You can smell the anticipation in the air. Another James Bond film - Skyfall -- is about to have its debonair way with America's moviegoers.
And a big part of that anticipation is Daniel Craig, who after years as a journeyman British actor landed the role of a lifetime. Assuming the mantle of Agent 007 held by (among others) Sean Connery and Roger Moore, Craig not only sent his own career into the stratosphere but almost singlehandedly reinvigorated the Bond franchise.
Movie lovers can observe Craig's rise to fame in The Man Who Would be Bond, a film series screening on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 1:30 p.m. throughout November, 2012, in the Stanley H. Durwood Film Vault at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
Admission is free. The schedule:
November 3 Casino Royale (2006)
From the moment Craig emerged from the surf in a teeny Speedo, you knew this was going to be a tougher, sexier James Bond than we'd seen since the heyday of Connery. Rating: PG-13. 144 minutes.
November 5 Quantum of Solace (2008)
In his second Bond outing Craig cemented his hold on this iconic role. And check out the opening credits created by Kansas City's own MK12 design collective. Rating: PG-13. 106 minutes.
November 10 Road to Perdition (2002)
Sam Mendes (American Beauty) directs this Prohibition Era gangster drama, with Tom Hanks as a hit man, Paul Newman as his boss, and Craig as the boss's repellant son. Rating: R. 117 minutes.
November 12 Sylvia (2003)
Craig portrays British poet Ted Hughes, whose marriage to the doomed fellow poet Syvia Plath (Gwyneth Paltrow) is the subject of this searing drama. Rating: R. 110 minutes.
November 17 Layer Cake(2004)
This was the performance that earned Craig global attention and a shot at playing James Bond. He portrays a "gentleman" drug dealer who runs afoul of the London criminal underworld. Rating: R. 105 minutes.
November 19 Infamous (2006)
It's the other Truman Capote movie (i.e., the one without Philip Seymour Hoffman). Craig plays condemned Kansas killer Perry Smith in this film about the writing of the bestselling In Cold Blood. Rating: R. 110 minutes.
November 24 Munich (2005)
In this Steven Spielberg-directed epic, Craig is one of a crew of Israeli secret agents dispatched to assassinate the planners of the deadly 1972 attack on Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics. Rating: R. 164 minutes.
November 26 Defiance(2008)
Craig portrays one of several real-life Jewish brothers who during World War II took to the woods to wage guerilla war on the occupying Germans. Rating: R. 137 minutes.
Free parking is available in the Library District parking garage at 10th & Baltimore.