The World as Seen by Bond, James Bond

Which was your favorite Bond movie and James Bond actor?  Naturally for me, I enjoy seeing the beautiful filming locations such as Lake Como, London, Venice when I watch the movies.  See which one was the most popular bond movie of all time and some of the filming locations...

Top: My photos of Lake Como (top two).  The lower photo is of the Villa Balbianello from where Casino Royale was filmed with Daniel Craig (article photo.)

My photos below: Some of the movie filming locations over the years (upper left to right):
Trafalgar Square, London; Roman Forum at the Piazza Venezia, Rome; Venice canals

He’s a very British hero, popularly brought to life from book to silver screen thanks to an Anglo-American-Italian production collaboration. It is the story of Bond. James Bond. The latest, and 23rd release in the series, Skyfall, starring Daniel Craig - in his third outing as secret agent 007 - marks the 50th anniversary of the second most successful and longest-running film franchise in cinema history.
James Bond - Skyfall
Since the release of 1962’s Dr No, it is estimated that a staggering quarter of the world’s population has seen at least one Bond film. Considered as the populist ‘father’ of the spy genre, its cultural legacy has included films from Dean Martin’s Matt Helm ‘60s series and Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible, to the Austin Powers parody and Jean Dujardin’s comedic French Bond, ‘OSS’.
Though Bond is the creation of English author Ian Fleming, the success of the closely-linked film phenomenon is in most part due to the creative influence of the Broccoli family. Albert Romolo Broccoli, nicknamed Cubby, moved to London in the 1950s lured by the British government’s film subsidy for UK made productions with British cast and crew. 
Suspiria - Dario Argento
Michael continued: ‘Back in the early days when Dr No was going to be released no-one really thought that we were going to get 50 years of Bond, let alone 23 pictures. 
They attribute the films’ worldwide popularity first to ‘what Ian Fleming originally created. The Bond character is so interesting and exciting and offers so many possibilities… Different unique actors can play the 007 role and each brings new excitement to it and a new interpretation of the same character.’ 
What was said on the franchise’s 40 year anniversary still appears to hold true. As Michael then explained, I think the action sequences and the exciting car chases have been a hallmark of the James Bond films since Thunderball. The unique stunts, gadgets, gorgeous women and exotic settings are all things that the viewer comes to expect… We just try to offer those same elements at a level that keeps it fresh and exciting for the audience.’
Bond is still an officer in British Secret Intelligence or MI6, code number 007. Based on people he knew in his own World War II experience of espionage, author Ian Fleming said of his hero: ‘Exotic things would happen to and around him, but he would be a neutral figure – an anonymous, blunt instrument wielded by a government department.’
Adolfo Celi
On the right, Adolfo Celi - picture courtesy of
The six incarnations of Bond so far span the ‘60s original Sean Connery through Roger Moore in the ‘70s, Pierce Brosnan in the ‘90s to today’s surprise ‘blonde Bond’ Daniel Craig. Though quintessentially British, there is always an intriguing international flavour to story elements. There are heinous villains.
Caterina Murino and Daniel Craig
Caterina Murino and Daniel Craig - picture courtesy of
Side by side with daredevil stunts, Bond films display innovative gadgets and convertable cars – the Aston Martin, especially – along luxury lifestyle touches: Bond’s preferred drink is the martini, ‘shaken, not stirred.’ As for sharp tailoring – Savile Row for Sean Connery to Italian brand Brioni for Pierce Brosnan.
Brioni - Pierce BrosnanVital to the plot, exotic settings have often showcased Italian locations. Stand-outs include Venetian canal boats (From Russia with Love) and Ca’Rezzonico (Drax’s office in Moonraker); Piazza Venezia (For Your Eyes Only) and the Palazzo Pisani (Casino Royale finale); Locarno’s Verzasca Dam (bungee jump opening stunt in Goldeneye) to the Hotel Miramonti, Cortina d’Ampezzo, where Bond stayed, and most recently in Casino Royale, the panoramic Villa Del Balbianello, Lake Como, where Bond recently ‘recuperated’ lakeside.

So here it is:
According to the official James Bond website, the all-time favourite Bond film worldwide – including the UK and Italy - is Daniel Craig’s Casino Royale, 2006. When asked what makes a good James Bond film today, Craig – contracted to fulfil at least two more Bonds, responds, ‘Packing it with as much as you can.' 
Skyfall opens throughout Europe and the US in November. Documentary Everything or Nothing: the Untold Story of 007 is showing at selected cinemas.  See the full story at Life in Italy here
Let us know your favorite movie, Bond actor and why in the comments below.


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