The Reasons why Britain Still Loves Bond -

The Reasons why Britain Still Loves Bond

The British public have had a love affair with Ian Fleming’s super-suave secret agent, James Bond, ever since the very first Bond film came out in 1962.

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Apart from his dashing good looks, flawless taste in suits and cocktails, fearless outwitting of all manner of dastardly enemies and, of course, his unwavering success with the ladies, there are some key threads that run through the entire Bond franchise of movies like a well-shaken Martini.

Take, for instance, the glamourous lifestyle of Britain’s top secret agent. Think about it – how many times have you seen James Bond in that most sumptuous of settings, the casino?

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Lots is the answer; always impeccably turned out in black tie, Bond is often to be found in that most peerless backdrop of upscale adult pleasures, often teaching his shadowy counterparts a thing or two about how to hold your nerve at the tables.

We surveyed 2,000 Bond movie fans to ascertain which of those many casino scenes is the most iconic. Here’s what they said:

  1. Nearly half (45%) of people named the casino scene from the 2006 movie, Casino Royale, as the most iconic; here, Daniel Craig’s Bond beats the blood-eyed villain, Le Chiffre, with a straight flush in a game of Texas Hold ‘Em poker.
  2. More than a third (36%) chose the Baccarat game at the start of Dr No – Sean Connery? The opening scenes of the first ever Bond film? How much more iconic can you get?
  3. One third (33%) picked another Daniel Craig scene in which, in the film Skyfall, Bond plays Sic Bo in the Floating Dragon casino in Macau; the stunning setting of this particular casino probably helped gain it more votes.
  4. More Baccarat at selection #4 (32%), but this time with Pierce Brosnan holding the cards in Goldeneye and beating deadly enemy agent Xenia Onatopp in the process.
  5. Rounding out the top five, 27% picked that time in Diamonds are Forever when Connery’s Bond played craps in the fictional Whyte House casino, all of which means that poor old Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton don’t get a look in…


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Another element that film fans would feel enormously deprived of if they didn’t appear in every Bond movie is the fearless derring-do stunts that pepper the franchise. There have been so many since the first film in ‘62 that directors these days have to work super hard to come up with a stunt crazy enough to eclipse previous ones, let alone have the famed Bond name associated with it.

The nation’s favourite secret agent has, somehow, survived everything from a plane chase through a mountain range, tipping a juggernaut on to the wheels on one side to escape the bad guys, a parkour chase at the top of a crane and jumping a river in a car while barrel-rolling in mid-air.

In fact, the bungee jump off the edge of the Contra Dam in 1995’s Goldeneye was so epic that it actually entered the Guinness Book of Records.

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However, here are the top five most heroic stunts ever pulled off by 007, as voted for by the Great British public:

  1. The opening scenes of The Spy Who Loved Me saw our hero in a frantic ski chase through an Alpine-style forest, dodging obstacles as well as bullets from the chasing Russians; after a casual backflip over a small building, as you do, Bond skis straight off the edge of a cliff. Is the end for 007? Course not, out pops a union flag parachute and he sails to safety. This sequence proved the most popular in our survey, with nearly three in 10 (28%) naming it as the best Bond stunt – perhaps it was helped by the equally iconic Alan Partridge’s retelling of the scene in a way only he knows how…
  2. In the 2006 film, Skyfall, Daniel Craig’s Bond is chasing the bad guys and engages in a gunfight on top of a speeding train. When he runs out of bullets, he commandeers a large digger which is being transported on the train and uses the excavator bucket to shield himself from enemy fire. When the baddie uncouples the carriage on which Bond is travelling, he uses the digger’s crane to latch on to the escaping train and uses the arm of the digger to leap into the next carriage. He even manages a witty quip after jumping on to the moving train. Of course he does. More than a quarter (26%) of people said this was their favourite stunt.
  3. Another stunt that persuaded a quarter (24%) to vote comes from Live and Let Die, meaning Roger Moore finally gets a mention in our list. Here, Bond has escaped from a Louisiana heroin farm, where he was about to be fed to alligators and a speedboat chase ensues. Being pursued by several boats with decidedly unsavoury men in them, Bond races through the bayou before reaching a dead end where a raised road crosses the water. There, the main baddie has been briefly apprehended by the local sheriff and, rather than double back, Bond lifts the nose of his boat and leaps the road, cars, sheriff and bad guy to make good his escape.
  4. In Casino Royale, Bond drove a custom Aston Martin DBS which, incidentally, he took spectacularly poor care of but, which unintentionally gave the Bond franchise a stunt so mighty that it set a Guinness World Record. In the flick, Bond is chasing after a ‘kidnapped’ Vesper Lynd before swerving to avoid her, tied up in the road. The film-makers built an eight-inch ramp to give the DBS a little ‘incentive’ to roll but the Aston refused. So they built an 18-inch ramp instead but the DBS was so sturdy, the stuntman couldn’t get it to flip. Eventually they fitted a gas cannon to the underside of the car that punched a metal ram out of the bottom and tipped it on to its roof. The results were spectacular and the car barrel-rolled seven times, unwittingly setting a new world record. An impressive 23% called this the top Bond stunt.
  5. Last on the top five list, and also attracting 23% of voters, is another speedboat chase, albeit this time with Bond as the pursuer. In The World is not Enough, Pierce Brosnan’s 007 is on the heels of a female assassin as they blat along the Thames, nip through wharfs, with Bond even managing a significant stretch on land in Q’s super-futuristic boat, before the two come head-to-head on the water alongside the O2. The baddie escapes in a hot air balloon but at least several perfectly innocent people’s property and businesses were destroyed as a result of the chase.