10 Flemingesque moments in Skyfall

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  • Posts: 15
    Bond's sense of duty and patriotism was perhaps the most Fleming-esque aspect of the whole film.
  • edited March 2013 Posts: 7,653
    I've seen the film twice now, and a few Fleming-type moments jumped out at me more the second time round. Here they are -

    1) The obvious one to begin with. Bond dying, Obituary written by M, a depressed Bond going AWOL, and then Bond reappearing again, with health at an all-time low. This whole episode is taken out of Fleming's last few novels - TB (Bond's health), YOLT (Bond being a shadow of his former self, Bond dying) and TMWTGG - Bond resurfacing and being tested and questioned.

    A poor mans Fleming, stole the idea but lacked Flemings skills too bad they chose not to do a TMWTGG opening and have 007 failing to kill M, it would make the end of failing to protect her make you wonder about his loyalty. Which would make a nice cross over into the next movie where is can enter QUANTUM as double agent. That I would have called real Fleming.

    2) Severine - she felt like a Fleming girl (a bird with one wing down). The fact that she was used as a young hooker emphasised this even more. There was a sadness about her. I actually felt more sorry for this Bond girl than any previous female, despite her brief appearance.

    She was indeed more of a victim than the recent feminist characters.

    3) The scene with the glass on Severine's head felt like it was penned by Fleming. It was one of the most disturbing scenes in the entire franchise, and actually genuinely shocked me. The music playing in the background (what was it?) felt like the bizzare elements of Fleming, and Bond looking round feeling uncomfortable before the gun is placed in his hand was Craig's defining moment as Fleming's Bond for me. Here he nailed it.

    The scene was spoiled by a very Unfleming touch namely Bonds response to her death. Overal 007 in Flemings books is somewhat of a knight in shining armour. SO DISAGREE

    4) Likewise, helicopters blaring music out as Silva flew towards Skyfall had a touch of the benign bizzare Fleming.

    Indeed had Fleming written APOCALYPSE NOW

    5) The whole casino scene from start to finish literally jumped out of an unwritten Fleming novel, from Bond's tense conversation with Severine, to the bizzare pit fight with dragons.

    It was one of the better scenes but that is about it


    6) Silva had a touch of the outlandish Fleming villain. His appearance reminded me of how Scaramanga would have looked, and the hints at homosexuality emphasise that further, as I'm sure Scaramanga was attracted to Bond in TMWTGG.

    This outlandish applies to all villains in the franchise it is abit of trademark so to mention this one could also call it EONesque.

    7) M's death, tragic ending was another Fleming masterstroke. He often ended his novels with a shock twist, and only twice have we seen this appear in the films, with CR and OHMSS.

    No it was cheap sensationalism, nothing Flemingeque about it. M represented England and 007 his attackdog, the tragic ending meant that Bond had failed at his job. Fleming never did that to James Bond. SO once more rubbish reasoning to make it look like Fleming did so

    Skyall Lodge, with its tombstone graves. The title itself is very Fleming, and the house itself in Glencoe captured perfectly how Fleming probably imagined where his hero was brought up.

    The title is so-so and With Connery's role as 007 in the movies Fleming added a bit of Scottishness in YOLT and suddenly it is an argument for something Flemingesque. really stretching here

    9) Bond asking to be taken to Severine's employer. Gambling his life to get to meet the villain, surrendering himself on the boat so he could face Silva felt very Flemingesque.

    True, but happened in most EONeque movies

    10) The Shanghai build-up, spying through glass windows reflecting neon, fighting against the backdrop of moving neon lights was another Fleming touch.

    It once again add a touch of Greengrass & Jason Bourne mostly, only not as good,

    A lot of Fleming gets dragged into seemingly EON moments and gets called Flemingesque, it is nothing more than a justification and only in the eye of the beholder. Craigs 007 is further away from Fleming as the 4 early SC movies were. DC's 007 is more the product of these times and cannot possible be Flemingeque, he is based upon EON's 007 and made to fit these times and what seems to be currently hot. As EON has always done.

  • echoecho 007 in New York
    edited March 2013 Posts: 5,949
    JBFan626 wrote:
    Silva is Flemingesque, in the sense we get some backstory on this villain. It kind of reminded me of how Red Grant's backstory is explained in the FRWL novel.

    And hello, blonde villain???
    Yes, and his suggested homosexuality is very reminiscent of Scaramanga in TMWTGG. The film was very much YOLT- (obituary, Scottish background, Bond losing a step) and TMWTGG-inspired (resurrection, Silva, the pineapple/whiskey scene).
  • CIACIA
    Posts: 120
    Yes, I must second MI6's move to the underground WW2 bunkers. When Tanner explains the move as they travel underground is one of my favorite parts of the movie and seemed very true to flemming.
  • Posts: 3,279
    SaintMark wrote:

    A lot of Fleming gets dragged into seemingly EON moments and gets called Flemingesque, it is nothing more than a justification and only in the eye of the beholder. Craigs 007 is further away from Fleming as the 4 early SC movies were. DC's 007 is more the product of these times and cannot possible be Flemingeque, he is based upon EON's 007 and made to fit these times and what seems to be currently hot. As EON has always done.
    Again, as you stated above, only in the eye of the beholder. I see Craig's Bond a closer fit to Fleming as Dalton's was. And I think the 4 Connery films were close to Fleming too.

    True, DC's Bond has been adapted to modern times, yet somehow this modern era is suiting Fleming's era rather fittingly. The fact that the Bond films have been stripped back from OTT extravaganza's to more a serious tone has done wonders in reigning it back into Fleming's world.

  • PierceuhhhPierceuhhh Banned
    Posts: 104
    I notice some John Gardener touches in CASINO ROYAL when i revisit it...

    Bond eat crunchy toast and drink coffee "strong and black"... this is a main meal of Gardener's 007. Perhaps when I revisit SKYFALL i notice more Gardener traits?
  • edited March 2013 Posts: 3,279
    Pierceuhhh wrote:
    I notice some John Gardener touches in CASINO ROYAL when i revisit it...

    Bond eat crunchy toast and drink coffee "strong and black"... this is a main meal of Gardener's 007. Perhaps when I revisit SKYFALL i notice more Gardener traits?
    Er....you do realise Bond ate toast and drunk coffee strong and black in the Fleming novels too, right?

  • SaintMark wrote:

    A lot of Fleming gets dragged into seemingly EON moments and gets called Flemingesque, it is nothing more than a justification and only in the eye of the beholder. Craigs 007 is further away from Fleming as the 4 early SC movies were. DC's 007 is more the product of these times and cannot possible be Flemingeque, he is based upon EON's 007 and made to fit these times and what seems to be currently hot. As EON has always done.
    Again, as you stated above, only in the eye of the beholder. I see Craig's Bond a closer fit to Fleming as Dalton's was. And I think the 4 Connery films were close to Fleming too.

    True, DC's Bond has been adapted to modern times, yet somehow this modern era is suiting Fleming's era rather fittingly. The fact that the Bond films have been stripped back from OTT extravaganza's to more a serious tone has done wonders in reigning it back into Fleming's world.

    I would strongly disagree with the bolded sentence, and I'll tell you why.

    Often people here will talk about how certain films - DN, FRWL, OHMSS - are "Flemingesque". But what is Flemingesque? Having recently re-read all of Fleming's stories as an adult I realize that what is "Flemingesque" about these films are the *plots* - and even then, they are changed from the books quite a bit. But in terms of atmosphere and character, the mood that Fleming created is largely absent.

