Spy Movie News Article – Sept 15 2020: RED NOTICE, FIVE EYES, M:I 7, THE DUKE, TENET, NTTD

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Here's our September 15 2020 edition of Spy Movie News with the latest updates on Mission: Impossible 7, Red Notice, Five Eyes, TENET, The Duke, NO TIME TO DIE, and some Idris Elba and spy industry news. 

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 7

  • Let’s start with some Mission: Impossible 7 news. We know that Tom Cruise has been in England on some rented land practicing stunts for the movie Mission: Impossible 7
  • From a Cinemablend.com article, Christopher Mcquarrie, the director says filming has started up again.  And he and released the photo that shows a huge ramp.  This will be used for a stunt with a motorcycle launching off this ramp which is probably 600 feet in the air. It's something to see if you haven't seen it yet.  
  • According to independent.co.uk, Mission: Impossible 7 filming in Norway.  Tom Cruise rented a £ 500,000 cruise liner. That's about $645,000. And this is for the crew and the stars, to prevent further delays and to protect them from COVID-19. So this is clever.  Expensive but clever. Bravo, Tom Cruise you are Top Gun. 

RED NOTICE

  • The Netflix movie Red Notice has some news.  In March, shooting was postponed because of the COVID-19  pandemic. In August 2020 they announced the shooting would start back up in mid-September. So here we are.  According to cinemablend.com, it looks like they are back on the set.  They are being vigilant about making sure that anyone arriving back on the sets for filming is COVID-19 free through testing and so on. No other details were available, but Ryan Reynolds posted pics of him taking the COVID-19 test and said it was easy.
  • Good to hear Hollywood is being careful.

THE GRAY MAN

  • Speaking of Netflix, they're investing 200 million dollars, according to theverge.com, on a movie based on Mark Greaney’s, “The Gray Man” series of books.  The movie will be about a former CIA agent who was an assassin, also called The Gray Man, starring Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans. And Chris Evans would be the CIA agent who's on the hunt for The Gray Man.
  • Netflix hopes to build a franchise out of this first movie. We don't know much else about the movie other than what was reported, but sounds a little like Bourne doesn't it? Hey, no release date yet. Production should start next year. Check theverge.com for all the details.

Five Eyes

  • From deadline.com we see that German major Leonine has won the rights to the recently announced Jason Statham and Guy Ritchie spy thriller, Five Eyes.  This marks the first major deal to go down during Toronto's virtual market. According to the article, in this spy thriller, Statham will play an MI 6 guns-and-steel agent recruited by the Global Intelligence Alliance,' Five Eyes'.  His mission will be to track and stop the sale of a deadly weapon that threatens to disrupt the world order.  Reluctantly paired with a high tech CIA expert, he sets off on a globe-trotting mission to infiltrate a billionaire arms broker.
  • Principle photography is due to start in October 2020 in Europe. Additional casting is underway. 
  •  In a related article in collider.com, they say that Jason Statham and Guy Ritchie are teaming up again for Five Eyes. They say Statham's character, the MI 6 agent, will be named Orson Fortune, who is paired with CIA agent Sarah Fidel. This is the fifth time Statham and Ritchie are working together.  And the article says, hey, this is an appropriate title then, Five Eyes. Oh wait, there are two of them. Shouldn't the title be Ten Eyes? (groan)

WIFE OF A SPY

  • Yahoo has a review of the Kyoshi Kurosawa movie, Wife of a Spy, which premiered at the Venice International Film Festival. 
  •  The review makes it unclear if the movie is really a spy movie.  But there are bioweapons,  smuggled reels of surveillance footage, and forged letters.
  •  The author appeared to not want to give away the film, which of course, hey, that's a good idea. 
  • This movie is seeking US distribution.

TENET

Here’s an update on TENET from Europe and the US.
  • Hollywoodreporter.com reports that while the domestic box office launch for Warner Brother's TENET has widely been described as tepid, one analyst said he sees it as a good sign. “We actually view the results as encouraging and a positive indicator of demand. Given all of the COVID-19 headwinds.  That's what B Riley, analyst Eric Wold wrote in a Monday report.
  • The analyst echoed Warner Brothers' argument that it was a promising sign that TENET this weekend dropped just 29% from the 9.4 million earned during the September 4th through the 6th weekend. Even though that isn't an apples-to-apples comparison since the film rolled over the long Labor Day weekend and is now playing in 100 more theaters.
  • According to deadline.com, one of the offshoots of the release of tenant has Warner Brothers, who has both TENET and Wonder Woman 1984, pushing Wonder Woman 1984 to a Christmas release.  Part of the speculation is that the original early October release might have competed with what Warner Brothers hopes will be an early October reopening of theaters in New York and Los Angeles. Warner Brothers will release TENET in those cities if they do open up.  They didn't want to have Wonder Woman 1984 compete with it.
  • Also, 30% of the nation's theater space in the US is still closed down due to the pandemic.  If TENET doesn't open in New York in LA, Warner Brothers might not want to open another blockbuster to only 70% of the US market. In addition, the spot opened up once, the movie Top Gun: Maverick had its release pushed to July 2021. 
  • So what does this portend for the November 6th and 20th release in the US of Black Widow and NO TIME TO DIE respectively? Well in terms of NO TIME TO DIE,  in an article on express.co.uk, they're wondering about the release date. In a compelling statement, they suggest that
  • Wonder Woman 1984 has moved from its October 2nd release to Christmas Day.
  • MGM's Candyman has been delayed indefinitely from the same month to 2021
  • The same studio, MGM, has the movie NO TIME TO DIE, which is internationally distributed by Universal Pictures.
So what does this mean? Read their article for more info, but it does make one wonder!  And they point out we should take another look at the most recent movie poster release for NO TIME TO DIE. Anything about the date pop out? Check out their article.

IDRIS ELBA

  • Movieweb.com has an article on an upcoming espionage movie starring Idris Elba.  The movie is untitled, but will release on Apple TV plus.
  • So it isn't James Bond, but Elba will have another spy movie leading role. 
  •  Not much else has been said about the movie other than it's being called a “spy movie with romance” and is set in Africa.
Let's hope it's not a romance movie like director John Woo called Mission: Impossible II. Let's also hope it’s a better movie than Mission: Impossible II.

JAMES BOND, LIFE AFTER NO TIME TO DIE

  • Digitalspy.com has an article quoting Crazy Rich Asians star Henry Golding, saying that the next James Bond movie is an “opportunity for change, be it female, male, BI gay, straight, trans, Asian, Black, Latina.
  • He ducks the question of if he's been approached for the role.

THE DUKE

  • We’ll end with a story about a movie that isn't technically a spy movie.  But the story it tells had a slight influence on the first James Bond movie, Dr. No.  In our podcast on Dr. No, we talked about how EON Productions brought a bit of the real world into the movie.
  • In one scene when James Bond is in Dr. No’s lair, he passes a portrait,  "The Duke of Wellington" by Goya. He stops and takes a quick look.   That portrait in real life had been stolen from the National Gallery in London before the filming of the movie. EON Productions added that touch of reality.
  • At the Venice Film Festival, the movie The Duke, starring Helen Mirren, Matthew Goode, and Jim Broadbent, was shown.  The topic of that movie, the theft of the Duke of Wellington portrait. The movie has an expected UK release in 2021.
So that’s it for this edition of Cracking the Code of Spy Movie News.  Be sure to check out our website, SpyMovieNavigator.com, and our podcasts on your favorite podcast app,  we have a YouTube channel too.  Tell your friends about us. We’ll catch you in the next edition of Spy Movie News.

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Spy Movie News Sept 15 2020: RED NOTICE, FIVE EYES, M:I 7, THE DUKE, TENET, NTTD

Listen to our September 15 2020 edition of Spy Movie News with latest updates on Mission Impossible 7, Red Notice, Five Eyes, Tenet, The Duke, No Time to Die - and some Idris Elba and spy industry news!

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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How Events in the Real World Affect What Goes Into Spy Movies!

Related: Why Dr. No is Dr. YES for Spy Movie Fans

Related: Spy Movies & Real-World Connections – Part 1

Related: Spy Movies & Real-World Connections – Part 2

Contributed by: Daniel Silvestri and SpyMovieNavigator.com

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Have you ever thought about how events in the real world and other movies could affect and work their way into some of our favorite spy movies?  Well, think about it a minute because that’s what we are going to explore today on Spy Movie NavigatorDownload our podcast for more details. At Spy Movie Navigator.com – the Worldwide Community of Spy Movie Fans –we are going to look at this now!

