Derek Lyons – 4 Bond movies, Star Wars, Indiana Jones – tells Back Stories!

Podcast Episode

Derek Lyons – 4 Bond movies, Star Wars, Indiana Jones – tells Back Stories!

Derek Lyons joins Dan, Tom & Vicky on Cracking the Code of Spy Movies! He's discusses his career which includes appearing in four James Bond movies, Star Wars and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Derek Lyons joins Dan, Tom & Vicky on Cracking the Code of Spy Movies!

Derek has made appearances in:

  • Octopussy
  • A View to a Kill
  • The Living Daylights,
  • GoldenEye, and even
  • Star Wars and
  • Indiana Jones

Listen as Derek tells us some amusing back-stories about his Bond experiences, meeting Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan and more!

Here is where you can find out more about Derek:

Derek’s website: https://www.dereklyonssite.com/

Derek on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/derek.lyons.90

Derek on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DerekLyonsActor

Derek on Instagam: @zenlyons instagram

Derek on YouTube: https://youtube.com/c/DerekLyons

 

 


More Episodes

Gadgets in Spy Movies – Dr. No & Skyfall – Can You Believe It?

Watch the Video Version of this podcast Join Dan and Tom as they launch a new series on the Cracking the Code of Spy Movies show called Gadgets in Spy Movies - Can You Believe it? Here they discuss the…

Harry Palmer, Len Deighton, Billion Dollar Brain with Rob Mallows!

Rob Mallows of DeightonDossier.net joins Dan and Tom as our prelude to our Billion Dollar Brain podcast!  We talk about Len Deighton, The Ipcress File, Funeral in Berlin with a focus on Billion Dollar Brain!  

James Bond – The Daniel Craig Arc from CASINO ROYALE to SPECTRE!

Join Dan Tom and a special guest, our agent in Montreal "Eddie," in looking at the Daniel Craig arc - get ready for NO TIME TO DIE!

Keep current! Join Our Email List

Keep up to date with our latest and greatest spy movie finds. (See our Privacy Policy)

Dalton As Bond With Film Prof/Author Dr. Cary Edwards

Podcast Episode

Dalton As Bond With Film Prof/Author Dr. Cary Edwards

Today we are thrilled to talk with Dr. Cary Edwards who wrote the book on Timothy Dalton’s 2 Bond films called, “He Disagreed With Something That Ate Him” arguing that both films are a unique contribution to the series and form an important dialogue with the rest of the franchise. 

 

Today we are thrilled to talk with Dr. Cary Edwards who wrote the book on Timothy Dalton’s 2 Bond films called, “He Disagreed With Something That Ate Him” arguing that both films are a unique contribution to the series and form an important dialogue with the rest of the franchise.   Join Dan, Tom and Vicky!

Cary will reveal some interesting connections and insights into Dalton, Bond, The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill!  Today, Dr. Cary Edwards, a brilliant film prof, will be our Smartest Spy in the Room!

In this interview with Dr. Cary Edwards, we discuss his book, “He Disagreed With Something That Ate Him”

  • Why he wrote the book
  • Why he thinks Timothy Dalton has been largely forgotten as Bond
  • The Bond series and “Survival, Resistance, and Revenge”
  • How the the Dalton movies break James Bond movie traditions
  • The villains in the Dalton movies and how they are different than pas Bond villains
  • The symbolism of Sanchez taking Bond’s Walther PPK and when he asks for Pam’s gun
  • How Cary sees the Bond girls evolving
  • Cary’s thoughts on the Daniel Craig Bond
  • How political context finds its way into Bond movies
  • How Bond’s habits ebb and flow
  • And More …

 

 

 

 


More Episodes

Octopussy’s Turban Expert – an interview with Del Singh

Dan and Tom walk with Del Singh about his experience in working on OCTOPUSSY as a turban expert.  Fun Stuff!

