Anytime you ever have a chance to talk movies with someone have you ever noticed that both you and he or she take a certain amount of pride in pointing out that “yes I saw that one in the theater when it first came out.” Depending on just how old you actually are films become an easy way to date someone just by the titles they saw upon there initial release. I saw Jaws as a kid upon one of it’s re-releases in the late seventies. Raiders, E.T. so you get the general idea.
When it comes to the films of Bond…… James Bond I grew up in the Roger Moore era. I won’t apologize here to anyone. I love Moore in the role. I also love Connery as well. But…… as I say I grew up with Roger.
Moonraker was the first Bond title I actually saw on the big screen. I kind of knew who Bond was at the time. He was the secret agent from England that my parents never watched at home on TV. “Too many gadgets and to far fetched!”
I didn’t think so. Moore or Connery seemed ultra cool to me. Tough, suave, cool cars and girls. Britt Ekland, Jill St. John, Ursula Andress etc. I was beginning to notice curves beyond the ones on the cars.
From there I saw the rest of Moore’s titles at the theater and recall the story of Octopussy and Never Say Never Again tackling each other at the box office. I often refer to Octopussy as my favorite of the Moore efforts. Looking back I didn’t have any issues with Sean returning to the role in a version tailor made to his aging years as a double o agent. Happy to point out I have a mint never hung original theatrical poster of Connery’s return.
With Moore out of the way along came Timothy Dalton and once again I hurried off to see them on the big screen. The Living Daylights and License to Kill. With the years drifting by my fondness for these two outings has only increased.
Goldeneye with Mr. Pierce Brosnan was up next after years without a Bond to follow and cheer for on screen. Off to the local theater I went. Although I am not sure why, I never saw anymore of the Brosnan titles at the theater. I have of course seem them all now through home video and have no issues with them other than his swan song which I found to be terribly disappointing.
The Daniel Craig titles have all been theatrical viewings for me and my two sons. Number One and Number Two. They know who they are and how Charlie Chan films have affected my terminology when referring to them. I won’t get critical of the Craig films other than to say Bond films are not quite as fun as they used to be.
Which brings us to the present and the fact that the local Apollo Cinema in my hometown is feasting on James Bond titles from the past this weekend. It’s allowing me to turn the clock back to 1976 and catch The Spy Who Loved Me on the big screen. Moore, Jurgens, Jaws and Barbara Bach. There are others playing but this one fits into my time table.
Admittedly one can never recapture the thrill of the initial release but it’s still fun never the less to see some classics from the past with a group of people who love cinema as much as you do. You can also play havoc with people’s opinion of just how old you are. I for one can say I have seen The Mummy with Karloff or my first viewing of many Bogart titles were in a Bogie run years ago. Key Largo, Sierra Madre and Casablanca. Using my analogy of dating people makes me close to 100 years of age!
Gotta go…….off to see Roger Moore battle Richard Kiel.