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The A to Z of James Bond in film

From Aston Martin to Max Zorin - via kung fu, toupes and product placement - Paul Jones undertakes an alphabetical analysis of on-screen 007

Published: Thursday, 4th December 2014 at 10:20 am

A is for... Aston Martin – The original Bondmobile, the DB5 Silver Birch – number plate BMT 216A – was created especially for 007 to drive in Goldfinger, and reappears in Thunderball. GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies feature another DB5, registration BMT 214A, while Daniel Craig drives an updated version in Casino Royale and is back behind the wheel of the 216A for Skyfall. Various different models of the homegrown Aston Martin feature in four other films, ensuring Bond always keeps the British big end up


B is for... Blofeld, Ernst Stavro – Bond’s arch-nemesis – head of criminal organisation SPECTRE – first appears, from the waist down only, in trademark cat-stroking mode in From Russia with Love. His full-bodied debut – complete with facial scar and safari leisure suit – is in 1967's You Only Live Twice, as played by Donald Pleasance. Fellow baldy Telly Savalas follows in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, but when Charles Gray takes over in Diamonds are Forever, he boasts a full head of hair, and Max Von Sydow’s non-canonical Never Say Never Again Blofeld has a beard. This all fits with Ian Fleming’s original concept of the villain as a chameleon of crime, willing to change his appearance using plastic surgery (not to mention hair transplants) in order to stay out of the clutches of his enemies. Who knows, one day maybe he'll turn up looking like Benedict Cumberbatch (left)

C is for... Casino Royale – No, not Daniel Craig’s first Bond outing but the 1967 Austin Powers-style spoof, which saw David Niven’s ageing James Bond facing off against criminal “mastermind” Dr Noah, played by Woody Allen. As chaotic and non-canonical as it sounds but filled with famous cameos (including former Bond girl Ursula Andress) and, all in all, a lot of fun (which would no doubt have Ian Fleming turning in his grave)

D is for... Drink – He sips Dom Perignon, knocks back countless different cocktails and, in Diamonds are Forever, uses his knowledge of wine to uncover an assassin posing as a waiter (Mouton-Rothschild is a claret, you philistine). But James Bond’s tipple of choice is, of course, the Martini – “shaken, not stirred". It’s first referred to by Dr No, and requested by Bond numerous times subsequently, while in You Only Live Twice it’s offered “stirred, not shaken” (although 007 lets that pass). When Daniel Craig ordered his first Martini after losing millions at the poker table in Casino Royale, the writers were all too aware of the audience's expectations – so when the bartender asked him how he'd like his drink, they had 007 snap back "Do I look like I give a damn?" In Quantum of Solace, 007 shares Ian Fleming's recipe for the drink, otherwise known as the Vesper: "Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large slice of lemon peel. Got it?”

E is for... Eon – The UK film production company was started in 1961 by Albert R "Cubby" Broccoli and Harry Saltzman while they hunted for funding for first 007 outing, Dr No. It’s since produced all 23 official James Bond movies

F is for... Fourth wall – One-off Bond George Lazenby is the only 007 to break it, by speaking directly to the audience in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. His wry opening line, uttered after Diana Rigg had nicked his car: "This never happened to the other fellow," a nod to his predecessor, the original big-screen Bond, Sean Connery

G is for... Gadgets – From dagger shoes to gyrocopters, exploding toothpaste to rocket launching cigarettes (they really are bad for your health), 007 owes the success of many missions, not to mention his life, to those ingenious gadgets of Q’s (see Q)

H is for... Happy and Glorious – You’re no doubt aware of the right royal stunt Danny Boyle organised as part of the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, but did you know it had a name? Short film Happy and Glorious saw 007 picking the Queen up at the palace before the pair headed off in a helicopter for that bloomer-baring Union Jack parachute jump – after which, Her Majesty, neither shaken nor stirred, officially opened the Games

