1. Sean Connery's Hairpiece

    By Luke Freeman on 2002-04-19

    It was a miserable, grey, rainy afternoon. I was sitting on the couch half watching Diamonds Are Forever when there was a knock on the door. It was my neighbour Mrs. Lintini, an Italian woman in her mid 50’s. She had brought some pizzas, straight out of the oven over just for me, God bless her. She’s always telling me that I need fattening up. I thank her for Pizzas, not telling her about my recent efforts to heat Frozen Pizza. As I tucked into my lunch, Mrs. Lintini noticed the video I’d put on.

    “Hey, this is one of those James Bond films” she observed. I was amazed, amazed that a middle aged Italian woman, who spoke average English and wasn’t one for popular fads, would know about James Bond. I guess what they say is true, James Bond is one of those things that language and age is no barrier, everybody everywhere knows about it, just like Coke, or McDonalds.

    Just as I had made a mental note to get some McDonalds for tea later, Mrs. Lintini said something else that amazed me. “Did you know that Sean Connery wore a hairpiece in many of his Bond films?” she asked. Now I was truly impressed, I thought only the most dedicated Bond knew about that sort of thing. Mrs. Lintini suggested that Connery’s toupee would now be worth millions, to which I replied that she was slightly exaggerating. This got her going.

    “We’re not talking about just any old piece of smelly rat fur” Mrs. Lintini began, clearly starting to get excited. “This is the great mans toupee, an absolute collectors item. There are treasure hunters searching far and wide, all over the world, following ancient maps and clues in the vague hope of stumbling onto the prized possession, a sort of Holy Grail if you will. Legend has it that if the toupee is recovered and placed on Connery’s scalp during the full moon of any odd numbered month, Connery’s youth and power will be restored and he will return to reclaim the role of James Bond once more. Get down on your knees and hail to the Legend!!” she said, before getting on her knees and doing just that.

    Okay, so maybe Mrs. Lintini hadn’t been taking her medication, but after she left it all go me thinking, about the great film props of the Bond films, the ones like Sean Connery’s hairpiece, weird objects not exactly famous outside Bond circles, but would still make for amazing collectables.

    When people talk about what film props they’d love to have in their collection of Bond memorabilia it’s the same old discussions. The Aston Martin, Odd Jobs hat, they all say. These are the super famous things that everyone, even those who aren’t Bond fans know about. Yeah, these things a ultra cool, but frankly, I think there are far greater treasures out there in the Bond world, the props that all Bond fans notice when they see them on screen, but never talk about with other Bond fans. I’m not talking about Largo’s eye patch or Jaws’ teeth; I’m talking about the real obscure props that, in my opinion would make the ultimate collectables. Get your hands on some of these one-of-a-kind gems and you’ll be the envy of collectors.

    One of these items is the pink tie that Bond wears in Diamonds Are Forever. The pink tie has had Bond fans and fashion gurus hanging their heads in embarrassment for 30 years now. Terence Young would never have allowed it and I’m surprised that Guy Hamilton or even Sean Connery did. The fact that the tie is pink is pretty bad, but that’s not the worst of it for me, its because its so short, barely going halfway down his shirt, it looks ridiculous. Yeah, this film was made in the seventies, but I can’t picture this tie ever, ever being in fashion. Obviously Bond fans would love to get there hands on this tie, if only to set fire to it and burn it in a paranoid frenzy, to make sure that Bond never wears it again.

    Now, lets talk about vehicles. Forget the Aston Martin or the Lotus, if you want a Bond vehicle to go cursing around for chicks in, then Blofeld’s Bath-O-Sub seen towards the end of Diamonds Are Forever is for you. We never got to see the Sub in action, but my theory is that it would be superior to Bonds rocket Boat in The World is not Enough. Slick design, lovely paint job, this watercraft will drive the ladies wild and would also look great in your collection. Unfortunately, you’ll have to rule this baby out, The Ian Fleming Foundation are way ahead of us, they got hold of Bath-O-Sub long ago. I’m currently forming a covert team with plans to infiltrate their base and seize the Sub; interested parties should rendezvous outside my house at 1800 hours.

    Okay, so the Bath-O-Sub is off the market, but there is plenty more weird and wonderful treasures out there. How about the rubber snake Bond buys from the store in Live and Let Die? You can stick it across the bottom of your door during winter to stop warm air from escaping, making it a practical purchase, plus its guaranteed to increase in value over the years. There’s also Q’s robotic dog from A View to A Kill, one of the least used and least popular Q gadgets in history, anyone who got a hold of that would surely be the envy of all there friends. It that’s not your cup of tea there also the issue of Playboy that Bond read in OHMSS. Playboy makes for great reading material, due to the fascinating articles ofcourse, and when you tell people its the exact one that George Lazenby read, you’ll get a reply of “George Who?” that will make it all worthwhile.

    And last, but certainly not the least, the motherload, the item that would take centre stage in anyones collection, I don’t care how big or special you think your Bond shrine is, this one object would outdo everything you own combined, you’ll wet your pants with excitement at just the sheer prospect of getting your hands on this prop, it really does put everything else to shame. What item am I babbling on about? The black thick rimmed glasses that Rosa Klebb wears in From Russia With Love when briefing Tatiana ofcourse. You know the ones I’m talking about, I don’t even have to go into any details. What a collectors item those glasses would be. Here’s Rosa Klebb, trying to pass off a sinister, scheming, evil woman and doing a pretty good job of it, until, that is, she has to put on these laughable, goofy glasses. Thousand of collectors have roamed all other the world searching for these glasses, but so far have all come up empty handed. Several people have tried to make imitation glasses and pass them off as the genuine article, but those who have studied photos of the glasses can spot these dodgy forgeries instantly.

    By now you probably feel that your Casino Royale first edition and your Roger Moore dinner jacket from The Spy who Loved me are worthless, but don’t throw them out with the garbage just yet, they are still pretty highly sort after amongst those who haven’t been enlightened by this article Just make an effort to ensure the items in your collection a little more diverse, a little more special.

    Until next time,