MI6 Editors caught up with several members of
the social organization Club S.P.E.C.T.R.E to reflect
on James Bond and his adventures...
Opinion - S.P.E.C.T.R.E. James Bond Top Twenty
One Countdown (1)
25th May 2006
MI6 Editors caught up with several members of the social organization
Club S.P.E.C.T.R.E.* at their annual meeting and retreat in the
US. We posed a series of research challenges to the society’s
leadership for inclusion in MI6’s continuing education series
to coincide with the release of Casino
Royale. MI6 will be printing their responses from this series
of questions over the next few months.
The first of these questions was as follows:
”In keeping with the mounting interest in Bond
21 Casino Royale, what would you list as the 21 most memorable
Bond moments and least favorable from the film series?”
The Club humorously acknowledged that fans are free to agree
or disagree, but to keep in mind that anyone who seriously challenges
these conclusions may well get a dip in Largo’s shark pool,
or more inhumanely, be forced to watch the 1967 Eurotrash spy
film Operation Kid Brother.
The 21 responses will be published in no significant order or
ranking over the coming months.
1) Honey Ryders beach entrance in
Perhaps the most memorable screen entrance of any actress
in film history. Ursula
Andress rising from the Jamaican surf clad in the legendary
white bikini epitomizes the ultimate image of the James
Bond girl. Don’t believe feminist claptrap that most
Bond women are brainless bimbos. With few exceptions, the
007 heroines are bright, courageous and resourceful. Of
course, those notorious exceptions admittedly set the validity
of this argument back several hundred years. (i.e. Tanya
Roberts in A View to
a Kill and Britt Ekland
in The Man With the Golden
Right: "Ursula Andress emerges
from the ocean as Honey Rider setting hundreds of pulses
2) Introduction of the Aston Martin DB5 in Goldfinger-
The famed, lethal mode of transportation was not the first
Bond gadget, but it launched the gadgetry as a staple of
the series for all future films. So fanatical was the audience
response to the fully armed DB5
(complete with ejector seat) that it became a star in its
own right and toured the world to enthusiastic crowds. The
car still remains a recurring “character” in
recent Bond movies. This sequence also established the edgy
relationship between Desmond
Llewelyn’s Q and
007 that would become a mainstay of the series.
3) Bond Arrives with Mr. Jones’ Corpse in Dr. No-
Tthis otherwise nondescript scene is ultimately vital to the
development of Bond’s character. Until this point, the first
Bond film presented the hero as a standard tough guy. However,
after he battles an enemy agent disguised as his chauffeur, the
man dies from ingesting a cyanide-laced cigarette. Not wanting
to be late for a meeting with government officials, Bond simply
sits the dear departed bloke in the back seat of his convertible
and drives to his intended destination, advising the security
guard to “see to it he doesn’t get away.” Bond
then calmly attends the meeting with barely a word about the ordeal
he has just experienced. This was the first instance of overt
wit into the series that set Bond apart from other screen heroes
and set the trend for the witticisms that would characterize the
4) Bond Meets Robocop in Die Another Day-
In a scene that would make Ed Wood proud, Die
Another Day has the dubious distinction of presenting
a truly miraculous scientific achievement. This occurs when
Gustav Graves, dissatisfied
with the glove controller for his killer satellite Icarus,
orders his assistant, the engineering wizard Vlad to construct
a suitable outfit to enable him to carry out his devious
plans to cause a war between North and South Korea. How
an article of clothing can enable a catastrophic world conflict
is never satisfactorily explained, but suffice it to say
on a moment’s notice the amazing Vlad manages to construct
a bizarre, hi-tech Robocop-type uniform in an insanely short
period of time. The resulting effect looks like the illegitimate
offspring of a mating ritual between Arnold Schwarzenegger’s
Mr. Freeze and the rusty hulk of 1967 Buick.
Left: "Yes, Mr. Bond...Not only
will my Robo suit aid me in gaining control of the world,
but it also allows me to pick up satellite TV and radio
stations without paying monthly subscription fees!"
5) Moonraker “Bondola”
In terms of bad Bond moments, Moonraker
is the gift that keeps on giving- a virtual smorgasbord
of wince-inducing moments of embarrassing humor. Choosing
the worst scene, however, is like shooting fish in a barrel.
The elaborate boat chase sequence in the canals of Venice
becomes Theater of the Absurd when Bond converts his gondola
into a high tech speedboat culminating in the craft becoming
an amphibious vehicle that Bond steers around St. Mark’s
Square to the astonishment of onlookers. Not even the devastating
floods throughout history have done more damage to the reputation
and image of the historic city.
Right: "Death in Venice- Bond
style! In this case the deceased is 007's reputation which
suffered fatally from his employ of this goofy jet-age amphibious
gondola that he drives around St. Marks Square. Given the
scarceness of parking spaces in major cities, it's not surprising
that this is one Bondian vehicle that did not instigate
an international trend."
6) Bond’s “60 Second
Sales Call” in You Only Live Twice-
We’re second to none in our admiration and enjoyment
for the fifth Bond epic, but the spotty script represented
the first occasion in which logic was completely suspended
on any number of levels. For example, Bond poses as a corporate
buyer of industrial chemicals in order to get a meeting
with mega mogul Mr. Osato
at his Tokyo HQ. Naturally, both he and Bond realize that
neither man is who he claims to be. Osato recognizes Bond
as an MI6 agent and Bond knows full well Osato is a high
ranking member of SPECTRE. Nevertheless, the cursory business
talk is absurdly brief. Bond has flown to Tokyo to obtain
a license to manufacture Osato chemicals- a deal that is
literally wrapped up in a matter of seconds with time to
spare for Osato to caution Bond about his smoking habits!
We realize Bond may have read “The One Minute Manager”
but cutting even that timeframe seems to erase whatever
thin veneer his cover has.
Left: "Bond discusses the purpose
of his trip from London to Tokyo- to purchase chemicals
from Mr. Osato. The entire meeting takes less time than
the trip on the lift to Osato's office!"
* Like most private societies, Club S.P.E.C.T.R.E.
membership is by invitation only and is dedicated to fellowship
and a "Flemingesque" pursuit of the James Bond lifestyle- fine
wines and liquors, cigars, exotic travel and beautiful women.
The members represent a diverse and international social group
consisting of James Bond authors, scholars and enthusiasts who
share their common interest through outings and meetings geared
toward celebrating all things relating to 007. The group's name
ironically does not originate from the evil crime organization
found in the James Bond novels and films. Rather, the name relates
to the groups founding on Italian actor Adolfo Celi's birthday.
(Celi portrayed the S.P.E.C.T.R.E villain Emilio Largo in Thunderball.)
Thus, the organization was formed and a definition was assigned
to its title: Society to Promote and Celebrate Celi's Triumphant
and Remarkable Endeavors. Absurd? Naturally, but a hell of a lot
of fun for its members.
views of expressed in this article are not necessarily those of
mi6-hq.com or its owners.