12+ Dark Things You Never Knew About The James Bond Films

By Nick Hadji 7 months ago

1. Quantum of Solace - and pain .....

Image source Macleans.caWhile filming 'Quantum of Solace' Daniel Craig was not permitted a break, due to filming deadlines. When a stunt he undertook himself saw him lose the tip of a finger, need 4 stitches in his face and have 6 screws surgically inserted into his shoulder, he had to get back in front of the camera straight afterwards!Original content sourced from Femanin.com

2. Cary Grant had doubts ....

Image source WikipediaSome of the most famous names up for Bond didn't make the cut although Cary Grant, the Hollywood icon, was offered the lead.  Ian Fleming was desperate for him to accept but the actor turned the role down as it thought he'd be too old to pull it off.  Things could have been so different!

3. The scariest of  Bond girls ....pow!

Image source Film FanMichelle Yeoh’s Wai Lin is one of the most beloved Bond girls in the franchise’s history and that is for a reason.  She was such a skilled martial arts fighter that the film crew for 'Tomorrow Never Dies' had to call in Jackie Chan’s stunt team to be her sparring partners.  Every one else was too scared to fight her!

4. From Russia with so much more love ....

Image source RedditThe actor who played Bond’s ally, Kerim Bey, played by Pedro Armendariz, was actually dying while shooting the movie.  As he became weaker, Terence Young had to step in and act as his body double.  Barely a month after the final scene was shot, Armendariz committed suicide, rather than wait for the cancer to take him.

5. Holocaust reminder for Gert Frobe

Image source flickr.comIn 'Goldfinger', the villain is supposed to use nerve gas to murder anyone who witnesses his crimes. Gert Frobe, who played the character, detested this part of the movie as he had been part of the Nazi party, when he was younger, working in the concentration camps.  Years later a Jewish family spoke out to say Frobe had actually protected them during the Holocaust.

6. 007 caught unaware .....

Image source The RingerPoor Sean Connery was hounded by the press relentlessly during his time as Bond.  He was followed everywhere he went despite several disguises and was totally horrified when  a Japanese newspaper published a photo of the Scottish actor while he was using the toilet!

7. Too old for romance ....

Image source The GuardianRoger Moore’s final goodbye as Bond didn't exactly go down in history as a favourite of the fans.  Moore admitted that he shouldn't have made that last movie at the age of 57.  He learned that his love interest in the film had a mother who was younger than Bond.  Awkward.

8. Two timing Connery - Naughty!

Image source Daily MailSean Connery overstepped the mark when making 'Diamonds are Forever'.  His playboy qualities spilled into his real life world and he dated two of the Bond girls at the same time, Jill St. John and Lana Wood.  When they found out about each other, having both fallen for Connery, they dumped him!

9. Dalton in cliff hanger!

Image source FourSquareTimothy Dalton was almost a 'gonner' while shooting 'Licence to Kill'.  The film crew blocked off the famous La Rumorosa Road so Dalton could drive through the twists and turns of the road, without worrying about going over the edge of the cliff!  It didn't go quite to plan when he took a wrong turning, towards the cliff.  That was a hairy moment.

10. An eye for romance ....

Image source The Guardian NigeriaHalle Berry was in the middle of a love scene when playing Bond girl Jinx when some debris flew right into her eye and she actually had to undergo surgery to remove it.  As if that wasn't bad enough, she also almost choked on a fig and Brosnan had to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre.  Bond movies are dangerous!

11. That's Shneaky ....

Image source Critical HitIn 'Dr No', the production team came up with an ingenious hack to make Sean Connery's character look as imposing as possible.  They scaled all the sets and props to be smaller than usual and this made James Bond look huge and intimidating.  It did the trick and worked!

12. Ian Fleming's real life Bond girl

Image source www.ianfleming.comAccording to The Times, Ian Fleming chose tough, glamorous women as they were loosely based on his own life.  Like Bond, there was never a happy ending.  Fleming was deeply in love with a wealthy model and athlete, Muriel Wright. t She died in an air raid 10 years after they met and she was only 36 years old.

13. Swimming with dead bodies ....

Image source Daily StarWhile filming 'The Man with the Golden Gun', Roger Moore fell into the Klong waterways in Bangkok.  When he opened his eyes, he saw he was in an underwater grave yard!  Apparently, the city’s undertakers would regularly dump bodies into the Klongs!  Mr Moore was surrounded by corpses.

