List of Bond pop culture references lost on modern audiences

w2bondw2bond is indeed a very rare breed
edited August 28 in Bond Movies Posts: 2,188
This is more relevant to younger members, but list the things in Bond that referenced pop culture at the time, or actors who were associated with other roles, but have faded into obscurity now. I was prompted to make this because I keep reading about people associating Telly Savalas with Kojak (and not Blofeld, negatively affecting their opinion of OHMSS), which means nothing to me aside from being Bond trivia.

DN - Stolen Duke of Wellington portrait
GF - "Beatles without earmuffs"
TB - Reference to Great Train Robbery
LALD - Mention of the phone monopoly
TMWTGG - Do viewers that started with Craig films know who Evel Knievel is?
OP - "Sit-tuh!" (Barbara Woodhouse dog training catch-phrase)
OP - Tennis jokes due to Bond's ally Vijay being professional tennis player Vijay Armitraj
TLD - Q refers to the boombox as a "ghetto blaster"
TND - "Don't Ask" "Don't Tell" - US military's policy on gays in the service, from 1993.

References to other movies:
FRWL - North by Northwest association (particularly the Helicopter vs Bond sequence)
FRWL - "One of Our Aircraft Is Missing" - I believe it references the 1942 film.
FRWL - Poster for "Call Me Bwana", produced by Cubby Broccoli and EON productions
TB - Bond says "Another Time, Another Place", referring to Connery's 1958 movie
TSWLM - Playing the theme from Lawrence Of Arabia when Bond and Anya walk through the desert.
MR - Using Close Encounter Of The Third Kind as the keynote opener of the laboratory door.
MR - "Play it again, Sam", a misquote of "Play it, Sam" from Casablanca

Notable Cameos:
DAF - Jimmy Dean (Willard Whyte) - singer, sausage magnate.
DAF - Leonard Barr (Shady Tree) - comic, dancer, uncle to Dean Martin.
(DAF - Sammy Davis Jr. - singer, dancer (deleted scene))
MR - Melinda Maxwell (Drax's girl) - Lois Maxwell's daughter
FYEO - Cassandra Harris (Countessa Lisl) - Pierce Brosnan's wife
LTK - Wayne Newton (Prof Joe Butcher) - singer, Vegas entertainer.
GE - Minnie Driver (Irina) - actress, singer
TND - Daphne Decker (Carver PR Lady) - model, TV host
TND - Ricky Jay (Henry Gupta - magician
TWINE - Ray Brown (Wheel clamper) - Wheel Clamper from BBC's 'Clampers'
TWINE - Goldie (Mr. Bullion) - British musician
TWINE - Martyn Lewis - Welsh News Presenter
DAD - Oliver Skeete (concierge at fencing club) - British Showjumper
DAD - Madonna (fencing club instructor) - singer
DAD - Deborah Moore (slight attendant) - Roger Moore's daughter
CR - Sébastien Foucan (Mollaka) - founder of Parkour
CR - Richard Branson (Man checked by security at airport) - Virgin founder
CR - Alessandra Ambrosio (Woman checking Bond out outside the Ocean Club) - Brazilian supermodel
SF - Wolf Blitzer, as himself, on CNN
SF - Huw Edwards, as himself, on BBC News.

Crew Cameos
TB - Charles Russhon (US air force general). Military advisor on several James Bond films
TB - Kevin McClory (man sitting in chair) - producer of Thunderball, Never Say Never Again
OHMSS - Peter Hunt (Man in reflection after title song) - director
MR - Albert R "Cubby" Broccoli (Man on bridge) - Producer
TLD - John Barry (Orchestra conductor) - Composer
GE - Martin Campbell (lead cyclist) - director
CR - Martin Campbell (oil tanker driver) - director
Gregg Wilson - Man in bar (scorpion scene) SF, Man opposite C (SP)
Bob Simmons
Alf Joint
Joe Robinson

Others (are they really references? Any official comment on these (through interviews etc)?):
TND - Geoffrey Palmer and Judi Dench verbal sparring (reference to "As Time Goes By"?)
TWINE - Bond: "I thought you'd enjoy one of these."; Moneypenny: "How romantic. I know exactly where to put that." - Bond gives Moneypenny the phallic-shaped cigar tube with some innuendo. Recalling President Clinton's scandalous interactions with an intern involved in his impeachment proceedings in 1998.

