Suggestions

88

Suggestions

Even though I’ve now written about all of James Bond’s tailored clothing, there are plenty more things to cover. There is still a wealth of Bond’s non-tailored clothing that I will continue to write about. Though I have plans to write about other tailored characters going forward, I would love to hear your suggestions on what you’d like to see on this blog. I’d still like to keep this blog about Bond-related clothing. There are a number of categories beyond simply documenting James Bond’s suits that fit into the scope of this blog:

Suggest anything you’d like to see that fits into these categories in the comment area below. I’m willing to stretch a little beyond these categories, but it still needs to relate to Bond. I will consider all suggestions but I can’t promise that your suggestions will be featured here.

88 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Matt,
    I am a bit surprised – sounds like “That’s it – goodbye!” But I think there are still some items to cover, suggestions:

    -Kronsteen’s clothes (e.g. navy silk jacket)
    -Goldfinger’s silk tuxedo + outfit worn at Auric Stud
    -Largo’s summer outfit (Palmyra)
    -Blofeld’s suits (From Russia with love, Thunderball, FHMSS, DAF etc.)
    -Drax’s dark navy double-breasted
    -LeChiffre’s suits (black silk suit etc.)
    -Dominic Greene’s clothes, also Mr. White’s and Mathis’ clothes (e.g. cream linen suit in QOS), as well as Felix Leiter’s (beige linen suit)

    Please keep on – your blog’s fabulous and has become somewhat of an everyday companion!

    Thanks, Renard

      • Seems that I misunderstood you – due to the shock! 😉

        May I add two further suggestions:

        – Blofeld’s suits in “Never say never again” (Max von Sydow)
        – I think that once you mentioned an interview with Frank Foster (when you were in London at his workshop for bespoke shirts). Could you post that? I am very much interested on what he has to say on the shirtmaking business etc.

        Thanks!

      • Hello Mat could you do an article on The Suits of Stephen Boyd in “Assignment K” (1968), a spy film all but forgotten today, but in my opinion Boyd wears clothes by Douglas Hayward which are better than any worn by Connery in the 60s. You can see the entire film on YouTube by just typing in Assignment K 1968.

  2. Bond homages: eg. Michael Buble’s Feeling Good video, OSS117, Tinker Tailor (John Hurt’s Control has the same Royal Doulton bulldog on his desk as M’s), the upcoming Kingsmen Secret Service movie, Matt Helm, the forthcoming Bros-does-hard edge Bond The November Man.

    Ad campaigns: Connery for Jim Bean, Brosnan for Hackett, Craig and Brosnan for Omega et al.

  3. My Dear Matt,
    There is much of the territory left to be explored. Just going by categories, I see, more than a million things can be covered. In other words, the categories cover such a wide scope of topics that, you cover pretty much everything by just going around the categories.
    In the Bond villian category, Silva of Skyfall, Janus of Goldeneye and Milton of License to kill are left to be covered. Many of the Bond allies, like different Felix Leiters, quarrel, vijay, kamran shah & jaws.
    Amongst other well-tailored spies, Basil Rathbone & Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes can be a nice study. Also can be Tom Hanks as Hanratty in Catch me if you can.
    Comparison of suits in different movies, like that of power suits of Pierce Brosnan in Remington Steele and that of Christian Bale’s in American Psycho. Amongst details, both high and low buttoning stance can have a seperate article, as well as different trouser cuts.
    In Bond actors in other movies, Daniel Craig in Munich, Sean Connery in Entrapment can be a nice study.
    The category, ‘Other men who shared Bond’s tailors’, however, is the most wide one. Anthony Sinclair, Cyril A. Castle, Angelo Vittuci, Doughlas Hayward were all celebrity tailors, who had a long clientale. Brioni is an iconic Italian brand, who has been there since decades and served as tailors to several elegant men. Tom Ford, both as an designer and brand, has served many in recent times.
    All the best.

    • An interesting comparison would be an iconic tailored Bond look with a contemporary actor or celebrity wearing the same tailor. A study in what makes Bond different or the same, as it were.

