Connery vs Moore - the Battle of the Bonds

Who Won the Battle of the Bonds? - (Octopussy vs Never Say Never Again)

Connery vs Moore - the Battle of the Bonds

For James Bond fans, 1983 is known as the “Battle of the Bonds”.

Octopussy – Staring Roger Moore as 007

Never Say Never Again – Staring Sean Connery as 007

It was the year when veteran Bond actor Sean Connery dared to go up against Bond Producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli with a rival Bond film. Who would win the much-anticipated Battle of the Bonds and how did it all begin?

Sean Connery Never Say Never Again movie posterAfter For Your Eyes Only, Roger Moore announced that he was stepping down from role of Bond. The person favored to replace Moore in the upcoming Bond film, Octopussy, was American actor James Brolin. But before Brolin could strap on Bond’s Walther PPK, it was announced in the summer of 1982 that former Bond actor Sean Connery would return to the role in a rival Bond film that was going to be released on the same weekend as Octopussy.

Because Connery was still very popular among Bond fans, Broccoli feared that Connery’s Bond film would upstage his own. Broccoli figured that an established Bond actor would do better against Connery so he approached Roger Moore to convince him to reprise the role one more time. Although initially reluctant, Moore ultimately agreed so Broccoli rescinded his offer to Brolin.

Filming for Octopussy began in August 1982 in the former West Berlin and later moved to Udaipur, India (though Q’s laboratory was located in Pinewood Studios). Afterward, the crew returned to London to film the last few scenes. The film was released on June 10, 1983. While in India, Moore was shocked to see the grinding poverty that many locals, particularly children, lived under which prompted him to get involved with UNICEF years later.

By contrast, the filming of Never Say Never Again was beset by numerous problems. Filming began in September 1982, in the French Riviera and then moved to the Bahamas two months later. But soon the production ran out of money which put the film months behind schedule.

Octopussy (1983)In addition, producer Jack Schwartzman’s relations with Connery were extremely acrimonious with the two barely speaking to each other. Filming was finally completed in the spring of 1983 but a few scenes had to be shot that summer which made it impossible to release the film in time for the summer blockbuster season. It was finally released on October 7, 1983, four months after the release of Octopussy.

The Battle that Wasn’t

By box office numbers, Octopussy clearly won the Battle of the Bonds. It grossed $67 million in the US market and $187.5 million worldwide and its production costs totaled $27.5 million. By comparison, Never Say Never Again grossed $55 million in the US market and $160 million internationally (through its production costs exceeded $36 million).

But this is an unfair comparison because Octopussy was released in the summer when cinemas show matinees every day so it had greater exposure, which put Never Say Never Again at a disadvantage. Thus, in reality, there was no Battle of the Bonds — but Bond fans still benefitted by two Bond films in one year.


About the Author: Nick Constantinou

I was born in Greece in 1965 and was raised in the United States. I have been a huge James Bond fan ever since I saw my first Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun. I have seen all the films and have collected the DVDs from Dr. No. to Quantum of Solace. I currently live in Greece where I work as a translator and English teacher. 


A Beginner's Guide to SPECTRE

A guide to (better) enjoy SPECTRE … and any other 007 movie

An editorial by Paulo Jorge Lopes

Imagine you are trying to explain SPECTRE (the 24th James Bond movie) to someone who has never seen a Bond film. That’s what Paulo does in this new editorial. Take it away ….

SPECTRE Teaser PosterFirst, it would be a lot better if you watched the previous 3 movies (the Reboot era: Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall), but not necessary. James Bond films are typically NOT movies to make you find “the meaning of life” … they’re just for entertainment…

A bad guy wants world domination (through money, media, terrorist, secret services…), and the good guy saves the world… It’s been like this since 1962, until the “Reboot”. However, for someone who never watched a 007 movie, SPECTRE is a pretty good choice to start off.

James Bond is a spy for the British Secret Service: specifically, MI6.

James Bond lost his parents as a kid, he’s “rough,” but educated. He goes rouge every once in a while but always focused on his mission. “00” status means he has a License to Kill.

“SPECTRE” stands for Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion.

It was the criminal organization behind everything and every villain in the 007 movies in the 60’s and early 70’s. Their leader was BLOFELD, a bald man with a big scar on his face and eye, and had a white furry cat (keep this in your mind).

In most of the movies, you don’t see his face (just the hands and the cat), but he first appears in 1967 You Only Live Twice.

The SPECTRE logo is an octopus, and each tentacle represents a different “business area” (terrorism, extortion, and so on…). When they announced that the next movie was called “SPECTRE”, trust me, it was an “OMG OMG OMG” moment to every fan … it had been 40 years since SPECTRE last appeared in the movies.

The Reboot Era of James Bond Movies

Casino Royale is the first 007 adventure, where he gets his “00” status. He’s young and reckless, stone cold killer… He’s not ok about killing people, but it’s the life he chose, and ultimately, he’s saving the world somehow, so he learns how to deal with it.

Quantum of Solace just gives closure to Casino Royale.

Skyfall shows 007 as a more mature agent … more charming and sensitive … but also broken and somehow “played out.” But you can finally see that James Bond has feelings for some people. He bleeds and gets hurt (physically and emotionally). He’s human after all.

Classic James Bond Characters

In SPECTRE, you’ll get a lot of references to previous movies, as well as some classical elements the fans were missing … “M” is the boss in the “00” division, “Q” is the quartermaster (aka, the gadget man), “C” (new character) is the Central Intelligence chief, and of course Miss Moneypenny …

Bond and Moneypenny have this funny relationship. They care about each other and flirt all the time (in the old movies), but it’s all in a very platonic way.

You’ll see pictures of all the villains from Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall.

