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Sam Miguel
12-09-2014, 08:50 AM
Wonkblog

James Bond finally falls for a woman his own age

By Philip Bump

December 7

There is another James Bond movie in the works, the 24th in the series of gun-slingin', sex-havin', Russia-or-whoever-it-is-nowadays-hatin' flicks to appear on-screen since Sean Connery kicked the whole thing off. But next year's film, Spectre, features something rarely seen in the Bond world: an age-appropriate co-star.

The so-called "Bond girl," in this film, is Monica Bellucci, age 50. For a franchise that has been built on the idea that Britain's most famous spy has no qualms about romantic entanglements with a teenager (Aliza Gur was a teenager while filming "From Russia With Love"), it's a step forward.

Over the course of the Bond films, only three times has a female co-star been older than the actor playing James Bond, according to our analysis of this comprehensive list. That includes Bellucci. (And let's just let out a collective "ugh" to that phrase, "Bond girl.")

Her co-star, Daniel Craig, is 46. The average age of the actor playing James Bond in all of the films is 43.5. That's 14 years older than the average of 28.8 for the women whom he's battling/rescuing/seducing/all-of-the-above.

The ages of the films' female stars have risen and fallen over time, but generally hover around 30-year-olds. Bond movies, meanwhile, rely on consistency in the title role, so Bonds tend to age as the actors that play them do.)

The only two other times a female co-star has been older than Bond were in the first two films, starring an unusually-young-for-Bond Connery. At the 1962 release of "Dr. No," Connery was 32, and Zena Marshall was 36. In the next year's "From Russia With Love," Eunice Gayson was 35 to Connery's 33. Then there was "On Her Majesty’s Secret Service."

We should remember that Bond falling for an older woman is not only unusual for him, but men at large. As reported by FiveThirtyEight, Christian Rudder of the dating site OKCupid created two graphs showing the ages of people most attractive to men and women as they grew older, according to the site's data. As a woman ages, she finds attractive the photos of men in her age range, or perhaps a few years younger. But it's much different for men, who prefer women in their early 20's even if the man is 30, 40 or 50.

**

We'll note, by the way, that we used a wide definition of "Bond girl" (ugh), incorporating 007James.com's list entirely, which includes some minor characters. If we apply that to Spectre as well, some minor love interests (there are so many) may drag the average down. But for now, we're content with James Bond appearing with the oldest co-star since Maud Adams' Octopussy.

Which serves as a good reminder that James Bond is not exactly the most politically forward franchise in Hollywood history.

Find tables in this link ___

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/12/07/james-bond-finally-falls-for-a-woman-his-own-age/

Sam Miguel
12-09-2014, 08:55 AM
We have been most remiss in not having a dedicated thread for 007.

I felt that the above article would be a good start, considering how long the franchise has been going. Please post your James Bond articles here and thoughts here.

Sam Miguel
12-09-2014, 09:00 AM
7 James Bond Movies with Sean Connery

The World’s Greatest Gentleman Agent with a License to Kill

By Shawn Dwyer
Classic Movies Expert

With roguish charm and cool sophistication, Sean Connery inaugurated the long-running James Bond franchise with 1962’s Dr. No and remained the prototypical 007 among fans for decades despite five (and counting) other actors tackling the role.

Author Ian Fleming initially disagreed, and denounced Connery as an unrefined and overgrown stuntman. But he changed his tune after seeing Dr. No and even inserted Scottish heritage into Bond’s background in subsequent novels.

Connery’s Bond movies laid the foundation for what became a standard formula throughout the franchise: elaborate stunts, high-tech gadgets, exotic locales, catchy one-liners and, of course, sexy and often outrageously named Bond Girls. But it was Connery himself who defined the role and set in stone the archetype for all others to follow.

MGM Home Entertainment

1 . 'Dr. No' - 1962

In 1962, the movie-going world was introduced to James Bond, a British secret agent with a devil-may-care attitude and license to kill, and with it the success of the spy movie in the 1960s was born. In this first film, Bond is sent to Jamaica to investigate the death of a fellow British agent, only to encounter deadly assassins, a sexy femme fatale and even a poisonous tarantula. With the help of CIA agent Felix Leiter and the bikini-clad Honey Rider - who makes an unforgettable entrance - Bond searches for the headquarters of the fanatical Dr. No, a Chinese scientist bent on world domination. Made on a low budget, Dr. No was a big box office hit and laid the cornerstone for what would become the most successful film franchise in history. More »

MGM Home Entertainment

2 . 'From Russia With Love' - 1963

Connery returned for this second installment to the series and toned down 007’s ruthlessness from Dr. No in favor of a suave and sophisticated demeanor. This time, Bond is tasked with reclaiming a decoder device stolen by the evil SPECTRE organization, which contains Russian state secrets and threatens to unbalance to world order. He travels to Istanbul, where he confronts the cunning assassin Red Grant (Robert Shaw), whose preferred method of killing is a garotte wire hidden inside his wristwatch, and the dour Rosa Klebb, who wears deadly poisoned-tipped shoes. From Russia with Love received a bigger budget, thanks to the success of Dr. No, and helped solidify Connery’s standing as the definitive Bond. The film ranks high in comparison to the other installments, with some considering to be the best of the franchise. More »

MGM Home Entertainment

3 . 'Goldfinger' - 1964

Undeniably the gold standard of Bond films, Goldfinger set forth the template for all other 007 pictures: theme song sung by a popular artist, a focus on high-tech gadgets – in this case an Aston Martin complete with ejector seat – and a maniacal arch-villain who spouts campy one-liners while devising Rube Goldberg-like methods of trying to kill Bond. That’s not to say any of this is bad; Goldfinger is a wildly entertaining movie that introduced a lethal hat-throwing henchman named Oddjob and the suspiciously named Pussy Galore. It was a clear departure from the first two films and set the stage for increasingly flashier productions, setting the precedent that each subsequent film had to surpass its predecessor. More »

MGM Home Entertainment

4 . 'Thunderball' - 1965

Originally intended to be the first Bond film, Thunderball was embroiled in a legal battle involving Fleming’s former screenwriting collaborators Kevin McClory and Jack Wittingham, who settled out of court and received executive producer credits. Bond again takes on SPECTRE, which steals nuclear war heads, buries them deep in the ocean and demands a £100,000,000 ransom while threatening nuclear disaster. Jaunting to the Bahamas, Bond battles evil mastermind Emilio Largo, while vying for the attention of three beauties: British agent Paula Caplan, Largo’s mistress Domino Derval and SPECTRE agent Fiona Volpe. A step down from Goldfinger, Thunderball nonetheless has been held in high regard by fans since its successful release. More »

MGM Home Entertainment

5 . 'You Only Live Twice' - 1967

While on location in Japan, Connery publicly announced that he would be retiring from the role after five movies. In the film, Bond takes on the head of SPECTRE, Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Donald Pleasance), in an effort to prevent a world war after a mysterious rocket ship seizes manned space missions from Earth’s orbit. For the first time, Blofeld’s face was revealed on screen – only his hands and back of his head were seen in From Russia with Love and Thunderball – while the movie continued the trend of shifting away from the real-world espionage of the earlier movies toward the campy world-domination plots that defined the Roger Moore era. More »

MGM Home Entertainment

6 . 'Diamonds Are Forever' - 1971

After George Lazenby made his only appearance as Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Connery stepped back into the role for what would be his last appearance as 007 for over a decade. Lazenby declined a return to the series, which left producers Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman to search for another actor. In the end, they paid Connery an unprecedented $1.2 million to reclaim his role; this time, Bond disguises himself as a diamond smuggler to uncover a plot by old foe, Blofeld, to build a giant laser. Globetrotting through Las Vegas, Amsterdam and Germany, and featuring the aptly named Plenty O’Toole, Diamonds Are Forever was a box office hit, but ranked as one of the campier Connery efforts, thanks to a rather silly chase involving a moon buggy through the Nevada desert. More »

MGM Home Entertainment

7 . 'Never Say Never Again' - 1983

In 1971, Connery famously said that he would never play Bond again. Fast-forward 12 years and he agreed to return for one final performance. Never Say Never Again was the only Bond film not produced by Broccoli and Saltzman’s Eon Productions; instead, it was written and produced by Kevin McClory, who managed to retain rights to Fleming’s novel, Thunderball, after a lengthy legal battle. Essentially a remake of Thunderball, the movie saw an aging Bond brought out of retirement to do battle with megalomaniacal millionaire Maximillian Largo, who steals several nuclear warheads in order to bring the world to its knees. The film opened mere months after Roger Moore’s Octapussy, and set a record for the best opening for a Bond film. It also was a return to form for Connery after the silliness of Diamonds Are Forever, and allowed him to depart the character on a high note.

