Movies about Spies! 

Contributed by: Dan Silvestri - Spy Movie Navigator

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movies about spies   Alright, you know our website, podcast show, and YouTube channel are all about movies about spies! At SpyMovieNavigator.com, movies about spies is a genre we just love and love diving into to decode hidden connections, key scene analysis, and details that we think need to be highlighted in order to enjoy the movie the most.      

Some listener reactions:

  • “Your podcast is excellent. Very informative and fun to listen to. It is obvious a lot of passion for the genre and lots of research have gone in their production.”
  • “Just a shout out: you guys are killing it lately with the great podcasts” –Shane!
  • “You’re the men with the Midastouch, engaging & fun, as always!Eddie
  • “If you’re a spy movie fan, you’re going to really enjoy these.  The hosts make it fun and offer some fascinating trivia about the movies we all love.”  Apple Listener

James Bond podcast listener reactions

Naturally, we are heavy into James Bond and the whole James Bond franchise.  We have episodes out on many of the movies and a ton of the pre-title scenes that have been enjoyed around the world. You can find them here. Here are some listener reactions to our Bond episodes: On our two-part Quantum of Solace interview with Roberto Schaefer ASC, AIC, Director of Photography (Listen here: Part 1 and Part 2):
  • “The two-part interview put you over the top.  The insights into the filming of a Bond film, from the Director of Photography no less, was fascinating.”
  • “Great behind the scenes info and discussion with cinematographer Roberto Schaefer.”
  • “If podcasts and content about James Bond is your thing. Just recently they featured a great interview with Roberto Schaefer who was the Director of Photography for QUANTUM OF SOLACE.” - Thunderballs
On our two-part podcast episode on Thunderball:
  • Jesus M. – about Thunderball Part 1: “Really Loved it!!  You guys do a Good Job Explaining the film in Detail I even love Tom talking about the original No Time to Die in the UK in 1958 wow!!!!”
We even do episodes decoding gadgets.  Here's a listener comment on our podcast episode Gadgets in Spy Movies – Dr. No & Skyfall – Can You Believe It?
  •  “Love This Episode of the Podcast!  The Way you Guys Explain in Detail Each Gadget from Dr. No and Skyfall and The Interview with Joe Pappalardo was Great ”

Movies About Spies Categories

Well, we love movies about spies, and we are so thrilled that our site users and listeners to our podcast show can feel that as well! We do Mission: Impossible as well, decoding that terrific series. And the Harry Palmer 1960s series, The Ipcress File, Funeral in Berlin, and Billion Dollar Brain! And certainly, we must cover and do cover, The Kingsman series!   All fun stuff! And we do a fun category of this genre, classic spy movies – which falls under our umbrella category, The Best of the Rest! So, we have podcast episodes out on The 39 Steps, which many consider the first spy movie, released in 1935 and directed by Alfred Hitchcock!  Doing more Hitchcock, we moved to Secret Agent (1936), The Man Who Knew Too Much (both 1934 and 1956 versions), and North by Northwest (1959). We decode other spy movie classics like Q Planes, or Clouds Over Europe.

Spy Movie News

Monthly, for our listeners' convenience, we research and report on what is happening with spy movie releases, actors, and more and present that all in a short (usually 15 minute) episode called Spy Movie News – so our listeners are totally up to date in about 15 minutes, as a result of our hours of research!

Interviews

Cracking the Code of Spy Movies also does interviews, and we have had the Director of Photography for Quantum of Solace, Roberto Schaefer, ASC, AIC!  We have had actors from some of the James Bond movies, like Derek Lyons, Terence Mountain, Brigitte Millar, a real ex-CIA operative, Executive Producer Steven Saltzman, and more!  You'll find all of our interviews here. All fun and enlightening and a little bit irreverent at times!

Movies about Spies Filming Locations

We also do spy movie filming location videos and podcast episodes as well – which have been very popular.   There is something so cool about visiting spy movie filming locations, and we have been to over 120 locations about the world, from the USA to Portugal, the UK, Sardinia, Amsterdam, and more!

Our Website: SpyMovieNavigator.com

 

SPYmdb - Our Spy Movie Database

Our website features an exclusive James Bond Movie database, based on Steven Jay Rubin’s hot-selling book, The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia! So, you can do your own research or perusing or facts from all the James Bond movies!   Getting ready for a James Bond trivia contest?   This is the place to do your homework!

Trivia

Speaking of trivia contests, we have hosted the last two James Bond International Trivia Marathons, put on by Steven Jay Rubin!   Fun stuff!  You can listen to the 2020 Trivia Marathon here.   And the 2021 Trivia Marathon is here. Our website also has two trivia contests, where you can take a quiz yourself, either on movies about spies in general, or one specific to James Bond.   All free! You will find key links and articles on our site as well, some movie clips, and more.   You can listen to a podcast episode there as well!

More Feedback

Our podcast show, Cracking the Code of Spy Movies, has been voted Top 10 Espionage & Spy Podcasts by Spybrary! Here is some more great feedback!  Thank you!
  • “Dan I am a follower of the SpyMovieNavigator Podcast (Cracking the Code of Spy Movies). Love it!” -Bob Sherer
  • “Love your stuff guys!” -spyhards
  • Twitter Follower: “You're doing a wonderful job. Keep it up” – Dinok
  • Podcast Listener: “I’m just finding them all really interesting & fun to listen to!  Subject matter always interesting, the details fascinating.”

Conclusion

So, if you are into movies – and in particular, movies about spies – well, this is the place to be! Be sure to Subscribe to our show, Cracking the Code of Spy Movies through your favorite podcast app, and to our YouTube channel.   Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram too!  
A Former CIA Spy Decodes Real vs Movie Spies!

Podcast Episode

A Former CIA Spy Decodes Real vs Movie Spies!

Andrew Bustamante, an ex-CIA spy, talks with us about the differences between real spies and movie spies!

Andrew Bustamante, an ex-CIA spy, talks with us about the differences between real spies and movie spies! This is one cool dude! You must hear this!

Can you be a spy? Listen and find out! You can take a test mission – he tells you how.

Gadgets, cars, guns!

Andrew now also teaches elite spy skills to everyday people – check out his website, EveryDaySpy.com!

Ideas/Feedback: Info@SpyMovieNavigator.com

Andrew Bustamante gives us the real-world view of many spy movie tropes, including:

  • Spies driving fancy sports cars
  • Gadgets
  • Weapons
  • Dead drops
  • Low profile vs. high profile spies
  • The realities of marriage
  • And more …

More Episodes

Steven Jay Rubin – The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia

Join Dan and Tom as they talk with author Steven Jay Rubin. The 4th edition of his book,  The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia  released on November 17, 2020.

Terence Mountain – interview – was in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Diamonds are Forever

Tom, Dan and Vicky interview Terry Mountain who was in two James Bond movies:  On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Diamonds Are Forever.

A Talk with QUANTUM OF SOLACE Director of Photography, Roberto Schaefer, ASC, AIC – Part 1

Watch the Video Version of this podcast Join Dan and Tom as they spend a couple of hours with Roberto Schaefer, ASC, AIC - Director of Photography for Quantum of Solace!  Roberto has been the Director of Photography on some…

Keep current! Join Our Email List

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

A Former CIA Spy Decodes Real vs Movie Spies! – Video

Andrew Bustamante, an ex-CIA spy, talks with us about the differences between real spies and movie spies! This is one cool dude! You must hear this! Can you be a spy? Listen and find out! You can take a test mission - he tells you how. Gadgets, cars, guns! Andrew now also teaches elite spy skills to everyday people - check out his website,  <a href="https://everydayspy.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">EveryDaySpy.com</a>! Ideas/Feedback: <a href="mailto:Info@SpyMovieNavigator.com">Info@SpyMovieNavigator.com</a>
Second Anniversary Show!

Podcast Episode

Second Anniversary Show!

We’re celebrating our 2nd anniversary!  Let's review the fun year, with some messages from listeners and guests. Thanks for your support.

We’re celebrating our second anniversary!  Thanks for being on this journey with us – you make it a vacation for us!

Well, wow!  We have just passed our Second Anniversary for our website, SpyMovieNavigator.com, our social media outlets on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – and our Cracking the Code of Spy Movies podcast show and YouTube channel!

Let’s review the fun year, with some messages from listeners and guests, and look forward to the next!

Tell us what you think at info@spymovienavigator.com or leave us a voicemail by pressing the red button that says “Leave Us A Voicemail”.

More Episodes

Reel Art Collectibles – Movie Collectibles Galore!

Watch the Video Version of this podcast Join Dan and Tom as they go On Location to a fabulous movie collectibles shop and warehouse and interview the owner, Cory Glaberson, who has sold stuff to some high-profile people around the…

Cracking the Code of Spy Movies – A Look at 2019 and A Look Ahead to 2020

Join Tom and Dan in our 2019 wrap-up podcast of our Cracking the Code of Spy Movies show! Here, we include clips from all of our 2019 podcasts - take a listen, find ones that interest you and subscribe (free)…

C2E2 Show Chicago: What Do Real Spy Movie Fans Think?

In our new segment, Opinions of Real Spy Movie Fans, we talk to a bunch of real people who attended C2E2 about what spy movies they like!

Keep current! Join Our Email List

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

Spy Movie News – July 27, 2021

Contributed by: Dan Silvestri and Tom Pizzato - Spy Movie Navigator

Posted on
Here’s our July 27, 2021, Spy Movie News with news on Black Widow, Mission: Impossible 7, No Time To Die, Argylle, and IB 71, Daniel Craig, and more.

BLACK WIDOW

We have a spoiler discussion on Black Widow at the end of the audio podcast of this Spy Movie News.  We won't print it in this article so if you want the spoiler, click here to get to the podcast

Did Disney’s decision to stream Black Widow hurt theaters?

There have been many articles written both when Disney announced that Black Widow would release in the theater and on Disney+ Premiere Access on the same day.   The theater industry didn’t like it at the time of the announcement and has taken further, louder umbrage now that the movie has been out for a few weeks.  To top it off, in-theater second-weekend numbers were down 67% versus opening weekend numbers. We’ll focus on the post-release buzz in our discussion. The National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) put out a press release that started with this:

Black Widow’s excellent reviews, positive word of mouth, and strong previews and opening day total ($13.2 million/$39.5 million) led to a surprising 41% second day drop, a weaker than expected opening weekend, and a stunning second weekend collapse in theatrical revenues. Why did such a well-made, well-received, highly anticipated movie underperform?

It’s an interesting question and most of their press release blames Disney’s decision to release Black Widow simultaneously on Disney+ Premiere Access and in the theater. They also blame piracy which is more easily achieved with a streaming release vs. a theater-only initial release. The numbers do point to very high piracy with this movie. In fact, according to Torrent Freak, Black Widow is the most pirated movie of the pandemic era. We understand NATO’s argument and agree that some of their points appear valid.  However, there are a few flaws in the argument.  First, the press release doesn’t address the impact of  COVID on theater-goers.   It is highly likely that opening numbers were largely made up of die-hard MCU fans that wanted to be sure they saw the movie in the theater right when it was released.  More casual fans may have been worried about the upsurge in COVID numbers and decided to wait or stream the movie. Second, In the press release, NATO points out that F9 had a theater-first release and didn’t stream on release. F9’s theatrical release numbers were strong.   However, NATO didn’t point out that there was also a 67% drop in second-weekend revenue for F9 even though it was only released in theaters. Our third point is, Black Widow was a different type of MCU movie than its Avengers predecessors.  Possibly, some MCU fans wanted to see a more Avenger’s-like approach to the movie.  Word of mouth would have told them that it isn’t an Avenger’s style movie so they may have stayed home. And finally, is it possible MCU fans are just getting weary of all the content?   We’ve talked in the past about how MCU will overtake James Bond in terms of the number of movies released in its lifetime.  In the 13 years since the release of Iron Man, MCU has released 24 movies.  Eon Productions has released 24 James Bond movies since 1962’s release of Dr. No.  Yes, Eon will release, hopefully, No Time To Die with the upcoming September and October 2021 release dates.  But MCU will pass them up with three more releases planned in 2021, after Black Widow.  Plus MCU has four movies lined up for release in 2022 and they are releasing content for television as well.  Maybe MCU fans are just exhausted. It appears Disney had what for them was likely considered a very successful launch of Black Widow.  Distribution is changing and the theater owners are in for some change as part of these changes.  It seems that all of the movie companies are fiddling with their models to find the most money-making approach.  That means for the production company, not necessarily the movie theater.  We’ll have to keep watching to see how things flush out.  For us here at Spy Movie News, we will still go to spy movies in the theater as long as that is an option.   We believe it is a better viewing experience.  

JAMES BOND

Happy 60th Anniversary Eon Productions

Sixty years ago, Eon Productions was founded.  They celebrated their anniversary on July 6th.  Their first movie, Dr. No will hit its 60th anniversary on October 5, 2022.  Happy Anniversary, Eon.

Bringing Back Leiter

It’s been 13 years since we’ve seen Felix Leiter in a new James Bond movie.  Fortunately, No Time To Die fixes that for us Leiter fans. In an article on DigitalSpy.com, Jeffrey Wright makes the following comment: "The surprise for me was to not be called in the previous two!" he joked. "But it gives more weight to Felix's appearances if we don't see him too often." We are glad to see Felix back, especially with Wright helming the role.  We also like where he says the Bond/Leiter relationship is: "We wanted to establish what is at the core of this relationship between [Leiter and Bond], which is this brotherhood," he explained. It’s stuff like this that keeps up our desire to finally see this movie In that same article is the following quote from James Bond co-writer ramps up the desire to see what they’ve done: "So it's intriguing when you come back, and he's not really an agent in this one, and how you deal with that. Despite wanting to relax and fish and hang out in bars, if trouble comes knocking, he can't help himself." We can’t wait for the release of No Time To Die.

Daniel Craig James Bond Arc

According to this article on CinemaBlend.com  -  Barbara Broccoli confirms it is Daniel Craig’s last outing and that “It will tie into everything he’s done before.” They report that in the same interview, Michael G, Wilson said likened the entirety of the Daniel Craig films to a “miniseries within the series.” Léa Seydoux has predicted that some tears may be shed in the process. We’re going to see a lot of emotions and an emotional development on Bond’s part – new stuff. . . cant wait. Hmmmm  - we wonder more – but only for a couple more months! No Time to Die opens in the UK September 30th and in the US October 8th! In a similar article on ScreenRant.com they say, “No Time to Die will pick up from the events of Spectre after Bond finds out that his adoptive brother is behind the international criminal syndicate out to get him.”

Why Daniel Craig Came Back for No Time To Die

In a recent article on Independent.co.uk by Jacob Stolworthy, Daniel Craig explains why he came back for one more move, No Time To Die! In the article, Craig says that he just didn’t feel he was physically capable – and he was done.   But after two years, he was approached again by Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson – and Craig said during these discussions he came up with an idea of what the next movie could be - “a direct conclusion to the events seen in his first Bond film, Casino Royale (2006).” “Something to do with Vesper [Eva Green’s character], and Spectre, and something that was connected, in a way.’ It started to formulate. And I thought, ‘Here we go.’” So Daniel is back as we know – No Time To Die is coming soon!  Really, it is!

Bookmakers Say Regé-Jean Page Now In The Lead To Play Bond

Well looking forward from the Daniel Craig era for James Bond, according to an article on MovieWeb.com, Regé-Jean Page has taken over the lead from Tom Hardy as the bettor’s favorite to be the next actor to play James Bond.   Although it means nothing, in reality, it is fun to speculate.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 7

COVID kept Angela Bassett from reprising her role as Ericka Logan

We’ve talked about the impact of COVID on Mission: Impossible 7 and 8.   It appears that the virus has also had an impact on what characters would return and what actors would be available. An article on Cinemablend.com says that Angela Bassett won’t return as Erika Sloane in M: I 7. Bassett’s Sloane had replaced Alec Baldwin’s character, Alan Hunley from Mission: Impossible - Fallout in the role of CIA Director.  There is no official word if she will appear in Mission: Impossible 8. The article says that COVID was responsible for Ms. Bassett’s absence from the movie.  But, we don’t know if it was a scheduling conflict that popped up due to the slowdown from the pandemic or if it was other issues, like a script change prompted by COVID.   We know that Nicholas Hoult was supposed to play one of the bad guys in Mission: Impossible 7 and he had to withdraw due to a scheduling conflict.

Ilsa Faust Is Back With An Eyepatch?

Christopher McQuarrie posted a new black and white picture on Instagram to keep the drumbeat going for Mission: Impossible 7.  This time it is a closeup of Rebecca Ferguson and she appears to have an eyepatch ABOVE her eye, not covering it. Ferguson played Ilsa Faust in the last 2 Mission: Impossible movies.   What’s the reason for the eyepatch? An article on CinemaBlend.com speculates that Ilsa may have either injured her eye or the eyepatch is used for honing her long-range weaponry skill.  In any case, it is an intriguing photo and makes us think.  You can see the photo in that same article.

UPCOMING SPY MOVIES

Red Notice Finally Has A Release date

Ok, we’ve been talking about Red Notice for quite some time now. This is the Netflix movie starring Gal Gadot, Dwayne Johnson, and Ryan Reynolds.    In our last Spy Movie News, we mentioned that Dwayne Johnson had tweeted “#Holidays2021” at the end of his post about the movie. At the time we asked: which holiday?  Well, we now have the answer.  Both Reynolds and Johnson have released social media posts declaring November 12, 2021, as the movie’s release date. Dwayne Johnsons’ tweet says:

@Netflix’s biggest movie ever #REDNOTICE premieres in your living rooms around the globe on NOV 12.

FBI’s top profiler.

World’s most wanted art thief.

And the greatest conman the world has never seen…

There are three key items to note in this short tweet.  The first is the release date of November 12, 2021. The end of the year is looking up to be an exciting time for spy movie fans. The second thing to note is the “premieres in your living room”. Again, there has been no official announcement of any theatrical releases.   Dwayne Johnson’s post implies an internet, Netflix, release only. And finally, we look at the words “around the globe”.  Everyone will be able to see it on Netflix around the world on November 12, 2021.  This movie, unlike many movies, will not have a staggered release schedule.  We applaud this decision.  We’ve talked about the difficulties that social media brings in keeping things secret until the audience has a chance to see the movie.  No Time To Die has a 10-day gap between when its release cycle starts in Belgium to when the last 6 countries get to see it.  That stinks for fans in those 6 countries.  This Netflix decision shows they are looking out for the fan by releasing globally on November 12.   We wish all the studios would follow suit.

Argylle

Matthew Vaughan who produced and directed the first two Kings Man movies and the upcoming The King’s Man movie will be bringing his spy movie prowess to the upcoming movie Argylle. And he’s assembled a star-studded cast: Henry Cavil, John Cena, Bryan Cranston, Bryce Dallas Howard, Samuel L. Jackson, Catherine O’Hara, and Sam Rockwell. Argylle is based on an upcoming spy novel with the same name and is expected to be the first in a series of novels and movies.   Vaughan is still expected to be involved with the Kings Man series going forward. To quote Vaughan from an article on Variety.com, “When I read this early draft manuscript I felt it was the most incredible and original spy franchise since Ian Fleming’s books of the ’50s,” said Vaughan. “This is going to reinvent the spy genre.” Given that the same article says that the novel and book “will follow the globe-trotting adventures of a super-spy named Argylle across the U.S., London and other exotic locations.”  we here at Spy Movie News are scratching our heads trying to figure out how this will “reinvent the spy genre”.  That basic explanation sounds like every Bond, Mission: Impossible, Bourne, and Austin Powers movie plot. It should be noted that another series of books will be the basis of the upcoming The Gray Man which we’ve mentioned in earlier Spy Movie News newscasts.  Like Argylle, they are hoping to turn that into a series of movies.  It looks like spy movies are here to stay and we love it.  If these franchises can release every 2-3 years it should ramp up the pressure to get James Bond movies out more quickly too.

Vidyut Jammwal To Star In & Produce Espionage Thriller IB 71

Set before the Indo-Pakistani war, Jammwal will play an intelligence officer in a story about how Indian intelligence agencies outwitted the Pakistani establishment and gave the Indian armed forces the required advantage they needed to face a two-front war in an upcoming espionage movie, IB 71.

The King’s Man

The new trailer for The King’s Man looks at the origins of the Kingsman organization – it is a nice trailer you can find on YouTube.  THE KING'S MAN Trailer 4 (2021) Kingsman 3 Director Matthew Vaughan says "This movie really is an origin story," "This is the foundation of the Kingsman franchise."  So, this should be a good movie to try to put the first two in perspective.  We can’t wait until it releases on December 22, 2021.

The Movie Formerly Known As Five Eyes Gets A Release Date

The Guy Ritchie, Jason Statham spy movie finally gets a release date.  It will debut on January 21, 2022.  We’ve talked about this movie in numerous Spy Movie News episodes so we’re happy to see a release date announced.   Now if they’d only give it a title so we can stop all this “formerly known as Five Eyes” nonsense.   Guy, we want to talk about your movie.  So give us a name, please.

