14. March 2014 13:29
This is something that was first brought to my attention as episode #11 in Dan Gale's Bond mysteries in 2008, but was originally published in issue #3c of the Ian Fleming Foundation's "shaken, Not Stirred" newsletter in March 1995:
"The curious notion of Fleming's cameo is mentioned in Roger Ryan and Martin Sterling's book of Bond trivia, "Keeping The British End Up," under the heading "Brief Encounter." The scene in question pops up when the Orient Express must stop for a truck that has stalled across the tracks (originally, part of Grant's escape route). Watch for an oddly placed gentleman wearing a white top and dark pants, who seems to be holding some sort of walking stick."
"His mode of dress is suspiciously identical to that of Ian Fleming's in the well known photos of his visit to the set of the film during shooting of the Orient Express. I say that the man is oddly placed, because he seems to have no part in the plot, and cannot simply be brushed off as someone merely out for a casual stroll due to the apparent desolation of the surrounding area. I also find it quite odd that although the train is passing fairly close to him, the man has his back to it and is looking the other way."
The scene is approximately 1 hour and 16 minutes into the movie. Due to the relatively low resolution of VHS, laserdisc and even DVD it was easy to believe that this could be Fleming. However, with the release of the film on Blu-ray in 2008 this mystery has became solvable. Here is a frame from the Bluray (Click on it to see it full size).
And here is the man, at 200%:
I still can't explain who he is, or why he is there, but I'm fairly confident that this is not Ian Fleming. There is a cow on the edge of the frame, perhaps he is just a local farmer who wanted to make sure his cows stay off the tracks while taking them to market.
Photos © 1963 Danjaq LLC and United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved.