James Bond in Review:On Her Majesty’s Secret Service part III

We next go see Tracy attend her father’s birthday, to the tune of “We have all the time in the world” but a bit lighter. Of course, Bond is there, and Tracy is immediately wise to her father being up to something.

She puts an ultimatum to father: Give him the information about Blofeld, or never see her again-Draco reveals that Blofeld might have a lawyer in Sweden, but Tracy is still upset that she was used as a pawn. Bond apologizes, and the two seem to reconcile and we get a nice montage set to the lyrical version of Louis Armstrong’s “We have all the time in the world”, with the two horse-riding, walking through a fancy garden, running on the beach etc. It’s a little sappy but pretty effective at the same time. It ends with them looking at each other happily in the car with Draco in-between, who seems a bit uncomfortable, and even a bit worried the two are in love. Hey, it was your idea!

We next get a nice, tense scene where Bond breaks into the lawyer’s office to crack his safe and copy some documents about the Blofeld connection (He also enjoys some nice newspapers and magazines while doing so). We’re shown scenes of the lawyer nearly returning to amp up the tension a bit.

The safe cracker is one of the few gadgets in the film, along with the reprises ones in the opening (and I suppose Q’s lint) and Bond’s office, as well as Blofeld’s later deadly makeup kit. Bond then chucks the gadget into a barrel operated by crane from Draco’s construction crew, where Campbell-played by British actor Bernard Horsfall, known for many guest roles in Doctor Who-among others-collects it nearby.

It’s not quite made clear if Campbell is one of  Draco’s men or a fellow secret service guy, although it’s made clear in the novel that he’s the latter (Although Bond is “on leave”). Then again, sometimes MI6 would go over M’s head to help James if he’s in a pickle (As we see in License to Kill and Spectre).

We see Bond visit M at his mansion, something we haven’t seen at the film yet, looking over his butterfly collection (M butterfly? Sorry, bad pun) with Bond showing off that he knows a bit about the study of butterflys as well, in addition to alcohol, weapons and women (Although he doesn’t know much about diamonds as we learn in the next film).

He manages to convince M to let him back on Operation Bedlam, and we learns that Blofeld-using the alias de Bleucham (Which is french for Blofeld)-wants to become a count and has asked the college of arms to look into it. Bond takes the opportunity to learn about his own past as well, including his family crest.

 

Orbis non suffict-AKA The World Is Not Enough….hey, that sounds like a good title….

Bond meets with-and intends to impersonate-Sir Hilary Bray, played by George Baker here (Baker would return to Bond to play a different character in “The Spy Who Loved Me”, but is otherwise perhaps best known as the troubled Emperor Tiberius in the I, Claidius series. )  so that he can get close to Blofeld, find out what he’s up to, and finally capture him (He’s given a hint by Bond that “Bleauchamp” has no earlobes). Funny thing is, Bond’s impersonation includes his *voice* as well, which means for pretty much the next 45 minutes, Bond sounds exactly like him with a few exceptions. In a sense, George Baker “plays” James Bond!

And so the deception begins, with Bond wearing a hat, glasses and trenchcoat. Not exactly the most convincing disguise (The hat’s somewhat similar to the one’s he worn before, even)….and Bond set off to Switzerland.

 

Bond in Review: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service part two

Still in the area, Bond stops by a local hotel and casino, where the woman’s car is also parked. Inquiring as to the owner, he learns that she’s Count Tesera De  Vicenzo. As the night closes, Bond settles down for some baccarat in a nice casino. I’m drawing another Goldeneye connection here….first a small race with a red car, now baccarat in a fancy hotel.

However, instead of the innuendo and subtle interrogation of the later game, Teresa-who wishes to be called Tracey, as “Theresa was a saint”-makes a dumb move, and what’s worse, she has no money on her at all! So Bond bails her out, rescuing her for a second time, although perhaps from jail rather than drowning. During their little table chat, he flirts with her a bit, and the chemistry of Lazenby and Rigg here is very, very good.

Going to meet Tracey for a late night rendezvous, Bond instead meets Che-Che. He’s one of the few fights in Bond films in which Bond later becomes buddies with his opponent (The other being Quarrel/Pussfellow and I suppose Pussy Galore.) After knocking him out-with a gate no less (With Bond quipping about him being a “Gatecrasher”) Bond samples some caviar (originally intended for him and Tracey), and is able to figure out exactly what fish they came from (A Royal beluga sturgeon from the caspian sea). Maybe it’s from Valentine’s stock.

Cavier Torture

 

Bond returns to his own room, where Teresa is pointing a gun at him, but he quickly disarms her and wonders what her deal is. I kind of like how Lazenby’s able to play a mix of toughness and utter confusion here at the same time. After trying to figure her out, the two just give in.

Bond awakens to find her gone, but on the way out, Cheche and a few other guys show up, and direct Bond to a car which then takes him to some facility, and we get an instrumental version Listen closely to the janitor here as they take Bond in-he’s whistling “Goldfinger”.

Bond’s able to fight them off and enter the office-and then we get this great shot of Bond about to throw his knife-which hits the calander behind….

Marc-Ange Draco.  Draco fits the sort of “Kerim Bey” or “Columbo” role here, as Bond’s ally who has a bit of a rap sheet, but one that works with Bond regardless. In this case, Draco is the fictional head of the (actually real life group) Unione Course, as well as his own construction company as a front.

However, his meeting with Bond is not really about that-he’s actually Tracy’s father…it turns out he spoiled her too much, she became rebellious and now is pretty much just depressed. The men Bond fought earlier (and probably killed at least one!) were actually just keeping an eye on her, more or less. However, he think’s Bond’s rescues are starting to make her feel better-and he actually wants Bond to get engaged and married to her-but Bond wants to live the bachelor lifestyle and doesn’t have too much faith in his own ability to help Teresa (Maybe his failures with Fiona and Helga blew his ego a bit). However, Bond knows that Draco has connections, and might know where Blofeld is hiding….and he might consider it.

Next we get a more typical Bond scene, of sorts, as Bond stops into M’s offices, with the usual Moneypenny flirting (Lois Maxwell looks a bit older here, especially next to Lazenby, who was 30 at the time. However her aging worked a bit better with Roger since they were pretty much the same age anyway). However, the meeting with M is unusual-it’s not a mission briefing, but a bit of a scolding-M wants Bond off of Operation Bedlam since he can’t seem to find Blofeld yet. Bond isn’t too happy about this, and tells Moneypenny to tell M that he wants to quit.

Along with the opening credits and the guy whistling Goldfinger, we get another reminder to the audience of the legacy of the older films,  as Bond goes through various gadgets and mementos from the previous films, complete with their associated themes (with “Underneath the mango tree” for Dr.No and Honey’s knife). Funny that the film most often associated for beginning the whole “Bond is simply a code name” thing is also the one that hits the audience on the head over and over again with the whole “This is the same guy!!!!” thing. While Bond films do of course reference the past films-most notably in the anniversary films Die Another Day and Skyfall-it’s still fairly early days here, and mainly to establish Lazenby as a legit 007. Other Bond debut films wouldn’t quite do this-“Live and Let Die” in many ways did it’s best to distance Roger Moore from Connery (Roger, for instance, smokes cigars while Connery smokes cigarettes) as did “The Living Daylights”, “Goldeneye” (Especially with Judi Dench’s M) and most of all, “Casino Royale”. But here it’s pretty much part of the sell.

However, Bond doesn’t have to quit, as Moneypenny reworks his request into simply asking for leave. Which also is sort of James Bond movie doublespeak for “You can still do your mission, but just be discreet about it.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Bond in Review: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service Part One

In 1967, Sean Connery left the series, due to being typecast and also the strain of too much publicity and paparazzi. In an unexpected move, the producers then cast George Lazenby, an Australian model and commercial actor, in a controversial choice, which only became more controversial with rumors of trouble on the set and then Lazenby bowing out of the role as the film premiered (While the film didn’t do as well as the Connery films, Lazenby still had a chance to do six more films-but declined. He wasn’t fired).

