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(37M) Just finalized divorce yesterday, and it feels great AMA
I wish I had found this sub years ago. Reading through these posts is really eye-opening and I see so many similarities to my own marriage. Long post ahead. I married at 18 for all the wrong reasons. She was 21. We were high school sweethearts. We were in love, but, in retrospect, neither of us were ready to get married. I kind of knew it at the time, but I went against my gut and did it anyway. We were married for 19 years. No kids. There were so many red flags over the years, but, in my eyes, none of them were worth ending the marriage. I never cheated. To my knowledge, neither did she. It just became a never-ending cycle of her treating me like a man-child which got progressively worse over the years. I even have a text message thread from several months ago where she claimed I wanted her to be "my mommy" (this couldn't be further from what I wanted) and that's why she treated me like this. She pushed me (not in a good way, but I'm glad she did) to advance my professional career. Any job I had was never good enough for her, and I never made enough money for her. Red flag. However, this caused me to rapidly climb the corporate ladder in my 20s. At 29 I was able to quit my FT 6-figure job and start my own business, doubling, then tripling, then quadrupling my income over the next couple of years. Certainly no regrets here. We have also been able to buy several houses, become landlords for 6 years, and pretty much live where we wanted. But she resented me for it. I was required to be at the office *a lot* and she hated that I wasn't home until 9 pm on any given weekday. Our last house was a solid 2-3 hour drive (depending on traffic) from the city center. So I often had to leave the house by 6:30 am and wasn't back until late in the evening. Yeah, she was lonely. She wanted me to watch TV with her every night (I became very disinterested in TV anyway) which just wasn't possible. I could have kept a somewhat cushy corporate job that wasn't demanding in terms of hours, making much less money, but that wasn't good enough for her. Rewind back to 2001. I put her through college and sacrificed my own college education for her. I worked 2 jobs, 7 days a week, for years to support us when I was 18-21. We were living in a crappy apartment and barely making ends meet. But she was going to make something of herself, then I was going to go to college and do the same. Like you are supposed to do. I tried to go to college while working 2 jobs for 60-70 hours per week, but it was way too much. My grades made it unable for me to advance, so I dropped out. She graduated in 2004... then never really tried to get a decent job. The 'best' job she ever had was a retail store manager for a small store (making like $15/hr) and she hated it. She was perfectly capable of making 6-figures at a corporate job, but she never even made an attempt. She hopped between entry-level and minimum wage jobs, never spending more than a couple of months at any of them. Don't take this to mean I ever really cared about how much money she made. What I cared about was the effort she put into being a responsible adult. We were still having trouble making ends meet. In 2006 (married for 5 years) I got my first big pay jump when I switched companies. I increased my income by 70% overnight and I was starting to see light at the end of the work-till-you-die tunnel. It was finally going to be good with my new income and hers, right? Wrong. A couple of months into my new job she brought up the idea of her quitting her job to be a 'full-time homemaker'. Remember, we didn't have kids and didn't want any, and she is the one with the degree and the college debt we would be paying down for the next 15 years. It started as an idea, then over a couple of weeks, it turned into her begging me to let her quit her job for good. I resisted, explaining to her that it made no financial sense. Besides, how was she going to keep herself occupied throughout the day? Laundry only needed to be done once a week, dishes only take a few minutes a day. So, against my wishes, she quit working for good and never looked back. She did take to cooking more, but she basically sat at home and watched TV. This went on for years. She knew I was against it. Without her income, we were in a worse financial situation than before I got my new job. But, (her words) because I was the man, "I was supposed to support the family" She was bored all the time. The free time gave her much more time to find things to get upset about and dwell on. For example, she would start a big fight if I left a single bowl in the sink for *me* to wash later. Or if I used the stove or microwave and she found a single spec of splattered food. Or if I turned a perfectly functional knob on the washing machine to wash my own laundry. She would absolutely blow up -- "I did [insert thing here] on purpose so I could get out of doing [the thing] in the future." Thank god we had our own bathrooms. She resented me for these things and I had no chance for retribution. She did do most of the housework for a few years, but I always did 100% of the yardwork. And almost 5 years ago we bought and lived on a farm -- got several dozen animals from horses to sheep to donkeys to ducks and geese. Just like in her professional 'career', she helped take care of them for a little while. Until she decided it was too much work. Then I was the one left by myself rounding up the animals, fixing broken fence, thawing out frozen water pipes, etc at 2 am on a weeknight when I had an 8 am meeting the next morning. As you would expect, the sex decreased significantly over the years. It was good when we were in our teens and early 20s. But she became less and less interested over the years. It went from several times per week, to several times per month, to every few months, to... almost never. She wanted sex to be very mundane. She didn't like it when I went down on her. She absolutely refused to go down on me, and never did. She didn't like it when I tried to use my hand to please her. She didn't like foreplay. She never wanted to do anything other than missionary. We talked about how to spice up our sex life for years. I brought all sorts of ideas from the table from roleplaying to toys to things on the kinkier side, but she never actually wanted to do anything about it. I had also been struggling with PE throughout my later 20s which made the situation worse. And the PE was "my fault" and "I needed to do something about it". I did see a urologist who diagnosed me as perfectly normal and sent me on my way. He suggested both of us see a sex therapist together, which she was not ok with -- because this was "my problem". Until we separated and I put myself out there, I hadn't had sex in about 4 years. Fast forward to 2018. I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer -- like fewer than 100 cases per year in the entire country. The physician knew very little about it -- the hospital hadn't seen a case of it in over 5 years -- and referred me to a specialist in a city a few hours away. It was a few months before I knew anything definitive or could get it treated. When I told my ex about the diagnosis, she preceded to inform me how I don't "have cancer" (but I did) and made it clear it was my own problem. I had an all-day surgery with the specialist to remove it -- I told her it was going to be an all-day surgery in advance. A couple-hour drive each way. Did she offer to drive me there or support me in any way? Nope. I got to drive myself there and back. Did she help me clean the huge surgical wound (it was like 10 inches in diameter) I had for the next 3 months? I even asked for her help cleaning and dressing it. She refused. So I had to figure out how to do it by myself. Did she express the slightest interest in talking to the specialist about it to get her own answers and put her mind at ease? Nope. She already knew better. This when it became painfully obvious she didn't care about me at all. And I still financially supported her 100%. At this point, she hadn't had a job for over 10 years and spent most of any given day watching TV. In 2017 she started an Etsy sewing shop -- which didn't take much of her time, but it gave her something to do. We were vendors at lots of local festivals together when those were still a thing. We were doing this almost every weekend from April through December. She didn't have more than 200 orders per year until 2020. When the lockdowns and mask shortages started in March she started sewing cloth masks. She did really well for a couple of months, doing 50-100 orders per day. I told her I was proud of her. I also tried to help her when she was having trouble keeping up. I spent a whole day helping her get caught up on orders. I can't sew, so I was helping her pack envelopes, print shipping labels, and iron decals onto the masks. She showed me how to do the iron-on transfers. It's so easy a 10-year-old could do it. I did a couple hundred of them that afternoon. She came to inspect them before they got shipped out. And she blew-the-fuck-up. I did it *exactly* how she showed me and they looked great. But she could still see a crease in the fabric where it was folded. It was "my fault" and, as usual, I had done it "on purpose" so I could get out of helping in the future. Sound familiar? I immediately stopped helping and left. I was done with her acting like a child. She is 40 years old and still acts like she is 12. Did she ever thank me for helping? No. Did she still ship the orders? Yep, so they weren't bad were they? Did she apologize for blowing up again? Nope. And I forgot to mention -- we have been basically separated for the better part of 4 years. Sleeping in different rooms in the house. I've been living in an 'apartment' in the basement of my own house. She kicked me out of the bedroom when she was throwing a fit about a short business trip I was going on. I needed to "tell them I wasn't going". She threw all of my stuff down the stairs and that was the end of that. I wasn't allowed to use the stove that I paid for. If I had food in the microwave and she wanted to use it, she would throw away whatever I had in there. She would throw away my dishes if I wasn't watching; I found them in the trash all the time. I spent the next several months thinking about all of this and much more. One thing I came to realize: in the 19 years we had been married I couldn't think of a single instance where she apologized for blowing up about something meaningless or admitted she was wrong. Not a single one. I even challenged her about it. Could she think of a single time she did either one of those? She couldn't come up with one concrete example. BTW, I apologized thousands of times. I never once blew up about anything in our entire relationship -- that's not the kind of person I am -- but I have apologized for things I said that made her feel bad and admitted I was wrong many, many times. At her insistence, I even admitted to doing lots of meaningless things that I didn't actually do just to put a fight to bed and keep the relationship in-tact. There is no point in fighting over BS. 2020 also brought on a lot of financial stress. At the beginning of the year, I had signed contracts that would make this the biggest year since I started the business. Clients were in sports, restaurants, casinos, and live entertainment. I lost all of them, and most of them are unlikely to survive 2021 without a bankruptcy. I laid off my entire staff. Our income took a nosedive. We burnt through most of our savings because she couldn't control her spending habits, and she had zero interest in financially contributing to the household. This was the straw that broke the camel's back. She made it abundantly clear she didn't care about me, and, at the same time, she expected me to financially support her do-whatever-she-wants consequences-be-damned lifestyle. I prepared the divorce papers and presented them to her on a whim when she was blowing up about dishes in the sink or something like that. I just couldn't deal with it anymore. I don't know why she acted surprised. She had told me she wanted a divorce plenty of times in recent years, and a couple of times in 2020. But she never had the balls to do it. This was something I had been thinking about for a few years, but I was likely to be on the hook for $10k/month in alimony for the rest of my life if it weren't for COVID. We live in a midwest state with divorce case-law which strongly favors women, and I have lots of male friends/colleagues who got screwed royally in a divorce -- even if their spouse cheated. So it was kind of the perfect storm. Depleted savings and drastically reduced income meant there was nothing for the court to grant. All we really had left was retirement savings and home equity. The house sale is closing in 10 days and we already liquidated the 401k, which she used to buy her own house. That was everything. Sorry for the long post, but I needed to rant to some strangers on the internet. There is obviously much more to tell over 19 years of marriage, but I'll leave it here for the sake of brevity. This post may sound very one-sided, but I really tried to keep it together. I tried to be a good husband. To give my wife what she wanted. To be there for her when she needed me. To make her happy, at the expense of my own happiness. Happy wife, happy life, right? As I put in the title, the court granted dissolution yesterday. It was very easy. No attorneys, we didn't fight about any remaining property. We each own our own vehicles free and clear and had no interest in the other's. She stole a few thousand more dollars from our joint account and sold some valuable things without my permission, but it wasn't worth fighting over. I just let it go. I'm finally free and I feel better than I have in years. Ask me anything.
Polo shirts are possibly the most ubiquitous clothing item of the 21st century, undergoing a long journey from aspirational 1930s sportswear to becoming the default smart-casual option for millions of men. We’ve researched and tested 14 of the best polo shirts and think that the best polo is the Sunspel Riviera with its great fit, unique fabric and strong range of over twenty colours. If you’re looking for an elevated take on the polo then the John Smedley Adrian Polo is incredibly soft and will smarten up your wardrobe. Finally, if you’re on a budget the H&M Cotton Polo Shirt is a good quality take on the classic item at an affordable price point. The original garment as we know it was based on a design worn by French tennis star René Lacoste aka “the Crocodile” in the 1930s as a practical, flexible, comfortable sports shirt. Unfortunately, from the 1980s onwards, creeping “casual Friday” dress codes made the polo shirt with badly fitting chinos an American business-standard. Later, it was the uniform of golfers and delivery drivers, security guards, and coffee chain staff not to mention the sometime uniform of the American far-right, in almost a parody of conformity. What saves the polo shirt from fashion irrelevance is its potential for reinvention. Its been reclaimed by subcultures ranging from punks to skinheads and mods. As the tie disappears and the suit becomes increasingly relaxed, the polo shirt has become a place to experiment with shirting alternatives and continues its long tradition of reinvention, molding itself to the zeitgeist. For our review we tried to cover this range, from semi-activewear to knit-fabric classics to find the best polo shirt overall, looking as always at specialists who’ve produced these styles year after year in an attempt to find an ideal.
Sunspel Riviera Polo With a smart fit, retro-inspired basket weave fabric, and a huge range of tasteful colours, the Riviera is on its way to becoming a contemporary classic. $105
The Riveria was introduced by Sunspel in 2006 after a design by Linda Hemmings for the James Bond film Casino Royale. The Riviera became something of an instant classic for a brand which up until then had been known largely for its undergarments. The references here (as the name suggests) are much more Talented Mr.Ripley than contemporary sportswear but it doesn’t feel like a period piece either. There has been some clever thought put into taking the best of that golden era and updating it. The fabric has a looser, wider weave than most piqué polos, and a nice spongy texture with none of the coarseness that some piqué can have. After researching I found that the brand created the fabric with a vintage lace making machine in Sunspel’s HQ in Nottingham, and none of the competition I tried have a similar quality. The fit is trim but not overly slim. The sleeves fall flatteringly halfway down the bicep, the length is standard and it has the classic split tail. The sleeves didn’t pull up into my armpits and I still had movement through the body. The collar is a fairly small point collar that sits well when buttoned up but also folds down easily into a camp collar shape when undone which allowed it to be worn cleanly both ways. The buttons are a discreet tonal plastic and the placket is a simple 2‑button design. I’m a fan of the pocket design though in a practical sense it’s not good for much and makes the shirt much more of a casual style. Colours are another area where Sunspel gets it just right. They always have a strong seasonal palette which this year covers 20 options including a deep chocolate brown (seen above) an intense Yves Klein blue and a great brick red. Compared to their competitor’s depressingly basic ranges of pastels and neons, this quiet tastefulness is refreshing and it means that season to season it will be easy to update your wardrobe with some new additions. Through washing and wearing over a number of weeks, I noticed no noticeable shrinkage or discolouring and the fabric kept its softness (which wasn’t always the case, especially if a garment has been chemically softened). I also kept an eye out for loose threads and buttons but found no faults. Which brings us to the final question of value. Polo shirts are an interesting category in this sense as they are so tied up to a certain idea of aspirational dressing — and priced accordingly. Our testing found that the general quality and feel of a £10 polo from H&M didn’t massively improve when compared to its £80 Lacoste equivalent. But that’s to ignore the fact that you are paying for what that £80 polo says about you, what it represents in our culture, and the semiotics of that logo — a francophile or a football causal, a preppy or a punk. That said, if you’re like me and the branded polos aren’t your niche but you want something that feels premium, then, for the cost, you will have a beautifully fabricated, European-made polo shirt of notably better quality than its competitors in the same price bracket and that’s enough for us to award it the top spot.
