James Bond - Cultural Impact

Cultural Impact

See also: James Bond parodies

Cinematically, Bond has been a major influence within the spy genre since the release of Dr. No in 1962, with 22 secret agent films released in 1966 alone attempting to capitalise on its popularity and success. The first parody was the 1964 film Carry on Spying showing the villain Dr. Crow being overcome by agents who included James Bind (Charles Hawtry) and Daphne Honeybutt (Barbara Windsor). One of the films that reacted against the portrayal of Bond was the Harry Palmer series, whose first film, The Ipcress File was released in 1965. The eponymous hero of the series was what academic Jeremy Packer called an "anti-Bond", or what Christoph Lindner calls "the thinking man's Bond". The Palmer series were produced by Harry Saltzman, who also used key crew members from the Bond franchise, including designer Ken Adam, editor Peter R. Hunt and composer John Barry. The four "Matt Helm" films starring Dean Martin were released between 1966 and 1969, the "Flint" series starring James Coburn provided two films in 1966 and 1969, whilst The Man from U.N.C.L.E. also moved onto the cinema screen, with eight films released: all were testaments to Bond's prominence in popular culture. More recently, the Austin Powers series by writer, producer and comedian Mike Myers and other parodies such as the 2003 film Johnny English have also used elements from or parodied the Bond films.

Following the release of the film Dr. No in 1962, the quote "Bond ... James Bond", became a catch phrase that entered the lexicon of Western popular culture: writers Cork and Scivally said of the introduction in Dr. No that the "signature introduction would become the most famous and loved film line ever". In 2001 it was voted as the "best-loved one-liner in cinema" by British cinema goers and in 2005, it was honoured as the 22nd greatest quotation in cinema history by the American Film Institute as part of their 100 Years Series. The 2005 American Film Institute's '100 Years' series also recognised the character of James Bond himself in the film as the third greatest film hero. He was also placed at number eleven on a similar list by Empire. Premiere also listed Bond as the fifth greatest movie character of all time.

The twenty three James Bond films produced by Eon Productions, which have grossed $4,910,000,000 in box office returns alone, have made the series one of the highest-grossing ever. It is estimated that since Dr. No, a quarter of the world's population have seen at least one Bond film. The UK Film Distributors' Association have stated that the importance of the Bond series of films to the British film industry cannot be overstated, as they "form the backbone of the industry".

Television also saw the effect of Bond films, with the NBC series The Man from U.N.C.L.E., which was described as the "first network television imitation" of Bond, largely because Fleming provided advice and ideas on the development of the series, even giving the main character the name Napoleon Solo. Other 1960s television imitations of Bond included I Spy, and Get Smart.

By 2012, James Bond had become such a symbol of the United Kingdom that the character, played by Craig, appeared in the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics as Queen Elizabeth II's escort.

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