James Bond means many things to many people and each has our own unique experience of Bond. Last week we looked at Paul’s story of how he was inspired to upgrade his wardrobe and lifestyle by 007, that many can relate to.
Recently I received an email relating the story of how another reader was introduced to 007, which in many ways is similar to my own introduction to James Bond:
Apart from film clips on TV (and the Corgi Aston Martin of course) my first proper Bond experience was seeing the documentary The Incredible World of James Bond, which was made and shown on TV in 1966 to publicise the then forthcoming film You Only Live Twice.
I didn’t get to see an actual film until 1971, when my parents took me to see Diamonds are Forever. From then I was hooked, and collected everything from soundtrack albums to model kits.
In 1972 I read my first Bond book – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – and promptly bought all of the others, which I would read a book a day in one sitting during the school holidays. Since then my collection has grown to include quite a few Fleming First Editions, as well as the books of Gardner, Benson etc, although my wife is now baulking at the amount of space that my collection is taking up!
My favourite Bond film has to be Goldfinger, and I remember a very happy Saturday in the summer of 1974 watching it over and over on a rerun at our local Odeon (in the days when you could stay in after a film had ended to watch it again).
Sean Connery, of course, is my favourite Bond, followed closely by George Lazenby. I happen to think that he was excellent in the role and the film is one of the few to stick closely to its source material.
I think The Man With the Golden Gun, together with Moonraker, rank as the worst of Bond and hated Roger Moore’s depiction of the character intensely.