2017 Entertainment Highlights

By Howard Campbell
Observer senior writer

Thursday, December 28, 2017

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The Jamaica Observer's Entertainment Desk continues its daily year in review of people who made an impact during 2017.

THE James Bond franchise which made actors Sean Connery and Roger Moore superstars turned 55 this year. Dr No , the first Bond movie, was filmed in Jamaica where writer Ian Fleming conceived super agent 007 in the 1940s.

Starring Connery as Bond, Dr No was a massive international hit. It cost US$1 million to make and raked in US$60 million for its investors.

Dr No also cast Jamaica, which gained independence in 1962, in a new light. Several of the country's sites, including Port Royal in St Andrew and Laughing Waters in Ocho Rios, got international mileage.

Laughing Waters was where Ursula Andress, the first Bond girl, filmed her iconic bikini scene. Viewers also saw other Jamaican staples, like Red Stripe Beer, for the first time.

Fleming was a former British naval intelligence officer who spent considerable time at Goldeneye, his summer home in picturesque Oracabessa, St Mary.

There he kept memorable parties for celebrity friends like Noel Coward and Errol Flynn. The postcard location inspired him to write about the exploits of suave British agent 007 — a lady's man with an arsenal of fancy gadgets who liked his martini shaken, not stirred.

In addition to Connery and Andress, Dr No starred Jack Lord, who later gained fame in the television series Hawaii Five-0; and Jamaicans Reggie Carter and Marguerite LeWars.

An interesting tidbit. Island Records co-founder Chris Blackwell, whose family were Fleming's neighbours in Oracabessa, used his music business ties to recruit musicians who appeared in the film.

Blackwell's mother, Blanche Lindo, died in August at age 104. The British media widely reported that she was Fleming's mistress and inspiration for the character Pussy Galore in Goldfinger, the third Bond film, which was released in 1964.




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