WolfmanOz at the Movies #5

“Bond. James Bond

And with those 3 words spoken after 8 minutes into Dr. No, a cultural and movie icon was born, 60 years ago !

Initially created by writer Ian Fleming in 1953 in which the American singer Hoagy Carmichael was Fleming’s vision of the character. But when the first Bond film Dr. No was released with Scottish actor Sean Connery in the role, the character’s depiction became rooted as to what was displayed on the screen by the numerous actors who have played him.

My Dad was a great James Bond fan, and we always went to see the latest Bond film whenever they were was released, and, as such, my recollections and preferences has always hankered towards the Sean Connery films, with a smattering of Roger Moore.

There was just something about Connery in the way he combined utter ruthlessness with a charm and wit that just made his interpretation so memorable.

He started with Dr. No but the series took off with the second film From Russia With Love which is still very good (the confrontation between Bond and Grant in the train is terrific) but then the series was absolutely nailed with Goldfinger, my personal favourite of all the Bond films.

Goldfinger introduced many of the elements that would appear in many of the later James Bond films, such as the extensive use of technology and gadgets by Bond, an extensive pre-credits sequence that stood largely alone from the main storyline, multiple foreign locales, tongue-in-check humour, a megalomaniac villain and his lethal henchman.

The fight between Bond and Oddjob in the vaults of Fort Knox is particularly memorable.

After his 5th Bond film You Only Live Twice, Connery had had enough of Bond and was replaced by Aussie George Lazenby in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, who although was he very ordinary in the role, the film was actually very good i.e. everything around him was first class to cover for his inadequacies.

Connery came back for a 6th time in Diamonds Are Forever but after that said never again and Roger Moore took over for the next seven Bond films.

Moore never really captured the ruthlessness of the character but he certainly could deliver a pithy one liner. The Spy Who Loved Me and For Your Eyes Only are my favourites of the Bond films with Roger Moore.

I never really cared for Timothy Dalton’s interpretation in his 2 films and although Pierce Brosnan was the right fit and look for Bond, his 4 films were rather lacklustre.

And then of course the latest Bond was Daniel Craig who has proved to be extremely popular but apart from Casino Royale and Skyfall I found his 5 movies to have generally lacked the sparkle of the earlier films.

Who will be the next Bond ? . . . Jane Bond maybe ? I hope not as I can see the adage “Go woke go broke” applying to the Bond franchise.

I haven’t bothered commenting on the non-Eon Bond films – Casino Royale (1967) and Never Say Never Again (1983) as they have never really fitted into the James Bond cannon, IMO.

Other Bond highlights are included in the following playlist

Everyone would have their own favourite Bond and moments.

Enjoy and discuss.

40 thoughts on “WolfmanOz at the Movies #5”

  1. I actually quite liked Timothy Dalton. Especially after Roger Moore.

    I read somewhere that Moore’s depiction was a product of the time – Britain was beset with problems and seemed to be in a downward spiral: rampant crime, industrial unrest, a diminished role on the world stage, politically stagnant with no inspiring leaders.

    Moore represented a resurgent Britain – stylish, dynamic, exciting, with English wit and flair. Yet also still rooted in the old Britishness.

    A glorious tradition and exciting future united.

    An escape from the then current reality and something to be proud of – and something for everyone.

    They would not do it now – because he was a patriot.


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  2. Massive fan of all things Bond, and have enjoyed the pure escapism of the franchise.
    Two of my favourite scenes (from many) are the Union Jack parachute in the opening sequence of The Spy Who Loved Me, and the naked torture scene in Daniel Craig’s Casino Royale.

    I’m not into the deep analysis of people who enjoy Bond, and the search for misogyny or repressed violence amongst aficionados.
    It’s just theatre and bloody good theatre at that.


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  3. The casino clip features Eunice Gayson as Sylvia Trench. Unusually, she pops up again for a spot of punting in From Russia with Love. I seem to think Gayson moved to Australia?

    I agree with your assessment. I never warmed to Thunderball, but You Only Live Twice was actually quite interesting culturally, and our hero gets to romp across our screens with beautiful Japanese girls. OHMSS was good, well-paced and it had a young boy’s perfect woman, Diana Rigg.