    One of the great things about SF is that we see touches of Fleming more clearly than in most of the other films, especially in Bond's character. The bitter, bored Bond in Turkey could have been lifted straight from Fleming. The unquestioning loyalty that even he can't understand - same thing. The touches of impatience and frustration - "Oh course he is" and "Of course there are" (as much a catchphrase for Craig as "But of course" was for Connery) are as well. The romantic, philosophical, bored Bond of Fleming who is full of self-doubt and plays the spy game out of loyalty even though he knows it's just a game - well, no actor has fully captured that Bond on screen. However, Craig certainly comes closer than any other. Even Dalton, who captured certain facets of Fleming's Bond, didn't get as close as Craig has.

    Add to that some of the other aspects of the film that people have noted above and I can very much see how SF is a great modern day "Flemingesque" Bond story.

  • Posts: 5,797
    For me, the most "flemingesque" moment in SF is the story about the rats. Ian Fleming used that kind of disgressions often (remember the story of the Players Cigarettes sailor from Thunderball ?). And of course, it's followed up in the final confrontation ("Last rat standing !"). That, and a lot of other points that others have discussed before make SF the most flmeingesque Bond of all, despite the fact that it is not based on a Fleming plot.
  • Posts: 7,653
    If SF needs to have the label Fleming for some people to really believe it was a half decent movie, then by all means do so.

    Fleming never wrote such a bad story to begin with, even if GF's ending has improved with the movie.

    For me DC is the taste of the day just like Roger Moore represented his day, and Timothy Dalton did kind of fail to do so even if his last movie was a big bow towards the then taste of the day Miami Vice.

    I think in hindsight a few movies along the series people will look back and see that while SF intentions may be good its final product lacks logic. But then again both The Avengers & TDKR both having similar plot ideas did do so as well, so perhaps it is the curse of these times that the stories about baddies letting themselves be caught and then rain havok on the good guys is fun. But is is in no way Flemingesque.

    With the current writers I do not expect anything Fleming because they find themselves better writers apperently, MAGIC 44 really??
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    SaintMark wrote:
    If SF needs to have the label Fleming for some people to really believe it was a half decent movie, then by all means do so.

    Fleming never wrote such a bad story to begin with, even if GF's ending has improved with the movie.

    For me DC is the taste of the day just like Roger Moore represented his day, and Timothy Dalton did kind of fail to do so even if his last movie was a big bow towards the then taste of the day Miami Vice.

    I think in hindsight a few movies along the series people will look back and see that while SF intentions may be good its final product lacks logic. But then again both The Avengers & TDKR both having similar plot ideas did do so as well, so perhaps it is the curse of these times that the stories about baddies letting themselves be caught and then rain havok on the good guys is fun. But is is in no way Flemingesque.

    With the current writers I do not expect anything Fleming because they find themselves better writers apperently, MAGIC 44 really??

    The Dark Knight, actually.
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,512
    Gerard wrote:
    For me, the most "flemingesque" moment in SF is the story about the rats.

    Completely agree, when I first saw this scene it felt like it was straight off the page of a Fleming novel.
    SaintMark wrote:
    Fleming never wrote such a bad story to begin with, even if GF's ending has improved with the movie.

    He'd have certainly made the mechanics of Silva's plot less linear. I always felt Fleming had a great knack of making the ridiculous sound plausible. SF fails to do this IMO.
  • edited March 2013 Posts: 11,189
    Gerard wrote:
    For me, the most "flemingesque" moment in SF is the story about the rats. Ian Fleming used that kind of disgressions often (remember the story of the Players Cigarettes sailor from Thunderball ?). And of course, it's followed up in the final confrontation ("Last rat standing !"). That, and a lot of other points that others have discussed before make SF the most flmeingesque Bond of all, despite the fact that it is not based on a Fleming plot.

    I agree. That speech had a very Fleming vibe about it.

    Upon listening to the audio-book of YOLT recently the section featuring Ride of the Valkyries in the castle reminded me of when Silvia makes his entrance at Skyfall with the slightly cheesey, trigger-happy music in the helicopter.
  • Posts: 908
    SaintMark wrote:


    Add to that some of the other aspects of the film that people have noted above and I can very much see how SF is a great modern day "Flemingesque" Bond story.

