Diamonds Are Forever

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.

From Donald to Dean

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?

La Dolce Amaro

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.

Lady Day on Swing Street

There are few moments more perfect than walking into a dimly lit old bar late at night and hearing a Billie Holiday song. “These Foolish Things” is practically custom made for sliding onto a stool and ordering an Old Fashioned as you prop your elbows up on the bar and think about lost loves and life’s regrets.Few American artists seem to have captured the melancholy of 2am quite like the woman who would become known as Lady Day.

The Chairman, The Poet, and The Dancer

On 52nd Street, New York's one-time Swing Street, is a Russian restaurant that once served as a meeting place for political exiles and dissidents from the Soviet Union, one of whom was a famous poet, another the most famous ballet dancer in the world. But before that, the place was owned by a guy named Jilly Rizzo, and it was Frank Sinatra's home away from home.

Martini and Myth

The Martini has been around since the mid-to-late 1800s. Its life has spanned the Industrial Revolution, two world wars, Prohibition, the Great Depression, the Summer of Love, disco, punk, and Hammer Pants. It has been in style, out of fashion, and subject to the peculiar and not always trustworthy whims of the American drinker.

Moonraker

Moonraker opens with Bond dealing with the mundane daily tasks of his job. We find out that he’s really only on book-worthy assignments a few times a year, and the bulk of his time is occupied with reading through dossiers and doing paperwork. Naturally, these quaint moments of "just another day at the offices of MI6" don’t last long. Bond is soon called in to M’s office for, he discovers, a purely personal matter...or so it seems at first.