    I prefer Moore’s rendition more looking back than at the time. There were some great lines: ‘I think he’s attempting re-entry!’. The two you pick out were the best. I never took to the films with that US sheriff in the mix.

    I didn’t take to Brosnan, even his clothes weren’t right. I liked Dalton with the blonde cello player in Bratislava.

    More seriously, Sean Connery’s suits were just amazing. And the shirts. Ties were always muted, plain.

    Years later when I reached my 30s I had three made! Two of them are still with me. I got another three made in Hong Kong, on a mission, but the cut isn’t spot on.

    Next I’m getting a Cary Grant suit from North by Northwest.


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  4. Whether you liked George Lazenby or not the doco about him becoming Bond is fascinating.
    Johnny English series are wonderful.
    And the best baddie was Jaws.


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  5. More seriously, Sean Connery’s suits were just amazing. And the shirts. Ties were always muted, plain.

    Except for that dreadful powder blue, terry towelling playsuit he wore in Goldfinger. gagging just thinking about it.

    Next I’m getting a Cary Grant suit from North by Northwest.

    Now you’re talking! hubba hubba!

    Shy Ted, that doco on Being Bond is brilliant. George is a very interesting fella. Also, good to see that decades of living in the US have not wiped the aussie accent. Love him. Remember the tear in his eye as he was talking about the loss of his first love?


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  6. I quite liked Timothy Dalton. He was an “angry”, Bond. It was quite a good foil for Roger Moore’s comedic Bond.
    Have not, will not, ever watch Daniel Craig. bleearch. Talk about shit where you eat.


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  7. Big fan of Bond and Skyfall is probably my all time favourite.

    What will happen to the franchise next is a bit of a concern but if we see a female Bond next, I’m gone.


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  8. Ahahaha! Only Connery could pull off that towelling onesie and still look masculine.

    Husband and son are Bond tragics. Utterly, completely and unashamedly. Every movie, every line, every Bond girl, every gadget and gimmick. Longer ago than I care to think, the New Broom chose a white tuxedo for his Yr11 formal attire as a hat tip to Bond. He was the only one…and looked very dashing.

    So much so that the girls swooned and all the boys lined up to borrow it for the photos. Good times.


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  9. I think The Critical Drinker put it best when he said that Daniel Craig must be the only guy alive who doesn’t want to be James Bond.

    He was partly joking about Craig whinging about playing the role, but I think that is also how his character comes across.

    Previous incarnations have been driven by a determination that is a little difficult to fathom, an unstoppable will, relishing the danger, the gamesmanship, the triumphs, and the high life.

    Craig is just ‘human, all too human’. A pouty sook.


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  10. Of interest to some may be the watches worn by Bond. In the opening scene of Dr No, Bond is wearing a Gruen Precision dress watch before he switches to a Rolex Submariner. Connery continued to wear Rolex and the Gruen for the rest of his movies, as well as a couple of other watches e.g. Q issued Bond a Breitling Top Time with a Geiger counter function in Thunderball.

    Lazenby stuck with Rolex, as did Moore for his first couple of movies, though he did also introduce a Hamilton Pulsar quartz watch in Live and Let Die. Moore changed brands for the rest of his movies, wearing a variety of Seikos using the then new quartz technology. In his last movie as Bond, A View to a Kill, a Rolex Datejust makes an appearance along with three Seikos. Timothy Dalton wore a TAG Heuer for his first movie as Bond before switching to a Rolex Submariner for his second.

    With Goldeneye, Pierce Brosnan became Bond and Omega became the official watch partner of the films, a role it continues to this day. Brosnan’s first watch was a quartz Seamaster Professional 300m. For his remaining three movies, he wore the automatic version of the same watch. Daniel Craig has worn a variety of Omegas as Bond, including Seamaster Professional 300m, Seamaster Planet Ocean, Seamaster 300 and an Seamaster Aqua Terra.


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  11. Thanks Juoes,

    I had the very same Rolex Submariner as seen at the start of Goldfinger. I sold ir in 2009 during the subprime scandal and recession.

