Introduction


Do the James Bond movies need much of an introduction? Well, if they do then I'm afraid that this is not the site where you'll find one (check the links page for one that might). The Bond Film Informant is a comprehensive guide to the Bond films for the discerning fan. It is concerned with both factual details associated with the films, and the fictional world that they created. So if you already know a little about the Bond films and you would like to learn more about such things as continuity, recurring characters and actors and the famous gunbarrel sequence then this could be the Bond guide for you.

Throughout the guide the films are referred to in italics whereas any references to the original Ian Fleming novels are in "quotes". This site was originally focused purely on the "official" series of Bond movies. However, by popular demand it now also includes the two "unofficial" movies, Casino Royale and Never Say Never Again.

The guide is divided into two sections. The first is imaginatively titled "The Movies" and takes a film by film look at each Bond movie. For each film the following details are given:

release details
Date of release: For the UK and USA.

Running time: For the UK and US version unless otherwise stated; releases in some other countries were occasionally shorter.

Aspect ratio: 2.35 : 1 is the standard Panavision ratio, but not all of the Bond films were made in this ratio.

Certificate: Given for the UK and US releases.

Alternative titles: Translations of any alternative titles used in non-English speaking countries.

credits
I have resisted the temptation to transcribe every credited person for each film so this section includes details of the major production roles. Without meaning to denigrate the importance of anyone else, by this I mean the following: director, producers, writers, second unit director, production designer, director of photography, editor, visual effects supervisor, stunt supervisor and main title designer.

music
Music composer, plus details of the main theme (performer, writer and UK/US chart position) and any other songs which appear in the film (including where in the movie they are heard). This section also includes an entry called "Musical notes" for any other information relating to the film's score.

cast
Who played who, if you couldn't have guessed that. Some of the earlier films do not give full credits, and in places I have identified some of the uncredited actors. Characters are credited with their full names, as used on screen.

notes
This is simply a section of notes and observations on the film, combining fictional details that we learn from the films with behind the scenes and background information. Unless otherwise stated, this information is purely as mentioned in the movies. There are a number of sections, not all of which appear for each movie:

The gunbarrel: One of the most distinctive features of the Bond films is the gunbarrel sequence which opens each movie. However, the sequence does vary from film to film and in this section Bill Koenig comments on each.

Using the title: Some Bond titles have an obvious context within the film. Others don't, but that hasn't stopped the writers from trying to squeeze the title into the dialogue somewhere (leading to something which is known in film theory as a Gobbet Title). This section is based on information from Daniel G Schroeder.

The novel approach: The Bond movies are of course based on the series of novels which were written in the 50s and 60s by Ian Fleming. This section discusses how Fleming's novels were translated to the screen, as well as giving details of any novelisations of the films.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service: Information on the Secret Service as portrayed in the movie, including the personnel in the shape of M, Q, Moneypenny and others.

The Double 0 Section: We all know that James Bond is agent 007, but this section identifies any other members of the Double 0 section who appear or are mentioned. This is almost a subset of the previous section, but I decided that it was so important that it needed to break out on its own.

Locations: The exotic locations featured in the movie. This refers to the places represented on screen and not necessarily where the real-life filming took place.

The villain: The content of this section is fairly obvious, summarising all that we know about these nefarious characters.

The girl: Pretty much like the section on the villain. Except about the girl.

Bond's conquests: Bond does put himself about a bit, so this section keeps a watching brief on his love life.

Gadgets: Summarising all that we know about those wonderful inventions of Q. Occasionally some really good gadgetry belonging to the villain gets mentioned as well.

Recurring characters: This section identifies those characters who have appeared in more than one film, other than those regulars considered in the Secret Service section.

Continuity: Identifying any continuity between films - or sometimes a distinct lack of it!

Cameos: Noting any interesting uncredited appearances in the film, mainly referring to members of the production team.

Oscars: Listing those occasions when the Bond movies have been recognised by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, including nominations as well as actually awards.

Cuts: Details of sequences that were filmed but never made it to the final version of the movie. This section also notes where the censors have made their own changes to the film, focussing on differences between versions seen in different countries, as well as subsequent edits made for video releases.

I didn't catch the name?: Noting those occasions when 007 introduces himself using his famous catchphrase "Bond...James Bond".

Vodka Martinis: Detailing when Bond consumes his trademark drink, particularly when it is "shaken, not stirred". This section also occasionally notes when Bond drinks something else.

Gambling: Referring to another of Bond's vices and listing all of the games of chance that he plays, normally against a diabolical mastermind.

Bond bits: Interesting information that we learn about Bond from the movie.

Other trivia: Any other interesting fictional information mentioned in the film that won't fit any where else.

