Live and Let Die

 

Dr-No-1962-sean-connery-beachI have watched, with growing alarm, the Taylor Swift/Tom Hiddleston showmance. My concern is not for our American, PR savvy, southern songstress. The global attention is only pop gravy for her. My concern is for the man who would be Bond.

Mr. Hiddleston’s turn as “The Night Manager” was charming, sexy, compelling. But to these jaded eyes, unconvincing as a future Bond. Was he too lanky? Too needy? Did he pull one camera mug too many?

Loved him as Loki. His broad, Shakespearean theatrics. Mr. Hiddleston can’t help but run warm.

But James? He runs cold. Scottish cold.

#TeamIdris.


I don’t remember the first Bond movie I ever saw. I do have a vivid memory of watching a panther-like Sean Connery sneaking down the hall of Dr. No’s submerged lair (or was it Thunderball?), creeping, step by step, in his tight cigarette pants and polo shirt. Slim, barefoot, tailored within an inch of his single flap pants.

And Bond girls? They had no chance. No choice.

Beauties all. Domino. Ursula. Pussy Galore. Fatima Blush.

Effortlessly manicured. Pedicured. Bikini waxed. Glossed and highlighted — all for James. Even Kim Basinger, with her California curls. Never Say Never. That an American could be a Bond Girl.

And I wanted to be all of them: The seductress, muse, foil. The temptress. I still do…

But more, I want Bond to be Bond. James Bond.

Modern Bond has taken a very modern turn: One Bond Girl for every 007. As if he has feelings. Or a conscience!

My Bond has neither. He has a mission. Which he sees to the end.

To give James feelings would be as silly as giving henchmen a backstory. Or villains a true love.  Blofeld only got a cat.

James is our ego and our id.

He makes the choices we would if we had no controlling authority.

We cheer when he unilaterally assassinates the enemy.

And we secretly hope, as we watch this charming, handsome, authorized psychopath cut through every obstacle — that men, like him, are secretly working for us.

And that the enemy will die, yes, this day…

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  1. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    Amy Holmes:Beauties all. Domino. Ursula. Pussy Galore. Fatima Blush.

    Effortlessly manicured. Pedicured. Bikini waxed. Glossed and highlighted — all for James. Even Kim Basinger, with her California curls. Never Say Never. That an American could be a Bond Girl

    I have underlined the heresy. Get thee to a Bond exorcist!

    We do not speak of the non-Eon monstrosity on Ricochet except in posts dedicated to discussing it’s status as a non-Eon monstrosity.

    Plus, you could have picked an earlier film Connery made after his sell-by date: Diamonds are Forever. That had both Jill St. John and Lana Wood! Or you could have mentioned secondary Bond girl Gloria Hendry in Live and Let Die.

    • #1
  2. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    OK, I don’t really care about James Bond, but I wanted to say welcome to Ricochet, Amy.  I hope you’ll be visiting us regularly.

    • #2
  3. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    I agree that Hiddleston appears to lack the needed physicality.

    Brosnan didn’t cut it for me for similar reasons. Even though he was probably of similar dimensions to a Dr. No Connery, times had changed. Famke Janssen seemed to dominate him. I had a hard time believing he could win any fight. Watching Goldeneye, I kept thinking that Sean Bean would have been a better Bond.

    Hiddleston also suffers from being established. I do not know whether he would commit to the needed sequels. It is fairly clear that an arc of at least 6 Bond films is needed for a given actor. With only 4, Craig will be forgotten like Brosnan. That being said, there is some chance that, rather than reboot, they just plug a new actor in for 2-4 films to finish the Craig arc before the next reboot.

    • #3
  4. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Haven’t read it yet, just want to say how thrilled I am to have you here!

    • #4
  5. Knotwise the Poet Member
    Knotwise the Poet
    @KnotwisethePoet

    ctlaw:I agree that Hiddleston appears to lack the needed physicality.

    I think Hiddleston could pull it off.  I think it’s fun to see Bond reinvented again and again.  After Daniel Craig’s more brutish turn, I think it’d be a lot of fun to see a return to the more classic, suave Bond that Hiddleston would bring.  He is on the lean side, but he is 6’2″ and in Hollywood there’s plenty of examples of leaner actors bulking up for roles.  He also has amply demonstrated his ability in the past to turn from charming to ice cold on a dime, which to me is an essential characteristic for Bond.

    • #5
  6. Carol Member
    Carol
    @

    I am a huge Idris Elba fan ( Luther is coming back, right?) but I think he is a little too old, no?

    • #6
  7. Amy Holmes Contributor
    Amy Holmes
    @Amy Holmes

    A pleasure to be here!  And I promise you: No one will ever forget Daniel Craig emerging from the ocean in his little swim trunks in Casino Royale.  Not this very happy fan!

