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Madeleine Swann is Tracy Bond?


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#61 Bucky

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 03:20 PM

 

Is She Tracy... Yes (imo).

 

Was she Tracy in SPECTRE or will she be Tracy in Bond 25... what do you think? 

 

 

Perhaps Blofeld will escape and she will be forced to change her name.

 

I have been reading Casino Royale lately and one of Mathis' struck me with how Bond could go forward and have Medeleine return when he says "Surround yourself with human beings, my dear James. They are easier to fight for than principles." I was kind of disappointed that he did not get to give Bond this message in the movies, maybe he could send Bond a DVD also. ;)



#62 Professor Pi

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Posted 15 December 2015 - 02:23 AM

 

I have been reading Casino Royale lately and one of Mathis' struck me with how Bond could go forward and have Medeleine return when he says "Surround yourself with human beings, my dear James. They are easier to fight for than principles." I was kind of disappointed that he did not get to give Bond this message in the movies, maybe he could send Bond a DVD also. ;)

 

 

I so wanted that speech in Quantum of Solace.  They had such a perfect opportunity for Mathis to give that speech before he died.



#63 tdalton

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Posted 15 December 2015 - 02:41 AM

They could probably still find a way to include that in Bond 25 if Craig returns.  While it wouldn't have the impact that it would have had if Mathis had said it, they could probably get away with having Felix deliver the line, assuming they bring him back for Craig's finale.  Or Dench's M could deliver the line as part of her new posthumous self-help DVD series.  ;)



#64 Odd Jobbies

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Posted 15 December 2015 - 12:44 PM

 

Is She Tracy... Yes (imo).

 

Was she Tracy in SPECTRE or will she be Tracy in Bond 25... what do you think? 

 

 

Both. They've straddled the Tracy storyline over 2 movies; expect her to die at the hands of Blofeld and Hinx in the B25 pre-titles, catapulting Bond from his comfy retirement back onto the revenge trail (which was originally played out in the epilogue of OHMSS). That would make the inspiration for the body of B25 YOLT. And that's something to prey they get right and to savour. Btw, i imagine the OHMSS theme that crept into the SPECTRE trailer was a hefty nod towards this being a latter day OHMSS in that Craig's Bond finds his Tracy (pity they didn't use that superb music cue in SPECTRE's score).

 

I guess Eon felt the audience couldn't handle a cliffhanger ending so opted to save the death scene for B25. There's a recent president for this theory: Cutting the original 'Bond shot in the snow' ending of QoS (whatever Forster says i believe it was Eon/the studio's decision to cut that scene, as it reeks of focus groups and a lack of trust in the audience's ability to respond well to an ending that's not 'happy'). Also it's likely Mendes played along, preferring to leave his Bond tenure with a sense of closure rather than a cliffhanger.

 

The purpose of Fleming's Tracy is to rediscover Bond's humanity after the trauma of Vesper and brutality that followed. That makes a great story and OHMSS was indeed a great story, but a very difficult one to follow up on in the next story... If the series is to continue, then Tracy/Swann must die if Bond is to plausibly return to action; if he simply got bored and return to M, tail between legs it would wholly undermine the love story at the heart of OHMSS. So the author and now the screenwriters had/have the unenviable task of repeating the pattern already played out after Vesper's death: Bond looking for revenge.

 

Fleming must take huge credit for managing to give that arc a fresh take by having Bond on the verge of mental collapse and addicted to booze and drugs, as opposed to the purely vengeful focus and intent post Vesper's demise (it's up for debate as to who 'unmanned' Bond the most; Le Chiffre with his cane chair, or Vesper with her betrayal). But Eon have played the YOLT drugs'n booze nihilism card already in the first half of Skyfall, so they can't really have Bond hitting the psychological skids again so soon (lets hope not). All they have left to differentiate Swann's death from Vesper's is the lack of a betrayal angle. Let's face it, the lack  of an is not an inciting prospect for a writer.

 

So basically they have to play it out in a more tradional, less complex way - an innocent damsel that Bond couldn't protect. Not particularly interesting or inspiring and certainly the most hackneyed of motivations for Bond, if not the action hero in general. But there's scant options left to the writer's. E.g. a plausible, but terribly dull option would be Swann going into witness protection, while Bond resumes his double-0 status to catch the escaped Blofeld...

 

 

 

The problem with all of Craig's Bond films, except for CR, is that they want every story to have the full character arc; Craig makes the whole of the emotional journey in each instalment, with each film giving Bond peace of mind by the epilogue. Characters, the cowboys and the indians, may carry over, but that's purely artifice - there's no real continuation - no new emotions for the character - he's done growing  (to the joyous cheers of the fans of the traditional cinematic Bond, but to the chagrin of the literary fans).

 

Fleming's Bond was always changing, as the job and his attempted relationships led a little further each time down the spiral towards his ultimate disintegration in YOLT and 'rebirth' in TMWTGG. Fleming seldom gave Bond that peace of mind and so each novel was a further exploration of where that peace of mind might be found.

 

QoS tried to resolve that exploration, by quite nicely identifying peace of mind as 'the job' (as Fleming did at the end of TMWTGG). But Fleming would usually leave the reader with a cliffhanger, or the lost love ending over the happy one. This made for a disconcerting final page, but wet the palate for a great follow up. Eon 'bottled it' with QoS, trying to make it a happy ending by excising the original dark cliffhanger and instead allowing Bond to trudge off in the snow.

