March 31, 2009

The Years of Loving Dangerously

Fellow C.O.B.R.A.S. blog, Permission to Kill, has intercepted an interesting Times article about espionage and sex in the Cold War. Honey traps, like the secret filming of Bond and Tatiana in From Russia With Love, were a common strategy to corrupt and manipulate agents and information. Times brief:

The Years of Loving Dangerously

They were communist agents trained — and surgically enhanced — to seduce the West’s Moneypennys and Bonds. Lauren St John finds out what went on between the sheets behind the iron curtain.
Times link here.

TOP GEAR (AND BOTTOMS, TOO)


All of the Spy Vibe articles about costumes and fashion, including new videos, have been collected on the Article page of the Spy Vibe website, Mods To Moongirls.

March 30, 2009

BOND BOOKS THIS WEEK

BOND BOOKS THIS WEEK
After a new wave of Bond Blu-ray discs last week, the 007 season continues with a number of books due for release on April 1st. From Amazon:


Sean Connery: Neither Shaken nor Stirred by Andrew Yule
From humble beginnings as a milkman and coffin-polisher to one of the world’s biggest box-office names, Sean Connery is one of Hollywood’s all-time greatest success stories. The star of nearly 80 films, Connery is perhaps still best known for his seven performances as James Bond. Indeed, for many movie fans Connery’s 007 is unsurpassed to this day. But how did this working-class Scot come to embody the quintessentially English agent? This definitive biography reveals Connery’s early successes and failures—both personal and professional—and looks at the little-known life behind the cameras. Frank and thorough, this is a complete look at the film world’s classic charismatic hard man.



Daniel Craig: The Illustrated Biography by Tina Ogle
Daniel Craig: The Illustrated Biography looks at the life of this notoriously private actor, including his film and TV appearances, his two-year marriage to Scottish actress Fiona Loudon and his long-standing relationships with actress Heike Makatsch and film producer Satsuki Mitchell. He landed the role of Angelina Jolies lover in the 2001 movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; establishing his Hollywood credentials. Daniel became to sixth official screen Bond in Casino Royale. Daniel will next appear, Licensed to Kill as 007, in the November 2008 release Quantum of Solace. Daniel has other movie roles slated for 2009, including I Lucifer, before beginning work on the as yet untitled Bond 23.


Ian Fleming by Andrew Lycett
Updated to include new information on the Bond phenomenon, the definitive biography of author Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond 007, also includes information about Fleming's career in naval intelligence where he masterminded many top-secret operations. With Daniel Craig earning critical acclaim as the spy and signed for several Bond movies, both the character and his creator remain subjects of enduring popularity. Boasting an extraordinary cast of characters, this is biography at its best—part history, part gossip, and part an informed reassessment of one of this century's most celebrated yet mysterious personalities.

WINNER! CINEMA RETRO GIVE-AWAY

WINNER! CINEMA RETRO GIVE-AWAY
Thanks to everyone who entered the Cinema Retro Contest. Congratulations to Dave Hardy- winner in the random drawing!

Stay tuned for new contests and prizes on Spy Vibe.

MAX VESTERHALT INTERVIEW

MAX VESTERHALT INTERVIEW

This news in from agent Wesley Britton: When you think of Bond girls, the name Max Vesterhalt might not jump to mind. However, she not only appeared in Roger Moore’s 1981 For Your Eyes Only, she was originally intended to be one of its stars.

On the next edition of the online radio show, “Dave White Presents,” Max tells her story, of how a poster of her promoting Greek tourism brought her to the attention of Cubby Broccoli, what went on during the filming of the casino scene, and what she thought of Roger Moore and director John Glen. She discusses a new website currently being constructed about “Bond Girls of Color.” In addition, “Dave White Presents” will debut some of Max’s newly recorded jazz tunes not yet heard anywhere else! The program, including interviews with other guests, will first air this Tuesday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m. Pacific time, 10:30 EST over WWW.KSAV.org

On April 1, the show will become available for 24/7 access here.


