Casino Royale

From the very inception of the James Bond film series in 1962, it was apparent to audiences that 007 was a space-age knight, allowing us the frisson of Cold War nuclear apocalypse with the reassurance of the ultimate victory of good over evil. Replacing the white horse and armour with martinis and Q-Branch’s fantasy-tech did not alter the crucial alpha-male quality of the hero, as Bond’s life has always been defined by dalliances with a multitude of maidens – some in trouble and some often causing it. This may have provided mainstream film the first cinematic females who managed sexual independence, but their end would too often recall the simplistic femme fatale (or fragile) more than offer breakthroughs in gender role representation. Nevertheless, Bond’s attention refocused when he recalled his service for queen and country. (1) As the film series advanced and rewrote Ian Fleming’s original novels, 007’s literary-based timeline would fall out of sequence or be ignored altogether. For example: a vastly different looking Blofeld (Telly Savalas) does not recognize Bond (Sean Connery) in Ian Fleming’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (Peter Hunt, 1969), although Blofeld (Donald Pleasance) just battled him face-to-scarred-face in Ian Fleming’s You Only Live Twice (Lewis Gilbert, 1967); but there may be more here that meets the eye. The series becomes even more temporally elastic over the next decades, with different actors reinventing the role of 007, and with audience reception willing to compress this scope to “believe” the same Bond and his adventures took place in feasible narrative parameters.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

The first cæsura in this chain of eternal Bondian youth occurred in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in 1969 when George Lazenby assumes the role for the departing Sean Connery and utters the now legendary pre-credit in-joke about not getting the girl like Connery’s Bond always did (“This never happened to the other fellow”). He is left literally holding her shoe – a nod to Cinderella, one of the many literary references (along with elements of the Christmas story, Tristan and Isolde, Antigone and Beauty and the Beast) in this richest of the Bond film narratives. Lazenby-Bond’s wry statement is at once an admission that there is no way around such a recasting process, but it also re-anchors the conceit in the mediæval literary structure linked to Bond as knight.

Mediæval and courtly adventures/romances often had the hero reappear in new texts with scant memory of past exploits (or women, including wives), and since the concept of literary realism was not at issue, reception concentrated on the moral representation of the characters rather than individual personality. (2) So it was with Bond from the beginning. This simplification of characterization became one of the major resentments Alfred Hitchcock had against the series, which was influenced by the director’s late-1950s thrillers, particularly North By Northwest (1959). Hitchcock was interested in the psychosexual collision of his very human subjects, women included, while the Bond-makers cast a cranky physical-type hero, turned the women into increasingly deadly semi-nymphomaniacs (3) and focused on the “realism” of the nuclear weapons or biological agents. Hitchcock is, however, pure cinematic modernism in all its linear metanarrative cause-and-effect justifications, and the Bond series has always been fluid, adaptable, even contradictory. It took on the Cold War, became Mod, segued into to self-spoofing and returned to the politically topical. It could do this because the centre of its construction remains a one-dimensional Manichean battle from the knightly mythos it recasts, discarding focus on realistic time and space around its collective-hero. No one actually believes that Moore was Lazenby was Connery, etc., but audience reception adjusts to the phantom collectivised Bond of the moment and selectively reinvents the paratextual information of the character’s past(s) as it might work for the particular actor.

The illusion that all of it has happened to the same James Bond is crucial to the series ritual and which allowed it, as master template, to outlive all its imitators. The recounting of Connery’s adventures in the title credits of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (and Lazenby’s examination of ‘his’ artefacts from those films in his office desk), or Pierce Brosnan’s stroll though the Q-Branch warehouse in Die Another Day (Lee Tamahori, 2002) as he quips about Rosa Klebb’s shoe from Ian Fleming’s “From Russia With Love” (Terence Young, 1963) and the jetpack from Ian Fleming’s Thunderball (Terence Young, 1965) creates both nostalgic humour and character dimension. Still, the distance is often too wide to support the conceit. Like Lazenby’s comment about the “other fellow”, Brosnan’s smirk betrays his curiosity regarding artefacts that he ought to know well. Perhaps he only recognizes them from their relationship to another namesake, just as we do.

