Image Problem

I’ve always thought that the problem with Daniel Craig’s portrayal of James Bond is that Craig doesn’t look like Ian Fleming’s description and characterization of Bond as a man with a cultured veneer, and a tough, ruthless man barely concealed just underneath.  It’s why Sean Connery was so good:

…but the rest were too heavy on the “cultured” (Roger Moore) or else pretty boys (Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Dalton) with no “rough” in evidence anywhere.  This doesn’t mean they’re bad actors (I’m a huge fan of both Moore and Brosnan), but they were just miscast.

By comparison, Daniel Craig is the complete opposite:  a street thug in a tuxedo, no sophistication to be found anywhere.

Which is why his swan song as Bond at the world premiere of whatever they’re calling the  latest car on the 007 money train is so jarring:

The jacket’s too short by two inches, and… pink?  No doubt the producers are setting us up for the next iteration of 007:  Jamie Bond, from West Hollywood.

To make things even worse, his co-star Leah Seydoux looks like a man in drag, and the movie has been dubbed the “wokest Bond movie ever“… to the whirring sound of Ian Fleming spinning in his grave.

All this means I’m unlikely ever to see this movie, but I (and people like me) am no longer relevant to the 007 Marketing Department.


  1. I’ve been wondering when you would get around to Paige Spiranac. She’s a bit of a problem for me, because my policy has been to completely ignore golf, and she makes that VERY difficult.

  2. The pendulum will start to swing back to normal one day but unfortunately, because I am in the last 3rd of my life, I probably won’t get to appreciate it. So instead, I spend much of my present relishing the past and being glad that I knew it. Much of the past 20 years seems fake, plastic, insincere, untrustworthy, and foreign. I ignore and avoid as much of it as I can.

  3. Since I read all the Fleming Books as a teenager, ( before any of the movies were released ) I was always able to separate Fleming’s Bond from Hollywood’s Bond. Same goes for Tom Clancy’s cast of characters.

    Unfortunately, I’ve seen the Jason Bourne movies before reading the books, so I’m curious how that will impact the enjoyment.

    But I agree with your assessment of the various actors portraying bond. My understanding is that Fleming had a hand in the casting of Connery.

  4. I remember when they made a big deal about Roger Moore’s Bond turning down sex because the girl was too young. But yeah, really hard to enjoy Daniel Craig as Bond.

  5. I read the books in the early 1960’s and enjoyed them a lot because they made sense in a good guy doing the hard job of killing bad guys, hence the 007 license to kill thing. Bond was a WWII vet, a Brit who had done secret agent crap behind the lines and the bad guys were really nasty mean Nazi type assholes who needed some good killing, up close and personal.

    The early Bond movies were fun and a take off of the Bond character with great music and sexy women folk who needed needed some good, first class, screwing and just like the book Bond, the early movie Bond was a nookie expert. By the 6th movie the special effects and the over the top bullshit was too much for me so and Sean Connery was the only Bond I ever wanted to see. The rest of the Bond guys were not James Bond, not smart, sharp, mean, kind of raunchy killers.

  6. The worst miscasting of an action lead was Dean Martin as Matt Helm. If the movies are all you know about Donald Hamilton’s work, do yourself a favor and read a couple of his books. The Matt Helm series starts with “Death of a Citizen” where he’s drawn back into the business after being out for fifteen years after WWII. Hamilton also wrote several westerns and noir mysteries such as “Night Walker”, “Assassins have Starry eyes”, “Line of Fire”, and “The Broken Mirror”. You will be happy to find out that he gets the gun bits right.
    I don’t know if any of the Manning Coles books about Tommy Hambledon were ever made into movies, but the first two are “Drink to Yesterday” and “A Toast to Tomorrow”.

    1. Thanks for the tip. The Helm films always seemed like a Las Vegas lounge singer with guns girls and booze. I’ll check them out.

  7. I think your point about Daniel Craig is right on target, but I also think that was part of the original character introduction and development in the first movie “Casino Royale”. In the start Bond is absolutely the tough guy “blunt instrument” who has an almost sneering disregard for the classy establishments. This is perfectly evident in the wonderful scene with Vesper on the train, where the two of them verbally spar with each other. When he walks into the room anyone who is paying attention would immediately know “this guy is dangerous”. Bond doesn’t yet doesn’t have the suave sophistication to fit into any given situation. In comparison, Connery’s Bond would walk into any room and immediately fit in, like a secret agent should, not standing out until he wanted to call attention to himself.

    Craig’s Bond slowly starts developing over the course of the first movie, if you look carefully you can see it. Vesper orders him a proper tuxedo because the one he brought wasn’t good enough, and you have a moment where Bond starts to appreciate the suit and what it does to him. He starts to appreciate the finer food and drink. He starts to develop hints of the sophistication that would make him, well, fully James Bond as we know him. But in the first movie he is still very much a rough character trying to evolve into what he needs to be. I thought the first film was really clever with several small scenes hinting at this development throughout the movie, which is one of the reasons Casino Royale remains my favorite Craig movie.

    Unfortunately, the rest of the Craig movies pretty much threw that character development out the window, choosing to focus on his pain and suffering (and possible psychological issues) from the ending of the first film. This carries all the way through to Spectre, and apparently, the new film. He continues to be a blunt instrument, a small weapon of mass destruction, with a license (and impulse) to kill and the ability to leave a wide trail of violence and chaos behind him. We needed to see Craig’s Bond develop the social skills and sophistication but the writers/producers just didn’t let that happen. They didn’t even try to develop Bond any further, instead relying on expensive props (oh look, an expensive watch!) and cars to signify that Bond was a high-end agent when really he was a barely controlled thug aimed in the general direction of whatever needed to be dealt with. As much as I enjoyed Skyfall, the final battle in his ancestral home showed that Bond was still very much the same man he was when he started his journey to become a secret agent, just with more technical skill. He never evolved.

    I do believe that Daniel Craig had the acting chops to pull off the character development, but he can only work within the boundaries of the scripts handed to him.

    That said, the pink jacket… yikes. It doesn’t look good at all.

    1. That is an excellent observation about Bond’s character development in CR. I happen to like Craig’s Bond the best.

      I also read the books in the late 50s & early 60s. I came away from them knowing that James Bond, no matter the situation, was a rough man. I sure don’t remember him making quips and that’s what put me off Connery. And don’t get me going about Moore, an otherwise wonderful actor but not James Bond.

      When there was no one else to compare him too and after he hung it up, his replacements weren’t up to snuff, yeah he looked to be the GOAT. I think Craig was better.

      I’ll miss him. I wonder why he feels alienated playing that part. The opening in CR was fabulous, he was great. Perfect Bond IMO.

      Bronson and Lazenby were OK but Craig doesn’t crack many smiles and I like that. Assassinating people is a pretty nasty line of work.

      1. If that pink dinner jacket is in the film. I’m not paying to see it. I won’t go out of my way to see it for free, either.

  8. I’ve felt from the start that Daniel Craig looked more like a KGB agent than one from MI6. Specifically, at various times in his Bond era, he bore more than a passing resemblance to Vlad Putin.

    Which, of course, would be a major asset for a western agent working in Russia or other parts of the Former Soviet Union.

  9. While I’m not one to comment on one’s sartorial preferences, I did a double take at seeing Craig in that jacket. Then again, he manages to pull it off.

    The complaints of Craig being “James Blond” upon his taking over the role has mercifully diminished as he has portrayed 007 very capably, I think. Granted, he’s not exactly the literary character, as Ian Fleming often described him as looking like Hoagy Carmichael

    I’ve been waiting for over 2 years for Craig’s finale, and I hope it’s much better than SPECTRE, which STILL leaves a bad after-taste 6 years on.

  10. Astoundingly strange things have been known to happen in real life, but Craig Hollywood shooting a train coupler and knuckle in two isn’t one of them. I shut off the TV at that moment.

    I prefer the ring of truth, to the sound of fantasy, propaganda, and lies.

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