007 things we missed the first time watching Bond movies

This year, of course, marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the James Bond movie series. And, it goes without saying, some 007 fans have viewed each film multiple times. Even tens of times. But there are some things that people don’t notice until well after they first saw it. In some cases, decades after they first saw it. So here are some examples:

001. Mr. Jones’s changing dashboard in Dr. No: In 1994, Peter Hunt, film editor of the first four 007 films made by Eon Productions, was guest of honor at a James Bond fan convention in Los Angeles. Hunt was very British and understated in his presentation. But you got the impression he had a bit of a chip on his shoulder.

Why? The way he told it (at least this is how we remember him telling it), fans felt so superior being able to catch mistakes watching 007 films on their VCRs. Hunt remarked how his job as editor was to rush the viewers through a scene so they wouldn’t notice the mistakes. He played a clip from Dr. No where “Mr. Jones,” in reality an operative for Dr. No, picks Bond up at the Kingston airport. It turns out Mr. Jones had an interesting car, one that could change dashboard colors in an instant.

When we first see Mr. Jones pick up Bond, the car has a red dashboard above the instrument panel. But, in an insert shot at the 19:18 mark, it’s black. Then it reversts to black at the 19:24 mark. Hunt showed the clip to impress upon the fans that the editing department worked really hard to move the audience past such gaffes.

002. Bond’s remarkable hair in Dr. No: After having vanquished Dr. No, agent 007 (Sean Connery) is anxious to find Honey Rider (Ursula Andress). As he exits Dr. No’s reactor room, he removes a uniform he took from one of Dr. No’s men at the 1:45:31 mark. His hair is disheveled and he runs his hands through his hair at the 1:45:34 mark as he goes through a hatch. Upon coming out the other side at the 1:45:36 mark, not a hair is out of place, as if he had been worked on by a professional hairdresser. Pretty good for running your hands through your hair once. To be honest, we never noticed that until Dr. No was on TCM a few years back.

Junkanoo revelers wearing 007 hats observe a dog taking a bathroom break in Thunderball.

003. Junkanoo revelers wear hats with “007” on them (Thunderball). Here we thought James Bond was a secret agent and this was his top-secret code number. A moment of honesty: we didn’t notice that until that until TBS showed Thunderball during one of its James Bond marthons in the 1990s.

004. The Thunderball dog decides to take a pee: It’s in the same shot as the folks with the 007 hats, but we didn’t notice the dog until the next time we saw the movie.

005. Felix Leiter’s disappearing pants (Thunderball): The fourth 007 film has lots of continuity errors. The one that gets written up the most is during the underwater fight when Bond rips off a blask mask from a dead SPECTRE frogman, puts it on and it’s suddenly blue. But there’s another continuity error that, for our money, is more glaring (even if we didn’t catch it the first few times).

Bond and Felix Leiter (Rik Van Nutter) are searching for the hijacked NATO bomber and Bond thinks he has found it. Leiter puts their helicopter down on the water. At the 1:33:20 mark, he’s wearing swim trunks. At the 1:34:23 mark, Leiter has black pants on. We see Bond dive down where he indeed finds the bomber. As he returns at the 1:36:23 mark, Leiter has his swim trunks, then pants at the 1:36:26 mark then swim trunks again at 1:36:30.

006. Siberian palm trees (You Only Live Twice): At the 58:54 mark of the fifth James Bond film, we see the Soviet Union launch a manned rocket. On the side of the shot, we see palm trees (while not noticing them the first few times) on the side of the shot. In reality, Eon used file footage from a U.S. space shot in Florida, even if that didn’t match how the Soviets conducted space launches from Siberia.

007. Mathis’s villa (Quantum of Solace): For Quantum of Solace, Eon promised its first “direct sequel” that would begin a short while (the exact time varied depending on who was being quoted) after Casino Royale. Now you could overlook some continuity issues (Totally different looking MI6 headquarters? Well, Eon did change production designers). Still, there’s one glaring one that just doesn’t wash.

At the end of Casino, we’re told that Rene Mathis is still being interrogated by MI6. Bond tells M to keep “sweating” him even though he appears to be cleared. When we catch up to Mathis in Quantum, MI6 has bought him a villa, he’s moved in and he has a live-in girlfriend. This point was discussed recently among the HMSS staff. It went something like this:

HMSS #1: And don’t forget how MI6 bought Mathis a “sorry-we-tortured-you villa” just two hours after Casino Royale entered.

HMSS #2 (look of realization comes over his face): You just made me enjoy that movie even less.

HMSS #1: Sorry.

UPDATE: Based on the one response to this post, time to remind people about reality. A cell phone is like a GPS device. You can track someone down (at least MI6 could) shortly after getting the cell phone number. It wouldn’t have taken weeks for Bond to track down Mr. White once he had his cell phone number. If it did: 1.) Mr. White isn’t as smart as a street thug (who use disposable cell phones) and 2.) Bond was an idiot for taking “weeks” to track Mr. White down. We suspect neither Mr. White nor Bond was that clueless. Once again, denial is not just a river in Egypt.

Also, there are references to Casino taking place in 2006 and Quantum in 2008. Two years to track down Mr. White?

7 Responses

  1. Bond’s advice notwithstanding, there is no indication in either CR or QoS that MI6 kept sweating Mathis. Nor is there any indication as to the amount of time it took Bond to track down Mr. White after he delivered his “the bitch is dead” line. Since this is not 24, it could have taken weeks.

  2. @007 Fan: A cell phone is a de facto GPS device. Bond didn’t need weeks to track Mr. White down. That’s why drug rings don’t hold on to their cell phones.

  3. Oh there are so many interesting editing tricks in the Bond films. In Dr.No, notice that Professor Dent is wearing a dark suit as he approaches Ms. Taro’s home where Bond is waiting for him. Of course, Professor Dent is wearing a white suit when he enters the interior part of the bedroom so he can empty his Smith and Wesson into a pillow shaped Bond. But if you look closely, it is Sean Connery walking up the hill to Ms. Taro’s home and the shot has been underexposed and flipped. A clever trick from editor Peter Hunt who was left without a shot of Professor Dent arriving to the bungalow.

  4. […] readers of this blog know, the Spy Commander has written about how Quantum of Solace, in terms of continuity doesn’t match up with Casino […]

  5. Craig: You’ve inspired a new post: http://bit.ly/1sIxJRb

  6. “If there is a fault anywhere it is with Campbell and the CR scriptwriters allowing viewers to infer that White might not have changed his number. ”

    This is revisionist history in the extreme.

  7. Goddammit, now I have to watch Thunderball…AGAIN!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: