James Bond

Too bad he peaked early with GoldenEye—his subsequent three entries are relegated to the bottom-quarter of this list. Tempted to explore Octopussy‘s gorgeous filming locations in Udaipur? Check out these helpful hints for Canadians travelling to India for the first time. The long-awaited sequel to 2004’s Casino Royale sees James Bond at his darkest and most driven. Take that performance away, and you’re left with a hideously convoluted plot and a bland guest cast that fails to inspire a quantum of interest. So here’s my—admittedly subjective—ranking of every James Bond movie, from worst to best. Chances are, your own list looks entirely different, but if it inspires you to look at even one of these legendary flicks with a fresh set of eyes, then mission accomplished. One of the best things about a series as long and varied as James Bond is that there’s a film to suit every mood you’re in. When you need something light and fun to beat the winter blues, you might reach for something in the late Roger Moore period . For a blockbuster that moves at a breakneck pace, you’ve got the likes of GoldenEye or Skyfall. For an espionage thriller that’s more down to earth, you might go for From Russia With Love or Licence to Kill. In this authorized James Bond cocktail book the reader will discover excerpts from Ian Fleming’s writing, with cocktail recipes to match. In Spectre – the 26th Bond film – Italian actress Monica Bellucci takes on the role of Lucia Sciarra, the beautiful widow of an infamous criminal. Three years after the release of Skyfall, we’re finally getting a new James Bond movie. When Sam Mendes’ Spectre hits theatres around the globe on November 6th, we’ll see Daniel Craig making his fourth – and probably his final – outing as everyone’s favourite superspy on a quest to unveil a sinister organization. And now his 14-year relationship with the iconic movie series is about to end, Daniel has had the time and space to reflect and admitted he is “incredibly proud and honoured” to have been a part of it. Just like Keith Foong, when examples of product placement in movies were discussed in class, I was thinking about all the product placement strategies used in the last two James Bond movies. New to Blu ray and DVD is David Cronenberg’s new critically praised science fiction body horror film Crimes of the Future. Gambling on a new 007, and a darker, more literary story paid off for the producers. The film went on to be the highest-grossing Bond film to date. It also earned Craig a BAFTA nomination for his portrayal of Bond, a first for the series. As new Bond girl Camille Montes, Ukrainian model/actor Olga Kurylenko is possibly the least sexy woman ever to cock Bond’s trigger. In the case of Craig’s sophomore outing as Bond, it’s entirely good. Adding layers of emotional and physical substance to a character that had nearly become a cartoon, he continues to prove the wisdom of producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli in having him succeed Pierce Brosnan in the role. I’d have to admit that I was pretty impressed by the new bond movie. The other poster said that by giving the account name and password, it saved Bond’s life. I don’t think that is what really happened though. Some dude just showed up and killed Le Chiffre and I’m still confused about that scene. But in both novel and film, Vesper knew she was going to be killed by her superiors by being romantically involved with Bond. In the novel, it’s from SMERSH and in the film it’s some unknown syndicate.

casino royale vesper

The sexy Bond girl was an open sea diver who charmed audiences and was quickly seduced by Bond when he spotted her wearing a bikini and carrying a spear gun. Swiss actress Ursula Andress is the original Bond girl. When “Honey Rider” rose from the water wearing a sexy white bikini in the 1962 film Dr. No, she definitely set the Bond-girl standard. Stuart Baird comes aboard as the film’s editor, keeping the pace moving, while Phil Meheux served as Director of Photography. And with an almost two and a half hour runtime, the images, story, and sound completely involve the audience.

