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Do spy films still have appeal?

11:17 UK time, Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The 23rd James Bond film has been given the go-ahead and is due to be released on 9 November 2012, film studio MGM and EON Productions have announced. Are the Bond films timeless?

Producers Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli and MGM said the new Bond film would go into production in late 2011.

James Bond is one of the longest running franchises in film history. The latest 007 adventure, starring Daniel Craig for the third time, will be directed by Oscar winner Sam Mendes.

What is the best spy film ever? What makes a good spy film? Who is your favourite James Bond actor?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    As a harmless way to pass a hour or two - yes.

    The Bond films were never meant to be taken serioulsy, it was always about the cars, the locations, the gadgets and the girls but maybe not in that order!

    Cant take Daniel Craig seriously as Bond though......

  • Comment number 2.

    spy films have been done to death, i think you will start to see alot more westerns now seems to be a growing new trend (old trend revived).

    However james bond will live on forever as its such an iconic lifestyle.
    (everyman would love to live james bonds life)

    Also speaking of westerns the new True Grit film is awesome!

  • Comment number 3.

    Yes, I would say that spy films still have appeal. It's an insight, albeit fictional with the Hollywood touch, into a world that the vast majority of us will never experience. Spying, James Bond style, is glamorous.

    A good spy film needs a good plot, hopefully with an unexpected twist.

    Favourite James Bond actor? It has to be Sean Connery.

  • Comment number 4.

    Since the bond series has effectively restarted and bond is now based in a more realistic world (without machine guns on his car) I feel that it has a new lease of life. It is certainly an improvement on where the films were going (and why halle berry was cast in one I have no idea) and reignighted my interest. I liked some of the other bond series but only a few. Tim Dalton was one of my favorite bonds because he was great for the role. He also resembles Pierce Brosnan a bit (while the other bonds all look totally different) but Brosnan was aweful after goldeneye.

    The borne series is fantastic and I dont know if I would ever want more to be done because they are perfect. If more were to be filmed it would have to be of the same amazing standard.

    I do also have a few other spy films which proves to me that the topic of spying is not a subject to get old. It is purely down to the ability of the actors, writers and directors

  • Comment number 5.

    The occult (meaning hidden) side to a spy's life is the attraction I think. Bond was set in the original Fleming books as a hard man on the outside able to take human effort and boundries to the edge and swallow the feelings thatmight boil up inside, his soft spot was the ladies and so the glamour (as in shining attraction) of that personality, a strong, dangerous male to women made him a favourite of both sexes.

    Best spy film, for me there are two I would name, Thunderball and You only live twice.

    Good spy films are not always as Bond was depicted, as I have seen good and exciting spy movies based on Le Carre that saw a seedier side to that genre and were excellent of that type. Hitchcock did the Man Who Knew Too Much and this too was good in its fashion. Harry Palmer, Ipcress Files other like it all made their mark and are memorable too.

    Forget the Matt Helm (Dean Martin), The men from UNCLE and others like those.

    Favourite Bond actor is Connery of course, as this is what I grew up with, My sons liked Moore but I thought he was a joke, Dalton was the next best with a hard believable edge to him, Craig is reinventing the hard aspect with a mix of Le Carre realism with Bronson coming in fourth, good clean, not so hard edged.

  • Comment number 6.

    So long as intrigue, politics and espionage exist whether real or imagined there will always be spy films in one form or another. Even if it's just to fuel people's fantasies.

    As for a favorite Bond. Sean Connery always!

  • Comment number 7.

    Love Daniel Craig as James Bond - he's such a hotty ;) I did prefer the story for Quantum of Solice though. He is definately my favourite blonde sorry bond....!
    I really enjoy most of Angelina Jolie's films too (much to my other half's delight) - she was excellent in SALT as was the Bourne series - much better than any rom com rubbish.

  • Comment number 8.

    I recently watched 'Body of Lies' which is a Ridley Scott film, starring Leonardo di Caprio and Russell Crowe. An excellent film about Muslim extremism, loyalties and deceit. So no, the spy film is not dead yet! A link all about the film is here:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0758774/

  • Comment number 9.

    4. At 12:44pm on 12 Jan 2011, in_the_uk wrote:
    ...and why halle berry was cast in one I have no idea.....


    I thought she was ok... but Rosamund Pike was perfect!


    The borne series is fantastic

    They were so much better than I expected. It was nice to see how things could be done without Bond's "I win" gadgets.

  • Comment number 10.

    Bond films are very tongue in cheek and most are good stories. I can watch most but find some of Connery's films a bit boring.

    In my opinion Brosnan was the best, followed by Connery, Craig, Moore, Dalton & Lazenby. Of course there was David Niven also but he generally doesn't feature.

    Goldeneye is the best film but I'm 31 and think it has to do with my age.

    A good bond also needs a good bad guy and there is nobody better than Scaramanga.

    Lets hope the new film will be a good one with a cracking song.

  • Comment number 11.

    I will not bother any more, I was really looking forward to quantum of Solace but it turned out to be a 2 hour bore fest, poor script, poor acting, poor plot, to many ridiculous special affect’s .

