Will Bond, as we know him, survive today's culture?

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  • Spectre had three, in any case, which is probably slightly above the series average.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,004
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Thrasos wrote: »
    You raise several interesting ideas. About smoking, though I don't smoke, I wouldn't mind if Bond does. There are so many film noir movies where the characters smoke, but they never made me want to. A lot of people still smoke cigarettes. The CDC says in 2018, 25% of people in West Virginia were smokers; Kentucky and Arkansas 23%. In 2014, almost 20% of the world's population smoked cigarettes, and the U.S. is way down the list on that. The French have an image of being big smokers, but many countries are ahead of France on cigarette consumption per person. Luxembourg, Belarus, Belgium are near the top. And the last time I remember a character smoking in a Bond film was Felix Leiter in QoS, a cigar.

    Well, I for one would mind if he smokes. The thing is--and I suspect this is the chief reason Bond hasn't smoked since 1989--smoking just doesn't look cool anymore. It's generally only seen now to indicate villainy or creepiness, or to remind the audience that the film takes place in a different era.

    The point about the continued popularity of smoking in loser regions of the US like Kentucky really makes the point. In most of America (a key market, to put it mildly), smoking conveys about the same level of sophistication as does a MAGA hat, another Kentucky staple I wouldn't wish to see near James Bond.

    The thing is Bond has smoked in the films since Licence to Kill in 1989. The Brosnan Bond smokes a cigar in Die Another Day in 2002. Now I know cigars aren't the same thing as cigarettes but it is still smoking and it is still a tobacco product and one cigar contains as much nicotine as a twenty pack of cigarettes does. So the old saying about cigars being safer than cigarettes really doesn't wash. 🚬

    Yeah, I'm not talking about health concerns.

    But indeed, cigars are not the same thing as cigarettes. Cigars don't look like a cheap, seedy addiction.

    Yes, granted, cigars do look more sophisticated but as I said above surely smoking is smoking whether it's by means of a cigarette, cigar or pipe. It all boils down to much the same thing I feel.

    Well the sophistication is the point, as I've tried to make clear. Smoking is not smoking just as drinking is not drinking. Bond will always drink, but you'll never see him drink a two-liter bottle of Diamond White Cider. Nor will you see him smoke a cigarette again. Maybe M with a pipe or Bond or Felix with a cigar, but cigs will be left for your Xenias and Severinnes.

    Though ironically Xenia smoked cigars too which added to her sense of sophistication and dress sense.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 6,244
    delfloria wrote: »
    I'd be quite happy for Bond to be monogamous for each individual film going forward. Just because he can charm his way into anyone's bed doesn't mean he has to at every opportunity, I guess.

    What's the fun in that. This is a good example as to how the attitudes of the fans have shifted over the years as well.

    I don't think I've ever seen anyone complain that he doesn't shag enough women in Living Daylights. Or indeed that he ends Skyfall alone- I'm not sure people care that much do they?
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    Posts: 6,161
    Regarding the glorifying gun thing....

    I don't think Bond has too much to worry about in that regard, as his lifestyle is a purely fantastical one. Where that kind of thing comes more into play is in depictions of law enforcement and corruption. I was watching Black And Blue with Naomi Harris recently - that film had a cold reception for a variety of reasons, but one that struck me was perhaps people are bored of those "one good cop takes down corruption" style stories that have stronger elements of real-life to them, and it's films like that which are more likely to be "victims" of changing attitudes, rather than something that's obviously based in fantasy like Bond is.

    Just a thought.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited April 13 Posts: 14,004
    mtm wrote: »
    delfloria wrote: »
    I'd be quite happy for Bond to be monogamous for each individual film going forward. Just because he can charm his way into anyone's bed doesn't mean he has to at every opportunity, I guess.

    What's the fun in that. This is a good example as to how the attitudes of the fans have shifted over the years as well.

    I don't think I've ever seen anyone complain that he doesn't shag enough women in Living Daylights. Or indeed that he ends Skyfall alone- I'm not sure people care that much do they?

    No, and in fact I welcome Bond not bedding every woman he meets. It makes a refreshing change for him only to have one woman in a film. The toning down of the womanising in TLD was a direct response to the AIDS health crisis of the 1980s and the fears about unprotected sex and promiscuity. Of course there is also literary Bond precedent such as when Fleming had Gala Brand engaged to another man and Bond and the girl walking off into their separate lives at the end of Moonraker (1955). Bond of course had had other plans to whisk her away to France after his mission was completed. As Kingsley Amis wrote in The James Bond Dossier (1965) Bond had an average of one woman per adventure and that wasn't seen as excessive for the time, the Swinging Sixties, when the permissive society was first taking shape.
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    Posts: 6,161
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    mtm wrote: »
    delfloria wrote: »
    I'd be quite happy for Bond to be monogamous for each individual film going forward. Just because he can charm his way into anyone's bed doesn't mean he has to at every opportunity, I guess.

