Bond, James Bond. Always cool, never in a hurry. So is characterized the British Secret Service agent immortalized in British author Ian Fleming’s highly successful spy novels. This character, first played by Sean Connery in the first ‘Bond Flick’ Dr. No during the early 1960’s, went on to appear in a total of 21 films, played by Connery and a number of other actors, including Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan (from the Daniel Steel TV mysteries series), seemed to become more out of touch with Fleming’s tough and steely intelligence agent who drank vodka martinis (stirred, not shaken) drove a vintage 1936 Bentley convertible, and had a highly successful way with women. Following Connery’s leaving the Bond series in 1971, the subsequent characters seemed never able to replace the Scottish actor in this role; and more bizarre plots and use of gadgetry were required to keep up viewer interest at the box office.
All this has changed, however, with the casting of British actor Daniel Craig as the ‘new’ Agent 007 in a recently released version of Fleming’s first Bond book, Casino Royale. This film, which tries to show a James Bond similar to the true character, is being reviewed as the best James Bond to appear since Connery. The film is no way similar to the original Casino Royale, released as a comedy in 1967 with such stars as Peter Sellers and Woody Allen. This new version, in which Craig was picked from a pool of over 200 other actors, is a true Bond film, and a credit to Flemings original character. Craig, who has starred in a number of British films, including the tragic romantic film Sylvia with actress Gwyneth Paltrow , and the Steven Spielberg thriller Munich is 100% James Bond â€“ with more characterization and less reliance on high-tech gadgetry.
For those of us who have read all of Flemings 007 novels, as well as seen many of the ensuing films, this is welcome news. This new movie retains some of the old film characters, including Bonds superior, M; but without Miss Moneypenny (M’s secretary who was secretly in love with 007) or Q, the scientist who introduced Bond to the items he would use to assist him in his latest spy caper. Bond’s personal weapons have also changed over the years, from a tiny Beretta 0.22 automatic, then to a Walther PPK 9/mm, he now uses a more modern weapon to fight his adversaries, who are also more suitably armed.
The Aston Martin returns as well, although it’s a more advanced model than Bond’s original DB-5.
The world has changed significantly since the Cold War, which served as the backdrop for the Bond film From Russia with Love. With Islamic terror now the big international threat, we might wonder if future bond films might include terrorists like Osama bin Ladin (name changed to not offend Muslims, of course). We’ll all just have to wait and see what does develop in Craig’s future James Bond roles.
November 21, 2006 at 6:08 am
Bonds first personal weapon was a Beretta 0.25 caliber
automatic. HOWEVER, the modest 0.22 has often been the
favorite “weapon of choice” for KGB and other agents who
used special hollow point ammunition that could not be
traced due it’s tremendous ‘mushrooming’ effect when
entering the victims body – especially the cranial vavity.
So much for Bond trivia.