Like many of the directors behind the best movies of all time, Spike Lee started his love of movies as a youngster. But he left his mother blushing when he asked a question while watching one of the best James Bond movies.
In an interview with The Guardian, Lee explained that he was often taken to see new movies by his mum due to his father’s reluctance to go to the cinema. He says that a visit to see the 1964 spy movie Goldfinger led to a particularly awkward exchange between him and his mother.
Lee says: “The theatre was packed. Those Bond films have explosions and shootings, but there was a lull in the action and everything was quiet. I said: ‘Mommy, why is that lady named Pussy Galore?’ And the whole audience heard me. My mother grabbed me by the neck and said: ‘Don’t say another word’. She was so embarrassed.”
The Bond stories became infamous for their use of thinly-veiled innuendo in character names, to the extent that the Austin Powers spoof movies heavily parodied that inclination with their own increasingly rude monikers.
It’s unclear whether it was the sparkling action scenes and thrilling spy craft that made an impression on Lee, or whether he just enjoyed that particular character name. Regardless, he has now directed more than 20 movies and this week received the BFI Fellowship to acknowledge his impact on the medium of cinema.