Sunday, June 6, 2010

My Name is Bond

It's Sunday.  We visited my son and his family this morning, and now I am sitting here with License to Kill (1989) on the TV.  I think, next to Moonraker from 1979, this is the worst of the Bond films.  Timothy Dalton isn't a bad actor in the right role, but for some reason in this film (License), he overacts in his zeal to avenge the attack on his American friend Felix Leiter.  Even James Bond shouldn't overact.

Dalton played King Phillip of France in the 1969 film The Lion in Winter, which was an outstanding movie that won three Oscars.  License to Kill, no Oscars, but it was nominated for one Edgar Allen Poe award...whatever that is.

I haven't seen any bit acting roles in License that stand out.  The small parts are mostly thugs that get shot, or blown up, or drown, or fall out of airplanes, or beat up in a bar, get the picture.  You may consider the part played so well by Desmond Llewelyn as Q to be rather small, so he gets my vote for best bit actor in this one.

Desmond was born in 1914 and appeared in 83 roles in film and TV starting out as a headless coachman!  His first Bond film was 1963's From Russia with Love, which was the second Bond film.  In that film he wasn't called Q, he played Boothroyd, and that was the name used before they started calling him Q.  Llewelyn as Q shows up in the next Bond flick, Goldfinger from 1964, when they started using the initial from the Quartermaster Branch that supplies Bond with all the goodies.

Llewelyn continued playing Q in 17 films (including Moonraker) until The World is Not Enough in 1999, the year he died.

He had a small part in the 1958 movie about the Titanic called A Night to Remember.  Honor Blackman was also in that film, before she became Pussy Galore in Goldfinger.

He played a senator in Cleopatra in 1963 with Elizabeth Taylor.  It is interesting that he was in these films but managed to stay pretty much invisible, then he got the break and was cast in the Bond series, and the rest is history.

I once tried to make a list of all the Bond films so I could start a collection, but it seemed to get away from me.  I finally decided to only buy the best ones, but that was after I bought License to Kill on VHS.  It won't be replaced on disc.

The tanker truck scene is now on TV, getting ready to lose control down the mountain.  My favorite part is when the air brake line gets cut and the truck speeds up!  When you lose air pressure in truck brakes, the brakes lock and stop the truck.  Don't special effects people know that?


  1. You mention Bond and then the film A Night To Remember. Also of note:David McCallum plays wireless operator Harold Bride in the movie. And in a very bit role, look for none other than Sir Sean Connery.

  2. You are correct! I haven't seen A Night to Remember is so many years, it is time to put it on Netflix. I knew, somehwere back in my deepest memory, that McCallum was the radio operator, but I didn't know about Connery. I will watch for him. Thanx!


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