I is for... Innuendo – Come, come, don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. Bond girls called Pussy Galore, Holly Goodhead and Plenty O’Toole? One-liners like “I thought Christmas only comes once a year,” “You always were a cunning linguist” and “Keeping the British end up?” Bond wouldn’t be Bond without the 00ntendre

J is for... Jaws – The giant henchman with the metal teeth is one of the best villains in Bond (or in any movie franchise, for that matter). He puts that fearsome set of dentures to good (well, bad) use dispatching his enemies (including, in The Spy Who Loved Me, his namesake, a killer shark) – but on more than one occasion Bond has used Jaws’s teeth against him, electrocuting him with the bare wires of a table lamp and using a giant magnet to pick him up

K is for... Kung fu – In 1977 “Bruceploitation” movie Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, Bruce Lee is sent to hell, where he must battle a bizarre collection of adversaries including Dracula, a Chinese Clint Eastwood and – yes, you guessed it – James Bond. One for a rainy day?

L is for... Love – 007’s attitude to the ladies is perhaps easier to understand when you consider that the only two women he's ever really loved have ended up dead. Vesper Lynd (Eva Green, left) drowned in a submerged lift after betraying Bond, while Contessa Teresa "Tracy" Bond (née di Vicenzo) was killed by Blofeld in a drive-by shooting moments after the pair were married

M is for... Moneypenny – If Bond did ever settle down, he could do a lot worse than Miss Moneypenny, M’s secretary. The sexual frisson between 007 and his bevy of Moneypennys – including Lois Maxwell, Caroline Bliss and Samantha Bond (a coincidence, we're assured) – has been a constant source of entertainment, not to mention a rich vein of innuendo (see I)

N is for... Never Say Never Again – The ill-advised and non-canonical 1983 remake of Thunderball, in which a 52-year-old Connery returned to the role after having told the press in 1971 that he would “never again” play Bond

O is for... Old – At 46, Daniel Craig is no spring chicken when it comes to the rigours of international espionage. Spectre is only his fourth mission as Bond yet the powers that be are already talking about putting him out to pasture. Two more films would make him as prolific as original 007 Sean Connery, but by then (assuming modest two-year intervals between movies) he'd be 50 – pretty creaky for a spy. Speaking of which, Roger Moore is the oldest Bond to date, having first starred as 007 at the age of 44 and made his last appearance in 1985, aged 57. Moore is also the longest-serving Bond so far – if Craig matched his 13-year stint he'd be playing 007 until 2019

P is for... Product placement – If you left the cinema after watching Skyfall thirsting for a nice cold Heineken, it may not be entirely a coincidence. Bottles of the film’s official beer appear rather blatantly throughout, being sipped by 007 during his sojourn from work, and at one point even turning up in Q’s lab. Other sponsors’ products spotted in Bond films down the years range from BMWs and Omega watches in Tomorrow Never Dies to another beer, Red Stripe, in Dr No. None, however, have had quite such an invigorating effect as the Skyfall sponsor. According to reports, the $45 million Heineken paid is a record for product placement in a movie, and funded a third of the film’s budget

Q is for... Q – MI6 Quartermaster (Q) Major Boothroyd is the secret service armourer who supplies Bond with all those deadly little gadgets (see G). Desmond Llewelyn played Q from the second film, From Russia with Love, until 1999’s The World Is Not Enough (although, confusingly, he also appeared in 007’s initial outing, Dr No, as “the armourer”, while the character named Q was portrayed by Peter Burton). Following LLewelyn’s departure, Q’s assistant, played by John Cleese, acted as a stand-in, while in Skyfall Ben Wishaw is a youthful reboot

R is for... Reboot – When Daniel Craig took over from Pierce Brosnan in 2006, Bond went back to the beginning with an adaptation of the first Ian Fleming novel Casino Royale, which had never previously been given the movie treatment (except in extremely loose, highly spoofed form – see C). It was a smart move, introducing audiences to a less experienced, less hardened Bond and allowing for a new timeline, which meant no worries about continuity with previous 007s

