“Bond. James Bond.”
Ever since the first time he spoke these words to Miss Sylvia Trench in 1962’s Dr. No, nobody’s done it better than James Bond. With his Aston Martin and other flashy cars, insistence that his martinis be “shaken, not stirred,” and his tempestuous love life, what isn’t there to love about the suave secret agent with the license to kill? Downtown Friday Nights Classic Movies, hosted by the Sumter Opera House in their continuing tribute to 1983, presents Never Say Never Again this Friday night, March 8, at 7 p.m.
Upon its initial release, this adaptation of 1965’s Thunderball created great excitement among Bond fans, as it featured the return of Sean Connery. Connery, who played Bond in six films from 1962 to 1971, had said after the release of 1971’s Diamonds are Forever that he would “never again” play James Bond—hence the film’s title. Never Say Never Again features an older Bond, called out of retirement for a final mission—to retrieve stolen nuclear warheads from the megalomaniac Maximilian Largo, who plans to use them to blow up Washington, DC.
Originally based on a series of novels by Ian Fleming and one of the most popular film franchises ever, Bond’s adventures have now spanned six decades. The combination of exotic locales, chase scenes, sophisticated weapons, cars, women, and a charismatic, flirtatious hero with a wicked sense of humor have given James Bond the most longevity of any character in movie history.
Of course, there will always be differences of opinion on what actor was the quintessential Bond. Agent 007 has been portrayed in movies by Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and currently, Daniel Craig. Each actor brought his own distinct qualities to the character (sometimes creating controversy—who else remembers the uproar over the casting of a blond actor as Bond in 2006’s Casino Royale?). But despite the fact that Roger Moore holds the record for appearances in “official” (Eon Productions) films, for many who grew up with the series, Sean Connery set the standard by which others will always be measured.
The Sumter Opera House is located at 21 North Main Street. Admission is only $2.50 per person, for an evening of suspense and adventure. Never Say Never Again starts at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30, so get there in time for vintage cartoon reels!); popcorn and bottled water will be available for purchase. Proceeds benefit the Sumter County Library children’s programs. For more information, please check our events calendar online here, or call the Swan Lake Visitors Center at (803) 436-2640.
If you’ve never seen Connery’s portrayal of the iconic adventurer, here’s your chance to see what all the fuss was about!
by Colette Daniels