You’ll also see photos of two women. The young beautiful one is Vesper: Bond’s 1st love who was killed in Casino Royale. The older lady is the previous “M, killed in Skyfall.

This is a minor spoiler, but you’ll see that each one of these characters is somehow connected to a SPECTRE “tentacle”.

LeChiffre, Mr. White, Dominic Green, Silva - James Bond Villains
Previous villains: (the 2nd, “Mr. White”, reappears in SPECTRE; all the others were killed)

 

Cars, Action, and Feelings

The Aston Martin DB5 is the classic Bond car, from the 60’s. It has been seen in seven Bond movies in total. While it was destroyed in Skyfall, Bond got a new one at the end of SPECTRE. (Something to keep in mind – Bond is famous for destroying every vehicle he drives)

This Reboot era brought many different things to 007 movies… Skyfall and Spectre are actually not just action movies, because they definitely added some intellectual and emotional elements to the stories.

The 007 Gunbarrel Sequence

Another minor spoiler, but not important to the story… The Gunbarrel intro. This was a must in every Bond movie, until the reboot.

Traditionally, it was the first thing you see in the movie… The James Bond theme, the moving circle on James Bond, and Bond shoots right into it.

There was no gunbarrel intro at the beginning of the reboot movies, but SPECTRE brought it back. So when the gunbarrel appeared at the beginning, it was another “OMG OMG OMG” moment

Why would someone be a 007 fan?

He’s a spy, which means he’s not exactly a good guy, since secret services are all about lying, deceiving, playing both sides, kill loved ones, if necessary…”.

The answer is: it’s about saving the world, and finding goodness among all the crap… And, of course, the gadgets, the cars, the suits, the glamour, the women… Everything is very glamorous, so I guess that’s why.

About the Author: Paulo Jorge Lopes

I’m a 43 y.o. Bond fan, who simply loves music and movies. I work at a Media Agency in Portugal, as a Researcher. Music and Movies are a must in my life; I try to watch/ listen/ read about several artists, even if I’m not a fan.

I try to “stay tuned” and keep up with the movie industry news, but I usually don’t go after “spoilers”, or try to know the plots in advance, since I like the trill of being surprised by a movie or a song. However, I watch movies, with “Google” or “IMDB” open, since I’m constantly searching about the actors, directors, songs, and so on.


GoldenEye Movie Poster

The World of GoldenEye

GoldenEye - the 17th James Bond movie

… about this editorial …

For nearly a quarter-century, the old UniversalExports.net invited Bond fans from around the world to share their opinions on 007. The result is a huge archive of articles, which you can browse here.

Today, in celebration of the new UnivEx:007 Editorials section, I’m proud to introduce this article by Nicolás Suszczyk: a long-time Universal Exports reader and huge GoldenEye fan. His new book, The World of GoldenEye, examines the cultural and historical impact of the 17th James Bond movie. 

Enjoy!

~ Greg Goodman (aka, greg007)

. . . . . . .

Half of Everything is Luck…

Following the tradition of authors like Charles Helfenstein and Cary Edwards, who wrote books only focused in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service or the Timothy Dalton era, I decided to write my first book and dedicate it to GoldenEye.

You ask why? “Hilarious question”, as Alec Trevelyan would have put it. It was the first James Bond movie I ever saw, not on the big screen but on TV (and I found it spectacular enough to hook me to Bond) and, I’m also the man behind The GoldenEye Dossier, a website I created in 2011 to homage not only the 1995 film but the many video games based on the story. The site also took the blueprint of other sites by Bond fans that were exclusively dedicated to their favorite films, like Alan Gilbert’s Thunderball Obsessional or Drummond Grieve’s Blofeld’s Cat, focused on On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, which are now extinct but were very popular in the early 2000s.

The World of GoldenEye - by Nicolas Suszczyk

As I was planning the updates on The GoldenEye Dossier for 2020, where the 25th anniversary of GoldenEye will be honored with eye-popping visuals and a new layout, I started to consider the idea of making a tribute of the 17th James Bond film. Before me, it was Garth Pearce with The Making of GoldenEye, which as you know is a typical old-school official “making-of” book with loads of pictures, interviews and details of the shooting.

Yet, that publication focused only on the filmmaking aspect and ignored many other aspects, like the historical background and a literary analysis of the story, not forgetting the influence of the video games which came between 1997 and 2011, after that book was published.

I was unsure at first, but Jack, a very good friend of mine who is also a proud Pierce Brosnan admirer, thought I should go for it. Also, I’ve been unemployed for a while, so I thought that it would be great if my GoldenEye knowledge could give me some bucks in the meantime. This is how The World of GoldenEye started on the first days of April 2019.

. . . . . . .

A GoldenEye of Inspiration

After a couple of rewatches of the film, and another read of John Gardner’s novelization, I decided to split the book in sections where I would expand many topics taken into account by GoldenEye: the Cold War, the 1990s generation and betrayal, as well as sections dedicated to the women of the film, the official and unofficial video games inspired by it and a retrospective look at the filmmaking process, where I note that a few things of the Daniel Craig movies have its origins in GoldenEye.

I was happy to see the expectation was high when I announced my project and I resorted to a certain Bond experts to give me a hand on their areas, like Matt Spaiser from The Suits of James Bond, Reuben Wakeman from Toys of Bond, and Yannick Zenhäusern and Ben Colclough, who are both working on the upcoming GoldenEye 25 unofficial PC game coming in 2022. Every Bond web site owes something to Kimberly Last’s legendary 007 site from 1994, so of course she has also contributed to the book in a way. And I didn’t forget Derek Lyons, a regular Bond actor, who has appeared as a casino guest in the movie and kindly shared some anecdotes with me.

