In just over a week it will be exactly a hundred years since the birth of Ian Fleming, wartime intelligence officer and creator of cultural icon James Bond 007. To mark the occasion, the Imperial War Museum in London has opened a special Fleming'n'Bond themed exhibit, For Your Eyes Only, which will run until May '09. Aware of …
I'm not back in the UK again until after the exhibition or I'd be going. The IWM is *definitely* worth a visit, regardless. Very high on my list of places to recommend to visitors.
Oh, and if you happen to be on The Other Side in Camberra, their War Memorial museum is almost as good.
Never mind the fictional Cdr Bond's career, I'm interested in Fleming's. Departed Sandhurst under a blackmailable cloud, tried to get into the Foreign Office and failed, and then "landed on his feet" with a Naval Intelligence Division job that let him have a "finger in every pie". Hmmm.
I wonder just how "failed" that failure to join the FO was. Perhaps Fleming had spent his apparently rudderless years working for them after all (voluntarily or otherwise), and his contacts became useful on the outbreak of war?
<justify>It's a slow news Sunday morning :)</justify>
New exhibit: one VERY wet car..
I guess the Aston Martin DBS accidentally driven into Lake Garda during filming may not be good for anything else than a plinth now :-). But hell, nobody told the stunt man that this car was not planned to be a submersible..
His brother's books are better written, though not so many. (Well the two I've read. I read a few Bonds before ever seeing any of the films, IMO the books are slightly better!).
Thinking about what "Travels in Tartary"* and the fact that he was in charge of "military deception operations in Southeast Asia" makes me think he was the real spy in the family too.
I wonder what he thought of his "little" brother's creation?
(*Combination of "One's Company" and "News from Tartary")
virtual secret agent ..
Do the IWM realize that Bond is a figment of someones imagination, or doesn't it matter as people can't tell the difference anymore.
I'm off to the Imperial War Museum
mines the coat with the built-in missile launcher, martini holder and the Walther PPK....
Dusko Popov and a man called tricycle
In the book " A man Called Tricycle" Dusko Popov claims to be the prototype for James Bond. The casino scene from Casino Royale is supposed to be from a night when he was dropping off money to a resistance group and Fleming was "baby sitting" to use a term from LeCarre'
Hold on, what did Fleming know?
Fleming could have known about ULTRA, from the work he did.
But once he did, they wouldn't have let him near combat.
So he probably didn't know before the Dieppe raid. And why was he on the ship?
It's possible he didn't know. But would they have taken the chance that he'd not noticed something?
@Wet Car AC:
According to het BBC, "It is not known how the stunt driver lost control of the vehicle while driving to the film set on scenic Lake Garda."
The trick, Mr Stuntman, is to not try and drive _on_ the lake. Even [most] Bond cars have to go round the edges...
The cover blurb of "Guilt Edged" by the improbable-sounding Merlin Minshall claims /he/ was the prototype for James Bond. Prior to joining Naval Intelligence (where he worked alongside Fleming) Minshall's unlikely escapades included crossing Europe from the Channel to the Black Sea in a barge-yacht, competing in the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Monte Carlo Rally and being the first person to cross the Sahara on a motorbike. Wartime exploits included attempting to block the Danube in Romania in order to cut off oil supplies to the Third Reich. He also warrants several mentions in Len Deighton's "Blood, Tears And Folly" - deighton wrote the foreward to "Guilt Edged" and his name appears on the cover in slightly larger letters than thos of the actual author!
The name's Pratt - Complete Pratt
A good piece, Lewis, though a trifle long for such a trivial subject.
This may be heresy to some but I don't get the adulation lavished on Flemming's creation. I read several of them at school and, with hindsight, they were badly written, featured risible and two-dimensional characters, laboured under improbable (often impossible) plots, and were laced with *huge* dollops of petty snobbery. But, from many accounts, Flemming himself was a snobbish and objectionable man.
That said, the films are mildly entertaining - if you're a bored 17-year-old. Oh, and they were innovative in that Honor Blackman wore conical bras two decades before Madonna.
Mine's the dinner jacket* with the blood stains and cat hairs.
* 'Tuxedo' to our colonial cousins
re: what did Fleming know?
Didn't Fleming come up with an elaborate plan to capture an enigma machine that had to be cancelled on orfers from above?
Rather pointless if he had been in on Ultra.
Of course, the higher ups may have let him in on the secret just to prevent anymore crazy Bond style schemes.
Spies 'r' us virtual secret agents ..
"Do the IWM realize that Bond is a figment of someones imagination, or doesn't it matter as people can't tell the difference anymore." .... By Doug Posted Sunday 20th April 2008 13:23 GMT
Of course it matters, that people can't tell the difference anymore, Doug. That's what create the Reality Virtually. It is Virtually Vital than Nobody Notices and Everybody, with a Need to Know, knows.
One would have expected that Ian Flemings genes, would have allowed the Family and Partners to recognise the Real Thing in Others too .... and for them to know that IT would create them a Fortune 42 Administer and therefore for them to Energise themselves, accordingly.
In today's, fraught financial climate, what better Opportunity would there be to Lead with a Recognised Hero Model/Clone/Figment.
"Rather pointless if he had been in on Ultra." ..... By Francis Boyle Posted Monday 21st April 2008 08:04 GMT .... In Real Life, QuITE so, Francis. By all accounts, being no angel but being very fond of angels :) he'd be treading wherever he wanted and where he was wanted....... a QuITe Perfect Scoundrel and a Master Pilot of his Craft.
I was going to say that they don't make them like that any more, but that would not be true, it is just that you don't get to meet them anymore unless absolutely necessary, for you can imagine how busy they must be.:-)
"This may be heresy to some but I don't get the adulation lavished on Flemming's creation." .... The name's Pratt - Complete Pratt Posted Monday 21st April 2008 08:04 GMT
Such Scepticism is the Foundation of Immaculate Stealth and the Perfect Accompaniment for Special Service Operations, Sceptical Bastard. And the Fleming, not Flemming ..... and hence the Flame :-)
Busted as a second rate agent !
Hmmm, could not have been a very good field agent , the story goes when he arrived in neutral Lisbon the entire German Abewhr Portuguese detachment had been issued his photo and knew where he was to be accommodated within one hour of his arrival in the town and he apparently gambled badly and was normally short of funds for the duration !
The great majority of Ultra intercepts were Luftwaffe, not naval - naval enigma was a huge pain to crack.
@Busted as a second rate agent !
First rate cover, though, heystoopid, to be so apparently bad. Pretty rum bad show to hamper him with a shortage of funds as well, though. Obviously M was a C and not Fit for Purpose. Nowadays, the Magic Plastic Fantastic, would have him always Liquid with Unlimited Funds, and he would be Bound to have a Jason Bourne type Personal Stash, for any dirty double-dealing, double-crossing, ratfink type mole/vole, who might wish to do him harm/compromise his integrity with their own.
Strewth, there Hundreds of Billions "out there" at the moment just looking for a Good Safe Home/a Safe pair of Hands you can Trust/aman of his Bond. :-) And at XXXXAlted Levels of the Great Game, IT/Money is no more than just Confetti to be Shared around and Spent Freely with whoever is in the Picture Frame, Supporting the Show.
And Nice Easy Work whenever you Deserve IT too, but you cannot be stoopid.
Merlin Minshall is his real name. A great character, when my mother met him he was running a travel agent's in Chelsea. He had a brilliant mustache, a bit like Dali's, was also apparently a supply history teacher, and drove around in a customised Bedford camper.
I do wonder, however, how much of what he claimed was actually true, he could tell some amazing tales.
Mine's the coat with big tales.
Hmmm, Fleming's not the only snob...
re: Wet Car
They should not have left the stuntman in charge of "Heavy crash in final scene" do the delivery. Especially when the camera was not rolling.
He may have a bit of hard time getting a job from now on.
/Mine is the inflatable one.
Gently, Huw Gently
At your collective service messieurs..
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Wow. I had no idea that was Ian Fleming. That was one of my favorite movies as a kid. Now that I'm grown up my favorite movie is Shitty Shitty Gang Bang, an adult oriented adaptation of the children's classic. Oddly enough, this contemporary movie features more James Bond type gadgets than the original.
a bottle of gin and 70 specially-made cigarettes every day
Given that consuming a bottle of gin would likely render thee unconsious for at least eight hours a day...
That would mean 22 cigarettes an hour, plus the gin, during the waking segment of one's life.
I have to say it is a miracle the man lived as long as he did. Really.
Surely you'll be wanting this:
..or even this:
Come on guys, buck up, "Standard issue for the British secret service" and all that!
Sadly, practically the only thing that the film "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" has in common with the books (for they were published as a series of three) is the name. Even as a small Mr Larrington I loathed the film from the depths of what passes for my soul due to its unutterable wetness in comparison with the written version. No gangsters, no guns, no explosions.