Things you didn’t know about Bond!

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It’s a character that has withstood the test of time, making it the longest continually running movie series of its kind. And I’m sure that there’s not a single movie-buff out there who has not even seen at least one of his movies. For there’s no one else like Bond, James Bond!

More than 50 years ago, on the 5th of October in 1962, the first James Bond film, Dr No, had its world premiere in London. Ever since then, the Bond films have become the most successful cinema series of all time and were responsible for the so-called ‘spy-mania’ of that era.

But, did you know that James Bond was a household name long before Dr. No was made into a film? Ian Fleming’s novels had already sold millions of copies internationally and had even been turned into a successful comic strip. When the famed author was asked if he had seen a preview of the film, he candidly had replied, “Yes, I have. I’ve seen the rough cut and I must say I think they’ve certainly managed to hit it off very well. They’ve got a very good star as James Bond, a man called Sean Connery, a Scotsman, who weight-lifts in Scotland and boxed for the navy and a very good Shakespearean actor and so on, and they’ve got plenty of excitement and gun play and what all in the film and I think it’ll probably be a very great success.”

Well, the rest, as they say, is history!

Did you know that Fleming wrote Bond an obituary for You Only Live Twice and from that we learnt that Bond’s parents were Andrew Bond, a Scottish man, and Monique Delacroix, a Swiss woman and both parents died when he was 11 years old. He lived with an aunt in England, studied at Eton and Fettes College in Edinburgh, graduated from high school at 17 and was recruited into the Royal Navy. “The world is not enough” is the Bond family motto. Want to know more such hidden notes about the famous character, read on.