  4. Oh, yes, please analyze the clothing of James Bond actors in other roles, especially Marnie, & other Hitchcock movies if there are any. I’ve watched Marnie a couple of times just for the women’s wardrobes, & men’s, too. If I have the story correct, it’s interesting that one of the wardrobe designers (Rita Riggs? I don’t think it was Edith Head…) commented about the at-home clothing choices that in real life rich people didn’t dress up like at home, to which the reply was that middle-class movie-going people thought they did, so they did not want to divert attention from other aspects of the film by giving them reality, just fulfill their expectations for the sake of the movie.

    Feather Factor blog has on occasion started covering women’s movie wardrobes, which is very interesting. I wish there was a women’s blog that covered classic women’s style, like your blog, Gentlemen’s Gazette, Permanent Style, etc. The Vivian Files covers women’s classic-style concepts, but the actual clothing choices are rather dowdy.

    Anyway, thanks for your blog, I enjoy it very much.

  5. I would like to hear your opinions on the characterization of the clothes, meaning the role they play as a reflection of the character, or circumstances. For example Bond compared to his villains. Why for example some of the villains are well dressed, Goldfinger, Largo, or Khan, and then some are dressed poorly like Stromburg. Or how some villains like Dr. No are dressed in outfits to make them villainous or exotic. Another interesting area to observe characterization of the clothes would be comparing Bond to other contemporary cinematic counterparts ie Thomas Crowne in 1968 or Jason Bourne in 2002. If it interest you I think discussing the female clothes would be pretty cool, both in terms of design and the role the clothes play for the characters. Finally I really liked the comparisons of different outfits, and I think it would be neat to compare the effect of time on the outfits, like the comparison you did of Connery’s suits on Dr. No and Diamonds.

    • I’d like to see a focus on villains as well. Maybe compare the practicality of their clothes to their outward personas for example Elliott Carver is he dressed appropriately for a media mogul. Speaking of that if Bond is supposed to appear as a London businessman perhaps do some articles on if certain outfits hold up to this cover story.

  6. I think the comparison articles are great because they allow you (and the rest of us through comments) to re-examine Bond’s tailored clothing.

    Also, I agree with the posts suggesting you look at Mathis’s clothing as well as Bond actors in various adverts.

    Also, we should soon be learning who the costume designer is for Bond 24 and/or whether Tom Ford will be making the suits. Depending on what we learn, a couple of posts looking at what we might see in Bond 24 based on the past work of those selected may be interesting and I am sure they would provoke lively discussion. Particularly if we have new faces being brought into the mix.

  7. I would love to see an article on Bond’s watches. I know you’ve covered the dress watch from Dr No, but Bonds worn so many, and it would be really good to see this milestone item looked into further.

  8. I’ve been waiting for you to do an article on Richard Kiel’s Jaws, particularly on his Seventies-tasic blazer in The Spy Who Loved Me.
    Indeed, I’d like to see more of the villains and how their mode of dress compares or contrasts them to Bond.

  9. We could come up with the quintessential Bond outfit through a series of votes. (even though we know we’d come back to the Goldfinger suit). Then you could work with the manufacturer of the Bond tux you created to make the Bond suit available to the masses.

  10. Something that comes to mind, Matt; there’s one actor who, whenever I see him on screen, always reminds me in his demeanor and acting style of an American version of Roger Moore and that’s Robert Wagner. In fact they could be cousins from differing sides of the Atlantic!

    In the late 1960’s until the start of the 1970’s Wagner starred in a spy series on American TV called “It Takes a Thief” and his wardrobe might be compared to Moore’s in “The Persuaders” (a not dissimilar style of series either). Plus, Wagner’s married to a former Bond girl, too!

    • Connery’s suits are so out of fashion right now that finding clothes like Connery’s is quite impossible. I’ve never done any posts like this since there are other sites that do similar things with Bond clothes, but nothing available off-the-pegs right now is close enough that I can feel comfortable recommending it as an alternative to Bond’s clothing. Paul Stuart’s suits are the closest I’ve seen to Connery’s suits, but they have an American slant to them. Polo Ralph Lauren used to have similar suits, but they’ve gone to a slimmer cut now.

