Friday, October 19, 2012

Bond by Numbers

Little known fact:  I once spent a summer watching every James Bond movie ever made, in order.

Thus, I enjoyed this chart from the Economist about the differences between the Bonds.

By themselves they're fairly fluff, watching them in order shows some interesting things about societal trends. Everything from the theme song, special effects and villians to the choice of Bond girl to the demeanor of Bond himself shows a lot about what the particular era valued.  I'm sure there's been a PhD thesis written on this somewhere, it's really quite fascinating.

Sean Connery was my favorite Bond, though I did like On Her Majesties Secret Service more than most.  Daniel Craig updated the series nicely for my generation, making it quite a bit darker than previous years.  


  1. Updated = darker? I would like your take on that, and I am going to ask Jonathan and Ben the same. I am not going to ask Ryan or John-Adrian about that, even as a joke.

    My fantasy superpower has always been time travel (invisibility would be second), and I always thought I would use it to be a Bond sort of character. Of course, the Bond girls would all be William and Mary sorts, who would find the very idea of being a Bond girl uproarious. James Bond meets Jane Austen - now there's a steampunk novel someone should write.

    Nonetheless, I would like your take on the evolution of Bond girls as well. Except remember, I won't recognise any of the names, so you will have to capture them verbally.

    1. Dubbahdee pretty much got it. Cartoonish violence goes to real violence, etc.

      I'll ponder the Bond girl evolution a bit more. I was thinking both superficial things (hairstyles etc) and their general muscle tone (more recent girls could really fight, earlier girls were more sneaky evil). Also, he slaps them a lot in earlier movies. Not so now.

      Additionally, they tend to pepper in "exotic" girls, and the definition of that changes often (Russian, then Japanese, then more mixed race).

  2. AVI, regarding capturing the names of Bond girls verbally, are you referring to the names of the actresses, or the names of the characters? It makes a difference -- as far as "capturing them verbally." ;-)

  3. The Daniel Craig Bond has done the same thing for the Bond franchise that the Dark Knight has done for Batman. It stripped off the tongue-in-cheek campy foolishness of earlier incarnations and took the material seriously.

    If that's "darker" then so be it.

    For my money, Craig is clearly the best -- and I'm no longer a youngster.

  4. For some reason Craig reminds me of Putin.

    The description of their evolution should involve movie clips.