 

The movie makers seem to fear the disconcerting final page and by avoiding it are forever doomed to repeat the hero's journey in every instalment. In all of CR's subsequent films Bond has started rogue and then returned to the fold; has cared about nothing but the mission, but ultimately learnt to care about someone (Vesper, Camile, Swann). CR got it right, keeping the shockingly dark ending. Whereas M's death felt more like an ageing actress stepping aside for new blood and besides, despite this 'tragedy' SF ending with Bond 'at peace' back in the job and raring for adventure in the final scene with 'the new blood' - tonally it was a very happy ending - very similar to QoS (..."I never left, Ma'am.").  And now SPECTRE leaves us with the happiest ending ever (though that's obviously setting up the tragedy), and then it's 'hear we go again'. 

 

It took several of Fleming's books for Bond make this journey, but now it's made in every film. So when the story comes along that really needs him to make this journey (SPECTRE and Bond25 feeling akin to OHMSS and YOLT) they're screwed because it's going to feel so old hat - so Skyfall etc.

 

Even if the writers do deliver the basis for a fresh take on this journey that Craig has made in every film, Craig's got a tough task ahead, having to play out the love interest killed - angry revenge arc all over again. That can't be particularly attractive to an actor of his calibre.

 

But the very fact that Eon ended the story like this suggests to me that they have a guarantee of Craig's return - would look pretty awful to start 25 with another actor in a relationship with Seydoux and hardly better to reboot again by forgetting 24 ended with Bond retiring.

 

 

 

 

...Or Dench's M could deliver the line as part of her new posthumous self-help DVD series.   ;)

Lol, indeed, lets start every Bond movie henceforth with an "Oh, and also, Bond..." addendum to her posthumous speech. Love it :)



#65 Revelator

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 12:21 AM

It's strange, back in the days of OHMSS some critic actually believed Bond and Tracy could turn into a Nick-and-Nora couple and stay this way within the series.

If you look closer you realise that way would have been the road to disaster. In the book Bond lamely convinces himself Tracy would let him live his fast dangerous life. But the truth of it is after just a few years of his philandering they would have ended up not much better than the Masters from the Quantum of Solace short story. They'd hate each other to pieces and burn in their very own field office of Hell.

Blofeld actually did Bond a favour. And Tracy most likely too.

 

The idea of Bond and Tracy as a Nick-and-Nora couple is an intriguing one, and hasn't been explored very often in thrillers. It wasn't in the cards for Bond, but someone should try using that Thin Man model of husband-and-wife adventure and style. Diana Rigg's Tracy was so wonderful that I almost wouldn't mind if she'd survived to appear in more Bond films. So I can see where Kael's coming from.

 

As for whether the marriage would have lasted...Bond has a nightmare in the novel of OHMSS about turning into a high-society married upper-class twit, and, as you say, lamely convinces himself that married life will be different. All the same, I'm not fully sure the marriage wouldn't have worked. For one thing, Tracy really understood Bond's character. As she tells him:

"I wouldn't love you if you weren't a pirate. I expect it's in the blood. I'll get used to it. Don't change. I don't want to draw your teeth like women do with their men. I want to live with you, not with somebody else. But don't mind if I howl like a dog every now and then. Or rather like a bitch. It's only love."

Additionally, Bond comes to realization that for the first time in his life there's someone waiting at home who loves him: "it was true what she said. He hadn't thought of her, only of the job. It never crossed his mind that anybody really cared about him...Now, if he got himself killed, there would be Tracy who would at any rate partially die with him."

 

Bond says he wouldn't mind having kids, and I suspect that if and Tracy had children, his appetite for danger might have decreased (fatherhood has been demonstrated to have calming effects on the brain). That leaves infidelity as the remaining potential pitfall. Perhaps Tracy was the one woman who could satiate him, or maybe she would have turned a Jackie Kennedy-like blind eye to his affairs, as long as they didn't lead to lasting attachments.

 

One other benefit of believing Bond's marriage might led to happiness: it makes Tracy's death even more tragic.

 

***

 

Moving on to Professor Pi's remark, "I've always viewed DAF as a sequel to YOLT.  Weird that they ignore OHMSS with DAF and then make a wife joke in LALD, seriously acknowledge her in TSWLM, visualize her existence in FYEO, verbally refer to it in LTK, and then imply it in TWINE."

 

The pre-credits sequence in DAF strikes me as ambiguous--viewers can read it either as following on YOLT or OHMSS. In favor of the latter is the savagery of the sequence--Connery's Bond has rarely been more brutal in such a short stretch of film. The editing further accentuates the idea of Bond on a relentless hunt. And there's nothing in YOLT to suggest why Bond would be so hellbent on pursuing Blofeld. His seething anger ("Last chance!") and bloodlust ("Welcome to hell Blofeld!") make far more sense if he's pursuing the man who murdered his wife, rather than a villain on the lam. I think this sequence was an attempt by the filmmakers to acknowledge OHMSS but also leave viewers free to ignore the film if they chose. I also suspect it was a holdover from Maibaum's earlier drafts that was retained by Mankiewicz, who subjected the rest of film to his usual frivolity. The fact that OHMSS is directly acknowledged no less than four times in the later films is likely due to Maibaum, who remained justifiably proud of it.