I know many people were surprised that I have completed the whole book in about a month, wondering if there are just words of praise for more than 100 pages. Of course not, the analysis is in-depth and very rational, plus some of the subjects (like the Cossack betrayal at Lienz) have been investigated by me in 2014 when I started to write my first article for MI6 Confidential magazine, that was published on August 2015. This time, I expanded on that subject and went to look up some other facts, namely the 1991 coup against Mikhail Gorbachov, where General Ourumov took part according to his blink-and-you’ll-miss-it dossier.

Nicolas Suszczyk and his collection of GoldenEye 007 merchandise
Nicolas Suszczyk and his collection of GoldenEye 007 merchandise

The World of GoldenEye will be out on June 8, 2019, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Pierce Brosnan’s announcement as James Bond.

Paperback and digital editions will be available, the latter can be pre-ordered now on Amazon. Please take into account that the book is printed and shipped exclusively by Amazon, it’s an “on demand” publishing service they have. Much to my chagrin, the book will have no film stills to avoid paying royalties or copyright claims, but hopefully you’ll be able to enjoy the evocative cover artwork I myself designed. As Spanish is my main language, I’m already working on a translation which will be out later this year. I know how collectors are because I’m a collector myself, so there is a different cover artwork for the Spanish language version. Hopefully, it can be translated in other languages in the future, as well as making a second edition one day.

Either way, I hope you will enjoy reading my thoughts of this fantastic and timeless James Bond adventure that changed my life for good and, perhaps see the story in a more intellectual way. This is also a tribute to all the Bond fans that grew up in the 1990s like me, so the book goes especially for them. Even though about to fall into the abyss of 30, we’ll never stop being kids whenever we exchange Klobb and Golden Gun shots on a GoldenEye 007 match.

As I write these lines, I’m on the phase where half of everything is luck. We’ll see what fate has to do with it in the following months.

~ Nicolás Suszczyk


every-james-bond-title-sequence

Watch Every James Bond Movie's Title Sequence

every-james-bond-title-sequence

James Bond Movie Title Sequences

Every James Bond movie features a beautiful title sequence that relates to the film, shows the credits, and has the theme song playing alongside it.

Some of these scenes are iconic (especially Goldfinger and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) – and most were ahead of their time when it came to design and implementation.

That said, some of them are downright terrible (I’m looking at you, The World is Not Enough).

The one thing you can’t deny is that they are a staple of the Bond series and that everyone has an opinion. After you watch some of the videos on this page, be sure to share yours in the comments.

Happy Watching.




























What do you think?

Which title sequence is your favorite?


Ian Fleming's From Russia With Love Book Review

From Russia With Love » a 007 Book Review

ian fleming from russia with love

From Russia With Love Book Jacket Summary:


“Every major foreign government organization has a file on British secret agent James Bond. Now, Russia’s lethal SMERSH organization has targeted him for elimination. SMERSH has the perfect bait in the irresistible Tatiana Romanova, who lures 007 to Istanbul promising the top-secret Spektor cipher machine. But when Bond walks willingly into the trap, a game of cross and double-cross ensues, with Bond both the stakes and the prize.”

-From the 2002 Penguin Edition


UnivEx Review:


Fleming’s original From Russia With Love is almost exactly the same as the Connery movie. Bond travels to Russia to obtain a SPECTOR decoding device and is unwittingly used in a part of a SMERSH plan to embarrass the British Secret Service. Unlike the movie, there is no SPECTRE in this novel, but it doesn’t need there to be.

From Russia With Love is stunning. Fleming writes in unusually excellent prose for a thriller writer, combining the threads of the complex plot to excellent and often harrowing effect. The characterization is the best feature of this tour de force. Every character is fully and artistically developed – Red Grant, the psychotic killer, 

is the ultimate Bond enemy and he still packs a punch fifty years on. Rosa Klebb is written vividly, in all her detestable glory. Romanovna is not the average Bond girl – she is well introduced, as well as being a most luscious Bond girl, and plenty of background to her life is given, something often lacking in Fleming’s other efforts.

Bond himself is also developed marvelously, and quite aside from the cardboard cutout characters we often get in a Bond book, none of these characters are lacking in depth and dimension. If the plot is good – SMERSH plotting to kill MI6’s best agent and also to create a worldwide sex scandal with far-reaching implications for the credibility of British intelligence into the bargain – then the execution is better. Every page is a masterpiece in itself, and the whole plot molds perfectly and seamlessly, from London, Istanbul, the Orient Express and France, with perfection.

james bond ian fleming from russia with love

From Russia With Love:
at-a-glance

Author:
Ian Fleming

First Published:
April 8, 1957

Villain:
Rosa Klebb; Red Grant

Organization:
SMERSH

Bond Girl:
Tatiana Romanova

Allies:
Darko Kerim; Vavra; Rene Mathis

Alternate Title:
You Asked For It

 

From Russia With Love Book Covers


spectre movie poster logo teaser

SPECTRE. a movie review

spectre movie header

SPECTRE.   the 24th James Bond Movie

 

For Bond fans, it’s always difficult to separate our excitement for the latest movie from the quality of the film itself. In the case of SPECTRE, the title alone succeeds in creating an instant state of nostalgia. Iconic villains are assumed, secret lairs are expected and everyone wonders if they will see a certain fluffy white kitty. But, is the movie any good?

On first viewing, SPECTRE succeeds as a classic Bondian thriller. It’s chock-full of exciting action, beautiful women, exotic locations, tongue-in-cheek humor, references to previous movies and a memorable villain.

SPECTRE is also an uneven movie with many flaws. The villain’s character is tragically underused, and his personal connection to 007 ruins his credibility. Bond’s romantic relationships feel forced, extraneous subplots run wild and the film’s action sequences rarely succeed in building tension.

Still, for those who grew up with 007, SPECTRE is sure to evoke a sense of childhood wonder and glee … even if it doesn’t feel like one of Bond’s best missions.

