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Author Topic: New James Bond  (Read 18915 times)
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nightwing
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« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2006, 03:36:47 PM »

You can add Errol Flynn to the list.  One of the most popular stars of his era, indeed for a while a bigger draw at Warner Bros than Cagney, Bogart or Davis, he nevertheless despised the costumed epics that made him such a big deal.  Flynn's gripe seemed to be that prancing around in tights with a sword at his hip was not "real" acting but just childish shenanigans.  People who tried to explain to him that nobody did it better...Gable just looked silly at it...got nowhere with Flynn.

I think George Reeves was in the same boat.  He wanted fame like any actor, but when he got it, it was as a live-action version of a cartoon character.  You have to remember that in the 50s it was considered a major step down for an actor to work on television at all, and to find oneself in a show aimed at children was about as low on the ladder as you could get.  So everyone who complemented Reeves for his TV work was, in his mind, also saying, "too bad you couldn't make it in the movies."  It's a bit different these days for two reasons: one, actors in the US find it easier now to shuttle between TV and film work without hurting their image (it's never been an issue in the UK) and two, in this modern era there can never be shame in fame.  Whether you get famous for winning a championship or for giving the president a hummer, you're still famous and that's what counts.  In George's case, the goal was to gain fame without compromising dignity.

With Connery, I think the big issue was that even though he was famous, no one knew who he was. One of his friends told the story of how, at dinner in a nice restaurant, he and Sean were approached by a woman who'd been watching them from a nearby table for some time.  "Excuse me," she asked the friend, "but are you having dinner with James Bond?"  "No madam," he answered, "I'm dining with Sean Connery."  Looking very disappointed, the woman said, "Oh.  Well, he looks like James Bond," and walked away.

That kind of episode (and it's not the only one I've heard of like that) would certainly make you want to consider diversifying your professional portfolio a bit, and take on some different roles.  Plus, I think money was just as big a factor.  Sean considered himself as much an architect of the Bonds' success as any of the directors or producers and he wanted part ownership of the franchise, which of course he never got.  When he gripes about the films, it usually boils down to complaints about Harry and Cubby.

If you follow all his interviews, though, Sean sometimes shows real affection for the character.  Seems to depend on what day you ask.

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Great Rao
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« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2006, 03:51:33 PM »

A bit off topic here, but I'm curious about Never Say Never Again - what caused Sean to participate in that, and is it considered one of the "official" Bond films?
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« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2006, 04:21:58 PM »

The story behind "Never Say Never Again" is long and complicated, but here's the short version:

Producer Kevin McClory had the rights to Fleming's "Thunderball" novel, but found it impossible to mount his own James Bond film in competition with the EON series (this being the mid-60s). He entered a partnership with Broccoli and Saltzman and together they made "Thunderball" in 1965.  The understanding was that after ten years, the rights would revert to McClory again (who knew?).

In 1975, McClory appeared from the Phantom Zone and announced he was ready to make his Bond movie.  Legal action ensued and finally by 1983 the path was cleared for a new, rival Bond film.  Sean Connery had already given his verbal commitment to the film, which by this point had gone through almost as many permutations as the latest Superman movie.  One of the unused scripts was even written by Sean Connery in partnership with Leigh Brackett (wife of Superman scribe Ed Hamilton) and involved an A-Bomb under the Statue of Liberty, and mechanical sharks in New York Harbor Huh?.  The script that was finally used, for legal reasons, amounts to a pretty direct remake of "Thunderball."

Why did he sign on?  Partly as a poke in the eye to his old bosses (when Johnny Carson asked him, on the "Tonight Show," who the villain of the film was, Connery answered, "Cubby Broccoli") and partly, let's be honest, because Sean's career was off the rails by 1983, after a series of flops like "Wrong Is Right," "Cuba," "Meteor," "The Next Man" and so on.  Playing Bond again put him back on the map and, once signed to Creative Artists Agency, on the path to the Oscar.

"Never Say Never Again" is not considered an "official" Bond film, as it was made outside the EON-produced series and lacks signature elements like John Barry's "James Bond Theme," the gunbarrel logo, a pre-credits sequence, Maurice Binder-like opening titles, and so on.  In fact it was released in competition with an official Bond film, Roger Moore's "Octopussy."  However, the rights to NSNA were acquired by EON about five years ago in a legal battle, and so it's at least theoretically possible the film could be included in future collections of Bond DVD's, etc. 