    I am sorry to say that as far as I am concerned poor old James is well past his best and should have retired years ago - with a large vodka martini (shaken not stirred).

  • Comment number 12.

    Do spy films still have appeal?

    Of course they do. Out of all the actors that have played James Bond, Lazenby, Connery & Craig were the most believable in the roll.

  • Comment number 13.

    If you want to see a good Spy film I would recommend "The man who knew too little" which stars Bill Murray.

    As far as Bond films are concerned if I wanted to watch a two hour commercial for Ford and Coca-Cola I'm sure I could do so without the need for some wooden acting, predictable story lines, token semi-naked women and the price of a cinema ticket. The old films were bad enough but since the 1990s they've become nothing more than an extended advert for the various product placements that fund their production.

  • Comment number 14.

    I now view the Bond series somewhat differently. Some years ago my wife's company got involved in Product Placement in Bond films and hearing the lengths they go to to get products placed, the amount of money they pay and the number of times some shots have to be repeated to get things just right I now view them - and other films - from a totally different view point.

    Yes, I still enjoy them, they are harmless escapism unlike some of the horror films we get now. The way Barbera finances and produces them is somewhat different to Cubby and if you know what to look for it becomes obvious. Favourite Bond? Brosnan for me.

  • Comment number 15.

    To those quoting Bourne as spy movies, sorry but hit men and assassination not spying. but I liked them too for the realism.

  • Comment number 16.

    james bond films can't be taken seriously as 'spi films' - in my opinion they are long-drawn-out, over-sexualised, violent fantasy - maybe to watch if you are too bored to do nothing but watch 'something' on TV

    but then John Le Carre is something else!!!!!!

  • Comment number 17.

    "9. At 1:12pm on 12 Jan 2011, Khuli wrote:

    4. At 12:44pm on 12 Jan 2011, in_the_uk wrote:
    ...and why halle berry was cast in one I have no idea.....

    I thought she was ok... but Rosamund Pike was perfect!"

    Out of the entire film the best acting came from Pike. Dench is very good but not on for long.

    "The borne series is fantastic

    They were so much better than I expected. It was nice to see how things could be done without Bond's "I win" gadgets."

    This is what lost my interest. Even the baddies were getting gadgets on their cars and huge lairs. At some point every building would have to have become a criminal base.

  • Comment number 18.

    Bond has always been an iconic set of films, but the last couple have lost the essence of what made them great.
    Craig may be closer to the what fleming wanted in the books, but the bond films were more than that. They combined the fantasy, the geeky cars, the beautiful women (and men), the tongue in cheek humour and let you suspend disbelief for a couple of hours.
    The new ones are too much like ..any other spy film and will kill a series that has lasted over 20 films.
    Bond films were unique and should stay that way.

  • Comment number 19.

    I always enjoy James Bond films (although a little more plot would sometimes be welcome) and will look forward to the next one. Neither do I mind some light-hearted banter. But to have this as a HYS shows that the BBC is absolutely scraping the barrel and on a day when for example the school league tables are published it just seems absolutely crass. And a useful HYS on the issue of ageism on presenters is pushed off to the 5live website. Clearly HYS is scared witless of unleashing the public on issues which might just go against its own built-in bias.

  • Comment number 20.

    Favourite Bond? Dalton.

    He brought a very nice hard edge to Bond which I thought gave him a more believable role as the guy who will do the job, whatever the cost. Connery was a nice blend of this with the cheesiness of Moore (who I cannot stand as he goes too far the other way!) and he is second in my favourites.

    The new Bond films are not spy films, they are action films with Bond's name on. I love them, but will not misname them.

    In light of the recent story about the undercover policeman, I would like to see more stories about the people involved in this. Getting a good actor and a good director could create a brilliant film; with the lead slowly losing their identity and eventually facing a choice about the life they signed up to or the life they are living. It would bring the grit that big budget action film can never show!

  • Comment number 21.

    I just watched (an old) BBC production of 'Cambridge Spies' on DVD ... absolutely rivetting!

    I also have John LeCarre spy films ... if only I could understand LeCarre!

  • Comment number 22.

    Who is your favourite James Bond actor?

    Sean Connery, without a doubt. Diamonds Are Forever was my favorite. I was only 10 when it came out but, I still remember it well and have seen it many times since. From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Dr. No, You Only Live Twice, Thunderball, and For Your Eyes Only were also favorites.

    Sean Connery is the BEST!

  • Comment number 23.

    My favourite film is "The IPCRESS File". It didn't involve exotic locations or beautiful women, but was very atmospheric.

    I think that spy films DO still have appeal, but only if they're done well. Films, in general, have less taste for a developing plot of menace and intrigue. People want instant gratification, so spy films must have much more action and constantly shift location to telescope the lifestyle of these people. So Bond films do well by playing into that view. I prefer a grittier and perhaps more realistic view of spying. And with an Eastern European wife I find Russian spy films as gripping as most of what we produced. My only regret is that this country panders to American films and rarely do we see what Europe, our neighbour and colleague, has to offer.

  • Comment number 24.

    Bond films,are great escapest fun.spy films,the more earthy stoped with The spy who came in from the cold.Plus the Harry Palmer clasics.I dout I will ever tire of;Funeral in Berlin.If anyone disagrees I am sure you are entitled to be conciderd a threat to national security.