Sam Miguel
12-09-2014, 09:00 AM
7 James Bond Movies with Sean Connery

The World’s Greatest Gentleman Agent with a License to Kill

By Shawn Dwyer
Classic Movies Expert

With roguish charm and cool sophistication, Sean Connery inaugurated the long-running James Bond franchise with 1962’s Dr. No and remained the prototypical 007 among fans for decades despite five (and counting) other actors tackling the role.

Author Ian Fleming initially disagreed, and denounced Connery as an unrefined and overgrown stuntman. But he changed his tune after seeing Dr. No and even inserted Scottish heritage into Bond’s background in subsequent novels.

Connery’s Bond movies laid the foundation for what became a standard formula throughout the franchise: elaborate stunts, high-tech gadgets, exotic locales, catchy one-liners and, of course, sexy and often outrageously named Bond Girls. But it was Connery himself who defined the role and set in stone the archetype for all others to follow.

MGM Home Entertainment

1 . 'Dr. No' - 1962

In 1962, the movie-going world was introduced to James Bond, a British secret agent with a devil-may-care attitude and license to kill, and with it the success of the spy movie in the 1960s was born. In this first film, Bond is sent to Jamaica to investigate the death of a fellow British agent, only to encounter deadly assassins, a sexy femme fatale and even a poisonous tarantula. With the help of CIA agent Felix Leiter and the bikini-clad Honey Rider - who makes an unforgettable entrance - Bond searches for the headquarters of the fanatical Dr. No, a Chinese scientist bent on world domination. Made on a low budget, Dr. No was a big box office hit and laid the cornerstone for what would become the most successful film franchise in history. More »

MGM Home Entertainment

2 . 'From Russia With Love' - 1963

Connery returned for this second installment to the series and toned down 007’s ruthlessness from Dr. No in favor of a suave and sophisticated demeanor. This time, Bond is tasked with reclaiming a decoder device stolen by the evil SPECTRE organization, which contains Russian state secrets and threatens to unbalance to world order. He travels to Istanbul, where he confronts the cunning assassin Red Grant (Robert Shaw), whose preferred method of killing is a garotte wire hidden inside his wristwatch, and the dour Rosa Klebb, who wears deadly poisoned-tipped shoes. From Russia with Love received a bigger budget, thanks to the success of Dr. No, and helped solidify Connery’s standing as the definitive Bond. The film ranks high in comparison to the other installments, with some considering to be the best of the franchise. More »

MGM Home Entertainment

3 . 'Goldfinger' - 1964

Undeniably the gold standard of Bond films, Goldfinger set forth the template for all other 007 pictures: theme song sung by a popular artist, a focus on high-tech gadgets – in this case an Aston Martin complete with ejector seat – and a maniacal arch-villain who spouts campy one-liners while devising Rube Goldberg-like methods of trying to kill Bond. That’s not to say any of this is bad; Goldfinger is a wildly entertaining movie that introduced a lethal hat-throwing henchman named Oddjob and the suspiciously named Pussy Galore. It was a clear departure from the first two films and set the stage for increasingly flashier productions, setting the precedent that each subsequent film had to surpass its predecessor. More »

MGM Home Entertainment

4 . 'Thunderball' - 1965

Originally intended to be the first Bond film, Thunderball was embroiled in a legal battle involving Fleming’s former screenwriting collaborators Kevin McClory and Jack Wittingham, who settled out of court and received executive producer credits. Bond again takes on SPECTRE, which steals nuclear war heads, buries them deep in the ocean and demands a £100,000,000 ransom while threatening nuclear disaster. Jaunting to the Bahamas, Bond battles evil mastermind Emilio Largo, while vying for the attention of three beauties: British agent Paula Caplan, Largo’s mistress Domino Derval and SPECTRE agent Fiona Volpe. A step down from Goldfinger, Thunderball nonetheless has been held in high regard by fans since its successful release. More »

MGM Home Entertainment

5 . 'You Only Live Twice' - 1967

While on location in Japan, Connery publicly announced that he would be retiring from the role after five movies. In the film, Bond takes on the head of SPECTRE, Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Donald Pleasance), in an effort to prevent a world war after a mysterious rocket ship seizes manned space missions from Earth’s orbit. For the first time, Blofeld’s face was revealed on screen – only his hands and back of his head were seen in From Russia with Love and Thunderball – while the movie continued the trend of shifting away from the real-world espionage of the earlier movies toward the campy world-domination plots that defined the Roger Moore era. More »

MGM Home Entertainment

6 . 'Diamonds Are Forever' - 1971

After George Lazenby made his only appearance as Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Connery stepped back into the role for what would be his last appearance as 007 for over a decade. Lazenby declined a return to the series, which left producers Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman to search for another actor. In the end, they paid Connery an unprecedented $1.2 million to reclaim his role; this time, Bond disguises himself as a diamond smuggler to uncover a plot by old foe, Blofeld, to build a giant laser. Globetrotting through Las Vegas, Amsterdam and Germany, and featuring the aptly named Plenty O’Toole, Diamonds Are Forever was a box office hit, but ranked as one of the campier Connery efforts, thanks to a rather silly chase involving a moon buggy through the Nevada desert. More »

MGM Home Entertainment

7 . 'Never Say Never Again' - 1983

In 1971, Connery famously said that he would never play Bond again. Fast-forward 12 years and he agreed to return for one final performance. Never Say Never Again was the only Bond film not produced by Broccoli and Saltzman’s Eon Productions; instead, it was written and produced by Kevin McClory, who managed to retain rights to Fleming’s novel, Thunderball, after a lengthy legal battle. Essentially a remake of Thunderball, the movie saw an aging Bond brought out of retirement to do battle with megalomaniacal millionaire Maximillian Largo, who steals several nuclear warheads in order to bring the world to its knees. The film opened mere months after Roger Moore’s Octapussy, and set a record for the best opening for a Bond film. It also was a return to form for Connery after the silliness of Diamonds Are Forever, and allowed him to depart the character on a high note.

Sam Miguel
12-09-2014, 09:09 AM
7 James Bond Movies Starring Roger Moore

The Longest Running and Most Polaring Actor to Play 007

By Shawn Dwyer
Classic Movies Expert

Following Sean Connery's departure from the Bond franchise, producers Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman turned to British TV star, Roger Moore, to fill those rather large shoes. While he was a star in England and American thanks to his six seasons on The Saint, Moore was roundly criticized even before his first Bond film as being too much of a lightweight to play the role.

Though it took a couple of movies, Moore actually settled into the part rather well despite continued calls that he had traded Connery's suave super agent for a campier version who was quicker with a wink than with his Walther PPK. Regardless, Moore spent 12 years in the role - longer than any other actor - and accounted for at least a few of the franchise's best films.

