In honor of the spy exchange in Vienna over the weekend, I was re-watching The 3rd Man. Somewhere in the middle, I realized that the man playing the lowly assistant to the detective was Bernard Lee, who went on to play M, the head of the British secret service (James Bond’s boss). My first thought was, “He’s done well for himself,” by which I meant his promotion.
The truth is, they’re both bit parts (in fact, his role in The 3rd Man is somewhat larger than his Bond appearances), but for somereason I associate his rise in fictional rank with some sort of real-world success. Take for example our forty-third President Martin Sheen. Or four-time General (and occasional private eye) Stacy Keach. These are powerful men. Especially compared to slackers like Marlon Brando, who never rose past Colonel. Or Humphrey Bogart, a Captain at best. And what about that Johnny Depp? He has yet to amount to anything…