BBC Radio has dramatized Ian Fleming's Dr. No as a 90 minute radio play. Ironically, the role of James Bond is played by Toby Stephens, who played the villain who menaced 007 in Die Another Day.
To listen to the broadcast, click here. (Note: there is some news and promos that last about 2 1/2 minutes preceding the play. Thanks to Cinema Retro London staffer Adrian Smith for the alert regarding this broadcast.)
Huntington Hartford II, the eccentric one-time millionaire and toast of the high society set, has died at age 97. Hartford was a larger-than-life figure who was once considered to be one of the world's richest men. However, by the 1970s, much of his fortune had been squandered or lost in ill-fated business deals. He had inherited a fortune as heir to the A&P chain of American grocery stores, but Hartford had aspirations to move in high society with a glitzier crowd than the people involved in the running of grocery chains. He founded a major museum in New York City in 1964, but it was denounced by one critic as resembling “a die-cut Venetian palazzo on lollipops”. Hartford was the person credited with seeing the potential in developing Paradise Island in the Bahamas (when it was known as Hog Island). Ironically, he ended up losing a fortune in an area where seemingly everyone else made millions. Hartford was a resident of the island and during the filming of the James Bond movie Thunderball in 1965, he donated use of his mansion and land as key locations. Among the scenes shot for the film is the sequence in which James Bond emerges from the surf by a concrete jetty and disguises himself as a SPECTRE frogman. (Although Hartford's estate was demolished to make room for The Atlantis resort, this jetty still remains on the property.) In another sequence, the SPECTRE frogmen dive into a canal from a nearby wall. In reality, the canal led to a lagoon on Hartford's estate. (Hartford was not paid for his contributions, but his wife was given a role as an extra in the film.)
One of the sequences from Thunderball filmed on the Hartford estate.
This concrete jetty, which is now on the Atlantis resort property, is all that remains of the Hartford estate sequences where Thunderball was filmed.
Hartford, a restless spirit who could never stay focused on any particular project, was married four times. He was a self-described "Horatio Alger in reverse" who lost several fortunes on dubious ventures such as his Broadway adapatation of Jane Eyre starring Errol Flynn near the end of his career. A critical and box-office disaster, Hartford continued to subsidize the play at great cost just to spite his critics.
For the New York Times obituary of Hartford, click here
Battle for Bond Redux: Robert Sellers’s Thunderball Book Returns
By Wesley Britton
To put my proverbial cards on the table, since 1995, I
didn’t think any book in print matched Andrew Lycett’s Ian Fleming: The Man Behind James Bond for providing authoritative
history, biography, and background into how 007 came to be. Then, in 2007,Robert Sellers gave us TheBattle
for Bond: The Genesis of Cinema’s Greatest Hero. It became the second most
important book in my Bond collection. Drawing from many previously unknown
primary sources, most notably court records held by Sylvan Whittingham Mason, Sellers
shared how the idea of bringing Bond to film began and the unexpected and
complex sequence of events that followed. Not a perfect book by any means, but
one belonging in every film lover’s library.
Perhaps it was appropriate that publishing a book dealing so
much with legal twists and turns ended up mirroring its subject. Because
anything associated with Ian Fleming is closely controlled by various heirs of
the legacy, some publishers wanted nothing to do with Battle for Bond. Then small British publisher
Tomahawk took up the challenge, and Battle
for Bond enjoyed deserved critical praise for telling a story that had been
clouded in myth and speculation for decades. Then the Ian Fleming Will Trust
In an interview for James
Bond Magazine (The Battle for Bond Rages On),
Sellers noted, “Pretty quickly after the
book was published the Ian Fleming Will Trust, through their London lawyers, took great exception to our
publishing, in full, copies of a number of letters by Ian Fleming, to which the
Trust owned copyright. They really were not best pleased, and notified us that
we had infringed their copyright and were liable for damages.”
The letters in question were copies of court documents
involved in the first lawsuits filed by Kevin McClory and Jack Whittingham regarding
ownership of Thunderball and the
creation of the cinematic 007. “We, that’s the publisher and I,” Robert told
007 Magazine, “claimed that we had every right to reproduce these documents in
the book without infringing copyright as they were used as part of the
prosecution case in the 1963 Ian Fleming plagiarism trial. We also believed
ourselves to be protected by law, since section 45, subsection 2 of the
Copyright Designs and Patents Act of 1988 states that it is not an infringement
of copyright if the publication of documents occurs within the context of
reporting legal proceedings, which clearly is the case with this book.”
Whatever the legal merits, historians and small-presses
don’t have the resources to defend themselves against such suits, so in March
2008 Sellers and Tomahawk agreed to allow the Fleming Trust to pulp the
remaining 300 copies of the book in England. This didn’t affect the first
edition in the U.S. where copies quickly became something of a new 007
collector’s item. Just as quickly, Sellers announced a new edition would be
coming out without the offending photographs in mid-June 2008.
(Artwork by Jeff Marshall. Copyright Daleon Enterprises. All rights reserved.)
Sir Roger Moore has confirmed he will be the guest of honor at a Pinewood Studios reunion of cast and crew of his favorite James Bond movie, The Spy Who Loved Me. The event will be organized by Cinema Retro's own Gareth Owen and his partner Andy Boyle, who run www.bondstars.com. Owen and Boyle recently staged the acclaimed Goldfinger reunion at Pinewood at which director Guy Hamilton was presented with The Retro Lifetime Achivement award on behalf of Cinema Retro by actress Honor Blackman. The Spy Who Loved Me event will take place on Sunday, October 19 and will be an all day affair with studio tours, panel discussions, interviews and a dinner honoring Sir Roger.
Please note: because this event is relegated to a relatively small number of attendees, Bondstars.com will be allocating tickets on a lottery basis. In order to be entered in the lottery, you must submit your registration form by June 7.
For the registration form and full details, click here.
Click here for coverage of the Goldfinger reunion event
Click here for exclusive coverage of Sir Roger Moore's surprise birthday party in New York City