25 Years of James Bond Films, Part Two
STARLOG continues a look back at the exploits of the silver screen superspy.
Bond is, of course, a British secret service agent, and we’ve tried to keep him that way,” says Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli. “There might be other young actors who may be qualified —American actors; but every time we’ve thought about that, we’ve discouraged ourselves, because we feel instinctively that Bond should be, played by a British actor. Sean Connery was a Scotsman. Roger is English. Even the Australian that we had was quite good; George Lazenby could have been a good Bond.” —Adam Pirani
TEAMWORK, AS USUAL
I worked for Albert Broccoli from the very beginning,” stunt supervisor Bob Simmons admits, “when the first Bond film, Dr. No cost less than $175,000 to make. Fortunately, though costs have increased, we still have the great teamwork now that we had then.
“First, the script is presented to me. I start by broadening out vthe visual ideas as Cubby and Timothy Dalton gets ready to blow The Living Daylights out of anyone who says his name isn’t Bond, James Bond.
Michael Wilson allow me to elaborate. I’ve never had any opposition from them on anything I do. Everything can be worked out, if you give it plenty of thought. Nothing is left to guesswork.”
In Bond movies, many lines are made up on the spot, especially the humorous ones. Sean Connery has always been noted for thinking up clever quips, but he says, “It’s very serious playing James Bond. I always start very seriously and try to inject the humor.”
I don’t like to use gadgets. We’ve seen too many of them,” Michael Wilson says. “They’re always a cheat. Usually, you set up a gadget that can only be used in a very unique situation that wouldn’t apply genially. What I like best is when r you set up a situation that the gadget is perfect for and Bond really needs it. Just as he takes it out of his pocket, it’s knocked from his hand and plummets nine stories down to the ground. Now what’s Bond going to do? That’s the fun.”
You know that in every movie,” comments Tom Mankiewicz, “the villain will say, ‘I’m going to destroy the world in a few moments. It’s a shame you won’t be alive to see it, Mr. Bond. But first, let me show you my fantastic operation. . . .’
“I’m glad I’m not doing a Bond film this time. I mean, how do you start making things fresh? You’ve already had a car chase, a car which turns into a sub, a car which turns into a plane, a skydiving thing, a balloon thing, a parachute thing, a hook thing, a whatever thing. There have been jet skis and speedboats and underwater vehicles and action up in space and. . . my God, and I glad I’m. not doing another Bond film! There’s no vehicle which exists in the world that hasn’t been used in a Bond chase.”
Photo: Sylvia Trench (Eunice Gayson) was supposed to be the one girl Bond would always leave behind for his assignments. After being left in the lurch twice in Dr. No and From Russia With Love, she took the hint and left the series.
Photo: Maud Adams may be all washed up, but that didn’t stop her from getting the drop on Bond (Roger Moore—under a halo?) in both The Man With The Golden Gun and Octopussy.
YOU ONLY ACT TWICE
When Octopussy meets Bond for the first time, she recognizes that they’re two of a kind and tries to get him to
join her organization,” notes Maud Adams, who essayed that title character, and was earlier a Bond girl in The Man With The Golden Gun, “Using stronger female characters in the Bond films has been a trend for a long time. Certainly, Russian agent Barbara Bach in The Spy Who Loved Me, Lois Chiles as the astronaut/scientist in Moon-raker and Carole Bouquet in For Your Eyes Only were all capable, skilled women. But, Octopussy is absolutely the strongest woman character of all.
“Every James Bond movie— no matter how good the script is—is more or less a variation on the same theme James Bond is always going to engage in exciting and daring adventures. The women will always be beautiful. And the bad guys will always be really bad and always get it in the end. That’s what audiences love about Bond, that’s what they want.”
—David McDonnell & Richard Holliss
LOOKING FOR LOVE
I’m a big fan of James Bond movies,” Grace Jones claims. “I love action. And I love the fact that I have love scenes with both Christopher Walken and Roger Moore.”
CONTENT OVER FORMULA
The Bond films “are all different, each story is different. There is a formula—you know, a white knight riding out to combat evil, with evil in different shapes,” says Roger Moore.
But, is it difficult to conjure new, startling title design images for each succeeding Bond adventure? “Yes! Definitely!” Maurice Binder answers. “It’s difficult to come up with new ideas, which are unique, and will continue to be new as you keep looking at them over the next decades. You just don’t get tired of looking at a Bond film.”
Photo: Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell) shows her affection for 007 before he goes to face Dr. No.
THE SEARCH FOR SEAN
Sean Connery is no dope. He has a clear vision of himself as James Bond, and what Bond would and wouldn’t do,” Never Say Never Again screenwriter Lorenzo Semple, Jr. explains. “He had been on record as saying that if the script was right, he would do another Bond picture someday. That fact was very intriguing to me, like searching for a lost mine.”
THE EVIL THAT MEN DO
The most difficult thing,” says Richard Maibaum, “is coming up with a great caper for the villains. That’s the thing that just drives us up the wall.”
Photo: To Bond, Major Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach) was The Spy Who Loved Me, but it would be their arch-enemy, Jaws, who would see 007 more often.
Photo: Bond (Connery) isn’t the only one who Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman) caused problems for. The filmmakers dropped the lesbian tendencies she displayed in Fleming’s Goldfinger novel, and only after much debate (and a PR triumph by veteran 007 publicist Tom Carlile) did they agree to keep her name.
Photo: Roger Moore joined the Double-0 section and learned to Live And Let Die for the first of his seven missions.
BIG BONDS DONT CRY
In the final reel of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, audiences saw 007 (George Lazen-by) emotionally hurt for the first time, as he cradles his murdered wife, Tracy, in his arms.
“Read the last page of the book; that’s what I did before I played that scene,” Lazenby comments. “I had nothing else to go on. I mean, no one was talking to me at that stage. Everyone was upset with me because I didn’t want to play Bond again. The director [Peter Hunt] and I hadn’t spoken throughout the whole film. So, I was completely on my own and the only place 1 could get guidance was Fleming’s novel.” Lazenby says he did the last scene in two takes—once with tears, once without. “The director said, ‘James Bond doesn’t cry, can you cut the tears?’ So, the second version was without tears—that’s the one used.”
CALL HIM "Q"
The Bond films are special. I admit to enjoying the splash in the limelight they have given me,” says Desmond Llewelyn. “Everywhere I travel,, people always recognize me as Q, the man who always has something new and exciting up his sleeve for 007.
Photo: Letting a handy gadget polish off a Spectre agent, Bond gets on with discovering just why Diamonds Are Forever.
Photo: Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi) makes a couple of points to his men about Operation Thunderball.
“I take it as a compliment that many people actually believe I’ve had a hand in inventing the devices that Bond uses in the films. I try not to disillusion the public and have always familiarized myself with the workings of all the equipment I supposedly create for Bond’s adventures in the field. But the truth is that I’m merely an actor and not particularly mechanical, at that. I sometimes have a dickens of a time trying to get some of the gadgets to work right for me.” —Charles Bogle
THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE
Screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz is proud to have been associated with the 007 series. “It’s the Rolls Royce of action films,” he says.
Photo: After only one stint On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, George Lazenby lost not only the superspy’s wife, but his own Licence To Kill.
Photo: Appreciating that one should Live And Let Die, Bond nevertheless realized that only a daring escape would ensure the future of his cinematic adventures and Jane Seymour’s career.
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.; Thunderball: 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 Magazine #123, October 1987, P.33-35]