Sunday, September 6, 2009

James Bond / Ian Fleming 100 Year Timeline

Beginning with the year 1908 (birth of Ian Fleming), follow along the history of the author's life experiences which led hin to the creation of the literary character of James Bond and the progression of his translation to the big screen by clicking here.

James Bond Imperial War Museum Exhibition On-line Preview

Here is an on-line / interactive preview of the Imperial War Museum (London) James Bond/Ian Fleming exhibit with the help of the Times on-line newspaper to offer readers an interactive preview of the museum's James Bond exhibition...enjoy it by clicking here. Even though the exhibit was on display through March 2009, the online info is still available.

James Bond's London Haunts (Interactive Map)

Next time you stop by to visit in London, England check out some of the actual locations where James Bond hung out in the various novel stories and movies...thanks to The Times On-Line, by clicking here you can view an interactive map of it all!

Bond, James Bond: George Lazenby celebrates his 70th Birthday 05SEP2009

George Lazenby, the one-time 007 actor who played James Bond in "On Her Majesties Secret Services" celebrated his 70th birthday yesterday, September 5, 2009.

Lazenby started life as an athletic skier (and ski instructor) but moved to London in 1964 to pursue a career in modeling. His single credit prior to signing onto O.H.M.S.S. (On Her Majesty's Secret Service) was in a film called "Espionage in Tangiers". Nevertheless he made his Hollywood debut as the second man to play Ian Fleming's James Bond on the screen.

Click here to read the complete MI6 George Lazenby Biography.

Bond James Bond - What Did Ian Fleming's Bond Look Like?

Technology has provided a glimpse into the mind of Ian Fleming when he was imagining what James Bond, his most famous creation, looked like.

Ian Fleming had in mind seven actors he thought would be best to play 007 in Dr No, the first of the Bond books to get the big screen treatment.

Researchers have now put together a composite photograph of the seven actors to reveal the face of Bond as envisaged by his creator and it is, arguably, closer to actor George Lazenby, who is widely considered the worst of all Bonds.

It is the first time that the technique, called prototyping, has been used to identify a fictional face but it has been shown to be accurate in creating pictures of crime suspects based on witness descriptions.

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Fleming’s first choice as Bond was Cary Grant but he was too expensive and the role eventually went to Sean Connery, whom many now believe to have been the best 007 of all.

Lazenby followed Connery, now Sir Sean Connery, in the role but lasted just one film. Roger Moore was the third Bond, followed by Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and, most recently, Daniel Craig.

Others on Fleming’s 1961 list of actors with the right faces were David Niven, James Mason, Patrick McGoohan, Rex Harrison, Richard Burton and Stewart Granger.

Fleming was inclined to have Niven but the actor turned down the part because he felt he was too old, although he later played Bond in the spoof 007 film, Casino Royale.

Connery failed to make the list and Fleming had serious misgivings about him but the researchers said the prototype picture looked more like him than any of the other five actors to play Bond.

“The image shows a clean-cut, classic-looking face which is far more Connery than Craig,” said Professor Richard Wiseman, who helped conduct the study. “Perhaps this is another way of resolving the question who is the best Bond.”

The process uses complex software to merge multiple images, creating one composite photograph, and psychologists hope the technique will provide insights into how the mind retains images.

Professor Wiseman, of the University of Hertfordshire, said: “This is a fun application but the more serious side is, if you have eyewitnesses to a crime, their e-fits all have differences. If you morph those e-fits, what you end up with is much more accurate.”

Rob Jenkins, a psychology lecturer at the University of Glasgow, helped with the study and said: “I think Sean Connery comes out of it quite well — certainly more so than Roger Moore. I also think it looks quite like Cary Grant who, of course, was Fleming’s first choice as Bond.”

Despite Fleming’s original doubts about Connery, the actor’s performance won him over and in later books he gave 007 a partial Scottish ancestry. Nevertheless, whatever image Fleming had of Bond before Dr Nowas filmed, it did not appear to quite match what he wrote earlier in Casino Royale.

Describing Bond in the 1953 book, the first of series, the author wrote: “It was a dark, clean-cut face, with a three-inch scar showing whitely down the sunburned skin of the right cheek . . . His features relapsed into a taciturn mask, ironical, brutal, and cold.” The exercise will be discussed at the Science Museum’s Dana Centre in London tomorrow night.

— A Colt Python .357 Magnum revolver made for Fleming after he wrote The Man With the Golden Gun, featuring a Colt .45, is to be sold by Bonhams. Estimate: £10-15,000

Bond James Bond - Ian Fleming's Life Adventures Create Bond

I came to man-hood in the early 1960's along with the advent of the James Bond movies...I was a movie-buff it was easy for me to translate the unreality of the films I saw into my own personal reality...I had a Father complex where I saw my Dad just as suave and debonair as that guy on-screen at the time...the following article is extracted from The Times - London, published August 18, 2007 by Ben Macintyre, entitiled "The life that led to 007":

"In March 1952 a middle-aged journalist began tapping out a story on a battered typewriter, partly to take his mind off his imminent marriage. One month later Casino Royale was completed and James Bond was born.

Ian Fleming had tried his hand as a stockbroker, a reporter on The Times and, during the Second World War, a spymaster in the Naval Intelligence Division. But shortly before the end of the war he told a friend: “I am going to write the spy story to end all spy stories.” By the time of his death, in 1964, Fleming had written 14 Bond books, sold more than 40 million copies, creating a character with a lasting grip on popular culture.

Like Bond, Fleming was attractive to women: hard-living and handsome, with exquisite taste and considerable charm, but with something cold and hard in his personality. But Bond dined on caviar and champagne; Fleming preferred scrambled eggs (“they never let you down”), Bond smoked 70 cigarettes a day and drank nuclear cocktails with little apparent effect; Fleming’s drinking and smoking contributed to his death at the age of 56.

Fleming understood the importance of “things” in an postwar world that was slowly waking up to the possibilities of consumerism. The key to the modern thriller, Fleming once remarked, was to “write about what people are really interested in: cards, money, gold and things like that”.

Working for The Times and then The Sunday Times, Fleming travelled to distant and glamorous locations. Like all the best journalists he was a magpie, gathering anything that caught his eye: gizmos, plots and personalities. Fleming often based his characters, including Bond, on people he had met, and he gathered names from his wide acquaintance. The villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld, for example, was named after the father of the cricket commentator Henry Blofeld, who had been at Eton with Fleming.

- For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond, supported by The Times will run from April 25, 2008, to March 1, 2009, at the Imperial War Museum. Ben Macintyre is writing the book to accompany the exhibition, For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond, due to be published by Bloomsbury in April."