My Favourite Movie Cars

Prologue

Human actors aren’t the only stars when it comes to movies and TV-series. Sometimes they can be overshadowed by machines – not androids or robots, but heart-warming, engine-revving automobiles with beauty and style and flair. So here are some of my favourite ‘caractors’. . .

Vans

My first favourite is the 1963 Ford Ecoline Van, which doesn’t sound very exciting, but is also called The Mystery Machine – which sounds much more exciting. Yes, the psychedelic blue and green van from Scooby Doo is one of the most famous film/TV vehicles around and if you ever see one, tell the girl in the orange jersey and glasses that it was probably the theme park owner who did it.

Another famous storage container on wheels is the Chevy Van, driven by the angriest man in the world – Bosco “B.A” Baracus. It is of course the A-Team van with its iconic red stripe running along the side. It is awesome and usually my go-to paintjob for any van I own in racing games.

Ghostbusters

Probably the most famous station-wagon in the film world is the 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor, also known as the ECTO-1. If you don’t recognise the name – it’s the car from Ghostbusters (the original two movies, not the 2016 remake). It is set to appear in the new Ghostbusters film, which will apparently ignore the last movie, if movie leaks can be trusted.

Charger and Gran Torino

Another awesome movie car is the 1969 Dodge Charger R/T (the General Lee) from The Dukes of Hazzard. It is one of the coolest muscle cars ever and the stunts done with it were just ridiculous! The stunt team totalled quite a few Chargers. Speaking of muscle cars – what about the Ford Gran Torino from Starsky & Hutch? Much like with the General Lee, its iconic paintjob makes it instantly recognisable with movie fans.

Ferraris

One of the most expensive cars to star in a movie is the 1962 Ferrari 250 GT California from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I had a miniature petrolhead panic attack when it went through the garage window and plummeted the few meters towards the ground. Luckily, it was a fake built for the movie, but it sold for nearly $400k! It’s still a few million short of the price for the real thing, but coughing up that much for a fake is quite preposterous.

Another famous Ferrari is that of the Hawaii-based ex-navy-veteran-turned-private investigator, Magnum PI, played by Tom Selleck. The series ran for eight seasons and each season saw a new version of the Ferrari 308 GTB/GTS. It is an awesome car and one of my favourite Ferraris with its manual V8 and Targa top roof.

Mad Max

Who can forget the sheer awesomeness that was Mad Max? The movies forever immortalised the Aussie Ford Falcon XB GT as the ‘Pursuit Special’. It was modified to look post-apocalyptic-y with its faded black paint and fake supercharger on the front. (The supercharger was functional for Mad Max 2 and Fury Road.)

For the 2015 film, as many practical effects as possible were used, meaning that most of the vehicles seen in the movie are real – from the War Rig driven by Charlize Theron’s Furiosa, to the Doof Wagon with all the speakers, and the man with a guitar-flamethrower-thingy hanging from a stretchy rope, to my favourite vehicle in the movie – The Gigahorse. It’s essentially a Cadillac El Dorado sandwich with two V8s as the cheese and some plumbing as the mayonnaise. I love it!

Fast & Furious

I will not be able to name all the various Fast & Furious cars, but I’ll give it a try: Brian’s Toyota Supra, Dom’s Dodge Charger (any of them), Han’s Mazda RX-7, Letty’s Jensen Interceptor, Jesse’s VW Jetta, Brian’s R34 Skyline GT-R, Brian’s Mitsubishi Eclipse, Letty’s Dodge Challenger, a Lamborghini Murcielago SV, a Honda S2000, the Koenigsegg CCX, the heist Dodge Chargers with the scaffolding on the back, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII, the Ford F150 SVT Lightning, the three Honda Civics, those two weird ramp cars, the Plymouth Superbird/Dodge Charger Daytona, the Ford Escort RS1800, the Ford Mustang Boss 429, the Aston Martin DB9, a Lexus LFA and many, many more.

Quite honestly, I have given up on the Fast & Furious franchise, because it had become less about the cars and more about doing increasingly outrageous and far-fetched stunts from badly written storylines – and it has become less enjoyable over time. I enjoyed the movies up until the runway scene in FF6. After that, it just got silly – and not Leslie Nielsen-silly either.

When I saw Dom “The most important thing is family” Toretto Spidermanning a Ford Mustang GT500 between some cliffs in the F9 trailer, I decided that I’m done with the franchise. Jumping a W Motors Lykan Hypersport between buildings (which has been proven to be impossible) was silly enough, but this was just stupid. I will watch F9 though, because Helen Mirren power sliding a purple Noble M600 is one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

FAB-1

Whilst not entirely a real car, Lady Penelope’s FAB-1 from Thunderbirds also makes this list, because I was in love and obsessed with it after I saw the 2004 movie. It used a Ford Thunderbird (wink-wink) as inspiration, but it also had wings, a jet engine and hydrofoils. It was the coolest car of my childhood and I even liked it in pink. I used to draw the FAB-1 with various extra modifications to make it even cooler. Plus Parker was an awesome valet. Ah, the nostalgia…

The Italian Job

Probably the most famous cinematic use of the Mini Cooper, occurs in The Italian Job movies and are enjoyable to watch. The 1969 movie is incredibly long-drawn-out, as movies were in those days, but it is still makes for good entertainment. The 2003 version was just used to drive up sales of the new Mini Cooper, but it was still a good movie with lots of car chases, explosions and funny quips.

Batman

Then we get to the world of Gotham City. Bruce Wayne has had quite a few awesome cars throughout the years. The coolest being the 1989 Batmobile with Michael Keaton at the wheel – the beautiful curves and jet exhaust protruding out the back and the bat wings on the rear haunches like a 1950s Cadillac. It’s such a cool car! Another favourite is the Tumbler from 2005’s Batman Begins. It is literally a tank with a motorbike coming out the front. How cool is that?!

I’m not a fan of the Justice League Batmobile as it’s too fantasy-like and too physics-ignoring. I am, however, excited for the new one with Robert Pattinson, because the new Batmobile reminds me of the Quadra Type-66 ‘Cthulhu’ muscle car from Cyberpunk 2077.

Herbie

Herbie – everyone’s favourite (slightly disturbing) sentient Beetle! Yes, this racing liveried VW Beetle is probably the most famous ‘Bug’ in cinema. From doing rally stages in the 1970s and going bananas to NASCAR racing with Lindsey Lohan at the wheel, it has had quite a colourful film history. I just have a few questions though: Why is Herbie the only sentient car in his universe? Why does he make noises? WHY IS HE A BEETLE?! I NEED ANSWERS!

Cars

There are very few animation films that I wholeheartedly enjoy. The Incredibles, The Incredibles 2, Finding Nemo, Finding Dory, Shrek 2, WALL-E… That’s about it. However, in the not too long ago year of 2006, an animation movie was released that spoke to my inner petrolhead heart. That movie was Cars. I mean, come on. CARS! I watched that movie over and over and over and over. It is my favourite animated movie and will probably forever be.

The story, the characters and the setting are just perfect. I still love it! And apart from Mater, my favourite caractor is Doc Hudson, the legendary Fabulous Hudson Hornet, a car with a brilliant racing history, with its revolutionary low centre of mass. It is one of the most famous race cars in the motoring world.

Then Cars 2 came out, and it was about Mater and had spies in it! Even better! James Bond in animated car form! How utterly cool and petrolheady is that?! And there was even a big Navy boat in it! My only question still is: Why are taxis and busses a thing? Who rides in them in a car world? Trains and plains, sure – you can get in them if you are a car, but not taxis or busses. The physics of the Cars dimension still elude me.

When Cars 3 came out, I wasn’t all that impressed with either the movie or the cars featuring in it, except for one of the new caractors, which is an almost BMW CS Vintage Concept look alike. The storyline is boring, the ending you could see from a mile away and characters have about as much emotion as actual cars. It had child-friendly moonshiners and a tedious NASCAR history lesson in it. (As if NASCAR isn’t monotonous enough with everyone just continuously turning left for 500 laps.)

Mustangs

The Ford Mustang has been a staple of American Muscle since its introduction in 1964. In 1968, it became immortalised by Steve McQueen in his action movie Bullitt, where a dark green Fastback has a chase scene with a Dodge Charger R/T. It is such a famous car that people have tried to recreate it with each generation of Mustang – so much so that Ford themselves decided to make an anniversary edition with the 2020 version, the Mustang Bullitt, that I lust after. Plus, it is the only newish Mustang you can get in South Africa, which comes with a manual transmission, other than the new Mach 1.

Another ‘Stang that people keep trying to recreate is one known as Eleanor and is from the newer Gone in 60 Seconds, released in 2000. It was designed by the famous Chip Foose and, I must say, whilst it is a cool car – I have become bored with it. In every car game people try to replicate it with varying success and it is just annoying.

However, my favourite movie Mustang is the green/grey one from the first John Wick. It is a Mach 1 rebadged as a Boss 429 for the movie. It is an awesome car and the 1969 Mustang is without a doubt the best looking Mustang ever created (plus, a red ’69 Mach 1 lives a town away from me and I get to ogle it every now and then).

The Great Gatsby

I watched The Great Gatsby (2013) with intrigue as the whole setting is magnificent to behold. The art-deco setting of the movie with the 1920s high-life style is just brilliant! But I was even more intrigued when I saw the cars – more specifically the yellow 1932 Duesenberg Model J, which Jay Gatsby drives. (I just got that. J Gatsby drives a Model J. Funny.)

This is all wrong of course, as the movie takes place in 1922 and most of the cars in the film were produced after the movie’s setting – like the blue 1933 Auburn that Tobey Maguire’s character drives.

One of the most beautiful cars ever produced is a certain red Duesenberg Model SJ LaGrande Dual-Cowl Phaeton which, in 1932 when it was built, was the most powerful production car in the world for three years – until it was surpassed by the 1935 Duesenberg Model SSJ. The model SJ Phaeton was also the fastest car in the world in 1932, with its supercharged straight-8 and non-syncro-mesh 3-speed manual. It’s sad then that by 1937, Duesenberg had gone bankrupt and ceased to exist, leaving one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in its wake – the curious case of the ‘missing’ Duesenberg Coupé Simone…

Austin Powers

Ah, Austin Powers. What wonderfully weird movies – with an awesome Union Jack-themed Jaguar – sorry, Shaguar. Yes, just like James Bond has his Aston, Austin Powers has his E-Type. In the second movie, his American counterpart has a Stars & Stripes-themed Chevrolet Corvette C2, which is equally awesome!

Unfortunately, in the second movie, his spy car is a be-flowered VW ‘New Beetle’ time-machine in which he travels back in time from 1999 to 1969 – and in the final movie, the spy car is a Union Jack Mini Cooper which could swim and attach itself to Dr. Evil-shaped submarines. Yes, the whole thing spiralled out of control a bit, but it was still funny.

James Bond

Who can forget all of James Bond’s marvellous spy cars? From the Sunbeam Alpine in Dr. No (1962), to (what looks like) the Aston Martin Valhalla in No Time to Die (postponed to October 2021, but who knows when we’ll actually be able to finally see it? Grumble-grumble). All these cars were excellent in their movies, except maybe the Aston Martin DBS V12 in Casino Royale which chased the baddie’s Jaguar XJ for all of two minutes before getting totally… totalled. Luckily, it got the chase scene it deserved in the prologue to Quantum of Solace.