    Only in regard to the absurdities that happen all over the Place, but CERTAINLY NOT when it comes to Bonds (Craigs ) behaviour. Especially Bonds completly emotionless watching getting People killed (even some whom he had promised to protect them!) would have had Mr Flemings disdain, i gather.
  • Posts: 3,279
    Matt_Helm wrote:
    Only in regard to the absurdities that happen all over the Place, but CERTAINLY NOT when it comes to Bonds (Craigs ) behaviour. Especially Bonds completly emotionless watching getting People killed (even some whom he had promised to protect them!) would have had Mr Flemings disdain, i gather.

    Really? So Bond showed no emotion when M was killed? Did we watch the same film?
  • Posts: 7,653
    Matt_Helm wrote:
    Only in regard to the absurdities that happen all over the Place, but CERTAINLY NOT when it comes to Bonds (Craigs ) behaviour. Especially Bonds completly emotionless watching getting People killed (even some whom he had promised to protect them!) would have had Mr Flemings disdain, i gather.

    Really? So Bond showed no emotion when M was killed? Did we watch the same film?

    Come on JSW even Lazenby, the model turned actor, showed a more convincing show of emotion with the killings (Severine was an odd one) and M, whose death he was to blame, DC failed to convince me. And he is the superiour actor for G sake.

  • Posts: 802
    Excellent thread from @jetsetwilly who articulates so well the Flemingesque moments that made the movie so great.
    IMHO had it not been for the bloated aspects of the opening chase and the final scene (when will we ever learn that less is sometimes more) the whole thing would have been 100% Ian.
    Great stuff - let's hope they stick with the direction!
  • Posts: 3,279
    SaintMark wrote:
    Matt_Helm wrote:
    Only in regard to the absurdities that happen all over the Place, but CERTAINLY NOT when it comes to Bonds (Craigs ) behaviour. Especially Bonds completly emotionless watching getting People killed (even some whom he had promised to protect them!) would have had Mr Flemings disdain, i gather.

    Really? So Bond showed no emotion when M was killed? Did we watch the same film?

    Come on JSW even Lazenby, the model turned actor, showed a more convincing show of emotion with the killings (Severine was an odd one) and M, whose death he was to blame, DC failed to convince me. And he is the superiour actor for G sake.
    Wow! We must all see things differently then, as I really thought DC nailed it spot on with the acting in the final scene with M. It was played just right I thought. Not too OTT, not too downbeat, not too many tears - just perfect.

    Also, the moment with M is a very different moment to a newly-wed Bond cradling the corpse of his dead wife, murdered by the villain who escapes into the distance.

    Bond has just spent hours in battle at Skyfall, knowing M was in danger, then throws a knife into the back of Silva before seeing an aging M's demise. There was little shock factor there compared to the tragic OHMSS scene.



  • SandySandy Somewhere in Europe
    Posts: 4,012
    SaintMark wrote:
    Matt_Helm wrote:
    Only in regard to the absurdities that happen all over the Place, but CERTAINLY NOT when it comes to Bonds (Craigs ) behaviour. Especially Bonds completly emotionless watching getting People killed (even some whom he had promised to protect them!) would have had Mr Flemings disdain, i gather.

    Really? So Bond showed no emotion when M was killed? Did we watch the same film?

    Come on JSW even Lazenby, the model turned actor, showed a more convincing show of emotion with the killings (Severine was an odd one) and M, whose death he was to blame, DC failed to convince me. And he is the superiour actor for G sake.
    Wow! We must all see things differently then, as I really thought DC nailed it spot on with the acting in the final scene with M. It was played just right I thought. Not too OTT, not too downbeat, not too many tears - just perfect.

    Also, the moment with M is a very different moment to a newly-wed Bond cradling the corpse of his dead wife, murdered by the villain who escapes into the distance.