Real-world and spy movies

Let’s start by looking at some of the Bond films -  the most successful franchise in all of the spy films and a few others. The first real fact is, of course, Ian Fleming got the name James Bond from one of his favorite books, Birds of the West Indies, by…. James Bond. Dr. No was written in 1957 by Ian Fleming, published in 1958, and was his 6th James Bond novel.   The movie Dr. No, EON Production’s first Bond movie, came out in 1962.   So, here is the first instance of the real world affecting this spy movie:
  1. By 1962, both the Soviet Union and the USA were launching astronauts into space, so far ahead of the theme in the novel where the USA was launching test missiles.  In the novel, Dr. No says he is working with the Russians to disrupt American test missiles, in the movie, he is disrupting American space flights.  Also, in the movie, both the East and the West have rejected his services, and so he is a member of SPECTRE ( Special Executive for Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion), and not working with the Russians.  The cold war between Russia (the Soviet Union) and the US in real life was heating up by the time the movie came out, so here, the movie was influenced by real-world happenings.
  2. And, in a subtle nod to life happening,  the painting of the Duke of Wellington by Francisco de Goya was stolen August 21st, 1961 from the National Gallery in London.   It was still missing when EON Productions was filming No.  So,  In Dr. No, when Bond is in Dr. No’s [caption id="attachment_3830" align="alignright" width="229"]Duke of W@ellington National Gallery, London[/caption] lair, he walks through the lair about to step up a couple of steps, stops and looks at a painting on an easel – it is the Duke of Wellington!  So, if you are watching Dr. No and don’t realize the painting he stops to look at is this real-life stolen Duke of Wellington, you just think, ah Bond finds that painting interesting.   Once you know the real-life incident, then this adds a brilliant glow to this scene, where the writers for EON Productions were indeed very clever and inventive.   By the way, the painting was eventually recovered in real-life and now hangs in Gallery A at the National Gallery in London once again – we saw it there while visiting Gallery # 24 wherein SPECTRE, Bond meets the new Q.
From Russia With Love1963 – released in 1963 by EON Productions as their second James Bond film, and Ian Fleming’s 5th James Bond novel published in 1957 (the year the Soviets launched Sputnik, the first man-made satellite), was heavily influenced by the times – and the Cold War.   The tensions between the US and the Soviets were at an all-time high.  Remember, the Cuban Missile Crisis (the showdown between Russia and the US) was in October 1962, the year EON was filming From Russia With Love.  So, once again, EON Productions was brilliant in their release of From Russia With Love!
  • In addition, check out the book, “For Your Eyes Only – Ian Fleming + James Bond” by Ben Macintyre.  Here he tells of the attempt to murder Bond on the Orient Express by SMERSH was based on a US Naval attaché in Romania, Eugene Karp, who was more than likely trying to escape from Russian agents.  He boarded the Orient Express in Bucharest in February 1950, and his body was found in a railway tunnel near Salzburg.  It was never proven the Soviet assassins did it, but it is highly probable.
  • Even SMERSH is from the Russian Smyert Shpionam = “death to spies” – and we will see this is The Living Daylights.
  Goldfinger – 1964 released in 1964 by EON Productions as their third James Bond film, based on Ian Fleming’s 7th novel of the same name, published in 1959.  In the pre-title sequence in the movie (not written in the novel) is James Bond in a wet/dry suit emerging from the water, setting explosives, and then removing his wet suit to reveal a perfectly neat and crisp white dinner jacket, bow tie, etc.    Ah, you are thinking like we were thinking – what is the chance of that really happening or being able to happen?! Well, let’s talk to MI6 about a similar WW-II operation!  In an article by David Harrison in April 2010 for The Telegraph, he reveals that a Jeremy Duns,  a British writer, was researching a new book.  He found out that a Dutch spy used a very similar technique to infiltrate a German-occupied mansion in the Netherlands during WW-II.   From the water, he emerged in a wetsuit.  Underneath this specially designed wetsuit, he wore the evening wear.  His eveningwear would make him look like he belonged, and he could slip past the guards into the party.   He was supposed to extract two comrades and escape.   Well, Jeremy Duns thinks that a Brit screenwriter, Paul Dehn, who was called in to polish up the Goldfinger script, knew about this WW-II incident because he was a former intelligence officer in WW-II.  Hmm!   The original script did not have this scene, and, as said, it was not in the novel.     He feels it is too much of a coincidence that this scene was written into the screenplay by Paul Dehn, who most certainly was aware of this WW-II operation!  True real-life incident put into the movie! Skipping ahead, at the point in the film where Bond is captured by Goldfinger’s henchmen after another great car chase scene, Bond finds himself strapped to a metal table, as Goldfinger is about to demonstrate his new toy – a laser beam.  Here in the film, the laser beam is directed at the base of the table and is guided to rise-up between Bond’s legs, into his crotch and eventually kill him.   In the book by Fleming, published March 23 1959, there were no lasers yet – and so this device was a table saw. The laser was not invented until 1960.   And the first working laser was built on May 16, 1960, by Theodore H. Maiman at Hughes Research Laboratories based on the theoretical work of Charles Hard Townes and Arthur Leonard Schawlow. The term laser came to be an  acronym for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.”   Again, EON Productions was brilliant at integrating a real-life happening, the invention of the laser, into this film which was being shot in 1963 for release in 1964.  And at the time, this was a very high-tech scene in Goldfinger!  We cannot think of another film of any kind using a laser before Goldfinger, so here is another first for EON Productions! This scene is famous the world over for the laser, and for the dialogue: Bond: “ You expect me to talk?”  Goldfinger” “No, Mr. Bond I expect you to die!” Thunderball – 1965 Thunderball was Ian Fleming’s 9th James Bond novel, published in 1961, and EON Production’s 4th James Bond 007 movie, which opened in 1965.   Thunderball probably would have been the first movie produced but there were some copyright issues that were delayed in the settlement.  Kevin McClory and Fleming had worked on a script that never made it to production. Fleming used part of it for Thunderball, and eventually, a settlement was reached.  Thunderball is the only early EON production movie where the producers are not listed as Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman.  Here they are listed as Executive Producers (which is a lesser status) and McClory is listed as the producer.   Also, McClory got the right to produce his own James Bond film based on his Thunderball contributions and eventually did Never Say Never Again which is basically the same story. But we digress!   In Thunderball SPECTRE is at it again.  So, we get away from the US versus the Soviet Union and have this other entity as the enemy again.   Remember in Dr. No we were introduced to SPECTRE. Of course, by 1961 when the novel was published, we had lots of atomic bombs in the world, and there was an arms race between the Soviet Union and the US.  So, atomic weapons were on everyone’s minds.
  1. The basis of this story is based on real-life – people were worried about nuclear war and atomic weapons. Here, two atomic weapons are hijacked by SPECTRE who threatens to destroy a major city either in the US or in the United Kingdom.  So even though EON Productions did not make this their first Bond film, in 1965 the world was very aware of the threat from major powers building up supplies of nuclear weapons.    So, the topic was hot.
  2. The skyhook, which recovers Bond and Domino at the end, is an actual real-life device developed by Robert Fulton for the CIA in the 1950s. By letting up a line from the ground with a self-inflating balloon, a specially equipped plane can fly by and scoop up the line and the one or two personnel it was designed to retrieve.  Cool!  A real-life gadget at the time.
  3. In 1956, a Soviet cruiser came to Britain, with Nikita Khrushchev on a state visit to Britain. He was the former Premier of the Soviet Union.  It was also in 1956 where, Khrushchev said: "We will bury you” while addressing Western ambassadors at a reception at the Polish embassy in Moscow on November 18, 1956.  So Soviet/Western relations were not good.   So on this visit to Britain, Britain wanted to get a look at this new Soviet ship – some reports say to examine for mine-laying hatches or sonar equipment, and other reports, like from Peter Wright’s book, “Spycatcher,”  Britain’s Naval Intelligence wanted information on the potential new propeller system this ship had.  So MI6 sent a scuba diver down (actually, two were reported as being sent) and one was a great diver, Lionel Crabb.  Crabb never returned from this mission, and a headless, handless body was found 14 months later dressed in the scuba gear he had worn on that date (April 15, 1956).  MI6 covered up the mission, saying Crabb was lost in some underwater exercise.   Many theories floated about, one being that Soviet sentries were stationed underwater to guard the ship, caught Crabb, cut his air hose and brought him aboard and he later died.  Other theories say he was shot underwater by a Soviet sniper.
Now, you will remember in Thunderball, Bond is sent to inspect the hull of the Disco Volante, Largo the villain’s boat.  Bond is discovered too by Largos frogmen, as Bond was taking photos of the hull to determine if there was an underwater hatch.   Bond, more luck than Crabb, escapes.  The photos showed an underwater hatch which leads Bond to think Largo’s entire operation (the theft of the plane carrying to nuclear missiles) might be underwater – including the plane that was hijacked.  Is there a connection between the Crabb event and these scenes in Thunderball?  The MI6 officer in charge of the Lionel Crabb underwater deployment and mission was Nicholas Elliott – a friend of Fleming’s!
  1. In the 1958 movie, Silent Enemy, (based on a true story) - 2 British battleships are sunk in Alexandria by explosives set under their hulls. The explosives, in real life, were being set by Italian scuba-divers, who were launched from a submarine using what they called, “underwater chariots” – which in Thunderball and other spy movies to come – were the underwater sleds used to transport the bombs, get divers to certain locations underwater, etc.!  In real life, they were using these underwater chariots to bring frogmen to the British ships where they would attach torpedoes and mines.  The British had to figure this out and stop it – and here, Lionel Crabb (who we mentioned earlier) was in charge of the operation to infiltrate the enemy ship, destroy their capabilities of continuing to blow up British ships!   So, in this movie we see real-life events.  Of course, we see in The Spy Who Loved Me, Stromberg’s (the villain) ship, the “Liparus,” has underwater bow hatches that capture the Soviet and US submarines (with nuclear weapons aboard).
In the same movie, Silent Enemy, ALSO, there is a great underwater battle of frogmen, cutting breathing hoses and more – just like in Thunderball and additional spy movies to come.   The Thunderball underwater scenes, filmed in the Bahamas, were set the standard for future underwater battles, and the potential connections to real-life events from World War 2 make Thunderball underwater hull investigations, and underwater battles with frogmen and underwater sleds even more grounded in reality. Also, in Thunderball, the jet pack was real and flown by Bill Suiter, who demanded using a helmet which is why Sean Connery as Bond puts on a helmet when he takes off.
  1. Though the movie came out in 1965, Fleming’s 9th novel was published in 1961. And it foreshadowed the threat of the Cuban Missile Crisis to the US Florida cities (like Miami, Cape Canaveral, etc).
  You Only Live Twice1967 Ian Fleming’s 12th novel published in 1964 (counting the For Your Eyes Only collection of short stories, and it’s the last novel published before his death), and EON Production’s 5th James Bond 007 film which opened in 1967.  The movie has little to do with the actual novel.   Here, the beginning of the movie depicts the death of James Bond, complete with an obituary in the newspapers.   There is a burial at sea for Commander Bond, and when the body sinks to the bottom of the ocean, scuba divers retrieve the body and bring it to the awaiting submarine where it is taken aboard, the wrappings open, only to reveal a live James Bond who quips, “Request permission to come aboard, Sir.” Thank God Bond is alive – we were worried, right?   His death was faked to throw off the enemy .  Of course, that means they knew who James Bond was, which is often the case, but that’s another podcast!
  1. The faked death of spies is definitely grounded in reality. Google Arkady Babchenko, faked his own death because being very critical of Vladimir Putin, he was certain that he would be killed by the KGB.  In a huge real-life situation in World War-II, Operation Mincemeat (Google it!) the Allies floated the body of a dead man with fake papers identifying him as a Captain who the Germans had been tracking. With papers indicating an invasion of Sardinia Italy and Greece instead of Sicily, to mislead the Germans.  Some stories say the fictitious name of the dead man was Captain William Martin, while other reports say the Germans were aware of the supposed dead man and felt he really knew something.  Regardless, the deception worked.  And the source of the plan came from Rear Admiral John Godfrey and his assistant, Lieutenant Commander Ian Fleming.    Yep!
  2. We all remember Henderson, the contact Bond meets in Japan and who has key information, was based on Richard Hughes, a reporter and double agent who worked for Ian Fleming at one point during WW-II. Hughes did a lot of Bond-like things.  Hughes spent a great deal of time in Japan.   Hence, a great place to film this movie.  Google The extraordinary untold Japan story of ‘You Only Live Twice’ by Damian Flanigan, special to the Japan Times.   Great story!