Anything else?: Pretty much what it says - a final chance to list other observations or behind the scenes information, including in-jokes and any unusual credits.

the database
The Database is the name of the second section of the site. This pretty much lives up to its name and consists of a number of articles on various elements of the Bond movies, often combining information from the entries on each of the films with additional material.

With that brief explanation out of the way, I will leave you to get on with browsing the main guide. I hope that you find it useful, amusing, interesting and - of course - informative.

Matthew Newton
Dorset, UK

Introduction


The Bond Film Informant was compiled by Matthew J Newton.

Thanks to:

  • Bill Koenig for the comments on the gunbarrel sequences, as well as other information.

  • Daniel G Schroeder for the information on usage of the titles within the films.

  • Michael Reed for permission to turn his newsgroup posting on theme songs into the Variations on a Theme article, plus other information.

  • Richard Ashton, James S Barr, Robin Bevis, Dominic Blaazer, Mike Campbell, Michael J Chrush, Michael Clarke, Terry Cole, Nick Demilio, Jonathan Dunn, Joseph McCollum, Tony DeCaro, Rob Chase, M. Cheyne, Roger Feigelson, Gary Giblin, Tim Harcourt Sam Haines, Dirk Heiden, Michael Hill, Dr Jonathan Fox, Lowell C Johnson, JSTAX, James K, Nick Kincaid, Alexander Klimetschek, Nathan G Lamm, Derek Lawbuary, Deborah Lipp, Mac, Soren Madsen, Paul McCord, Hugo Moya, Brian Murphy, Bill Murray, Laurrent Perriot, Martin Platt, Todd Prusin, Scott Raile, Rhino, Tim Roll-Pickering, Jeff Rose, Geoff & Amy Schembechler, Robert Sell, Brian Smith, Peter Smyth, Jon Stark, John Thomson, Frederick af Tramp, Kristopher Valentine, David Villegas and Brian Wilson for other information.
My main source of information has been the James Bond movies themselves, together with the original Ian Fleming novels where necessary. However, in addition I have used a number of other references, both on the Internet and traditional media, as follows:

books
  • The James Bond Bedside Companion by Raymond Benson (Boxtree 1988). It has been said many times within Bond fan circles, but this book is a must for anyone interested in James Bond. It covers both novels and films in tremendous detail. The only drawback is that it is slightly out of date now, with the most recent reprint covering up to 1987.

  • British Hit Singles by Paul Gambaccini, Tim Rice and Jo Rice (Guinness, 7th edition, 1989). Invaluable reference work to the UK singles chart.

  • The Incredible World of 007 by Lee Pfeiffer and Philip Lisa (Boxtree, 1992). Concentrating solely on the movies, this book devotes sections to each of the films, covering fairly standard details. However, the individual sections are followed by a number of interesting supplementary articles, including a comprehensive list of gadgets and details of cut scenes.

  • The Complete James Bond Movie Encyclopedia by Steven Jay Rubin (Contemporary Books, 2nd edition, 1995). A hugely detailed book on the Bond movies. It contains its fair share of errors and goes somewhat over the top in places, but it still contains a lot of interesting information.

  • Kiss Kiss Bang Bang by Alan Barnes and Marcus Hearn (Batsford, 1997). An unoffical guide to the Bond movies which manages to be both fun and informative.

  • The Making of Tomorrow Never Dies by Garth Pearce (Boxtree, 1997). A comprehensive look at the 18th movie.

  • The Bond Files by Andy Lane and Paul Simpson (Virgin, 1998). An unofficial guide to the entire Bond canon (including James Bond Junior!) that takes a similar approach to the movies as this site, although often concentrating on other aspects.

  • The Essential Bond by Lee Pfeiffer and Dave Worrall (Boxtree, 1998). An official publication containing some great photographs but not much in the way of new information.

the internet
  • The Internet Movie Database: This site probably doesn't need much of an introduction, other than for me to add my voice to those who believe that it is one of the best sites on the web.

  • The James Bond Movie Page: Appears to have disappeared now, but it provided an excellent overview to the Bond movies, particularly concerning some of the more basic details that the Bond Film Informant takes for granted, but also goes into depth in places.

  • Sonic State PAL, widescreen video, laserdisc and DVD lists: Also now defunct, this site detailed cuts and edits to British movie releases.

  • There are of course many other Bond sites which I have not directly referred to; some are detailed in the links section of this guide.

other media
  • The Best of James Bond CD: 30th Anniversary Collection (1992). Inlay booklet by Steve Kolanjian and Danny Biederman. Contains some interesting background information on the Bond themes.

  • James Bond 007: The Ultimate Dossier CD ROM (Eidos Interactive, 1997). An informative and beautifully designed reference work.


The Bond Film Informant was compiled by Matthew Newton. © Copyright MJ Newton. No part of this site may be reproduced without permission unless otherwise stated.



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