Film Feature



A feature by Pauline Flannery for EXTRA! EXTRA!








Designing 007: Fifty Years of


Bond Style



SEAN CONNERY relaxes on the bumper of his Aston Martin DB5 during the filming of location scenes for 'Goldfinger' in the Swiss Alps.

Copyright © 1964 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved



Designed by Ab Rogers

Curated by Bronwyn Cosgrove and Lindy Hemming

Barbican Centre

6 July – 5 Sept 2012


It’s hard to credit that the Bond franchise is fifty years old. Yet it is. From Dr No, 1962, through to Skyfall, due out in October 2012, the best of British spies has delivered fast-paced, international intrigue with high-tech gadgetry, glamour and Bond-girls for five decades. Bond morphs effortlessly from one entity to another - Sean Connery to Daniel Craig. Yet it’s the life-size, wax-work of Connery, in trademark Anthony Sinclair clean-cut suit, leaning against Bond’s Aston Martin, who invites us to walk the gun barrel.  


Daniel Craig : Casino Royale

© 2006 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation and Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved.



 With a clutch of high Cs: craft, connivance, contrivance and construction, Designing 007 – 50 Years of the Bond Style, is centre stage. Set over three levels it presents golden rooms, aural and visual installations, film snippets, projections and ultimately the Ice Palace. Here, amidst huge mock-ups of interiors dominated by screens, the spy shows off his most outlandish exploits. James I need you….So does England….The Screen-Bond, Roger Moore, skis off in mustard-coloured, tight-fitting suit, while the original remains in fixed, animated pose on the ground - fantastic.



James Bond (ROGER MOORE) arrives at the casino, Octopussy.

Copyright - © 1983 Danjaq, LLC and United Artsts Corporation. All rights reserved



The Bond world has always been an exaggerated, tongue-in-cheek affair. Characters such as Blofeld, Pussy Galore, Plenty O’Toole walk effortlessly from Fleming’s pages to the big, beautiful, expectant screen. It’s a world where cats wear diamond collars, champagne flutes spill gems, a place where no one flinches or flexes ugly, un-honed muscles.



Pussy Galore (HONOR BLACKMAN) and her flying circus.

Copyright © 1964 Danjaq, LLC & United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved.



Before Elizabeth Hurley’s ‘that dress’ there was Ursula Andress’ ‘that bikini’ from Dr No. That’s here. In turn UA’s white creation foreshadows Halle Berry’s stunning orange in Die Another Day, 2002. Sean’s cream swimming trunks pre-figure Daniel’s blue ones. While a brace of leather-clad all-in-one super-villain outfits refresh a generation fed on ‘60’s chic.



Emerging from the sea singing calypso 'Under the Mango Tree' Honey (Ursula Andress) is surprised to hear someone taking up the song refrain.

Copyright - © 1962 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved.



The exhibition is an interactive experience. A highlight is the creative juxtaposition of Madam Tussaud-touch mannequins, in classic mock-casino mode, complete with betting chips, bank cards and pay cheques, set against their animated counterparts on huge screens. Go compare Lupe Lamara’s red, Oscar La Renta number, filigreed to within an inch of its life from Licence to Kill, 1989, with its screen counterpart - huge fun.



Lupe Lamora (TALISA SOTO) Licence to Kill.

Copyright © 1989 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved.



Overall, the ‘gadget room’ decked out from floor to ceiling like a warehouse, lined with packing cases, is the ultimate Bond experience. Q branch, from Quatermaster, is the research and development division of the British Secret Service. Its presiding master is Q, the redoubtable Desmond Llewellyn, who first played the character in From Russia with Love, 1963. The room is replete with cocktail grenade flask, Lotus submarine, exploding attaché cases, boats, balloons, snooper dog and Q’s leg cast from A View to a Kill, 1985. It’s a midsummer geek’s dream.



Blofeld (Donald Pleasence)

Copyright Notice - © 1967 Danjaq, LLC and United




Designing 007 shows the craft behind the craftiness, and it works big-Bond time. From the beautiful Mood Boards with their line drawings and colour swatches for costumes, to the exquisitely detailed pictures in pencil and pen by Ken Adams and D Lavery, the storyboards, maquettes and models with their finite detail, such as the sinking Palazzo Interior, from Casino Royale, 2006, or the Ice Dragster in the Ice Palace in Die Another Day, 2002, there is artistry, playfulness and skill. Fifty years in the making, yet vintage each time. And if the mix is right, Bond Inc should still be around in another fifty years. Meanwhile, Skyfall - come on down! And remember, The name’s Bond, James Bond….




Sean Connery and author Ian Fleming discuss the character of James Bond while filming an interior scene for "Dr No" at Pinewood Studios

Copyright - © 1962 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved


Barbican Exhibition Centre
Silk Street
020 7638 4141

6 Jul – 5 Sep 2012

Sun – Wed 11am – 8pm, Thurs – Sat 10am – 9.30pm

(check availability before visiting. Timed admission is in operation – advance booking is strongly advised. Last admission 60 minutes before close)

Tickets: Standard £12, Concessions £10, Under 16s £8; Barbican Red/Orange Members £8, Barbican Yellow Members £10



Copyright © EXTRA! EXTRA All rights reserved