Saturday, October 06, 2007

Farewell, Miss Moneypenny

I'm posting this from a Wi-Fi Watering Hole (The Funnel Mill) because the Time-Warner techs came to our house Thursday, switched over our digital phone system from the Comcast system to TW, and knocked out our cable Internet modem. We are cut off from the Information Superhighway until they send out more techs next Thursday. Curse Time-Warner Cable. May a syphilitic camel drop dead in their couscous.

Anyway, I was saddened last week to read of the death of Lois Maxwell, the original (and best) Miss Moneypenny from the James Bond movies. Moneypenny was an indispensible part of the Bond formula -- indeed, she shows up early in the first JB novel, CASINO ROYALE.

Ironically, on the day she died I watched the first part of the beautifully restored DR. NO released on DVD last year. You can see in the movie how crucial her few minutes in each Bond film were to the story. The movie opens with two macabre murders. We switch to the MI-6 radio receivers' room; then to the club where we first see Bond. In his first scene, Bond, as played by Sean Connery, is elegant, but as cold as ice. Only when he pops into M's antechamber and banters with Moneypenny do we see a hint of humanity in him. Granted, he shamelessly sexually harasses Moneypenny, but those scenes are just as valuable as the ones in M's office, where we see that M is the only man who can make even James Bond feel like a schoolboy caught in a shameful prank.

As M finally said in ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE, "What would I ever do without you, Moneypenny?"

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