Monday, September 13, 2010

Ian Fleming and His Golden Man

The Birth of Bond and Ian Fleming's love affair with the Caribbean.
    Ian Fleming had long harbored a dream of creating for himself a home in a far-off place. During World War II, he had made occasional visits to the West Indies. His favourite pastimes which included underwater swimming and his interest in the fauna and flora of the Caribbean environment. He loved to talk about the rare types of sea shells and tropical birds on the island. 
   He not only knew Jamaica thoroughly, but other parts of the Caribbean such as the Bahamas. Live and Let Die”, “Doctor No” and “The Man with the Golden Gun” have Jamaican settings. The nearby village of Oracabessa is the “beautiful little banana port” which James Bond drove through in “Live and Let Die”. 
 Fleming built and called his home here the Golden Eye. The Golden Eye was the name given to the movie based on Flemings life made in 1989.

   James Bond by Ian Fleming
I was looking for a name for my hero and I found it, on the cover of one of my Jamaican bibles“Birds of the West Indies” by James Bond, an ornithological classic.

His first Bond adventure was CASINO ROYALE in 1953, and it was followed by 13 others.

A Passage from Casino Royale

     It was a dark, clean-cut face, with a three-inch scar showing whitely down the sunburned skin of the right cheek. The eyes were wide and level under straight, rather long black brows. The hair was black, parted on the left, and carelessly brushed so that a thick black comma fell down over the right eyebrow. The longish straight nose ran down to a short upper lip below which was a wide and finely drawn but cruel mouth. The line of jaw was straight and firm. A section of dark suit, white short and black knitted tie completed the picture."

Live and Let Die 1954

In World War II Fleming was a high ranking naval officer in the British intelligence. During a training exercise Fleming had to swim underwater and attach a mine to a tanker. This act became material for the climax of Live and Let Die.

   Beautiful, fortune-telling Solitaire is the prisoner of Mr Big ,master of fear, artist in crime and Voodoo Baron of Death. James Bond has no time for superstition .He knows that Big is also a top SMERSH operative and a real threat. More than that, after tracking him through the jazz joints of Harlem, to the Everglades and on to the Caribbean, 007 has realised that he is one of the most dangerous men that he has ever faced. And no one, not even the enigmatic Solitaire, can be sure how their battle of wills is going to end.
Dr No 1958

      Bond is given a shabby little case in the Caribbean. It will really be a holiday on an island in the sun,he is told but on the horizon 
is an articulated steel hand, the hand of Dr. No! He is a sinister recluse with mechanical pincers for hands and a sadistic fascination with pain. Bond and Honey Rider, his beautiful and vulnerable girl Friday, have been captured trespassing on Dr No's secluded Caribbean island. Intent on protecting his  operations from the British Secret Service, Dr No sees an opportunity to dispose of an enemy and further his diabolical research. Soon, Bond and Rider are fighting for their lives in a murderous game.

 Some of Flemings strongest characters came from the book Goldfinger.

Goldfinger 1959

The Villain

Auric Goldfinger treasurer of Smersh, the richest man in England, expert marksman, gold-loving murderer and golf cheat his character was based on at least three people
but was named after the architect Erno Goldfinger, a Marxist and the designer of the Modernist tower blocks in London, Balfron Tower and Trellick Tower. The other two were an American minerals millionaire,and a First World War German spymaster . In the novel Goldfinger, the seventh in the James Bond series .Fleming sketched a biographical background. Auric (the adjective for gold) Goldfinger is a 42-year-old expatriate Latvian, 5ft short, with blue eyes, red hair and a penchant for painting his women gold, so he can make love to the metal he adores. Fleming’s golfing partner, John Blackwell, was related by marriage to the real Goldfinger and disliked him: he probably encouraged Fleming to appropriate the name. 

The Bond Girl   

Pussy Galore  

   Pussy is the owner of a flying circus, the staff of which consists entirely of beautiful female pilots. However, she is also part of Auric Goldfinger's plan to rob Fort Knox. Prior to Goldfinger's men moving in, her pilots are to fly over the area, spraying it with knockout gas to immobilize all personnel in the immediate area.

Pussy identifies herself as "the outdoors type" and apparently plans to use her cut of the proceeds from the robbery to buy her own tropical island and "go back to nature."

   A judo expert, she is very tough and not easily moved by 007's charm. In fact, it is hinted that she may be a lesbian. However, she is eventually seduced by Bond, who informs her that the gas Goldfinger intends to use is actually deadly - she had believed it to be knockout gas with no lasting effect on those targeted with it. Pussy then reveals that she does have a conscience, by contacting the CIA to inform them of Goldfinger's plan, and switching the gas for another variety which has no effect at all, allowing the CIA to set a trap for Goldfinger.

Bond Girls


   In spite of warning's from doctors, Fleming did not give up his outdoor activities, and the final heart attack which ended his life came at the Royal St. George's Sandwich golf course in Kent on 12 August, 1964.The unfinished The Man with the Golden Gun,was completed by Fleming's literary executors,and was published posthumously.
Fleming also published a successful children's book about a magical car,Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

   Ian Fleming Quotes
"You only live twice: Once when you're born ,And once when you look death in the face."
   You Only Live Twice

"Surround yourself with human beings, my dear James. They are easier to fight for than principles." 
Casino Royale 

Smoking I find the most ridiculous of all the varieties of human behavior and practically the only one that is entirely against nature. Can you imagine a cow or any animal taking a mouthful of smoldering straw than breathing in the smoke and blowing it out through its nostrils?"

The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success

Bond Theme Songs

Bond Car Chases

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