Well, we know it’s The Guardian but still

Shouldn’t they know what the capitalist exploiters and their lackeys wear?

It is the most famous self-introduction from any character in movie history. Three cool monosyllables, surname first, a little curtly, as befits a former naval commander. And then, as if in afterthought, the first name, followed by the surname again – for all the world as if we needed it narrowed down, and wouldn’t recognise one of the world’s most famous fictional brands. Sean Connery carried it off with icily disdainful style, perhaps at the baccarat table, in full evening dress with a cigarette hanging from his lips.

Evening dress – certainly back then even if matters are a little more louche these days – means white tie, not the black tie we see Bond in.


And definitely not that abhorrence that we sometimes see Americans in – black tie with wing collar. Gaaah!

26 thoughts on “Well, we know it’s The Guardian but still”

  1. What compounds the awfulness is that the wing collar is not detached – and I speak as one who has tried to buy a collar stud in Washington DC.

  2. And, even worse, a wing collar with a ready tied bow tie, its adjustment buckle in full view.

    Slightly OT, but I’m thinking of asking the wife to run up a smoking jacket for my Christmas present using a vintage sewing pattern from the 1930s or 50s. Ready made smoking jackets seem to run at several hundred if not over a thousand quid. She’s a dab hand with dressmaking and sewing machines – I never knew there was such a thing as an overlocker.

  3. conveying exactly the right dangerous sexiness and borderline-sociopathic capacity for disciplined violence

    True. There’s nobody quite like him in film today, is there?

    Connery as Bond was the archetype of mid-20th century masculinity and cool. Men wanted to be him, women wanted the shecks from him.

    Who’ve we got today? Robert Downey Jr is ageing out of the leading man role, and is a midget. Same for Tom Cruise. Christian Bale doesn’t have the charisma. Idris Elba is a likeable but limited actor, and is nearly 50. Most younger leading men are prettyboy twinks.

    The genius of Connery is that he could pretend to fight Robert Shaw (another prime cut of 20th century masculinity) to the death in a train compartment, without any special effects or spastic editing, and make it look real.

  4. So Much For Subtlety

    Steve August 25, 2020 at 9:36 am – “True. There’s nobody quite like him in film today, is there?”

    Tom Hardy? At least I know a reasonable number of late middle aged women who think he lights up their Wine O’clock.

    Not the same but getting there.

    Daniel Craig started out well but he seems to have faded for some reason. I blame his writers.

  5. The problem with Daniel is that he started siding with the gender-weird people rather than just laughing at them

  6. SMFS – Hardy’s a cracking actor and definitely has the female audience sewn up, but I don’t think he’s got the same appeal to men that Connery had.

    Daniel Craig is as exciting as a paint drying competition on a rainy Tuesday in Swansea.

  7. Dr No has all you’d want from Bond: suave, unflappable but still gets duffed over by the villain’s henchmen and shoots an unarmed man.

    ” Idris Elba is a likeable but limited actor,”

    I saw him recently in an ancient repeat of Law and Order from the mid-90s. I’m not sure who he was supposed to be playing now, but the accent was straight out of Hackney rather than Harlem.

  8. Ralph Fiennes can do both suave and violence (see “In Bruges” for real menace). Men and women seem to like him (although possibly not in the same roles – End of the Affair; Constant Gardener). He can even do comedy (Grand Budapest Hotel). He’s by far the best thing in the modern Bond movies and it’ll be worth seeing how he does in the forthcoming Kingsman prequel – should be a good blend of violent suave in that. But he must be pushing 60 now, not young.

  9. It’s worth remembering that Fleming’s idea of Bond on screen was Hogie Carmichael. And, if memory serves, he wasn’t averse to David Niven, either. By the time the first film was made, Niven would have been about 52. I’ve always thought him marvellous. But there’s no getting away from the fact that even as a young man he looked like a posh Sid James.

