James Bond: The True Story

James Bond: The True Story

2008, Art and Artists  -   25 Comments
Ratings: 5.73/10 from 15 users.

James Bond: The True StoryAuthor Ian Fleming wanted his suave secret agent to be the ultimate spy – but who provided the inspiration for Bond? This film reveals Fleming’s wartime service in naval intelligence and profiles two men who could have supplied the basis for Bond’s character.

On February 17th 1952, Ian Fleming sat down at his typewriter in Jamaica to write the spy story to end all spy stories. The central character of this story would become one of the world’s best-known and best-loved fictional creations: James Bond. Fleming would go on to write 12 novels featuring his super spy – each one an exciting blend of intrigue, escapism, sex and violence.

Bond’s popularity leaped when US president John F Kennedy declared himself a fan of the book "From Russia with Love", but it was the start of the film series in 1961 that truly assured 007’s place in the big time. It is estimated that half the population of the world has seen a James Bond film, while Fleming’s books have sold over 100 million copies.

But is James Bond purely a fairytale? Can a 43-year-old former journalist with a liking for scrambled eggs, cigarettes and vodka martinis simply conjure up a fictitious character that has stood the test of time, without having some foundation in reality?

Fleming’s wartime career in naval intelligence saw him become intimately acquainted with the ways of the secret service, and he embarked on numerous top-secret missions to the US, France, Spain and North Africa. The events that occurred during this little-known period of Fleming’s life informed and influenced every aspect of Bond: his world, his women and his adventures.

Henry Chancellor, author of a book on Bond, believes Fleming "may have written fiction, but 95% of it was based on fact that had been filtered through the prism of his imagination and then polished up a bit".

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Charles Small
3 years ago

The real James Bond was a man named James. He is mentioned in Richard Sorge’s memoir as the tall young strong man with glasses. It was Ian’s most audacious mission to establish a secret phone call among Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill October 1941. This phone call established a bond between these men to fight Hitler.

Mahi Tuna
9 years ago

Fleming had met Popov during WW2, They both worked for British government. Popov was a spy, he was a playboy, had rich tastes, traveled the world during the war, was always dressed in fine clothes, stayed in the finest hotels, loved casinos and met fellow spies in casinos. Popov was intelligent and spoke several languages fluently. Does that sound familiar?

10 years ago

"This video contains content from Smithsonian Networks, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds" (USA)

Et tu Smithsonian? Screw you.

10 years ago

his name was William Stevenson and he was born in my country (Canada), Manitoba, Winnipeg and he was the real James bond

11 years ago

How did they forget Pierce Brosnan?!?1

Out_Of Africa
11 years ago

As the chap said, (Part 2, 4:33), "... at a time when there were more heroes around than you can shake a stick at"

I've personally known two of them. One British & one American.

The British one, part Scottish, and most like James Bond, trained Marshal Tito's partisans. He spent many an evening telling me about when he would be drinking until dawn with Tito, and then spending the day risking his life making love to Tito's sister! Indeed, he was with her when she blew two of her fingers off with a Sten Gun

Once he was trapped in a graveyard surrounded on 360' by machine-gunning Germans for a whole day and was one of the few survivors. Before he died he showed me his private photo album. AMAZING!! He was the only Allied Agent literally feet away from Mussolini and his ex being strung from the lamppost. Photos in no book I've ever seen! ... True to form his main 'pride' was pointing out the women in the pics he'd seduced and how 'good' they were ;P !!

A REALLY TOP BLOKE (who died 5yrs ago... but whom I was privileged enough to be asked by his daughter to make his memorial plaque).

The American, "Indian Joe", was a Native American who served (aged 14) in WW2, served in Korea, was seconded as a gunner to the AF in Vietnam, advised us Brits on long distance mid-air re-feulling in '82 during the Falklands and was used in the 1st Gulf War (owing to his 'Arabic' looks), in his early 60s. He was covered in a myriad of scars, had been 'pushed out of' two doomed aircraft with just a 'chute on after being in planes receiving hits... Am amazing man!! ... So peace loving, and thus so brave!! (& what women he'd known !!!! ;P )

11 years ago

a comment -here said IF was at a spy camp. Ought that be a camp spy?

IF like many men-try to hide a facet of themselves -whilst proposing the opposite.

Liebewitz-in Ireland

11 years ago

Ian Fleming himself once wrote, "James Bond is a highly romanticized version of a true spy. The real thing is....William Stephenson."
I don't know how this documentary totally missed that fact.

11 years ago

The name of the true James Bond was Dusko Popov and nothing else !!!!!

12 years ago

Fleming wanted Cary Grant to play the first Bond and it is unfortunate that we didn't get at least one film with Grant at the helm of the Bond character.

arvind bhandarkar
12 years ago

i have a bestest story in the would for james bond 007 that is inspired by present condition and how the earth is saved by bond
plz contact me for 007

12 years ago

Anyone notice WHAT TIME the phone rings at? 3:22. 322 is the number used by the skull and bones secret society. Himmler, one of hitlers men controlling the genocide that did take place in nazi germany was SKULL AND BONES. George bush is skull and bones.

Technology the CIA uses makes james bonds tools look like childrens toys.

12 years ago

Still dont know if he was the original bond but he seems like a very interesting guy

12 years ago


lol everybody but me it seems, I will have to google that name

12 years ago

everybody should know that original james bond is from serbia, and is called Duško Popov

12 years ago

I remember years ago reading an article in a Toronto news paper that Ian Fleming went to a very secretive spy camp/school (I would assume most spy camps were secretive by nature) just north of Toronto and while at this spy camp he met a gentleman, whose name I do not recall, who made such an impression on Mr. Fleming with his spy skills and exploits that he became the inspiration for the James Bond charactor in the books. No idea how much or if any of this story was true (the article was also about how this historic spy camp/school had been allowed to fall into ruin over the years) but was curious if anyone had heard of any of this. It is more than likely just another case of someone trying get themselves associated with the iconic James Bond.

12 years ago

Moonraker will always be my favorite spy novel

12 years ago

Of historical interest, 007 was the secret signature of John Dee, spy to Queen Elizabeth I in the 1600s. So Ian Fleming must have been privy to such info.

12 years ago

so al the bond movies after he died were books written by fleming ?
can't imagine other people writing bond films the way he did

12 years ago

I joined the James Bond Club in the 80's, the only thing I remember that was in it was a code creating gadget. I also had a model DB5 which fired plastic rockets if I remember rightly.

12 years ago

That gyrocoptor is the best!

Ernest Dobbs
12 years ago

The rights to the work of Ian Fleming were sold to film producers or such individuals. The owner of most of Fleming's work is the Literary Estate of Ian Fleming. He may be deceased, but the rights to his creative output are not just sitting on top of a table waiting for anyone to come along and grab them.

12 years ago

i wonder who has the rights over 007 after mr flemmings

12 years ago

niiice !!!!