The best and most famous Bond car – and definitely one of the most famous and most beautiful cars in the world, is the 1964 Aston Martin DB5. It made its debut in Goldfinger (1964), which is one of my favourite Bond-movies, and went on to star in Thunderball (1965), GoldenEye (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), Casino Royale (2006), Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015). It is also set to appear in No Time to Die (please be October, dammit!) where it is again doing some stunts in an Italian village. In an interview with the stunt driver, it wasn’t explicitly said, but was implied that underneath the body it was an E46 BMW M3 with various stunt modifications.

It is difficult choosing a favourite Bond car, so I have rounded it down to three – the Aston Martin DB5, the Lotus Espirit and the Toyota 2000GT. I chose the DB5 because it is a film icon and because it is utterly beautiful in every way – from the styling and the contour lines to the wire wheels and the classic Aston Martin grille. It’s just brilliant! The reasoning behind the Espirit is because of the sheer silliness that it is. One of my favourite bits of all Bond films, is Sir Roger Moore’s smug face as he drives the Espirit out of the water and onto a French beach. It’s hilarious!

I chose the 2000GT (one of very few Toyotas I actually like) as a favourite because it has a cool story behind it. Apparently, Toyota said that it’s okay if they want to use their car as a Bond car, but when Sean Connery got to Japan to begin filming, they realised that he was way too tall to fit in it. (Standing at 1,95m myself, I can certainly relate.) So within two weeks, they cut the roofs off of two 2000GTs and strapped some covers on to make it look like a convertible – even though neither of them have functional convertible roofs. And thus, those are the only two 2000GT ‘roadsters’ in existence.

Delorean

My favourite movie car is the DeLorean DMC-12 from the Back to the Future franchise. It looks like a concept car that was actually put into production, much like the modern BMW i8. Yes, apparently it is terrible to drive and the engine is pitifully underpowered, but it is an awesome car nonetheless. I mean, the gullwing-like doors make it unquestionably cool already, but then it was chosen to be a time machine in one of the most loved sci-fi movies franchises of all time. I love it!

The cool thing is that there is still a huge following for the DeLorean and thus parts and upgrades are available – not only in the USA, but in Great Britain as well. Many DeLorean owners swop the puny 2.85L V6 out for Chevy V8s and even convert them to EVs, which is splendid!

Epilogue

My choices may not be the ones you like, but they’re mine and they may change as new caractors are being cast in future movies. Not everyone might like cars (speaking of you, Greta) or think of them as a terribly exciting subject, but they are a part of our everyday lives and they will continue to be for the foreseeable future – in one way or another. So, why not continue celebrating them in everyday entertainment?

Watch this space for a sequel…

…whenever it’s eventually done.

Help stop the hate – adopt a V8!

©2021 Michael De Kock 

Michael de Kock is a blogger, because he likes it, a Psychology graduate, because he thought it’d be interesting (so many essays) and is busy doing a National Certificate in Motor Mechanics to get more skilled, as he struggles to get a job in this day and age in this country.

In the meantime, why not help him with paying the bills by buying his new book?

125 Writing Prompts for Petrolheads. Now available on Amazon Kindle – https://amzn.to/3lwaUPh.

Star Wars™ or Star Bores?

207c93cfdc316ebbc17f2e0765a10381

For the last couple of days during this unending lockdown, I have been thinking of Star Wars. The feeds on various social media platforms such as Google, YouTube and Instagram are pretty much just cars and science fiction, with random bits of friends and family stuff in-between. Anything from lightsabers on sale to how the USS Discovery’s Mycelium spore-drive works and how fast spaceships in The Expanse actually travel. (Feel free to notify me, I still don’t have a definite answer.)

I then thought about what I think of the Star Wars movies since everyone is criticising the absolute crap out of the sequel trilogy. So without going into too much detail, I will now give my honest opinions about each one – in chronological order (by era, not release):

The Prequels

The Phantom Menace – Meh

Attack of the Clones – Good

Revenge of the Sith – Better

 

The Fillers

The Clone Wars Series – Excellent! Brilliant! Magnificent!

