AND BOND Playboy began running excerpts of Fleming's Bond stories from as early as March, 1960, when the issue at left featured his novelette "The Hildebrand Rarity."|
After that, the magazine excerpted four other James Bond novels:
On Her Majesty's Secret Service in 1963; You Only Live Twice in
1964; The Man With the Golden Gun in 1965; and Octopussy in 1966,
all years before they were made into movies.
According to current Bond author Raymond Benson,
Fleming even visited the Chicago Playboy office and asked if Playboy staffers
could hook him up with real-life "Mafia chaps".*
While continuing to serialize Fleming's work, the magazine began to focus more
on the 007 films as the decade went on.
featured many of the Bond actresses posing in various
states of undress (a more complete list can be found on the Sources
now leave the movie house and see Pussy Galore at the local newstand -- and the
publicity did wonders for both Bond and the magazine.
cross-pollination was taken to new extremes when 1969's Miss February, Lorrie
Menconi, was the centerfold in the Playboy that Bond reads while breaking
into a safe in the film version of On Her Majesty's Secret
One of the most delightful results of this collaboration was an article by You
Only Live Twice screenwriter Roald Dahl, created to accompany a pictorial
of the Bond girls in that film. It revealed quite
a bit about EON's filmmaking process:
Vol. 14, No. 6; June, 1967:
The famous co-producers (I confess I?d never heard of them) of the most famous
and successful series of films in the history of motion pictures, Cubby Broccoli
and Harry Saltzman, were sitting in an enormous room where the telephones never
stopped ringing. Neither of them looked undernourished.
?You can come up
with anything you like so far as the story goes,? they told me, ?but there are
two things you mustn?t mess about with. The first is the character of Bond. That?s
fixed. The second is the girl formula. That is also fixed.
?What?s the girl
formula?? I asked.
?There?s nothing to it. You use three different girls
and Bond has them all.?
?Separately or en masse??
One of them took a
deep breath and let it out slowly. ?How many Bond films have you seen?? he asked.
?Just one. The one with the crazy motorcar.?
?You?d better see the others
right away. We?ll send them out to your house with a projector and someone to
work it." This was the first small hint I was to get of the swift, efficient,
expansive way in which the Bond producers operated. Nobody else does things quite
?So you put in three girls. No more and no less. Girl number one
is pro-Bond. She stays around roughly through the first reel of the picture. Then
she is bumped off by the enemy, preferably in Bond?s arms.?
?In bed or not
in bed?? I asked.
?Wherever you like, so long as it?s in good taste. Girl
number two is anti-Bond. She works for the enemy and stays around throughout the
middle third of the picture. She must capture Bond, and Bond must save himself
by bowling her over with sheer sexual magnetism. This girl should also be bumped
off, preferably in an original fashion.?
?There aren?t many of those left,?
?We?ll find one,? they answered. ?Girl number three is violently
pro-Bond. She occupies the final third of the picture, and she must on no account
be killed. Nor must she permit Bond to take any lecherous liberties with her until
the very end of the story. We keep that for the fade-out.?
-- Benson resumed the Bond/Playboy relationship
in the nineties wrote a pair of short stories for Playboy, starting with
"Blast From the Past" in 1996. In fact, Lisa Dergan (Miss July 1998) and Victoria
Zdrok (Miss October 1994) were both featured in Benson's short story, "Midsummer
Night's Doom," which appeared in the January 1999 issue.
of the most hilarious film crtiicism ever created is contained in Playboy's
reviews of the Bond movies. Count the bad puns and single-entendres. You'll be
up all night trying to do it...
Vol. 10, No. 5; May, 1963: James Bond,
the secret agent whose international affairs brighten the course of British foreign
affairs (and the current pages of Playboy), makes an inauspiciously hoked-up
screen debut in Dr. No. In recent years, Ian
Fleming?s smoothy sleuth has given the old tough-guy dick a poke in his private
eye, but this Technicolor tingler doesn?t do much to make it clear why a plentiful
public (including JFK) have put their stock in Bond.
Gentleman James is sent to Jamaica to investigate a fellow agent?s disappearance;
greeted by an attempt on his life, Bond knows he?s come to the right place. He
turns up clues and cuties with equal aplomb until he uncovers a world-size, no
less, conspiracy. On a small nearby island, a kind of superscientific Shangri-La,
an oriental mastermind named Dr. No is plotting world dominion. Bond investigates
and is nabbed by No, but Bond gets his hands on the equipment and pulls a switch
- literally and figuratively - so there?s no No by film?s end. There?s a fume
of Fu Manchu about the movie and Bond?s beddings have a too-heavy touch of tongue-in-cheat.
