Feb 21, 2015
“Perfect for James Bond Villains”
Saw this luxury submarine today and it reminded me that I’d been going through some old Bond films. I saw Thunderball (1965) a few weeks ago, and then Never Say Never Again (1983) which is based upon the same Ian Fleming novel. Both star Sean Connery, but are by different production companies.
Both films feature a lot of underwater action, and both feature a large yacht as the villain’s mobile HQ. In Thunderball, the yacht’s name is Disco Volante, and in Never Say Never Again, it is the Flying Saucer. Besides the fun of imagining luxury yachts as stealth UFO’s, I just plain like big yachts, even though they are also the classic example of capitalist wealth and greed. In 1983, when I was in design school, the largest private yacht in the world was the 281’ Nabila, commissioned by Saudi “businessman” Adnan Khashoggi. This is the yacht used in Never Say Never Again as the Flying Saucer. It was later bought by Donald Trump and renamed the Trump Princess, who then sold it to Al-Waleed bin Talal who renamed her Kingdom 5KR. It was designed by the prestigious London firm of John Bannenberg, who went on to set the avant-garde style of modern mega-yachts that continues to this day. His style was described as “Star Wars” or “space ship”, and back then my dream job would have been to work in his office.
But back to Nabila, and Khashoggi. According to muck-racking journalist Daniel Hopsicker in The CIA Double-Dip: Drugs, Fraud, & the JFK Assassination: “Khashoggi and his lieutenant Ramy El-Batrawi, both of whom have long histories in past CIA operations, also used their ability to operate with impunity—their get out of jail free card—to act like the worst sort of double-dealing flimflam men, bunco artists and grifters.”
In other words, a perfect James Bond Villain, but is he really? You see, James WORKS for MI6 and his buddy Felix Lighter is CIA! They both work for the same drug dealing, money laundering, arms dealing, media owning, oil cartel that controls the West, and which is perfectly represented by the thug Adnan Khashoggi and his yacht.
A real James Bond “villain” would stand in opposition to all that and so would more accurately be called a hero, someone perhaps, more like Captain Nemo. Who also has a sub, which is “perfect for James Bond villains”. It is interesting that the first maritime victim of Captain Nemo’s “sea monster” in Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is the USS Abraham Lincoln.
Even though Verne fantasized about technology as a method of cast leveling, the historical record proves that technology is quickly appropriated by the PTB. Nemo needs to find a work around.
Never Say Never Again starred Kim Bassinger as Largo's girlfriend. Oddly, the movie I watched right before this was Tim Burton's Batman, where she played Viki Vale, who was both the Batman's and the Joker's girlfriend.