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2. James Bond 50th Anniversary

Sean Connery in 'Dr. No' in 1962. (Photo: Bettmann/Corbis / AP Images)

While Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating 60 years on the throne in 2012, James Bond marks his 50th year as cinema’s king of sex, spy drama, and stunning set pieces. Yet the franchise, rejuvenated by Daniel Craig‘s almost-thuggish re-interpretation of the role, is reigning at the peak of its powers: Skyfall, set to be released around 007’s anniversary in November, is almost certain to be one of the year’s biggest blockbusters.

With his tailored tuxes and elegant leisure wear, extravagant vehicles and ingenious gadgets, Bond has become an icon of fantasy and excess. The Barbican will mark this year’s milestone with their “multi-sensory” exhibit, “Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style.” It’s a sort of “making of Harry Potter” but for grown-ups, highlighting the craft behind the costume, set, and production design as well as the special effects. Sketches, storyboards, actual props, and costumes will be on display. The exhibit will run from July 6 to September 5.

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By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.