Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown?
Merry Christmas and Season's Greetings from the Double O Section! I hope everyone reading this has a freshly unwrapped Mission: Impossible Season One or Alias Rambaldi Cube or one of the James Bond sets to dig into. Or that the area you live in is one of the select cities where The Good Shepherd or The Good German open today. If not, here are a few suggestions for Christmas spy viewing.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
(Available on The James Bond Collection Volume 3)
The only Holiday-themed Bond movie to date, and the best one to boot! (Best Bond movie, that is, not best Holiday-themed Bond movie...) Features Nina singing John Barry and Hal David's infectious original carol "Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown," which is available on the soundtrack CD.
The Avengers - "Too Many Christmas Trees"
(Available in the Emma Peel Megaset)
A holiday clssic! It's not my favorite Avengers Episode (though it is a very good one), but it's probably the one I've seen the most since I put it in the player every Christmas. Black and white Emma Peel with Rigg and Macnee both at their very best. Their fantastic chemistry together simply radiates when Emma muses about a four-poster bed that "I've always fancied myself in one of these." Steed gets that incorrigible gleam in his eye and replies, "So have I." You also can't beat "Too Many Christmas Trees" for creepy, psychidelic Santa imagery. The whole psychic spy plotline doesn't come together that tightly in the end, but who cares when the episode's this much fun?
Billion Dollar Brain
(Availabe from MGM)
No Christmas trees per se, but plenty of chilly, wintry landscapes and beautiful cold imagery (and Pagan imagery, appropriate for the winter solstice!) in Ken Russell's ethereal Scandinavian-set Harry Palmer movie. What could be more season-appropriate than Michael Caine in a big fur hat?
The Spy Who Came In From the Cold
(Available from Paramount)
...if you want to warm up. Best watched with loved ones in front of a gently dying fire as a way to come down from the excesses of Christmas dinner.
(available from Fox)
Not a spy movie, but the epitome of Christmas action!
The World Is Not Enough
(Available in The James Bond Collection Vol. 1)
Er, well... It's not a Christmas movie, and it's one of the worst of the Bond series, but it does feature a character named "Christmas Jones." (For some reason.) It doesn't even sound like a proper Bond Girl name, but the name turns out to merely be a set-up for a rather lame double entendre at the end: "Christmas came early this year!" Har har. And she's played by Denise Richards. So... yeah. But my friend Josh keeps urging me to give this one another shot, so maybe Christmas is the time to do it. If you're not feeling seasonably charitable, though, you might be better served if you...
GO SEE CASINO ROYALE AGAIN IN THE THEATER!
What could be a better way to celebrate Christmas than that?