The Lost and Overlooked Bonds

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

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

Is George Lazenby - A lost and Overlooked Bond?

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

The Criticism

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

George Lazenby's Talent

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

Our Thoughts On George Lazenby

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

Is Timothy Dalton - a lost and overlooked Bond?

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

Facial Expressions

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

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

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

    • In Licence to Kill:

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

When Bond finds Della's body 

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

Body Movement

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

Our Thoughts On Timothy Dalton

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

Bravo Gentlemen

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

Podcast Episode

James Bond Spy Movie Collectibles

Join Dan (Tom was on vacation during recording!) as he looks at some of the collectibles that SpyMovieNavigator owns from some of the James Bond movies! It’s a quick 14 minute look – take a listen! See video podcast on YouTube on our Cracking the Code of Spy Movies channel!

Join Dan (Tom was on vacation during recording!) as he looks at some of the James Bond collectibles that Spy Movie Navigator owns from some of the James Bond movies!   And the collectible concept from screen-used props, props made for films but maybe not used on-screen, and reproductions!   It’s a quick 14-minute look – take a listen!

Items from:

  • From Russia With Love
  • The Spy Who Loved Me
  • Octopussy
  • Licence to Kill
  • Tomorrow Never Dies
  • Casino Royale

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Video: Click here to watch the video podcast! 

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Spy Movie Collectibles

James Bond collectibles are hot and it’s fun to have a few!  Here are a few of the favorites we have!

Hi, this is Dan Silvestri – while Tom Pizzato is traveling at the time of this recording – so I’m here solo, doing a podcast on some James Bond collectibles that are in our vault!  Think about owning a cool James Bond movie replica, or a prop manufactured for the movie that may have made it into the film or not, or an actual screen-used prop!  These are all fun to collect, so let’s take a look!

If you have listened to other podcasts of our, you know I am into collectibles, especially autographs.  But I have things from ancient Rome, NASA (US space program) collectibles and more.

So, naturally, I have some spy movie collectibles, especially Bond!

Autographs

Let’s start with a few autographs.

  • Sean Connery, one of my top favorite Bonds, is certainly an area of interest, and so I have a signed publicity still of Sean Connery as James Bond in From Russia With Love,in the train car.  This is very cool, and so I actually framed it myself and found a small, inexpensive digital recorder and speaker kit – I don’t even know if they make them anymore . . . and attached the kit to the rear of the frame (takes 4 double A batteries) and the “play” button to the side of the frame.   When you press the button on my Sean Connery signed and framed photograph, it is Sean Connery, as Bond, saying, “A martini, shaken, not stirred” with the James Bond theme music playing.  Very fun!
  • I also have a Pierce Brosnan signed photograph, and just recently bought a George Lazenby signed photograph from Anders Frejdh (FRAID). This last one was from the 50th-anniversary tour for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, one of my all-time favorite Bond films.   I’m going to try to get all of the Bonds – Timothy Dalton, Daniel Craig, and Roger Moore.
  • My favorite Felix Leiter before Jeffrey Wright is David Hedison.  I say before Wright, but I probably like them both equally.  So I have purchased a David Hedison signed check!  This is very cool. This item was purchased at auction and had a PSA/DNA Pre-Certified Status – meaning it was reviewed by experts at PSA/DNA and is guaranteed to pass final testing and marking.   And bank check are great – because they tell a story in themselves: this one is made out to the Beverly Hills Postmaster for $15, on October 25, 1968 – for stamps!
  • One of my favorite autographs is Caroline Munro’s!  Of course, she plays Naomi in The Spy Who Loved Me – Stromberg’s assistant who comes to collect Bond and Triple X (posing as Mr. and Mrs. Sterling) in Sardinia Italy and is later the helicopter pilot chasing bond driving the Lotus into the water, and the first woman Bond kills on-screen!  Tom and I met with her in London once for a few hours – she is a delight!  She signed a bunch of autographs for us, and we took pictures with her.  Wonderful woman!  Inscription on card: “Dear Dan – it’s so lovely to meet with you – your knowledge of Bond is amazing – Thank you so much for the lovely afternoon – All my Best Wishes, Caroline Munro as Naomi 007”   How lovely indeed!

Other things and props

I would love to own some screen-used props from the Bond movies – these are hard to come by and very expensive.   I know a guy who has one of the spearguns from Thunderball!  So, I have some stuff which is cool – made for the films and might be buried in some shots.