  • James Bond has killed 352 people, from  No to Quantum of Solace.
  • Q’s real name, Major Boothroyd, is only mentioned in  NoFrom Russia With Love, and The Spy Who Loved Me.
  • Fleming chose the name ‘James Bond’ because he wanted to find a name “as mundane as possible.” Bond’s namesake is actually the ornithologist Dr. James Bond, lifted from a bird watching book that the author had handy.
  • Few of the other actors considered for the role were Cary Grant, Christopher Lee, Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds, Adam West, Tom Jones, Liam Neeson, Mel Gibson, Hugh Grant, Gerard Butler and Will Smith.
  • It is not Bond, but Stuntman Bob Simmons who is the figure that appears in the opening gun barrel sequence for the first three James Bond movies.
  • The five pilots flying the planes in Flying Circus in Goldfinger were actually men wearing blonde wigs.
  • Casino Royale’s car barrel roll stunt with the Aston Martin DBS broke the world record for the most barrel rolls assisted by a cannon; the car completed seven full rolls.
  • Richard Kiel, who played Jaws, could only keep his metal teeth in his mouth for about half a minute at a time, and the chain that he bit through at the Pyramids in The Spy Who Loved Me was made of liquorice.
  • It is said that the Bond character was based on the author himself; both preferred coffee to tea, smoked the same kind of cigarettes, were commanders in the British Navy, loved women, and preferred their martinis shaken, not stirred.
  • Each scene that shows Roger Moore running in his seven Bond films was performed by a body double since Moore felt he looked awkward when running.
  • Despite handling and being around many firearms on set, Moore suffers from Hoplophobia – a fear of firearms which dates back to a childhood accident where he was shot in the leg with an air rifle by his brother.
  • While Bond producer Cubby Broccoli was impressed with Sean Connery after seeing him in Darby O’Gill and the Little People, he wanted verify his attractiveness to women – so he took his wife to another screening of the film. Mrs. Broccoli was impressed.
  • M’s house in Skyfall is the former home of John Barry, Bond composer.
  • President JFK is partly responsible for Bond’s success in the US. In a 1961 interview with Life Magazine, he listed From Russia, With Love as one of his favourite novels of all time. Sales boomed, and the next Bond film made was From Russia, With Love.
  • Daniel Craig was given 85 copies of Bond’s Tom Ford suit for the opening sequence of SkyfallSkyfall’s cast went through 200,000 rounds of ammunition while undergoing weapons training.
  • Goldfinger was the first Bond film to feature Bond driving an Aston-Martin and using gadgets – it was also the first film in history to feature a laser beam.
  • The Man With The Golden Gun’s corkscrew car jump over a canal was performed in one take and was captured by eight cameras. It was the first stunt ever to be calculated by computer modelling.
  • A visit to Jamaica during World War II inspired Ian Fleming to buy an estate there, which he called Goldeneye. Fleming wrote many of his 14 novels there and, long after Fleming’s death, it became the namesake of the 17th Bond film – Pierce Brosnan’s Bond debut.
  • George Lucas found inspiration for the character of Indiana Jones by watching Sean Connery’s portrayal of Bond. When Connery was cast in The Last Crusade, Lucas said: “Who else but Bond could have been worthy enough to play Indiana Jones’ dad!”
  • Ian Fleming wrote the Bond novels on a gold-plated Royal typewriter.
  • Sean Connery wore a toupee in each of his Bond films. While filming Diamonds Are Forever, actor Joe Robinson accidentally pulled off the toupee during a fight scene.
  • Judi Dench’s ringtone is the James Bond theme song. Dench, who has played M since Goldeneye in 1995, was filming for Skyfall when her phone went off.
  • In Thunderball, Sean Connery had to swim with sharks. The one that looks as if it comes closest to getting a mouthful of Bond was actually a shark corpse pulled along by a crew member off screen.
  • Fleming originally thought that four Bond books were enough, but his publisher persuaded him to wait until he had written 10 before killing the character — a fake death, it turned out.
  • In the movie Casino Royale, Bond’s birthday is given as April 13, 1968, the same month and day that Casino Royale came out as a novel, and the same year Daniel Craig was born.
  • Spectre was known as “Bond 24” prior to the announcement of the movie’s name, because it was the 24th in the series.
  • In the 53 years from  No to Spectre, 24 James Bond movies will have been released by Eon Productions, the company founded in 1961 by Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman.
  • There have been other Bond movies too, he first appeared onscreen in a 1954 television version of Casino Royale.
  • Another Casino Royale, a spy-movie spoof, was released in 1967 by a man who had purchased the rights to the book but didn’t want to compete with Eon. It starred Bond girl Ursula Andress, Peter Sellers, Orson Welles and Woody Allen as ‘Jimmy Bond’.
  • Ursula Andress set a precedent for Bond Girl sexiness that has lasted more than a half-century when, playing Honey Ryder, she emerged from the sea in  No.
  • Years later, when Ursula found the bikini in her attic she put the item up for auction and sold for £35,000. The winner of the auction was Robert Earl, co-founder of Planet Hollywood.
  • The James Bond theme music is now iconic, but it almost ended up in a different movie. Tony-nominated composer Monty Norman, who did the score for No, for the famous intro theme turned to a piece of music he had already written, a snippet from a musical-theater adaptation of the V.S. Naipaul novel A House for Mr. Biswas. The song didn’t make it into the Mr. Biswas play, so Norman decided to turn it into the Bond theme by adding electric guitar and a funkier sound, as arranged by John Barry.
  • What’s M’s full fictional name? According to the novel The Man with the Golden Gun, M is Sir Miles Messervy, a retired vice admiral and knight commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George.
  • Goldfinger was expected to be a blockbuster, and the movie’s team wanted to give it a winning introduction. For the London world premiere, on Sept. 17, 1964, they spared no expense. The film reels arrived in gold canisters and co-star Honor Blackman, wore a 22-carat gold finger.
  • That famous gun barrel was a price-tag sticker. Maurice Binder, the title designer who worked on most Bond movies from  Noto Licence to Kill used circular white stickers, meant to be price tags, as a stand-in for gunshot holes. It was filmed through with a pinhole camera.
  • Hugh Jackman turned down the role that went to Daniel Craig in Casino Royale.
  • Sean Connery’s salary made the Guinness World Records. It seems small today, but his $1.25 million-dollar pay check was massive for the time and he donated that money to the Scottish International Education Trust, a charity he founded.
  • When The Man with the Golden Gun was filming on location, the area was remote and isolated in Phuket, Thailand. These days, the island is better known as James Bond Island and is a major tourist attraction.
  • Do you think Sean Connery is the only spy-movie star in his family? No. Sean’s younger brother Neil Connery made his film debut in 1967, as a character named Dr. Neil Connery, in a movie called Operation Kid Brother, an Italian spoof of the genre his brother made famous
  • Ian Fleming invented Bond but other famous writers have written for it too, after Fleming died in 1964. One of them is Roald Dahl who wrote the script for You Only Live Twice.
  • Moonraker was made because of Star Wars. The success of the 1977 space epic encouraged the Bond maker to turn their attention to a space-centric movie, hence the 1979 Moonraker.
  • Pierce Brosnan was offered the role in 1986, but due to his Remington Steele contract he didn’t take it up. And one of the Bond girls in For Your Eyes Only was Cassandra Harris, who had married Brosnan six months before the movie came out. She died of cancer in 1991 and never got to see Brosnan make his Bond debut.
  • At 51 years old, Monica Bellucci became the oldest woman to play opposite James Bond. The actress explained that she doesn’t accept the term “Bond girl” and prefers to be called a “Bond woman.”

Based on various polls, the most popular James Bond original soundtrack is Shirley Bassey’s Goldfinger from the movie of the same name. Goldfinger has soared into the pop cultural heavens and will likely be adored as an action standard for all time and Bassey’s song is the crown of all James Bond theme songs. Bond themes have known to become essential trademarks of its movies. This was the first true Bond theme, playing over opening credits and the singer holds that final note for so long that it may reverberate with us forever!