By Jeff Salter
Wow, finally an easy topic! My favorite James Bond film is From Russia With Love. But you’re gonna want to know WHY.
I had not even heard of James Bond when my dad took my brother and me to New Orleans – some 50 miles from our home – to see a film about a “super spy.” I had no idea what the movie was even about.
I asked my dad, “Does that mean he can fly?”
“No,” Dad replied, “it just means he’s super good at everything he does.”
“What does this guy do?” I asked innocently.
I suppose my dad could have told me he kills bunches of bad guys and beds bunches of pretty women, but I believe he left the topic up in the air for that moment.
I knew this would be a special experience because Dad rarely took us to a movie without Mom and little sister. For us three guys to drive that far to a movie must mean we were “bonding” or something … though that term did not enter my vocabulary until decades later.
According to IMDb, FRWL (filmed in 1963) was released in America in the early summer of 1964, which is undoubtedly when I saw it … at the tender age of 13.5.
Beautiful girls, deadly villains, whiz-bang crashes and fights, and even very cool gadgets. On top of all that, it had a stunning musical score. Did I mention voluptuous girls? Certainly after viewing that film, I finally realized that 007 was indeed a super spy.
After we saw that movie, my dad started buying the Ian Fleming paperbacks. I read every one. Later, I was given my own complete set of the titles in print at the time … by several buddies (when I left Covington LA for Mt. Pleasant IA).
So you see, folks, FRWL represents not only my first Bond film, but it was my very first exposure to the character James Bond, the actor Sean Connery, the author Ian Fleming, super spies, British secret agents, and the entire concept of “license to kill.” No movie since could possibly duplicate the thrill of that total immersion into such fantastic “guy territory” … at just the age zone when I had departed boyhood and was entering manhood.
What is YOUR favorite Bond film? Why?