MGM Home Entertainment

1 . ‘Live and Let Die’ – 1973

Once Sean Connery left the franchise for good after Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Moore made his debut as James Bond in this blaxploitation-themed addition to the series. In Live and Let Die, Bond battles a Harlem drug lord named Dr. Kananga/Mr. Big (Yaphet Kotto), who plans on driving out the world’s drug cartels by flooding the streets with free heroin in order to gain a monopoly on the market. Not exactly the world domination plots from Bond movies of old, which makes Live and Let Die feel small in comparison. Despite criticism for the movie’s racial overtones and skepticism with Moore’s cheeky portrayal of 007, the film was a commercial hit, though it was a rather unimpressive debut. More »

MGM Home Entertainment

2 . ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’ – 1974

Outside of Moore’s last Bond movie, A View to a Kill, The Man with the Golden Gun was a true low point in the entire Bond franchise. And that’s putting it mildly. Here Bond faces off against Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee), the titular villain who plots to acquire a super weapon called the Solex Agitator, which harnesses the power of the sun into a destructive weapon, while also seeking to assassinate Bond. Thinking he is Bond’s equal, Scaramanga was certainly one of the better Bond villains, thanks in large part to Lee’s convincing performance. But the film itself is long and slow – really, did we need to see Moore’s entire flight to Scaramanga’s hideout? – and boasts one of the silliest fight scenes, where Scaramanga’s dwarf henchman, Nick Nack (Herve Villechaize), tries to attack Bond with a knife and winds up being thrown into the ocean in a suitcase. More »

MGM Home Entertainment

3 . ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ – 1977

After the disappointment of his first two films, Moore finally hit his stride in The Spy Who Loved Me, not only the best of the Roger Moore era, but one of the best movies in the entire series. This one has it all: a great opening ski chase that ends in a rousing parachute jump from a cliff that proudly displays the Union Jack; a stunningly beautiful Bond Girl, Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach), who goes by the code name Agent XXX; a classic Bond villain (Curt Jürgens) hell-bent on destroying the world; and everybody’s favorite indestructible henchman, Jaws (Richard Kiel), who uses overwhelming strength and reinforced steel teeth to overpower his victims. Sure, the campy humor is still there, but it’s measured well against the great action sequences and undeniable chemistry between Moore and Bach. The film was a massive hit with critics and audiences, and contained the one of the series’ most memorable theme songs, “Nobody Does It Better,” by Carly Simon. More »

MGM Home Entertainment

4 . ‘Moonraker’ – 1979

Most people dismiss Moonraker for its over-the-top action, absurd characters and all-too-campy humor. But it’s exactly because of those qualities that I love this movie and rank it high on my list of all-time best Bond movies. This time Bond battles madman billionaire, Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale), who builds a fleet of space shuttles and plans to use them to release poison gas across the globe, killing Earth’s entire population, before repopulating the planet with genetically perfect humans. Yes, Dr. Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles) wasn’t the most exiting or glamorous Bond Girl, but Jaws makes his second and presumably last appearance, attacking Bond during a parachute dive and on a cable car, only to wind up helping 007 dispatch of Drax after he falls in love. Maybe the filmmakers went too far with Bond’s inflatable gondola, but Moonraker is still great fun and became one of the highest-grossing movies of the franchise. More »

MGM Home Entertainment

5 . ‘For Your Eyes Only’ – 1981

In an effort to tone down the over-the-top action and campy humor, the filmmakers returned to Bond’s espionage roots with For Your Eyes Only, a film that has divided critics and audiences since its 1981 release. Combining two Ian Fleming short stories, the film focused on Bond’s attempt to find a missile command system while becoming entwined with the vengeance-minded daughter (Carole Bouquet) of two marine archeologists murdered by a Cuban hitman. That leads to Greek smuggler Aristotle Kristatos (Julian Glover), who also wants to get his hands on the missile system. While there was plenty of camp in the opening sequence, where Bond turns the tables on a wheelchair-bound Blofeld, For Your Eyes Only does manage to stay within the lines. The action sequences are fantastic – especially the ski chase on the bobsled track – but the in-between moments are dull, while real-life figure skater, Lynn-Holly Johnson, makes for one of the most annoying Bond Girls ever. More »

MGM Home Entertainment

6 . ‘Octopussy’ – 1983

A return to the tongue-in-cheek tone of the previous Moore films, Octopussy again divided fans and critics despite being another big box office hit. By this point in his tenure, Moore was showing signs of his age, but he still managed to pull the off the role with his usual aplomb. Here Bond tries to uncover the death of British agent 009, who was found stabbed in the back while wearing a clown costume and holding a fake Fabergé egg. That leads 007 to uncovering a plot by Russian General Orlov (Steven Berkoff) and wealthy Afghan prince Kamal Kham (Louis Jordan) to detonate a nuclear weapon at a U.S. Army base in West Germany and forcing NATO to withdraw so the Soviet Union can invade. Along the way, he engages the titular Octopussy (Maud Adams), a wealthy businesswoman who leads a cult of female acrobats and helps Khan smuggle priceless jewels. Yes, it’s a bit much when Bond yells like Tarzan while swinging on vines through the jungle or convincing an attacking tiger to sit, but Octopussy is a fun movie and is not as bad as some people say. More »

MGM Home Entertainment

7 . ‘A View to a Kill’ – 1985

The last and definitely the worst Bond movie starring Roger Moore, which is saying something considering his first two efforts. Already past his prime in Octopussy, Moore – who was 57 at the time of filming A View to a Kill – had visibly aged since the last time fans saw him as 007, something even Moore himself acknowledged after the fact. Making matters worse was Bond girl Tanya Roberts, whose portrayal of Stacey Sutton was grating at best. Christopher Walken earned deserved kudos for playing psychopathic villain, Max Zorin, who plots to destroy Silicon Valley with an earthquake and gain a monopoly in the market. Both Moore and Walken criticized the movie for being too violent and over the top, while not adhering to the classic Bond mold.

Sam Miguel
12-09-2014, 09:11 AM
6 Classic Bond Villains

By Shawn Dwyer
Classic Movies Expert

Nefarious, despicable and set on destroying the world, Bond villains have been as memorable as they have been nefarious. Aided by a motley crew of colorful henchmen, 007's arch foes harbor a deep-rooted hatred of mankind that leads to their obsessive drive to see its end.

Standing in their way, of course, is James Bond himself, who uses both charm and skill to foil their plots. Bond villains employ a host of Rube Goldberg-like methods of dispatching Bond, only to fail and meet an extraordinary and often appropriate end themselves. Here is a list of six classic Bond villains from the Sean Connery and Roger Moore eras.

MGM Home Entertainment

1 . Dr. Julius No – ‘Dr. No” (1962)

The first Bond villain to appear on film, Dr. Julius No (Joseph Wiseman) – the unwanted child of a German missionary and daughter of a wealthy Chinese family – plots to sabotage U.S. missile tests by using radio waves to disrupt their guidance systems in order to exact revenge against the West. But Bond (Sean Connery) foils his plot by infiltrating Dr. No’s base and causing a meltdown that destroys his lab. Throughout the movie, Dr. No tries to dispatch Bond with a trio of blind hitmen, a deadly tarantula and finally his own metal hands, only to meet his own demise when 007 boils him alive in a vat of radioactive water.

Best line: “Unfortunately I misjudged you, Mr. Bond. You are just a stupid policeman whose luck has run out.” More »

MGM Home Entatainment

2 . Auric Goldfinger – ‘Goldfinger’ (1964)

Played by German actor Gert Fröbe, Auric Goldfinger consistently ranks as one of the most recognized Bond villains thanks in large part to his famous line before trying to dispatch of 007 (Connery) with a laser beam. Obsessed with gold, Goldfinger plans on detonating a nuclear bomb inside Fort Knox in order to destabilize the U.S. gold market and increase the value of his own stockpile. He dispatches Pussy Galore and hat-wielding henchman Oddjob to take care of Bond, only to find himself sucked out the broken window of a decompressed plane.

Best line: “No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die.” More »

MGM Home Entertainment

3 . Ernst Stavro Blofeld – ‘You Only Live Twice’ (1967)

Though he appeared incognito in From Russia With Love (1963) and Thunderball (1965), Ernst Stavro Blofeld finally appeared in full on screen in You Only Live Twice. Played here by the great Donald Pleasance, Blofeld plots to start World War III by pitting the U.S. against the Soviet Union by hijacking two manned experimental aircraft, only to see his planned foiled when Bond (Connery) alerts the Japanese Secret Service. Unlike most other villains, Blofeld manages to survive his confrontation with Bond in order to makes further appearances in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) and Diamonds Are Forever (1971), only to be disposed of in the beginning of For Your Eyes Only (1981).

Best line: “Extortion is my business. Go away and think it over, gentlemen. I’m busy.” More »

MGM Home Entertainment

4 . Francisco Scaramanga – ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’ (1974)

Certainly one of the darker and more complex villains, Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) considers himself as Bond’s worthy counterpart and believes that he is the only one who can kill the 007 (Roger Moore). His plan involves using the Solex Agitator to harvest the solar power of the sun and turn it into a weapon, while also planning on using his unique one-shot golden gun – which consists of a pen, cigarette case, cigarette lighter and cuff link – to kill off Bond. But it’s Bond who manages to fire the fatal shot in Scaramanga’s hall of mirrors before he retrieves the Solex for MI6.

