Were Bond movies shown in any communist countries?

Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 17,640MI6 Agent
edited April 30 in The James Bond Films

While Bond never fought communist regimes in the movies I think we can all agree cold war was the back drop of many of the stories and Bond never considered becoming a card carrying member of a communist party. 😏

But did/are James Bond movies shown in cinemas and TV in countries like Cuba (not many examples are left), or in the past in Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Nicaragua and China (back in the days when communism was given more than lip service in China).

I consider North Korea and the USSR lost cases in more than one sense.


  • OrnithologistOrnithologist BerlinPosts: 487MI6 Agent

    I just did a quick search to find out whether they were ever shown in East Germany. In some ways, the DDR goverment were very dogmatic communists, but I knew they did show movies from the west, at least German ones, if they were "harmless" from a political viewpoint. However I could find no information that a Bond movie was ever shown in an east German cinema before 1990.

    "I'm afraid I'm a complicated woman. "
    "- That is something to be afraid of."
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 17,640MI6 Agent

    I know someone who grew up in Dresden in DDR. Dresden was called "the valley of the ignorant" because the city was in a TV signal blind zone that prevented them from watching west German TV. I guess this means many east Germans were able to watch Bond western TV channels.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,032MI6 Agent

    When I managed a cinema in Fulham Road, we had a Bond themed night to premiere DAD. One of my ushers came from the old East German territory. He didn't understand the fuss at all. His opinion of James Bond was that (and I quote) "it's English, it's a western thing." He said he'd never watched one. This doesn't prove anything one way or the other, but it is an interesting anecdote.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,231MI6 Agent

    Perhaps they were never shown officially in mainstream cinemas, they were indoobitably Western propaganda. Not just occasional Cold War villains, but all that pro-consumerist agenda that is essential to the BondFilm experience.

    But I wonder if there were ever underground screenings, such as in peoples houses, by invitation only? Lots of other Western culture was officially banned, but circulated anyway. Beatles songs were recorded off radio signals then copied onto disc with a type of gramophone cutter: the discs were recycled x-rays, very thin material, which could be rolled up and hidden in a sleeve. Dealers in backalleys would sell the contraband to the nation's youth the way drug dealers operate here! Sound quality would have been dreadful, but youth got to hear Beatles music.

    I'm sure the demand to see those decadent Bondfilms could also be satisfied just as ingeniously.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 17,640MI6 Agent
    edited May 1

    I imagine VHS video players and James Bond movies were highly prized black market items behind the Iron curtain in the 1980s. I also imagine you needed both above average money, contacts and probably willingnes to take chances to get these things.

    I wonder about Yugoslavia. The country wasn't part of the Warszaw Pact and more independent of the USSR. I get the impression there was more contact with the West than the rest of eastern Europe. Maybe Bond movies were more available there?

  • Jimmy BondJimmy Bond Posts: 319MI6 Agent

    Fairly sure I read Kershner saying he's showed NSNA in the Soviet Union at the time of release, and described the event as him explaining to them that the movie was not supposed to be taken literally and seriously, and that they'd enjoyed it tremendously.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 17,640MI6 Agent

    Interesting. NSNA again did not mention the cold war (I think) and Washington DC was under attack. I wonder if some of the EON movies were released there too?

  • PPK 7.65mmPPK 7.65mm Saratoga Springs NY USAPosts: 1,096MI6 Agent

    The Man With The Golden Gun did get a screening in Russia at the Kremlin upon its release in 1974. At the end of the movie, a senior Communist party official made the comment that the KGB whom Scaramanga was originally a member of did a really poor job of training him to be an assassin since Bond dispatched pretty quickly at the climax.

    Apart from this instance, the films from what I understand were not widely seen in Communist countries during the Cold War years unless it was done covertly as others have suggested. I would that think by 1991 with the Soviet Union gone, the films would have been more widely available on home video to interested viewers.

  • GrindelwaldGrindelwald Posts: 1,256MI6 Agent
    edited May 12

    I believe most films were banned in DDR except Olsen Gang films

    Yes , Bond was shown in Yugo or else they would print no movie posters

Sign In or Register to comment.