Very Flemingesque Elements in the Bond Films (without a corresponding Literary Bond source)?

DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache
edited October 2017 in Bond Movies Posts: 14,032
So, in this thread I want us to discuss what is says in the thread title up there. Namely, which scenes or elements, or lines of dialogue (or whatever you like), do you feel are very Flemingesque in nature but yet which do not have a corresponding source in the Fleming literary Bond canon? Of Fleming, but not Fleming, if you will.

So, in other words, things that the assembled writers of the Bond films, from the classic Bond Richard Maibaum era onward to the current rebooted Bond era of Purvis and Wade, have thought up all by themselves without adapting or otherwise relying on the works of Ian Fleming.

So, I think that's all clear enough. I'd love to hear your choices for this.

In the meantime, I will leave you with just one of mine to illustrate the point, that I thought of when the idea for this thread came to me idly earlier this year.

It comes from the pen of Tom Mankiewicz/Richard Maibaum. The film is The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) and I think it's a brilliantly written scene, worthy of Fleming but obviously not written by him in the source novel. It's a good encapsulation of what James Bond is and represents - "When I kill, it's on the specific orders of my government. And those I kill are themselves killers." That's a great encapsulation of James Bond's raison d'être all neatly gift-wrapped up in one short scene. It's powerful writing, and at the same time, the most Flemingesque thing not to come from Fleming's literary Bond. It's therefore, in my view, the perfect scene to illustrate and encapsulate the reasoning behind this thread. Here's the scene:



I may have a few more to add of my own later, but for now I'd love to hear your choices! :)
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Comments

  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Defender of Timothy Dalton, George Lazenby, Éric Serra & Bond '83!
    Posts: 5,279
    I agree the dinner scene in TMWTGG is very Flemingesque, I'd even argue it's Moore's finest moment in the role.

    Licence to Kill is also packed with many Flemingesque moments like the scene where Bond has coffee with Sanchez or this one:

  • Posts: 684
    Excellent idea for a topic!

    How about the Quantum meeting at the opera in QOS?
  • All good choices. I'd add Bond killing Sanchez in LTK and stumbling off into the desert. Fleming's Bond seemed to end up exhausted and bloodied like that quite often (DN and TB are the first ones that comes to mind but I'm sure there are more). The Rolls Royce picking up Bond and Madeline in SP always struck me as Flemingesque, but that might just be because it was an old car. The bit on Silva's island with the duelling pistols is another good one imo.

    I've always thought TWINE had a general air of Fleming about it as well. I could just imagine the detailed way he'd write certain scenes, like Elektra in the casino.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    edited October 2017 Posts: 30,197
    I've long thought that the entire encounter between Bond and Mr. Slate in QOS rang of Fleming.

    Also Silva's origin and monologue could have come from Fleming.
  • Posts: 300
    Skyfall: Bond recovering on the beach, swallowing the pills, drinking with the locals, feeling miserable in the morning.
  • Interestingly, the word association from SF - not so much the scene itself, but certain of Bond's responses.

    "Sunlight."
    "Swim."
    "Moonlight."
    "Dance."

    I've long felt a tinge of Fleming from that, as part of that shared identity between the real man, Fleming, and the literary character he poured his own personality into, Bond. Both men sought to enjoy life, to suck the marrow out of it, largely by indulging in its pleasures. The "swim" line here particularly evokes that for me, and has often conjured up images of Fleming swimming at Goldeneye, just as book-Bond was wont to do in various sun-soaked locales.

    (Granted, I can't see Bond, Fleming's or Craig's versions, dancing much, but it still fits the theme of living with vitality, and absorbing the vibrancy the world has to offer. It seems to jibe with Fleming's intensely descriptive prose, and, while I can't be sure, I could swear he referenced things, people, and/or animals "dancing" in the environment at some point or another in the books. It's been a long while since I've read them. At any rate, "dance" feels like it's in the same ballpark as just "have fun in the evening," which I can definitely see Bond doing, drink in his hand and girl by his side, so it doesn't seem to make too much of a difference.)
  • edited October 2017 Posts: 523
    The poisoning of Bond at the card table in CASINO ROYALE, a scene that does not appear in the novel but seems like something Fleming would have devised.
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 2,521
    All good choices. I'd add Bond killing Sanchez in LTK and stumbling off into the desert.