 

Finally, to get back on topic: I sincerely hope Madeline is not Tracy Bond. There was only one, and Craig's Bond has already exhausted his tear ducts on Vesper and M. No more dead Bond girls please. Bond has run out of tragic scenarios, unless the filmmakers decide to kill Q and Moneypenny too. Though I would like to see the literary YOLT onscreen, that ship has probably sailed. For Bond 25, I'll be happy if Craig returns without Seydoux (or Waltz) and has an adventure that draws on his emotions without being excessively personal.


Edited by Revelator, 16 December 2015 - 12:27 AM.


#66 Bucky

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 01:09 AM

I feel like Craig's bond has been through so much that it would take some major tragedy to break him to the point necessary to have a yolt adaptation.

After all of the tragedy he has experienced losing his wife would just be another drop in the ocean.

#67 Surrie

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 09:52 AM

I could take it or leave the whole modern-day Tracy scenario, but I wouldn't be happy if EON returned Swann for Bond 25 in any other act other than Tracy. 

 

They don't have to bring her back at all. Bond 25 could see Bond returning to MI6 after some well spent time off and then forgetting about Swann - then I would welcome no more personal trauma and more standalone missions. 

 

However, if they do want Swann back, IMO it would have to be in the role of Tracy. For me, it wouldn't work any other way. 



#68 seawolfnyy

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 11:57 AM

I think they could bring Madeleine back in a Tracy role, but without the Tracy like ending. She doesn't have to die. However, as I've already stated, EON can still have her break Bond's heart by having him choose the service over her and her responding by leaving him.

#69 Surrie

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 12:18 PM

I think they could bring Madeleine back in a Tracy role, but without the Tracy like ending. She doesn't have to do. However, as I've already stated, EON can still have her break Bond's heart by having him choose the service over her and her responding by leaving him.

 

I'd be happy with any decision as long as it's not a revenge story!



#70 Dustin

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 02:37 PM


 

It's strange, back in the days of OHMSS some critic actually believed Bond and Tracy could turn into a Nick-and-Nora couple and stay this way within the series.

If you look closer you realise that way would have been the road to disaster. In the book Bond lamely convinces himself Tracy would let him live his fast dangerous life. But the truth of it is after just a few years of his philandering they would have ended up not much better than the Masters from the Quantum of Solace short story. They'd hate each other to pieces and burn in their very own field office of Hell.

Blofeld actually did Bond a favour. And Tracy most likely too.

 

The idea of Bond and Tracy as a Nick-and-Nora couple is an intriguing one, and hasn't been explored very often in thrillers. It wasn't in the cards for Bond, but someone should try using that Thin Man model of husband-and-wife adventure and style. Diana Rigg's Tracy was so wonderful that I almost wouldn't mind if she'd survived to appear in more Bond films. So I can see where Kael's coming from.

 

As for whether the marriage would have lasted...Bond has a nightmare in the novel of OHMSS about turning into a high-society married upper-class twit, and, as you say, lamely convinces himself that married life will be different. All the same, I'm not fully sure the marriage wouldn't have worked. For one thing, Tracy really understood Bond's character. As she tells him:

"I wouldn't love you if you weren't a pirate. I expect it's in the blood. I'll get used to it. Don't change. I don't want to draw your teeth like women do with their men. I want to live with you, not with somebody else. But don't mind if I howl like a dog every now and then. Or rather like a bitch. It's only love."

Additionally, Bond comes to realization that for the first time in his life there's someone waiting at home who loves him: "it was true what she said. He hadn't thought of her, only of the job. It never crossed his mind that anybody really cared about him...Now, if he got himself killed, there would be Tracy who would at any rate partially die with him."

 

Bond says he wouldn't mind having kids, and I suspect that if and Tracy had children, his appetite for danger might have decreased (fatherhood has been demonstrated to have calming effects on the brain). That leaves infidelity as the remaining potential pitfall. Perhaps Tracy was the one woman who could satiate him, or maybe she would have turned a Jackie Kennedy-like blind eye to his affairs, as long as they didn't lead to lasting attachments.

 

One other benefit of believing Bond's marriage might led to happiness: it makes Tracy's death even more tragic.

 

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's indeed remarkable how few of Bond's fictional colleagues actually manage to retain a stable relationship, let alone a happy marriage. I suppose it's largely due to the nature of the genre - constantly revolving around matters of trust and betrayal, amorality and heroism - that most authors refrain from the depiction of a happily married (super-)spy. Off the top of my head I can only think of Buckley's version, which tried to have it both ways, hunt the ladies down abroad and play the morally superior character. I can not vouch how well this mixture worked since I haven't read any of these books, I merely know that they exist.    

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     On the other end of the spectrum would be Deighton's nameless guy (dubbed Harry Palmer for the films) who at least had a kind of casual but steady relationship with his secretary. His Bernhard Samson is married with children, but we all know how that turned out. And if we look at le Carré's œuvre, well, there is not a lot of solace to be found in that either; hardly any faith in marriage left, let alone restored. The existence of wives is acknowledged frequently, but either they are naive trophies unconcerned with their husband's profession (Peter Guillam's) or philandering creatures way above the banalities of everyday intelligence work (Smiley's). Magnus Pym does have a better half from the trade, intelligent and resourceful enough. But in fact she's merely her husband's homebase support and doesn't dare to find out what really goes on in Magnus' world. Not a good example for marriage in spy fiction either.      

