Facts About James Bond
001 – ROCKET JETPACK
MOVIE: THUNDERBALL (1965)
After overcoming a villain, James Bond took to the air to reach his car, using a jetpack. The transport vehicle was real and manufactured by American aeroplane company, Bell Aerosystems. The tank was filled with enough hydrogen peroxide to keep a stuntman in the air for 20 seconds at a speed of about 15km/h. The jetpack was later used again twice: during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Los Angeles (1984) and Atlanta (1996).
002 – A WATCH WITH A SCREEN
MOVIE: OCTOPUSSY (1983)
The baddies were in for a nasty surprise when Bond touched his watch in Octopussy. This watch was the Swiss Army of timepieces. It contained a rotary saw to cut ropes in Live and Let Die (1973). Most important, the watch was also magnetic, giving the super spy a hand when disrobing his female conquests. Seiko was tasked with making a watch for the movie. The watch broadcast images captured by a mini camera. Real video watches were made a few years later, however picture quality was poor. Most watch companies have given up this application since the introduction of smart phones and iPods.
MOVIE: FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (1963)
Her Majesty’s favourite spy doesn’t often lose when it comes to gadgets. Still, James Bond got a fright when femme fatale, Rosa Klebb, attacked him with her shoes. Her dagger shoes contained a hidden knife that shot out from the tip of the toe. This knife was not only sharp but also covered with poison to do extra harm when wounding someone. The shoes later reached a sort of cult status. A few movies adapted the shoes as a reference to the Bond classic, such as the comedy western, Wild Wild West (1999). The most famous dagger shoe is worn by The Joker in the Batman movie, The Dark Knight (2008).
004 – DIY GUN
MOVIE: THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN (1974)
To have a golden gun is really cool, but the gun of Francisco Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun is the cat’s whiskers. To make the gun, a pen is inserted into a lighter, a cigarette box acts as a clip and the villain’s cufflink is the trigger. The weapon can only be loaded with one golden bullet at a time, however. But these bullets are very deadly. The top of the bullet will flatten as soon as it hits a body, resulting in an enormous open wound and great loss of blood. By the way, the strangest Bond prop in history also features in this movie: a fake nipple. When Bond has to imitate Scaramanga he has to do everything to look like him. That includes sticking on a fake third nipple.
005 – NAVIGATION SYSTEM
MOVIE: GOLDFINGER (1964)
Who can forget the obligatory visit to Q’s laboratory before any James Bond mission? There is usually a car ready full of gadgets, from missile guns to ejector seats. Arguably, the most beautiful car ever featured in Bond movies was the Aston Martin DB5, seen for the first time in Goldfinger. The car had a smoke canon and could squirt oil on the road to slow down any pursuer. It also had machine guns near the headlights, an ejector passenger seat and revolving number plates to change into ‘GOLD FINGER’, ‘JB007’ or ‘BMT216A’. The Aston’s interior was also ahead of its time: it contained a real GPS system. The original Aston Martin DB5 was auctioned for about R30 million in 2010.
006 – CELLPHONE
MOVIE: TOMORROW NEVER DIES (1997)
It’s hard to imagine life without them, but cellphones were very special in 1997. The little device was part of Bond’s bag of tricks for the first time in Tomorrow Never Dies. But this cellphone, manufactured by Ericsson, was used for more than just making calls. The phone contained a stun gun and could only be used after scanning Bond’s fingerprint. The device also broke safe codes. The best feature was that Bond could control his BMW 750i remotely with the phone. This is perfect if your car is too far for you to make a quick getaway.
007 – SUBMARINE CAR
MOVIE: THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (1977)
Bond gets into a white Lotus Esprit in The Spy Who Loved Me. After a hot pursuit the car lands in the water. No worries though. With the push of a button the car converts into a submarine. The underwater Esprit was specially made for this film. The original car was auctioned off in 2008. According to the auction catalogue: “The Lotus was like an underwater elephant in a porcelain cupboard without a reverse gear and brakes. The film crew ran more risk of being run over in the open water than when they filmed on dry land.” The car fetched a good R1,38 million.
Facts About Bond Girls
■ In Never Say Never Again, Sean Connery did his sex scenes with the real actress who played Fatima Bush, Barbara Carrera, because she refused to use a body double.
■ The oldest Bond girl to date is Honor Blackman, who was 37 years old when she starred in Goldfinger.
■ The most popular and recognized Bond girl, Pussy Galore, was actually a lesbian in the Ian Fleming novel. This is why she ignores Bond at the start of the movie.
■ While filming love scenes with Roger Moore for Live and Let Die, Madeline Smith was being watched by Moore’s overprotective wife on set.
■ Casino Royale is the first Bond film in which 007 is without a Bond girl at the end of the movie.