THUNDERBALL – A Deep Dive – Part 2

Watch the Video Version of this podcast Join Dan and Tom for Part 2 as they take a deep dive into the James Bond 1965 film, THUNDERBALL, starring Sean Connery, Claudine Auger, Adolfo Celi.

James Bond Filming Locations Around the World – with Johannes Eklund

Visiting James Bond movie locations is fun, and we have the expert with us today - Johannes Eklund who runs http://www.JamesBondLocations.com ! 

Keep current! Join Our Email List

Keep up to date with our latest and greatest spy movie finds. (See our Privacy Policy)

Lasers have been used in lots of spy movies. They can enhance a scene and are often used as cutting or security devices.  For instance, the first use of a laser in a spy movie is in the third James Bond movie, Goldfinger. Who developed the first laser?   We'll cover that to understand the timeline of this awesome technology.  After that, we discover how different movies influenced each other with the use of lasers! We'll look at key scenes from many spy movies:
  • Goldfinger and many other Bond movies
  • Get Smart
  • Mission: Impossible (1996)
  • Entrapment
  • Murderer's Row
  • Spies Like Us
  • Austin Powers in Goldmember)
We see lasers in scenes from all of these spy movies.

Related Content

Goldfinger

After successfully blowing up a drug lab in Central America, Bond needs a vacation.   So, he heads to the Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach, Florida in the USA.  And so begins the Goldfinger – James Bond 007 saga. Listen to…

Mission: Impossible (1996)

In 1996, Paramount Pictures and Cruise/Wagner Productions released the first movie of the Mission: Impossible series.  So, the first of the series is called Mission: Impossible and did not have a number.   We will call it here Mission: Impossible (1996) …

Spy Movie Videos!

Cracking the Code of Spy Movies Click the video below to find out what our podcasts and videos are about in 39 seconds! Dan and Tom are big spy movie fans, like you,  and we are posting our videos of…

<em data-lazy-src=
All That Glitters – the Gold in Goldfinger – Part 1

Join Tom and Dan as we go gold mining for the unique elements and special highlights of Goldfinger, and how other spy movies and real-world events affected Goldfinger, in the James Bond podcast, All That Glitters – the Gold in…

All That Glitters – the Gold in Goldfinger – Part 2

Join Tom and Dan for part 2 as they go gold mining for the unique elements and special highlights of Goldfinger, and how other spy movies and real-world events affected Goldfinger, in the James Bond podcast, All That Glitters –…

Mission: Impossible Vault Scene

Do you remember the famous Mission: Impossible vault scene?  Ethan Hunt is lowered into the vault from the ceiling.  He must deal with alarms and sensors.  Where did they get that idea? SpyMovieNavigator.com examines this famous vault scene. The scene…

The Lost and Overlooked Bonds

Contributed by: Daniel Silvestri and Tom Pizzato of SpyMovieNavigator.com

Posted on
James Bond has been big for decades!  Spies still rule movies, and James Bond still rules spies!  There have been six actors who have played James Bond so far in the EON Production James Bond 007 movies.  Hundreds of articles and polls rank these actors as to who is the best, with rankings from one to sixThere is some consensus that people like Sean Connery the best.  Daniel Craig is ranked highly as well And, there are those who love Pierce Brosnan, and others who adore Roger Moore. Many times, what influences a person’s rankings or favorite Bond is the era in which they grew up. If you grew up with Pierce, then a lot of people like Pierce and so on. As a result, that means that there are two who are the lost and overlooked Bonds.  We would like to concentrate on these “forgotten” Bonds. Namely, George Lazenby from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and Timothy Dalton from The Living Daylights  and Licence to Kill 

Is George Lazenby - A lost and Overlooked Bond?

George Lazenby wearing a tux - headshotOn Her Majesty’s Secret Service is just one of the best Bond stories Fleming ever wroteAnd while bringing it to film, EON Productions stuck very closely to the Fleming text. George's only acting experience had been in television commercials.  Still, he landed the role after Sean Connery decided to leave the franchise.