  • Comment number 25.

    Palmer the name is Harry Palmer.

  • Comment number 26.

    The popluarity of modern (well, modernish) films like the Bourne trilogy, plus TV shows like Spooks, 24 etc show that clearly the spy genre is still alive and well

    Bond still is the typical every man wants to be him, every girl wants to be with him (*drools about the biblue trunks bit- you know the one!*).

  • Comment number 27.

    Do spy films still have appeal?
    The 23rd James Bond film has been given the go-ahead and is due to be released on 9 November 2012, film studio MGM and EON Productions have announced. Are the Bond films timeless?
    What is the best spy film ever? What makes a good spy film? Who is your favourite James Bond actor?

    Do spy films still have appeal? well BBC, I am sure with a little more thought you could come up with something better to ask HYS contributors their views and thoughts on, but as I have nothing better to do myself for the next ten minutes or so here goes.

    Certain spy films do have their appeal yes, the James bond films? well I am not so sure any more, maybe I'm getting chronologically challenged nowadays and a little long in the tooth, but I still think Sean Connery was without a doubt the best James Bond, Dr. No and Goldfinger, were in my opinion the best two Bond films - maybe a little dated by todays standards, but nonetheless very good, the plots were plauable and believable, as were the gadgets, whereas nowaddays the Bond films and gadgets are way over the top - entertaing? - I er on the side of 'just' - not a bad way to while away a few hours though.

  • Comment number 28.

    The truth is stranger than fiction, Kim Philby and all that!

  • Comment number 29.

    spy films are like the evil of the psychiatry industry including psychiatric nurses.Unethical and corruping influence.

  • Comment number 30.

    Harmless escapism. If you watch them on commercial television the adverts flow seamlessly into what could be described as a plot.

    As Bond works for Her Majesty's Secret Service can we expect his lifestyle to become a bit more austere in these straightened times of "we're all in this together"? I expect to see him arrive at the office by bus and being shown the latest crime-fighting gadgets by Wallace and Gromit. The string of posh blondes on his arm are to be replaced by Saturday girls from Superdrug and he could go undercover to crack a criminal gang who've been stealing the copper wires from beside the railway tracks in South Yorkshire.

    Mind you: do you really think that the Coalition's spending plans could really stretch to a Daniel Craig as 007? More likely to see Rab C. Nesbitt filling the role. . .

  • Comment number 31.

    Wonderful!! - 30 postings to date, and not one querying whether this is the most important issue in world today. Keep it up HYSers!

  • Comment number 32.

    Bond is hardly a spy.... the fact that every single super villian in the world knows how to mix his favourite drink is a bit of a drawback in the real world of espionage. I do like a good Bond film though and Craig makes it suitably darker and more realistic than previous versions of the character. I'm glad they're making a new one. Timothy Dalton is my favourite, but his career was ruined by studio politics... I'm glad Craig has escaped the same fate.

    Incidentally for those claiming things like "The Bond films were never meant to be taken serioulsy, it was always about the cars, the locations, the gadgets and the girls but maybe not in that order!" the KGB had a dept set up to analyse the possibility that the gadgets in the films could work and make copies. Bond films were banned in the USSR. Some of the real scheme's Ian Fleming dreamt up during his time in Naval Intelligence (google 'Operation Mincemeat' for an example) are no stranger than Bond plots.

  • Comment number 33.

    All Bond films have been massive hits so I'd put money on the fact that the next one will be too.
    Goldfinger was probably the best one.

  • Comment number 34.

    I love the Bond films. Some are better than others, but from 1962's Doctor No, right up to 2008's Quantum of Solace, there isn't one that isn't remotely entertaining or doesn't have a memorable scene or quotable line. It'll be good to see a 23rd outing. I wonder what they'll call it. They've exhausted all the titles of the original novels and with Octopussy, the Living Daylights and Quantum of Solace, they've gone to the short stories - so if they're following suit, expect the next film to be called either Risico, The Hildebrand Rarity or 007 in New York. I like the sound of that last one.
    Then again, they'll probably create a new title altogether.

  • Comment number 35.

    They're for entertainment? Actor?

    I thought they were documentaries and it was purely by chance that a camera team was following Mr Bond around the place.....

  • Comment number 36.

    I think that the producers should sit and think about a good story for the next Bond film. Casino Royale was good, but Quantum Of Solice was the complete opposite.
    Sean Connery will always be number one for me as Bond. I must say i thought George Lazenby was good. Roger Moore played it for laughs. Timothy Dalton was terrible, but the stories were fine. Pierce Brosnan, i thought was very good accept the stories in his four films were rehashes of Connery's, but with more special effects. Daniel Craig plays the Character well, accept he plays it more like a street brawler than the swarve and sofisticated Bond of Connery's days. Also there is no humour.
    So in my book, a more original story is needed and not just the usual bad guy stereotypes.
    Kevin Thomas.

  • Comment number 37.

    Ah yes, M.I.6 why don't you ask M. El Fayed? As the for the rest of the this fantasy? It all depends on your personality, as to whether they have appeal.

