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Thread: James Bond?

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    James Bond?

    Sean Connery was the impersonification of James Bond. Tall, dark, athletic, sardonic. Daniel Craig is not James Bond. I will not see the latest Bond film, just like I did not really watch any since Sean Connery stopped playing Bond.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Sean Connery was the impersonification of James Bond.
    Connery moulded people's impression of the cinematic James Bond, but he was a long way from the Bond of the novels. Roger Moore, if we discard the silly jokes and double entendres, is a much closer match to Fleming's conception, both in looks and manner.

    Grant Hutchison

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    But...... Daniel Craig can blend into a room. He might be a sock salesman or a cook or a gambler from Peoria.
    That is how real spies work. He handles himself quite well and his voice is distinct, clear and concise . Timothy Dalton was
    a wonderfull Bond. While we all admire the superb job Sean Connery did as "The James Bond " , I shall be pleased that these other gentlemen bring these other stories to life and entertain us so well . Truly a great franchise.

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    Fleming wanted Roger Moore to play Bond from the start but he was already appearing as 'The Saint'
    Charteris also wanted Roger Moore to play 'The Saint'
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Connery moulded people's impression of the cinematic James Bond, but he was a long way from the Bond of the novels. Roger Moore, if we discard the silly jokes and double entendres, is a much closer match to Fleming's conception, both in looks and manner.

    Grant Hutchison
    Double entendres? Have you ever looked at the names of the Bond Girls?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Double entendres? Have you ever looked at the names of the Bond Girls?
    Fleming was pretty playful with his character names, generally. But in the novels, Bond didn't do much of the eyebrow-arching word play that seemed to delight Moore's version of Bond.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Connery moulded people's impression of the cinematic James Bond, but he was a long way from the Bond of the novels. Roger Moore, if we discard the silly jokes and double entendres, is a much closer match to Fleming's conception, both in looks and manner.

    Grant Hutchison
    Really? In the novels (notably From Russia, with Love), Bond's physical description has generally been consistent: slim build; a three-inch long, thin vertical scar on his right cheek; blue-grey eyes; a "cruel" mouth; short, black hair, a comma of which falls on his forehead. Certainly does not sound like Moore or Craig to me....

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Really? In the novels (notably From Russia, with Love), Bond's physical description has generally been consistent: slim build; a three-inch long, thin vertical scar on his right cheek; blue-grey eyes; a "cruel" mouth; short, black hair, a comma of which falls on his forehead. Certainly does not sound like Moore or Craig to me....
    Right enough, Moore has the wrong colour of hair and eyes. It wasn't what I had in mind.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Really? In the novels (notably From Russia, with Love), Bond's physical description has generally been consistent: slim build; a three-inch long, thin vertical scar on his right cheek; blue-grey eyes; a "cruel" mouth; short, black hair, a comma of which falls on his forehead. Certainly does not sound like Moore or Craig to me....
    From Russia With Love is the absolute best of the Bond movies. Pretty much all downhill from there.
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    Other early candidates considered to play James Bond were Richard Burton, Cary Grant, Stanley Baker, Rex Harrison, David Niven, Patrick McGoohan, Rod Taylor, Richard Johnson, James Mason and Richard Todd.

    Could any of them plausibly have been any better than Sean Connery?
    Last edited by wd40; 2015-Mar-29 at 08:41 PM.

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    Patrick McGoohan had the best fit to be a great James Bond . I think he had the mind set as well as looking the part ,
    athletic enough to enjoy the role and a great all round actor .

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    The problem with McGoohan is that he was not a natural womanizer, essential for a 60s 007. In all his hundreds of scenes he hardly ever kissed or danced with a woman, and never in the "Danger Man" and "The Prisoner" series.
    Last edited by wd40; 2015-Mar-29 at 09:24 PM.

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    I think that Fleming wrote that his Bond resembled Hoagy Carmichael!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    I think that Fleming wrote that his Bond resembled Hoagy Carmichael!
    Hoagy Carmichael with a "cruel mouth". I don't really know what a "cruel mouth" is (Mark Gatiss mocked the phrase in his Lucifer Box novels), but I assume it means that the rest of the face is more benign than the mouth. Carmichael was also very slim.
    Connery was a bodybuilder, and he chose to play the part (or was directed to play the part) with a sort of menacing physical presence - he swaggered, he hooded his eyes, he telegraphed that he didn't give a damn. Daniel Craig has been doing the same thing - deliberately building muscle and acting a menacing impassivity. His performance is the closest to Connery's that I've seen.
    Moore was slimmer, less obviously dangerous, had Carmichael's long face and benign expression, but was able to switch to impassive threat when occasion demanded. He also oozed all that other stuff that Fleming wrote: a dressy fastidinousness combined with a 1950s combination of misogyny and an awareness of women's sensibilities in clothes and perfume. Connery's Bond was never going to care whether the fabric of a dress was bias-cut or not; Fleming's Bond did, and Moore's Bond seemed like a man who might understand and care about such a thing.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Hoagy Carmichael with a "cruel mouth". I don't really know what a "cruel mouth" is (Mark Gatiss mocked the phrase in his Lucifer Box novels), but I assume it means that the rest of the face is more benign than the mouth. Carmichael was also very slim.
    Connery was a bodybuilder, and he chose to play the part (or was directed to play the part) with a sort of menacing physical presence - he swaggered, he hooded his eyes, he telegraphed that he didn't give a damn. Daniel Craig has been doing the same thing - deliberately building muscle and acting a menacing impassivity. His performance is the closest to Connery's that I've seen.
    Moore was slimmer, less obviously dangerous, had Carmichael's long face and benign expression, but was able to switch to impassive threat when occasion demanded. He also oozed all that other stuff that Fleming wrote: a dressy fastidinousness combined with a 1950s combination of misogyny and an awareness of women's sensibilities in clothes and perfume. Connery's Bond was never going to care whether the fabric of a dress was bias-cut or not; Fleming's Bond did, and Moore's Bond seemed like a man who might understand and care about such a thing.

    Grant Hutchison
    Are we trying to discuss a Bond as close to Fleming's invention as possible?
    I just wonder: How popular is Fleming's novels today?
    (I haven't read a novel for years, though.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inclusa View Post
    Are we trying to discuss a Bond as close to Fleming's invention as possible?
    I don't mind. It was a passing remark from me, in response to the OP. I think the OP was inviting discussion of the cinematic Bond. To my mind, that can't be entirely separated from the original novels.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inclusa View Post
    I just wonder: How popular is Fleming's novels today?
    Popular enough that Vintage Classics felt it was worth producing a rather nice uniform edition in paperback and ebook format, in 2012.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Roger Moore is now taking some heat for saying the new Bond should be "English English", apparently in regard to the possibility of Idris Elba getting the role. If that's the criterion, Sean Connery, a Scot, would have failed.
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    Although he was panned in 1969, opinion of the Australian George Lazenby's 1969 performance has risen somewhat over the years. Irishman Pierce Brosnan, although plausible as 007, ever since typecast in his first role in "The Long Good Friday", has always come across in the role which he is best at playing as a black-haired IRA killer.
    Last edited by wd40; 2015-Mar-30 at 06:21 PM.

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    Things that surprise me: I agree with WD40 about something. I LIKED George Lazenby as Bond. It didn't hurt that the "Bond Girl" in that film was Diana Rigg.
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I don't mind. It was a passing remark from me, in response to the OP. I think the OP was inviting discussion of the cinematic Bond. To my mind, that can't be entirely separated from the original novels.

    Popular enough that Vintage Classics felt it was worth producing a rather nice uniform edition in paperback and ebook format, in 2012.

    Grant Hutchison
    I've thought that a redhead Bond may look cool, but this will completely defy the novel's description.
    My high school English teacher boasted of having read all the Bond novels, but it was almost 15 years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Connery moulded people's impression of the cinematic James Bond, but he was a long way from the Bond of the novels. Roger Moore, if we discard the silly jokes and double entendres, is a much closer match to Fleming's conception, both in looks and manner.
    Actually, I think the first ever 007 film I saw was one of the ones starring Roger Moore, maybe Moonraker. And so even now, I find him to be what I expect of 007, rather than the "rugged" roles played by some of the other Bonds.
    As above, so below

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Actually, I think the first ever 007 film I saw was one of the ones starring Roger Moore, maybe Moonraker. And so even now, I find him to be what I expect of 007, rather than the "rugged" roles played by some of the other Bonds.
    Yes, there seems to be some sort of initial conditioning in action, like ducklings fixating on the first moving object they see. The son of a friend swears the best ever Bond was Timothy Dalton. I can remember him sharing this with a roomful of people of his parent's vintage, all of whom visibly gaped in astonishment. Timothy Dalton?

    Grant Hutchison

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    My introduction to Bond was the Sunday night movie. I'd seen several on TV, out of sequence, before I ever saw one in the Theater. My preference is probably:

    1- Connery
    2- Craig
    3- Moore
    4- Brosnan
    With Dalton and Lazenby out of the running due to insufficient data. I really liked Dalton's first one (The Living Daylights), but really hated his second (License to Kill).

    What I liked about Connery's portrayal was that he had a job to do and he did it. There was a little joking around if things weren't falling apart, but he focused on the task without getting frantic himself. In a way, he was sort of the hard-boiled version.

    Craig plays it mostly the same way, but doesn't seem to have that lighter mode. He's always one the job. This makes him sort of robotic.

    Moore was basically the opposite. It was almost like the action sequences got in the way of his comedy.

    Brosnan played bond more like a thug; little humor but his anger barely in check when things were happening. I don't recall which film it was in, but there was one where he was threatening someone at gunpoint. He'd ask the question and the person wouldn't say anything. He'd move the gun to a different position and ask again. He did this three or four times, each time asking with an angrier voice and with the gun pressing harder into the other guy. Connery would have asked once, then shot the guy in the leg before pointing out that he has more bullets than the guy does limbs.

    I think the big thing that hurt Lazenby was the story he got stuck with. Audiences had grown so used to Connery as Bond that they were resistant to the change from the start, then they have this new guy actually get married? What were they thinking? I know it's in the original canon, but the change in actor combined with the big change in tone, especially at the end, probably seemed like they were taking the franchise in a new direction and he took the blame.

    I think Dalton tried to distance himself as far as possible from Moore, and boy did he. His bond was the brooding anti-hero, emo-kid version who was the verge of quitting in both films he did. There was nothing really fun about him in the second one, but the first one showed he had a human side and some balance.

    If they do bring Idris Elba in, they're going to need to give him a rock solid story to avoid a repeat of Lazenby. If he gets something like Moonraker or A View to a Kill, I think people will blame him for it.
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    Just a question, but how much leeway is given to actors to change scripts? Is there an agreement between the director and the actor about how the part or do big-name actors basically have the clout to dictate how they will play the role?
    As above, so below

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    I've never liked JB movies, because the villains are either silly or caricaturish. Did I spell that correctly? Anyway...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Actually, I think the first ever 007 film I saw was one of the ones starring Roger Moore, maybe Moonraker. And so even now, I find him to be what I expect of 007, rather than the "rugged" roles played by some of the other Bonds.
    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Yes, there seems to be some sort of initial conditioning in action, like ducklings fixating on the first moving object they see. The son of a friend swears the best ever Bond was Timothy Dalton. I can remember him sharing this with a roomful of people of his parent's vintage, all of whom visibly gaped in astonishment. Timothy Dalton?

    Grant Hutchison
    It's probably kind of like Doctor Who -- your first Doctor tends to be YOUR Doctor. Therefore mine is Matt Smith.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    I've never liked JB movies, because the villains are either silly or caricaturish. Did I spell that correctly? Anyway...
    I thought that was the point. I like 007 films because the villains are caricatures. And because the chase scenes are caricatures. If you're looking for films sans caricatures, then you might want to look elsewhere. 😊
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I thought that was the point. I like 007 films because the villains are caricatures. And because the chase scenes are caricatures. If you're looking for films sans caricatures, then you might want to look elsewhere. ��
    Villains should be frightening.
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    Aren't most movie villains caricatures? Themed serial killers, unkillable psycho stalkers, criminal masterminds, unpleasantly comedic Britflick gangsters ...
    The doings of regular villains offer limited scope for story lines.

    Grant Hutchison

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    It was George Lazenby who decided that he didn't want to continue as Bond (Lazenby became a hippy), which he obviously later came to regret.

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