‘Bons baisers de France’ – James Bond’s Travels in France

Literary 007

On this Bastille Day, we are delighted to welcome our French cousins commander007.net at Station F, to contribute their thoughts on James Bond in France. Profitez!

In 11 novels and 9 short stories, Bond travels five times through 1950’s France. While Bond is now famous for being a great globe-trotting spy, it is surprising that Fleming, an author so fond of Jamaica and other exotic places, would send his spy just as many times to the other side of the Channel.

The Old Aristocratic joie de vivre

Le Touquet, France Le Touquet, France

We know relatively little of Fleming’s travels in France, but we can fairly assume that he traveled through the country several times when he visited Switzerland and Germany. France in the 1950s was not an especially jolly era. Still recovering from the war, France in these years was still a fairly rural country. Some old and new fortunes gathered in Paris, its Riviera and…

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Indiana Jones

BAMF Style

Harrison Ford as Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Harrison Ford as Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones, Jr. in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).

Vitals

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, adventurer and archaeology professor

Around the world, late 1930s

Film: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Release Date: June 12, 1981
Director: Steven Spielberg
Costume Designer: Deborah Nadoolman

Film: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Release Date: May 23, 1984
Director: Steven Spielberg
Costume Designer: Anthony Powell

Film:Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Release Date: May 24, 1989
Director: Steven Spielberg
Costume Design: Joanna Johnston & Anthony Powell

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Today is the 74th birthday of Harrison Ford, one of the highest-grossing and most popular actors of all time who seems to have a knack for establishing an iconic role in major trilogy franchises… and then one follow-up film for each franchise a few decades later.

Created by George Lucas and brought to life by…

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Casino Royale: Bond’s Poker Shirt and Trousers in Bahamas

BAMF Style

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale (2006). Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale (2006).

Vitals

Daniel Craig as James Bond, British government agent and card sharp

Bahamas, July 9, 2006

Film: Casino Royale
Release Date: November 14, 2006
Director: Martin Campbell
Costume Designer: Lindy Hemming

Background

For the 00-7th of July, BAMF Style is traveling back ten years (or at least two days shy of ten years) to Daniel Craig’s first outing as James Bond in Casino Royale. The agent finds himself supposedly “on holiday” at One&Only Ocean Club in the Bahamas, secretly following up on a lead for his investigation.

Bond’s Caribbean getaway appropriately leads to cocktails, beautiful women, and a game of high-stakes – or “Aston Martin stakes” poker – in an exotic locale.

What’d He Wear?

Unlike earlier Bond films that found 007 waltzing into a casino wearing a tuxedo regardless of the actual formality, Craig’s Bond dresses comfortably and…

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The Saga of Ian Fleming’s Supposedly ‘Last Interview’

Literary 007

Article by Revelator

It’s one of the most obscure mysteries in Bondology. In July 1965 a “magazine for men” named Saga published what it offensively called “Ian Fleming’s Last Interview: How to Take Any Woman…James Bond Style!” The note from the editor read:

In the summer of 1964, French journalist Alain Ayache interviewed Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond. Fleming agreed to sit for another interview at a later date in Switzerland. But Fleming died in September [sic], 1964. Ayache went over his notes carefully and decided to release them unedited, in Ian Fleming’s own words. Here in a SAGA exclusive, is Ian Fleming on the subject closest to James Bond’s heart.

saga2

The mystery begins with a problem: the interview doesn’t read anything like an interview. It reads like a lengthy article—on how to pick up women. It sticks resolutely to the subject, with none of the tangents typical to…

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Jean Shrimpton — What is it That Makes a Woman Elegant?

Iconically rare ~

After publishing dozens of articles on male elegance here and on Parisian Gentleman, Iconicallyrare is opening a new chapter, exploring the mode of women’s elegance.

Kept in a simple format, we focus on one elegant woman at a time, trying to understand the concrete elements that makes us perceive her to possess that elusive concept called ‘true elegance’, all the while remembering that it’s never really about the clothes…

JEAN SHRIMPTON

In her article “The Man in the Bill Blass Suit”, Nora Ephron tells of the time when Jean Shrimpton posed for a Revlon advertisement in an antique white Chantilly lace dress by Blass. Minutes after the lipstick placard was displayed at the drugstores, the Revlon switchboard received many calls from women demanding to know where they could buy the dress.

As one of the first true supermodels of our time, Jean Shrimpton graced the covers of numerous high-fashion magazines and appeared…

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‘James Bond: The Man and His World’ by Henry Chancellor

Literary 007

A special treat for our readers this week, as we welcome renowned historian and documentary producer Henry Chancellor in from the cold. In the canon of James Bond reference books, Henry’s book in collaboration with Ian Fleming Publications, stands as one of the best. We asked him how this book came to be.

1. Why did you decide to write this book?

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 7.57.50 PMThe honest answer is I was asked to. I’d written a book about Colditz and had made a few tv series on wartime derring-do, which is why Roland Philips at John Murray thought of me. He said the Fleming estate were thinking of opening up the archive and wondering whether there might be a book in it about the origins of Bond…would I like to have look? So of course I did…

And what I found was fascinating. At that time all Ian Flemings’ stuff was housed…

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David Niven’s Red Velvet Dinner Jacket in The Pink Panther

BAMF Style

David Niven as Sir Charles Lytton in The Pink Panther (1963). David Niven as Sir Charles Lytton in The Pink Panther (1963).

Vitals

David Niven as Sir Charles Lytton, urbane master jewel thief and titular “Pink Panther”

Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, Winter 1963

Film: The Pink Panther
Release Date: December 19, 1963
Director: Blake Edwards
Wardrobe Supervisor: Annalisa Nasalli-Rocca

Background

No discussion of debonair actors would be complete without mention of David Niven, a gentleman in every sense of the word.

Ian Fleming had long envisioned Niven taking the role of James Bond when 007 would finally receive a big screen adaptation only for Niven to appear in the 1967 screwball parody of Casino Royale.

Around the same time that Sean Connery was making his debut as Bond in Dr. No, Niven was cast as the lead in The Pink Panther, a comic heist film penned by Blake Edwards designed to be a vehicle for Niven. Eventually, co-star Peter Sellers’ immense…

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Born on the Brink: The Birth of James Bond and the Decline of the British Empire

Literary 007

Words by Benjamin Welton

circa 1946:  The Victory Day Parade in London, which was marred by the rain.  (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images) circa 1946: The Victory Day Parade in London, which was marred by the rain. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Ever since Casino Royale first saw publication in 1953, commentators have noted that James Bond began his rise just as the sun was setting on the British Empire. Indeed, worldwide interest in British culture, especially the more garish, almost pulpy elements, found greater appreciation at the same time as Great Britain began its quick descent into second-tier power status. In West Germany, a new film style – the Krimi – began to exploit the fog-shrouded environs of rural Britain for the cause of making slightly tongue-in-cheek, but thoroughly stylish mystery films that were directly inspired by Edgar Wallace, a once revered crime writer of the 1920s and 1930s who was undoubtably an early influence on Ian Fleming.

In Japan, the typically working class street cultures of Great…

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