Bond Vivant

FILE IN: READ

With No Deals, Mr. Bond, John Gardner had finally achieved enough clout, or had at least been around long enough, that he was given a little more leeway to “do his own thing.” The result is one of the series’ first full-on Cold War thrillers since From Russia with Love.

SPOTLIGHT: BOND BEYOND BOND BOOKS

Nobody Lives Forever

Released in 1986, Nobody Lives Forever has a similar feel to the movie For Your Eyes Only, in that both are essentially one chase scene after another.

Role of Honour

Whatever good will was built up with the brisk action of For Special Services and the intriguing locations of Icebreaker is undone with Role of Honor, a dreadful entry in the series.

Icebreaker

In Icebreaker, Bond does almost nothing—which is for the best, because when Bond does do something, it’s usually some of the worst espionage work he’s ever done.

For Special Services

For Special Services, maintains all the ties to Ian Fleming’s original novels, but gets more breathing room since it isn’t saddled with re-introducing Bond.

FILE IN: WATCH

Former James Bond George Lazenby anchors a surprisingly bleak and emotionally complex giallo about a father’s frantic quest through Venice for his missing daughter. It also anticipates many of the stylistic and thematic flourishes of Don’t Look Now, released the following year.

SPOTLIGHT: SPY CINEMA

Ypotron

Ypotron is a light and airy espionage adventure with sci-fi elements and almost no interest whatsoever in its own plot, so enamored is it instead with low-budget globe-trotting and extremely large hats.

Asambhav

This movie is a total bomb, and that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. Don’t listen to me, because I’m going to tell you to go ahead and see Asambhav. The near universal chorus of bad reviews this movie received are right, and I am wrong. Don’t do it.

From 007 to Gogol 13

Golgo 13 was (is) a long-running Japanese comic book aimed primarily at bitter guys in dead-end salaryman jobs who harbored daydreams of being tough-as-nails murderous sex machines but, in reality, were just nerdy guys reading a comic book on the train.

Scorpions and Miniskirts

If you can roll with the first five minutes of Scorpions and Miniskirts, then you are probably going to be able to walk away with a sense of having been entertained while feeling like you didn’t quite get everything for which you’d hoped.


ON LOCATION

Aboard the African Queen

The African Queen stayed unseaworthy until 2012, when Key Largo locals Lance and Suzanne Holmquist bought it and set about once again making it a functioning boat.

Pan Am Worldport

Terminal 3 at New York’s JFK airport, known as the Worldport, was once the distinctive flying saucer shaped home of Pan Am. It was, during the heyday of jet-set travel, a model for the sleek, modernist style that defined journeys by air.

Prague Museum of Communism

Nestled with irony between a McDonald’s and a casino is Prague’s Museum of Communism (only the KGB Museum has a more deliciously ironic location, next door to the heavily guarded U.S. embassy).

RECENT LISTENS

You Only Listen Twice

Put on the headphones and prepare yourself for another swinging, occasionally baffling, journey through James Bond themed cash-in records.

The Sound of Spying

In the 1960s, there were dozens of James Bond music cash-in industry, offering nondescript but professionally competent renditions of popular Bond espionage TV show themes.

When Sex Leers Its Inquisitive Head

Riding the tide of popularity his portrayal of Jason King brought him, Peter Wyngarde was approached by RCA with the prospect of recording an album. Thus we start down the road toward infamy.

RECENT DRINKS & EATS

Blending In with Bond

James Bond, one of global culture’s most recognized imbibers, drinks no fewer than 317 drinks throughout the series of books authored by Ian Fleming.

Barflies and Boulevardiers

The Boulevardier appears in a section called “Cocktails Round Town,”  — a boulevardier being someone who prowled the Parisian boulevards in search of revelry.

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