James Bond

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James Bond – Glossary
 There can’t be much doubt that James Bond is the world’s most famous fictional spy.

He was created in the early 1950s by the English author Ian Fleming in a book called Casino Royale, the first of a long series, and in 1962 he appeared for the first time in cinemas in the film Dr. No. Since then there have been twenty-two Bond films, all of which have been successful. The first actor to play Bond (and, in many people’s opinion, still the best) was the Scotsman Sean Connery. The most recent is Daniel Craig, who was in Casino Royale (based on Fleming’s book) in 2006 and Quantum of Solace in 2008.

As anyone who has seen any of the films will know, Bond works for the British secret service, his assignments take him to lots of exotic places around the world, and his enemy is usually a shadowy international criminal or terrorist organisation. It isn’t clear exactly how old Bond is, but he’s probably in his late thirties or early forties, this being the age of almost all the actors who play him. He is intelligent, calm in dangerous situations, and likes to introduce himself with the famous words, ‘Bond. James Bond.’

He is also handsome (usually with dark hair, although Daniel Craig is blonde), well-dressed and rarely without female company – the list of ‘Bond girls’ over the years has included some very famous actresses. His famous code number is 007 (‘double-oh-seven’), with the ‘00’ standing for ‘licence to kill’. He does indeed kill people from time to time but his violence is always represented as being justified. Bond films are well-known for their gadgets, which are often used by Bond himself: an exploding key ring, a wristwatch that fires a laser beam and a surfboard containing electronic communications equipment are just three examples.


Although in some ways the Bond films have stayed the same, there are some interesting ways in which they reflect social changes. One of the most obvious is that the early Bonds were smokers, while the more recent ones are never seen with a cigarette. Also, Bond’s boss in the secret service, ‘M’, is now female, which perhaps reflects the fact that the real life British security service, MI5, was headed by a woman for the first time in the 1990s.

 



 

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