March 29, 2009

ROGER LANGLEY: OUR MAN IN ENGLAND

GUEST SET LISTS
Spy Vibe continues its series on Spy TV/film production design and the influence of Art and design movements, Playboy, Hugh Hefner, adventure story conventions, and the Space Race.

Guest Set Lists: Lee Pfeiffer, Jeremy Duns, Armstrong Sabian, Steve Bissette, Roger Langley, Matthew Bradford, Wesley Britton, David Foster, Matt Kindt.

Spy Vibe's Set For Adventure here, Set Countdown #10, #9, #8 ,#7, #6, #5, #4, #3, #2, #1.


ROGER LANGLEY: OUR MAN IN ENGLAND

Spy Vibe continues to celebrate great spy production design with a Guest Set List from author and Six of One/Prisoner Appreciation Society's "number one," Roger Langley! Roger Langley is author of the biography “Patrick McGoohan: Danger Man or Prisoner?” which is available from Amazon, major booksellers, and direct from the publisher. Roger also has currently a book of fiction “The Prisoner Trilogy” available here. Radio interviews with Roger can be heard at www.patrickmcgoohan.org.uk and he, along with his wife Karen - who he met in Portmeirion, the Prisoner filming location - assists with the appreciation society based around the series, called Six of One, which you can join online. Six of One’s annual convention takes place in Portmeirion over the weekend of 27-29 March 2009 (next is 16-18 April, 2010). More information at Roger’s convention site. *links fixed 3/30 -Jason


***

1. The Quiller Memorandum (1966) - only full CinemaScope viewing properly presents this stylish film, benefiting from John Barry’s underlying score. This is especially so with the scene set inside the enormous stadium built by Hitler for the 1936 Olympics. Quiller is a sharp-looking sixties’ movie, using Berlin to good effect. The city is bustling and clean cut by day, with sinister events at night, literally revealing its dark Neo-Nazi element. George Segal is perfect in the lead. His style in the movie is mirrored on TV by Richard Bradford as McGill, in the series “Man in a Suitcase”. Add in Alec Guinness, Max von Sydow, Senta Berger and George Sanders, to make up a cast as good as the beautifully filmed surroundings and locations.


2. The Ipcress File (1965) - this groundbreaking movie has plenty of London locations: St. James's Park, Marble Arch, Whitehall, Westminster, Royal Albert Hall, Scotland Yard, Trafalgar Square, to name just some of them. A few have appearances in common with TV’s “The Prisoner”, including the underground car park (along with Guy Doleman as the spy boss in the film, who was also No. 2 ‘in the Village’). A strong cast is assembled with Michael Caine excellent in the lead, Nigel Green, Sue Lloyd and Gordon Jackson.


3. From Russia With Love (1963) - the train sequences on the Orient Express, take us from Istanbul to Venice. Robert Shaw is aboard as the menacing Red Grant. The moving setting provides tight and restricted surroundings, offering a backdrop - along with exterior views through carriage windows - for some excellent, action-packed scenes. As with Quiller, mentioned above, the ‘Cold War’ atmosphere is conveyed well. Shaw is perfect as the trained, icy assassin, enjoying curt exchanges with James Bond (Sean Connery).


4. The Deadly Affair (1966) - the cast of James Mason, Simone Signoret, Maximillian Schell, Harry Andrews, Kenneth Haigh and others bring class to this yet one more ‘Cold War’ drama. The film received several BAFTA nominations and the cast is top notch. London places again make up the ‘set’ and there are Chelsea and Clapham locations, as well as central St. James’s Park. The spy genre seems to allow any slowness of plot to build up suspense and everyday locations provide realism, as well as allowing us to identify with the characters, as we also recognize familiar streets and buildings.


5. The Tamarind Seed (1974) - this underrated movie - again with a John Barry score - holds attention until the very end, in order to find out whether Omar Sharif is a double agent. Shooting took place in Barbados and also Paris, but the London locations provide the perfect background for anonymous characters and the promise of action in far more exotic locations. In one scene, the camera is pointed at a tiger in a cage in the park and as the animal walks round it neatly reveals Julie Andrews and Anthony Quayle. The following airport scenes are exciting and throughout the film the contrast of the big cities with the tropical island provide excellent visual contrasts. Sylvia Syms, Oskar Homolka (his last film) and Bryan Marshall make up a strong cast and Les Crawford, a KGB agent, was always Roger Moore’s double in the days of TV’s “The Saint”.


A heartfelt Thank You to Roger for sharing his list. Roger is currently in Portmeirion, where The Prisoner was filmed. Check out his websites for more information about how to join him on a tour in the future.

Spy Vibers, what are your most memorable sets from Spy Film/Tv?

March 28, 2009

NEW BOND MUSEUM

NEW BOND MUSEUM
The fabulous Toyota GT2000 from the film You Only Live Twice remains one of the rarest of 60s sports cars. I've read that as few as 351 regular production cars were made, and only a couple of convertibles were produced for the 007 film. They are nearly impossible to find- especially if one is looking for one of the few in existence outfitted for the film with custom 007 gadgets and panels. Visitors to Keswick's James Bond Museum will see this rare bird- and more- when the museum makes its grand opening on April 5th. Other items on display include numerous Aston Martins, the Lotus/sub from The Spy Who Loved Me, and the Jet Pack from Thunderball. The exhibit list will take your breath away (and possibly cause drooling). Until we can actually see the original vehicles at the museum, I suggest we curb our cravings with Corgi's scale model below. Check the Commander Bond Network for full museum coverage.

FASHION BONUS

As The C.O.B.R.A.S. continue our coverage of costumes and costumed Spy heroes, I've tracked down some additional treasures for Spy Vibe's Nehru-Mania, including Nehru Jacket patterns for those 1960s families with an eye for homemade fashion on a budget (even junior is hip to the Nehru bag!), and a great ad for mod target hats inspired by Mrs Peel of The Avengers. See the Spy Vibe Costume page, Mods To Moongirls, for related articles and video.




JAMES BOND MEETS PLAYBOY

JAMES BOND MEETS PLAYBOY
In celebration of this week's release of Goldfinger on Blu-ray, I thought it would be fun to go back five years before the film's debut and look at Playboy's first review of Ian Fleming. The magazine has had a long affair with 007 (they both began publishing in 1953). Here's a scan from their first meeting in print from the Oct 1959 issue (click for larger image):




March 27, 2009

DVD SALES!

It's a great time for deals on DVDs. Amazon is currently running a sale on classic TV box sets. Good discounts on seasons of Mission Impossible, Wild Wild West, Hawaii Five-O, Return of the Man From UNCLE, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and many other cool shows. Deep Discount is also running sales, including one with seasons of Rat Patrol for $12.49 each!

Cinema Retro Give-Away Ends TONIGHT

CINEMA RETRO GIVE-AWAY ENDS TONIGHT!
Cinema Retro Magazine recently featured Spy Vibe on their website. In celebration, Spy Vibe is giving away one of the fantastic back issues of the magazine. If you haven't read Cinema Retro yet, or need to catch up with some past issues, here's your chance to read some of their articles about Stanley Kubrick, Hugh Hefner, and Vincent Price (my kind of party!). All you have to do is send an e-mail to me at jason@spyvibe.com with "Cinema Retro" in the subject line. I will choose a winner in a random drawing this Saturday March 28th.