 

With James Bond it always struck me as significant how on-the-spot and impulsive his - almost - two proposals were. In Casino Royale his urge to marry Vesper comes literally out of the blue skies. In OHMSS he already had some more time to consider, but his initial horror is telling enough in its own way. If I should guess I’d say Fleming’s failure to stand up against his mother for his then-love Monique Panchaud de Bottens was still somehow gnawing at him. Perhaps he viewed the sudden and impulsive ‘to hell with it’ approach to proposal as the only way a guy like he would have liked to be was ever likely to marry. Also of course Fleming didn’t write the kind of novel concerning itself with prolonged courting and romantic fantasies. 

 

At any rate he admitted he didn’t trust his creation to remain the man he wanted to write about under the influence of a housewife, so he killed her right there. And introduced the dimension of tragic failure into the life of his hero. I’m still convinced this is what elates Bond’s adventures above many other male daydreams of the genre in that it really hurts the protagonist and injures him almost beyond healing, with amnesia his only salvage. The ultimate gift, forgetting the past as if it never happened. 

 

How might a James-and-Tracy approach have played out if we ignore the option I already pointed out? 

 

Difficult to say, there are really not a lot of examples one might take hints from for Bond’s life as a husband. Tracy is not exactly a character likely to wait at home till Bond returns with fresh scars and holes in all the wrong places. She’s already proven herself useful with a car and had enough initiative to hang around in the valley beyond Piz Gloria to try and find Bond on her own. That her father didn’t send any men with her points either to unshakeable confidence in her undercover abilities or to monumental ignorance. Fleming could just as well have written a scene where she calls out his name in the presence of Bunt. Not sure if Tracy would have been careful enough not to blow Bond’s cover.

 

If she possessed that kind of operational mind, she might as well have played a more active role in Bond’s adventures. We might have gotten then something along the lines of Modesty Blaise. Not quite as proficient but a valuable ally nonetheless. 

 

Indeed, interesting to ponder this.

 

 



#71 Surrie

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 02:57 PM

 

 

It's strange, back in the days of OHMSS some critic actually believed Bond and Tracy could turn into a Nick-and-Nora couple and stay this way within the series.

If you look closer you realise that way would have been the road to disaster. In the book Bond lamely convinces himself Tracy would let him live his fast dangerous life. But the truth of it is after just a few years of his philandering they would have ended up not much better than the Masters from the Quantum of Solace short story. They'd hate each other to pieces and burn in their very own field office of Hell.

Blofeld actually did Bond a favour. And Tracy most likely too.

 

The idea of Bond and Tracy as a Nick-and-Nora couple is an intriguing one, and hasn't been explored very often in thrillers. It wasn't in the cards for Bond, but someone should try using that Thin Man model of husband-and-wife adventure and style. Diana Rigg's Tracy was so wonderful that I almost wouldn't mind if she'd survived to appear in more Bond films. So I can see where Kael's coming from.

 

As for whether the marriage would have lasted...Bond has a nightmare in the novel of OHMSS about turning into a high-society married upper-class twit, and, as you say, lamely convinces himself that married life will be different. All the same, I'm not fully sure the marriage wouldn't have worked. For one thing, Tracy really understood Bond's character. As she tells him:

"I wouldn't love you if you weren't a pirate. I expect it's in the blood. I'll get used to it. Don't change. I don't want to draw your teeth like women do with their men. I want to live with you, not with somebody else. But don't mind if I howl like a dog every now and then. Or rather like a bitch. It's only love."

Additionally, Bond comes to realization that for the first time in his life there's someone waiting at home who loves him: "it was true what she said. He hadn't thought of her, only of the job. It never crossed his mind that anybody really cared about him...Now, if he got himself killed, there would be Tracy who would at any rate partially die with him."

 

Bond says he wouldn't mind having kids, and I suspect that if and Tracy had children, his appetite for danger might have decreased (fatherhood has been demonstrated to have calming effects on the brain). That leaves infidelity as the remaining potential pitfall. Perhaps Tracy was the one woman who could satiate him, or maybe she would have turned a Jackie Kennedy-like blind eye to his affairs, as long as they didn't lead to lasting attachments.

 

One other benefit of believing Bond's marriage might led to happiness: it makes Tracy's death even more tragic.

 

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's indeed remarkable how few of Bond's fictional colleagues actually manage to retain a stable relationship, let alone a happy marriage. I suppose it's largely due to the nature of the genre - constantly revolving around matters of trust and betrayal, amorality and heroism - that most authors refrain from the depiction of a happily married (super-)spy. Off the top of my head I can only think of Buckley's version, which tried to have it both ways, hunt the ladies down abroad and play the morally superior character. I can not vouch how well this mixture worked since I haven't read any of these books, I merely know that they exist.    

