NOT every conversation I had in Manchester was about politics. One in particular was about a much more important issue: the forthcoming James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace.
My interlocutor on this occasion was STV reporter and fellow 007 fan, Rae Stewart. Having quickly disposed of subjects like the leader’s speech, the opinion polls and Alex Salmond, we got down to business: what’s your favourite Bond movie/title song?
Mine? Goldfinger and Live and Let Die respectively.
Rae’s? He rated The Living Daylights, Goldfinger and From Russia With Love.
Bud maddeningly, he used the words “And of course…” before adding On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. This is a great bugbear of mine. An even greater one is the oft-used justification for the esteem in which this movie is misguidedly held: “But it’s true to the novel.” So what? Yes, the novel is pretty good – in fact the last decent one Fleming wrote. But sometimes decent novels don’t translate into decent films, especially when, as in this case, audiences of the novels and audiences of the movies expected and wanted entirely different products.
George Lazenby was truly atrocious, there’s no getting round it. “Connery could never have done that last scene (where Bond cradles the dead body of his murdered bride),” said Rae. Well, actually, I’m sure he could have. But Lazenby couldn’t either, so what’s the point being made there?
Anyhoo, for those of you who care, here’s the latest trailer for Quantum of Solace, due out in November. I’m sure it will be a cracker, but if it’s not, I guarantee it’ll be a lot better than On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.