As you walk through the gun barrel as is seen in the introduction to every Bond film you are met with a re-creation of bond girl Jill Masterson’s (Shirley Eaton) golden girl death scene from Goldfinger (1964). Above the bed is a small rounded screen featuring a scene with the hat-throwing henchman Odd Job. Kicking off with 1962’s Dr. No up to 2012’s Skyfall, the exhibition showcases props, gadgets, drawings and costumes spanning 50 years of the film franchise.
Accompanying some of the exhibits are television screens depicting scenes from various Bond films with the gadgets in that scene located next to the television. These gadgets include an explosive alarm clock, a weaponry briefcase with a fold out pocket knife, a broom transmitter with built-in microphone, and guns which were made using house hold items such as a pen, torches and a cigarette case, a detonator watch and Odd Job’s razor sharp steel-rimmed bowler hat. The list goes on. Most of the objects are the originals from the films, however a minute number of exhibit items including costumes are re-creations. By far the most extravagant and exquisite section of the exhibition is the casino room. Located dead center in the room is a craps table surrounded by costumes and Swarovksi-laden jewellery worn by Bond’s and their ladies. Three screens well above the scenery depict various casino scenes from various bond films. Two chandeliers hang from the roof.
Author of the Bond novels, Ian Fleming is not forgotten, with half a room of one section of the exhibition being devoted to the former journalist and naval intelligence officer. 9 of his books are on display, as is a replica of the typewriter he used to write the books. Original scripts one of the movies sits alongside the writing tool. A large plaque on the wall maps out his family and personal history.
And if the exhibition wasn’t enough to whet your appetite, there is a ‘Bond Bar’ outside of the exhibition to relax with Bond’s drink of choice, his signature “shaken not stirred” Martini or two. Additional events are available, including the country-themed Friday Night Bond Experience, complete with food, drinks, music, kids and holiday activites, including building your favourite Bond scene out of Lego and corporate events with catering by Peter Rowland Catering. If you’re a big fan of the films it’s definitely worth checking out the exhibition before the exhibition closes on February 23rd; the night Melbourne will pull an all-nighter with the White Night Melbourne festival. Having never seen any of the Bond films in full, the exhibition made me feel like sitting down for a movie marathon to watch as many Bond films that I can.
My name is Bond. James Bond.