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James Bond and Gibraltar: Filming The Living Daylights

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Sean Connery and John Lennon both got married there, and Ian Fleming was inspired by a real-life WW2 incident to use it in his novel Thunderball.

The opening title sequence to The Living Daylights (1987) was filmed on Gibraltar. It was the fifteenth entry in the James Bond film series and the first to star Timothy Dalton as 007 James Bond. The film’s title was taken from Ian Fleming’s short story, “The Living Daylights“. It was the last film to use the title of an Ian Fleming story until the 2006 installment Casino Royale.

 

 

The opening NATO exercise teaser, infiltrated by the Russians, was filmed mostly on the Upper Rock. Situated on the southern tip of Spain, Gibraltar has been British territory (and a British naval base) since 1713. Less than 15 miles from the coast of Morocco, the rocky outcrop was known as one of the two ‘Pillars of Hercules’ – the headlands either side of the Strait of Gibraltar, the narrow neck separating Europe from Africa, which provides the only link between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The rock is inhabited by Barbary apes (which are actually monkeys) – the only monkeys native to Europe. The inevitable legend has it that once the ‘apes’ leave, the British will leave.

 

Filming on the Upper Rock

 

Principal photography commenced at Gibraltar on 17th September 1986. Aerial stuntmen B.J. Worth and Jake Lombard performed to the pre-credits parachute jump. Both the terrain and wind were unfavourable. Consideration was given to the stunt being done using cranes but aerial stunts arranger B.J. Worth stuck to skydiving and completed the scenes in a day. The aircraft used for the jump was a C-130 Hercules, which in the film had M’s office installed in the aircraft cabin. The initial point of view for the scene shows M in what appears to be his usual London office, but the camera then zooms out to reveal that it is, in fact, inside an aircraft. Although marked as a Royal Air Force aircraft, the one in shot belonged to the Spanish Air Force and was used again later in the film for the Afghanistan sequences this time in “Russian” markings.

 

The road as it looks today

 

Gibraltar scene: YouTube Preview Image

 

Ian Fleming and Gibraltar

Documents and photographs released by MI5 have given a fascinating insight into the real-life intrigue which inspired James Bond’s creator Ian Fleming – from exploding fountain pens to human torpedoes.

Ian Fleming spent World War II in naval intelligence – and biographers have charted how his experiences inspired him to create many of 007′s finest adventures.

Recently MI5 has declassified secret documents shedding further light on the real history of James Bond. The papers at the National Archives document the secret war to defend Gibraltar. They are a story of brilliant impersonators, femme-fatale agents and exploding fountain pens.

Read more on this story here….

 

 

 (photo by: G A Linares www.linares.gi ) Parachuting down the Eastern side of Gibraltar… 

 

…and landing on Sandy Bay beach (photo by: G A Linares www.linares.gi )

 

The Tag Heuer watch seen on Dalton’s wrist during the pre title sequence was given the name `Gibraltar Heuer’.

Glimpses of the Gibraltar Watch can be seen at various points in the pre-title sequence. But the best close-ups come during the parts where Bond has torn through the canvass roofing on the bad guy’s getaway vehicle, between approximately 5½ and 6½ minutes into the film (as viewed on the 2006 Ultimate Edition DVD). Here Dalton grabs the steering wheel with his left hand, wristwatch exposed below the sleeve, providing over seventy-five distinct frames that we stop-captured for closer analysis.

Several attributes are readily apparent. In addition to the Gibraltar Watch description above, Bond’s timekeeper shows dark hands and dark markers. It has a graduated bezel, black in color. Additionally, the bracelet is jubilee-style.

 

The Gibraltar Heuer 980.031 PVD Night Dive watch, seen worn by Dalton in the pre-title training exercise over Gibraltar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Independent Feature Film – Life Just Is

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Life Just Is is an independent feature film. The debut feature from writer/director Alex Barrett offers a fresh examination of young adult life.

Pete, Tom, Claire and Jay are university graduates having trouble making the move into adult life. Beneath the hanging out and the daily routines simmers Pete’s desire to find a spiritual answer to life’s meaning, Jay’s desperate need not to get hurt again, and Tom and Claire’s ever increasing mutual attraction. A thoughtful character drama, Life Just Is is a film about love, death, and, most importantly of all, life itself.

