Posted on Thursday, November 8th, 2012 by Russ Fischer
The Bond film has become a genre unto it’s own, with specific rules and tropes. These have been imitated and appropriated, but the rules of a Bond film are very clear. Part of what makes Skyfall interesting is the way in which Sam Mendes and his associated creators try to subvert and circumvent the rules, even as EON Productions attempts to ensure that they’re followed to the letter.
If you need a refresher on the rules of Bond, you could watch one or two of the classic films. Or you could watch all of them, in a manner of speaking.
50 Years of James Bond: The Movie is a feature-length super cut that takes a novel approach to collating the evolution of the franchise: it takes five minutes from each film and puts them in consecutive order. So you’ll see (roughly) the first five minutes of Dr. No followed by minutes 6-10 of From Russia With Love, minutes 11-15 of Goldfinger, and so on. It’s a neat way to look at the series, and while there’s no argument that the transitions are precisely seamless, the fact that it does all flow to a good degree makes a good argument for the consistent rules and evolution (or lack thereof) of Bond.
Here’s how the YouTube page explains the effort:
Approximately five minutes from each of the 22 Eon produced James Bond films have been cut together, in order and in sequence, beginning with the first five minutes of DR. NO (1962) followed by minutes 5-10 of FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (1963), minutes 10-15 of GOLDFINGER (1964), minutes 15-20 of THUNDERBALL (1965), continuing on through each of the remaining 18 Bond features (accounting for variables in each title’s running time) culminating with the final five minutes of 2008′s QUANTUM OF SOLACE.
This fresh look at the “James Bond Formula” provides a new exploration of the evolution of the series into a filmmaking genre uniquely it’s own. With few exceptions, each title’s transition into the picture that follows it is nearly seamless, creating a viewing experience that at first might serve to reminds us “if you’ve seen one Bond film, you’ve seen them all,” but looking more closely it is in fact an endearing homage to a character who single-handedly shaped modern cinema’s action/adventure formula and who continues to leave an indelible mark on generations worldwide.