ON THIS DAY in 1878, John Kehoe, the last member of the secret society of coal workers known as the “Molly Maguires,” was executed in Pennsylvania. Kehoe was portrayed by Sean Connery in the 1970 Martin Ritt film, THE MOLLY MAGUIRES, also starring Richard Harris.
Can it be that I’ve loved James Bond for so long?
In honor of 007’s remarkable milestone of 50 years in the movies, London’s Barbican Centre has opened a new exhibit, “Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style.” The show runs through through September 5. I may have to plan a last-minute trip to London this summer.
When I was 10 years old, as part of the family’s weekly trek to see the latest movie, I saw my first Bond film — GOLDFINGER. I had never seen such an adult movie, and I was fascinated…and worried by it. I worried about a few simple things: like would I ever get to hear that theme song again, and why did so many people laugh when Honor Blackman introduced herself as Pussy Galore?
But there were so many other worries that the film produced. For days and days afterward, I fretted about what it would feel like to be sliced in half by a laser or to be sucked out an airplane or to die from “skin suffocation” from being painted gold. I never knew so many exotic things could happen to people.
In addition to worrying about the various gruesome disasters that could happen in life, I couldn’t stop thinking about Sean Connery. He was — and ever will be — my James Bond. So devastatingly handsome, so clever, so composed — and just so plain dreamy. He was certainly different from George, Paul, John, and Ringo, and the guys in the Dave Clark Five and Paul Revere and the Raiders. They were cute. Bond was dangerous.
And oh how I worried that I would meet someone like James Bond one day. I would fall for him hard.
Even at 10 years old, I knew that having a man like that in my life would be nothing but trouble.
Fifty years later, Bond’s iconic look still captivates me and the rest of the world. How could it not?
The Barbican show explores the whole Bond brand she-bang — from clothes to cars, to the girls and the gadgets. And I’ll be watching GOLDFINGER and several other Bond movies this year in honor of his 50-year presence on the silver screen, complete with a martini or two. Shaken, and not stirred.