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     On the other end of the spectrum would be Deighton's nameless guy (dubbed Harry Palmer for the films) who at least had a kind of casual but steady relationship with his secretary. His Bernhard Samson is married with children, but we all know how that turned out. And if we look at le Carré's œuvre, well, there is not a lot of solace to be found in that either; hardly any faith in marriage left, let alone restored. The existence of wives is acknowledged frequently, but either they are naive trophies unconcerned with their husband's profession (Peter Guillam's) or philandering creatures way above the banalities of everyday intelligence work (Smiley's). Magnus Pym does have a better half from the trade, intelligent and resourceful enough. But in fact she's merely her husband's homebase support and doesn't dare to find out what really goes on in Magnus' world. Not a good example for marriage in spy fiction either.      

 

With James Bond it always struck me as significant how on-the-spot and impulsive his - almost - two proposals were. In Casino Royale his urge to marry Vesper comes literally out of the blue skies. In OHMSS he already had some more time to consider, but his initial horror is telling enough in its own way. If I should guess I’d say Fleming’s failure to stand up against his mother for his then-love Monique Panchaud de Bottens was still somehow gnawing at him. Perhaps he viewed the sudden and impulsive ‘to hell with it’ approach to proposal as the only way a guy like he would have liked to be was ever likely to marry. Also of course Fleming didn’t write the kind of novel concerning itself with prolonged courting and romantic fantasies. 

 

At any rate he admitted he didn’t trust his creation to remain the man he wanted to write about under the influence of a housewife, so he killed her right there. And introduced the dimension of tragic failure into the life of his hero. I’m still convinced this is what elates Bond’s adventures above many other male daydreams of the genre in that it really hurts the protagonist and injures him almost beyond healing, with amnesia his only salvage. The ultimate gift, forgetting the past as if it never happened. 

 

How might a James-and-Tracy approach have played out if we ignore the option I already pointed out? 

 

Difficult to say, there are really not a lot of examples one might take hints from for Bond’s life as a husband. Tracy is not exactly a character likely to wait at home till Bond returns with fresh scars and holes in all the wrong places. She’s already proven herself useful with a car and had enough initiative to hang around in the valley beyond Piz Gloria to try and find Bond on her own. That her father didn’t send any men with her points either to unshakeable confidence in her undercover abilities or to monumental ignorance. Fleming could just as well have written a scene where she calls out his name in the presence of Bunt. Not sure if Tracy would have been careful enough not to blow Bond’s cover.

 

If she possessed that kind of operational mind, she might as well have played a more active role in Bond’s adventures. We might have gotten then something along the lines of Modesty Blaise. Not quite as proficient but a valuable ally nonetheless. 

 

Indeed, interesting to ponder this.

 

 

Dustin, thanks for the detailed reply. Drawing on other spy stories certainly allows us to question the whole marriage idea in more depth - which I appreciate because Bond is the only spy fiction I really follow in detail. If we consider Tracy's character then I feel the marriage may have stood a chance for Bond, but anyone else would not suffice. Diana Rigg portrayed her excellently, and I feel true to Flemings imagination of her. I didn't think another character would come close (even Vesper I didn't fully buy into in CR), but Swann could be Tracy reincarnated in an alternate Bond Universe. If only her characterisation was developed further in SPECTRE - it would have helped the audience to buy into her and Bond's 'relationship'. 

 

Touching on your point about Fleming's impulsiveness to proposals - perhaps EON have disregarded this behavior and actually want to show us how Bond can develop a relationship with a potential wife? If they did bring Swann back, maybe they would be looking to do this. 


Edited by Surrie, 16 December 2015 - 02:59 PM.


#72 Dustin

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 04:59 PM

Fleming was often criticised for supposed 'misogyny' because of a couple of lines in his entire work - and of course for Bond's treatment of women in general. But actually there is little indication that Bond treats women with anything but honest affection. There are certainly more examples of outright hatred and violence towards women in many works of contemporary entertainment than we may find in all of Fleming's Bond adventures. Seldom it is mentioned that, for Bond to have a brief affair with a girl, the same holds true in reverse: she has a brief affair with him and gets just as much out of it.

As far as Tracy is concerned, she is described as a bird with a wing down, which is not entirely unbelievable but somehow also somewhat odd when we consider Bond meets her as a suicide candidate, only to propose to her three months later after they have hardly spent any time together. But as so often in Fleming's work he manages to hush up this fact under plenty of other things so we hardly realise how fast Bond actually fell for her.

The film translated this with a beautiful collage of the time Bond and Tracy spend in Portugal and I actually find this the better version, not just for the medium but in general.

Madeleine now seems to have the potential to be a mix of Tiffany Case and Tracy, perhaps the most intriguing love interest we could hope for in the Craig era, only it would of course need serious thought and conclusion.

By the by, on the topic of lasting relationships in Bond's world: you might argue his life with Kissy could have been his ultimate redemption. No recollection of the past, a simple life filled with strenuous but simple work, a girl loving him and nothing to disturb his days other than odd dreams from time to time. Even a child, so part of him would stay with the world after his days came to an end.

If he just hadn't read about that strange city in Russia...

#73 Revelator

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 10:21 PM

Fleming was often criticised for supposed 'misogyny' because of a couple of lines in his entire work - and of course for Bond's treatment of women in general. But actually there is little indication that Bond treats women with anything but honest affection. There are certainly more examples of outright hatred and violence towards women in many works of contemporary entertainment than we may find in all of Fleming's Bond adventures. Seldom it is mentioned that, for Bond to have a brief affair with a girl, the same holds true in reverse: she has a brief affair with him and gets just as much out of it.

Yes, and thank you for making a point that cannot be stressed enough. Every time I read an article that mentions how terribly Fleming's Bond treats women, I marvel at the shoddy reading skills it reveals. Far from being a cad, literary Bond is almost a chivalrous figure. He has very little to answer for in his treatment of women, and I would argue that movie Bond has a far worse track record, especially during the early to mid 1970s. Fleming was non-judgmental about his heroines expressing their sexuality--there is no "slut shaming" in any of the Bond stories. 

 

The film translated this with a beautiful collage of the time Bond and Tracy spend in Portugal and I actually find this the better version, not just for the medium but in general.

 

Agreed once again. For me, Goldfinger and OHMSS are the two instances where the film is actually better than the book, because the filmmakers carefully build upon Fleming's groundwork. The montage intercuts four or five versions of the same narrative--Bond and Tracy taking in the sights of a beautiful locale, growing closer, and then kissing--which gives the impression of a lengthy courtship in a short amount of time. The Portuguese locations viewed through Hunt's eye--which even captures sunlight sparkling on the lens--add vibrancy and warmth, and with Louis Armstrong on top the whole sequence is irresistible.

 

By the by, on the topic of lasting relationships in Bond's world: you might argue his life with Kissy could have been his ultimate redemption. No recollection of the past, a simple life filled with strenuous but simple work, a girl loving him and nothing to disturb his days other than odd dreams from time to time. Even a child, so part of him would stay with the world after his days came to an end.

 

Yes, for a while Bond (or should we say Taro?) was fully at peace. Leaving Japan ultimately meant leaving Eden. I should add that not enough has been written about the fact that Kissy displays the most agency of any female character in the books.


Edited by Revelator, 16 December 2015 - 10:22 PM.


#74 glidrose

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 06:55 PM

Don't know if this has been mentioned yet, but Bond's final words to Madeleine in the film were supposed to be "We have all the time in the World."

 

Source: leaked October 2014 draft and the December 2014 shooting script.



#75 Dustin

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 08:03 PM

Hah!

Haven't heard about that - I kept far away from the scripts - but in hindsight it's almost too obvious. Glad they didn't include the line, I always felt retro is a cul de sac. There must be other ways to entertain with Bond than reliving the past over and over again.

#76 Tiin007

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 08:56 PM

I always felt retro is a cul de sac. There must be other ways to entertain with Bond than reliving the past over and over again.

 

Really? Maybe you should have a talk with Eon, as we've been given an inordinate amount of winks and nods to past entries in the franchise since 2002. 

 

But seriously, I think the references need to stop. The series worked beautifully until (and including) LTK. Why the sudden need for homages once BB and MGW took over? (I think it all began with the return of the DB5 in GE). 

 

And that is perhaps my top reason why I do not support revisiting the Tracy narrative. It's time to tread new ground, particularly as Craig-Bond already had his Vesper. 



#77 Dustin

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 10:08 PM

From a certain point onwards things got out of hand. A film like AVTAK now looks downright groundbreaking for not having the DB5 and not caring the slightest with revisiting its ancestors. Yes, it was knocked from the GOLDFINGER template - but it was shot so as not to remind you of the fact. Now every second scene tries to evoke ghosts of the past as if Bond constantly had to carry around the baggage of his own history. Bond is a character looking forward, he doesn't dwell on the past. The films about him should reflect this mindset.

#78 dtuba

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 03:28 AM

But if we want to see Fleming's YOLT finally, truthfully realized on film (and I wager that many around here do) is that even possible to do without first revisiting the events of OHMSS? Would it be possible to have the final showdown with Blofeld without the motivation for revenge of Tracy Bond?

 

Bear in mind, I am not in any way in favor of remaking OHMSS at this point. I too am a little tired of all the retro references myself. It would have been fine for a single 50th anniversary film, but Mendes in particular seemed to want SP to be an anniversary film as well.



#79 Dustin

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 06:00 AM

I think SPECTRE was already meant to be OHMSS's unofficial remake of sorts. A last line of Bond to Madeleine in one of the leaked scripts all but gives it away. This is as close as they will come to remaking that classic.

Could there be a 'real' YOLT for Craig in the series? Hardly without setting him up in a similar way. But Craig already had the serious impact of Vesper, already went through going off the screen in SKYFALL. YOLT they could tackle only by leaving out most of the recently used elements and they are the best part of the book. In that case we'd end up with the Garden of Death, the castle perhaps - and not much else. I'd be severely disappointed.

#80 Guy Haines

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 06:49 AM

Since we now know that SPECTRE and Blofeld have been behind everything that has happened to Bond since CR 2006 - allegedly - there's an argument for saying that 007 already has motivation for a castle of death showdown because of Vesper's death Except..... he gains closure of a kind when he leaves Greene in the desert, having got information out of him, and then confronts Vesper's "boyfriend" in QoS. Also, the link man in the blackmail of Vesper was Mr White.......the very same Mr White who was Madeleine Swann's father! In the end Bond doesn't exact revenge on him so much as use him before he dies - there's even a grudging respect for White on Bond's part. And Bond doesn't go after the man he comes to know as Blofeld because of a desire for revenge so much as (1) initially, because of the cryptic clue - The Pale King - he overhears in Mexico, (2) the video from beyond the grave and (3) his own identification of ESB as someone he once knew decades before.