    These days I only run to a couple of Georg Jensen’s, a Longines Aviator and a Maurice Lacroix. I’ve got a Tag Monaco somewhere….


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  12. More seriously, Sean Connery’s suits were just amazing…

    I always thought they reflected the aspirational side of Fleming’s Bond.
    Bespoke tailoring, Sea Island Cotton shirts &c.


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  13. The product placements in some of the latest ones is pretty hard to take, especially when Q says stuff like:
    “Now, pay attention, 007, this is your new ***BMW*** etc”.
    From memory, he never said the brand in the early ones.

    VIEW TO A KILL is possibly Moore’s best, because it’s a semi-remake of GOLDFINGER and has a first-rate actor as the villain in Christopher Walken.

    No one ever agrees on which were the best, the worst – that’s a tribute to the entire series.


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  14. Cubby Broccoli’s daughter said Connery was hired because he was “testosterone in a suit”.
    As a young guy who avidly read the books and then saw the films, often at the ornate State Theatre in Market Street, Sydney, I always thought Connery fitted the role perfectly.
    It will come as no surprise that I have the 22 film box set!


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  15. Duc de Normandysays:
    January 20, 2022 at 10:45 am
    Indeed Pogria,

    The Terry towling romper suit was a faux pas.

    Men are no longer men, the feminists have emasculated us.

    Not me.


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  16. Regarding Roger Moore, I love this story recounted by screen writer Marc Hayes . . .

    As an seven year old in about 1983, in the days before First Class Lounges at airports, I was with my grandad in Nice Airport and saw Roger Moore sitting at the departure gate, reading a paper. I told my granddad I’d just seen James Bond and asked if we could go over so I could get his autograph. My grandad had no idea who James Bond or Roger Moore were, so we walked over and he popped me in front of Roger Moore, with the words “my grandson says you’re famous. Can you sign this?”

    As charming as you’d expect, Roger asks my name and duly signs the back of my plane ticket, a fulsome note full of best wishes. I’m ecstatic, but as we head back to our seats, I glance down at the signature. It’s hard to decipher it but it definitely doesn’t say ‘James Bond’. My grandad looks at it, half figures out it says ‘Roger Moore’ – I have absolutely no idea who that is, and my hearts sinks. I tell my grandad he’s signed it wrong, that he’s put someone else’s name – so my grandad heads back to Roger Moore, holding the ticket which he’s only just signed.

    I remember staying by our seats and my grandad saying “he says you’ve signed the wrong name. He says your name is James Bond.” Roger Moore’s face crinkled up with realisation and he beckoned me over. When I was by his knee, he leant over, looked from side to side, raised an eyebrow and in a hushed voice said to me, “I have to sign my name as ‘Roger Moore’ because otherwise…Blofeld might find out I was here.” He asked me not to tell anyone that I’d just seen James Bond, and he thanked me for keeping his secret. I went back to our seats, my nerves absolutely jangling with delight. My grandad asked me if he’d signed ‘James Bond.’ No, I said. I’d got it wrong. I was working with James Bond now.

    Many, many years later, I was working as a scriptwriter on a recording that involved UNICEF, and Roger Moore was doing a piece to camera as an ambassador. He was completely lovely and while the cameramen were setting up, I told him in passing the story of when I met him in Nice Airport. He was happy to hear it, and he had a chuckle and said “Well, I don’t remember but I’m glad you got to meet James Bond.” So that was lovely.

    And then he did something so brilliant. After the filming, he walked past me in the corridor, heading out to his car – but as he got level, he paused, looked both ways, raised an eyebrow and in a hushed voice said, “Of course I remember our meeting in Nice. But I didn’t say anything in there, because those cameramen – any one of them could be working for Blofeld.”

    I was as delighted at 30 as I had been at 7. What a man. What a tremendous man.


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  17. I was a Bond tragic from the first time I read the books, in the 60s. When I saw the first film, I was gobsmacked. Connery was Bond, no doubt about it, from the voice to the “comma of dark hair” to the barely hidden streak of cruelty, to the physique, to the clothes (and the way he wore them). By myself, I would mimic lighting a cigarette, squinting slightly through the smoke, and saying “Bond. James Bond.”

