Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Features

November 5, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mister Bond

EFFINGHAM —     No name is more synonymous with espionage than James Bond.

    This month, the new Bond movie “Skyfall” will hit theaters to mark the 50th anniversary of the first James Bond movie, “Dr. No,” which came out in 1962.

    First off, I’m gonna say that I’m not sure why my Aunt Debbie introduced a 10-year-old to a character with a knack for flirting with seemingly loose women and a very strong martini addiction. But hey, I loved every second of it. So far, I haven’t developed any addictions other than a love of bad puns and good bourbon.

    Bond has changed a lot since Sean Connery first played him in “Dr. No,” the movie that started a 22-film phenomenon. When I was younger and hadn’t read any of the original novels, I always wondered how MGM (or Metro-Golden-Mayer) could keep making films on a character my friend Shauna deemed “James Gigolo Bond.” Not only did I wonder why they kept making them, but how the films kept doing so well in theaters.

    After seeing all the movies, I was interested enough to read the novels. It was then I realized Bond was a period piece. The primary concerns in the novels were Soviet Russia and nuclear weapons. It’s still a good read, but I mean … c’mon, you can’t run a story like that now.

    For better or worse, the stories were updated to what was going on in the world at that specific point in time. So, whether you’re watching Sean Connery’s 1967 film, “You Only Live Twice,” getting your fill of British-American space race propaganda or seeing Timothy Dalton’s 1989 film, “License To Kill,” to learn how prevalent cocaine was in the ’80s, the fact is it’s how the movies have kept going and how they’ve been kept fresh.

    Taking novels that were written in the ’50s and ’60s and converting the stories into plots for films set today cannot be easy. For the most part, I’d say the films have been done pretty well, except Roger Moore’s 1979 film, “Moonraker.” Bond never went to outer space!

    So, to my friend Shauna, who is probably going to roll her eyes, laugh and then slap me for putting her in my column, that’s how Bond has lasted so long.

    Ever since I started watching these films, I’ve always heard older people gripe about one Bond not being as good as another. The primary argument is that nobody is better than Sean Connery. Between an interview about him that I can’t remember where I watched and late night boredom spent on Wikipedia, I’ve learned Connery didn’t want to play Bond as many times as he did. Bond’s either been portrayed by someone who exemplified the times or by whoever was willing to play him over and over again (cough … cough, Roger Moore).

    But now, the new guy is in. Well, I guess he’s not really “The new Bond” anymore, he’s just Bond. Daniel Craig, “The Blonde Bond” as he’s called in every review I’ve read of the two films he’s done so far, “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace.”

    It seems old habits die hard because everyone I talk to compares Craig to Connery. I’m not sure about most people, but everyone I know in the military comes home in incredibly good physical shape. I really don’t think a secret agent in this century would be a skinny, chain-smoking alcoholic.

    I’ve grown up with Bond and had many arguments over it with many people. I think people argue over who’s the best because honestly, it’s really fun. I feel like it’s nothing more sacred than tradition for Bond fans to bicker over who’s the best and I’ll continue to do so.

    Overall, MGM has made many movies that have been passed from generation to generation. Bond continues to stand the test of time due to the devotion of fans and the innovative plots that have capture audiences. So to you, I say, Happy Birthday, Mister Bond.

1
Text Only
Features
  • Study: Kids gain weight more quickly over summer break

    Any parent or teacher can tell you that schoolchildren tend to slip back a bit academically over the long summer break. But now a Harvard University study has come up with troubling indications that they also gain weight more quickly during those months when, traditionally, we hope they're outdoors much of the time, enjoying the summer sun.

    June 16, 2014

  • 20140614-AMX-RETIRE-GENX14.jpg Lean retirement looms for Generation X

    When their working years end, Gen-Xers might have to live on just half of their pre-retirement income, compared with 60 percent for the Baby Boom generation, Pew said last year.

    June 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140612-AMX-FATHERS-CARDS123.jpg Father's Day cards make subjects the targets of jokes

    There's a good chance if you receive — or give — a Father's Day card this weekend, Dad will be portrayed as a flatulent, beer-obsessed, tool-challenged buffoon who would rather hog the remote, go fishing or play golf than be with the kids.

    June 15, 2014 3 Photos

  • Texting while driving is latest teen risk as smoking declines

    While smoking among American teens has fallen to a 22-year low, most adolescents admit to engaging in a new type of risky behavior: texting while driving.

    June 15, 2014

  • $15 minimum wage puts Seattle in uncharted waters

    Depending on which pundit is nattering away, this means Seattle is either going to fall off the map and become a "Mad Max"-style economic wasteland or transform into an egalitarian utopia that inspires sweeping pro-labor activism nationwide.

    June 7, 2014

  • 2010-Winter-Olympic-Games-001.jpg Nobody wants to host the Winter Olympics

    If we end up watching slopestyle from the Central Asia steppes in 2022, it will likely be because it's becoming clear that nobody in Europe wants to host these Olympics anymore. Publics may finally be getting wise to the fact that the long-term economic benefits of hosting mega-events like the Olympics or the World Cup are usually negligible at best.

    May 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • airplanes-work-1.jpg Airfare honesty? It may be an oxymoron

    The issue of fare advertising has taken on a renewed sense of urgency now that Congress is considering removing the Transportation Department's full-fare advertising rule, which requires airlines and ticket sellers to display a price that you can actually book.

    May 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Study: Both men and women feel less stress at work than at home

    In a newly released study in the Journal of Science and Medicine, researchers carefully examined the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, of a variety of workers throughout the day. The data clearly showed that both men and women are significantly less stressed out at work than they are at home.
     And the women they studied said they were happier at work. While the men said they felt happier at home.

    May 27, 2014

  • Five myths about caffeine

    But how much do you know about the drug - and yes, it is a drug - you're consuming? Before downing one more gulp of your favorite stimulant, let go of some persistent, caffeinated myths.

    May 27, 2014

  • Making the most of longer school days

    Research shows that extra time doesn't help unless it is well used. With that in mind, the Boston-based National Center on Time and Learning has just released recommendations on the best way to construct a longer school day.

    May 26, 2014

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.