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13 Things You Didn’t Know About Bond…James Bond

Think you know James Bond movies? We dug up little-known trivia about Agent 007.

1 / 13

He’s the man with the golden franchise.

Adjusted for inflation, the James Bond films are the top-grossing film franchise ever, according to money-tracking website Box Office Mojo. That’s right: It’s ahead of Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Batman.

2 / 13

He introduced the idea of a European vacation to America.

From Vanity Fair: Goldfinger director Guy Hamilton once said, “Buy your ticket—we’re going to take you places!” And at the time, he was right. “As of 1960, fewer than 2 percent of all Americans had traveled internationally by air,” reports VF, “So both Dr. No and From Russia with Love include what are essentially fetish shots of Pan Am jets landing on runways.”

3 / 13

Before the Aston Martins, he was a Chevy man.

Though rides from the luxury British automaker have become something of a Bond staple, the first car to appear in a 007 film was a Chevrolet Bel Air, seen in 1962’s Dr. No.

4 / 13

He doesn’t even drink martinis.

Sure, any bartender’s got the emblematic cocktail—shaken, not stirred—ready to go when 007 shows up on film, but his drink of choice is actually a scotch and soda in Ian Fleming’s original books. He’s also ordered up everything from Stingers to Mojitos. (Plus, a controversial sponsorship has him throwing back some Heinekens in Skyfall.)

5 / 13

His number? 52.

According to an exhaustively researched list by hardcore Bond fan John H. Hillman, V, Agent 007 has slept with a woman for every week of the year.

6 / 13

He smells like apple and lavender.

Now available from Harrods for just under $70, the official James Bond 007 cologne is said to contain notes of apple, lavender, rose thorn, geranium, and other scents. No wonder Bond’s got a sweet game going with the ladies.

7 / 13

His box office is bulletproof when it comes to the critics.

While 2008’s Quantum of Solace is the highest grossing James Bond film ever, it was met with mixed reviews. (Adjusted for inflation, the prize goes to 1965’s Thunderball—which fared better with critics.)

8 / 13

The longest term on Her Majesty’s Secret Service?

Sean Connery is perhaps the iconic James Bond actor, but Roger Moore holds the record for most consecutive 007 films starred in: From 1973 to 1985, he appeared in Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, and A View to a Kill.

9 / 13

Two of the Bond movies are actually “indie” flicks.

Eon Productions is responsible for most of the 25 James Bond films to date, from 1962’s Dr. No to the 2012 Skyfall, but two 007 adventures were made independent of the famed company: the original Casino Royale and Never Say Never Again.

10 / 13

He’s inspired at least one president.

A recent Vanity Fair article reveals that in March 1961, John F. Kennedy chose Bond scribe Ian Fleming’s fifth book, From Russia with Love, “as one of his 10 current favorite reads.”

11 / 13

Duran Duran trumps Paul McCartney, Nancy Sinatra, and more.

The theme to 1985’s A View to a Kill is the only 007 theme to reach the top spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 list. That puts it ahead of other Bond favorites, including “Live and Let Die” by Paul McCartney and The Wings, “You Only Live Twice” by Nancy Sinatra, and “Diamonds Are Forever” by Shirley Bassey.

Take a listen:

12 / 13

He’s not for all ages.

While most Bond films are rated PG-13, 1989’s Licence to Kill was initially given an “R” rating by the MPAA. It was eventually edited and re-rated.

13 / 13

He endorses dessert.

George Lazenby, probably the least well-known actor to ever play 007 (he appeared only in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service), was picked for the role after producers saw him in a TV ad for Fry’s Chocolate Cream, an English candy bar.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest