Today, the James Bond film franchise reaches it’s half century. An incredible achievement.
Being British, James Bond is like Doctor Who, it is something you just grow up with and it becomes part of the fabric of our culture and national DNA. It is to the producers (Cubby Broccoli, Harry Saltzman, Barbara Broccoli, Michael G Wilson) credit that when they obtained the theatrical rights, took the crucial decisions to have British/Commonwealth directors and a British or Commonwealth actor play the lead (yes, I know Pierce Brosnan is Irish but he’d lived in London since he was 9 and he’s my favourite Bond, so put the comment down and walk away …) Yes, there was that time when there was almost an American actor (James Brolin), but it didn’t happen.
There are many, many books on the market regarding the franchise and in this special anniversary year, there will be so many more. A few I can heartily recommend are “The Essential Bond” by Lee Pfeiffer and Dave Worrall, “The Most Famous Car in the World” by Dave Worrall, “The Battle for Bond” by Robert Sellers and all the continuation novels commissioned by the Ian Fleming estate (John Gardner, Raymond Benson, et al). I’m especially looking forward to the Sir Roger Moore penned, “Bond on Bond”. Lee Pfeiffer and Dave Worrall have also dedicated an issue of their magazine, Cinema Retro, to “Dr No”.
There are plenty of James Bond websites on the net – the official one is, of course, 007.com and CommanderBond.net and mi6-hq.com.
May be it isn’t the British way to have super heroes in the manner of Superman or Spider-man or Batman, but Bond is amongst the closest we have and long may he continue “keeping the British end up”.