 

OHMSS starts with an interesting gunbarrel, which, like the Dr.No Gunbarrel, pauses to briefly bring up the producers. The theme has changed a bit-it’s certainly a bit less grand, and the spanish guitar is pretty much gone (although it would show up again in the next film).

 

We open on Q and M, oddly enough, with Q showing off some new magnetic lint that can be used as a tracking device…. (Q by the way, doesn’t do too much in this film, as it’s fairly light on the gadgets) but M wishes he could put a tracker on 007, who seems to not be up to much. Turns out, since the events of You Only Live Twice, MI6 has put into effect “Operation Bedlam”-an attempt to track down and capture the SPECTRE leader before he strikes again. But the trail’s gone cold.

We cut to Bond on some beachfront somewhere, driving a new Aston Martin DBS (Which bears some cosmetic resemblance to the later Valante used in The Living Daylights). He’s wearing Bond’s trademark hat, what appear to be sunglasses and smoking a cigar, but he’s mainly obscured in semi-darkness (Dalton and Brosnan would have similar slow reveals)

A woman in a red car cuts him off. Wouldn’t be the last time, as “Goldeneye” proved…(although Xenia Onatopp was far, far more nefarious than Tracy here)

 

Although instead of a race, she just wants to get to the ocean. Bond, intrigued, uses his scope to check her out-until he realizes’s she is in fact trying to drown herself. The gallant Bond saves her, although it’s a reluctant rescue for her-and Bond does his trademark name catchphrase-revealing Lazenby for the first time in full.

 

…and of course, this being a Bond pre-credits sequence, there’s got to be action…and in this case, Bond and the woman are quickly surrounded by armed men, who seem to want to take her away. Bond quickly gets free though, and we’re given a fairly chaotic fight on the beach and in the waves, a bit hampered by the dark early morning setting (You can’t really make out too much going on). There’s a lot of fast cuts and sped-up shots-Peter Hunt, the director, after all edited a lot of the other films and seems to have pretty much been given more free reign here, although if I’m not sure the edits are to show Lazenby’s weaknesses as a fighter or what (He’s certainly better than Moore at it though). This Bond seems to use a lot of judo as well.

In all the chaos, the woman slips away, using Bond’s car to drive up to her own and then escape, but leaving her slippers behind. Picking them up, he remarks “This never happened to the other fellow!”

 

 

It’s sort of a meta-joke about Sean Connery, although in the context of the movie, it’s probably intended as a reference to Prince Charming from Cinderella (hence the slippers). Although it’s certainly spawned about a gazillion “Bond is really just a code name!” theories to explain the change in actors throughout the series.

We then come to the title sequence, which is really brilliant. A martini glass also functions as a bit of an hourglass, and Bond hanging from a clock arm also deals with the concept of time. One of the themes of the movie is “We have all the time in the world”-but it’s kind of clear that time may not be on Bond’s side with the draining of the hourglass/martini.

The opening credits also use various stock footage from the first five films, in part perhaps to sell that this is the same Bond we’ve known for the past decade-there’s villains, girls, actions and some other elements. Of course there’s also shots of the union jack, the crown (Given the movie’s title after all!), and of course the silhouetted  girls.

 

…..and then there’s the theme, which has no lyrics and is pretty much the best non-Bond theme instrumental theme in the series. It’s influence can certainly be felt in the score for the (Far inferior IMO) View To A Kill, and one of the trailers for SPECTRE likewise used a version of the tune. It was also memorably used in the 2003 teaser trailer for the Disney/Pixar film the Incredibles:

 

 

 

 

Bond in Review: You Only Live Twice Part III

 

Bond is taken aboard the Ning-Po to be interrogated by Helga-Spectre’s No.11 (One number less than 12, which would be the designation for another Fiona Vulpeish character-Fatima Blush-in Never Say Never Again). Bond confesses he’s a spy, but simply an industrial one instead of a government one-and hence still “Mr. Fisher”. He manages to avoid getting interrogated by bribing and seducing her.

