On This Day — James Bond “Die Another Day” Premiere in London (November 18 2002) How Jamaica inspired James Bond [UPDATE : “My Name is Bond. Jane Bond.”]

“I wanted the simplest, dullest, plainest-sounding name I could find, and ‘James Bond’ was much better than something more interesting, like ‘Peregrine Carruthers.’ Exotic things would happen to and around him, but he would be a neutral figure — an anonymous, blunt instrument wielded by a government department.”

Ian Fleming

 

In 1943, Ian Fleming flew to Jamaica to track down rumors of a secret submarine base near Nassau. It was there that he picked up a book on birds — written by one James Bond. Ten years later, when Fleming decided to channel his time in intelligence into fiction, he pilfered the name “James Bond” for his new hero in “Casino Royale.”

November 18 2019 — Die Another Day is a 2002 British-American spy film, the twentieth film in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions, as well as the fourth and final film to star Pierce Brosnan as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film follows Bond as he leads a mission to North Korea, during which he is betrayed and, after seemingly killing a rogue North Korean colonel, is captured and imprisoned. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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*** *** *** 

Colonel Moon: You will not live to see the day all Korea is ruled by the North.

James Bond: Then you and I have something in common.

James Bond — Die Another Day (2002)

“Die Another Day is the wrong film at the wrong time.”

South Korean Ministry of Culture and Tourism

*** *** *** 

UPDATE (October 25 2020) — Recently declassified Cold War-era documents about a suspected British agent named James Bond have the Polish public and some in the intelligence community shaken, not stirred.

“On Feb. 18, 1964, the agent named Bond, James Bond, arrived in Warsaw, then behind the Soviet Union’s Iron Curtain, a barrier separating the Communist Eastern Bloc from the West.

Officially, he was employed as an archivist for the British Embassy Military Attache. But he soon earned the attention of Polish counter-intelligence officers. At one point, he was spotted snooping around a military base along the Soviet border, the Wall Street Journal reported.

James Bond — a British Embassy employee who served in Poland in the 1960s.

The compromise of Bond’s cover has resulted in debate among Polish historians and the public over whether Bond — who went by Jim — was in fact a spy.

“I mean, come on,” said Marzena Kruk, director of the institute, told Reuters. “He was a spy, doing spying things.”

The British Secret Intelligence Service, known as MI6, declined to comment to the newspaper.

Filip Hagenbeck, the former leader of Counterintelligence Branch Ten, the agency tasked with rooting out foreign spies, said a more likely scenario was that Bond was used as a decoy for more sensitive operations.

He suspects British intelligence knew a man with the same name as author Ian Fleming’s popular fictional character would possibly distract Polish agents. (…)

Bond’s widow, Janette Bond, 88, wasn’t sure what her husband’s mission was in Poland. She said she was told to join him in Warsaw to project a more credible cover story. Sometimes he communicated by writing on paper in their apartment because he feared upstairs neighbors were listening, she said.

She also recalled helping her husband evade his Soviet minders. He would turn up at parties, then slip away on a mission while she returned home with another British official.

“If it didn’t work, it was aborted,” she said.

END of UPDATE

Die Another Day had its world premiere on November 18 2002 at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip were guests of honor, making it the second Bond film premiere to be attended by the Queen, the first one being You Only Live Twice in 1967.

The Royal Albert Hall had a make-over for the screening and had been transformed into an ice palace.

Proceeds from the première, about £500,000, were donated to the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund of which the Queen is a patron.

On the first day, ticket sales reached £1.2 million. Another Day was the highest grossing James Bond film until the release of Casino Royale. It earned $432 million worldwide, becoming the sixth highest-grossing film of 2002. [Wikipedia]

How Jamaica inspired James Bond

James Bond — ornithologist (1900 – 1989) — was an expert on the birdlife of the Caribbean and wrote the seminal Birds of the West Indies, first published in 1936 and republished in varying formats ever since.

Ian Fleming — the father of ‘James Bond’ — lived in Jamaica and was a keen birdwatcher.

The story goes that one evening, visiting friends, he saw ornithologist James Bond’s Birds of the West Indies on a table, and borrowed that short, punchy name for his fictional hero 007 for Casino Royale, published in 1953. He later said he wanted a name that sounded ‘as ordinary as possible’.

In an interview, Fleming said “I wanted the simplest, dullest, plainest-sounding name I could find, and ‘James Bond’ was much better than something more interesting, like ‘Peregrine Carruthers.’

Exotic things would happen to and around him, but he would be a neutral figure — an anonymous, blunt instrument wielded by a government department.”

Fleming wrote to the real James Bond’s wife “It struck me that this brief, unromantic, Anglo-Saxon and yet very masculine name was just what I needed, and so a second James Bond was born.”

He also contacted the real James Bond about using his name in the books and Bond replied that he was “fine with it.”

At some point during one of Fleming’s visits to Jamaica he met the real Bond and his wife. The meeting was recorded for a documentary.

FACT, FICTION & IN-JOKES

In ‘Dr No’ Fleming referenced Bond’s work by basing a large Ornithological Sanctuary on Dr No’s island in the Bahamas.

In 1964, Fleming gave Bond a first edition copy of You Only Live Twice signed “To the real James Bond, from the thief of his identity”.

In the 2002 Bond film Die Another Day the fictional Bond can be seen examining Birds of the West Indies in an early scene that takes place in Havana.

After arriving in Cuba, one of Bond’s first stops is to drop in on cigar factory owner/MI6 sleeper agent Raoul (Emilio Echevarría), who hooks him up with the books, binoculars, and car that 007 needs to satisfy his chosen cover of… ornithologist?

However the author’s name (James Bond) on the front cover is obscured.

The inclusion of Birds of the West Indies actually appearing on screen is the movie’s way of paying tribute to the character’s origins while also lending him a semi-reasonable cover during his time in Cuba.

In the same film, when Bond first meets Jinx, he introduces himself as an ornithologist.

During this early scene of ‘Die Another Day’, James Bond claims to be an ornithologist. Or is he a horny-thologist? Jinx (Halle Berry) appears a bit confused too. After a careful study of his equipment — and I mean his binoculars — Jinx replies: “Ornithologist? Wow… That is a mouthful!”

Jinx (Halle Berry) Surfaces — Die Another Day (2002)

How Ian Fleming created James Bond

REFERENCES

Ian Fleming: The Man Behind the Most Famous Spy — CIA Website (May 28 2018)

James Bond on film – 007’s best and worst movies ranked!  — Guardian

THE NAME’S BOND. JAMES BOND. LICENSED TO WATCH BIRDS… — ROLLING HARBOUR ABACO

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On This Day — James Bond “Die Another Day” Premiere in London (November 18 2002) How Jamaica inspired James Bond [2019]

On This Day — James Bond “Die Another Day” Premiere in London (November 18 2002) How Jamaica inspired James Bond [UPDATE : “My Name is Bond. Jane Bond.”]

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