BondMovies.com would like to invite you to a time before there was a James Bond - it was the early 1950's and black and white televisions were just becoming popular. No TiVO or DVR to record your favorite shows, or even the 'guide' that comes standard today with cable boxes.
No, no. These were the times without channel changers - times when TV knobs were your friend and the guide to your television viewing was, TV Guide.
So we first start off with the 1954 edition of TV Guide - the week of October 16 - 22. Comedian Red Buttons graces its cover:
Inside the issue is the actual TV listing of 1954's made-for-TV James Bond movie, Casino Royale (the first time ever that James Bond was portrayed on any screen) - click the image for a higher-res picture:
As we can see in its text, Casino Royale is described as follows:
"Casino Royale" stars Barry Nelson, Linda Christian and Peter Lorre. James Bond is assigned by the secret service to destroy the power of "Le Chiffre" (The Chief), a powerful Communist agent in France. Bond's plan is to force "Le Chiffre" to lose a large sum of money at the gambling tables of Monte Carlo's famed Casino Royale.
James Bond...Barry Nelson
Le Chiffre...Peter Lorre
Sponsored by Chrysler Corp.
Another mention of Royale at that time in an issue of TV Guide was (presumably) the summer following the initial showing of Royale on the big screen for the week of June 9 - 15 in 1955. Although the context of the image is unclear, it may be a review of the movie or a showcase for a replay on TV:
Fast-forward 52 years, 2 unofficial movies and 21 official movies later and you have the highest-grossing most successful movie franchise of all time.
Although I have only realized the movie franchise for the past dozen years or so, I still think I can say, "What a ride it has been."
Thanks to Joe C. for the TV Guide scans.
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