    These "Peston picks" are becoming banal. Why do you not track the tripling of student fees and other real topics? Why do we need street lighting all night. The technology is available for substantially reducing costs to tax-payers in many areas. This would go a long way to keeping student fees affordable.

  • Comment number 38.

    There is only one James Bond ... Sean Connery.

    Several others have been very entertaining, in different ways, but there is only one JB ... SC

    Probably because SC was the first, mainstream JB. Margaret Rutherford is the only Miss Marple ... all the rest are poor imposters.

  • Comment number 39.

    "31. At 3:43pm on 12 Jan 2011, Ninian Macdonald wrote:
    Wonderful!! - 30 postings to date, and not one querying whether this is the most important issue in world today. Keep it up HYSers!"
    ==========================================================

    Of course it's "... the most important issue in world today."!!! What else would be, could be?

  • Comment number 40.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 41.

    Back in the 1960s, with the Cold War and everything, Bond's enemies were the Russians. Over the years, the bad guys have changed depending on the world situation. Given that it's arguably Islamic fundamentalism/terrorism that poses the biggest threat to world stability, or at least given the fact that it's topical, how about setting parts of the next James Bond adventure in, say, Dubai? Beautiful locations, shots of the Burj Tower, and it could feature some Asian and/or Muslim actors, male and female, who are sadly underrepresented on screen (except in Bollywood of course). Perhaps the bad guy could be Abu Hamza. With his hooked right hand and missing eye, he already looks like a perfect Bond villain. He and 007 could have a fight to the death on the dome of Finsbury Park mosque.

  • Comment number 42.

    A well-written spy film is a good couple of hours entertainment, so why should they not have appeal? I would rather watch that then an awful "costume drama" or one of those dreadful films dealing with "issues." Of course, with the ending of the cold war the spy films will either become less relevant or need to find fresh "enemies" but they are not going to die off.

    That said, I never watch the Bond films - they are pure rubbish. The books were very good, but the films are pure nonsense where only the book title has any relevance. The stories and characters are either altered out of recognition or replaced entirely. I have never understood all this fuss about Bond films; you would have to pay me to watch one rather than the other way round. They appear to have taken on some grotesque life of their own and attract a ridiculous amount of publicity for what they are.

  • Comment number 43.

    31. At 3:43pm on 12 Jan 2011, Ninian Macdonald wrote:
    Wonderful!! - 30 postings to date, and not one querying whether this is the most important issue in world today. Keep it up HYSers!

    ----------------

    Sadly it only lasted until 37 *sigh*

  • Comment number 44.

    1. At 12:35pm on 12 Jan 2011, pzero wrote:
    As a harmless way to pass a hour or two - yes.

    The Bond films were never meant to be taken serioulsy, it was always about the cars, the locations, the gadgets and the girls but maybe not in that order!

    Cant take Daniel Craig seriously as Bond though......

    =========================================

    How about replacing Daniel Craig with Julian Assange, would that be serious enough for you.

    Maybe even BBC could approach Julian Assange to be the next Dr Who!!!

  • Comment number 45.

    HYS topic open all afternoon and only 44 postings? Does that tell you anything about who gives a monkeys?
    Lots of praise for Sean Connery here, but what about "Blockbusters" presenter Bob "can I have a pee please, Bob" Holness? Brilliant or what?

  • Comment number 46.

    Roger Moore was the best 007; "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" was the best storyline. Keep 'em coming !!

  • Comment number 47.

    Absolutely!

    They are great fun on so many levels, a thoroughly enjoyable genre.

    Now, as for the dreary succession of 'comedies' or, even worse, 'rom coms'.... Bleuch!

    I have every single Bond on DVD, brilliant for Bank Holidays. (Erm, sorry, you were asking elsewhere what people were going to do for the extra Bank Holiday for Prince William's wedding, thanks for the inspiration! A Bond-fest....)

    Mind you, I'm biased. I write spy adventures for role-playing games, and read/watch extensively in this genre.

  • Comment number 48.

    Not a movie but a tv show, but I love the spy show chuck. Because it's fun and I like the characters in it. Any movie in the same genre that can do the same is alright by me

  • Comment number 49.

    I would answer your question but then I would have to terminate you!

  • Comment number 50.

    HYS is having a day off. So light hearted topics are allowed. I like the serious ones too but sometimes don't you just want to have a pizza ordered in instead of making a gourmet meal?

    Bond is serious, it brought in millions at the box office and many were made in the UK.

    So stop complaining and wait, HYS topics don't last long. Hey there is the one about the Police and Neighbours to rant about, or is it that you have all done with that?

    Just read a trilogy of Bond adventures against the Union, I think should be the next 3 films...James Bond: The Union Trilogy: Three 007 Novels: High Time to Kill, Doubleshot, Never Dream of Dying (James Bond 007)

    Bond lovers will like these....

  • Comment number 51.

    Yes, I want to see the Russian version of James Bond, set in Gordon Browns government it'd obviously have to be more of a comic-tragedy rather than the sort of generic action film that the last few Bond outings have been!

  • Comment number 52.

