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Bond smoking?


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#1 Binyamin

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 09:33 PM

Right. So I was looking at this image to end a friendly argument about Bond "trading in his martini for beer" * in Skyfall....

Posted Image

...and I noticed that you can very clearly see an ashtray with still-smoldering cigarettes on the bar.

I apologize if this has been covered before -- but what are the chances that Bond lights up a cigarette?
Or, is it more likely that Skyfall's Bad Girl is the one doing the smoking?


*You know who you are sir!

#2 Vauxhall

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 09:39 PM

It's Severine who is smoking in that scene. Guess Bond might cadge a sneaky ciggie too, but I doubt it!

#3 Chief of SIS

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 09:39 PM

Severine. Pause at 1:09 in the international trailer.

#4 JCRendle

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 09:40 PM

While I know he drinks martini in Skyfall, may I play devils advocate with you and your arguee? Turning the smoking question around on you, how do you know that the martini isn't the Bond girl's tipple, and Bond doesn't have a lager just out of shot? ;)

#5 Binyamin

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 09:51 PM

Mostly because Severine already has a glass of champagne ;)

It's entertaining but ridiculous that the "villainess" can smoke on film, but Britian's most famous secret agent cannot, because that might offend someone.

#6 JCRendle

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 10:05 PM

It's because kids are "impressionable" - If they see Bond smoking, they'll think it's cool and all do it. I mean, it's ok for kids to gun people down because Bond does it, to sleep around with several women because Bond does it and drink strong cocktails because Bond does it - but if they get a hint smoking is cool, bloody hell we can't have that!

#7 Loomis

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 10:09 PM

I guess, though, that a Bond leading lady who smokes is "progress" for those who for some reason want people puffing away in the Bond films again. When did we last see this? Maud Adams in OCTOPUSSY? (Is my memory playing false or does she smoke in that one?) I suppose there's also Carey Lowell in LICENCE TO KILL, although that doesn't really count since it's her first one in five years (and indeed her only one in the movie), so the character's not actually A Smoker™.

#8 AMC Hornet

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 10:32 PM

No lipstick on the butts, no smoke in the air.

For how long are Bond and Severine supposed to have been sitting there?

#9 Binyamin

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 10:35 PM

Xenia smoked a cigarillo in GoldenEye. And Bond himself enjoyed a Cuban cigar in DIE, although that's a long way from an actual cigarette...

#10 AMC Hornet

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 10:58 PM

I'd say a cigarette is a long way from an actual Cuban cigar...

(I know, I've tried 'em both.)

#11 Binyamin

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 11:37 PM

Indeed; That's what I meant. I enjoy Habanos puros often and a lowly cigarette can't touch that.

#12 Pussfeller

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 12:41 AM

Severine isn't smoking here, but she definitely smokes.

Posted Image

It's okay because ...
Spoiler


I always approved of Brosnan smoking cigars, and smoking suited the previous Bonds as well. But when it comes to Craig's version of the character, I feel just as strongly that shouldn't touch tobacco, or rather, that he wouldn't touch it. It makes perfect sense for Brosnan's Bond to smoke cigars, because he's a bit lax and undisciplined and not visibly in top form. Carelessness and self-indulgence are part of his version of the character, and that goes with cigar-smoking. Never growing up implies an oral fixation.

But Craig-Bond is not Brosnan-Bond. Craig-Bond is a chiseled athlete who never stops moving. Even drinking seems out of character. He slams down whisky and martinis, but it seems like he's just doing it because "Bond has to drink". It's a good thing that not every aspect of Fleming's Bond survived the jump from book to screen, or else Craig would be wolfing down buckets of scrambled eggs between bursts of parkour and rock-climbing. (And if he weren't, we'd be complaining.) I agree that vice and recklessness are essential to Bond's character, but there are so many vices to choose from. Craig-Bond tends naturally to the primal cave-man vices, like sex and violence. His libido and aggression should be emphasized, and his indulgence in oral pleasures should be dialed back.

#13 Leon

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 02:36 AM

I guess, though, that a Bond leading lady who smokes is "progress" for those who for some reason want people puffing away in the Bond films again.


