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Museum Exhibit Marks 40 Years of James Bond Films


Bond - James Bond - is known to film-goers around the world. And to mark the 40th anniversary of the first time the British super-spy appeared on the silver screen, a new exhibition has opened at London's Science Museum. It is a delight for Bond fans of all ages.

The fictional, suave British spy has charmed two generations of audiences, male and female. "The men envy him and the women fall in love with him," said Syd Cain, production designer on the first five Bond films.

The latest Bond action-thriller the soon-to-be-released Die Another Day, will mark the 20th time the secret agent has graced the silver screen. James Bond is a marvel of longevity in the film world, something Syd Cain says no one expected when the first Bond adventure, Dr. No, came out in 1962.

"We had hardly any money at all. And, well it took off but we never thought for one moment it was going to last for as long as it has," he said.

But it certainly has, and at the London's Science Museum, fans of the world's most famous secret agent can catch a glimpse of every Bond escapade through the years.

On the high-tech interactive tour, you pass through the office of Bond's boss, M. But the highlight for most is a visit to the workshop of another character made famous by the Bond movies. That is Q, the long-suffering inventor who designed all those futuristic gadgets used by Bond.

And as museum curator Martin Lenton says, some of those devices, which once seemed so farfetched, are now in common use today. "In 1963's film, From Russia with Love, one of the early scenes had a car phone which was a radical departure and of course mobile phones have grown to huge proportions today. Another one was Goldfinger. There was a scene there where Bond seemed to have an in-car radar system which again seemed like fantastically impressive for the day. But of course, we have GPS [global positioning system] and in-car navigation now as almost standard," Mr. Lenton said.

Among the many props on display are the fiendish weapons used by Bond's arch-enemies over the years, including the golden gun used by the villain Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun and the deadly bowler hat that the equally villainous Oddjob tossed around in Goldfinger.

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