Best line: “I like a girl in a bikini. No concealed weapons.” More »

MGM Home Entertainment

5 . Karl Stromberg – ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ (1977)

Like Hugo Drax after him, Karl Stromberg (Curt Jürgens) plans on destroying the Earth’s population in order to rebuild civilization. Stromberg attempts to provoke World War III after hijacking nuclear submarines from the U.S. and the Soviet Union in order to rebuild civilization underneath the sea. Using everyone’s favorite henchman Jaws (Richard Kiel) to take care of Bond, Stromberg ultimately fails thanks to 007’s partnership with Russian agent Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach) and is dispatched himself when Bond fires four shots underneath his dining table.

Best line: “Farewell, Mr. Bond. That word has, I admit, a welcome ring of permanence about it.” More »

MGM Home Entertainment

6 . Hugo Drax – ‘Moonraker’ (1979)

Sure, Moonraker gets a lot of flak from both fans and critics, but for me it’s one of the best movies of the Roger Moore era. It’s campy, over-the-top and features one of the least glamorous Bond Girls of the entire franchise. But one of the film’s greatest assets is villain Hugo Drax, played with unusual calm by the great French actor Michael Lonsdale. Drax’s plan is to kill everyone on Earth with lethal gas dispatched from stolen Space Shuttles and repopulate the planet with genetically perfect humans. Once Bond gets wind of his plan, Drax sends henchmen Chang (Toshiro Suga) and Jaws (Richard Kiel) to take care 007, only to find himself pushed out of an airlock into space once his plans unravel.

Best line: “Look after Mr. Bond. See that some harm comes to him.”

Sam Miguel
12-09-2014, 09:13 AM
5 Memorable Bond Henchmen

From Red Grant to Jaws

By Shawn Dwyer
Classic Movies Expert

Using few words and signature methods of killing that sometimes border on absurd, Bond henchmen posed a considerable physical threat to 007 and needed to be dispatched before Bond can disrupt the main villain’s evil machinations.

But unlike their villainous masters or enigmatic Bond girls, henchmen were single-minded killers capable of outmatching Bond. Whether psychotic killers or indestructible assassins with steel teeth, Bond henchmen were as colorful as they were dangerous.

MGM Home Entertainment

1 . Red Grant – ‘From Russia With Love’ (1963)

Played by the great Robert Shaw, Red Grant was a convicted killer hired by the criminal organization SPECTRE to become a ruthless and exceedingly dangerous assassin. In fact, Grant’s only mission in From Russia With Love is to avenge the death of Dr. Julius No (Joseph Wiseman), the brilliant SPECTRE scientist with metal hands and the first villain to be dispatched by Bond (Sean Connery). Though ruthless, Grant is also quite intelligent and almost manages to kill 007 with a garrote wire hidden in his wristwatch. But it’s Bond who turns the tables and uses the wire to kill off Grant after tricking the assassin into opening a Q branch briefcase loaded with tear gas. More »

MGM Home Entertainment

2 . Oddjob – ‘Goldfinger’ (1964)

The second most famous henchman behind Richard Kiel’s Jaws, Oddjob (Harold Sakata) was the mute manservant of Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe), whose preferred method of killing is throwing his razor-sharp bowler hat and decapitating his victims. Oddjob assists Goldfinger in his plan to irradiate Fort Knox and increase the value of his own gold stockpile, only to meet his end via electrocution when his hat becomes implanted in the iron bars of the famed gold depository. Though his character was a cold, silent and ruthless killer, Sakata was quite the opposite in real life. A professional wrestler turned actor, he was remembered as a genial family man. More »

MGM Home Entertainment

3 . Tee Hee – ‘Live and Let Die’ (1973)

Unlike the cold, monolithic killers from the Sean Connery era, the pincer-handed Tee Hee (Julius W. Harris) enjoyed his villainy as he assists Dr. Kananga/Mr. Big (Yaphet Kotto) corner the heroin market while trying to kill Bond (Roger Moore). Tee Hee first tries to dispose of 007 by leaving him alone on an island overrun by crocodiles and later attacks him inside a cabin on a moving train, all while displaying his enjoyment of killing through maniacal grinning and laughter. Bond manages to dispatch Tee Hee by immobilizing his mechanical arm and throwing him off the train. More »

MGM Home Entertainment

4 . Nick Nack – ‘The Man With the Golden Gun’ (1974)

Before he played Tattoo on Fantasy Island, Hervé Villechaize played Nick Nack in The Man With the Golden Gun, the killer manservant to arch-villain Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee), who seeks to harness the power of the sun into a destructive weapon. With hopes of inheriting his master’s private yacht and island, Nick Nack tries to take out Bond first by posing as a statue in a garden and killing him with a trident, then by attacking him with a knife aboard one of Scaramanga’s boats. Bond turns the tables rather easily on Nick Nack, forcing the dwarfish assassin to resort to standing on a bar and throwing wine bottles. Bond easily traps Nick Nack inside a luggage case and throws him overboard, making for one of the silliest Bond-henchmen fights of the entire franchise. More »

MGM Home Entertainment

5 . Jaws – ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ (1977) and ‘Moonraker’ (1979)

The ultimate henchmen and everybody’s favorite. Played by seven-foot-tall actor Richard Kiel, Jaws was an almost comically indestructible bad guy who used his steel teeth to do everything from killing his victims to chomping through thick steel cables. Appearing in both The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, Jaws was a freelance killer hired by criminal masterminds Karl Stromberg and Hugo Drax to dispatch of 007. He attempts to kill Bond in a variety of ways, including biting him in the neck, shooting him during a boat chase on the Amazon, pushing him out of an airplane without a parachute and beating him up in a tiny compartment aboard a moving train. Bond typically got the better of Jaws, though the monstrous hitman always managed to survive and dust himself off. At the end of Moonraker, Jaws has fallen in love with one of Drax’s genetically perfect specimens and actually helps Bond win the day.

Sam Miguel
12-22-2014, 08:02 AM
William Boot

SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED

Exclusive: Sony Emails Reveal Studio Head Wants Idris Elba For the Next James Bond

Leaked emails show Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal confessing that the dashing Elba should be 007.

During a particularly droll year-end press conference on Friday, President Obama channeled his inner Louis C.K., entertaining a horde of reporters on subjects ranging from Congress to Cuba to a hybrid NFLer/actor by the name of "James Flacco."

One of the first questions lobbed at the Commander-in-Chief concerned the Sony hack and subsequent cancellation of The Interview’s film release—a destructive cyber-terror attack on the film studio as supposed retribution for their Kim Jong Un assassination comedy, which FBI officials believe to be the work of North Korea (though cybersecurity experts have their doubts).

“[Sony] suffered significant damage, there were threats against some employees. I am sympathetic to the concerns that they faced,” Obama said. “Having said all that, yes, I think they made a mistake.”

“Idris should be the next bond.”

He added, “We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States.”

Plenty of the Sony emails have focused on Sony’s prized horse—the James Bond franchise, including the 24th Bond flick Spectre, scheduled to hit theaters on November 6, 2015. Reports have indicated that the script has leaked, the film’s budget ballooned to over $300 million, and that it may feature Blofeld as the villain.

For years, there’s been a lot of online chatter suggesting that Idris Elba, the suave British actor, should be the next James Bond—making him the first black 007.

Current superspy Daniel Craig has even voiced his desire to vacate the post, telling Rolling Stone in 2012, “I've been trying to get out of this from the very moment I got into it. But they won't let me go, and I've agreed to do a couple more, but let's see how this one does, because business is business and if the shit goes down, I've got a contract that somebody will happily wipe their ass with.” Craig is signed on for just one more Bond flick after Spectre.

When The Daily Beast spoke to Jamie Foxx earlier this year, coincidentally for the Sony flick The Amazing Spider-Man 2, he said he was a big fan of the idea of a martini-sipping Elba. “I ran into Idris and I said, ‘You know you’re the motherfuckin’ James Bond, right?’” Elba himself has admitted he’d love to play the role if offered.

It seems Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal is a big fan of the idea, too.

An email sent on January 4, 2014, from Pascal to Elizabeth Cantillon, former executive vice president of production for Columbia Pictures, which distributes the Bond films, simply says, “Idris should be the next bond.”

Fingers crossed.

