Which Bond film is the closest to the books?

Which Bond film is the closest to the books?

Moonraker

3 Likes

From Russia with love, Dr no and ohmss

2 Likes

And erm, probably Thunderball.

1 Like

Thunderball is indeed where the Bond-DNA splices itself into book and screen. Fleming had been trying to get his creation onto the screen for some time, but the result either was underwhelming or the projects fell through. Thunderball was the turning point where Bond was picked up by the industry and went through various iterations, something Fleming didn’t pay the necessary attention to.

When, towards what Fleming considered the end of the project, he went and published a new book, he found to his consternation that others regarded this as theft of their work. A view that would later be shared by the judge.

In the book you can detect the same Bond Fleming always wrote about. But there’s also the scope and the set pieces of the film. And the absence of Fiona Volpe is something you really miss in the pages since she’s such a vivid character.

3 Likes

@Dustin Did Connery play like James Bond in the novels in your opinion?

Depends how you look at it. At the time of DR NO it’s said not all fans of the books approved of Connery. And Connery himself was nervous Fleming would disagree with him. An anecdote claims his hairy arms could be a problem for Fleming, who supposedly was jealous of them. In the end Fleming seemed very supportive of Connery even if he probably wasn’t Fleming’s idea of how Bond looked.

But one might say Connery played Bond and the portrayal was what completed the Bond of the novels. Fleming didn’t live to see the height of Bondmania. But it’s fair to say he saw Connery in the role and that influenced his writing in turn. Obviously Bond suddenly became half Scots but there’s also a certain element of ‘personality’ present from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service onwards that makes one think of Connery - though I struggle to pin down what exactly that was.

Maybe it’s simply that, prior to DR NO, Fleming wrote Bond more or less without ‘seeing’ him - and then he had the example of Connery in the role and that’s what made him write with Connery in mind.

5 Likes

Without wanting to drift too far from topic…

I tend to “see” SC when I read the books, but as much because the early EONS reflect the era the books were written more than the later ones. But that said, I can never read OHMSS without “seeing” Laz.

Back to topic - OHMSS is the most literal translation of book to film, and while I’m assuming MrHinx - you were joshing when you said MR, there is a certain irony that that’s the book you can find bits of across the most films…!

4 Likes

Those would be my choices as well.

2 Likes

@Dustin Thank you for sharing your information my English is not too good but I am starting to learn more about the James Bond franchise I have been a fan forever. Many people like to say Dalton was the closest actor to the books which I always wondered if it’s true.

1 Like

Strongly agree,although Goldfinger has it’s moments also.
Having 007 discover Jill Masterson’s gold-painted body was a masterstroke compared to novel’s Tilly informing him of Jill’s death after the fact.

2 Likes

Since Sir Roger was my first Bond I saw him while reading the books. That added another value to it, having to contemplate how different MooreBond could act.

1 Like

Roger’s Bond definitely has his moments from a purists point of view. The shooting of Stromberg is as ruthless as Fleming’s Bond, or indeed the famous Professor Dent encounter from DN.

2 Likes

@sharpshooter I totally forgot that Moore was brutal in some scenes. I respect that he didn’t want to copy Connery and do his own style. When it was time to be serious he would be serious except for one scene in the pyramid with Jaws he didn’t feel threatened and took his time to give the keys to triple x. That scene should have been played a little more with seriousness.

I wouldn’t change that scene for the world. The way he looks at Jaws with bemused disgust is hilarious and pure Moore. I think the balance was right for his Bond, as when he’s cold and ruthless it packs a bigger punch given his usual demeanour.

1 Like

Casino Royale ‘67.

1 Like

Thunderball and OHMSS. Though I find that FYEO and LTK capture Fleming’s spirit almost as well.

1 Like

But… I’m not sure if Fleming’s Bond is indeed as ruthless. I’ve always found Professor Dent scene problematic. I can’t see Fleming’s Bond killing him - an unarmed man! - so easily, in cold blood. As I recall, he did his best not to kill Morant and Horowitz in The Spy Who Loved Me. Not to mention how difficult for him was to shoot a sniper in The Living Daylights.

The thing is that Bond, even though Fleming wrote him to be a killer, at the heart isn’t. Simply because Fleming wasn’t either.

Fleming met several tough men in his time, formed himself a private little gang of red Indians to do all-out daring commando stuff. If reports are to be believed he even ordered them, drunkenly most likely, to commit a war crime, and only their refusal kept him out of the docket (but apparently helped orchestrating his conspicuously swift demobilisation after the war). Fleming liked to dream about being a tough guy. But the real stuff wasn’t for him. Consequently, his Bond is far from a cold blooded killer.

The last scene with Scaramanga describes it best: after hunting one of the most dangerous hitmen with basically no other plan than to lure him into a quick draw duel he finally has his target right before him - and still dreads the deed and avoids it until his adversary almost kills him instead. Bond is able to kill in self-defence but reluctant to do anything going beyond this.

1 Like

Fleming’s Bond doesn’t actually kill that much, and Fleming makes it clear he doesn’t particularly like it. But he can kill in cold blood, such as getting his 00 licence in the first place.

But my main example would be killing The Robber in LALD, especially as depicted in Dynamite’s comic adaption. It shows if a credible attempt is made on his life he will take lethal action - even though his opponent is now defenceless, ala the Dent and Stromberg scenes.

It also shows the kill can become personal, because he returns the favour of a shark mauling Felix onto The Robber.

1 Like