 

 

What people are saying about the film…

 

‘One of the most promising debuts in contemporary cinema’ - Brad Stevens, Sight & Sound contributor & author of Abel Ferrara: The Moral Vision

 

‘A truly thoughtful British debut… The young cast shine’ - Tim Robey, Film Critic for The Telegraph

 

`Explores the emotionally fraught lives of its young characters with humour, intelligence and compassion’ – Philip Concannon, Phil on Film

 

`It’s exciting to see a British filmmaker emerge off the blocks with a style all his own’ – Jamie Dunn, The Skinny

 

‘Existential growing pains, angst & understanding, Alex Barrett’s characters walk a tightrope of emotions into adulthood, a fraught balancing act of interpersonal negotiations and resignations along which this brilliantly assured new voice in British cinema doesn’t miss a step’ - Matthew Thrift, Cinephile

 

‘Witty, moving, charming and well-paced’ - James B. Evans. Contributor to Electric Sheep, Little White Lies and Cinema Scope

 

‘Watch it, and you’ll feel like you’ve made some new friends’ - Tom Roberts, Manager Gate Cinema, Notting Hill and writer for Cinetalk.

 

http://www.lifejustisfilm.com/

Eden Lake – A Disgrace to the UK Film Industry

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Having only just got round to finally viewing Eden Lake, I was left dumbfounded, appalled and shocked, not just by the dismal, violent spectacle, but also at how such a disgusting, vile film ever managed to get greenlit and financed in the first place.

We all know what a tricky, risky business the film industry is, particularly here in the UK. Managing to secure finance, jumping through loopholes, script re-writes to ensure no particular groups get offended, re-writes to satisfy investors, re-writes to ensure a message is portrayed to the audience, that the central character goes on a journey and learns something by the end of it, a morality to the story, etc.

 

 

Yet amazingly this piece of gutter trash has managed to bypass all of that, and deliver somthing which is a sad reflection on the state of British society, with no redemption or consequence as part of its conclusion. In short, a movie with no moral heart.

Sure, the film has plenty of thrills, shocks and twists in store, with a gloomy atmosphere and a sense of impending doom hanging over the central characters (played brillaintly by Fassbender and Reilly), and director James Watkins knowing which buttons to press to engage and scare its audience (he would go on to direct far superior work with Hammer’s The Woman in Black).

But as far as horror movies go, Eden Lake doesn’t contain ghostly women figures, paranormal ghouls that are caught on videocamera, werewolves in London, Dracula, Freddy Krueger or Leatherface. No, instead we are subjected to a dose of harsh reality – a gang of despicable teenagers that appear as though they have leapt straight out of Harry Brown or the Jeremy Kyle show, led by nasty thug Brett (played to frightening perfection by Jack O’Connell). I doubt David Cameron would want to hug these hoodies.

 

Become a hero like Jack O’ Connell’s Brett

 

But any comparisons to Harry Brown end there. In Eden Lake’s world there are no consequences for these brainless criminals, no redemption, no satisfying conclusions or repercussions for their horrific actions. If anything, the message here to young teenagers is simply this – go for it kids! Get your mobiles at the ready with a few weapons and hunt down your next victim, because you will be rewarded with a heroic final shot at the camera, tilting Ray Ban shades cooly down and a knowing smirk to the audience. In this film, you can get away with it. Any of the gang that don’t want to be part of it, they unfortunately meet a sticky end, but as long as you stay close to the main leader and get stuck in, knife at the ready, you’ll be ok.

What kind of message does this spell out to its audience? What were the producers thinking of in getting this vile project off the ground in the first place? Once you start using real sections of an already damaged UK society for a movie, the purposes of shocking the audience in the name of the horror genre completely disappear. Instead, the creators should be held to account for displaying a complete lack of responsibility, once they decided to turn the horror genre into a reflection of the troubled youth of today’s society.

This piece of cinematic garbage seems more intent on shock - glorifying violence, putting its victims through torturous hell while the perpetrators roam free to cause mayhem. And let’s be clear about this – Eden Lake is no Clockwork Orange either. The ring leader here doesn’t suffer any fate for his actions like Alex DeLarge did back in 1971, nor does the character carry any redeemable, likeable traits that Alex had, nor is there any sense of artistic license been applied to this movie, with a touch of genuis that Kubrick posessed, or an intelligent study of human behaviour and moral choice. No, this film is far too realistic and bleak for its own good.