Sam Miguel
12-22-2014, 08:02 AM
William Boot

SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED

Exclusive: Sony Emails Reveal Studio Head Wants Idris Elba For the Next James Bond

Leaked emails show Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal confessing that the dashing Elba should be 007.

During a particularly droll year-end press conference on Friday, President Obama channeled his inner Louis C.K., entertaining a horde of reporters on subjects ranging from Congress to Cuba to a hybrid NFLer/actor by the name of "James Flacco."

One of the first questions lobbed at the Commander-in-Chief concerned the Sony hack and subsequent cancellation of The Interview’s film release—a destructive cyber-terror attack on the film studio as supposed retribution for their Kim Jong Un assassination comedy, which FBI officials believe to be the work of North Korea (though cybersecurity experts have their doubts).

“[Sony] suffered significant damage, there were threats against some employees. I am sympathetic to the concerns that they faced,” Obama said. “Having said all that, yes, I think they made a mistake.”

“Idris should be the next bond.”

He added, “We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States.”

Plenty of the Sony emails have focused on Sony’s prized horse—the James Bond franchise, including the 24th Bond flick Spectre, scheduled to hit theaters on November 6, 2015. Reports have indicated that the script has leaked, the film’s budget ballooned to over $300 million, and that it may feature Blofeld as the villain.

For years, there’s been a lot of online chatter suggesting that Idris Elba, the suave British actor, should be the next James Bond—making him the first black 007.

Current superspy Daniel Craig has even voiced his desire to vacate the post, telling Rolling Stone in 2012, “I've been trying to get out of this from the very moment I got into it. But they won't let me go, and I've agreed to do a couple more, but let's see how this one does, because business is business and if the shit goes down, I've got a contract that somebody will happily wipe their ass with.” Craig is signed on for just one more Bond flick after Spectre.

When The Daily Beast spoke to Jamie Foxx earlier this year, coincidentally for the Sony flick The Amazing Spider-Man 2, he said he was a big fan of the idea of a martini-sipping Elba. “I ran into Idris and I said, ‘You know you’re the motherfuckin’ James Bond, right?’” Elba himself has admitted he’d love to play the role if offered.

It seems Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal is a big fan of the idea, too.

An email sent on January 4, 2014, from Pascal to Elizabeth Cantillon, former executive vice president of production for Columbia Pictures, which distributes the Bond films, simply says, “Idris should be the next bond.”

Fingers crossed.

Sam Miguel
12-22-2014, 08:07 AM
Pierce Brosnan on How It All Began—and How Bond Ended

BY MICHAEL HAINEY

Pierce Brosnan is older now, sixty-one. He stopped playing James Bond twelve years ago. Not entirely of his own choosing. That was with Die Another Day.

But he's still vital and vibrant. Still strikingly handsome, too. When I meet him, he's sitting alone, quiet, at a round table in the back of an empty restaurant--Isola at The Mondrian hotel in SoHo. Just a cell phone before him. Almost like a spy waiting for a drop. He's come to New York to talk about his new movie, The November Man, in which he plays an aging intelligence agent.

···

GQ: Take me back to the beginning of your life.

My life started on the banks of the Boyne in County Meath. Navan is the name of the town; only me, Mom, Dad. Dad ran to the hills; never saw him 'til I was thirty-one. Mother looked after me and took off to London to be a nurse, to get out of the repression of Catholic-shaming and upbringing. She went to the new land to start a life for me, and consequently there was a separation there.

I was with my grandparents and then they died; one after the other, more or less, and then I was with an aunt, Aunt Rosie, and then I lived with her, but they were starting a family, and they couldn't look after me. And then I lived with Uncle Phil. And they were both starting families, so I finally lived with a wonderful lady called Eileen Reilly. She had a lodging house. I lived in a little room with the lodgers until I was about eleven.

What's your memory of that room?

It was a scrubbed floor—she used to scrub with a big bucket of hot, scalding water, and she'd scrub all the floors. Wood. Three beds. My bed was down by the window; I had a little green curtain around it with newspapers tacked on with safety pins so the light wouldn't get in. And it was happiness; it was joy. I served Mass; I loved serving Mass. It was probably my first encounter in giving performance. There was a beautiful church where I lived in Navan, taught by the Christian brothers: fierce, angry men, repressed. And yet, I had a good life. But, you know, life got sweeter when I rejoined my mother and went to London.

When you look back at that time in your life, what are the lessons you learned about yourself then that you still carry?
That I'm a survivor. That I can dream well. That I can work hard. That I have some kind of faith that keeps me in check, keeps me grounded in life. And just really good fortune to have traveled through the fair and still be at the table, so to speak.

Were you lonely back then?

Yes, well, when you say it and you put it on the page, it can have a certain aloneness to it. Very much a loner. Very much an outsider, in some respects, because in the fifties, a broken marriage like I was part of, was really frowned upon. You were made to feel ashamed. And so, my grandparents lived on the other side of the bridge. And then when they passed on, I moved into the neighborhood, and people talked and gossiped. So you felt different. And then of course, going to London, an Irish immigrant, you were made to feel your Irishness. They never let you forget that you were Irish. They wouldn't say my name; couldn't say my name, Pierce. Didn't want to say my name. So they called me "Irish," which I wore as a badge of honor and an emblem of joy, that I had such a name. And so—and then, go to America. You're an immigrant again; you have to fit it. But then, when I got off the plane, thirty years ago in Los Angeles, I felt lucky and was lucky and just felt at home. I loved America, embraced America. I could be anything I wanted to be.

Did you seek out a mentor—

No, I had no one. There was no one. My grandfather was the hand that I held; he was the man that I did adore. But then he went pretty quickly. And then the rest was—there was no father figure. Until I got to London at age eleven, and then my step-father—Bill Carmichael, a lovely man, Glaswegian—he became definitely a figure. Somebody who was kind and loving. But I think when I got to London, too, the movies took over my life in such a glorious way, and the celebration of cinema was immediate and romantic—and I could escape, and did.

What year was that?

'64.

And what were those movies?

Goldfinger: Sean Connery, James Bond. I was as green as the leaves on the tree, and I'd never seen a naked woman. I was fresh-faced, Irish-Catholic, and happy. Happy to be in London. And that movie—that first weekend in London in the summer of '64—was Goldfinger. My mother and father took me to see it, and it was just bedazzling. And consequently, I went every weekend to see the pictures. And I saw Lawrence of Arabia—I didn't know what was going on, but the spectacle of Peter O'Toole was mesmerizing. And then I really got into my stride with Clint Eastwood and Steve McQueen and Warren Beatty and Al Pacino and movies and movies. And just wanting to be up on the silver screen. I had some kind of naïve aspiration to be a film star.

At no point, in my teens, did I ever, ever think I was going to end up where I am. I wanted to be an artist; I left school at fifteen with a cardboard folder of drawings and paintings, and those were my credentials, nothing more. But I had good sense and good intuition, and I knew that I didn't have the education but I wanted artistic life, creative life, and got a job at a studio doing furniture illustration. And one day, hanging my coat up, talking to Allen Porter from the photographic department—who was kind of a geek, cool—and talking about movies, he said, "You should come along to the Oval House Theatre. It's an arts lab, and they do workshops." I said, "What do you mean, workshops? You mean, like, carpentry and stuff?" He said, "No, workshops. Theater workshops." I said, "OK." So I went along that Tuesday night, hair down to my shoulders, eighteen years of age by now, little goatee, earring—and I walked in the doors and never looked back. It was at the height of experimental theater, and I went along Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, then every day of the week, and then eventually gave up my job and started on the road to being an actor.

Where do you think that spark—did someone spark it in you?

I think I sparked it in myself. I felt different; I knew I didn't belong in the world of regular life. Not that I was better, but that I just had a strong sense of dreaming.

Does this go back to when you were five, six, seven?

It probably goes back to being alone and being in the countryside and religion. It goes back to, when you do the stations of the cross as a young boy, and you're holding the rosary beads and you're standing in front of pictures—huge paintings that depict the life of Christ and the road to Golgotha—that kind of stays with you. There's some big drama.

My mother would come home as often as she could, and she always brought me the best presents that none of the other boys in this country town had. And one of them was a little slide projector of four frames—no one knows this story; I haven't even told this story—and it was Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and Pluto. And that was where I learned how to read: their little speech-bubbles. And so in Eileen's house, in that little bed with the green curtain and the newspapers pinned on, at night, I would shine that light up on the ceiling and watch Mickey and kind of take control over the pictures. Again, I didn't want to be an actor, but it just sparked my imagination.