Issue #5 (May 2006)

Something for everyone in this action-packed issue: Exclusive interviews with Hugh Hefner, Tigon's Tony Tenser and actor Michael York. Vic Armstrong talks about the dangers of stunt work with horses, including rare photos taken by him on the set. We take a look at the Disney live-action films made at Pinewood Studios, and brace yourself for our special 8-page tribute to Vincent Price's gory Witchfinder General. Part 2 of our Tony Rome feature explores, in depth (pardon the pun!) Lady in Cement, and our Australian correspondent David Brown reports on the Stanley Kubrick exhibition that included an array of props from 2001 A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Dr Strangelove, Barry Lyndon and more - we have the photos! We also report on the cast and crew of Kes reunion at the 12th Bradford Film Festival, discuss the big-screen comedy movies of Morecambe and Wise, visit the fort set of El Condor in Spain, and remember John Wayne's El Dorado and the excellent Peter Fonda horror flick Race with the Devil. All of this, plus our usual round-up of Soundtrack, book and CD releases and Raymond Benson's top ten films of 1964, make this the best must-have movie magazine on the market.

March 24, 2009

WESLEY BRITTON INTERVIEW

Author and fellow C.O.B.R.A. Wesley Britton was invited to do another excellent interview in the wake of his new book, The Encyclopedia of TV Spies. He talks with Jordon Rich at WBZ/WCCO about The Avengers, The Wild Wild West, The Saint, The Prisoner, Danger Man, Man From U.N.C.L.E., Mission Impossible, and more!

The interview is now posted here on-line.

You can also read Wesley's GUEST SET LIST here in the Spy Vibe archives.

Amazon 007 Sale Today

Amazon has the 007 dvd and Blu-ray sets in their Gold Box sale today.

March 23, 2009

JAWS TOPS POLL

JAWS TOPS POLL

In a recent poll, Jaws was voted best Bond character. Check out the full article on the Commander Bond Network. I had a chance to meet up with Richard Kiel at Comicon this year, as well as with David Hedison (Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Live and Let Die, License to Kill), and "Tanner" from Double O Section. I found Kiel to be a fantastic guy (check out his new book), and he'd sure get my vote for his time with 007 and on Wild Wild West. Though I preferred the "serious" Bond films growing up, I find now that his two entries in the Bond series are just plain FUN to watch! And now they're getting better with the Blu-ray treatment. Moonraker will be released in the US tomorrow, along with Goldfinger, The World is Not Enough, and Quantom of Solice.



SpyVibe Meets Jaws


GET SMART WINNER

Thanks to everyone who entered the GET SMART season one DVD give-away contest! There were many posts and emails and it was fantastic to hear about your memories of Thunderball and Get Smart. All of the names were put in a hat and one winner was chosen at random- Congratulations to Vicki Titus!

C.O.B.R.A.S. COSTUME MONTH

C.O.B.R.A.S. COSTUME MONTH continues at Permission To Kill.

March 22, 2009

PEELING OFF THE TRENCH COATS

The crime and espionage adventurers of the post-war era were often found in cramped little, private offices. Tucked way in the back, up flights of stairs, they sat at desks in dark rooms and watched the ice melt under bourbon for clues like one might study tea leaves. These were noirish, manly men with trench coats, 45s or snub-nosed 38s, who seemed determined to charge ahead in thankless jobs, behind in their rent, never to rise above the seedy streets to join the world of their wealthy clients. This was the adventurer of the 40s-50s, reflecting, I believe, the underlying suburban gloom that was dying for the freedom represented by Hugh Hefner, the pill, and the coming youth movement of the 1960s. The youth of the late 50s and early 60s ushered in new attitudes about lifestyle. They rejected the drudgery of the grey flannel suit world and embraced a sense of playfulness and joy that manifested throughout the Arts. Off came the trench coats. International, larger-than-life spies replaced the private eyes, and drew on the traditions of men's adventure, cliffhanger serials, wealthy detective/playboys, and science fiction. Adventurers looked for new apartments with high ceilings and rotating beds, and found something new in their fight against crime- Style!