  3. “Little Nellie,” the one-man autogiro that Bond flies to do surveillance in Japan was a real-life invention, developed by Ken Wallis, a Royal Air Force guy, in the early part of the 1960s. The one used in the movie was modified, of course.
  4. Of course, the Space Race played a part here too – the US and Soviet Union at the time were racing each other for outer space advantages and achievements. So, SPECTRE capturing Soviet and US space capsules is natural, given the times in 1967, two years before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin will land on the moon on the US Apollo 11.
  On Her Majesty’s Secret Service1969 Ian Fleming’s 11th novel, published in 1963; and EON Production’s 6th James Bond 007 movie, showing in 1969.  The first Bond movies without Sean Connery, George Lazenby steps in to be Bond and to be bonded – married – to Teresa Di Vincenzo (Tracy) – played by Diana Rigg. In his mountain-top laboratory, posing as an allergy clinic, at Piz Gloria (Schilthorn, Switzerland  Blofeld is brainwashing young women to deliver a chemical agent that will stop plants and animals from reproducing- creating a tremendous food crisis.  The setting is spectacular – we have been to Piz Gloria about 10,000 feet up!
  1. In 1968, there was an experiment done by the US Army at Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah. Through a malfunction of a spraying nozzle, a toxic chemical was released and almost 30 miles away, over 6,000 sheep were found dead.   There was no definitive connection to the agent released and the sheep deaths, but traces of the toxic chemical were supposedly found on the carcasses.   So, draw your own conclusion!   So, when OHMSS comes out in 1969, chemical warfare and potential devastation to life through chemicals were very much real.
  2. The Soviet Union was ramping up chemical warfare research, while the US began to downgrade ours. Again, what Blofeld was thinking was not out of the realm of possibility!
  Diamonds Are Forever – 1971 Published by Ian Fleming in 1956 as his 4th James Bond novel, EON Productions made it into their 7th James Bond 007  movie, introduced in 1971.    Here, Bond – Sean Connery comes back - infiltrates a diamond smuggling ring and prevents Blofeld and SPECTRE from developing a space-based laser weapon with the diamonds that could blow things up.  Blofeld was going to sell it to the highest bidder, so Bond had to stop the plot.
  1. So, Ian Fleming writes "Diamonds Are Forever" only 9 years after a woman copywriter for an ad agency wrote “A Diamond is Forever” for a DeBeers ad campaign, in 1947 – and it’s been in DeBeers campaigns ever since! See a great online article on this in the New York Times by J. Courtney Sullivan, May 3, 2013.
  2. The Burton-Taylor diamond, like 69 carats, purchased in 1969 made world-wide news. That, combined with Jacqueline Kennedy’s jewelry (diamonds and emeralds ) in the early 1960s put diamonds on the mind of everyone.  Coincidence or great timing by EON, the subject of diamonds was ripe for the 1971 launch of Diamonds Are Forever.
  3 Days of the Condor 1975.  Intense movie.  Influenced by Watergate (no trust of people in power) and the oil shortages prevalent in the mid-1970s. Moonraker – 1979 -  Moonraker,  Fleming’s 3rd novel, was published in 1955.   Rockets were just being developed after von Braun’s success with the Germans in World War II.   The novel is about a rocket being developed and that will be tested by Drax’s organization, with support of the British government.   By the time the movie was made by EON Productions in 1979,  the writers had to change the story.   It was 1979 and man had already been to the moon and back, the space shuttles were under development,  a story about a missile test would not cut it.   Trust me, the novel is a great read, and when you consider the times, it was very exciting.   So, the first real-life incident to affect this movie was
  1. The story is changed completely, except keeping Hugo Drax as the main villain, because of the rapid development of rockets, manned space flight, the moon landings and the development of the shuttle (which first flew in 1981).
  2. Secondly, the novel plot is a great one but dated for the EON Productions 11th James Bond movie in 1979. EON had originally planned to film For Your Eyes Only after The Spy Who Loved Me (one of my all-time favorite Bond movies).  But because of the development of the Shuttle in real life, and the popularity of two of the biggest science fiction films released in 1977, Star Wars (with a second planned for 1980) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  So, EON Productions, once again being clever and watching the real world and what was successful and popular, moved Moonraker up ahead of For Your Eyes Only to take advantage of the popularity and success of science fiction movies, and actual NASA advancements in space technology.
  3. Also, the concept of a space station, used in Moonraker, was based on real-life as well – the Soviets had Salyut 1 space station in 1971, and the US had Skylab up in 1973.
Once again, real-life influences major elements of the spy film genre!   The Living Daylights – 1987 death to spies, Smert Shpionam.  And the idea of a spy defecting, of course, is based on real stuff – spies defect in the real world.  In fact, Nikolai Khokhlov was a Soviet spy who defected to the west in 1953 and brought with him all kinds of spy gadgets which we will talk about in a moment.   Licence to Kill – 1989
  1. The whole premise of the film is dealing with a drug lord from South America. In 1972, then President of the United States Richard Nixon said drug abuse was “public enemy number one.”    In 1986, President Reagan of the United States called for a “nationwide crusade against drugs.”  So, drugs infiltrating and affecting thousands of lives was definitely a popular topic during the decades surrounding the release of Licence to Kill.
  2. So, Franz Sanchez, being a major drug dealer, would have garnered a lot of attention if the Department of the Drug Enforcement Administration knew of his whereabouts. So, the DEA response to Sanchez being tracked to the United States would have warranted the response it got in the movie – and probably a whole lot more.
  Mission: Impossible - 1996 Between Goldeneye (1995) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) comes the first in the series of Mission: Impossible movies based on the 1960s television show.   So, 1996 was a great time to capitalize on the spy movie fans waiting for another Bond movie, and since Bourne Identity was not born until 2002. The Mission: Impossible TV show, which I loved, certainly had an influence on the creation of the movie.   Many fans of the TV series were looking forward to the first movie.   While Phelps was the only character kept from the TV series, the mission was to be fresh, full of action and intrigue.  The concept of a rogue agent trying to make things right was not new, but this mission was done with passion. MacGyver-like gadgets, and to some degree sophisticated gadgets, masks and deception all came from the TV show.  The original show was more like an O’Henry play, with surprise endings for the bad guys, and Martin Landau (who played Rollin Hand in the original TV series) said when interviewed after the first Mission, the original was not an action-adventure, it was more of a “mind game.  The ideal mission was getting in and getting out without anyone ever knowing we were there.” ( quote from, Martin Landau Discusses 'Mission: Impossible' Movies (blog), MTV, October 29, 2009, archived from the original on December 28, 2009)   The non-stop action is truly new to the movie. So, we think the first film of the Mission: Impossible series was influenced by
  1. The TV show, for basic concepts, self-destructing mission messages, music, etc. and
  2. The timing, in between Bond films.
  3. The worldwide locations, like shooting in Prague, was definitely Bond–influenced, as were the opening scenes during the credits, giving glimpses into the action about to unfold.
Of course, the real Cold War spying  - going after atomic data, and lists of spies - was a regular mission of spies.   Even in 2015, the US CIA was concerned that China had stolen info on US federal employees that might expose the real names of our spies abroad.   So, the basic concept of the mission in the first Mission: Impossible movie is very grounded in reality.   The Bourne Identity2002.  9/11 made the producers think that the script, with the CIA looking like the bad guy, might be too sensitive for audiences in the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.   They actually filmed alternative opening and ending sequences, but when the original was tested with audiences, they seemed to accept it very well, so the alternative opening and closing scenes were relegated to the bonus section of the DVDs (See “Fifteen Things You Didn’t Know About the Bourne Franchise”  by Josh Roush, July 29, 2016, online article.   Casino Royale – 2006 – certainly the popularity of Texas Hold’em worked its way into the film, instead of the as-written Chemins de Fer/baccarat game in the Fleming novel.   Also, the more realistic approach of The Bourne Identity movie may have influenced Casino Royale to more grounded in basics – although, for a reboot of the Bond franchise, one would think they would stick closely to the novel which, as the first novel, was very straight-forward, with few gadgets, and basic in execution.   Bond on Skis:  George Lazenby, who was an avid skier, is the first James Bond in EON Productions films to take to skis, in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), with many of the scenes filmed in Murren, Switzerland – which we at SpyMovieNavigator have been too!  It is about 5,000 feet below Schilthorn (Piz Gloria) where Blofeld’s “allergy research institute” was located in the film.   In a night scene, Bond begins to ski down Piz Gloria, and of course is shot at, then pursued by Blofeld’s henchmen on skis.  Even Blofeld joins the pursuit, on skis.  With flares and machine guns, they pursue Bond – and of course, they know the mountain better than Bond, so they are in hot pursuit.  Great chase scene, with well-trained and skilled agents in pursuit on skis. And in the 1977 Bond film, in the pre-title sequence of The Spy Who Loved Me, we have one of the best snow ski sequences in any spy movie film – in any film for that matter.   He gets a message from MI6 saying they need him, while he is sleeping with a woman in an Austrian winter mountain chalet.  So he leaves, with a red backpack on his back, and skis.  She immediately radios her counterparts to say he is leaving, and we have another ski chase scene, pursuers shooting at him, and at one point, Bond turns around and shoots one of the foreign agents with his ski pole gun.  Then he continues, eventually skiing off the mountain with thousands of feet beneath him – only to pop a parachute with the Union Jack to land safely.  A great pre-title sequence that has become an iconic scene around the world!  Reported filmed in Canada, the stunt man who did this, Rick Sylvester, did this in one take.  They had to wait for the weather to be just right, and not too windy.   Again, skiing and pursuit by trained assassins on skis.   In For Your Eyes Only,    Bond is pursued by sharpshooter skiers and enemy agents on specially equipped motorcycles, with spiked wheels and guns, down the mountain and eventually into a lift heading to a ski jump.   Of course, Bond must do the jump, as his pursuers wait at the bottom of the ski jump hill. The pursuit continues again on the special motorcycles chasing Bond on skis., which even includes skiing down a bobsled run. In A View to a Kill,   Bond does it all on snow – from skiing to snowmobiling to riding one of the runners from the snowmobile as a snowboard!   Here pursued by a helicopter, snowmobiles, skiers – every well-trained assassin – but he finally escapes and to a British sub disguised as an iceberg.  Cool.   But he had a talented mob of agents, trained for winter pursuit, behind him all the way. Of course, even The Living Daylights has a snow pursuit, as Bond and  Kara Milovy escape using her cello case as a sled, and cello to steer, they are pursued by trained agents on snow. SPECTRE has snow scenes as well.   So, what is happening here? In real life, of course, there were and are specialty teams in various military branches throughout the world who are expert at traveling on skis, infiltrating locations on skis, and doing other espionage stuff that very much depends on how well trained they are on skiing and moving through heavy snow conditions. For example, in WW-II, the U.S. did not have a mountain division in their military.   Inspired by the Finnish mountaineer troops, Charles Mynot Dole – who was head of a ski patrol, an Olympic skier, a climber – began the U.S. military ski troops, brought into action just before Pearl Harbor.     They trained at 13,000 feet in the Colorado mountains, at – 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-34.4 degrees Celsius) with 90 pounds of gear – just the men, packs and skis – pushed to the limits.  This will turn out to be a true “mission impossible” in World War II as this became the 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army.  They were engaged against the Japanese when Japan invaded two islands off Alaska – Attu and Kiska.  Landing in fog and snow, they were able to make the Japanese retreat but confused, our troops were shooting at each other and 18 were killed.   They went back for more training, with mock battles, in sub-zero conditions. They were called upon in 1944 in Italy, where the Allies were bogged down trying to take the Apennine mountains.  The 5th Army could not advance towards Germany.   Each ridge in the mountains had additional German defenses.  The 10th Mountain Division assessed what was needed, decided they had to take Mount Belvedere and to do that had to take Riva Ridge first.  2,000 feet up, steep, 3 – 4 feet of snow.  They climbed the unclimbable and took Riva Ridge, and the engineers erected an ingenious tramway to move the wounded and the supplies up and down the mountain.   This is the REAL stuff!  The pursuing assaults were successful, and the path open to Germany thanks to this 10th Mountain Division – trained to battle in treacherous snow conditions.   They prevailed at great cost for the campaign – with 975 killed, 3,871 wounded and 20 prisoners of war.  But they prevailed.