    • #7
  8. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    Knotwise the Poet:

    ctlaw:I agree that Hiddleston appears to lack the needed physicality.

    I think Hiddleston could pull it off. I think it’s fun to see Bond reinvented again and again. After Daniel Craig’s more brutish turn, I think it’d be a lot of fun to see a return to the more classic, suave Bond that Hiddleston would bring. He is on the lean side, but he is 6’2″ and in Hollywood there’s plenty of examples of leaner actors bulking up for roles. He also has amply demonstrated his ability in the past to turn from charming to ice cold on a dime, which to me is an essential characteristic for Bond.

    If they bulk him up, that’s arguably even more of a reason to just plug him into the Craig arc rather than reboot.

    The Craig arc is severely damaged. But the “not another reboot” factor suggests against a reboot.

    Casino Royale had a bit of a problem in that Craig was a little old to be playing a new agent. Otherwise it was good.

    Quantum of Solace was a bad film but served the purpose of, at the end, showing Craig’s Bond to be matured and ready for a long career of 4 or more films.

    Skyfall crapped all over that with blithering nonsense. All of a sudden Bond is over the hill? Yet a Silva, at least two generations older than Bond (Silva would have had to have made 00 before Bond was even a trainee), is freaking omnipotent? Ignore that Casino Royale introduced the DB5 and unexplainedly reintroduce Connery’s? Forget all that, you must regard it as an all-time great because a fat chick sang the theme song.

    Spectre doubled down on the nonsense. Were they trying to kill Bond in the first two-thirds of the film or not? They seemed to have elaborate plans requiring him to stay alive until the end of the film, but all the while they are doing things that have a substantial chance of killing him. What did M know about Bloefeld? Forget all that, you must regard it as an all-time great because  a woman over 50 played a “Bond girl” even though she only briefly appeared.

    OK Knotwise, you convinced me to convince myself to abort the Craig arc and start from scratch.

    • #8
  9. Amy Holmes Contributor
    Amy Holmes
    @Amy Holmes

    Lol.  I had the same problem with Spectre.  Blofeld could have killed him off in that first meeting of his super secret, assassins round table.  But then we wouldn’t have gotten to see James run around the world in beautiful clothes (in Switzerland — my fave country, right now), and a dinner tux stowed away for a tete a tete on a train to, was it Turkey?  Egypt?  Somewhere in the desert…

    Craig was clearly dialing it in.  But his costumers were not! Bond was gorgeously dressed in every, far fetched scene.  Although, all thigh, no more short shorts, alas.

    • #9
  10. Al Sparks Thatcher
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    I actually read all of Ian Fleming’s Bond books before I saw a movie.  For some reason, my parents had his books on the bookshelf, so I read them, starting when I was in 5th grade.

    My first Bond film was You Only Live Twice, released in 1967.  I never really became a big fan of them.  They probably should have retired the character at least ten years ago.

    • #10
  11. Lily Bart Inactive
    Lily Bart
    @LilyBart

    Clearly, Tom Hughes should be the next Bond:

    Tom Hughes Picture

    • #11
  12. Lily Bart Inactive
    Lily Bart
    @LilyBart

    Definitely Tom Hughes

    • #12
  13. Amy Holmes Contributor
    Amy Holmes
    @Amy Holmes

    Young, but gorgeous!

    • #13
  14. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    He looks a little pouty to me.

    • #14
  15. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    ctlaw: Plus, you could have picked an earlier film Connery made after his sell-by date: Diamonds are Forever. That had both Jill St. John and Lana Wood! Or you could have mentioned secondary Bond girl Gloria Hendry in Live and Let Die.

    Jill. St. John.

    There, done.

    Oh, and no more reboots. You don’t start every auto race with a recap of the invention of the wheel. Just get on with it.

    • #15
  16. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton
    @KevinCreighton
    1. I was pleased as punch with Craig’s performance as Bond, because he was the first guy since Connery who portrayed him as Fleming wrote him, someone who was a borderline psychopath, but he was OUR borderline psychopath.
    2. Timothy Dalton was really underrated as Bond, and while he didn’t have Craig’s physicality, there was a scene in “The Living Daylights” where he goes out to avenge a friend and you can watch the humanity drain out of his eyes. He’s going out to kill someone, and there is nothing that person can do to prevent it.
    3. The producers have established a pattern: A dangerous Bond will be followed by a suave Bond. Roger Moore replaced Connery, and that mincing ponce Brosnan replaced Dalton (Lazenby doesn’t count because he had only one whack at it, and he’s an Ozzie), so it stands to reason the next Bond will be more suave.
    4. And if that’s the case, Hiddleston is great. He’ll be a great suave Bond, maybe the best.
    • #16
  17. Lily Bart Inactive
    Lily Bart
    @LilyBart

    Randy Webster:He looks a little pouty to me.

