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February 14, 2013

Book looks at 50 years of James Bond movies

(Continued)

The opening scene of every Bond film has basically become a game of “Can you top this?” The most memorable came in Moore’s third entry, “The Spy Who Loved Me.” Bond is being chased and shot at as he skis down an Austrian Alp. He manages to kill his assailant, but flies over a cliff a la Wiley Coyote. As he drops thousands of feet to the ground a parachute suddenly opens depicting the Union Jack. James Bond survives once again!

The popularity of Agent 007 is wonderfully captured in a new book by Roger Moore (who else?) titled “Bond on Bond: Reflections on 50 Years of James Bond Movies.” Anyone looking for behind-the-scenes sniping or illicit affairs between co-stars will be sadly disappointed. This coffee-table size book is simply a celebration of all-things Bond.

The most amazing thing about the series is that the six actors who portray Bond all get along well. In fact, for lack of a better term, there seems to be a bond between Connery, Moore, Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and, current Bond, Daniel Craig. They all want to protect the character’s image.

The next 50 years of James Bond adventures has just begun with the release of “Skyfall.” It’s different than past Bond movies in that it’s completely serious from beginning to end. Most past films in the series have had some comic relief along the way. That was an essential element in the seven versions with Roger Moore. Even without the fanfare “Skyfall” is a terrific film.

With Daniel Craig apparently settling into the role for the long haul, James Bond could not be in better hands. Combining the blockbuster popularity of “Skyfall” with the publication of “Bond on Bond,” the future of Agent 007 is limitless. The next generation of Bond lovers has yet to be born.

David Kent is the director of the Village Library of Cooperstown. He can be reached at co.david@4cls.org.

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