 

005 stars
out of a possible 007

 


 

… SPOILERS BELOW …

 

SPECTRE Teaser PosterSPECTRE marks the first Craig-era adventure to utilize the classic Bond movie formula. While many critics have lambasted this as a step backwards, it’s exactly what Bond fans have been hoping for.

After an action-packed pre-title sequence and an average theme song, Bond meets with the classic MI6 staff — M, Moneypenny and Q — before setting off for his next exotic destination.

From Mexico to London, Rome, Austria and Morocco, Bond is constantly on the move. At every stop, he’s punching, driving, flying, running, snooping, shooting, kissing and fornicating his way into the next clue.

007 seduces valuable information out of a beautiful woman, declares himself Bond, James Bond, follows a new lead and finds his main love interest of the film … who first claims immunity to his charms, before inevitably falling for him later.

He promptly orders a martini “shaken not stirred,” blows a bunch of stuff up, hops on board a train, kills a physically-superior henchman, discovers the villain’s plot, finds himself facing death, gets away, stops the villain, saves the girl and heads off into the sunset.

What more could you want from a Bond film? A cohesive plot, perhaps.

 

In the 1960s, it was easy to be SPECTRE

The Original SPECTRE LogoThe Cuban Missile Crisis was causing fear across the Western world; all Blofeld had to do was hijack some nuclear weapons and hold them for ransom. His scheme was simple … and universally terrifying.

Today, the West is more worried about unconstitutional governmental surveillance than global annihilation. Always one to evolve with the times, SPECTRE’s latest scheme is to secretly partner with nine world governments and take over their new massive global surveillance network. The end goal is to, presumably, do bad things with the data? Become Big Brother? It’s not entirely clear, but the fate of the free world seems to be at stake.

Despite clocking in as the longest Bond movie yet, SPECTRE never leaves the audience checking their watch. Christoph Waltz does a fantastic job portraying Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Although physical strength is not his forte, the head of SPECTRE comes across as creepy, menacing, evil, sadistic, cruel, calculating and brilliant. When he taunts Bond in the control room of his secret lair, it really feels as if 007 has met his match.

 

Christoph Waltz SPECTRE character posterBond v. Blofeld

With so much going right, one is left to wonder why the movie rushes through the showdown in Morocco? The entire third act of the film should have taken place inside the SPECTRE compound. After all, this is the matchup fans have been waiting four decades for: Bond vs Blofeld.

However, instead of building tension and developing their relationship, the movie quickly introduces convoluted new plot points, puts Bond in a laughably escapable situation and quickly moves the finale to London … presumably to give the MI6 staff more screen time.

Also confusing is why Blofeld had to be a face from Bond’s past. SPECTRE’s role in Bond’s recent heartbreaks is more than enough reason for 007 to hate Blofeld. Conversely, all the trouble Bond caused over the past decade is sufficient motivation for Blofeld to be vindictive towards 007.

Yet, instead of that plausible relationship, we are expected to believe that the world’s mightiest criminal organization has spent the past ten years trying to piss off James Bond just because their leader has daddy issues. It just doesn’t make sense, and cheapens the stories of Casino RoyaleQuantum of Solace and Skyfall.

Still, despite these shortcomings, SPECTRE is a great Bond movie. It succeeds on more levels than it fails, and hopefully sets the stage for another showdown with Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

 

 


WHAT WORKED

 

The Mexican Pre-Title Sequence

Filming in Mexico CityAfter opening the film with a classic gunbarrel sequence, the first four minutes glide by in one continuous take: without a single apparent cut in the filming.

This unique and beautiful style of directorial mastery has never been attempted in a Bond film, and its perfect execution adds a sense of intrigue to the scene and makes the audience feel like they are right there with 007. However, it’s worth noting that the effect was achieved by combining several meticulously choreographed long takes, edited together with shrewdly placed wipes and a small amount of CGI. 1

The rest of the pre-title sequence was equally as beautiful; as the producers recreated an entire Day of the Dead festival in Mexico City … complete with a thrilling helicopter battle above the main square. Truly one of the best of the series.

 

Theme Song and Titles

While Sam Smith’s oft-lambasted theme song lacks the punch of most other themes, the shortened version used in the movie works well alongside the beautiful visuals.

Daniel Kleinman did an outstanding job designing his seventh Bond title sequence. The dancing girls feature more prominently than they did in Skyfall, and Daniel Craig got a chance to show off his abs. Featuring scenes from the other Craig-era films was another great touch. And yes, even the strange oily octopus was cool.

 

Meeting SPECTRE

the SPECTRE boardroomThe SPECTRE board meeting provides one of the most tense, fun and retro scenes in the movie. For the first time since 1965’s Thunderball, we see all agents of this shadowy organization in one place at one time. All that was missing was a sliding door hidden in a Parisian NGO.

 

The Pale King

Another highlight of SPECTRE was Bond’s “chess match” with Mr. White. Sure, the metaphor was obvious and a bit of a cliché, but seeing Mr. White slide the octopus ring across the chess board next to the rook, followed by Bond passing his Walther PPK across the board… it’s enough to give you chills.

 

Franz Oberhauser   Ernst Stavro Blofeld

Ernst Stavro BlofeldBy naming Bond 24 SPECTRE, the movie instantly teased one of the series’ most beloved and iconic villainous organizations — one that could seemingly be led by only one man. That alone was enough to induce a Pavlovian response from the Bond faithful.

Although Christoph Waltz publicly claimed that his character was not Blofeld, most Bond fans expected that to change at some point during SPECTRE. And change it did.

When Bond saw the white Persian cat and heard Oberhauser introduce himself as Ernst Stavro Blofeld, a wave of glee came over me. For an extended moment, I was as giddy as a little kid, thrusting my hands into the air and squeeing audibly in the theater.

