The website After Elton posted its choices for the best male movie costumes of all time. Coming in #3 was 007’s blue briefs from Casino Royale. And why not? Has ever a man looked finer?
Archive for the Casino Royale Category
In the novel Casino Royale, Bond thinks about his preference for dating married women, because they have similar needs to keep things simple and have a life apart from him. In the movie Casino Royale, which, of course, sought to get back to Fleming’s roots, Daniel Craig’s Bond expresses a similar sentiment:
Vesper Lynd: Am I going to have a problem with you, Mr. Bond?
James Bond: No, don’t worry, you’re not my type.
Vesper Lynd: Smart?
James Bond: Single.
True to his word, Bond seduces the married Solange. So I started thinking, have there been other married Bond girls?
Although Bond is often connected to other men’s girlfriends, he has almost always stayed away from wives. Sean Connery’s James Bond was never tied to a married woman, nor was George Lazenby’s (except his own wife, of course). It was up to Roger Moore’s randy Bond to break that ground, and it was merely a kiss. In The Spy Who Loves Me, Bond and Felicca share an embrace while waiting for her husband, Max Kalba. But their lustful kiss is interrupted by an assassination attempt.
The next married woman to find her way to Bond’s arms is Paris Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies.
Before Solange, these are the only married women in Bond film history. So it took the film Bond forty-four years to match the three that the literary Bond was already seeing in the first book!
Here’s the headline: Starring role for Aston
Great, right? We’ve been hearing for a week or two that the Aston Martin is definitely back for Bond 22. It’s not a major news story, as far as I’m concerned; I mean, it’s more or less the default—the real news would be if it weren’t back.
But here’s the subhead: LET’S hope the Aston Martin gets a longer role in the next James Bond film than it did in Casino Royale.
Shut! Up! What do you people want? The Aston Martin was gorgeously showcased in Casino Royale. No car company could be happier with product placement. The lavish attention focused on the cars in this film was arguably more lingering and loving than that focused on Solange.
First, the worship of the 1964 classic. Then the introduction of the new car; “I love you, too, M.” then the long scene in the parked Aston Martin with the defibrillator. Then, the thrilling car chase, culminating in a world-record setting car roll. What did they want—a leisurely drive in the country? Geez Pete.
In CR, there are two Bond girls: The primary Bond girl is British (Eva Green: a French actress playing British), and the olive-skinned “exotic” (Italian) Bond girl who is the sacrificial lamb (Caterina Murino).
We know for a fact that Eon is searching for an “exotic” (Latina) Bond girl. It would be absolutely insane, then, for them to cast Gemma Arterton as the main Bond girl, and give us the same formula as last movie. They’re trying to break away from formula!
So I remain full of doubt. I really, really think she’s got a secondary role or even smaller.
Short answer to continuity questions: There is none.
This came up yesterday. I was discussing Casino Royale with a rare fan: The kind who didn’t like Casino Royale. (And you know I absolutely adore fans with unusual opinions.) And one of her complaints was that the whole “prequel” idea didn’t work for her. She complained that Bond having been in love in the beginning of his career diminished his relationship with Tracy; that the whole premise of OHMSS is that it was Bond’s first love.
So, first of all I think if you feel that way you need to acquaint yourself with the novels. And second, I don’t believe a great and deep and tragic love is diminished by the notion that there was a love before it.
But more importantly, I have to correct this fan: Casino Royale is not a prequel.
A prequel is a story that jumps backwards in a continuity sequence to tell a story that happened in the past; often the first or “origin” story.
A reboot is a story that wipes clean the slate of previous continuity; all other stories are gone and never existed. Batman Begins is a reboot; it is not the story of Batman before he encountered Jack Nicholson as the Joker: It’s Batman fresh and new who never existed before.
Casino Royale is a reboot. There is no Tracy assumed or foreshadowed in Bond’s future when Bond meets Vesper (and I doubt they’ll ever write a Tracy). This is a brand new character. The other 20 official movies are self-contained, from Dr. No to Die Another Day, that continuity (such as it was) is over. I honestly don’t know why fans hook on continuity in Bond films, since it was always virtually non-existent. But there you are.
A major flaw of Casino Royale, I’d say, is that this was not made clearer to fans. Maybe this isn’t a flaw of the movie so much as of the marketing campaign. That, a year later, people still discuss the movie as a prequel means that someone at Sony didn’t do a good enough job.
So, for the record, there is no continuity between Casino Royale and any previous Bond film. And in a number of ways, that’s a great thing, but let me point one out that I don’t think has been mentioned before: The erasure of continuity means they can do it right this time, there can be continuity from CR to Bond 22, from 22 to 23, and so on. And that just might be really cool.
Is Judi Dench playing the same character in Casino Royale and the franchise reboot as she played in Pierce Brosnan’s films? True, she played M in all five, but M is a job title. Is she the same person?
In Brosnan’s films, she was a “bean counter” who was promoted into the position of M (code name for the head of MI6) just prior to the post-title opening of GoldenEye. Bond distrusted her because she didn’t have an MI6 background. She says
You don’t like me, Bond. You don’t like my methods. You think I’m an accountant, a bean counter who’s more interested in my numbers than your instincts.
She also specifically dislikes Bond because he’s a “relic of the Cold War.”
In Casino Royale, M has a very different attitude:
In the old days if an agent did something that embarrassing he’d have a good sense to defect. Christ, I miss the Cold War.
It’s counter-intuitive to think that the same actress is playing the same character as two different people in different movies, but I think that’s the case. In interviews, Martin Campbell acknowledged that it didn’t make sense to have Bond “meet the new boss” in GoldenEye, and then be promoted by that boss in Casino Royale. But Dame Judi was just too good to let go of. The writing for M in CR took no account of the M in the past four movies; she’s tougher and more military.
It’s a unique situation in the Bond films, and an interesting one. Thank goodness it’s Dame Judi bringing her gifts to these complex characters!
At first, I was going to post the whole list, but then I thought, this might generate a lot of discussion, and a few at a time seems better.
I’m doing a top six because Casino Royale upset the top five I had settled on and gotten happy with, and I sort of agonized over that.
Anyway, here it is:
1. From Russia with Love
3. The Spy Who Loved Me
4. Casino Royale (2006)
5. The Living Daylights
6. Diamonds Are Forever
I am pleased with a list of excellent films that represents the full range of actors and eras and sensibilities of the James Bond franchise. Five of the six actors, and two very different faces of Sean Connery. Hardcore spying is dominant in all of these movies, except Diamonds Are Forever, but even that film has a powerful thread of true espionage and horror mixed in with the humor. (I will defend DAF unto the death. Possibly it needs its own thread; we’ll see.)