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James Bond

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James Bond is a fictional character, a sophisticated British spy invented by and appearing in books by Ian Fleming (and later Kingsley Amis, John Gardner and Raymond Benson). Bond has the code name of 007, pronounced "double-oh seven." The 'double-oh' prefix indicates a 'licence to kill', that is, permission to use deadly force at his discretion in the course of his duty. There is a highly successful and durable series of films (mostly released by either United Artists or MGM), and some notable video games about the character.

"James Bond" has entered popular culture and language, with people using the phrase to describe something stealthy and/or futuristic: "right out of James Bond", "James Bond style security," and so on.

Table of contents
1 Personal Information
2 Overview
3 Bond Characters
4 Bond Bits
5 Books
6 Films
7 Bond Vehicles
8 Video Games
9 Parody
10 See also
11 External links
12 James Bond (ornithologist)

Personal Information

James Bond is the son of a Scottish father, Andrew Bond, and a Swiss mother, Monique Delacroix, both of whom are dead from a climbing accident by the time of the books and movies. He went to school briefly at Eton College. In the movies he has a degree in Oriental Languages from Cambridge University, although this contradicts the information in the novels and the scene in Tomorrow Never Dies where Bond is unable to use a computer with a Chinese keyboard. He served in the Royal Navy before joining the Secret Service and holds the rank of Commander. In both the book and movie versions of On Her Majesty's Secret Service he marries, but his wife is killed the same day by his greatest enemy, Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

The literary (Fleming's) Bond was born in 1924, lying about his age entered the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve in 1941, gaining the rank of Commander by the end of the war.


Bond movies are known for their villains, women (most of whom end up in bed with Bond), gadgetry manufactured by "Q", and stunts. Most had little to do with the real activities of intelligence agencies, involving Bond in violent acts of derring-do to save the world from various apocalyptic madmen. The madmen invariably attempt to kill Bond using elaborate methods, from which Bond escapes after the gloating villain gives him the critical information necessary to thwart his plot. Despite the films' description as "thrillers," Bond's character is rarely troubled, regardless of the odds facing him. Many of the original books have a much darker tone however, with fewer fantasy elements and gadgetry.

Bond is employed by the British Secret Intelligence Service, or MI6, a real-life institution. His superiors are known by single letters such as M and Q, a practice which is also used in the real institution where the chief, for example, is known as C.

Bond's female companions are often given names that are double entendres, leading to a succession of jokes. Examples include "Pussy Galore" in Goldfinger, "Plenty O'Toole" in Diamonds Are Forever, and "Xenia Onatopp" (a villain who gets sexually excited by strangling men between her shapely thighs) in GoldenEye. Despite Bond's attitudes towards women, most of these leading ladies end up, if not in love with him, at least subdued by him.

Bond films began to look increasingly outdated throughout the 1980s, with the main character's sexism and the fixation with glamorous locations looking anachronistic, and his unruffled exterior increasingly incongruous when compared to movies such as Die Hard. After a relatively unsuccessful attempt to turn Bond in a harder-edged direction with Timothy Dalton as the main character, the 1990s revival with Pierce Brosnan in the lead role has been successful.

At least a little of the Bond character was based on the life of its creator, who was noted for his glamorous lifestyle (including a fair number of female companions). The character is also believed to have been inspired by several of Fleming's contemporaries in British Intelligence during World War Two. The famous Estoril Casino in Estoril, Portugal is credited as the birthplace of Bond. The Casino was a home away from home for many spies operating during World War II, with Portugal operating as a neutral ground during the conflict. Fleming was inspired by the atmosphere at the Casino, where much of Europe's royalty mingled openly with many of the world's covert agencies.

The first actor to play Bond was American Barry Nelson, in a 1954 CBS TV production of Casino Royale. In 1956, Bob Holness played the spy in a South African radio dramatisation of Moonraker.

James Bond is a moderate to heavy drinker, having consumed 100 alcoholic beverages in his films up to 2002, and more than 250 in Ian Fleming's novels. In the films, he has champagne 32 times, and drinks 20 vodka martinis.