The squees returned later in the film, when Blofeld reappears with his trademark scar and utters a variation of his classic line from You Only Live Twice. Waltz may have said, “Goodbye, James Bond,” but all I heard was Donald Pleasence’s voice shouting, “Goodbye, Meeester Bond.”

 

The MI6 Staff

Miss Moneypenny Character Poster - SPECTREOne of SPECTRE’s highlights is the extended use of the MI6 support staff: M, Q and Moneypenny. While M is busy trying to keep MI6 afloat, Q and Moneypenny are neck-deep in covertly helping 007 on his mission … at the potential expense of their own careers.

Although Ralph Fiennes spends too much of SPECTRE in angry/stressed mode, it’s great to see Judi Dench in a short cameo, leading Bond on his latest mission from beyond the grave. One can only hope that future movies develop the relationship with this new M in the same way.

The scene in Q-Lab is an instant classic, as Ben Whishaw channels his inner Desmond Llewelyn while making the role his own. The relationship between Q and Bond is playful, familiar, mutually respectful and yet slightly irritated: especially when Q finds 007 in Austria. It’s the best use of the character since Llewelyn joined Timothy Dalton in the field in 1989’s License to Kill.

Meanwhile, SPECTRE marks the first time we see a bit of Moneypenny’s personal life. Not only does she have a “friend” staying overnight, but she also has a fully-stocked fridge.

 

The Humor is Back

A side effect of the Craig-era Bond films’ grittiness was a lack of humor. In SPECTRE, the laughs return. A few highlights include:

  • Bond landing on a couch during the pre-title sequence
  • Bond’s reaction to receiving a green health drink instead of his vodka martini
  • The gadgets failing in his Aston Martin
  • Bond’s face when Q denies him a new car

 

A few others things to love about SPECTRE

  • The love scene with Monica Bellucci is a classic example of, “I’ll seduce the bad guy’s girlfriend to get a critical clue.” Except, for once, the woman lives.
  • Bond and his luggageBlofeld’s lair seemed like a mix between Dr. No’s hideout and Blofeld’s hollowed out volcano in You Only Live Twice.
  • The train scene was very reminiscent of the Orient Express in From Russia With Love.
  • Except for Omega and Heineken, most of the product placement was subtle. But boy, they sure did show Bond’s watch a lot.
  • For the first time, we actually see Bond carry luggage. And no, his briefcases and gadgets don’t count. It’s great to know that he has to pack for a mission, just like the rest of us. (see photo to the right)
  • The MI6 safe house is called “Hildebrand Rarity & Treasures,” which is a reference to a short story called the Hildebrand Rarity in Ian Fleming’s For Your Eyes Only.

 


WHAT DIDN’T WORK

For all that SPECTRE did right, there were quite a few things that didn’t quite work.

 

Madeline Swann

Madeline SwannWhen George Lazenby drove off with Tracy Bond at the end of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, their love was obvious, pure and beautiful. When Daniel Craig mourned the death of Vesper Lynd across two movies, we felt Bond’s sorrow and mourned alongside him. However, when Madeline Swann confesses her love for 007, it seems unrealistic and forced.

One can assume that their relationship developed off-screen, as they had plenty of travel time to get to know each other and develop a sense of intimacy. But the audience isn’t along for the ride. We simply see a brief game of cold, then hot, then drunk, then cold, then love. Bond’s interest in Swann doesn’t appear to be much more than a casual fling … yet there he is, driving off to start a new life with her in his DB5.

 

Sam Mendes

Sam Mendes directs SPECTRESkyfall was the most beautifully directed movie in the Bond series, especially the Macau casino floating candle scene and the blue silhouette fight atop a Shanghai skyscraper.

In SPECTRE, Sam Mendes seems to be lacking that flare. Other than the magnificent pre-title sequence and his brilliant use of empty space in Morocco, the film seemed a bit flat. Perhaps this is because Roger Deakins, his cinematographer for Skyfall, was absent from SPECTRE.

 

A Few Niggles

  • How was Silva a part of SPECTRE? He seemed like a throw in, just to tie all the Craig-era Bond films together. In reality, Skyfall was a stand alone piece … just like Goldfinger.
  • The car chase was amazing, but what was the purpose? Bautista never tried to overtake or smash Bond. He just chased him.
  • My opening night SPECTRE ticketsHow did the bad guys on the gondola in Austria know who Q was, and why were they chasing him?
  • Speaking of Austria, where did Bond find the plane he stole?
  • When the bad guys kidnapped Bond during the finale, was their plan simply to leave him in that lobby? If so, they were basically killed for successfully completing their mission.
  • So Blofeld is Bond’s foster brother? Sounds suspiciously like the plot to Austin Powers: Goldmember. While it doesn’t bother me, the connection does make the movie a bit of a joke in some circles.
  • How did the SPECTRE ring have the DNA of so many people on it? What are the odds that LeChiffre, Dominic Green, Silva and Blofeld all touched some mid-level SPECTRE agent’s ring?
  • SPECTRE IMAX movie posterMax Dengbhi, aka ‘C’, has too much screen time for someone who shares a mere minute with 007. Sure, Andrew Scott gives a devilishly delightful performance in the roll, but it seems that the character mostly exists to give M someone to battle, thereby taking the focus off Bond.
  • SPECTRE’s meaning is never revealed. Yes, previous adventures tell us it stands for SPecial Executive for Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion. But, they never say anything about that in the movie.
  • Hinx is underused. Though, for a character with no dialogue except one final expletive, they do a decent job of developing his character.
  • SPECTRE is in such a rush to get to the next destination, that no one place is ever explored in any detail. This feels like a missed opportunity
  • For most of the movie, Bond doesn’t even realize what he’s involved in. He’s just stumbling along and happens to find a guy in the middle of doing a bad thing.