    Bond has just spent hours in battle at Skyfall, knowing M was in danger, then throws a knife into the back of Silva before seeing an aging M's demise. There was little shock factor there compared to the tragic OHMSS scene.



    There is a difference between seeing and observing, as Sherlock Holmes so many times enjoys pointing out ;) Your analysis is, in my opinion, perfect @jetsetwilly.
  • Posts: 908
    Matt_Helm wrote:
    Only in regard to the absurdities that happen all over the Place, but CERTAINLY NOT when it comes to Bonds (Craigs ) behaviour. Especially Bonds completly emotionless watching getting People killed (even some whom he had promised to protect them!) would have had Mr Flemings disdain, i gather.

    Really? So Bond showed no emotion when M was killed? Did we watch the same film?

    No, when M died that was weeping and failing Bond. I was OBVIOUSLY refering to the Dead of the two Guards and the Killing of the Wannabe Art Collector. Not to forget the Former Sex Slave, that was naive enough to Take Bonds Word for Face Value. Willi,Willi,Willi ...
  • edited March 2013 Posts: 11,425


    SF strikes me as being very Purvis and Wade-esque.
  • Posts: 7,653
    Getafix wrote:

    SF strikes me as being very Purvis and Wade-esque.

    I would go for EONesque at best.

  • edited March 2013 Posts: 3,279
    Matt_Helm wrote:
    Matt_Helm wrote:
    Only in regard to the absurdities that happen all over the Place, but CERTAINLY NOT when it comes to Bonds (Craigs ) behaviour. Especially Bonds completly emotionless watching getting People killed (even some whom he had promised to protect them!) would have had Mr Flemings disdain, i gather.

    Really? So Bond showed no emotion when M was killed? Did we watch the same film?

    No, when M died that was weeping and failing Bond. I was OBVIOUSLY refering to the Dead of the two Guards and the Killing of the Wannabe Art Collector. Not to forget the Former Sex Slave, that was naive enough to Take Bonds Word for Face Value. Willi,Willi,Willi ...
    Are you forgetting the moment in the OHMSS novel, when Bond doesn't acknowledge who Campbell is, then sees him carted off to his death and does nothing except lights a cigarette with a `dead steady hand?'

  • Posts: 908
    Matt_Helm wrote:
    Matt_Helm wrote:
    Only in regard to the absurdities that happen all over the Place, but CERTAINLY NOT when it comes to Bonds (Craigs ) behaviour. Especially Bonds completly emotionless watching getting People killed (even some whom he had promised to protect them!) would have had Mr Flemings disdain, i gather.

    Really? So Bond showed no emotion when M was killed? Did we watch the same film?

    No, when M died that was weeping and failing Bond. I was OBVIOUSLY refering to the Dead of the two Guards and the Killing of the Wannabe Art Collector. Not to forget the Former Sex Slave, that was naive enough to Take Bonds Word for Face Value. Willi,Willi,Willi ...
    Are you forgetting the moment in the OHMSS novel, when Bond doesn't acknowledge who Campbell is, then sees him carted off to his death and does nothing except lights a cigarette with a `dead steady hand?'

    Bond is acting for the sake of his Mission there,so i can't see what this scene has got to do with it. NONE of those he is watching passionless getting killed would get his Mission in SF failed!
  • edited March 2013 Posts: 11,189
    Matt_Helm wrote:
    Only in regard to the absurdities that happen all over the Place, but CERTAINLY NOT when it comes to Bonds (Craigs ) behaviour. Especially Bonds completly emotionless watching getting People killed (even some whom he had promised to protect them!) would have had Mr Flemings disdain, i gather.

    Really? So Bond showed no emotion when M was killed? Did we watch the same film?

    I thought that was one of the best bits of acting we've had in the series. Bond felt like a man who had lost his mother/grandmother and the way he delicately covers her eyes after she goes is beautiful...that got me I'm not ashamed to admit.

