Bond Voyage

Sep 27 2012 @ 3:40pm

Reflecting on 50 years of James Bond, David Kamp examines the glamorization of travel in the early films:

Dr. No and its two follow-ups, From Russia with Love (1963) and Goldfinger (1964), are the cornerstones of Bond-mania. Like the early Lennon-McCartney singles that spurred Beatlemania, they augured bigger, more elaborate things to come, but the sheer excitement they generated remains unsurpassable. Not only were these movies terrifically entertaining, they also delivered a sort of jet-age holodeck experience, granting regular folk an opportunity to glimpse the future awaiting them. As of 1960, fewer than 2 percent of all Americans had traveled internationally by air. So both Dr. No and From Russia with Love include what are essentially fetish shots of Pan Am jets landing on runways as air-traffic controllers announce their arrival. (“Hello, London, your flight PA1 just landed in Istanbul.”)

“It was a sense of ‘Buy your ticket—we’re going to take you places!’ ” says Guy Hamilton, the director of Goldfinger.