 

….But just like Volpe before her, she doesn’t get redeemed like Pussy Galore did, and instead tries to kill Bond in a plane by locking him in and jumping out, allowing the plane to crash and catch fire. It’s a bit over elaborate, and of course Bond lands and gets out just in time. You’d figure he would’ve learned his lesson about SPECTRE women from Fiona Vulpe….but nope.

Getting back to Tanaka, Bond learns the identity of the island the Ning-Po’s been to-and of course wants to do some aerial reconnaissance. Enter Q, who gives him “Little Nellie”-a small gyrocopter that Tanaka thinks looks like a silly toy, but she’s quite formidable, with rocket launchers, SAM missiles, flame throwers, smoke jets *and* aerial mines!

We soon get a demonstration as Bond goes on the island, which seems to have nothing but a volcano-but then SPECTRE choppers move to intercept, so there’s obviously *something* there. We then get a cool sequence with Little Nellie, with the 007 “action” theme playing in the background at first, but then just the Dr.No stock version of the Bond theme. It’s certainly more fitting here than the Bond checking into the hotel scene in FWRL, but it might’ve been interesting for a fresh tune. While there aerial shots of the helicopters are of course great, some of the close ups of Connery don’t have great blue screen, he looks kind of silly in the helmet, and the helicopter explosions are obviously models (and possibly the same shot recycled). Oh well.

 

Meanwhile, the Russians make their space shot, and of course the SPECTRE rocket comes and steals it, making it of course look like the USA did it-making World War III imminent, and the United States even more skeptical of the Japan claim. This time, we see the rocket land-in the volcano-in reality, a huge SPECTRE base, and probably the main thing people remember about this movie apart from Donald Pleasence’s Blofeld. At the time, it was one of the largest sets ever constructed, although it would be later topped by the LIPARUS in Spy Who Loved Me, directed by the same guy and with a somewhat similar plot.

Speaking of Blofeld, he’s got a nice underground lounge that’s somewhat reminiscent of Dr.No’s.

Although instead of a glass aquarium magnifying mostly harmless fish, he’s got an open pool of deadly piranhas. He intimidates some men-possibly Chinese who would benefit from the upcoming World War between the United States and Russia-and they call him on it, saying it’s extortion-but of course, that’s what the E in Spectre stands for, as Blofeld notes.

He then brings in Helga and Osato, and shows him the X-ray of Bond’s gun taken in Osato’s office-noting that only one man they know carries such a weapon (seriously? As noted in-universe in Dr.No, there’s a lot of CIA guys who use it, for one) James Bond.

I wonder if Valentine’s recognition of the gun in “Goldeneye” is a bit of a callback to this-it even has similar dialogue.

They both use the excuse of Bond’s “death” in order to deflect responsibility, but Blofeld isn’t buying it. Much like Kronsteen, Count Lippe, and SPECTRE No.9, he decides to make an example of a henchman-this time, Helga, by dropping her into the pool.

Although pretty much free of gore, it’s still a pretty disturbing Bond girl death, one of the more shocking in the series along with Corrine in Moonraker and Della in License to Kill. And those were good Bond girls!

Blofeld-whose voice is now a lot less deeper than his previous incarnations-barks an order: “KILL BOND! NOW!”

 

Next: Ninjas, Bond goes native, and Kissy is introduced.

 

 

 

James Bond In Review: You Only Live Twice Part one

After “Thunderball”‘s undersea adventures, the next Bond film would adapt “You Only Live Twice”, in which Bond travelled to Japan to unravel the schemes of the mysterious Dr. Shatterhand (In fact his nemesis and widowmaker Blofeld, for the novel followed On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in the chronology)-which left him injured, amnesiac, and presumed dead until the following novel, The Man With The Golden Gun. (Some of the elements of this would be used in “Skyfall”, with Bond presumed dead after the opening sequence-although he certainly wasn’t amnesiac after, just very, very bitter).

The movie adaptation would keep some of these elements-Japan, Blofeld, Bond’s ally “Tiger” Tanaka, and Bond being presumed dead. However, it would do them in a radically different fashion, and the shatterhand angle would be dropped entirely (Although it can perhaps still be used for a future Bond film, as I’ve suggested in earlier posts). It would also deal, in part, with the cold war, something not really touched on since “From Russia With Love”. Also, whereas “You Only Live Twice” was pretty much the end of the Blofeld “trilogy” in the novels, You Only Live Twice would be the opening chapter, revealing the face of the villain for the first time.

It opens somewhat unexpectedly for a Bond film as well-in space! We see what appears to be a normal capsule orbiting in space, when suddenly, a massive rocket with soviet markings gobbles it up (and cuts off the air of a poor astronaut in the process), making the first ‘space death’ of the series (to be followed by many more in Moonraker).

The next scene is kind of a funny argument between the United States, Britain and Russia over the responsibility for the incident, in a globe-shaped building that kind of look like mini-Epcots (I’m guessing the design for the interior is the work of Ken Adam). It’s kind of a funny scene, with the US and Russia arguing and England-in the center-calmly trying to settle the situation by focusing on a faint trail in Japan, with their man in Hong Kong looking into it.

 

The man of course, is James Bond, and the woman he’s with, Ling. She’s played by Tsai Chin, a celebrated Chinese actress who would later return to Bond in “Casino Royale” as card player Madame Wu.

However, she unexpectedly flips the bed, and two men fire at Bond-two police officers who rush in to discover Bond dead. One of them is Anthony Ainley, who would later become the nemesis of a certain other British icon played by multiple actors…

 

Bond’s bloodstain blooms into the opening graphic and titles, which feature, in addition to Japanese women, and lot of volcano imagery, given the setting of SPECTRE’s base in this film.

 

Nancy Sinatra’s song is somewhat more low key than the more bombastic themes to Goldfinger and Thunderball, resembling in a few ways “From Russia With Love”, but with a touch of more Japanese instrumentation (This is also somewhat present in the gunbarrel as well). Nancy’s lyrics sort of change the meaning of the original novel phrase:

“You only live twice:
Once when you are born
And once when you look death in the face.”

instead it’s

“You Only Live Twice,

or so it seems; One life for yourself, and one for your dreams.”

To be fair, I’m not sure the first line would’ve worked well in this kind of song.

 

Nancy BTW is also known as the singer of These Boots Are Made For Walking:

and of course, as you can probably imply from the name, is the daughter of a certain Chairman of the board.

Unfortunately, Frank never made any Bond appearances, although another Rat packer did-sort of. Sammy Davis Jr. was to have a cameo in Diamonds Are Forever, but it was cut.

 

 

 

 

We see a newspaper with James Bond’s obituary. This wouldn’t be the last phony death notice for Bond, as we see in Tomorrow Never Dies and Skyfall (The Skyfall wording actually is partially based on M’s obit in the novel of You Only Live Twice.)

 

After his traditional naval burial at sea, Bond is recovered by frogmen from a submarine, who open up his wrappings-and it turns out Bond’s not really dead at all, just pretending so his enemies’s attention will be diverted from him.

 

This is the first time we see James Bond in a proper naval uniform, something we’ll see later on in The Spy Who Loved Me and Tomorrow Never Dies-two films that have quite a lot in common with this one (Same director for “Spy” too!). Lazenby and Dalton didn’t get the chance to, and Craig hasn’t donned the outfit yet either.

As an added bonus, we also get M and Moneypenny in the naval outfit too.

 

Turns out M has an office on this ship too (M is an admiral after all, although his real name-Miles-would not be revealed until The Spy Who Loved Me, along with Q’s), and he briefs Bond on the looming crisis and what they know, and to hurry before this thing turns into a full scale World War III. Bond also gets an unforgettable mission password from Moneypenny-“I love you”-and a book of Japanese translations-but Bond assures her that he took Oriental languages at Cambridge and knows his stuff-which is odd because he doesn’t seem to know Chinese in “Tomorrow Never Dies” at all, but this isn’t really a big deal. After all, this is a series where the lead changes actors and age with no explanation whatsoever, at least until the Craig films which are in a separate, “rebooted”  continuity. It was pushing credibility a bit for the Bond in “Die Another Day” to be the same character that debuted with Connery. There’s also a brief conversation about Ling, implying that she was in on the “death”.

