All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.



Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!

3/03/2014

007

Thanks to the wonder of the internet I accomplished was able to waste a great deal of my employers time last month watching all of the James Bond movies.  I started watching the newest ones and then went back and worked through the list from Dr. No forward.

I never was a Bond fan and had managed to miss most of the movies when they were out in the theater.  Other than catching some on TV as rerun specials, I can't say that I had watched any of them from start to finish.

Ian Fleming was a member of the spook community.  He was not a James Bond, rather he served for a number of years as a real life "M".  He even formed and ran his own unit of James Bond-ish operators for the Brits, No. 30 Commando.  During WWII he was an administrative aid to Rear Admin John Godfrey  Director of Navel Intelligence for Her Majesties Royal Navy.  Mr. Fleming was commissioned into the Royal Navel Reserves and obtained the rank of Commander.   Incidentally James Bond held the same rank in that organization.  Also coincidently Mr. Fleming named one of his James Bond books after a secret operation from WWII.  Do you know which one?

Last week, after having finished off the Bond movies, I ran across a blog post titled "The Two 007's".  There are any number of articles written over the years comparing Sean Connery and Roger Moore as James Bond.  These two men are considered the "classic" James Bonds.  As far as I'm concerned you can choose your side in that debate, but I won't be joining you.  I simply don't care.  I've decided that my favorite Bond movie and perhaps my favorite Bond actor is the 5th James Bond.

You did know that 5 different actors have played James Bond in the "official" movies didn't you?  Let's recount them, Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, and most recently Daniel Craig.  And that other guy.  What was his name? George Lazenby.   On Her Majesties Secret Service, possesses the deepest story line, some of the best acting and directing and you probably never heard of it.  That's because Lazenby, a relative nobody with very little acting experience got a big head and let his ego kill off both his place in the 007 franchise and his acting career.  Had he stuck around there never would have been a Roger Moore as 007.

Back to  "The Two 007's".  One of the points I found interesting in the post is the assertion that the character of 007 has become a bit of a wimp over time.  At first that is hard to swallow.  James Bond is all about unrealistic chase scenes, cool gadgets, blowing stuff up, super villains, drinking vodka martini's, banging smoking hot girls and breaking the rules as a secret agent.  What could be more manly than that?  Doing all that stuff as a space cowboy secret agent?  As I considered the point further I decided that I have to agree.

Connery, Lazenby, Moore, played a James Bond that knew what he was doing, knew what he wanted, knew what he valued, knew what he loved (more so Lazenby) and knew WHY they did those things.  The latter Bonds, knew what they were doing, as in they are very competent secret agents, but they don't seem to know why.

Pierce Brosnan probably spent more time playing the role of a clandestine operator because of his time as Remington Steel.  Even with that, he still comes off as a bit of a metro-sexual.  Daniel Craig's James Bond makes me wonder if Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten fathered a three way bastard with Ellen Degeneres. 
That's not to say that you shouldn't see all the movies, even the modern ones.  Bond still drives cool cars, blows stuff up, over uses the double entendre and kills bad guys while managing to beat the odds of catching the clap.  Which is why we see the movies in the first place. Go ahead and suspend reality for a couple of hours and enjoy your dose of 007.

Despite having better technology, more refined film making techniques and all the right stuff, its not your grandfathers James Bond.  In my minds eye I can go back to the set in 1960 and see Sean Connery chuckling to himself  over his line "it's Pussy, Pussy Galore", and then taking a long drag on his Churchill sized Monte Christo.  I can also picture him doing the nude scenes and enjoying it.  When his wife screened the movie I'm sure he either a.) lied to her outrageously or b.) told her how much he outrageously loved doing it because it got him ready for her.  Either way I'm sure he both enjoyed doing it and faced the music, like a man.

4 comments:

Susan said...

I am old enough to have seen these as "1st run" in the theater.

Sean Connery was the best IMHO. His portrayal, for me anyway, was the gold standard. After Connery's Bond, Lazenby was a little low key for me.
Moore played too tongue in cheek for my taste, like the movie was some kind of big joke. At least in his last couple of outings.

You are so right about Brosnan. He admitted once in an interview that his "black Irish good looks" were a problem for him with regards to being taken seriously.

The jury is still out for me on Daniel Craig. He is just a little too rough and tumble for my taste. I like Judi Dench, but I am not sure I liked having a woman play that role. Ralph Fiennes should do very well with Craig in the next movie.

Res Ipsa said...

Susan did you go see them on the big screen?

Susan said...

Some of the Sean Connery ones, yes. But it got expensive with a family of 6 for my folks to go to the movies very often.

Then when I got older, with the proliferation of movies on TV, why pay for going, when it is coming to TV in the very near future? Plus, courtesy has gone out the window these days. People sit behind you eating like pigs at the trough, or yakking through the whole movie. I am not going to pay for that, TYVM.

Although some movies just can't be enjoyed properly unless you see them on the big screen. Have you ever been in one of those old time theaters Res? The kind with one screen that is enormous? The big screens at the multiplex are nothing compared to those. 35 years ago, finally got to see Gone With the Wind on the big screen. I was just flabbergasted at the difference in the experience.

Res Ipsa said...

I have been to some old time movie theaters that were built in the 30's but that was years ago when I lived in MT. They are cool. I doubt that anyone would build anything like it today. They only had one or two screens and they weren't very big.