INDUSTRY NEWS

Happy 97th Birthday Eva Marie Saint

It’s hard to believe, but Eve Marie Saint just celebrated her 97th birthday on July 4th.  We spy movie fans remember her fantastic performance in the Hitchcock thriller North By Northwest.

IN MEMORIAM

Richard Donner (1930-2021)

We’re sad to report the passing of Richard Donner.  Although probably best known for his direction of Superman, The Goonies, and Lethal Weapon, Donner’s work in television certainly has influenced spy movies.  Some of his tv credits include The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Get Smart, and The FBI.   An article on Donner that appears on The Spy Command says that he was Sean Connery’s first choice to direct Never Say Never Again but passed because he didn’t like the script. One other James Bond twist for Donner, Guy Hamilton did not direct The Spy Who Loved Me as he was signed to direct Superman.  That didn’t work out and Richard Donner ended up directing Superman. Again, we have a Black Widow spoiler at the end of the audio podcast of this article.  You can click here to get to that podcast.  So, that’s a wrap of our latest Spy Movie News for July 27, 2021.  Please Subscribe to our show, Cracking the Code of Spy Movies right now through your favorite podcast app and on YouTube as well!  Tell a friend about our show, give us a five-star rating, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram too!            

JAMES BOND FANS TO BATTLE IN INTERNATIONAL TRIVIA MARATHON NOVEMBER 14TH

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For Immediate Release                Contact: Steve Rubin (213) 300-1896

      (Los Angeles, California, October 6, 2020) Producers Steven Jay Rubin and Charles Sherman, in association with the Spy Movie Navigator website are producing the International 007 Trivia Marathon, which will take place at 10:00 a.m. PST, on Saturday November 14th on Zoom.  James Bond fans throughout the world are eligible to compete for prizes in the double elimination tournament, which will coincide with the publication of Rubin’s book, The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia, 4th edition.       Interested contestants should email their contact information to fastcarrier1944@gmail.com The contest is a first come, first serve event – only the first 100 contestants who turn in their contact information will be eligible. Those contestants will then receive Zoom info via email. Contestant must have computer access and the latest installed Zoom application to participate.      The top ten contestants will each receive an autographed copy of Rubin’s book. The contest winner will be crowned Champion of 007 trivia and be given a selection of 007 material from Mr. Rubin’s own files.      Rubin and Sherman produced the original James Bond 007 Trivia Marathon in 1981, which was part of a James Bond Weekend in Century City, headlined by a luncheon at the Playboy Club – George Lazenby, Martine Beswick, Marc Lawrence, Herve Villechaize,  Bruce Glover, Lana Wood, Norman Burton and Barry Nelson were guests.       SpyMovieNavigator.com is dedicated to the continued building of a worldwide community of spy movie fans.   Their podcasts, social media releases and website concentrate on spy movies from 1935 – present, including Bond, analyzing key scenes in each movie, looking for connections to, and influences on, other spy movies and real-world events.  Their podcast show, Cracking the Code of Spy Movies, has been downloaded in over 92 countries!  They can be found at SpyMovieNavigator.com, and on Facebook, Twitter (@SpyNavigator) and Instagram.   ###               

Spy Movie News – Tenet, The King’s Man, Black Widow, & Red Notice – 8/11/2020 Update

Related: Spy Movie News – Tenet, The King’s Man, Black Widow, & Red Notice – 8/11/2020 Update

Related: 2020 Spy Movie release schedule – April 3 Update

Related: Spy Movie News Article for Oct 1 2020 – No Time To Die!

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We have recorded this article as a podcast.  If you want to watch it,  click here. This article will update the status of the movies The King’s Man, Tenet, Black Widow, and Red Notice.  We last talked about these movies in this article from April. We'll also look at a couple of industry changes that will likely have an impact on movie going for the foreseeable future.

Tenet

(currently set for and August -September release depending on the location)

So, let’s start with Tenet.   This is the Christopher Nolan movie which is supposed to be the first tent pole movie released in the US during the pandemic.  What happens here will have ramifications for the industry as a whole. The release has been pushed numerous times as the movie industry is trying to figure out how to release a movie safely during the pandemic and in a manner in which consumers will still go to a theater. According to an article by Tom Brueggmann in Indiewire, the current plan for Tenet is a UK release date of August 26, 2020, and in 50 other territories between the 26th and 28th. China’s release date is still unknown, but the movie has been approved there. It will have a US release on September 3rd in select theaters. Currently, 45 states in the US permit indoor theaters to operate with some restrictions/safety precautions.  Cinemark, Regal, and AMC all have opening dates scheduled by the end of August with wide releases starting on August 21st.   Warner Brothers is re-releasing Inception as well.   From what I’ve read, you should probably watch Inception again before seeing Tenet.  So, as Brueggmann’s article states “even if California and New York couldn’t open and a few other areas besides, more than 80% of the population would still have the potential to see Tenet in an indoor theater.”   We’re eager to see how many people will actually go.  As Seth Rogan said about Tenet in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter: “For a while, it seemed like the answer was to kill his greatest fans,” Rogen told THR. “But that’s not the answer of today, it seems, so that’s good. But we have no idea. We don’t want to be the first to rush into anything.” We here are SpyMovieNavigator are watching this closely.

The King's Man

(Currently set for it's US release in September)

The next spy movie scheduled to be released is The King’s Man, the prequel to earlier Kingsman movies.  This is still scheduled for a September 18, 2020 release date in the US.  We can only imagine that what happens with Tenet will have a huge effect as to whether this date changes. In an article on this prequel on movieweb.com by Jon Fuge,  Director Matthew Vaughan said that this prequel will lay the foundations for Kingsman 3. Vaughan says: "We've put seeds for what's going to happen in Kingsman 3 all the way back into this. And it's going to be very different." So, while The King’s Man is a prequel it is being used to set up Kingsman 3 (this sounds like Star Wars numbering here).   What I would have called Kingsman 3 is this prequel, maybe you can think of it as Kingsman 1?  Thus the 4th Kingsman movie would be Kingsman 3?  My head hurts when they do stuff like this.

INDUSTRY NEWS

In industry news, two big recent announcements may change theatrical releases for a long time, one by Disney and one by AMC and Universal. Will Black Widow be affected by these announcements?

DISNEY WILL RELEASE MULAN ON DISNEY+ AND NOT IN MOST THEATERS

The first is an acknowledgement of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the movie business.  Disney announced last week that Mulan will no longer have its initial release in theaters.  Instead, they will be releasing it on September 3rd on Disney Plus, but not as a regular part of the service.    In addition to the monthly $6.99 Disney Plus monthly subscription price, if you want to see this movie, you can rent it for $29.99. It will be released theatrically in markets in which access to Disney Plus is not available.  That means you can see it in a theater if you are in a country that doesn’t have Disney Plus. Initially, we were surprised by the price point.   However, after doing some research, we think the $30 rental price is a fair price for a family movie.   According to Statista.com, in 2019 the average ticket price at North American movie theaters was $9.16 with AMC coming in higher than that.   Let’s make the math easy and call it $10.00 a ticket.   A family of 3 would spend $30 just to see the movie in a theater, not counting the prices of any food and drink you might get.  So the $30 price point seems reasonable.   Assuming that same number of people who would have gone to the theater buy into this, Disney will make more money than if this was in a theater.   A 2016 article on theweek.com says that US theaters end up paying the studios somewhere around 60% of their proceeds from the box office, up to 90% for a first-run movie.  So to Disney’s bottom line, they would net about the equivalent of just under 5 people going the theater to see the movie at the 60% number. Plus, you need the Disney Plus subscription.  Given the estimate of over $1billion in the expected global box office, this has to really hurt theaters. According to an article in Variety, Disney CEO Bob Chapek says that this is a one-time event.  “We’re looking at Mulan as a one-off as opposed to saying there is some new business windowing model that we’re looking at. “ This quote by Chapek is intriguing as Black Widow was pushed back from May 2020 to November 6, 2020, in the US.  MCU fans are now asking Disney to do the same release to Digital strategy for Black Widow as Disney is doing with Mulan.  We’ll see if the “one-off” is a reality or just too good a deal for Disney to not make part of its release model.

UNIVERSAL AND AMC KISS AND MAKE UP

The second bit of general movie news is that prior to this Disney announcement, Universal and AMC made a deal to try to quell the fears of straight-to-digital killing the movie theater market.  After Universal released Trolls World Tour on digital on the same day as theaters after the pandemic hit, AMC banned Universal movies from its theaters.   This new deal mends that fence. Universal movies will be in AMC theaters exclusively for at least 3 weekends or 17 days, instead of the old model of 70 days.  Universal can keep a movie exclusively in theaters for longer than that, but 17 days is the new minimum.   Movies will hit the digital marketplace much sooner, but AMC can still survive on the new release. An August 4th article on CNBC.com by Sarah Whitten talks about how Cinemark and Regal which combined have more theaters than AMC don’t have, nor do they want this deal AMC struck.  So this might get interesting. It’s also interesting when juxtaposing this news with the Disney news which happened a week later.  First, as we said, a theater may have to pay up to 90% of a first release's box office to the studio.   At 17 days, they won’t be able to make that much profit from the movie before they lose exclusivity.  Now, they may be able to keep the movie in the theater while it’s available on digital . And I assume they’d have to pay Universal much less than 90% once digital becomes competition.  That said, I’d rather see Black Widow, The Kings Man, or No Time To Die on a big screen.  They are visual movies.  So, let’s hope this deal helps theaters stay afloat in these changing market conditions.    Second, with Disney charging for Mulan separate from their subscription pricing, how can movie theaters compete with this?   We’re assuming this “one-off” isn’t going to end up as a one-off and Disney does this more often, and possibly with Black Widow.   How will the movie theater chains react? Times are changing and it is not just because of the pandemic.  The combined effects of digital distribution with the impact of the pandemic are likely to change the movie industry to a large degree. We think the studios want to accelerate the move to digital and the pandemic is giving them the excuse to do so.  So stay tuned, we’ll keep you posted.

RED NOTICE

Finally, the release movie called Red Notice has been pushed to 2021.  It doesn’t have a release date yet. So, there you have the latest news on the current state of spy movies for 2020.  We’ll be shocked if it doesn’t change again with the pandemic. But we hope we get to see at least a couple of these movies this year.