    Its the first time since OHMSS we REALLY felt sorry for Bond.
  • Posts: 686
    I've seen the film twice now, and a few Fleming-type moments jumped out at me more the second time round. Here they are -

    1) The obvious one to begin with. Bond dying, Obituary written by M, a depressed Bond going AWOL, and then Bond reappearing again, with health at an all-time low. This whole episode is taken out of Fleming's last few novels - TB (Bond's health), YOLT (Bond being a shadow of his former self, Bond dying) and TMWTGG - Bond resurfacing and being tested and questioned.

    Yes and it showed that Bond worked for the Ministry of Defence which means he could not have worked for MI6.
  • edited March 2013 Posts: 11,425
    BAIN123 wrote:
    Matt_Helm wrote:
    Only in regard to the absurdities that happen all over the Place, but CERTAINLY NOT when it comes to Bonds (Craigs ) behaviour. Especially Bonds completly emotionless watching getting People killed (even some whom he had promised to protect them!) would have had Mr Flemings disdain, i gather.

    Really? So Bond showed no emotion when M was killed? Did we watch the same film?

    I thought that was one of the best bits of acting we've had in the series. Bond felt like a man who had lost his mother/grandmother and the way he delicately covers her eyes after she goes is beautiful...that got me I'm not ashamed to admit.

    Its the first time since OHMSS we REALLY felt sorry for Bond.

    Really? I will have to watch it again at some point.

    By that point I was so sick of Dench's M that I was just waiting for her to die. I don't personally feel it stands up to the Tracy scene, but each to their own.
  • edited March 2013 Posts: 11,189
    Getafix wrote:
    BAIN123 wrote:
    Matt_Helm wrote:
    Only in regard to the absurdities that happen all over the Place, but CERTAINLY NOT when it comes to Bonds (Craigs ) behaviour. Especially Bonds completly emotionless watching getting People killed (even some whom he had promised to protect them!) would have had Mr Flemings disdain, i gather.

    Really? So Bond showed no emotion when M was killed? Did we watch the same film?

    I thought that was one of the best bits of acting we've had in the series. Bond felt like a man who had lost his mother/grandmother and the way he delicately covers her eyes after she goes is beautiful...that got me I'm not ashamed to admit.

    Its the first time since OHMSS we REALLY felt sorry for Bond.

    Really? I will have to watch it again at some point.

    By that point I was so sick of Dench's M that I was just waiting for her to die. I don't personally feel it stands up to the Tracy scene, but each to their own.

    I have no shame in saying I'm going to miss her. In fact I booked tickets to see her on stage next month partly because I liked her so much in Bond.

    Wonderfully acted final scene!
  • edited March 2013 Posts: 12,837
    When M died I wasn't too fussed because I didn't like the character anyway. Loved her in GE, thought she was alright in the rest of the Brosnan flicks but she got my nerves more than anything else in the Craig era. The final scene was well acted though and I did feel sorry for Bond. I'd say it's more emotional than Vespers death but not Tracy's. That's the one death where I actually feel sad.

    Anyway, agreed with the original post except for the helicopters. I think that was an Apocalypse Now reference, not an attempt at being Flemingesque.
  • edited March 2013 Posts: 11,425
    Yes, as much as I disliked the Brosnan era Dench was (with the exception of TWINE) kept reasonably under control at least. The character was a bit more competent you felt as well. Since DC came along she became increasingly useless. In QoS she didn't know there was an infiltrator in her team and ran off when things turned nasty in Sienna (still don't fully understand what happens in that scene) and in SF she totally loses the plot and gets way too much screentime. Why Mendes thought it was more interesting to have hours of Dench instead of a bit more SIlva or Severine dialogue I will never know.

    I knew we were in trouble when during the prerelease interviews Craig and Dench were talking about how M gets more out and about this time. Really... more than QoS? More than TWINE? Oh well.
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