This April 7, the entire James Bond saga (and a few surprises) is being hosted by Canal+. That’s why this is the perfect opportunity to review all the best moments.
In 1962, James Bond 007 vs. Dr. No popped up on screens and fascinated viewers around the world. Very quickly, it is no longer a simple success, but a cultural phenomenon, still pregnant 60 years and 25 films later. Crossing the 20th century and rising above the next as a staple of spy cinemathe MI6 agent has known multiple incarnations, many enemies and incredible situations. A lesson in spectacle, visual madness and stunts of all kinds, the franchise remains, even today, the alpha and omega of the genre.
From April 7, 2022, people subscribing to the CANAL+ offer will be able to discover the complete James Bond on CANAL+ and CANAL+GRAND ÉCRAN, 2 channels accessible in their subscription. They will find absolutely all the parts of the saga there, as well as a handful of curiosities and other surprises, in particular the very first Casino Royalefrom 1967, an insane pastiche where David Niven confronts a gallery of crazy characters in a psychedelic universe.
And for the completists of the great fresco initiated 6 decades ago, happiness will be total since Dying can wait will be added to this luxurious program from April 16, only 6 months after its theatrical release. To learn more, it’s here.
NO TIME TO DIE © 2021 Danjaq, LLC and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All rights reserved.
THE BEST INTRO
The openings of the films of the saga have become a fundamental ingredient of its aesthetic charter. It is an unmissable event: we discover the escapades of the hero or one of his opponents, before the long-awaited credits, punctuated by the film’s song.
These pre-credits are often the opportunity for spectacular stunts, but in the film that interests us, Casino Royalewe witness the birth of the character, while transforming the spectacular tradition of this universe. Right here, James is still a young spythat we observe, in a very beautiful black and white.
The one who does not yet have the registration number 007 executes two murders there for which he is assigned. Two trials, during which the character progresses and transforms into the spy we know.
CASINO ROYAL © 2006 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved.
THE MOST GOOD JAMES
It is of course Sean Connery. This is his performance in James Bond vs. Dr. No who defined the hero invented by Ian Flemming in cinema. Embodied by the young Scottish actor007 immediately stands out as a hero of a new kindwhich will profoundly renew the codes of spy cinema.
Charismatic, almost always in full control of himself, Connery’s secret agent is an implacable force, which nothing seems to resist. Of course it does not lack charmcan be playful and witty, but the spectator never loses sight of the fact that this man is also a conqueror, even a predator.
This mixture of strength and seduction marked the collective memory, and the whole saga. Each interpreter had to position themselves in relation to him, to offer their version of 007. More flirtatious with Roger Moore, sensitive with Lazenby, rebellious with Dalton, or bruised with Daniel Craigeach extended the myth and by the same token further reinforced the aura of the first of them.
DR. NO © 1962 Danjaq, LLC and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All rights reserved.
THE TIGHTEST FACE TO FACE
It’s in one of the greatest James Bond of the whole saga, The golden fingerthat Her Majesty’s favorite spy is up against Auric Goldfinger, a billionaire industrialist, obsessed with gold, and determined to irradiate Fort Knox to multiply the value of his fortune. It is also the opportunity for the saga to perfect a figure of speech that it will often reuse: the confrontation between megalomaniac villains and 007.
Right here, James finds himself tied to a metal plankwhile a laser is about to cut it in half. There follows an oratorical duel led by Bond, in order to ensure his survival. By turns kitsch (memorable replies, worthy of a pulp of the great era) and overflowing with suspense, it is a cult scene. A true marvel, imitated a thousand times, but never equaled.
THE CRAZIEST STUNT
Contemporary spectators, when asked which Bondian stunt marked them, often think of the parkour scene of Casino Royaleand the vertiginous leap of the character from a crane, at altitude in the middle of a building site. The scene is impressive, its tempo remarkably precise, but there exists, long before the Daniel Craig area, an even more impressive sequence.
In License to kill, Timothy Dalton is a James on the verge of a nervous breakdownlaunched into a vendetta against a mock Tony Montana who has just killed one of his relatives, transformed into meat cake for a shark. Disavowed by his hierarchy, he begins an ultra-spectacular revenge, which unfortunately disconcerts the public of the late 80s.
In a striking scene, James Bond attacks a tanker from the airand escapes a volley of bullets, before limiting the life expectancy of an unfortunate driver. Here, no music to lighten the action. The carving evokes The Raiders of the Lost Arkand the arid setting seems straight out of madmax. Never has the saga been so sober and intense.
THE ULTIMATE JAMES BOND GIRL
There are three types of James Bond Girl: the femme fatales whom James pursues, the desperate lovers whom James seduces, and the traitors who disappoint James. These three archetypes are sometimes mixed and nuanced, but from Kisses from Russiathey will become a quasi-constant in each episode.
The James Bond Girl who best embodies all the James Bond Girls is none other than Vesper Lynd, of Casino Royaleinterpreted by the impressive Eva Green. And since this chapter intended to narrate the symbolic birth of its hero, what could be more logical than to make him meet the woman who will symbolize all those he will meet in his life.
CASINO ROYALE © 2006 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved.
The last two opuses of the Craig era attempted to reproduce this miracle of interpretation and writing, and if Dying can wait partially succeeded in making Madeleine Swann an icon equal to 007, Eva Green’s performance remains, even today, one of the most striking from the Bond universe. The brilliance of this tragic figure alone justifies the viewing of the complete James Bond.
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