So to hop on the tube that night and go to the Oval House—I don't know where that came from. It came from possibilities—that I could do movies? No. I just craved, desired, and felt the need to get out of a working-class situation which was meaningless to me. I didn't want to be a plumber, a decorator, or painter and decorator, or an electrician. I had no desire for that; I just didn't see myself doing it. But I thought if I could be a painter—if I could be an artist.... I was good at writing and creating stories, but I didn't have the credentials to be a journalist. But I had a cardboard folder, which was my passport to this life, and some kind of burning passion, want, need, to be loved—to be liked. And acting gave me that. Performance gave me those feelings.

Do you think it gave you those feelings out of the ability to create an identity, a character that people then responded to?

I think so, yes. When I found—because the love of movies was so palpable, and I just adored the cinema. It was a refuge; it was a sanctuary. So then when I was given the opportunity that night to go to the Oval House, I didn't know what to expect. I thought they were going to be asking me to read Shakespeare. But it was this big, dark, empty room, and we were all asked to lie on the floor and hum. "Close your eyes and hum and then get up slowly and go around—keep your eyes closed—and touch people." It was mind-blowing. It was frickin' awesome. And there were beautiful girls there, and these crazy people, these kind of poets and jazz musicians and the Black Panthers. The Black Panthers! So I felt I'd found my tribe. I'd found my people. And I embraced that world; it just freed my imagination. And all this Pink Floyd music—I was always into music—and then I began to read: Huxley, Sartre. And I've been catching up ever since.

Was there a moment, onstage, when you first felt you had grabbed the third rail—

We did a performance of The Little Prince at Suffolk Cathedral. That was my first time on a stage. It wasn't a conventional stage, but it was a stage. It was an empty space, and it was a brilliant, holy space. The Suffolk Cathedral. We'd rehearsed this—and I think I was something like eighteen—and I played the little prince in this kind of experimental stage-production.

Sam Miguel
12-22-2014, 08:08 AM
Earlier, in talking about your childhood in the boarding house run by Eileen, you mentioned specifically "a green curtain." Tell me about that curtain.

The green curtain. Oh, God bless her, Eileen. Well, because the room had lodgers—she had these lodgers, working men who would come up from the countryside to work in town—there were three beds. And it was just a little kind of wrought-iron bed with a horsehair mattress and a green, shiny curtain around it. And she would pin the newspapers to it so the light wouldn't come through. And that was my room; that was my bed for a number of years. And they were really happy times, because she had a son and a daughter, and for the first time in my life, I was surrounded by a family that was really loving and fun. And it was in a place called St. Finian's Terrace. And very poor, and yet alive with humanity. And Eileen had a dog named Chip, and Chip became my dog, and I suddenly had friends. Whereas, when I lived across the river, there was no one there. There was just the house, the little bungalow. And the friends there were nuns; I used to go down to the convent and help make butter with the nuns, milk the cows.... That was another side of life. And my grandmother used to give the field to the Crutchee family—there was a woman called Old Ma Crutchee and she had two sons; they were tinkers—and they were my friends when I was on that side of the river. They were amazing. And she was incredible; she had the horse and the cart, a beautiful old wagon that she painted, and the boys would go into the woods; they made the best bow-and-arrows, they made great catapults in a tube of tires, catch frogs, catch fish. So I had the tinkers over here, and the nuns, and then I went into the town and had all the lads up in St. Finian's Terrace, who were a great tribe of kids. But the bed, the curtain—that sounds lonely, but it was heavenly. I was very comfortable.

Well, I think you make the best with what you've got, you know? Sometimes you have very little. And you just always try to rise to higher ground, because you're going to suffer one way or the other, so you just hope that you have strength and perseverance and good friends and faith, some kind of faith, to endure and move on to greener pastures. I don't know. I don't know. I love what I do as an actor. The life of an actor, it's been great to me. America, you know, was my savior. Came here thirty years ago, got off the plane, felt lucky, was lucky. I managed to stay employed. Ever since, I've always had.... You know, "What am I going to do?" "How am I going to make a living?" "How am I going to get by?"—and I've managed it.

Is there anything in your possession from those years ago that still means something to you?

There are boxing gloves. My mother gave me boxing gloves; I wanted boxing gloves. I liked to box. So I still have them. They're still in my bookcase, very old, tattered, and they were cherished. When I got them that Christmas, my grandmother was dying; I was living in Kells. My mother couldn't come home that Christmas because she had to work as a nurse. But the boxing gloves were a brilliant distraction from the pain in the heart.

Do you look at them every day?

Oh, I look at them. I see them. They're there. Just: the gloves are on; the gloves are off. In November Man, the gloves are off. It's like, "Come on; let's shake it up, here." Because when the curtain fell unexpectedly on James Bond and, to my surprise, there was this kind of void that was left: this itch of unfinished business. And so that's where November Man came from. I wanted to create an action hero character. I could do all the things that I didn't get to do in Bond, so to speak. Because when I played Bond, it'd been dormant for six years; it was a huge undertaking on the part of everyone involved to get it right. And so I was kind of caught somewhere in between the Roger Moore and the Sean Connery of it all. And both men, I adored as James Bond. But it never felt—I don't know—real. I felt like I was in a period-piece sometimes.

When you were doing it, it never felt real?

When I was doing it, yes. Because I could hear echoes or sensations of Connery or of Roger, which I didn't try to censor; I'd just allow them to come in. But I never.... Anyway, they were successful, and in doing the GoldenEye, that was the ticket and the key into creating my own company, Irish DreamTime.

Would you change anything about those performances?

No. I don't allow myself. I haven't gone over that terrain, really. All I know is that GoldenEye came out and it was a wonderful film; I think it still stands up, there. I haven't seen it in a long time, but...

Are there hurts that have shaped you? Personally or professionally?

Oh, yeah, yeah, there are numerous blows to the heart, the psyche, and the spirit. And Bond figures significantly in some of those disappointments.

Sam Miguel
12-22-2014, 08:09 AM
^^^ (Cont'd)

When it ended?

But more than anything, it is the gift that keeps giving, and it was just a really incredible decade of life. You know, when it happened and it didn't happen and then it happened and it didn't happen, you know, it always came in and out of my life with great trauma. In 1986, Remington got canceled, they offered me the movie James Bond, and then I couldn't get out of the contract, and they played it out until the sixtieth day. They had sixty days in which to resell the show, and I was assured that everything was going to be just fine, but it wasn't. And on the sixtieth day as I was walking out to the beach with a bottle of Cristal Champagne to my late wife, the phone rang and I thought, "Hmm, better answer it." It was Fred Specktor, my agent, saying, "The deal's fallen through. It's not gonna happen." Because Cubby [Broccoli; the film producer who owned the Bond franchise] had said to them, "Look, it happened for six episodes. Then no more; then he's mine." And the network came back on the sixtieth day on the eleventh hour and said, "We want the option of twenty-two." And Cubby said, "No way. Deal's off." And that was it. So that was a blow.

How do you navigate that? How do you not let that crush you?

Well, your mind works fast, you know? You take the blow and you move on.

Some people don't.

Well, you know: the gloves are on, the gloves are off. You take the blow, you've got to come in with the next blow. You've got to think ahead of the game, you've got to jump ahead and say, "OK, I've lost it. Fuck 'em. Fuck 'em all. But I'm gonna work. I know how to work. I know how to work." As I'm walking out with a bottle of champagne, about to tell my wife it ain't happening. And we had relocated our children to school in England; I mean, we had moved, in our minds, out of L.A.

You'd made moves.

