It was in 1987 that the "new" James Bond, Timothy Dalton, made his debut as 007 in "The Living Daylights". It was a troubled production to bring to the screen, given the fact that Pierce Brosnan had been signed to play the role of Bond only to be thwarted by a contractual clause relating to his NBC TV series "Remington Steele". Dalton was the fourth actor to play 007 on the big screen, if you don't count David Niven in the 1967 spoof version of "Casino Royale". He followed in the paths of Sean Connery, George Lazenby and Roger Moore. Dalton is generally credited for bringing Bond back to earth in terms of downplaying the overt comedy that had characterized the series since Connery's final Bond film for Eon Production, "Diamonds Are Forever" in 1971. The good folks at the MI6 web site provide a wealth of interesting trivia relating to all things "Daylights". Click here to read- and while you're at it, subscribe to their superb magazine.
The Daily Mail has a series of photos showing Daniel Craig on the Thames en route to the real MI6 HQ to film sequences for the new 007 film "Spectre". Craig appears to be having a ball riding a high speed vessel in the company of his co-star Rory Kinnear, who plays the role of fellow agent Bill Tanner.
The article also reveals that, in the wake of the devastating Sony hack scandal, the script is being re-written even as filming is underway, which is not a situation most filmmakers want to contend with. However, Sony and Eon Productions confirmed that an earlier draft of the script that gave away key plot spoilers has been leaked to the web. To ensure that moviegoers don't have the experience of seeing the new film ruined in advance of its premiere next November, the producers have brought in other writers, including "Edge of Tomorrow" scribe Jez Butterworth, to re-write key portions of the story including the finale. The script is also being rewritten by long-time Bond co-writers Neal Purvis and Rob Wade. Daniel Craig has previously said that the script that was in place prior to the hack was better than the one for his 2012 blockbuster "Skyfall", which grossed over $1 billion internationally.
Eon Productions and Sony have confirmed that the recent hack attack against the movie studio has resulted in the cyber theft of the script for the new James Bond film "Spectre" that just began filming. The big budget production has been kept top secret and pains had been taken to keep key plot points from the public. It is known from the title that Bond's arch nemesis organization SPECTRE will fit into the story line and it is has been reported through hacked information that the character Blofeld is to figure into the plot in some way. However, the theft of the actual script could have devastating consequences for the marketing of the film. The producers clearly had anticipated keeping key information close to the vest until the film is released next November 6. Aside from reminding the thieves that the script is protected under British copyright law, there isn't much they can do to prevent it from being published on the web. Both Eon and Sony deny rumors that the filming has been put into hiatus. This is only the latest problem for Sony, which has been the focus of an unprecedented hack that has resulted in embarrassing and confidential information going viral. It is suspected that the North Korean government is behind the action, in retaliation for a new Sony comedy that centers on a plot to kill the nation's dictator Kim Jong Un. For more click here.
The new James Bond film, "Spectre", boasts some exotic locations ranging from Morocco to Mexico to Austria. However, Variety reports that a sizable chunk of the film's rumored $300 million budget will be spent in Rome, where tax incentives have brought in many major studio productions lately. The Bond flick will drop over $62 million to film some high profile chase sequences in Rome, including a spectacular car crash and a scene in which Bond parachutes from a helicopter onto the ancient Ponte Sisto bridge. (No word on whether the Queen will be joining him on this parachute drop, as she did at the Olympics in 2012!) For more click here.
Cinema Retro's own Gareth Owen is interviewed on Bloomberg TV regarding the reasons that Pinewood Studios has remained James Bond's 'home" for more than 50 years. The Broccoli family have always felt most comfortable at Pinewood and they maintain permanent offices there. However, there is an economic incentive to film there, as well. After decades of losing major film productions due to punitive tax measures, the UK is now attracting blockbuster franchises such as Star Wars, Batman and The Avengers due to lucrative incentives that allow producers to reclaim as much as 25% of their British expenditures. The new Bond film SPECTRE is filming at Pinewood and other locations around the world.
(Read Gareth Owen's "Pinewood Past" column in every issue of Cinema Retro!)
Here is the brilliant new teaser campaign for the James Bond film "SPECTRE". What makes it brilliant? Any Bond fan would know...the bullet hole references the final, haunting frame of the 1969 Bond classic "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" starring George Lazenby. In those final moments, Bond's beloved new bride Tracy (Diana Rigg) was murdered by SPECTRE arch villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld and his henchwoman Irma Bunt. The fact that the franchise is reaching back into its early days in terms of this reference bodes well for the new film. Of course, it could be coincidental that the logo mirrors the final image from "OHMSS", but- given the title- it seems intentional. We shall see... Regardless, we love the fact that the SPECTRE octopus symbol is woven into the logo...
WATCH REPLAY OF THE BOND PRESS ANNOUNCEMENT AT PINEWOOD STUDIOS
UK, December 4, 2014 – 007 Soundstage, Pinewood Studios, London. James Bond
Producers, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli today released the title of
the 24th James Bond adventure, SPECTRE. The film, from Albert R. Broccoli’s EON
Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, and Sony Pictures Entertainment, is
directed by Sam Mendes and stars Daniel Craig, who returns for his fourth film
as Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007. SPECTRE begins principal photography on
Monday, December 8, and is set for global release on November 6, 2015.
with Daniel Craig, Mendes presented the returning cast, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie
Harris, Ben Whishaw and Rory Kinnear as well as introducing Christoph Waltz,
Léa Seydoux, Dave Bautista, Monica Bellucci and Andrew Scott. Mendes also
revealed Bond’s sleek new Aston Martin, the DB10, created exclusively for
cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister
organisation. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service
alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind
007 production will be based at Pinewood Studios, and on location in London,
Mexico City, Rome and Tangier and Erfoud, in Morocco. Bond will return to the
snow once again, this time in Sölden, along with other Austrian locations,
Obertilliach, and Lake Altaussee.
on the announcement, Wilson and Broccoli said, “We’re excited to announce
Daniel’s fourth installment in the series and thrilled that Sam has taken on
the challenge of following on the success of SKYFALL with SPECTRE.”.
by John Logan and Neal Purvis & Robert Wade, Director of Photography is
Hoyte van Hoytema and Editor is Lee Smith. Production Designer, Dennis Gassner
returns along with Costume Designer, Jany Temime and Composer, Thomas Newman.
Action Specialist, Alexander Witt is the 2nd Unit Director. Stunt Coordinator
is Gary Powell, SFX Supervisor is Chris Corbould, and Visual Effects Supervisor
is Steve Begg.
the 23rd James Bond film, was a worldwide box office phenomenon, opening #1 in
70 territories around the world, taking over $1.1 billion worldwide and setting
a new all-time box office record in the UK by becoming the first film to take over
Minutes ago, director Sam Mendes announced that the new James Bond film title will be "SPECTRE". The announcement was made at the legendary "home" of the 007 franchise, Pinewood Studios on the Albert R. Broccoli 007 Stage. Christoph Waltz was confirmed as the new villain. His character's name was not given, but the title "SPECTRE" gives credence to rumors that he will be playing the arch villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld, who has not officially appeared in an Eon Bond film since Charles Gray played him opposite Sean Connery in the 1971 film "Diamonds Are Forever".
Returning cast members include Ralph Finnes, Naomi Harris, Ben Wishaw and Rory Kinnear. The writing team from "Skyfall"- John Logan, Neal Purvis and Rob Wade- is also returning.
Bond's new car was also unveiled: the new Aston Martin DB10.
The film is scheduled for release in October 2015.
Cinema Retro has received the following press release from Sony Pictures (UK):
(Pinewood Studios, UK) - On Thursday 4th December at 11:00am GMT (3:00am PST; 6:00am EST) Albert R. Broccoli's EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment will present a live announcement and photo call from the 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios. The title and cast of the 24th Bond film will be revealed, marking the start of principal photography on Monday 8th December. A global audience will be able to watch the announcement live via a web stream atwww.007.com
The legendary Albert R. Broccoli 007 Stage is located on Broccoli Road at Pinewood Studios.
(Photo copyright Cinema Retro. All rights reserved.)
·The announcement of the title and cast for the 24th Bond film will be streamed live on www.007.com and distributed live via satellite
·The announcement will also be live-tweeted via the official James Bond handle @007
In a major article for The Digital Bits web site, writer Michael Coate has assembled personal insights from a number of James Bond authors and scholars to reflect on the legacy of "Goldfinger", which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Those interviewed are: Jon Burlingame, Robert A. Caplen, James Chapman, John Cork, Bill Desowitz, Charles Helfenstein, Mark O'Connell, Cinema Retro editor Lee Pfeiffer, Retro contributing writer Steven Jay Rubin and Bruce Scivally. Click here to read.
Although Eon Productions has yet to confirm it, Variety reports that the new James Bond film starring Daniel Craig will begin filming on December 6 at the traditional "home" of the franchise, Pinewood Studios outside of London. The script was rewritten by Neal Purvis and Rob Wade, working from an initial story by John Logan. "Skyfall" director Sam Mendes will be at the helm again and cast members introduced in that film are expected to return for this entry in the series. "Skyfall", which was released in 2012- the 50th anniversary of the screen series- became the highest grossing film of the series and the highest grossing British movie ever released. For more click here.
If you're a Cinema Retro readers, chances are you've seen the James Bond classic "Goldfinger" a gazillion times. Still, the much-analyzed film has many fascinating facts associated with it that the average fan may not be aware of. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the film's release, the Daily Mail has compiled some of these trivia facts into an article. Click here to read.
There will be a 50th anniversary reunion of actresses from the James Bond classic Goldfinger appearing at the next London Film Convention to be held on 20 September. Actresses scheduled to appear are Honor Blackman, Shirley Eaton, Tania Mallet, Nadja Regin and Margaret Nolan.
The Bond for UNICEF charity event will take place commencing 20 September in Stockholm, Sweden. An array of guest stars and screenings will highlight the festivities. Here is an updated press notice we received:
(Photo copyright Mark Mawston. All rights reserved.)
Cinema Retro's "Man About London", photographer Mark Mawston, covered Sir Roger Moore and Lady Moore during their appearance yesterday at London's Cinema Store. Sir Roger was signing copies of his latest book, "Last Man Standing". For his full schedule of London signing appearances, click here.
Sir Roger Moore will be signing copies of his latest book, "Last Man Standing: Tales From Tinseltown", in London. Below is the schedule for the signing sessions.
"Last Man Standing: Tales From Tinseltown" recounts Sir Roger's personal memories of the his friendships and working relationships with many of the greatest Hollywood legends.
1pm Book signing, Hatchards St Pancras
5pm Book signing,The Cinema Store
2.30pm Book signing, WaterstonesGuildford
1.30pm HarrodsBook signing
1pm Book signing, Waterstones Kingston
Please note: Due to the large crowds that are anticipated, in order to ensure that all books can be signed, Sir Roger will not be personalizing copies. Additionally, there will be no posing for photos or signing any items other than the book itself.