The downsides for the Riviera really come down to preference. I could imagine if you want a more classic fitting polo you may find it too slim or if you want one without a pocket that could turn you off. But as for the construction of the shirt itself or its fabric I couldn’t find any faults. Even the plastic buttons which might in other brands seem like a cost-saving measure feels more like a thoughtful design choice. It’s also more sportswear-adjacent than actual sportswear, but that feels like a quibble and true of any of the major polo brands at this point.
John Smedley Adrian Polo Made from incredibly soft sea island cotton, this knitted polo is perfect if you want a softer, more formal style of polo. $298
The Adrian Polo from John Smedley comes a close second to the Sunspel Riviera. The main attraction is the sea island cotton fabric which is incredibly soft with the best hand feel of any polo I reviewed. The placket length and knitted collar means it feels much more like the elegant mid-century polo shirt than something that would be mistaken for a 21st-century corporate uniform, albeit with some nice updates that make it feel more contemporary than other knitted polos. Smedley is to fine knitwear what Burberry is to trench coats, or John Lobb is to shoes and considered to be the best in the world in the category (it’s where the Queen gets her knitwear). The Adrian genuinely felt like a luxury. Everything from the feel of the fabric to the way it fitted just right with substantial ribbing on the waist and sleeves (near the bottom of the bicep) with just the right amount of tension spoke to the care and attention that had gone into making it. It’s also versatile, working just as well under the lapels of my suit when I got married a few weeks ago as it did in our 35 degree London heatwave when worn with a pair of shorts although, it is a bit too formal to work with tracksuit bottoms. Out of all the styles I reviewed it felt much more like a smart option. What the Adrian definitely isn’t on the other hand is a piece of grab-and-go sportswear that can be washed and thrown on like a t‑shirt or folded up at the bottom of your bag for destination holiday. I found myself hand-washing the delicate fabric to avoid rips and the collar, though it stands well, needs shaping with an iron after washing. Like a lot of luxury items, it’s delicate and requires a bit more care and attention than most and at £145 it’s not quite affordable enough to be a staple. That’s not saying it’s bad value necessarily, you can see the care and attention that was put into it and it’s UK manufactured but it’s probably not what most people are looking for when it comes to an everyday polo shirt, and those not quite the all-rounder that could hold the top spot. If you’re more likely to wear smart trousers than jeans and prefer a knit jumper to a hoodie then this is the polo for you.
H&M Cotton Polo Shirt A great price paired with good fabrication and quality, the H&M polo offers the best value for money with their straightforward take on the classic polo shirt. $12.99
If you’re unconcerned with logos and just want a classic polo shirt as a wardrobe staple you could do a lot worse than the H&M Cotton Polo Shirt. The piqué is soft and drapes well, the fit is classic, and straight (though as is often the case with H&M group, a bit long for me). In a blind test, I’m not sure I could tell the difference easily between this polo and the Lacoste L.12 which it’s clearly based it’s detailing on. And at £9.99 it’s extremely good value. Ethical clothing site Good on You’s review gives the brand an “It’s a start” rating for it’s environmental and ethical credentials noting that it’s environmental record is consistently improving while some issues with it’s supply chain labor remain.
What to look for
Range of colours: More than most sportswear, polo shirts are about colour, and we wanted our staple pick to have a good range of quality seasonal colours. Flexibility: We wanted a Polo that looked good with a range of clothing from the formal to the ultra-casual (a pair of shorts or sweats) Fabric: Has to work well in the heat, for most people a polo is a summer item and anything too heavy or coarse wasn’t going to cut it for us, we tried a range of synthetics and cottons of different qualities. Fit: Piqué and knitted cotton are unforgiving fabrics so having a good fit is key to making a polo shirt work. Collar: Does it stand up well, does it look okay when unbuttoned? is it easy to fold down or does it look sloppy. Length: Long enough to wear tucked in but not long enough to look sloppy on its own. Sleeves: We wanted the sleeve length to flatter the bicep but not ride up too high into the armpits, we also wanted easy movement as you’d expect from sportswear. Easy Care: The best polos, like all good sportswear, should be easy to wash and care for. Aesthetics: We wanted a polo that was more than a billboard for logo’s or an anonymous boxy t‑shirt alternative, the best would have a strong aesthetic quality.
The Fred Perry M12 & M3's are the most solidly constructed of all the branded polos I tried, and I was particularly keen on the thick ribbing on the sleeves and collar and the wide, reinforced placket. The collar had a slightly wider spread than most and which I found more flattering. The fit is trimmer than Lacoste and the hem is square so overall it has a neater, less sporty look. It's also nice that it's been continuously made in the UK since its introduction in the 1950s. The M12's aesthetic with its twin tips on the collar and sleeves have deep roots in the mod, Britpop, punk and skinhead subcultures in the UK and it can be a bit overpowering if you're looking for something more casual, but I love the simplicity of the M3's laurel crest and it has the same fit. Our favourite if you're looking for a logo. We ordered from Lacoste as they're the originators of the style. The Lacoste L.12.12 is their staple and comes in a huge range of colours. It's hard to judge it fairly as it seems to be the most duped of all polo styles—the Ralph Lauren polo is said to be a copy of their pre-60s model after the designer was disappointed with the synthetic blend polos they produced in the 70s. It has a straight fit, flattering sleeve and fairly flat collar. The fabric is softer than most piques and the split tail is nice but there is nothing particularly stand out, though the mother of pearl buttons are a nice touch. In terms of transparency, they were probably the most disappointing of the branded styles as there was absolutely no place of origin for manufacture, not even a "made in" on their label (though I believe they are produced in Peru). The Lacoste Paris Polo Shirt is their more contemporary update to the classic style and it features a slightly smaller collar, a bit of elastane in the fabric (6%) and a longer, narrower hidden placket and tonal crocodile patch. It's an interesting update, but if you're going for something so subtle I'm not sure why you wouldn't go for something completely unbranded. The Ralph Lauren Classic Fit Mesh Polo Shirt was an interesting variant. Its piqué was solid and soft feeling, It had a really thick placket and nice mother of pearl buttons, but it was largely indistinguishable from the Lacoste L.12 and its dupe status makes sense. It has a slightly lower stepped hem and a surpassingly slim fit for a "classic" style. It comes in a huge range of colours (some pretty dubious) and is the most expensive of the branded options we tried, coming in at £85. It's also shorter than most of the polos we tried so could be a good option for smaller guys. Kent Wang is one of menswear's best-kept secrets and we're a big fan of the Kent Want polo shirt. It splits the difference nicely between the more casual sportswear elements and smarter styles like the Adrian with thick quality pique, mother of pearl buttons and a high spread collar designed to look good under a suit jacket or jumper. If you want something with the formality of the Smedley and the easy-care of a classic polo then this is probably your best option and it has some of the most tasteful colours of any brand we reviewed (as well as a wide range of long sleeve options). It should be noted that the fit is quite slim and it's worth sizing up. The Uniqlo Airism Jersey Polo is sleek and technical without seeming dorky. It kept me from sticking to the sofa when the heat in London got to a high of 35°C (95°F). It would be the ideal choice for a warm-weather tech enthusiast and looked pretty cool and sleek worn with my black running shorts. The other Uniqlo style I tried was the Uniqlo DRY PIQUE polo, which I was less of a fan of. It was fine but not particularly interesting fit wise and has a slightly coarse plastic-y feel to the fabric. I tried ASKET's Pique Polo and while it has the brands great fit range (you can choose the length from small to large) was a disappointment overall. The piqué was soft and mercerized but also the most transparent of all the ones we tested which meant nipples showed through. The collar was strangely floppy and unstructured so looked messy when buttoned up but also had trouble sitting flat when opened and the placket looked visually off centre. As usual with the brand, the environmental and social tracing is excellent and I hope they can perfect the style. Finally, I also gave the H&M COOLMAX Polo a try and while I might appreciate it if I lived in a much warmer country, the texture just suffered in comparison to the pure cotton pique of their standard polo. This is a new guide from Typical Contents, the “wirecutter for clothes”. It’s by the team behind Epochs, a now defunct menswear blog. *We’re reviewing categories of clothing in hopes of finding the best item(s) in that category. All items tested in this guide were purchased with our own money. This post does not contain affiliate links. Check out our previous guides on boxer briefs, plain t-shirts, low top canvas trainers, and summer socks.
Note: The particularly important details and music artist names are in bold text. Licensed music track names are in italics. The year is 1973, five years after the events of the Mafia III, and 22 years since Vito Scaletta’s seen or heard from his old friend Joe Barbaro. The canon ending of Mafia III with this Mafia IV story is Vito taking over the city after Lincoln skipped town, however Cassandra and Burke are left alive and loyal to both Vito and Lincoln still. Burke was able to survive his liver cancer by getting a black market liver transplant in Mexico, like he did in his ending, except with Vito running the city. On Vito and Lincoln’s behalf, Burke and Cassandra agree to stay behind in New Bordeaux and keep the city locked down, incase Leo Galante and the Commission try anything. The beginning cutscene is Vito answering his telephone after getting up in the morning in his new penthouse, on the top floor of the New Bordeaux casino he finished that was once Sal Marcano's, and grabbing a cup of coffee. It's Alma with some urgent news. Lincoln Clay came down to the cigar warehouse to visit her after 5 years of silence, and he has big news. Joe is alive in Empire Bay and has been this entire time. However, as punishment for his actions, he's become Leo Galante's personal driver against his will and is forbidden from contacting Vito ever again, or else him and Vito will be killed. Alma then tells Vito to meet Lincoln at the airport to learn more, as he's already there awaiting Vito's arrival. When they're away from anyone who could listen in on their conversation, Lincoln tells Vito he has a friend named John Donovan he's going to introduce him to, hiding in the outskirts of Empire Bay, ready to help Vito and Lincoln with their new mission Vito gets dressed in one of his signature trench coats with a suit and tie, ready to rain down hell on the Vinci crime family and their allies, and finally be reunited with his lifelong friend he previously thought was dead, Joe Barbaro. Here is my idea for the kill list, all related to the Commission in Empire Bay and their allies.
Leo Galante - Top target on the list, Vinci family consigliere who's in with the Commission and the man you thought put Joe in the ground for the past 22 years. Bury this wrinkly old cocksucker.
Johnny Galante - Vinci family capo and younger relative of Leo's mentioned in Cassandra's ending, possibly Leo's cousin even. John Donovan knows that the two are close, and that Johnny's a valuable asset to Leo's organization. Kill him both to hurt Leo's earn and influence, and to hit him straight in the heart by taking away his family and everyone he loves
Michele Galante Jr. - Another Vinci family capo, and Leo Galante’s youngest brother. Killing Leo’s little brother will both take away one of his most reliable allies, and leave him stricken with grief and enraged, and more prone to making mistakes.
Nunzio Galante - Leo’s seasoned older brother by 3 years, and yet another Vinci family capo. He knows enough about smuggling that he worked out an ingenious plan for smuggling military grade weapons into the city. He pays off corrupt officials at Empire Bay International Airport, to allow guns to be loaded inside the walls and floors of planes, unknown to everyone onboard save for the palms the Galantes and Frank Vinci have greased to cooperate and keep quiet. The time has come to put this crafty old bastard in the ground.
Don Frank Vinci - Frank Vinci is the boss of the Vinci crime family, the family Leo's been a consigliere of for decades, and a lifelong friend of his. Kill Frank, and Leo loses more ground than he could ever imagine, and will be forced to deal with both the loss of his boss, and the loss of his lifelong childhood friend.
Don Ennio Salieri - Longtime close friend of both Frank Vinci and Leo Galante, Don of the Salieri crime family, and a third party Frank and Leo call in to crush Vito's uprising, when it becomes too big of an issue for Vinci alone to handle. Salieri was eventually able to grease enough palms while behind bars to have his life sentence overturned, and he got released from prison on good behavior in 1953, after he served 15 years of his sentence. He’s since relocated to his main operations to Empire Bay, having already had connections and men present there while he was in prison, backed by the Commission and the Vinci crime family. He's seasoned, but he’s nothing Mr. Scaletta can't handle. Give this tired old fuck the gangland ending he's had coming.
Isaac - Isaac is the personal assistant to an influential loan shark named Bruno Levine, who handles the money of the Commission, including the Vinci crime family and the Salieri crime family. He does anything from serve his boss coffee, to count incoming and outgoing money for Bruno. Because of his duties, he's aware of Bruno's location at all times. You’ll need to get to Isaac to get information on his boss out of him, and dispose of him afterwards if you want to get to Bruno.
Bruno Levine - Bruno is a Jewish-American loan shark who kicks up all of his earn to both Frank Vinci and Ennio Salieri, and the Commission in Empire Bay. Killing him kills a lot of earn for the Commission, and they loses a valuable asset. In addition to getting rid of him being practical, to add insult to injury, he gave your father that loan. It's about time to put this asshole out of business.
Mr. Chu & Mr. Chu Jr. - This old man has been leading the Empire Bay Triads with an iron fist since before you were even born. The bastard has a son too, who eventually went on to become his underboss. The Empire Bay Triads became a close ally of the Vinci crime family, the Salieri crime family, and the Commission shortly after Vito killed Don Carlo Falcone in 1951, forming a lucrative partnership with the Commission. Mr. Chu and his eldest son are valuable assets for Leo Galante who give him extra reach. Melt their iron fists and show these two pricks just who they fucked with.
Eddie Scarpa - This cocksucker used to be Carlo Falcone's underboss for as long as you could remember. After you whacked Falcone in the fall of 1951, he decided to throw in with Vinci to save his own skin. He took over the smuggling and dock union extortion that fat fuck Derek Pappalardo used to run. You know all too well how to deal with this sorry fuckin' rat.
