June 23, 2012

Cheapskate Film Festival: THUNDERBALL/GOLDFINGER

It's rather hard, in our hyper-amped Jason Bourne-influenced cultural climate, to see just how effective and how powerful the James Bond series was in the 1960s. Yes, it was the height of the Cold War, but there was the right mixture of semi-camp and semi-seriousness.

Our two entries this week - both acquired from a popular discount store (and who has not sponsored and these posts do not mean endorsement) - are the two Bond films that were the "most popular"....actually, they're the two 1960's Bond films that put the franchise "on the map", as it were.

And interestingly, there's something that's striking about these films in how they unfold - slowly, surely, with just the right measure of sexism, action, and just enough plot complications. These aren't really spy movies as much as they are pulpy romps....and "pulp" is a compliment of the highest form.

Plus, it's got Sean Connery, as well as the two greatest Bond themes - one from Shirley Bassey, the other from Tom Jones.

In my teens, I always looked forward to watching these films on television every year. Now that I'm swiftly approaching middle age, I enjoy them on DVD....and not for the reasons you might think.

If you've never seen a Bond film, these films - along with From Russia With Love (which was not in stock at my local store) - are worth owning and watching. Repeatedly.

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