Another Real World War II Example

In another World War II real life adventure, the Germans controlled a heavy-water plant in Norway, and heavy-water was needed to make nuclear weapons.  On February 16, 1943, Operation Gunnerside began.  6 Norwegian commandos were dropped by parachute to join the ‘Swallow’ team on the ground.   After a few days of cross-country skiing, they joined the Swallow team.  The final assault on the heavy-water plant was set for February 27/28 1943.  The Germans controlled the plant and wanted to produce the heavy-water and ship it to Germany.   The heavy water plant was protected by mines, lights and more due to an earlier failed raid.   The Swallow team, with the 6 paratroopers, ford a winter river in a ravine and climbed a steep hill.  They followed a railway track right to the plant – because a Norwegian agent inside the plant supplied a detailed layout of the plant as well as a schedule.  This is very much like From Russia With Love, as Bond was to retrieve the consulate plans from Tania. Except here, it is real life!  The team entered the plant by a basement cable tunnel, set explosives and escaped.  They left behind a Thompson submachine gun to make it look like British forces did it and not local resistance to avoid reprisals.  It worked! Desperate, the Germans loaded some heavy water on a ferry bound for Germany, and the Norwegian resistance sank the ferry and all the heavy water!   Google: Gunnerside. So, the bottom line is, many of the scenes we have seen in spy movies, and above the Bond movies, have a basis in reality – people are indeed specially trained for these special operations, and so the specially trained personnel in the Bond movies for all the winter pursuits are believable.   Some of the stunts are fantastic, but so were some of the real-life challenges that were overcome by the 10th Mountain Division and the Norwegian troops!   Gadgets: Lastly let’s look at gadgets.  As we know, gadgets are prominent in the James Bond 007 movies by EON Production, as Q proves quite the inventor.  They are also present in the Mission: Impossible series, with masks, high-tech devices like the climbing gloves, the camera glasses in Mission Impossible 1 and so on. In the Ian Fleming books, gadgets were less prominent.   In Casino Royale, the first James Bond 00 novel, there are some gadgets, but spectacular.  Le Chiffre carries razors in various places, and one of the high-tech gadgets was a cane that doubled as a gun - which really was how they tried to first kill Bond at the casino table.  It goes on in other Fleming novels as well, with underwater equipment, the briefcase in “From Russia With Love” – which is different than what it contains in the movie.   But they are there, but less obvious and less of a focus.   There really was a Q Branch in MI6, and they came up with gadgets.  It was operational at the time Fleming was writing, and run by Charles Fraser-Smith, who Fleming knew. Again, in this really cool book, “For Your Eyes Only – Ian Fleming + James Bond” by Ben Macintyre, he suggests that Fraser-Smith made things like a hairbrush that has a map and a saw, cameras hidden in cigarette lighters, invisible ink, magnetized matches that could act as a compass, and so on.  So, there was real stuff, and that real stuff influenced the movies, and served as a basis of many extraordinary gadgets to come in the films. We mentioned a defector spy from the Soviet Union who defected to the West, Nikolai Khokhlov.  In the same book mentioned above, Macintyre suggests that when Khokhlov came over, he brought a lot of spy gadgets with him, including a miniature revolver that could fire toxic bullets, guns housed in cigarette lighters and lots more – for real! Thanks for spending time with us at SpyMovieNavigator.com – the Worldwide Community of Spy Movie Fans – Spy Movie podcasts, videos, discussions and more!

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Spy Movies & Real-World Connections – Part 1

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

Spy Movies & Real-World Connections – Part 2

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

Dr. No Title Sequence

Dr. No Title Sequence  - Dr. No, EON Productions first James Bond film based on Ian Fleming’s sixth James Bond 007 novel gets a big YES from movie-goers at the time of release in 1962.  It has been a staple of Bond films ever since.   Dr. No is Dr. Yes for spy movie fans, and new spy movie fans who are focused on Bourne and Mission: Impossible and more recent Bond films with Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig, would enjoy going back to the first James Bond film, Dr. No, to which, we think, they will also say Yes!

A Quick Dr. No Movie Summary:

  • There’s a disappearance of a British agent and his secretary in Jamaica
  • Bond is sent to investigate
  • Discovers Dr. No and plan to interfere with American missile launches
  • We learn of SPECTRE for the first time and of the ensuing events
When released in 1962, the US and Soviet Union were in the cold war.   Each country suspicious and in fear that the other might develop more nuclear weapons than the other, attain nuclear superiority and strike first. So this is what was really happening in the world,  and selecting Dr. No as the first Fleming novel to turn into a film – dealing with American missile launches, was topical.   Fear of inter-continental ballistic missile raining down on your hometown was a real fear.  The US was behind in the space race, as the Soviets continued to be steps ahead. But great distances between the countries offered some solace.   Ian Fleming’s “Dr. No” novel was written in 1958 (a year after the Soviet Union launched the first satellite into space, Sputnik).   The movie began shooting in January 1962 –a mere 10 months before The Cuban Missile Crisis (October 16 – 28 1962).  That crisis was about bringing Soviet missiles with warheads to Cuba – just 90 miles from the US coast.   Keep in mind, Dr. No was released in the UK on October 5, 1962 – less than two weeks before the Cuban Missile Crisis, and in the US in May 1963. So the real world served as a backdrop to fuel the interest in the film, Dr. No, because nuclear war, missile development and deployment, and the ability to attack with missiles were top-of-mind.