    What's the fun in that. This is a good example as to how the attitudes of the fans have shifted over the years as well.

    I don't think I've ever seen anyone complain that he doesn't shag enough women in Living Daylights. Or indeed that he ends Skyfall alone- I'm not sure people care that much do they?

    No, and in fact I welcome Bond not bedding every woman he meets. It makes a refreshing change for him only to have one woman in a film. The toning down of the womanising in TLD was a direct response to the AIDS health crisis of the 1980s and the fears about unprotected sex and promiscuity. Of course there is also literary Bond precedent such as when Fleming had Gala Brand engaged to another man and Bond and the girl walking off into their separate lives at the end of Moonraker (1955). Bond of course had had other plans to whisk her away to France after his mission was completed. As Kingsley Amis wrote in The James Bond Dossier (1965) Bond had an average of one woman per adventure and that wasn't seen as excessive for the time, the Swinging Sixties, when the permissive society was first taking shape.

    There are times where Bond almost seems to really not have his priorities in order in some of the films, as he stops investigating in order to do the deed with a woman he's just met. That scene with Fekkesh's secretary in The Spy Who Loved Me springs to mind. That sort of thing is just sex for sex's sake.

    Granted, sleeping with someone to get information from them is understandable and has been a trait of spycraft since, well.....forever.
  • Posts: 1,466
    mtm wrote: »
    delfloria wrote: »
    I'd be quite happy for Bond to be monogamous for each individual film going forward. Just because he can charm his way into anyone's bed doesn't mean he has to at every opportunity, I guess.

    What's the fun in that. This is a good example as to how the attitudes of the fans have shifted over the years as well.

    I don't think I've ever seen anyone complain that he doesn't shag enough women in Living Daylights. Or indeed that he ends Skyfall alone- I'm not sure people care that much do they?

    Some of the critics back in '87 complained about Bond being a one-woman man in TLD and I'm sure some fans were put off. Hard to say given those pre-Internet days, but maybe the letters section of 007 Magazine of the time would reveal that. I'd be willing to bet there were some people who used that as one of the reasons they didn't like Dalton's Bond.

    I actually found it refreshing Bond didn't end up with the girl in the first 3 Craig movies. It was a nice change from the standard ending of Bond in a clinch with the girl and a cheesy line.
  • To me, showing that Bond is capable of turning heads and showing female characters are interested in him/thinking he’s attractive is enough for me. That doesn’t mean I would get angry and upset if they did give him 2-3 girls to shag for the film, but I think social standards have changed enough in the past decade. It appears that we’re at a point in Society where being a Lothario who gets with any and every woman he could doesn’t seem to be held in such high regard as it might have once.
  • Posts: 1,064
    To me, showing that Bond is capable of turning heads and showing female characters are interested in him/thinking he’s attractive is enough for me. That doesn’t mean I would get angry and upset if they did give him 2-3 girls to shag for the film, but I think social standards have changed enough in the past decade. It appears that we’re at a point in Society where being a Lothario who gets with any and every woman he could doesn’t seem to be held in such high regard as it might have once.

    Therefore Bond changes to fit the current culture. At what point is he still Bond and not just some character named Bond who works for the Secret Service. Perhaps that is all that is needed..................the name James Bond. Minus the 007 license to kill, which he won't have this time around. Of course some of us think this has already happened occasionally depending on the actors taking up the mantle.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 6,244
    Well arguably Roger wasn’t playing anything really approaching Fleming’s Bond. I still loved him in the role though. Bond is basically what the films say he is.
  • Posts: 72
    I found this video today which might be of some relevance to what's being discussed here. I thought some of the points he made were fairly obvious but I think it's interesting to hear a more critical viewpoint every now and then.

  • Posts: 1,246
    George thanks for posting the video. I skimmed through most of it. Some here may resonate with what the creator was saying but I found it a little too analytical and political for my taste. I think the films are at heart entertainment and not to be taken too literally, though many men certainly identify with or at least admire the character.