      • Anthony Sinclair comes very close, if not identical if one requests it no? 🙂

        Also, I’d love to see articles on Marnie and the recent Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy film (starring Oldman, Hurt, Hardy etc).

      • Of course one can get a suit from Anthony Sinclair, and other tailors do a similar look, like Davies & Son. But my articles already give people the information they need to know to get a suit like any one of Bond’s. It’s not the same as telling people they can go to this store or that store and get a suit similar to Bond’s. I think that’s more of what StanislausBabalistic had in mind.

      • Ah yes, that is more what I was thinking. And that makes perfect sense to me. I guess what I would love is an alternative to the full bespoke route (as a guy on a budget and all) to replicate some of these looks. But what you’ve done here – which is an amazing resource – is a good starting point, for sure.

      • Matt…can you please expand on this? I see quite a few suits with narrow lapels these days and natural shoulders so I would have thought that is along the lines of Connery? It is the Roger Moore wide lapels, link buttons and flared trousers that I never come across these days. Many thanks

      • There’s far more to it than lapel width. Connery’s jackets have a somewhat full cut with drape, which is far from the tight fit that everyone is selling now. Connery’s traditional pleated suit trousers were even farther from the tight, low-rise trousers that are popular now. The trousers are just as important to Connery’s look as the jackets are.

        Moore’s suits have a slimmer fit than Connery’s do.

  11. Hey Matt! Love the website! Check it everyday and sometimes more than once to make sure I catch everything. I like the idea of what Bond actors wore in different roles. One piece I’ve always been curious about is Daniel Craig’s “Puffer” or down jacket from Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It looks like it some kind of wool material on the outside rather than the nylon that most of those types of jackets have. Keep up the great work!!!

  12. I would like to see an article about Largo’s outfit when Bond visits Palmyra and also Leiter’s suit from Thunderball.

    Keep up the good work!

  13. I rather enjoy when you look at the Bond actors other films, such as Connery in Marnie or Brosnan in Thomas Crown. It’s a refreshing change with familiar faces, which reminds me to diversify my own wardrobe.

  14. It’d be interesting to read some articles of direct comparisons between older and more recent Bonds. You frequently touch on how Bonds have been influenced by fashion through the ages (eg, Moore’s flared trousers and wide lapels, Craig’s slim everything and narrow lapels) but I don’t think I’ve seen an article dedicated specifically to it.

    It’d be nice to see some of the finer points of contemporary styles different Bonds have rejected or embraced. Furthermore, I think this topic lends itself to a discussion of what elements of style remain consistent throughout various Bonds.

  15. Matt,

    I love the idea behind the first 3 bullets. And I like the suggestions about where to get certain items.

    I sincerely hope you keep going.

  16. Ciao, Matt !
    I vote for:

    1-Other well-tailored spies
    2-Comparisons of Bond’s outfits
    3-Bond Villains
    4-Bond’s Allies
    5-Other men who share Bond’s tailors

    I think that the chapter on “other well tailored spies” is very promising: We have Steed,Man from Uncle,Derek Flint,Harry Palmer (ok,not much well tailored,but..), Rod Taylor in “The liquitador”,Matt Helm, OSS 117,Buldog Drummond/Richard Johnson.
    Is a real pity that not many Italian movie on secret agents (a genre popular in mid 60s) are available in America. Many of these movies ( “Agent 077 mission Ypotron”,”Agent 003 operation Atlantida”,Agent 3S3 massacre in the sun”….) had very tailored agents (from Brioni,Litrico,and other good Italian tailors). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurospy_film

  17. I love your first 3 suggestions.

    I’m also a huge fan of the pieces, especially early on, that are deeper dives into specific methods of construction or fabrics: nailhead patterns, pagoda shoulders, etc.

    One of the best things about this blog is its great balance between showing really exceptional clothes, and talking about their manufacture, style, and wear in a manner that allows us, er, less knowledgeable readers to appreciate and learn about them… In the hopes one day we can pick up our own char-blue suit. 🙂

  18. Dear Matt,

    Thanks for your superlative documenting! Would quite like to see a piece of all of Bill Nighy’s outfits from the ‘Worricker trilogy’ where he plays a well-dressed, old-fashioned English spy. Quite bit of Zegna tailoring going on there!

  19. Matt,

    A lot of wonderful suggestions on this post. My vote would actually be Bond Villains/Allies. From the recent movies, I think Silva’s or Dominic Greene’s outfits are quite interesting. Silva’s cream odd jacket in particular I think deserves an article.
    I also see that several others have recommended you have a look at the clothing in the new version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. I’ve mentioned it before and would like to recommend it again. Or other movies adapted from Le Carre’s novels (like Geoffrey Rush’s suits in Tailor of Panama or Sean Connery’s outfit from the Russia House). I think they provide a nice contrast to the Bond films. A very different kind of spy films.

  20. I would love to see a post on the upcoming spy movie Kingsman: The Secret Service, in which Colin Firth plays a spy in the vein of James Bond/John Steed. Thank you for the blog. It has been great reading. Please keep posting!!

  21. Another vote for Harry Palmer. Some of Caines clothes in the three sixties films are worthy of further investigation – the swing back “bumfreezer” he wears to visit Ross at home, even the tweed jacket and tight pants he wears in the opening scenes of the Ipcress File.

    Keep up the good work, always an interesting read,

    C2K

  22. Matt I always wonderwd about Mathis outfit when he is tazed aa bond is rehabilitating in Casino Royal the particular part is his suede bucks Prada?? They have a particular red mark on the sole. Thanks
    Jake

  23. I agree with the Harry Palmer suggestions. As something of a deliberate counterpoint to Bond his clothing would be an interesting study.

    Also, I wonder if there is potential in looking (a little) at The Saint beyond Roger Moore. Templar was an influence on the character of Bond and so has a relevance beyond the fact that Roger Moore played both parts. A look at the style of actors playing Templar down the years might be interesting from the late 30s/40s versions with the ever dapper George Sanders through the more recent incarnations of the character.

  24. Matt, I would love for you to cover some of Roger Moore’s outfits from Gold, particularly the beautiful cream Cyril Castle suit! And since Timothy Dalton is (in my view) a bit harshly judged for the clothing in his Bond films (it is bad in Licence to kill but blame the costume director and not the actor), I thought mabey you could cover some outfit Dalton has worn in some other movie that is better than what he wore as Bond? Just an idea, I simply think Dalton is a bit unfaily overlooked on this blog.

    • You’re not the only person who has asked for that suit in Gold. Is there a certain Timothy Dalton film you have in mind? I was thinking about Chuck where he’s dressed as a villain. But I haven’t seen him in anything where’s particularly well-dressed.

      • Another Dalton moment is 1991’s The Rocketeer. He played a Hollywood playboy/villain. While not really in the same genre as Bond, its still an espionage thriller, maybe worth looking into.

  25. 1. How about exploring the suits of spies and detectives in other movies in the tradition of “The Suited Hero”?

    2. What happened to the interview of Robert Gillotte of Turnbull & Asser, the keeper of the Bond cuff?

  26. Hey!

    How about doing something funky, like things from the comedic “Casino Royale”? There’re some GREAT clothes in that one! From Niven’s semi-Oriental look, to Sellers’ great tux, as well as all the dress up he plays with Miss Goodthighs, down to Woody Allen in a Neru jacket! Not to mention all the weird sixties stuff in Berlin. Just at thought. This is a GREAT site, and I look forward to it immensely! Thanks for keeping on, and for taking some suggestions!!!!

  27. I would love some articles on the best real world approximations, with photos from films or photoshoots or what have you, of the clothes in the Bond books. Matt, I feel like that would really put your incredible knowledge to best use since the descriptions of Bond’s clothes are very brief and you could use your unique knowledge to fill in the gaps in regards to numbers of buttons, vents, etc.

  28. details would be good as mentioned in the previous post, but since you have loyal following I think it would be best to persuade some of these companies to re-release some of these hard to find items….

    I know turnbull asser recently re-issued the legends line, buts it very slim pickings…

    also the width of the neckties should be compared because it really is a matter of quarter inches to half inches, and since you cover bonds shoes, why not try to cover his wallet? We have seen his wallet twice or thrice, DAF,LALD, and goldeneye…..

  29. Matt,

    Good idea and post, and as I see it , the followers of your blog have all answered “present” to your call, as we all should !
    I will personnaly start with a piece of tailored clothing Bond has worn and which you hasn’t covered yet : the navy double breasted overcoat of DAD, which looks great and, if my eyes are good, has the interesting detail of a half-belted back, making it a bit different from the Chesterfield of LALD.

    Next :

    -Bond villains : Le Chiffre’s “business” (lounge) suits (for Mikkelsen) and dinner jackets (for Welles and Lorre), Goldfinger’s dinner suit, Dr No’s outfit, Kamal Kahn’s navy 3-piece suit, almost every outfit that Largo wears, it’s always stylish, Zorin’s morning coat, Zorin’s double-breasted blazer, Red Grant’s checked sport coat, Kronsteen’s suit, Mr. White’s suit and sport coat…

    -Bond allies : the suits worn by Draco in OHMSS and K. Bey in FRWL. Both those allies are one of the best-dressed allies Bond ever had. The suits B. Lee’s M has worn, and also his smoking jacket/ night gown worn in OHMSS. Zukovsky’s green three-piece suit in Goldeneye. Leiter’s suit in Thunderball and in QOS. Q’s suit in TLD. Mathis’s outfits in CR and QOS.

    -well tailored spies : Jean Dujardin in OSS 117 (he used a Parisian tailor), Cary Grant in Notorious and in To Catch a thief…

    -Bond actors in other movies : Craig in Lawyer Cake, Brosnan in the Thomas Crown Affair and in The Ghost Writer, …

    -comparison of suits : how about a comparison of Brosnan’s navy semi-solid suit in Goldeneye with the one in TWINE or DAD ? or Moore’s tan suit in Octopussy vs the one in a View to a kill ?

    -articles about clothing : perhaps an article about the milanaise (the handsewn lapel buttonhole) ? or articles about the “house style” of Bond’s tailors, like Anthony Sainclair or Brioni ?

    -people who shared Bond’s tailors : Mr. Terence Young ! And, for Brioni, Kofi Annan 🙂

    As you see, there are plenty of material out here ; sorry if the list is a bit long, but I really put my heart to it !

    Keep on your great work about Bond’s clothing !

  30. Hi Matt, I love the site and check it frequently. I would like to see more on Connery’s wardrobe from WOMAN OF STRAW and perhaps the Anthony Sinclair shop can shed some light on how the clothing went on to be used in GOLDFINGER. I have looked for some connection in the productions but have yet to see any.
    Also, it would be interesting to know something about the timing and production of the Connery-Anthony Sinclair wardrobes. One can see images online of some of the Sinclair labels for Connery’s suits with dates, but a more in depth explanation of the whole construction of a suit. The measuring to the first fitting and so on. Connery did not sign on until late in the pre-production for DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER and how did that affect the manufacturing of the wardrobe? Many thanks again for sharing this great wealth of knowledge.

    • I asked David Mason at Anthony Sinclair and he doesn’t know anything about the connection between the wardrobes in the two films. When I first noticed that the clothes were the same I asked a number of people and nobody had any answers for me. The suits were made quite quickly for the productions, faster than it seems any bespoke tailor is willing to do now. I don’t think Connery signing on to Diamonds Are Forever late in pre-production is much different than the fast turnaround that Sinclair would have done for the earlier Bond films. I’m afraid that I’m not the most qualified person to write about the construction of a suit.

  31. I’d still like you to do Frank Underwood from House of Cards. I think you said in the past too far removed from Bond, although (1) some of his colour schemes are very evocative of the Connery era (subdued navies and greys) and (2) I think Gieves and Hawkes were involved in the wardrobe (although that is only internet hearsay).

