Archive for The Spy Who Loved Me

Married Bond Girls

Posted in Bond Girls, Casino Royale, Daniel Craig, Ian Fleming with tags , , , , , , on December 27, 2007 by Deborah Lipp

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!

My top six Bond films

Posted in Best & Worst, Casino Royale with tags , , , , , , on September 27, 2007 by Deborah Lipp

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
2. GoldenEye
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.)

Top Bond Films

Posted in Best & Worst with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2007 by Deborah Lipp

From my surveys of a few hundred hardcore Bond fans, asking for a top five, the top ten vote-getters are:
1. Casino Royale (2006)
2. From Russia With Love
3. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
4. The Living Daylights
5. Goldfinger
6. For Your Eyes Only
7. Thunderball
8. Licence to Kill/Dr. No (tie)
10. The Spy Who Loved Me

From the IMDb’s survey of over 11,000 users, asking only for one favorite Bond film back in December of 2006, the top ten vote-getters were:

1. Casino Royale (2006)
2. Goldfinger
3. GoldenEye
4. From Russia With Love
5. Dr. No
6. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
7. The Spy Who Loved Me
8. Live and Let Die
9. You Only Live Twice
10. Thunderball

Could Blofeld Ever Return?

Posted in Ian Fleming, James Bond with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2007 by Deborah Lipp

In comments, Zippertuck asks:

I am a bit confused as to exactly when CR takes place and wondering, even though he was shoved down a smokestack in FYEO, if Blofeld could ever return for an more appropriate death? Never ever liked how Bond never truly got to avenge the death of his wife in true Bondian fashion as happened in the novel YOLT.

Great question. I’m going to deal with CR and chronology in a future post. For now, let’s talk about Blofeld.

In order to understand what happened to Blofeld in the films, you need a little bit of familiarity with the lawsuit over Thunderball. The short version is that Kevin McClory, Jack Whittingham, and Ian Fleming collaborated on a television screenplay, but it never went anywhere. Sometime later, Fleming used the abandoned screenplay as the basis for the novel Thunderball. McClory and Whittingham sued. As a result, McClory established ownership of the right to make movies out of Thunderball (which he exercised when he made Never Say Never Again; a remake of TB). (Whittingham signed over his rights to McClory.)

The settlement also gave McClory the rights to unique elements of the novel, including the character of Blofeld. When McClory couldn’t finance filming TB on his own, he made a deal with Eon to co-produce TB, and that deal prevented him from remaking the movie for twelve years. During those twelve years, Eon continued to use Blofeld and SPECTRE. Blofeld was slated to be the villain for TSWLM, which fell outside those years, and that was changed to Stromberg for legal reasons. That was the end of Blofeld in the Bond films.

When John Glenn directed his first Bond film, FYEO, he wanted to resolve the issue of Bond’s revenge upon Blofeld. Thus, the “Man in Wheelchair” character was introduced into the teaser, allowing Bond to kill an unnamed enemy clearly designed to be Blofeld. (Glenn’s memoir, For My Eyes Only, explains that Blofeld was in a wheelchair because he had been injured in OHMSS. I guess he forgot that Blofeld walked just fine in DAF. Maybe he doesn’t see the ones he doesn’t work on.)

Kevin McClory died last year. It is unclear where the rights now reside, but it seems unlikely that SPECTRE or Blofeld will ever return.