  • I have a $100 bill from Licence to Kill – you remember the shot where Bond highjacks Sanchez’s drug delivery plane, and Bond cuts open the packets of money and the bills are flying all over the place – I have one of those bills!  This one looks pretty good from a distance and does say on the upper left: “THIS IS NOT VALID.  IT IS FOR USE IN MOTION PICTURES ONLY AND IS NON-NEGOTiABLE.  ITS USE FOR ANY OTHER PURPOSE WILL BE IN VIOLATION OF LAW.”    Its provenance is that the bill was originally obtained at the shooting location in Key West Florida (Sugar Loaf Key) at the airport office from the airport manager who was keeping a bunch as a collectible from the film.
  • I also own a $100 bill from the Pierce Brosnan Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies.  When Bond breaks into the safe, there are a few piles of bills stacked on the left side of the safe.  This one I have looks like a real $100 bill – except . . . it has printed in the upper right-hand corner: “For Motion Picture Use Only” – and if you notice in this scene in the film, the bills are stacked in piles strategically to cover the upper right corner of the bills!   This one is cool!  So maybe it as somewhere in one of those stacks!  It was originally obtained from Pinewood Studios.
  • In Licence to Kill, again, one of my favorite Bond movies, the title sequence shows a casino table, a roulette table to be specific, and there are chips all over the table.   I have two clay chips: a green $25 chip and a purplish $100 chip.  Again, there are piles of chips, and others made for the movie but these are marked Casino de Isthmus and have the top-hat and cane indented patterns along the edges, which were the ones used for the movie.   My contact says that these chips can be seen in the opening title sequence of the film.
  • From Octopussy,  I have a $100 Rupee paper money prop, issued from the fictitious Reserve Bank of Indapur.  The seller claims it was used in the film scene where Bond and Kamal Khan are playing backgammon, and Bond wins $200,000 Rupees.  Khan starts writing a check and Bond says, “I prefer cash.”
  • From Casino Royale, I have 4 playing cards that were made for the movie (probably nowhere on-screen) that have Casino Royale logo on the backside twice and the crown logo.   AND a $500 chip, with Casino Royale around the center, and the crown pattern along the edges.  Cool!  These were probably overruns, and never used in the film, or who knows – they could be in the background somewhere, or in the card shoe!  But fun to have!

Books:

I have one weird book that is apparently a collectible.   A friend found it in a used book shop, and it is a hard-cover only about 5.5  inches by 7.25 inches, it is entitled: “The Book of Bond – Or Every Man His Own 007” and is written as though it was by Lt. Col. William (Bill) Tanner *M’s assistant) who authored the book.     It is “written” by him – a fictional character!  It is a Viking Press book from 1965, and on the inside cover flap is priced at $2.50 US.  The book is broken up into chapters entitled things like, Drink.  Looks.   Smokes. Etc. and in the margins, to validate what is written, are the initials of the title of the relevant Bond story, like FRWL (From Russia With Love), along with a number indicating the relevant chapter.  And he does something similar for the short story collections.  And it really is about YOU becoming like 007 in all these chapter aspects, and more amusing than serious for sure.  This is really written by Kingsley Amis, who wrote three books including “The James Bond Dossier” and the first Bond continuation novel, “Colonel Sun”, under the pen name, Robert Markham.  Thanks to my friends on Facebook, Nick, Oliver and Daryl for this insight!  Very odd indeed!

If anyone knows more about this book, email me at Dan@SpyMovieNavigator.com – I have found some info on it but not a ton.   I know there were two different versions of the book.  On one version the cover reversed and the opposite side said the Bible – in case you wanted to read clandestinely!  My version, the cover does not have anything printed on its reverse side.  Even in this used book store, it was priced at $40!

Replicas

If you remember in Casino Royale (2006) when Alex Dimitrios is playing poker and Bond joins in at the Ocean Club, Dimitrios wants to up the stakes and throws in a keyring with an Aston Martin DB5, and car key, as part of the pot.   Well, I purchased the same kind of DB5 keyring along with the Lotus Esprit keyring – you remember the Lotus Esprit in The Spy Who Loved Me that turns into a submersible.   These are VERY cool and are available with a lot of other reproductions and collectible at 007.com, and their US counterpart https://usa.007store.com/.   Tell them SpyMovieNavigator.com sent you!  They have a lot of 007 collectibles and are awesome to work with.

There are also other prop shops and online stores to purchase real movie props and additional replicas.   We will get you more info on these places, on our website.   Tons of fun stuff on the 007.com site!

Well, this concludes our quick look at some of the James Bond memorabilia that we have  – remember, there are lots of places online to purchase movie memorabilia.   We have a place near us in Chicago which we are going to visit, and the guy has tons of movie memorabilia, including spy movie stuff!  So look for that podcast soon, and maybe even a video!

This has been Dan Silvestri – and Tom Pizzato is still on vacation even after recording this – hah!  If you were listening to this podcast. Check out our YouTube channel.   We plan on shooting a video of the items for your viewing pleasure!

Have fun collecting, always ask about the provenance (history of ownership of the item,)  and have a great time!  Please tell your friends about our podcasts, and give us a 5-star rating!   Thanks!

 


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All About Spy Movies – SpyMovieNavigator

Podcast Episode

All About Spy Movies – SpyMovieNavigator

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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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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