I’ve only seen the movie Bond, and while reading this thread I wondered if the literary character is portrayed accurately in the movies. Are there any differences in how he is portrayed in the books and the movies?
I believe Fleming’s Bond comes from a class or two above Connery’s Bond. Been a while since I read or saw a Bond, though. I used to gobble 'em up, and that’s my general impression.
There’s an immense difference. I strongly recommend Benson’s The James Bond Bedside Companion, which does an exhaustive analysis of all of the books and films (up to the writing of the book, of course), and you can see the differences.
Just to list a few:
1.) The James Bond of the books never makes the short puns and comments so typical of the movies.
2.) Whereas Q always accuses the movie Bond of contempt for his gadgets, in the books Bond takes careful and meticulous care of his equipment
3.) The literary Bond knows he’s in a dangerous profession, and fully expects to be killed in the line of action. One reason he spends so lavishly on the good thiongs in life is that he doesn’t save – he doesn’t se the point in it. You never ereally get that sense of fatalism from the movie Bond.
4.) The literary Bond spends a fair amount of time reading, and as even been writing his own book of self-defence, Stay Alive. His being well-informed helps in the field. Nevertheless, he is basically a heavy gambler, taking chances without proper justification and being extremely lucky. All of this is treflected in his passion for roulette, chemin-de-fer, and baccarat, in which he also takes outrageous chances and never loses. The movie Bond doesn’t give the impression of being a reader or writer. He occasionally shows signs of deep knowledge, but you have no idea how he came by that knowledge. The gambling sense occasionally comes through, but too much of the time it isn’t really clear why he does whatr he does.
Couple these with the fact that Bond himself in the movies hasn’t been the same. On his first outing, Connery played Bond much closer to the books – he was cold (the first time he says “Bond, James Bond”, as Benson notes, it’s totally without warmth) and cold-blooded (he shoots the doctor who tried to kill him very deliberately and dispassionately, when he might have easily done anything else with him, including capture.) Later on, he began making the quips and getting heavily into the gadgets. He became a real cartoon by the time Connery was replaced by Moore, and the adventures veered into ludicrous juvenile style, to be brought down to earth by the time they made For Your Eyes Only – but that Bond, while satisfying (much more so than any otyher Moore outing), was far removed from the start of the series – Bond is older, he’s a reformed womanizer. He doesn’t smoke. (He’s perfect in his sense of gambling, though). Dalton brought back a lot of the sense of tough ruthlessness, as did Brosnan, although I think most of Brosnan’s scripts weren’t that good.
This new Bond gibves us a young guy at the start of his career. There’s lotys of potential there.