For me, I read the Fleming books from the age of 9 into early teens. Even then I simply felt that Bond smoking so many cigarettes a day was a really strong display of his character's roughness and not-giving-a-damn attitude to danger. I think that is the real point - Bond's whole character is not something you want your kids trying to be.. a spying liar, carrying guns, fighting and murdering people, self-loathing sex fiend, womanizer, chauvinist, borderline alcoholic, joyrider and even drug user in the books... why is smoking suddenly singled out in complete hypocrisy to all of that? I'm not even specifically talking Bond - Hollywood has almost turned into just characters like this. Every movie poster you see, for all kinds of ages, have a moody lone wolf protagonist posing with a gun. There are a lot of things that society just accepts as no problem.

I can only speak for myself here, but I simply don't think James Bond *should* be for kids.. for the character to be done real artistic justice on screen at least. That's not to say I am against the sillier cartoonish Bond styles that have been, variety is good, but let's face it, Craig's Bond is not a kids character by a long chalk. They do their best to keep the audience as large as possible for business of course, but he is brutal death in toilets Bond - tossing his friend's body in a dumpster Bond. The Bond I grew up with *as* a kid was Fleming's along with the earlier films (plenty of smoking) and Goldeneye. That stuff isn't 'for kids' but I loved it anyway, because kids love what they aren't supposed to see. It didn't make me smoke cigarettes, though later in life I learned about Havana cigars and found work in a cigar shop. People can have whatever opinion they wish to form about smoking, but for those who can appreciate a good cigar it's an absolute joy in life. They are an occasional treat and delicious - like some other things that can fall under a generalisation or some false information as awful bad things, they are not some burden in life, they are a blessing and often even a wonderful craft. Maybe the fact that I personally didn't take up huffing large quantities of cigarettes every day, despite getting into Bond at a most impressionable age, was simply that I went to a good school and had good parents. I think these aspects of society are what should be concentrated on, not censoring aspects of characters and storytelling.

Kids should be able to watch a film with Bond smoking after murdering people and drinking a bottle of vodka and be encouraged to work out for themselves why they shouldn't do those things. They would grow up more intelligent people with greater minds of their own. I also don't drink much at all actually, on that point, never really have. I don't like guns very much, though I'm not scared of them/squeamish, possibly down to being exposed to them as cool for so long until i got a little older. In that sense being exposed to them like that was a benefit to me, and a good education and possibilities in my life gave the balance. This is why censorship is not an answer to anything really, the only real answer, whether it's possible or not, is to progress with living standards and education, free education, not privileged, and to allow means for everyone to have access to the basic necessities of life. Pretty deep rant I know, but this smoking malarkey bothers me and I felt I had to try and express my thoughts. Whether you agree or not, I think this kind of deeper perspective on things can sometimes be why some people do express a grievance at the modern 'cleaner' Bond image, which is quite clearly a farce when looked at in proportion.

#14 Binyamin

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 03:06 AM

Precisely, Leon. I nominate that post for Best of the Month.

"Kids should be able to watch a film with Bond smoking after murdering people and drinking a bottle of vodka and be encouraged to work out for themselves why they shouldn't do those things."

Yes. Young people are smarter than society gives them credit for -- IF they are treated somewhat like adults, and taught that their decisions have consequences, good and bad. People are not robots who blindly repeat everything they see.

The people I know who are heavy smokers did NOT pick it up from movies. I really do believe that people are intelligent enough to say, "Well, that's entertaining on film, but real life is not a film." As others have said -- millions of movie viewers do not go punching police officers and taking their handguns after seeing Bourne, or stealing cars after seeing Gone in 60 Seconds. That is silly logic.

#15 OmarB

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 04:23 PM

I would like if Bond smoked again. But I don't see it happening.

The opposite happened in comics. Wolverine the old school cigar smoker no longer smokes in the comics, but in the movies he still does.

#16 Messervy

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 09:45 PM

Somehow reminiscent of a thread on this very topic...
I'm all for Bond smoking. Dalton managed quite well. Not mentionning Moore and his cigars (most notably in LALD).

#17 marktmurphy

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 09:54 PM


I guess, though, that a Bond leading lady who smokes is "progress" for those who for some reason want people puffing away in the Bond films again.


