25 Years of James Bond Films - Part One
STARLOG looks back at the exploits of the silver screen superspy.
Working with Ian Fleming when he was alive was a joy,” Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli recalls. “Fleming was a delight. He died before he could see Goldfinger, which was a pity. But he was happy about what had happened up till then.”
When the Bond movies appeared, 20 years ago, I remember who I was then. And I saw it all in very romantic terms: James Bond was very real, and he was the man that you wanted to grow up to be,” notes Christopher Walken, who played Max Zorin, the evil genius with A View To A Kill. “1 think there’s an element in every Bond villain of jealousy for James Bond.” —Adam Pirani
LIVE & LET DRIVE
While I was serving as chauffeur, ‘Cubby’ Broccoli never took his eyes off me,” recalls Patrick Macnee, who co-starred as agent Tibbett in A View To A Kill. “The Rolls Royce I drove actually belonged to him. And I think he wondered just how good a driver I was.” —David Caruba
HE ALMOST FIT
When Sean Connery decided not to do any more Bond films, 1 did a screen test to play 007!” affirms Julian Glover, smiling. “They had me do a scene that was in the next film. I had to deal with a bit of ironmongery; guns and things; some rapid dialogue; a fight sequence; and a love scene. Apparently, the love scene was where I goofed;
1 wasn’t passionate enough. As you might have noticed, 1 never wound up playing Bond, but Cubby has a memory like a dictionary, so he always remembered me.”
—James H. Burns (1963).
Photo: 007 discovers that not all things are sent From Russia With Love
HE WAS 001
It certainly is a curiosity,” Barry Nelson says of the TV production of Casino Royale, in which he starred as James Bond, “there being a James Bond picture hardly anyone has ever seen. 1 had forgotten it years ago.”
Nelson doesn’t hold a grudge against the later, more popular Bond characterizations. “It’s kind of a novelty for me to be the first one. I’ve always approached James Bond with humility. Sean Connery was 007 and I never pretend to be anything more than 001. No one ever stops me on the street and recognizes me as James Bond.” —Lee Goldberg
Photo: Goldfinger (1964) didn’t expect Bond to talk—he expected him to die.
Photo: In this casino sequence for Dr. No (1962), Sean Connery introduced himself for the first time as “Bond, James Bond.”
NEVER SAY EVER?
I think we could make a picture with a new James Bond,” writer/producer Michael Wilson says. “1 don’t know if Roger .Moore is ready to give up the role though (after A View To A Kill). He looks real good.” —Lee Goldberg
GADGETS AREN'T FOREVER
Desmond Llewelyn admits that it’s nearly impossible for him to remember all of the gadgets that he has provided to the different James Bonds throughout the last 20 years. On the earlier movies, most of the items were lost or destroyed after production wrapped. “I’ve tried to keep a collection of the smaller things myself, for television appearances that come up now and them. It’s sad, really,” he laments, “that they weren’t kept, but this is a business of illusions and they just don’t have the space anymore to store everything left over when a motion picture is completed.
“One of my personal favorites of the smaller gadgets we’ve used was the electronic device designed to trip the jackpots on Las Vegas’ fruit machines. When we were filming Diamonds Are Forever out there, I put quite a few quarters in them before 1 realized this gadget wasn’t going to work, even by accident.”
photo: Genetically bred maniac genius Zorin (Christopher Walken) and his companion May Day (Grace Jones) both have A View To A Kill for Mr. Bond.
NOT FOR MONEY
The stimulation of working on a film comes from the writing, character and situation, therefore you give yourself the widest choices possible,” says Sean Connery.-
“I have a history of as many hits as misses and if I was really wanting, I could have taken a more commercial line of pictures. If I wanted to make money, I would have stayed with the Bond films.”
STRIKE UP THE BOND
Asked to elaborate on his approach to scoring the superspy’s exploits and creating the unmistakable “Bond sound,” composer John Barry responds, "From the outset, certain basic elements in the series became evident to me. The films put forth a kind of simple, almost endearing comic-strip attitude toward danger, intrigue and romance. The main thing is to carry it off with style; don't belittle the subject matter or make it cheap, just give it a whole lot of style and make it sound like a million dollars.”