    Better in Season 1 than Season 2 (season 2 saw some very unattractive shirt collars and less attractive ties).

  32. I would definitely like you to continue writing using those points you mention. A few ideas I have are:

    1 – Accessories. I recall you wrote about cummerbunds and pocket squares but does Bond use/favour things like cuff links? I believe you already cover most other items like ties, belts and shoes.
    2 – What about the need for suits to be tailored to accommodate whatever Bond is carrying? A normal suit does not necessarily along for a holstered gun without leaving a bulge, as far as I know, so an analysis of this would be nice. Bond also carries other items – keys, cigarettes, etc. – but his pockets never bulge so what does this mean? I understand that the props department must give him the items before each scene but I think you see what I mean.
    3 – Could I suggest grooming tips too? A large part of a man’s appearance is what he wears but grooming should be part of that. I realise this may fall just outside your area of expertise but it is related.
    4 – Activities: I’ve seen Bond drive while wearing a suit which is something I don’t do; i.e., I always remove the suit jacket as I find that it can be restrictive in some ways. Bond obviously is rather more energetic than a desk-bound monkey like myself but what, precisely, about the cut/tailored suit makes such an outfit so suitable for running/sprinting/kicking/racing/chasing/seducing?

    Hope this list inspires you a little

    Thanks for the web site.

  33. Hi Matt. How about doing a series on the clothes of the movie adaptations of John LeCarre’s novels. This would cover Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (both TV and Movie), The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, The Tailor of Panama, The Russia House, etc. It seems that these movies reflect more the real world of the spy instead of Hollywood images. Some of the stars also played Bond Like Connery and Brosnan. It would be interesting to see how the clothes compare.

  34. Hi Matt,

    What about covering some of the literary suits and outfits.
    I know it would be hard to graphically show the suits but perhaps you could show pictures of what you think would be the best suits /outfits that meets the description?

    Great Blog by the way and keep up the good work.

    Cheers,

    Lee

  35. How about the suits worn in the Avengers (1998) film? Especially the ones worn by John Steed, Mother and Sir August de Wynter?

    • I’d like to see some of those covered here as well. Ralph Fiennes’s wardrobe as Steed is really the only redeeming quality about an otherwise awful film!

  36. I’m currently watching Casino Royale and I was reminded of Giancarlo Giannini’s eclectic Italian style as Mathis in the first two Craig films. I imagine that would be decent fodder for at least one article if you’ve not yet covered that character.

  37. I would like to hear more about outfits of actor’s who have played Fleming in TV and film. Particularly a suit Dominic Cooper wears in Ep. 3 of miniseries ‘Fleming’. I’ve been interested to hear the comparisons people who have played him to the man himself.

  38. Oh – any plans on covering William Boyd’s continuation novel, under the Literary Bond category? I know it’s mostly sweaty shirts and cargo pants, but still may have a little fodder.

  39. Since you already discussed “Sleeve width” in an article, may I suggest you write something about Bond’s shirt sleeves? You could cover the different Bonds’ preferences in terms of width, length (whether they like having extra slack or not), tightness of the cuff—whatever you find interesting. You could also give us your opinion on what looks best, or what is more useful (especially when moving the arm), and so on.

  40. Matt,

    I really enjoy the site, its great. who knew there was so much to know about suiting? Your insight has definately taken my clothing standards up a peg or two.

    ideas; i basically have one, since we have been looking at the British suiting, it may be interesting to get a bigger perspective, so it might be fun to compare James Bond’s suits with some of his American contemporaries, the obvious choice is maybe the original oceans eleven.

    the non obvious choice, is a show ‘White Collar” it isn’t as big as James Bond, but its clever, and stylish. the first episode is actually quite good as a piece of entertainment too.

    anyways, thanks!
    mike

  41. How about Derek Flint, Harry Palmer, David Niven’s Sir James Bond & his Edwardian suits or No. 6 from The Prisoner? Great blog by the way, most informative.

