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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Decent Time Passer/Quasi-Bond Film

Author: Andy Edwin Nystrom from Canada
28 February 2003

This film features the adventures of Ian Fleming, the real life spy who wrote the original James Bond novels.

This film plays vaguely like a Bond movie, though with more realism and less action. It does have the same sort of flirtatious attitude to it, though. This makes the film a rather interesting curiousity piece for Bond fans.

Lots of allusions to Bond, not just direct references, hinting that a number of things in Fleming's life got put into the novels. I'm not sure about the accuracy of these allusions, but they do enhance the film. And one death in the film affectedly more emotionally than the vast majority of Bond movie deaths.

It is a bit dry at times, and does have a bit of a TV movie feel to it. That said, overall I was pleasantly surprised, and this is certainly above average for a TV movie. Bond completists should definitely check this one out.

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

the missing Bond film?

Author: didi-5 from United Kingdom
14 May 2007

'Goldeneye' is the story of Ian Fleming's exploits in the Secret Service during World War II, and plays like the Bond movie we had all forgot - incidentally, Charles Dance, who plays Fleming, would have made a wonderful Bond in his day; what a shame it never happened.

With a TV feel but a strong and absorbing plot (including a fun role for Julian Fellowes as Noel Coward), Goldeneye delivers on all fronts, becoming an interesting curio on the side of the main 007 films.

Strong support from Phyllis Logan, Patrick Ryecart and other familiar faces from 1980s TV makes this move along smoothly. It has emotion, tension, gambling, Martinis, and a bit of sex. Just like the perfect Bond mix in fact.

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Worth Watching

Author: graphiceyeds from United States
3 July 2012

Typical TV movie-type bio on Fleming's life. Though Dance does a good job in the role (and even looks a lot like Fleming), the producers try to make the film seem like a pseudo-Bond film with the pretentious Bond film music intruding over scenes that don't require it, and showing Dance in Bond type scenarios, which of course Fleming was never in. At least it does not shy away from the darker parts of his life - his affair with a socialite married woman who would become his future wife; his affinity for sexual fetishes such as pseudo rape and whipping; the death of his girlfriend in an London air raid (she dies while on an errand to fetch his handmade cigarettes).

The period detail looks accurate and it was fortunate that they were able to actually film the Jamaica scenes at the actual Goldeneye estate. My other major fault with the film is the casting of Julian Fellowes as Coward. He neither looks like Coward or talks like him. It's a shame as Coward was a close friend of Fleming's and is such a historical figure.

There were so many better parts of Fleming's life and career they could have touched on, considering the large amount of historical figures he knew and worked with during that era of WWII and the Cold War. This seems like a watered down biography, and I think that the film's low budget probably had a lot to do with this. Hopefully one day PBS will do a proper job of Fleming in a miniseries. Until then, this will have to do. By the way, skip any of the other current film "bios" of Fleming. They are atrocious, mostly fictional and are a large disservice to the life of such a fascinating author.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A celebration of Britishness

Author: Andrew Hobson ( from France
17 January 2009

Don't expect a James Bond film - there's not much in the way of action, stunts or gadgets. There are, however, several good-looking women, an interesting story of espionage and international intrigue, and an respected actor, Clarles Dance, in the role of Ian Fleming.

The film (for it is just under two hours in length) is a biography, based on the real-life wartime adventures of Ian Fleming, who was a commander in the British Navy. The story is inter-cut with scenes of a slightly older Fleming filming an interview from his Jamaican retreat, Goldeneye. His friend Noel Coward is never far away, and supplies much of the humour.

The feature is worth watching, mainly for the the depiction of how the James Bond novels were inspired from real life events.

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