Our villains are often megalomaniacs, but you want characters who are intriguing and will work within the genre of a Bond picture,” Michael Wilson says. “What’s important are the personalities in the films. Sometimes they can be a little odd, like Jaws, or a little more colorful and well-drawn like Gert Frobe’s Goldfinger. But, it’s always the conflict between the hero and the villain—that’s the essence of any good thriller.”
Photo: Tracy (Diana Rigg) thought she had all the time in the world with Bond while On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
The earlier 007 adventures relied far more heavily on the novels penned by Ian Fleming; today’s entries in the series tend to de-emphasize their literary origins. “That’s because the basic material begins to wear thin,” Michael Wilson says. “We stuck closely to the books in the beginning, but we were finally forced to inject whole new ideas in to later movies. In the case of The Spy Who Loved Me, the Fleming Estate would only give us permission to use the title on the condition that we didn’t use anything else from the book. It was in Fleming’s last will. He didn’t want that book made into the movie.”
Photo: Aboard the Moonraker (1979) station, Bond and Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles) finally went where no secret agent man had gone before.
YOU CANT ESCAPE BOND
Let’s face it, there is a sameness about James Bond that you can’t escape, and there are certain threads that continue to keep Bond going,” Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli explains. “I think this [A View to a Kill] is a
good one. I’m not going to prognosticate whether it’s better, whether it’s going to be better financially, or whether the critique will be any better, because you never know about that. But / like it. To me, it’s among the tops of my own consumption, but I’ll wait to see what the public thinks—they’re the ones that we rely on to give us the answer.”
DRAFTED INTO SERVICE
My friendship with Eon Productions goes back to Goldfinger when a friend asked me to help on the picture as a draftsman,” Peter Lamont recalls. “At that time, I hadn’t even seen Dr. No or From Russia With Love, but I certainly enjoyed my first assignment for art director Peter Murton and production designer Ken Adam. I drew Fort Knox.
“For Thunderball, I took a crash course in scuba diving to do all the underwater sequences in the Bahamas. Then, I progressed to assistant art director and chief draftsman on You Only Live Twice. I took over during the work on the volcano sequence.”
HER MAJESTY'S SILVER SERVICE
The difference between the two most famous Bonds, notes Tom Mankiewicz, is that Sean Connery could sit across a dinner table from a woman and either kiss her or stab her under the table, and then summon the waiter, saying, “Excuse me, I have nothing to cut my meat with.”
“The audience would love Sean making either move. Roger Moore could kiss the girl, but he would look nasty sticking a knife in her under the table,” Mankiewicz says. “I understand a Bond purist saying, ‘They’ve ruined them,’ but I think the Bond films have changed properly with the times. With all the special effects out today, Bond can survive only as long as they concern themselves with his wonderful character.”
The secret of 007’s screen success is that “every guy would love to be Bond and every woman would love to sleep with him. I think it’s that elemental.
James Bond, at his best, is a total man’s man and a total ladies’ man. “And nothing has ever worked as well in the series as sending the heavy’s girl to kill Bond,” the writer states. “She, of course, sleeps with him and winds up falling in love. It worked every time. Every guy understood it and wished he had the same power. And every woman said, ‘I guess I would have changed, too!’”
Photo: He’s the deadliest man alive— Bond, James Bond (Roger Moore).
Photo: For Your Eyes Only (1981) was an attempt to return to a more serious Bond as he came between the vengeance-seeking Melina (Carole Bouquet) and her prey, Kristatos (Julian Glover, right).
After The Man With The Golden Gun, we started letting a little more of my humor creep in,” Roger Moore explains, “What we were saying to the audience is: Look, you’ve been seeing these things for years and they are intended to be fun and we want you to laugh with us, not at us.
“The Bond situations to me are so ridiculous, so outrageous. I mean, this man is supposed to be a spy and everybody knows he’s a spy. Every bartender in the world offers him martinis shaken, not stirred. What kind of serious spy is recognized everywhere he goes?”
