Bond, James (cough cough) Bond

2007-01-27, Comments

With two young children, Gail and I don’t get to see as many films as we’d like, but recently we’ve been lucky enough to catch two.

Babel

The first, Babel, was showing at the Watershed. It’s a superb film, but what also struck me was that the Watershed is now an entirely non-smoking venue — and not before time. After too many evenings in too many smoky venues I can’t wait for the new anti-smoking legislation.

Casino Royale

The second, Casino Royale, was also excellent, and so true in spirit to what I recall of the book that I decided to re-visit the original. The book has fewer locations, fights and chases, but otherwise is indeed quite similar to the film. One difference which struck me was the change in Bond’s smoking habits. It’s hard to imagine the Daniel Craig incarnation of Bond smoking —- I don’t think he’d manage to sprint up the side of a crane so nimbly. Yet the original Bond lights up all the time. About five pages in, on returning to his hotel room:

… he lit his seventieth cigarette of the day

and later, when he’s setting off for the casino to bankrupt Le Chiffre:

… he filled a flat, light gunmetal box with fifty of the Morland cigarettes with the triple gold band

I don’t think Sony would have been quite so keen on placing their products in the movie if new Bond had been faithful to this particular habit.

Further Reading

I recommend X20 by Richard Beard.