The James Bond movies are an awesome franchise, but as you no doubt have heard, the Bond books are quite different from their 60’s/70’s/80’s/90’s movie adaptations. The movie adaptations focused on the elaborate plots of Flemings’ super villains, and creating cheesy idiosyncrasies of the James Bond character, while forgetting the smarts of the writing.
Casino Royale is the closest movie depiction of James Bond in the books. It portrays the character as a strong bastard; as hard a thug as he was in the books. It developed the character like no movie before it had, and it was pretty awesome to watch.
Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, and future James Bond adaptations, as faithful as they will be under new writing and direction, will still miss a little something that made the books golden.
Here is a little snippet from Goldfinger, where Ian Fleming muses on the connection between homosexuality and meterosexuals (he’s ahead of his time, here). This is James Bond’s reaction when he finds out the woman he is attracted to is a lesbian:
Bond came to the conclusion that Tilly Masterson was one of those girls whose hormones had got mixed up. He knew the type well and thought they and their male counterparts were a direct consequence of giving votes to women and ‘sex equality’. As a result of fifty years of emancipation, feminine qualities were dying out or being transferred to the males. Pansies of both sexes were everywhere, not yet completely homosexual, but confused, not knowing what they were. The result was a herd of unhappy sexual misfits – barren and full of frustrations, the woman wanting to dominate and the men to be nannied.
Hopefully, this, and the socially accepted racism – which is mostly against Koreans in Goldfinger, makes it into the future movies.
Okay, maybe not. But it’s still amazing to notice the attitudes of the time in Goldfinger, and even more amazing to notice that the majority of the people who follow the James Bond films have no idea about it.
Thanks to Mr Gale, over at the Frostiest Dog, for recommending Goldfinger.