James Bond is a household name (arguably the most successful fictional character ever) and has had a definitive impact on the spy genre, including some parodies like Casino Royale (1967), the Austin Powers movies, and Johnny English (2003). In the 1960s, the success of the 007 films inspired numerous television imitators, including The Man From U.N.C.L.E (to which Ian Fleming contributed, and the name "Napoleon Solo" was originally the name of a crime boss in Fleming's Goldfinger), I Spy, Get Smart, and The Wild Wild West.

Video games have been released based on all the movies from A View to a Kill (1985) onwards. There have also been a number of James Bond video games not based on an existing story.

Bond Characters

Reoccurring Characters:

Bond Bits


by Ian Fleming

Fleming himself wrote twelve Bond novels. In order of publication, they are:
  1. Casino Royale (1953)
  2. Live and Let Die (1954)
  3. Moonraker (1955)
  4. Diamonds are Forever (1956)
  5. From Russia with Love (1957)
  6. Dr. No (1958)
  7. Goldfinger (1959)
  8. Thunderball (1961) - with others. Because of controversy surrounding Thunderball's conception, this led to film-rights wranglings
  9. The Spy Who Loved Me (1962) - Told from the point of view of a woman who meets James Bond -
  10. On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963)
  11. You Only Live Twice (1964)
  12. The Man with the Golden Gun (1965)

He also wrote two compilations of short stories featuring the character: Almost all of these stories later served as the basis (though sometimes little beyond the title) for Bond films. One additional short-short story, "007 in New York", appeared in Fleming's collection of travel essays, Thrilling Cities (1964).

by other authors

Other writers have written sequels since the death of Fleming, the first being Colonel Sun, by Kingsley Amis (writing as Robert Markham) in 1968.

In 1981, the series was revived, with new novels being written by John Gardner and then Raymond Benson.

John Gardner

  1. License Renewed (1981)
  2. For Special Services (1982)
  3. Icebreaker (1983)
  4. Role of Honour (1984)
  5. Nobody Lives Forever (1986)
  6. No Deals, Mr. Bond (1987)
  7. Scorpius (1987)
  8. Win, Lose or Die (1989)
  9. Brokenclaw (1990)
  10. The Man From Barbarossa (1991)
  11. Death is Forever (1992)
  12. Never Send Flowers (1993)
  13. SeaFire (1994)
  14. COLD (1996) (retitled Cold Fall for American publication)

Raymond Benson

  1. Zero Minus Ten (1997)
  2. The Facts of Death (1998)
  3. High Time to Kill (1999)
  4. Doubleshot (2000)
  5. Never Dream of Dying (2001)
  6. \The Man with the Red Tattoo (2002)

Benson also wrote three James Bond short stories; "Blast from the Past" which appeared in the January 1997 issue of
Playboy, "Midsummer Nights Doom" which appeared in the January 1999 issue of Playboy, and "Live at Five" which appeared in TV Guide in 1999.

In addition to the above novels, there were seven "novelizations" which were books based on the screenplays of Bond films.

Raymond Benson has retired from writing Bond books. It is unknown whether the series will be continued with a new author.

The Young James Bond

In April 2004, Ian Fleming Publications announced a new series of James Bond books was on it's way. However, instead of picking up where Ray Benson left off, this new series of books would be about a 13 year old Bond. These new novels will be writted by Charlie Higson (The Fast Show).


Fans of Bond films tend to have their own favourite actor who has played the part. Sean Connery played him as the tough guy, always ready with the clenched fist beneath the polished exterior. George Lazenby, though only appearing for one film, is one of the most controversial Bond actors, being simultaneously loved and despised by Bond fans. Roger Moore's Bond was much older, smoother and more sophisticated, rarely getting a hair out of place while saving the world. The films of Timothy Dalton attempted to take Bond back to the darker roots of the books, making him a more complex and troubled character. Pierce Brosnan, the current Bond actor, is widely regarded as portraying Bond with a mix of Connnery's raw masculinity and Moore's suavity.