Sean Connery, square-jawed and agile, makes a Bond
who repays interest, and among the nubile knockouts, Ursula
Andress (bad good girl) and Zena Marshall (bad bad girl) are twin peaks, but
the super-chromatic Technicolor and the far-fetched, far-from-super script make
one sadly shake his head, No.
Russia With Love"
Vol.11, No. 5; May, 1964:
James Bond returns in From Russia With Love - the
second of Ian Fleming?s lust-and-Luger-laden spy
stories to be screened, and superior to number one. This yarn, which begins in
Turkey, is a lot of Istanbul, but it writhes with surprises, as Bond - played
again by Sean Connery - deliberately walks into a trap
on the chance of getting a Russian decoding machine. The trap is blondely baited
with a Russian code clerk (Daniela Bianchi): but
what Bond doesn?t know is that she?s really being used by SPECTRE, the third force
that plays the West against the East - and she?s the girl who can play it. The
tension is tangy, the color is zesty. Through Turkish cellars, gypsy camps, and
that good old European train with the separate compartments, Agent 007 makes his
way and his women, unaware that he is one lap behind the schemes of Robert
Shaw, a cool, careful killer, and Lotte Lenya, a Lotte menace. The episodes
are strung together like sausage links: just when you think it?s over, along comes
another tasty hunk of baloney. But what?s wrong with baloney when it?s this enjoyable?
13, No. 3; March, 1966: Cutting a suave swath through vile villains and
wily women, Bond is back, in Thunderball.
If you happen to be one of the two or three zillion buffs who get a bang out of
Bond - and Sean Connery, who dumped Doris Day as filmdom?s
top box-office star in 1965 - this one is an absolute must. There?s one of those
usual SPECTRE plots To Destroy Civilization As We Know It (this time the baddies
have hijacked two atomic bombs from NATO and will mushroom-cloud Miami unless
the Allies cough up an embarrassment of riches for ransom: $280,000,000 worth
of diamonds). The film also features a fetching plethora of pretties, none of
them overdressed, who romp with Bond - and with abandon - far more than in any
of the previous Fleming flicks. And there is fistwork
and knifework, pistolplay, spear-gunplay and sharkplay aplenty. But the tone has
changed. The Bond films used to grip with gruesome action, using sex and giggles
as a safety valve. Now it?s less private eye and more like a Panavision comic
book with nobody expecting anybody to be seriously scared or shook up - just tongue-in-cheekily
whiz-bam-zoomed with square-jawed Connery, who has solidly jelled into the ideal
embodiment of Superbond the Invincible, World?s Number-One Operator. Since a good
deal of the story takes place in the Caribbean, there?s much carnival in evidence,
but even more scuba-doings, which give us a chance to see a lot of a lot of lovelies.
Chief among them are Luciana Paluzzi, a spicy Italian
antipasto, and Claudine Auger, a tasty French pastry.
With swinish suaveness, Adolpho Celi plays the mastermind menace who finally meets
his Waterloo in a spectacular underwater donnybrook between his aquanaughties
and the Navy?s aquaparatroops - led by Bond in a jet-propelled, rocket-launching
Buck Rogers backpack. All in all, it?s not only the funniest and farthest out
but also the biggest and best of the Bond bombshells. At presstime, we were informed
that Connery has patched up his differences with the Bond producers and agreed
to continue playing the title role in forthcoming epics. Good show!
"The Living Daylights"
Vol. 34, No. 9; September, 1987: File and forget any
anxiety about the new James Bond and The Living Daylights.
The 25th-anniversary epic based on Ian Fleming?s
legendary 007. The fact is, Roger Moore had begun to
look and act weary of it all, despite his dauntless dry wit. Timothy
Dalton is younger, more athletic and drop-dead handsome as Bond - a solid
actor with his own brand of sophisticated humor, lacking only a smidgen, maybe,
of the common touch that made Sean Connery?s Bond an
instant classic. Dalton may mellow. Meanwhile, The Living Daylights pumps
new go-with-the-Eighties energy into the series. The
physical production is up to par and then some - full of breath-stopping stunts
and pell-mell excitement, from a first-reel ambush atop Gibraltar to a climactic
airborne battle designed to turn knuckles white. Everything in between is intricate,
familiar stuff about drug deals and an Eastern-bloc defector (Jeroen Krabbe),
plus a fine romance for 007 with a Czechoslovakian cellist played by Maryam
d?Abo, who brings a breath of early-Ingrid Bergman substance to her role.
Directed by John Glenn, whose fourth Bond outing challenges his best, the screenplay
improves as the plot thickens. Joe Don Baker and Andreas Wisniewski top the roster
of bad guys, who get what they deserve. So will the audience: This milestone 007
movie keeps the Bondbuster tradition in the fast lane. (Four bunnies)
But in case you think this is all too sexist, women had their own magazine...