Is there anything in Bond history worse than the tidal wave scene?


#45

Agreed, but it is interesting that its blatant ludicrousness did not prevent it from being used, which may be an even more disturbing signifier of yellow-face than the actual disguise itself.

I think audiences today are willing to suspend disbelief as well–but their reasons for doing so might be a little different. More than physical verisimilitude, I think for viewers today more depends on how authentic they feel the characters and story are. To go back to a film I mentioned earlier: the phoniness of the backgrounds in MARNIE will never be a problem since the authenticity of the story of male/female dominance/submission that Hitchcock tells is overwhelmingly authentic.

Yes. No longer is there the thrill of a house’s facade falling down and Buster Keaton standing in the single, exact spot necessary for a window to spare him.

First, I will admit that being taken out of story is something that rarely happens to me since I generally do not get caught up in plot (Dardennes Brothers films are the main exception). I tell people that I still go to HAMLET even though I know he dies at the end (my husband is just the opposite–if a plot does not grab him in the first few minutes–forget it. He has dubbed the art films I love “French poetry movies” no matter their country of origin).

Regarding the scene in question: the fight between the two characters was authentic to me in terms of the two opposing visions they represented with the physical realism of the fall being secondary–the fight could have been staged anywhere since this argument is very much alive today in the Black community.


#46

To be fair, the reason I offered SC as Japanese fisherman as a worse moment, was that he actually did look convincing.

As a Romulan… :slight_smile:


#47

With Black Panther, I was very interested in the relationship between T’Challa and Killmonger. Every interlude featuring two cartoons wrestling was a waste of time for me. I had the same problem with Wonder Woman; likable characters for most of an engaging story that alas ends with a prolonged battle between two middling CG simulacra. Ho hum.

Dude! Spoilers!!!


#48

That sequence always seem to bore me to tears when watching it now too.

The scene in TMWTGG where Bond callously sleeps with the victimized Andrea while Goodnight is hiding in the covers is ridiculous. The writers completely treated the women like pinheads in the film.


#49

But Roger’s reaction when Goodnight says, “After you get the soles? James, you must be good!” is absolutely priceless!


#50

I find it interesting that the narrative paints Bond as being in the wrong, doing whatever he thinks will work to fulfil his mission, including seducing an abused woman. I gather it was Gilbert’s problem with Moore’s first two - it was an attitude more fitting for Connery’s Bond than Moore’s. Bearing in mind we are talking about a man who shoots an unarmed man repeatedly in his first appearance.


#51

I’m not sure the narrative does paint him as being in the wrong. The vibe I sense is more like, “Oh, that Bond, he’ll do anything for a roll in the hay.” Bond follows it up – amazingly – by promising Goodnight, “Don’t worry, darling, your turn will come” (!!!) as if that’s her main objection to the whole incident, but remarkably this does indeed seem to be her true gripe: she doesn’t like being moved back in the queue.

Bond’s treatment of Rosie Carver in LALD I would place safely in “tradition” territory, as having Bond sleep with the enemy to further his plans goes way back to Miss Taro in DN. The seduction of Solitaire is considerably sleezier given her naivete compared to Rosie, or Miss Taro, or Fiona Volpe, ad nauseum, not to mention the fact that she’s a virgin, but you could still stretch it to say Bond’s doing it “for England.”

I’m not so sure about Andrea. She’s already declared she’s switching to Bond’s side, so bedding her accomplishes little more, really, than putting another notch on Bond’s bedpost. Considering it follows an earlier scene where he slapped her around, it’s especially icky.

I think this is really where Gilbert, and Roger, had a problem with the first two films in the Moore era: it’s not so much that he’s “too tough,” but that he’s pretty much a slimeball. Yes, Connery “tricks” Miss Taro into bed, but it’s not like she’s an innocent, and she did just try to have him killed. Like Fiona in TB, she’s engaging in mind games with Bond, each trying to get the better of the other. Solitaire and Andrea, though, are victims before Bond even shows up; they have no power over him and they are slaves to other men. “Seducing” them is the act of a cad, full stop. It doesn’t make Bond “ruthless” so much as unsavory. It doesn’t make him look cool, or sexy, or heroic. It makes him look like a conniving creep.

I try to forget the subplot with Andrea when I can, and I’m glad Maud got to return in a role that treated her better. Plus, now that the old era’s behind us, surely we’ll never again see Bond take advantage of a victimized sex worker with a fragile psyche.

Oh wait, Skyfall. Nevermind.


#52

Probably no sentence in history that better describes how Tom Mankiewicz wrote Bond in his 3 films. There is a sadistic quality to Bond under him as writer, it some ways it works, in others it doesn’t. Think it really depends on how you want to see the lead character in a violent, if surreal, thriller.


#53

Bond should be ruthless to his adversaries, but not to his women. That’s not how Fleming wrote him, and it’s not a look he wears well. I agree there’s room for interpretation as far as what Bond can or should do and still be called a “hero.” In fact it’s fair to ask if its healthy to view a paid assassin as a “hero” in the first place. But I think it’s telling that Fleming never had Bond treat a woman with wanton cruelty or physical abuse, or view them as disposable playthings to conquer and toss aside. If anything, Fleming’s Bond is too much of a sucker when it comes to romance: he’s certainly not the callous Casanova of the films.

It’s interesting that the eventual arc of Roger’s era took him from extreme churlishness to extreme chivalry, until by the end his 007 was almost a tuxedoed Galahad. It’s frankly impossible to imagine Connery’s Bond hanging from a dirigible to save the likes of Stacey Sutton. It’s almost like Roger-Bond is bending over backwards to do penitence for his earlier misdeeds.


#54

I value that. He’s a far more interesting 3D character when there’s not just the light, but also the dark.