14. Fact or fiction?

Image source IMDbRobert Davi portrayed a drug Bond villain in 'Licence to Kill' and one day fiction crossed over into reality.  A group of men abducted Davi and delivered him to a real South American drug lord.  Davi was absolutely terrified until the gang admitted it was a stitch up!

15. George Lazenby the diva!

Image source Hindustan TimesGeorge Lazenby had been a top model when he was scouted to play Bond and 'bigged' himself up so much that he became disliked by all the cast and back room team.  He started acting like a diva even though it was his first acting role.  His co-star, the late Diana Rigg, described him as bloody impossible'!

16. Hush - It's a secret ....

Image source TCMIn 'The Spy Who Loved Me', the cinematographer started experiencing issues with his eye sight half way through filming so ....Stanley Kubrick stepped in!  The famous director controlled the lighting for the movie but insisted on keeping his contribution top secret.  Respect to the man.

17. No sweat for Michael Gambon (Dumbledore)

Image source TwitterAfter George Lazenby refused to star in further Bond movies, the studio approached  Adam West (tv’s Batman) and Burt Reynolds.  Both had to turn down the roles due to scheduling issues.  Michael Gambon (Dumbledore in Harry Potter) declined on account of being 'in terrible shape, with man boobs and a belly'.  He didn't want to work out at the gym to buff up.

18. Sean Connery being awkward ....

Image source Dallas Morning NewsWhile shooting 'You Only Live Twice', Sean Connery didn't get on at all well with the producers and would refuse to get into character when they were around.  It got so bad on set that the studio announced it would be Connery's last Bond movie - he did actually return one more time.

19. Elvis was a huge fan

Image source SpindittyWhen the great man Elvis saw 'The Spy Who Loved Me' on 10th August 1977 during a special viewing held at the General Cinema in Whitehaven, Tenn, he raved about it.  The sad thing is that it was the film buff's final public outing as he passed away 6 days later, aged 42.

20.  More gold in Goldfinger

Image source Messy Nessy ChicDuring the making of 'Goldfinger', the villain causes the death of a woman through suffocation, by painting her whole body in gold paint and not allowing oxygen to breathe through the pores of the skin.  Even though this was known to never happen in real life, a 6 inch patch of the actress' stomach was left unpainted, just in case!

21.  Ninja saved the day

Image source YouTubeBefore shooting 'You Only Live Twice', the production team decided to skip their arranged flight in order to go and see a ninja demonstration, for research purposes.  Hours later, they heard the plane they were supposed to be travelling on had exploded mid-air!

22. Phobia of guns

Image source The Rake Despite handling firearms on set and being around them many times during filming, Roger Moore suffered from a fear of firearms (hoplophobia).  It dated back to a childhood accident where his younger brother accidentally shot him in the leg with an air rifle.

23. Hold that note Shirley

Image source YouTubeWhen Shirley Bassey recorded the theme song for 'Goldfinger', she sang along as the opening credits were running on a screen in front of her.  This was so she could match the vocals.  When she hit the final top note, the titles kept running and she was forced to hold the note for so long that she almost passed out!

24. Only a day away

Image source History.comU.S. President John F. Kennedy was a massive James Bond fan and listed 'From Russia With Love' as one of his favourite movies, when he watched it at the White House on 21 November 1963.  The following day he went down in history when he was sadly assassinated.

25. Dated South African policies

Image source James Bond Fandom'Live and Let Die' was the first Bond film in which 007 has a relationship with an African-American woman.  The lady in question was Rosie Carver, played by Gloria Hendry.  When the movie was released in South Africa, all the love scenes were removed because of the apartheid policies of the country's government.

26. 'Jaws' metal teeth were a nightmare!

Image source James Bond FandomActor Richard Kiel who played  'Jaws' was the only returning villain, seen in 'The Spy Who Loved Me', and 'Moonraker'.  At 7 feet 2 inches tall, he could keep his metal teeth in his mouth for no more than 30 seconds because of the discomfort.  On a happier note, the chain he bit through in one of the scenes was made from liquorice.

27.  Too deep to breathe

Image source James Bond FandomWhen Lana Wood was filming 'Diamonds are Forever', her character tragically drowns.  Her feet were loosely tied to a block at the bottom of the pool and as time passed during filming, the block slid deeper into the water.  It got to the stage that Miss Wood couldn't get close enough to the surface to actually breathe!

