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Tintin, 007 & Sherlock Holmes: the iconic sleuths and their influences

Max Bird
#1 · Posted: 28 Jul 2008 10:17
Hi all you out there,

I am a great fan of the 3, i.m.o. most iconic sleuths, Sherlock Holmes, Tintin and James Bond. Now, Sherlock Holmes of course is mentioned several times (by Snowy) in reference to the sleuthing by Tintin. But it strikes me more and more that there are a lot of cross reverences between these stories (books / movies).

For example, I was re-watching License To Kil the other day and noticed a scene somewhere halfway the movie, that came right from Tintin!
James Bond is found unconscious underneath a lot of debris. When he awakes, the first thing he sees is a scary, monstruous face... of a statue. And he finds himself in this large white and remote, almost serene, villa. Now, doesn't that sound familiair to you?

Do you know any more?
John Sewell
#2 · Posted: 31 Jul 2008 02:13 · Edited by: John Sewell
Flight 714 has quite a few parallels with Bond, unintentionally or otherwise. The plot detail of the hijacking of a plane, and the villains hiding it from detection somewhere in the Tropics, can be seen in Thunderball (there's even a treacherous Italian "inside man" in both - Columbani even resembles the ill-fated Angelo from Thunderball, apart from the broken nose!)

There are even more bits in common with You Only Live Twice, which was released in 1967, so was roughly contemporary with Flight 714's original run. We've got Rastapopoulos being very Bond villanesque on his island hideout, complete with a plentiful supply of gun-toting henchmen. We've got an underground complex hidden in a volcano, which inevitably erupts at the climax. We've got our heroes rescued in a rubber liferaft at the end (though Tintin doesn't get a snog like Bond does with Kissy Suzuki.) We've even got a spaceship in both, but Tintin's aliens are a little more fantastical than Blofeld's Bird One rocket!

I'm not suggesting for one minute that Herge was unduly influenced by Roald Dahl's screenplay for YOLT, but I find it fascinating that the most "Bondian" of Tintin's adventures and the film which a lot of commentators see as the pinnacle of the Bond movies as pop-art spectacle should both come out at around the same time. Anyway, Rastapopoulos was carrying on like a Bond villain (rich, unscrupulous criminal mastermind with a big organisation backing up his evil schemes) nearly 20 years before Fleming even thought of Bond. Have to say that the big-nosed one's means of escape in The Red Sea Sharks is also more than a little like Blofeld's in Diamonds Are Forever some 13 years later... except that Rastapopoulos actually managed to escape!
Mr Blumenstein
#3 · Posted: 3 Aug 2008 18:44
OMG! I am also a great fan of those particular characters. First it was Jamesbond, then Tintin, ( and it still is!) and now I'm getting older I am appreciating more and more the superb literature that is Sherlock homes. I recently won a beautiful book which contains every short sherlock holmes story and all four novels. The lost world by Arrhur Conan Doyle is also a book any Holmes fan should check out.
The similaritys between the three are evident, all involved in taking down criminals and sorting out problems. There are many reasons that people tend to love the three characters. Perhaps it is that each one represents the person we'd all love to be, and while there are differences between the three, ( can you imagine Holmes bedding his clients and in the world of Herge there's hardly any women anyway!) they are all truly amazing creations of literarure which will be undoubtedly remembered for centuries to come.
Max Bird
#4 · Posted: 3 Aug 2008 21:49
Nice to meet you here, Mr. Blumenstein and John!

John Sewell:
Have to say that the big-nosed one's means of escape in The Red Sea Sharks is also more than a little like Blofeld's in Diamonds Are Forever some 13 years later... except that Rastapopoulos actually managed to escape!

Yes! That one was one of my observations too. Thanks for pointing out the Flight and Thunderball similarities.
#5 · Posted: 4 Aug 2008 00:04
I agree that they are iconic, but I wouldn’t say that Tintin, Bond and Holmes are three figures which I would personally place together, and I’m not certain that the first two would be what I would class as “sleuths”, per se.
Bond is a government agent, and acts on instruction, not really as a detective. Tintin’s tales span detective fiction, but also include exploration, journalism, science-fiction and spy stories, making him a general adventurer more than anything else.

Rasatapopolous does, I suppose, figure as a cross between Bloefeld and Moriarty, especially in Lake of Sharks, but he is more a send-up of the type in whatever he does (his turn as a film-director shows he is most aware of the clichés needed to play the part of a director).

If you want the archetypal Belgian sleuth, look no further than Hercule Poirot, not Tintin… (and look a lot further than the Thom(p)sons…!).

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