The 85th Oscars will celebrate movies released in 2012 but will also include a special tribute to James Bond’s 50th birthday. The special night will include the first-ever appearance by Dame Shirley Bassey, as well as a performance by Adele.
With the success of “Skyfall,” James Bond is not letting father time get the best of him. Spanning five decades, the Bond franchise is an integral part of Hollywood culture with one of the most iconic characters ever to grace the silver screen. Over the years, James Bond has been played by Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.
The first ever Bond movie, “Dr. No,” was released in 1962 and starred Connery as the titular character. Connery would star in the next four Bond films before George Lazenby took over for Connery for “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” released in 1969. Connery would return for 1971’s “Diamonds Are Forever,” his last stint as Bond.
For the 1970s and most the 1980s, Bond belonged to Roger Moore, who starred in seven films. Moore starred in “Live and Let Die,” “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “Octopussy,” to name a few, and, in 1987, Bond was passed on to Timothy Dalton, who starred in two Bond films, “The Living Daylights” and “License to Kill.” It wasn’t until 1995 that Bond returned to the silver screen, this time being played by Pierce Brosnan.
Throughout the '60s, '70s and '80s Bond was a constant presence, and the six years between 1989’s “License to Kill” and 1995’s “GoldenEye” was the longest such drought for a Bond film. Brosnan’s Bond films proved there was plenty of life left in the franchise with Brosnan’s grossing around $1.5 billion globally. The Bond mantle was passed to Daniel Craig, who starred in “Casino Royale,” the adaptation of the first Bond novel written by Ian Fleming.
The spy films are adaptions of Fleming’s novels, and many believe that Bond was based on a real individual during Fleming’s time working as an assistant to the director of the British Naval Intelligence Division during World War II. Fleming went on to author 14 James Bond novels, the first being “Casino Royale,” published in 1952.
It seems as though Bond’s fifth decade of existence will be his best. The Bond films have always been popular, but Craig’s performances and the films themselves are also getting plenty of critical acclaim. The latest Bond film, “Skyfall,” has grossed more than $1 billion, and Craig’s Bond films have grossed more than $2 billion.
“Skyfall” is nominated for five Oscars.
There are many iconic aspects about Bond and the films themselves. Bond is a highly sophisticated man with a lifestyle tailored on luxury. With cars, money, gadgets and women, Bond is the epitome of the suave spy. While the talk tends to focus on Bond, there is plenty of prestige in being a “Bond girl,” and, with every new Bond film, there is plenty of speculation about who will sing the theme song.
At ths year's Oscars, Bond will be celebrated, but so will the music that has served as the theme for each film. For the first time ever, Dame Shirley Bassey will appear at the Oscars. Dame Bassey performed three Bond theme songs, for “Goldfinger,” “Diamonds Are Forever” and “Moonraker.” She is perhaps one of the most important British female singers of all time, and her appearance at the Oscars will be a historic one. Dame Bassey has sold mroe than 135 million albums and performed at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron said Dame Bassey’s “association with film music is world-renowned and we are proud that she will be making her first Oscar appearance on our telecast.”
In another performance, Adele will be performing the Oscar-nominated “Skyfall.” The Oscars will be the first event at which Adele has performed “Skyfall” live. The song joins “Live and Let Die,” performed by Wings, “Nobody Does It Better,” performed by Carly Simon, and “For Your Eyes Only” as the other Bond theme songs nominated for an Oscar.
Speaking about Adele’s performance, Zadan and Meron said, “She is currently one of the most successful recording artists in the world, and we believe that her performance of 'Skyfall' will be an exciting Oscar moment for audiences watching at the Dolby Theatre and on television screens around the world.”
The special Bond tribute at the Oscars will not reunite all the Bonds on one stage, but Zadan and Meron promise, “something else, something very unique and very exciting,” reports Deadline.
Footage of Dame Shirley Bassey performing “Goldfinger” and “Diamonds Are Forever” can be viewed below.
Charles Poladian joined IBTimes in October 2012 and, when not reporting on all things topical, can be found reading or photographing concerts.