Archive | December 1, 2008

Vintage Bondage

Take a look at this scene from Doctor No.

What’s the most remarkable thing about this scene? The fact that Bond is obviously scared shitless.

Hoagy Carmichael = James Bond?How often have we seen him that way? In most Bond movies he’d be cool as a cucumber, disposing of the threat calmly and with a quip (or, if it’s the Daniel Craig Bond, with swift brutal efficiency and no quip – but no fear either).

But this scene was from the very first* Bond movie, before the films had drifted as far from the books as they eventually would. I’ve recently started reading through the original Bond books, and the James Bond of the novels is a far cry from the supercool superhuman of most of the movies (and almost as far a cry from the ice fury of the recent movies) – instead he’s a fallible, flawed, psychologically messed-up human being who pops pills, whimpers in his sleep, irritates people (I mean unintentionally), and doubts the morality of his missions. Oh yeah, and he looks like Hoagy Carmichael.

I wouldn’t mind seeing a Bond movie that was actually based on the books. But I’m not holding my breath.

* Movie trivia fact: okay, strictly speaking the first Bond film was a low-budget 1954 tv-movie of Casino Royale (unconnected with either the 1967 spoof or the 2006 reboot). But hardly anybody’s seen it (I have – they’re not missing anything).

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