Early James Bond movies such as Dr. No, From Russia With Love or Thunderball showed Sean Connery smoking cigarettes in cocktail jackets, parading around casinos while women with exceptionally large exposed bosoms and compromised IQ points followed him around.
James Bond is the epitome of masculine grace and ruthless sexuality, and he doesn’t suffer the unmentionable consequences of his social habits. We don’t hear about unplanned pregnancies or unfortunate sexually transmitted diseases. He’s Bond, James Bond. As viewers, we’re led to believe that such misfortunes won't touch him or that his women are too pure and clean to inflict such inconveniences.
The first time I saw a James Bond film, I had no idea Sean Connery or Ian Fleming even existed. In 1977, my dad took me to see The Spy Who Loved Me, starring Roger Moore. James Bond, 007, drove a car that transformed into a submarine. There were helicopter and snow skiing chase scenes and lots of things blowing up. His suits never wrinkled or stained and ladies of all nationalities had to be near him. He traveled to all kinds of exotic places while never having a language barrier or currency issue. Yet, someone was always out to kill him. He kept his cool, saved the day, had relations with countless women and killed the bad guy ... all with in two hours.
It wasn’t until I grew older that I realized James Bond was a character created by Ian Fleming, an English author, journalist and former naval intelligence officer, best known for his spy novels. The James Bond character has evolved in the movies over the years, with his class and style, making him more desirable and sought after. The newest James Bond film, Skyfall, starring Daniel Craig, is a far cry from the old school James Bond we all remember. There’s state-of-the-art technology, physical strength, respect and intelligent women within a believable plot.
007 has evolved. Although the original movie character is not appropriate by today's standards, he’s still a classic. Only James Bond can get away with sarcasm prior to killing a spy or snobbish arrogance when blowing off a mute Bond beauty.
I love pulling out the old James Bond movies and watching them with my kids. With each movie, Sean Connery’s hair thins a bit more, Roger Moore’s mole becomes a bit more apparent while fashion becomes fluffy and technology more clunky. Yet, Money Penny remains a spinster, waiting for the day James will sweep her away from her oak desk and "Q" continues to deliver 007’s incognito killing toys.
The characters and scenes may change, but the thrill and energetic ride continue to entertain. Like his token vodka martini, shaken not stirred, James Bond is still a cool cat able to woo the ladies without messing up his hair, losing a poker game, or having a gambling problem or social disease. Classic Bond. James Bond.