Words About Bond: Part II

My reviews(with spoilers) of the various James Bond films continue:

* * *

Words About Bond, 1-3

Bond: Sean Connery
Villain: Auric Goldfinger
Henchman: Oddjob
Bond Girls: Pussy Galore, Jill Masterson

Arguably one of the more famous of the Connery films, Goldfinger was the first film in the series that I saw. I don't recall seeing it through initially; though it aired on broadcast television, it ran well past my bedtime and my mom decided the subject matter was inappropriate for a child. The film contains a great many images that even the casual viewer might associate with the character. Bond sheds a wetsuit in the opening sequence, clad in a perfectly dry white tuxedo. After defeating an assailant by tossing him in a bathtub along with a lamp, he quips, “Shocking.” When he first crosses paths with the film's title adversary, he seduces Goldfinger's girlfriend, Jill Masterson. He's subsequently knocked unconscious by Oddjob, Goldfinger's large Asian bodyguard, known for tossing a deadly bowler hat with a razor sharp steel brim. Bond awakens to find Masterson dead, covered head to toe in gold paint. As a personal aside, this was the point I was sent to bed the first time I watched the movie.

007's investigation of the criminal now takes a personal turn, and it should be noted that Jill is the first Bond girl to perish in the series. Eventually, he makes his way to Goldfinger's lair, where he is captured and restrained. In the most memorable scene, once lampooned on The Simpsons, Bond is tied to a table as a laser makes it's way toward him. “Do you expect me to talk?” he asks, slightly unnerved as the bisecting beam nears his crotch. “No Mr. Bond! I expect you to DIE!”

Of course, he talks his way out of this predicament, and soon meets Goldfinger's pilot, Pussy Galore. “I must be dreaming...” is Bond's wry response to meeting the girl with the most risqué name in the franchise. Eventually, he foils Goldfinger's attempt to irradiate all the gold in Fort Knox, in a final showdown with Oddjob. When the henchman tosses his hat and tries to pry it loose from the metal bars it wedges in, Bond dives and touches a high voltage cable to the metal, once more electrocuting someone. Of course, in charming Galore he got her to betray Goldfinger, and when he returns for revenge on the both of them, a struggle on a small plane results in Goldfinger being sucked out the window, and Bond ending up on an island with the girl.

Bond: Sean Connery
Villain: Emilio Largo
Henchman: Fiona Volpe
Bond Girl: Domino

Connery's fourth outing as the British secret agent finds him once again utilizing cutting edge technology, escaping his enemies in the beginning of the film with a jetpack, the ‘60s' Bell Rocket Belt, similar to one seen on an episode of Gilligan's Island. These never caught on in practical military applications, as the duration of the flight was only a few seconds and the backpack got dangerously hot. Years later, the stuntman who executed the actual flight in the film laughs when watching Connery land and toss the thing in his trunk, pointing out how hot it would be at that point. The jetpack, along with other famous gadgets from the series, shows up in Die Another Day, 16 movies and 4 official Bonds later.

Bond is sent by M to recuperate at a spa following his initial mission. While in a stretching device, a villain cranks up the pressure to eliminate him, because he saw something suspicious. He passes out, and is saved by a nurse who previously rejected his advances. He uses her concern over what she thinks was her mistake as a bargaining chip: his silence in exchange for her submission. In most cases, the fantasy that is James Bond entails women swooning and coming to his bed willingly. This particular scene seems to be a darker aspect of the character, and one I'm glad was eventually discarded.

With Bond distracted, a man who had facial reconstruction performed at the clinic successfully escapes to impersonate a NATO agent, and steal a plane carrying two nuclear warheads. The man he replaced is found dead in the clinic by Bond, and turns out to be the brother of the main villain's female companion. Bond meets up with the pair in a casino, a recurring setting in the films. The villain, Emilio Largo, is in fact the second-in-command of the SPECTRE organization headed by Ernst Stavro Blofeld, who has yet to appear as more than a pair of hands or a lap with a white cat, but will play a larger role as the series progresses. Just as Doctor Evil in the Austen Powers movies spoofs Blofeld, so does Number 2 spoof Largo, complete with his eyepatch.

