Sunday, November 4, 2012

Bond. Evolving Bond

Steven Rea, the Philaelphia Inquirer's movie critic, looks at the 50-year cinematic history of Ian Fleming's iconic secret agent character James Bond.

On Friday, Skyfall, the 23d 007 enterprise, with Daniel Craig in his third turn as the British intelligence operative, opens in theaters - the 50th anniversary of the formidable franchise. (The rogue 1967 romp Casino Royale, with David Niven and Peter Sellers, isn't considered part of the official 007 oeuvre.) To date, the Bond movies have earned more than $5 billion in worldwide box office.

Yes, people have been ordering their vodka martinis shaken, not stirred, for 50 years.

"Ian Fleming created an amazing character," says Craig, who has followed in the footsteps - and the tailored suits - of Connery, George Lazenby (an Aussie, and the forgotten Bond, appearing only in 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service), Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, and Pierce Brosnan. "There's this internal conflict in the way Fleming wrote Bond," Craig says, in an interview.

"You know, he's an assassin. The whole idea that he kills people is something that Fleming really fought with. . . . He fought with that emotionally. That's who the character is."

The character is more than that, though. Down through the decades, the different Bonds, and the men who played them, mirrored what was happening in the culture, in the tenor and temperament of the day.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

You can also read my 2006 column about Ian Fleming and James Bond via the below link:

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