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50 Years Ago in Pop Culture: Shaken, Not Stirred

Photo by: beautyredefined

1962 was a very good year at the movies with something for everyone.

There was drama, horror, westerns, and political thrillers, not to mention the musicals Gypsy and The Music Man.   To name more names, John Frankenheimer directed Frank Sinatra in The Manchurian Candidate.  Sam Peckinpah made Ride the High Country.  James Stewart and John Wayne shared top billing in John Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, as did Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

And let’s not forget the foreign films that were released that year. Jules and Jim, Knife in the Water, Lolita, and The Exterminating Angel by François Truffaut, Roman Polanski, Stanley Kubrick, and Luis Buñuel, respectively, are all classics.

While the remake of Mutiny on the Bounty took place on the high seas, it was Lawrence of Arabia with its sweeping desert landscapes that won for   Best Picture at the 35th Academy Awards, as well as in six other categories.

But it was Dr. No, the first James Bond movie, which created a franchise that is still with us today.

Sean Connery was cast as 007 because the producers liked how he was a big, tough-looking man who nonetheless moved gracefully like a cat.

Ursula Andress was cast as Honey Rider because the producers liked how she looked, particularly in a bikini.

The New York Times movie critic, Bosley Crowther, described Dr. No as “pure, escapist bunk,” but he recommended that everyone make “the acquaintance of Ian Fleming’s suave detective.”

“It’s not the mystery that entertains you,” he explained. “It’s the things that happen along the way — the attempted kidnapping at the Jamaica airport, the tarantula dropped onto Bond’s bed, the seduction of the Oriental beauty, the encounter with the beautiful blond on the beach of Crab Key.”

Daniel Craig currently plays the man with the golden gun and a license to use it.  He’s the Bond for this generation, prickly, but not finicky.   After losing big in a high stakes poker game, he orders a vodka martini.  “Shaken or stirred?’ the bartender asks.  “Do I look like I give a damn?” he retorts.

This November Skyfall, the twenty-third 007 flick, will be released.  I don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying that Craig playing the secret agent man for the third time has a new set of clothes.   And he’s looking good!

© 2012 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved

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Watching the introduction to Dr. No. brings back so many memories.  Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5jjYLsh1V4

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