The Title Sequence Clip

The title sequence, created by Maurice Binder, who passed away in 1991, is one of the staples of James Bond 007 EON Production movies.   This brilliant title sequence is known and recognized throughout the world. In the first several Bond films, the man in the gun barrel whop turns and faces the audiences and fires is not the actor who plays James Bond, but a stunt guy, Bob Simmons.  We also hear the iconic Monty Norman James Bond music for the first time here, in Dr. No. As you watch the title sequence, you will also see the double dots or circles appear for the first time.  We look at those as either bullet holes, which they will be in future movies like EON Production's Casino Royale, or look at them as the 00 in 007. This sequence also shows the almost psychedelic nature of the presentation, with flashing circles and flashing Dr. No in many colors - very 1960s, but still very cool.  We hear some odd opening music screeches, then the iconic Bond music, then we move to the colorful silhouettes as the music moves to island music, to get us ready for Jamaica.  As it transitions into the three blind men walking down a Kingston Jamaica street, the well-known music of "Three Blind Mice" is playing.  The roots of this tune go back to King Henry VIII and Queen Mary I, who became known as "Bloody Mary," and the persecution of protestants.  The three main leaders of the Church of England,  Latimer, Ridley and Cranmer - the architects of the movement under Henry VIII - were burned at the stake by Bloody Mary.   So, the history of violence in the tune foreshadows the role these three blind mice will play in Dr. No, and their flaming end when the hearse they are in chasing Bond crashes off a cliff and burns.   Three Blind Mice.    Wow. Great start in this Dr. No Title Sequence to James Bond brought to the big screen!

Dr. No Intro Poster and Theme Song

Dr. No Intro Poster  - For Dr. No, this is one of the publicity posters used to promote the movie.  Also, you will hear the theme song music first associated with the EON Production James Bond films! EON created a masterpiece and a James Bond franchise that has thrived for decade.   And Dr. No is the first film they produced.

Our Dr. No Poster Analysis

By 1962 when the film version of Dr. No is released, Ian Fleming’s books featuring the cold war secret agent and Bon Vivant, James Bond were all the rage. The public was hot for a no holds barred film that would introduce a real flesh and blood Bond. The film poster for Dr. No features Bond as the dominant figure slightly off-center with a smoking gun in one hand and the signature sixties symbol of cool, a cigarette in the other, signifying a controlled relaxed man of action. The bright yellow background is like intense sunshine referring not only to the movie’s exotic tropical Jamaican locale, which is further depicted by the simple inset line drawing of palm trees, but also to the heat of passion promised by the four sexy female figures each in various stages of undress and striking provocative poses. The presumed title character of Dr. No is mysteriously cut in half and barely makes it on to the poster’s left edge. It is clear that he is not the hero of this film in spite of the name. Interestingly the evil Dr. No is dressed in white while Bond is in a very dark blue suit which belies the standard code of cinema that the good guy always wears white while the villain is traditionally in black. As such, this signals the upside down and unpredictable world of espionage where things are not always what they seem.  Therefore,  it is impossible to rely on your previous experiences. The bright red text shouts out what is possibly one the shortest movie titles of all time and announcing the all-important fact that this is THE FIRST JAMES BOND FILM!

Ian Fleming on the Poster

Note Ian Fleming’s name is also in red making the point that this is based on his already well-known books and setting the stage for his branding empire. There are few films particularly up to this time that feature the book author’s name. In most cases, you will be lucky to find a short line in the credits that says something like “Based on a book by…”  Saying that a movie is based on a book is a signal that this film has an added level of sophistication and worthiness. It might be action-adventure and it might be sexy but it is based on literature. This is an important distinction in this time of changing morality of the 1960s and the changing morality in film. It might also be argued in this case that it is based on what many considered a book in the realm of pulp fiction.   And so,  in that way promised to be a little edgier or forbidden. Men wanted to see sexy women on the big screen.   And women wanted to be the desired liberated and strong women Fleming portrayed.

The Women On the Poster

It’s important to note the women in this poster are not victims or being controlled in any way. The posture of the second figure from the right is a classic power pose.   She is using her sexuality to lure you towards her but she is not cowering or submissive. The next figure almost dead center is barely nude with her back toward you but very much aware of who is behind her and again is drawing you toward her and very much in control. The sexy two-piece white bikini worn by Ursula Andress will become the iconic symbol of the sexual revolution.  And was quite scandalous at this time. But again notice her hip thrust out indicates that she is in charge of her body and the situation. The poster designer Mitchell Hooks manages to give the budding film star, Sean Connery, prominence though he is still dominated by the author Fleming. Note he is billed as playing the part of “007” a man referred to as a number which was a symbol of the nascent computer age. Is the number seven lucky? Maybe so. It is important to keep in mind that for many theatergoers this was their first introduction to this man, James Bond.  And he will become an icon and a symbol of cold war espionage, as well as the symbol of the post-WWII “modern” male .  And, soon to be movie icon.

Thanks to our Colleague Reno Lovison

SpyMovieNavigator would like to thank our colleague, Reno Lovison, for this comprehensive poster analysis.   Reno does video production and podcasts on a variety of topics and can be found at renoweb.net. And we’d like to add a couple more notes:
  • Ian Fleming’s novels in 1962 were experiencing huge growth in popularity in the United States.  Why?  Because President Kennedy at that time included From Russia With Love as one of his favorite Top 10 novels! So interest in James Bond was high, and now, here comes No!
  • On another note, 1962 was just before the large explosion of the sexual revolution in the US and world.   Countries like Ireland had problems with this poster and required changes to be made – like putting a black dress on Honey Rider, and covering up the other Bond Girls on the poster one way or another.   There is a nice book entitled: James Bond Movie Posters – The Official 007 Collection by Tony Nourmand.   The edition we have goes from No to Die Another Day.

Three Blind Mice and the Death of Strangways

Three Blind Mice and the Death of Strangways - In the title sequence, with the exotic setting in Jamaica,  we are immediately intrigued with the opening scene, with the words Dr. No flashing on and off the screen in green, purple, red, blue, and the transition to the colorful silhouettes of dancing women with island music playing.  It’s very 60s but at the time was very cool! Then we see three blind men walking the streets in Jamaica, and we don’t know what to make of them.  The tune “Three Blind Mice” is playing while we see them walking, which makes us think we should pay attention because maybe these three blind men are important.   We just assume they are part of the scene, background figures, but yet there they are.  And the camera spends a lot of time on them, following them as they “blindly” make their way down streets and finally to the Queen’s Club (Private Members Only). Perhaps they are members of this private club?   Ah, can’t be as they are all carrying their tin cups for people to drop coins into for them.   This is the club where Strangways plays cards each evening, then leaves at about 6 pm so he can do his reporting into MI6 with his secretary at his place.   Then he could return to cards.   Strangways is dressed is a white, linen suit, and the surroundings are peaceful, tranquil, elegant and high-society.  Makes us wish we had lives like that.  So nice!

Three Blind Mice Not So Blind - The Death of Strangways

These three blind men play a critical role in the entire Dr. No story, as they are responsible for two very key deaths in the plotline and are the reason James Bond ends up in Jamaica.  Here is the set-up for the death of Strangways, the MI6 operative in Jamaica. So in the film, we see Strangways excusing himself, as he always does at 6 PM, and exiting.  So this is routine, but we don’t know if the three blind men outside the club are routine.  Strangways is walking towards his car and must pass the three blind men. He takes some coins out and throws them in the cup of the first blind mice with the red hat on, then proceeds to open the door of his car.   When he turns and opens his car door, we find out a great deal about these three men.   All three of them turn and shoot Strangways with pistols equipped with silencers.  No one else is around to see them.   Then they grab his body and throw it in a hearse which speeds around the corner driven by an accomplice. We will see this hearse again!

Mary Trueblood, Strangways Secretary

In the next scene of this clip, you see the Strangways mailbox.  Then the same three men break in, kill Strangways’ secretary, rummage through his files and take the folders entitled, “Crab Key” and “Dr. No.” The second clip we selected here goes into more detail of the secretary murder.   Keep in mind, Strangways is the MI6 operative in Jamaica and has been investigating Dr. No.  Bond now is being called in to investigate the Strangways and secretary murders, and to see if there is some connection between these, Dr. No, and the interference with American missile launches. Here you get a better view of Strangways place and more details of the secretary, Mary Trueblood, murder.   We will see Strangways house again as Bond investigates this location later in the film.   Here, his secretary is setting up his call, by saying “W6N  W6N calling G7W.”    G7W is in London. Then the three blind men strike again and murder her, carrying her body off after retrieving the Crab Key and Dr. No files.   At the 55 second mark, you will see a framed photograph behind one of the three blind men in the background, on a shelf.   This will prove to be an invaluable lead when Bond investigates this location.  One that will lead  him to Quarrel, who plays a major role in the film. As an aside, the secretary, Mary Trueblood, is played by a local Jamaican, Delores Keator, who actually owned the building they used to shoot these scenes.

The Three Blind Mice Set the Table for Rest of Movie

Three Blind Mice and the Death of Strangways sets us up nicely.  As we see instantly, Dr. No is going to be a captivating film, with murder, intrigue and mystery. These clips set up the rest of the movie, as now Bond must investigate.  Strangways, though dead, will play an important roll in the film as Bond tries to put the pieces together.  We will see similar scenarios in Live and Let Die, where Bond must investigate the murder of three agents.  And again, we see agents killed in The Living Daylights in Gibraltar, View to A Kill,  Octopussy, and in more Bond movies to come.  We will see similar scenarios in Mission: Impossible, and even the Bourne series. Three Blind Mice and the Death of Strangways is well shot, well acted and is intriguing to the viewer. This opening scene with the three blind mice walking was shot on Harbour Street in downtown Kingston, Jamaica.  Where Strangways is killed at Queen’s Club is now Liguanea Club at 80 Knutsford Blvd in Kingston, Jamaica.