It's all going according to plan: I've come to America, beautiful hit show, respected show, it gets canceled, and now I go off and become an international movie star. This is just the way it should go. But it wasn't meant to be. So in those awful heartbeat moments, you just think ahead. And you get on with work. And I think the next thing I did was a miniseries called Noble House. I read it, I liked it, the price was good; I went straight to work. Straight to work. Kept working. And then it came back around, and then I did my full contract, which was for four movies; they invited me back, and I remember distinctly being in the beach house in Malibu and the phone rang, and Michael and Barbara [Cubby's heirs] said, "We'd love you to do the fifth." And I said, "I'd love to." I put the phone down; I said to my wife, Keeley, I said, "OK. Go build your dream-house. Because I'm doing a movie. They've just invited me back." And then I went off to do a movie in that interim time, After the Sunset, and one day I was going out onto the set, and the phone rang, and it was my agent, and they said, "Listen. They've started negotiations on the film." I said, "OK, what does that mean?" He says, "Well, they don't want to negotiate anymore. They'll call you next Thursday." I said, "OK." So I waited a whole week, and then the next Thursday came, and I was in the Bahamas—I think I was staying at Richard Harris's house with Richard and his family; there's an interconnectedness there. And Michael and Barbara said they'd rethought the character and were putting it on hold and we said goodbye. And that was it. Alright. You were a good Bond. So that's how it went down that time. And that certainly dug into the solar plexus of life, just because it was pretty gut-wrenching and because it had been somewhat heralded that I was coming back. So, it's just business. And you're the one caught in the crosshairs. And, you know, my press agent at the time said, "You should resign. You should resign." And I said, "No, I don't want to do that, because that's a lie. It's a lie onto myself; it's their decision. Let it be their decision, and however you want to look at it, however it will be defined, then let it find its own course." So you get on and you work. You just get back in the ring, and try to define yourself and not let there be angst over it. Head up, shoulders back. So yeah, there's those kind of blows. And then it's well-documented: the loss of my wife and my daughter. Those are deep. Those leave you rudderless, adrift, and gasping for air, that pain.

What do you believe?

What do I believe? I believe in God. I believe in my God; I believe in the God in myself; I believe in myself as a man, as an actor. It gets tested and tried often, and sometimes I lose the way. But I believe in my children.

Are there words you live by?

Are there words? Just "Be kind." "Be good." "Do good things."

Well, kindness. Kindness, I think, goes along way. Being kind to yourself and being kind to others. Give it away. Just give it away; all that's not given is lost. So that's as good as it gets.

Did you ever see your father again after he left the family?

I did meet him, in the end. I met Tom. I met Tom Brosnan. He came to visit me when I was Remington Steele. Came out of the woods looking for me. It was kind of too late, really. Too late. We sat and had a cup of tea. It was on a Sunday. Talked about this and that, and downstairs, I met a few first cousins who I didn't know, had pints of Guinness and he got on the minibus and drove away and...

That was it?

That was it. Ah, well. Sic transit gloria mundi.

Sam Miguel
12-22-2014, 08:10 AM
^^^ (Cont'd)

When it ended?

But more than anything, it is the gift that keeps giving, and it was just a really incredible decade of life. You know, when it happened and it didn't happen and then it happened and it didn't happen, you know, it always came in and out of my life with great trauma. In 1986, Remington got canceled, they offered me the movie James Bond, and then I couldn't get out of the contract, and they played it out until the sixtieth day. They had sixty days in which to resell the show, and I was assured that everything was going to be just fine, but it wasn't. And on the sixtieth day as I was walking out to the beach with a bottle of Cristal Champagne to my late wife, the phone rang and I thought, "Hmm, better answer it." It was Fred Specktor, my agent, saying, "The deal's fallen through. It's not gonna happen." Because Cubby [Broccoli; the film producer who owned the Bond franchise] had said to them, "Look, it happened for six episodes. Then no more; then he's mine." And the network came back on the sixtieth day on the eleventh hour and said, "We want the option of twenty-two." And Cubby said, "No way. Deal's off." And that was it. So that was a blow.

How do you navigate that? How do you not let that crush you?

Well, your mind works fast, you know? You take the blow and you move on.

Some people don't.

Well, you know: the gloves are on, the gloves are off. You take the blow, you've got to come in with the next blow. You've got to think ahead of the game, you've got to jump ahead and say, "OK, I've lost it. Fuck 'em. Fuck 'em all. But I'm gonna work. I know how to work. I know how to work." As I'm walking out with a bottle of champagne, about to tell my wife it ain't happening. And we had relocated our children to school in England; I mean, we had moved, in our minds, out of L.A.

You'd made moves.

It's all going according to plan: I've come to America, beautiful hit show, respected show, it gets canceled, and now I go off and become an international movie star. This is just the way it should go. But it wasn't meant to be. So in those awful heartbeat moments, you just think ahead. And you get on with work. And I think the next thing I did was a miniseries called Noble House. I read it, I liked it, the price was good; I went straight to work. Straight to work. Kept working. And then it came back around, and then I did my full contract, which was for four movies; they invited me back, and I remember distinctly being in the beach house in Malibu and the phone rang, and Michael and Barbara [Cubby's heirs] said, "We'd love you to do the fifth." And I said, "I'd love to." I put the phone down; I said to my wife, Keeley, I said, "OK. Go build your dream-house. Because I'm doing a movie. They've just invited me back." And then I went off to do a movie in that interim time, After the Sunset, and one day I was going out onto the set, and the phone rang, and it was my agent, and they said, "Listen. They've started negotiations on the film." I said, "OK, what does that mean?" He says, "Well, they don't want to negotiate anymore. They'll call you next Thursday." I said, "OK." So I waited a whole week, and then the next Thursday came, and I was in the Bahamas—I think I was staying at Richard Harris's house with Richard and his family; there's an interconnectedness there. And Michael and Barbara said they'd rethought the character and were putting it on hold and we said goodbye. And that was it. Alright. You were a good Bond. So that's how it went down that time. And that certainly dug into the solar plexus of life, just because it was pretty gut-wrenching and because it had been somewhat heralded that I was coming back. So, it's just business. And you're the one caught in the crosshairs. And, you know, my press agent at the time said, "You should resign. You should resign." And I said, "No, I don't want to do that, because that's a lie. It's a lie onto myself; it's their decision. Let it be their decision, and however you want to look at it, however it will be defined, then let it find its own course." So you get on and you work. You just get back in the ring, and try to define yourself and not let there be angst over it. Head up, shoulders back. So yeah, there's those kind of blows. And then it's well-documented: the loss of my wife and my daughter. Those are deep. Those leave you rudderless, adrift, and gasping for air, that pain.

What do you believe?

What do I believe? I believe in God. I believe in my God; I believe in the God in myself; I believe in myself as a man, as an actor. It gets tested and tried often, and sometimes I lose the way. But I believe in my children.

Are there words you live by?

Are there words? Just "Be kind." "Be good." "Do good things."

Well, kindness. Kindness, I think, goes along way. Being kind to yourself and being kind to others. Give it away. Just give it away; all that's not given is lost. So that's as good as it gets.

Did you ever see your father again after he left the family?

I did meet him, in the end. I met Tom. I met Tom Brosnan. He came to visit me when I was Remington Steele. Came out of the woods looking for me. It was kind of too late, really. Too late. We sat and had a cup of tea. It was on a Sunday. Talked about this and that, and downstairs, I met a few first cousins who I didn't know, had pints of Guinness and he got on the minibus and drove away and...

That was it?

That was it. Ah, well. Sic transit gloria mundi.

Joescoundrel
12-13-2017, 09:51 AM
From the Vintage News ...

In "Dr. No," Jack Lord won praise as a suave and smart CIA agent, but he bowed out of Bond series because he wanted Felix Leiter and James Bond to be equals

Glamour Instant Articles Dec 9, 2017 Nancy Bilyeau

The film is 1962's Dr. No and James Bond is in a corner. He's gotten the better of a knife-wielding Jamaican fisherman-turned-spy named Quarrel with the help of his Walther PPK and is demanding answers from Quarrel when another voice comes from behind. "Hold it," says a man emerging from the shadows wearing sunglasses. "Gently, gently. Let's not get excited."

The man takes Bond's gun, orders Quarrel to frisk him, and only then introduces himself: "Felix Leiter. Central Intelligence Agency. You must be James Bond."

A relieved Bond says, "You mean we're fighting the same war?"

And so James Bond, played by 32-year-old Sean Connery, meets his American counterpart Felix Leiter, played by 41-year-old Jack Lord. The smooth CIA agent who when necessary coordinates with Bond on his missions was created by Ian Fleming in Casino Royale. In fact, he salvages Bond's mission in the first novel of the series, supplying him with 32 million francs after Bond has lost to Le Chiffre at the gambling table.