Die Another Day is particularly rife with déjà vu given that Tamahori decided to quote other Bond films as a tribute to the series. However, like the opening credit sequence of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, linking Lazenby to Connery, Die Another Day also reminds the audience that in the fantasy-elasticity of the series these references are known to Brosnan-Bond because he was always there – a messianic message if ever there were one. Then again, he might know the Bond histories as well as we do, because Bond is a code name and not a man.

The desire to relaunch Bond with Casino Royale (Martin Campbell, 2006) posed some problems with this concept of elastic time, even as the series continued to play off the knightly saga. The obvious idea was to attract a younger audience and to revitalize the depletion of formula and “past knowledge” that after decades and various approaches (Moore’s sexist spoofyness; Timothy Dalton’s self-loathing sensitivity; Brosnan’s pseudo-intellectual smugness) had faded or finally gone stale. (4) The desire to start over rankled many Bond aficionados and cinéastes, particularly as the memory of having collapsed many decades of life was such an important part of ritualistic Bondiana. To actually be “reborn” felt insecure, un-Bondish, and threatened the reception ritual that was part of the series: from the gun-barrel sequence, the Monty Norman theme and the pre-credit sequence to the title song and the sexualised female body cult title credits. (5) How could any of this exist if the persona of Bond had not formed yet? Would he just be an impostor, or would the character successfully depart the secure and clichéd mould, moving the series slowly to break from the past for the sake of revival?

Casino Royale

The result, Casino Royale with Daniel Craig, calmed fears and has become one of the most critically praised films of the entire series, evoking comparisons to the best of Connery, to the multi-layered narrative of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and the often uncomfortable moralist Bond that briefly came and went with Dalton. However, this new film was also more because it was less. The propaganda from EON Productions and the Broccoli team was that this is Bond becoming Bond, and that had never been explored, even in the 1960s. The references to all the previous lives would perhaps float by as a memory of the eternal knight; but, for the new generation seeking different values in their cinematic heroes, it was also not essential that this Bond embody all those memories. It is Bond, it is a beginning and the concept makes room for even wider adjustment.

But if it is Bond, what Bond? The makers of Casino Royale 2006 naturally wanted to dispel any connection with the 1967 spoof (Val Guest, Ken Hughes, John Huston, Joseph McGrath, Robert Parrish and, uncredited, Richard Talmadge), but both versions manipulated the original novel that introduced the spy to deal with a re-introduction of a cinematic James Bond, director Martin Campbell, and writers Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Paul Haggis were certainly looking over their shoulder at Charles K. Feldman’s production while doing so. (6) As denizens of YouTube recently discovered when a Bond aficionado replaced Burt Bacharach’s jaunty score with some John Barry music over clips from the 1967 version, its visual style and manner often did play like a ‘real’ Bond.

Purists may detest the earlier film and others rediscovered it as the zenith of the cinematic psychedelic “happening” and sociopolitical spoofing, but the ‘real’ Bond creators have been pulling out bits of it for their own series for sometime. From the giant You Only Live Twice volcano hideout, which was reportedly influenced by the immense sets built for Casino Royale across three studios the previous year (both films were released in 1967), and the “poison pen” quip in Octopussy (John Glen, 1983) to the milk delivery van in The Living Daylights (John Glen, 1987), to the Scottish castle safe-house “M” (Judi Dench) uses in The World is Not Enough (Michael Apted, 1999), and many more minor throwbacks, MGM’s attempt to shove the spoof aside in recent DVD promotion and to diminish its relationship to the actual Bond has not stopped the re-creators from admiring aspects of the 1967 film. Its rupture of the singular, elastic Bond may have alienated audiences in its own time, but the serious Bond has certainly caught up with it by 2006. As in 1967, when the true Bond, Sean Connery, was unavailable to restart Feldman’s multi-directed parallel fantasy on 007 (7), an even more original “Sir James” (David Niven, one of Ian Fleming’s original choices for Bond) was created, who, in replacing the late “M”, battles SMERSH by dubbing everyone in MI6 as James Bond 007 – “even the girls”. Here, the memory of Bond’s reputation would not vanish with the inaccessible Connery, as an even more lionized “original” would overtake his mythos. It fell to the many impostors to emulate Bond’s sexualised style.