Thanks to Gerard, RichardTheBruce, Benny, mtm, echo for their contributions
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Comments

  • I'd say Madonna is probably irrelevant enough today even that newcomers to Die Another Day will likely just see it as a small bit of trivia that the title singer happened to also have a walk-on part.

    The North by Northwest homage/lift never stood out to me because it's just another action sequence, but what did always strike me as odd in FRWL was the not quite a one-liner one-liner "I'd say one of their aircraft is missing." If you don't know what that's in reference to (which would be just about everyone who didn't live through the 1940s) the line is an oddity for sure.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 16,337
    The "Beatles without earmuffs" line is meaningless to anyone born after the movies began...
  • Posts: 4,740
    - "Sit!" reference in Octopussy (was Barbara Woodhouse well known worldwide or just UK?)

    Well, she wasn't known in France, that's for sure. In fact, the reference totally went over my head at the time. So did the gag of Judi Dench sparring with Geoffrey Palmer in TND (As Time Goes By didn't air in France, except on BBC Prime in the 2000s).
  • w2bondw2bond is indeed a very rare breed
    Posts: 2,188
    Gerard wrote: »
    - "Sit!" reference in Octopussy (was Barbara Woodhouse well known worldwide or just UK?)

    Well, she wasn't known in France, that's for sure. In fact, the reference totally went over my head at the time. So did the gag of Judi Dench sparring with Geoffrey Palmer in TND (As Time Goes By didn't air in France, except on BBC Prime in the 2000s).

    @Gerard Wait, what gag? Is there a specific reference, or just the fact they are trading verbal barbs?
  • Posts: 4,740
    The fact that they are trading verbal barbs. One can also mention the presence of the portrait of the Duke of Wellington in Dr. No's lair. Famous criminal case in Britain, but was f no interest in the wider world.
  • Gerard wrote: »
    The fact that they are trading verbal barbs. One can also mention the presence of the portrait of the Duke of Wellington in Dr. No's lair. Famous criminal case in Britain, but was f no interest in the wider world.

    I didn't get the reference at all when I saw DN in 1966.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 8,912
    These two might be a little US-centric, how long the meaning lasted/lasts is anyone's guess.

    TND. Dialogue mimics the US military's policy on gays in the service, from 1993.
    (There was a third part: Don't pursue.)

    TWINE: Bond gives Moneypenny the phallic-shaped cigar tube with some innuendo. Recalling President Clinton's scandalous interactions with an intern involved in his impeachment proceedings in 1998.
    5f3d6a7e94d71a031ceb05fbf837a96b8b475d20.gifv
    9149b7e93f415bceba5d90b8b5c2fb0a29698ffd.gifv
  • w2bondw2bond is indeed a very rare breed
    edited August 15 Posts: 2,188
    Gerard wrote: »
    The fact that they are trading verbal barbs. One can also mention the presence of the portrait of the Duke of Wellington in Dr. No's lair. Famous criminal case in Britain, but was f no interest in the wider world.

    Good one. It's something I view of as Bond Trivia.
    These two might be a little US-centric, how long the meaning lasted/lasts is anyone's guess.

    TND. Dialogue mimics the US military's policy on gays in the service, from 1993.
    (There was a third part: Don't pursue.)

    TWINE: Bond gives Moneypenny the phallic-shaped cigar tube with some innuendo. Recalling President Clinton's scandalous interactions with an intern involved in his impeachment proceedings in 1998.
    Thanks. Some subtle ones there
  • BennyBenny ...OctobennyAdministrator, Moderator
    Posts: 11,877
    Would these count?