For me, I read the Fleming books from the age of 9 into early teens. Even then I simply felt that Bond smoking so many cigarettes a day was a really strong display of his character's roughness and not-giving-a-damn attitude to danger. I think that is the real point - Bond's whole character is not something you want your kids trying to be.. a spying liar, carrying guns, fighting and murdering people, self-loathing sex fiend, womanizer, chauvinist, borderline alcoholic, joyrider and even drug user in the books... why is smoking suddenly singled out in complete hypocrisy to all of that? I'm not even specifically talking Bond - Hollywood has almost turned into just characters like this. Every movie poster you see, for all kinds of ages, have a moody lone wolf protagonist posing with a gun. There are a lot of things that society just accepts as no problem.

I can only speak for myself here, but I simply don't think James Bond *should* be for kids.. for the character to be done real artistic justice on screen at least. That's not to say I am against the sillier cartoonish Bond styles that have been, variety is good, but let's face it, Craig's Bond is not a kids character by a long chalk. They do their best to keep the audience as large as possible for business of course, but he is brutal death in toilets Bond - tossing his friend's body in a dumpster Bond. The Bond I grew up with *as* a kid was Fleming's along with the earlier films (plenty of smoking) and Goldeneye. That stuff isn't 'for kids' but I loved it anyway, because kids love what they aren't supposed to see. It didn't make me smoke cigarettes, though later in life I learned about Havana cigars and found work in a cigar shop. People can have whatever opinion they wish to form about smoking, but for those who can appreciate a good cigar it's an absolute joy in life. They are an occasional treat and delicious - like some other things that can fall under a generalisation or some false information as awful bad things, they are not some burden in life, they are a blessing and often even a wonderful craft. Maybe the fact that I personally didn't take up huffing large quantities of cigarettes every day, despite getting into Bond at a most impressionable age, was simply that I went to a good school and had good parents. I think these aspects of society are what should be concentrated on, not censoring aspects of characters and storytelling.

Kids should be able to watch a film with Bond smoking after murdering people and drinking a bottle of vodka and be encouraged to work out for themselves why they shouldn't do those things. They would grow up more intelligent people with greater minds of their own. I also don't drink much at all actually, on that point, never really have. I don't like guns very much, though I'm not scared of them/squeamish, possibly down to being exposed to them as cool for so long until i got a little older. In that sense being exposed to them like that was a benefit to me, and a good education and possibilities in my life gave the balance. This is why censorship is not an answer to anything really, the only real answer, whether it's possible or not, is to progress with living standards and education, free education, not privileged, and to allow means for everyone to have access to the basic necessities of life. Pretty deep rant I know, but this smoking malarkey bothers me and I felt I had to try and express my thoughts. Whether you agree or not, I think this kind of deeper perspective on things can sometimes be why some people do express a grievance at the modern 'cleaner' Bond image, which is quite clearly a farce when looked at in proportion.


Seems ridiculous we have large quantities of Bond fans moaning about the quality of the advertising for the new film on one hand, and yet refusing to believe that advertising works on the other. If Bond smokes it advertises smoking, simple as that. See also: smart suits and Aston Martins. If you've never worn a dinner suit and not had a little Bond moment to yourself you're not a Bond fan: and it doesn't matter how much 'education' you've had.

Plus there's no need for him to smoke. A guy like him wouldn't.

#18 Messervy

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:04 PM

Plus there's no need for him to smoke. A guy like him wouldn't.

Why would you say that?

#19 marktmurphy

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:06 PM


Plus there's no need for him to smoke. A guy like him wouldn't.

Why would you say that?


Super fit Special Forces? And a smart guy at that? Nah. It's not like there's anywhere he can even do it.

#20 Binyamin

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:13 PM

Respectfully, I have to disagree. I understand your logic -- but in my experience, many military members smoke. A very high percentage, in fact. They use it as a small escape -- a quantum of solace -- during long, stressful days... huddling with the men to smoke a cigarette and shoot the sh!t is a common occurance on a base.

Also, in many parts of the world, smoking is still extremely commonplace. Yes, in the U.S. and the U.K., it's seen as uncouth. But in Latin America, for instance, you're seen as an outsider if you DON'T smoke. Carrying cigarettes is a fast way to make friends, which is invaluable for an agent. I've been chewed out in Mexican bars before, because I didn't offer a cigarette or a lighter to a lady. (Cancer is the mark of a gentleman!)

Combine this with Bond's fatalistic worldview -- 00s have a very short life expectancy -- and his somewhat rebelious attitude, and I think even a fit military man like 007 would enjoy lighting up at times.

#21 delfloria

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:36 PM

I agree that he was and still is a character that would smoke because of his outlook on life and how short it will probably be for him. As for it advertising smoking, sure I light up once in a blue moon to get a bit of that Bond rush when I'm traveling but even as a kid (Bond fan since 64") I knew never to make it a habit. Bond Fan smokers are a different breed than peer group smokers.

#22 Joey Bond

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:08 AM

The folks at Being James Bond once made a really good point in one of their reviews. Neither Brosnan's nor Craig's Bonds smoked, but with Craig they never really bring it up. I didn't even notice that Craig's Bond doesn't smoke until they brought it up. With Brosnan they really hit you on the head that James Bond no longer smokes. There was that "filthy habit" line in Tomorrow Never Dies and I seem to recall something in Goldeneye as well (maybe I'm completely off here, it's been a while since I saw Goldeneye- or maybe it was in the novelisation).

Pussfeller has a point that Craig's Bond shouldn't even drink let alone smoke. He looks like a government-trained assassin, so you would think he has to keep his body in top shape.

#23 Messervy

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 07:37 AM

The folks at Being James Bond once made a really good point in one of their reviews. Neither Brosnan's nor Craig's Bonds smoked, but with Craig they never really bring it up. I didn't even notice that Craig's Bond doesn't smoke until they brought it up. With Brosnan they really hit you on the head that James Bond no longer smokes. There was that "filthy habit" line in Tomorrow Never Dies and I seem to recall something in Goldeneye as well (maybe I'm completely off here, it's been a while since I saw Goldeneye- or maybe it was in the novelisation).

Pussfeller has a point that Craig's Bond shouldn't even drink let alone smoke. He looks like a government-trained assassin, so you would think he has to keep his body in top shape.

Actually, Brosnan does smoke. Does DAD ring a bell?...

Respectfully, I have to disagree. I understand your logic -- but in my experience, many military members smoke. A very high percentage, in fact. They use it as a small escape -- a quantum of solace -- during long, stressful days... huddling with the men to smoke a cigarette and shoot the sh!t is a common occurance on a base. Also, in many parts of the world, smoking is still extremely commonplace. Yes, in the U.S. and the U.K., it's seen as uncouth. But in Latin America, for instance, you're seen as an outsider if you DON'T smoke. Carrying cigarettes is a fast way to make friends, which is invaluable for an agent. I've been chewed out in Mexican bars before, because I didn't offer a cigarette or a lighter to a lady. (Cancer is the mark of a gentleman!) Combine this with Bond's fatalistic worldview -- 00s have a very short life expectancy -- and his somewhat rebelious attitude, and I think even a fit military man like 007 would enjoy lighting up at times.

Preciseley.
With his "cavalier attitude towards life", smoking and drinking are substantial parts of who Bond is. He's not just a special operative. He's Bond (i.e, drinks, smokes, womanizes, drives fast, shoots first and asks later, etc.).

#24 marktmurphy

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 09:49 AM

Drinking's fine: done for pleasure and he enjoys a bit of snobbery in picking his fine booze. But smoking isn't what it used to be in the 50's- it's pretty much a sign of weakness now. Cigarette smoking is now for people for are addicted and need some sort of fake hit; there's nothing cool or sophisticated about it. Bond would look weaker if he needed to spark up.
An occasional cigar isn't the same, and if he needs to do it for his cover of course he could, but he could also drop it straight afterwards.

#25 JCRendle

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 09:58 AM

I wonder, would Bond taking Benzedrine in the novels be closer to him drinking high caffeine drinks now, or something closer to a drug like speed etc?

#26 Messervy

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 12:23 PM

Drinking's fine: done for pleasure and he enjoys a bit of snobbery in picking his fine booze. But smoking isn't what it used to be in the 50's- it's pretty much a sign of weakness now. Cigarette smoking is now for people for are addicted and need some sort of fake hit; there's nothing cool or sophisticated about it. Bond would look weaker if he needed to spark up. An occasional cigar isn't the same, and if he needs to do it for his cover of course he could, but he could also drop it straight afterwards.

