Excerpt from The Ultimate James Bond Fan Book by Deborah Lipp
Copyright © 2005.

(...from the Introduction, already in progress...)

A Bond Story

In April of 1965, when my mother was in labor with her third child (my sister), my dad went to get his parents and bring them to the hospital for the blessed event. He went into the Deluxe Theater in Brooklyn, New York, and pulled them out of a re-release double feature of Dr. No and From Russia With Love. They were watching Dr. No when Dad walked in.

My first Bond flick was half of Thunderball. In the latter half of 1970 and the first part of 1971, my father was severely impaired by bronchial asthma, so much so that he had difficulty walking more than a few steps. We went to a lot of movies, since this was something he could do with his kids while sitting down. On one memorable occasion, we saw a triple-feature of Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, and Goldfinger at the Queen Anne Theater in Bogota, New Jersey. We came in partway through Thunderball, watched the next two, and then stayed to see the beginning of Thunderball again. The influence of this experience on my young mind cannot be understated--six hours in a dark theater left me in a state of Bond-brainwash worthy of The Ipcress File! I was blinking, bleary-eyed, and the whole world was James Bond. In addition, my perception of Thunderball was hopelessly skewed--I found it incomprehensible yet fascinating, and didn't understand the plot for another twenty years. All three movies were blurred together by the long session of movie-viewing. I had no understanding of plot or character, just pictures and feelings. As a child, my knowledge of Bond was shaped by this onslaught of imagery that was beyond my understanding--sexy, exotic, colorful, very adult, yet somehow accessible.

A short time after this experience, Diamonds Are Forever was released, and for the first time I saw a Bond film in current release. To tell you the truth, I think I was too young to know the difference between a re-release and a new movie, although Diamonds Are Forever stands out more in my mind because it wasn't blurred together with two other films! I know that my father was enthusiastic about Connery's return, and during the pretitles teaser, he whispered to me that Bond was seeking Blofeld because he had killed Bond's wife--at the time, I thought this meant Kissy, the woman he “married” in You Only Live Twice (my father hates George Lazenby to this day, and never took me to see On Her Majesty's Secret Service).

To a certain extent, Diamonds Are Forever got blended in my mind with the earlier Connery movies I had seen a few weeks or months before, but it also stood out. More than any other movie, if you say “James Bond” I'll think of Diamonds Are Forever. When Connery walks down the beach towards that soon-to-be topless sunbather and gives his name as “Bond, James Bond,” he is in some way always talking to me.

To me, this is what it is to be a Bond fan — to possess that story, that image, that sense of participation, and to cherish it. Mine is Diamonds Are Forever, perhaps yours is Dr. No, or perhaps it is Die Another Day, or perhaps it is the opening line of the novel Casino Royale. Whatever it is, we share something as special and as delicious as an ice cold vodka martini, shaken, not stirred.