    Daniel Craig has re ignited the enthusiasm for watching spy films. He is by far one of the better Bond 007's. Watched one with Brosnan the other day and have to admit if they carried on making them like that, then there would be no future, was almost laughable. So as it stands yes they will continue as long as they concentrate on having serious actors playing the role of Bond. Great news to hear that Craig is giving another chance to thrill.

  • Comment number 53.

    Do spy films still have appeal?
    The first Daniel Craig film was a high point in the Bond frachise.
    The low point was Roger Moore.

  • Comment number 54.

    Never really a fan of Bond, though I enjoyed Craig in Casino Royale, which wasn’t really like a Bond film. There are plenty of excellent spy/spying films out there Syriana, Good Shepherd, The Lives of Others, Black Book, even Blue Velvet and the best The Conversation. Sometimes I find it hard to differentiate between spy and conspiracy, and I admit to preferring the latter Bourne, Michael Clayton, All the Presidents Men, Parallax View and of course Edge of Darkness (BBC) to name but a few.

  • Comment number 55.

    Bond films were all about exotic locations where most people had never been and never thought they would ever be able to go to. At one time it was Skii-ing in Europe, then the Caribbean but over time these places have become accessible to everyone.

    Bond films have gone down-hill because people can now go where they want when they want.

  • Comment number 56.

    55. At 10:59pm on 12 Jan 2011, God bless the DSS wrote:
    "Bond films were all about exotic locations where most people had never been and never thought they would ever be able to go to. At one time it was Skii-ing in Europe, then the Caribbean but over time these places have become accessible to everyone.

    Bond films have gone down-hill because people can now go where they want when they want."

    James Bond went into space in Moonraker. Most people haven't been there yet!

  • Comment number 57.

    Spy films reflect the age in which we live, they reflect our fears,aspirations,and concerns in the heroes and villains. James Bond as a franchise has evolved over the last fifty years but at its core is the raw masculinity that many men wish they had.Yes there are "Girls,Guns,and Gadgets" these are the side orders Bond is what everyman would like to be but this is a love that dare not speak its name! Bond has not dated we have just got a little older and more cynical but he is still great fun! He will return!

  • Comment number 58.

    Bond started the year before I was born....therefore, I still have one foot in the old world. So does Bond. There are plenty of parallels between Super-villains (Bloefeld, Goldfinger, Scaramanga, etc.), naughty governments and now 'industrial' espionage.
    The new Bonds are exploring Bond's roots with the modern world to contend with. I admire the way the writers have SLOWLY revealed (Spectre?) over the last two and may reveal more with the next one. Especially fun to watch Bond earning his mettle with only a common mobile.
    The best Bonds could punch their way out if they had to (although we really expect this), while also being able to act. Now, Bond has more character to act with.

    While probably one of the better masculine fantasies, I think that the quality of the material's improving. I'm eager for the next one.

  • Comment number 59.

    I stopped watching Bond movies after the Roger Moore era. For me both Sean Connery and Roger Moore shared the title for best portrayal of James Bond.

    Given that Islamic terrorism has taken over from the cold war which formed the backdrop to many of the earlier bond movies, will more spy films, Bond movies and otherwise concentrate on it?

  • Comment number 60.

    'Diamonds-are-Forever', so as Bond. People around the globe loved Bond in all formats and faces. Because every man wants to be James Bond, 'On-Her-Majesty's-Secret-Service', having expensive suits, watches, latest cars, gadgets, and not to mention ladies, these are every man's fantasies. Historically there was product positioning aspect of Bond series too.
    Apparently world has been changed since cold war times and Bond movies got competition from Bourne series etc. But Bond always had 'A-View-to-Kill’, so overhaul of the whole project made possible to 'Live-and-Let-Die' in new competitive market. With Daniel Craig in new series, with more human Bond and more substance in storyline and script, I think Bond is saved in 'The-Living-Daylights' of 21st century entertainment world to 'Die-another-day'. I won't say Bond phenomenon would never see an end because 'Never-Say-Never-Again'. There would be always something new and better tomorrow as ‘Tomorrow-Never-Dies'.
    I’ll anxiously wait for new Bond movie as usual.

  • Comment number 61.

    Yes anything to take us away from the cruel goings on of real modern-day espionage.

    Don't eat the soup....

  • Comment number 62.

    53. At 10:02pm on 12 Jan 2011, toycollector wrote:

    Do spy films still have appeal?
    The first Daniel Craig film was a high point in the Bond frachise.
    The low point was Roger Moore.

    _____________________

    Nah George Lazenby, why do you think he only starred in one Bond film?

  • Comment number 63.

    31. At 3:43pm on 12 Jan 2011, Ninian Macdonald wrote:

    Wonderful!! - 30 postings to date, and not one querying whether this is the most important issue in world today. Keep it up HYSers!

    -----------------------

    Oh lighten up!

  • Comment number 64.

    Since my wifes company started to place product in the films - watches, computers, alcohol, cars, boats etc. I have known which shares to invest in. It's worked for me.

  • Comment number 65.

    Spy movies still have a place. I'd watch another James bond.

    My favourite spy film would have to be "A View to a Kill"
    Not only was the music good, the bad guy flew around in a blimp and managed to kidnap the heroine in a fly by.
    My favourite Bond is split between Roger Moore and Sean Connery

    Daniel Craig isn't a bad James Bond. The James bond films he stars in aren't bad films either, they just aren't proper Bond films.
    James Bond should be about should be about stopping a Super villain take over the world from their volcano fortress.

    Not water rights to Bolivia.

    I don't watch James Bond films for their plot twists and character development.

  • Comment number 66.

    The Bond-films will keep appearing timeless as long as some new and extra-ordinary suspense & thrills keep being included; however, I, personally, do feel, that, although these films are fantastic (heavily banking upon fantasies) yet they're far removed from the realities of the spying-world.
    Daniel Craig (as James Bond) has impressed me the most. My most favourite spy-movie, of all (the Bond ones & the others) that I've watched so far, is The Bourne Identity and its sequels.

  • Comment number 67.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 68.

    Recommend post 40!

    Do spy films still have appeal?

    A: who cares.
    B: I have always found bond sexist old-schoolboy drivel, oh Jams!

  • Comment number 69.

    It´s unrealistic to put the Bond films in this category. However, they are popular.
    I personally regret the move, with Daniel Craig, to more gritty ... harder films. I miss both the subtle and OTT humour of the pre-Craig films.

  • Comment number 70.

    Like all good books Ian Fleming's stories will endure. The Bond franchise made good films, well scripted, well acted and well shot (with superb title sequences by Maurice Bender), and gave birth to a whole host of TV spy shows. The magic may have worn a little thinner now but you still cannot beat a well scripted, well acted, and well shot two hours in a cinema. After all we still appear to love super heroes saving the world even now.

  • Comment number 71.

    #62 Joe remembers George Lazenby not very fondly.

    But it was probably one of the best Bond scripts and featured a leading lady, Diana Rigg, who was not only stunningly beautiful but also a stunning actress too.

  • Comment number 72.

    At 3:43pm on 12 Jan 2011, Ninian Macdonald wrote:

    Wonderful!! - 30 postings to date, and not one querying whether this is the most important issue in world today. Keep it up HYSers!
    --------------------------------------------------
    This HYS blogging platform according to the BBC themselves is also a forum to debate lighter topics.

    I think the earlier Bond movies with Sean Connery and Roger Moore had more atmosphere than the later ones with Pierce Brosnan or Daniel Craig.


    I also liked the 1966 Bond spoof Casino Royale featuring cult movie stars David Niven Peter Sellers and Orson Welles, in my opinion it was far superior to the 2006 updated version with Daniel Craig.

  • Comment number 73.

    Spy films are just harmless fun, not real life.

  • Comment number 74.

    James Bond is just harmless escapism, and I enjoy it as much as ever. More science fiction than spying. I suspect real spies have more in common with the world of Len Deighton and Harry Palmer than James Bond. Bond has been there all my life; long may he continue.

    p.s. Sean Connery is still the best

  • Comment number 75.

    Spy films as a genre will always find a market, yes.

    Whether Bond films are as appealing as they once were is a different question. I personally find films which are a continual stunt-fest (or CGI-fest) empty and unappealing because they lack any lasting substance and at the end of it I feel like I have wasted two hours. Bond films are especially bad: Once I understood that each stunt or explosion is shown in quick cuts from several angles in succession to look like more than it is, then it all seemed cheapskate and tacky.

    So, spy films, yes will endure, Bond films, well they have their core fans. Daniel Craig was excellent in "Archangel" though!

    Alan T

  • Comment number 76.

    32. At 4:04pm on 12 Jan 2011, Peter_Sym wrote:
    Some of the real scheme's Ian Fleming dreamt up during his time in Naval Intelligence (google 'Operation Mincemeat' for an example) are no stranger than Bond plots.
    ==============================
    Not quite. Fleming and Admiral John Godfrey wrote:-

    "the following suggestion is used in a book by Basil Thompson. A corpse dressed as an airman with despatches in his pocket..."

    Source "Operation Mincemeat" by Ben MacIntyre.

  • Comment number 77.

    Stringfellow, Post 72 said:- This HYS blogging platform according to the BBC themselves is also a forum to debate lighter topics.

    I don't object to lighter topics, but why do they always have to read like adverts for new products rather than items of general interest.
    Publicity handouts should not be the topics of BBC message boards.

  • Comment number 78.

    All spy films are meant to be pure entertainment and nothing more.Real spys are probably quite boring by comparison.The best James Bond will always be Roger Moore.A better actor than Sean Connery who most would probably choose.

  • Comment number 79.

    78. At 08:31am on 13 Jan 2011, stevegrant wrote:

    All spy films are meant to be pure entertainment and nothing more.Real spys are probably quite boring by comparison.The best James Bond will always be Roger Moore.A better actor than Sean Connery who most would probably choose.

    ==========================================================
    Real spys are probably quite boring by comparison---

    I wonder if we will ever hear the truth about Garteh Williams (MI6) who was killed in London recently. Found dead in a bag, left to rot in a bath. Sounds like a good plot to me....unfortunately MI6 did not know where he was for 2 weeks....

  • Comment number 80.

