In the genesis of the James Bond franchise, MI6 agent 007 (James Bond) battles a mysterious figure known as Dr. No, a scientific genius bent on destroying the U.S. space program. As the countdown to disaster begins, Bond realizes he must go to Jamaica, where he encounters beautiful Honey Ryder, to confront the egotistical villain in his massive island headquarters.
When most people think of the James Bond films, they think of action, fighting, violence, car chases, sexual innuendos, exploitation of women, over-masculinity, etc. The list goes on. However, what most people don’t realize when watching these films is that the fictional world of James Bond is simply a mirror that echoes the real-world problems faced around the globe at the time of filming and production. Most people focus on the films as if they were just another set of popcorn movies with no true meaning; aiming to do nothing more than entertain. For my project, I want to dive deeper into the stream of thought that the films and certain social constructs at the time are linked together. Specifically, I’d like to focus on the age of the Space Race and Cold War and how the five films from the 1960’s work together to develop a more chauvinistic James Bond that represents the status of power that England held during that time. I will be developing my project by focusing on five movies:
- Dr. No (1962)
- From Russia with Love (1963)
- Goldfinger (1964)
- Thunderball (1965)
- You Only Live Twice (1967)
By focusing this time period, I will accurately be able to draw connections between the films and the social constructs presented in England at the height of the Space Race. By focusing on the mannerisms of James Bond and the plot devices of the films in general, my project should inform the reader in what ways the films mirror reality.