Monday, June 20, 2022

"James Bond" -License To Thrill

'James Bond' will return. That was the promise at the end of "No Time to Die". Bond has been around for 60 years and while there have been cosmetic changes, including quitting his nicotine habit and toning down the womanizing, Bond remains essentially 'Bond':

One thing that has not changed is the importance of the casino in Bond’s world. It’s actually a clever device. In 1962, a casino gave us a chance to see an opulent world, providing a backdrop where Bond, his  antagonists and allies naturally meet and engage. Also, Bond gets to show us a little of his character and approach to risk  that leaves no room for ambiguity. Let’s look at a few of the great scenes from over the years.



Where else to start but at the beginning? Our first glimpse of Bond is at the baccarat table, where he’s going all in and exchanging sexually charged barbs with the beautiful 'Sylvia Tench'. She remarks: “I admire your luck, Mr…?” Sean Connery coolly lights his cigarette and utters the immortal words “Bond. James Bond.”

Baccarat was always Bond’s game of choice. In "Dr. No", he plays a version called 'Chemin de Fer', which is seldom played in modern casinos. However, a simplified version called 'Punto Banco' is among the most popular live casino games at today’s online platforms. 


By 1971, the 'Connery era' was drawing to an end. Some say "Diamonds are Forever" is the last classic Bond movie, although with Lana Wood’s character bearing the improbable moniker 'Plenty O’Toole', there’s a foreshadowing of the Roger Moore era ahead. 

Anyway, the pair hit the casinos of Las Vegas and Bond almost instantly clears $60,000 at the 'Craps' table before breezing out again. 


Timothy Dalton’s second and final appearance as Bond is as dark and gritty as they come. Bond is out for revenge against the drug baron, psychopath 'Franz Sanchez', played to perfection by actor Robert Davi.

Sanchz also happens to own a casino, so Bond gets his attention by taking a seat at the blackjack table, smiling up at the security camera and taking the house for $250,000. 


Finally, a mention for the most famous casino scene of them all. We’ve all seen it and lived through those poker hands with '007'. The tension is ramped up to incredible levels as we all know, there is even more resting on this game than the $150 million pot. In short, it’s not just the best casino scene it is arguably the best of any scene in 60 years of Bond.

Click the images to enlarge...