I'm thinking Vito and Joe work with Lincoln Clay and John Donovan to split up Empire Bay and distribute territory to three other factions not unlike what Lincoln did with New Bordeaux. This time though, this is a much larger city in a much, much different part of the United States. The empire building mechanics would be a lot smoother, more robust, and streamlined compared to Mafia III. They would work similarly a more modernized version of how the game Scarface: The WorldIs Yours handled it's empire building and management mechanics, minus the whole switching to other characters lower on the ladder to do your bidding. This would be ideal for a story rich organized crime game in my opinion. Here are my ideas for those factions, all close allies of the up and coming Scaletta crime family. The Cuban mob led by Alma Diaz. Vito goes way back with Alma, and she does not hesitate to answer him and Lincoln's calls to save Joe's life and royally fuck both Leo Galante and the Vinci family. Conti crime family, led by Enzo Conti. This Conti crime family formed sometime in late 1968, months after Lincoln helped Enzo flee New Bordeaux and drop off of Sal Marcano's radar. It turns out he fled north to Empire Bay and finally formed his own family, having more than enough years of experience in the underworld to handle the job. Lincoln's tight with him and manages to recruit him to Vito and Joe's cause. The Yakuza, based out of Empire Bay's Japantown. Longtime sworn enemies of the Empire Bay Triads, with bad blood going back decades. They would greatly enjoy seeing Mr. Chu and his son's heads mounted on pikes, along with whacking everyone who's ever supported their organization. You don't know them well, and they're known to be very unpredictable and ruthless. Use these traits to your advantage when taking on the Commission of Empire Bay and their friends. I should mention as expected, this entire 1973 section where you play as Vito is much shorter than Mafia III. Vito's takeover is shown much more quickly over time than Lincoln's, and there's time skips during it, to keep it short and sweet, and to show onscreen only what's important. There is also no option for your underbosses to betray you, as to reduce confusion and keep the story consistently the same each playthrough, like the first two Mafia games. However, unlike Mafia III, after all of these tasks are completed and every single assassination target on Vito’s kill list is dealt with, the game does not end. In fact, it's not even anywhere near close to being over yet. Vito's 1973 section was merely the beginning act. It was really a lead up to an entirely new Mafia story, centering around a newcomer to the American mob. Fast forward two years following Vito’s rampage that led to him taking over Empire Bay and the Commission, in the year 1975 him and Joe now rule Empire Bay, with Vito as the Don of the Scaletta Crime Family, and Joe working as his loyal underboss. You play the rest of the game as a young up and coming soldato named Louis in his 20’s, who’s a rising star in Vito’s organization. Do right by Mr. Scaletta and Mr. Barbaro, understand kid? My basic idea for the character and his backstory is that he's a young Italian-Canadian mobster from Toronto, Ontario, or whatever Mafia's equivalent of it could be called. Let's call him Louis DeAngelo. (No relation to Tommy Angelo) His family hails from Tuscany in Italy and moved to Toronto, Ontario in 1939, shortly after World War II broke out in Europe. Louis DeAngelo was born in July 1952 in Toronto, and was raised in Toronto's Little Italy. Louis fled south to Empire Bay when the feds started cracking down on his old family and put his boss in prison, and he ended up finding a new home with the Scaletta crime family. The first few missions playing as Louis DeAngelo involve shooting your away out of an arrest by a Toronto Police Service SWAT team in Toronto in December 1974, seeing the rest of the members of your old crime family either get arrested or shot in front of you as you make your escape. You spend the next two missions fleeing Ontario through Quebec and upstate New York, before finally arriving in Empire Bay in early 1975, late January to be exact. Winter is in full force with snow everywhere, Louis' arrival to Empire Bay for the first time in his life mirroring Vito's return to Empire Bay in 1945 30 years earlier, except under far different much more dire circumstances. Louis' older brother and his father, both capos in his old crime family in Toronto, are shown to be arrested by the TPS SWAT team in his first mission, the same one that attempted to gun him down when he resisted arrested. Louis knows someone had to have ratted out his old crime family, and he wants to find out who someday. The thing is though, he doesn't just want to kill them. He wants to get out of them why they did it before he kills them. More than anything else, he just wants to find out why his crime family was betrayed and served up to the feds on a silver platter, having most of his biological family sent to prison in the process. He’s out to uncover the mystery of why his family fell apart, and he’s more than willing to help people like Don Vito Scaletta and his underboss Joe Barbaro to eventually get the answers he seeks. I came up with the idea for this character because I figured that playing as a fugitive from the law made sense for the mob life, and I'm surprised we haven't had a fugitive protagonist in the Mafia series yet. In the 1975 chapters while playing as Louis, the Watergate scandal, President Richard Nixon’s resignation, and the official end to the Vietnam War are both discussed on the in-game radio during news segments. In the last 1979 chapter, the beginning of the Soviet-Afghan War is also the subject of a news segment on the radio. The story eventually transitions into the 1980's as years pass, with the scenery, cars, and music changing accordingly, and historical events of the time discussed in the game. By the time the game ends, it's 1992, and significant historical events from the past few years at the time that are covered on the radio in-game include anything from the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Gulf War, the collapse of the Soviet Union, to the 1992 L.A. riots. The rise of the internet and home computers are briefly touched upon during news segments on the in-game radio during the early 1990's section of the story, but not greatly delved into given their relative infancy in that time period. During this entire 1975-1992 stretch of the story, Vito is no longer playable, and Don Scaletta takes a backseat in the story as a main supporting character, similar to Don Salieri throughout Mafia: Definitive Edition. You now play as the Italian-Canadian Scaletta family soldato Louis DeAngelo, who is later promoted to being a capo in 1985. However, unlike Don Salieri, Don Scaletta has much more integrity, and has more genuine loyalty for his men and his associates. If you've beaten Mafia 1 or Mafia: Definitive Edition, you'll know this is something Salieri lacked in the end. The game will include a number of hit music from the 70’s that played on the radio back then, such as Bobby Womack’s Across 110th Street and Tony Christie’s (Is This the Way to) Amarillo, The Grateful Dead's Casey Jones and at least a few songs by the then new American rock band Cheap Trick, as well as popular songs from the 1960’s people still listened to at the time, such as Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs’ Wooly Bully, King Crimson’s 21st Century Schizoid Man,Zager and Evans' In the Year 2525, The Zombies' Time of the Season, and Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made for Walkin'. When you progress through the game, especially after you switch to playing as Louis DeAngelo for the rest of the story, years change, and the music changes. Different songs start playing on the radio, such as Sylvester's You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real),Randy Crawford's Street Life, and The Village People's Y.M.C.A., Cheryl Lynn's Got to Be Real, Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive, and the Bee Gees' Stayin' Alive start playing in the 1979 portion of the game. After you've completed the 1975 section of the game, Foghat's Slow Ride starts playing on the radio. Starting in the 1977 section of the game, Cheap Trick's I Want You to Want Me and Heart's Barracuda start playing on the radio. In the 1980's portion of the game, Thomas Dolby's songs Hyperactive! and She Blinded Me with Science, in addition to Night Ranger's Sister Christian also start playing on the radio. If Hangar 13 can afford the licenses, I also think a few Michael Jackson and Madonna songs should definitely be on the radio during the 1980's portion of the story, given the immense popularity and regular radio airtime those two had in that decade. If this ended up being possible, I imagine that Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal, Beat It, Bad, and Billie Jean being on the radio in the 80's sections would be a must, Smooth Criminal especially because of how well it suits the series. Madonna's Lucky Star, Burning Up, Like a Virgin, and Borderline would also be perfect for the 80's portion of the game to me. Also mentioned by NPCs and civilians in the game are topical events of the time period, such as the release of the groundbreaking 1973 horror film The Exorcist at the end of Vito's playable portion of the game. Other music of the 1980's segment when playing as Louis DeAngelo for the remainder of the game includes hits of the era such as Joe Jackson's Steppin' Out, The Buggles' Video Killed The Radio Star, Corey Hart's Sunglasses at Night,Laura Branigan's Self Control and Gloria, The Weather Girls' It's Raining Men, A-ha’s Take On Me, Men at Work's Down Under, Kim Wilde's Kids in America, The Gap Band's You Dropped a Bomb on Me, Culture Club’s Karma Chameleon, Twisted Sister's I Wanna Rock and We're Not Gonna Take It, Bon Jovi's Wanted Dead or Alive and Bad Medicine, Loverboy's Working for the Weekend, Dead or Alive's You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) and That's the Way (I Like It), Tiffany’s I Think We’re Alone Now, Daryl Hall & John Oates' Maneater, Aneka's Japanese Boy, Mötley Crüe's Dr. Feelgood, Girls, Girls, Girls and Kickstart My Heart, Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire, Huey Lewis And The News' Hip To Be Square, Bill Medley's (I've Had) The Time of My Life, The Police's Every Breath You Take, Whodini's Magic's Wand, Tears For Fears' Everybody Wants To Rule The World, Rockwell's Somebody's Watching Me, Regina's Baby Love, Nena's 99 Red Balloons, Earth, Wind, and Fire's Let's Groove and September, Billy Idol's Eyes Without a Face and White Wedding, Rick James’ Give It To Me Baby, Wham!'s Everything She Wants, George Michael's Careless Whisper, Toto's Hold the Line and Africa, Blondie's Heart of Glass and Atomic, and Mai Tai's History. Note that not every single year and moment of the 17 year 1975-1992 section playing as Louis DeAngelo is playable or chronicled. My idea is it would be handled similarly to how the time skips in Mafia 1/Mafia: Definitive Edition were handled. Time skips of two or more years, or in this case, even longer such as 4 years sometimes, the game skipping from 1979 to 1983. This is to keep the game and story length ideal, and not risk it getting boring or repetitive, or going on for too long. Repetition was a big problem in Mafia III even if I still thought it was a superb game, so I think it'd be best to learn from that for the next big entry. The games story will skip ahead and show onscreen only what's significant, similar to the first Mafia game and it's remake, as well as certain aspects of Mafia II. Louis starts his section as a 22 year old fugitive soldato who got picked up by another crew south of the Canadian border, and in the epilogue of the game in 1992, is promoted to the consigliere of the Scaletta crime family at the age of 40, being set to take over the family once Vito and Joe become too old to run the day to day on a regular basis. The years chronicled in the main gameplay segments are as follows: 1973 1975 1977 1979 1983 1985 1986 1987 1989 1990 1991 1992 Much more of the rural areas and countryside outside of Empire Bay are included than what was available in Mafia II. The way rural environments are handled for this hypothetical Mafia IV is akin to how Mafia: Definitive Edition and Mafia III handled their rural environments outside the main cities, except much larger in scale, given the increased power of the current new consoles such as the PS5 and Xbox Series X. This region is based off of upstate New York and the surrounding areas across multiple states in the Northeastern US, and includes forests, fields, mountains, rivers, lakes, beaches, and small towns. Also included are other cities and towns, based off of other large cities in New York like Syracuse, Buffalo, and Rochester, where other story missions, business activities, and side missions take place, along with smaller notable places like Ithaca, Binghamton, and Utica. The entire states of New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Delaware, Maryland, and Ohio are also included, including places based off of all of their major cities and most of their notable towns in between. Large portions of Pennsylvania are included as well, including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Scranton. Large portions of the eastern half of the Canadian province of Ontario are included as well, including cities based off of Toronto, Ottawa, and Niagara Falls. There's even a small portion of Quebec included, including Montreal and the surrounding countryside of the province outside that city, including a few small towns in southern Quebec. The player must pass a quick border patrol check when crossing the US-Canada border in a car or other ground vehicle. Wildlife is present in the game, mostly to add to the background, scenery, and immersion in rural environments on the map. These are all animals native to the Northeastern US, ranging from white tailed deer, coyotes, bobcats, Canada lynxes, rabbits, hares, groundhogs, gophers, beavers, raccoons, opossums, bats, chipmunks, red and gray squirrels, mice, and rats to more formidable and potentially dangerous animals that may sometimes attack the player, such as grey wolves, black bears, mountain lions, and moose. These last four animals are known to spawn in the mountainous regions, especially in New York, Ohio, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Ontario, including the rural regions based off of the Catskills and the Adirondack mountains. Dogs are present in the cities, towns, and settlements where humans live and keep them as pets, being walked and sometimes found in people's yards. Some are used as guard dogs by enemies and are aggressive towards the player on sight. Domestic cats are also present in the background of residential areas, and both Louis and Vito own them as pets throughout the game in their safe houses, as well as other onscreen characters we see the homes of throughout the game. Aircraft make their first usable appearance in the Mafia series too, from airplanes to helicopters. Vito cannot use planes or helicopters in his playable 1973 portion of the game, as he does not know how to pilot, being a paratrooper in World War II who never actually flew any of the planes himself. Aircraft are unlocked to use when Louis DeAngelo gets his pilot’s certificate offscreen in 1977, and at the end of a chapter set that year, Louis has to fly Vito in a helicopter to a penthouse in Downtown Empire Bay acting as a family safe house, equipped with a helipad. Louis frequently serves as a personal driver and pilot for both Vito and Joe afterwards, having done a lot in his time serving the family to earn their trust and respect. Melee weapons also make a return from Mafia: Definitive Edition, with even more variety this time. In their respective sections of the game, Vito and Louis may use anything from baseball bats, pipes, shovels, brass knuckles, golf clubs, police batons, switchblades, kitchen knives, bowie knives, ice picks, 2x4s, claw hammers, crowbars, tire irons, chain links, machetes, meat cleavers, pickaxes, hatchets, sledgehammers, to fire axes. This amount of melee weapons is so no matter what environment the player finds themselves in during a mission or any other game activity, there is usually a weapon of some sort nearby. If the player has obtained piano wire, you may also strangle an enemy to death with it from behind as a stealth kill, this being a classic assassination method infamous for being used by the Italian Mafia. Rope can also be found and used for similar strangulation stealth kills, appearing in the gameplay environments where piano wire can’t be found. There is a wide variety of new guns and explosives to use in this concept for Mafia IV, going with the new weapons of the time the game takes place that criminals quickly got their hands on. This includes the SPAS-12 combat shotgun, the Beretta 92 pistol, the AK-74 assault rifle, the mini uzi, the MAC-10 submachine gun, both suppressed and unsuppressed variants, the Beretta 92 pistol, the Taurus raging bull revolver, Glock handguns, the TEC-9 machine pistol, illegally modified to be full auto, the Ruger Mini-14 full auto variant, and even Vietnam war era flamethrowers, which I think is only natural given that as of Mafia III, we already have RPGs and grenade launchers. Late in the game from the 1989 section and onwards, the Benelli M3 combat shotgun becomes available. The Milkor MGL grenade launcher becomes available beginning in the 1983 portion of the game. Attached grenade launchers are also available for the AK-47, AK-74, and M16 assault rifles. Free ride makes a return in Mafia IV, with the player having the options to change the weather, time period, and an option to play as Louis, Vito, Joe, or Lincoln. Naturally, a multitude of new free ride missions are available as well. I previously posted a much earlier and less detailed draft of this on the old Mafia3 subreddit 3 years ago back in 2017 as an idea for a hypothetical Mafia 3 expansion where you play as Vito, but have since updated and revamped it to a possible Mafia IV plot, and fixed any plot holes I noticed and made it much more fleshed out and in depth, and focus on more than just Vito in the end. You may view my original here if you so desire, to compare. https://www.reddit.com/Mafia3/comments/6sldhp/spoiler_mafia_iii_vito_dlc_basic_plot_idea/ Feel free to give me constructive criticism on this, as I encourage this discourse and believe it is integral to growing and improving, to build upon or improve these ideas I've come up with, or say whether or not you think something like this should happen in the future. Thank you for reading!