    The Spy Who Loved Me : Playing the theme from Lawrence Of Arabia when Bond and Anya walk through the desert.
    Moonraker : Using Close Encounter Of The Third Kind as the keynote opener of the laboratory door.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited August 15 Posts: 7,658
    There’s the reference to Spectre consulting on the Great Train Robbery in Thunderball which may have lost its power now (and of course the original script had Bond say that the Daleks had probably invaded), as well as Bond’s line when he leaves Shrublands of “another time, another place”: which was the title of one of Connery’s other movies, mostly forgotten now.
    And then in TWINE of course you have the random cameo of that wheel clamper guy from the BBC’s then-current reality show ‘Clampers’, a cameo which doesn’t have any reaction nowadays. Much like Alfie Bass appearing in the gondola chase of Moonraker.
    Slightly similarly there’s that showjumper guy who turns up at the end of the DAD Blades scene: but that was a very random appearance even at the time!
    In fact, a lot of the tennis gags in Octopussy only work if you know Vijay Armitraj was a professional tennis player, which I’m sure a lot of people don’t know anymore.


    These two might be a little US-centric, how long the meaning lasted/lasts is anyone's guess.

    TND. Dialogue mimics the US military's policy on gays in the service, from 1993.
    (There was a third part: Don't pursue.)

    TWINE: Bond gives Moneypenny the phallic-shaped cigar tube with some innuendo. Recalling President Clinton's scandalous interactions with an intern involved in his impeachment proceedings in 1998.
    5f3d6a7e94d71a031ceb05fbf837a96b8b475d20.gifv
    9149b7e93f415bceba5d90b8b5c2fb0a29698ffd.gifv

    The cigar was certainly a Lewinsky reference, yeah., good call; but I’m not convinced about the ‘don’t tell’ one being intentional.
    However of course don’t forget the exchange later in the film between M and Moneypenny talking about Carver having fallen off his yacht: a joke intentionally referencing the real shady media mogul Robert Maxwell’s death several years earlier, which was the subject of many theories about how he really died (and I’m sure being killed by MI6 was probably one of them). That one isn’t as topical anymore.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 8,912
    Real or imagined I relish this nod to singer-songwriter Warren Zevon and the pop culture connections.

    DAD: Dialogue relates to Warren Zevon's song "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" and his health status at the time of filming and release. (Regarding his terminal illness, he commented "I might have made a tactical error not going to a physician for 20 years.")
    • Bond: I see you don't chase dreams, you live them.
    • Graves: One of the virtues of never sleeping, Mr. Bond. I have to live my dreams. Besides, plenty of time to sleep when you're dead.

    https://ew.com/article/2002/09/01/werewolves-rocker-warren-zevon-has-terminal-cancer/
    Warren Zevon, whose 2000 album was called Life’ll Kill Ya, has terminal lung cancer. ”I’m OK with it,” the ”Werewolves of London” rocker said in a statement, ”but it’ll be a drag if I don’t make it ’till the next James Bond movie comes out.”

    "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead", Warren Zevon, 1976.
    https://warrenzevon.fandom.com/wiki/I'll_Sleep_When_I'm_Dead
    So much to do, there's plenty on the farm
    I'll sleep when I'm dead
    Saturday night I like to raise a little harm
    I'll sleep when I'm dead


    Later used for a compilation album and the biography written by wife Crystal.

    f8dc71905f3a9a24325cb2418fd2bae31faa0d22.png
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  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 8,912
    TMWTGG: Do viewers that started with Craig films know who Evel Knievel is?
    • Bond: Ever heard of Evel Knievel?
    • JW: WOOOWEEEEEEEE! l ain't never done that before!
    the-man-with-the-golden-gun-car.gif

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evel_Knievel
    ImpoliteWeeArachnid-max-1mb.gif
    4976366b4fd6caab3f8c38b013996937794c292c.gifv

  • w2bondw2bond is indeed a very rare breed
    edited August 21 Posts: 2,188
    Real or imagined I relish this nod to singer-songwriter Warren Zevon and the pop culture connections.