Bond. James Bond

Bond.  James Bond

This Dr. No clip is one of the most critical and important scenes in the entire James Bond 007 franchise  The interaction between Sylvia Trench, in red, and James Bond at the baccarat table at Le Cercle at Les Ambassadeurs in London sets up the entire Bond.  James Bond scenario in the films.   For the very first time in film history, Bond says his name like this. And Sylvia Trench is truly the first Bond Girl.   So this clip is one of the most important clips in any James Bond 007 film.  Bond, in this the scene,  receives word that he must leave and head to Jamaica to investigate deaths of J branch MI6 members.

Les Ambassadeurs

Here, Bond is in Le Cercle at Les Ambassadeurs in London.    We visited Les Ambassadeurs in London – we could not get in as it is private, but we were at the doorway,  awning, and sign, which is the establishing shot for this scene in Dr. No.  Very cool building and the security guys were nice to let us take some pictures.  We were on the steps of Les Ambassadeurs, knowing what an important role this place played in the Bond films!  We were there on a pleasant day, and the the entryway was elegant.  It was Bond, and we were standing right there!  And guess what?  So was Fleming once! As an aside, Cubby Broccoli, who along with Harry Saltzman were the original producers of the Bond films, set up a meeting once at Les Ambassadeurs for Fleming and Irving Allen to talk about maybe turning the Fleming Bond novels into movies.   Allen was not impressed and told Fleming the stories were not even good enough for television.   So we were standing at the door where Fleming walked through for this meeting!  Take a look at YouTube at the “Dr. No Documentary” – a very detailed story on how Bond got to the movies, written and directed by John Cork. We see Bond here as cool and elegant.  Again, in the “Dr. No Documentary” by Cork, it comes out that a stylistic decision was made by Terrence Young and the writers: to take the elegance, wit, and sophistication of Fleming’s writing and infuse James Bond with those characteristics.  And forever, Bond is cool, elegant, witty and sophisticated.   Check the documentary out at – we have links on our website to it  https://youtu.be/8ZPjEYxymgE

SpyMovieNavigator On Location - London

[caption id="attachment_1250" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Les Ambassadeurs, London Bonb. James Bond Dan in front of Les Ambassadeurs in London. Scene where Bond first says: "Bond. James Bond."[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1251" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Les Ambassadeurs in London Dr.No. Bond. James Bond Les Ambassadeurs in London - awning, and entrance. We were able to get some pics at the doorway and more![/caption] This scene is exceptional.  We see this fancy club, we see people sitting at the chemin de fer table, meticulously dressed.  A lady in red, and several others sitting around the table, are enjoying this aspect of their lives.   And there is a gentleman across the table from the lady in red, in a tux.  You see only his sleeves, hands, chest.  She is losing and he is winning.  Who are they?  Will their lives entwine?

"I admire your luck, Mr. . . ."

Miss Trench loses more money, then asks the house to cover, and then writes a check out for more money.  At which point the gentleman in the tux says, “I admire your courage, Miss. . .”  To which she replies, “Trench.  Sylvia Trench.  I admire your luck, Mr...?”   To which the gentleman in the tux replies coolly, while lighting a cigarette: “Bond.   James Bond.”  This is the first time in Bond movies we see Bond and hear the famous line, “Bond.  James Bond” and we are now set up to hearing this for all of time.   Who in this world does not know this line? From this scene, we know absolutely Sylvia Trench will be the first Bond Girl.

Clues as to why Sylvia Trench Was to Become the First Bond Girl

How do we know that Sylvia Trench will become the first Bond girl?   Because of several overlooked clues that she gives us in this scene.  Want to know what to look for?  Well, let’s look into this together right here and right now.
  • First, when she is shown losing for the first time, she raises both eyebrows, which is often a sign of surprise – which could be pleasant or not, or a sign of acceptance – like when you see a friend and they smile – their eyebrows go up. But watch her face closely the entire scene!  She just lost to Bond, so raising her eyebrows is certainly acknowledging the other person, drawing attention to herself – as your eyes are in full view and opened wider – it’s almost like saying hello – a signal – from a distance directed at your target.  And she parts her lips while doing this -  a sign of sexual submissiveness – which is very important here.
  • And when she loses again, and again she raises both eyebrows, as she says “I need another 1000” Again, opening up to Bond, almost surrendering to him.
  • Wait!   Here is the big clue – we have been watching her eyebrows closely: when Bond says to her, “I admire your courage, Miss...?” And she says, “Trench.  Sylvia Trench.”  She has her head downwards, and her eyes upwards – which is a submissive eye expression.  She then says to him, “I admire your luck, Mr...?”  Right here is the secret clue!  She raises only her right eyebrow!  That is often a sign of interest in the person you are talking to, maybe even submissiveness as you are looking for attention and it is a sign of less aggressiveness – but it can also be a sign of power – as in “I want your name, now.”  - but definitely a sign of opening up to that person.  Here she tells us, she will be the first Bond.  James Bond. Girl.
  • And you will notice later in the film, on Crab Key, when Honey Rider walks out of the ocean and Bond sees her for the first time, he raises his left eyebrow – so yes, she will be THE bond girl!
Its movie origin is right here in Dr. No – and now forever, he is Bond.   James Bond.

James Bond Lifestyle

And now, we get a good glimpse into James Bond’s lifestyle – he is at a private club casino, playing chemin de fer in a tuxedo.   What a lifestyle that we all look at and admire, wish for, long for – can we be, in some small way, Bond.   James Bond? We will see a further glimpse into Bond’s lifestyle when he says to Miss Trench a bit later, “You’re out to get me” and she replies, “that’s an idea.”  Bond gets interrupted by a message that he must leave (to go back to MI6, to discover his next mission).  Miss Trench gets up as well and they stroll out together.  They will meet again, as Bond hands her his card and says, “My number’s on the card.”  Very cool. And in fact, we do see Miss Trench later in Dr. No and again in From Russia With Love.   Sylvia Trench was played by Eunice Gayson, who passed away in 2018 – the first Bond girl to pass away.  She played it well.

Getting the Walther PPK

Getting the Walther PPK

Bond fans know that often Bond uses a Walther PPK pistol as his main weapon.   In Dr. No, we learn he was using a Beretta.  But, in this scene, M informs him that he will no longer use the beretta, but a Walther PPK, which the CIA swears by.   The person giving Bond the PPK in this scene is Major Boothroyd. In real life, Ian Fleming got a letter from a person named Geoffrey Boothroyd, a British gun collector firearms expert, who was a fan of his work.  He suggested to Fleming that a Beretta is not the right gun for Bond, and ultimately recommended the Walther PPK!   Fleming, as he so often did, named Boothroyd in the movie after this real person.   A Beretta (a .25 caliber) has far less stopping power than a Walther PPK (a .32 caliber).  Bond used a Beretta 418, which was really a problem for Bond in the book, “From Russia With Love,” which was published the year before “Dr. No” was published – 1957 for “From Russia With Love”, and 1958 for “Dr. No.”   In the movie Dr. No, it was a Beretta m1934 more than likely.

Walther PPK Stopping Power

There is some controversy about which has more stopping power.   An argument has been advanced that the Beretta M1934 9mm Short round is better than the Walther PPK which chambered a 7.65 mm round.    But if you own the Ultimate Edition of James Bond 007 DVD sets, Volume 4 has Dr. No.  On the special features extras disc, there is a piece featuring Geoffrey Boothroyd setting the record straight on this!  He prefers a .44 Ruger Magnum, but it is large – too large to carry in a shoulder holster.  So he settles for the Walther! But the producers and writers, sticking to the “Dr. No” book, decided to take the Beretta away in the first movie, Dr. No.  Here they are referring to an incident (the silencer of the Beretta catching in the in Bond’s clothing which almost got him killed) in the novel “From Russia With Love."  "From Russia With Love"  was published before “Dr. No,”  but which movie will come out AFTER Dr. No.   EON Productions and their staff took liberty with sequential incidents from the books as they moved them to the movies.  Not always in order!

Destructor Bag Foreshadows Mission: Impossible Self-Destructing Messages

We have also noted at the beginning of this clip, M tells Bond he is going to Jamaica, and that he will send the documents he needs to the airport in a “destructor bag.”  This is the first we have seen in any spy movies the use of a destructor bag – sound familiar?   The Mission: Impossible TV series started in 1966, and as we all know if you remember the series or the Mission: Impossible movies now, the mission begins with a recorded message, that says “this tape will self-destruct in five seconds.”  Here is the origin! Again, since this is the first Bond film, we are learning a lot about Bond.  Note here Bond says he’s used the Beretta for 10 years – so there is a history we do not know about.  And now, Bond has the weapon that we are all familiar with – the Walther PPK – and this is where and when he gets it! We want to steer you to a great article written by David Maccar entitled “The Guns of James Bond: Sean Connery.”  In this terrific piece, he says here the gun Bond gets here is actually a Walther PP, not a Walther PPK.   This is a very thorough article that has links to the guns used by the other actors who played Bond as well.   Very detailed and full of great info.   Check it out.

