Tomorrow is my birthday and one of the ways in which I’m hoping to celebrate is by going to see SPECTRE, the latest film in the James Bond franchise. The first Bond film I saw was Diamonds Are Forever, which my dad took me to see at a cinema in Newport in 1971 or 1972; I was captivated by Bond’s world and I’ve remained so pretty much ever since.
I’m certain I’d have loved the Bond films regardless of the age at which I was first introduced to them, so I cannot honestly say what lasting effect Diamonds Are Forever had on me. I simply have an exhilarating memory whose precise origin I cannot pinpoint, of the combination of the always-evocative guitar riff, the soaring operatic scores and theme songs, the alluring girls in the psychedelic opening credit sequences, Bond’s wit and sophistication, the breathtaking action sequences and his confrontations with his nemesis, my favourite thus far being Blofeld as played by the late Donald Pleasance.
It’s hopeless trying to say which Bond film I like most, as I waver between From Russia With Love and Skyfall, but it really doesn’t matter because if I had to choose my favourite film franchise, I’d choose Bond every time and I’m certain I’ll love SPECTRE. The nature of the films and of Bond himself have changed over the years, but there’s some thing about being able to immerse myself in scenes of the corridors of the highest echelons of power in Britain, along with Bond’s relentlessly dynamic presence in baleful vistas and stunningly exotic locations elsewhere that never fails to mesmerise me.