Riding the tide of Jason King, Wyngarde was approached by RCA with the prospect of recording an album. Getting popular TV personalities to record albums was all the rage, and when they promised Wyngarde complete creative freedom, he agreed. And thus we start down the road toward infamy.
The Moneypenny Diaries is presented as excerpts from the secret diary of Jane “Miss” Moneypenny. It's a complex, bittersweet, even realistic alternate point of view of James Bond, as well as a meditation on the politics of the 1960s and the impact of Bond’s lifestyle and attitude on those around him — especially the women. It’s also a damn sight better than most of the official Bond continuation novels.
Kerwin Matthews has the hair for the role of OSS 117, but he lacks the cool. There’s no swagger, no menace. The clothes don’t look as cool on him as they do on Sean Connery. He is underwhelming in a genre which demands a lot more. As a result, OSS 117 is Unleashed doesn’t feel very unleashed., but I guess you can’t lure them in with OSS 117 is Sufficient.
During the making of GoldenEye, Bond producers started planning for a sequel. Crime fiction writer Donald Westlake was hired to write the screenplay. The process never resulted in a finished movie, but it did give Westlake fodder to rework into Forever and a Death.
If Diamonds are Forever is any indication of the man's mindset, then Fleming was either tired of the formula established in his previous books or simply didn't know what to do. Diamonds are Forever is different from its predecessors though still enjoyable even if it's not what people might have expected after Moonraker and Live and Let Die.
Donald Hamilton's Matt Helm series followed the exploits of a bitter, disillusioned assassin pressed back into service against his will and saddled with an endless series of depressing, violent assignments. They're tough, noirish, world-weary novels. So how come, when it came time to adapt them into movies, we ended up with a boozy Dean Martin making juvenile sex jokes and sliding ass-first down a mountain while waving around a ray gun?
By the time he sat down at the desk in his Jamaican villa to write Casino Royale, mid-century cocktail culture was growing rapidly. By the 1960s, the time of the first adaptation of one of Fleming’s 007 novels into a movie, cocktail culture was in full bloom. The Americano seems a fairly nondescript drink with which to kick off such a legendary drinking career as that of James Bond, though it’s doubtful that at the time he was writing Casino Royale Ian Fleming was thinking that the Americano would be examined as the drink that started an international phenomenon.