28. Safety before vanity

James Bond FandomIn 'Thunderball', the Bell Rocket Belt used in the opening sequence was a working jetpack.  Two qualified pilots had to operate it and were asked if they would fly without a helmet as 'it would look cooler' for James Bond.  They refused as it could prove fatal and that's why Connery wears a safety helmet in the final film.

29. Stunt goes tragically wrong

Image source WhatCulture.comDuring filming of 'For Your Eyes Only'' tragedy struck for stuntman Paolo Rigoni.  He was involved in the famous bobsled chase scene and, through a fluke incident, ended up becoming pinned underneath the moving sled.  It was moving at such a high speed that Paolo's injuries proved fatal.

30. Tarantula terrifies stunt man!

Image source James Bond FandomIt was well known on set that Sean Connery was literally terrified of spiders so a stunt double was used in the scene where a spider was crawling over him in 'Dr No'.  As the director didn't think it looked scary enough, a tarantula was brought in and the stunt man nearly passed out when it had to crawl across his arm, saying it was the most terrifying thing he'd ever experienced!

31. Sean Connery Really Did Swim With A Shark In Thunderball

Image Source / James Bond - The Spy Who Thrills UsFor huge stunts, like Bond trapped with sharks, for instance, you'd expect a stuntman to take care of it, but it was actually Connery in the pool with sharks for the Thunderball scene. He was supposed to be separated from the sharks completely by a Plexiglas divider, but there ended up being a gap that a shark actually managed to swim through and get onto the side that Connery was in.

32. Anyone Playing James Bond Isn't Allowed To Wear Black Tie In Other Movies

Image Source / British GQOne thing's for certain - when you think of James Bond, you think of the smooth black tie attire and the martini. So much so that it became a sort of brand restriction, where the actors who had played Bond weren't allowed to wear black tie in other films, in order to avoid confusion.

33. Daniel Craig Risked His Life Performing His Own Stunts

Image Source / IndieWireWhen you think of an actor risking life and limb for stunts, you'd probably think of Tom Cruise, but Daniel Craig is worthy of consideration, too. That's because he liked to do a few Bond stunts himself, including fighting on the top of a train.

34. The Actor Who Played Q Died In A Real Life Car Accident

Image Source / James Bond 007Q is a key character in the Bond franchise, providing James with all his super cool gadgets. There have been many actors to play Q, but one of the most notable was Desmond Llewelyn, who appeared in 17 films. He planned to continue the role but tragically died in a car crash at 85 years old, a few weeks after The World Is Not Enough was released.

35. The Reason Timothy Dalton's Bond Had Less Sex Was AIDS

Image Source / Entertainment FocusIt's rumoured that during the time Timothy Dalton was playing Bond, there were less sexual scenes during his time due to the outbreak of AIDS and the disease being on the rise. Dalton denied this at the time, but has since said - now that his Bond days are long in the past - that the rumours were true.

36. Egypt Couldn't Be Portrayed Negatively

Image Source / Pop Culture ManiacsThe Spy Who Loved Me had many scenes filmed in Egypt, but there were strict rules about how Egypt was to be portrayed in the movie. A representative of the government had to travel with the crew to make sure that the country was being represented in a good light.

37. The Character Of James Bond Was Made Out Of The Author's Anxiety

Image Source / Encyclopedia BritannicaAuthor Ian Fleming, who created the iconic spy, did so originally out of anxiety - namely, for his wedding. Fleming had lived the majority of his life as a bachelor and was then facing the prospect of marrying and settling down for the first time. He then needed something to take his mind off his anxiety, which is when he started writing the first Bond novel, Casino Royale.

38. The Main Producer Of The Bond Movies Blew It The First Time

Image Source / James Bond 007Albert 'Cubby' Broccoli and family is now a name very well known for producing the Bond movies, but the first time around, Broccoli messed up his chance. He sent his producing partner to meet Fleming for the first time (instead of going himself) but his partner wasn't a fan of the books - and proceeded to tell Fleming that he didn't think his books were good enough for the screen. In retaliation, Fleming sold the rights to a different producer, but Broccoli (luckily) ended up partnering with the chosen producer anyway.

