Ian Fleming (1908 –1964) was an English author, journalist and naval intelligence officer, who became especially famous for his James Bond espionage novels.
Ian Fleming had mentioned to friends during the war that he hoped to write an espionage novel, an ambition he achieved when he published his first Bond novel, Casino Royale, in 1952, sixty years ago. The book revolved around James Bond, an officer of the Secret Intelligence Service (commonly known as MI6); also known by his code number, 007. The book was success and eleven more Bond novels in addition to two short-story collections were written.
Ian Fleming and Sean Connery (007) at Goldeneye
Fleming´s desk at Goldeneye, Jamaica
Curiously, they were all written at Ian Fleming’s house in Jamaica, facing the Caribbean, which he called Goldeneye.
Fleming got the name for his character from the American ornithologist James Bond, an expert on Caribbean birds and author of the guide Birds of the West Indies.
Ian Fleming was inspired by his own experiences and imagination: He based his characters on a number of individuals he came across during his time in World War II. However, it seems that the deciding factor for writing James Bond came when two British diplomats went missing in 1951: Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess, both of whom were Soviet spies.
Many of the names used in the Bond novels came from people Fleming knew: Scaramanga, the principal villain in The Man with the Golden Gun, was named after a Eton schoolboy with whom Fleming fought; Goldfinger, was named after British architect Ernő Goldfinger, whose work Fleming hated.
James Bond Books
After a decade of fighting the Cold War, the western world needed a new hero. Bond needed to be an irresistible image of masculinity, an appeal that would come not only from his good looks but also from a particular confidence, a certainty within himself.
He would dress in the best clothes, drink the most expensive drinks (Dom Perignon Champagne) and drive the most sophisticated cars (the famous Aston Martin) accompanied by beautiful women (the famous Bond girls).
James Bond had to be everything that made Britain attractive to the outside world and Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Salzman, two film producers, thought they knew the answer: Sean Connery, the first actor to play the role of James Bond. Sean O´Connery and Bond were both born in Scotland and the actor had just competed in the Mr. Universe Contest.
The first Bond film to be released was Dr No, in 1962, fifty years ago. After Sean Connery there were five more James Bond actors: George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig, making a total of 23 films.
Famous Bond Quotes
"My name is Bond, James Bond"
"Shaken, not stirred" shows Bond´s preference in the way he likes his Martini prepared.
The world Premiere of the last film of the James Bond series, Skyfall, was at the Royal Albert Hall on October 23rd. There were high expectations for the movie, since the release of the famed teaser in the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London starring the Queen herself and 007 in Buckingham Palace.
(Beware spoilers below)
Even though I arrived at the ticket office an hour and a half before the movie started, I could only get front row tickets… I only hesitated for a second, because I’m a big fan of the 007 saga. I can truly say that I enjoyed the movie. It was entertaining, fun and with mystery.
To have a great hero, like James Bond (Daniel Craig), you must have a matching villain. Javier Bardem was an excellent choice.
Also, the movie had more humor than the previous two. And to wrap it all up, it brought back two of my favourite supporting characters: Q and Moneypenny... Not to mention James Bond driving in his old Aston Martin car.
Also, it is important not to forget the music of James Bond, which came back in full swing in Skyfall. The movie ends with a return to the renowned theme by John Barry, which starred in Dr. No. Most people know of this tune and associate it immediately with thrills, action, espionage and a bit of Bond charm. Besides the themes, James Bond movies are famous for their great entry songs. In Skyfall, it was British Singer Adele’s turn to introduce the new movie!
Cork, J and Bruce Scivally. James Bond The Legacy. Harry N. Abrams, Inc. Publishers. New York, 2002