    About Bond bedding women in the future, that would fit the character and the female characters who want him to bed them, but I think it might work best if it fits in with how the film story progresses, if it fits with the narrative, even the quick one en route.
    delfloria wrote: »
    ...Therefore Bond changes to fit the current culture. At what point is he still Bond and not just some character named Bond who works for the Secret Service. Perhaps that is all that is needed..................the name James Bond. Minus the 007 license to kill, which he won't have this time around. Of course some of us think this has already happened occasionally depending on the actors taking up the mantle.
    I'm pretty sure you meant some of this as sarcasm, but to follow on, personally I think Eon will want to keep Bond's character as is, but tweak a few behaviors to satisfy current culture, my guess is about a 95%-5% ratio in that regard. I think some reasons why we won't see Bond stray too much from how he is today is because he's stood the test of time, and while he is a fantasy or film character, we men share some basic personality traits with him, except with him they're magnified, sometimes to the extreme. Obvious examples are love of a woman or women; love of good food and drink; liking our work but also sometimes wanting to tell off our boss or resign; disliking evil in the world; not shying away from a confrontation if required; enjoying repartee with someone; dressing well; staying fit (that one I'm working on).
  • Posts: 1,064
    Thrasos wrote: »
    George thanks for posting the video. I skimmed through most of it. Some here may resonate with what the creator was saying but I found it a little too analytical and political for my taste. I think the films are at heart entertainment and not to be taken too literally, though many men certainly identify with or at least admire the character.

    About Bond bedding women in the future, that would fit the character and the female characters who want him to bed them, but I think it might work best if it fits in with how the film story progresses, if it fits with the narrative, even the quick one en route.
    delfloria wrote: »
    ...Therefore Bond changes to fit the current culture. At what point is he still Bond and not just some character named Bond who works for the Secret Service. Perhaps that is all that is needed..................the name James Bond. Minus the 007 license to kill, which he won't have this time around. Of course some of us think this has already happened occasionally depending on the actors taking up the mantle.
    I'm pretty sure you meant some of this as sarcasm, but to follow on, personally I think Eon will want to keep Bond's character as is, but tweak a few behaviors to satisfy current culture, my guess is about a 95%-5% ratio in that regard. I think some reasons why we won't see Bond stray too much from how he is today is because he's stood the test of time, and while he is a fantasy or film character, we men share some basic personality traits with him, except with him they're magnified, sometimes to the extreme. Obvious examples are love of a woman or women; love of good food and drink; liking our work but also sometimes wanting to tell off our boss or resign; disliking evil in the world; not shying away from a confrontation if required; enjoying repartee with someone; dressing well; staying fit (that one I'm working on).

    Yes, there was a bit of tongue in cheek there. I do agree with you though. I think Bond will weather any criticism but it will be interesting to see if he does becomes a target, with the release of NTTD, of some vocal groups regarding cultural change.
  • Posts: 1,466
    mtm wrote: »
    Well arguably Roger wasn’t playing anything really approaching Fleming’s Bond. I still loved him in the role though. Bond is basically what the films say he is.

    Broccoli and Saltzman tried to make fans and moviegoers think he was during the promotion for LALD back in 1972-73, saying he was closer to Fleming's Bond than Connery was when all that time what you said held more true than it ever did.

    It makes one wish social media had been around then to hear fans' reactions to such a statement from the producers. I also wonder what hardcore Fleming fans thought when they saw LALD the first time regarding that claim.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited April 15 Posts: 6,244
    BT3366 wrote: »
    mtm wrote: »
    Well arguably Roger wasn’t playing anything really approaching Fleming’s Bond. I still loved him in the role though. Bond is basically what the films say he is.

    Broccoli and Saltzman tried to make fans and moviegoers think he was during the promotion for LALD back in 1972-73, saying he was closer to Fleming's Bond than Connery was when all that time what you said held more true than it ever did.

    Indeed: in terms of being closer to Fleming, he was English... and that was about it! :)

    That's not a criticism incidentally. He was terrific.
    BT3366 wrote: »
    It makes one wish social media had been around then to hear fans' reactions to such a statement from the producers. I also wonder what hardcore Fleming fans thought when they saw LALD the first time regarding that claim.

    I always remember talking to one fan when all that 'Craig Not Bond' stuff was blowing up before Casino Royale, so many people incensed at the idea of Craig playing Bond in a non-conventional movie. I said would it really be so bad to have a fair-haired guy playing Bond in a film where he doesn't wear a dinner suit, doesn't drink martinis or smoke cigarettes, doesn't drive a British sportscar, uses a huge revolver instead of a PPK, doesn't go to MI6 HQ at any point, and Q doesn't appear at all? Naturally the guy said yes, that would be breaking the Precious Bond Formula!! And then, as I'm sure you've worked out, I explained which Bond movie I was talking about and how no Bond fans seem to have a problem with it... :D
    Naturally he then said "that's different!" and didn't explain why, because you can't argue with these people.

