The first James Bond film, ‘Dr. No,’ premiered 50 years ago this month in London. It was a quick success with its fantasizing male audiences. No surprise that uber-male John F. Kennedy publicly loved the series. While she never spoke on the subject, chances are so did Jackie. After all, not only was Bond the ultimate in male cool and cunning, imagine all that beautiful cool and cunning in your own arms. Or bed.
In unfortunate keeping with today’s pattern of more violent and sadistic cool, Daniel Craig’s Bond is far more physical and ruthless than those of his several predecessors. I mean, Sean Connery or Peirce Brosnan would never have been caught grunting and sweating while in bed with their dumb-to-dumber starlet, let alone actually slaughtering the bad guys. Cool back then was what cool should really be.
However, today’s 007 walks in a an uglier world. ‘Extreme’ is the operative word in most everything from reality shows and dance contests to making movies and making babies. It’s a good thing Sean is in comfortable retirement in his Scotland castle right now!
We all know the raunchy numbers from our more extreme age. From the number of terrorists, drones and missiles to the number of homicides, rapes and perversions on our screens. Even our violent suicides have swelled, with the number each year over 37,000, more than our previous number-one killer, car crashes.
Sorry, guys and gals, the old 007’s dashing minimalism has gone the way of old Hollywood’s other low-key heroes. While watching those great old B&W reruns at night, I dare you to catch any of these fellas over-sweating or over-slaughtering: Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Spencer Tracy, Jimmy Stewart, Jimmy Cagney, or Kirk Douglas. They were so cool, they usually didn’t even need to bleed.
Funny, and yet even the coolest of you still watch…
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