The Criticism

There is a loof criticism swirling about that George Lazenby was a poor Bond, that his acting was terrible, that his characterization of Bond was weak. However, we think that this is misguided.  In our opinion, George is one of the lost and overlooked Bonds who deserves more credit than he gets.  We think George did a wonderful job as Bond.  He was surrounded by an outstanding cast spearheaded by Diana Rigg (Tracy di Vincenzo) and Gabriele Ferzetti (Draco, Tracy’s father)The movie was well done.  It has great cinematography and wonderful locations selected in Portugal and Switzerland 

George Lazenby's Talent

George Lazenby was a believable, emotional, real-person Bond: much like Fleming wrote Bond. For example, look at the scene  at Draco’s birthday party at the bull ring.  Bond follows Tracy down the stairs and speaks with her just outside the bull ring.  Lazenby's acting is just spot-on, he's a believable guy. He's a guy, not just a spy guy.   James Bond (George Lazenby) and Tracy (Diana Rigg) in the barn   And when Bond and Tracy are hiding in the barn, and Bond asks Tracy to marry him. We think this is just a perfect scene – well played.  Diana Rigg certainly elevates the emotions and acting here.   George Lazenby as James Bond - see his expression when he looks at Tracy's dead body   In the last scene, he is cradling his dead wife in his arms in the car after she is killed.  George is just outstandingWe believe is a very real Bond.  He's a very believable spy who is also a human being.  Lazenby gives a very consistent portrayal of Bond throughout this production.   

Our Thoughts On George Lazenby

Lazenby should have continued to do more Bond films, but he received advice from agents or friends that he should move onAnd he didThat is too bad because we think he would have been better and better as Bond, and a very solid contribution to the history of the franchiseGeorge Lazenby, at the time of this writing, is still active.  He participated in the 50th Anniversary of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service celebration held in Portugal and Switzerland in 2019, and is active on Twitter at https://twitter.com/lazenbyofficial  We truly believe that George Lazenby is one of the lost and overlooked Bonds.  That is unfortunate because we really liked his performance in the role.

Is Timothy Dalton - a lost and overlooked Bond?

Timothy Dalton wearing a tux - headshotAfter Roger Moore left the Bond franchise having done seven James Bond films, Timothy Dalton stepped in as the next James Bond, for the 1987 film, The Living DaylightsHis take on the role was to bring back the Fleming-esque elements of Bond – the blunt instrument of the government – the tough, rough assassin who is dedicated to Queen and Country.   The transition from a very light Bond portrayed by Roger Moore, with a more tongue-in-cheek approach, lots of funny quips, more humor than we have seen ion any other Bond – to Timothy Dalton’s Bond was like Evel Knievel leaping across Grand Canyon on a motorcycle – a huge challenge.    In short, after seven Bond films with Moore, the viewing public might not have been ready for this take on Bond. Dalton played a very serious James Bond – with few quips, few smiles, and a very hard-nosed focus on getting the job done, and in a way that was a very believable approach to how a spy in the real-world night workThe missions were more down-to-earth too: transporting a defecting spy from the Russians to the British in The Living Daylights, and capturing a South American drug lord in Licence to Kill.  This is stuff that really happens in the real world – not dealing with some demented, super-megalomaniacal enemy who wants to rule the world. Although in real life we have some instances of that.     We like that “normal” approach to the spy world – which is more realistic.  However, we have enjoyed the world domination theme as well in the other films  With Dalton, you can see several things which stand out in his acting: 

Facial Expressions

For instance, his facial expressions are exactly that – they express a lot to the viewer in just a few short seconds.  This is very difficult to doSome great examples of this are: 
    • In The Living Daylights:

Timothy Dalton looking for revenge after Saunder's death • Saunders gets killed and Bond runs to his side. A balloon blows in with "Smiert Spionom" written on it.  Dalton's angry face says it all - he will retaliate.  

