On the 50 anniversary of the James Bond franchise, one recalls the many movies that have thrilling sequences in pools, lakes and the ocean. K.S.Rajgopal
In the 50th anniversary of the James Bond movie franchise, Bond aficionados recollect with nostalgia all the famous stunts, gadgets and special effects that have characterised the suave British agent’s adventures over the years.
One fact that stands out for this correspondent is that many Bond movies have had underwater sequences that were suspenseful and beautifully shot providing a great visual treat to the viewer.
In fact, as early as the first Bond film ‘Dr. No,’ we have a Bond (Sean Connery) who goes underwater. Bond and Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress), while fleeing from Dr. No’s thugs, hide under water in a lake using hollow reeds jutting out of the water surface to breathe, until the danger is past.
Then came ‘Thunderball’ with one of the most spectacular underwater sequences of that time, featuring a grand climactic clash between two battalions of scuba diving aquanauts at the bottom of the ocean.
In ‘Diamonds are Forever,’ Bond (Sean Connery) swims through a tunnel of water connecting two swimming pools. While swimming, he encounters two sharks. With typical Bond coolness, he plasters himself against the tunnel wall and the sharks move past him harmlessly, unmindful of his presence.
In ‘A View to a Kill,’ Bond (Roger Moore) is chased by the villain’s henchmen while driving his car, which goes off a cliff and lands in a lake. It sinks with Bond at the wheel. The pursuers wait at the cliff top, guns drawn, to kill Bond if he emerges from the water.
However, Bond gets out of the car and swims to one of the tyres. He releases the air from the tube by piercing the tyre valve with his ball-point pen. As the air in the tyre hisses and bubbles out, he takes lungful of it to enable him to stay underwater until the villains, presuming him dead, depart from the scene.
Bond’s tryst with the deep continues in later films too as can be recollected from ‘The Spy Who Loved Me.’ In this movie, we have Bond and his girl escaping in a car that doubles as a submersible. There’s this scene where the car emerges out of the ocean onto the sandy beach and drives off, much to the astonishment of revellers on the beach.
Then came Pierce Brosnan in ‘Tomorrow Never Dies,’ in which he parachutes from an aircraft, clad in full scuba gear, and spectacularly, as he hits the ocean below, releases the chute and dives, to reach a sunken submarine at the bottom into which he enters and swimming through its interior, reaches an activated nuclear missile and defuses it. Quintessential Bond!
The scene in the submarine as he goes about his business is eerie, with bodies of dead sailors floating about randomly.
In the latest film, ‘Skyfall,’ Daniel Craig risked his life to shoot a death-defying fight sequence in a 20-metre water tank with thin ice on the surface. The underwater sequence, in true Bond tradition, thrills viewers.