Can't make it to the signings? Click here to order from Amazon UK.
The book will be released in the USA in October under the title "One Lucky Bastard". Click hereto pre-order from Amazon USA
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the superb 007-themed web site From Sweden With Love, a James Bond weekend will be held in Stockholm September 19-21 to benefit UNICEF Sweden. Among the Bond cast and crew members who are scheduled to appear: Robert Davi, John Glen, Carole Ashby, Rick Sylvester, Kristina Wayborn, stuntman Paul Weston and many others. Click here for full information.
On Sunday 6th July BondStars held their
annual summer barbeque at Pinewood Studios. This year the event was themed
around Timothy Dalton’s debut as 007 in The Living Daylights (1987). Making his first
BondStars appearance was Dutch actor Jeroen Krabbé
who played KGB baddie General
Georgi Koskov. He was joined by fellow
cast members Maryam d’Abo, Thomas Wheatley and Caroline Bliss.
The day kicked off with a screening of The Living Daylights
in Pinewood’s theatre, which has recently been re-named The John Barry Theatre.
Director John Glen and members of cast and crew were on hand to introduce the
Following the screening, guests signed autographs and
chatted with fans. Cinematographer Alec Mills launched and signed copies of
his new autobiography ‘Shooting 007 and other Celluloid Adventures.’
Also returning to Pinewood for the first time in 27
years was the soft-top Aston Martin as
driven by Bond in the early scenes of the movie. Displayed on the lawn in front
of the manor house, the Aston became the centre of a fun re-union photograph
with John Glen at the wheel. Cinema Retro’s Dave Worrall led visitors on his
“traditional” tour of the studios, before the special guests took to the stage
for a series of lighthearted interviews, in which they regaled the audience
with their memories of making the film.
Another enjoyable and memorable event. BondStars promise
to return with another great lineup next year.
Peter Hunt’s On Her Majesty’s Secret
Service celebrates its 45th anniversary this year. Actor George Lazenby, who donned the role of
Bond, James Bond, for this singular
film will be appearing for a Q and A at the screening on Tuesday, July 8, 2014. The event will be held at the Landmark
Theatre, 10850 West Pico at Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA. From the press release:
Bond goes undercover in the treacherous Swiss Alps in this underrated, highly entertaining,
action-packed epic filled with artillery-laden ski pursuits, incredible stunts
and nonstop thrills! George Lazenby (in his only appearance as James Bond)
leaps into the role of Agent 007 with supreme confidence and undeniable
charisma, even finding love with the beautiful and seductive Tracy Di Vicenzo
(Diana Rigg). But first Bond must stop evil genius Blofeld (Telly Savalas) from
releasing a germ warfare plot that could kill millions! Directed by Peter R.
Hunt (Gold, Shout at the Devil).
There will be a special two-day 50th anniversary tribute to the James Bond classic "Goldfinger" held in Oslo, Norway May 22-23. Ken Adam, the legendary Oscar-winning production designer, will be an honored guest along with his biographer Sir Christopher Frayling, Norman Wanstall (who won an Oscar for his sound effects for the film) and actress Margaret Nolan, who played "Dink" and whose body was seen in the classic opening titles sequence. For full information and schedule click here
MI6 Confidential, the terrific British James Bond magazine, is now shipping issue #25. Highlights include: interview with legendary stuntman/coordinator/second unit director Vic Armstrong; interview with former United Artists head of production David V. Picker; The Cars of Ian Fleming; interview with Lana Wood of Diamonds Are Forever, The Bond in Motion London auto exhibition; the story behind the James Bond Jr. animated series, and much more. Click here to order.
Seven James Bond films starring Sean Connery and Roger Moore debut in May on Netfllix, North America. Titles are: Goldfinger, You Only Live Twice, A View to a Kill, From Russia With Love, Live and Let Die, For Your Eyes Only and Never Say Never Again. Click here for a list of other films and TV shows debuting this month.
The provocatively - and appropriately- named Studblog presents a gallery of great old movie newspaper advertisements from regional theaters in America. This ad is from March 1972 and shows a Sean Connery double feature playing in Colorado Springs: his return as James Bond in Diamonds Are Forever paired with the big budget film The Red Tent in which Connery played the legendary explorer Roald Amundsen. The Bond flick was a predictable blockbuster but The Red Tent died at the boxoffice, the victim of a talky script and a bland title that revealed nothing about the fact that the movie was about the ill-fated race to the Pole. Looking at the ad, we never realized Connery's co-star was the lovely Claudia "Capdinale".
Ejiofor and girlfriend Sari Mercer snapped by Cinema Retro's Mark Mawston at this year's BAFTA awards in London.
We don't usually repeat rumors concerning forthcoming James Bond films because inevitably they turn out to be either inaccurate or completely untrue, at least in the very early stages. However, this one comes from a reputable source: Variety, which reports that Chiwetel Ejiofor, the Oscar-nominated leading man of "12 Years a Slave" is strongly being considered to play the villain in the next 007 flick, scheduled for release in November 2015 with Daniel Craig reprising as Bond and Skyfall director Sam Mendes also returning. Variety reports that producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson were so pleased with the response to Javier Bardem's performance as the baddie in Skyfall that they want to raise the caliber of Bond villains by approaching another red-hot actor who is a star in his own right. The strategy isn't entirely new: Christopher Walken, an Oscar winner for The Deer Hunter, had appeared as the villain in the 1985 Bond film A View to a Kill opposite Roger Moore. Click here for more
MGM and James Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli feel they have their own license to kill--film projects, that is, that they allege violate their copyrights to the 007 character and series. MGM had warned Universal not to go forward with a spy movie titled Section 6 that purports to explore the fact-based origins of MI6 in the aftermath of WWI. The Bond producers and MGM stated their concerns that leaked elements of the screenplay showed plot devices that they allege are clearly inspired by the works of Ian Fleming including the fact that British agents have been assigned licenses to kill and that they carry "00" status. Both of those attributes are fictional and are directly linked to Fleming's creation. MGM has filed suit this week against Universal and screenwriter Aaron Berg alleging that Section 6 is clearly based on elements of the Bond books and films. The producers don't control the literary rights to the Bond novels but do have exclusive rights to any screen versions of 007's adventures.
The long-running Bond film series has been the subject of numerous legal battles over the decades. These include successful attempts to stop the airing of TV commercials which the producers allege violated their copyrights. There was also a long legal battle beginning in the mid-1970s to prevent producer Kevin McClory from bringing a remake of Thunderball to the big screen. (McClory had served as producer on the blockbuster 1965 version of the film). The late, legendary producer Albert R. Broccoli challenged McClory's rights for years but the film ultimately was made under the title of Never Say Never Again and released in 1983. McClory lost numerous other legal battles with Broccoli's production company, EON, however. These included launching other derivative films and TV series based on Thunderball, the one Bond novel that he had secured film rights to as the result of a legal settlement he made with Ian Fleming in the early 1960s that alleged Fleming used some of McClory's ideas to develop the novel upon which the film was based.
The Bond franchise is carefully guarded by EON for good reason. More than half a century since the first Bond film premiered, the series is more popular than ever. The latest entry, Skyfall, released in 2012, is not only the highest grossing film of the series but the top grossing British film of all time.
Son Terry (left) watches his Father Dickie, dance with lead vocalist Kerry Schultz and guitarist David D'Andrade (far right) during the band's performance of The Man With the Golden Gun.
By Dave Worrall
Last weekend (Saturday 22nd March) I had
the pleasure of being invited to Jean and Dickie Bamber's Diamond Wedding
anniversary celebrations held at Heatherden Hall, Pinewood Studios. Dickie has
worked in the film industry for over 50 years on productions such as Genevieve, The Ipcress File, Thunderball,
Battle of Britain, A Bridge Too Far and many of the Carry On comedies, to name but a few. Their
son Terry, himself a veteran of the industry, and who I first met on the set of
the James Bond film GoldenEye, did
his parent's proud. Following a champagne reception we dined in the Pinewood
house restaurant (remember the scene in Who
Dares Wins where the hostages are held around a dining table in the US
Ambassador's residence? Well, we were in the same room.)
The evening's cabaret
was provided by the 14-piece band 'Q the Music' who specialize in performing
music from the James Bond films. From Dr.
No to Skyfall, this
mini-orchestra performed some of the best cover versions I have ever heard.
They were brilliant. Bond fans themselves, their renditions of even the
instrumentals such as 'Bond 77' from The
Spy Who Loved Me and 'Runaway' from For
Your Eyes Only, were spot on. Kit Mlynar on saxaphone, and David D'Andrade
on guitar, were excellent, as was lead vocalist Kerry Schultz. Wow, what a
voice. This was professionalism at its best.
Lead vocalist Kerry Schultz belts out a Bond hit song.
If you are a James Bond fan, or
simply like to hear movie music live, I highly recommend this band. In fact,
they are at The Lincoln Drill Hall on April 18/19, and in Wycombe on May 11th.
Check out their web site for further details and treat yourself to a fabulous
night out. www.QTheMusicShow.com
Cinema Retro has received the following press release:
Dear Bond fan,
If you haven't already ordered your
copy of MI6 Confidential issue #24 or (better yet!) a 2014 subscription,
here's a little taste of what you've been missing:
Purvis & Wade on ‘Die Another Day’ being too far-fetched: "We asked if ithe invisible car could be
turned down a bit, so that something more was visible, but it’s up to
Lee Tamahori in the end, the way he wanted to do it. We could talk about
kite surfing as well... but maybe we should leave that one alone. It’s
difficult for us to talk about because we don’t want to criticize... but
it did get a bit over the top. We were busy pretty much throughout the
production because at the 11th hour, just before we started shooting,
there was a change of the whole of the third act. We had a heck of a lot
of work to do to try and make that all fit. So, it wasn’t ideal.”
Pierce Brosnan on his off-screen relationship with Teri Hatcher in ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’:
Brosnan explained, “She was late to the set because she was newly
pregnant. I didn’t know that until the end of the day. I was vexed
because I had a call time of six or seven A.M., and we didn’t do any
work until three or four in the afternoon. I got very upset with her -
she was always keeping me waiting for hours. When we finally got her in
front of the cameras, it was great. Getting her there was the problem. I
must admit I let slip a few words, which weren’t very nice. No one told
me her situation until afterward. By that time I’d already shot my
mouth off and cussed and moaned and groaned.”
Director John Glen on filming during a war: “The Argentinean War was taking place at the
time of Octopussy. We went down to Northolt airfield and Peter Lamont,
the production designer, very cleverly made palm trees out of plaster to
double for a generic South American nation that 007 single-handedly
invades.” Whilst Glen was shooting at Northolt, a member of his crew
overheard a curious conversation in a local pub: “They were discussing
why there were palm trees at Northolt Airport and someone said, ‘It’s to
make the Argentinean prisoners of war feel at home!’ They were quite
serious in the pub."
If you have not subscribed yet, you can still pre-order 5 issues for the price of 4: subscribe or renew for 2014.
Amphibious Lotus Esprit seen in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
This model helicopter used in Skyfall (2012) is on display in the foyer.
The Cougar driven by Diana Rigg in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
Cinema Retro London reporter Matthew Field admires the art gallery section of the exhibition.
Cinema Retro's Dave Worrall with Ken Adam's early sketches of the legendary Aston Martin DB5 that was first seen in Goldfinger (1964).
Blofeld's Bath-O-Sub, as seen in Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Speedboat driven by Roger Moore in his first Bond film, Live and Let Die (1973)
Dave and Matt get to ham it up with some "real" Bond girls: some of the ladies from Eon Productions. This souvenir photo puts attendees inside the legendary gun barrel and will be available at the Bond in Motion exhibition.
Entrance to the exhibition at the London Film Museum.
On Tuesday 18th
March Cinema Retro was invited to the opening of Bond In Motion at the
London Film Museum
in Covent Garden. The exhibition, which is the largest collection of
official James Bond vehicles ever assembled, had previously been on
display at Beaulieu Motor Museum. The cars looked fabulous in their new
home and the design of the exhibits allows visitors to
get closer to the vehicles than ever before. Iconic cars that have featured in the high octane, all action Bond films on display, include the underwater Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me, the Rolls-Royce Phantom III from Goldfinger, and the Aston Martin DB5 from GoldenEye, to name but a few.Additionally a mezzanine
level showcases an array of storyboards, sketches and production design
drawings on display to the public for the first time. New to the
exhibition is a 1/3 scale model of an Agusta Westland
AW101 helicopter used in Skyfall. Museum founder Jonathan Sands and Meg
Simmonds of Eon Productions welcomed VIPs to the champagne reception.To visit the London Film Museum web site click here.
Bond in Motion opens to the public on Friday March 21st at the London Film Museum, 45 Wellington Street, London WC2E 7BN. Tel: 020 7202 7043. The exhibition is open seven days a week from 10am to 8pm. (last entry 5pm). Advance tickets available from Ticketmaster, www.ticketmaster.co.uk
(All photos copyright Cinema Retro. All rights reserved.)
In 1994 producers were making plans to bring James Bond back to the silver screen after a six year absence. Many actors were considered but according to Liam Neeson, who had just hit it big as the star of Schindler's List, he was offered the role. He was enthused about playing the part in the film that would become GoldenEye, but was talked out of his decision. To find out the details click here
"Goldfinger" is not only the name of Sean Connery's classic 1964 James Bond flick, but its also the monicker that the Spanish press has attached to a high profile real estate scandal that has been plaguing Connery for years.
Sir Sean Connery is man known to value his privacy. So he is not a bit pleased to be the marquee name in a slow-rolling but high profile real estate scandal in Spain, where he resided for many years in the town of Marbella. Connery and his wife sold their property in 1999 and relocated permanently to the Bahamas. Shortly after the Connerys sold their estate, it was demolished and a massive apartment complex was built on the land. Spanish prosecutors claim that the construction project was a boondoggle orchestrated by local politicians in violation of the law and various zoning ordinances. The Connerys have been fighting attempts to get them to appear in Spanish courts since 2010. They deny knowing the politicians involved in the scandal on a personal basis and also deny that they dodged paying taxes on the proceeds of the sale of their home. Sir Sean is particularly outraged because the story, which is front page news in the Spanish press, resulted in his home address being publicly revealed. He probably also isn't pleased that he is being linked to the scandal through the very name it is being referred to, which is a reference to his film Goldfinger. For more on the complex case click here.
Cinema Retro has received the following press release:
LONDON FILM MUSEUM TO STAGE ‘BOND IN MOTION’ FROM
21 MARCH 2014
FIRST TIME THE LARGEST OFFICIAL COLLECTION OF
JAMES BOND VEHICLES HAS BEEN EXHIBITED IN LONDON
London, 11 February 2014:
The London Film Museum and EON Productions are delighted to announce that
the BOND IN MOTION exhibition,the
largest official collection of original James Bond vehicles, will be on display
for the first time in London from 21 March.
exciting family exhibitionwill transform the entire London Film Museum
space in Covent Garden and will allow Bond fans and members of the public to
see the most up to date collection, including for the first time in the UK, the
1/3 scale model of Agusta Westland’s AW101 helicopter used whilst filming
2012’s Skyfall. BOND IN MOTION will
also feature a wide range of vehicles, miniature models, action sequence
boards, vehicle concept art and props from all of the James Bond films.
Iconic cars that have
featured in the all action Bond vehicle chases will also be on display,
including ‘Wet Nellie’ Lotus Esprit S1, from The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977, the Rolls-Royce Phantom III from Goldfinger, 1964 and the Aston Martin
DB5 from GoldenEye, 1995.
Eagle-eyed subscriber Frank Coronado sent us a YouTube link to some fascinating B&W footage shot on the Pinewood Studios set of Thunderball in 1965. You'll see Terence Young directing actors Sean Connery, Claudine Auger, Adolfo Celi and Philip Locke in the casino sequence. The footage originated with a Dutch television program.
In a British Film Institute stage interview, composer David Arnold talks about the impact that the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice had on him as a young boy. It was the first Bond film he had seen and even though he had to view it via a 16mm screening, he was hooked not only on the visual elements but also John Barry's thrilling score. Arnold discusses all of this and how he became a 007 composer himself. Click here to view.
Personal letters written to his friend and colleague Dennis Hamilton of the Sunday Times reveal a great deal about the nature of their relationship. In some letters, Fleming expresses his gratitude to Hamilton and at other times chastises him for using insulting verbiage and even wasting his time tending to his garden, an activity Fleming apparently disdained. The James Bond author's letters also reveal that he was once struggling to get through a business meeting without realizing that he was undergoing a major heart attack. The letters are being put up for auction. For more click here
UK, November 27th 2013) MI6 Confidential, has taken possession of a
limited number of signed copies of the autobiography of Production Designer Syd
‘Not Forgetting James Bond’ is the autobiography of
Syd Cain, one of cinema's most highly acclaimed Production Designers and Art
Directors. This is a mesmerising volume filled with humour, drama and exotic
travel, and never before told accolades about the legendary people Syd worked
with during his 57 years in the film industry.
He recalls extraordinary revelations about making such
films as Frenzy, The Wild Geese, Lolita, Shout at the Dead, Gold, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the
Forum, Fahrenheit 451, and of course
the James Bond classics: Dr. No, From Russia With Love, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Live and Let Die and GoldenEye.
This book has been unavailable for several years, but
MI6 has secured a batch of original first edition hardbacks signed by the late
Syd Cain in 2002. He passed away in 2011 at the age of 93.
The autobiography was published in 2002 by Daleon
Enterprises (Cinema Retro magazine publishers Lee Pfeiffer and Dave Worrall) with
a limited edition of 1,000 signed hardbacks. The book contains a wealth of
extremely rare and previously unpublished behind the scenes production photos
from Syd Cain's personal family archives.
The rare autobiography is a hard-to-come-by classic,
and is signed by the late legendary production designer, shipping today for £60
+ P&P from www.sydcain.com.
‘Operation Naomi’ was
the first signing event organized by the Swiss James Bond Club for its members.
52 guests met The Spy Who Loved Me star Caroline Munro, who arrived in
member Gernot Wolf’s white Lotus Esprit - of course! Caroline spent the day
signing autographs and posed for photographs, before everyone enjoyed a
sumptuous 3 course steak dinner at the amazing Runway Restaurant where the
event took place - including a Jet Ranger helicopter similar to the one in the film
flying in especially for the day. At the end of the day club president Markus
Hartmann asked Caroline to be the club’s honorary Patron, to which she readily
Robert Sellers' book The Battle for Bond presents an in-depth examination of the complicated rights issues relating to the 007 films.
MGM and Danjaq have finally ended decades of litigation relating to rights held by producer Kevin McClory to the James Bond franchise. McClory had certain film rights relating to the novel Thunderball which Ian Fleming had based on an ill-fated collaboration between himself, McClory and writer Jack Whittingham in the 1950s when the trio tried unsuccessfully to bring 007 to the big screen. In order to thwart a rival film production of novel from being made, Bond producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman hired McClory as producer of the 1965 blockbuster screen version of Thunderball. However, McClory always claimed that his rights allowed him to make other Bond films and even TV series. In 1983, a big screen remake of Thunderball titled Never Say Never Again proved to the only one of these projects to succeed. MGM and Danjaq consistently brought law suits designed to slow down or stop McClory from exploiting the rights he claimed he held. In a lawsuit that took place in the year 2000, the court rejected most of McClory's claims and, in essence, gave the full rights to the Bond character to MGM and Danjaq. Still, issues remained with McClory's estate after the producer passed away in 2006. The latest agreements bring an amicable close to any remaining litigation. Click here for more.
Was James Bond not the only orphan drafted into MI6 by "M"?
Bloomeberg writer Stephen L. Carter left his first screening of the James Bond blockbuster Skyfall last year haunted by the suspicion that there are cryptic clues in the screenplay that most viewers would not ponder. He did his homework and discovered that the villain Silva, who wages an obsessive campaign of humiliation and vengeance against "M" for allowing him to rot in a Hong Kong prison, has a hidden anagram in the message he leaves on her hacked computer: THINK ON YOUR SINS. Carter reveals the anagram is YOUR SON ISN'T IN HK. Sound far-fetched? Click here to read Carter's rather persuasive argument that Silva is actually "M"'s adopted son who, in his eyes, was betrayed when she put the needs of MI6 above his own safety. This plot point would explain a lot of the emotional resonance in the relationship between "M" and Silva, which seems to hint at much more than is revealed on screen.
Author and screenwriter William Boyd is the latest noted author to take a crack at writing a one-shot James Bond novel. Solo is set in 1969 and involves the adventures of a 45 year old 007. Boyd says his story ideas caused some controversy among members of Ian Fleming's family, which still retain rights to his work. Boyd admires Fleming's writing style but feels says that the original novels are now a bit cringe-inducing to read in terms of their treatment of women and minorities. He says that Solo reflects a more modern attitude and avoids sexism and racism. The novel is due to be released this week. Click here to read more.
