Category Archives: Movies

Octopussy [April A2Z]

Roger Moore James Bond 007 Octopussy

Welcome to my April A-Z! This month I will be posting about James Bond 007 every day except Sunday, mostly focusing on the movies, not the books. Enjoy!

Roger Moore takes on the 007 role for the sixth time in Eon Production’s Octopussy (1983). The title is taken from an Ian Fleming short story, but the movie plot is original. Bond is investigating the death of fellow agent 009 in Germany, which leads him to a baddie who is stealing from the Soviets. The agent was holding a fake Faberge egg when he died, so Bond tracks down the seller at a London auction, where he gets into a bidding war with Kamal Khan, an exiled Afghan prince played by Louis Jourdan. Bond swaps the real egg for a fake one and follows Khan back to his palace in India. Next, Bond meets Khan’s gorgeous associate Octopussy, played by Maud Adams. Yada yada. The convoluted idea is that Khan and Octopussy are planning to help some big baddie expand Soviet control in Europe by stealing priceless Soviet treasures, such as Faberge eggs, and replacing them with fakes. One fake contains a nuke that is supposed to explode at a US Air Force base circus, which would allegedly trigger immediate disarmament of Europe (due to nukes being too dangerous, right?), and then the Soviets could take over. What a dumb plot. Honestly, this is not my favorite Bond flick.

But it begins with O, so there ya go!

Tune in Monday for more A-Z Bond!

~*~

Information and images from Wikipedia and 123Movie.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Nobody Does It Better [April A2Z]

James Bond 007 logo

Welcome to my April A-Z! This month I will be posting about James Bond 007 every day except Sunday, mostly focusing on the movies, not the books. Enjoy!

One of the most enjoyable aspects of a Bond flick is the music. Fans love to hear the signature theme play near the beginning after “Bond, James Bond” introduces himself and the scene segues to the “gun barrel sequence.” Almost every 007 film begins this way. That original music was written by Monty Norman, who has received royalties since 1962. John Barry wrote the “007 adventure” music for From Russia with Love, and this music has appeared during action scenes of subsequent Bond films. Norman has won two libel actions against publishers for claiming that Barry wrote the theme. The James Bond Theme is what plays during the gun barrel sequence (and sometimes other places). Monty and John are listed as composers on some of the songs that play during the films (the songs are distinct from the theme music).

Luckily for us, YouTube has a plethora of videos to choose from to watch the opening sequence of Bond films along with the music. I chose a compilation to share and it’s really interesting to view the subtle changes in the gun barrel sequence as well as slight modifications to the tune. What’s also interesting is to see how much more comfortable Connery and Craig are when firing their guns as opposed to Moore, who actually hated guns in real life. I never noticed that before, but it’s obvious when you view the openings one after another. Yes, I watched the whole thing as a true Bond aficionado.

Bond films have introduced us to memorable songs as well. I already mentioned Shirley Bassey singing “Goldfinger” and “Diamonds Are Forever,” and there are many more. Other great tunes are “Thunderball” sung by Tom Jones, “Live and Let Die” written and performed by Paul McCartney & Wings, “Nobody Does It Better” sung by Carly Simon (for The Spy Who Loved Me), and “Writing’s On the Wall” written and performed by Sam Smith (for Spectre). I had mixed feelings about Adele’s “Skyfall,” but it’s grown on me. I love her singing generally, but I thought that song was too “light” for such a heavy movie at the time.

My personal favorite is the Carly song.

Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!

~*~

Information and images from Wikipedia, Wallpapercave.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Moneypenny [April A2Z]

007 and moneypenny

Welcome to my April A-Z! This month I will be posting about James Bond 007 every day except Sunday, mostly focusing on the movies, not the books. Enjoy!

Miss Moneypenny is a beloved recurring character in the Bond franchise. Lois Maxwell portrayed her first, from 1962 to 1985 ~ she appeared in 14 Eon-produced Bond films and on a TV special. She is the secretary to James’ boss M, who is the head of MI6, British Secret Intelligence. Though she has only a few lines per film, the amusing banter and sexual tension between Moneypenny and Bond make for delightful dialog. In Ian Fleming’s novels, we don’t see this, but the films play it up a bit. She is not considered a “Bond girl” because she never has any kind of physical relationship with Bond, nor does she prance around in sexy outfits. Moneypenny is a professional, holding the rank of Second Officer in the Women’s Royal Naval Service, and has Top Secret, Eyes Only clearance. We get the idea that she would like to have a romantic relationship with Bond, but so far that has not occurred, except in a fantasy sequence (2002’s Die Another Day has Miss Moneypenny trying out Q’s virtual reality simulator).

