Fleming was born in 1908 into a wealthy Scottish family. His grandfather was a banker who, after his death, left Ian’s family a fortune. After going to school at Eton he attended the military academy at Sandhurst, but he didn’t like it there and left without becoming an officer. He continued his education in the Austrian town of Kitzbühel, where nobody his real identity.
After coming back to Britain Fleming got a job as a journalist with the news agency Reuters and then went into banking. Both jobs did not please him very much, so in May 1939 he started working for the Foreign Office. There he became the assistant of one of Britain’s top spymasters.
During the last year of the war Fleming travelled to Jamaica to a naval conference. He fell in love with the island and built himself a house, which he called Goldeneye. For six years he travelled back and forth from Britain to Jamaica, where he spent the winter, met lovely women, and enjoyed the sunset.
He quit the Foreign Office and turned to writing. He spent his time developing the Bond character and leading the life that he desired. In the late 1950s Fleming started to suffer from bad health, probably because he was a heavy drinker and smoker. He died in 1964.
James Bond is probably one of the most famous and longest running characters in film history. Since his first appearance in Dr. No the Queen’s number one spy has travelled to more places, romanced more women, escaped from more dangerous situations and saved the world more times than any other secret agent in history.
After the war he entered the British Secret Intelligence Service, known as MI6, where he became a “double-0” agent with a license to kill. His assignments have taken him to volcanic islands, India, Las Vegas and even a space station in orbit. He has charm, loves beautiful women, and likes martinis – shaken, not stirred-, fine suits and fast cars. Most of Bond’s missions bring him into contact with shadowy figures of the underworld.
Some of James Bond’s enemies
Dr. Julius No – an atomic scientist who lost both of his hands.
Auric Goldfinger – a smuggler who wants to obtain all the gold in the world.
Oddjob – Goldfinger’s henchman.
Jaws – a strong man with steel teeth.
Elliot Carver – a media mogul who wants to control the world.
M is the head of MI 6. In the first films M was a man but in the last ones Bond’s boss is a woman. M finds Bond’s habits frustrating but respects his many talents and sends him on missions where all other agents have failed.
Q is the head of the service’s research centre. He develops the gadgets and weapons that often save Bond’s life.
Moneypenny is M’s personal secretary, known for her flirting encounters with Bond.
History of Bond films
Starting in 1962, Fleming’s novels have been made into successful films. All 22 of them have made a net profit of over $4 billion. Sean Connery was the first, and for many true followers of the series the best, Bond. He played the role in six movies from 1962 to 1971. George Lazenby took over the role for one film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, but gave it back to Connery for one more film.
From 1973 to 1985 Roger Moore portrayed Bond in more like a playboy way, with more humor and less determination than Connery. Timothy Dalton played James Bond in two movies and Pierce Brosnan starred in four movies from 1995 to 2002. Daniel Craig is the present Bond, starring in Casino Royal in 2006 and A Quantum of Solace in 2008.
Bond films always have the same ingredients: a lot of action, car chases, leaps from high mountains, gunfights and narrow escapes.
The selection of a Bond girl is almost as important as the choice of the main character himself. She is not only beautiful but also a woman that causes Bond great trouble when he finds himself attracted to her. Some of them are real villains while others have their own tragic background. Bond usually wins the girl but sometimes she betrays him and dies.
James Bond always drives in extravagant cars that have included an Aston Martin, a BMW Z3 and a Lotus Esprit. He also is the first to test MI5s latest inventions – deadly darts, watches that explode and special guns.
The Bond films
From Russia with Love
You Only Live Twice
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Diamonds are Forever
Live and Let Die
The Man with the Golden Gun
The Spy Who Loved Me
For your Eyes Only
A View to Kill
The Living Daylights
License to Kill
Tomorrow Never Dies
The World is not Enough
Die Another Day
Quantum of Solace