Your praise for our James Bond issue, defense for ''The Newsroom,'' and more
Lord of the Spies
I saw my first Bond movie, Goldfinger, in 1964. I was 13 years old. While watching, I told my mom, ”That’s who I want to be when I grow up.” I have seen every Bond film since and own them all on DVD. Looks like I’ll have to get the Blu-rays, too. Thank you for this special keepsake.
Richard G. Lewis
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service also holds a special place in my heart — it is the only Bond movie that ever made me cry (when Tracy was shot). It even inspired me to visit Piz Gloria to enjoy the amazing beauty of the Swiss Alps from the structure that was featured in the movie (it is still used today as a rotating restaurant). There are too many things to love about this franchise. It’s such a pity they just don’t make them like they used to.
Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
It may not be the best Bond film, but I don’t see why you omitted Never Say Never Again from your film count. It is clearly a James Bond film with Sean Connery playing the title character.
Senior writer Chris Nashawaty responds: Debbie, you aren’t the only Bond aficionado who wrote in about the movie’s exclusion. Let me explain: Aside from the fact that it’s a not-very-good riff on Thunderball with a too-long-in-the-tooth Sean Connery, we felt that since it wasn’t produced by the franchise’s overlords — the Broccolis and Eon Productions — and isn’t included in most Bond DVD sets, it wasn’t an officially sanctioned Bond installment. (The same goes for the 1954 TV version of Casino Royale and the 1967 Casino Royale spoof with Woody Allen as a villain.) Admittedly, this was a tough call and we knew we’d get some heat from readers, but at the end of the day, we felt we’d probably get more irate readers if we had included it. Sorry if our decision left you shaken and stirred.
News Is No Snooze
I was shocked to see The Newsroom among summer’s TV losers (News and Notes). In a world rife with reality TV that is the intellectual equivalent of a YouTube video featuring a cat flushing a toilet, The Newsroom is a godsend. If it can’t find an audience, then I truly despair over the future of scripted TV.
Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Thanks for not giving short shrift to the passing of Sherman Hemsley (Monitor). Love him or hate him, his George Jefferson is one of the most indelible characters in TV history. Hemsley made you feel the pain George experienced to achieve his success.
Boulder City, Nev.
Enjoyed the well-deserved Rolling Stones playlist (Music). However, any review of ”Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” that doesn’t mention Mick Taylor’s unique tone in his jazz-inflected guitar solo is like a review of Jaws without the shark.
The gun Roger Moore is pictured loading on the set of Live and Let Die is a Smith & Wesson (”007 Behind the Scenes”).
License to Thrill
One astute reader draws parallels between the Bond franchise and a certain film featuring a very nifty car. (Hint: It’s not an Aston Martin.)
There is a movie that I have long maintained is the ”lost” Bond film. It’s based on an Ian Fleming novel with a screenplay co-written by Roald Dahl. It features a corrupt foreign leader (played by Goldfinger‘s Gert Frobe) trying to steal technical secrets and off his wife; to boot, his country is involved in kidnapping, all in an attempt to get hold of a special motorized car. The movie? Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. We think of it as a kids’ movie, but it actually has more in common with a Bond film when you look at it from a ”spy” point of view.