Get 5 cartons for FREE SHIPPING

A spy with a smoke: What did James Bond smoke?

Smoked? Was he smoking? Actually, he did. Not in all parts of the movie franchise, but Agent 007 is an avid smoker.) And what exactly did the famous spy of Her Royal Majesty’s Secret Service smoke – we’ll find out in this post!

In general, it would be logical to assume that Bond smoked what the author, Ian Fleming, smoked, and the author was a noble smoker, putting out three packs of cigarettes a day. But what exactly the author of the famous saga preferred is left out of the picture. Exploring the many photos of the maestro from various sources, most often Fleming is captured with a cigarette in a long mouthpiece. But what exactly he was smoking is not known. Those pictures, which show the writer’s desk, often show a box of matches, an ashtray, but not a pack of any cigarettes. How could it be?

In just one photo from the GettyImages collection, we were able to find something that looked like a cigarette package. Here, by the way, is the photo. In the foreground, in the center, at the bottom of the frame, you can see a round can that looks a lot like a tin of Gold Flake cigarettes made by W.D. & H.O. Wills.

In the 1960s these cigarettes, in addition to cardboard packs and tin cigarette cases, were also packed in these round cans. So why not? The author, however, makes no secret of the brand what exactly the literary spy smoked: “cigarettes made by order of Morland of Grosvenor Street” from a mixture of Balkan and Turkish tobaccos. Not only that, this brand existed in reality and was actually sold in a shop at 83 Ganover Street!

Some admirers of the “Bondiana” even claim that both the shop and the brand of cigarettes itself belonged to Fleming! If so, it is clear why the author “forced” Bond to smoke the same brand in all the novels.) Again, the fact that the store that sold Morland closed immediately after Fleming’s death, albeit indirectly, supports this theory.

It is true that Bond smoked Chesterfield cigarettes and the low nicotine Duke of Durham cigarettes at least once each. It may well be a clever move to emphasize the exclusivity of Morland cigarettes.)

The movie Bond, with some exceptions, followed the image of the literary hero. But in terms of his fondness for tobacco, he was clearly inferior. (A still from the 1962 film Dr. No)

The first parts of the future franchise, where Bond played Sean Connery, are not replete with the facts of smoking special agent. However, if 007 does inhale smoke, it is exclusively cigarette smoke. And, yes, there is a branded black cigarette case, but obviously not for 50 cigarettes, and a black Ronson lighter. These obligatory attributes of the book Bond have also existed in the movie versions for quite a long time.

Bond’s true love of cigarettes is further emphasized in one scene in Godfinger, the 1964 Bond episode. At the banker’s reception Bond ostentatiously gives up his guest cigars in favor of his own cigarettes.

Speaking of cigars. In the whole movie franchise, it is cigars that are smoked most often. Yes, and the secret agent himself “showed up” for smoking cigars, but that was somewhat later. The first acquaintance with Romeo y Julieta cigars took place in “Ball Lightning” in 1965. But the aluminum tube from the cigar turned out to be only a disguise for the breathing apparatus))

But cigars were smoked by many of the villains of the movie sagas. In Ball Lightning, the criminal genius Emilio Largo often smokes a cigar that looks like an Italian Toscano. Why similar? The brand was not mentioned in the movie, but the same dry cigars were also produced in the USA, Avanti for example.

In the second part of the movie saga that began, Ms. Moneypenny’s tobacco preferences came to light, and these are the recognizable Player’s Medium Navy Cut cigarettes made by the British company John Player & Sons.

One of the film’s villains, the Czechoslovakian chess player Kronstein, smokes… Cigarettes, of course, taking them out of a huge cardboard cigarette case. Why not cigars? Well, that’s logical! Czechs are the same as Russians)) And what do Russians smoke? Cigarettes, of course!