Bond Arrives in Jamaica

Bond Arrives in Jamaica Listen to our Podcast! Bond arrives in Jamaica via Pan American airlines.  He is still flying Pan American airlines in Licence to Kill when he goes to Key West Florida in the US.   Remember when he is leaving after Felix Leiter’s wedding to Della, he is at the Key West airport and walks up to the Pan American counter. Well, when Bond lands in Jamaica, we gain insight into his thinking, questioning the situation, being suspicious.   We notice a woman photographer licking her flashbulb, a character watching from the balcony, and the driver who has come to get Bond.  – Now the photographer in this scene is Marguerite Lewars, who was Miss Jamaica – so licking the flashbulb, although a useful thing to do to make better contact with the socket – is also a sexual thing here – this beautiful woman, in 1962, is licking a flashbulb in a major motion picture.

The Driver in Jamaica Who Picks Up Bond

Back to the driver:  The driver approaches Bond outside only after Bond gives up a taxi to two women who were trying to get a taxi – was this a bit late?   Bond’s instincts tell him not to trust this driver and he makes a call, while, unbeknownst to him,  Felix Leiter watches.   Bond discovers his Government House contact did not send a driver.  So Bond figures maybe he can get some info from this driver. Bond gets in the back seat of this Chevy convertible, and they drive off, Leiter is trailing, but Bond does not know Leiter yet, they try to lose Leiter, pull over to the side, and then Bond gets the better of the driver, who takes cyanide instead of talking. Although this is a car chase, Bond is not driving, so it is not really considered Bond’s first car chase.  The scene is important because we do not know Bond well yet.  Nor do we who know who Leiter is yet either, and or if the driver of the Chevy convertible may have led Bond to the info he needs for this mission.  We are learning about Bond’s character, toughness and focus for the first time in this scene. The death of the driver does not bother Bond at all, as he loads him into the back seat of the convertible.  Then he proceeds to drive himself to the Government House, quipping to the Government House personnel, “Sergeant, make sure he doesn’t get away.”  This is the first time we see this characteristic of Bond's film personality - making a casual, amusing quip which he will become famous for in the films. The Government House shown here is actually King’s House on Hope Road in Kingston, Jamaica. Check out our Dr. No podcast!

Meeting Felix Leiter for the First Time

Meeting Felix Leiter for the First Time - Felix Leiter plays a major role in many Bond films to come (played by 6 different actors so far), but Dr. No is his first appearance and his first meeting with Bond.   First played by Jack Lord, then Cec Linder in Goldfinger, then Rick Van Nutter in Thunderball, Norman Burton in Diamonds are Forever, David Hedison in Live and Let Die,  John Terry in The Living Daylights,  David Hedison again in License to Kill, then a great one Jeffrey Wright in Casino Royale and again in Quantum of Solace. Jack Lord, David Hedison and Jeffrey Wright were the hands-down best Felix Leiters.  We own Hedison’s autograph.   And it is confirmed that Jeffrey Wright will return for Bond 25!    He is excellent.

Bond - in A Tussle With Quarrel, Puss Feller

In this scene, we learn more about Bond’s dexterity and his ability to fight.    Cornered by Quarrel (played by John Kitzmiller) held in check by Puss Feller (played by Lester Prendergast), the alligator wrestler who owns the club, Bond fights his way out and gets the better of them both.  In so doing, he throws them into cases of Red Stripe beer – of which we have had many in Jamaica - until Felix Leiter walks in behind Bond with a gun trained on him.   For a moment, Bond thinks he has been out-maneuvered, but Felix introduces himself as an ally from the CIA.  Because Bond went with the driver at the airport, Leiter and Quarrel were not sure of Bond’s allegiances – now they understand who he is. Meeting Felix Leiter for the first time for Bond and the viewers is exciting.   Leiter will play key roles in future Bond movies, and Quarrel, Junior will make an appearance in Live and Let Die, and is played by Roy Steward.  We also learn more about Bond.  Well done!

Bond’s First Car Chase

Bond’s First Car Chase

We have come to expect car chases and virtually any other kind of chase in spy movies now, and especially in Bond movies.  And, here, we see Bond's first car chase Now, in real like this does not happen very much!   We have reached out to the International Spy Museum in Washington DC in the US.  We plan on doing a podcast with them on the very subject of the differences between what happens in spy movies versus what happens in the real world of real spies!   So look for our podcast on that.   In the meantime, there was a great article on July 31 2015 in the online Vanity Fair on this subject.  It's entitled, “14 Ways Spy Movies Are Nothing Like Real Life” by Julie Miller.  In this piece, the curator of the museum said: “High-speed car chases only happen when the mission goes very, very bad.”    He suggested that it is always better to blend in. Despite real life, in movies we now expect it.  Here is James Bond’s first real car chase, where he is driving and eluding pursuers.  Here he is driving a lake-blue, English  Sunbeam Alpine Series II.   He is on his way to Miss Taro’s place (played by Zena Marshall) for some fun, but she is in on the plot to eliminate Bond.   So, on the exact way Taro told him to go, he is pursued by another vehicle whose occupants are determined to kill Bond.

Another Chase, and More Chases

This is the hearse that the three blind men loaded Strangways into after they killed him.   So, we assume this is the three blind men once again, and for the last time.   For spy movies, we will see this same concept, of course, repeated over and over again – car chase scenes, and other vehicle chase scenes – trains, helicopters, running.  And it did not begin here, in Dr. No. Chases are now expected and anticipated in spy movies and will make an appearance in many more Bond films, Bourne, e.g., and more. And there have been chase scenes in spy movies in the more distant past.  Here is a great example:  Brit planes chasing a train with German spies in the 1936 movie Secret Agent and other movies (like Bullit, 1968).   But they are nevertheless still exciting, and somehow the stunts are more and more dramatic.  It is now part of the formula.  In the 2006, Casino Royale by EON Productions, when Bond rolls his Aston Martin DBS V12 while pursuing Vesper Lynd, they achieved a world record of 7 rolls.   It it is a spectacular roll, and this pursuit is believable and contextually made sense. Fortunately, Bond eludes the pursuers and they crash off a cliff with the what has become the fiery crash scene in many spy movies to come.    Of course, in real life, in general, cars don’t explode and catch fire in a crash.  Even the American TV show, Mythbusters at one time fired bullets directly into the fuel tank of a car.  And . . . nothing happened.   It is possible but unlikely! Anyway, Miss Taro is surprised when Bond shows up, and she gets a call, they have some fun. Bond fakes car trouble and calls a taxi for them to go out, and she gets her into what she thinks is a taxi, and is taken off by a Bond ally.  After she is out, Bond is cooly awaiting whoever it may be to show up and try to dispose of him   So here it is!

The Professor Dies – And You’ve Had Your Six

The Professor Dies – And You’ve Had Your Six

The Professor Dies – And You’ve Had Your Six  - In this important clip, we see the very tough and dark nature of James Bond – here, he is a cold-hearted killer as he tricks Professor Dent into thinking he, Bond, is asleep in the bed.  Or what does Dent think?   He doesn’t know Miss Taro has been extracted from the premises.  So does he care if he kills Bond and Taro?  We don’t know. But we must remember, Dent has already failed to kill Bond with the tarantula and Dr. No wants Bond dead.   With Miss Taro out of the picture, but unknown to Professor Dent, Professor Dent is coming to Taro’s house to kill Bond.  While Bond is waiting for Professor Dent’s arrival, he coolly waits, playing cards.   The scene is set – the bamboo room accents add to that exotic island feeling, Bond pours two drinks and removes his coat to put on the sofa with the drinks on the cocktail table – as if he and Miss Taro had been drinking together.   The lighting is just perfect as you see the cards, and the shadow of the ceiling fan rotating over the cards. He tosses the bedclothes on the floor, then assembles the pillows and sheets to make it appear someone was sleeping.  “Underneath the Mango Tree” is playing and “underneath the moonlit sky” is playing as he walks past the shutters with the moonlight beaming outside.  Again, Terence Young, the director, is keenly aware of the song’s lyrics and uses them to his advantage

“Underneath the moonlit sky Me honey and I Come sit hand in hand Underneath the moonlit sky Me honey and I Come make fairyland”

(By Monty Norman, sung by Diana Coupland)

And Bond is sitting hand in hand with his first love – his weapon and silencer, making “fairyland” – a whole different world than what most ordinary people are used to.  Here, we see Bond in HIS world – him as an assassin.

The Professor Arrives

Then he hears someone coming.   The Professor unloads his pistol into the figure in the bed and Bond yells, “Drop it, Professor.  And behind you.”  He drops the weapon onto the bedclothes on the floor.  Then we see Bond coolly waiting, confronting him, talking calmly.  He even sets his gun down and lights a cigarette  - while Dent tries to pull his gun back over to him by dragging his foot on the bedclothes.  He succeeds, picks up the gun and shoots Bond – but the pistol just clicks. Then Bond says coolly, “That’s a Smith and Wesson and you’ve had your six” and shoots Dent – unarmed Dent – then when he falls to the floor, Bond shoots him again,  killing him.  For Bond fans, this is the first EON Production Bond movie – and this is the first kill we see Bond make.  Bond as an assassin.   Fleming said once about the character of Bond, he is a blunt instrument of the government. We steer you back to a great article written by David Maccar all about “The Guns of James Bond: Sean Connery.”   In this scene, he claims Bond kills Dent using a suppressed RN Browning Model 1910n and not the Walther PPK! Of course, we will hear "Underneath the Mango Tree" again! Miss Taro’s house in the mountains in the film is in a fictitious place.   In real life, it was filmed at what is now the Couples Sans Souci resort in Ocho Rios (which used to be the Grand Lido Sans Souci Hotel, reportedly where the crew stayed while filming.