THE AVENGERS
The Avengers began as a program, as Patrick Macnee has been quoted to describe, about "cigarettes and dirty macs." The scripts had the characters
lurking about in alleys dressed in trench coats and fighting criminals and spies. But the cast and crew knew they could push things a bit further. Macnee was asked to develop his screen persona to be more interesting and way out. Macnee describes in his book, The Avengers and Me, that he began to create a suave man of leisure- a quality of dandyism and Eduardian perfection- a well-dressed fop of an image to veil the shrewd spy of a man within. Drawing on memories of his father, his Navy CO, as well as The Scarlet Pimpernel, Macnee created his timeless alter-ego, John Steed. With clothes designed by Pierre Cardin, Steed's double-breasted suits, bowler hat, and gadget-umbrellas became one of the most iconic outfits in spy fiction. Pierre Cardin received prominent screen credit, as James Chapman points out in Saints and Avengers, establishing the show as a launchpad for direct product placement and consumer culture. In 1963, Macnee was voted one of the Ten Best-Dressed Men in the World, and was part of a Pierre Cardin collection based on his character.


Macnee contributed even more to The Avengers' style when he suggested leather for his female partner, played by Honor Blackman (Pussy Galore/Goldfinger). Setting the tone that would be repeated with his future partners, Blackman's Cathy Gale was a powerful, liberated woman of her times. An accomplished academic, author, and martial arts expert, her leather jumpsuits and boots added a fetishist quality to the show and caused quite a stir in the culture. Macnee writes about her catsuit, "Lit and oiled, it can be a second skin, and hugely erotic. At the time it was seen as something frightfully naughty. We knew that, of course. I like to think that we went for it because it was a fetish." And addressing the many moments that Steed came to rescue of his tied-up partners, "We used bondage... we suggested bondage. We implied everything on that show, but mainly we used humour. Without humour none of it would have worked." The stylish combination of Steed's traditional bowler and umbrella with the sensual and modern power of Cathy Gale was a pop sensation. And like many pop sensations of the times, the actors were invited to record a number of records- resulting in one memorable cult classic, Kinky Boots. It's interesting to see how the lyrics poked fun at consumerism while celebrating the fashion at the same time.


KINKY BOOTS LYRICS
Her: Everybody's going for those kinky boots, kinky boots,
(Boop boop)
Him: Kinky boots,
Him: It's a manly kind of fashion that you borrowed from the brutes,
Her: Borrowed from the brutes,
(Boop boop)
Her: Kinky boots.
Her: Fashion magazines say wear 'em,
Him: And you rush to obey like the women in a harem.

Her: Full length, half length,
Him: Fully fashion calf length,
Her: Brown boots, black boots,
Him: Patent leather jackboots,
Her: Low boots, high boots,
Him: Lovely lanky thigh boot,
Her: We all dig those boots.

Her: Everybody's crazy for those kinky boots, kinky boots,
(Boop boop)
Her: Kinky boots,
Him: And whether you're in evening dress or bathing suits,
Her: You wear boots, boots, kinky boots.

(Boop boop, boop boop)

Her: There are twenty million women wearing kinky boots, kinky boots,
Him: Puss in boots,
Him: Footwear manufacturers are gathering the fruits,
Her: Gathering the fruits,
(Boop boop)
Her: Kinky boots.

Her: Advertising men say try 'em,
Him: And you all run amok like a flock of sheep to buy 'em.

Her: Sweet girls, street girls,
Him: Frumpy little beach girls,
Her: Square girls, cool girls,
Him: Sexy little schoolgirls,
Her: Maiden aunties,
Him: Major debutantes,
Her: They all dig those boots.

Her: Everybody's rushin' for those Russian boots,
Him: Prussian boots,
(Boop boop)
Her: Kinky boots,
Both: Cover up those slender little tender foots with kinky slinky,
Him: Leather is so kinky,
Her: Come and get those kinky boots, boots, kinky boots. Her: Everybody's going for those kinky boots, kinky boots,
(Boop boop)
Him: Kinky boots,
Him: It's a manly kind of fashion that you borrowed from the brutes,
Her: Borrowed from the brutes,
Her: Kinky boots.
Her: Fashion magazines say wear 'em,
Him: And you rush to obey like the women in a harem.