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Join Dan and Tom as they celebrate their First Anniversary of SpyMovieNavigator.com and their podcast and video shows, Cracking the Code of Spy Movies!

Some colleagues leave anniversary messages too!   Listen in and tell your friends!  Subscribe to our show through your favorite podcast app, like Apple, Google, Spotify, Overcast, Podbean and virtually any other podcast app!

And THANK YOU for getting us to our First Anniversary!

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10 Spy Movies for Kids and Your Whole Family

Related: Spy Movies For Kids – Spies In Disguise – Why Is It Rated PG? – Podcast Video

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Contributed by: Spy Movie Navigator

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Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many of us are sheltering at home.  Therefore, we’re all looking for ideas of things to keep our children busy.  So, why not let them watch some spy movies made for kids? To help with this, we at Spy Movie Navigator have looked at the movies available that are kid-friendly and created this list of spy movies for kids. We know you are looking out for your children. Therefore, all of these movies are rated G or PG.   We'll start with the PG movies.  After that, we'll move on to the G-rated movies.  As this list isn’t exhaustive, expect to see another list from us coming soon.  There are a lot of spy movies for your kids to watch.  We want to help you find them. We’ll guide you along the way.  In addition to giving you a description, we give you access to a trailer, if available, so you can see if this movie is appropriate for your child.  Finally, we point you to where you can get it online.  Above all, We want to help you find these spy movies so your kids can get into the genre. Not all things in life are free.  Luckily, some of these titles are available free.  Fortunately, some only require you to be a subscriber to a service such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, or Disney+.  Finally, if they aren't included in a service, these movies are available online for you to buy or rent.  Also, please note that Spy Movie Navigator receives no compensation if you purchase or rent any of these movies. Note: The online information was gathered at the beginning of April 2020 so it may change over time.

PG-Rated Spy Movies

Spies in Disguise (2019 movie)

Spies in Disguise - Spy Movies for KidsDescription (from 20th Century website

In this high-flying animated comedy, super-spy Lance Sterling (Will Smith) and scientist Walter Beckett (Tom Holland) are almost exact opposites. Lance is smooth, suave and debonair. Walter is none of the above. But this unlikely duo must team up for the ultimate mission to save the world when a “biodynamic concealment” experiment transforms Lance into a brave, fierce, majestic...pigeon!

Rating: PG

Run Time: 101 minutes

Trailer: (click here to view the trailer from YouTube)

Podcast: Spy Movie Navigator has a podcast about Spies in Disguise which discusses it in more detail.  You can find it by clicking here.

Where to find it online:

 This movie is currently not included free in any service that we’ve found. Therefore, there is currently a rental/purchase charge to view this movie from any of these sites.
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Penguins of Madagascar (2014 movie) 

Penguins of Madagascar - Spy Movies for Kids

Description: (from Dreamworks website)

They're cute...they're cuddly...they're back! From the creators of MADAGASCAR comes the hilarious new movie that proves global espionage is for the birds! In DreamWorks' PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR, your favorite super-spies--Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private--join forces with the elite North Wind team to save the world. It's a side-splitting, globe-trotting adventure the whole family will love!

Rating: PG

Run Time: 1 hour 32 minutes

Trailer: (click here to view the trailer from YouTube)

Where to find it online: 

This movie is currently not included free in any service that we’ve found. Therefore, there is currently a rental/purchase charge to view this movie from any of these sites.

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Inspector Gadget (1999 movie)

Inspector Gadget - Spy Movies for Kids

Description: (from Disney’s website

A security guard's dreams come true when he is selected to be transformed into a cybernetic police officer.

Inspector Gadget isn’t technically a spy movie, but when we ask kids about their favorite spies, his name comes up often so we included him in this list

Rating: PG

Run Time: 1 Hour 18 Minutes

Trailer: (click here to view the trailer from YouTube)

Where to find it online:

This movie is included in a Disney+ subscription, click -->         Disney+ Badge

Also, if you don't have Disney+, you can rent/purchase this movie online here:

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Spy Kids (2001 movie)

Spy Kids - Spy Movies for Kids

Description: (from Miramax website)

Nine years ago, top international spies Gregorio and Ingrid Cortez traded the excitement of espionage for the adventure of parenthood. But when they're called out on a secret mission, the Cortezes are separated from their family and kidnapped by the evil Fegan Floop. Fortunately, there are two people who possess the skills and know-how to reunite the family: Carmen and Juni Cortez, their kids.

Note:  Three more Spy Kids movies followed upon the success of this one.  They are Spy Kids 2, Spy Kids 3: Game Over, and Spy Kids: All the Time in the World.

Rating: PG

Run Time: 1 hour 28 minutes

Trailer: (click here to view the trailer from YouTube)

Where to find it online:

If you have Netflix, Spy Kids is included in the membership at no additional charge (Spy Kids is only on Netflix until 4/30/2020).

Netflix badge for Spy Kids - Spy Movies for Kids

Included with Netflix

However, if you don't have Netflix, you can rent/purchase the movie online here:

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Spy School (2008 movie)

Spy School - Spy Movies for Kids

Description: (From IMDB)

Spy School is the story of a twelve-year-old boy known for telling tall tales who overhears a plot to kidnap the President's daughter. When he goes public with his story, no one believes him, and he is forced to save her on his own.

Please note this movie is also known as Doubting Thomas.  However, in 2018 another movie called Doubting Thomas was released that is a different movie and isn't a spy movie. We don't know if it is a movie for kids as it is unrated and we haven't seen it.  Also, there is a 1935 Will Rogers movie called Doubting Thomas.  So, please make sure you are looking at the 2008 movie if you want the right one.

Rating: PG Run Time: 1 hour 26 minutes Trailer: (click here to view the trailer from YouTube) Where to find it online: This spy movie is available at no cost on Tubi under the title Doubting Thomas.

 Tubi badge for Spy School - Spy Movies for Kids

Additionally, it is available at the following links for an additional charge:
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Agent Cody Banks (2003 movie)

Agent Cody Banks - Spy Movies for Kids Description: (From IMDB)

A government agent trains Cody Banks in the ways of covert operations that require younger participants.

In addition to this movie, please note that there is a sequel called Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London.

Rating: PG Run Time: 1 hour 42 minutes Trailer: (click here to view the trailer from YouTube) Where to find it online: This spy movie is currently available as part of an HBO GO subscription. HBO GO badge for Agent Cody Banks - Spy Movies for Kids

However, if you do not subscribe to HBO, choose one of these other options.  You have a rent/buy option at these other sites.

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Harriet the Spy (1996 movie)

Harriet the Spy - Spy Movies for Kids Description: (From IMDB)

Harriet M. Welsch is a spy. But when Harriet's friends find her secret notebook the tables are turned on her. Can she win her friends back and still keep on going with the spy business?

Rating: PG Run Time: 1 hour 40 minutes Trailer: (click here to view the trailer from YouTube) Where to find it online: You'll find Harriet The Spy  for rent in your Amazon Prime membership.

Prime badge for Harriet the Spy - Spy Movies for Kids

It is also available to rent or buy at the following links:
YouTube badge for Harriet the Spy iTunes badge for Harriet the Spy Microsoft badge for Harriet the Spy Google badge for Harriet the Spy Vudu badge for Harriet the Spy

G-Rated Spy Movies

Sam Steele and the Junior Detective Agency (2009 movie)

Junior Detective Agency - Spy Movies for Kids Description: (From IMDB)

13-year-old Sam Steele Jr. forms his own private detective agency to emulate his father, Des Moines detective Sam Steele and helps track down a jewel thief.

In this movie,  Sam is a detective.  We included this in our list as it is rated G and has some spy-movie elements. The sequels call Sam a spy, so we’ll start with this first one.  The sequels are Sam Steele and the Crystal Chalice in 2011 and The Junior Spy Agency in 2014.

Rating: G Run Time: 1 hour 27 minutes Trailer: (click here to view the trailer from YouTube) Where to find it online: You'll find Sam Steele and the Junior Detective Agency in your Amazon Prime membership at no additional cost. Prime badge for Junior Detective Agency - Spy Movies for Kids

Included with Prime

Also, you might also want to poke around on YouTube.  The links for the three related movies are not consistent on YouTube with trailers for the different movies using each other’s titles.  However, you’ll find what you are looking for there.  In addition, this YouTube link will take you to where you can buy/rent the spy movie. But we strongly suggest you do a YouTube search first. YouTube badge for Junior Detective Agency

Cars 2 (2011 movie)

Cars 2 - Spy Movies for Kids Description: (From Disney website)

Star race car Lightning McQueen and the incomparable tow truck Mater take their friendship on the road from Radiator Springs to exciting new places when they head overseas to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix to determine the world's fastest car. But the road to the championship is filled with plenty of potholes, detours and hilarious surprises when Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage!

Rating: G Run Time: 1 hour 46 minutes Trailer: (click here to view the trailer from YouTube) Where to find it online: You'll find Cars 2 in your Disney+ subscription.

Disney Plus badge for Cars 2 - Spy Movies for Kids

Included with Disney+

However, if you don't have a Disney+ subscription, you can rent/buy Cars 2  online at these sites:
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Odd Squad: The Movie (2016 movie)

Odd Squad The Movie - Spy Movies for Kids

Description: (from IMDB)

Odd Squad is forced out of business when Weird Team, a rival team of adults, arrives with a gadget that solves odd problems. But while leading normal lives, the Odd Squad agents discover that the group isn't solving problems, just covering them up.

Rating: G

Run Time: 1 hour 7 minutes

Trailer: (click here to view the trailer from YouTube)

Where to find it online:

If you have Amazon Prime, this spy movie is included in the membership at no additional charge (as of 4/9/2020).

Prime badge for Odd Squad The Movie - Spy Movies for Kids

Included with Prime


In conclusion, we hope you and your kids liked these spy movies.   Please let us know your thoughts on these movies.  Also, if there are other spy movies your kids like that we should include in our next list, please let us know.  To make that easy, just press the red button on the right side of this page.  Then, you can leave a voicemail for us with your thoughts.

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Keeping up with the changes is challenging. Many of the studios have done a terrible job keeping their websites updated with the changing dates. As an example, The Informer was to release on January 10, 2020. Their website still shows the poster with this date. However, the release date got pushed back to July 30, 2020. So check back here and we'll keep the list as updated as possible. The pandemic has also caused production delays for movies like that are scheduled for a 2021 release. As of today, Mission: Impossible 7 has kept its July 23, 2021, U.S. release date. We will do our best to keep you up to date. Just realize that until the pandemic runs its course or movie theaters reopen, this list is very fluid. We’ve also seen a small number of movies releasing direct to Video on Demand (VOD) and bypassing theaters during this pandemic If you are a spy movie fan, please don't miss our Cracking the Code of Spy Movies podcasts.  You can find them here. So, here’s the current 2020 Spy Movie release schedule with U.S. release dates:
Current 2020 US Release Date Title Original Release Month Standards Body Rating Certificate Comments
April 17 My Spy January, then March 2020 US Rating: PG-13 for action /violence and languageU.K Rating: 12A See All Certifications Here UPDATE: This movie got pushed from January right into the heart of the COVID pandemic in March. They only pushed it until April 17th, however. We believe it is likely to get pushed one more time to get out of the Coronavirus shutdowns. We’ll keep this article up-to-date on this movie. This movie stars Dave Bautista, who played Hinx in Spectre. MY SPY follows JJ a hardened CIA operative (Dave Bautista) who has been demoted and finds himself at the mercy of a precocious 9-year-old girl, named Sophie (Chloe Coleman) where he has been sent undercover begrudgingly to surveil her family. When Sophie discovers hidden cameras in her apartment she uses her tech-savviness to locate where the surveillance operation is set. In exchange for not blowing JJ’s cover, Sophie convinces him to spend time with her and teach her to be a spy. Despite his reluctance, JJ finds he is no match for Sophie’s disarming charm and wit. Source: https://www.myspy.movie
July 17 Tenet July 2020 Not Yet Rated Christopher Nolan fans: he's written and directed this movie. This is a movie shrouded in secrecy. They are really not letting too much out it at all. All we've seen written is from IMDB: "An action epic revolving around international espionage, time travel, and evolution" There is a trailer for the movie that is very intriguing. You can find it here: https://www.tenetfilm.com. It is the first big-budget movie ($225 million estimated budget) to film in Tallinn, Estonia which should be good to see.
July 30 The Informer January 2020 US: Rfor strong violence and pervasive languageUK Rating: 15See All certifications here This one has Ana de Armas (No Time To Die) and Rosamond Pike (Die Another Day) for the Bond fans. Update: This is one of those “everything changes, and they don’t tell anyone” movies. This was supposed to release on January 10, 2020. No theaters were playing it yet it showed up on Fandango with no times. It then got pushed to March 13, 2020, right in the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic time. Now it is supposed to release on July 31, 2020. Here's the synopsis from the official website: Honorably discharged Special Ops soldier Pete Koslow’s (Joel Kinnaman) world is turned upside-down when he is jailed after a fight to protect his wife (Ana de Armas). He’s given a chance for early release by becoming an informant for the FBI (Academy Award nominees Rosamund Pike and Clive Owen) and using his covert skills in an operation to take down The General, the most powerful crime boss in New York. Source: http://aviron.com/films/the-informer.php
September 18 Without Remorse September, 2020 Not Yet Rated This is an adaptation of Tom Clancy's novel, "Without Remorse". John Clark, a Navy SEAL, goes on a path to avenge his wife's murder only to find himself inside of a larger conspiracy.
September 18 The King's Man September, 2020 Not Yet Rated This is the prequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kingsman: The Golden Circle. As a collection of history’s worst tyrants and criminal masterminds gather to plot a war to wipe out millions, one man must race against time to stop them. Discover the origins of the very first independent intelligence agency in THE KING’S MAN. Source: https://www.foxmovies.com/movies/the-kings-man Note: This got bumped from a February 2020 release date to September 2020.
November 6 Black Widow May, 2020 Not Yet Rated Update: This movie has been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic. Scarlett Johansson reprises her role as Natasha/Black Widow in Marvel Studios’ action-packed spy thriller Black Widow — the first film in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Source: https://www.marvel.com/movies/black-widow
November 25 NO TIME TO DIE April 2020 US: PG-13For sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images, brief strong language and some suggestive material. Update: This movie’s US release got pushed back to November 12, 2020, in the U.K. and November 25, 2020, due to “careful consideration and thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace”. Finally, after 5 years, James Bond is back! In NO TIME TO DIE, Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology. Source: https://www.007.com/no-time-to-die/
TBD Red Notice November, 2020 Not Yet Rated Update from March 14, 2020 – Variety – “‘Red Notice’ Halts Production Over Coronavirus”. “It is unknown when the shoot was going to end, though the film had yet to be given a release date since going into production.” Stars Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne Johnson, and Gal Godot. From IMDB: "An Interpol agent tracks the world's most wanted art thief. "It was originally to be a Universal Pictures release in November 2020 but has moved to Netflix. One offshoot of this is that the release date might be in flux. IMDB now lists this as a 2021 movie without a date so we'll have to see. It is rumored to have a $200+ billion budget, making it one of Netflix's largest budget movies
If you know of another spy movie coming out in 2020 or have any comments or suggestions of the 2020 Spy Movie release schedule, please leave us a voice mail by pressing the red button on the side of this page.

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Join Tom and Dan in our 2019 wrap-up podcast of our Cracking the Code of Spy Movies show! Here, we include clips from all of our 2019 podcasts – take a listen, find ones that interest you and subscribe (free) to our Cracking the Code of Spy Movies show and listen to the full episodes!  We end the episode with a look ahead at the spy movies we are anticipating in 2020.

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All About Spy Movies – SpyMovieNavigator

Podcast Episode

All About Spy Movies – SpyMovieNavigator

Find out what we are doing at SpyMovieNavigator.com and how we are building a Worldwide Community of Spy Movie Fans! Dan Silvestri and Tom Pizzato explain the roots of SpyMovieNavigator and how this whole thing got started, and how we are looking to you, our users and listeners, to contribute your ideas, discussions, photos, videos and more to this new community!

All About spy movies!  Find out what we are doing at SpyMovieNavigator.com & how we are building a Worldwide Community of Spy Movie Fans.

Dan Silvestri and Tom Pizzato explain the roots of SpyMovieNavigator and how this whole thing got started, and how we are looking to you, our users and listeners, to contribute your ideas, discussions, photos, videos and more to this new community!

We think there are at least 4 main genres of spy movies, and we want to create a place to discuss all of them and how they are interrelated. We will start with these four: James Bond, Mission: Impossible, Jason Bourne, Best of the Rest.  We are all about spy movies!

Keep checking back on our Podcasts page or Subscribe on iTunes for Apple devices, or on Google Play.

Come hear how we see these genres and how you can help build the Worldwide Community of Spy Movie Fans.  Give us your input after listening, do we have the genres right?  Do you have a genre of spy movies you’d like to see included?  What works and how can we make it better?

 

Related Content

SPY MOVIE NAVIGATOR – ALL ABOUT SPY MOVIES

This transcript is a subset of what is in the podcast.  We recommend you listen to the podcast.

Did you ever wonder how you can navigate your way through the genre of spy movies like Bond, Bourne, Mission: Impossible and the best of all the rest? Well, we did too! So, join us now and we’ll all become spy movie navigators!

SECTION 1
This is Dan Silvestri (and Tom Pizzato) at SpyMovieNavigator.com, the Worldwide Community of Spy Movie Fans! Spy movie podcasts, videos, discussions and more!
Dan: We’re big spy movie fans. When we look online, we see a bunch of sites dedicated to James Bond and not much else.

This is frustrating as there are hundreds of spy movies that have been made. But how are they interrelated? What are their origins? Can scenes and themes be found in other spy movies? And how have these spy movies influenced each other?

We think there are at least 4 main genres of spy movies and we want to create a place to discuss all of them and how they are interrelated. We will start with these 4.
Tom: Obviously one genre is James Bond. The others are the Mission: Impossible and Jason Bourne series and one we’re calling The Best of the Rest. This Best of the Rest is a category of other spy movies other than the Big 3. In this genre, we think of things like Hitchcock’s 1935 film The 39 Steps which is generally regarded as the first spy movie, 1962’s The Spy Who Came in from the Cold to more modern films like the 2011 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and even Atomic Blonde, American Assassin and Red Sparrow which made spy movies a lot more bloody and gore.

Yeah, Tom – you mentioned The 39 Steps – in that film, you see for the first time a helicopter pursuing the target – of course, we are going to see this in many spy films to come including, From Russia With Love, The Spy Who Loved Me, SPECTRE, Mission: Impossible 1 (1996), Mission: Impossible Fallout, and others.

There are dozens of great spy movies that fall into this category. We’ll pick out what we think are the best and what we think have impacted other spy movies in both subtle and big ways.
And we want your participation! Part of what we are doing is building a worldwide community of spy movie fans. Maybe you’re a Bourne fan and don’t like Bond, or you like Bond and Mission: Impossible but not Bourne, or maybe you like some spy movies from the main three genres and others outside the main three. Starting with the first 4 genres, we will cover over 50 films. We will have something for all spy movie fans, and we will continue to grow the site by adding more movies or genres that we find are great, or relevant ones you suggest. A category for spy comedies (like Our Man in Havana, Austin Powers, Kingsmen, Burn After Reading, Spies Like Us, etc.)? Films based on John Le Carre and or Tom Clancy novels? Together with you, our spy movie fas community, we will see what missions are ahead for us all!

We will look for interconnections, relationships, unique concepts, and key scenes in all these genres so that we can all learn something new. As an example, if you’ve seen Thunderball have you also seen the 1958 film The Silent Enemy? The Silent Enemy brought the underwater ‘henchman sled’ called underwater chariots to the big screen 7 years before Thunderball. And they are launched from a ship, as later in Thunderball they are being launched from the villain, Largo’s boat, the Disco Volante. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. It’s a fabulous movie based on a true World War II espionage story.

We are looking for you, as part of our spy movie fan community, to contribute your ideas, insights, and photos to this effort and to the overall distribution of this info through our SpyMovieNavigator digital properties. Think of it as a two-way street, with info constantly going out and new info coming in – SpyMovieNavigator is partnering with our community of spy movie fans to gain new insights, see new connections, and have some fun together talking about spy movies!

SECTION 2
You know, Goldfinger was released in December 1964 in the USA, in New York, then Hollywood. Its general-release was January 9th. This was the third EON Production James Bond 007 film released. Well, I’m back in high school, but a few buddies and I wanted to see Goldfinger. I literally lived about 6 or 7 blocks from my high school, an old Italian neighborhood, that was maybe a few miles from downtown Chicago. So, one day, we executed our own spy missions – we cut class – we thought we were very clever – took the bus to downtown Chicago and saw Goldfinger! Loved it – loved everything about it, hooked on Bond early! Well, the only flaw in our plan, was the guy who was supposed to cover for us and doctor-up the attendance sheets, chickened out. We got caught by the school, who informed our parents and we got punished by both – oh my – but was it ever worth it!
Hooked on spies, of course, I had to watch all the television shows that followed like, “The Saint” (which began in 1962 and went through 1969), “The Man from UNCLE” (1964-1968), “Mission: Impossible” (1966- 1973), “The Avengers” (1961 – 1969) – these were the ones I watched diligently.

Of course, “The Saint”, which starred Roger Moore, and “The Avengers,” which starred Diana Rigg have obvious connections to later Bond films – Roger Moore of course becoming Bond for 7 movies, and Diana Rigg as Tracy di Vincenzo who marries Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

I also like some of the TV shows around that time frame. [Tom tells his first Bond story]
Bond in the 60s was dominant. People were reading the Fleming books and waiting for the next movies. In the US – President Kennedy at the time, put the Bond novel, “From Russia With Love,” on his Top 10 favorite book list – which made the Fleming novels explode in the US. We read all the Ian Fleming novels on Bond too, and just recently visited The Lilly Library at Indiana University where they own 11 of the original Ian Fleming Bond manuscripts and we were able to spend 1 and a half days examine hundreds of type-written pages by Fleming, along with his ink corrections, changes, name changes, title changes and more. On one page, “Miss Pettavel” was scratched out. The name Pettavel was based on a real person Ian Fleming knew, named Pettigrew. But when he scratched it out . . . he penned in, “Moneypenny!” Oh my God – here the name we all know and love was first introduced into the Bond novels! That was a genuinely remarkable experience touching the pages of Bond as Fleming wrote it. We would highly recommend a visit there for any spy movie fan, but especially for Bond fans. Remarkable! A guy had been there a few months before us going through all the manuscripts looking for what watches Bond wore and wrote an article on timepieces that was an international hit.

SECTION 3
The seed of SpyMovieNavigator was planted . . . . not that long ago – Tom and I went on a trip a while back to Switzerland, Luxemburg, Belgium and then to Normandy in France, to the beaches of D-Day. As an aside, everyone should set foot on the beaches in Normandy to realize what the allies sacrificed for the freedom of the world. It is moving, touching, heart-wrenching.

While in Switzerland, Tom and I spent a week traveling all over by train and cable car – Zurich, Geneva, Interlaken, and then we went up to Murren, (about a 5,300-foot elevation), up into the Swiss Alps. Long, beautiful cable-car ride up, then a small train to the town with gorgeous scenery all around. It was like being in a National Geographic magazine. Just spectacular beauty!

Tom loved the cable car – not really. All around the area were beautiful little towns, like Lauterbrunnen, Grindewald, Trummelbach Falls, and Schilthorn. Well, we were now close to some of the action from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) – the 6th EON Productions James Bond 007 movie! The car chase where Tracy drives her red, 1969 Mercury Cougar XR-7, with Bond as a passenger through the stock car race on ice and snow, trying to escape the henchmen of Blofeld, took place right in the parking lot area of Lauterbrunnen (in the Bern region)! That was a small cable car ride, so we went! And immediately we thought, this was very, very cool to be on the location of a Bond film scene, from one of our favorite Bond movies.

ANECDOTE: And we took another small down from Wengen to Grindelwald. And the wind was swaying us around a lot as we descended, In fact, when we got to the station, we got out and they closed the lift because of the wind! But we got to the spot where the ice rink was that where Tracy, who was skating, meets up with Bond, who was sitting on a bench, in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Very Bond-like – we just made it!

We were only going to be in Murren for two days. We stayed at the Eiger Hotel, which was terrific. Beautiful views, great restaurant, nice little bar. We found out some of the actors and crew hung around here during filming and had a few cocktails and gambled a bit playing cards with each other. So, we, of course, had to dine and sit at the bar and have a few cocktails. The lift was closed that went up to Schilthorn due to bad weather. Piz Gloria is up there – the Blofeld headquarters where he has his “allergy research institute” but where he is brainwashing women who will deliver a deadly virus to the world.

Disappointed it was inaccessible, we watched around the clock when it might open again – they had monitors in the hotel lobby that tracked the status of all the cable lifts. In the morning it did open, and we went up to Piz Gloria at Schilthorn – another 4000 -5,000 feet up! Now we were where a lot of action took place in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – the Blofeld headquarters, the outdoor section where the women were curling, and where Bond tried it and slipped, and where he later slides as he is shooting Blofeld’s henchmen during the assault on Piz Gloria by Bond and Draco, inside where Bond walks up the steps with the gold, ornate metalwork making a barrier to the stairway he ascends – we were here! OK, now we are hooked. From this moment, we thought tons of people around the world who are spy movie fans would love to be here – and here we were! One of the Top 10 Bond film locations in the world! So, as the wheels turned on the cable car ride back down, they also started turning for SpyMovieNavigator.

Hook, line, and sinker. We were going to do something with spy movies!

SECTION 4
One summer, I went to Prague, to visit my daughter who was on a study-abroad program and had to head to Charles Bridge. Plenty was filmed here for Mission: Impossible 1 and The Bourne Identity (2002), and some Bond stuff too. I got a picture of the Charles Bridge standing in the exact location the cameraman was in for a Mission: Impossible shot! So exciting. Was on the bridge where Phelps in Mission: Impossible 1 fell over the edge! FUN!!

In the Caribbean, Tom with his family had visited Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica, which features in Dr. No –  and I had visited with my family and climbed the falls. Very cool again to be in such an iconic spot from Dr. No! Where Honey Rider and James Bond were standing!

So, after our Switzerland trip, we thought we’d do an exploratory trip to a few other spy movie locations. So recently, Tom and I headed to Portugal, Sardinia Italy, Amsterdam and London to visit a few more film locations! On that trip alone, we got to over 50 Bond and spy movie locations. We met with Caroline Munro, who played Naomi, the assistant of Stromberg, in The Spy Who Loved Me; the person who comes to collect Bond who was posing as an oceanographer – Mr. Sterling, to bring him to Stromberg; and the pilot of the helicopter who tries to shoot Bond as he escapes in the Lotus Esprit – becoming the first woman Bond kills in the movies!

This trip was spy movie heaven. In Portugal, we wanted to visit the rest of the major scenes from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and so we set out to find all the key locations. So, in Lisbon:

• We wanted to find in the pre-title sequence where Bond was driving – before you knew he was Bond – him driving his Aston, just see his head, hat, him lighting a cigarette. We found the exact spot where he is driving in the beginning, in a town called Cascais. We on the spot where the camera was shooting the scene! Very nice!

• We next wanted to find where Tracy’s car passes Bond up and the chase begins. And we found it on a road near Cabo du Roca, Portugal.

• Praia Do Guincho: the beach where Bond saves Tracy from killing herself, gets in a fight, where Tracy escapes in her car, and where Bond looks at the camera and says: “This never happened to the other fellow.”

• We found the jewelry shop where Tracy saw a beautiful ring, and where Bond later went back to purchase the ring which became her wedding ring. We wandered a bit and found Palacio dos Marqueses de Fronteira.  The place with the beautiful gardens and statuary that Bond and Tracy were strolling in the montage.  This is where they fall in love (Bond and Tracy – gardens, fountains, cat, star fountain). This was very cool.

• Next, we found the 25th of April Bridge – the bridge that Draco’s guys drive over when they kidnap Bond to bring him to Draco.

• We even got to where the mansion where the wedding reception took place in the front courtyard, and the bullpen where Draco’s birthday party was held – sooooo cool!

• And we found the exact road and spot where Tracy was killed as Bond pulled over to remove the flowers from the car after the wedding.

• And lots more – we have a podcast just on this trip – it was so fun.

OK – we are in as deep as we can get and there is no getting out!

So, we started SpyMovieNavigator.com and our social media digital properties to reach out to the worldwide community of spy movie fans to create a place to congregate, discuss, gain and contribute insights, share photos, videos and more. We are the place to come to if you are a spy movie fan because 1000s like us will come as well. SpyMovieNavigator is THE place for fans from all over the world to come – the Worldwide Community of Spy Movie Fans!!

SECTION 5
How we are Doing It
Did you ever take a look at YouTube for a particular spy movie of interest? Well, check out Dr. No on YouTube. There are literally dozens, maybe even hundreds, of clips on this movie alone.  The same is true of dozens and dozens of other spy movies. So, you can spend a very long time finding meaningful clips about the movie, and when you do, they are scattered all over the place in random order.

So, here is what we are doing with some of the best spy movies, on our website, SpyMovieNavigator.com. On our website, we are “curating” spy movies, from the main spy movie genres – Bond, Bourne, Mission: Impossible, and The Best of the Rest.

What we are doing, is scouring through those YouTube clips, finding the best ones that represent key scenes in the movies (not the whole movies of course), assembling them in chronological order as they would appear in the film, then include our editorial comments, insights about why this scene is important to the film, how this film or scene impacts other spy movie films or scenes to follow, and how other spy movies or real-life incidents that preceded these movies may have influenced the film we are looking at.

So, you can go to any genre category, like 007, Bourne, Mission: Impossible, of the Best of the Rest category and see the clips, and read the editorial commentaries and insights for each clip. If you’re a spy movie fan, we know you will love this approach. Of course, we always look for your insights as well and will promote the exchange of ideas via forums and our Facebook chats. We may even use your insights on the site!

In short, we will all learn something new from the “curated” films, which is a unique approach to looking at spy movies in general. We are building a Worldwide Community of Spy Movie Fans and you’re invited!

SECTION 6
Podcasts
One of our main vehicles for delivering this content is podcasting.  We will create podcasts on many spy movie topics and try to dig deep into the subject matter as best we can. Throughout our treatment of spy movies, we will integrate our podcasts that cover the curated movie or mention that movie.

For example, the Dr. No podcast is an expansion of the written curated section on the website for the film. We will have podcasts on all of the curated films, if you want to listen to them on the go, as well as podcasts on many spy movie topics that will cover multiple films at the same time, like chase scenes in spy movies, train scenes, how real-life events find their way into spy movies, how one has influenced others, why Mission: Impossible might challenge Bond for dominance, podcasts of our trips to spy movie locations, we’ll have interviews with authors and movie personnel, and dozens and dozens more topics. We will interrelate within each podcast how other spy movies may have influenced a scene, or where an idea that we see here may have come from in another spy movie, or how this movie will influence future spy movies. We will weave a unique story, and try to offer some new insights into specific scenes or movies as we examine each.

One Benefit of the podcast format is that you download them giving you a mobile listening capability, listen on the go!

We have about a hundred ideas, some completed already and others in the works! We are constantly developing relationships with key people in the industry to bring you the best. ! As we mentioned at the beginning of this podcast, and we can’t stress this enough we will look for your suggestions, guidance and, most importantly, contributions and insights on an ongoing basis! After all, we are a community!

SECTION 7
Filming Locations
One big area of interest for Dan and for me are filming locations.

Going to a place where they filmed scenes from movies and trying to figure out exactly where the camera and the actors were standing is magical to us. We have a lot of fun trying to determine the exact spot of the shot. I used to think just getting to the site (or within a couple of square meters) was fine. As we’ve done this more, there is a thrill in finding the exact spot. For instance, when I arrived at the Eilean Donan castle in Scotland, I thought that was really cool. However, I soon realized I wasn’t looking at the castle from the way it was shot in The World is Not Enough. I had to find out where the camera was sitting. We had to drive up a hill to a parking location to see the castle as it was pictured in the film. My wife thought I was nuts. However, it made all the difference to me.

Ah, yeah, Tom – remember in Sardinia, Italy?  We spent about two hours locating the scene in the Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me, where the motorcycle starts to chase Bond and the Russian agent XXX, as Bond is driving his Lotus Esprit.  We found it and verified it by having the movie with us on our Microsoft Surface. And remember, we saw the street where the Lotus comes into the square then exits the square? In the movie, the building that was a visual anchor had a balcony on it, but the building now did not. We walked to the building and saw where the beams had been removed that were holding up the balcony! We were there!

If you haven’t done that yet, we strongly encourage you to give it a try. To help you with this, we will have a section on the website with videos and photos we (and hopefully you) have taken at these sites.

So, let’s delve deeper into the video/photo section of the site. We will link to actual film location scenes we have visited that are associated with particular spy films, and you can see what these locations look like now, versus what they looked like when the movie was filmed.

There is something absolutely fun about being on the actual film locations for these spy movies, and we have visited about 100 spy film locations so far throughout the world.
Tom and I take specific trips to go to the spy movie film locations, and you can as well, or you can add-on a side trip when you are on vacation or a business trip somewhere in the world to visit some spy movie locations that may be right where you are visiting!
SpyMovieNavigator will present videos on our YouTube channel and on our website dealing with spy movie locations, what they look like now and what scenes were filmed there, some podcast videos, and a variety of other videos as well.

We will continue to present interesting information in unique ways, and unique information in new ways!

Since we love heading out on trips to spy movie filming locations, we also have a section on filming location tours.

We will help you get to these locations around the world! To aid you, we will be partnering with tour organizations in different parts of the world. So, when you, our community of listeners and readers, want to also go on some spy movie location tours, you can!

We are even planning to organize a super tour of our own – so let us know what we should include! Visiting spy movie filming locations has been a tremendous joy for us, and we never tire of getting to a new location for the first time and seeing exactly where they filmed a key scene from Bourne, Bond, Mission: Impossible or from the Best of the Rest spy movies. It is just fun to stand where Bond was standing for instance in Thunderball at Shrublands, or where Phelps falls of the Charles Bridge in Prague in Mission: Impossible. We’ll help find you great tour options as you vacation around the world.

SECTION 8
JAMES BOND DATABASE
Adding another exciting measure to our mission, SpyMovieNavigator has partnered with Steven Jay Rubin to bring you the largest online James Bond movie database, based on his book, “The Complete James Bond Movie Encyclopedia!” He will have a new revision coming out sometime after Bond 25 is released too! Exciting stuff! We will also add additional spy movie information to the database as well, and you can search for all kinds of things spy movie-related online at our main website. This alone is pretty cool and will be a ton of fun for spy movie fans!  You can find this database here.

SpyMovieNavigator.com will be a fun gathering place, and our social media properties like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram will provide additional information, links to new podcast and videos, and provide, most importantly, a forum for us to discuss with each other what’s important in spy movies, gather insights you may have and can contribute, a place where you can upload your own photos and videos of you on spy movie locations, and where we can all have fun! SpyMovieNavigator.com is The Worldwide Community of Spy Movie Fans – spy movie podcasts, videos, and discussion!

Thanks for listening – we appreciate it very much. Please continue to come back, download our podcasts, watch the videos, read our genre content and give us your feedback, insights, and info that you can contribute.  This will grow the knowledge base and fun for all of us spy movie fans!


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Background

You know, Goldfinger was released in December 1964 in the USA, in New York, then Hollywood. Its general release was January 9th.  This was the third EON Production James Bond 007 film released.  And this is the beginning of the background of SpyMovieNavigator.com

How We Got Hooked On Spy Movies

Well, Dan was back in high school then, but he and a few buddies wanted to see Goldfinger.

Dan literally lived about 6 or 7 blocks from his high school.   It was an old Italian neighborhood, that was maybe a few miles from downtown Chicago. So, one day, Dan and his buddies executed their own spy missions – they cut class – thinking they were very clever.  They took the bus to downtown Chicago and saw Goldfinger! Loved it – loved everything about it, hooked on Bond early!   But, the only flaw in the plan, was the guy who was supposed to cover for us.  He was to doctor-up the attendance sheets, but he chickened out. So Dan and his friends got caught by the school, who informed their parents.  Yeah,  they got punished by both – but oh my – but was it ever worth it!

Secret Agent and Spies on TV

Hooked on spies, of course Dan had to watch all the television shows that followed like, “The Saint” (which began in 1962 and went through 1969), “The Man from UNCLE” (1964-1968), “Mission: Impossible” (1966- 1973), “The Avengers” (1961 – 1969).  These were the ones I watched diligently.

Truly, “The Saint”, which starred Roger Moore, and “The Avengers,” which starred Diana Rigg have obvious connections to later Bond films – Roger Moore of course becoming Bond for 7 movies, and Diana Rigg as Tracy di Vincenzo who marries Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Tom also liked some of the TV shows around that time frame.

Bond in the 60s was dominant. People read the Fleming books and waited for the next movie.  In the US – President Kennedy at the time, put the Bond novel, “From Russia With Love,” on his Top 10 favorite book list – which made the Fleming novels explode in the US.

The background of SpyMovieNavigator.com is building!

Examining the Original Ian Fleming James Bond 007 Manuscripts!

We read all the Ian Fleming novels on Bond too. In fact, just recently we visited The Lilly Library at Indiana University where they own 11 of the original Ian Fleming Bond manuscripts. We were able to spend one and a half days examining hundreds of type-written pages by Fleming, along with his ink corrections, changes, name changes, title changes and more. On one page, “Miss Pettavel” was scratched out.

Ian Fleming based the name Pettavel on a real person he knew, named Pettigrew. But when he scratched it out . . . he penned in, “Moneypenny!”  Oh my God – here the name we all know and love was first introduced into the Bond novels!  That was a genuinely remarkable experience touching the pages of Bond as Fleming wrote it.

We would highly recommend a visit there for any spy movie fan, but especially for Bond fans. Remarkable! A guy had been there a few months before us going through all the manuscripts looking for what watches Bond wore.  And then wrote an article on timepieces that was an international hit.

The Seed of SpyMovieNavigator Takes Root

The seed of SpyMovieNavigator was planted . . . . not that long ago – Tom and Dan went on a trip a while back to Switzerland, Luxemburg, Belgium and then to Normandy in France, to the beaches of D-Day. As an aside, everyone should set foot on the beaches in Normandy to realize what the allies sacrificed for the freedom of the world. It is moving, touching, heart-wrenching.

Visiting Actual Spy Movie Film Sites – the Background of SpyMovieNavigator grows – Round 1

While in Switzerland, Dan and Tom spent a week traveling all over by train and cable car.  Touring Zurich, Geneva, Interlaken, and we then went up to Murren, (about a 5,300-foot elevation), up into the Swiss Alps. Long, beautiful cable-car ride up, then a small train to the town with gorgeous scenery all around. It was like being in a National Geographic magazine. Just spectacular beauty!

Tom loved the cable car –not!  A little height-challenged for the first big ride, while Dan was up taking photos, Tom was in the middle of the back seat staring straight ahead. But after a few more cable car rides, he was fine!

Some Switzerland Spy Movie Film Locations!

We can see, around the area were beautiful little towns, like Lauterbrunnen, Grindewald, Trummelbach Falls, and Schilthorn. Well, Dan and Tom were now close to some of the action from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).  That was the 6th EON Productions James Bond 007 movie.  Remember the car chase where Tracy drives her red, 1969 Mercury Cougar XR-7, with Bond as a passenger through the stock car race on ice and snow?  They are trying to escape the henchmen of Blofeld.  Well, that took place right in the parking lot area of Lauterbrunnen (in the Bern region)! That was a small cable car ride so we went! And immediately we thought, this was very, very cool to be on the location of a Bond film scene.  And from one of our favorite Bond movies.

Also, we took another small cable car down from Wengen to Grindelwald. And the wind was swaying us around a lot as we descended, In fact, when we got to the station, we got out and they closed the lift because of the wind! But we got to the spot where the ice rink was that where Tracy, who was skating, meets up with Bond, who was sitting on a bench, in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Very Bond-like – we escaped with our lives, as the background of SpyMovieNavigator.com continued to build!

Schilthorn, Switzerland

Only in Murren for two days, the stay at the Eiger Hotel was terrific. Beautiful views, great restaurant, nice little bar. Finding out that some of the actors and crew hung around here during filming and had a few cocktails and gambled a bit playing cards with each other, they too had to, of course, dine there and sit at the bar and have a few cocktails.

The lift was closed that went up to Schilthorn due to bad weather. Piz Gloria is up there – the Blofeld headquarters where he has his “allergy research institute” but where he is brainwashing women who will deliver a deadly virus to the world.

Schilthorn Closed, But . . .

Disappointed it was inaccessible, Dan and Tom were vigilant – watching around the clock when it might open again – they had monitors in the hotel lobby that tracked the status of all the cable lifts. In the morning it did open, and off they went up to Piz Gloria at Schilthorn – another 4000 -5,000 feet up!

At Schilthorn, a lot of action took place in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – the Blofeld headquarters, the outdoor section where the women were curling, and where Bond tried it and slipped, and where he later slides as he is shooting Blofeld’s henchmen during the assault on Piz Gloria by Bond and Draco, inside where Bond walks up the steps with the gold, ornate metalwork making a barrier to the stairway he ascends!

OK, now we are hooked. From this moment, Dan and Tom thought tons of people around the world who are spy movie fans would love to be here – and here they were – in the thick of it! One of the Top 10 Bond film locations in the world! So, as the wheels turned on the cable car ride back down, they also started turning for SpyMovieNavigator.

