the name's bond, james bond
Little did the producers or author Ian Fleming know, that 1962 would be the start of a humungous franchise in the film entertainment industry?
James Bond was only known through the spy adventure novels written by Ian Fleming before being converted into action packed feature films that have spanned many decades.
The first Bond film was Dr No, and was panned by Fleming who quoted the film as being “dreadful”. Little did he know the impact that Bond would have on film -goers and critics over the next 50 years.
Throughout the years Bond has been a mainstay action character that has thrilled audiences right across the globe, with suaveness, style, and imaginary gadgetry to match.
The gadgets themselves could fill pages of text themselves, we at Bearingtech understand the inventiveness and engineering that these gadgets contain, something that we will touch on a little later, but who can forget the jet pack, the watches and best of all, the wonderful cars?
The thing with the gadgets, is that they all have to be thought of, then developed to try and convince the audience that they actually work, some are over the top, but how many people laughed at the intercom communicators in Star Trek as being far fetched, scroll forward a few years and those communicators turned into smart phones that we all use in todays techno world.
During this time there have been several actors who have portrayed the character on screen spanning the 25 films, all of which have been financially successful and entertaining, ok they are never going to win Oscars for acting, but how many other film genres can compete with the Bond saga, not many?
The first actor, and undoubtedly the best Bond in many peoples eyes is Sir Sean Connery, real name Thomas and affectedly known in his younger years as Tommy, had no intention of becoming an actor and in fact took up roles as a milkman and a coffin polisher before joining the Royal and Merchant navy.
Legendary football manager Sir Matt Busby tried to persuade Connery to become a footballer by offering him a playing contract at Manchester United, but by that time the acting bug had kicked in and Sean decided to stick with it.
Although most peoples favourite Bond, author Ian Fleming was reluctant to offer him the role, preferring Cary Grant for the position, only for Grant to turn down the chance having felt to old for the part, so Connery was given the chance and after seeing Dr No Fleming was quoted as saying that he had made the right choice, even though he didn’t like the films layout.
Other actors who have been offered the role over the years include Christopher Lee, Burt Reynolds, Clint Eastwood, Adam West, Sam Neil, Gerard Butler, Sean Bean, Liam Neeson and surprisingly Hugh Grant.
After the success of Dr No, Connery was caught speeding by a police officer, who pulled him over, and was astounded when the officer told him his name it was Sargeant James Bond, you couldn’t make it up, could you?
Because Bond had to be seen as stylish, Connery had to wear a toupee throughout every Bond film that he made, after discovering that his hair was thinning in his late teens, in his private life he preferred to go natural.
Another glamorous side to the Bond films was the introduction of the Bond girls, who have adorned the screens in all the of the 25 films made, everybody remembers Honor Blackman, Halle Berry, Teri Hatcher, Britt Ekland amongst many others, but how many realise that other now famous actresses were turned down for the roles including Jane Fonda, Elle McPherson, Raquel Welch and Faye Dunaway to name a few?
After the success of Dr No came From Russia with Love, Goldfinger and Thunderball and audiences were hooked on the spectacular stunts and scenes that appeared on the screen, one famous scene during the filming of Goldfinger, actress Shirley Eaton had to be painted from top to toe in gold paint, subsequently killing her in the process due to suffocation, which is not accurate as the only way to suffocate someone is to cover the mouth and nose, still made a good scene though, something that everyone remembers.
There was another unfortunate episode during the filming of Goldfinger as the actor Gert Frobe who was playing the villain, disliked the role for a dark reason and disapproved of it, because one of the scenes involved a gassing sequence, which he found very uncomfortable, as during World War II he was a member of the Nazi party.
The film itself was banned in Israel for years until a Jewish family revealed that Frobe had helped their family during the holocaust atrocities, which enabled the ban to be lifted.
Another famous scene during the Thunderball film involved a shark infested swimming pool, where Bond had to escape, during the filming the special effects department decided to use a dead shark and pull it towards Bond using wires, as they started to pull, they realised that the shark was in fact alive and started thrashing about, which agitated the other sharks and ended up in a blood frenzy, whilst the special effects people were still inside the pool.
Sean went on to make 6 Bond films for the Broccoli studios, before reprising the role for another studio in the re-make of Thunderball called Never Say Never Again alongside Kim Basinger.
Through an illustrious career he went on to make 93 films including Robin Hood Prince of Thieves where he donated his £250,000 appearance money to charity, his last film was the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. During this marvellous career he stayed friends with his best friend Michael Caine who he first met in 1954, the two became best friends up until the day he died, Caine was quoted as saying that he had lost his brother and best friend.
From Russia With Love
You Only Live Twice
Diamonds Are Forever
Mr Wint & Mr Kidd
Aston Martin DB5
Aston Martin DB5
Aston Martin DB5
- Dr No = Geiger counter, Cigarette with cyanide, Dragon tank that fire flames and Bionic hands
- From Russia with Love = Special briefcase with .22 calibre sword, Teargas cartridge and a Spring-loaded knife, Bug detector, Dagger in the shoe, Garrote watch, Mini periscope, and Recording camera.
- Goldfinger = Oddjob's hat with the metal rim, Homing beacons, Industrial laser, Parking meter, tear gas unit and a Wetsuit with a sea-gull on top as a decoy.
- Thunderball = Homing pill, Jetpack, Underwater jetpack, Underwater camera, Mini Vey pistol, Cassette recorder in a book, Electrocution staff chair and Skyhook.
- You Only Live Twice = Mini rocket cigarette, Waterproof Body bag, Jet propelled bullets, Little Nelle gyro-copter, Gyro rocket guns, X Ray desk, Lipstick gas, Safe cracking device and Poison delivery string.
- Diamonds Are Forever = Biometric fingerprint scanner, Fake fingerprints, Piton pistol, Pocket snap trap, Electromagnetic ring, and a Voice changer.
- Fascinating Fact = Sean Connery was morbidly terrified of spiders, which didn’t go down too well while playing Bond in Dr No, as there was a scene where a tarantula had to crawl on him, filming was saved as the props department inserted a Perspex sheet between the spider and Sean.
George Lazenby Film
The next actor to take on the famous role was Australian George Lazenby, although never an actor, he managed to convince the producers to give him the starring role, by turning up in a new suit, Rolex watch and a new style haircut, in fact the only other time that he was in front of a camera was as a model doing some modelling work, the action side of the part came easy to him as he had a military background.
During the filming of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, where he played Bond alongside Diana Rigg there were many, many rumours of upsets on set especially between the two main stars.
Diana accused George of being late on set, throwing tantrums and storming off which infuriated the producers and staff, there were also rumours of scuffles after Lazenby made some lewd comments.
Lazenby on the other hand said that he hated kissing Rigg as she deliberately ate huge amounts of garlic before shooting any kissing scenes, something that she denied.
Remarkably Lazenby declined a 7 film contract with a $1 Million dollar bonus with the studio after finishing his role on Her Majesty`s, stating that he thought Bond was finished as the current climate is all about peace and love and hippie thought process, how wrong was he?
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Teresa Di Vicenzo
Aston Martin DB5