  42. Hi Matt,

    Really enjoy the blog. Have you considered covering the film “OK Connery” aka “Operation Double 007”? That’s the Italian Bond spoof with that stunt casts Sean Connery’s brother Neil as the lead. It also features Bernard Lee, Adolfo Celi, and loads of other Bond regulars in very similar parts that you could break down.

    • Thanks! I do need to look at that movie again to see if any clothes from it are worth writing about. I’ve tried to forget about that movie! It was also called Operation Kid Brother in the US.

    • Try watching the Mystery Science Theater version. It makes it much more enjoyable than it might otherwise be.

  43. Seriously: Comparisons between Mr Bond and other film spies.
    Less seriously. You still have the Octopusy tailored clown suit to review and to perhaps compare against other famous clowns.

  44. Hi Matt,

    Love this site! I do have a few suggestions that might be neat:

    Bond in leather – a comparison of the e leather jackets worn by Moore, Dalton, Brosnan, and Craig.

    Fit to be tied – a comparison of all the Bond’s ties.

    Action wear – looking at the different sporty wear that the Bonds have worn.

    Design by Fleming – pointing out the specific descriptions of clothes by Ian Fleming across all the Bonds.

    I know you have done bits and pieces of all these, but they would be my suggestions for more in depth stories.

    Thanks for your work!

  45. Comparing Bond to agents in Eastern Bloc spy movies.

    Matt, I would like to draw your attention to a spy series from Eastern Germany (GDR) which was produced in the 1970s. The show is called “Das unsichtbare Visier”( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Das_unsichtbare_Visier) and while there are many similarities to the James Bond movies (e.g. smart & chariming agent, exotic locations, good-looking women), there are also important differences making the show more than just a Communist copy of the Bond series (e.g. no gadgets, no villains such as S.P.E.C.T.R.E. members with overly complex plots for world domination, highly political).

    This 16-episode show, produced for the Eastern German state television, was very popular and some episodes reached 50 per cent of the country’s viewers at the time. The plot is set in the 1950-60s Western Germany (and other Western countries) and develops over time with new challenges emerging for the spy. In a nutshell, Werner Bredebusch, an Eastern German Stasi agent, infiltrates the Western-German Ministry of Defence in Bonn, which back then was Western Germany’s capital. His mission comprises hunting Nazis (e.g. SS officers) and war criminals who fled the country towards the end of the war and found refuge in a secret Nazi hideaway in Latin America. From there they try to influence the new Western German government, promote rearmament and anti-communist tendencies in general, which ultimately would be a threat to the GDR, the Eastern Bloc and the idea of communism (so no Blofeld type of villains).

    Stasi agent Bredebusch is ideologically-trained and well-educated. He effectively communicates with capitalist Western Germans and in the context foreign countries. But he definitely remains a member of the proletariat – a hero of the working class. He wouldn’t call the room service to order champagne and Beluga caviar but rather have a simple beer.

    His attire is very much 1970s inspired (which is a bit odd since the plot is set in the 1950s and 60s). He rarely wears suits but rather a sports jacket (of questionable fabric), formal trousers and a tie (which is often tied in a way that it is too short). This reflects the less formal Western and Eastern German dress code of the 1970s (which generally is a bit more casual than in the English context). When at the Ministry of Defence, he usually wears the uniform of a Luftwaffe (Airforce) officer (his alias is Achim Detjen is “Obertleutnant” or Lieutenant). The attire of Bredebusch’s opponents including CIA agents is also quite interesting. I would recommend having a closer look and watching an episode on Youtube, where all episodes are available.

    Maybe you could have a look at the Werner Bredebuch look and compare it to the Bond look. Probably comparing Bredebusch with the Bond of the Moore era would be most appropriate given that the look is so 1970s inspired (even though the setting in the 1950s/60s which would suggest a comparison with Connery). Another interesting benchmark could be with Eric Kriegler, the Eastern German biathlon champion, in FYEO – comparing him to a Stasi agent could make sense.

    Thanks, C

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