Daniel Craig unsure he was ‘physically capable’ of reprising Bond role again

He pushed back his table and walked quickly through the entrance without acknowledging the good-nights of the maître d’hôtel and the doorman. He turned away and took out his pocket the cheque for forty million francs. Then he opened the door and looked up and down the corridor. He left the door wide open and with his ears cocked for footsteps or the sound of the lift, he set to work with a small screwdriver. They strolled over through the shadows cast by the full moon. It was three o’clock in the morning, but there were several people about and the courtyard of the Casino was still lined with motorcars. The spatula flicked the two pink cards over on their backs. Bond’s cards lay on the table before him, the two impersonal pale pink-patterned backs and the faced nine of hearts. To Le Chiffre the nine might be telling the truth or many variations of lies. Through his relief at being alive, he felt a moment of triumph at what he saw–some fear in the fat, pale face. He carefully moved his hands to the edge of the table, gripped it, edged his buttocks right back, feeling the sharp gun-sight grind into his coccyx. It was an indication that Bond really must show he had the money to cover the bet. They knew, of course, that he was a very wealthy man, but after all, thirty-two millions! And it sometimes happened that desperate people would bet without a sou in the world and cheerfully go to prison if they lost. He looked round the table and up at the spectators. ‘Sept à la banque,’ said the croupier, ‘et cinq,’ he added as he tipped Bond’s losing cards face upwards. He raked over Bond’s money, extracted four million francs and returned the remainder to Bond. The other players sensed a tension between the two gamblers and there was silence as Le Chiffre fingered the four cards out of the shoe. He slowly removed one thick hand from the table and slipped it into the pocket of his dinner-jacket. The hand came out holding a small metal cylinder with a cap which Le Chiffre unscrewed. He inserted the nozzle of the cylinder, with an obscene deliberation, twice into each black nostril in turn, and luxuriously inhaled the benzedrine vapour. From the decision to stand on his two cards and not ask for another, it was clear that the Greek had a five, or a six, or a seven. To be certain of winning, the banker had to reveal an eight or a nine. If the banker failed to show either figure, he also had the right to take another card which might or might not improve his count. The table was filling up and the cards were spread face down being stirred and mixed slowly in what is known as the ‘croupiers’ shuffle’, supposedly the shuffle which is most effective and least susceptible to cheating. ‘I have no lucky numbers,’ said Bond unsmilingly. ‘I only bet on even chances, or as near them as I can get. Well, I shall leave you then.’ He excused himself.

For all the fast cars, exploding briefcases, and cool gadgetry, what truly set Craig apart was the raw physicality he brought to the role. Likewise, there’s the vertiginous opening scene in Spectre — a thrilling chase through Mexico City’s teeming Dia de los Muertos parade. A genuine oddity, For Your Eyes Only has earned the distinction of being the Roger Moore James Bond flick that actually takes itself seriously. Not only does Bond dispose of Blofeld once and for all (in the pre-credits sequence, no less!), but he also seems more “secret agent” than “superhero” for the first time in ages. Toss in some expertly choreographed ski chase scenes and spectacular location filming in Greece and Italy, and you’ve got a recipe for premium Bond. After getting off to an abominable start in Live and Let Die, his Bond doesn’t fare much better in this only slightly-less-tacky foray set in Thailand. The production is beleaguered with the same, low-budget exploitation-flick feel of Live and Let Die—which is a crying shame, as it boasts one of the finest actors ever to have assumed the role of a Bond villain in Christopher Lee. As the titular Man With the Golden Gun—the world’s deadliest assassin—Lee is so much better than the script he’s given, and in spite of insipid dialogue, he makes a superb match against Moore. It’s just a shame that the time that could’ve been spent on Lee’s character development is wasted on silly bits with Britt Eklund’s totally superfluous Mary Goodnight—a misguided attempt at giving Bond a comedy sidekick. The Official 007 Cocktail BookJust as fast cars, exotic locations and opulent casinos are synonymous with the world of Ian Fleming’s James Bond, so too are cocktails. There are ten classic drinks from the pages of the novels, plus 40 brand-new ones inspired by the people, places and plots of the original novels, created by the mixologists at London’s award-winning bar, Swift. British actress Shirley Eaton’s character “Jill Masterson” only made a short appearance in the 1964 film Goldfinger, but she definitely left a lasting impression. The henchwoman lying on a bed, covered in gold paint is one of the Bond series’ most iconic moments.

The franchise

In the face of all the glam, blam, and product placement of Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough, and Die Another Day, Goldeneye seems oddly restrained by comparison. The scene I loved in Goldeneye is when Bond infiltrates a house boat and overtakes a cabin boy with a handy towel. After the fight is over Bond pats the sweat of his brow with the towel. It was a great move and I can’t honestly say that I’ve seen any little touches like that in any of the Bonds since. Reviews for Quantum of Solace have been mixed. Critics generally preferred Casino Royale, but continued to praise Craig’s depiction of Bond, and agree that the film is still an enjoyable addition to the series. The action sequences and pacing were praised, but criticism grew over the realism and serious but gritty feel that the film carried over. Production designer Peter Lamont, a crew member on eighteen previous Bond films, retired after Casino Royale. Forster hired Dennis Gassner in his stead, having admired his work on The Truman Show and the films of the Coen brothers. Filming took place at the floating opera stage at Bregenz, Austria, from April 28th to May 9th 2008. The sequence, where Bond stalks the villains during a performance of Tosca, required 1500 extras. The production used a large model of an eye, which Forster felt fitted in the Bond style, and the opera itself has parallels to the film. A short driving sequence was filmed at the nearby Feldkirch, Vorarlberg. The crew returned to Italy from May 13th –17th to shoot a car crash at the marble quarry in Carrara, and a recreation of the Palio di Siena at the Piazza del Campo in Siena. 1000 extras were hired for a scene where Bond emerges from the Fonte Gaia. Originally, he would have emerged from the city’s cisterns at Siena Cathedral, but this was thought disrespectful. By June, the crew returned to Pinewood for four weeks, where new sets were built. In July 2006, as Casino Royale entered post-production, Eon Productions announced that the next film would be based on an original idea by producer Michael G. Wilson. It was decided beforehand the film would be a direct sequel, to exploit Bond’s emotions following Vesper’s death in the previous film. Just as Casino Royale’s theme was terrorism, the sequel focuses on environmentalism. The film was confirmed for a May 2nd 2008 release date, with Craig reprising the lead role. Roger Michell, who directed Craig in Enduring Love and The Mother, was in negotiations to direct, but opted out because there was no script. Sony Entertainment vice-chairman Jeff Blake admitted a production schedule of 18 months was a very short window, and the release date was pushed back to late 2008. Neal Purvis and Robert Wade completed their draft of the script by April 2007, and Paul Haggis, who polished the Casino Royale script, began his rewrite the next month. This is especially true in the last act, concluding with a bomb, a boat, and yet another helicopter. There’s something about having Bond face representations of the dead that I appreciate — it reminds me of something out of the British spy series The Avengers, a thematic peer to Bond from the 1960s. And final sequence on Westminster Bridge, where he chooses not to employ his license to kill, was probably the right decision.

Who was Ian Fleming’s favorite Bond actor?

In his excellent book The Battle For Bond, Robert Sellers uncovered a letter from Fleming where he notes, "Richard Burton would be by far the best James Bond!" There is a reason why so many different actors, like Richard Todd and Cary Grant, have been labeled as "Ian Fleming's first choice to play James Bond," as it …

Again and again at this point you find yourself being bounced back to earth. Neither the bank nor any of the players seemed to be able to get hot. But there was a steady and inexorable seepage against the bank, amounting after about two hours’ play to ten million francs. Bond had no idea what profits Le Chiffre had made over the past two days. He estimated them at five million and guessed that now the banker’s capital could not be more than twenty million. The one more or less behind Le Chiffre’s right arm was tall and funereal in his dinner-jacket. His face was wooden and grey, but his eyes flickered and gleamed like a conjurer’s. His whole long body was restless and his hands shifted often on the brass rail. Bond guessed that he would kill without interest or concern for what he killed and that he would prefer strangling. He had something of Lennie in Of Mice and Men, but his inhumanity would not come from infantilism but from drugs. As the game went on, Bond looked over the spectators leaning on the high brass rail round the table. They stood behind and to either side of the banker. They looked respectable enough, but not sufficiently a part of the game to be unobtrusive. ‘Neuf à la banque,’ quietly said the croupier. Le Chiffre’s two cards followed them with a faint rattle which comes from the canister at the beginning of each session before the discards have made a cushion over the metal floor of their oubliette. Number 10 was a prosperous-looking young Italian, Signor Tomelli, who possibly had plenty of money from rackrents in Milan and would probably play a dashing and foolish game. At Number 8 was the Maharajah of a small Indian state, probably with all his wartime sterling balances to play with. Bond’s experience told him that few of the Asiatic races were courageous gamblers, even the much-vaunted Chinese being inclined to lose heart if the going was bad. But the Maharajah would probably stay in the game and stand some heavy losses if they were gradual. He has a tiny help over his decision to draw or to stand. But there is always one problem card at this game–shall one draw or stand on a five and what will your opponent do with a five? By the time Leiter had swallowed another whisky and Bond had told him about the Muntzes and his short reconnaissance trip down the coast that morning, it was seven-thirty, and they decided to stroll over to their hotel together. Before leaving the Casino, Bond deposited his total capital of twenty-four million at the caisse, keeping only a few notes of ten mille as pocket money. And yet it is a convention among roulette players, and Bond rigidly adhered to it, to take careful note of the past history of each session and to be guided by any peculiarities in the run of the wheel. To note, for instance, and consider significant, sequences of more than two on a single number or of more than four at the other chances down to evens. After a cold shower, Bond walked over to the Casino. Since the night before he had lost the mood of the tables. He needed to re-establish that focus which is half mathematical and half intuitive and which, with a slow pulse and a sanguine temperament, Bond knew to be the essential equipment of any gambler who was set on winning. He shrugged away the momentary feeling of unease and walked round the back of his hotel and down the ramp to the garage. Before his rendezvous at the Hermitage he decided to take his car down the coast road and have a quick look at Le Chiffre’s villa and then drive back by the inland road until it crossed the route nationale to Paris. They must have been on to you for several days before you arrived. She is from somewhere in Central Europe, perhaps a Czech.

He uses the game to capture Le Chiffre, who serves as the private banker to a group of terrorists. A group that will be very familiar to Bond fans, Le Chiffre may owe the group some money after some reversals of fortune. Many of the classic Bond touchstones are present – the cars, the black tie affairs, and the girls with the clever names . However, like CASINO ROYALE, the handy gadgets have been left out. It’s a good idea, since it tends to ground the stories a bit more, and makes them slightly more plausible . Hell, even the shaken-not-stirred martinis have been set aside by a new concoction of Gordon’s, Vodka, Lillet, and a lemon peel…though they are of course still shaken. The fact that the three previous Bond films all flow their narratives into this one is one of the most obvious attempts at redefining the franchise since Craig took over. Until Casino Royale, the most connective tissue these films could hope for was that Bond’s archnemesis, Blofeld, had a knack for staying alive, even as other actors moved on from playing 007. And I’m always excited to see a long-running franchise take a shot at serialized storytelling, which grants so many opportunities for character development. In February 1952, Ian Fleming began work on his first James Bond novel. At the time, Fleming was the Foreign Manager for Kemsley Newspapers, an organisation owned by the London Sunday Times. Upon accepting the job, Fleming asked that he be allowed two months vacation per year. Between 1953 and his death in 1964, Fleming published 12 full-length novels and one short story collection . Later, continuation novels were written by Kingsley Amis , John Gardner and Raymond Benson; the last of these books was published in 2002. In 2005 Young Bond, a new series of novels featuring the adventures of Bond as a teenager began, written by Charlie Higson. The James Bond novels and films have ranged from realistic spy drama to science fiction. The original books by Fleming are usually dark — lacking fantasy or gadgets. Instead, they established the formula of unique villains, outlandish plots, and voluptuous women who tend to fall in love with Bond at first sight — the feeling often being mutual. The films expanded on Fleming’s books, adding gadgets from Q Branch, death-defying stunts, and often abandoning the original plotlines for more outlandish and cinema-friendly adventures. The cinematic Bond adventures were initially influenced by earlier spy thrillers such as North by Northwest, Saboteur, and Journey Into Fear, but later entries became formulaic dramas where Bond saves the world from apocalyptic madmen. Inevitably, Bond’s nemesis tries to kill him with a death-trap, during which the villain reveals vital information. Bond later escapes and uses this intelligence to thwart the evil plot. In many cases, Bond then kills his opponent himself, although early films often ended with the enemy either escaping or dying by someone else’s hand. Casino Royale, the twenty-first film, was released on 15 November 2006 with a follow-up film currently using the working title Bond 22 that will be released on 7 November 2008. Bond’s parents are named as Andrew Bond, a Scotsman, and Monique Delacroix from Canton de Vaud in Switzerland (these nationalities had previously been established in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service). Bond’s Scottish heritage was partly a result of Fleming being impressed with Sean Connery’s screen portrayal of his character, whereas Bond’s mother was named for a Swiss girl to whom Fleming was once engaged. In his fictional biography of Bond, John Pearson gave his birthdate as 11 November 1920, although there is no evidence for this in Fleming’s novels. Fleming was inspired by a real spy – Dušan Popov, a Serb double agent for both the British and Germans, who was also known as a bit of a “playboy”. As you may have heard, this is also Daniel Craig’s final outing in the role, 15 years after rebooting the character in Casino Royale. I don’t blame him for getting off; as good as he is as Bond, the movies have struggled to showcase what he does with the character. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, who praised the previous film, disliked Quantum of Solace. He wrote that the plot was mediocre, characters weak and that Bond lacked his usual personality, despite his praise for Craig’s interpretation of the role. Some writers criticised the choice of Quantum of Solace as a title. “Yes, it’s a bad title,” wrote Marni Weisz, the editor of Famous, a Canadian film publication distributed in cinemas in that country, in an editorial entitled “At least it’s not Octopussy.” It earned a further £14 million in France and Sweden, where it opened on the same day. The weekend gross of the equivalent of $10.6 million in France was a record for the series, surpassing what Casino Royale made in five days by 16%. The following week, the film was playing in sixty countries and broke records in Switzerland, Finland, United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, Romania and Slovenia. Its Chinese and Indian openings were the second largest ever for foreign-language films. The film grossed $27 million on its opening day in Canada and the United States, where it was the number one film for the weekend. It was the highest-grossing opening weekend Bond film in the US, and tied with The Incredibles for the biggest November opening outside of the Harry Potter series.

