Thursday, October 18, 2012

007 James Bond Marathon: True Bond

Directed by Jane Armstrong, True Bond is a TV documentary that explores the man Dusko Popov who was rumored to be the inspiration behind Ian Fleming’s James Bond character. Through re-enactments and interviews with many associates of the MI6 and in the James Bond film franchise. The documentary unveils how Fleming would create the character that would become one of the great film franchises that has endured for 50 years. The result is a very captivating documentary about the man who would inspire Fleming to create one of the great heroes in film.

The documentary tells the story of Ian Fleming’s encounter with a Yugoslavian playboy named Dusko Popov who he met in the early 1940s in Lisbon, Portugal at a casino during World War II. Popov was a double-agent working for the British as Fleming watched him from afar to see Popov’s actions at a card game. Popov would give the Germans lots of disinformation as he would be a successful spy during the course of World War II. Yet, one of his greatest stories involved his time in the U.S. where he would have an affair with French actress Simone Simon while trying to warn the U.S. about an upcoming attack on Pearl Harbor. On a 1974 appearance on The Mike Douglas Show, Popov revealed that he tried to warn the U.S. in August of that year but he was already being watched by the FBI who really distrusted him and had no knowledge about the world of espionage.

Through interviews with historians, many of them reveal the impact of how the British managed to defeat the Germans in the world of spy games where Popov’s actions in the role of playing a spy would ultimately play to the Allies’ defeat against the Nazis during World War II. Fleming, who was a MI6 officer at the time, knew of Popov’s exploits and had met him from time to time as he was amazed by what Popov had done. By the time the war was over, Fleming used his own experiences as well as Popov’s exploits into the archetype of what would become the James Bond stories.

Jane Armstrong’s direction is definitely straightforward in terms of the interviews that are presented yet it’s through the use of archival footage of the war, Popov’s interview on The Mike Douglas Show, and footage from Bond movies that really add something to the documentary. Notably through the re-enactments as it showcases a world where it was quite lavish despite the turmoil that was happening the war as it includes narration by Graeme Cornies to help tell the story. The re-enactments are shown with lush colors courtesy of cinematographer George Willis as it help plays to the time. Though the only real flaw in the film are the way some of the Bond movies are shown as they obviously used a lot of clips that look very old as if they’re from the trailers or old prints of the film. Still, Armstrong manages to create an intriguing documentary that explores the inspiration of James Bond.

True Bond is an excellent documentary short from Jane Armstrong about Dusko Popov. It is a documentary that hardcore Bond fans will enjoy as it reveals a lot of the ideas into how Bond was made through the mind of Ian Fleming. Notably as it also serves as a compelling source of history into how spy games played a key part in the evolution of World War II. In the end, True Bond is a superb documentary from Jane Armstrong.

James Bond Files: The EON Films: Dr. No - From Russia with Love - Goldfinger - Thunderball - You Only Live Twice - On Her Majesty's Secret Service - Diamonds are Forever - Live and Let Die - The Man with the Golden Gun - The Spy Who Loved Me - Moonraker - For Your Eyes Only - Octopussy - A View to a Kill - The Living Daylights - Licence to Kill - GoldenEye - Tomorrow Never Dies - The World is Not Enough - Die Another Day - Casino Royale - Quantum of Solace - Skyfall - SPECTRE - No Time to Die

Non-EON Films: Casino Royale (Climax! TV Episode) - Casino Royale (1967 film) - Never Say Never Again

Bond Documentaries: Bond Girls are Forever - Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007

© thevoid99 2012


David said...

I want to see this one!

thevoid99 said...

I've managed to catch it on Encore and I've saved it for the marathon. I'm not sure where you can find it but it's certainly worth viewing if you're a hardcore Bond fan.