Her: Full length, half length,
Him: Fully fashion calf length,
Her: Brown boots, black boots,
Him: Patent leather jackboots,
Her: Low boots, high boots,
Him: Lovely lanky thigh boot,
Her: We all dig those boots.

Her: Everybody's crazy for those kinky boots, kinky boots,
(Boop boop)
Her: Kinky boots,
Him: And whether you're in evening dress or bathing suits,
Her: You wear boots, boots, kinky boots.

(Boop boop, boop boop)

Her: There are twenty million women wearing kinky boots, kinky boots,
Him: Puss in boots,
Him: Footwear manufacturers are gathering the fruits,
Her: Gathering the fruits,
(Boop boop)
Her: Kinky boots.

Her: Advertising men say try 'em,
Him: And you all run amok like a flock of sheep to buy 'em.

Her: Sweet girls, street girls,
Him: Frumpy little beach girls,
Her: Square girls, cool girls,
Him: Sexy little schoolgirls,
Her: Maiden aunties,
Him: Major debutantes,
Her: They all dig those boots.

Her: Everybody's rushin' for those Russian boots,
Him: Prussian boots,
(Boop boop)
Her: Kinky boots,
Both: Cover up those slender little tender foots with kinky slinky,
Him: Leather is so kinky,
Her: Come and get those kinky boots, boots, kinky boots.


EMMA PEEL

American audiences were introduced to The Avengers as Steed took on a new partner, Emma Peel, in 1965. The producers were literally looking for a character with "man appeal," "m-appeal," thus her name was born. Played by RADA actress, Diana Rigg (Tracy/On Her Majesty's Secret Service), Emma Peel quickly became a major fashion maven of the mid-1960s. An early Courreges mini skirt was introduced on the show, followed by leather cat-suits, mod-striped jumpsuits (Emmapeelers) with cut-outs and large ring zippers, striped and suede go-go boots, and all manner of Pop Art-influenced outfits and accessories. Quoted by Toby Miller in his book, The Avengers, Peel's outfits were the first publicly available line of clothing designed for TV in 1965.




Mrs. Peel's most notorious costume was for the episode, A Touch of Brimstone. Banned in the US as too kinky, Emma goes under cover in a modern-day Hellfire Club dressed as the "Queen of Sin." As Macnee remembers, Rigg designed the costume herself, 'dressed in whalebone corset, high, laced boots and a spiked dog collar." In case younger readers are wondering if The Avengers was too adult or inappropriate, rest assured that the kinky elements were done in fun with a great dose of humor and spy adventure.


The style of The Avengers costumes existed both as an essential element to the storytelling and as a cultural, fashion phenomenon. The look, and more importantly, the performances symbolized the playful attitudes of the times and reflected a shared fantasy with the audience about an adventurous life devoted to pleasure, wit, and sensuality. The trench coats were off and there was fun to be had! Indeed, the opening credits of The Avengers featured champagne toasts alongside karate cops and silencers. Like 007, no moment was too dangerous for our spy heroes to take time to stop and smell the carnations and to sip a rare port. The characters crackled with delight, depth, and humor, making The Avengers one of the most enduring shows of the 1960s.



See the Spy Vibe Costume page, Mods To Moongirls, for related articles and video. For more information, please search the Spy Vibe blog for The Avengers, fashion, and check out the excellent Avengers fashion site.

March 21, 2009

GOLD KEY RE-PRINTS!

Hermes Press will be publishing re-prints of the 60s Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea comics from Gold Key! The Vol 1 hardcover is due May 1st. Description from Amazon:

It's back! the comic book adaptation of one of the most famous and popular sci-fi television series of the 1960s: Irwin Allen's Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. This first of two hardcover volumes collects eight, digitally remastered reprints of the original Gold Key comic books featuring Admiral Nelson, Captain Crane, and the Sea View, and includes documentary material about the series, its designs, and special effects.



Vol 2 Info from Hermes:
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Volume Two: reprints of issues #7-14 of the original Gold Key Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea comic books.