39. Author Ian Fleming Didn't Want Connery To Play Bond

Image Source / Encyclopedia BritannicaFleming always had a very clear vision of who Bond was and how he would look on the big screen. When Connery was a favourite with the producers, Fleming didn't agree, and thought that Connery was too 'rough' looking as opposed to the suave, clean-cut gentleman spy. He eventually changes his mind, though (and mostly because female friends told him Connery was hot).

40. In Dr. No, It's Not Sean Connery In The Gun Barrel

Image Source / YouTubeOh the sacrilege! We all know it should be the Bond actor in the line of sight before he turns and shoots during the opening sequence, so to find out it's not actually Connery for this particular movie is disappointing. The man instead was stuntman Bob Simmons.

41. There Was An Urban Legend About An Actress In Goldfinger Actually Dying

Image Source / BBCGoldfinger includes the actress Shirley Eaten being covered in gold paint, suffocating and dying - but an urban legend arose that said the actress actually died after being covered in gold paint, killing her during the making of the film. She never actually died, though - it's not true.

42. George Lazenby Just Decided He Wanted To Play Bond And Pretty Much Elbowed His Way In

Image Source / Hindustan TimesWhen producers were on the hunt for a new Bond after Connery left, George Lazenby - not very well known at the time - decided he wanted the role, dressed in a suit, got a watch the same as Bond's as well as other spy accessories and snuck into the producers' offices, striding in and saying "I hear you're looking for James Bond". His audacity won him the part.

43. Roger Moore Had A Gambling Habit In Real Life

Image Source / Yahoo Movies UKRoger Moore was gambling in upscale clubs in London, and regularly played alongside the producers of the movies, Saltzman and Broccoli. It was this habit that actually got him the role as James Bond, when the producers called him to offer him the chance after sharing a little friendly gambling at the table from time to time.

44. A Lot Of People Believed Live And Let Die Was Cursed

Image Source / IMDbThis was the first film made after Connery had left the role. It was a lot of pressure, and had a lot of difficulties. The production met a lot of setbacks, stuntmen ran into issues like crashing boats, there were natural weather events that delayed filming and leading man Roger Moore ended up in hospital. It therefore resulted in a lot of superstition about this particular movie.

45. Roger Moore Hated The Violence

Image Source / Showbiz Cheat SheetBond is violent, there's no doubt about it - both the movies and the actions of the man himself. Moore hated it, though - he hated working with guns and his pacifist viewpoint meant he felt at odds with the character. He took on the viewpoint that even though Bond killed, he didn't enjoy it.

46. Pierce Brosnan Originally Lost The Role Due To A Contract Clause

Image Source / Escapist MagazineBrosnan was originally supposed to replace Moore, and actually went as far as the producers giving the go-ahead, but he was still tied to a 60-day renewal option contract of a TV show that had been cancelled, so they were forced to wait just in case the show was picked back up again. On day 59, the TV show renewed and Brosnan's Bond dreams were crushed. Luckily, he grabbed the role a little later on.

47. Daniel Craig's Casting Originally Met A Lot Of Backlash

Image Source / Men's JournalIt seems strange to consider now we've seen him in action, and now that he's now one of the longest-running Bonds, but originally people weren't convinced. He was blonde, for a start, and the backlash was really quite nasty. Some websites were even set up to stand against the choice of Craig. At least now everyone has been proven wrong!

48. For Your Eyes Only Included A Big F*ck You To One Of The Previous Writers

Image Source / Pop Culture ReferencesOne of the co-writers of Thunderball, Kevin McClory, was causing a lot of problems for the Bond producers, and also making his own 'unofficial' Bond movie, Never Say Never Again. So For Your Eyes Only ended up including some shade thrown at McClory in the form of showing Blofeld - the villain McClory had control over - being dropped out of a helicopter.

49. Real-Life Monks Tried To Ruin One Of The Movies

Image Source / Europe NomadDuring filming of For Your Eyes Only, some Eastern Orthodox monks weren't pleased with the movie being shot close to their monastery. Though the monks didn't actually own the land that the film was being shot on, they still made sure they made shooting as difficult as possible, such as hanging washing out of windows so that it would be in shot.

50. Bond Writer Ian Fleming Hated The First Movie

Image Source / The GuardianIt should have been an exciting time for the very first movie adapted from Ian Fleming's books. Although the first book was Casino Royale, it was Dr. No that ended up being the first movie adaption - and Fleming hated it. He said that it was "dreadful"!