One scene finds Bond in Largo's pool, which connects to a second, shark-filled pool. Earlier in the film Largo had eliminated a lackey for his failure by tossing him to the sharks. With Bond in the water, trapped by a grating, he lifts the gate and lets the sharks in. Connery was never supposed to be exposed to the actual sharks, with a trainer in the second pool at all times, but one slipped past the trainer. In the scene where Bond's eyes widen as a shark swims past him in the tunnel connecting the two pools, the fear we see is real.

Both Bond and Connery escape the sharks, of course, and Bond defeats Largo's assassin Fiona Volpe when, while dancing with her, he turns so her own agents shoot her instead of Bond. He sets her down at a nearby table, telling the people that “She's just dead.” It’s not his best pun. Bond tells Largo's woman, Domino, the truth about her brother, and the film's climax features a major underwater battle between SPECTRE and U.S. Navy seals sent by Bond's U.S. ally Felix Leiter. Largo's boat splits in two, and he escapes on the front half with one of the warheads. Bond pursues, and during their struggle it is Domino who fires a harpoon, killing Largo. As the Navy retrieves them from the ocean, Bond once again gets the girl.

6You Only Live Twice
Bond: Sean Connery
Villain: Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Donald Pleasence)

The fifth in the official series would finally introduce viewers and Bond to Blofeld, and would be Connery's last consecutive time playing Bond. Bond appears to die early in the film, in the bed of a Chinese consort. When she leaves, the bed flips up into the wall as assassins rush in and spray machine gun fire. Later, Bond is given a burial at sea, where his body is retrieved and he is revealed to be alive and well with a breathing device.

This may be the weakest of the Connery Bond films. While Thunderball was average in comparison to its predecessors, elements of You Only Live Twice strain credibility. In agitating the cold war between the U.S. and Russia, SPECTRE uses a rocket that literally swallows other rockets in space, so each country believes the other responsible for the loss of their men and ships. Bond's death is faked to allow him freedom in investigating this situation, and calls for him to travel to Japan and change his appearance to Japanese. Connery's eyes are taped back as he's fitted with a black wig, and he gets some ninja training as well. I'm not sure how politically correct that was in 1967, but my main concern is the plausibility. Of course, trademark accent and all, later in his career Connery would portray a Russian submarine commander, so it wouldn't be the last time belief had to be sustained.

Eventually, after a fake wedding and some other trivial events, Bond infiltrates a SPECTRE base concealed inside a volcano. It's one of the more impressive lairs in the series and one of the better points of the film. Inside, he comes face to scarred face with Blofeld for the first time. The villain wastes time sharing his plans, Bond manages to escape and open the volcano's blast doors, allowing ninja's to invade, and a battle ensues as Blofeld flees. This is the first film in which the main villain escapes, as Bond and his ninja allies have other concerns. He prevents the theft of another spacecraft, ensuring that the cold war will not become a hot one. While in this film Blofeld is the standard antagonist, he takes on a more significant role by the end of the next one....

* * *

This concludes the second installment in this series, but Words About Bond will return!



My Brog.

”When you catch insects, how do you do it?”

It was a little after 11 PM on a Thursday night. Smallville had been excellent, but has a history of strong season premieres and season finales with filler in between. We'll see how the rest of the season plays out. Supernatural got off to a powerful start as well, and when I was done with all the drama I watched the comedies I had taped, My Name is Earl and The Office. It had been an enjoyable night of television, and finally was time for me to settle down in front of my computer and start writing.

”Can I borrow your camera?”

My mom opened the door to my room, now asking a different question from the one issued from the hallway. It was clear she wasn't going to be easily dismissed, and that I wouldn't be getting any writing done. She explained that while doing laundry, she'd encountered a large jumping insect unlike anything she'd seen before, and trapped it in the basement inside a plastic muffin container. Before killing it, she thought I should take some pictures.

For the most part I exercise a “catch and release” rule with bugs who wander into the house. Anything particularly nasty looking, or too close to my personal space dies instantly. When I got the batteries in my camera and followed my mother downstairs, horror wrestled with scientific curiosity. There on the floor was the muffin container, fully open with both halves face down. Inside one half was something I thought was a small frog, about the size of a quarter. Closer inspection revealed long antennae wiggling about, perhaps two inches in length. The brown body had black stripes, and its large reptilian haunches were punctuated by more segments. It was as though the thing's legs had legs.

“Nyaahh haaa aaahhh!!”

I flinched as the bug-frog leapt. The “Brog” was trapped of course, but the click of its body against the thin plastic separating us still startled me. Over my shoulder, from a safe distance, my mom handed me a piece of cardboard to slide under the first half of the container. If I could get our intruder to jump on it, I could slide it under, lift up the container and fold the other half over. Once it was secured, I could try to photograph it, though beads of water on the recently washed container would make it a challenge. I didn't want to find out how far it could leap if I lifted the lid to get a clear shot.

It was a fairly willing model, occasionally taking a droplet of water with the tip of an antenna, folding it back to its mouth and drinking. It was at once interesting and terrifying to watch. I was still aghast at the basic visuals, but couldn't bring myself to kill it when the photo session was over. My mom didn't want it in her garden where she might encounter it again, nor anywhere near the house. I'm not even sure how something that size got in, but she thought perhaps some flower cuttings she'd brought down the cellar had contained a hitchhiker.

Now nearly midnight, I carried the container at arm's length out into our yard, to the edge of our property. The porch light cast my own shadow long into the street, and I had to stand sideways to even see if my passenger was still with me. I set the container down on a hedge, flipped the lid open, and RAN. Hours later, I still have a mix of chills and phantom itches.

Had we done the right thing? Had I spared some rare and harmless species, or had I unleashed some bizarre mutant or alien into the local ecosystem? Whatever it was, it was no mere household pest. As I pored over pictures of insects on my computer, more chills and itches enveloped me. No roach fit the description, eliminating at least one fear. Maybe it was a genetic hybrid of a frog and a cricket or a grasshopper after all. Somehow, I eventually found photos of a Camel Cricket, and the following key pieces of information:

”Hump-backed large crickets with long antennae and very long legs. Wingless (and thus unable to chirp) up to about 25mm (1 inch) long. Able to jump several feet, which can be startling. Light tan to dark brown in color.”

“Habitat: Cool damp places - caves, rotten logs, under leaves or rocks. Will not reproduce indoors unless they find continuous dark, moist conditions.”

“Feed on leaf debris. In houses may chew on paper products, occasionally fabric.”

“If these occur in a house the best treatment is to remove them and their breeding habitat - cool moist dark places such as piles of logs or boards in basements. A clean dry home will not be a welcoming place for these guys. Although they are scary-looking they are basically harmless to humans, except perhaps for minor damage to stored items, and are easily discouraged by eliminating the dark damp habitat they prefer.”

(Emphasis added)

And so, I had a new topic to write about, phantom sensations prolonged as I researched it. It was nasty looking enough that our first instinct should have been to destroy it, but it was so unique that we stayed its execution long enough to make what I believe was the right call. Faced with the same scenario, would you do the same? Check out the following photos and video, and judge for yourselves....


Scent of a HOO-HAH!

This week, Janet asks:

”What are some of your favorite smells and is there a reason attached to why you like them so much? And in a two parter, what smells can't you stand and why? (try not to pick the obvious ones we all can agree upon here, k?)”

I'm going to exercise common scents(sorry), and get the bad smells out of the way first. In no particular order, I can't stand:

1) Truck Exhaust. This is the time of year when the ubiquitous they decide to pave every road on my commute. Sitting in traffic is never fun, but when a truck expels black smoke and you're sitting near fresh asphalt, the experience is even worse.

2) Broccoli. A girl I asked out in college may forever be known as “broccoli-face” in my memories. She was cute, but when I finally got the nerve to ask her out, the expression she made was similar to the way a child, and of course I, would react to certain steamed vegetables. She wrinkled her nose back into her face, narrowed her eyes, and shook her head violently. Looking back now, it's pretty funny that my follow-up inquiry was, “What's the matter? Don't you like me?”

3) Certain Air Fresheners. This one needs explanation. Certainly there are many artificial scents, from flowers to candy to pine, that are preferable to the smells they're masking. But then there are the more sterile, medicinal Lysol brands, that might be sprayed three rooms away and still seep under my door and make my eyes water. I prefer flowers or fruits to ammonia stinging perfume.

4) Old Ladies in Church Who Bathe in Perfume. Yes, like air fresheners, there are both good and bad perfumes. I haven't experienced this problem often, and there was only one serious incident, but it's stayed with me since I was about 10. Some lady sitting behind us in church reeked of something suspiciously like Lysol and worse, there was still a hint of body odor beneath it. Given a choice between a shower and no perfume, or perfume and no shower, she clearly made the wrong one. I don't know who it was, but when it came time for the sign of peace, I didn't shake anyone's hands besides my parents. I'd spent too much time gagging.