Hermes Press continues its complete reprints of all of the Irwin Allen comic book television tie-ins with Volume Two of Voyage to the Bottom of Sea. Journey on seven action packed sci-fi adventures finishing the complete reprint of the series. These comic books have been painstakingly restored to look as good as the original comic books. Featuring original covers, inside cover artwork, and pin-ups. Also included are informative essays on series. Artwork by Alberto Giolitti with cover art by George Wilson.


They also plan to re-print the Time Tunnel from Gold Key comics!
From their site: It’s back, the complete reprint of Gold Key comics Time Tunnel comic book series. This is the second volume of Hermes Press’s complete reprints of all of the Irwin Allen sci-fi television show tie-in comic books. Now, for the first time in over forty years read both issues, back-to-back, together with documentary material, essays, blue prints from the show and more! Full color and digitally remastered, Time Tunnel: The Complete Series brings these comic books back looking better than when they first hit the stands.



It's a fab time for Irwin Allen fans. And speaking of Fab, check out the
Hermes Press site for three behind-the-scenes books about Gerry Anderson shows, including a design book about Mike Trim and Sylvia Anderson's own My FAB Years.

March 17, 2009

NEHRU JACKETS




One of the iconic outfits for spy guys in the 1960s, the Nehru Jacket was named after Jawaharlal Nehru, the Indian Prime Minister from 1947 to 1964. Adapting the original to meet the early-to-mid 1960s taste for minimal design, the coat was shortened and given a cleaner, jacket-like look. The Nehru Jacket became highly visible in the mainstream with support from trendsetters like The Beatles and Sammy Davis Jr. (who was reported to have had more than 200 of the jackets hanging in his closet!). Designer Oleg Cassini, whose clients included Jackie O and Marilyn Monroe, is said to have claimed responsibility for making the jacket popular. He designed a line of clothes for Johnny Carson, who is also said to have captured audience attention dressed in a Nehru. Nehru himself, of course, was often seen around the world in His Jacket with the movers and shakers, including the Kennedys.


JAMES BOND vs NEHRU
The design was a central element in establishing the tone of James Bond in the first film in the series in 1962. To accentuate both the modern, minimal look of Ken Adam's sets and to give the baddie a more Asian tone, Dr. No was dressed in a Nehru Jacket. He even wore it under his plastic radiation suit! In the film, Bond is captured and stripped of his contaminated clothes, and given a jacket to wear to his dinner appointment with the good doctor. As a film, Dr. No established Bond's larger-than-life take on the spy thriller with a dash of sci-fi, and the Nehru Jacket added to its modern, exotic flair.


But Dr. No was not the only villain to wear the garb. The Nehru Jacket returned many times as the look-of-choice for James Bond villains. In some cases, slight Mao collars were added, rather than a strict stand up collar, but the look maintained its essential qualities. Nehru-sporting baddies include Blofeld (You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Diamonds Are Forever), Jimmy Bond (Casino Royale), Drax (Moonraker), Khan and Henchman (Octopussy), and, of course, the Blofeld-spoof, Dr. Evil, in Austin Powers.



FAB WORLD OF NEHRU
The Spy Vibe show that implanted the Nehru look on my brain, however, was Gerry Anderson’s UFO (1970-1973). Anderson’s first live-action series got under way just at the end of the 1960s. Production design really started with the film project, Doppelganger/Journey to the Far Side of the Sun in 1969. As with other Anderson efforts, his wife Sylvia was the guiding force as a designer. Watching UFO on a black and white set as a kid, I never realized that the jackets (and the wigs!) were sometimes quite colorful. The minimal, stand up look really gave UFO a cool style. Straker and his fellow SHADO agents used a movie studio as their cover, so they had a great excuse to look hip! Images from the excellent UFO Series Site.



WHITON GOES NEHRU
Writer & Spy Vibe creator Jason Whiton in a Nehru Jacket (Zara), white shirt (Armani), and a vintage thin black tie.



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