    @RichardTheBruce
    I have a feeling this is imagined, but is interesting nevertheless. Apparently Benjamin Franklin said "plenty of time to sleep when you're dead".

    I like some of the other examples you listed and have included them in the OP
  • edited August 21 Posts: 797
    I'd love to think a Warren Zevon reference was intentional, and it all lines up pretty well, but it's hard to call...

    "Don't ask, don't tell" is clearly intentional though. The American screenwriter didn't accidentally refer to a hotly debated domestic political issue of the era. The phrase was referenced in other (somewhat trite) jokes at the time and the intent was clear to American audiences.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 7,658
    Hmm. Maybe, I’m not convinced, it’s not a joke on that meaning, and it’s just a natural way to reply to that phrase.
  • edited August 21 Posts: 797
    mtm wrote: »
    Hmm. Maybe, I’m not convinced

    I'm sure you're not! :)) This is another case of the professional screenwriter accidentally writing a joke! ;)

    Here's another mind-blowing fact, though: every single post-2016 occurrence of the phrase "Make ______ Great Again" is a reference to Donald Trump. Because if you don't want to refer to Trump, you don't use that phrase. Similarly, if an American screenwriter doesn't wish to refer to a controversial and frequently discussed policy in 1990s America, they do not use the phrase "don't ask, don't tell". (It wasn't a common phrase prior to the invention of this policy, anyway)

    The phrase in the film doesn't have to refer to Trump or gays in the military. It's not a great style of joke, but simply working in a reference counts as humor for many people. (Though in any case, the Bond/Moneypenny relationship is known but not sanctioned, mirroring to some extent the situation for gay service members)
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 7,658
    There goes that attitude again. 8-|
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    edited August 21 Posts: 8,912
    "Don't ask, don't tell" is clearly intentional though. The American screenwriter didn't accidentally refer to a hotly debated domestic political issue of the era. The phrase was referenced in other (somewhat trite) jokes at the time and the intent was clear to American audiences.

    Yeah it's still recognized in some circles, @ProfJoeButcher. And to an American at the time especially, it's funny.

    I did a quick check in the novelization and the DVD commentary tracks, those involved don't usually stop and explain jokes like this one. But it pops up and is acknowledged in references to the film.


    https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/TomorrowNeverDies
    • After M overhears Moneypenny's "cunning linguist" quip, they say "Don't ask..." and "Don't tell." to one another, a nod to the then-new "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in America regarding LGBT servicemen and women, which was abolished in 2011.

    https://www.licencetoqueer.com/blog/queer-re-view-tomorrow-never-dies
    • ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ was official policy in the US military from 1993 until 2011. The full phrase, coined by a military sociologist, was “don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t pursue, and don’t harass.” You could serve in the military if you were queer, just as long as you didn’t tell anyone about it. By invoking what was, in 1997, a very zeitgeisty term, the filmmakers make it clear that Bond’s sexual adventures are widely known about but not official policy.

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/24540298
    • Gender and Sexuality Politics in the James Bond Film Series: Cultural Origins of Gay Inclusion in the U.S Military, Susan Burgess, Polity
    • Vol. 47, No. 2, Entering the System (April 2015), pp. 225-248 (24 pages)
    • Published By: The University of Chicago Press


    It's not so much a throw-away line as far as promotion of the film went at the time, either, as with this trading card.

    Tomorrow_Never_Dies_%252311_-_%2522Don%2527t_Ask.%2522_%2522Don%2527t_Tell%2522_Trading_Cards_%2528Individual%2529_659e904d-ed31-49a2-b810-51f6b8b0105a.jpg
    Tomorrow_Never_Dies_%252311_-_%2522Don%2527t_Ask.%2522_%2522Don%2527t_Tell%2522_Trading_Cards_%2528Individual%2529_cd3d16c4-5511-405c-a27e-b1378a635b9c.jpg

  • Great post, @RichardTheBruce!