5) The Seafood Section of the Supermarket. Why is it bad? Like some of the previous examples, this too is a hybrid. You're walking along, through pleasant odors from the cookie aisle perhaps, or the bakery, and as the smell of chopped meat greets you things are still wonderful. But then it segues into sudden, overwhelming fish, and perhaps just a hint of the ammonia used to mop the floor.

6) Ammonia and Bad Vacuum Cleaners. I have nothing against cleaning products or germ killers. When I was a Senior in high school, I worked on a student cleaning crew on Friday nights. I managed to latch on to window washing, a bottle of Windex and a roll of paper towels my companions as I went from classroom to classroom, working my way down from the third floor. I managed to stretch this task across my six hour shift, as I found mopping and vacuuming far more unpleasant. Industrial strength ammonia is potent, mixed with scalding hot water in those little yellow buckets on wheels. Finding the right formula was difficult, and even slightly too much would blind and choke me in the small janitor's closet. The vacuums meanwhile were old, and I'm not sure the bags were ever changed. There was a burning smell, burnt dust I suppose, and I always feared the roaring old machine would burst into flames.

7) Crabgrass or Onion Grass. I'm actually not sure which it is. I've always called it crabgrass, but onion grass seems to fit the description better. It stank worse than an onion and usually had a small bulb underground. When elementary school bullies would throw sun dried grass clippings down the back of a nerd's shirt, it was an itchy inconvenience. Have crabgrass rubbed in one's face was a torture that lingered.

8) Play-Doh. Some bad smells pervade a body's taste buds, and while I enjoyed this brightly colored clay for what it was, and never ate it, hours after washing my hands they still had that smell and that was enough for me to imagine what it might taste like. Maybe some was under my nails, or maybe it was psychological, but I wouldn't eat any food with my hands afterwards for fear of accidentally poisoning myself. As my mom used to say, I was a strange child.

9) Cigarette Smoke. Watery eyes. Difficulty breathing. Clothes that reek all the way home. This is all from second-hand exposure. It was my least favorite aspect of bars and clubs, and of people in general.

* * *

Isn't it great that we got the unpleasant aromas out of the way first? Here are some smells that I do like:

1) Mom's fresh baked Apple Pie. It's a cliché, but when my family used to go apple picking on Eastern Long Island, I couldn't wait to get home. My dad is old school, and could pick an apple off the ground, wipe it on his sleeve, and chomp into it. I've unfortunately led a more sheltered existence, so I'd wait for the apples to be sliced, washed, and baked in a pie. It's been years since I had one, and while bakery apple turnovers and store-bought pies offer the same smell, there's nothing like a slice right out of the oven.

2) Wood burning. Whenever I'd be lost in thought, and tell my mom I was just thinking after she finally got my attention, her favorite expression was, “I thought I smelled wood burning.” We have a fireplace that we've never used in the 35+ years my parents have had this house. My mom feared fire, as well as harm befalling our cats. Her favorite calico was named Cindy, because when they first bought the house she couldn't find the cat, until she emerged covered in soot, earning her the name “Cinderella”. It was years before I learned her full name and its origins. Though wood was never burned literally in this house, I did enjoy sitting around a few campfires with my college friends, and I've been to some excellent bonfire parties at the beach back in my 20s. The smoke eliminated any sand fleas, provided warmth, and generally created a unique atmosphere.

3) What The Rock is cooking. He's got a good acting career going, and this was something of an obvious obligatory inclusion.

4) Good Perfume on Clean Women. This of course is the natural opposite of #4 in my first list. My ex-girlfriend had a great perfume, and it's killing me right now that I can't remember the name of it! I can remember the distinct scent of vanilla on a crush I never acted on, but I can't remember the name of the scent someone I dated for more than two years wore. Don't get old, kids. At least I can still remember her birth date, and the fresh out-of-the-shower smell of her shampoo. I have a feeling I'm teetering somewhere between creepy, sad, or risqué here, so I'm going to move on.

5) Vanilla Cake Mix. I love the smell of vanilla, and the best part of my mom baking even the simplest cake was licking the beaters and the mixing bowl afterwards. I'm sure we've all done this at one time or another in our lives, and remember the sweet smell.

6) A Bakery. This needs little explanation. Some food smells blend horribly, but walking in to a bakery, everything smells good in the diverse selection, and it's the perfect cure for a wrong turn down that seafood aisle. I think donut shops fall nicely in this category as well.

7) Clean Linens. Why is a bed always softer and smoother right after fresh sheets are added? In the Winter, they gain extra points when their hot out of the dryer.

8) The Beach. I love the salt air, and the balance of the various aromas. Balance is key, and while that seafood aisle in the supermarket overwhelms, the beach is just right.

9) That Smell Right Before It Snows. Is it Ozone? Whatever the smell, there's always something crisp and toasty in the air that I pick up on a day or two before a snowstorm, and I like it. I also like the smell of toast itself.

10) The Sweet Smell of Success. I imagine it must be quite pleasant....



PBW: A Mysterious Cloaked Figure in King Arthur's Court

Much like a character in the very promising new series Heroes, I found I could manipulate time as well as space. No sooner did my friend B13 and I leave Japan last week, then we found ourselves transported back to medieval times, where jousts, minstrels, archers, knights, and damsels in distress still thrived, a welcome sight for a Photo Blog Wednesday...

The would-be Donal Logue carried a modern air as he narrated the jousts and worked the crowd through a modern microphone. Upset at consistently losing, one rider stunned onlookers as he scooped up the queen, threw her over his shoulder, and took off for his castle. Of course I got a great shot of this, and of course™ when I got home, I found a photo of the side of some lady's head. It's nice to know in the digital age there are still surprises to discover at home like people having walked in front of your shot. Instead, check out this fascinating helmet:

I know.

After perusing various merchants, we caught up with the queen, where she waited for rescue on a balcony. Thankfully, it wasn't long before her loyal knights arrived to storm the castle to save her.

First, a barrage of arrows was launched:

Then, a castle with an air conditioning unit proved no match for a rudimentary battering ram:

Enemies now clashed on the battlefield, but victory was not on the side of the kidnappers that day.

Suddenly, a figure among the rescuers threw back his hood and the crowd gasped at the return of the king!

Clearly, Viggo Mortensen had let himself go. Yet justice would yet be his as he reclaimed his bride, and escorted prisoners back to his camp to stand trial for their heinous acting. I mean acts. Heinous acts.

The queen was compassionate, pleading for mercy. Some scary children in the crowd had other ideas.

Much to the disappointment yet amusement of the children of the kingdom, no heads were severed that day. Instead, the rogue knights were stripped of their rank and sentenced to the royal stables to live out their days as “dung farmers”. By this point I'd had enough of the adult role players, lured toward mellow Eastern twanging.

Beyond this trio, the first castle where the joust took place loomed, a dispersed crowd allowing better vantage points.

The great thing about this particular location was the proximity of a beach, where noble seagulls enjoyed a quiet existence away from the games of noblemen.

Before departing, we returned to the second castle, where the siege to save the queen took place.

I have no idea what the little green door on the second floor is for. I can easily imagine some hapless swordsman running down the hall and through the door, realizing too late that the first step is a doozy.

As we traveled back to the present, we passed my dad's childhood church, where gargoyles loomed.

Time travel is fun, albeit exhausting. Who knows where or when my camera and I will turn up next?



Cloakfest 2K6

I can't believe it's been over a year since I announced my first Cloakfest, or that I've been blogging for nearly TWO YEARS. Where does the time go? Oh, right...

If 2K5 was the year of the Blog Party, 2K6 was the year of the MCFATs, and of course higher quality Photo Blog Wednesdays thanks to a new camera. In between, there were lots of posts about...stuff. To celebrate this historic event, it's going to take no less than three days of CLOAKFEST-ivities.

Here's how it breaks down.

1) Wednesday, October 11th: Will this year's revealing Photo Blog Wednesday reveal more than last year's? Can you guess what I have planned, or will there be surprises? Chances are the former, but there's only one sure way to find out...

2) Thursday, October 12th: Just as The Essential MCF 2K4-2k5 provided summaries and highlights of my first year, so too will The Essential MCF 2K5-2k6 cover my second.

3) Wednesday, October 13th: Finally, on my actual Blogiversary date, I'm planning a double feature, but I'm going to need your help to pull it off! First, as I mentioned briefly, I'm taking Sean's suggestion and asking you to send me your predictions for the next year. I post them on the 13th, credit participants, and even list some predictions of my own. The best part will be seeing which, if any, come true as the next year unfolds.

The second half of the post will feature a very different MCFAT than we've seen in the past. Sure, you've answered my questions, and I've answered my questions, but I've never answered your questions. Ask me anything you'd like on any topic, I'll choose five of the questions I receive, and answer them to the best of my abilities!

The deadline for predictions and MCFAT questions is midnight EST on Saturday, October 7th. Please send all submissions to MCFSPU@hotmail.com

I think that covers everything. The celebration begins in just over two weeks! In the meantime, you know where to find me, every day...



Phantasmic Links 9.25.06

This was been one of those limbo weekends, the weather between sun and rain, in which I got plenty of rest, watched about five movies, tallied my finances, and collected this week's PHANTASMIC LINKS:

I think Chirp was looking for food, but maybe he was looking for some cool links. I've always got plenty of both.

Go, Paczon, GO!! I can't imagine a better combination of classic games.

If you haven't seen it already, Kelly is having a baby pool, and at some point, an actual baby. She's promised the winner an MCF video, which will be interesting to see...

Does Darrell have an ingenious plan to bring back Rhodester from virtual reality?

700+ Hoboes have been illustrated.

Work those arrow keys melodically and beat Beat Bubbles.

Apparently, if I really want to take my photography to the next level, I'm going to have to shoot the country from a plane. These are some breathtaking images that I doubt I'd ever be able to capture, but then that's why God created the internet.

I do my part to give readers from out of state a sense of New York, so here's a handy Subway Map of Smells.

The Simpsons theme explodes in 3D goodness. Hat tip to The Greek.

The Greek also provided a link to Rare Movie Images this week, such as this 1943 Batman and Robin

A Squirrel and a Penguin play Dueling Banjos. OK, this is why we have these here internets. Hat tip to B13.

EDIT: I had this on my clipboard last night, but somehow forgot to paste the Mel Gibson Driving Game. My apologies for forgetting(or remembering?)

How ya doin'? How ya doin'? How ya doin'? How ya doin'? How ya doin'? How ya doin'?



Words About Bond

In 1952, writer Ian Fleming created the British secret agent James Bond. The character's gone on to appear in over 20 films in the last half-century, and inspire or influence countless other movies and television series. As a child, I was only able to catch bits and pieces on television, as my mom felt there were too many “dirty women” in those pictures. Now that I've nearly caught up on all of the world's longest-running series, it's interesting to note that most are PG or PG-13, and tame by today's standards. Over the next few weeks I'll provide short reviews of these films, leading up to the November release of the most recent adventure, Casino Royale. There will be spoilers, so skip ahead as needed.

* * *

1Casino Royale
Bond: Barry Nelson
Villain: Le Chiffre (Peter Lorre)
Many changes were made to the original novel when it was adapted for an episode of the television series Climax!, including making Bond an American. I was able to catch this classic first appearance of the character on camera when it was included on the DVD for 1967's Casino Royale(more on that jumbled spoof later). The basic premise of the agent infiltrating a casino to catch the villain remains intact as does his name. There are no gadgets here, only a henchman with a knife concealed in an umbrella. His daring escape is made from a bathtub, where he and the show's female lead are tied up and, in true Bond fashion, left unattended to formulate an escape.

2Dr. No
Bond: Sean Connery
Villain: Dr. No (Joseph Wiseman)
Henchmen: Three Blind Mice
Bond Girl: Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress)
Dr. No is the first film in the official series, and the debut of Connery in perhaps his most famous role. He quickly established Bond's fighting acumen and keen wit. Ursula Andress appears as the first Bond girl, emerging from the sea in a bikini on the villain's island that Bond has just infiltrated. Startled to see anyone, she asks if he too is looking for shells as she is. “No,” he replies with a wry grin, “I'm just looking.” Though Dr. No's lair is somewhat dated by today's standards, as are the radiation suits he and his underlings wear in their nuclear laboratory, it establishes the tradition of the official series of the final confrontation at the villain's lair. It's also the first time we see the trademark opening gun barrel sequence. To introduce the character, a scene is borrowed from Casino Royale, placing Bond at a card table, not for the last time in the series. When asked her name, the woman across from the still off-camera Connery replies, “Trench. Sylvia Trench. And you?” The camera finally shows Connery as the theme music plays and he introduces himself: “Bond. James Bond.”