For those of us fortunate to have met and known Wing Commander Ken Wallis, his death- even at the advanced age of 97- is a bitter pill to swallow. He represented the epitome of the old world "English Gentleman", both in mannerisms and in appearance (he was always immaculately attired.) Born in 1916, Wallis was always obsessed with flight even from the days of his youth. After initially being rejected by the RAF due to an eye disorder, Wallis kept taking the test until he convinced authorities he was suitable to serve. He flew combat missions over Europe in WWII and stayed in the service until 1964. However, it was Wallis' innovations in the realm of the autogyro that brought him international fame. His work on these mini-copters, which could hold only one person, brought him to the attention of 007 producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman for their 1967 film You Only Live Twice. Wallis' amazing invention- dubbed "Little Nellie- found Sean Connery as Bond equipped with an incredible arsenal in the sky as his autogyro makes short work of a fleet of SPECTRE helicopters. Wallis did the flying in the elaborate battle sequence with studio closeups of Connery inserted. It may have been the special effects team that "souped up" the concept of Little Nellie, but it was Wallis' deft ability to navigate the craft that made the sequence so memorable. Indeed, Wallis became an idol of Bond fans and up until last year, he was routinely appearing at 007-themed conventions and special effects, usually in the presence of the original Little Nellie. 007 fans have lost an iconic contributor to the film series and the world has lost an irreplaceable member of "The Greatest Generation". - Lee Pfeiffer For more click here
Michael Caine and Sean Connery clown with the late director Michael Winner.
Sir Michael Caine says reports that he told a German publication that his old friend, Sir Sean Connery, is feeble and suffering from Alzheimer's Disease are "bullshit, completely preposterous." Caine points out that the inaccuracy of the story is evidenced by the fact that it states Connery lives in Spain, when, in fact, he moved from there to the Bahamas years ago. For more click here
MI6 Confidential, the British James Bond tribute magazine, offers a limited edition of their latest issue, which is a celebration of the 1983 007 film Octopussy. You can get a copy signed by Sir Roger Moore and both of his lovely co-stars, Maud Adams and Kristina Wayborn, or an issue signed by only the ladies. The inventory is limited and is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Click here to order
If you can just give Auric Goldfinger some slack when it comes to overlooking his plan to use an atomic bomb to destroy Ft. Knox, he might be viewed as an economic visionary.
In one of the most original spins we've seen in analyzing the James Bond films, Slate.com writer Matthew Yglesias looks at the financial schemes of legendary 007 villain Auric Goldfinger, who- in the 1964 classic film that bares his surname- engages in illicit gold sales and smuggling. Yglesias views Goldfinger as a man ahead of his time and compares his actions and plans as a response to Prime Minister Harold Wilson's austerity measures that he says failed miserably and continued Britain's economic decline. It's pretty deep analysis for the average person who can barely balance a checkbook, but the Slate article brings in some fascinating insights as to why Goldfinger might today just be viewed as a person engaging in a victimless crime that actually benefited England in the long run. (He doesn't, however, excuse Goldfinger's scheme to enhance the value of his own gold by blowing up Ft. Knox!) Fitting improbably into a James Bond article is the specter (pardon the pun) of President Richard M. Nixon, who Yglesias credits with modernizing U.S. economic policies toward the sale and trading of gold, thus making it accessible to the average person. Click here to read
The latest issue of the British James Bond magazine MI Confidential is a 30th anniversary tribute to Octopussy and features interviews, rare photos and coverage of all aspects of production. A limited number signed by Maud Adams and Kristina Wayborn are also available. Click here to order
Mark Sutton, the 41 year old British stuntman who doubled for Daniel Craig in the 2012 Olympics 007-themed opening skit that featured Queen Elizabeth, has died in a tragic wing gliding accident in Switzerland. Sutton worked with another stuntman, Gary Connery (who doubled for the Queen) in the now famous sequence in which Her Majesty and Bond parachute into the stadium. The result was universal praise for a brilliant concept that was executed by Oscar winning director Danny Boyle. Sutton was new to the wing glide craze which has attracted a relatively small but highly enthusiastic group of international participants who "glide" from high mountain peeks. The thrill is said to be amazing but the risks are high. Sutton slammed into a mountain and was so badly disfigured that his body had to be identified using DNA. For more click here
You can't keep a good man down. Sir Roger Moore is back on the road again. He'll tour the UK with stage appearances under the banner of (appropriately enough) An Afternoon with Sir Roger Moore. Sir Roger packed 'em in during his book tour of the UK last year and left fans in other areas clamoring for the former James Bond to visit their neck of the woods. Moore's ability to relate amusing and fascinating anecdotes about his many years in show business form the center of the show, but he always engages the audience in Q&A sessions. Cinema Retro columnist Gareth Owen, who co-authored books with Sir Roger, will act as emcee and interviewer for the stage appearances. The tour kicks off on 27 October at the Leeds Grand Theatre. Click here for boxoffice information.
