A cruel mouth...

Smoke_13Smoke_13 Kitchener Ont CanadaPosts: 285MI6 Agent
Fleming often describes Bond as having "a cruel looking mouth"

What is a "cruel looking mouth" in your opinion? What Bond actor would you say did the best at portraying a cruel looking mouth? Are there any actors out there that have a cruel looking mouth?

Comments

  • Sweepy the CatSweepy the Cat Halifax, West Yorkshire, EnglaPosts: 986MI6 Agent
    I've always seen it as a strange way to describe someone, I'd say it's a sly grin.
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  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 35,974Chief of Staff
    John Brosnan, James Bond In The Cinema (Tantivy Press, 1972):
    "The Connery/Bond of Dr. No... suitably fits the Bond description. No scar down his left cheek, or comma of hair above the eyebrow, but with a definitely "rather cruel" mouth and "ruthless" eyes."

    Cubby Broccoli:
    "There was just the right hint of threat behind that hard smile and faint Scottish burr."
  • Andy A 007Andy A 007 Posts: 199MI6 Agent
    edited December 2007
    IMO Daniel Craig looks the most like the Bond that Ian Fleming invisioned (minus the blonde hair, of course), and one of Craig's most Bondish features is his "cruel mouth." IMO if you want to know what Fleming meant by cruel mouth, just take a look at DC:
    http://www.mi6.co.uk/sections/articles/images/daniel_craig_4.jpg

    I also would say that Connery would be the only other Bond to fit this description:
    http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/Third_Party_Photo/2005/10/14/1129299607_8477.jpg
  • superadosuperado Regent's Park West (CaliforniaPosts: 2,645MI6 Agent
    edited December 2007
    I think that based on the CR description: "Then he slept, and with the warmth and humour of his eyes extinguished, his features relapsed into a taciturn mask, ironical, brutal, and cold... " of all the actors that would be Dalton, whose whole face has "cruel" as its default, whereas the others I'd envision to look neutral using the "sleeping Bond" litmus test.
    "...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....
  • 72897289 Beau DesertPosts: 1,691MI6 Agent
    I would say, rather thin lips and not inclined to smile.
  • darenhatdarenhat The Old PuebloPosts: 2,029Quartermasters
    My vote for a cruel mouth is probably Dalton as it is thin-lipped. Even when he smiles, something seems cold about it. Craig's lips seemed to pursed for my tastes.
  • Red IndianRed Indian BostonPosts: 427MI6 Agent
    Watch the scene in CR when Craig is walking to the Casino for the first time (after looking at himself in the mirror with his dinner jacket on!) The expression on his face is EXACTLY what I imagine the Bond in the novels looks like! Ironical, taciturn, brutal and cold...
  • Smoke_13Smoke_13 Kitchener Ont CanadaPosts: 285MI6 Agent
    edited December 2007
    Adam A 007

    I'm not so sure I think Craig's picture has the "cruel mouth" look. It's more of a "Hi, my name is Dieter and I want to pet your monkey." :o That said, Craig is one of my favorite Bonds, in rolling film he oozes confidence, and control, and is one of the tougher Bonds. I've yet to see him take a single good close up picture.

    The picture of Connery you supplied did have what I can see being described as a cruel mouth.

    I wonder if Fleming was talented enough as an author to intentionally describe Bond in ways that was open to the reader's interperetation.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 35,974Chief of Staff
    Smoke_13 wrote:
    I wonder if Fleming was talented enough as an author to intentionally describe Bond in ways that was open to the reader's interperetation.

    "I quite deliberately made him rather anonymous. This was to enable the reader to identify with him. People have only to put their own clothes on Bond and build him into whatever sort of person they admire. If you read my books you'll find that I don't actually describe him at all." Ian Fleming, interviewed by Peter Haining about a year before Fleming's death.
  • Smoke_13Smoke_13 Kitchener Ont CanadaPosts: 285MI6 Agent
    Barbel wrote:
    Smoke_13 wrote:
    I wonder if Fleming was talented enough as an author to intentionally describe Bond in ways that was open to the reader's interperetation.

    "I quite deliberately made him rather anonymous. This was to enable the reader to identify with him. People have only to put their own clothes on Bond and build him into whatever sort of person they admire. If you read my books you'll find that I don't actually describe him at all." Ian Fleming, interviewed by Peter Haining about a year before Fleming's death.

    Ty Barbel...guess that answers that about Fleming :D -I only wish I had half the man's talent.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 35,974Chief of Staff
    Smoke_13 wrote:
    Ty Barbel...guess that answers that about Fleming :D -I only wish I had half the man's talent.

    You're welcome, Smoke 13 :) . And you're not alone in your wish.
  • superadosuperado Regent's Park West (CaliforniaPosts: 2,645MI6 Agent
    I suppose that was Fleming's intent, which is great, and I personally relate to Bond in that dimension of common human existance, which he may/may not have purposely done.