Summary of AEW Angles and Storylines leading into Full Gear, with links to Video
Here is a relatively quick summary of the major angles leading into Full Gear. Links to AEW's Youtube, Twitter and Instagram with highlights and clips of what is going on. I'm including other angles that I feel might end up being relevant to Full Gear, but am not attempting to summarize everything. The Buy In: Serena Deeb (NWA Women’s Champion) vs Allisyn Kay Summary: Serena Deeb is a wrestling veteran, very skilled in the ring, who has just become the NWA champion, in addition to being an AEW wrestler. Allisyn Kay, a former NWA Champion, wants her old title belt back.
John Silver vs. Orange Cassidy Summary: Orange Cassidy is a lazy wrestler who can go toe to toe with the best, if he bothers to try. John Silver, a member of the Dark Order, is a little bundle of hyperactive aggression. Orange Cassidy took on the leader of the Dark Order, Mr. Brodie Lee for the TNT championship. While Mr. Brodie Lee won, the Dark Order, and John Silver in particular, want to punish Cassidy for even trying in the first place. This will be a pretty comedic match, by two people who are genuinely good in the ring.
TNT Title: Cody Rhodes (TNT Champion) vs. Darby Allin Summary: Cody is the son of legendary wrestler Dusty Rhodes, a charming talker and face of the company. He is the TNT Champion. Darby Allin is a reckless daredevil. They have faced off often over the past year, with Cody barely managing to win every time. Will Darby finally win over Cody?
World Tag Team Titles: FTR (AEW Tag Team Champions) vs. The Young Bucks Stipulation: If the Bucks lose, they can never challenge for the Tag Team belts again. Summary: FTR are arrogant brawlers who say they're the best tag team in the world, and they have the AEW Tag Team titles to prove it. The Young Bucks are arrogant high-fliers who say they're the best tag team in the world. They've both been arguing over who is the best for years, and now finally get to prove it. Previously, FTR messed with the Young Bucks by manipulating Hangman Adam Page, taking the Bucks out of the last title match, and the Bucks are still upset about it.
10/28 - FTR and The Young Bucks are interviewed. FTR leave when they think the Young Bucks are getting preferential treatment. The Bucks announce that if they lose this match, they’ll never challenge for the tag titles again.
Women's World Title: Hikaru Shida (c) vs. Nyla Rose Summary: Hikaru Shida is the AEW Women's champion, who had been doing an open challenge for her title. Nyla Rose is a bruiser of a beast, loving to slam women through tables. She's recently gotten Vickie Guererro as her manager. Nyla lost her world title to Shida earlier this year, and has been waiting for a rematch.
World Title Eliminator Tournament Final: Kenny Omega vs. Hangman Page Summary: Kenny Omega and Hangman Adam Page until recently were tag team champions. Hangman's bad decisions lead to their defeat at the hands of FTR. Now Kenny wants to go back to being a singles star, and Adam Page feels abandoned and hurt. Can the sad drunken cowboy beat his former partner, one of the best wrestlers on the planet? Winner of this match gets a shot at the World Championship. The saga of Kenny Omega and Hangman Adam Page is one of the best storylines in wrestling to date. The first chunk of it is summarized here, and the second chunk was summarized by me here. I am not including the Being The Elite segments here too, even though Hangman has been doing some REALLY good work there, because they are really tied up with other plots and hard to summarize briefly.
Chris Jericho vs. MJF Stipulation: If MJF wins, he can join The Inner Circle. Summary: Chris Jericho is a raging egotistical rock star, and leads the villainous Inner Circle. MJF is a spoiled egotistical rich guy, with a massive bodyguard in Wardlow. MJF wants to join the Inner Circle, but has to beat Chris Jericho to prove he has what it takes.
9/9 - MJF and Jericho meet and compliment each other, but each secretly call the other a loser.
Elite Deletion: Matt Hardy vs. Sammy Guevara Summary: Matt Hardy, a legend in the ring, has been trying to get Sammy Guevara to reach his full potential by leaving Chris Jericho's side. Sammy doesn't want an old man telling him what to do. They've been feuding for months now, with both of them getting injured along the way. It really needs to end. This will be a cinematic match, filmed at the Hardy Compound.
9/5 - Matt Hardy is legitimately injured during his match against Sammy at All Out, but finishes the match anyways, despite that being a really really dumb idea, beating Sammy Guevara. Probably AEW's worst decision to date.
11/4 - While Matt Hardy is coaching Private Party before their match, Sammy Guevara attacks him from behind.
AEW World Title "I Quit" Match: Jon Moxley (AEW Champion) vs. Eddie Kingston Summary: Jon Moxley is a tough bastard, who spent years in the WWE, and beat Chris Jericho to become the AEW World Champion earlier this year. Eddie Kingston has been an indie wrestler for years, struggling to make ends meet before recently joining AEW. Eddie thinks Moxley is a sell out. Moxley thinks Eddie has become bitter and jealous. Once friends, now they're going to practically murder each other in the ring. NOTE: The promos that both Moxley and Kingston are giving are PHENOMENAL.
Prince Rainier III (1923-2005) Rainier’s mother, Princess Charlotte, was actually illegitimate. Her father Louis II, getting older and with no legitimate children, legitimized her and made her his heir. She never took the throne, and in fact renounced her rights to her son, Rainier, the day before his 21st birthday. Rainier became the Sovereign Prince of Monaco upon the death of his grandfather in 1949. During WW2, Rainier served in the Free French Army. During the 40s and 50s he was in a long term relationship with the French film actress Gisele Pascal. Rainier’s sister, Princess Antoinette, wanted her own son to ascend to the throne, and spread rumors that Pascal was infertile. The rumors along with her treatment by the press and public ended their relationship. After the war Monaco, a country who made its money primarily as a gambling origin, was in crisis as wealthy Europeans found their funds diminished after the war. To restore Monaco’s treasury Rainier decided to promote Monaco as a tax haven, and he personally took control of SBM (the company who owns the Monte Carlo Casino, Opera, and Hostel de Paris) in 1964. Prince Albert still retains a large share of the company and profits from it today. Marriage: Everyone knows this one. Rainier married American film star Grace Kelly in 1956. Their marriage is rumored to have been turbulent. It is said that Grace struggled with adjusting to royal life, regretted ending her film career, and that Rainier had extramarital affairs. Her children have stated that though she was a loving mother, they spent more time with nannies than with their parents. Grace's dress is iconic, but here you go if you want to revisit some photos from that day. Rainier smoked up to 60 cigarettes per day, and in the last years of his life his health steadily declined. On March 8th, 2005 he entered the hospital for a lung infection and by the end of the month he was on a ventilator suffering from renal and heart failure. On March 31st he officially announced his son Albert, as regent, and on April 6th he died. The Constitution Monaco’s constitution stated that Monaco is a constitutional monarchy ruled by the hereditary princes of the Grimaldi. If the reigning prince were to die without leaving a male heir, Monaco, according to the treaty, would be incorporated into France. In 2002, realizing he had a 43 year old bachelor son, Rainier amended the constitution to allow the crown to pass to his daughters should Albert not marry. Grace, Princess of Monaco (1929-1982) Grace was born in Philadelphia to an affluent and influential family. Her father was an Olympian and a Democratic nominee for Mayor of Philadelphia and was appointed by President Roosevelt as National Director of Physical Fitness. Her mother taught physical education at the University of Pennsylvania and coached women’s athletics at Penn. Her Uncle, George Kelly, was a Pulitzer prize winning dramatist, screenwriter, and director and used his influence to gain Grace admission to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Grace became one of the biggest movie stars of her generation. In 1955 she was sent to the Cannes Film Festival and invited to appear in photos with Prince Rainier. After a year-long courtship, they were married in 1956. Grace was not allowed to continue her acting career after her marriage. She instead devoted herself to her role as Princess, become heavily involved with the Red Cross of Monaco and the Rainbow Children Coalition. On September 13, 1982, Kelly was driving back to Monaco after spending time at her country home. During the drive she had a stroke, lost control of her vehicle, and drove off the mountainside. She died a day later. An article on their relationship Prince Albert II (b. 1958) Prince Albert is one of the wealthiest royals in the world with a net worth at more than $1B. He attended Amherst College in Massachusetts, studying political science, economics, music, and English literature, and completed his education with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. He toured Europe in 1979 as part of the Amherst College Glee Club. Albert competed in the bobsleigh for five consecutive Winter Olympics on behalf of Monaco, and was their flag bearer at the 1988, 1994, and 1998 Olympics. He is also a judo black belt. He became Prince of Monaco when his father died in 2005. Marriage: Prior to his marriage his status as a bachelor was a hot topic of discussion. He was known to date well-known fashion models and actresses, however at age 53 had never married. It was rumored that Albert was gay, something he expressed great frustration with in the press. In 2006 he attended the opening ceremony of the Torino Olympics with South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock. They were engaged in 2010, and married in 2011. There are rumors that Charlene tried to flee the country the day before their wedding. It is reported that the future bride, after discovering Albert may have fathered yet another child during their relationship, attempted to flee as many as three times before their wedding, however was always intercepted at the airport. It is also said she attempted to seek refuge at the South African embassy, and that officials in Monaco ended up hiding her passport so she could not leave the country. Moreover, during their wedding, Charlene openly cried at parts, and Prince Albert was caught on camera begging her to kiss him. Honestly, she looked pretty miserable the whole time. The palace has denied all of these claims. During their honeymoon, they stayed in separate hotels Here's everything you ever needed to know about their wedding Watch it Prince Albert is passionate about the environment and an avid sportsman. Prince Albert speaks French, English, German, and Italian. He speaks English with basically no accent thanks to his American mother. Illegitimate Children In 2005, the day before Prince Rainier died, Albert publicly acknowledged he had fathered a son out of wedlock. In 2006, he confirmed he had also fathered a daughter. These children were barred from the line of inheritance because of a 2002 constitutional amendment requiring an heir’s parents to be married. Alexandre (b. 2003) Alexandre’s mother (Nicole Coste) was a flight attendant for Air France and met Prince Albert when he was a passenger on a flight. He asked for her number, the beginning of a years-long affair. The relationship ended at the insistence of Prince Rainier. Albert visited Alexandre and Nicole often, however when he refused to acknowledge Alexandre publicly, Nicole sold an interview and pictures to the media. Albert was in mourning for his father and made no public comment, but later did acknowledge paternity. Alexandre and Nicole live in France at an estate given to them by Albert. Jazmin (b. 1992) Jazmin’s mother, Tamara, met Albert while working as a waitress. Albert knew of Jazmin and visited her, however did not acknowledge her publicly until she was in high school to protect her identity. In 2006 the French magazine Voici published photographs of Jazmin and her mother on a visit to Monaco, outing her as Albert’s daughter. She has attended events with Albert and Charlene, and is listed as a sponsor for her father’s royal foundation. An interview with Jazmin Princess Charlene (b. 1978) Born in Zimbabwe, Charlene’s family relocated to South Africa in 1989. She represented South Africa at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, finished fifth in the 4x100 meter relay. Albert and Charlene met at the Mare Nostrum swimming competition in Monaco in 2000, however were not seen together until 2006. Charlene converted to Roman Catholicism for her wedding, and has learned French and Monegasque after her move to Monaco. She is an ambassador for the Special Olympics, patron of the South African Red Cross, and is passionate about sport. In recent news, she completed “the crossing” water bike challenge, a 180 kilometer water bike race for charity. An interview with Charlene and Albert on the 1st birthday of their twins Albert and Charlene have 2 children: Hereditary Prince Jacques *twin* (b. 2014) Princess Gabriella *twin* (b. 2014) Gabriella was born 2 minutes before her brother, however because of the constitution her brother will inherit the throne. They are super sweet together and you see them at events often. Princess Caroline of Hanover (b. 1957) Caroline is the eldest child of Rainier and Grace Kelly, however because of the constitution her brother, Albert, sits on the throne of Monaco. She served as de facto first lady of Monaco until the marriage of Albert and Charlene. Until the birth of her niece and nephew she was heir presumptive to the throne, although she had only held that title since 2005 after the change of the constitution to include female heirs. Caroline received her French baccalaureat in 1974, and received a degree in Philosophy from Sorbonne University. She is fluent in French, English, Spanish, German, and Italian. Her hobbies include horseback riding, swimming, and skiing. Marriages:
Marriage 1: Philippe Junot
Married Phillippe, a Parisian banker, in 1978. The couple divorced in 1980 with no children.
Marriage 2: Stefano Casiraghi
Married Stefano in 1983, the sportsman heir to an Italian industrial fortune. The two had to marry in a civil ceremony rather than a religious ceremony because Caroline, a Catholic, was divorced. Caroline was 3 months pregnant at the time of their wedding. They have three children:
Note: The Casiraghi’s are all very beautiful and very fashionable but I don’t want to go much into them here because they are so far down the line of succession. They’re fun to follow for their fashion if you have the time to check them out.