Other firsts include the introduction of Bond's boss M(Bernard Lee), M's secretary Miss Moneypenny(Lois Maxwell), weapons supplier Q(Peter Burton), and CIA agent Felix Leiter(Jack Lord). Lee would portray M for 12 films, while Maxwell's Moneypenny would appear in 14. This would be the only time Lord would portray Leiter, and with one exception that character has always been played by a different actor every time he appeared. In Dr. No, Q does little more than replace Bond's gun, supplying him with a Walther PPK for the first time. Burton would not return to the role.

3From Russia With Love
Bond: Sean Connery
Villain(s): Rosa Klebb, Ernst Stavro Blofeld(off-camera)
Henchman: ”Red” Grant(Robert Shaw)
Bond Girl: Tatiana Romanova(Daniela Bianchi)
Connery's second outing as Bond is the first of appearance of Desmond Llewelyn as Q. Llewelyn supplied Bond with gadgets in 17 films in the official series. In this film, Bond must escort a Tatiana Romanova, a beautiful Russian defector, through Turkey onboard a train. Romanova's defection is originally a ruse to trap Bond so the evil organization SPECTRE can get revenge for the loss of their agent Dr. No, but she ends up falling in love with Bond instead. Bond gets some help in Turkey from Kerim Bey, played by Pedro Armendariz who discovered he had terminal cancer during filming but finished his final role before committing suicide. His son would later appear in another Bond film, Licence to Kill.

Bond “dies” before the movie even begins, as SPECTRE agent “Red” Grant hunts down and kills a man in a Connery mask. Despite this training, when he impersonates a British agent on the train to gain the real Bond's trust, he fails to defeat the genuine article. Bond and Romanova succeed in their journey, only to have Romanova's boss Klebb show up to finish him herself. Romanova's betrayal allows them to get the best of the villainess and, as always, Bond gets the girl. Be sure to also look for a brief appearance by Eunice Gayson at the beginning of the film as she briefly reprises her role as Sylvia Trench, the only time a Bond girl returns in a sequel.

* * *

That's all we have time for today. Look for future installments of Words About Bond in the near future!



Blogroll Heroes: Team Three

A third team of my Blogroll Heroes arrive, thanks to the power of HeroMachine! Can you guess the secret identity of each hero before clicking their “likeness” to visit his or her respective blogs?:

Team One

Team Two



"What did I Say?" Friday

Last Wednesday, I posted the following picture...

...and asked readers to fill in the blank sign. As a prize, the person with the best entry would have a choice of:

1) A Free Digital Alteration

2) A Video of Me Congratulating You

3) A Third Nifty Prize (via e-mail only, subject to approval)

Here's what I received:

”What Am I Saying?” Wednesday


The first one was very funny, and I'm definitely someone who appreciates a good Darkwing Duck reference. The second and third submissions took a more visual approach, and I found myself studying the third one for an especially long time as it spiraled in to infinity. I’ve always loved that sort of image.


Next we have a pair of entries casting me as a “Ghetto Ninja” with various motivations. I hope that by posting these appeals, I might finally get that lady I've been wanting, or at the very least those kung fu lessons. The way my luck runs, I'll probably get attacked by a clan of ninjas, perhaps over a stray emoticon.


For his first entry, Darrell used my contest as ammunition in his ongoing battle with Otis, and gained some points for using a monkey in a pink shirt. Classic. He gained points for incorporating my avatar and Orko, and the inclusion of a Black Mage might have put him over the top with his second submission.


Finally we have Curt's entry. Curt was first to play, and set the bar pretty high. I cracked up for a long time upon finding he'd revealed my true, secret identity to the world. Sure, it was cut off, but Darrell was able to discern that the last word was “Whorenelli”. The sign made great use of calligraphy and irony, and worked best with the photograph.

These were all great entries that exceeded my expectations, and in many ways they're all winners. In another, more accurate way however, Curt is the winner. Congratulations, Curt! Let me know which prize you'd like.

I had a lot of fun with this. Perhaps it will inspire others to try similar features, and perhaps I'll do more of these in the future. Thanks again to all the good sports who participated!