  10. So Much For Subtlety

    Steve August 25, 2020 at 9:36 am – “Idris Elba is a likeable but limited actor, and is nearly 50.”

    I was coning around to the idea of Elba at a Black Bond. But the last film I saw him in was Shaw and Hobbs. He had some nice lines about being the Black Superman but he was so limited. I think if you get out-acted by someone called The Rock and someone else who used to be a professional diver, you have some problems.

    It is interesting to think what, say, Rutger Hauser might have done with the role. Although he probably couldn’t claim to be the Black Superman. By the way, I hear that now Ironman is a girl, and Captain America is Captain Wakanda, Batman is going to become Black. Cultural Appropriation? Do they have a choice?

  11. Dennis, Legend of the Parish

    Connery is a fine actor (The Hill, The Man Who Would Be King), but the Bond movies he was in were so relentlessly stupid (and tasteless to the point of being cringeworthy) that I’d find it hard to believe any male over the age of 14 would take any of them seriously enough to dream of being Bond. Even as a kid, the only reason I watched ’em was to make fun of all the stupid shit.

    It’s no accident that Bond ended up with a Walther PPK. It’s a iconic pistol with shit ergos that’s uncomfortable to shoot (even in .32 acp). Good looking crap… that’s the Connery/Bond film experience in a nutshell.

  12. Apparently Richard Todd was up for Bond and Fleming was dead keen to have him play the role, but he was already scheduled to play Sanders of the River. As much as I like Todd ( Dambusters, Yangtse Incident, Longest Day etc etc ) at 5’9″ he was a bit short to be Bond.

  13. Chris Miller said:
    “Anybody else remember Zardoz?”

    We watched it a couple of months ago as one of our Bad Movie nights. It wasn’t bad, it was bloody awful.

  14. Anyone else remember Zardoz?

    Unfortunately, yes.

    My vote would have gone to Liev Schreiber but not British and also too old now. He sort of auditioned for Bond in The Sum Of All Fears.

  15. Dennis, The Pauline Kael of Central Ohio

    Anyone else remember Zardoz?

    Ah, nobody could make a shit movie like John Boorman. Nobody. Zardoz isn’t quite up to the standard of The Exorcist II (what is?), but it’s pretty bad.

    If you want to see a bad Boorman movie that’s been recently “reevaluated” to good, try Point Blank. It isn’t good. It’s bad.

  16. Connery was good in “The Offence”.


    Tom Hardy as Reggie Kray “We don’t want to start a war”.
    Tom Hardy as Ronnie – “I do”.

  17. “black tie with wing collar” is actually something that a non-fictional Bond would have worn many times, as that’s part of the Royal Navy Officers Mess undress uniform that you wore in the Mess on evenings when on duty.

  18. “Ah, nobody could make a shit movie like John Boorman.”

    Many years ago, when the late missus and I were working in different cities, she rang me up and asked if I was watching this King Arthur film on another channel.

    I switched over, “Ah Excalibur !” I exclaimed and went onto some long Barry Normanesque disquisiton on John Boorman films “hit and miss… Point Blank and Deliverance genius… Zardoz… can’t stand Helen Mirren…” and so on.

    After this there was 30 seconds of silence as she processed my survey of modern British cinema.

    “It is a bullshit film.” She said and hung up.

  19. Hell Drivers – now that’s a man’s movie. Connery has only a small role but the rest of the cast is a rollcall of Brit actors, Stanley Baker, Patrick McGoohan, William Hartnell, Sid James, Alfie Bass, Gordon Jackson, etc.

  20. Hell Drivers wasn’t a movie, it was a documentary.

    I’ve been meaning to rewatch it, must get around to it.

  21. Hell Drivers, from the director of Zulu! Awesome movie.

    And I’ve fired a .32ACP calibre Walther PPK back in the day. Absolutely vicious kick, and a nasty habit of jamming if it doesn’t like the ammunition. Gorgeous little thing, though.

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