Marriage 3: Prince Ernst August of Hanover
Married Ernst August, a Prince, in 1999. They have one daughter, Princess Alexandra. Caroline is thus a Princess twice-over, through her family and through her husband. She and Ernst August have been separated since 2009 however are still legally married, thus she retains the title of Princess Caroline of Hanover. Read about all of her weddings here See her speaking in English around 12:00 here Princess Stephanie (b. 1965) Stephanie was in the vehicle with her mother when Grace died. She suffered a fracture of the neck. She has studied classical dance and piano, and competed in gymnastics and horse riding. She interned at Christian Dior and debuted as a model in 1984. She has a swimwear and perfume line, and owns cafes and stores in both Monaco and Barcelona. She also has sold more than 2 million copies of her song, Ouragan, and sold 1.5M copies of her album Besoin. She recorded “In the Closet” with Michael Jackson, however is listed as “mystery girl” in the credits. Marriages/Relationships:
Marriage 1: Daniel Ducruet
Stephanie married her former body guard, Daniel Ducruet, in 1995. When Rainier learned of their relationship Daniel was not only still his employee, but had a pregnant girlfriend too. Stephanie gave birth to their two children “out of wedlock” because Rainier refused to grant permission for them to marry, however eventually relented. The two divorced a year later after Ducruet was photographed naked with a stripper. Read more They have two children:
Stephanie met elephant trainer (yeah, you read that right) when she presented him with the award for “best animal tamer” at the Monaco Circus Festival in 1997. Franco, a decade older than Stephanie, was married with two children at the time. Franco left his family for Stephanie, moving her and her three children into his circus caravan in Zurich. Marrying in 2001, their relationship lasted 18 months until their divorce. An interview with Stephanie in English in 1990 Why is he a Prince and not a King? From vogue: It goes back deep into the history of Monaco. Monaco has always been a tiny nation, and, for protection, allied itself with (or, at some points, was flat-out annexed by) big powerful countries, with big powerful rulers—aka kingdoms, or, a nation ruled by a king or queen. So Monaco’s rulers styled themselves as prince and princess. That, by definition, made the nation a principality, or one ruled by prince or princess. Regardless, Albert actually plays a bigger role in the day to day operations of the country than most of his European peers. Legislative power is divided between the Prince who initiates the laws, and the National Council who votes on them. Executive power is retained by the Prince, and he has full judiciary powers. Jewels See their tiara collection I think the Ocean Tiara, gifted to Charlene for her wedding, is particularly interesting. You either love it or you hate it. The Grimaldi Curse What do you think?
Best run in terms of anything Stanley Kubrick: Lolita, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Spartacus, and Dr. Strangelove. Robert Wise: The Sound of Music, West Side Story, The Sand Pebbles, The Haunting, Two for the Seesaw, and Star!. Jean Luc Godard: Breathless, Contempt, My Life to Live, Two or Three Things I Know About Her, Pierrot le Fou, Bande à part, A Woman Is a Woman, Le petit soldat, The Carabineers, A Married Woman, Alphaville, Made in U.S.A, Masculin Féminin, La Chinoise, Weekend, One Plus One, Joy of Learning, A Film Like Any Other, and British Sounds. David Lean: Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago Francois Truffaut: Stolen Kisses, Antoine and Colette, Shoot the Piano Player, Jules and Jim, The Soft Skin, Fahrenheit 451, The Bride Wore Black, and Mississippi Mermaid. Alfred Hitchcock: Psycho, The Birds, Topaz, Marnie, and Torn Curtain. Billy Wilder: The Apartment, Irma la Douce, The Fortune Cookie, One, Two, Three, and Kiss Me, Stupid. Federico Fellini: 8 1/2, La Dolce Vita, Juliet of the Spirits, Satyricon, Spirits of the Dead, and Boccaccio '70. Ingmar Bergman: Persona, Shame, Hour of the Wolf, The Passion of Anna, The Rite, All These Women, The Silence, Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, The Devil's Eye, and The Virgin Spring. Mike Nichols: The Graduate Teach me!, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Sidney Lumet: The Fugitive Kind, The Appointment, The Hill, The Deadly Affair, Fail Safe, Bye Bye Braverman, The Group, A View from the Bridge, The Pawnbroker, and Long Day's Journey into Night. Luchino Visconti: Rocco and His Brothers, The Damned, The Leopard, Sandra, and The Stranger. George Roy Hill: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Hawaii, The World of Henry Orient, Period of Adjustment, and Toys in the Attic . Roman Polanski: Knife in the Water, Repulsion, Rosemary's Baby, The World's Most Beautiful Swindlers, and Cul-de-sac. John Huston: The Unforgiven, The Misfits, The Night of the Iguana, The List of Adrian Messenger, The Bible: In the Beginning..., Freud, Reflections in a Golden Eye, A Walk with Love and Death, Casino Royale, and Sinful Davey. Sergio Leone: The Dollars Trilogy, Once Upon a Time in the West, and The Colossus of Rhodes. Michelangelo Antonioni: Blowup, L'Avventura, L'Eclisse, La Notte, and Red Desert. John Ford: How the West Was Won, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Sergeant Rutledge, 7 Women, Cheyenne Autumn, Two Rode Together, and Donovan's Reef. Akira Kurosawa: Yojimbo, Red Beard, Sanjuro, The Bad Sleep Well, and High and Low. John Frankenheimer: Birdman of Alcatraz, The Manchurian Candidate, The Train, Seven Days in May, Seconds, Grand Prix, All Fall Down, The Fixer, The Young Savages, The Gypsy Moths, and The Extraordinary Seaman. Vittorio De Sica: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Woman Times Seven, Marriage Italian Style, After the Fox, Un monde nouveau, Il giudizio universale, The Condemned of Altona, and Two Women. Blake Edwards: Breakfast at Tiffany's, Days of Wine and Roses, The Party, The Great Race, A Shot in the Dark, High Time, Soldier in the Rain, Experiment in Terror, and The Pink Panther. John Sturges: The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven, Ice Station Zebra, Marooned, Hour of the Gun, A Girl Named Tamiko, By Love Possessed, and Sergeants 3. Stanley Kramer: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Ship of Fools, Inherit the Wind, Judgment at Nuremberg, and The Secret of Santa Vittoria. Robert Aldrich: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte, The Flight of the Phoenix, The Dirty Dozen, The Killing of Sister George, The Last Sunset, 4 for Texas, and Sodom and Gomorrah. Mario Bava: The Girl Who Knew Too Much, Black Sunday, Kill, Baby, Kill, Hercules in the Haunted World, Knives of the, Erik the Conqueror Avenger, Danger: Diabolik, Black Sabbath, Blood and Black Lace, and Planet of the Vampires. Elia Kazan: Wild River, The Arrangement, America America, and Splendor in the Grass. Samuel Fuller: Shock Corridor, The Naked Kiss, Shark!, Underworld U.S.A., and Merrill's Marauders. Robert Bresson: Au hasard Balthazar, Mouchette, The Trial of Joan of Arc, and A Gentle Woman. Andrei Tarkovsky: Andrei Rublev and Ivan's Childhood. Sam Peckinpah: The Wild Bunch, Major Dundee, The Deadly Companions, and Ride the High Country. Yasujirō Ozu: Late Autumn, The End of Summer, and An Autumn Afternoon. Robert Altman: Countdown and That Cold Day in the Park. Francis Ford Coppola: Tonight for Sure, The Bellboy and the Playgirls, Dementia 13, You're a Big Boy Now, Finian's Rainbow, and The Rain People. Jean-Pierre Melville: Léon Morin, Priest, Army of Shadows, Le Samouraï, Magnet of Doom, Le Doulos, and Le deuxième Luis Buñuel: The Milky Way, Belle de Jour, Simon of the Desert, Diary of a Chambermaid, The Young One, The Exterminating Angel, and Viridiana. John Cassavetes : Faces, A Child Is Waiting, and Too Late Blues. Roberto Rossellini: The Taking of Power by Louis XIV, Uno sguardo dal ponte, Escape by Night, Garibaldi, Les Carabiniers, Vanina Vanini, Les Carabiniers, Anima nera, and Benito Mussolini. Pier Paolo Pasolini: Mamma Roma, The Gospel According to St. Matthew, Accattone, The Hawks and the Sparrows, Pigsty, Theorem, Oedipus Rex, and Medea. Howard Hawks: Man's Favorite Sport?, Red Line 7000, El Dodrado, and Hatari!. John Schlesinger: Darling, Midnight Cowboy, Far from the Madding Crowd, A Kind of Loving, and Billy Liar. Martin Ritt: Hud, Paris Blues, Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man, The Spy Who Came In from the Cold, The Outrage, Hombre, Five Branded Women, and The Brotherhood. Jack Clayton: The Innocents, The Pumpkin Eater, and Our Mother's House. Robert Mulligan: The Rat Race, The Great Impostor, The Spiral Road, To Kill a Mockingbird, Love with the Proper Stranger, Inside Daisy Clover, Baby the Rain Must Fall, Up the Down Staircase, and The Stalking Moon. Satyajit Ray: Nyak, Two, Teen Kanya, Kanchenjungha, Devi, Rabindranath Tagore, Abhijan, Mahanagar, Aranyer Din Ratri, Chiriyakhana, Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne, Charulata, and Mahapurush. Tony Richardson: Tom Jones, The Entertainer, A Subject of Scandal and Concern, A Taste of Honey, Sanctuary, Hamlet, Red and Blue, Laughter in the Dark, The Loved One, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Mademoiselle, The Sailor from Gibraltar, The Charge of the Light Brigade, and Laughter in the Dark. Bryan Forbes: Séance on a Wet Afternoon,Whistle Down the Wind, King Rat,The L-Shaped Room, Deadfall, The Wrong Box, The Whisperers, and The Madwoman of Chaillot. Richard Brooks: Elmer Gantry, In Cold Blood, The Happy Ending, Sweet Bird of Youth, Lord Jim, and The Professionals. Claude Chabrol: Les Biches, The Unfaithful Wife, The Champagne Murders, Les Bonnes Femmes, Wise Guys, The Third Lover, Landru, Ophélia, Le Tigre aime la chair fraiche, Marie-Chantal contre le docteur Kha, Our Agent Tiger, The Road to Corinth, and This Man Must Die. Mario Monicelli: The Passionate Thief, Casanova 70, Caprice Italian Style, The Girl with the Pistol, Organizer, L'armata Brancaleone, High Infidelity, and Sex Quartet. Norman Jewison: In the Heat of the Night, The Thomas Crown Affair, The Cincinnati Kid, The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, Gaily, Gaily, 40 Pounds of Trouble, The Thrill of It All, Send Me No Flowers, and The Art of Love. Gillo Pontecorvo: The Battle of Algiers, Burn!, and Paras. Ken Russell: Song of Summer, French Dressing, Women in Love, and Billion Dollar Brain Ken Loach: Kes and Poor Cow. Costa-Gavras:Z, Shock Troops, and The Sleeping Car Murders Jacques Demy: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The Young Girls of Rochefort, Lola, Bay of Angels, and Model Shop. Carol Reed: Oliver!, The Running Man, and The Agony and the Ecstasy. Fred Zinnemann: A Man for All Seasons, The Sundowners, and Behold a Pale Horse. Arthur Penn: The Chase, Alice's Restaurant, Bonnie and Clyde, The Miracle Worker, and Mickey One. Agnes Varda: Cléo de 5 à 7, Le Bonheur, Lions from love, Les Créatures, and Loin du Vietnam. Masaki Kobayashi: Harakiri, Samurai Rebellion, The Inheritance, A Soldier's Prayer, Hymn to a Tired Man, and Kwaidan. Otto Preminger: Advise & Consent, Exodus, The Cardinal, Bunny Lake Is Missing, In Harm's Way, Skidoo, and Hurry Sundown. Stanley Donen: Charade, Two for the Road, The Grass Is Greener, Surprise Package, and Once More, with Feeling!. Nicholas Ray: The Savage Innocents, 55 Days at Peking, and King of Kings. Luis García Berlanga: Long Live the Bride and Groom, Three Fables of Love, The Executioner, Plácido, and La boutique. Walerian Borowczyk: Mr. and Mrs. Kabal's Theatre, Renaissance, and Goto, Island of Love. Karel Reisz: Isadora, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Night Must Fall, and Morgan – A Suitable Case for Treatment. Joseph Losey: Eva, The Criminal, The Damned, King and Country, The Servant, Boom!, Accident, Secret Ceremony, and Modesty Blaise. Mark Robson: Daddy's Gone A-Hunting, Von Ryan's Express, The Prize, Valley of the Dolls, The Inspector, Nine Hours to Rama, Lost Command, and From the Terrace. Richard Fleischer: Che!, Fantastic Voyage, The Big Gamble, Barabbas, The Boston Strangler, Doctor Dolittle, and Crack in the Mirror,