Note: The sequence numbers, where given, are those used by the makers of the "mainstream/official" Bond films.

starring Barry Nelson

starring Sean Connery

starring David Niven

starring George Lazenby

starring Roger Moore

starring Timothy Dalton

starring Pierce Brosnan

Recently, MGM has managed to acquire the distribution rights to the Casino Royale spoof and Never Say Never Again (due to a legal settlement with Kevin McClory, who formerly held the story rights to Thunderball and was responsible for making Never Say Never Again), and thus now owns nearly all 'Bond Films'.

other films pertaining to James Bond

Bond Vehicles

Among the most noteworthy gadgets Bond has been equipped with has been various vehicles that have numerous modifications to include weapons systems, anti-pursuit systems, alternate transportation modes and various other functions.



Marine Vehicles

Video Games

Note: There are a lot of older James Bond games that aren't listed here. The ones listed below are more recent.

In the Fall of 2004 EA Games will release GoldenEye: Rogue Agent for XBox, PlayStation2 and GameCube consoles. This will be the first game where you will not take on the role of James Bond, but rather an aspiring 00 Agent recruited by Auric Goldfinger, the villian in the movie Goldfinger. The movie to which this game gets it's name will actually have nothing to do with the game nor does Rogue Agent have anything to do with the previous game, GoldenEye (Nintendo 64).


There were several parodies of the Bond novels in the 1960's.

Michael K. Frith and Christopher B. Cerf of the Harvard Lampoon wrote Alligator by I*n Fl*m*ng in 1962. Another J*mes B*nd story entitled "Toadstool" appeared in a Playboy parody published by the Lampoon. The cover of "Alligator" closely parodies the Signet covers for the Fleming novels, even including a short Fl*m*ng biography, and a list of nonexistent B*nd novels including "Lightingrod", "From Berlin, Your Obedient Servant", and "Scuba Do - Or Die".

Sol Weinstein wrote four novels about Israel Bond, Agent Oy-Oy-Seven, beginning in 1965: Loxfinger, Matzohball, In the Secret Service of His Majesty - the Queen, and You Only Live Until You Die.

Cyril Connoly wrote a short story Bond Strikes Camp which satirized a homosexual relationship between M and Bond.

William Henley Knoles, under the pseudonym of Clyde Allison, wrote a series of twenty novels between 1965 and 1968 about Agent 0008, a thinly disguised version of Bond. The books were more action/soft core S&M stories than legitimate satire, but their scarcity has made them sought after Bond collectibles. The series ran: Our Man From Sadisto, Our Girl From Mephisto, Nautipuss, Go-Go Sadisto, The Desdamona Affair, Gamefinger, Sadisto Royale, 0008 Meets Gnatman, For Your Sighs Only, The Lust Bomb, The Merciless Mermaids, Mondo Sadisto, 0008 Meets Modesta Blaze, The Sex-Ray, Roburta The Conqueress, From Rapture With Love, The Ice Maiden, The Sin Funnel, Platypussy, and The Desert Damsels.

The James Bond movies have also been repeatedly parodied:

See also

External links

James Bond (ornithologist)

James Bond is also the name of the American ornithologist who wrote Birds of the West Indies. This book was first published in 1936, is now in its fifth edition and is still in print (ISBN 0618002103). He was born 1900 in Philadelphia, USA, deceased 1989) was Curator of Birds in the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. Ian Fleming, who was a keen bird watcher living in Jamaica, was familiar with Bond's book, and he chose the name of its author for the hero of Casino Royale in 1953, apparently because he wanted a name that sounded 'as ordinary as possible'. James Bond (spy) can be seen examining what appears to be this book in Die Another Day.

(It's also interesting to note that the mid-1920's story "The Rajah's Emerald" by Agatha Christie is centered around a very proper British character named James Bond. Incidentally, the inspiration for Bond's number came from Rudyard Kipling's railroad stories, which centered around a train called 007.)

A 1997 New York Times article on Ian Fleming refers to Bond as "the late ornithologist."

Terance James Bond is the name of an ornithological and wildlife artist born in 1946 in Suffolk, Britain.