Spying as the Epitome of Cool

We’ve talked sleuthing. We’ve talked people watching. We’ve talked curiosity. We’ve talked actually spying on our neighbors (good job, Diane!).

But so far in our month of spying, we haven’t discussed the epitome of cool as far as spies go: Bond. James Bond.

And I’m not making light or going for low-hanging fruit here: Bond has a nice literary pedigree to go with his movie fame.

Point 1: He’s basically the first thriller star. With Bond, Ian Fleming was able to take the simple matter of catching the bad guy and turn it into more than sleuthing, but real, seat-of-your-pants spying. Sure, there were spies before, but there wasn’t Bond.

Point 2: Not only did he appear in twelve books and two short story collections by Fleming, he’s been carried on by several different writers since Fleming’s death.

Point 3: Those twenty-three movies featuring Bond? They not only make a lot of money for whomever happens to be playing Bond at any one time, but they also do a great job of keeping the books alive. And as writers, that’s a pretty good thing to hear, right? If even one of the moviegoers who saw Dr. No picked up a copy a bookstore or library, just imagine what else they might get while they’re there.

As for favorite Bond movies? My husband—who has seen every Bond movie in existence—would probably give me a hard time for going for a non-Sean Connery one, but I have to go with Casino Royale. I love the suspense and the stakes and the tragic love story, not to mention the fact that Bond does some real spying. It’s not all about the cars and the gadgets and the wizardry. It’s about what he can find out and from whom without getting killed.

What’s your favorite Bond movie/book?

 

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10 thoughts on “Spying as the Epitome of Cool”

  1. Love this post. You should see my James Bond book collection — I collect the old ones and love them so much. He does’t have depth of character, but we love him anyway!

  2. Ooo, James Bond. I have to admit, that I’m a Sean Connery fan. But Daniel Craig is a close second and I think Casino Royale was a fantastic film (yes, the tragic love angle). And, I’m sorry, but I’ve always been a sucker for Pierce Brosnan, so while the movies are probably not particularly “good” I’ll watch them in a heartbeat. I think I need a Bond marathon.

  3. Oh, we love James Bond in our house, too! I’m definitely a Sean Connery fan, and like Mary, I’m a sucker for Pierce Brosnan, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by Daniel Craig. Love the connection between the books and the movies–one that is so often lost in discussion. Thanks, Sarah!

  4. “Bond. James Bond.” Whose voice do I hear? Sean Connery’s. I recently saw him in a film about an old people’s home with Maggie Smith, no less–Quartet. He’s still kicking.

  5. I think most people believe the best Bond is the first one they got to know. That may change, as it did with me (the first Bond I saw was Roger Moore, and I therefore thought the others were odd) but that first Bond is often the one people like the most. Unless we’re talking about Timothy Dalton. He’s no one’s favorite. Sorry Timothy.

    I’ve never read a Bond book, but this may just sway me to do so! Who will I picture in my head as I read it? It’ll depend on the story.

  6. Ooo, I LOVE the Bond stories! Hard to pick my favorite, but maybe that would be From Russia, with Love. Love the Istanbul setting! Sean Connery’s my favorite, too, with Roger Moore as a close second.

  7. Oh, I loooove Sean Connery as Bond. But I think maybe “Casino Royale” is my fave movie because of the story as a whole. Also, I think it’s going to be pretty much impossible for Sean Connery to ever look bad. I mean, really. And, Chris, you have an excellent point. Sorry, Timothy!

  8. Yes! Yes! Yes! My first Bond was Never Say Never Again (I wanted to see The Big Chill but the theater wouldn’t let me in), and I’ve since seem all but the new ones. I do love Pierce Brosnan as Bond, and maybe some of that was because I remember when he couldn’t get out of his Remington Steele contract to play the part–so it was even better when he finally did. One of the fab things about living in LA is that old movie theaters frequently show the movies on the big screen, and it’s amazing what you miss when you’re used to watching them on a TV.

  9. Great post, Sarah! Sean Connery and Roger Moore were my first James Bond portrayers, so I think of them first. The movie plots all blur together in my memory, but my favorite parts were always the demonstration of gadgets involved in the spy gear!

    Also loved Remington Steele.

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