• Similarly, during the entire scene with Pushkin in the hotel room where Bond is threatening him with his gun.  Dalton has perfect facial expressions and body movement. 

    • In Licence to Kill:

Timothy Dalton's expression when looking at Della after her death 

When Bond finds Della's body 

 

 

And then finds Felix in the body bag - his face just says it all - terrific acting.

 

 • His facial expression when M is talking to Bond at the Hemingway House, revoking his license to kill is top-notch.

• When Bond tells Sanchez about potential traitors and Sanchez says he was right and got the guy, and Bond says, “Only one?”  Again, lots of potential dialogue delivered in a couple of words and great facial communications which substitutes for more linePerfect.

In the scene where Sanchez dies.  Bond is wounded and bleeding.  Sanchez, after saying “You could have had it all” goes up in flames. Examine Bond’s face – you feel the pain, you feel the tension.   

Body Movement

Similarly, Timothy Dalton’s body movements are spot on.  In other words, he walks, he fights, and he runs just like what we think a normal human being would be like 
    • In Licence to Kill:
      • When Bond is walking with Hawkins through Mallory Square in Key West on the way to the Hemingway House to meet M. Bond which Bond did not know that's where they were going at the time.  However,  he moves like a normal personNatural, walking, and walking. 
      • And, when he's on the boat with Sharkey going to Wavecrest’s warehouse and research center – again, great facial expressions, and great, natural body movement. 
      • And, when he gets off the boat at the Barrelhead Bar in Bimini – again, perfect movement, perfect facial expressions, and inside the bar, his face says it allSo powerful.
    • In The Living Daylights, as above, with the Pushkin scene Dalton's body movement is just what you think it should be. And, as you're watching, you do not think about it. This is the pointThis entire scene is Dalton at his bestLove it! 

Our Thoughts On Timothy Dalton

These are just a few examplesDalton did a great job as Bond and we wish he would have done more Bond moviesFor a variety of reasons it was not to be.  This was partially due to delays in the next release (6 years).  Some licensing issues and rumors that lower box office numbers had something to do with it.  But, Dalton himself says, they approached him to do GoldenEye. However, they wanted a 5 movie deal.  As a result, Dalton thought that would be the rest of his life and turned them down.   See this article in Esquire where he talks about this very point.    In our opinion, Timothy is the other lost and overlooked Bonds who deserves more credit than he gets.

Bravo Gentlemen

In short, these overlooked and mostly forgotten Bonds deserve an honored place in Bond movie folklore, performance, and durabilityThey have survived the years, and more people now think that their work should be appreciated as part of the James Bond 007 movie franchise  Therefore, we salute both George Lazenby and Timothy Dalton as rightful Bonds!  What do you think?
Spy Movies & Real-World Connections – Part 2

Podcast Episode

Spy Movies & Real-World Connections – Part 2

Have you ever thought about how events in the real world and other movies could affect and work their way into some of our favorite spy movies? Well, think about it a minute because that’s what we are going to explore today on Spy Movie Navigator. This is part 2 of the series.

Many movies get ideas for their scenes from either other movies or real-world events.  Think about the jet-pack in Thunderball or the dinner jacket that 007 reveals when removing the wet suit in Goldfinger.  Were these ideas made up for the movie or were they based on real events?  Spy Movie Navigator is starting an on-going series of podcasts that cover scenes like these.   We will tie the scene back to either another movie or a real-life event of which the scene may have been based.

This is Part 2 of the series.  In this episode, Dan Silvestri and Tom Pizzato will examine the James Bond movies, starting with Diamonds are Forever and look at the roots of some of their scenes.

Related Content

HOW EVENTS IN THE REAL-WORLD AFFECT WHAT GOES INTO SPY FILMS – Part 2

This is Part 2 of our look into how events in the real-world affect what goes into spy movies.