The name of the film was suggested by Connery's wife as an "in joke."  Ten years earlier, when asked after "Diamonds Are Forever" when he return to the Bond role, Sean had said, "Never again."

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« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2006, 01:19:23 AM »

That delightful filter strikes again!

In my reference above to Roger as a "right phoney", the substituted word "phoney" was originally a B-word usually reserved for children born out of wedlock.

Phoney...Huh??

welcome to the club Wink
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davidelliott
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« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2006, 10:13:57 AM »

Two nice comments by Daniel Craig in my paper this weekend.

First one:

Quote
I've given 100 percent on this. I've given everything I could. If people don't like it, stuff them.

You know, quite a difference from Pierce Brosnan... he would be really upbeat about each of his films in the interviews I saw ("I think we have a real winner with this film... the fans will enjoy it, I think")... never told the Bond fans... to "stuff it"

Such class... low class...
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« Reply #21 on: November 14, 2006, 03:09:46 PM »

Yes, but then after each of his films, Brosnan would do interviews where he griped about how lame they were and how he never got to do anything he wanted to do withthe role.

Frankly I don't think hyping a poor film is a service to fans.  If Brosnan had real class, he'd tell us it stunk BEFORE we spent money on it.

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« Reply #22 on: November 14, 2006, 06:12:28 PM »

Yes, but then after each of his films, Brosnan would do interviews where he griped about how lame they were and how he never got to do anything he wanted to do withthe role.

Frankly I don't think hyping a poor film is a service to fans.  If Brosnan had real class, he'd tell us it stunk BEFORE we spent money on it.



yes, I've heard those interviews, too... BUT I don't think he told the fans to "stuff it".  I also think his gripes were valid, in light of the invisible cars and that stupid fight in TND that took place in the recording studio... and just the traditional sci-fi elements of the bulk of his films...

To me, Daniel Craig sounds like a spoiled brat (in the interviews I've read)... he sounds like "They don't like me.. I've done my best... if they don't like me, then they can stuff it! Waaaaaah!"
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« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2006, 07:19:28 PM »

Yes, well my point about Brosnan was that he knew his films were rotten the week of release, which was the time to tell us, wasn't it?  You can be the corporate shill and say what your bosses tell you to, or you can be frank and slam a film for its many faults. But it's hard to have it both ways and come off as even slightly credible.  (This movie's great, go see it!...How'd you like it?...You didn't? Yeah, I agree it was awful.  Oh well, see you next time!)

Another example is the whole smoking issue.  When smoking was banned for Bond in "Tomorrow Never Dies," Brosnan defended the decision, saying something along the lines of, "You can't have a role model for youngsters setting a bad example."  Then he proceeded to promote the very same film by appearing on the cover of Cigar Afficianado with a stogie in his mouth.  Sure he did that cover as Brosnan, not Bond, but he did it as part of the TND publicity machine, so the lines are blurred.  Come on, Pierce, either stick to those lofty, kid-saving principles and refuse to promote smoking PERIOD, or defend your rights as a smoker and tell the world EON's daft for making Bond give up the habit.

As for Craig, he does have a dirty mouth, but he's right about one thing; once you've done your best, that's all you can do.  If people love you, great, if they hate you, oh well, what's done is done.  But as far as the whole "stuff it" bit, I have a sneaking suspicion he's trying to foster an image as a tough guy who doesn't give a...um...something the filter won't let me say here.  In a weird kind of way, I'm betting the producers even encourage him to keep up the attitude to help promote the movie.  (Hey look, folks! This Bond is a keg of dynamite! Don't tick him off!)

I don't want to keep going round on this ad naseum with you, as I do get your point.  Good manners are sorely lacking in all walks of life these days, and movie stars, after athletes anyway, are the worst.  I just don't think anyone should point to Brosnan as a paragon of "class", especially after the bitter and childish things he said for months after being asked to step down.  Maybe Roger Moore would be a better example; he always has something pleasant and charming to say (even about people who may not deserve it), and he invariably shows up for the interview dressed to the nines, as opposed to most modern stars who look like boxcar hoboes half the time.





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