Best run in terms of anything Stanley Kubrick: Lolita, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Spartacus, and Dr. Strangelove. Robert Wise: The Sound of Music, West Side Story, The Sand Pebbles, The Haunting, Two for the Seesaw, and Star!. Jean Luc Godard: Breathless, Contempt, My Life to Live, Two or Three Things I Know About Her, Pierrot le Fou, Bande à part, A Woman Is a Woman, Le petit soldat, The Carabineers, A Married Woman, Alphaville, Made in U.S.A, Masculin Féminin, La Chinoise, Weekend, One Plus One, Joy of Learning, A Film Like Any Other, and British Sounds. David Lean: Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago Francois Truffaut: Stolen Kisses, Antoine and Colette, Shoot the Piano Player, Jules and Jim, The Soft Skin, Fahrenheit 451, The Bride Wore Black, and Mississippi Mermaid. Alfred Hitchcock: Psycho, The Birds, Topaz, Marnie, and Torn Curtain. Billy Wilder: The Apartment, Irma la Douce, The Fortune Cookie, One, Two, Three, and Kiss Me, Stupid. Federico Fellini: 8 1/2, La Dolce Vita, Juliet of the Spirits, Satyricon, Spirits of the Dead, and Boccaccio '70. Ingmar Bergman: Persona, Shame, Hour of the Wolf, The Passion of Anna, The Rite, All These Women, The Silence, Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, The Devil's Eye, and The Virgin Spring. Mike Nichols: The Graduate Teach me!, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Sidney Lumet: The Fugitive Kind, The Appointment, The Hill, The Deadly Affair, Fail Safe, Bye Bye Braverman, The Group, A View from the Bridge, The Pawnbroker, and Long Day's Journey into Night. Luchino Visconti: Rocco and His Brothers, The Damned, The Leopard, Sandra, and The Stranger. George Roy Hill: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Hawaii, The World of Henry Orient, Period of Adjustment, and Toys in the Attic . Roman Polanski: Knife in the Water, Repulsion, Rosemary's Baby, The World's Most Beautiful Swindlers, and Cul-de-sac. John Huston: The Unforgiven, The Misfits, The Night of the Iguana, The List of Adrian Messenger, The Bible: In the Beginning..., Freud, Reflections in a Golden Eye, A Walk with Love and Death, Casino Royale, and Sinful Davey. Sergio Leone: The Dollars Trilogy, Once Upon a Time in the West, and The Colossus of Rhodes. Michelangelo Antonioni: Blowup, L'Avventura, L'Eclisse, La Notte, and Red Desert. John Ford: How the West Was Won, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Sergeant Rutledge, 7 Women, Cheyenne Autumn, Two Rode Together, and Donovan's Reef. Akira Kurosawa: Yojimbo, Red Beard, Sanjuro, The Bad Sleep Well, and High and Low. John Frankenheimer: Birdman of Alcatraz, The Manchurian Candidate, The Train, Seven Days in May, Seconds, Grand Prix, All Fall Down, The Fixer, The Young Savages, The Gypsy Moths, and The Extraordinary Seaman. Vittorio De Sica: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Woman Times Seven, Marriage Italian Style, After the Fox, Un monde nouveau, Il giudizio universale, The Condemned of Altona, and Two Women. Blake Edwards: Breakfast at Tiffany's, Days of Wine and Roses, The Party, The Great Race, A Shot in the Dark, High Time, Soldier in the Rain, Experiment in Terror, and The Pink Panther. John Sturges: The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven, Ice Station Zebra, Marooned, Hour of the Gun, A Girl Named Tamiko, By Love Possessed, and Sergeants 3. Stanley Kramer: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Ship of Fools, Inherit the Wind, Judgment at Nuremberg, and The Secret of Santa Vittoria. Robert Aldrich: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte, The Flight of the Phoenix, The Dirty Dozen, The Killing of Sister George, The Last Sunset, 4 for Texas, and Sodom and Gomorrah. Mario Bava: The Girl Who Knew Too Much, Black Sunday, Kill, Baby, Kill, Hercules in the Haunted World, Knives of the, Erik the Conqueror Avenger, Danger: Diabolik, Black Sabbath, Blood and Black Lace, and Planet of the Vampires. Elia Kazan: Wild River, The Arrangement, America America, and Splendor in the Grass. Samuel Fuller: Shock Corridor, The Naked Kiss, Shark!, Underworld U.S.A., and Merrill's Marauders. Robert Bresson: Au hasard Balthazar, Mouchette, The Trial of Joan of Arc, and A Gentle Woman. Andrei Tarkovsky: Andrei Rublev and Ivan's Childhood. Sam Peckinpah: The Wild Bunch, Major Dundee, The Deadly Companions, and Ride the High Country. Yasujirō Ozu: Late Autumn, The End of Summer, and An Autumn Afternoon. Robert Altman: Countdown and That Cold Day in the Park. Francis Ford Coppola: Tonight for Sure, The Bellboy and the Playgirls, Dementia 13, You're a Big Boy Now, Finian's Rainbow, and The Rain People. Jean-Pierre Melville: Léon Morin, Priest, Army of Shadows, Le Samouraï, Magnet of Doom, Le Doulos, and Le deuxième Luis Buñuel: The Milky Way, Belle de Jour, Simon of the Desert, Diary of a Chambermaid, The Young One, The Exterminating Angel, and Viridiana. John Cassavetes : Faces, A Child Is Waiting, and Too Late Blues. Roberto Rossellini: The Taking of Power by Louis XIV, Uno sguardo dal ponte, Escape by Night, Garibaldi, Les Carabiniers, Vanina Vanini, Les Carabiniers, Anima nera, and Benito Mussolini. Pier Paolo Pasolini: Mamma Roma, The Gospel According to St. Matthew, Accattone, The Hawks and the Sparrows, Pigsty, Theorem, Oedipus Rex, and Medea. Howard Hawks: Man's Favorite Sport?, Red Line 7000, El Dodrado, and Hatari!. John Schlesinger: Darling, Midnight Cowboy, Far from the Madding Crowd, A Kind of Loving, and Billy Liar. Martin Ritt: Hud, Paris Blues, Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man, The Spy Who Came In from the Cold, The Outrage, Hombre, Five Branded Women, and The Brotherhood. Jack Clayton: The Innocents, The Pumpkin Eater, and Our Mother's House. Robert Mulligan: The Rat Race, The Great Impostor, The Spiral Road, To Kill a Mockingbird, Love with the Proper Stranger, Inside Daisy Clover, Baby the Rain Must Fall, Up the Down Staircase, and The Stalking Moon. Satyajit Ray: Nyak, Two, Teen Kanya, Kanchenjungha, Devi, Rabindranath Tagore, Abhijan, Mahanagar, Aranyer Din Ratri, Chiriyakhana, Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne, Charulata, and Mahapurush. Tony Richardson: Tom Jones, The Entertainer, A Subject of Scandal and Concern, A Taste of Honey, Sanctuary, Hamlet, Red and Blue, Laughter in the Dark, The Loved One, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Mademoiselle, The Sailor from Gibraltar, The Charge of the Light Brigade, and Laughter in the Dark. Bryan Forbes: Séance on a Wet Afternoon,Whistle Down the Wind, King Rat,The L-Shaped Room, Deadfall, The Wrong Box, The Whisperers, and The Madwoman of Chaillot. Richard Brooks: Elmer Gantry, In Cold Blood, The Happy Ending, Sweet Bird of Youth, Lord Jim, and The Professionals. Claude Chabrol: Les Biches, The Unfaithful Wife, The Champagne Murders, Les Bonnes Femmes, Wise Guys, The Third Lover, Landru, Ophélia, Le Tigre aime la chair fraiche, Marie-Chantal contre le docteur Kha, Our Agent Tiger, The Road to Corinth, and This Man Must Die. Mario Monicelli: The Passionate Thief, Casanova 70, Caprice Italian Style, The Girl with the Pistol, Organizer, L'armata Brancaleone, High Infidelity, and Sex Quartet. Norman Jewison: In the Heat of the Night, The Thomas Crown Affair, The Cincinnati Kid, The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, Gaily, Gaily, 40 Pounds of Trouble, The Thrill of It All, Send Me No Flowers, and The Art of Love. Gillo Pontecorvo: The Battle of Algiers, Burn!, and Paras. Ken Russell: Song of Summer, French Dressing, Women in Love, and Billion Dollar Brain Ken Loach: Kes and Poor Cow. Costa-Gavras: Z, Shock Troops, and The Sleeping Car Murders Jacques Demy: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The Young Girls of Rochefort, Lola, Bay of Angels, and Model Shop. Carol Reed: Oliver!, The Running Man, and The Agony and the Ecstasy. Fred Zinnemann: A Man for All Seasons, The Sundowners, and Behold a Pale Horse. Arthur Penn: The Chase, Alice's Restaurant, Bonnie and Clyde, The Miracle Worker, and Mickey One. Agnes Varda: Cléo de 5 à 7, Le Bonheur, Lions from love, Les Créatures, and Loin du Vietnam. Masaki Kobayashi: Harakiri, Samurai Rebellion, The Inheritance, A Soldier's Prayer, Hymn to a Tired Man, and Kwaidan. Otto Preminger: Advise & Consent, Exodus, The Cardinal, Bunny Lake Is Missing, In Harm's Way, Skidoo, and Hurry Sundown. Stanley Donen: Charade, Two for the Road, The Grass Is Greener, Surprise Package, and Once More, with Feeling!. Nicholas Ray: The Savage Innocents, 55 Days at Peking, and King of Kings. Luis García Berlanga: Long Live the Bride and Groom, Three Fables of Love, The Executioner, Plácido, and La boutique. Walerian Borowczyk: Mr. and Mrs. Kabal's Theatre, Renaissance, and Goto, Island of Love. Karel Reisz: Isadora, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Night Must Fall, and Morgan – A Suitable Case for Treatment. Joseph Losey: Eva, The Criminal, The Damned, King and Country, The Servant, Boom!, Accident, Secret Ceremony, and Modesty Blaise. Mark Robson: Daddy's Gone A-Hunting, Von Ryan's Express, The Prize, Valley of the Dolls, The Inspector, Nine Hours to Rama, Lost Command, and From the Terrace. Richard Fleischer: Che!, Fantastic Voyage, The Big Gamble, Barabbas, The Boston Strangler, Doctor Dolittle, and Crack in the Mirror,
Film Rankings with Explanations, Ratings, and Tiers
During quarantine, I've had the opportunity to rewatch every movie in relatively short succession. I've seen them all 2-10 times and have been a lifelong Bond fan. I enjoy every Bond film, even the "bad" ones, but I wanted to try and rank them. I used a scoring system to help me, but ultimately went with my gut (e.g. License to Kill MUST be better than The World is Not Enough). I thought a tier system of ranking was useful, because it really is splitting hairs to rank some of these. Feel free to critique my ratings, my ratings weightings, and opinions! You could say I have too much time on my hands Tier 7: The Worst
Die Another Day: Best Sword Fight
- Why it's not irredeemable: For being the lowest ranked film on this list, it's not without its moments. Bond getting caught, tortured, then escaping from MI6 was interesting and novel. The ice hotel was neat, as well as the chase scene. I'll even defend the much maligned invisible car, as the Aston Martin Vanquish is quite a car. - Why it's not higher: Personally, I think Halle Berry is a terrible Bond girl, alternating between damsel in distress and super woman as the plot demands it. Moreover, Graves and the plot in general is pretty cheesy and boring. Perhaps most damaging is the deadly serious tone of the movie, which doesn't even provide the fun and excitement Brosnan's films generally provide the viewer. - Most under-appreciated part: The fencing scene is the best action scene of the entire movie. It's surprising it took Bond this long to fence, but seeing them go at it across the club was a blast. Tier 6: Disappointing
Quantum of Solace: Best Car Chase
- Why it's this high: The action is quite good, likely meriting the distinction of the best car chase in the entire series (the pre-credits sequence). Mathis is a good ally and it is sad to see him go. - Why it's not higher: My biggest beef with Craig's Bond films is that they are too serious, so when the plot and script isn't top-notch, the movie watching experience is just kind of dull. Quantum of Solace takes a bold risk in making the first Bond sequel, but unfortunately it's just not that good. Greene seems like a rather pathetic Bond villain, and his henchman (the worst in the series?) ends up in a neck-brace after getting tripped by Camilla. Also, the shaky cam is distracting and exhausting. - Most under-appreciated part: I actually thing the theme song is pretty good! Maybe I'm just too much of a Jack White groupie, but I think it rocks.
Moonraker: Best Locales
- Why it's this high: I'm pleased to see Jaws making a return, as he is an amazing henchman. On that note, the pre-credits sequence with Bond and Jaws falling out of the plane is exhilarating. Holly Goodhead is a very good Bond girl, beautiful, smart, and competent. Roger Moore always does an excellent job playing the role with suavity and wit. - Why it's not higher: Gosh it's cheesy. Particularly egregious is Jaws' love story. The theme song is terrible and Bond doesn't have any solid allies besides Goodhead and Jaws. - Most under-appreciated part: They really go all out with the settings here. Obviously, space is pretty polarizing, but I think Bond clearly should go to space at SOME point during the series. In addition, Italy and Brazil were gorgeous views, while Drax's estate is magnificent.
Spectre: Best Shooting
- Why it's this high: Rewatching this for the second time, I realized Lea Seydoux does a good job as the Bond girl, and it's actually quite believable she and James could work out, as she is the daughter of an assassin and can understand him (as Blofeld points out). Seeing Bond show off his marksmanship was quite satisfying, especially that one long shot during the escape from Blofeld's compound. Bonus points for Bond's DB10 and resurrecting the DB5. - Why it's not higher: The fatal flaw of this film is making Blofeld Bond's adopted brother. How did Bond not recognize him? How is Blofeld able to keep himself secret from British intelligence yet every criminal worth his salt knows of him? The worst part is that it actually cheapens the plot of the other Craig movies. I believe the Bond franchise should stay clear from sequels from here on out. Yes, they can weave a great story if done correctly, but it's so much more difficult to make great sequels (e.g. Star Wars only made two worthy sequels in seven tries) than to do one-offs. As usual for a Craig film, Bond has little charisma (save for his surprisingly good rapport with Moneypenny) and little in the way of jokes to lighten the mood. - Most under-appreciated part: The train fight scene with Dave Bautista is great! Gosh it was awesome to see them go at it, break through walls, and a priceless expression on Bautista's face when he knows he's done. Bautista is the first decent henchman since the 90s, so glad to see the series go back to this staple.
The Man with the Golden Gun: Best Potential, Worst Execution
- Why it's this high: This Bond movie frustrates more than any other, as it has the potential to be an all-time great. Bond's debriefing starts off with promise, as it turns out the world's top assassin is gunning for Bond! For the first time in the series, Bond seems vulnerable! M makes a hilarious quip as to who would try to kill Bond ("jealous husbands ... the list is endless"). Furthermore, the legendary Christopher Lee is possible the best Bond villain, a rare peer of 007. - Why it's not higher: Unfortunately, the movie opts to change course so that it's just Maud Adams trying to get Bond to kill Scaramanga. Goodnight is beautiful, but maybe the most inept Bond girl of all-time. They used a SLIDE WHISTLE, ruining one of the coolest Bond stunts ever (the car jump). - Most under-appreciated part: Nick Nack is a splendid henchman, showing the role can be more than just a strongman.
