Looking the part: Bond in disguise

edited April 2013 in Bond 26 & Beyond Posts: 14,888
In many times in the novel James Bond had to wear a disguise of some sort to infiltrate a place or to get the villain's trust. Or he simply assumed another person's identity. This has been done in the movies, but to a much lesser extend and the disguises were not very elaborate. I was wondering if they should develop it for future Bond movies. Not to the point of having Bond a master of disguise, he is no Arsène Lupin or Sherlock Holmes, but that could be an interesting plot device.

Comments

  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    I definitely want it to feature more prominently in the future. I hold DAF and many of the Moore films in contempt for how they present Bond as some world renown celebrity and less the secret agent he should be.

    Disguise is integral to espionage, and I think it would be great to see more of this in future Bond films down the road and in a more prominent form.
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,512
    Disguise is integral to espionage, and I think it would be great to see more of this in future Bond films down the road and in a more prominent form.

    Yes it is integral, but Bond for me has never been an archetypal 'secret agent'. Even if we go back to source, Fleming crafted an aspirational character, one that never truly reflected the norms of espionage, but instead resembled a fantasy figure. It's why Bond has endured beyond all other fictional characters of this ilk. There was a richness to Fleming's descriptive prowess and he always paid close attention to the psychological effects of espionage, but this was always counter-balanced by the finer things in life. Anyone can be a spy, but no one can do it with as much style as 007.

  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    RC7 wrote:
    Disguise is integral to espionage, and I think it would be great to see more of this in future Bond films down the road and in a more prominent form.

    Yes it is integral, but Bond for me has never been an archetypal 'secret agent'. Even if we go back to source, Fleming crafted an aspirational character, one that never truly reflected the norms of espionage, but instead resembled a fantasy figure. It's why Bond has endured beyond all other fictional characters of this ilk. There was a richness to Fleming's descriptive prowess and he always paid close attention to the psychological effects of espionage, but this was always counter-balanced by the finer things in life. Anyone can be a spy, but no one can do it with as much style as 007.

    There is a big difference between being a fantasy secret agent and being a man who is recognizable by those he passes by when he should in fact be a secret agent. That is just a tarnishing of the character in my opinion. Connery's early films as well as OHMSS, the Dalton era, Brosnan (not as much) and Craig eras after showed that Bond could still be a fantastical escapist character and still retain some anonymity in his world where everyone isn't walking down the street and staring at him, shouting "hey, that's the not-so-secret agent James Bond!" as he passes them.

    And not everyone can be a spy. Very few could make it even a year, none the less make a whole career out of it. Introverts are the pick of the litter, but if you are extroverted you will lack the skill to slip into the shadows unnoticed. The introverts must also try not to be so solitary and inhuman, retaining some sense of a soul even when the job demands the worst actions. One slip up means death or capture, and life imprisonment, where no favors will be allotted to you.

    Anyway, I won't go on longer and save my breathe...you may get my point...
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,512
    RC7 wrote:
    Disguise is integral to espionage, and I think it would be great to see more of this in future Bond films down the road and in a more prominent form.

    Yes it is integral, but Bond for me has never been an archetypal 'secret agent'. Even if we go back to source, Fleming crafted an aspirational character, one that never truly reflected the norms of espionage, but instead resembled a fantasy figure. It's why Bond has endured beyond all other fictional characters of this ilk. There was a richness to Fleming's descriptive prowess and he always paid close attention to the psychological effects of espionage, but this was always counter-balanced by the finer things in life. Anyone can be a spy, but no one can do it with as much style as 007.

    There is a big difference between being a fantasy secret agent and being a man who is recognizable by those he passes by when he should in fact be a secret agent. That is just a tarnishing of the character in my opinion. Connery's early films as well as OHMSS, the Dalton era, Brosnan (not as much) and Craig eras after showed that Bond could still be a fantastical escapist character and still retain some anonymity in his world where everyone isn't walking down the street and staring at him, shouting "hey, that's the not-so-secret agent James Bond!" as he passes them.

    And not everyone can be a spy. Very few could make it even a year, none the less make a whole career out of it. Introverts are the pick of the litter, but if you are extroverted you will lack the skill to slip into the shadows unnoticed. The introverts must also try not to be so solitary and inhuman, retaining some sense of a soul even when the job demands the worst actions. One slip up means death or capture, and life imprisonment, where no favors will be allotted to you.

    Anyway, I won't go on longer and save my breathe...you may get my point...

    I'm sure we're on the same page, I don't need any 'oh my god, you just killed James Bond' moments anymore, but I'm happy for him to get away with some slightly dubious scenarios as long as he does it with style.

    I wasn't being explicit when I said 'anyone can be a spy', it was just a turn of phrase. My point is that all those involved in true espionage are effectively ghosts. Bond isn't, neither would I want him to be.
  • Posts: 14,888
    I don't think Bond should be a master of disguise, or have elaborate masks a la Mission Impossible. But it would be nice to have him in disguise sometimes and forced to conceal not only his identity but his personality too. Or part of it. That could make for some suspenseful scenes and maybe some interesting use of Q branch, although I don't think the disguise should be high tech. It should remain simple, sometimes a mere change of clothes.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    Come to think of it, Bond was "in disguise" without a disguise in LTK while getting to Sanchez.
  • Posts: 1,052
    Bond was in disguise in TMWWTG with his fake nipple! Pretended to be Robert Sterling in TSWLM, Dressed as a clown, a gorilla, and a cuban general and a knife throwing twin in OP and posed as James St John Smythe in AVTAK. Can't remeber many other disguises aliases in other films? Other than LTK of course, oh and a very brief bit of posing as a banker in TND.
  • samainsysamainsy Suspended
    Posts: 199
    He does in Skyfall.When he see's Patrice at the Airport.
  • Posts: 14,888
    Come to think of it, Bond was "in disguise" without a disguise in LTK while getting to Sanchez.
    He was. I am not a big fan of the movie, but I like the angel of death look of Bond in this one, clad in black In a tropical city. He is very much like the mercenary he is playing and the avenging angel he really is.
  • Posts: 14,888
    Bond was in disguise in TMWWTG with his fake nipple! Pretended to be Robert Sterling in TSWLM, Dressed as a clown, a gorilla, and a cuban general and a knife throwing twin in OP and posed as James St John Smythe in AVTAK. Can't remeber many other disguises aliases in other films? Other than LTK of course, oh and a very brief bit of posing as a banker in TND.

    In the novels his disguises are more elaborate. Makeup to make him look different in DAF, trying to pass as a mild mannered academic in.ohmss.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    It is quite amusing when Bond disguises himself as Bray in OHMSS while going to Piz Gloria. I like to call it the Sherlock Holmes disguise. :))
  • Bradford4Bradford4 Banned
    Posts: 152
    Sir Hilary Bray is my favorite Bond disguise, voice is fun to imitate. Spot on chap, Brady you have your finger on the pulse! Honorable mention goes to Bond as the clown in Octopussy. You made us laugh, you made us cry Uncle Roge!
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,698
    Bradford4 wrote:
    Sir Hilary Bray is my favorite Bond disguise, voice is

    Say 'Bye, Trollboy.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    It all depends what we mean by disguise. If we are talking false moustaches and prosthetic noses like Sherlock Holmes then its a definite no from me. Does no one remember how ludicrous the 'turning Japanese' scenes were in YOLT (not to mention the fact that it all washes off the moment he jumps in the sea)?

    If its like Hilary Bray, merely a change of clothes or wearing some glasses then I havent got a problem but I think some people are mistaking a cover story for a disguise here.

    David Somerset, Peter Franks, Robert Sterling, James St John Smythe, James Stock and Arlington Beech are just different names as Bond poses under cover not a disguise.

    A disguise is something used to alter someones appearance. A cover story is what Bond mostly uses whereby he pretends to be someone he is not. In FYEO he uses his own name but says hes a writer, in TLD he uses his own name but says hes Koskovs friend, in TND he uses his own name but says hes a banker - are these disguises too?

    And why are people claiming hes disguised in LTK? He says his names James Bond from the off to Sanchez and pretends to be what he is and ex-government agent. Its only his motives that he disguises.

    This is all the true disguises (as opposed to aliases or cover names) I can think of off the top of my head:

    DN - Chang.
    FRWL - Nothing.
    GF - Disguised as a duck?
    TB - One of Largos frogmen.
    YOLT - A corpse (but then it his own corpse so a bit tentative this one), Hendersons killer, Japanese fisherman, SPECTRE goon, Bird 1 astronaut.
    OHMSS - Sir HIlary Bray.
    DAF - Plastic surgeon, a Dutchman (I think the 'Who is your floor?' Dutch accent counts here), Klaus Hergescheimer (its thin but a lab coat and clipboard counts as a disguise).
    LALD - None.
    TMWTGG - Scaramanga.
    TSWLM - None.
    MR - A gondolier (straw hat counts), Moonraker 6 astronaut.
    FYEO - None.
    OP - Colonel Toro, a crocodile, Mischka (or is it Grischka?), a clown.
    AVTAK - A fireman, a mine worker.
    TLD - A tourist (he steals those shades to hide his appearance so I'm counting it), Afghan opium bag loader.
    LTK - A manta ray.
    GE - None.
    TND - None.
    TWINE - Dr Arkov (changes his ID and speaks Russian). Not sure about who he is during the PTS. Has glasses on but he does not appear to be posing as anyone other than some sort of mercenary who wants the report. And after all the glasses area gadget. Debatable.
    DAD - Mr Van Bierk.
    CR - None.
    QOS - Slate? Does carrying the case that makes Camile think hes Slate count as a disguise? Opera guest? Its just a tux but he puts it on with the express intention of blending in.
    SF - Chauffeur.
  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    Posts: 14,153
    Arlington Beech was his short-lived alias in CR.

    I'd be happy with Bond just using a fake name and Univex business card or uniform with hat disguise like we saw in SF. Nothing outlandish.

    For other pseudonyms perhaps not mentioned here, have a look at this thread:

    http://www.mi6community.com/index.php?p=/discussion/2001/bond-used-pseudonyms-in-10-of-22-movies-can-you-list-them-and-name-the-titles/p1
  • w2bondw2bond is indeed a very rare breed
    edited April 2013 Posts: 2,252
    If we're talking about cover names and pretending he's somebody else, sure why not? But once we get into the whole changing appearance and clothing I'm totally against it. Part of who Bond is is his style, the suits he wears, the watch, sunnies (and the cufflink, it's all about the cufflink). Using disguises for a brief period is fine like the Shanghai airport in Skyfall, but for longer periods he loses his cinematic identity.

    Just look at Dalton in his movies, his clothing makes him look quite terrible despite it being more practical and realistic
  • Posts: 12,506
    I think it would be great to have Bond assume a disguise now again. Hopefully if Quantum return in Bond 24? He could have one seeing as they know who he is? B-)
  • Posts: 14,888
    I wouldn't want it to become a regular feature, but assuming identities and using disguise is also part of spy work and it appeared in Fleming's novels. But of course it would need to be done sparingly. After all, Bond is not Fantomas.
  • samainsysamainsy Suspended
    Posts: 199
    It all depends what we mean by disguise. If we are talking false moustaches and prosthetic noses like Sherlock Holmes then its a definite no from me. Does no one remember how ludicrous the 'turning Japanese' scenes were in YOLT (not to mention the fact that it all washes off the moment he jumps in the sea)?

    If its like Hilary Bray, merely a change of clothes or wearing some glasses then I havent got a problem but I think some people are mistaking a cover story for a disguise here.

