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Topic: A cruel mouth...

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?

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Re: A cruel mouth...

I've always seen it as a strange way to describe someone, I'd say it's a sly grin.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v215/Bbrown/207qoznfl4.gif

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Re: A cruel mouth...

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."

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Re: A cruel mouth...

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/ … raig_4.jpg

I also would say that Connery would be the only other Bond to fit this description:
http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/Thir … 7_8477.jpg

Last edited by Andy A 007 (3rd Dec 2007 21:21)

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Re: A cruel mouth...

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.

Last edited by superado (3rd Dec 2007 22:06)

"...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.....

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Re: A cruel mouth...

I would say, rather thin lips and not inclined to smile.

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Re: A cruel mouth...

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.

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Re: A cruel mouth...

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...

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Re: A cruel mouth...

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." ajb007/amazed 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.

Last edited by Smoke_13 (4th Dec 2007 18:27)

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Re: A cruel mouth...

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.

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Re: A cruel mouth...

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 ajb007/biggrin -I only wish I had half the man's talent.

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Re: A cruel mouth...

Smoke_13 wrote:

Ty Barbel...guess that answers that about Fleming ajb007/biggrin -I only wish I had half the man's talent.

You're welcome, Smoke 13 ajb007/smile . And you're not alone in your wish.

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Re: A cruel mouth...

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.....

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Re: A cruel mouth...

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? ajb007/crap I believe him as Bond.  ajb007/bond

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). ajb007/frown|)

Last edited by youknowmyname (6th Dec 2007 02:02)

"We have all the time in the world..."

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Re: A cruel mouth...

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/

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Re: A cruel mouth...

For a cruel-looking mouth--perhaps what Fleming might have had in mind--try the great Basil Rathbone:


[img=http://myweb.wvnet.edu/~u0e53/grafix/BASILRATHBONE.JPG]

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

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Re: A cruel mouth...

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...  ajb007/shifty

The smile would be more or less the same at the moment of his own death, when it finally comes...

Last edited by Loeffelholz (8th Dec 2007 20:13)

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"I am not an entrant in the Shakespeare Stakes." - Ian Fleming
"Screw 'em." - Daniel Craig, The Best James Bond EverTM

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Re: A cruel mouth...

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.

http://img150.imageshack.us/img150/8138/688140uq0.th.jpg
http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/306/twine07po8qr1.th.jpg

Last edited by BS 007 (8th Dec 2007 20:18)

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Re: A cruel mouth...

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.

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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.

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Re: A cruel mouth...

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! ajb007/wink

http://gracemagazine.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/alaindelon4480.jpg

I think this pic is from a couple years later, judging from the hair, but it's still cool. ajb007/bond

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Re: A cruel mouth...

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! ajb007/wink

http://gracemagazine.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/alaindelon4480.jpg

I think this pic is from a couple years later, judging from the hair, but it's still cool. ajb007/bond

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.

Last edited by superado (20th May 2008 07:09)

"...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.....

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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. ajb007/crap