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From Dr. No to Quantum of Solace Bond continues to be a contemporary classic

30 October, 2008

For more than 50 years James Bond has only grown in popularity delighting children and adults alike around the world. How does a character, created in 1953, continue to captivate today's movie audiences?

quantum of solace poster

Ian Fleming wrote the first James Bond novel, Casino Royale, in 1953. The end of World War II marked the beginning of a world increasingly divided between the East and West. Fleming used this situation, along with his experience from being a spy for the British government, to create the sophisticated and dangerous Bond successfully completing missions in a Cold War atmosphere. Nine years later DR. NO became the first Bond film to hit the cinemas staying close to Fleming's character and stories.

Naturally the films have evolved over the years changing with each director, Bond actor, new technology and world events. Goldfinger (1964) marked a key change within the franchise with its emphasis on new-age gadgets and adding humor into the storyline, things not as important in the original books. The movie also saw major popularity on a worldwide level and an influx of James Bond merchandise which has continued to this day. In the mid-1960s consumers could get the latest Bond suit, puzzles, trenchcoats and games. Now Bond fans can even purchase a limited edition Quantum Of Solace cocktail shaker by Smirnoff or an Omega watch from their James Bond collection.

All six actors to portray Bond have contributed to the ever-changing franchise. Sean Connery, the original James Bond set the high standard for the sophisticated and gritty Bond. George Lazenby made his first and only appearance as Bond in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) and helped bring the character back to his roots before the next films started taking Bond in a more comical direction. After Connery reappeared as Bond for one last time in Diamonds Are Forever (1971) Roger Moore then had the honor for more than a decade portraying Bond in seven films between 1973 and 1985. During this time the movies tended to be less serious and more fantastical. Bond became more of comical hero with a steady flow of one-liners. This changed in 1987 when Timothy Dalton took on the role and gave Bond back his serious edge in The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill in 1989. Next up was Pierce Brosnan, who played the character in a post-Cold War world starting with his first outing in 1995 with Goldeneye. Plotlines shifted to dealing with international incidents and the last Brosnan movie, 2002's Die Another Day, introduced new computerized special effects and highly advanced technological gadgets. (Maybe a little too advanced like with the invisible Aston Martin...)

Casino Royale (2006) introduced a new Bond to the world, in more ways than one. Daniel Craig exhibited the darker, edgier side of Bond as well as introducing the idea that the character was flawed and slightly vulnerable in someway. While the film did use elaborate chase scenes and high-tech stunt work it stayed away from the fancy gadgets giving a more realistic version of things. The film was also the first time Bond was blonde and shown in more casual clothes further defining Bond's move into the 21st century.

Bond has successfully adapted to meet changing technologies, world trends and audience tastes. Whether people want to see action, humor, drama or a visual spectacle of special effects they can get it through the Bond films. He is the ultimate timeless character that every boy, and man, wants to be and every woman wants to be around. Anything you would ever want to do in your real life Bond can actually do, and does. The character and the films provide pure entertainment and escapism for their audiences. Like Bond seduces women, he has continually used his mystery, ability and excitement to seduce audiences everywhere.

Quantum Of Solace is in UK cinemas everywhere from October 31st.

  www.007.com


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