Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from HMSS!

Our annual holiday greeting:

Aaron Sorkin and James Bond

Aaron Sorkin

Aaron Sorkin

We’re not 100 percent sure, but we’d be willing to bet that Oscar and Emmy-winning writer and producer Aaron Sorkin is a James Bond fan.

This previous Sunday’s episode of The Newsroom concluded with the Atlantis World Media CEO Leona Lansing (Jane Fonda) waxing quite rhapsodic over a certain Mr. Daniel Craig. She had just spent $1,000 to see Skyfall and meet the current 007 actor (the reference is based ON A REAL-LIFE EVENT), when she was called away for a crisis at the titular news organization. She’s not entirely happy about it, as you can see in this pretty funny clip:

This isn’t the first time Sorkin has referenced Her Majesty’s Blunt Instrument on one of his shows. Back when The West Wing was on, and DVD players were still a high-end luxury item, presidential aide Charlie Young (Dulé Hill) has to save up to get the machine he’s been lusting after. And for good reason: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is available for purchase! President Jed Bartlet (Martin Sheen), however, is unimpressed with James Bond’s drinking habits, as ye shall see:

While we may disagree with Mr. Bartlett’s opinion in this matter, we’re always happy to see James Bond references in popular culture. And we’re especially pleased to find them in the works of this brilliant showrunner. Thanks, Mr. Sorkin!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from HMSS!

Our annual holiday greeting:

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from HMSS!

Ian Fleming gets a named martini at Dukes London Bar

Dukes London Bar

The cocktail bar at Dukes London in the city’s St. James’s neighborhood recently joined in partnership with London-based fragrance maker Floris to introduce the Fleming ’89, a new martini crafted in honor of the author Ian Fleming – who, like his character, James Bond, knew a thing or two about martinis. A famously frequent patron, Fleming wrote chunks of his first novel, Casino Royaleat Dukes, and is said to have dreamed up the famous “shaken not stirred” line — as well as Bond’s classic Vesper Martini — in the renowned saloon.

He was also a frequent visitor at Floris, where his fragrance of choice was No. 89, named after the number of the shop on Jermyn Street.

Alessandro Palazzi

The new Fleming ’89 was created by Dukes Bar Manager Alessandro Palazzi, who was inspired by the ingredients written in the original 1951 Floris formula book for the No. 89 fragrance. After plenty of experimentation, Palazzi arrived at the final creation, which combines vodka infused with Tonka beans*, chocolate bitters, Dukes’ specially-made English Amber Vermouth, Stolichnaya ELIT vodka and rose liqueur.

The Fleming ’89 will run you £18.95 (about $21.75), and is only available at Dukes London Bar.  For more information, call + 800-381-4702 or visit their website.

Tell 'em HMSS sent ya!

* Sounds weird, we know. However, see this article in the Atlantic for an education as to this magical ingredient.

Diamonds Are Forever House for Sale

James Bond fans who might happen to have $14 million burning a hole in their pocket might be interested in the fact that Willard Whyte’s Palm Springs pied-à-terre is for sale. Known as The Elrod House, it was commissioned by the famous designer Arthur Elrod in 1968, but is more commonly known as the place where Sean Connery’s 007 got his butt kicked by Bambi and Thumper in the 1971 Bond caper Diamonds Are Forever.

The Elrod House

The 8,901-square-foot joint sits on 6 1/2 acres, which works out to $1,560 per square foot, and close to $2.2 million per acre — not bad for California real estate! You can get all the specs and info on the house’s Redfin listing. It’s been listed since November of 2009, so make your best offer!

(It also comes with a pool.)

It’s Dr. No on the radio!

The BBC iPlayer

This past Saturday, 6 August, the British Broadcasting Company reran a 2008 audio dramatization of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novel Dr. No.

Directed by Martin Jarvis (who also provides the “voice of Ian Fleming,”) and written by by Hugh Whitmore, the production stars erstwhile Bond villain Toby Stephens as 007 and David Suchet as the titular bad ol’ doctor.

Thanks to the miracle of the interwebs, those of us not lucky enough to live on the Sceptered Isle can take a listen through our computing machines — even those made by Apple. So, set aside an hour-and-a-half and get yourself over to BBC Radio 4 Saturday Play: Dr. No

But hurry, it’ll only be available until next Saturday, the 13th, at 4:02 PM GMT. (Why the extra two minutes, we’re not sure. It might have something to do with Lucas electrical systems.) Tell’ em HMSS sent ya!

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to… Bond-a-rama!

Your Bond-a-rama cast

Australian James Bond fans (er… Oz is a pretty big place; let’s make that Bond fans in the Melbourne area) have a great opportunity to have some fun with the iconic superspy character.

The live show Bond-a-Rama places four actors (three men and a woman) on a single stage to recapitulate all 22 James Bond movies in a single performance. Or, at least parody them — “pisstake” would be the local colloquialism — with a sharp eye for all the dumb stuff in the series, filtered through a basic affection for the cinematic saga. The acting quartet essays 40 characters, including all six screen 007s, in the show. Even the beloved Sheriff J.W. Pepper makes an appearance!

The show’s creators, Michael Ward and Stephen Hall, hooked up with director Russell Fletcher to pull the whole thing together. Research was required:

Rewatching all 22 films from Dr. No to Quantum of Solace was required research for the creative team, Fletcher says. Purists will understand why that doesn’t include Never Say Never Again or the David Niven version of Casino Royale – although that doesn’t mean they’re not fair game. Hall confesses to ”doing a bit of fast forwarding through some of the Roger Moores… I’d forgotten how not-very-good The Man With the Golden Gun is,” he says with an evil chuckle.”

You can read all about it at the Sydney Morning Herald, in Michael Dwyer’s article
Quantum of Silliness. You can also take a look at the show’s Facebook page.

Bond-a-rama is being performed at Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran, August 3 to 21. For tickets, call + 030 8290 7000. Tell ’em HMSS ya!

Daniel Craig featured in August Esquire

Apropos of this month’s cover story on Daniel Craig, those hepcats at Esquire have a new issue with cool James Bond stuff.

There’s a pretty interesting interview with Mr. Craig, which of course touches on the next (as yet untitled) Bond screen adventure,

Filming starts soon, and Craig tells [Esquire] he’s “really fucking really lookin’ forward” to working with its team

and a thoughtful analysis of the signature 007 cocktail, the Vesper.

As good a place as any to start is a slideshow featuring A Fashion Lesson to Learn from (Nearly) Every James Bond. Messrs. Connery, Moore, Dalton, Brosnan, and Craig show off their trademark 007 looks for us mere mortals to copy.

Through the decades, Esquire magazine — much like its little brother Playboy — has been both a champion and a critic of the James Bond phenomenon. But it’s always been generous in its coverage; Bond fans would do well to keep up with this venerable organ of men’s custom.

Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz are married in New York

The new Mrs. Craig

Not that it’s any of our business, but we are otherwise pleased to report that Daniel Craig ( Tomb Raider II) was married to actress Rachel Weisz ( The Mummy) this past Wednesday in a private ceremony in New York.

You can read the full story at The Guardian UK or, by this point, a bazillion other entertainment news outlets.

HMSS wishes the fantastically wealthy and improbably good-looking newly-minted couple much happiness in their future together.