    Give it time and all terrible shocking new developments just become part of the history.
  • Posts: 1,064
    Not even the current Bond graphic novel could avoid a bit of woke backlash. Bond is not supposed be surrounded by suggestively glad women? https://www.mi6-hq.com/sections/articles/dynamite-comics-agent-of-spectre-cover-censorship?id=04868
  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Defender of Timothy Dalton, George Lazenby, Éric Serra & Bond '83!
    Posts: 5,259
    delfloria wrote: »
    Not even the current Bond graphic novel could avoid a bit of woke backlash. Bond is not supposed be surrounded by suggestively glad women? https://www.mi6-hq.com/sections/articles/dynamite-comics-agent-of-spectre-cover-censorship?id=04868

    What's wrong with people in their underwear when it's tastefully done? I don't really understand why you'd feel insulted by it.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited April 17 Posts: 14,004
    GoldenGun wrote: »
    delfloria wrote: »
    Not even the current Bond graphic novel could avoid a bit of woke backlash. Bond is not supposed be surrounded by suggestively glad women? https://www.mi6-hq.com/sections/articles/dynamite-comics-agent-of-spectre-cover-censorship?id=04868

    What's wrong with people in their underwear when it's tastefully done? I don't really understand why you'd feel insulted by it.

    The same thing happened with the FYEO film poster. That's the one where Roger Moore is posing with his gun between a woman's legs. In Pakistan her skimpy outfit was adapted into a pair of shorts. So that's a much earlier example of censorship from 40 years ago, long before most of the so-called "woke brigade" was even born.

    bb3e0454c59e292c58b59a5d123734ac.jpg
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited April 17 Posts: 6,244
    No one said they were ‘insulted’ by it, let’s not put words in anyone’s mouths. They just said they didn’t want the brand to do that. I don’t see it as a problem.
  • Posts: 1,246
    Meanwhile, I find it ironic that while some members of the public (beyond this forum) are clutching their pearls about suggestively clad women, "short shorts" for men are making a comeback, at least in the U.S., a style that went viral last summer thanks to TikTok. Even the actor-bodybuilder The Rock was photographed wearing them, even shorter than the ones Tom Selleck wore in Magnum, P.I. So nothing wrong with showing women that way.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,004
    Thrasos wrote: »
    Meanwhile, I find it ironic that while some members of the public (beyond this forum) are clutching their pearls about suggestively clad women, "short shorts" for men are making a comeback, at least in the U.S., a style that went viral last summer thanks to TikTok. Even the actor-bodybuilder The Rock was photographed wearing them, even shorter than the ones Tom Selleck wore in Magnum, P.I. So nothing wrong with showing women that way.

    There are of course differences in how men and women are regarded in society however and what may be deemed an appropriate garment for a man to wear may be considered inappropriate for a woman to wear in certain contexts or especially on a book/magazine cover or film poster. It seems to me that women are often held to a higher degree of modesty simply because they are the fairer and more vulnerable sex. Of course that may be seen as an old-fashioned view nowadays but the key idea behind it still applies. So what men wear in comparison to women doesn't really come into it. If you'll forgive me, it's rather like comparing apples with oranges.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 6,244
    Thrasos wrote: »
    Meanwhile, I find it ironic that while some members of the public (beyond this forum) are clutching their pearls about suggestively clad women, "short shorts" for men are making a comeback, at least in the U.S., a style that went viral last summer thanks to TikTok. Even the actor-bodybuilder The Rock was photographed wearing them, even shorter than the ones Tom Selleck wore in Magnum, P.I. So nothing wrong with showing women that way.

    I don't know if that's quite the same, no.
  • edited April 17 Posts: 1,246
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  • Posts: 1,466
    I still recall the preview ad for FYEO made it intact in my hometown newspaper the Sunday before the film was released. It's in my Bond scrapbook. I'd have to look to see if they modified it as the film played for a good 3-4 weeks at the time. I did have clippings from other papers that had the drawn-on shorts.

    That ad was a hot topic that summer. I wonder if there were any complaints in my town, which gained a very conservative reputation over the years. When the movie Showgirls came out in '94 or whenever it was, it was the first mainstream NC-17 film to play here and several people got upset and the cinema owner was forced to pull it early.
  • TripAcesTripAces Universal Exports
    edited April 18 Posts: 4,069
    delfloria wrote: »
    Cuomo's latest accuser says "he kissed her hand and called her sweetheart". Lucky she never encounter James during one of his visits to Shrublands.

    Bond's behavior at Shrublands is an outlier.

    All in all, James Bond has rarely acted inappropriately toward everyday, civilian women. He has mostly used sex and charm in regards to a mark or asset. On the contrary, Bond has more often expressed concern for the safety of innocent civilians: think Tilly in GF or Plenty in DAF. He even risks his life to save Honey (a relative stranger) in DN. We might even put the shower scene in CR in that class--Vesper is a treasury agent and not accustomed to the violence she witnesses in the stairwell.

    When people talk about James Bond clashing with "woke" culture, I am not sure what they are talking about, really. Yes, maybe the books. And they often point to Bond's "rape" of Pussy Galore, but even that is a stretch: Pussy was was on the verge of helping to plant a nuclear device at Fort Knox. She is hardly innocent. And Bond used the best tools he had (no pun intended) to convince her not to do it.

    What tends to happen is that critics incorrectly attribute the treatment of women to the character of James Bond rather than the franchise. How female characters are dressed, portrayed, used in marketing materials is all part of the framing of character. But it isn't the character's doing. The recent controversy surrounding the comic book cover is a perfect example. https://mi6-hq.com/sections/articles/dynamite-comics-agent-of-spectre-cover-censorship?id=04868

    Aaron Lopestri's defense of the cover gets it all wrong: "So here's the sad part... The girl in the underwear... Apparently, with the James Bond people getting all 'woke' and all, they don't want to show James Bond being a sexist character anymore?

    DUDE...James Bond didn't dress that woman in underwear. YOU DID!!!!!
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,004
    BT3366 wrote: »
    I still recall the preview ad for FYEO made it intact in my hometown newspaper the Sunday before the film was released. It's in my Bond scrapbook. I'd have to look to see if they modified it as the film played for a good 3-4 weeks at the time. I did have clippings from other papers that had the drawn-on shorts.

    That ad was a hot topic that summer. I wonder if there were any complaints in my town, which gained a very conservative reputation over the years. When the movie Showgirls came out in '94 or whenever it was, it was the first mainstream NC-17 film to play here and several people got upset and the cinema owner was forced to pull it early.

    Just out of interest where were you living in at the time? I may be wrong but it doesn't sound like a Western country.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 6,244
    TripAces wrote: »
    Aaron Lopestri's defense of the cover gets it all wrong: "So here's the sad part... The girl in the underwear... Apparently, with the James Bond people getting all 'woke' and all, they don't want to show James Bond being a sexist character anymore?

    DUDE...James Bond didn't dress that woman in underwear. YOU DID!!!!!

    Ha! Very true :D
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,170
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    BT3366 wrote: »
    I still recall the preview ad for FYEO made it intact in my hometown newspaper the Sunday before the film was released. It's in my Bond scrapbook. I'd have to look to see if they modified it as the film played for a good 3-4 weeks at the time. I did have clippings from other papers that had the drawn-on shorts.

    That ad was a hot topic that summer. I wonder if there were any complaints in my town, which gained a very conservative reputation over the years. When the movie Showgirls came out in '94 or whenever it was, it was the first mainstream NC-17 film to play here and several people got upset and the cinema owner was forced to pull it early.

    Just out of interest where were you living in at the time? I may be wrong but it doesn't sound like a Western country.

    Religious groups can hold sway in small American towns.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,004
    Birdleson wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    BT3366 wrote: »
    I still recall the preview ad for FYEO made it intact in my hometown newspaper the Sunday before the film was released. It's in my Bond scrapbook. I'd have to look to see if they modified it as the film played for a good 3-4 weeks at the time. I did have clippings from other papers that had the drawn-on shorts.

    That ad was a hot topic that summer. I wonder if there were any complaints in my town, which gained a very conservative reputation over the years. When the movie Showgirls came out in '94 or whenever it was, it was the first mainstream NC-17 film to play here and several people got upset and the cinema owner was forced to pull it early.

    Just out of interest where were you living in at the time? I may be wrong but it doesn't sound like a Western country.

    Religious groups can hold sway in small American towns.

    Yes, that's true. I was thinking it could be in the US as well.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy N.Ireland
    Posts: 12,012
    I think it will be a great day for equal rights when in the titles
    the first silhouetted love sausage can be spotted. :D
    Alan Partridge will have a whole new sketch sequence
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