DAILY DIRT: JFK watched ‘From Russia With Love’ the day before his fateful trip to Dallas


The 007 films have also provided us with great music, too … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 618 of The Daily Dirt.

1. Any day is always a good day to talk about secret agent 007, which we do here quite often.

Today I offer what I feel are three of the least-known, yet medal-worthy items about the legendary James Bond movie franchise.

Gold medal: President John F. Kennedy was among the Bond’s biggest early supporters. JFK was such a fan that he even invited author Ian Fleming to his house during the 1960 presidential campaign, where the pair discussed foreign affairs. 

In 1961, shortly after JFK’s inauguration, the new President told reporters that Fleming’s novel, “From Russia With Love, was among his favorite books. The remark caused James Bond to spike in popularity. The 007 books began flying off the shelves, which in turn helped convince Eon Productions to produce a film version of one of Fleming’s novels. The result was 1962’s “Dr. No,” which was screened at the White House shortly after its release. 

During that event, Kennedy commented that they should turn his favorite novel — “From Russia With Love— into a movie, which producers did the following year. On Nov. 20, 1963, JFK was shown a rough cut of the film, just one day before he left on his fateful trip to Dallas.

Silver medal: Not only are the Bond movies known for their intense action sequences and complicated characters, but the films’ soundtracks have earned critical acclaim, too. Seven James Bond films have earned Oscar nominations for Best Original Song, with three of them winning Oscars:– “Skyfall” (2012), by Adele, from the film of the same name.– “Writing’s on the Wall” (2015), by Sam Smith, from “Spectre.”– “No Time to Die” (2021), by Billie Eilish, from the movie of the same title.

Bronze medal: Veteran character actor Desmond Llewelyn, who portrayed M16 quartermaster “Q” in 17 different 007 movies, holds the record for most appearances in a James Bond movie. Llewelyn continued to play “Q” through 1999’s “The World Is Not Enough, when he retired from the role. Llewelyn died in December 1999 at age 85.

2. This week’s finest “Found on Facebook” items:

  • “Avoid dangerous cults. Practice safe sects.”
  • “Texting and drive is not wreckommended.”
  • “If you like the farmer’s daughter, better do something to a tractor.”
  • “I have no beef with vegans.”
  • “I visited a Doritos farm today. What a Cool Ranch.”

3. Some more words of wisdom from our resident age, Ms. Stacey O’Brien:

“You get a one-way ticket through life, so make sure you ride all the rides — the fun ones AND the scary ones.”

“I’m in a really good place right now. Not emotionally or spiritually, just on the sofa with my dog.”

“Healthy is hard: 

  • 9 a.m.: egg whites and avocado.
  • 1 p.m.: kale salad.
  • 6 p.m.: Chicken and veggies.
  • 11 p.m.: 23 Oreos and a whole tub of ice cream.”

As always … thanks, Stacey.

Steve Thought O’ The Day — Let’s be honest here: I’m guessing Stacey has eaten as much kale salad as I have.

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