"Bond films are among the most vulgar, offensive, and
gratuitously violent ever made. Their slick veneer and good-humored wit made them
palatable to many, but I've always loved them for their crassness."
"What the Beatles did for music, James Bond did for film."
Peter Hunt, director
THE MINDS BEHIND THE MOVIES
follows is a compendium of backstage gossip, dirty anecdotes, and other nasty
stuff that you won't read on other Bond web sites. Be warned - there is a lot
of sex and a lot of bad language mixed inif you are under 18 or easily offended,
please move on...
"The two producers were historically very important to
Bondbecause one of them was only interested in tits, and the other one was
only interested in gizmos, machinery and the like."
Harry Saltzman, Ian Fleming, and Albert Broccoli.
- Guy Hamilton, Bond
majority of Bond films (as well as the best ones) were created by Danjaq, otherwise
known as EON Productions. Originally Danjaq was headed by two men, Albert R. Broccoli
and Harry Saltzman (it was named after their wives, Dana Broccoli and Jacqueline
Saltzman). They were outgoing, colorful men (Saltzman grew up in a circus, Broccoli
worked in the coffin business), and they crafted a film series called "Walt Disney
for adults." Together they turned Fleming's James Bond into a phenomenon.
of the Danjaq/EON films open the same way: Monty Norman's (actually John Barry's)
famous "James Bond Theme" begins. Through a gun barrel we watch the actor
starring as James Bond walk across the screen. He turns and fires at the camera,
then a bloody wash drips down, enveloping the screen. There have been subtle variations
on the sequence as performed by the various Bonds: Sean Connery (actually it's
his stunt man, Bob Simmons, in the early films) wears a hat; George Lazenby kneels
and fires; and less subtley, Roger Moore actually turned and dropped his trousers
in one out-take.
Saltzman sold his share of Danjaq to United Artists (now MGM)
after The Man With the Golden Gun. After that,
the studio and Broccoli jointly turned out Bond films together for the next twenty
years, from The Spy Who Loved Me to GoldenEye.
Then, with the passing of Albert Broccoli in 1996, the reigns of the Bond film
franchise were turned over to his daughter, Barbara Broccoli, and stepson, Michael
G. Wilson. Together they produced every movie from Tomorrow Never Dies
to the present.
holds the exclusive film rights to every Bond novel
but one, Thunderball.
is the film property of Kevin O'Donovan McClory (8 June 192620 November 2006), who produced the first film version
of that novel with Broccoli and Saltzman in 1965.
McClory at the premiere of Thunderball in Dublin, Ireland.
McClory was a protégé of
John Huston, working with the director on films including The African Queen
and Moby Dick. He then worked as an associate producer and second unit
director on Around the World in Eighty Days. He also worked on films such
as Anna Karenina, The Third Man, Cry the Beloved Country,
and Cockleshell Heroes, which ironically was produced by his (then) friend,
Danjaq founder Albert Broccoli. In fact, Broccoli was godfather to McClory's youngest
In 1958, McClory was living in Belgrave Place with a pet monkey
and a green macaw when he hooked up with John F.C. (Ivar) Bryce, a British financier
and close friend of Ian Fleming's. Bryce agreed to
bankroll a film by McClory called The Boy and the Bridge, and together
they formed Xanadu Productions in 1958. McClory then met Fleming through Bryce,
and they all teamed up with writer Jack Whittingham to write Longitude
78 West, the first James Bond film script. They substituted the fictional
terrorist group SPECTRE for Bond's usual villains (SMERSH
and the Mafia) to make the story more contemporary and less political, and then
began shopping it around Hollywood.
Unfortunately, MCA passed on the film,
and other rejections followed, so Fleming tried to salvage something from the whole experience
by turning the story into a novel, which he titled Thunderball.
The only problem was that he didn't tell McClory or Whittingham that he was doing
it. When they saw their story in print, credited solely to Fleming, they sued.