Although Vesper's death ought to make a "Tracy assassination" motive for the next film redundant, it's difficult to see how it can be avoided if we end up with the castle of death story - unless some other motive not involving Madeleine's demise, or involving someone else, can be concocted.

#81 Berni99

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 07:46 AM

I think the perfect ending for the Craig-Series would be the same as OHMSS (without killing his wife). So i can imagine that Madeleine returns in the next (final) craig movie.



#82 Surrie

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 09:55 AM

I think the perfect ending for the Craig-Series would be the same as OHMSS (without killing his wife). So i can imagine that Madeleine returns in the next (final) craig movie.

 

I have to say I agree with this sentiment. If EON decided to finish Craig's era off in this fashion by revisiting Bond's past, but giving him the alternate ending. Then maybe we can start looking forward to original Bond films with Bond 26 and BOND 7, without having to reference his past continually. 



#83 Guy Haines

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 10:18 AM

There is of course one way in which Blofeld could hurt Bond again, but I'm not sure I'd like it. Bond's womanising would surely at some point have resulted in one of his conquests getting pregnant. A son or daughter appears years later - only to be murdered by Blofeld (Some symbolism would be read into the crime - Bond "killed" Franz Oberhauser's childhood by stealing daddy's attention,etc.). Bond goes after Blofeld for revenge.

Not, as I say, a scenario I'd necessarily welcome, quite honestly, but I'm putting myself in the place of the writers who might want an OHMSS/YOLT style finale for Craig, but not re-run the Bond-loses-the-only-woman-he-ever-loved-to-death-caused-by-the-villain trope. As I posted recently, been there, done that, got the bullet hole on the car window and/or the collapsed building in Venice.

#84 Professor Pi

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 05:09 PM

They've gotten away with doing some painfully obvious things--a Home Alone ending in Skyfall, a plot twist from Austin Powers: Goldmember in SPECTRE.  So killing off Swann to set up a 'garden of death' story isn't outside the realm of possibility--indeed, it seems to be the corner they've written themselves into by having Bond "leave" the service.  But if they are planning on filming the YOLT novelization, they had to make SPECTRE first.  That was their TB/OHMSS vehicle.  Now the pieces are in place to finally faithfully film the YOLT novel.

 

The problem isn't that we saw something similar with Vesper (indeed, if that's a problem, the same can be said of Fleming's literary cycle from CR-OHMSS.)  It's that Skyfall sort of already covered the beginning of the YOLT novel (and TMWTGG to a lesser degree) in its first half.  Rather than follow up on the CraigBond story arc, Skyfall became a comment on the 50 year Bond mythos, a meta analysis on how Bond fits into the 21st Century that required Bond to be a symbol of all things old and antiquated.  Both SF and SP answer this question by embracing all things old and representing the new as evil (hacking/big data) or at best disposable (Aston Martin DBS, DB10), yet embracing 1964's Aston Martin DBV--the very symbol of cinematic Bond.  Think of all the 'outdated' tropes in SPECTRE--newspapers, VHS tapes, a ring to get into a secret meeting as opposed to retinal scans/DNA prints.  Even the 'new' (as it was in the 90s) MI6 building is demolished not in favor of the modern "digital ghost" CNS building, but the 60s style office of Bernard Lee's M.  And that was the third time they've blown Vauxhall up!  This while including nods to all eras of James Bond, presumably for the audience enjoyment as it means nothing to the blank slate Bond character Craig is supposed to portray.

 

But if Skyfall can get away with remaking TWINE (a 00 gone bad, aforementioned MI6  attack), BOND 25 can be an adaptation of YOLT.  It may not be original, but if done well it can be satisfying and entertaining.  The two Fleming novels dominating this discussion, CR and OHMSS, both have the same theme--that Bond's professional life is irrevocably linked to his personal.  He never really has a choice, regardless of what he decides, and this theme will return whatever they decide to do for BOND 25.



#85 Odd Jobbies

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 05:43 PM

Well put, Pi.

 

I'd add that Eon have only written themselves into a tricky corner if Craig doesn't stick around for 25. However, it would be so incredibly naive to have left themselves in that position that i'm of the opinion that despite all the ambiguity they already have Craig signed up for 25.

 

I imagine that they're hoping the ambiguity will generate some 'is he/isn't he/whose next' tabloid speculation to keep the brand alive in our thoughts in the interim before 25 roles into pre-production proper.

 

I think YOLT is undoubtably the material they seek to tap next. Which as i said above is something to savour. I expect the amnesia/brainwashing story line to end 25 and begin 26 with a new actor re-learning his identity as Bond.



#86 Dustin

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 06:05 PM

One way to get Bond going again and dispose of Madeleine in a tragic fashion would of course be if she was corrupted by Bloferhauser in some way that made it necessary for Bond to kill her. We do not know a lot about her for now, only that she can handle herself well enough in the world she lived with her father and that she desperately wants to get away from that environment.