    David Somerset, Peter Franks, Robert Sterling, James St John Smythe, James Stock and Arlington Beech are just different names as Bond poses under cover not a disguise.

    A disguise is something used to alter someones appearance. A cover story is what Bond mostly uses whereby he pretends to be someone he is not. In FYEO he uses his own name but says hes a writer, in TLD he uses his own name but says hes Koskovs friend, in TND he uses his own name but says hes a banker - are these disguises too?

    And why are people claiming hes disguised in LTK? He says his names James Bond from the off to Sanchez and pretends to be what he is and ex-government agent. Its only his motives that he disguises.

    This is all the true disguises (as opposed to aliases or cover names) I can think of off the top of my head:

    DN - Chang.
    FRWL - Nothing.
    GF - Disguised as a duck?
    TB - One of Largos frogmen.
    YOLT - A corpse (but then it his own corpse so a bit tentative this one), Hendersons killer, Japanese fisherman, SPECTRE goon, Bird 1 astronaut.
    OHMSS - Sir HIlary Bray.
    DAF - Plastic surgeon, a Dutchman (I think the 'Who is your floor?' Dutch accent counts here), Klaus Hergescheimer (its thin but a lab coat and clipboard counts as a disguise).
    LALD - None.
    TMWTGG - Scaramanga.
    TSWLM - None.
    MR - A gondolier (straw hat counts), Moonraker 6 astronaut.
    FYEO - None.
    OP - Colonel Toro, a crocodile, Mischka (or is it Grischka?), a clown.
    AVTAK - A fireman, a mine worker.
    TLD - A tourist (he steals those shades to hide his appearance so I'm counting it), Afghan opium bag loader.
    LTK - A manta ray.
    GE - None.
    TND - None.
    TWINE - Dr Arkov (changes his ID and speaks Russian). Not sure about who he is during the PTS. Has glasses on but he does not appear to be posing as anyone other than some sort of mercenary who wants the report. And after all the glasses area gadget. Debatable.
    DAD - Mr Van Bierk.
    CR - None.
    QOS - Slate? Does carrying the case that makes Camile think hes Slate count as a disguise? Opera guest? Its just a tux but he puts it on with the express intention of blending in.
    SF - Chauffeur.

    In TSWM he was in a disguise of a journalist.
  • Posts: 1,817
    In my opinion the best disguise was Sir Hilary Bray: the glasses, the clothes, the pipe... There's a moment, when he's having dinner with the girls and starts to talk about heraldry, when you realize the great risk he's taking by speaking about the topic and how easily he could make a mistake (as he eventualy did with Blofeld).
    One of the great things about OHMSS, in my account, was this undercover mission.
  • samainsysamainsy Suspended
    Posts: 199
    0013 wrote:
    In my opinion the best disguise was Sir Hilary Bray: the glasses, the clothes, the pipe... There's a moment, when he's having dinner with the girls and starts to talk about heraldry, when you realize the great risk he's taking by speaking about the topic and how easily he could make a mistake (as he eventualy did with Blofeld).
    One of the great things about OHMSS, in my account, was this undercover mission.
    Watching that one later!!
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    samainsy wrote:
    It all depends what we mean by disguise. If we are talking false moustaches and prosthetic noses like Sherlock Holmes then its a definite no from me. Does no one remember how ludicrous the 'turning Japanese' scenes were in YOLT (not to mention the fact that it all washes off the moment he jumps in the sea)?

    If its like Hilary Bray, merely a change of clothes or wearing some glasses then I havent got a problem but I think some people are mistaking a cover story for a disguise here.

    David Somerset, Peter Franks, Robert Sterling, James St John Smythe, James Stock and Arlington Beech are just different names as Bond poses under cover not a disguise.

    A disguise is something used to alter someones appearance. A cover story is what Bond mostly uses whereby he pretends to be someone he is not. In FYEO he uses his own name but says hes a writer, in TLD he uses his own name but says hes Koskovs friend, in TND he uses his own name but says hes a banker - are these disguises too?

