Film Reviews Reviews

Over 50 years of James Bond

Written by Omair Alavi

Instep|Omair Alavi|January 19, 2020

Sir Roger Moore goes down memory lane, revisiting over 50 years of James Bond, personalizing the journey with anecdotes from his own diary.

It’s a legacy that spans more than five decades, over two dozen films with as many as six screen idols portraying one of the most iconic characters in the history of fiction. James Bond, Ian Fleming’s creation, has had a great career both off and onscreen and this year, No Time to Die – the 25th film in the Bond franchise – will hit screens as Daniel Craig’s last. There’s quite a legacy behind the creation, evolution and adventures of the world’s most suave spy and what would be the best way to learn about it all than hearing from the man who also portrayed the character? In this updated edition of Bond On Bond, Sir Roger Moore talks about James Bond, becoming Bond and explains why he had the most fun as the world’s favourite secret agent.

This ultimate book on over 50 years of 007 is a treasure trove and stores invaluable information on James Bond’s legacy. Roger Moore tells the readers that before he was cast as Bond, there was another actor who was trusted with the role – George Lazenby – who left after just one flick. He claims that Sean Connery was the ultimate Bond and that he was happy to know that his legacy would be carried forward with Pierce Brosnan and then Daniel Craig. In fact, he was one of the few people who supported the latter’s appointment when the rest of the world seemed against it.

That’s just the beginning of how Roger Moore starts mapping the Bond Universe, with details, trivia and anecdotes interspersed with personal incidents and experiences. Be it the flashy villains and their henchmen, gorgeous Bond girls who often died helping the Secret Agent; cool gadgets that helped Bond escape from impossible situations and of course, the cars (those curvy Aston Martins) that made all his rides smoother. The photographs that accompany this book – be it behind the scenes or of actual film footage – are a treat to look at not just because they bring back memories but also because they allow the readers a clear comparison between the two eras, past and present.

Roger Moore talks about Bond villains and Bond girls and what made them so unforgettable; he discusses at length the actors who played these characters, giving an in-depth analysis on each. He also explains why he chose not to drive an Aston Martin, claiming it was Sean’s car, not his. He also has a major say about actor Desmond Llewelyn who played Q in the series and shared the screen with all Bonds except Daniel Craig. Don’t be surprised to learn a few new things, such as the actor who played Goldfinger and posed the biggest threat to 007, couldn’t even speak English!

Finally – and how can any book on Bond be complete without it – is the discussion on James Bond’s ubiquitous style, that refined manner and dapper wardrobe; needless to say, Bond’s personal style added to both his character and its appeal. Roger Moore does admit that by the time he was nearing 60, he was playing James Bond on the insistence of the makers and had to quit as more films would have made youngsters angry. That’s all part of the 007 legacy and it is still going strong nearing 60 years!

About the author

Omair Alavi