I saw the first James Bond film, Dr. No, at the Hiram College Cinema not long after it came out in 1962, the year I graduated from high school. I had never heard of James Bond (or Sean Connery) at the time, but there wasn't much else to do in Hiram for a frisky eighteen-year-old (or for frisky any-year-olds, for that matter), so Sunday nights in Hiram were movie nights. (A confession: I first held hands with a girl in a Hiram movie--and some other things, too, which my customary shyness forbids me to disclose).
|Hoppy, with horse, Topper|
Afterwards, I saw every Bond film on the day of its release. Then saw it again. And when they started appearing on TV, I saw them again. And on VHS. And DVD. And cable. And streaming. Not sure why. Probably just plain vicariousness. Bond is competent in every way I'm not--and in many ways that I am. So I must either hate him or admire him. I chose the latter (easier on the blood pressure).
|Timothy Dalton as 007|
I never cared for Roger Moore at all, and Pierce Brosnan I ... tolerated, principally because he was a major advance from Moore--though I never for a second believed any of Brosnan's martial displays.
And so--given all the above--there's no doubt what we would be doing last night, the opening night of Skyfall, the new Bond. I'd been a little disappointed in the previous one (Quantum of Solace, 2008), which suffered, I thought, from a condition called Wimpy Script-itis. Skyfall is much better than that (I like the sort of back-to-the-basics stuff here--not much technological trickery; I like Craig), but I thought the principal goal of the Bad Guy (to kill M) seemed a little ... insubstantial ... for a Bond film. Besides, how hard would it be, really, to kill Judi Dench, who's nearly ten years older than I am? I think I'd be pretty easy to ace.
And here's another thought: This year is the fiftieth anniversary of the first Bond film. On the way home last night, Joyce and I were remarking how our son, 40, has never known a world without Bond.
And neither, I realize now, has Daniel Craig. And he's getting old! Saints preserve us.