The Flaming Hand of License to Kill

The Flaming Hand of License to Kill

license to kill movie header

The Urban Legend of the Flaming Hand in License to Kill

During the finale of License to Kill, Bond and Sanchez battle it out in tanker trucks over a stretch of highway known as the Rumarosa Pass in Mexicali. While filming a scene where a tanker exploded, a special effects crew member was taking photos from behind the scenes.

When he looked at his photos later, he saw what could only be described as a flaming hand reaching down from inside the explosion. Even eerier, director John Glen went through every single inch of footage filmed that day, frame by frame, and couldn’t find the hand anywhere else.

Dangerous Curves Ahead

Now, it can be said that this was just a trick of light from the angle the photograph was taken. However, the exact spot where it happened has a long and checkered history; years earlier a minibus full of nuns fell over the cliff and burst into flames. Since then the road had been closed due to its “dangerous curves.”

In addition to the flaming hand, the crew of Licence to Kill had all sorts of other mishaps over the course of filming.

While filming a scene where Sanchez shoots off a Stinger missile, the prop stinger went haywire and hit a utility worker on a telephone pole more than two miles away.

Other examples include the truck that mysteriously burst into flames in the middle of the night for no reason, the truck that started its engine and drove a few feet with no one behind the wheel.

Then, there were the apparitions that the security guards reported seeing that disappeared when challenged.

Were these all just random and freak occurrences or was there actually a higher power at work during the filming of Licence to Kill? Director John Glen thinks there might be, as evidenced by a quote from his book, For My Eyes Only.

There was definitely a strange atmosphere on that stretch of road. The special effects boys where convinced there was something spooky about the place. If there was any doubt left in my mind, it was dispelled by a bizarre photograph …

While we will never know for certain, it sure is fun to speculate.

 

Can you spot the hand?

Below is a gallery of screenshots from the License to Kill tanker explosion scene. Can you spot the hand? (spoiler alert – you can’t)

License to Kill Flaming Hand

License to Kill Flaming Hand

License to Kill Flaming Hand

License to Kill Flaming Hand

License to Kill Flaming Hand

License to Kill Flaming Hand

License to Kill Flaming Hand

License to Kill Flaming Hand

License to Kill Flaming Hand

License to Kill Flaming Hand

License to Kill Flaming Hand

License to Kill Flaming Hand

License to Kill Flaming Hand

License to Kill Flaming Hand

License to Kill Flaming Hand

License to Kill Flaming Hand

License to Kill Flaming Hand

License to Kill Flaming Hand

License to Kill Flaming Hand

License to Kill Flaming Hand


Universal Exports Film References

Universal Exports, Ltd.


First used in Fleming’s novels, Universal Exports operates as the cover for MI6. M is referred to as the “managing director” and Bond is a field agent. Although Fleming changed Universal Exports to “Transworld Consortium” in his novel The Man With The Golden Gun, this change was never reflected on in the films.

Over the years, MI6 has become much more open regarding its existence; however, the cover still proves quite useful in Bond’s fieldwork.


Universal Exports has appeared in these James Bond movies:

Dr. No

There are two signs that read Universal Exports: one in front of the building and one in front of Moneypenny’s office. Later, in Jamaica, Bond mentions UnivEx when he is speaking with the governor.

universal-exports-dr-no


From Russia With Love

When Bond is paged, he calls the office and says, “Come in UNIVEX, James Bond here, over.”

. . .

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

The movie opens with a shot of a sign that says Universal Exports (London) ltd.


universal-exports-on-her-majestys-secret-service


For Your Eyes Only

The helicopter that Bond is picked up in during the pre-title sequence says Universal Exports on the side.


Octopussy

  1. Upon meeting Moneypenny’s assistant, Penelope Smallbone, he says, “Welcome to Universal Exports.”
  2. Later, when he meets Vijay he introduces himself as being from Universal Exports.
  3. Later still, when Bond looks at the LCD camera in Q Branch, the screen on the TV says Universal Exports.

. . .

The Living Daylights

Right before the Q Branch scene, there is a shot of a building with a Universal Exports sign on it. Later, when Bond calls Station V (Vienna), they answer the phone as Universal Exports.

. . .

Licence To Kill

Bond tells Milton Krest that he is from Universal Exports and is looking to buy a Great White Shark.

. . .

The World Is Not Enough

When Bond meets Davidov he introduces himself as being from Universal Exports and proceeds to show him an identification card. Later, Bond uses that same ID card for the photo when he needs to forge a different ID.

universal-exports-id-card-the-world-is-not-enough

Die Another Day

When Bond goes to meet Raoul, his old contact in Cuba, he tells the receptionist that he is from Universal Exports and to check with his boss about the Delectados cigars (the cigars are a thirty-year-old code they use to identify themselves as allies).

. . .

Quantum of Solace

While investigating Dominic Green in Port au Prince, he comes across a security guard and hands him a Universal Exports business card.

Amazingly, the URL on that business card was www.universalexports.net. That’s right, THIS WEBSITE! So cool.

Universal Exports business card Quantum of SolaceUniversal Exports business card Quantum of Solace


James-Bond-Collages

James Bond Movie Header Collages

James-Bond-Collages

A Collage-Based Exploration of 007’s Cinematic History

Every James Bond movie has a dossier on UniversalExports.net. And, each of those massive sections has a hand-designed header.

I personally love scrolling through them, as they both represent 6 decades of James Bond and two decades of my own design style.

Hope you enjoy.


James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - Dr. No

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - From Russia With Love

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - Goldfinger

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - Thunderball

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - Thunderball

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - You Only Live Twice

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - You Only Live Twice

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - You Only Live Twice

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - On Her Majesty's Secret Service

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - On Her Majesty's Secret Service

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - Diamonds Are Forever

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - Live and Let Die

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - The Man With the Golden Gun

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - The Spy Who Loved Me

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - Moonraker

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - For Your eyes Only

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - Octopussy

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - A View to A Kill

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - The Living Daylights

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - Licence to Kill

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - License to Kill

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - GoldenEye

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - Tomorrow Never Dies

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - Tomorrow Never Dies

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - The World is Not Enough

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - Die Another Day

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - Casino Royale

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art -Casino Royale

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - Quantum of Solace

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - Skyfall

 

James Bond Movie Header Fan Art - SPECTRE

All for home products on DHgate.com


The-Bond-Girls

The Bond Girls

ursula andress dr no

Honey Ryder

Played by:
Ursula Andress in Dr. No

First sex:
As Bond let go of Leiter’s tow rope

More sex?:
No

miss-taro-zena-marshall-dr-no

Miss Taro

Played by:
Zena Marshall in Dr. No

First sex:
In her house, trying to keep Bond busy

More sex?:
No

silvia-trench-eunich-gayson-dr-no

Sylvia Trench

Played by:
Eunice Gayson in Dr. No and From Russia With Love

First sex:
Before Bond left for Jamaica in Dr. No

More sex?:
Yes, in a canoe in From Russia With Love

Tatiana Romanova

Played by:
Daniela Bianchi in From Russia With Love

First sex:
In Bond’s hotel room in Istanbul

More sex?:
Yes, two more times

tilly-masterson-goldfinger-bond-girl

Tilly Masterson

Played by:
Tania Mallett in Goldfinger

First sex:
None.

More sex?:
No

shirly-eaton-goldfinger

Jill Masterson

Played by:
Shirley Eaton in Goldfinger

First sex:
In Bond’s hotel room in Miami

More sex?:
No

honor-blackman-pussy-galore-goldfinger

Pussy Galore

Played by:
Honor Blackman in Goldfinger

First sex:
In Goldfinger’s barn

More sex?:
Yes, one more time

Domino Derval

Played by:
Claudine Auger in Thunderball

First sex:
In the ocean of Nassau

More sex?:
No

Luciana-Paluzzi-Fiona-Volpe-Thunderball

Fiona Volpe

Played by:
Luciana Paluzzi in Thunderball

First sex:
In Bond’s hotel room

More sex?:
No

patricia-fearing-nurse-molly-peters-thunderball

Nurse Molly Peters

Played by:
Patricia Fearing in Thunderball

First sex:
In the showers of Shrublands

More sex?:
One more time at Shrublands

Aki

Played by:
Akiko Wakabayashi in You Only Live Twice

First sex:
In Tiger Tanaka’s house

More sex?:
Yes, one more time

Helga Brandt

Played by:
Karen Dor in You Only Live Twice

First sex:
On board the Ning-Pu

More sex?:
No

Mia Hama Kissy Suzuki You Only Live Twice

Kissy Suzuki

Played by:
Mie Hama in You Only Live Twice

First sex:
On a lifeboat after escaping the volcano

More sex?:
No

ruby-bartlett-Angela-Scoular-on-her-majestys-secret-service

Ruby Bartlett

Played by:
Angela Scoular in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

First sex:
In Ruby’s room at Piz Gloria

More sex?:
No

Nancy

Played by:
Catherina von Schell in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

First sex:
In Bond’s room at Piz Gloria

More sex?:
No

Tracy de Vicenzo

Played by:
Dianna Rigg in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

First sex:
In Bond’s casino hotel room

More sex?:
One more time – in the barn where Bond proposed to her

jill-st-john-tiffany-case-diamonds-are-forever

Tiffany Case

Played by:
Jill St. John in Diamonds are Forever

First sex:
In a hotel room at the Whyte House

More sex?:
One more time

Plenty O’Toole

Played by:
Lana Wood in Diamonds are Forever

First sex:
None, she was thrown out a window first

More sex?:
n/a

rosie-carver-gloria-hendry-live-and-let-die

Rosie Carver

Played by:
Gloria Hendry in Live and Let Die

First sex:
In Bond’s San Monique hotel room

More sex?:
One more time

Solitaire

Played by:
Jane Seymour in Live and Let Die

First sex:
In Solitaire’s bedroom

More sex?:
3 more times!

miss-caruso-live-and-let-die

Miss Caruso

Played by:
Madeline Smith in Live and Let Die

First sex:
In Bond’s London flat

More sex?:
No

maud-adams-the-man-with-the-golden-gun

Andrea Anders

Played by.
Maud Adams in The Man With the Golden Gun

First sex.
In Bond’s hotel room at the Penninsula

More sex?
No

britt-ekland-mary-goodnight-the-man-with-the-golden-gun

Mary Goodnight

Played by:
Britt Ekland in The Man With the Golden Gun

First sex:
On Scaramanga’s junk

More sex?:
No

Major Anya Amasova

Played by:
Barbara Bach in The Spy Who Loved Me

First sex:
On board a train

More sex?
One more time – while on a video call with M and Q

Corinne-Clery-corrine-dufour-moonraker

Corrine Dufour

Played by:
Corinne Clery in Moonraker

First sex:
In a room at the Drax estate

More sex?:
No

holly-goodhead-lois-chiles-moonraker

Holly Goodhead

Played by:
Lois Chiles in Moonraker

First sex:
In Goodhead’s hotel room in Venice

More sex?:
I think he’s attempting re-entry, sir.

dolly-bond-girl-moonraker

Dolly

Played by:
Blanche Ravalec in Moonraker

First sex:
Never! She was Jaws’ girlfriend.

