Thunderball (Ian Fleming)

The Bond originally conceived by the cinema was very much a creature of the 1960s. Yet the Bond of the books is a man of the 1950s. And like many men in the 1950s, eating an English breakfast 3 times daily and not only being unfit, but unable to even spell the word, seemed to be de rigueur: James is in poor shape it seems, 60 cigarettes a day (think of that in 2017….where would he even find a place to smoke that often!?) do not keep the doctor away. And he drinks like a fish. So M sends him away on a little vacation to recuperate…again. And, of course, each time James goes away to rest, someone tries to take him out. What a life huh? [Read more…]

Arabesque (1966 USA)

After the success of his Hitchcock homage “Charade”, director Stanley Donen made this very similar comedy-thriller with Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren in the lead roles. While Peck and Loren are not quite as suited to this kind of thing as Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, they still make an attractive couple. If you thought “Charade” was complex, you’ll find “Arabesque” resembles a hundred shoelaces tangled into an impenetrable knot. The plot is not really meant to be followed – it merely exists as an excuse to stage one dazzling set piece after another. But it’s Arabesque’s wildly inventive cinematography which sets it apart from virtually every other action film. Its beautiful to behold. Quite a feast for the eyes. [Read more…]

The Man From U.N.C.L.E (1964–1967 USA)

uncleWhat made MFU such a hit? Maybe the male baby-boomers who thought the exciting life depicted here was how life was going to be. Women, travel, women, cool suits, women, weapons, excitement, women, etc,. Did I mention women? Sure beat the work-a-day world their Dads had to live in during the 1960s. They were in for a big surprise when they grew up. No UNCLE organization, no space travel, no huge amounts of leisure time. Meanwhile, the girlies who couldn’t get enough of Robert Vaughn just threw their knickers at the TV screen. What would it take to get his attention & make him desire them? In a word…THRUSH!  [Read more…]

Archer (USA 2009 – 2016)

Archer-e1395687273292It’s like James Bond became an abusive alcoholic and everyone he works with are insane. It looks pretty and is well animated. It’s full of funny jokes and best of all it has a story line that runs through out the whole series. I love Archer because it doesn’t have a new story every episode and forgetting what happened last time. You get to know the characters and see them develop as the episode goes on. The show doesn’t shy away from change. [Read more…]

The Prisoner (1967 UK)

prisoneSometimes you just have to shut off the TV of today and return to the boob tube from the dark ages. Courtesy of dvd mostly, of course. The Prisoner is one of those entertainment thingys you can watch as fluff action-adventure one day, or as a mysterious drama with secret messages for you to decode the next time you give it a whirl. [Read more…]

Rogue Male (Geoffrey Household)

A-new-jacket-for-a-reissu-002A big game hunter gets arrested on the point of shooting at a character who is probably Hitler, escapes death after horrible torture and spends the rest of the novel evading recapture. How the world has changed since 1939. Our hero here felt that man was not intended to travel over 40 miles per hour, and he’s troubled by litter from paper bags. [Read more…]

LIVE AND LET DIE (Ian Fleming)

a045c6354116a6a3d907c46f16fa055cThe second James Bond novel  established the format in ways that were largely followed in the films also: Bond is briefed by M about an enemy agent (in this case, Mr Big) and sent abroad to break the SMERSH operation. In the course of this New York – Florida – Jamaican adventure, Bond encounters an assortment of villains, henchmen and beautiful women. [Read more…]

DR NO (Britain 1962)

qiiZK2WbtupSSq9TaM57ZtnYH4nIn the beginning was the word and the word was Bond. Here is the genesis of cinematic style over substance. “Dr. No” is incredibly dated but it has a unique, naive quality. There’s no tongue-in-cheek self-awareness here, this is the first glimpse that audiences had of all the different themes that would develop in the series. [Read more…]

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