    Conversely, however, Fleming did provide a respectable amount of visual description for Bond, a lot more compared to the cipher effect of Len Deighton's unnamed "Harry Palmer" character, but much less than his typical attention to detail in describing the Bond girl or villain.
    "...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....
  • youknowmynameyouknowmyname Gainesville, FL, USAPosts: 703MI6 Agent
    edited December 2007
    the fact that Fleming left it open to interpretation also means we can all have our own vision as to what actor best portrays the "cruel mouth" or other facial descriptions of Bond in Fleming. I like Craig, but his mouth doesn't spell cruel, although his face does. Don't take this the wrong way, but Craig has the type of face/demeanor that I either want him to kick my ass or kiss me...you know what I'm saying? :# I believe him as Bond. :007)

    As far as "cruel mouth" goes, Connery all the way.

    Of course, when I think Bond I still picture Connery (or sometimes strangely Dalton) but never Lazenby (who happens to be in my favorite picture, OHMSS), never Moore, and never Craig.

    You know what we need is a "cruel mouth" smiley character...there's room next to the martini glass and we could get rid of the monkey (I have never seen anyone use it except for that one guy who just cussed a lot and said Bourne will beat Bond ass). :(|)
    "We have all the time in the world..."
  • Micky DolenzMicky Dolenz Posts: 15MI6 Agent
    A cruel mouth is a mouth that is a half-sneer half taunting scowl.



    Go to my website: I have all the answers http://www.smoochbaby.com/
  • HardyboyHardyboy Posts: 5,880Chief of Staff
    For a cruel-looking mouth--perhaps what Fleming might have had in mind--try the great Basil Rathbone:


    Thin lips, slight sneer, looks like watching someone being tortured would be a jolly good time.  No wonder he was such a great villain--and even his Sherlock Holmes had a touch of menace to him!
    Vox clamantis in deserto
  • LoeffelholzLoeffelholz The United States, With LovePosts: 8,985Quartermasters
    edited December 2007
    Quite right, Hardy.

    Although perhaps it's best to not overthink what Fleming truly meant by the phrase 'cruel mouth,' I'd submit that he meant just that: a smile hardened by experience, bolstered by self-confidence...and tempered by a sardonic fatalism. I think of his smile in Dr. No, when he mirthlessly wishes M were there to share his 'vacation' with him... :v

    The smile would be more or less the same at the moment of his own death, when it finally comes...
    Check out my Amazon author page! Mark Loeffelholz
    "I am not an entrant in the Shakespeare Stakes." - Ian Fleming
    "Screw 'em." - Daniel Craig, The Best James Bond EverTM
  • BS 007BS 007 Posts: 10MI6 Agent
    edited December 2007
    Smoke_13 wrote:
    Fleming often describes Bond as having "a cruel looking mouth"

    What is a "cruel looking mouth" in your opinion? What Bond actor would you say did the best at portraying a cruel looking mouth? Are there any actors out there that have a cruel looking mouth?

    Daniel has it naturally. In a scene of TWINE, in the PTS, Brosnan had it too.

    688140uq0.th.jpg
    twine07po8qr1.th.jpg
  • GalaxyBeingGalaxyBeing Posts: 1MI6 Agent
    The hwole idea of a cruel mouth is rather outdated. People sued to say that anyone with thin lips had a "cruel mouth" I guess that Fleming was saying that "Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" had thin lips.
  • Smoke_13Smoke_13 Kitchener Ont CanadaPosts: 285MI6 Agent
    Wow BS007 I would have never figured on Brosnan as having a cruel mouth. But that pic is pretty bang on.

    As for Daniel, he is a bit of an oddity. I really like him as Bond. When in motion, he exudes confidence, manliness, strength and style. I stress "in motion" because I have yet to ever see a still frame photo of DC that didn't look well, a little odd. I think he's a great Bond with a bright future, but the man's face just does not photograph well.
  • bluemanblueman PDXPosts: 1,667MI6 Agent
    Alain Delon circa '67. Just saw Le Samourai for the first time, Delon in that film matches closest what's in my head when I read the Bond novels. And what a cruel mouth! ;)

    alaindelon4480.jpg

    I think this pic is from a couple years later, judging from the hair, but it's still cool. :007)
  • superadosuperado Regent's Park West (CaliforniaPosts: 2,645MI6 Agent
    edited May 2008
    blueman wrote:
    Alain Delon circa '67. Just saw Le Samourai for the first time, Delon in that film matches closest what's in my head when I read the Bond novels. And what a cruel mouth! ;)

    alaindelon4480.jpg

    I think this pic is from a couple years later, judging from the hair, but it's still cool. :007)
    When trying to review known personalities who best match up with the literary description of Bond, it's tough finding someone who's terribly handsome yet dangerous, but Delon fits the bill, especially in his gangster suits.

    In terms of essence, attitude and appearance I've always thought that Alain Delon was so the literary Bond. In TSWLM, what really registered with me was Vivienne Michaels' terrified reaction when seeing a sinister looking Bond for the first time, wearing a hat and trenchcoat in the rain, thinking he was another gangster meeting up Horror and Sluggsy.
    "...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....
  • bluemanblueman PDXPosts: 1,667MI6 Agent
    Oh man, I could totally see Delon doing TSWLM: he can look all Prince Charming one moment, then Death itself the next. Woulda coulda shoulda. :#
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