This week, our favourite secret agent, James Bond, made his return to the big screen. With new film ‘Spectre’ breaking box office records after grossing £6.3m on opening day, it’s safe to say that after all these years, Bond still remains a true British icon.
When Ian Fleming completed the first James Bond novel, Casino Royale, over 60 years ago, he didn’t expect the book to be reprinted let alone that it would spawn a multimillion dollar industry that shows no sign of decline. Fleming went on to pen a further twelve hugely successful James Bond novels prior to his death in 1964.
The spin-off film series built upon this success enormously - Spectre is now the 24th film in the franchise! A large part of this success can be attributed to the British-ness of the James Bond character, and his habits and hobbies – based purely on Flemings own character traits. These included rich food, fast cars, handmade cigarettes and expensive wines. His favourite cocktail is a Martini - shaken, not stirred.
Bond’s character reflects an English society and spy mystique which people the world over are interested in reading about or watching at the cinema. Updated to reflect changing attitudes – Bond is not shown to smoke anymore and his treatment of women is much less sexist – Bond still exudes class and smoothness that many British men are keen to emulate.
Did you know?
1. The James Bond film series is the world’s most successful and has grossed over $6 billion since the first one was made in 1962.
2. Ian Fleming was himself a spy. He was a Commander within Naval intelligence during WWII and amongst other things, concocted plans to trick the Germans into revealing the Enigma code.
3. President John F. Kennedy said that ‘From Russia with Love’ was his favourite novel. It was chosen as the next film to be produced and was the last film Kennedy watched before being assassinated in 1963.
4. The existence of MI6, the agency with which James Bond works for in the movies, wasn’t officially acknowledged by the British government until 1994.
5. Ian Fleming also wrote Chitty, Chitty Bang, Bang which went on to become a hugely successful film and stage show.
Posted on October 30th, 2015 @ 4:19 PM