Editorial: The Amazing longevity of James Bond "007" in film.

Editorial:  The Amazing longevity of  James Bond "007" in film.

This winter, the 23rd James Bond film 'Skyfall' will be in theaters.
How has this fictional character survived in cinema 5 DECADES!

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By headlopper - 4/10/2012


When I was a kid, my grandfather would take my brother and I to the movies.
One evening, he comes to visit saying, " Come on kids, we're going to see a movie".
Me and my brother asked what Disney movie it was.
He responded, "It's not a Disney movie- it's James Bond".

Me and my brother look at each other saying , "Who is James Bond? Is he a new cartoon?"
But Pop interrupted, "NO-!, now put your shoe's on."
We didn't want to go, but he insisted.

Two and a half hours later, we're walking out of the theater and my brother and I looked at each other and ask Pop: " THAT WAS SOOOO COOL! WHEN'S THE NEXT ONE COMING OUT!!!"

THAT was the beginning of my love affair with Bond. I told this true story to illustrate how the mystique of Bond has had an effect on me, at only 7 years old!

Ever since then , anticipating the next Bond flick had become a ritual.

But what is the mystique of Bond? Why do people still love this guy!

I'm not actually sure, but I can tell you why he's still awesome to me.

First of all, he's cool! Very cool! The kind of cool you want to be like. The kind of cool you TRY to be like!

His brand of 'cool' is intelligent, proficient and capable.

He doesn't panic, even when his life's in danger. Instead he maintains mental discipline , and thinks quickly to find a solution with his wealth of knowledge . Having a general understanding of engineering, chemistry and physics , he thwarts villain's and their henchmen film after film.
And can he fight? You bet! Judo, Aikido, Karate, special ops CQC -with and without hand weapons, improvised or not , and street brawling are some of Bond's advantages in a fight!
Additionally, I love to watch his uncanny ability to 'out-think' his opponent during combat. Afterwards, I sometimes think to myself, "Man! I gotta remember THAT move!"

Secondly, he's a quick wit. Using clever and relevant quips , he amuses and entertains making me wonder what he'll say next. He never wastes words, and when he does speak , it's purposeful and calculated. How many of us wishes we had such mastery of our own tongues... especially when chatting up the ladies!

Speaking of ladies, the Bond film's have famously coined the term "Bond Girl" which developed from the faithful showcasing of some of the most beautiful women who ever appeared on film.

Now when you're 7 years old, that's not important...unless the girl's 'Ms.Goodnight' from 'The Man with the Golden Gun'.
"Wow-!", I remember thinking to myself, " so that's what a beautiful girl looks like!"
Yes, the Bond girls have become a staple in the films. I fact, it generates major news as to who will be the 'next Bond girl'. It's almost as important as who's going to play Bond!

Then there's all those exotic places! Places you've never visited- or could never afford to vacation to- that he goes for his work. Bond's a world traveler and he takes us in style where ever he goes in his customary suave and confident manner.

Don't worry about 007 not understanding the language in a foreign county- he speaks 5 and is able to manage with many other's sufficiently enough. And when he does travel , he usually takes his 'toys'.

Yes , good old 'Q' makes sure Bond has all the advantages he may need to successfully accomplish his mission.

I've always loved the gadgets , and especially the cars and other vehicles! While sitting in the theater , I learned to anticipate the segment of the film where 'Q' made his appearance...giving Bond things I could only dream of owning!
My most fond memories of his vehicles are the Aston Martin with that super-cool ejection seat in 'Goldfinger', 'Little Nellie' in 'You Only Live Twice', the Lotus submarine car in 'The Spy who Loved Me' and the AMC Matador(Scaramanga's car-I know it's not a Bond car, but still loved it!)in 'The Man with the Golden Gun', that converted into a plane!

Okay , last point: Bond's a ladies man, while being a man's man at the same time!
How he does it , I wish I knew. Every man wishes he could seduce a woman as he did 'Pussy Galore'(what a name!)in 'Goldfinger' with charm enough to get her to betray her employer ,and then ASSIST Bond in defeating Goldfinger!

Yeah, Bond could charm the panties off a nun, and then make her feel like she's just saved HIS soul!
And ironically women generally don't mind. They love Bond as much as the guys. In fact, they probably wish we WERE Bond, at least in quality.

Are these the reason's why Bond has remained so popular after 40 years? Maybe, but who really knows. Maybe you do. What do you think?!

No other franchise has even come remotely close to matching the longevity of James Bond "007" in film. That alone is a cinematic marvel !

I sincerely doubt when British novelist Ian Fleming sat down at his type writer at Goldeneye estate in Jamaica to write his Bond novels they would ever achieve this incredible success , as well as inspire generations of fans with a 'real world super hero'! Now my son loves Bond. He's a character that transcends age and generations!

As for being a super-hero: he's saved the world many times- isn't that what super-heroes do?!

Headlopper
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5 Comments
golden123 - 4/10/2012, 3:41 PM
I don't classify characters, that receive a salary to help others, as superheroes. A superhero, to me, is a fictional character that goes out on their own time to uphold justice without looking for anything in return. They also have to stay within a certain line of moral boundaries.

Cool editorial...Can't wait for Skyfall. It's in my top five most anticipated movies for the year. That, the three main superhero movies, and The Hobbit part 1 make up my top five.
headlopper - 4/10/2012, 6:55 PM
Thanx Tea. It was 'The Man with the Golden Gun'

golden123- Thanx man. Feel the same way about Bond 23 & The Hobbit too!
Tainted87 - 4/11/2012, 12:11 AM
@golden123
It is (sad) that I immediately look to GoldenEye to counter this statement. Actually it makes sense, GoldenEye was my first Bond outing, and remains my favorite 007 film.
Just because James Bond works for the British government doesn't mean his morals are strictly for sale.
Janus

This is strictly an explanation, but Bond has always been the ever-reliable man on a mission. The fact that he works outside the jurisdiction granted to him by Mi6, at his own expense and the enlistment of the friends and contacts he's accumulated over his career makes him heroic.

Anyway, what makes this character so appealing? So long lasting?

He is a staple in the action film genre for one. When I was getting into the movies, however, I was going to a school that specialized in International Studies. Geography and foreign culture were top among my interests. In every James Bond movie, 007 travels somewhere exotic and/or historically important/interesting. Jamaica, the Soviet Union, Switzerland, the Bahamas, Japan, the Swiss Alps, Las Vegas, the Caribbean, Hong Kong, Egypt, Rio de Janeiro, Greece, India, Paris, Gibraltar, Mexico, St Petersberg, Vietnam, Istanbul, Iceland, Venice, and Chile - all but From Russia With Love was shot on location.

While the location only provides the setting, and only for a segment of each film (as the story often makes its way to different countries), I will say this much: the movies predominantly shot in the United States or are meant to take place in the US are the movies that have left viewers and fans wanting. We don't want to see Bond driving through Harlem, evading the police in Las Vegas, or launching a fire engine through the streets of San Francisco. The setting provides a theme and also sets the scope for the viewer to look into, as not only is each assignment a vacation from the States and the UK, but a vision of the lengths 007 and his enemies will travel to accomplish their goals.
golden123 - 4/11/2012, 12:54 PM
@teabag: I did not know that, but yes, I don't count a hero as a superhero if they get paid. It doesn't matter if their name is Ironman, the hulk, Thor, Captain America, or Squirrelgirl. If they receive a salary for their good deeds, then they aren't superheroes, in my opinion. I don't count the Heroes for Hire as superheroes, nor would I count the Avengers as superheroes if they received pay. In the end, this is just my opinion. Everybody can have their own idea of what a superhero is. The only way your opinion can be wrong is if you say, Superman isn't a superhero. That character practically defines "Superhero".

@Tainted87: To me, there is a difference between a hero and a superhero. A fireman is a hero. Superman is a superhero. James Bond is a hero.
I do agree with your statement about James Bond's morals. I was just saying that salaries and morals are two of the things that I use to classify heroes as superheroes. I wasn't saying that people who are hired to do a job had their morals up for sale.
Spitfirebond - 4/12/2012, 4:21 PM
I love bond been a fan all my life I love the movie bond but you should read the books they show him as real man with all the things that would go with a job like his

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