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Casino Royale

For England, James?

The last time I attended an all-night movie marathon was over a decade ago, but the Prince Charles dangled a James Bond All-Nighter in front of me and I heeded the call. The lineup, after all, very closely matched my list of top Bond movies:
  • Goldfinger
  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service
  • The Spy Who Loved Me
  • The Living Daylights
  • Goldeneye
  • Casino Royale

I'd have picked Skyfall over Casino Royale, but one can't have everything.

I was a little unsure, on arrival, whether I was doing a sensible thing, but it turns out that when there's big-screen Bond on the menu I will happily stay up all night and love it. For everything up to Goldeneye, this was my first viewing in a cinema, which added to the excitement, and it was lovely to be sharing the reactions of >100 other people to films we, presumably, all knew and loved.


Probably the best-known Bond film, giving a good solid start to proceedings and lots of opportunities to cheer at the best lines. Honor Blackman is easily my favourite Bond girl, and the cuddly Gert Frobe my favourite villain.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

There's a lot of silliness in this one, and it was reassuring to hear the audience hoot at the suggestion that what Tracy needs is a man to 'dominate' her. Despite the high-spirited midnight giggles, though, the final scene generated a tense silence in which you could have heard a pin drop.

The Spy Who Loved Me

Oh, Roger, we do like you really, even though we laughed at every single love scene. This is my favourite Moore Bond, and utterly redolent of the '70s, but it gets a bit draggy towards the end when you're watching in the small hours. I can take or leave mass battles between colour-coded goodies and baddies. (It was fun watching the effect of various big explosions on those weaker souls who'd fallen asleep, though.)

The Living Daylights

Tim got the graveyard slot - 4am - but obviously I was not going to nod off for my favourite Bond in my favourite Bond movie, and lapped up the chance to see it in detail. (Everyone around me who fell asleep: you are dead to me, random strangers!)


Props to whoever shouted out "I can't wait to watch Sean Bean die!" as the lights went down. Audience a little subdued by now, but Xenia Onatopp got laughs in every scene. I was mostly interested in the bed Bond and Natalya share in the Caribbean, which looked pretty inviting at this stage.

Casino Royale

This is a great film but God it's gritty, and I am here to tell you that watching it stone cold sober at 9am on a Sunday, on no sleep, will make you question your life choices. From the unforgiving viewpoint of someone who would really like a nap, the ending could be tightened up, too.

I'd never watched a film from each era back to back like this, and it was very illuminating on the evolution of the series and the continuity along the way. Goldeneye in particular draws on OHMSS in the ways it establishes that this new Bond is the same as the old Bond. The effect of an audience was energising, too, as we clapped each gun barrel.

Shortly after 11am I emerged into the West End's Chinese New Year parade, which felt very Bond-movie: struggling against the flow of oblivious, happy revellers to get somewhere important (i.e. HOME). I channeled Daniel Craig and behaved as if bad things would happen should I not get through. It worked.



Interesting choices mine would be

On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Live and Let Die
Licence to Kill
The World is Not Enough

I wouldn't have any issue with those picks either! I rewatched TWINE recently and found it better than I remembered, but I still put Goldeneye at the top because the new Bond was all fresh and exciting and long-awaited at the time. I've got fonder of Licence to Kill as time goes by, but Daylights feels like more of a 'proper' Bond film.
Ah well like From Russia With Love and Thunderball, Goldeneye is one of the three bond movies I haven't seen.
Well, all three are definitely worth it!

You win. All-nighters never really appealed to me (In theory, yes! In practice, I like sleep) but I'm so pleased people like you will go along to events like this :)

I don't very often - I've done sci-fi and anime in the past. I think Bond was a better bet, actually; it makes more sense to watch films you already know pretty well than to try and get the hang of something new at that hour.
Fun(nish) fact: Goldeneye remains the only Bond film I've seen in the cinema, back when it was new. Anyway, it sounds brilliant for the ultra-committed fan! I don't think I could manage an all-nighter for anything, though, so I'm glad you did it instead!
Always happy to take one for the team :)

I got into Bond during the early-90s hiatus, so I was very excited about Goldeneye. It's still the only Bond, probably the only film, I've been to see on opening night.
that sounds awesome! I'd totally be up for that. Pesky London being so far away.


Now it's got me thinking what I'd plan for my Ultimate Bond all-nighter.
Is there an indie picturehouse round your way? You could float the idea...
Ooh, that reminds me - there's a pop-up cinema happening around Bucks in March, with venues including the likes of the Hellfire Caves in West Wycombe, where they'll show The Shining, The Exorcist, Ghostbusters (1986), and one or two others, on new, high-end equipment. ISTR they're mostly on weeknights, though.
Oh, fantastic! Probably a bit out of the way for a weeknight, but splendid anyway.