In Skyfall (2012), Moneypenny is given a backstory for the first time. We also, finally, get treated to her first name: Eve. Miss Moneypenny was sadly missing from the first two Craig-Bond films, but in Skyfall she is given an enlarged role. For the first time also, she is played by a non-white actress, Naomie Harris.

Eve Moneypenny James Bond Skyfall

In this film, Eve is an MI6 field agent. She tries to help Bond as he fights with a baddie on top of a train in Turkey, but she doesn’t have a clear shot at the baddie. M orders her to shoot, and she ends up shooting Bond. He appears to die (but of course he does not). After that, she is removed from the field and given a desk job. At the end, she decides to stay behind the scenes and work for the new M, and she formally introduces herself to Bond as “Eve Moneypenny.” Naomie plays Moneypenny again in Spectre (2015) and we will see her reprise the role later this year in No Time To Die.

Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!

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Information and images from Wikipedia, 007James, and James Bond Wiki.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Live and Let Die [April A2Z]

live and let die James Bond

Welcome to my April A-Z! This month I will be posting about James Bond 007 every day except Sunday, mostly focusing on the movies, not the books. Enjoy!

It must be noted that Live and Let Die was released during the height of “blaxploitation” and contains some cringey references and stereotypes.

Regardless, it may be my favorite Bond movie. This 1973 film (Eon Productions) is the first time Roger Moore stars as Bond, and, while I realize there are differing opinions, I think he does a fantastic job! The story is about the drug trade, with Mr. Big planning to distribute tons of heroin for free to put his rival drug lords out of business, thus giving himself a monopoly. While investigating the deaths of fellow British agents in New York and New Orleans, Bond discovers that Mr. Big is from the fictional island of San Monique. Naturally, Bond must visit the island, which is teeming with poppies (where heroin comes from). Complications ensue! It’s a super fun film with loads of gangsters and voodoo and of course a beautiful girl whom Bond must save. Yaphet Kotto, who recently passed away, stars as Mr. Big and his alter ego Dr. Kanaga, a corrupt Caribbean dictator who rules San Monique. For a Bond film, the plot is quite straightforward!

Jane Seymour plays Solitaire, the main love interest in this movie. She is a virgin priestess who tells the future via tarot cards and Mr. Big needs her help as he continues with his scheme. Bond seduces Solitaire with a fake deck of cards and she loses her magical abilities, consequently putting her on the bad side of Mr. Big. She now must join forces with 007, or else.

live and let die 007 and solitaire

I haven’t mentioned Felix Leiter much ~ he’s Bond’s counterpart in the CIA and has a recurring role in many of the 007 films. In this one, he’s played by David Hedison, who also portrays Leiter in License to Kill (1989). He has funny lines in LALD, in particular a dialog with a southern sheriff, J.W. Pepper (played by Clifton James), as the sheriff tries to figure out what’s going on. As Bond escapes from the baddies on a wild speedboat ride, Pepper is outrageously hysterical. “Humorous” may not be the adjective first to mind when thinking of Bond films, but I find myself laughing throughout these movies.

Watch the following video for my favorite scene from LALD!

The title song, “Live and Let Die,” was written by Paul and Linda McCartney and performed by their band Wings. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!

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Information and images from Wikipedia, Cultbox, PopSugar, and IMDB.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Kiel, Richard [April A2Z]

Richard Kiel

Welcome to my April A-Z! This month I will be posting about James Bond 007 every day except Sunday, mostly focusing on the movies, not the books. Enjoy!

Richard Dawson Kiel was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1939. He reached the extraordinary height of 7’2″ due to excess growth hormone. His family moved to California when he was 9 and he graduated from Baldwin Park High School. Richard held a bunch of odd jobs, including a cemetery plot salesman and math teacher, before he found his way into “the biz.” Naturally, he was often cast as the bad guy, including in the second episode of I Dream of Jeannie (1965), where he plays Ali in ancient Persia. But we are here today to focus on his iconic role as “Jaws” in the James Bond franchise. He was one of the few villains who showed up in more than one film

Richard first appeared as Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). He working as an assassin for baddie Karl Stromberg and was outfitted with special steel teeth to make him look extra-scary. Kiel said the teeth were hugely uncomfortable to wear. He doesn’t speak in the film, but he certainly smiles. Jaws was supposed to be killed by a shark after escaping from Stromberg’s ship before it was torpedoed, but he was so popular with the test audience that the producers decided to let him live. He played Jaws again in Moonraker (1979), where he was given a larger role.

Jaws and Bond

In Moonraker, Jaws becomes more of a comedic figure than a ruthless killer, even though he still looks terrifying. There are some spoofy type fight scenes, where he’s clearly stronger than Roger Moore’s 007, but Bond overpowers him by zapping him in the teeth with a broken lamp. Silly but fun. Jaws is working for baddie Drax but turns against him and helps Bond defeat him. This is primarily motivated not by Bond’s persuasiveness but by Jaws’ new love interest ~ the blonde, pigtailed Dolly who also does not talk. In both films, Jaws survives ridiculous situations which would be fatal for any normal human, such as the aforementioned shark battle and also falling several thousand feet after he screws up his parachute (in Moonraker). He gets up and straightens his jacket in the same manner as Bond himself. At the end of Moonraker, Jaws and Dolly survive the collapse of Drax’s space station, and he gets one line. “Here’s to us,” Jaws says as he pops a bottle of champagne with his teeth. There were plans to bring Jaws back for a third Bond adventure, but that didn’t happen.

After Jaws, Richard Kiel had a few more roles, notably as Mr. Larson in Adam Sandler’s Happy Gilmore. He also co-authored a biography of the abolitionist CM Clay and published an autobiography as well. Kiel was a born-again Christian, which he said helped him overcome his alcoholism. He was married twice. Diane Rogers, his second wife, was only 5’1″ and they were married 40 years until Kiel’s death. With Diane, Kiel had 4 children and 9 grandchildren. He passed away in 2014 of a heart attack right before his 75th birthday.

Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!

~*~

Information and images from Wikipedia, Fandom, and Pinterest.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Judi Dench [April A2Z]

Judi Dench

Welcome to my April A-Z! This month I will be posting about James Bond 007 every day except Sunday, mostly focusing on the movies, not the books. Enjoy!

Dame Judith Olivia Dench was born in 1934 in York, England. She began her stage career in 1957 as Ophelia in Hamlet and ever since has received honors for her stellar acting abilities. She’s been nominated for an Academy Award seven times and won once (for her supporting role as Queen Elizabeth I in 1998’s Shakespeare in Love). She is considered one of the greatest actors of all time and often tops the list of Britain’s favorites. In 1988, Ms. Dench was awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, which is a British order of chivalry that rewards contributions to the arts and sciences, among other things. This is why she is called “Dame,” which is an honorific.

Today, however, we want to focus on her role as M in the James Bond franchise. Ian Fleming created the character of “M” in his 007 novels to be the nickname for the chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, which is known as M16. There have been four actors who played M in the Eon (Broccoli) films: Bernard Lee, Robert Brown, Judi Dench, and Ralph Fiennes, the incumbent. In the non-Eon movies, M was played by John Huston, David Niven, and Edward Fox. Ms. Dench first portrayed M in 1995’s GoldenEye, which starred Pierce Brosnan as Bond. She continued to play M in the next three Brosnan 007 films, and again when Daniel Craig took on the 007 role in Casino Royale (2006). Ms. Dench played M for another three films with Craig as Bond, and met her tragic end in Skyfall. She is the first M to be killed in the line of duty.

Dench and Craig

The film character is supposedly based on Stella Rimington, the real-life head of MI5 between 1992 and 1996.

Ms. Dench was married for 40 years to the actor Michael Williams (d. 2001); they had one daughter, Finty (who has a son). In 2010, Ms. Dench met conservationist David Mills and they’ve been a couple since. Ms. Dench is a Quaker.

Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!

~*~

Information and images from Wikipedia, James Bond Wiki, and Metro News.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Ian Fleming [April A2Z]

Ian Fleming

Welcome to my April A-Z! This month I will be posting about James Bond 007 every day except Sunday, mostly focusing on the movies, not the books. Enjoy!

