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The Name Is Bond... James Bond!

The Name Is Bond... James Bond!

April 10, 2023

From Miss Moneypenny to martinis, Aston Martins to exotic locations, Q and MI6, gadgets to espionage, femme fatale to car chases, gun fights to explosions, Agent 007 has been rocking the spy world for 70 years!

The immaculately clad secret agent began his career from the pen of Ian Fleming when Casino Royale was published on April 13, 1953. Casino Royale was a commercial success when it was published, becoming the first of his writing to be adapted to comic strips, a television episode, and finally, the Daniel Craig film of the same name in 2006. Canonically, Casino Royale is the first mission of Bond.

James Bond would make his first on-screen appearance in Dr. No, which debuted on October 5, 1962, in the United Kingdom, and on May 8, 1963, in the United States. The film starred legendary Scottish actor Sean Connery as the MI6 agent and Golden Globe-winner Ursula Andress as his leading lady. This story is very important because it’s the first to mention the infamous Spectre. Dr. No was a book first, published on March 31, 1958.

Published on April 16, 1962, The Spy Who loved Me would become the next big hit in the canon, though it was Book 10. The film version did not arrive until the summer of 1977 and included the third performance of Roger Moore as James Bond. It also received three Academy Award nominations. Fleming’s final official book, Octopussy and the Living Daylights, was published posthumously June 23, 1966, and the film, also starring Roger Moore, was released June 6, 1983.

Between the years 1962 and 2022, the collective 27 films of James Bond received 100 award nominations and gleaned 21, mostly for the films’ iconic opening songs, visual effects, and music or sound editing work. Over the course of this time, only seven actors played the role. The Library’s collection proudly boasts all of the Bond films, check it out here.

Ian Fleming wrote 12 Bond books, two Bond short story collections, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and two works of nonfiction. His credits earned him many accolades, including Bestselling Fiction Series and one of the Top 50 British Authors (from 1945). Check out MCPL’s collection of his works here.

Why does Bond’s legacy still continue to inspire viewers, readers, and other writers today? In my opinion, it’s a bevy of factors. Ultimately, I think it’s the wish for us to believe in a hero. We all need one. Perhaps there is a bit of James Bond in all of us. Personally, I prefer my martini shaken, not stirred.

If you wish to learn more about Ian Fleming, look here. Remember, the name is Fleming, Ian Fleming.

Andrew E.
Red Bridge Branch

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