    This debate is bought up by the BBC EVERY SINGLE JAMES BOND FILM
    Yes they OBVIOUSLY do still have appeal because people go and see them.
    I will go, with my son and my father, all 3 of us will walk out with a big smile having enjoyed the suspension of reality. I don't give a monkeys .... about the 'critics' - especially the rampanty feminist ones you continually roll out every time you bring this stupidity up.
    No one asks the same when some pathetic mushy 'chic flick' is produced with the standard vomit inducing boy meets girl, fall out, tragedy, reconcilliation, happily ever after wedding comes around, nor the equally offensive 'Disney' the 'good guys always win' childrens 'epic' with ever more extreme cartoon graphics.

    Get off, go put a sensible discussion on the limited space you have for HYS and stop being aloof. People watch 007 because they enjoy it - simples!

  • Comment number 81.

    A quick thought - why does the BRITISH broadcasting company so loath and despise a fiction written by a BRITISH author about a BRITISH hero, a BRITISH spy, a BRITISH man with a heart of steel, led by a BRITISH boss who as often as not runs rings around the Americans while defeating the villain... This character with his British sophistication, gentlemanly conduct, women seducing ways, nerves of steel and ability to win against insurmountable odds partly because of BRITISH inventiveness and knowhow provided by 'Q' is just the sort of hero boys in this country should have.

    The BBC should celebrate its longevity and everything about the character while admitting that it is enjoyable - very enjoyable - fantasy. So much better than the various American films with the 'strong man' who goes around cleverly blasting millions of bullets from his little pistol, killing hundreds of 'baddies' (who obviously can't shoot for toffee) and then emerging with his arm in a sling, blood on his face to the ecstatic applause of a bunch of 'all american' men and women.

  • Comment number 82.

    Something else for BBC breakfast to bore us silly with in the coming months, I might get round to watching it when its networked in a few years time, but only if I get bored enough. Time & time again I have waited for much hyped films to be broadcast on networks only to wonder why I bothered to stay in and watch it. If you want to watch infantile nonsense I would recommend Shrek, Ice Age or Toy Story, well made with amusing content.

  • Comment number 83.

    I'd say few genres are ever 'dead'. They might come in and out of fashion, and be revised to suit their times, but they don't seem to really die as such.

    Spy films probably worked better during the Cold War. There was a clearly defined 'enemy', in the form of the Soviet Union.

    Nowadays, things are not quite so clear cut.

    As for the major spy films - Quantum of Solace was ok for what it was. I found the Borne films literally unwatchable, because of the camerawork, and I loathed the fake realism.

    Most of all, I loathe 'Spooks'. Utterly unbelievable plots and characterisation, always with a promise of action which never quite materialises, and infected by BBC pc-ness. I stopped watching when they had a storyline which involved 'British' Asians, muslims and hindus, in a plot which turned out to be fomented by a christian intent on provoking trouble. Utter rubbish. And the 'fight' scenes are laughably bad.

  • Comment number 84.

    @77. At 08:30am on 13 Jan 2011, piscator wrote:
    Stringfellow, Post 72 said:- This HYS blogging platform according to the BBC themselves is also a forum to debate lighter topics.

    I don't object to lighter topics, but why do they always have to read like adverts for new products rather than items of general interest.
    Publicity handouts should not be the topics of BBC message boards.

    The problem wwith HYS is just like the problem prevalent in ALL BBC output - its pathetic, designed to appeal to either the lowest form of life possible (exaggerated political correctness) or to arts lovers. For heavens sake this whole topic was debated on a supposedly serious BBC NEWS program on radio 4 last night. If it was due to be anywhere it should have been one of the 2 dozen a day arts programs. You will realise when you read the 'news' or listen to the 'news' that the BBC has completely lost any ability to do any serious investigation or serious reporting on any topic at all thats not directly to do with 'the arts'.
    The bbc should be renamed the 'pathetically inadequate arts reporting foundation' and left to it.... now I'm off to find a real news site with real news reports by real reporters....

  • Comment number 85.

    Cannot take Bond seriously, it is good light entertainment. Favourite Bond has to be Sean Connery, by miles favourite Bond film From Russia With Love. Best villain, Robert Shaw, most unforgettable Bond girl, Lotte Lenya.

    Best spy film, The man who never was, the story about the fictitious Maj William Martin.

  • Comment number 86.

    Yes, spy films still have appeal and probably always will. They're basically just a type of action film.

    My favourite James Bond was Roger Moore.

    Not a lot else to say on this topic really...

  • Comment number 87.

    When we were young and naive maybe but now we know the Special agents etc are just a bunch of mumbling and "un-intelligent" fools makes this whole MI5 dynamic agents bit look a bit far fetched! Jeez those yanks made British Intelligence look like ...... well what it is, useless and easily manipulated by others namely teh US and Israel.

  • Comment number 88.

    81. At 09:20am on 13 Jan 2011, anotherfakename wrote:
    A quick thought - why does the BRITISH broadcasting company so loath and despise a fiction written by a BRITISH author about a BRITISH hero, a BRITISH spy, a BRITISH man with a heart of steel, led by a BRITISH boss who as often as not runs rings around the Americans while defeating the villain... This character with his British sophistication, gentlemanly conduct, women seducing ways, nerves of steel and ability to win against insurmountable odds partly because of BRITISH inventiveness and knowhow provided by 'Q' is just the sort of hero boys in this country should have.

