Reporter: Charles Wooley
Producers: Danny Keens, Sandra Cleary
His name is Bond. James Bond. And he has to be the coolest chap on the planet.
He's triumphed over scores of unforgettable villains, bedded hundreds of beautiful women and saved the world over and over again.
Fifty years have passed since Sean Connery first shrugged on a dinner jacket and ordered his martini shaken, not stirred.
And now we're gearing up for movie number 23.
Skyfall stars the famously muscle-bound Daniel Craig.
And no doubt it will be another blockbuster for a franchise that's become one of the most successful in movie history.
Bond 50 – the complete collection of Bond films is released on Blu-ray September 26.
CHARLES WOOLEY: I’m on a mission to the ancient city of Istanbul. Well over a thousand years ago, intrigue and espionage were all but invented here. It’s a perfect location for the next Bond movie, “Skyfall”. Daniel, what are the ingredients that make a great Bond movie?
DANIEL: Location – this is one of them.
CHARLES WOOLEY: It’s a great location.
DANIEL: It’s not bad to be sat on the Bosporus. Istanbul is a beautiful backdrop to any movie, especially a Bond movie.
CHARLES WOOLEY: Daniel Craig is the latest incarnation in the 00-role. When I sat down with him, he’d just spent a busy few days creating bother on the Bosporus, and carnage in the Casbah.
DANIEL: They’re like no other, they’re like shooting no other. And I’ve done lots of long, big movies before, but there’s something very individual about shooting a Bond movie. A good story, humour, action obviously, and a good soundtrack. I mean, all the sort of things that make a good movie. But with a Bond movie, they are all kind of amped up just a little bit more, and I think we’ve – everybody’s sort of strived to do that, it’s been the 50th year, we’re trying to kind of make the best Bond we can.
DANIEL: The name’s Bond, James Bond.
CHARLES WOOLEY: Half a century of secret-service fantasy, and at the centre of it all, the one and only 007.
ROGER: James Bond.
TIMOTHY: My name is Bond.
GEORGE: James Bond.
CHARLES WOOLEY: - of whom there have been only six.
BARTENDER: Three measures of Gordon’s gin, one of vodka. Shaken well until it is ice-cold, and served with a large, thin slice of lemon.
CHARLES WOOLEY: How do you take your Martini?
DANIEL: Straight up with a twist.
CHARLES WOOLEY: That’s a good answer - is that true?
DANIEL: Yeah, it is true, yeah. Vodka mainly, but gin’s not bad.
CHARLES WOOLEY: Ingredients are everything in a Bond film - that intoxicating cocktail of glamour, action, and a splash of the absurd has made 007 such an enduring cinema classic.
JASON: I think ultimately Bond is what films do - there’s a chase, there’s love, there’s romance, there’s a suggestion that this man could be brought low by a villain, by a girl, by a car crash. Is it a guilty pleasure? No, it is just a pure cinematic pleasure.
CHARLES WOOLEY: English film critic Jason Solomons is a self-confessed 007 nerd. An expert on all things Bond, he has taken me to his idea of paradise, just outside London - an exhibition of genuine 007 cars.
JASON: I think every boy in the world wants to drive a car like this. If you were a beautiful girl, my world would be complete.
CHARLES WOOLEY: I’m sorry to disappoint you. What do you think that button does there?
JASON: Don’t touch!
CHARLES WOOLEY: The cars have always been a big part of the Bond formula, along with the great chase sequences in which they star. This is a fine piece of British engineering.
JASON: Yeah, they don’t make them like - this is a Lotus Esprit, and it of course signals Bond’s kind of playful side, because this car that Q invented then comes out of the water in the South of France.
CHARLES WOOLEY: It’s a great scene.
JASON: It’s a great scene. And Roger Moore, who is playing Bond so differently to Sean Connery – he’s much more kind of witty with it. He kind of comes up the beach, winds down the window and drops out a fish.
GEORGE: My name is Bond. James Bond.
CHARLES WOOLEY: It may be a Secret Service enterprise, but one Bond is only too happy to give away the secrets of his trade - Australian George Lazenby, who took over in 1969 when Sean Connery, after five movies, wanted to move on.
GEORGE: I’ll take that, if you don’t mind.
DIANA: You’re very sure of yourself, aren’t you? Suppose I were to kill you for a thrill.
GEORGE: I can think of something more sociable to do.
CHARLES WOOLEY: A typical Aussie larrikin, he bluffed his way past Hollywood’s most powerful men to land a meeting with director Peter Hunt.
GEORGE: I said “Peter, I’ve never acted before in my life,” and he gave me a blank look for about a minute and then he started laughing. “You’ve never acted before in your life?” I said “no, never!” He said, “you fooled two of the most ruthless men I’ve ever met in my life!” He said “you’re an actor, stick to your story, and I’ll make you the next James Bond!”
CHARLES WOOLEY: If he had no acting experience, George had much more than the required ego needed to play 007, which he did for just the one movie and then crazily gave it all away. Why did you only do one? Because they didn’t sack you, you walked away from it.
GEORGE: No, I walked away. In fact, this sounds awful silly right now, because I was given the contract for seven movies. And so I said to Roland O’Reilly - he was my manager at the time - I said “what about that?” He said no. So Roland convinced me that James Bond was over - that these guys in suits, those movies are not going to be seen, they’re over.
CHARLES WOOLEY: The Bond thing had no future?
GEORGE: No, no future.
CHARLES WOOLEY: Hey, that was great advice, wasn’t it?
GEORGE: Oh, real good!
CHARLES WOOLEY: Of course, there could be no 007 without the Bond girls. In the 1970s, Swedish model Britt Ekland played a dumb blonde bond girl called Goodnight in “The Man with the Golden Gun”.
ROGER: If she gets me the Solex Agitator first.
BRITT: First? James, you must be good.
CHARLES WOOLEY: Almost 40 years later, she is still delightful and elegant. For this assignation, Britt has arranged London’s posh West End hotel The Langham - itself a one-time Bond location - but there’s her little Mexican mate to consider. And his name is –
CHARLES WOOLEY: Tequila.
BRITT: And he travels with me where ever they take a dog with a European passport.
CHARLES WOOLEY: He has a passport?
BRITT: Oh yes.
CHARLES WOOLEY: We are at the hotel now though. How are we going to get him into the hotel?
BRITT: Listen Charles, don’t worry.
CHARLES WOOLEY: You have a Bond girl trick?
BRITT: We have the power to disguise. My son was five years old when he saw the movie first, and he sat and watched it three times, and then he said “Mum you were a babe.” He’d obviously heard people say that, because at five you don’t know those words.
CHARLES WOOLEY: Well, you were a babe. I mean, most beautiful woman in the world.
BRITT: Listen, I didn’t think I was anything. You know, I was just an ordinary Swedish girl. But if I look at photographs from that time in my life, I can say “wow, that’s pretty nice looking.”
SEAN: Who are you?
HONOR: My name is Pussy Galore.
SEAN: I must be dreaming.
CHARLES WOOLEY: Some names you are surprised they got away with back then.
BRITT: I know, they probably can’t today. I mean, ‘Pussy Galore’?
DONALD: Allow me to introduce myself. I am Ernst Stavro Blofeld. They told me you were assassinated in Hong Kong.
SEAN: Yes, this is my second life.
DONALD: But you only live twice, Mr Bond.
CHARLES WOOLEY: Not as attractive, but just as vital a part of the Bond formula as the pretty girl, is the villain.
SEAN: Do you expect me to talk?
GERT: No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die.
CHARLES WOOLEY: And over 50 years, what a marvelous variety of bad guys 007 has survived - and still they keep coming.
JASON: The more amazing the villain, the more amazing the death they can have as well, and of course Jaws, with those wonderful teeth, can bite into that cable and get electrocuted as well.
CHARLES WOOLEY: I meet Jaws, alias the wonderfully engaging American actor Richard Kiel, in LA. Now, I can see you’re actually a gentle giant. And he looks none the worse for his ‘shocking’ career over two movies. You’ve had buildings fall on you.
CHARLES WOOLEY: You’ve fallen off cliffs, you’ve been chucked out of aeroplanes, you’ve wrestled a shark and killed it.
RICHARD: Yeah, Jaws is kind of like the Eveready Bunny. He just kept coming back and brushing off his clothes and straightening his tie to do his job.
CHARLES WOOLEY: Whether you’re playing the bad guy or, like Daniel Craig, the good guy, stepping into the Bond realm is not for the modest, nor the faint-hearted. Can I say that you do a great chase?
DANIEL: Yeah, a runaway or chase - either one.
CHARLES WOOLEY: Do you do your own stunts?
DANIEL: I do a few of them. I try to do as many as I can, that are safe.
CHARLES WOOLEY: You’ve obviously got a head for heights.
DANIEL: Yeah, you kind of have to. Enjoy it, and have some fun, that’s really been the key for me on this.
CHARLES WOOLEY: Enjoy the movie, but beware of over-analysis - that’s the advice of the second Bond, George Lazenby - the Aussie who had never acted in his life.
GEORGE: It’s really what a man’s image of himself he’d like to have, where he could handle himself, and get the girl her wants. Getting the girl you want is probably my biggest thing.
CHARLES WOOLEY: James Bond always gets the girl.
GEORGE: Gets a girl. You can get a girl easy, but getting the one that you want to be with, it’s hard.