Last night (Jan 26th), Cinema Retro Editor and
British board member of the Ian Fleming Foundation, Dave Worrall, gave an
introductory speech at EON Productions and The National Motor Museum's 50th anniversary
exhibition 'Bond in Motion' at Beaulieu. The champagne reception for a large
corporate accountancy company was held in the actual exhibition area where
guests, surrounded by James Bond's famous vehicles and gadgetry, enjoyed Dave's
informative talk about how Eon and the museum put together the spectacular
event, which is now open to the public on a daily basis until the end of the
year. After his talk, Dave mingled with the guests and answered dozens of
questions asked him by the (predominantly!) male audience, who were keen to
learn more about the various cars on show, including OO7's various Aston
Martins, the underwater Lotus, and autogyro 'Little Nellie', to name but a few.
Bond fans will be pleased to discover that apart
from the 32-page 'Bond in Motion' souvenir brochure on sale, the museum's gift
shop has two sections devoted entirely to James Bond merchandise, including toy
cars, t-shirts, books, mugs, posters - and more!
For more information about visiting the
'Bond in Motion' exhibition click here
Last April, Dave Worrall and I were in London for a few days on business pertaining to Cinema Retro. As is our custom, we generally hold a dinner party at the famed Groucho Club and invite an eclectic group of friends and acquaintances. This time around, the group included several people who, coincidentally, had ties to Sean Connery. Film producer Euan Lloyd (The Wild Geese) had produced Connery's first film after leaving the role of James Bond, the 1968 Western Shalako. Actor Richard Johnson had been approached prior to Connery to play 007 and had met with producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman at Eon's offices in London. (Typical of Johnson's wry, self-deprecating humor, he said that it was best for everyone that he didn't accept the role because "I was so right for it, I would have played the part wrong. Sean was so wrong for it, he played the part right") Also in the mix was actress Lana Wood, who had co-starred with Connery in his 1971 Bond comeback Diamonds Are Forever. As all Bond fans know, Lana, the sister of Natalie Wood, made a memorable impression as the aptly-named Plenty O'Toole. We actually didn't know Lana well, having only spoken to her briefly over the years, but she was in London and was enthused about joining our merry band of fifteen or so. I can't say I know her much better today than I did a year ago, but what I can say is that I found her candor to be quite astonishing.
Although Lana never found stardom in films and has suffered enormous personal losses in her life, ranging from numerous love affairs gone wrong to the mysterious death of Natalie, she has an amazing number of anecdotes to relate. Not only can she tell you fascinating facts about the sister she still loves so dearly, but she also speaks openly and unashamedly about her tumultuous love life, which has seen her involved with some of the most famous men on the planet. They include Sean Connery, who she told me she had an affair with on the set of Diamonds. Although neither were married at the time, they kept their relationship hush-hush so as to not feed grist to the mill of the tabloids. (The Fleet Street rags were already awash with "exclusive" stories about Connery allegedly bedding his female lead Jill St. John.) Not knowing how many of these stories Lana had previously made public, I decided to keep the revelations confidential, which may seem to be a quaint notion when one runs a high popular web site. Nevertheless, in a recent interview in The Daily Mail, Lana opens up about many of the anecdotes she related to me that evening- and it makes for riveting reading.
I have fond memories of that particular party, as Lana made for a most gracious and glamorous dinner companion whose down-to-earth charm enchanted everyone there. My only major regret is that the star-packed Groucho Club famously excludes anyone from taking photos on the premises, probably due to the fact that certain celebrities would not want to be seen with certain other celebrities they were, eh, escorting for the evening. Thus, there are no recorded images of this memorable dinner party except in the minds of those who were there. Nevertheless, it was an evening to remember- thanks in no small part to the charm of Lana Wood.
Actress Naomi Harris, who will be starring with Daniel Craig in the new James Bond film Skyfall, says that rumors she is playing Miss Moneypenny are inaccurate. Her character, Eve, was rumored to be an alias for Moneypenny but Harris has thrown cold water on that theory. For more click here
Copies of legendary James Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli's 1998 autobiography "When the Snow Melts" command big dollars on the collector's circuit. Now the book is available on Amazon.UK as a kindle edition. Here is the description:
Originally published in hardback in 1998 with the title 'WHEN THE SNOW
MELTS', this updated edition from EON Productions features introductions
by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli as well as a selection of
rarely seen images. EON Productions will donate all of the income from
the sales of this eBook to Cancer Research UK, the world’s leading
charity dedicated to beating cancer through research. Cubby
Broccoli’s autobiography is a roller-coaster ride through the life of
one of Hollywood’s best-loved producers. He recounts extraordinary and
humorous stories of how he created a life in the movies, his unique
relationship with Howard Hughes and other friendships with Hollywood
greats such as Cary Grant, Robert Mitchum, Gregory Peck and Frank
Sinatra are also portrayed.
Photos copyright Mark Mawston. All rights reserved.
Britt Ekland with the Aston Martin Vanquish from Die Another Day outside the entrance.
50th anniversary of the James Bond film series got off the grid yesterday (Sun
15th) with the official launch of 'Bond in Motion: 50 Vehicles, 50 Years', an exhibition
of OO7-related vehicles at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu in Hampshire. To commemorate this historic
turning point in the Bond franchise, Eon Productions (the Bond film-makers) and
the motor museum (celebrating its 40th anniversary this year), have put
together the largest official collection of famous James Bond vehicles the
world has ever seen.
also saw Eon kick-start the 50th anniversary with many special features in
British newspapers and magazine supplements including The Mail on Sunday and The
opening to the public on January 17th, the world's press and selected guests
were invited to attend the unveiling of fifty different forms of transport to
celebrate fifty years of the OO7 movies.
Opening ceremony (L to R) Ralph Montagu, Eunice Gayson (Dr No/From Russia With Love), Britt Ekland (The Man With the Golden Gun), Jenny Hanley (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service), Madeline Smith (Live and Let Die).
in attendance included Chris Courbold (SFX Casino
Royale-Skyfall), Vic Armstrong (Stunt co-ordinator and 2nd unit director on
many films), actors Colin Salmon (Die
Another Day), Shane Rimmer (You Only
Live Twice and The Spy Who Loved Me)
and Ken Wallis, the inventor of the autogyro who doubled Sean Connery in the
sequences with 'Little Nellie' in You
Only Live Twice.
businessman Michael Dezer, who purchased the entire 'Cars of the Stars' and
'Bond Museums' last year, flew over especially for the occasion. The boat from From Russia With Love was loaned to the
museum by Mr Dezer for the exhibition.
Mr Dezer's car museum, which is anticipated to be the largest in the world, is
due to open this year in Florida.
Cinema Retro has received the following press release from Eon Productions and Fox Home Entertainment:
VEGAS, NV (Jan.
10, 2012) – In celebration of James Bond’s monumental golden
anniversary, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Twentieth Century Fox Home
Entertainment today unveiled BOND 50, a collectible box-set featuring
all 22 James Bond films on Blu-ray Disc for the first time in one
complete offering. The longest running film franchise of all time, the Bond
50 collection marks the debut of nine James Bond films previously
unavailable in high definition Blu-ray. Fans around the world can pre-order now
with participating online retailers.
Acclaimed Bond directors John Glen (five Bond films including For Your Eyes
Only, Octopussy, A View to a Kill, The Living Daylights &
Licence To Kill), Martin Campbell (GoldenEye, Casino Royale)
and Michael Apted (The World Is Not Enough) with special guests Olga
Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace) and Caterina Murino (Casino Royale)
made the Blu-ray announcement today during a Directors’ Panel discussion in the
Panasonic Booth at the annual Consumer Electronics Show.
BOND 50 showcases fifty years of Bond neatly packaged into one cool,
sleek collectable box-set featuring all six iconic James Bond actors. Produced
using the highest possible picture quality and audio presentation, the
collection includes all 22 James Bond feature films from Dr. No to Quantum
of Solace and more than 130 hours of bonus features including some
new and exclusive content.
“With all 22 feature films available on Blu-ray in one collection for the first
time this is a great way for fans to catch up on 007’s epic journey before Skyfall
hits theaters next Fall,” said Michael Brown, Senior Vice President, MGM
Home Entertainment. “Now viewers can enjoy the intense action of the innovative
franchise in the most immersive home experience possible.”
“We have a whole program of exciting activities planned for our 50th
anniversary year, beginning with today’s announcement, by Fox, of the release
of all 22 films on Blu-ray for the very first time,’’ added Michael G. Wilson
and Barbara Broccoli, with Eon Productions. “We are also delighted that Fox has
unveiled a specially designed anniversary poster which we hope the fans will
love as much as we do. Our website, 007.com will be regularly updated with all
the latest anniversary news and events.”
CLICK HERE TO PRE-ORDER THE COLLECTION DISCOUNTED FROM AMAZON AND SAVE $100!
The first Bond girl is arguably the best: Ursula Andress in Dr. No.
Entertainment Weekly's Joshua Rich provides us with yet another completely superfluous, yet admittedly fun, movie list, this time evaluating the merits of major James Bond actresses and characters. Some of his observations are spot-on (i.e Ursula Andress and Diana Rigg rank among the best; Denise Richards and Britt Ekland among the worst. ) Some of the other conclusions seem delusional: would you really consider Lotte Lenya's Rosa Klebb to be a "Bond Girl?" or Maud Adams' Octopussy among the worst characters? Click here and judge for yourself
Roger Moore with Cubby Broccoli and future Bond producer Michael G. Wilson on the set of For Your Eyes Only in Greece. Wilson is attired as a priest for his customary cameo appearance.
In an interview with Britain's Telegraph, Sir Roger Moore recalls bittersweet memories of filming the 1981 James Bond film For Your Eyes Only. Sir Roger remembers the joys of working with Cubby Broccoli and Desmond Llewelyn, but also recalls the death of actor Bernard Lee, who died during filming. For more click here
British James Bond magazine MI6 Confidential reports that Thomas Newman
will compose the score for the next 007 film Skyfall. Newman and the
film's director Sam Mendes are frequent collaborators. If true, this
would be the first Bond film not to be scored by David Arnold since
GoldenEye in 1995. For more click here