Friday, December 20, 2013

Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond

A Series for All Bond Fans

Dominic Cooper Ian Fleming
Ian Fleming, as portrayed by Dominic Cooper in "Fleming."

Ian Fleming is not very well known aside from his gloriously successful novels about James Bond.

All that is about to change.

The four-part mini-series "Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond" will premiere on BBC America starting on Wednesday, January 29 at 10 PM. It is part of the network’s Dramaville programming.

Dominic Cooper stars as Ian Fleming, with Rupert Evans as his brother (I bet you didn't even know he had a brother) and Lesley Manville as his formidable mother, Eve. The series follows Fleming's adventures in Naval Intelligence and his participation in espionage against Nazi Germany.

Dominic Cooper Lara Pulver Ian Fleming
Dominic Cooper as Ian Fleming, with Lara Pulver as wife Ann, in "Fleming."

An interesting representation was made of Ian Fleming's life in miniseries "Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond," later retitled simple "Fleming" (2014). In the key role of Fleming's wife, Ann, is Lara Pulver. She did quite a bit of reading up on Mr. Fleming, and has a pile amusing quotes about him, to wit:
The way Fleming was with women was disgraceful. On his and Ann’s first date together he gave her a book and said, “Amuse yourself.” This man was an absolute brute.
About her character, Ann, Pulver says:
She was a high society woman who had friends that included Lucian Freud and Winston Churchill – she danced with the elite. She was also a master manipulator. Yet she found Fleming [her third husband] incredibly magnetic. I read her diaries to find out why she was so drawn to him and learned that growing up she’d had quite an abusive nanny and was passed around to different family members like an aristocratic waif. I think losing her mother and having no one to turn to or show her love meant she ended up in a very unhealthy relationship in which she mistook the way Ian treated her for love.
About the filming, she say:
There’s a scene where Ann finds out that he’s slept with her best friend – just to annoy her, no other reason. It wasn’t in the script, but I was holding a whisky glass at the time and I turned round and threw it at Dominic, who ducked, thankfully. It smashed against the wall and shattered everywhere.
About those times, Pulver says:
It was a really elegant period for women. I was in diamonds, canary-yellow dresses and visited some wonderful locations.
Anna Chancellor also appears as Fleming's colleague Lieutenant Monday, with Samuel West appearing as his boss, Admiral John Godfrey.

Dominic Cooper Lara Pulver Ian Fleming
Ian Fleming himself.


Roger Moore Still Fighting Injustice

Roger Moore Simon Templar
Sir Roger Moore.

Sir Roger Moore is a well-known supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). It is no mere hobby for Roger Moore, he deeply believes in the cause. Accordingly, Moore personally has paid for a campaign against a London department store which is the target of numerous celebrities. His concern is the sale of foi gras:
"The callous treatment of geese filmed by investigators at the very farms in France from which Fortnum & Mason's distributor sources foie gras was far more violent and cowardly than anything James Bond ever faced at the hands of villains. I want shoppers to hear the simple fact that foie gras is so cruel that it is illegal to produce in the U.K. and to know that Fortnum & Mason keeps selling this bird-abusing foodstuff although the British public is up in arms about it."
Other stars in on the campaign include "Absolutely Fabulous" star Joanna Lumley, Morrissey, Rickey Gervais and Ralph Fiennes. The leafletting campaign outside the store continues through Christmas 2013.

Sir Roger refuses to go quietly. Good for him.

Roger Moore


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ian Fleming

Ian Fleming
Ian Fleming knew how to handle and use a weapon.

There was a very real spy connected to the James Bond movies, but it wasn't Sean Connery or Roger Moore or any of the other fine actors who appeared in the films.

Ian Fleming Sean Connery Dr. No
Ian Fleming and Sean Connery on the set of "Dr. No."

Ian Fleming is perhaps the most famous person whose picture you quite likely have never seen. There aren't a lot of photographs of him floating around. Perhaps it was partly due to his real-life spy training.

Ian Fleming
Ian Fleming during World War II

In any event, he did visit the sets of the James Bond films when he could. Above is a picture of him with Sean Connery on the set of "Dr. No."

Ian Fleming Camp X Canadian spy center
Camp X, the secret Canadian spy center where Ian Fleming trained


Monday, December 9, 2013

Sean Connery on the Verge of Stardom

Sean Connery Dr. No
Sean Connery.

What you see is a man whose life is about to change forever. Sean Connery, unknown Irish actor and former weightlifter, had filmed a genre spy flick that was no different than so many others. In no way could it hope to compare with Alfred Hitchcock's "North By Northwest" of a few years previously, at best it would not be embarrassed by the comparison.

Well, "Dr. No" premiered on October 5, 1962, and unknown Sean, unknown Ian Fleming, and little-known James Bond became household names. And the life of the man in the picture would never be the same. Make the shot, Sean, we're counting on you.