Solo: A Star Wars Story – Okay

Rebels Series – Meh

Rogue One – Bloody Brilliant!

 

The Original Trilogy

A New Hope – Very Good

The Empire Strikes Back – Really Very Good

Return of the Jedi – Good

 

The Sequels

The Force Awakens – *cough* Knock-off *cough*

The Last Jedi – Uhmmm… What’s with all the comedy?

The Rise of Skywalker – WTF was that?

 

(I have not included The Mandolorian in this for the sole reason that I have not seen it. Sorry. I hear it’s very good though.)

So that’s my short honest opinion. The Sequels really disappointed me – like it did many other people. The Force Awakens was just A New Hope remake to introduce the new characters and get rid of some old ones. The Last Jedi was a complete farce. It was the first Star Wars that I saw in the cinema and I really looked forward to it. Oh boy, was I in for a shock. Why is there so much humour in it? The cinema was laughing more than anything else. It’s Star Wars, not Spaceballs! And why the heck did Cantonica (the casino planet) get so much screen-time?

The only two remotely cool things about the whole movie was the fight scene where Kylo and Rey were fighting together in the throne room on-board the Supremacy (Mega-Star Destroyer for the non- Starwarsians who read here) and the bit where Kylo ordered all the guns to shoot at Luke and he brushed it off like dust (because, of course, he was a projection).

And finally, we get to The Rise of Skywalker. What a fustercluck. The marketing was “the end of an era” and “40 years in the making”, which got me really excited. When I heard Palpatine’s laugh at the end of the trailer, I got really, really excited. So I went into the cinema all pumped up with excitement. But oh, was it crushed fast. I stood outside the cinema afterwards and thought WTF WAS THAT?.

During the run-up to the movie, leaks were happening and fans were going rampant with their theories. I read some of them and I can honestly say that most of them were better than the final product. I like JJ Abrams. I think he’s a great director. He’s the reason I like Star Trek. (Don’t worry, the 80s and 90s ‘Trek are still the best.)

Many of these theories regarded who Rey’s parents were. Many believed that they were nobodies, which would have been cool as it would have made Rey an ordinary galactic citizen who rose up and defeated the most powerful Star Wars baddie. But no, instead she is the granddaughter of said most powerful baddie. Not a Kenobi, not a Skywalker, not a random scavenger, but a freaking Palpatine! This was the single stupidest decision made by Disney and the feminist Kathleen Kennedy should spend some time in the Sarlacc Pit for this and everything else she has done!

Instead of showing people that a nobody from a wrong-side-of-the-tracks place can become great and inspirational, it showed that in order to become truly great and successful, you need to have a favourable background (like many famous people). It’s stupid and uninspiring and very un-Disney. Walt would have a hissy-fit.

This movie also resolved some of the plot holes of the previous movie. I’m not going to bother thinking of examples as I really don’t care, but instead of answering the pressing questions everyone had, they simply added more. For instance, one of the things I was most excited about was the news that Richard E. Grant would be joining the cast as an Imperial General. This was an excellent addition, but it was still ruined. The scene in question was how the movie got rid of General Hux. General Pryde (Grant’s character) just shot him. PEW!, and he was out of the movie. No ceremonious end to the leader of the Imperial Navy, like the one Cutler Beckett got in Pirates of the Caribbean. He didn’t deserve the end he got. More ‘going down with his ship’ would have been so much better instead of ‘getting unceremoniously shot as an afterthought’.

I have this thing when I watch a movie – I want my mind to randomly wander to a bit of the movie that I found cool or inspiring, hours, days or even weeks after watching a movie. I find this to be an indication that the movie was good and that I really enjoyed it. Good examples of this feeling are the murderer being shown less than halfway into the movie in Knifes Out, the beautiful twist at the end of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express and the sheer beauty that is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty . The movie must want me to dissect parts of it in order to make sense of the rest. I had one heck of a time with Inception, figuring out which were dreams and which were reality, weeks after watching the movie.