Casino Royale 2006 is surprisingly blatant in its references to the 1967 version. Both have a pre-title sequence set in men’s lavatories (a Freudian nod to the phallocratic quality of Bond-as-social model?) which is too odd a choice to be coincidence: Peter Sellers shows his new 007 credentials to an official in a Parisian pissoir and Daniel Craig kills a man among the urinals to earn his double-0 status. Not as cartoonish as Richard Williams’ animated and live-action illuminated-manuscript title credits, Daniel Kleinman’s credit sequence nevertheless drops the traditional female silhouettes for a return to 1960s-flavoured animation in which live action plays across the florid designs of playing cards and the art nouveau lines that decorate European money.

Seen in historic context with title designs that precede his, Kleinman says Casino Royale’s credit sequence owes more to the jagged emblematic graphics of Saul Bass than to the cheeky erotica of Maurice Binder […] (8)

Craig’s Bond is as unsure of the ropes as are the 1967 Peter Sellers and Terence Cooper models (without the comedy, of course) and Eva Green’s Vesper Lynd slinks around in a low-cut Grecian-goddess evening gown that cannot help but recall the famous casino costume worn by the earlier Vesper (Ursula Andress), just as the emergence of Jinx (Halle Berry) from the ocean in Die Another Day recalls the similar iconic introduction of Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress) in Ian Fleming’s Dr. No (Terence Young, 1962). Sitting in the plaza between the hotel and casino, the 2006 Mathis (GianCarlo Giannini) warns the couple that no “cavalry” will save Bond here. Is this another phantom memory? The U.S. cavalry attempted to do just that as it jumped out of a Technicolor Western and crashed into the anarchy of the closing minutes of the 1967 film.

The climactic set-piece of the 2006 film is the collapse of a renaissance building in Venice, and it is certainly not a spoiler this late in the game to mention that the Casino Royale in the Niven-Sellers film blows up at the conclusion of its Götterdämmerung. Placing the 2006 Casino Royale in, of all places, Montenegro, to aggressively detach it from the spoof film, which, like the novel, set it at a fictional French high-society watering hole (Royale-les-Eaux) on the Atlantic, and then peppering it with stylish extras, including German model and photographer Veruschka von Lehndorff, seems forced and awkward. The 2006 mise en scène cannot help but suggest French opulence and the cameo mode of the 1967 film rather than a realistic or modern Balkan locale. The “difference” such a Montenegrin setting attempts to achieve is lost, since the new Casino Royale is actually the Grand Hotel Pupp in the Czech Republic, a building that is as neo-baroque in architecture as Charles Garnier’s Casino de Monte Carlo, the very model for the Fleming and Feldman Casino Royales.

Reassurances by the makers of the 2006 film that the restart would remain loyal to the spirit of Bond, while opening up a new personality and new vistas, warrants investigation as to just how this character can both be the same and different – and start anew. When dealing with its “restart”, the 1967 film moved across a generational tangent. Backwards, to root the myth in a father figure, and then forwards, to a black-sheep nephew, Jimmy Bond (Woody Allen). In wanting to keep Bond’s mystique and the connections to the Bond history, but desiring to break him from his past beyond the elastic time structure, Daniel Craig’s character is presented in every way as being one of a different generation than Brosnan’s and all the Bonds he supposedly represents. The new 007 may then be nothing less than the son of Bond.