Otherwise he’s somehow immune to the violent nature of his work, breezing through it, all polite and gentlemanly on the surface, like Patrick Bateman.

I’d rather see violence and death acknowledged by the hero - only then can there be the inner turmoil that ultimately makes Bond human.

As a feminist i abhor women being treated differently to men. Equality for all :upside_down_face:


#55

Ha! :slight_smile: Okay, so the women adversaries he can annihilate as ruthlessly as the men. But his romantic partners deserve decent treatment. At least until and unless they turn out to be villains. Then he can pull out the harpoon gun.


#56

Mankiewicz wrote 1 character for 3 films, rather than tailoring things to the styles of 2 different actors. Bond’s actions can jar in TMWTGG because it collides with Sir Rog’s screen aura that existed pre-Bond. SC emitted a more challenging, dangerous, menacing, (pick your word) screen aura (The Molly McGuires, The Hill), so what worked for one actor was never to going to work easily for the other.

There’s never any doubt in my mind that some key moments in both LALD and TMWTGG are better vehicles for SC’s portrayal than Sir Rog; and the latter always knew better than any director or writer, how the audience perceived him, regardless of character.

EON didn’t really write for Sir Rog until TSWLM, IMHO.


#57

Is that a euphemism?

McCartney said it best: “When you got a job to do you got to do it well. You got to give the other fella hell.”

Might not have been as pleasing to the ear if he’d sung, “You got to give the other Sheila hell…”


#58

Maybe. I would argue even Connery wouldn’t come off looking good, tricking Solitaire into bed with a stacked deck of Tarot cards. It implies Bond can’t get a girl unless he cheats. If it was Connery, Solitaire’s reaction would have been more in the vein of, “the Hell with virginity and super-powers! This guy is HOT!”

I’m of the age where I “met” Roger as Bond before I saw “The Saint,” so I didn’t have the “that’s not how Roger’s supposed to behave” bias. However, I have given some consideration to the idea of bias as it applies to physical appearance, which is to say I think the average person might look at Sean Connery and conclude he’s sexy but dangerous, handsome but not necessarily “good.” So if he acts heroically, okay we buy it, and if he acts cruelly, okay that works, too. Roger, on the other hand, with his fair hair and blue eyes and straight nose (what one “Saint” reviewer called “Little Abner good looks”) fits the stereotype of the “good guy,” pure of heart and clean of thoughts and by Jove a jolly right straight-shooter. It was a look that helped him get work, back when virtuous good guys were still a thing, but it’s a look that worked against him in the Bond role, known for blurring the lines that once defined what a movie hero should be and how one should behave.

So when Connery does something nasty, we say, “well, what did you expect? He’s a thug in a Saville Row suit.” But when Roger does something similar it’s, “I say now, that’s hardly cricket!” Guys who look tough and nasty get a pass, but guys who look sweet and charming are cads and bounders if they violate our preconceptions.

Interestingly, I once hoped this would be a strength for Brosnan, another “pretty boy” who impressed me in “The Fourth Protocol” for being such an absolute stinker. That performance made me appreciate how a real spy might leverage a pretty face to hide a black heart. We never quite got that with Roger, and even less so with Pierce, but it was an intriguing idea. Maybe after Craig – who for me telegraphs his lethality by looking like a soccer hooligan – we’ll see a pretty boy with a nasty streak. I still think it’d be brilliant to set us up with “another Roger” only to reveal him as the darkest of the lot.


#59

Lewis Gilbert agreed. He mentions that in a documentary on TSWLM DVD


#60

I’ve always felt that EON wanted to start Sir Rog the same way as SC. This is a stretch I know, but you can see echos of DN in in LALD, whether it’s the Caribbean, snakes instead of spiders, mysterious Solitaire or out of nowhere Honey, or no Quarrel? Well, here’s Junior for you. And instead of Grant shadowing Bond, let’s have Scaramanga be his doppleganger for a mano-a-mano follow-up film.

Only by film three do they let Sir Rog be Sir Rog and even though YOLT had ploughed the same ground, TSWLM feels new in a way that LALD and TWTGG feel like 60s Bond extended.


#61

Without wanting to drift too far off thread, but hey, poor old cgi-version-of-Brozza is associated with the tidal wave…

Agreed - Fourth Protocol (and his later performance in Tailor of Panama) were tantalizing glimpses of an alternative interpretation of Bond that we might have got from Brozza. But (and not his own fault, though he as an actor has to shoulder a little), we ended up with his era’s “compendium” Bond of all things to all people.

All timing of course - that era’s Bond, coming on the back of the hiatus and the cool (US) reception to TD, was most never going to be an acquired taste. If Brozza had been the guy after the comeback guy, then the franchise might have cut loose a bit more of the pretty boy assassin we saw in Fourth Protocol.


#62

I thought the same (with The Long Good Friday thrown in). He was perfect material for something darker and more visceral, which was just what we needed after OP and AVTAK. Maybe if we’d got him and Campbell mid eighties things may have been very different.

Same goes for the other Campbell cohort Lewis Collins. The path not taken, hey…


#63

This entire thread could be dedicated to the racism and sexism of yesteryear in the Bond films including even 2012’s Skyfall for its creepy sex scene after Bond lays into Severine’s past, something she is very clearly uncomfortable with. But, not including that, I’d have to say Kananga’s death, even for 1973, is pretty bad and I’d say the special effects are worse than the tidal wave.


#64

You could argue Kananga’s death is worse because it’s integral to the plot, while the tidal wave scene could be cut without affecting the film. (Trust me, I do it all the time. :-))

On the other hand, Kananga’s death scene is one REALLY bad moment in a film I otherwise enjoy, while the tidal wave scene is just the biggest nail in a coffin made of pure crap.