Today’s post is in honor of the British writer Ian Fleming, who created the James Bond 007 character and wrote the original Bond novels. Ian was born on May 28, 1908 in Mayfair, London and died on August 12, 1964 in Canterbury, Kent on his son Caspar’s 12th birthday ~ Caspar committed suicide at age 23. Ian was only 56 years old at his death, but he had been a heavy smoker and drinker all his life and suffered from heart disease.

Like many writers, Fleming had a complicated background. He came from a wealthy family, but he didn’t do well at school, where he was bullied and had physical problems. He also hated the food. He began Eton College in 1921 and excelled at athletics; he also edited a school magazine. But he still had problems with authority and ended up leaving early. Ian next went to the Royal Military College where he dropped out after catching gonorrhea. Next, his mother sent him to schools in Austria and Switzerland. In Geneva, Fleming began a relationship and became engaged, but he broke it off when his mother disapproved. He then failed the exams to enter the Foreign Office, but mommy got him a job as a sub-editor and journalist with Reuters. Finally, he went into banking due to family pressure.

Ian had a long relationship with Ann O’Neill (née Charteris), who was married to a baron and had numerous affairs. After divorcing the baron, Ann married a viscount, while still carrying on with Fleming. Eventually, the viscount caught onto their shenanigans and divorced her, at which point Ian and Ann finally tied the knot themselves and had a son. But they both still constantly cheated on each other.

Ian worked for Britain’s Naval Intelligence Division during WWII, where he picked up many of his ideas for his 007 books with their complex plots and layers of bad guys. He wrote his first Bond novel Casino Royale in 1952 and it was a success. He quickly followed up with eleven more Bond novels and two short story collections. The Bond books are ranked among the best-selling fictional series and have sold over 100 million copies worldwide. Fleming also wrote the children’s story Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang as well as non-fiction. In 2008, The Times ranked him as 14th on their list of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945.

Two of Fleming’s 007 books were published posthumously, and there have been more since, written “in the style of.” The originals are the best, imo. The films don’t necessarily follow the novels closely except for the basic character of James Bond. You don’t mess with 007!

Tune in Monday for more A-Z Bond!

PS: Sorry about all the errors in this post ~ I am grateful for my careful readers and appreciate any catches.

~*~

Information and images from Wikipedia and Pinterest.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Henchwomen [April A2Z]

Roger Moore James Bond 007 The Spy Who Loved Me Barbara Bach

Welcome to my April A-Z! This month I will be posting about James Bond 007 every day except Sunday, mostly focusing on the movies, not the books. Enjoy!

We’ve already discussed the fabulous Oddjob in my Goldfinger post, and of course I paid special tribute to Blofeld in his own post. Richard Kiel as Jaws gets his due later in this series as well. Lots of henchmen after 007! But only men? Nope. There are plenty of Bond henchwomen too. We mentioned Rosa Klebb in From Russia With Love who was an older, unattractive henchwoman. But along with the beauties bedding Bond, there are also other gorgeous women who want to put a bullet in our hero. Okay, sometimes they’re up for both. Here are a couple of good ones…

Barbara Bach (pictured above with Roger Moore as Bond) stars as Anya Amasova in 1974’s The Spy Who Loved Me. We meet her as KGB agent Triple X after an exciting ski chase. Bond and Anya are ordered to work together against a baddie who is trying to trick both the British and the Russians into launching nukes at the USA. It’s a reluctant partnership, especially when Anya discovers that James killed her boyfriend during the ski chase. She tells Bond she plans to kill him in revenge after this mission. But before Anya accomplishes her goal, she falls in love with him. Of course!

Little trivia: Barbara (Gold)bach was born in NYC, to a Jewish dad and an Irish mom. She is married to Ringo Starr and thus is properly titled Lady Starkey. Ringo was knighted in 2018 in Buckingham Palace by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.

Fatima Blush Never Say Never

Barbara Carrera stars as Fatima Blush in Never Say Never Again (1983). Here, Sean Connery returns to his iconic role as 007, for the seventh and final time. (Note that this movie is actually based on Fleming’s Thunderball novel.) Bond observes Fatima as a sadistic nurse beating a man in a health clinic where Bond is supposed to get back into top 007 shape. Fatima works for Blofeld, who has Fatima install a fake eye in the man in the clinic, which matches the USA’s President’s eye, so Blofeld can get access to nukes (it’s complicated!). After access, Fatima kills the man by tossing a venomous snake in his car ~ when he crashes, her main concern is retrieving her pet. Cold-blooded!

Fatima beds Bond, and later has him tied up and at her mercy. Fortunately for our hero, Fatima’s ego gets the best of her and before she strikes, she unties Bond and insists that he declare in writing that she was the best sex he ever had. Naturally, Q has supplied Bond with a tricked-out pen…

Barbara earned a Golden Globe nom for her role as Fatima. She is also an accomplished artist, and in 1997 was appointed Ambassador-at-Large for Nicaragua, the country of her birth.

Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!

~*~

Information and images from Vox, Pinterest, and Wikipedia.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Goldfinger [April A2Z]

James Bond 007 Goldfinger

Welcome to my April A-Z! This month I will be posting about James Bond 007 every day except Sunday, mostly focusing on the movies, not the books. Enjoy!

SPOILERS!

Sean Connery stars as Bond in Goldfinger (1964), where he investigates Auric Goldfinger (played by Gert Fröbe) and discovers his plot to contaminate the USA’s gold supply at Fort Knox. This will naturally result in a huge increase of value for Auric’s gold and give him gobs of power. Sounds like a reasonable idea, eh? Along the way Bond meets the beautiful blonde Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore, who supposedly is a lesbian and fails to fall for his charms, for a while anyway. But even she can’t resist him ultimately. Who could? Bond does have a lovely admirer in Jill Masterson, played by Shirley Eaton, until she gets painted out of the film (Goldfinger kills by covering people with gold paint so they suffocate). This film was the first of four to be directed by Guy Hamilton ~ and it was the first Bond “blockbuster.”

One of the most memorable scenes is when Goldfinger has Bond captured and strapped to a table. There is a scary laser about to slice through 007’s body, starting at his crotch. Bond quips, “Do you expect me to talk?” Auric says, “No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die.” Beautiful! Then Bond tricks him into thinking Bond knows more than he does, so Auric lets him live. ALWAYS A MISTAKE!

Goldfinger introduces Bond fans to a fun henchman named Oddjob played by the Japanese-American actor and professional wrestler Harold Sakata. Oddjob works for Goldfinger as his bodyguard, chauffeur, servant, and hitman. He is portrayed much differently in film than he was in Ian Fleming’s book, where he was shockingly grotesque. On screen, Oddjob’s appearance isn’t cause for terror, but his method of killing is: he flings his razor-sharp bowler hat at his subject and decapitates them. He also has a speech defect and only Goldfinger can understand what he says (good way to avoid paying someone to dub his lines!). Unfortunately, he has a literal taste for cats.

Goldfinger Oddjob

Shirley Bassey performs the memorable theme song for this movie.

Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!

~*~

Information and images from Wikipedia, IMDB, and Pinterest.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

The Brass Bottle [repost]

Brass Bottle

The Brass Bottle 1964 movie was the inspiration for the television show I Dream of Jeannie. That alone made me curious enough to purchase it, plus Tony Randall stars in the flick.

[SPOILERS FOR THE BRASS BOTTLE!]

This movie completely and utterly sucked. I mean, it was just so terribly bad, not in a funny, cultish, terribly bad way, but boringly, stupidly, terribly bad. Tony Randall was HORRIBLE as Harold the architect. He was dull and dweeby, not in any way awkwardly smart and handome like Larry Hagman’s Major Anthony Nelson on the TV show. Nor was Randall adorably funny as he was in The Odd Couple. Sad to say, Randall was just a bore.

The genie was played by Burl Ives, an old fat guy. This changed the entire dynamic between master and genie to the point where it was two unfunny men squabbling over dumb stuff and having misunderstandings. There was zero sexual tension between master and genie, or anyone else.

Barbara Eden played Harold’s fiancée Sylvia and though she was gorgeous, natch, she was also extremely boring. So disappointing! Here are Jeannie and Tony from the TV show for comparison.

Jeannie and Tony in IDOJ

Instead of the hysterical TV show Dr. Bellows sniffing around and causing trouble for Harold and his genie, it was Sylvia’s annoying father and a couple of unfunny cops poking their beaks in. We didn’t see cute Air Force hijinks, nor was there a goofy fun friend like TV Roger Healy.

The denouement was totally unsatisfying, consisting of real estate fraud, jail time, and a do-over in the “this was all a dream” sense.

I do not recommend this movie.

~*~

Images from Google.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.