From Ian Flemming, With Love

It’s Bond Week here at Popped Cultre. With Casino Royale and a new James Bond on the horizon, I thought it would be interesting to see where the film version of 007 originated. The franchise was in need of a revival – the stories had become bloated and Bond was out of touch with today’s world. Not to say Pierce Brosnan wasn’t doing a good job, but radical change was required.

Back in 1962, James Bond was new to the silver screen – a character know only from the Ian Flemming novels. With the relatively unknown Sean Connery’s appearance in Dr. No, the first Bond film, many of the icons of the franchise were put into motion. We are introduced to the high-society dapper spy, who has expensive tastes and never has a hair out of place. We learn what he drinks (vodka martini, shaken not stirred), what gun he carries (the Walther PPk), meet his boss M, the flirty secretary Ms. Moneypenny, and CIA Agent Felix Leitner – all who make repeated appearances over the years.

We also get a taste of the Bond “wit,” when a hearse full of bad guys goes off the road and explodes (natch) and 007 dryly remarks: “I think they were on their way to a funeral.” Connery, in a documentary following the film, says that kind of one-liner was introduced by the Bond series. So we now know who’s to blame.

Dr. No also introduced the theme music, the opening sequence through the barrel of the gun and the most persistent of Bond’s enemies, SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion) and their over-the-top underwater lair. Last, but not least is the ubiquitous Bond girl, taking the form of Honey Ryder, played by Ursula Andress. When she emerged out the water in a less-than-skimpy white bikini, she stepped into movie history and set the standard for all Bond girls to follow.

Notably, the movie was gadget free – no secret spy gear, no tricked out car, no Q. It was just Bond and his Licence to Kill, which he does, remorselessly shooting an unarmed man. He was a colder character in the beginning.

It was fascinating to watch all the pieces come together for the first time and the longevity that many of them have had. What will survive into the newest incarnation? We’ll know in a week.


  1. good idea for the week. I am looking forward to seeing CR.

    Hope it lives up to expectations and takes home the Layer Cake.

  2. I am really looking forward to Casino Royale. While I loved Brosnan as Bond, I think the last few Bond movies really brought nothing to new to the screen. The World is Not Enough in particular seemed to me like a compilation of stunts from the entire history of Bond movies. I really think the franchise was in a bad need of a jumpstart.

  3. thanks....(muchas gracias)