#87 Odd Jobbies

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 06:42 PM

Personally i think that having Swann turn on Bond would be a big kick in the nuts for the majority of SPECTRE fans. Moreover that would feel very repetitive after the corrupted Vesper.

 

Besides, there was heavy foreshadowing of Blofeld killing Swann in the dialogue regarding Blofeld's childhood relationship with Bond and Bond's final line to Blofeld about being happy. Bond decided that living with the knowledge of Bond's happiness was a fate worse than death for Blofeld.

 

Bond may as well have said 'If you want revenge, then kill Swann'.



#88 Dustin

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 08:37 PM

True, very true. But I wasn't thinking exactly of her turning on Bond, more something along the line of her doing Spectre's bidding. But you already pointed out the main cliff, it would be Vesper all over again.

#89 Double-Oh Agent

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 04:34 AM

 

I always felt retro is a cul de sac. There must be other ways to entertain with Bond than reliving the past over and over again.

 

Really? Maybe you should have a talk with Eon, as we've been given an inordinate amount of winks and nods to past entries in the franchise since 2002. 

 

But seriously, I think the references need to stop. The series worked beautifully until (and including) LTK. Why the sudden need for homages once BB and MGW took over? (I think it all began with the return of the DB5 in GE). 

 

And that is perhaps my top reason why I do not support revisiting the Tracy narrative. It's time to tread new ground, particularly as Craig-Bond already had his Vesper. 

 

I agree. The homages/references were tolerable in the 40th anniversary film Die Another Day, but to keep doing them in virtually every film afterwards has been a bit tiresome (and I love the series).

 

I also do not want to see them revisiting Tracy. Bond has two loves Vesper and Tracy. We've seen both, and Daniel Craig has already been with one of them. To have yet another "great love"--particularly for Craig--just doesn't seem right. I'd rather Madeleine Swann just fades into the background and we get a new Bond girl like we've had in every other film.

 

Having said that, the producers have set up Bond 25 to be a You Only Live Twice (novel) type of affair and I would like that. The trick would be to make it not seem repetitive (Craig Bond girl dies). Regardless, filming the YOLT novel would mean yet ANOTHER revenge-driven plot, though I can live with one more IF it's from the YOLT novel).

 

One way to do it without killing the Bond girl--or even dropping Madeleine altogether--would be Blofeld/SPECTRE staging a major assassination attempt (largely, or even fully, successful) on higher-ups in the British government whether it be members of Parliament, the Prime Minister, or even members of the Royal Family. That would definitely spring Bond back into action--particularly as he would undoubtedly feel partially responsible for the tragedy for not having killed Blofeld at the end of SPECTRE.

 

Or maybe Blofeld escapes and exacts revenge on Bond, who's been assigned the task of tracking him down, by kidnapping members of his inner circle--Moneypenny and Q, or Tanner--whose captivity might include a little torture. Then he taunts 007 about it, giving an impending deadline when they will be killed, and Bond has to choose to either stay on Blofeld's trail or race against time (and deal with a number of SPECTRE henchmen) to rescue them. Meanwhile Blofeld has a grander scheme in the works that will have a greater impact on the world (and which Bond will ultimately have to stop as well). In this way, Blofeld gets to kill two birds with one stone--mentally and physically hurting 007 as well as keeping him distracted from the real mission, thereby giving the SPECTRE leader double the satisfaction of watching Bond fail twice.



#90 Guy Haines

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 07:10 AM

Well put, Pi.

I'd add that Eon have only written themselves into a tricky corner if Craig doesn't stick around for 25. However, it would be so incredibly naive to have left themselves in that position that i'm of the opinion that despite all the ambiguity they already have Craig signed up for 25.

I imagine that they're hoping the ambiguity will generate some 'is he/isn't he/whose next' tabloid speculation to keep the brand alive in our thoughts in the interim before 25 roles into pre-production proper.

I think YOLT is undoubtably the material they seek to tap next. Which as i said above is something to savour. I expect the amnesia/brainwashing story line to end 25 and begin 26 with a new actor re-learning his identity as Bond.

Not so much a tricky corner as a fork in the road.

If Craig does return for Bond 25 then thn end of SPECTRE sets up the start of the new movie. Bond going off to live a new life but returning to the colours at some point because ESB is once more at large and potentially causing trouble. Revenge, in the form of something happening to someone whom Bond is close to or respects may also figure.

But, if SPECTRE really was Craig's final movie, the slate can be wiped clean to an extent. A soft reboot, as happens with a new man in the role. The Whitehall team in place but not necessarily a story linked to SPECTRE to follow that film.

Of course it could be argued that in the late 1960s a change of actor - Connery to Lazenby - didn't interrupt the Bond-v-Blofeld conflict continuing. But for it to coninue here, credibly, one would need Craig in place, possibly along with Madeleine and of course ESB (though the facial disfigurement, and the history of Blofeld changing his appearence in the novels would allow casting of someone other than Christoph Waltz in the role.). What I'd have a little difficuly with would be Lea Seydoux and Christoph Waltz returning, cast with "A N Other" as Bond. Better to let the new man battle a new adversary in Bond 25, then return to face Blofeld - probably played by a different actor - in a future movie after that.




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