    The Brosnan films had an unusual number of jokes referring to or at the expense of the American government. Not only this one, but obviously the cigar thing in TWINE, the "bad news from CNN" joke in Goldeneye (is that referring to something specific?) and the "consider him slimed" from MGW in Tomorrow Never Dies. I haven't seen DAD recently enough, but I'm sure Michael Madsen's character leans pretty hard in that direction too.
  • w2bondw2bond is indeed a very rare breed
    edited August 22 Posts: 2,188
    For sure. Even starting at Dr No where Felix isn't given much to do. Right up to QoS - "I don't give a s*** about the CIA" and they are shown to be 'in bed with the bad guys'

    I'm tempted to include Albert Finney in here but his appearance is not so much a reference as a really famous actor whose claim to fame way predates my birth
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    edited August 22 Posts: 4,389
    LALD: Kananga's line about the phone company being a monopoly "for years to come."

    The US government broke up the phone monopoly in 1982.

    TND: "Consider him slimed" is almost certainly a Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky reference.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    edited September 4 Posts: 8,912
    w2bond wrote: »
    I'm tempted to include Albert Finney in here but his appearance is not so much a reference as a really famous actor whose claim to fame way predates my birth
    Yeah as a long established actor, deservedly recognized on that level I expect.

    DAD: Madonna pursued an acting career, I'd still call her out as a celebrity cast in a small Bond film role, as mentioned earlier.
    Outright celebrities in Bond films I'd say include:
    • DAF: Jimmy Dean - singer, sausage magnate.
    • DAF: Leonard Barr - comic, dancer, uncle to Dean Martin.
    • LTK: Wayne Newton - singer, Vegas entertainer.
    • DAD: Oliver Skeete as a concierge at the fencing club.
    • CR: Richard Branson checked by airport security.
    • CR: Alessandra Ambrosio, Brazilian supermodel outside the Ocean Club.
    • SF: Wolf Blitzer on CNN.
    • SF: Huw Edwards on BBC News.
    a-suas.jpg
    DAF: I'd also add Sammy Davis Jr's presence at the Whyte House suite, plus in a deleted casino scene.
    844344ab86af4b08052afba9aaed56eceb27140e.jpg
    ec0a14b815ed7f1554a8e2e9fc8ef3bdba95497f.jpg



  • w2bondw2bond is indeed a very rare breed
    Posts: 2,188
    Good call. Perhaps I should separate it into famous cameos
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 7,658
    Vijay Armitraj counts, as I mentioned.
  • w2bondw2bond is indeed a very rare breed
    Posts: 2,188
    Yep. Added him already
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited August 23 Posts: 7,658
    How come you’re only adding some? The Clampers, train robbery and Robert Maxwell references are pretty undeniable I’d say.
  • w2bondw2bond is indeed a very rare breed
    Posts: 2,188
    Sorry. Done. What is Alfie Bass famous for?
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited August 23 Posts: 7,658
    Here’s his wiki page: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfie_Bass

    I’m not sure if he counts as a cameo as such or whether he was just doing a job as a comic actor, if you know what I mean. But I guess he was pretty well-known at the time and would have been surprising to some.
  • w2bondw2bond is indeed a very rare breed
    Posts: 2,188
    Is there an official thread for actors who have appeared in multiple films?
    https://www.mi6community.com/discussion/4402/apparently-i-found-the-lenny-rabin-cameo-for-the-craig-films/p1
  • I don't want to be lobbying for removals, but Telly became Kojak after OHMSS. I suppose there have been viewers wondering why Indiana Jones's dad was James Bond as well, but I don't think it would count. Similarly, I don't think GF or OHMSS do anything to remind viewers of the Avengers.

    (Though there was an Emma Peel episode of The Avengers where Steed gets a Christmas card from Cathy Gale, and he wonders what she's doing in Fort Knox!)
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