Hook, line, and sinker. For these reasons, the growing background of SpyMovieNavigator.com is compelling us to do something with spy movies!

More Spy Film Location Visits – Round 1.5

One summer, Dan went to Prague, to visit his daughter who was on a study-abroad program and had to head to Charles Bridge. Plenty was filmed here for Mission: Impossible 1 and The Bourne Identity (2002), and some Bond stuff too. Dan got a picture of the Charles Bridge standing in the exact location the cameraman was in for a Mission: Impossible shot! So exciting. Was on the bridge where Phelps in Mission: Impossible 1 fell over the edge! FUN!!

In the Caribbean, Tom with his family had visited Dunns River Falls in Jamaica, and separately, Dan had visited with his family and climbed the falls. Very cool again to be in such an iconic spot from Dr. No! where Honey Rider and James Bond were standing!

After Switzerland, Now What?

So after our Switzerland trip, we thought we’d do an exploratory trip to a few other spy movie locations. So recently, we headed to Portugal, Sardinia Italy, Amsterdam and London to visit a few more film locations! On that trip alone, we got to over 50 Bond and spy movie locations.

We met with Caroline Munro, who played Naomi, the assistant of Stromberg, in The Spy Who Loved Me. Naomi also comes to collect Bond, who was posing as an oceanographer – Mr. Sterling, to bring him to Stromberg.  And she pilots the helicopter and tries to shoot Bond as he escapes in the Lotus Esprit – shortly thereafter, becoming the first woman Bond kills in the movies!

On More Spy Movie Locations in the World – Round 2

This trip was spy movie heaven. In Portugal, we wanted to visit the rest of the major scenes from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and so we set out to find all the key locations. So in Lisbon,

  • We were set on finding a location in the pre-title sequence where Bond was driving – before you knew he was Bond.  Driving his Aston, you just see his head, hat, him lighting a cigarette. We found the exact spot where he is driving in the beginning, in a town called Cascais. We were on the spot where the camera was shooting the scene! Very nice!
  • Next, we wanted to find where Tracy’s car passes Bond up and the chase begins. And they found it on a road near Cabo da Roca, Portugal.
  • Praia do Guincho: the beach where Bond saves Tracy from killing herself.  Here, he also gets in a fight. Its where Tracy escapes in her car.  And famously, its where Bond looks at the camera and says: “This never happened to the other fellow.” Found it!
  • We found the jewelry shop where Tracy saw a beautiful ring.  And where Bond later went back to purchase the ring which became her wedding ring.
Tom and Dan Background - On location in Lisbon Portugal On Her Majesty's Secret Service, jewelry shop, Tracy's ring
Where Bond buys Tracy’s wedding ring in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Lisbon Portugal

Continuing In Portugal

  • Wandering a bit, we found Palacio dos Marqueses de Frontiera the beautiful gardens with statuary where Bond and Tracy were strolling.  This is in the montage where they fall in love (Bond and Tracy – gardens, fountains, cat, star fountain). This was very cool.
  • Next, we drove across the 25th of April Bridge – the bridge that Draco’s guys drive over when they kidnap Bond to bring him to Draco.
  • Miraculously,  we even got to the mansion where the wedding reception took place in the front courtyard.  And to the bullpen where Draco’s birthday party was held – sooooo cool!
  • We found the exact road and spot where Tracy was killed as Bond pulled over to remove the flowers from the car after the wedding.
  • And lots more – we have a podcast just on this trip – it was so fun.

OK – we are in as deep as we can get and there is no getting out!  This trip added several new sprouts on our background of SpyMovieNavigator.com.

SpyMovieNavigator Background Grows and Seeds Sprout!

So we started SpyMovieNavigator.com and our social media digital properties.  We’re reaching out to the worldwide community of spy movie fans to create a place to congregate, discuss, gain and contribute insights, share photos, videos and more. It’s the place to come to if you are a spy movie fan because 1000s of other spy movie fans will come as well. SpyMovieNavigator is THE place for fans from all over the world to come – the Worldwide Community of Spy Movie Fans!!  Our background of SpyMovieNavigator has brought us here today!

Our Approach

Did you ever take a look at YouTube for a particular spy movie of interest?  Well, check out Dr. No on YouTube.  There are literally dozens, maybe even hundreds, of clips on this movie alone, and the same is true for dozens and dozens of other spy movies. So you can spend a very long time finding meaningful clips about the movie, and when you do, they are scattered all over the place in random order.

As a result, here is what we are doing with some of the best spy movies, on our website. We are “curating” spy movies, from the main spy movie genres – Bond, Bourne, Mission: Impossible, and The Best of the Rest.

How We are Actually Curating Spy Movies

We are scouring through those YouTube clips, finding the best ones that represent key scenes in the movies (not the whole movies of course), assembling them in chronological order as they would appear in the film, then include our editorial comments, insights about why this scene is important to the film, how this film or scene impacts other spy movie films or scenes to follow, and how other spy movies or real-life incidents that preceded these movies may have influenced the film we are looking at.

The Main Genres/Categories

So you can go to any genre category, like 007, Bourne, Mission: Impossible, of the Best of the Rest category and see the clips, and read the editorial commentaries and insights for each clip. If you’re a spy movie fan, we know you will love this approach. Of course, we always look for your insights as well and will promote the exchange of ideas via forums and our Facebook chats. We may even use your insights on the site!

The End of the Beginning!

In short, we will all learn something new from the “curated” films, which is a unique approach to looking at spy movies in general. We are building a Worldwide Community of Spy Movie Fans and you’re invited!

Your participation in writing articles, uploading locations photos and videos is all part of growing this community.  So join in now!

We hoped you enjoyed this little background of SpyMovieNavigator – please continue to visit our website, download our podcasts and participate regularly!

Tour Descriptions

Tours At SpyMovieNavigator – we believe that visiting actual spy movie filming locations in different parts of the worlds is great fun! First, you get to see where they actually filmed a scene, stand in the same location at Bond, or Bourne, or Ethan Hunt, or one of many spy movie actors from the Bet of the Rest spy movies. You get to see the same camera angles as the shots you see in the films. And Second, you get to have great fun in the locations you are visiting – because many of these locations are in very cool places – like Jamaica, the United States, Sardinia Italy, London, a variety of spots in Italy, Portugal and so 0n. So there will be natural beauty around you, historical things to do, local food tastings and wine tasting and lots more. So it’s just fun! We have been to many spy movie locations and we love the adventure, the treasure hunt nature of finding the locations, and traveling to great places. So we will partner with tour organizations in different parts of the world, to bring you the best of the best. Or you can take it on yourself, do research on our website and head out on your own adventure. We encourage you to do it – it is exciting! We may also organize our our super tour in the future as well – so stayed tuned! Below is just a fictitious tour. When we arrange tours with partners in different parts of the world, you can take a tour that could be hours, or multiple days. Our super tour will be multiple days in various locations around the world!

First Time Bond Kills

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About Us

Dan Silvestri and Tom Pizzato developed the concept for SpyMovieNavigator.com, the Worldwide Community of Spy Movie Fans!  Spy movie podcasts, videos, discussions and more!  After spending a combined 50+ years in the high tech business, they wanted to return to their passion.

The Spy Who Loved Me, Cala di Volpe, Sardinia Italy
Dan Silvestri (right) with Cala di Volpe hotel in background, from The Spy Who Loved Me (where Naomi collects Bond)
Sardinia Italy, The Spy Who Loved Me
Tom (left) and Dan in Sardinia Italy after boat trip to Cala di Volpe hotel from The Spy Who Loved Me
On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Palacio Hotel, Estoril Portugal
Tom, with José Afonso who appeared in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. At Palacio Hotel, Estoril Portugal

They’re big spy movie fans!   When they looked online, they saw a bunch of sites dedicated to James Bond and not much else.

While big Bond fans, they also found this a bit frustrating as there are hundreds of spy movies that have been made.  But how are they interrelated?  What are their origins?  Can scenes and themes be found in other spy movies?  And how have these spy movies influenced each other??

So they started thinking.  As they see it, there are at least 4 main genres of spy movies and they wanted to create a place to discuss all of them and how they are interrelated.   So they will start with these 4.

Obviously, one genre is James Bond.  The others are the Mission: Impossible and Jason Bourne series and one we’re calling The Best of the Rest.  This Best of the Rest is a category of other spy movies other than the Big 3.  In this genre, we think of things like Hitchcock’s 1935 film The 39 Steps which is generally regarded as the first spy movie, 1962’s The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, to more modern films like the 2011 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and even Atomic Blonde, American Assassin and Red Sparrow which made spy movies a lot more bloody and gore.

We mentioned The 39 Steps – in that film, you see for the first time a helicopter pursuing the target – of course, we are going to see this in many spy films to come including, From Russia With Love, The Spy Who Loved Me, SPECTRE, Mission: Impossible 1 (1996), Mission: Impossible Fallout, and others.

There are dozens of great spy movies that fall into this category.  We’ll pick out what we think are the best and what we think have impacted other spy movies in both subtle and big ways.

And we want your participation!   Part of what we are doing is building a worldwide community of spy movie fans.  Maybe you’re a Bourne fan and don’t like Bond, or you like Bond and Mission: Impossible but not Bourne, or maybe you like some spy movies from the main three genres and others outside the main three.  Starting with the first 4 genres, we will cover over 50 films.  We will have something for all spy movie fans, and we will continue to grow the site by adding more movies or genres that we find are great, or relevant ones you suggest.  A category for spy comedies (like Our Man in Havana, Austin Powers, Kingsmen, Burn After Reading, Spies Like Us, etc.)?  Films based on John Le Carre and or Tom Clancy novels?  Together with you, our spy movie fas community, we will see what missions are ahead for us all!

We will look for interconnections, relationships, unique concepts, and key scenes in all these genres so that we can all learn something new.   As an example, if you’ve seen Thunderball, have you also seen 1958 film The Silent Enemy?  The Silent Enemy brought the underwater ‘henchman sled’ called underwater chariots to the big screen 7 years before Thunderball.  And they are launched from a ship, as later in Thunderball they are being launched from the villain, Largo’s boat, the Disco Volante.   If you haven’t seen it, check it out.  It’s a fabulous movie based on a true World War II espionage story.

We are looking for you, as part of our spy movie fan community, to contribute your ideas, insights, and photos to this effort and to the overall distribution of this info through our SpyMovieNavigator digital properties.   Think of it as a two-way street, with info constantly going out and new info coming in – SpyMovieNavigator is partnering with our community of spy movie fans to gain new insights, see new connections, and have some fun together talking about spy movies!

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