Bond is ‘torpedoed’ onto the coast of Japan (probably) because he’s still presumed dead, and therefore this is somewhat more secret than taking a plane, boat or car in.

And now….

Next: Bond arrives in Japan, meets Aki and Tiger, and also investigates Osato chemicals-a front for SPECTRE.

 

 

 

Bond in Review: Thunderball part IV

Some sad news, unfortunately Molly Peters-one of the stars of Thunderball as Nurse Patricia Fearing-died today.

 

Moving on with the review, Bond, Felix, and Patricia-along with local ally Pinter, running a station in his shop-learn that the clock is ticking-literally-as Big Ben rings seven times-a note to SPECTRE that the British will pay their ransom, although Bond thinks it’s stalling for time. But hey, Q’s here! This is his first time equipping Bond in the field apart from his lab, although he’d also do so the next film, You Only Live Twice, and several other of the films. He’d have his ultimate field experience in Licence To Kill, which like this film, is partially set in the Caribbean.

 

Q’s arsenal this time includes a geiger counter watch, an extra geiger counter in the form of a camera that can also take pictures underwater (and of course is also waterproof) a rebreather (which, like the jetpack, would reappear more or less in Die Another Day) and a radioactive pill. Also shown-but not really showcased until the finale-is a massive dive rig that Bond messes around with.

Back in London, things aren’t quite good as Blofeld asks for some diamonds as ransom….and then we get Bond utilizing some of his new toys to try to photograph the Disco Volante-but also having to deal with getting noticed by Largo, leading to a brief underwater struggle. Bond then heads onshore-but is picked up by Fiona Volpe-who of course also has a SPECTRE ring prominently on her fingers-and then takes Bond for a fast ride back to the hotel in her mustang. Bond of course drives quite fast himself at times, but is as he notes, a “nervous passenger”

 

I wonder if that’s an intentional callback to a similar line in Dr.No? I guess “Nervous passenger” didn’t quite catch on as much as “Bond, James Bond” “Shaken, not stirred” ….

They of course both arrive at the same hotel (Fiona of course has been placed there by SPECTRE). Developing the prints, Bond discovers an underwater hatch on the Disco, guessing that the operation must have been conducted underwater using it, and not on land…and so Felix and Bond start their quest, but don’t find anything…yet.

 

They look around at Largo’s estate too, where Largo and Fiona are having a discussing shooting clay pigeons. Fiona’s a bit worried of course that Largo’s jealousy over Bond’s wooing of Domino has made him clumsy, and showing SPECTRE’s hand too early (apart from of course the obvious rings on said hands). So she volunteers to do the job herself. It’s really the only time we see these two interact, and there’s a slightly similar scene in “Never Say Never Again” with Fiona’s remade version, Fatima Blush (Who seems to be a bit into the younger Largo herself, but Largo shrugs off her advances).

 

 

Next Bond stops at Largo’s estate, and his observation about Largo’s gun is that it’s more fitting for a woman. Largo also introduces his two remaining henchmen (unless you count Viona) , Vargas and Janni.

 

Although Vargas isn’t exactly as strong a presence as Grant or Oddjob, playing more of a cold detached killer, as Largo notes.

Of course! Vargas does not drink. Does not smoke. Does not make love. What do you do, Vargas?

 

It doesn’t take a genius to fill in the blank here. It’s kind of a fun scene, although both Bond and the villain know the other’s real motivations. There’s a particularly great moment where Bond shoots a clay pigeon, almost without looking, and Largo then shows off his sharks.

 

He even allows Bond to take Domino as a date to the “Junkanoo”, a sort of carnival. But Fiona of course uses Bond’s absence to drug and capture poor Paula.