S is for... Scottish – When he was first shown Dr No, Ian Fleming wasn’t keen on MGM’s choice of 007, but after warming to Connery later in his tenure, the author worked in a Scottish ancestry for Bond as a tribute to the Edinburgh-born actor

T is for... Toupé – A balding Sean Connery wore one for all his appearances as Bond, reminding the world “the character is not really me, after all”

U is for... Underwater - Underwater action has long been a staple of Bond movies. In Thunderball, Sean Connery fought SPECTRE frogmen and got slippery when wet with Bond girl Domino. In The Spy Who Loved Me, Roger Moore drove his Lotus Esprit into the sea, only for it to transform into a submarine, while villain Stromberg’s ocean lair Atlantis spent much of its time entirely submerged. And in Skyfall, Daniel Craig found himself fighting for his life beneath a frozen lake, though, unlike Moore, without the promise of any nookie afterwards

V is for... Viewers – millions of them. Back when there were just three TV channels competing for British audiences, Bond became the small screen's most watched film character of all time. 23.5 million people tuned in to the January 1980 premier of Live and Let Die on ITV – the biggest UK TV audience ever for a film – while in third and fourth place in the all-time table are The Spy Who Loved Me, watched by just shy of 23 million in 1982, and a 1981 showing of Diamonds Are Forever, seen by over 22 million

W is for… Women – (Take a deep breath, 007) Honey Ryder, Sylvia Trench, Miss Taro, Tatiana Romanova, Pussy Galore, Jill Masterson, Tilly Masterson, Dink, Bonita, Domino Derval, Fiona Volpe, Patricia Fearing, Paula Caplan, Mlle La Porte, Kissy Suzuki, Aki, Ling, Helga Brandt, Teresa di Vicenzo, Nancy, Ruby Bartlett, Tiffany Case, Marie, Plenty O'Toole, Bambi, Thumper, Solitaire, Rosie Carver, Miss Caruso, Mary Goodnight, Andrea Anders, Saida, Chew Mee, Anya “XXX” Amasova, Naomi, Felicca, Holly Goodhead, Corinne Dufour, Manuela, Melina Havelock, Countess Lisl von Schlaf, Bibi Dahl, Octopussy, Magda, Penelope Smallbone, Bianca, Stacey Sutton, Kimberley Jones, May Day, Pola Ivanova, Jenny Flex, Pan Ho, Kara Milovy, Rosika Miklos, Linda Rubavitch, Pam Bouvier, Lupe Lamora, Loti, Natalya Simonova, Xenia Onatopp, Caroline, Wai Lin, Paris Carver, Prof Inga Bergstrøm, Dr Christmas Jones, Elektra King, Dr Molly Warmflash, Giulietta da Vinci, Giacinta "Jinx" Johnson, Miranda Frost, Peaceful Fountains of Desire, Vesper Lynd, Solange Dimitrios, Camille Montes, Strawberry Fields, Sévérine and Eve Moneypenny – so far...

X is for… XXX - In the era of the arched eyebrow, at the height of the double enBondre, what better name for a female agent than XXX? If Bond hadn't gone there, Powers would have done. Barbara Bach was Russia's finest, vying with Bond for that staple of classic espioage the secret microfilm, and intending to kill him after the mission in revenge for the death of her lover. In the end, she found she couldn't pull the trigger and instead helped Roger Moore's Bond pop his (champagne) cork

Y is for… You Only Live Twice – The title of Bond 5 comes from a pseudo-haiku written by Ian Fleming in the source novel: "You only live twice/Once when you're born/And once when you look death in the face." Thankfully, Fleming mostly stuck to prose


Z is for... Zorin, Max – As the villain of A View to a Kill, Christopher Walken's blonde baddie Max Zorin marks the end of an era as well as the end of this alphabetical tour. The industrialist, former KGB agent and psycopathic product of Nazi steroid abuse was the final foe to face Roger Moore's 57-year-old 007


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