Mad Men, the popular drama on cable network AMC, had its season finale on June 10, which included not one, but two, James Bond references.
The most noticeable was how the episode ended with Nancy Sinatra’s rendition of You Only Live Twice, written by John Barry and Leslie Bricusse. The fifth 007 film made by Eon Productions premiered premiered 45 years ago this month.
However, there was an earlier Bond reference, albeit a brief one. Near the episode’s conclusion, Jon Hamm’s Don Draper was in a movie theater. While no images of the movie were shown, the first several notes of Burt Bacharach’s main theme to the 1967 spoof version of Casino Royale, could be heard. That film had its 45th anniversary in April.
The Sinatra song has an interesting back story, familar to many, if not most, 007 fans. Namely, Barry and Bricusse wrote two versions. The first, performed by Julie Rogers, was deemed not good enough. The second, the Nancy Sinatra version, is a 007 fan favorite though Sinatra was so nervous, the song had to be cobbled together from multiple takes. If Mad Men fans are curious (and don’t already know the story), a 2006 special on U.K. television about the 007 theme songs provides the details:
This isn’t the first time Mad Men referenced 1960s spy entertainment. In 2010, the popular show included a clip from a first-season episode of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
UPDATE: Time magazine’s review of the episode picks up the You Only Live Twice connection and runs with it.
Filed under: James Bond Films Tagged: | Burt Bacharach, James Bond Films, John Barry, Julie Rogers, Leslie Bricusse, Mad Men, Mad Men meets 007, Nancy Sinatra, The Man From U.N.C.L.E, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. meets Mad Men, TV spy shows, You Only Live Twice