    Now you mention it, something very similar happens in DAF. In that instance it's Leiter who rocks up to give him a ride out of the California desert.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    Not sure what reaction this will get but the centrifuge sequence in MR?

    Not played for laughs at all and one of the very few times in the series Rog looks in serious trouble.

    A far better sequence than the rack in TB IMO.

    A few others off the top of my head:

    OP - 009 clown sequence in East Berlin, sheeps head for dinner.
    AVTAK - Villain cheating at horse racing, breathing from the tire.
    DAD - Raoul's cigar factory cover, a fencing sequence (although obviously not turning into the ludicrous scene we get in the film that demolishes the place).
    QOS - The character of Camille with her murdered family and then curling up into a ball to die at the end.
    SF - Agree with @Smirnoff_Purple that the word association scene feels Flemingesque (also agree that 'dance' jars slightly).


  • RoadphillRoadphill United Kingdom
    Posts: 950
    A few scenes from FYEO. The one where Bond explains the pitfalls of revenge to Melina. The killing of Loque. And finally the exchange with Gogol at the climax of the film.
  • ForYourEyesOnlyForYourEyesOnly In the untained cradle of the heavens
    Posts: 1,984
  • ForYourEyesOnlyForYourEyesOnly In the untained cradle of the heavens
    edited October 2017 Posts: 1,984
    Not sure what reaction this will get but the centrifuge sequence in MR?

    Not played for laughs at all and one of the very few times in the series Rog looks in serious trouble.

    A far better sequence than the rack in TB IMO.

    A few others off the top of my head:

    OP - 009 clown sequence in East Berlin, sheeps head for dinner.
    AVTAK - Villain cheating at horse racing, breathing from the tire.
    DAD - Raoul's cigar factory cover, a fencing sequence (although obviously not turning into the ludicrous scene we get in the film that demolishes the place).
    QOS - The character of Camille with her murdered family and then curling up into a ball to die at the end.
    SF - Agree with @Smirnoff_Purple that the word association scene feels Flemingesque (also agree that 'dance' jars slightly).

    On a more serious note, agreed with all of this.

    I think some of Bond's general responses to Zorin in conversation could've been made by Fleming's Bond as well.

    Bond's interrogation of Pushkin in The Living Daylights is another very good candidate. Or even his response to Saunders' death.
  • RoadphillRoadphill United Kingdom
    Posts: 950
    Not sure what reaction this will get but the centrifuge sequence in MR?

    Not played for laughs at all and one of the very few times in the series Rog looks in serious trouble.

    A far better sequence than the rack in TB IMO.

    A few others off the top of my head:

    OP - 009 clown sequence in East Berlin, sheeps head for dinner.
    AVTAK - Villain cheating at horse racing, breathing from the tire.
    DAD - Raoul's cigar factory cover, a fencing sequence (although obviously not turning into the ludicrous scene we get in the film that demolishes the place).
    QOS - The character of Camille with her murdered family and then curling up into a ball to die at the end.
    SF - Agree with @Smirnoff_Purple that the word association scene feels Flemingesque (also agree that 'dance' jars slightly).

    On a more serious note, agreed with all of this.

    I think some of Bond's general responses to Zorin in conversation could've been made by Fleming's Bond as well.

    Bond's interrogation of Pushkin in The Living Daylights is another very good candidate. Or even his response to Saunders' death.

    Agreed on Zorin. I know Rog was a bit too old by this point, but I really liked his performance in AVTAK. He came across straight and serious, and he appeared to truly despise Zorin. It was a nice contrast to a lot of the fairly genial exchanges between his and Connery's Bond's with their respective villains.
  • Posts: 1,162
    @Dragonpol
    "When I kill, it's on the specific orders of my government. And those I kill are themselves killers."

    Still this is not the definition of a 00 agent.
    Neither the Japanese code decipher in New York nor the double agent in Stockholm which Bond killed and earned his 00 status with where killers themselves.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Digitalia
    Posts: 40,195
    The close-up of the lizard in QOS. Fleming often used descriptions of animals as an opening to something else.
  • RoadphillRoadphill United Kingdom
    Posts: 950
    Interesting that so many of these Fleming-esque moments mentioned are in the Moore films, the era that is often associated with the biggest departure from Fleming.
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    Posts: 4,289
    Good point @Thunderfinger

    The whole first third-ish of SF feels vaguely Flemingesque, what with Bond's struggle with apathy.
  • edited October 2017 Posts: 12,314
    Roadphill wrote: »
    Not sure what reaction this will get but the centrifuge sequence in MR?

    Not played for laughs at all and one of the very few times in the series Rog looks in serious trouble.

    A far better sequence than the rack in TB IMO.

    A few others off the top of my head:

    OP - 009 clown sequence in East Berlin, sheeps head for dinner.
    AVTAK - Villain cheating at horse racing, breathing from the tire.
    DAD - Raoul's cigar factory cover, a fencing sequence (although obviously not turning into the ludicrous scene we get in the film that demolishes the place).
    QOS - The character of Camille with her murdered family and then curling up into a ball to die at the end.
    SF - Agree with @Smirnoff_Purple that the word association scene feels Flemingesque (also agree that 'dance' jars slightly).

    On a more serious note, agreed with all of this.

    I think some of Bond's general responses to Zorin in conversation could've been made by Fleming's Bond as well.

    Bond's interrogation of Pushkin in The Living Daylights is another very good candidate. Or even his response to Saunders' death.

    Agreed on Zorin. I know Rog was a bit too old by this point, but I really liked his performance in AVTAK. He came across straight and serious, and he appeared to truly despise Zorin. It was a nice contrast to a lot of the fairly genial exchanges between his and Connery's Bond's with their respective villains.

    That's one of my problems with DAF. They're supposed to be arch enemies but the way Bond and Blofeld interact is so friendly. I get that there's always the whole thin veil of politeness between Bond and the villains but they took it way too far in that one imo. But it has been too long since we had some proper sparring between Bond and the villain. I guess Le Chiffre was the last time? There was Green but aside from that scene at the party I can't really remember any and in that case it was more outright threatening. I really liked his interactions with Silva and Blofeld but that was different because they're villains and don't pretend otherwise. I'm talking about when Bond is undercover. I think the first Kingsman did that really well with the whole "do you like spy movies" exchange and the scene in the shop later on, the new one was missing those great interactions between Firth and Jackson.

    I love Bond and Zorin's interactions too. It's one of the things that save AVTAK from drifting too close to the bottom of the pack for me. I love it when Bond does the whole "this isn't over, my government will notice I'm gone, 00 whoever will replace me" routine and Zorin replies "well if you're the best they've got I imagine they're more likely to want to cover up your sheer incompetence". The script has quite a few good lines actually.

    If Moore was a few years younger and the plot was better then that could have been a great film imo because Zorin and Mayday were a great pair and he had a brilliant backstory, the Bond/villain dynamic was perfect, Barry's score is one of his best, etc. It has a lot going for it.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache
    edited October 2017 Posts: 14,032
    @Dragonpol
    "When I kill, it's on the specific orders of my government. And those I kill are themselves killers."

    Still this is not the definition of a 00 agent.
    Neither the Japanese code decipher in New York nor the double agent in Stockholm which Bond killed and earned his 00 status with where killers themselves.

    That's quite true of course. I suppose Bond was referring more generally to the sort of villain he comes up against in assignments and not the two initial assassinations that got him the double-O job in the first place.
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    Posts: 4,289
    They didn't kill anyone directly, but how about indirectly?
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache
    Posts: 14,032
    royale65 wrote: »
    They didn't kill anyone directly, but how about indirectly?

    Yes, good point.
  • Posts: 1,162
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    royale65 wrote: »
    They didn't kill anyone directly, but how about indirectly?

    Yes, good point.

    I don't question that point at all. Still they themselves weren't killers. In case of the Japanese he just did the same job that those brilliant guys on the Allied side did, who tried to decipher the enigma machine.
  • ForYourEyesOnlyForYourEyesOnly In the untained cradle of the heavens
    edited October 2017 Posts: 1,984
    Roadphill wrote: »
    Interesting that so many of these Fleming-esque moments mentioned are in the Moore films, the era that is often associated with the biggest departure from Fleming.