In pursuing this possibility, one must consider the concept of many men and one name, and disregard the elastic narrative structure possibility of the series (hence the ageing, death and replacement of supporting characters such as “M”, “Q” and Miss Moneypenny) (9) and simply consider each Bond was a new man stepping into the assigned persona. James Bond as code name and impersonations of 007 was not just the multivalent tactic of the 1967 film. (10) The authentic Bond series has been troubled at times, by its linkages of names to identities beyond the replacement Bonds. The strong psychological subtext of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, for example, is the slippage of identity in other characters built around the “new” Bond. This particular Blofeld, of the five in the series (11), frets about his identity and his possible title as Count de Bleauchamp, just as a new actor enters as 007, and a representative of the Royal College of Arms, whom Bond later impersonates, explains the heraldic history of the Bond name. The future Mrs Bond, Contessa Teresa (Diana Rigg), informs Bond: “Teresa was a saint. I’m known as Tracy”, and in doing so discards her father’s Italian heritage and the imposed identity of her dead aristocratic husband, and becomes her mother’s daughter, whom we are told was an adventure seeking Englishwoman who met her mob-boss father when he was only a petty bandit. The early-morning visit of “M” (Bernard Lee) and Miss Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell) to 007’s home in Ian Fleming’s Live and Let Die (Guy Hamilton, 1973) is contrived so that the introduction of Roger Moore as the new Bond is sutured to the annoying coitus interruptus that Bond has always tolerated. It is an illusion of course, since the suggestion of identity linked to an apartment we have never seen before (or since) (12), unlike the ubiquitous office of the original “M”, is pure cinematic memory enhancement. The two later Bonds were less overtly introduced, since such narrative conceits call too much attention to a “difference”, which is more effectively avoided as time moves on.

The character of CIA operative Felix Leiter is the most obvious example of the use of code name/identity in the series, with the character having different size, age and race in almost every film. (13) Given the Bond-makers’ emphasis on detail and continuity, even across such an extended series, one cannot imagine that this is just one long bit of sloppiness, given the attention to credible Moneypenny and “M” alterations. A clue may be in the fact that Connery’s Bond does not recognize Leiter in a hangar at Los Angeles International Airport in Diamonds Are Forever, although he has worked with him several times previously. Why should he if it is a code name used by many American agents over the years? As Leiter walks up, it appears as if Bond is trying to recognize who the man actually is. When the man asks Bond, “Death certificate, Mr. Franks …?”, Bond relaxes, as if the agent has given him the correct code word to properly identify himself. Even more telling is Bond’s response: “Well, well, well … Felix Leiter, you old fraud.” Could Bond be talking to the CIA as a presence, rather than an individual man? It is certainly there. Or is it? The only repeat Felix Leiter (so far) is David Hedison, which humanizes the character briefly to create Bond’s tragic conflict in License to Kill, only to discard him altogether from the series (until the reboot in 2006), as the late Lois Maxwell had hoped would be done with Moneypenny (by killing her off on a mission) when she became too senior to play against younger Bonds. No explanation was given regarding the fact that following Bernard Lee’s original “M”, Robert Brown appeared as “M” until Judy Dench took the role, clearly indicating that this was a code name rather than a name abbreviation and that the position was obviously replaceable. (14) A photo of the first “M” (Lee) hangs in the Scottish castle in The World is Not Enough to hint at the succession and perhaps also as an in-joke that references the specific Scottish “M” (John Huston) of the 1967 spoof.