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Because its totally unbeleiveable, these morons sleepwalked in to an illegal war and couldnt find anything wrong with the fairytales the US and ISraeli agents gave them! Mumbling idiots who have taken thousands of innocent lives in iraq and afghan due to their YTS Secret agent style!

  • Comment number 89.

    Oh yes they do, but getting bored of Bond, seems now spectactularism is all the rage. The effects, the looney car chases, surviving mangleism without whiplash or even a headache-rubbish. Explosions, slicing and dicing. It always has to better than the last, hopefully it will peak into oblivion. I was browsing through a lot of old C Ds in a charity shop and came across a very oldie spy film i`d never seen, "The Spy Who Came In from The Cold", Richard Burton. His delivery to the girl "seedy little people like you and me" stuff was pure magic, like the rest of the film dialogue, with it`s awful helpless trapped "pawn" feeling of Burton throughout, this washed up, pissed off disillusioned spy cracking up. Wonderful magic, lets have more of them.

  • Comment number 90.

    Yeah. I love watching CCTV footage of bungling, idiot criminals on Youtube and the BBC News site.
    Better than TV any day.

  • Comment number 91.

    It is called espionage.

  • Comment number 92.

    James Bond has a tried and tested formula that is never realistic but always entertaining. Let's face it, if it was realistic the level of violence would be sickening (in the same way that Tom and Jerry is funny, but beating seven shades out of a cat is sick).

    I will go and see the next Bond film, I already know the plot and how it ends but I look forward to the stunts, cheesy one-liners and set pieces!

  • Comment number 93.

    The other thing I like about Bond is that although they bend the laws of physics and medical science, they don't blow them to pieces like John Woo films or have 'so spectacular they're boring' special effects like in the Mummy films.

  • Comment number 94.

    the bond movies are pure escapism, yes the did / do reflect the current times but in essance they are 2 hours of fun, girls, gadits, and the car.

    the worst part of the Bond movies is the product placement, but thats how the movie gets made.

    best bond - i think it depends on who you grew up with, i really liked pierce brosnan, daniel craig is very good, sean connory was brill so i think each actor brings his own stamp to the role.

    now Bond 23 is in production they need a band to do the theme song - i think Take That should do it. (light blue touch paper and hide in secret bunker)

  • Comment number 95.

    The BBC asks "Do spy films still have appeal"?

    Given that they go on to say "Craig's debut, in Casino Royale, was the most successful instalment in the franchise's 48-year history, taking $594m (£385m) at the global box office."

    This was only in 2006, so unless some incredible change has happened in 4 years, then presumably the answer is "Yes, spy films DO still have appeal".

  • Comment number 96.

    James Bond will always be brilliant so long as chaps can still imagine themselves to be him. That is so long as the thing still has a sense of humor.

  • Comment number 97.

    Most are just fantasy, aimed at young men (definition of a well balanced new man - one who dribbles out of both sides of his mouth as he reads his lads mag).

    If you want a good script/story and brilliant acting then watch Alec Guiness in 'Tinker, Tailor'

    The rest is just infantile.

  • Comment number 98.

    Never watched James Bond - apart from about 10 mins many years ago - it was a film with a white car in it. Couldn't take any more than 10 mins though.
    If there is a point to these fils - I didn't get it

  • Comment number 99.

    I am sick of the ever more violent and more superhuman characatures of modern films. It provokes too much of the feelings towards real wars and the world to come.

    Let's see more films about real heroes and movers of history.

  • Comment number 100.

    At 08:15am on 13 Jan 2011, Alan T wrote:
    Spy films as a genre will always find a market, yes.

    Whether Bond films are as appealing as they once were is a different question. I personally find films which are a continual stunt-fest (or CGI-fest) empty and unappealing because they lack any lasting substance and at the end of it I feel like I have wasted two hours. Bond films are especially bad: Once I understood that each stunt or explosion is shown in quick cuts from several angles in succession to look like more than it is, then it all seemed cheapskate and tacky.

    _________________________________________________________

    I assume you are referring to the later Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig potrayals of James Bond in which case I agree with you.


    An example of the over use of Computer-generated imagery [CGI] in modern remakes of original movies would be the film franchise 'The Incredible Hulk'.


    In the original Bill Bixby/ Lou Ferrigno movies the hulk was more believable, but in the modern versions he bounces around over hills like a cartoon character which diminishes his impact.


    The same thing also applies to the original 'Superman' movie with Christopher Reeve, as opposed to the remake which relied heavily on CGI, that is why Christopher Reeve is fondly remembered as 'superman' rather than Brandon Routh in the 2006 version.

    The same thing also applies to the original Bond movies with Sean Connery and Roger Moore before the advent of CGI.


    As to your point about the stunts, once you understand how they are done it diminishes them in exactly the same way those television programmes where the 'masked magician' breaks the magicians code and shows how magic tricks are really done, diminishes intrest in going to see a magic show and makes them seem tacky.

 

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