NEVER SAY LAWSUIT
We were in a Catch-22 situation,” explains Never Say Never Again producer Jack Schwartzman. “We definitely owned this material, but if our movie wasn’t something like Thunderball, we would be in trouble—although at the same time, we couldn’t use anything unique to that film. However, it really didn’t worry us, as long as we could get Sean. First, we would make it as different as possible. Then, if we had to pull it back, we hoped he would understand.
“The lawyers kept saying: ‘The bottom line is if it’s too different from the Thunderball movie, then you’re not doing a remake, you’re doing a sequel.’
“It really came down to matters of opinion. Everything is so vague that there really is no precedent for such a case. It’s a fascinating legal situation—and probably more fun than the film.”
Photo: In her first outing as a Bond girl, Maud Adams becomes the target of 1974’s The Man With The Golden Gun (Christopher Lee).
Photo: Although Roger Moore was the more fastidious agent that Fleming had envisioned to Live And Let Die (1973), Jane Seymour didn’t conform to screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz’s description that Solitaire was black.
There’s no reason Felix Leiter couldn’t be black; he’s just a government agent,” says Bernie Casey, who portrayed the CIA agent in Never Say Never Again. “I think it’s a nice change. Even if I would not have been cast, I think it’s a great idea.
“ Sean Connery had said, during one of our conversations, that Felix Leiter is not memorable. Let’s make him black. . . at least that will make him more noticeable and therefore, more memorable because he is, after all, my best friend, and he does always come to help me, and no one remembers that he was even there.”
Photo: Donald Pleasence portrayed yet another incarnation of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, proving You Only Live Twice (1967).
A DOOR TO A LAUGH
In Live And Let Die, I didn’t do any of that tough, cold behavior because that was what Sean Connery would do,” comments Roger Moore. “My personality is entirely different from his. I’m not that coldblooded killer that Sean can do so well—which is why I play it for laughs. Sean, I think, said I go through the door looking for the laugh. People are going to compare. Still, though, 4,000 actors have played Hamlet. Chacun a son gout [to each his own].”
Photo: Miss Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell), Bond, Tibbett (Patrick Macnee), Q (Desmond Llewelyn) and M (Robert Brown) all get to do some track work with A View To A Kill.
THE OTHER FELLOW
We had this plastic surgeon idea [for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service],” Richard Maibaum reveals "Bond had to have plastic surgery because he was being recognized by all his country’s enemies. But, we thought that was awful and threw it out. Finally, I came up with that line, when the girl leaves him flat after he rescues her. Bond said, ‘This never happened to the other fellow.’ “Because it was funny, the audience liked it. It said, ‘Look, you know it’s not the same James Bond, so we’re not going to kid you or do anything corny to excuse it. You’ll just have to accept that this just isn’t the same fellow.’ ”
Maibaum also feels OHMSS is “the picture where Bond is more of a human being than in any of the others.”
THAT YEAR'S MODEL
I wasn’t an actor,” admits George Lazenby. “I was like what you might call your leading-man type—someone who can say his lines and hit his marks. And as far as acting was concerned, I thought, ‘Leave it to the character guys, the ugly boys.’
“I had no acting experience, I was coming from the male-model point-of-view. I walked in, looking like James Bond, and acting as if that’s the way I was anyway. And they thought, ‘All we have to do is keep this guy just the way he is and we’ll have James Bond.”
Photo: 007, with license renewed, is ready for action as Timothy Dalton enters The Living Daylights.
SOMETIMES YOU'RE RIGHT
Is A View To A Kill the final James Bond film for you?
“I always say this will be the final one,” comments Roger Moore. “And why should I change my dialogue now?”
Photo: New York native Albert R. Broccoli has faithfully produced films on Her Majesty’s Secret Service for 25 years
THREE FAMOUS WORDS
When Sean, in the beginning of Dr. No, said, ‘The name is Bond, James Bond,’ if you didn’t believe it, there would have been no series, remarks screenwriter Richard Maibaum. “Now, the line seems like the understatement of all time because, of course, this is James Bond, and everyone knows it. They just get a kick out of hearing it anyway.”