What do you do when you want to make a James Bond movie but lack the legal rights to do so as well as the budget and the current leading man? Simple. Just turn the life of 007's literary creator, Ian Fleming, into a pseudo Bond story, dispense with most of the facts, add some opulent locations and then cast the son of Sean Connery in the lead role. Shake (but don't stir!) and - presto!- you have Spymaker: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming, a 1990 TV movie made by Turner. The Warner Archive has recently released this 1990 title as a burn to order DVD (it had previously only been available on VHS). The screenplay should have included a disclaimer explaining that most of the occurrences in the story are the stuff of pure fiction. As it stands, the millions of people who have seen this comic book version of Fleming's life probably believe he was an action hero in the mold of 007. There is do doubt that Fleming led a colorful and exotic life that included world travel, interaction with larger-than-life people and bedding numerous women of high pedigree. There is also no doubt that the creation of James Bond and the supporting characters in his novels was based on elements of various individuals Fleming knew over a period of decades. However, all of this is boiled down to the most simplistic formulas in this film which is otherwise competently directed by Ferdinand Fairfax. The story glosses over Fleming's early years and correctly points out that he was a troubled student who was expelled from Eton. He is also shown to have an abrasive relationship with his cold-as-ice aristocratic mother (Fiona Fullerton). Young Ian has a lot to live up to. The Fleming's are well regarded in social circles and his father, a WWI hero who perished in the conflict, had his eulogy written by Winston Churchill. Ian, however, is more than content to sow his wild oats with a series of comely bed mates. He races cars, indulges in his penchant for drinking and fine dining and seems headed toward the lifestyle of a slacker (albeit with a family fortune to back him up). All of this has a degree of truth to it, as does the sequence in which Fleming finds his self-worth when his boss at Reuters news agency sends him to Russia to cover a sensational show trial of British citizens who are being framed as spies. Fleming's astute reporting of the trial put him on the map and earned him praise as a journalist. With the outbreak of WWII, Fleming joins British naval intelligence and is assigned as right hand man to crusty Admiral Godfrey (David Warner), who probably did indeed serve as a role model for 007's boss "M". Fleming proves astute at planning audacious commando missions behind German lines. So far, so good. But the script deviates from the facts in order to provide some juicy action sequences. Not only does Fleming have a romantic relationship with sexy fellow intelligence officer Leda St. Gabriel (Kristin Scott Thomas), but he also leads a daring raid on a German fortress to steal important documents. These aspects of Fleming's life are pure bull. Similarly, the script simplifies the inspirations for future Bond characters Miss Moneypenny and the gadgets master "Q" (who was not referred to as such in Fleming's novels.) The latter character is represented by Quincy, a fictitious schoolmate of Fleming's who is brought into naval intelligence because of his penchant for creating innovative inventions (he even designs and builds two man mini-subs used on Fleming's mission behind enemy lines.) There are high stakes games of chance against German agents in opulent casinos and an attempt on Fleming's life by bombing his London flat. Again, these are purely the creation of screenwriters.
Given the fact that Fleming's life is reduced to cartoon-like absurdities, Spymaker: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming is a reasonably entertaining jaunt. The film boasts rich production values, the script is intelligently written and the acting is perfectly fine (no one goes over the top in the attempt to make Fleming a super-hero). In the title role, Jason Connery may have been a flagrant example of stunt casting, but he impresses in the role. He has a model's good looks and a few of his father's mannerisms, but otherwise puts his own imprint on the role. His father's interpretation of the Bond character was more insolent and sarcastic. Jason emphasizes wit and a playful sense of humor but, appropriately, plays Fleming with a more low key, less exotic approach. In an early starring role Kristin Scott Thomas is suitably cast as Fleming's fictitious paramour in the intelligence service. Supporting roles are adequately played but no one has much of a chance to develop their character beyond a superficial level. One would have hoped that the Fleming/Godfrey relationship would have been explored further but in the film, Godfrey is seen simply dispatching Fleming on various missions in the way Perry White would assign Clark Kent to cover news stories.
The DVD transfer is about as good as a TV movie can look. Although well photographed, there is often a bit of grain to television productions and this is no exception. The film was originally broadcast without the "Spymaker" angle in the title. This was added for video release and for some international theatrical releases. (This version includes some brief nudity that was not seen in the original U.S. broadcast.)
Spymaker: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming is a rather bizarre treatment of the esteemed author's life but it is quite entertaining throughout- as long as you don't delude yourself into believing most of what takes place on screen.
This is a region free DVD, playable on all international systems.
Click here to order from Warner Archive and to view a preview clip.
Cinema Retro has just received the following press release from Sony:
Director’s Follow-Up to SKYFALL™, the Highest-Grossing Film in the Longest Running Film Franchise, to Arrive in Theaters on October 23, 2015 in the UK and November 6, 2015 in the US
CULVER CITY, Calif., July 11, 2013 – Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, EON Productions; Gary Barber, Chairman & CEO, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; Michael Lynton, CEO, Sony Entertainment, Inc, and Amy Pascal, Co-Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment today announced that Daniel Craig will once again return as the legendary British secret agent in the 24th James Bond film and Sam Mendes will also return to direct the screenplay written by John Logan. The film is set for release in UK theaters on October 23, 2015 and in US theaters on November 6, 2015.
SKYFALL™, the 23rd James Bond film, took in $1.1 billion worldwide and set a new mark as the highest-grossing film of all time in the UK; it was the best-selling Bond film on DVD/Blu-ray and was the most critically acclaimed film in the history of the longest-running film franchise.
Commenting on the announcement, Wilson and Broccoli said, "Following the extraordinary success of SKYFALL, we're really excited to be working once again with Daniel Craig, Sam Mendes and John Logan.”
"I am very pleased that by giving me the time I need to honour all my theatre commitments, the producers have made it possible for me to direct Bond 24. I very much look forward to taking up the reins again, and to working with Daniel Craig, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli for a second time,” said Mendes.
Barber added, “We are thrilled to reunite the extraordinary talents of director Sam Mendes with our star Daniel Craig for the next great Bond adventure.” He added, “As evidenced by the phenomenal success of our last collaboration with EON Productions and Sony, the incredible legacy of this 51-year-old franchise continues to amaze.”
Lynton and Pascal said, “It’s a privilege to work on the Bond films. EON, John Logan and Sam Mendes have come up with an extraordinary follow up to SKYFALL and we, along with our partners at MGM, can’t wait to share this new chapter with audiences all over the world.”