It’s 50 years since that intrepid and inimitable British hero James Bond first hit our cinema screens and since then there have been six incarnations of everybody’s favourite spy.
First off the celluloid production line was the dark and desirable Sean Connery who seemed to have made the role his own ... until a certain Mr Roger Moore stepped into the breach and stole our hearts with his twinkling eyes, charismatic charm and sardonic humour.
And now he’s back... not as 007, of course, but in his new persona as Sir Roger Moore, KBE, Bond observer, Bond aficionado, and author. He may be 85 now and at the age where ‘it’s my pacemaker that keeps my pulse racing’ but Moore has lost none of his trademark wit.
And to celebrate the film franchise’s wonderful heritage, he has written Bond on Bond, a pictorial extravaganza that features brilliant photographs and trivia from all the Bond movies, along with a characteristically self-deprecating account of his own involvement in them. And nobody does it better!
From the girls to the villains, from the cars to the cocktails, from the gadgets to the locations, this amazing book features iconic images from the films as well as many previously unseen shots.
Every chapter covers a different aspect of the Bond films production, including the beginnings, the villains, the girls, the gadgets, the cars, the locations and behind the scenes.
As always, Moore presents his account of the Bond phenomenon with laugh-out-loud comic asides and plenty of acute observations on his fellow Bonds.
Connery, he admits, was the best Bond ... ‘he was rough, tough, mean and witty,’ Pierce Brosnan was ‘cool, calculated and too damn handsome!’ and as for Daniel Craig, he’s ‘terrific, and I hope he’ll reign for many years to come.’
The ‘escapism, entertainment, fun, beauty and thrills that so encapsulate each and every film,’ Moore also reveals, was set down in the original blueprint designed by producers Albert R, ‘Cubby’ Broccoli and Harry Salzman.
And that early vision has never faded, earning the films a huge loyalty in the world of 007 fans who not only collect the films but also the memorabilia, the posters and, it hardly needs saying, the books!
So if there is a Bond fan in your family, the hunt for a gift is over... the ultimate book on 50 years of the cult movies written by one of the ultimate James Bonds has to be the perfect solution.
(Michael O’Mara Books, hardback, £25)