Diamonds Are Forever: Great Beginning and Ending, but Bad Everywhere Else
- Why it's this high: Is there another Bond with such a great contrast between the beginning/ending and everything in between? Connery shows his tough side, as he muscles his way through the pre-credits scene. Particularly good was the part where he seduces the woman, then uses her bikini top to choke her. At the end, Bond expertly uses his wine knowledge to detect something is amiss, then dispatches Kidd and Wint in style. Other cool scenes include Bond scaling the building to reach Blofeld and Bond driving the Mustang through the alley. - Why it's not higher: This is one of the films that I find myself liking less and less over time. Vegas, and especially the space laboratory scene, just seem cheesy. Connery is officially too old at this point, and Jill St. John just isn't a very compelling Bond girl. I would've preferred to have seen more of Plenty O'Toole, but alas 'twas not meant to be. Leiter is uninspired as well. Having Bond go after Blofeld for the millionth time just seems tired at this point. - Most under-appreciated part: Mr. Kidd and Wint are the creepiest henchmen in the Bond universe, but I'd argue they are some of the best. Their banter and creative modes of execution are quite chilling and thrilling.
A View to a Kill: Best Theme
- Why it's this high: Is it a hot take to not have View in the bottom five? Let me explain. I contend Duran Duran's theme is the very best. The ending fight scene on the Golden Gate Bridge is actually one of the most iconic ending set pieces in the series. The plot is stellar on paper, as the horse racing part was a very Bondian side story, and the idea of an attack on Silicon Valley actually seems even more plausible today. - Why it's not higher: It's self-evident that Moore is way too old for the part. Some parts are just mind-blowingly ridiculous, such as the fire truck chase scene through San Francisco and the part where Stacey is caught unaware by a blimp behind her. Speaking of Stacey, she may be beautiful, but she spends most of the movie shrieking whenever something goes wrong. - Most under-appreciated part: The scene with Bond and Ivanova is cool (I always like it when he interacts with other spies) and quite entertaining how he fools her with the cassettes. Tier 5: Below Average
Octopussy: The Most Characteristically Roger Moore Bond Film
- Why it's this high: Maud Adams has great screen presence as Octopussy, and her Amazonian-like women are cool to watch fight. Bond's deft swipe of the egg was nicely done. On a related aside, I wish Bond films would emphasize Bond's intellect more, as it seems the 60s and 70s films would allow Bond to showcase his vast knowledge more frequently than he does today. Gobinda is a fierce henchman, while India in general is a cool location. The plot is realistic, yet grand (war-mongering Russian general tries to detonate a nuke to get NATO to turn on itself). - Why it's not higher: This is the first Moore film where he simply was too old and shouldn't have been cast. Yes, it's too cheesy at times, most infamously during the Tarzan yell. Bond also doesn't use any cool vehicles. - Most under-appreciated part: People tend to focus too much on Bond dressing as a clown, but the scene where Bond furiously tries to get to the bomb in time to defuse it is one of the tensest moments in the series. Moore's "Dammit there's a bomb in there!" really demonstrated the gravity of the situation (I get goosebumps during that part).
Tomorrow Never Dies: Most Tasteful Humor
- Why it's this high: Brosnan really settles into the role well here. He gives the most charismatic Bond performance in 15 years or so. His quip "I'm just here at Oxford, brushing up on a little Danish" is an all-time great Bond line. Teri Hatcher is stunning as Paris Carver, delivering a memorable performance with her limited screen time. The plot is original and ages well, highlighting the potential downsides of media power, while Carver is an above average villain. - Why it's not higher: Wai Lin is good for action, but the chemistry between her and Bond is non-existent. By the end of the movie, Pryce just seem silly (especially the scene where he mocks Wai Lin's martial arts skills). There aren't any good Bond allies, as Jack Wade doesn't impress in his return to the franchise. In general though, the movie has few things terribly wrong with it, it just doesn't excel in many ways. - Most under-appreciated part: Dr. Kaufman is hysterical. At first, I thought "this is weird," but by the end of the scene I'm cracking up. I genuinely wish they found someway to bring him back for World, but c'est la vie.
The World Is Not Enough: Less than the Sum of its Parts
- Why it's this high: According to my spreadsheet, this is a top 10 Bond film, while on my first watch on this film I thought it was bottom five. I think the truth is that it's somewhere in between. I like the settings, everything from the temporary MI-6 headquarters to Azerbaijan. Elektra is an all-time great Bond girl, with a nice plot twist and character arc. The glasses where Bond sees through women's clothing are hilarious. The sense of danger is strong, with everyone from Bond to M being in danger. The return of Zukovsky is a nice plus. - Why it's not higher: I think two things really doom this film. First, Renard is totally wasted a henchman. The idea of him not feeling pain is a cool one, but he just seems boring and extraneous. I don't even think Carlyle acted poorly, he was just misused. Secondly, the ending (after Bond killing Elektra which is quite good) is rather terrible. The whole scene in the sub just isn't entertaining or engaging. - Most under-appreciated part: I'm going to defend Denise Richards as Christmas Jones. Although no Ursula Andress, Richards is absolutely gorgeous and did not actively make Bond's mission more difficult, which is more than some Bond girls can say *cough Britt Ekland. In particular, I found her introductory scene to be quite memorable and convincing. Also, the Christmas quip at the end is quite cheeky. Tier 4: Solid
The Living Daylights:
- Why it's this high: Dalton brings a breath of fresh air to the franchise here. His more serious take makes for interesting movies that seem more unique than most. I'm happy to see this subreddit appreciate Dalton more than the casual fun does, but I wouldn't go as far as the Dalton fanboys and say he's the best Bond or anything like that. I do wish he got the role sooner and did more films. Moving on to Daylights, it's got a good intro for Dalton and good plot in general. Surprisingly, Bond's fidelity doesn't bother me one bit, as it actually makes sense that Kara falls in love with James by the end, given all they've gone through. - Why it's not higher: The biggest reason is that the villain is just terrible. Whitaker seems silly and pathetic, a terrible contrast to Dalton's serious nature. I think Whitaker might be the worst in the series, and a Bond movie can't be great without a good villain. Also, Dalton doesn't have much charm and is abysmal at one-liners, which, in my opinion, IS a facet of the perfect James Bond. - Most under-appreciated part: The Aston Martin Vantage is a beautiful car, and the chase scene across the ice is great! It's both exciting and funny! Not sure why people don't talk about this chase scene and this car more; it's arguably the highlight of the movie for me.
Thunderball: The Most Beautiful
- Why it's this high: Thunderball used to be top five for me and here is why. The underwater scenes, the setting, the score, and the Bond girls are beautiful even to this day. Domino is excellent, while Volpe is a tour de force, oozing sexuality and danger. I think the underwater parts are interesting and novel, creating a staple of sorts for the franchise. The DB 5 is always welcome, and the jetpack use was quite cool for the time (and to some extent now). - Why it's not higher: Some would say it's boring, while I would more generously admit the plot is slow. Furthermore, the theme song is all-time bad (apparently they could have used Johnny Cash!!!), and there is no great henchman for Bond to dispatch. - Most under-appreciated part: Two plot ideas I liked a lot: Bond being injured and needing rehab, plus the part where all the 00s meet up and then are sent to the corners of the globe.
Never Say Never Again: Guilty Pleasure
- Why it's this high: Rewatching Never for the third time, I was struck by how fun this movie is. It's exciting, funny, and fast-paced. Basically, it's a more exciting version of Thunderball, with better pacing and better humor. I think Irvin Kershner did a great job managing this star studded cast. Carrera is a firecracker as Blush, Sydow is a convincing Blofeld, and Basinger is a classic Bond girl. Connery clearly has a blast returning to the role, doing a great job despite his advanced age. If anything, this one might not be ranked high enough. - Why it's not higher: The music is terrible. Normally I don't notice these things, but one can't help but notice how dreadful this one is. The theme is awful as well. I'd argue this is the worst music of any Bond film. - Most under-appreciated part: The humor! This is one of the funniest Bonds, as I found myself laughing out loud at various parts (e.g. Mr Bean!).
The Spy Who Loved Me: Best Intro
- Why it's this high: There's a lot to love about this one, so I get why this ranks highly for many. It is simply the best introduction, starting with Bond romancing a woman, followed by a skii chase, then jumping off the cliff and pulling the Union Jack parachute! The Lotus is a top 3 Bond car. Jaws is a superb henchman. Triple X was an excellent Bond girl, deadly, charming, and beautiful. Of course, Moore is charming and the locations are exotic (Egypt was a cool locale). If I had to pick one Moore movie for a newcomer to watch, it would be this one. - Why it's not higher: The theme song is bad, and Stromberg is a below average villain. I also think the last 45 minutes or so of the movie kind of drags. - Most under-appreciated part: The whole dynamic between Bond and Triple X is great. Whenever Bond movies show Bond squaring off against other spies (see View to a Kill, Goldeneye) it's just a pleasure to watch.
Live and Let Die: Most Suave
- Why it's this high: Roger Moore superbly carves out his own take on Bond in an excellent addition to the franchise. The boat chase is my favorite in the series, and Live and Let Die is my second favorite theme. Jane Seymour is a good Bond girl, while Tee Hee and Kananga are a solid villain/henchman duo. Unpopular opinion: I find J.W. Pepper to be hilarious. - Why it's not higher: The introduction isn't very good, as Bond isn't even included! The second climax with the voodoo isn't great. Bond blowing up Kananga has aged terribly. - Most under-appreciated part: When Bond is visited in his apartment by M and Moneypenny, Bond rushes to hide his girl from his coworkers. Finally, when they leave and he unzips the dress with his magnetic watch is one of the best uses of a Bond gadget in the series, showcasing why Moore might be the most charming Bond of them all.
You Only Live Twice: Best Blofeld
- Why it's this high: Just your classic, fun Sean Connery Bond movie. It was a great decision to send Bond to Japan for his first Asian visit, giving the movie a fresh feel. The ending set piece battle is potentially the best of this staple of 60s/70s Bonds. Tiger Tanaka is one of Bond's cooler allies. Pleasance killed it as Blofeld; when I think of Blofeld, I think of his take. In what could have been cheesy, he is actually somewhat frightening. - Why it's not higher: The whole "we need to make you look Japanese" part seems both unrealistic (who is he really fooling?) plus surprisingly impotent coming from Tiger Tanaka who seems to be a competent and connected man otherwise. Honestly though, this movie doesn't have a major weakness. - Most under-appreciated part: The fight scene with the guard in the executive's office is probably the best hand-to-hand fight in the series up until that point. Tier 3: Excellent
Dr. No: The Most Spy-Like
- Why it's this high: Nearly 60 years later, this film is still a blast to watch, due in no small part to its focus on the little things of being a spy. I adore the scenes where Bond does the little things spies (presumably) do, such as putting a hair across the door, or showing Bond playing solitaire while waiting to spring his trap on Prof. Dent. I also enjoy the suspense of Bond sleuthing around the island, while he and the viewer are completely unaware of whom the villain is until quite late in the film. It's easy to take for granted now, but this film established so many series traditions that were ingenious. My personal favorite is Bond's introduction at the card table: "Bond .... James Bond." - Why it's not higher: The film just doesn't have the payoff it deserves. Maybe it's just a result of the time and budget, but from the point Bond escapes on, it's just mediocre. Particularly egregious is the "fight" between Dr. No and Bond where No meets his demise. - Most under-appreciated part: Ursula Andress was a surprisingly well developed Bond girl, with a shockingly violent backstory (she was raped!). Obviously, she is beautiful and the beach scene is iconic, but I was pleasantly surprised to conclude she is more than just eye candy.
License to Kill: The Grittiest
- Why it's this high: On my first watch, this was my least favorite Bond film, as I thought it was too dark and violent to befit 007. By my third time watching, I've decided it's actually one of the best. Fortunately, I don't have to go on my "Ackshually, Dalton did a good job" rant with this subreddit. I liked the wedding intro and the concept of a revenge arc for Leiter (although come on he should've been killed by a freaking shark). Also, Lamora and (especially) Bouvier are great Bond girls. Bouvier is both competent and beautiful, and it's great to see Bond choose her at the end. - Why it's not higher: The theme song is atrocious, Dalton is so angry (dare I say charmless?) the whole time it's almost puzzling why Bouvier and Lamora fall for him, and Bond doesn't use any cool vehicles. - Most under-appreciated part: Sanchez is actually a sneaky good Bond villain.
For Your Eyes Only: The Most Underrated
- Why it's this high: I think Moore is a bit underrated as Bond. Yes, he was too old towards the end and yes, his movies were at times too campy, but he himself played the role admirably. He was the most charming and witty of all the Bonds, so by the time he got his first relatively serious plot to work with, he hit it out of the park. Anyhow, the climactic mountaintop assault is one of my favorite Bond action climaxes. Columbo is one of the best Bond allies, and the plot twist where he turns out to be good and Kristatos bad was well-done. - Why it's not higher: The intro is just silly. Bibi's romantic infatuation with Bond is just ...er... uncomfortable? - Most under-appreciated part: The theme song is a banger. What a chorus! Tier 2: Exceptional
Skyfall: The Sharpest Film (From Plot to Aesthetics)
- Why it's this high: One of the best plots of the entire series. The idea of an older Bond who had lost a step, along with making M the focus point of the movie, works very well. Seeing Bond's childhood home is also pretty cool. Bardem's take on Silva is delightful and a lot of fun to watch. Even the cinematography is a series peak, while Adele's them is excellent. - Why it's not higher: One thing most Craig Bond films suffer from is the lack of a Bond-worthy henchman. Skyfall is no exception. More importantly, Bond girls are mostly irrelevant to the film. Yes, Severine is both beautiful and interesting, but she's scarcely twenty minutes of the film. - Most under-appreciated part: Setting the new supporting characters up nicely. The Moneypenny backstory was well-done. Casting Ralph Fiennes as the new M is a great choice in of itself, but he also got a nice chuck of background story to help us going forward.
Casino Royale: The First Bond Film I'd Show a Series Newcomer
- Why it's this high: Craig's take on Bond feels like a breath of fresh air. In particular, his hand-to-hand combat scenes are so much better (and more believable) than any other Bond. The parkour chase scene is one of the best chase scenes in the series. Le Chifre is an excellent villain, but, more importantly, Vesper is an all-time great Bond girl. The conversation between Vesper and Bond on the train is probably the most interesting of any film. Bonus points for Jeffrey Wright as Leiter and the Aston Martin DBS. - Why it's not higher: There are hardly any humorous parts or much charm displayed by Bond in general. More importantly, the movie should have just ended when Bond wakes up in rehab. The rest of the movie feels confused and superfluous. - Most under-appreciated part: The decision to change from chemin de fer to poker makes for much better (and understandable!) cinema. The poker scenes are the best of Bond's many gambling scenes throughout the series.