Casino Royale

One of the many ambiguous allusions to old names and new operatives is often given by Dench’s “M”. She threatens Craig’s Bond after he breaks into her apartment and nearly mentions her real name. He manages to imply that “M” is apparently not a random code before she cuts him off. A curious near-revelation given the trail of “M”s behind her. This again references the 1967 film in which “M” actually stood for the name of MI6 head MacTarry. Her exasperated statement after learning Bond has stormed an embassy in Madagascar, “Christ, I miss the Cold War”, is a direct reference to the 1960s through 1980s Bond universe. We are not in some parallel restart or temporal shift of the Connery era in the new Casino Royale. It is 2006, post 9/11, and this Bond is not likely a continuation of compressed Bondian history. (15) He is his own man and a new one altogether. Moneypenny and other assistants have obviously moved on and Dench’s “M” is dealing with a neophyte. She may have called Brosnan’s Bond in GoldenEye “a sexist, misogynist dinosaur, a relic of the Cold War, whose boyish charms, though wasted on me, obviously appeal to that young woman I sent to evaluate you.” “M” seems to be dealing with Brosnan as the ‘combo’ 007, bringing with him the baggage and history of the previous Bonds. She is dealing with the iconic representation of Bond, so, while there is need to deal with him, he’s still not the original. If with Craig’s Bond, “M” is actually dealing with the progeny of the original Connery Bond, a whole new set of rules and interactions has to be established (within the film series context, and in how we see Bond through “M”’s eyes). If Craig is to be as good as Connery’s Bond, she has to stay on him so he does not ruin the title and namesake he’s been given and is related to. In a hyperbolic version of the angry mother, she informs him she will “kill him” if he mentions her name. This attitude along with her grudging forgiveness of Craig’s Bond comes from a concerned, even parental side that we have never before witnessed in the character. Dench’s “M” seems to have a more personal investment in this Bond, beyond professional parameters, and by the end of the film she clearly wants to know if he has learned his lesson. “M” suggests that she only learned to trust him “when I knew you were you,” and she suggests that Vesper did the same because she knew “you are you.” Certainly this can be understood as a cryptic indication of an identity bound to a specific legacy or relationship beyond the surface role playing.

Support of a possible Bond offspring seems to leak from the official source. Sony offered an extensive character biography in pre-release, something that had not been done before, as the prior Bonds were supposedly all the same man regardless of adjustments for age. Daniel Craig’s Bond has the prerequisite Navy and Special Forces experience, but he was never married. His military life extends to include missions in the Middle East fighting post 9/11 terrorism and the Taliban. (16) The repetition of the “traditional” Bond biographical notes, however, may simply underscore the continuation of James Bond as code name and concept, while the new material may be the truly individual. Craig’s character seems to display a difficulty with his own identity beyond earning the 007 status. He has little interest if his drinks are shaken or stirred. While he prides himself on his physique, his overall traits are clearly of a different man than those who followed the prescriptions of impersonating/being (a previous) 007. This Bond, like all the Felix Leiters, could be an agent who has taken the name to continue the myth of being the unlikely spy that everyone knows. Still, there are other indications that Craig’s 007 has more of an innate knowledge of what Bond is or was, without actually being him or while “creating himself” as the publicity posits. He admires the 1963 Aston Martin (Goldfinger) in an unspoken moment of hidden knowledge that alters Craig’s face dramatically. The sudden realization seems less focused on the car, but with its human connection – that of a previous owner perhaps – a memory he shares with the audience.

Craig’s Bond is more than willing to be a sex object for women and enjoys them but without any of the baggage that made the other Bonds predatory, sexist or, later on, too careful not to be either. He has a Generation X attitude towards sex and his own physicality, but he is often boyish in a way that Bond has never been, not even during the tarnished idealism of Timothy Dalton. Vesper refers to him as an “orphan” and, although Bond’s dossier mentions that he lost both his parents in a mountain climbing accident, her context is ambiguous. Although she flirts, she is not attempting to discuss his life but rather their business together and his role as government employee. “Orphan” is a term rumoured to refer to an agent whose family members were former agents. Is then Craig’s Bond the son of the retired or dead Connery Bond (last impersonated by Brosnan), born in West Berlin in 1968, as per the official biography, at a time when the search for the actor to take over the role of Bond for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was as its height? The interweaving of filmic reality with popular cultural fantasy to anchor Craig’s Bond in the lore of the series, and yet allow for origins hidden in the entire concept of Bond filmmaking, would be a masterwork of postmodern play. This would explain Craig’s familiarity but not artificially created sameness, and his palatable difference, not just in personality but in desire for individuality against expectations – many of which come from being Bond, from a suddenly cautious/sentimental “M” who may behave this way because of his origin, and from his own yet unarticulated desires. If Craig’s Bond were an illegitimate son, likely to have been fathered on Connery-Bond’s break after You Only Live Twice, this would make his own discomfort with the Bond name (as code or authentic namesake) even more charged with psychological and professional conflict. From the paratextual aspect, Sean Connery and Daniel Craig are at the right ages to play father and son.

