TV Cream

A bit of business

“Ah, list o’ Bond, I’ve been expecting you” – part two: 0040-0031

TV Cream continues its countdown of the 50 greatest moments from the James Bond films…

0040: “She should have kept her mouth shut!”

Bigmouth strikes again

Here’s one of the earliest – and best – arguments in favour of the films over the books. Bond and colleague Kerim Bey (Pedro Armendariz) wait in a dark, rainy street for a shot at an enemy, then kill him while he climbs through a giant poster of Anita Ekberg. There’s no way this sequence would have been quite so gorgeously chilling and eerily entertaining had it existed merely on a page. It took a few years for the Bond production team to stop shooting adaptations and start making movies. This sequence pointed the way: ladles of atmosphere, an outburst of violence, some well-timed wit. (From Russia With Love, 1963)

0039: Bond takes out the trash

Curbed without enthusiasm

007 really ought to spend more time in New York. It’s his kind of town. Why, even strolling along an alley encrusted with rubbish – quite literally the dirtiest thing to ever make it into a Bond film – he seems at ease. And that’s despite being told by his unexpected yet soon-to-be-vanquished guests to “keep your hands up, honky” or they’ll “blow your frigging head off”. (Live and Let Die, 1973)

0038: From a blue to a kill

From a blue to a kill

It doesn’t happen very often, and it’s probably just as well, but now and again the Bond films have strayed dizzyingly close to looking like works of art. The director Lewis Gilbert is often to thank (or to blame). Here he concocts a few bravely self-conscious moments with French cinematographer Jean Tournier, placing Bond – albeit briefly – in a world where “filter” doesn’t just mean a type of cigarette.  (Moonraker, 1979)

A pain in the vase Moon*fake*er

0037: Moneypenny goes undercover

Anything to declare?

Imagine the meeting. “OK, we want to do something with Moneypenny on location this time. Dress her up a bit, make her more of the plot. Any suggestions?” “Well, there’s this scene at passport control in Dover harbour.” And yet, it works. This is possibly Lois Maxwell’s finest moment. “Anybody seeing you in that outfit, Moneypenny, would be most certainly discouraged from leaving the country,” observes Bond. Moneypenny asks for a present from Amsterdam. “Would you settle for a tulip?” quips 007 as he drives away. “Yes!” she cries, sweetly. (Diamonds are Forever, 1971)

0036: What a gay day

The living fey-lights

Only the best will do for Bond when in Rio. This means checking into the grandest of hotels, as well as being checked out by a grandly-coiffeured attendant who is one-half Noele Gordon, one-half Larry Grayson. “The president’s suite,” he confides, plumping up some cushions suggestively. “Really?” purrs Bond. “Don’t bother showing me the rest. If I get lost, I’ll take a cab.” Thoroughly out-camped, the concierge pouts gloriously, then sashays off, no doubt to investigate alarming reports of a chest of drawers with no bottom. As for 007, precisely two minutes later he is ostentatiously shagging a woman. (Moonraker, 1979)

A very camp bastion

0035: Behind you!

Behind you!

One of the best reveals in cinema history. (Goldfinger, 1964)


0034: The squeaky trolley

Wheely saying something

Bond is trapped. Dozens of trigger-happy Russians have their guns pointed at him, Sean Bean has just been shot in the head, and a set-piece finale is required to get this new era in 007 history off to a rousing start. Luckily for Bond, help is at hand in the shape of a Brosnan-sized metal trolley. Luckily for us, the trolley lets out a perfectly-timed ironically-timid SQUEAK every few seconds when being wheeled across the silent room, turning a dutifully stern stand-off in a delightfully tense showdown. (Goldeneye, 1995)

...squeaky... ...SQUEAKY...

0033: Bond and M share a brandy

Indifferently blended

Uh-oh. There’s the smell of something bad in the air – and it’s not just the nefarious antics of Auric Goldfinger. “Have some more of this rather disappointing brandy,” suggest Colonel Smithers, Bond and M’s dinner-guest and storyline consultant. “What’s the matter with it?” begs M, irascibly. “Indifferently blended,” concludes Bond. “Colonel Smithers is giving the lecture, 007,” squawks M – before taking a quick sniff when the others aren’t looking. (Goldfinger, 1964)

0032: Bond and M don’t share a sherry


It’s a few years later, and despite now being on the wagon, M can’t resist the opportunity for another pop at his agent’s liquor-based showboating. “Pity about your liver, sir,” drawls Bond, in between tiny sips. “’51, I believe.” “There is no year for sherry, 007,” spits M, irascibly. “I was referring to the original vintage on which the sherry is based, sir,” continues Bond, coolly: “1851. Unmistakable!” (Diamonds are Forever, 1971)

0031: Salmon-chanted evening

Eel met by moonlight

We’re not so fussed with 007’s car that can swim. We’re more smitten with what happens when 007’s car stops swimming and springs a leak. Forget the scenes of the holidaymakers on the beach, including The Man Who Looks At His Bottle Of Booze. Remember instead one of the neatest non-verbal gags in any Bond film, when Roger Moore nonchalantly winds down his window and nonchalantly tosses out a fish. (The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977)


…in numbers 0030-0021.



  1. Rob Stradling

    October 3, 2012 at 11:32 am

    I have seen “Goldfinger” 466 times, and I still always forget that sniper shot is coming, and gasp.

  2. Glenn A

    October 14, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Note also in the background at Dover some very rare vehicles now such as the Commer van, a Vauxhall Victor and a Ford Zodiac.

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