Le Chiffre desisted only when Bond’s tortured spasms showed a trace of sluggishness. He sat for a while sipping his coffee and frowning slightly like a surgeon watching a cardiograph during a difficult operation. It was the supreme test of will, he had learnt, to avoid showing this form of punch-drunkenness. Directly it was suspected they would either kill you at once and save themselves further useless effort, or let you recover sufficiently so that your nerves had crept back to the other side of the parabola. He knew that the beginning of torture is the worst. A crescendo leading up to a peak and then the nerves are blunted and react progressively less until unconsciousness and death. All he could do was to pray for the peak, pray that his spirit would hold out so long and then accept the long free-wheel down to the final black-out. ‘My dear boy,’ Le Chiffre spoke like a father, ‘the game of Red Indians is over, quite over. You have stumbled by mischance into a game for grown-ups and you have already found it a painful experience. You are not equipped, my dear boy, to play games with adults and it was very foolish of your nanny in London to have sent you out here with your spade and bucket. Very foolish indeed and most unfortunate for you. He looked Bond carefully, almost caressingly, in the eyes. Then his wrists sprang suddenly upwards on his knee. Bond stood stark naked in the middle of the room, bruises showing livid on his white body, his face a grey mask of exhaustion and knowledge of what was to come. He settled himself comfortably on the throne-like chair and poured some of the coffee into one of the glasses. With one foot he hooked forward the small arm-chair, whose seat was now an empty circular frame of wood, until it was directly opposite him. Bond stood chafing his swollen wrists and debating with himself how much time he could waste by resisting. With a swift step and a downward sweep of his free hand, the thin man seized the collar of his dinner-jacket and dragged it down, pinning Bond’s arms back. Bond made the traditional counter to this old policeman’s hold by dropping down on one knee, but as he dropped the thin man dropped with him and at the same time brought his knife round and down behind Bond’s back. Bond felt the back of the blade pass down his spine. There was the hiss of a sharp knife through cloth and his arms were suddenly free as the two halves of his coat fell forward. Then he came back to Bond, sticking the still open knife, like a fountain-pen, in the vest pocket of his coat. He turned Bond round to the light and unwound the flex from his wrists. Then he stood quickly aside and the knife was back in his right hand. The thin man’s first action was a curious one. He opened the clasp-knife he had used on the hood of Bond’s car, took the small arm-chair and with a swift motion he cut out its cane seat. There was no table in the centre under the alabasterine ceiling light, only a small square of stained carpet with a futurist design in contrasting browns. Nobody but an expert in ju-jitsu could have handled him with the Corsican’s economy and lack of fuss. The cold precision with which the thin man had paid him back in his own coin had been equally unhurried, even artistic. Le Chiffre had moved a few feet out into the passage. Le Chiffre opened the door with a key and disappeared inside. Vesper, looking incredibly indecent in the early light of day, was pushed in after him with a torrent of lewd French from the man whom Bond knew to himself as ‘the Corsican’. Bond followed without giving the thin man a chance to urge him. Directly the boot was shut, the third man, whom Bond at once recognized, climbed in beside him and Le Chiffre reversed furiously back on to the main road. Then he banged the gear lever through the gate and was soon doing seventy on down the coast. The thin man had hit him a hard professional cutting blow with the edge of the hand. There was something rather deadly about his accuracy and lack of effort.

Why did Daniel Craig stop playing Bond?

The action star broke his leg during "Spectre" and then his ankle making "No Time to Die," among many other injuries, which took a physical and emotional toll. "That call when I go 'Hi, I got injured, I'm going to the hospital' is not a great phone call to make," Craig says. "I didn't feel like I could do it anymore."

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