Just watched the trailer for “Spectre.” I’ll be buying a ticket for this one.
I really liked “Skyfall” so I likely would make the effort to see the latest Bond flick in a theater even without watching a preview.
I think it’s time to share my overall Bond experience with the world.
It began in 1982. Summer.
I didn’t see my first Bond flick at this time. That happened the summer before. “For Your Eyes Only.” I remember seeing it but it didn’t have a huge impact on me save for a couple of parts. One was about 2/3 through the film when Jimmy and the female lead were tied up on a boat, then dragged through water with the villains expecting them to wind up as shark food. (At the time I didn’t know that the coral was supposed to make them good and bloody.) The other memorable moment took place at the end, with the bad guys dispatched and the world again a safe place to be. James and Melina Havelock (the same gal from the scenario just mentioned) are smooching, then go for a skinny dip while the end credits roll. What adolescent guy wouldn’t recall that for a while??
Yet after leaving the theater I didn’t pay much attention to this character until July of ’82. My family was in the process of relocating from Houston to Albuquerque. Dad and I, along with Fred the Good Dog drove across much of Texas, staying the night in Lubbock. The Holiday Inn had HBO, which just happened to be showing “FYEO.” Dad hadn’t seen it (I think it was Mom, me, my younger sister, and maybe a cousin or two who went to the movies the year before). I recall Dad laughing at the part during the ski chase in which the guy at the rear of the bobsled does a double-take when he sees ol’ Jimmy on skis right behind them. And then Dad laughing again at the ending, featuring a Margaret Thatcher look-alike on a congratulatory phone call with who she thinks is Bond, but is in reality just the Havelock’s parrot since the two protagonists have already departed for the nude nighttime swim.
I wound up seeing this movie a few more times, all courtesy of HBO and the Holiday Inn chain of hotels since my family stayed there until closing on the house. Then in ’83 I saw “Octopussy” but again it didn’t begin any major drift toward 007 fandom.
I’m thinking it was for the Christmas of 1982 or perhaps ’83 that the next chapter begins. From a distant relative I received a gift card for either of the big-chain bookstores at the time, B. Dalton & Waldenbooks. Part of my haul upon leaving whichever one it was included two Ian Fleming J.B. novels: Live and Let Die and The Spy Who Loved Me. I brought the first one to school with the intent to read it during SSR (Sustained Silent Reading), a 15-minute timeframe in the mid-morning in which everyone in the building, principal included, was to sit and read.
Fleming’s prose was enough to keep this 18-year-old’s attention. Before long I was reading the other book, then slowly added to my collection. Along the way I was lucky enough to get to a double-feature at one of the theaters near UNM, the flicks were “Thunderball” and “Goldfinger.” Together with ABC’s Sunday Night Movie (or Saturday depending upon what the other networks scheduled) I began accumulating a fondness for both the books and the movies. Then when summer hit I worked with a guy who was reading an older-print version of Goldfinger. He told me about the used bookstores in town which led me to obtain all of the Fleming books not in print at the time.
And more in the next installment…