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED
If offered the chance to play the suave superspy again, George Lazenby says he would “consider it, no doubt about it. I’ve got nothing to lose. And I would do it better than I did it last time; there would be no point otherwise. I still feel my Bond stands up to the portrayals by Sean Connery and Roger Moore and that was before I was an actor. Now, I would really blow ’em away, wouldn’t I?”
WASN'T IT BLOFELD?
George Lazenby “was a very fortunate boy in so many ways—he was well looked after and he was excellent in the film. I think he was his own worst enemy,” explains Peter Hunt, who directed On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. “While we were doing the film, he was awkward a couple times but no more than many others. He wasn’t difficult to the point of impossibility. He did everything I asked him to do—he followed instructions, was always cooperative, always, even if complainingly. He would have made a very good Bond if he had been more sensible.”
AIMING TO KILL
No one had any idea that the initial title concepts for Dr. No would carry through and be repeated for the next 25 years.
“I had to design a title for Harry Saltzman and Cubby Broccoli to show them just what I wanted to do,” Maurice Binder reflects. “I figured the gunshot thing across the screen would be effective. I had these little white price stickers, and I put them on a black storyboard. I thought it would be a good idea to look down the gun barrel and see James Bond as he walked out, firing at you. And then the blood comes down the screen, you see? They liked the idea, but it didn’t come to life until I filmed it.”
TODAY'S BEST ACTION
The Bond movies have turned out to be today’s best action pictures, which is why you end up competing with yourself,” says Bob Simmons. “We get together with the art and special effects departments, and ask, ‘Have we done this before? And if we have, how can we do it bigger and betterV ”
MARK OF QUALITY
Roger Moore, in fact, suggested me for the part,” notes Patrick Macnee, “and I ended up being killed—as all good actors do in Bond films.” —David Caruba
007 FOR A DAY
Sean Connery was nothing like Fleming’s concept of James Bond. If we had chosen somebody like David Niven, that was more like the way he wrote it,” says Richard Maibaum. “But the very fact that Sean was a rough, tough, Scottish soccer player made him unlike the kind of English actors that Americans don’t like. I’m quite convinced that the image had a great deal to do with the films’ success and the success Sean had in the role, it enabled the ordinary guy and girl to look at the screen and say, ‘That’s me, I could do those things.’ ” —Lee Goldberg
Photo: Barry Nelson’s name was Bond, Jimmy Bond when 007 played at the Casino Royale on American television.
I love looking at the old Bond films,” remarks Bond producer Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli. “Maybe it’s purely out of reminiscence, the nostalgic things you think about. But there were some very good films made, and I think that the public has enjoyed them, too.” However, he says naming a favorite Bond movie would be like choosing a favorite from among your children. “All your kids are good, they all worked, they all served a purpose, and they’re all trying,” he explains. “So, I can’t really put my finger on a favorite.”
James Bond will return next issue.
Photo: Though Diamonds Are Forever, assassin Mr. Wint (Bruce Glover) couldn’t protect his own family jewels from James Bond.
All James Bond film photos copyrighted as follows: Dr. No: Copyright 1962 Danjaq S.A.; From Russia With Love: Copyright 1963 Danjaq S.A.; Goldfinger: Copyright 1964 Danjaq S.A.; Thunderbali: Copyright 1965 Danjaq S.A.; You Only Live Twice: Copyright 1967 Danjaq S.A.; On Her Majesty's Secret Service: Copyright 1969 Danjaq S.A.; Diamonds Are Forever: Copyright 1971 Danjaq S.A.; Live And Let Die: Copyright 1973 Danjaq S.A.; The Man With The Golden Gun: Copyright 1974 Danjaq S.A.; The Spy Who Loved Me: Copyright 1977 Danjaq S.A.; Moonraker: Copyright 1979 Danjaq S.A.; For Your Eyes Only: Copyright 1981 Danjaq S.A.; Octopussy: Copyright 1983 Danjaq S.A.; A View To A Kill: Copyright 1985 Danjaq S.A.; The Living Daylights: Copyright 1987 Danjaq S.A.
[Source: Starlog #122 September 1987, P.22-27]