I repectfuly disagree and think that you're mistaken about cigars. It's nothing to do with "cover". It's an actual pleasure, as much as fine drinks is. You have various blends, you take your time smoking it, etc. Actually, it's quite a sign of class in many respects.

#27 marktmurphy

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 02:01 PM

I've never seen anyone in the modern day smoking who doesn't look a bit desperate. Unlike drinking, it's indulged in purely because of addiction because everyone nowadays knows for a fact that they're killing themselves. Bond is stronger than that.
It's never a sign of class.

#28 Messervy

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 02:30 PM

I've never seen anyone in the modern day smoking who doesn't look a bit desperate. Unlike drinking, it's indulged in purely because of addiction because everyone nowadays knows for a fact that they're killing themselves. Bond is stronger than that. It's never a sign of class.

Well, as Le Chiffre would say: "You are SO wrong!"

#29 Pussfeller

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 02:51 PM

I suppose there's a fantasy element. Part of Bond's appeal is that he's implausible, so perhaps he should be able to smoke a pack of cigarettes, eat a side of bacon fried in black butter, and then chase Sebastien Foucan at high speed through a construction site. Personally I would find it a little too implausible, just as I found it implausible that young women were automatically attracted to crinkly-necked Roger Moore. The popular legend of Bond has sometimes been strong enough to have a causality-bending effect on the plot.

And that's fine, I guess. My main problem with Bond smoking at this stage in history is that it would be anachronistic to the point of phony, like one of those latter-day Woody Allen protagonists who is twenty years old and a huge fan of Bix Beiderbecke. Tobacco-smoking has lost whatever stylish associations it once had. It's not an aspirational behavior indulged by suave rich people with big gay cigarette cases. Smoking these days is associated with the poor, dropouts, hicks, backwards foreigners, the tragically ironic, or (in the case of cigars) with geriatric machismo. The more elderly Bonds may have benefited from the prop, but Craig's Bond certainly isn't a vıagra-popper who needs to make a bold statement about his throwback masculinity.

I repectfuly disagree and think that you're mistaken about cigars. It's nothing to do with "cover". It's an actual pleasure, as much as fine drinks is. You have various blends, you take your time smoking it, etc. Actually, it's quite a sign of class in many respects.


One interpretation of the character of Bond is that he's a superficial philistine whose snobbery conceals a basic lack of taste. We can imagine this version of Bond waltzing into a "gentleman's club" and enjoying an "erotic performance" over a basket of "gourmet wings". This is the version of Bond who would subscribe to cigar magazines and view this specialized knowledge as a mark of his superior sophistication. Meanwhile the audience laughs. Tastes change, and cigar-fancy has gone the way of the Playboy Club - a former status symbol that has decayed into a tacky punchline. The Bond of the films doesn't fall behind the times. He may be a brute, but he's always in on the joke. Far from lauging smugly at his lowbrow tastes, the audience is supposed to marvel at his perfectly calibrated sophistication. If anyone is going to smoke cigars in a Bond film these days, it's going to be a foil who makes Bond look hipper by comparison.

#30 Dustin

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 04:52 PM

... My main problem with Bond smoking at this stage in history is that it would be anachronistic to the point of phony, like one of those latter-day Woody Allen protagonists who is twenty years old and a huge fan of Bix Beiderbecke. Tobacco-smoking has lost whatever stylish associations it once had. It's not an aspirational behavior indulged by suave rich people with big gay cigarette cases. Smoking these days is associated with the poor, dropouts, hicks, backwards foreigners, the tragically ironic, or (in the case of cigars) with geriatric machismo. The more elderly Bonds may have benefited from the prop, but Craig's Bond certainly isn't a vıagra-popper who needs to make a bold statement about his throwback masculinity.


This. I was going to post a lengthy epistle on the whole topic of Bond smoking, but this is really what it boils down to: to me it feels anachronistic, odd and downright contrived to think of a modern Bond lighting a cigarette or cigar. More so, it would come across as a statement towards the hardcore fans but quite forced and out-of-place. And mind you, I myself belong to the generation that still remembers when non-smokers had to leave premises so as not to offend the smoking majority.




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