Which of course has Bond attempt a rescue mission, visiting Largo’s estate on less, formal grounds-and with the power cut. Unfortunately, Paula takes a cyanide capsule to resist interrogation,  and dies, with a short sad glance from Bond.

 

Then we get our first real shark scene, as Bond accidentally drops his gun, causing it to misfire and alerting the villains, causing him to crash into the pool-and then trapping him in it. Sure, we saw them earlier, devouring mr. Kitch, but this is the first time Bond is put in mortal peril with them. Thankfully, he’s able to get the other guy to bleed, luring the sharks to the other guy, and allowing him to escape through a hatch into the other, more open pool. “Sorry old chap, better luck next time” he quips.

 

Bond tells Pinder he wants Leiter to stay with Domino, and that Paula’s dead. Pinder’s reaction is sort of a bland “OK”, which seems a little tone-deaf, at least to me.

Bond then walks on Fiona in her bath, and there’s of course some goofy one-liners here as they flirt and then make love.

However, as soon as that’s over Bond prepares to head back to the Junkanoo, but Largo’s goons are in the way. Here we have an interesting scene that perhaps’ meant to contrast to Goldfinger; after Pussy Galore was won over by Bond’s charms, she switched over to his side and helped save the day. However, Fiona isn’t having any of it:

“But of course! I forgot your ego, Mr Bond. James Bond, who only has to make love to a woman and she starts to hear heavenly choirs singing. She repents and immediately returns to the side of right and virtue. But not this one. What a blow it must have been, you having a failure.”

to which Bond quips: “Well, can’t win them all”.

Capturing Bond, they’re a bit delayed by the ongoing junkanoo. Seeing an opening when a drunk peddles his alcohol close to the car and igniting it with Fiona’s cigarette, Bond makes a run for it, to the tune of the “007” secondary theme. It’s quite a tense, chaotic scene, and Bond even gets shot in the leg, causing him to limp.

 

He eventually makes his way to the Kiss Kiss Bang Bang club, where he treats his wound, and once again we hear the Kiss Kiss Bang Bang instrumental song as Bond tries to blend in as Volpe and the others close in. She then asks for a dance, as the bad guys ready their shot to take Bond out. However, Bond makes a swift turn, and the bullet-it’s sound covered by the heavy drum music-hits Fiona instead, killing her, and Largo’s men get the hell out of dodge. Bond quickly covers up her back and lays her on a chair next to the couple, saying “Okay if my partner sits this one out? She’s just dead!”

It’s a funny line, although I outta imagine that couple probably would’ve been horrified to be sitting next to a dead woman. Although maybe it’s like Weekend at Bernie’s, (a fairly Carribieanish movie itself) where everybody seems oblivious to that kind of thing.

 

 

 

 

Bond in Review: Thunderball Part III

In the dossier, Bond is disturbed a bit that the man shown in them is the same man he saw dead at the clinic (or rather, his double). So he asks M to send him to Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, based on that hunch. M trusts him, despite the protests of his air force liaison (Who would’ve gone with him to Canada). Moneypenny naturally thinks he’s in it for Duval’s sister, who might have a link to the whole thing-which leads to an awkward moment between M and Moneypenny, with Bond wondering what’s happened to his hat….a bit of an in-joke, perhaps, as Bond would seldom wear the hat from now on (Although it would still show up in the gunbarrels until “Live and Let Die”, and the hat gag would reappear in “one Her Majesty’s Secret Service” and the later Moore years. Bond would also throw his naval hat in the next film. However, by Dalton it’s completely gone).

 

Next, we go to Nassau, and one of my all-time favorite Bond settings, Nassau in the Bahamas, and Bond starts rapid-fire flirting with domino after saving her from getting stuck in the reef.

Bond:I arrived soon after you went down. I’ve been admiring your form.

Domino:Have you, now? Your name’s James Bond and you’ve been admiring my form?

Bond:Most girls just paddle around. – You swim like a man. –

Domino:So do you.

James Bond:Well, I’ve had quite a bit of practice. – Do you come here often? –

Domino:When I’m bored. Practically every day.