    Broody

    • #17
  18. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    Idris Elba would be a great Bond as Bond but I think the studios would make too much of him being the Black Bond which would be a diservice to Idris and his fans.

    Tom Hiddlestone would be a good fit because he can project cunning and menace – something Connery could do well, but given the disasteous Spectre I’d hate to see any good actor saddled with subpar scripts.

    • #18
  19. Lily Bart Inactive
    Lily Bart
    @LilyBart

    Hughes is the right Tom for the job.

    Image result for tom hughes 2016

    (sorry, I just don’t like that other guy.)

    • #19
  20. Amy Holmes Contributor
    Amy Holmes
    @Amy Holmes

    Lily Bart:Hughes is the right Tom for the job.

    Image result for tom hughes 2016

    (sorry, I just don’t like that other guy.)

    Someone has a major crush!

    • #20
  21. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild
    @JimGoneWild

    Amy, thanks. He is our ego and or id–right on.

    I will say that there is many versions of Bond. The movie category is most popular. Flemming’s book Bond was never as good as the movie version. In fact, Flemming’s writing was inconsistent, arrogantly narrated and just plain mailed-in (The Spy Who Loved Me).

    Connery I think best portrayed Bond.

    Great stuff.

    • #21
  22. Dustoff Inactive
    Dustoff
    @Dustoff

    Amy, ditto on the welcome!

    • #22
  23. Rosie Inactive
    Rosie
    @Nymeria

    I completely agree that Tom Hiddleston would be n awful Bond. If was cast I would stop watching the Bond films. He does not in any way exude the assertive masculinity necessary for the character.

    • #23
  24. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Amy,

    So that was you singing.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #24
  25. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Kevin Creighton: The producers have established a pattern: A dangerous Bond will be followed by a suave Bond. Roger Moore replaced Connery, and that mincing ponce Brosnan replaced Dalton (Lazenby doesn’t count because he had only one whack at it, and he’s an Ozzie), so it stands to reason the next Bond will be more suave.

    I prefer the suave Bonds. I love the Bond franchise, but as escapist fluff. A “realistic” Bond film is an oxymoron, a self contradiction. I prefer a Bond who is in on the joke and winking at the audience (Moore, Brosnan) over one who tries too hard to make the character “believable” (Dalton, Craig).

    • #25
  26. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    Joseph Stanko:

    Kevin Creighton: The producers have established a pattern: A dangerous Bond will be followed by a suave Bond. Roger Moore replaced Connery, and that mincing ponce Brosnan replaced Dalton (Lazenby doesn’t count because he had only one whack at it, and he’s an Ozzie), so it stands to reason the next Bond will be more suave.

    I prefer the suave Bonds. I love the Bond franchise, but as escapist fluff. A “realistic” Bond film is an oxymoron, a self contradiction. I prefer a Bond who is in on the joke and winking at the audience (Moore, Brosnan) over one who tries too hard to make the character “believable” (Dalton, Craig).

    Moore more than Brosnan.

    Dalton suffered from bad production values transitioning from the purely analog age to the digital. After Dalton, we had the much better mad Brosnan Films, but also films like Mission Impossible and The Saint.

    Also, the Dalton Films were poorly written. The Living Daylights: WTF was Joe Don Baker’s character there for? License To Kill seemed dated already by the time of release.

    • #26
  27. Chuckles Thatcher
    Chuckles
    @Chuckles

    Connery IS Bond.  A replacement, for me, has to:

    1.  Look like he can DO the things Bond does, and win the fights Bond wins.  And be a manly man.
    2. Make the story look serious.

    Roger Moore was all “this is a joke, right?” (I grant you, that is partly script and directing, but not entirely.)

    Brosnan was just not manly enough, and short on physique.

    Just one males opinion.

    • #27
  28. Mr. Dart Inactive
    Mr. Dart
    @MrDart

    Amy, it sounds like you could joyfully spend a few hours at thesuitsofjamesbond.com

    • #28
  29. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    Kevin Creighton:

    Timothy Dalton was really underrated as Bond, and while he didn’t have Craig’s physicality, there was a scene in “The Living Daylights” where he goes out to avenge a friend and you can watch the humanity drain out of his eyes. He’s going out to kill someone, and there is nothing that person can do to prevent it.

    Agreed. Timothy Dalton’s Bond was far and away my favorite. I could really relate to his cold anger.

    • #29
  30. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    I quit watching after Sean Connery, so I really couldn’t say.  From Russia with Love was great, though.

    • #30
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