Fleming, with his usual flare for character portrayal, describes Leiter like this in Casino Royale:

"Felix Leiter was about thirty-five. He was tall with a thin, bony frame, and his lightweight, tan-colored suit hung loosely from his shoulders like the clothes of Frank Sinatra. His movements and speech were slow, but one had the feeling that there was plenty of speed and strength in him and he would be a tough and cruel fighter. As he sat hunched over the table, he seemed to have some of the jack-knife quality of a falcon."

When Saltzman and Broccoli were developing the James Bond series, they selected the Dr. No. novel to be the first adaptation instead of Casino Royale. In that book, Felix Leiter does not appear, so the screenwriter inserted him into the plot. He is the one who briefs Bond on the situation with a "Chinese cat" on the mysterious island of Crab Key named "Dr. No."

Jack Lord, who was billed fourth in Dr. No, plays Leiter very closely to how the character was conceptualized by Fleming, and he was rewarded with positive reviews. Many responded to his cool, slithering moves and his suave suits and dark glasses. According to the Bond wikia, Lord played Leiter in a "swaggering" fashion and was an "effective American version of James Bond."

In a movie known for its visuals, and the genius of designer Ken Adam, Jack Lord's look won special notice.

"His most well-known accessory is his pair of cat-eye sunglasses, which have since become primarily worn by women," purrs a James Bond fashion site. "Nevertheless, Felix Leiter looks hipper than Bond with his sunglasses, which he places in his outer breast pocket when he removes them. No Felix Leiter other than Jack Lord, except perhaps Jeffrey Wright, comes close to having a competing screen presence with Bond, and his cool look has a large part to do with it."

Yes, some devoted Bond watchers consider Jack Lord to be an excellent Felix Leiter. Yet Lord only played him once.

Born with the name John Joseph Patrick Ryan on January 2, 1920, in Brooklyn, New York, the man who took the stage name Jack Lord just might have selected the name because he had a lordly sense of his own importance. And it worked for him. It was that tough, dominating, cool, by-the-book persona that made his Steve McGarrett, the head of the state police in Hawaii, such a fantastic character in Hawaii Five-0, which premiered in 1968 and ran for 12 seasons. The persona of McGarrett still vibrates, and not just in continual reruns on cable TV. Whether it's the catchphrase "Book em, Danno. Murder One" or the huge wave cascading in the show credits, the series is a core part of popular culture, not as huge as the Bond films but important nonetheless. As seen in the HBO series The Wire, when criminals want to warn one another that police are visible, they yell "5-0!"

Jack Lord was not a well known actor before Dr. No. A merchant marine veteran, he was regarded as a solid actor with TV, film and stage credits. The success of Dr. No vaulted him forward. But when the Bond producers approached Lord to play Leiter in Goldfinger and sign a long-term contract like the actors playing M and Moneypenny, Jack Lord pushed back. He asked for much more money - and for Leiter to be a more significant character, functioning as a partner for Bond, not a sidekick.

The answer to that was a firm no. Perhaps to make the point clear, in Goldfinger, the actor who plays Leiter is gray-haired, paunchy, and inferior to Bond in spying skills. A conga line of actors have rotated in and out of the Bond series to play Leiter and they?re never memorable. Some have speculated that the Bond producers have an ambivalent feeling toward the CIA's part in Bond?s missions. Even though in reality the Cambridge Five had made a shambles of British intelligence by giving secrets to the Soviets, in the Bond series MI-6 is the leading spy agency in the Western world. When Blofeld submits a demand for money or else he'll blow up the planet, he delivers it to London, not Washington. D.C.

Before signing on to Steve McGarrett, Jack Lord came close to starring in two other important TV series stars. He was considered for Eliot Ness in The Untouchables and was actually offered the part of James T. Kirk in Star Trek. Reportedly, he asked for too much money, once again. Kirk went to William Shatner.

In Hawaii Five-0, Lord found his calling. Although his perfectionism could be hard on costars and producers, he fought for a quality show and delivered it. A lover of poetry and an accomplished painter, he was devoted to Hawaii. When he died, a significant portion of his money went to charities and causes in Hawaii.

Sam Miguel
08-23-2018, 02:19 PM
It's Time to Kill James Bond

By Joshua Rivera

11 hours ago

Hear us out.

On Tuesday, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, stewards of all things James Bond, along with Daniel Craig, announced via Twitter that Danny Boyle—the director of the forthcoming twenty-fifth James Bond film—has officially exited the production due to "creative differences." No further details were given, but if you know the kind of movies Danny Boyle makes and the kind of movies James Bond films tend to be, you can imagine that Bond 25 was going to be too much of the former for anyone's comfort. Following this news, everyone's got ideas about what should be done with Bond—and since the suggestion box is open, we've got a good one: Kill him.

Despite being portrayed by six men across two dozen films, there are really only two James Bonds—the suave character of the film franchise, and Ian Fleming's creation, a bastard to the core. Both versions fashioned toxic, regressive masculinity into a handsome weapon wielded by a former colonial empire still seeking to extend its reach across a world that had changed as it receded. Any honest read of Bond will conclude that, across 24 films, he's been a huge asshole at best, and an abusive racist at worst. Yet he persists, because he's cool. And yes, James Bond is cool. It's impossible to watch Skyfall and not immediately begin to sip scotch. How did the scotch get in your hand? Who knows? Bond is that cool.

But who is Bond for? The lazy answer that doesn't particularly mean anything is "dads." What we mean by that, I think, is "people who do not want to be challenged." People who like seeing expensive suits and cars and beautiful women who wear swimsuits before dying. And to be clear, a good movie can have all of those things—but how essential is James Bond to them? Or, put another way—what reason does anyone under the age of twenty have to care about Bond?

Daniel Craig, the current Bond—and, until further notice, the James Bond of the forthcoming film—was largely read as a reaction to a movie landscape that seemed to render Bond old-fashioned. Casino Royale was James Bond for a generation who watched Jason Bourne and Jack Bauer, the suave hunk of the films with a bit more of Fleming's bastard woven in. It was an ace in the hole, classic and thrilling and new all at once. Then Quantum of Solace happened, immediately killing the momentum its predecessor had built up. But that's no surprise; the dirty secret of 007 films is that only a few of them are beloved, while the rest are just... there.

What's truly interesting about the last twelve years of Bond films (Daniel Craig has held the role for over a decade!) is that they're a series of stories in which their hero is perpetually made and unmade, a string of explanations for why the man known as James Bond is a locus of pain and disaster. Taken together, each film from Casino Royale to Spectre serves as a compelling argument for a world that's better off without Bond.

So take that to its logical conclusion: Kill Bond. It's never been done before, and it would be the perfect way to end the Craig era, which also bears the unique distinction of being a stretch of Bond films with actual continuity. Cross the line the Craig films have flirted with, the one that suggests Bond is an archaic destabilizing force that needs to be put down. It's remarkable, the clarity that Casino Royale had on this from the very start of Craig's tenure. It's a story where Bond's superior, M, regards him with utter disdain, and makes it plain that he's an archaic brute she'd rather do without—the implication being that the two are forever intertwined, and that if Bond becomes inessential, so does the respectable facade she represents.

Later films, despite their messiness, endeavor to test this argument: Is there a world where Bond works? Where he makes the world better without reservation? In Quantum of Solace, we see how destructive he can be as he goes on a mission of revenge. It ends with Bond colder than before, finally the cool instrument of espionage that we've known since Connery. Except that's not the man we meet in Skyfall, because Skyfall is concerned with how destructive the work of Bond is to the man behind the title—to any man, really—and plays like a eulogy for the man Bond could have been. Spectre, perhaps the biggest mess of the four, gave Bond an arch-villain that tied together all of Craig's films, in a plot that gestured at the futility of Bond's work—in becoming 007, Bond created his greatest enemy, Blofeld. Taken together, these are stories of entropy, and a man's futile struggle to fight against decay when he is in fact, its agent. It would be compelling then, to take this story to its most satisfying possible conclusion. Show Bond to be the monster he is, and end his story definitively.

Of course, James Bond won't stay dead. When it comes to what 007 really is—a massive, recognizable intellectual property that people will reliably come out to see a film about—killing Bond permanently is off the table. And that's fine, no franchise is ever truly retired. But the idea is that, if James Bond dies for the first time in half a century, it would give those in charge of his story the chance to think real hard about how they would bring him back—to build a better Bond, and a franchise worth caring about.