With The Rise of Skywalker, I forgot about the events of the movie as soon as I got home and never really thought about it again – until now when I realised how bloody angry I was and decided to write this sort-of blog, sort-of rant about it.

So, the question is, will I watch it again? The answer; only if I have to – which coincidentally is the same answer I gave with Marvel’s Black Panther. I will however, buy it as it is the only Star Wars movie I need to finish my collection.

But only if it’s on sale.

 

©2020 MICHAEL DE KOCK

 

Michael de Kock is a recently graduated job-seeking nerd, petrolhead, fascinated with avocados and generally quite tall.

Star Wars… Yay!

Now, I just read that Star Wars Episode VIII will begin filming this month in Skellige Michael, Ireland. Apparently people thought it was a reshoot for a scene because the ending of Episode VII coincides with the beginning of VIII. I did not know this as I’m not one of those people who went and looked at all the leaked photos and stuff. The only leaked photo I saw was on of J.J. Abrams standing in front of an X-Wing.

All of the leaked stuff came up on my Facebook Wall as I ‘follow’ many Star Wars related pages, but even before they started filming Episode VII, I decided I wasn’t going to look at leaks. This is because I want to experience the feeling Starwarsians had in 1980 and 1983 when they went to the cinemas for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The feeling of excitement and concern, not knowing what to expect from this instalment of your favourite interplanetary adventure series.

I had this sort of feeling only with one movie. When we went to watch The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, I didn’t expect much. I mean, the trailer looked good, but it is a Ben Stiller film. So it was either serious to the point of being boring, or it would be inappropriate to the point of walking out of the cinema. Much to my surprise, it was brilliant! The story is very well done, the visuals are magnificent and the musical score comes very close to John Williams or Hans Zimmer. I will no doubt tip my hat to Ben Stiller if I ever meet him.

But anyway, I am a guy who has only seen the Star Wars movies once, apart from Episode II and V (and instantly fell in love with them), and who also quite likes the prequel trilogy because the special effects are better and I love the Clone Wars to bits. However because of this, I cannot judge or comment of Starwarsian matters. Heck, I will probably be cast into a pit with Jabba’s rancor just for saying these things…

Happy Birthday, James Bond!

IMG_1100 - Copy

Happy Birthday, James Bond!

(from different sources on the Internet)

So, today I bring you one and the other about the James Bond story and would you believe, our friend 007 is with us already for 50 years (in 2012)!

The Man behind James Bond

The 007 adventure started with a man who lived his life much like James Bond. Ian Lancaster Fleming was born in London in 1908 and educated in England, Germany and Austria.

After working at the Reuters news agency, Fleming became a stockbroker. During WWII he worked as the assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence in London, privy to many secrets. It was this experience that provided material for many of the characters and incidents in the Bond novels. Fleming was an intelligent man and participated in quite a few covert missions, which he crafted the plans for.

At age 43, Fleming settled at his Jamaican Estate, Goldeneye and produced his first novel, Casino Royale, in less than two months’ time.

His love life was much like that of James Bond, but he eventually married the love of his life, Anne Rothermere, and had a son, Caspar, with her. Unfortunately, their marriage wasn’t very happy.

While recuperating from his first heart attack in 1962, he wrote a short story about a flying car, called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, for Caspar.

Ian Fleming died at age 56 at Sandwich in Kent – apparently on his son’s birthday. After his death seven other authors were commissioned to write the James Bond novels.

A Bit of History

It’s not that well known, but there were two James Bonds before Sean Connery. Before the movies we came to love so much, there were also unofficial films, comic strips, a TV series, and radio shows and later on also electronic games starring 007 as a spy-hero.

