The Telegraph newspaper in the U.K. has a story today detailing how one of the most iconic moments in the 007 film series may have been based on real life.
In the pre-titles sequence of Goldfinger, James Bond (Sean Connery) sheds an outfit he has been swimming in to reveal a tuxedo underneath. In one shot, 007’s image for cool and style is captured for generations of Bond fans.
Here’s the backstory, as provided by The Telegraph:
Jeremy Duns, a British author researching his new book, has discovered that a Dutch spy used an almost identical technique to get into Nazi-occupied Netherlands.
Peter Tazelaar was under orders from the exiled Dutch queen, Wilhelmina, to slip into the country to extract two fellow countrymen to join the government-in-exile in Britain.
…Their plan was simple but audacious – approach Scheveningen in darkness by boat, and take Mr Tazelaar into the surf by dinghy, from where he could scramble ashore. Once there, he would strip off his wetsuit, to reveal his evening clothes underneath, to enable him to pose as a partygoer and slip past the sentries.
In the article author Duns says Paul Dehn, who did the later drafts of Goldfinger, had reason to be familiar with the World War II incident. Dehn worked in British Intelleigence during the war.
“Dehn was steeped in the world of intelligence and special operations and his senior position meant he would certainly have been aware of the amazing Dutch operation, and he decided to use in the screenplay,” Mr Duns said.
“It’s just too much of a coincidence because it was such an extraordinary operation.”
If you’re one of the few people who’ve never seen the start of Goldfinger, here’s a visual aid: