Essay on James Bond and Culture

Essay on James Bond and Culture

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James Bond films have been around for over fifty years and therefore have evolved with society, but a surprising concept of these films is that they actually affected these societal changes. James Bond began as a character in the spy novels of Ian Fleming, but later flourished on the big screen. In his early films Bond’s methods come off as a little villainous, but they are simply reflecting societal norms of the sixties and seventies. Dintia Smith of the New York Times even said “but just as the audience judges the Bond films, the films judge the audience, providing a kind of map of cultural change over the years.” James Bond movies can be used as examples of weaknesses in society and how society should look because of his treatment of women, his sexual escapades, and his successes against communism.
James Bond’s avocation of change began with “Dr. No” in 1962, when Sean Connery’s portrayal came off as a sleazy villain. Brian Westover of Yahoo.com found that “a reviewer at the time, Thomas Wiseman of the Sunday Express wrote, ‘I find it disturbing that we be offered as a hero – as someone we are supposed to admire – a man whose methods and morals are indistinguishable from those of the villains.’” Sean Connery brought to James Bond a kind of masculinity that required the mistreatment of women, in order to show off that he was the alpha male so to speak. This use of women as tools highlights how, in the 60’s, women were still thought of as possessions rather than individuals.
Sean Connery also brought the flirtatious and sexual deviant side of Bond (this could have also hinted at a villain in the 60’s) to a world that thought sex needed to be hidden and taught against, at least in America. Kate Ward, a writer for Hollywood.com, ...


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... Thrill: A Cultural History of the James Bond Films. New York. Columbia University Press, 2000. Print.
Skyfall. Mendes, Sam, Dir. Perf. Craig, Daniel. Dench, Judi. Bardem, Javier. 2012. MGM, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 2012. DVD.
Neuendorf, Kimberly A. Gore, Thomas D. Dalessandro, Amy. Janstova, Patricie, Snyder-Suhy, Sharon. "Shaken and Stirred: A Content Analysis of Women." csuohio.edu. Google Scholar. 28 May 2009. 16 February 2014.
Smith, Dinitia. “James Bond, Then to Now: Agent of Cultural Change.” The New York Times. Lexis Nexis. Web. 29 January 1998. 17 February 2014.
Ward, Kate. “13 Sex Scenes That Leave Us Shake (Not Stirred).” Hollywood.com. N.P. Web. 6 November, 2012. 23 February, 2014.
Westover, Brian. “A Look at How James Bond Reflects Changing Views of Masculinity.” Yahoo Voices. Yahoo.com. N.p. Blog. Web. 16 January, 2007. 16 February, 2014.

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