As a kid, I was one of the millions that grew up watching the James Bond films in total amazement – over and over on VHS and on the TV every Christmas. In the UK, James Bond is arguably the single biggest institution – everyone from your young cousins to grandparents has watched most of the films and has an opinion on their favourite Bond, film, Bond Girl, villain, poster… Globally, Bond is nothing short of a phenomenon, proving himself to be one of the UK’s biggest exports.
Starting in 1962 the Bond films are the longest-running franchise in cinema history, and hold the 2nd best all-time non-adjusted box office for a film series after Harry Potter (beating Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Batman, Star Trek…) To pinpoint the one thing that makes Bond so successful would be impossible, but I suspect that it has something to do with 007 having a dream job, dream girls, dream gadgets, dream cars all topped off with a dangerous lifestyle.
At the risk of ruining all of my fond childhood memories, I’m going to watch every single Bond with a critical eye over the next month to find out how Fleming and Broccoli managed to mould a single spy into one of the most cultural, global & timeless icons of all time. Everyone’s welcome to join in. There’s a schedule below this post and more info here and here.
From memory, Bond is a modern day cowboy who’s swapped his six-shooter for a PPK and horse for horse-power. He does little thinking, and lives for danger, jumping foot first into the action. He’s well dressed, and has exquisite tastes in everything from food & drink though to clothes and women. Most importantly for the movies, Bond has blind loyalty to his country and will do absolutely anything to progress the mission – naturally, this always gets him into perilous situations, which is the lifeblood of each movie. Despite spanning almost 50 years it seems like the Bond films have stuck to the same formula for
Hero + Villains + Babes + Danger + Action = Great cinema!
Over the course of January we’ll see how that formula holds up!
Paragraph Film Reviews
3rd Jan – Dr No
4th Jan – From Russia With Love
5th Jan – Goldfinger
6th Jan – Thunderball
7th Jan – You Only Live twice
10th Jan – On Her Majesties Secret Service
11th Jan – Diamonds Are Forever
12th Jan – Live and let Die
13th Jan – Man with the Golden Gun
14th Jan – The Spy Who Loved Me
15th Jan – Moonraker
17th Jan – For Your Eyes Only
18th Jan – Octopussy
19th Jan – A View To A Kill
20th Jan – The Living Daylights
21st Jan – Licence to Kill
24th Jan – GoldenEye
25th Jan – Tomorrow Never Dies
26th Jan – The World is Not Enough
27th Jan – Die Another Day
28th Jan – Casino Royale
29th Jan – Quantum of Solace