“Ever heard of EVEL Knievel?”: James Bond meets the Rural sheriff


  • John D. Schwetman University of Minnesota Duluth




secret agent, globalization, action film


James Bond emerged as an international film hero because he represented an aspirational cosmopolitan ideal offering viewers an opportunity to escape to an exciting international arena of adventure during the Cold War. Sheriff J. W. Pepper’s appearance in Guy Hamilton’s Live and Let Die (1973) and The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) disrupts such cosmopolitan aspirations by calling attention to a cosmopolitan-rural divide that lurks in the shadows of these films. As a provincial throwback, Pepper presents a starker contrast to Bond than any of the most brutal villains he encounters, thus requiring Bond filmmakers to neutralize the conceptual threat that Pepper’s localism poses to Bond’s trans-global battle against evil on movie screens around the world.

Author Biography

John D. Schwetman, University of Minnesota Duluth

Assistant Professor

Department of English


Amis, K. (1965). The James Bond Dossier. New York: New American Library.

Amis, K. (1968). Colonel Sun. As Robert Markham. New York: Penguin.

Bennett, T. & Woollacott, J. (1987). Bond and Beyond: The Political Career of a Popular Hero. New York: Methuen, 1987.

Black, J. (2001). The Politics of James Bond: From Fleming’s Novels to the

Big Screen. Westport, CT: Greenwood.

Chapman, J. (2000). License to Thrill: A Cultural History of the James Bond Films. New York: Columbia University Press.

Deliverance (1972). Dir. John Boorman. Written by James Dickey. Starring Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight. Warner Brothers.

Denning, M. (1987). Cover Stories: Narrative and Ideology in the British Spy Thriller. New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Douglass, F. ([1845] 1967). Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Eco, U. (1979) “Narrative Structures in Fleming.” The Role of the Reader: Explorations in the Semiotics of Texts. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Rpt. in The James Bond Phenomenon: A Critical Reader. Ed. C. Lindner. New York: Manchester University Press. 2003. pp. 34-55.

Ferreras-Savoye, D. (2013). The Signs of James Bond: Semiotic Explorations of the World of 007. New York: McFarland.

Fleming, I. ([1953] 2012). Casino Royale. Las Vegas, NV: Thomas & Mercer.

Fleming, I. ([1954] 2012). Live and Let Die. Las Vegas, NV: Thomas & Mercer.

Fleming, I. ([1965] 2012). The Man with the Golden Gun. Las Vegas, NV: Thomas & Mercer.

Funnell, L. & Dodds, K (2015). The Anglo-American Connection: Examining the Intersection of Nationality with Class, Gender, and Race in the James Bond Films. The Journal of American Culture 38.4 (December 2015): 357-374.

Klady, Leonard. (1987). Review. The Living Daylights. Los Angeles Times 26 July 1987. Online. < http://articles.latimes.com/1987-07-26/entertainment/ca-1422_1_original-ian-fleming-novels>. Accessed on 28 July 2016.

Laucht, C. (2013). Britannia Rules the Atom: The James Bond Phenomenon and Postwar British Nuclear Culture. The Journal of Popular Culture. 46.2: 358-377.

Lawless, K. (2014). Constructing the “Other”: Construction of Russian Identity in the Discourse of James Bond Films. Journal of Multicultural Discourses 9.2: 79-97.

Lindner, C. 2003. “Criminal Vision and the Ideology of Detection in Fleming’s 007 Series.” The James Bond Phenomenon: A Critical Reader. Ed. Christoph Lindner. Manchester: Manchester University Press. pp. 76-88.

Live and Let Die. (1973). Dir. Guy Hamilton. Writers Tom Mankiewicz. Perf. Roger Moore, Yaphet Kotto, Jane Seymour. Eon Productions.

Macintyre, B. (2008). For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming + James Bond. New York: Bloomsbury.

Man with the Golden Gun, The. (1974). Dir. Guy Hamilton. Writers Richard Maibaum and Tom Mankiewicz. Perf. Roger Moore, Christopher Lee, Britt Eklund. Eon Productions.

Metz, W. (2004). Engaging Film Criticism: Film History and Contemporary American Cinema. New York: Peter Lang.

Miller, T. (2001). James Bond’s Penis. Masculinity: Bodies, Movies, Culture. Ed. Peter Lehman. New York: Routledge. Rpt. in The James Bond Phenomenon. Ed. Christoph Lindner. New York: Manchester University Press., 2003. pp. 232-247.

Nussbaum, M. (1996). Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism. For Love of Country: Debating the Limits of Patriotism. Ed. Joshua Cohen. Boston: Beacon. pp. 3-17.

Nussbaum, M. (2010). Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. (1969). Dir. Peter R. Hunt. Writer Richard Maibaum. Perf. George Lazenby, Diana Rigg, Telly Savalas. Eon Productions.

Rosenberg, B. & Stewart, A. (1989). Ian Fleming. Boston: G. K. Hall.

Smith, J. (2016). “How Safe Do You Feel?”: James Bond, Skyfall, and the Politics of the Secret Agent in an Age of Ubiquitous Threat. College Literature 43.1 (Winter 2016). pp.145-172. Project Muse. Accessed on 12 May 2016.




How to Cite

Schwetman, J. D. (2017). “Ever heard of EVEL Knievel?”: James Bond meets the Rural sheriff. CINEJ Cinema Journal, 6(1), 94–118. https://doi.org/10.5195/cinej.2017.160