Bond, James Bond

It’s an interesting phenomena that your favorite “Bond” is probably the Bond that you first saw. As they say, you never do forget your first. For me, the first Bond film I watched all the way through on my own was A View To Kill. It isn’t the best Bond, and some say it’s one of the worst. With man made earthquakes, a woman kidnapped via a massive blimp sneaking up on her, and former Nazis making horse steroids and pumping them into Grace Jones’ character, I can freely admit that perhaps the plot has much to be desired. However, the movie holds a special place in my heart. Actual grandpa Roger Moore was the star, and his costar Tonya Roberts was younger than his own children, but for me, at that point in time, he was James Bond.

Of course there are other Bonds, five others to be exact, and they tend to rotate through over the years. Everyone has their favorite, yet people all over the world flock to the movies when a new one is released. The public always has. The number of movies has far surpassed the books and short stories upon which the characters were based. So far, twenty-five movies have been produced, making it the most successful movie series in history. If it isn’t the actors that bring in the crowds and the money, it could be the action, or the sexuality, or the gadgets. In my opinion, it’s all of these thing with a little something extra. That extra ingredient is travel.

One of the key aspects of the development of any James Bond film is the determination of where it will be filmed. It’s true. Often the producers decide where they want the film to travel to, and only then craft the story elements that will fit that particular location. For example, in Skyfall, the original opening was mean to be filmed in India. However, when obtaining permits to film on the nationally owned rail lines proved too difficult, they substituted in Turkey, and filmed at the Grand Bazaar.

The character of James Bond was created by Ian Fleming after World War II at the onset of the Cold War. Bond traveled the world, at a time when few people in Europe and the Americas could afford to do so. When the character was adapted to the screen, the movies began to act as a travelogue for the audiences. For the first time someone in Brighton could see Miami, or someone in Topeka could get a glimpse of Brazil. This was all well before the Internet, when “the world” could only be seen in the pages of National Geographic. For a small price, a person could get a taste of a different culture and it would be the best possible taste. Bond never visited the slums, at least initially.

However, as the world began to open up, and technology improved, the stories became more action driven, the sex far more obvious, and the locations more diverse. Still, though, the locations did keep changing. This type of story telling serves two functions today. As the global market for the films has increased, people increasingly want to see themselves represented. Also, though, they want to see the rest of the world, too. Bond makes that happen.

So far, after a little bit of research I’ve calculated that in the movies, Bond has traveled to 45 countries, give or take one or two, of course. I’m sure you’re wondering, what that list looks like so….

England                                    Gibraltar                                    Montenegro

Scotland                                    Portugal                                    Albania

Ireland                                      Spain                                         Greece

France                                       Monaco                                     Lebanon

USA                                           Italy                                           Turkey

Mexico                                      Switzerland                               Azerbaijan

Haiti                                          Kazakhstan                               Pakistan

Cuba                                         Bahamas                                    Afghanistan

Jamaica                                    Russia                                         Iceland

Bolivia                                      Germany                                    India

Brazil                                         Czech Republic                        China

South Africa                              Netherlands                             Thailand

Madagascar                               Austria                                      Vietnam

Egypt                                          Slovakia                                    Hong Kong

Morocco                                      Croatia                                    North Korea

Japan

 

I’ve been fortunate to see a whole lot of this globe, but I certainly don’t travel like James Bond.   I’m not sure anyone really does. For fun, also started wondering what it would be like to travel with the budget allowed to me HRH. Of course, everything would have to be returned to “Q” when I returned home, but I digress…

I started looking into it, but it all became a bit too overwhelming and the money involved was reaching such heights that I began to get dizzy. I decided to approach this from another angle. I asked myself what it would cost to live like Bond for a single day, not including lodging (if you saw Spectre, you know it isn’t exactly grandiose), or meals. This is my estimate for a day at the office, not even a globetrotting adventure, and based on the recent Daniel Craig movies.

 

Tom Ford suiting for the office                        $4,000 minimum

Omega Watch                                                    $5,000

Walther PPK in holster                                      $450

Vintage Aston Martin                                        $800,000

After work martini (shaken)                             $20

Giorgio Perla swim trunks                                 $175

Tom Ford Tuxedo for dinner                              $5500

 

TOTAL                                                                  $815,145

 

Let that sink in.

Over a three quarters of a million dollars to live like James Bond for a single day. It takes your breath away. Still, though, its nice to dream and with twenty five movies to get lost in, those dreams can be just a little bit more vivid.

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