    I have always thought Roger Moore the weak link in the franchise. Too dandified, too glib, too saintly [sic]. I think George Lazenby had a lot more going for him than he is credited with. I know more than a couple of ladies who went weak-kneed at the sight of him in his kilt. And in retrospect, his acting was absolutely not that bad. Of course, the cherry on the icing was that he had Diana Rigg, even if for just a short while.

    As to who should be the new 007 (if there is one), we all have our personal choices, and this is mine.


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  18. I understand those who argue that Connery was closer to Fleming’s conception of Bond, but my brother and I enjoyed the Moore versions more. Possibly because they *were* more cartoonish.
    How could any teenage boy not appreciate someone who could go several rounds with Jaws, then, after throwing him off the train , straighten his tie, brush back his hair…… and be perfect. 😀


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  19. Bruce in WA,

    I adored Lazenby in a kilt. He wore a kilt better than the arch Scotsman, Connery, himself.

    Can you imagine Craig in a kilt? wahahahaha To paraphrase Vinnie Jones in Lock, Stock, “you must be the mincy little faggot balls”.

    Henry Cavill would be a dream as Bond, but I hope he knocks it back if ever the offer is made. Bond is circling the drain and I would hate to see Henry Cavill be sucked through the sluice gates.

    Before Craig landed the part, it had been offered to Clive Owen. An excellent choice, but he wisely knocked it back.

    Bond these days, is almost as bad as Dr Who.


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  20. Bond these days, is almost as bad as Dr Who.

    Yes, and like Ghost Busters, Star Wars, Star Trek and every other franchise, movie or TV series in general, the knobs in charge are catering to the (woke) crowd who never have nor ever will watch them.


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  21. My favourite is in From Russia With Love when Bond recognises his companion on the train as a fake because he has red wine with his fish course: the sort of gent MI6 employed would never commit such a faux pas.

    The scenes at the start in the Hagia Sophia are spectacular. We may never see it again now that Erdogan has turned it into a mosque.


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  22. Old Lefty says:
    January 20, 2022 at 9:35 pm
    My favourite is in From Russia With Love when Bond recognises his companion on the train as a fake because he has red wine with his fish course: the sort of gent MI6 employed would never commit such a faux pas.

    The scenes at the start in the Hagia Sophia are spectacular. We may never see it again now that Erdogan has turned it into a mosque.

    That scene on the train . . .
    https://youtu.be/p2ZGCkT74Co


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  23. I was weened on Roger Moore. So hold fond memories of going with my Dad to see live and let die, the man with the golden gun. I have always wanted to charge up a broken bridge and barrel roll that sucker through the air and land on the other side. Plus get a speedboat and race it through the wetlands of the south. Later I wanted an orangutan and a truck but that’s another story.


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  24. A Scotsman writes:

    The wearing of kilts demands a certain swagger. You needs must get the kilt to swing . This requires a bit of momentum as kilts are very heavy. As you walk the kilt follows your rhythm, but as your tread goes with and against it the kilt swings and sways.

    This drives many women wild. They can’t keep their hands to themselves. I’ve had German lassies lie on the hard ground to look up my kilt. I’ve had hands on my peachy bottom and even my wedding tackle! I’ve had women pretend to look at their watches so they can regardez my innocent self bending over and reaching into the car boot.

    Not all men can carry this off.

    Although dignity and self respect have been besmirched,


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  25. Took the opportunity to watch NTTD a few days ago, having been pre-warned that it was very ‘woke’.

    Not even the best Craig Bond, but OK and not nearly as woke as I’d feared. Some of the characters and plot were unusually clunky, which I suspect results from having a few too many cooks including additional woke cooks.

    My main takeaway was that it was as likely it’s release was deferred because the plot too closely resembled a Covid conspiracy theory as the fact cinemas were closed due to Covid. The villain could easily have been Bill Gates or Fauci.


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  26. Read all bond books as a teenager. Seen most movies. Loved connery, as did Fleming. And brosnan was great. Craig is very good, but the secret service was about info, not just action and killing. Fleming experience was ww2 where espionage and assassination were key aspects of the job. The cold war was more nuanced.


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