So, after a lengthy court battle, the film rights to the book (and unfortunately
for EON, to SPECTRE) went to McClory.
Barbara Broccoli and Timothy Dalton. She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by the Queen of the United Kingdom in the 2008 New Year Honours
McClory used the same material to produce
Never Say Never Again, and continued to try to make other adaptations of Thunderball, including Warhead 2000 A.D., which was to be made by Sony. In 2004 Sony acquired 20% of MGM; however, the production and final say over everything involving the film version of James Bond is controlled by Eon Productions, Albert R. Broccoli's production company and its parent company Danjaq, LLC. Prior to Sony's settlement with MGM in 1999, they filed a lawsuit against MGM claiming McClory was the co-author of the cinematic 007 and was owed fees from Danjaq and MGM for all past films. This lawsuit was thrown out in 2000 on the ground that McClory had waited too long to bring his claims. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals later affirmed this decision in 2001. He died on 20 November 2006, aged 80, four days after the British release of Casino Royale.
The film rights to Casino Royale, were sold to Gregory
Ratoff for $1,000 in 1955. Ratoff died before he could complete a deal to make
it at Fox. The film rights rights were eventually acquired by Charles Feldman,
an agent who represented Ratoff's widow. He used the novel to create the worst
Bond film of all timea parodystarring Fleming's
original choice to play Bond, David Niven. After that the ownership rites were
tied up in legalities. But Quentin Tarantino tried to launch a new film version
of book in the nineties, and MGM finally scooped up the rights, protecting the
property for EON (which is considering the property for their next film, Bond
In 2007, Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli created the first great Bond film since the early sixties, using that very property and staying as close to the original novel as they could in a post-Cold War setting. The reviews, for the first time in years, were almost unanimously positive around the world, and James Bond had finally come full circle to the original character. Cubby, Harry and Ian would've been very proud. The next generation is contributing, as well: David G. Wilson, the son of Michael G. Wilson, is head of Creative & Business Affairs for Eon Screenwriters Workshop Ltd, as well as Vice-president of Global Business Strategy for Eon Productions. He has worked on five James Bond movies, including as script editor on Quantum of Solace and assistant producer on Casino Royale.
He also served as Executive producer on the video games, GoldenEye 007 (GoldenEye Reloaded), James Bond 007: Blood Stone, and 007 Legends.
"Think about it, the first talking movie was in the late 1920sit hasn't even been 100 years since then, and Bond has been around for 50 of themthat's more than half of the history of modern cinema. And, it's been run by one family," Timothy Dalton told Tim Lammers of Examiner.com in 2012 (007 Q&A: Timothy Dalton talks Bond at 50, makes prediction for 'Skyfall', NOVEMBER 4, 2012). "I am sure if it were left in the hands of business people who come and go, it certainly might not be here today."Instead, Skyfall became th first billion-dollar Bond film (unadjusted for inflation) in 2012, drawing record numbers of fans in countries all over the world, including Bond's old enemies Russia and China.
But before all of these people crafted their particular James Bonds,
there was the long-since-forgotten TV producer Bretaigne Windust, with his creation:
Bond"Card Sense" Jimmy Bondin Casino Royale...
THE FILMS, BY DECADE:
Theatrical Gross for Each Bond Film:
||Adjusted Gross (2013)
||You Only Live Twice
||Die Another Day
||Tomorrow Never Dies
||From Russia With Love
||Diamonds Are Forever
||Casino Royale (2006)
||The World is not Enough
||Quantum of Solace
||The Spy Who Loved Me
||Live and Let Die
||For Your Eyes Only
||Never Say Never Again
||Casino Royale (1967)
||On Her Majesty's Secret Service
||A View To A Kill
||The Living Daylights
||The Man with the Golden Gun
||Licence To Kill
to COMEDY ON TAP
Music: "Exercise at Gibraltar" from The Living Daylights (1986)