Casino Royale

Following the 2006 Casino Royale release, Connery showed an interest in coming out of retirement to play Bond’s father. If this concept were on the table during the development of the new Bond persona, it would certainly have forced a new biographic backstory for Bond, or opened the possibility of establishing a son anchored in the return of the iconic or “true” Bond, Sean Connery. Such a conceit might well launch a new generation of Bond with a sense of reborn tradition, but a familial aspect would not be without significant risk to narrative direction and reception, and the characters might easily fall to self-parodistic qualities (as with Indiana Jones) that would diminish the quality of the enterprise. (17)

Why the Bond filmmakers might go this ambiguous route is obvious. New beginnings are always fraught with dissention until time allows for grudging acceptance. Despite the popularity of Casino Royale 2006, there are many who still reject Daniel Craig as the new Bond, and in reinventing or re-starting Bond it makes commercial sense to not to threaten the established audience in order to locate a new generation and grow the franchise into the next decades. A campaign to replace Bond with a son would have risked losing both audiences and the myth itself. Bond’s interchangeability is a narrative game keeps the character in his prime. Offspring brings with it questions of authenticity, psychological baggage, and ultimately meditations on mortality and the passing of an era. While the ambiguous hints that Craig’s character might well be Bond’s son contributes a nervous richness to this Casino Royale and those films likely to come, the crucial centre to the Bond myth and the franchise is a constructed permanence in a world of monumental change. As producer Barbara Broccoli maintains, Craig is a new start for Bond, but she has no intention of remaking or revisiting the older films since they are part of Bond history: “From this point on it is only moving forward with new stories told from the Bond re-boot point of origin in Casino. There will be no more remakes of classic Bond films like Dr. No, only new stories.” (18) Having signed to play 007 four more times, acceptance of Craig’s new look Bond may cushion dealing with the loss of the (constructed) original, and the appearance of an (actual?) heir in the flow of cinematic time. Die another day, indeed.