More sex?:
No

Melina Havelock

Played by:
Carole Bouquet in For Your Eyes Only

First sex:
In the ocean

More sex?:
No

lynn-holly-johnson-bond-girl

Bibi

Played by:
Lynn-Holly Johnson in For Your Eyes Only

First sex:
Never, not that she didn’t try

More sex?:
No

Kristina-Wayborn-magda-octopussy

Magda

Played by:
Kristina Wayborn in Octopussy

First sex:
In Bond’s hotel room

More sex?:
No

maud-adams-octopussy-bond-girl

Octopussy

Played by:
Maud Adams in Octopussy

First sex:
In Octopussy’s bedroom

More sex?:
Two more times

Domino Petachi

Played by:
Kim Basinger in Never Say Never Again

First sex:
In the shower before the final battle

More sex?:
No

barbara-carerra-fatima-blush-bond-girl

Fatima Blush

Played by:
Barbara Carrera in Never Say Never Again

First sex:
In the boat before they went diving

More sex?:
No

grace-jones-mayday-a-view-to-a-kill

May Day

Played by:
Grace Jones in A View to A Kill

First sex:
In May Day’s room at Zorin’s estate

More sex?:
No

Pola-Ivanova-bond-girl

Pola Ivanova

Played by:
Pola Ivanova in A View to a Kill

First sex:
In a hot tub

More sex?:
No

Stacey Sutton

Played by:
Tanya Roberts in A View to a Kill

First sex:
In Stacey’s shower

More sex?:
No

Kara-Milovy-Maryam-dAbo-the-living-daylights

Kara Milovy

Played by:
Maryam d’Abo in The Living Daylights

First sex:
In Kamaran Shah’s hideout

More sex?:
One more time

talisa-soto-Lupe-Lamora-license-to-kill

Lupe Lamora

Played by:
Talisa Soto in License to Kill

First sex:
In Sanchez’s Isthmus house

More sex?:
No

carey-lowell-pam-bouvier-license-to-kill

Pam Bouvier

Played by:
Carey Lowell in License to Kill

First sex:
In a speedboat after running out of gas

More sex?:
No

Xenia Onatopp

Played by:
Famke Janssen in GoldenEye

First sex:
Never, the pleasure was always all his

More sex?:
No

Natalya-Simonova-Izabella-Scorupco-goldeneye

Natalya Simonova

Played by:
Izabella Scorupco in GoldenEye

First sex:
In the Caribbean

More sex?:
Two more times

Serena-Gordon-goldeneye-bond-girl

Caroline

Played by:
Serena Gordon in GoldenEye

First sex:
In Bond’s Aston Martin

More sex?:
No

michelle-yeoh-wai-lin-tomorrow-never-dies

Wai Lin

Played by:
Michelle Yeoh in Tomorrow Never Dies

First sex:
On the wreckage of the stealth ship

More sex?:
No

Paris Carver

Played by:
Teri Hatcher in Tomorrow Never Dies

First sex:
In Bond’s Hamburg hotel room

More sex?:
No

Daphne-Deckers-bond-girl

Inga Bergstrom

Played by:
Cecile Thomsen in Tomorrow Never Dies

First sex:
In a room at Oxford University

More sex?:
No

Inga-Bergstrom-Cecile-Thomsen-tomorrow-never-dies

The PR Lady

Played by:
Daphne Deckers in Tomorrow Never Dies

First sex:
Never, but what a looker

More sex?:
No

dr-warmflash-bond-girl

Dr. Molly Warmflash

Played by:
Serena Scott-Thomas in The World is Not Enough

First sex:
In her office

More sex?:
No

Dr. Christmas Jones

Played by:
Denise Richards in The World is Not Enough

First sex:
When Christmas came early

More sex?:
No

Sophie-Marceau-elektra-king-the-world-is-not-enough

Elektra King

Played by:
Sophie Marceau in The World is Not Enough

First sex:
In her bedroom

More sex?:
No

miranda-frost-rosamund-pike-die-another-day

Miranda Frost

Played by:
Rosamund Pike in Die Another Day

First sex:
In Bond’s room at the Ice Palace

More sex?:
No

jinx-halle-berry-die-another-day

Jinx

Played by:
Hale Berry in Die Another Day

First sex:
In Bond’s hotel room in Cuba

More sex?:
One more time

Vesper Lynd

Played by:
Eva Green in Casino Royale

First sex:
At Bond’s rehab facility

More sex?:
Countless times throughout rehab and in Venice

Caterina-Murino-solange-casino-royale

Solange

Played by:
Caterina Murino in Casino Royale

First sex:
Almost in Bond’s hotel room

More sex?:
No

strawberry-fields-bond-girl

Agent Strawberry Fields

Played by:
Gemma Arterton in Quantum of Solace

First sex:
In the Andean Grand Hotel in Belize

More sex?:
No

Olga-Kurylenko-bond-girl-quantum-of-solace

Camille Montes Rivero

Played by:
Olga Kurylenko in Quantum of Solace

First sex:
Never

More sex?:
No

Eve Moneypenny

Played by:
Naomie Harris in Skyfall and SPECTRE

First sex:
Possibly in Bond’s hotel room

More sex?:
No

Berenice-Marlohe-bond-girl-skyfall

Sévérine

Played by:
Bérénice Marlohe.

First sex:
In a shower on the Chimera

More sex?:
No

Stephanie-Sigman-as-Estrella-spectre

Estrella

Played by:
Stephanie Sigman in SPECTRE

First sex:
Never

More sex?:
No

Monica-Bellucci-spectre-bond-girl

Lucia Sciarra

Played by:
Monica Bellucci in SPECTRE

First sex:
In her house in Rome

More sex?:
No

Madeleine Swann

Played by:
Léa Seydoux in SPECTRE

First sex:
On the train from Morocco

More sex?:
No