In “Moonraker” ’79 Bond, played by Roger Moore, never smoked a single cigarette, but he did show his trademark cigarette case. And it turned out to be a secret gadget that allows you to open the safe of the main villain of the series. And what do we see inside? A dozen filtered cigarettes! Maybe that’s why Bond didn’t smoke in The Rider. =)

Roger Moore was the first Bond who started to break the book patterns and it was in the series “Live and Let Die” that the secret agent started smoking cigars. It was the demand of the actor himself, a great lover of cigars, which ended up costing the creators of the series a lot of money. According to a legend, in revenge Roger scenes in which Bond nevertheless lights up a cigar, were edited so that the hero except for a couple of first puffs never allowed to enjoy a smoke of noble tobacco. The amount spent on cigars in this film is still not disclosed, but perhaps again as “terrible revenge”, Moore was forced to smoke Romeo y Julieta, which he never preferred in his life).

The inconsistency with the book version continued in the 1989 series License to Kill. No, Timothy Dalton, as Bond, still smokes cigarettes, but…

But the “black Ronson” is a thing of the past, having been replaced by the more chic Dunhill.

More traditional preferences remained with the series’ villain – drug lord Franz Sanchez smokes cigars and, perhaps by chance, they were Romeo y Julieta cigars))

In the same series, it is unclear how American Lark cigarettes “showed up”, but also as a “secret gadget”. By that time, the film version of the “Bondiana” was already very popular and there is no reason to talk about a coincidence.

In GoldenEye, only the villainess Xenia Onatopp, an ex-pilot of the Soviet Air Force, was allowed to smoke cigars. Small, neat cigars, but we don’t know what brand. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were Romeo y Julieta, too often they appear in “Bondiana”))

In the 2002 film, Die Another Day, Bond, played by Pierce Brosnon, continued the practice of smoking cigars and it was still Romeo y Julieta. This time, by the way, Agent 007 had every chance to enjoy the smoke, but… But no, according to the script Bond was distracted by the lady and he could not care less about cigars))

It was in this part, though, that Romeo y Julieta came up particularly often. The agent’s secret appearance took place in a cigar factory in Havana, and even the name of the Cuban delicados cigar format served as the password for the meeting.

But Raul, a retired Mi-6 agent and part owner of a cigar factory, was a bit sour on the response part of the password – delicados have not been phased out and many Cuban brands still make cigars in this format.

The last time any of the characters smoked in the frame was in Quantum of Mercy, released in 2008 with Daniel Craig as Bond. But the honor to smoke a cigar, by the way, again Romeo y Julieta, fell not to Agent 007, but to his colleague from the CIA – Felix Leiter.

To this day, there is no information unequivocally confirming any commercial connection between the Romeo y Julieta brand and the movie saga about Agent 007. But it was this brand that “shone” on the screens most often. Again, perhaps quite accidentally, the Dominican version of the Anniversario James Bond 007 Edition came out with a stunning limited edition dedicated to the famous image, albeit indirectly, but glorifying the famous cigars.

And as a postscript. Initially, from the first series of “Bondiana” the scriptwriters used a pattern that characterized the characters in a certain way and even emphasized some professional features. Thus Bond smoked cigarettes, as he simply had no time for anything longer. The villains mostly smoked cigars and in the first series it even served as a kind of marker, until Roger Moore broke the pattern with his whimsy))

However, there was another famous smoker in this spy saga – it was M, the head of Mi-6 and Bond’s immediate superior. And the preferences were scripted as for a man of reflection, analysis, quiet smoking. Accordingly M smoked a pipe, preferring straight shakes. The pipe stand changed from series to series, the cigar ashtray on the table appeared or disappeared, but M always had three or four pipes on hand. Well, maybe Dunhill, Parker or maybe Charatan… You can fantasize for a long time, there’s no exact data anyway)

“Dr. No” 1962: four tubes on a simple straight stand on the right.

“The Man with the Golden Gun” 1974: a different type of stand, but the pipes seem to be the same, adjacent to a metal cigar ashtray.

“Moonraker,” 1979: same three pipes, but on a massive metal stand, next to a cigar ashtray, but a larger one.