Have you ever thought about how events in the real world and other movies could affect and work their way into some of our favorite spy movies? Well, think about it a minute because that’s what we are going to explore today on Spy Movie Navigator.

Hi, this is Dan Silvestri and Tom Pizzato at Spy Movie Navigator.com – the Worldwide Community of Spy Movie Fans – Spy Movie podcasts, videos, discussions and more

We’ll continue looking at some of the Bond films.  Part 2 will start with Diamonds are Forever.

Diamonds Are Forever – 1971 Published by Ian Fleming in 1956 as his 4th James Bond novel, EON Productions made it into their 7th James Bond 007 movie, introduced in 1971.   Here, Bond – Sean Connery comes back – infiltrates a diamond smuggling ring and prevents Blofeld and SPECTRE from developing a space-based laser weapon with the diamonds that could blow things up. Blofeld was going to sell it to the highest bidder, so Bond had to stop the plot.

  1. So, Ian Fleming writes Diamonds Are Forever only 9 years after a woman copywriter for an ad agency wrote “A Diamond is Forever” for a DeBeers ad campaign, in 1947 – and it’s been in DeBeers campaigns ever since! See a great online article on this in the New York Times by J. Courtney Sullivan, May 3, 2013.
  2. The Burton-Taylor diamond, like 69 carats, purchased in 1969 made world-wide news.   That, combined with Jacqueline Kennedy’s jewelry (diamonds and emeralds ) in the early 1960s put diamonds on the mind of everyone. Coincidence or great timing by EON, the subject of diamonds was ripe for the 1971 launch of Diamonds Are Forever.

 

3 Days of the Condor – 1975. Intense movie. Influenced by Watergate (no trust of people in power) and the oil shortages prevalent in the mid-1970s.

 

Moonraker – 1979 – Moonraker, Fleming’s 3rd novel, was published in 1955.   Rockets were just being developed after von Braun’s success with the Germans in World War II.   The novel is about a rocket being developed and that will be tested by Drax’s organization, with support of the British government.   By the time the movie was made by EON Productions in 1979, the writers had to change the story.   It was 1979 and man had already been to the moon and back, the space shuttles were under development, a story about a missile test would not cut it.   Trust me, the novel is a great read, and when you consider the times, it was very exciting.   So, the first real-life incident to affect this movie was

  1. The story is changed completely, except keeping Hugo Drax as the main villain, because of the rapid development of rockets, manned space flight, the moon landings and the development of the shuttle (which first flew in 1981).
  2. Secondly, the novel plot is a great one but dated for the EON Productions 11th James Bond movie in 1979.   EON had originally planned to film For Your Eyes Only after The Spy Who Loved Me (one of my all-time favorite Bond movies). But because of the development of the Shuttle in real life, and the popularity of two of the biggest science fiction films released in 1977, Star Wars (with a second planned for 1980) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. So, EON Productions, once again being clever and watching the real world and what was successful and popular, moved Moonraker up ahead of For Your Eyes Only to take advantage of the popularity and success of science fiction movies, and actual NASA advancements in space technology.
  3. Also, the concept of a space station, used in Moonraker, was based on real-life as well – the Soviets had Salyut 1 space station in 1971, and the US had Skylab up in 1973.

Once again, real-life influences major elements of the spy film genre!

 

The Living Daylights – 1987 death to spies, Smyert shpionam. And the idea of a spy defecting, of course, is based on real stuff – spies defect in the real world. In fact, Nikolai Khokhlov was a Soviet spy who defected to the west in 1953 and brought with him all kinds of spy gadgets which we will talk about in a moment.

 

Licence to Kill – 1989

  1. The whole premise of the film is dealing with a drug lord from South America. In 1972, then President of the United States Richard Nixon said drug abuse was “public enemy number one/”   In 1986, President Regan o the United States called for a “nationwide crusade against drugs.” So drugs infiltrating and affecting thousands of lives was definitely a popular topic during the decades surrounding the release of Licence to Kill.
  2. So Franz Sanchez, being a major drug dealer, would have garnered a lot of attention if the Department of the Drug Enforcement Administration knew of his whereabouts. So the DEA response to Sanchez being tracked to the United States would have warranted the response it got in the movie – and probably a whole lot more.