Honey Ryder and “No. I’m Just Looking”

Honey Ryder and “No. I’m Just Looking”

Honey Ryder and “No. I’m Just Looking” - OK, Sylvia Trench was the first real Bond Girl.  Then, you had Miss Taro.  But, come on.   Honey Rider is remembered as the first WOW Bond Girl as she walks out of the waters at Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica in Dr. No.  Ursula Andres, who played Honey Rider, set the standard and a very high bar for all Bond Girls to come.   This is a classic must-see scene.  It reveals a lot more to us about Bond's character.    Remember - most people are being introduced to James Bond in this film - and hadn't read the Ian Fleming stories. When Bond wakes up to Honey Rider singing “Underneath the Mango Tree” as she steps out of the ocean – which has become of the most famous scenes in any movie – he starts singing the song too, and she then notices him.  She asks him what he is doing here, and asks if he is looking for shells, to which Bond quips, “No, I’m just looking!”

Dunn's River Falls

We have been to Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica, and have climbed the falls.   It is a tourist attraction now and very crowded and busy – but still worth the visit.   Climbing the falls (maybe 180 feet from shore to top) is tricky and requires your guide and the help of people in your group to hold you and pull you up.   It is slippery and can be dangerous – but was fun to do.   And to think, this was in Dr. No adds to the thrill knowing Ursula Andres and Sean Connery were just steps away!  They filmed here and on Laughing Waters beach, which used to be a private section of Roaring Falls. Here we see Honey Ryder as a very strong woman.   When Bond says I promise not to steal your shells, she quips, “I promise you, you won’t either” as she wields her knife that was held on her side by a wide belt.   In the original manuscript, which we examined,  Honey Ryder walks out of the ocean to the shore wearing just the belt and knife! As a side note, Ursula Andres sold this bikini at auction on February 14, 2001, for the equivalent of about $60,500!  Belt was included!  Honey Rider and “No. I’m Just Looking”    Yes!  We'd be looking too!

The Dragon – Runs On Diesel Engines!

The Dragon  - Runs On Diesel Engines!  Quarrel has talked about the island legend of a fire-breathing dragon on Crab Key and that is why no locals want to venture to this island.  After Bond and Quarrel arrive at Crab Key, after meeting Honey Rider, they find that they must do battle with this fire-breathing dragon.  It is a dark scene, in all respects: a night scene, and a battle with the dragon operated by merciless killers.   A tough scene for Quarrel, to be sure. The Dragon is of course, is some type of specially equipped vehicle outfitted with a flamethrower and run by some of Dr. No’s henchmen.   It’s the intro of technology to do things you need to do –here, to scare people away from Crab Key.   Of course, later we see Dr. No’s real technology – interfering with the USA Missile launches with a sophisticated nuclear facility and radio beam (in the movie version of course).

Beyond the Dragon - Gadgets in Spy Movies

In future Bond films and in virtually all spy movies after, we will see all kinds of technological gadgets – some to aid the spies on the good side, some to aid the evil villains they combat.  But in Dr. No, there are not a lot of gadgets for Bond to use.  He is pretty much on his own, finding himself in certain situations and trying to figure his way out, MacGyver-like.   Yes, he got his new Walther PPK with a silencer.  Yes, he uses a Geiger-counter sent from MI6.  But what else?  Just his wits and abilities and training as a good spy.   So in our first glimpse of Bond stepping off the pages of Fleming’s novels and into the movies, we see a man who is well-trained, is suspicious of much in his surroundings and is ready to deal with whatever might come his way.

The Dragon Smokes Quarrel

Quarrel, who had believed in the dragon, is consumed in its flames, and Honey Rider and Bond are captured.   Notice, Bond goes back to look at Quarrel after he is handcuffed, and the henchman says, “sorry we ain’t got any flowers.”   When Bond walks over to look at Quarrel, it is a revealing moment where we see Bond’s more human side – where he feels bad that the guy who became his buddy in Jamaica has been killed so violently. We learn again, that this spy business is a brutal business.     Quarrel was a very likable character in this film.  While The Dragon - Runs On Diesel Engines, this scene runs on adrenalin. I did some research on the name Quarrel and could not find it as a first name.  It is a surname, meaning your family probably originally lived near a quarry.  Of course, in the dictionary, it is an argument, etc.   If anyone of our listeners knows, shoot us an email! Dan@SpyMovieNavigator.com or Tom@SpyMovieNavigator.com The swamp where they filmed this scene is at Falmouth, about 40 miles west of Ochos Rio.

Meet Dr. No and SPECTRE

Meet Dr. No and SPECTRE

In Dr. No’s lair, Dr. No confronts Bond.  His lair is exquisitely detailed and furnished with the finest things.  A huge aquarium, artwork everywhere, rich, ornate carved wooden furnishings, silver candelabra, crystal goblets – the best of the best.   And we learn of SPECTRE for the first time – and we will hear about this evil organization in many EON Production Bond films to come.   Special Executive for Counter-Intelligence  Terrorism, Revenge, Extortion.  so here, we meet Dr. No and SPECTRE and understand a lot more of their background. The West and East refused his services . . .  so he is out to show them how short-sighted they were.   He lost both hands in a radiation accident (in the film). In the book, the Tongs who he stole gold from cut off his hands.  In either case, he has metal hands that are very powerful.  There is a great dialogue between Bond and Dr. No in this clip – pay attention to all the words – they have all been carefully crafted to deliver Dr. No’s message -  the West and East will pay for not taking his services.   And Dr. No never fails . . . Joseph Wiseman plays Dr. No magnificently and convincingly.

The Duke of Wellington is Dr. No's "Guest"

As Dr. No walks away from Bond after telling his henchmen to “soften him up” he walks past the back of a portrait on an easel – to his left as he walks past.   In a previous scene, when Bond is walking up those same steps to sit at the dining table, he stops for a moment to look at the portrait.   It is the Duke of Wellington.   Simple right? No.  In actuality, this portrait was stolen from the National Gallery in London in August of 1961, before filming began in January 1962 for Dr. No, and was still missing when they filmed this scene.  Brilliantly, EON Productions worked this real fact into the movie – here, Dr. No has the portrait!  In real life,  it was recovered in 1965, as the culprit who was in possession of the stolen portrait had been sending letters demanding that $140,000 pounds be donated to charities and that the person who stole it should not be prosecuted. Eventually, the culprit gave up and sent a letter to the newspaper, the Daily Mirror, along with a left-luggage ticket from New Station in Birmingham.  When police when to there, they found the missing portrait, but unframed.  The portrait was brought to London and returned to the National Gallery.

On Location

And in a recent visit to London,  we saw Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington safely hanging on the wall, in full view of all,  at the National Gallery!   So, when you head to the National Gallery in London, go see the Duke – but also visit Room 34, where Daniel Craig as Bond meets his new, young Quartermaster in Skyfall, sitting on a bench in the gallery room, facing Turners “Fighting Temeraire” painting on the wall.  We sat in the same location (but they used different benches in the movie) that Bond and Q sat in Skyfall!  Cool.  Again, fun to be at the actual filming locations and in the same space as the actors!  And the National Gallery is fabulous.  Go there!

The Downfall of Dr. No: No and Bond Go At It

The Downfall of Dr. No: No and Bond Go At It - After escaping capture, and overtaking one of Dr. No’s workers and taking his Hazmat suit, amazingly, Bond disrupts the interference with the American missile launch (a Mercury capsule launch, which in 1962 was really going on – Mercury was the first astronaut program in the US, before Gemini and Apollo – remember Apollo 11 was the first to land on the moon) . Dr. No opens the secret radio beam antenna and then, after increasing the radioactive danger level, in this scene, he battles with Dr. No himself.  As a Dr. No film fan, you must see this turning-point clip that pits the wits and strengths of Dr. No versus James Bond.  The villain must go down – literally! The set is believable (Ken Adam, set designer), Dr. No played by Wisemen excellent, and the doomed end of Dr. No tense.   After Dr. No goes down, Bond tries to find Honey Rider – he wants to save her – another revealing characteristic that we have come to see and know in many more Bond films -  and finds her shackled to a ramp with water rising quickly to drown her.   He gets her free, and the beginning of the end is in sight! Of course, this being the first Bond film, we wonder, why not just kill Honey Rider?  Why the slow death that might allow for escape?  Why not just kill Bond with a gunshot?   We will ask this forever, but we think these ego-maniac, diabolical villains must think they are invincible (remember Boris Grishenko in Goldeneye: “I AM INVINCIBLE”). And as invincible, they believe they will get away with doing whatever they want to do – having an elaborate scheme to kill their arch-villains (Bond, Rider whoever) is no big deal.   And it pounds into the minds of the intended victim just who is in charge – and gives them time to think about it.

Dr. No – The Beginning of the End

The Beginning of the End The finale is grand of course, and Bond somehow manages to escape and with Honey Ryder.  And Dr. No is, well, No-More.  Bond and Honey commandeer a small powerboat, throwing overboard the two men on the boat, and stopping one again from getting back on the boat – just in the nick of time, as the entire Dr. No complex explodes in glorious fashion, assuming all of Dr. No’s workers are lost or will be captured and dealt with later.  As Bond and Honey are motoring away, after a short while, Bond says they are out of fuel.   When Honey wonders what they do next, Bond says something like we can swim or. . . . “come here,” and she does. To the rescue, Felix Leiter with a small powerboat and an armed crew sees Bond and Honey’s boat adrift.   They throw them a tow rope, and this begins a scene we will see in many more Bond films – Bond and the Bond-girl stranded somewhere, only to be rescued and discovered that they are um having some fun.    When Bond releases the tow rope, look at Honey’s eyes – she is approving. So we see for the first time the ending of a Bond movie that we will become familiar with over the next decades.  Enjoy as we close out our first Bond film podcast. Dr. No is a big YES for all spy movie fans!  Be sure to download our podcasts, and to continue to visit us at SpyMovieNavigator.com – The Worldwide Community of Spy Movie Fans – Spy Movie podcasts, videos, discussions and more!

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