – Solo

 

SEASON 4: The 80s (Each episode will be 80 minutes long) 

Episode 1 – Licence Renewed

Episode 2 – For Special Services

Episode 3 – Icebreaker

Episode 4 – Role of Honor

Episode 5 – Nobody Lives Forever

Episode 6 – No Deals, Mr. Bond

Episode 7 – Scorpius

Episode 8 – Win, Lose Or Die

 

SEASON 5: The 90s (Each episode will be 80 minutes long) 

Episode 1 – Brokenclaw

Episode 2 – The Man From Barbarossa

Episode 3 – Death is Forever

Episode 4 – Never Send Flowers

Episode 5 – Seafire

Episode 6 – Cold

Episode 7 – Zero Minus Ten

Episode 8 – The Facts of Death

 

SEASON 6: The 21st Century (Each episode will be 80 minutes long) 

Episode 1 – High Time To Kill

Episode 2 – Doubleshot

Episode 3 – Never Dream of Dying

Episode 4 – The Man with the Red Tattoo

Episode 5 – Carte Blanche

Which James Bond Are You?

Got to love those online quizzes! Forget about your own personality; let’s find out if your personality matches that of James Bond. I grew up watching Roger Moore play 007, so naturally I think I’m closest to his rendition of Bond. But each of the six actors might have their own distinct qualities that can relate to all of us Bond fanatics.

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Sean Connery as 007: The Original, The Classic Bond

  • Alpha male.
  • Walks like a panther (not literally on all fours).
  • Aggressive with ladies.
  • Calm under pressure.
  • Likes to mix business with pleasure.
  • Not afraid to get into a fight.
  • Loves to investigate.

 

George Lazenby as 007: The One-Timer Bond

  • Still discovering his own style.
  • Looking to settle down, but still sleeps around.
  • Obsessed with only one aspect of his profession.
  • Bar room brawler.
  • Tries to hide his emotions.
  • Not a great liar.
  • An office hoarder.

 

Roger Moore as 007: The Charming, Campy Bond

  • Doesn’t take life or his job too seriously.
  • Would rather charm the ladies.
  • Not much of a fighter.
  • Takes pride in his puns.
  • Blinks nervously when he fires a gun.
  • Looks great in a tux.
  • Isn’t embarrassed by his own vanity.

 

Timothy Dalton as 007: The Nonsense Bond

  • Not afraid to tell his boss to “stuff it!”
  • Not a great sense of humor.
  • Doesn’t want to sleep around.
  • Whatever he is doing, he’s intense in that moment.
  • Believes in revenge.
  • Prefers to live on the edge.
  • Likes to solve problems; a real problem eliminator.

 

Pierce Brosnan as 007: The Man Born To Be Bond

  • Always smirking, no matter what life brings.
  • Addicted to puns.
  • A fan of office flirting.
  • Tries to be a bit of everything to please everyone.
  • Doesn’t take too many risks.
  • Never lets his enemies see him bleed.
  • Always has an escape plan.

 

Daniel Craig as 007: The Bloody Bond

  • Can be careless and reckless.
  • Has a love-hate relationship with his boss.
  • Emotionally scarred by a past relationship.
  • Drinks and gambles more than most.
  • Takes good care of his body.
  • When he’s around somebody usually dies.
  • Always threatening to quit his job.