by Jonathan Bond Perry
Last night I totally ignored the Academy Awards and all the Oscar weirdness, instead watching Sean Connery in the James Bond film From Russia with Love. Within the first 40 minutes at least 8 stunning women (I lost count) were featured in places like London, Russia, and Istanbul (not Constantinople), and a fancy spy briefcase complete with a handful of gadget-y weapons was shown to 007 for his approval. There’s also some stimulating repartee with Miss Moneypenny. In another scene while spying on a woman in a secret meeting, a colleague asked Bond “How does she look to you?”, to which he responds “From this angle things are shaping up nicely. I’d like to see her in the flesh.”. Oh, and after a belly-dancing scene, there’s a catfight between 2 hot gypsy women who don’t seem to be overdressed. (There were also goats, but that’s a side thing.)
James Bond is awesome. His job, nay his duty, as debonair spy for MI6 (British Intelligence), has him traveling the world, wearing sharp suits, driving magnificent autos, and entangling with exotic and dangerous beauties who seem to have left most of their clothing in the other bag. Bond has engineers constantly creating cool new spy toys to help him dispatch the enemy, which he always does with panache. Why am I using French words like panache and debonair when Bond is clearly English? Maybe I want to be beaten up by the bullies in my head. I don’t know. But I do know this: James Bond is perhaps the prime vanguard of all bachelors. He epitomizes the Domesticated Bachelor. He’s suave, stylish, sophisticated, and completely fictional. Truly a standard bearer.
James Bond was created in 1952 by British journalist Ian Fleming while on holiday at his Jamaican estate, Goldeneye. Yeah, Goldeneye. Fleming wrote twelve novels and two short story collections about 007, who, it’s said, was actually modeled on Fleming, himself something of an overly-confident manwhore. Beginning with the 1962 release of Dr. No, there have been 22 Bond films in the EON Production series, making it the longest running, most financially successful English-language film franchise in history (at least through the most recent film, Quantum of Solace). After Fleming’s death in 1964, several other writers authored James Bond novels and screenplays and perhaps named their Sedona estates Moonraker and Thunderball, but maybe not. James Bond has also been spoofed, most famously in the Austin Powers series by Mike Myers.
Bond’s date of birth often changed from story to story, frequently leaving him in his 40s, which apparently is an ideal age for spy-adventure coolness and gives me a small degree of comfort as I near that middling decade of life. Over the years, 007 has been portrayed on the big screen by several actors, most notably by Sean Connery and Roger Moore. These are usually considered the classic Bonds. In fact, there was a situation in 1983 where 2 different Bond movies played in theaters simultaneously. Roger Moore was in the EON production of Octopussy, when Sean Connery, the previous EON Bond, was brought back as Bond in the non-EON Never Say Never Again. Eventually MGM purchased the name “James Bond”, so this problem could never be repeated. 007 has also been portrayed by Timothy Dalton, George Lazenby, David Niven (in an early spoof), Pierce Brosnan, and most recently Daniel Craig.
Bond music is easily recognizable the world over. The Bond theme is a super instrumental used in every movie, then a different song usually opens each film and this song is sung by one of the current hot singers. Some of the best include Paul McCartney and Wings doing “Live and Let Die“, Duran Duran in “A View to a Kill“, and “Nobody Does it Better” sung by Carly Simon for The Spy Who Loved Me. Shirley Bassey sang three Bond themes.
James Bond has had many relationships with women, often quite meaningless relationships. Of course he’s on the go a lot, sometimes the women are spies, and sometimes they die or turn gold and then die. At one point, though, Bond marries, but on their wedding day his bride is killed by his archenemy (seems like the writer’s convenient way of keeping Bond single).
Yes, women love 007, at least the ones in his movies (some of my married friends aren’t so keen). Between the exciting job, the snazzy clothes, the good looks, the sweet rides, and the strong self-esteem, he has little trouble with the fictional ladies. He’s the sort of guy other guys hope to emulate, minus the murder. And the excessive manwhoring.
The secret word is Moneypenny.
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