Leiter, Felix Leiter
How in the hell does James Bond know Felix Leiter when he sees him?
Between them, American Movie Classics and Spike have been showing a lot of James Bond movies recently. Being my father's son, whenever I notice a Bond movie showing, I'll watch at least fifteen minutes of it.
For some reason, the Felix Leiter character is starting to annoy me. It seems like in every movie in which Leiter appears, he is initially seen wandering around aimlessly (or suspiciously following Bond) until 007 spots him and says "Felix!" out loud like they're the Odd Couple, rather than secret agents. Of course, the reason for this is that the audience needs Bond to introduce us to Leiter over and over again because nobody knows what he looks like from one movie to the next. Unlike Bond, Leiter never gets to introduce himself.
Leiter's been played by everybody from Jack Lord (in Dr. No) to Bernie Casey (in Never Say Never Again) and those are just the most memorable ones. In Goldfinger, Leiter looks more like an encyclopedia salesman than a CIA agent. The same guy played Leiter in Live and Let Die and License to Kill, but it doesn't help a bit, because over fifteen years had passed in between and they'd switched Bonds. You'd think Leiter would ask Timothy Dalton's Bond how the hell he stays so young.
I guess one of the reasons this irritates me is that I like Leiter in the books and it would've been nice to see him turned into a real character in the movies. He didn't even make it into The Man with the Golden Gun, which is probably his best appearance in the books.
Now that they're remaking Casino Royale (or making it for real if you prefer) they should cast somebody decent as Leiter. I'd also appreciate an accounting of just how much the CIA has paid out on all the plastic surgery Leiter's had over the years.