Two of these early Bonds were portrayed by  Barry Nelson in 1954 And  Bob Holness in 1956. From 1962-1967 Sean Connery played the first Bond on the silver screen – as the 007 we know today. He was replaced in 1964 by Roger Moore. David Niven played Bond in 1967 in a rather weird, uncharacteristic, old Pink Panther-like version of a Bond-movie. He was replaced in 1969 by George Lazenby. After that Sean Connery played in another few movies from 1971 on and Roger Moore commenced his duty in the majesty’s service from 1973-1985.

In 1973 Christopher Cazenove portrayed Bond in a BBC documentary and in 1983 Sean Connery returned after he told his wife that he would never play 007 again. The name of that movie? Never Say Never Again!

Timothy Dalton was the first of the younger generation James Bonds from 1987-1989. Scottish Mama Mia singing star, Pierce Brosnan, saved the world from various villains between 1995-2002. He was followed up by the latest 007, the very serious Mr. Daniel Craig.

Daniel Craig even played James Bond in the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games alongside a parachuting queen of England.

Frequent Characters

Although their actors die, go on pension and are replaced by new faces, some characters appear in every James Bond movie. They are M, MI6’s boss; Q, the guy behind 007’s gadgets; and Moneypenny, M’s secretary, who is very in love with 007!

The Gadgets

Let’s be honest – James Bond is cool, but his gadgets are just fantastic and some movies had some outrageous stuff! (Although he went old school in the latest movie, Skyfall…)

The Cars

All of Bond’s cars are now on display at a museum in England. Bond’s BMW 750Li is personally my favourite Bond car, because it is the only 4-door Bond car and it is remote controlled with a phone!!! Unfortunately, as always, Mr Bond destroyed it.

Bond’s Aston Martin Vanquish/Vanish (as Q put it) had stinger missiles, shotguns, tyre spikes and can turn invisible. It could also perform a flip (when upside down) with the ejector seat.

The Lotus Espirit was able to turn into a submarine, with little fins and gas launched arrows.

I will stop here, otherwise I can go on forever…

And Then There Were the Girls

And of course, without them, James Bond won’t be James Bond! Actresses such as Ursela Andress, Linda Christian, Lois Maxwell, Zena Marshall, Claudine Auger, a former miss France, Joanna Lumley, who played Purdey, Jill St. John. Lana Wood, Jane Seymore, Brit Ekland, Kim Basinger, Barbara Carrera, Grace Jones,   Maryam D’Abo. Minnie Driver, Teri Hatcher, from Desperate Housewifes, Hally Berry and Ava Green played in Bond movies. Some of them went on to become most successful Hollywood stars, while others’ careers died a bit after their 007 fame.

Some Facts you Probably didn’t Know about 007

  • Sean Connery chose to donate his entire base salary to a Scottish education charity.
  • A quarter of the world’s population have seen at least one Bond film.
  • The first novel, Casino Royale, was published in 1953.
  • Kate Westbrook wrote three novels based on the diaries of Moneypenny.
  • Ian Fleming took the name for his character from one of his ‘heroes’ – an American ornithologist, Caribbean bird expert and author of the Definitive Field Guide Birds of the West Indies.
  • A series for children novels, The Young Bond was written by Charlie Higson and, between 2005 and 2009, five novels and one short story were published.
  • Bond films are produced by Eon Productions, the company of Canadian Harry Saltzman and American Albert R. ‘Cubby’ Broccoli.
  • The Bond-movies are the second highest grossing film series, just behind Harry Potter. (But probably not for long, as Skyfall had just became the 11th movie to ever earned more than a billion dollars.)
  • 007’s parents were Andrew and Monique.
  • In the novels, James Bond apparently had three wives – one, Teresa di Vicenzo died, while the other two, Kissy Suzuki and Harriett Horner became invalids. I couldn’t find out if they are still alive…
  • 007 has a son named James Suzuki Bond!

And I thought that I knew what there was to know about James Bond!

And that in short was the story of James 007 Bond. The newest movie, Skyfall, is still showing in SA cinemas. If you haven’t seen it – go! It’s different, but good.

Happy b’day, 007! May there be many action-filled returns.