Bond:What else do you do, and where? –

Domino:You don’t waste time, do you? –

Bond:No.

Domino (hands him starfish): For effort. 

Bond:Thank you. I’ll wear it, so you’ll know me next time. I was right. Couldn’t miss.

Domino:I’m not with you. 

Bond:Oh, you soon will be.

 

I find Auger-or rather, the woman who dubbed her’s-performance, a bit bland, which is kind of a bit odd since she’s actually the dub artist for most of the early Bond girls-Honey Ryder, Sylvia Trench, Jill Masterson-that’s all her (She even dubbed over some of Jane Seymour’s dialogue in Live And Let Die). Maybe because it’s her trying to do a French accent instead of a British one. However, she’s certainly written as a smart and sassy Bond girl.

We are also introduced to another Bond girl, of sorts, Paula Caplan.  She’s Bond’s main aid here, although it’s unclear if there’s any relationship between them apart from a professional one, although she’s certainly knowledgeable about Bond’s ways:

Bond: Tell London I’ve made contact with the girl.
Paula:It’s not what I’d call contact, but I’ll pass it through. You’ve seen the girl.

Faking a motor malfunction, Bond hitches a ride on Domino’s boat and he continues his flirtation with her, but they’re both being watched-Domino by one of Largo’s henchman, and Bond, by a mysterious man in sunglasses. Gee, where have we seen that before? Bond appears to slip up for a second by mentioning Domino by her name before she told him, but luckily for him she has it on her ankle bracelet.

 

Next, we come to the Casino scene, where Bond and Largo meet formally and each tries to measure each other up, with Bond pretty much trolling Largo’s SPECTRE affiliation: “Yes, I thought I saw a SPECTRE at your shoulder; the SPECTRE of defeat, that your luck was about to change”. Largo doesn’t seem too bugged by it, in fact he shows off his fancy SPECTRE ring. SPECTRE’s got quite a lot of vanity; in fact it’s what gives them away in a different continuity, and it’s certainly what got the ball rolling on this film when Bond noticed Lippe’s Tong tattoo.

After beating Largo at cards, Bond takes Domino for a short dance, still subtly asking for information, and starting to win her over a little.  Largo-although jealous-invites Bond over to his estate. Despite the ring, he’s less obviously up to no good as say, Goldfinger.

 

…and there’s sunglasses guy again.

Bond returns to his hotel, but there’s somebody waiting for him-inside and outside his door. Thankfully, Bond has a hidden recorder. Outside, the man with the sunglasses tries to get in, but Bond sucker-punches him as he says “00….” Bond then quickly turns on the hot water in the shower, stunning Largo’s henchman Quist and disarming him.

Turns out the man with the sunglasses is in fact Felix Leiter-who has once again changed into a different actor, this time more in the Jack Lord style than Cec linder’s kind of clueless goof. The sunglasses he wears are even a callback to that, as Felix wore sunglasses early in Dr.No and we were unsure of his motives then…

Giving Quist his gun back-minus the bullets-Bond allows him to escape, “letting the little fish” back into the sea-and letting Felix know he’d like a look at Largo’s yacht-the “Disco Volante” (Italian for Flying Saucer-although in the remake Never Say Never Again, it actually called simply “Flying Saucer”).

 

Meanwhile, Qwist the “little fish” certainly gets thrown into a body of water for disappointing Largo.  One pool filled with Sharks, which make quick work of Qwist.

 

 

And thus begins the series’s fascination with sharks, who we’ll see even more of later in the movie. Sharks will appear again in “Live and Let Die”, “The Spy Who Loved Me” (as well as the man named “Jaws” after THE Shark movie) “For Your Eyes Only” and most spectacularly in “License to Kill” where they ate poor Felix’s legs…and later the guy who betrayed him. They don’t seem to have shown up that much in the Brosnan and Craig films. I wonder if a certain Bond parody had anything to do with that?

 

Next: Bond pays Largo a few visits, and goes searching for the missing plane and it’s lethal payload, but also comes across Fiona Volpe. Plus, Q stops by with some special toys.