 

Mission: Impossible – 1996

Between Goldeneye (1995) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) comes the first in the series of Mission: Impossible movies based on the 1960s television show.   So, 1996 was a great time to capitalize on the spy movie fans waiting for another Bond movie, and since Bourne Identity was not born until 2002.

The Mission: Impossible TV show, which I loved, certainly had an influence on the creation of the movie.   Many fans of the TV series were looking forward to the first movie.   While Phelps was the only character kept from the TV series, the mission was to be fresh, full of action and intrigue. The concept of a rogue agent trying to make things right was not new, but this mission was done with passion.

MacGyver-like gadgets, and to some degree sophisticated gadgets, masks and deception all came from the TV show. The original show was more like an O’Henry play, with surprise endings for the bad guys, and Martin Landau (who played Rollin Hand in the original TV series) said when interviewed after the first Mission, the original was not an action-adventure, it was more of a “mind game. The ideal mission was getting in and getting out without anyone ever knowing we were there.” ( quote from, Martin Landau Discusses ‘Mission: Impossible’ Movies (blog), MTV, October 29, 2009, archived from the original on December 28, 2009)  The non-stop action is truly new to the movie.

So, we think the first film of the Mission: Impossible series was influenced by

  1. The TV show, for basic concepts, self-destructing mission messages, music, etc. and
  2. The timing, in between Bond films.
  3. The worldwide locations, like shooting in Prague, was definitely Bond–influenced, as were the opening scenes during the credits, giving glimpses into the action about to unfold.

Of course, the real Cold War spying – going after atomic data, and lists of spies – was a regular mission of spies.   Even in 2015, the US CIA was concerned that China had stolen info on US federal employees that might expose the real names of our spies abroad.   So, the basic concept of the mission in the first Mission: Impossible movie is very grounded in reality.

 

The Bourne Identity2002. 9/11 made the producers think that the script, with the CIA looking like the bad-guy, might be too sensitive for audiences in the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11 2001.   They actually filmed alternative opening and ending sequences, but when the original was tested with audiences, they seemed to accept it very well, so the alternative opening and closing scenes were relegated to the bonus section of the DVDs (See “Fifteen Things You Didn’t Know About the Bourne Franchise” by Josh Roush, July 29, 2016, online article.

 

Casino Royale – 2006 – certainly the popularity of Texas Hold’em worked its way into the film, instead of the as-written Chemins de fer/baccarat game in the Fleming novel.   Also, the more realistic approach of The Bourne Identity movie may have influenced Casino Royale to more grounded in basics – although, for a reboot of the Bond franchise, one would think they would stick closely to the novel which, as the first novel, was very straight-forward, with few gadgets, and basic in execution.

 

Bond on Skis: George Lazenby, who was an avid skier, is the first James Bond in EON Productions films to take to skis, in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), with many of the scenes filmed in Murren, Switzerland – which we at SpyMovieNavigator have been too! It is about 5,000 feet below Schilthorn (Piz Gloria) where Blofeld’s “allergy research institute” was located in the film. In a night scene, Bond begins to ski down Piz Gloria, and of course is shot at, then pursued by Blofeld’s henchmen on skis. Even Blofeld joins the pursuit on skis. With flairs and machine guns, they pursue Bond – and of course they know the mountain better than Bond, so they are in hot pursuit. Great chase scene, with well-trained and skilled agents in pursuit on skis.