    Definitely. The man was fully capable of playing it straight and tough when he needed to. Quite a few Moore fans on this forum consider him one of the more Fleming-esque Bonds, actually, at least his early iterations (I wouldn't discount his later ones at all, though).
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,197
    Especially in his first two outings.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 4,235
    Not sure what reaction this will get but the centrifuge sequence in MR?

    Not played for laughs at all and one of the very few times in the series Rog looks in serious trouble.

    A far better sequence than the rack in TB IMO.

    A few others off the top of my head:

    OP - 009 clown sequence in East Berlin, sheeps head for dinner.
    AVTAK - Villain cheating at horse racing, breathing from the tire.
    DAD - Raoul's cigar factory cover, a fencing sequence (although obviously not turning into the ludicrous scene we get in the film that demolishes the place).
    QOS - The character of Camille with her murdered family and then curling up into a ball to die at the end.
    SF - Agree with @Smirnoff_Purple that the word association scene feels Flemingesque (also agree that 'dance' jars slightly).

    On a more serious note, agreed with all of this.

    I think some of Bond's general responses to Zorin in conversation could've been made by Fleming's Bond as well.


    Bond's interrogation of Pushkin in The Living Daylights is another very good candidate. Or even his response to Saunders' death.

    I was just thinking yesterday that some of Moore's best scenes as Bond are opposite Walken. Undoubtedly acting opposite such a seasoned (and offbeat) actor upped Moore's game considerably. "Killing Tibbett was a mistake," etc.
  • ForYourEyesOnlyForYourEyesOnly In the untained cradle of the heavens
    Posts: 1,984
    Yeah, he's great both outside the Rolls Royce and later when Zorin spots him "bungling in the dark".
  • Posts: 684
    Roadphill wrote: »
    Interesting that so many of these Fleming-esque moments mentioned are in the Moore films, the era that is often associated with the biggest departure from Fleming.

    Definitely. The man was fully capable of playing it straight and tough when he needed to. Quite a few Moore fans on this forum consider him one of the more Fleming-esque Bonds, actually, at least his early iterations (I wouldn't discount his later ones at all, though).
    I have always, always (since I was a kid) exclusively imagined Moore as Bond in my mind's eye when reading the Fleming novels. I always thought it was an odd fluke, inexplicable, and never really put much thought into why.

    Reading through this thread (quite a few posts here and there have put me in mind of this since I've joined, actually) I'm becoming increasingly convinced this was no fluke, and that my subconscious had it right all along.
  • RoadphillRoadphill United Kingdom
    Posts: 950
    I am glad that so many people see the other side of Moore on here.

    Whilst I wouldn't contend he was the best(that honour goes to Mr.Connery) he is most certainly my favourite.

  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Defender of Timothy Dalton, George Lazenby, Éric Serra & Bond '83!
    Posts: 5,279
    The character of Elektra King feels also quite Flemingesque to me.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    edited October 2017 Posts: 9,117
    @Dragonpol
    "When I kill, it's on the specific orders of my government. And those I kill are themselves killers."

    Still this is not the definition of a 00 agent.
    Neither the Japanese code decipher in New York nor the double agent in Stockholm which Bond killed and earned his 00 status with where killers themselves.

    Agreed.

    I'm uncomfortable with this constant labelling of Bond during the Craig era as a mere 'assassin'.

    An assassin's only purpose is to kill. Leon is an assassin, The Jackal is an assassin.

    A 00 agent's primary job is to protect Britain's interests and if that necessitates killing someone then he is authorised to do it.

    The only examples of M sending Bond to just kill someone I can think of in the novels is Von Hammerstein in FYEO (and that is personal revenge off the books) and Trigger in TLD (and that is self defence to protect 272).

    Bond has never been sent to carry out a SMERSH style assassination a la Georgi Markov.

    The Japanese cipher clerk and the double agent in Stockholm are presented in Pearson's autobiography as straight out state sanctioned killings if I recall but Fleming never gives us much detail about these jobs so we can't be sure in canon what actually happened.
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