Endnotes

  1. For an analysis of James Bond as knightly figure, see Charles Taliaferro and Michael Le Gall, “Bond as Chivalric, Comic Hero”, in Jack M. Held and James B. South (Eds), James Bond and Philosophy: Questions are Forever (Chicago: Open Court, 2006), pp. 95-108.
  2. Ibid, p. 102.
  3. See also Robert Arp and Kevin S. Decker, “‘That Fatal Kiss’: Bond, Ethics and the Objectification of Women”, in Held and South, p. 202.
  4. Lawrence Watt-Evans considers Bond’s repeated rejuvenation one of the possible failures of the series in “Chinks in the Armor: James Bond’s Critical Mistakes”, in Glenn Yeffeth with Leah Wilson (Eds), James Bond in the 21st Century: Why We Still Need 007 (Benbella: Dallas, 2006), p. 122.
  5. For a unique analysis of the influences in the Maurice Binder look, see D. L. Booth, “Leni’s Body Beautiful: Forty Years of Riefenstahl’s Olympic Gaze in the James Bond Title Credits”, Bright Lights Film Journal, No. 41. Accessed 11 November 2007.
  6. For an analysis of the 1967 Casino Royale, see Robert von Dassanowsky, “Casino Royale at 33: The Postmodern Epic in Spite of Itself”, Bright Lights Film Journal, No. 28 (2000). Accessed 23 November 2007.
  7. Connery briefly considered playing Bond in the 1967 Casino Royale for a huge sum, but discussions regarding a possible collaboration between Feldman and Bond producers Albert “Cubby” Broccoli and Harry Saltzman collapsed over Feldman’s demands. See Albert Broccoli with Donald Zec, When the Snow Melts (London: Macmillan, 1999).
  8. Casino Royale 06-12-06: Daniel Kleinman talks about his overhaul of the Bond credits sequence graphics”, MI6. Accessed 11 November 2007.
  9. Editors: Bernard Lee played “M” from Dr. No (credited as M.) to Ian Fleming’s Moonraker (Lewis Gilbert, 1979), Robert Brown from Octopussy to Licence to Kill (John Glen, 1989), and Judi Dench since. In the non-‘official’ Never Say Never Again (Irvin Kershner, 1983), “M” is played by Edward Fox. Miss Moneypenny was played by Lois Maxwell from Dr. No ’till A View to a Kill (John Glen, 1985). She was replaced by Caroline Bliss in The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill, then Samantha Bond from GoldenEye (Martin Campbell, 1995) to Die Another Day. In the non-‘official’ Casino Royale (1967), it was Barbara Bouchet and in Never Say Never Again it was Pamela Salem. “Q” was played by Desmond Llewelyn, from Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger (Guy Hamilton, 1964) until The World is Not Enough. Llewelyn is also in “From Russia With Love”, but played Major Boothroyd, a character first played by Peter Burton in Dr. No. In Die Another Day, John Clease plays “Q”. In Casino Royale (1967), it is Geoffrey Blaydon and in Never Say Never Again it is Alec McGowan, the name extended to “Q” Algy.
  10. The attempt at cashing in on the Bond phenomenon by using Sean Connery’s non-thespian brother Neil and a few familiar supporting actors in the absurd and poorly made Italian OK Connery (aka Operation Kid Brother, Alberto De Martino, 1967) is fortunately not an example that can support this argument.
  11. Editors: Ernst Stavro Blofeld has been played in the ‘official’ series by Anthony Dawson (though voiced by Eric Pohlman) in “From Russia With Love” and Thunderball, Donald Pleasance in You Only Live Twice, Telly Savalas in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Charles Gray in Ian Fleming’s Diamonds are Forever (Guy Hamilton, 1971), and John Hollis (but voiced by Robert Rietty) in For Your Eyes Only (John Glen, 1981). In Never Say Never Again, Blofeld is played by Max Von Sydow.
  12. Sean Connery’s Bond apartment is seen only in Dr. No.
  13. Editors: Felix Leiter is played in the ‘official’ series by Jack Lord in Dr. No, Cec Linder in Goldfinger, Rik Van Nutter in Thunderball, Norman Burton in Diamonds are Forever, David Hedison in Live and Let Die and Licence to Kill, John Terry in The Living Daylights, and Jeffrey Wright in Casino Royale and the upcoming Quantum of Solace (Marc Forster, 2008). In Never Say Never Again, Felix is played by Bernie Casey.
  14. Following Bernard Lee’s death in 1981, Miss Moneypenny claims in For Your Eyes Only that “M” is on leave.
  15. References to 9/11 are made during Bond’s second briefing in the film. For a discussion of the 9/11 after-effects on Bond see Stephen Watt, “007 and 9/11, Specters and Structures of Feeling”, in Edward P. Comentale, Steven Watt and Skip Willman (Eds), Ian Fleming’s James Bond and the Cultural Politics of 007 (Bloomington, Indiana UP, 2005), pp. 238-55.
  16. See http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/casinoroyale/site/flash.html. Accessed 11 November 2007.
  17. See http://www.hollywood.com/news/Connery_Wants_to_Be_Bonds_Dad/3670809. Accessed 20 September 2007.
  18. Broccoli adds: “The plan at the moment is to continue along in the way that we’ve set Bond up on this sort of new story, a contemporary story of him moving forward.” See “Casino Royale 26-11- 06: Producer Barbara Broccoli talks indepth about Casino Royale and the shift in direction”, MI6. Accessed 11 November 2007.

About The Author

Robert von Dassanowsky is Professor of German and Film Studies, director of the Film Studies Program at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and an independent film producer. His cultural, literary and film criticism is widely published. He is the author of Austrian Cinema: A History, editor of New Austrian Cinema and the forthcoming Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds: A Manipulation of Metacinema.

Jeffrey Bunzendahl is an independent filmmaker who resides in Portland, Oregon. Heavily influenced by the films of the 1960s and ’70s, he has been active in discussions on the reborn spy-film phenomenon. His secret-agent adventure-comedy, Wilson Chance (2005), has given rise to the spin-off sequel, Simon Chance, Spy Today, Run Tomorrow, currently in pre-production. He has also collaborated with legendary Bond soundtrack guitarist Vic Flick on various musical projects.