And in the 1977 Bond film, in the pre-title sequence of The Spy Who Loved Me, we have one of the best snow ski sequences in any spy movie film – in any film for that matter.   He gets a message from MI6 saying they need him, while he is sleeping with a woman in an Austrian winter mountain chalet. So he leaves, with a red backpack on his back, and skis. She immediately radios her counterparts to say he is leaving, and we have another ski chase scene, pursuers shooting at him, and at one point, Bond turns around and shoots one of the foreign agents with his ski pole gun. Then he continues, eventually skiing off the mountain with thousands of feet beneath him – only to pop a parachute with the Union Jack to land safely. A great pre-title sequence that has become an iconic scene around the world! Reported filmed in Canada, the stunt man who did this, Rick Sylvester, did this in one take. They had to wait for the weather to be just right, and not too windy.   Again, skiing and pursuit by trained assassins on skis.

 

In For Your Eyes Only,    Bond is pursued by sharpshooter skiers and enemy agents on specially equipped motorcycles, with spiked wheels and guns, down the mountain and eventually into a lift heading to a ski jump.   Of course, Bond must do the jump, as his pursuers wait at the bottom of the ski jump hill. The pursuit continues again on the special motorcycles chasing Bond on skis., which even includes skiing down a bobsled run.

 

In A View to a Kill,  Bond does it all on snow – from skiing to snowmobiling to riding one of the runners from the snowmobile as a snowboard!   Here pursued by a helicopter, snowmobiles, skiers – every well-trained assassin – but he finally escapes and to a British sub disguised as an iceberg. Cool.   But he had a talented mob of agents, trained for winter pursuit, behind him all the way.

 

Of course, even The Living Daylights has a snow pursuit, as Bond and Kara Milovy escape using her cello case as a sled, and cello to steer, they are pursued by trained agents on snow.

SPECTRE has snow scenes as well.   So what is happening here?

In real life, of course, there were and are specialty teams in various military branches throughout the world who are expert at traveling on skis, infiltrating locations on skis, and doing other espionage stuff that very much depends on how well trained they are on skiing and moving through heavy snow conditions.

For example, in WW-II, the U.S. did not have a mountain division in their military.   Inspired by the Finnish mountaineer troops, Charles Mynot Dole – who was head of a ski patrol, an Olympic skier, a climber – began the U.S. military ski troops, brought into action just before Pearl Harbor.    They trained at 13,000 feet in the Colorado mountains, at – 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-34.4 degrees Celsius) with 90 pounds of gear – just the men, packs and skis – pushed to the limits. This will turn out to be a true “mission impossible” in World War II as this became the 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army. They were engaged against the Japanese when Japan invaded two islands off Alaska – Attu, and Kiska. Landing in fog and snow, they were able to make the Japanese retreat but confused, our troops were shooting at each other and 18 were killed.   They went back for more training, with mock battles, in sub-zero conditions.

They were called upon in 1944 in Italy, where the Allies were bogged down trying to take the Apennine mountains. The 5th Army could not advance towards Germany.   Each ridge in the mountains had additional German defenses. The 10th Mountain Division assessed what was needed, decided they had to take Mount Belvedere and to do that had to take Riva Ridge first. 2,000 feet up, steep, 3 – 4 feet of snow. They climbed the unclimbable and took Riva Ridge, and the engineers erected an ingenious tramway to move wounded and supplies up and down the mountain.   This is REAL stuff! The pursuing assaults were successful, and the path open to Germany thanks to this 10th Mountain Division – trained to battle in treacherous snow conditions.   They prevailed at great cost for the campaign – with 975 killed, 3,871 wounded and 20 prisoners of war. But they prevailed.

  • For more info, you can visit: 10thMtnDivAssoc. Org or LastRidge.com

 

In another World War II real-life adventure, the Germans controlled a heavy-water plant in Norway, and heavy-water was needed to make nuclear weapons. On February 16, 1943, Operation Gunnerside began. 6 Norwegian commandos were dropped by parachute to join the ‘Swallow’ team on the ground.   After a few days of cross-country skiing, they joined the Swallow team. The final assault on the heavy-water plant was set for February 27/28 1943. The Germans controlled the plant and wanted to produce the heavy-water and ship it to Germany. The heavy water plant was protected by mines, lights and more due to an earlier failed raid.   The Swallow team, with the 6 paratroopers, ford a winter river in a ravine and climbed a steep hill. They followed a railway track right to the plant – because a Norwegian agent inside the plant supplied a detailed layout of the plant as well as a schedule. This is very much like From Russia With Love, as Bond was to retrieve the consulate plans from Tania.