    And why are people claiming hes disguised in LTK? He says his names James Bond from the off to Sanchez and pretends to be what he is and ex-government agent. Its only his motives that he disguises.

    This is all the true disguises (as opposed to aliases or cover names) I can think of off the top of my head:

    DN - Chang.
    FRWL - Nothing.
    GF - Disguised as a duck?
    TB - One of Largos frogmen.
    YOLT - A corpse (but then it his own corpse so a bit tentative this one), Hendersons killer, Japanese fisherman, SPECTRE goon, Bird 1 astronaut.
    OHMSS - Sir HIlary Bray.
    DAF - Plastic surgeon, a Dutchman (I think the 'Who is your floor?' Dutch accent counts here), Klaus Hergescheimer (its thin but a lab coat and clipboard counts as a disguise).
    LALD - None.
    TMWTGG - Scaramanga.
    TSWLM - None.
    MR - A gondolier (straw hat counts), Moonraker 6 astronaut.
    FYEO - None.
    OP - Colonel Toro, a crocodile, Mischka (or is it Grischka?), a clown.
    AVTAK - A fireman, a mine worker.
    TLD - A tourist (he steals those shades to hide his appearance so I'm counting it), Afghan opium bag loader.
    LTK - A manta ray.
    GE - None.
    TND - None.
    TWINE - Dr Arkov (changes his ID and speaks Russian). Not sure about who he is during the PTS. Has glasses on but he does not appear to be posing as anyone other than some sort of mercenary who wants the report. And after all the glasses area gadget. Debatable.
    DAD - Mr Van Bierk.
    CR - None.
    QOS - Slate? Does carrying the case that makes Camile think hes Slate count as a disguise? Opera guest? Its just a tux but he puts it on with the express intention of blending in.
    SF - Chauffeur.

    In TSWM he was in a disguise of a journalist.

    No he was under cover as marine biologist Robert Sterling. Just saying you are someone else is not a dsiguise as I thought I spelled out pretty clearly above.
  • JRRJRR
    Posts: 74
    This could be a bit hit & miss, not sure how Val Kilmer’s outing as “The Saint” was received by many of you, but he did the whole disguise business; personally I thought the film was alright if you looked at it with a light heartedness, but I feel that it missed a massive opportunity to be much better.

    The Duran Duran title song was a fair offering, again not as good as “A View To A Kill” and the other countless hits they have had over the years.

    It would be nice to see a really good version of such a well-loved classic TV series or a new film.
  • Posts: 14,888
    JRR wrote:
    This could be a bit hit & miss, not sure how Val Kilmer’s outing as “The Saint” was received by many of you, but he did the whole disguise business; personally I thought the film was alright if you looked at it with a light heartedness, but I feel that it missed a massive opportunity to be much better.

    The Duran Duran title song was a fair offering, again not as good as “A View To A Kill” and the other countless hits they have had over the years.

    It would be nice to see a really good version of such a well-loved classic TV series or a new film.

    Oh gosh I really disliked the pseudo Saint movie with Val Kilmer! The idea of making him a master of disguise was great, but so very badly executed: we could tell he was Val Kilmer right away. I sure don't want anything like this. Bond in disguise should be used sparingly, and the disguise would need to be believable.
  • Bradford4Bradford4 Banned
    Posts: 152
    Hilary bray is the definitive Bond disguise, because he is in that persona for such a large chunk of the movie. And brave of Lazenby to allow his voice to be dubbed over so much. Not an ounce of ego with George.
  • Posts: 14,888
    Bradford4 wrote:
    Hilary bray is the definitive Bond disguise, because he is in that persona for such a large chunk of the movie. And brave of Lazenby to allow his voice to be dubbed over so much. Not an ounce of ego with George.

    That might have contributed to his downfall though. But I agree, it was the best disguise and the best use of disguise in the series.
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