Goldeneye: The Most Fun
- Why it's this high: Wow, rewatching Goldeneye I was struck by how entertaining the whole thing is. The opening jump is breath taking, the scene where Bond drives his evaluator around is hilarious, and Xenia Onatopp is a livewire. Sean Bean is a formidable villain as 006, and a great foil to James. Bond and Judi Dench's first scene together is amazing. Goldeneye feels like the first modern Bond, yet so true to the predecessors. Wade and especially Zukovsky are excellent allies. - Why it's not higher: Simonova is a forgettable Bond girl. She's not annoying, unattractive, or acted poorly, but is just below average in most regards (looks, back story, chemistry with Bond, plot). - Most under-appreciated part: the action is just so much better than any Bond before it
From Russia with Love: The Best Henchman (Red Grant)
- Why it's this high: Interesting settings, beautiful women, and an engaging story make this a classic. I'm not the first to point out that the scenes with Grant and Bond aboard the train are some of the best in the entire series. Grant is one of the few villains who feels like a match for 007. Furthermore, the addition of Desmond Llewyn as Q was crucial and Kerim Bey is one of the better Bond allies. - Why it's not higher: The helicopter scene should've just been omitted, especially when combined with the subsequent boat chase. It's just awkward to watch. - Most under-appreciated part: The gypsy scenes are quite exotic and entertaining.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service: The Most Heartfelt
- Why it's this high: James and Tracy's love story is charming, and when she dies at the end, this is the one and only time in the entire series where the viewer feels genuinely sad. Diana Rigg did an excellent job convincing the audience Bond could finally fall in love with one girl. The skiing scenes were beautifully filmed, and the score was exemplary. Personally, I quite liked Lazenby's take; however, some of his lines and jokes fall flat. To his credit, he looks and acts like Bond more than any other actor. - Why it's not higher: Honestly, it does drag at times in the first half, plus there is no theme song! - Most under-appreciated part: Bond's Aston Martin DBS is a beautiful car, combining 60's sports-car beauty with Aston Martin's elegance. Tier 1: The Best
Goldfinger: The quintessential Bond
- Why it's this high: From the opening ("Positively shocking") to the seduction of Pussy Galore at the end, this film has it all. Goldfinger is an all time great villain, while Odd Job is an exceptional henchman. Connery delivers a master performance, and drives THE classic Bond Car, ejector seat included. The reason I put it #1 is not necessarily because it is the best film (although it is great), it checks all the boxes of what a perfect Bond film should do. - Why it's not higher: I cannot think of any notable imperfections. - Most under-appreciated part: The golf scene between Bond and Goldfinger is a delight to watch, demonstrating Bond's wits for the first and only time on the golf course.
I don't know if I can publish this article here, it might be deleted due to copyright, but here it is. Eva Green on coping with crippling anxiety: ‘I’m very shy… I wish I was a silent movie star’ Gavanndra Hodge25 APRIL 2020 • 5:00 AM I meet the actor Eva Green on one of those strange, early March days when we are yet to truly understand the implications of coronavirus – when people still hug each other and say, ‘Whoops, sorry!’ afterwards. Which is exactly what Green and I do when she arrives at Clifton Nurseries, a chic garden centre and café near her north London flat. She’s dressed in a black woolly hat, huge black puffer jacket and sunglasses. ‘Let me show you something so scary,’ she says, showing me a passage on her phone from Dean Koontz’s 1981 thriller The Eyes of Darkness, which seems to predict the pandemic with eerie prescience, appropriate passages circled in red. Meanwhile, Green’s mother, who lives in Paris and to whom she speaks daily, has been telling her not to shake hands with anyone, not even to leave the house. Yet here we are, sitting perilously close, ordering fresh mint tea, ready to talk about Green’s new film, Proxima, directed by César-winning French screenwriter and director Alice Winocour. In the film, Green plays French astronaut Sarah, who is preparing to depart for a year-long mission. But despite the hi-tech robotics and presence of Matt Dillon, Proxima is not your average space movie; it is not concerned with distant galaxies or alien life forms. The film is about Earth and the things that tether us to it. Sarah is an astronaut, but she is also a single parent; her daughter Stella played by the excellent 10-year-old actor Zélie Boulant. ‘It is a love story between a mother and a daughter,’ says Green. ‘And these people who are going to the International Space Station, all the way to Mars, they will lose sight of the Earth. It is like a self-sacrifice, like a death.’ In preparation for the role, Green undertook an arduous fitness regime with a Russian instructor in Cologne. ‘He was so harsh, treating me like a real astronaut. In the end he was so rude and mean that it became funny.’ She also spent time at astronaut-training centres, like Star City in Kazakhstan. ‘That was my favourite thing. I felt like I had entered a sacred realm.’ The film is a departure in many ways for Green. In Proxima, she is make-up-free, dressed mostly in overalls, dealing with the struggles of a working mother. It is beautiful and solemn – and her performance has been described as a career-best. Green is probably most famous, though, for her glamorous role as Vesper Lynd in the 2006 reboot of the James Bond franchise, Casino Royale, featuring Daniel Craig as 007. At first she didn’t want to audition for the part (in retrospect, she says she was being ‘pretentious’), but when she read the script, she changed her mind. ‘I thought it was a very strong role. But I didn’t like when they said “Bond girl”. I would say, “I am not a Bond Girl, I am a character.”’ She loved making the film, though: ‘The set was joyous. Barbara Broccoli is amazing, one of the best producers I have ever worked with. I wish they were all like her: passionate, kind, caring.’ Green admits that she has had less pleasant experiences on set. ‘Of course, a lot. It is hard; it is the anti-glamour.’ Eva Green was born and raised with her non-identical twin, Joy, in Paris. Her mother, Marlène Jobert, was a successful actor who gave up her career for her family, and her Swedish father, Walter, is a dentist. It was, Green says, a very ‘Parisian bourgeois’ upbringing. She attended drama school in Paris, followed by a 10-week acting course at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London. ‘It was very intense, in a good way. But because my English was not very good, when I had to do Shakespeare, it was very hard. Often I couldn’t even understand what the teachers were asking me to do,’ she says. Back in Paris, Green won parts in a couple of plays, but had such a bleak time, getting stage fright and ‘having blanks’, that she considered giving up acting. It was, she says, the Italian film director Bernardo Bertolucci who saved her. She was in her early 20s, when she heard about a Bertolucci audition. ‘I was obsessed with him, obsessed with Last Tango [in Paris]’, she says. The audition was relaxed, and soon afterwards she was offered the lead role in The Dreamers, an adaptation of a Gilbert Adair novel – sexy and incestuous, and suffused with the riotous politics of Paris in 1968. ‘My mother told me not to do it,’ Green says. ‘She was afraid that I was too sensitive, that he [Bertolucci] was going to be quite violent with me,’ she says, referencing the fact that the actress Maria Schneider had found the making of Last Tango in Paris emotionally challenging. ‘And that it would destroy me for life. I was like, are you kidding? It was the chance of a lifetime.’ The film, which was released in 2003, was a critical success, but did more for Green than simply launching her career. ‘Bertolucci gave me faith in myself. He was like a little angel.’ After seeing her performance, Jobert agreed that she had made the right decision; but the rest of Green’s family found the film’s explicit intimacy shocking. ‘When you are not in the business and you see something so sexual, it is too brutal. I mean, it was horrific for me when I saw it. But I hate watching myself anyway.’ She hated the ancillary elements of being an actor, too, not least the red carpet. ‘I remember my first time. The Dreamers was about to come out. It was an Armani event, and [Martin] Scorsese was at my table. I said to my agent, “I can’t go, I have nothing to tell him!” But then [Giorgio] Armani took me aside and said, ‘We are going to do the red carpet!’ Green still doesn’t enjoy ritzy events, which she says is down to a lack of confidence. ‘I am very shy. It is a handicap. I am never good when there are lots of people. It is a thing from my childhood, I can’t even explain why.’ It is something that she has learnt to deal with, though, by taking herself off to the loo to do breathing exercises to calm herself, and wearing elaborate gowns (her favourite designer is Alexander McQueen) and melodramatic make-up as a kind of armour. ‘It protects me. Because otherwise it is very violent for me,’ she says. ‘I just wish sometimes that we didn’t have to talk, that we were just silent movie stars.’ And here is the conundrum, one that Green herself has said she does not quite understand: why someone so shy (although, one-on-one, drily funny, thoughtful and open) would do a job that is so emotionally exposing, both on screen and off it. In a 2017 radio interview, Green’s mother revealed that Harvey Weinstein had attempted to physically assault her daughter when she was a young actor in a hotel room in Paris. ‘She managed to escape, but he threatened to destroy her professionally,’ said Jobert. Green has never been keen to go into details about the event, but she is happy to say how relieved she is that Weinstein has been sentenced to 23 years in prison. ‘I am grateful that justice has been served. I praise the brave women who risked so much in coming forward, not only their careers and reputations, but the pain that they have suffered in having to relive being raped in order to put this sexual predator out of harm’s way. Their courage has changed the world.’ This change is something that Green is living through – on the Friday before we meet, she attended the French César awards where Roman Polanski, who pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor in the US in 1977 but fled before sentence was passed (and with whom Green made the film Based on a True Story in 2017), was given the award for best director in absentia, resulting in many of the members of the audience walking out. ‘It was so tense,’ said Green. ‘I have never been in a situation like that before.’ She is enjoying the shift in the power dynamic in the film industry, working with female directors like Alice Winocour, making female-centric stories, like that of the astronaut Sarah, where there is not even a whiff of romance. ‘It is good, and there is still more to do,’ she says. ‘It is so radical – for men it is very hard, they take so many hits. There are very good men.’ One of the best men, as far as Green is concerned, is director Tim Burton, with whom she has collaborated on three films, most recently last year’s Dumbo. There have been rumours of romance between Green and Burton, who has two children with his former partner, actor Helena Bonham Carter, but Green has always denied this, maintaining that their relationship is purely professional. ‘My dream as a child, and later on, was always to work with him. I love his world. He is such a nice person as well.’ Green says she does not have a partner at the moment – her main companion is her miniature schnauzer, Winston. ‘Winston is so clever; very serious, very sensitive. I can’t lie to him,’ she says, showing me a picture of him, looking serious and sensitive in a tartan bow tie. ‘This is how I dress him.’ Green has lived in London since her early 20s, when she got a British agent and promptly moved into their spare bedroom in Primrose Hill. She loves London, but her circle is international – her sister, Joy, lives in Italy, on a vineyard with her Italian count husband and two children. ‘She is very different [to me], very down to earth. We are so different that it might have been a bit tense in the past, but we really get on now.’ When asked to elaborate on these sibling differences, Green considers, before saying, ‘Maybe I am a bit weird? If I mentioned tarot, things like this, she would go, “You are crazy.” So I don’t talk about any of that.’ Green became interested in tarot in 2014 when she was filming the Showtime series Penny Dreadful, a drama set in the Victorian occult underworld starring Josh Hartnett and Billie Piper. Green was nominated for a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Vanessa Ives, a young woman prone to satanic visions and demonic possessions. ‘If it [tarot] is done properly, it teaches you things about yourself. It is fast-forward therapy.’ She does not go to normal therapy, although she did a little when she was younger. ‘But if you have a few tools, you can become very connected.’ Her toolbox includes regular meditation. ‘I am very into this guru at the moment, Teal Swan, who lives in Costa Rica. She does guided meditations that really calm you.’ She also exercises every morning for 45 minutes, sometimes with a trainer, and uses the Wim Hof cold-water-therapy technique, which involves a daily 10-minute cold shower. ‘It is all about the breathing and helps you when you are stressed. It makes you get rid of all that s—t.’ These techniques are a proactive way of managing anxiety. But Green also likes a glass of red wine in the evening (‘Of course. I’m French. I have been doing that every day of my life since I was 18’), going for long walks, taking photographs, and compiling collages of black-and-white images. She is not on social media – ‘it is very narcissistic and not in a great way’ – and her greatest pleasure is travel: trips to places like Namibia and Bhutan, long walking holidays, often alone. ‘The first day is always quite scary, but then you connect much better with your surroundings, with people as well. Your senses are more awakened.’ The opportunity to travel was just one of the reasons Green accepted a role in the upcoming adaptation of Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries. Set in the 1860s during the New Zealand gold rush, the BBC Two series stars Eve Hewson, the actor daughter of Bono, while Green plays scheming brothel-keeper Lydia Wells. ‘I love characters like that. You think she is one thing and then you discover that she is something else. Of course she is manipulative, but she is not a baddie. She is a very strong woman.’ Lydia is also an astrologer, another of Green’s interests. ‘I am completely into that stuff.’ Her star sign is cancer, and in July she will turn 40, although there will not be a party. ‘I am not a birthday girl at all. I always want everyone else to feel so good that I cannot relax.’ The fact that it is a landmark birthday is adding to Green’s feeling of unease. We talk about how age brings maturity, wisdom and a sense of acceptance about who we are. ‘That’s true. And then there’s the immediate thing of, “I’m going to get old, what did I achieve, are people still going to desire me?” Especially as an actor, I think, because I’ve always heard that when you reach 40, it is going to be difficult to get roles. What about as a woman: can you still be attractive, do you have children? If you don’t have children, are you kind of a social failure? These are clichés, but people say, “You don’t have children?” and you feel like not a woman when you say, “No, I don’t have them.” It is hard… But then, I feel like I am 12 still and now I am about to be 40. What happened there?’ And yet, she does have a plan… ‘I want to get a farm. I know it sounds like a whim, but it is something that I have been thinking about a lot. Maybe Wales, I love Wales. The scenery is amazing. Sitting in the city, it is choking me sometimes, and there is nothing better than to connect with nature. You feel whole.’ Source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/eva-green-coping-crippling-anxiety-shyi-wish-silent-movie-sta
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