Except here, it is real life! The team entered the plant by a basement cable tunnel, set explosives and escaped. They left behind a Thompson sub-machine gun to make it look like British forces did it and not local resistance to avoid reprisals. It worked!

Desperate, the Germans loaded some heavy water on a ferry bound for Germany, and the Norwegian resistance sank the ferry and all the heavy water!   Google: Gunnerside.

So the bottom line is, many of the scenes we have seen in spy movies, and above the Bond movies, have a basis in reality – people are indeed specially trained for these special operations, and so the specially trained personnel in the Bond movies for all the winter pursuits are believable.   Some of the stunts are fantastic, but so were some of the real-life challenges that were overcome by the 10th Mountain Division and the Norwegian troops!

 

Gadgets: Lastly let’s look at gadgets. As we know, gadgets are prominent in the James Bond 007 movies by EON Production, as Q proves quite the inventor. They are also present in the Mission: Impossible series, with masks, high-tech devices like the climbing gloves, the camera glasses in Mission Impossible 1 and so on.

In the Ian Fleming books, gadgets were less prominent.   In Casino Royale, the first James Bond 00 novel, there are some gadgets, but spectacular. Le Chiffre carries razors in various places, and one of the high tech gadgets was a cane that doubled as a gun – which really was how they tried to first kill Bond at the casino table. It goes on in other Fleming novels as well, with underwater equipment, the briefcase in “From Russia With Love” – which is different than what it contains in the movie.   But they are there, but less obvious and less of a focus.   There really was a Q Branch in MI6, and they came up with gadgets. It was operational at the time Fleming was writing and run by Charles Fraser-Smith, who Fleming knew.

Again, in this really cool book, “For Your Eyes Only – Ian Fleming + James Bond” by Ben Macintyre, he suggests that Fraser-Smith made things like a hairbrush that has a map and a saw, cameras hidden in cigarette lighters, invisible ink, magnetized matches that could act as a compass, and so on. So there was real stuff, and that real stuff influenced the movies and served as a basis of many extraordinary gadgets to come in the films.

We mentioned a defector spy from the Soviet Union who defected to the West, Nikolai Khokhlov. In the same book mentioned above, Macintyre suggests that when Khokhlov came over, he brought a lot of spy gadgets with him, including a miniature revolver that could fire toxic bullets, guns housed in cigarette lighters and lots more – for real!

 

Thanks for listening – we hope you enjoyed this podcast 0- if you did, please give SpyMovieNavigator a 5 star review on iTunes which helps us do more podcasts, and keep downloading our podcasts and checking our website for the latest on spy movies – we are SpyMovieNavigator.com – the Worldwide Community of Spy Movie Fans – Spy Movie podcasts, videos, discussions and more!


More Episodes

Tribute to Sir Sean Connery – (1930 – 2020)

Join Dan, Tom and Vicky as we salute Sir Sean Connery and remember his passing on October 31 2020.

ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE – On Location – Road Where Tracy is Killed

Join Dan and Tom as go on the road to Portugal to find the spot where Tracy is killed in ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE.

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN Pre-Title Sequence Decoded!

Join us as we venture into Scaramanga’s Funhouse in our decoding of the pre-title sequence to the 1974 James Bond movie, The Man With The Golden Gun.

Keep current! Join Our Email List

Keep up to date with our latest and greatest spy movie finds. (See our Privacy Policy)

Subscribe to our Podcast: Cracking the Code of Spy Movies

Never miss an episode - be in the know!