 

Jack O’ Connell as Brett, and Malcolm McDowell’s Alex

 

The horrific torture scene with Fassbender tied up and suffering multiple knife wounds is too close for comfort. This is no fantasy horror. Watching the teenagers filming the scene, it is no wonder sick real-life snuff movies such as 3 Guys 1 Hammer surface on the internet. In the wrong hands, with uneducated British youth that have been dragged up in today’s twisted online society, any hidden messages contained in Eden Lake (such as bad parenting), will be lost completely. The only real message spelled out here is `Go for it kids! With any luck, you’ll also get away with it…particularly if you have the right sort of parents to help you out!’

Eden Lake is a disgrace to the British film industry, and should never have been made.

 

 

 

 

The Beatles and Bond

The_Beatles and James Bond

Two of the biggest British phenomenon’s of the swinging 60′s  – Beatlemania and Bondmania were launched on the exact same date and have a strangely antagonistic relationship.

The 5th October 1962, was when the first Bond movie Dr.No was released, and on the very same day The Beatles first single, Love Me Do was also released. Both would change the movie and music landscape forever.

 

 

From there a strange relationship would begin. James Bond famously insulted the Fab Four in 1964′s Goldfinger. “My dear girl,” Sean Connery instructed the hapless Jill Masterson, “There are some things that just aren’t done. Such as drinking Dom Perignon ’53 above a temperature of thirty-eight degrees Fahrenheit. That’s as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs!”

The Beatles would get their revenge by taking some potshots at 007 and Bond-style spy shenanigans in their 1965 film Help!, but it was all in good fun. Ken Thorne (who would go on to create the fantastic incidental music of The Persuaders!) composed a winning spy score that took some definite cues from John Barry’s Bond Theme. (The instrumentals were available on the American version of the soundtrack album, but sadly not the British one that ended up on CD. The American version was finally issued in 2006 as part of The Capitol Albums Vol. 2.)

 

 

Paul McCartney’s response to seeing his first Bond film was to go out and purchase an Aston Martin DB5, the same car Connery drove in Goldfinger and Thunderball.

In 1967 the animated Liverpudlians found themselves competing with secret agent James Blond for Pussy Galore… er, groupies… on their cartoon show. (Of course the actual lads couldn’t be bothered to provide their own voices.) When Paul suggests that they “open the gate and let the lucky girls in,” the screaming female fans trample right over the poor Beatles, flocking instead to a beaming blond hunk in a suit.
Paul laments, “Where did our fans go?”

A helpful, lovely meter maid (Rita?) explains, “Over to England’s greatest detective… James Blond. Number 0-0.”

“Oh-oh-what?” inquires George.

“That’s all,” says Rita, dreamily. “When the girls see him, they say ‘oooh, oooh! Heaven!’”

“It’s not fair!” complains Paul. “We do all the records and films and some dimpled detective gets all the glory!” The Beatles attempt to cash in on some of that glory for themselves by thwarting a crime in Penny Lane… only to discover (after performing the song to an animated music video) that the crime isn’t being committed in Penny Lane, but against Miss Penelope Lane! And, of course, James Blond has beat them to it, and he ends up with Miss Lane.

 

Record cover for “George Martin and His Orchestra – Beatles to Bond and Bach”, 1978

 

Two years later, Ian Fleming’s widow, Ann Fleming, expressed a grudging admiration for the Fab Four in a letter to adventurer Patrick Leigh Fermor dated November 7, 1969:

`I am very out of touch, and will write a better bulletin soon: depression is in the ascendant, induced by having to pass what Kingsley Amis has written about Ian for the Dictionary of National Biography, and being assailed by the BBC for material for the Omnibus programme they are doing on Ian – I want to kick them all and burst into tears. Improbably, the Beatles have put my quandary into words – a song that goes;  `I want to be at the bottom of the sea In an octopus’s garden in the shade.’How do the Beatles know octopuses have gardens? I thought only I knew that, there must be more to them than meets the ear.’

She got the lyrics slightly wrong, but the sentiment is there: Ann Fleming found solace in the music of the Beatles at a time when she needed it, which forced her to reconsider her apparently disdainful opinion of their music. Perhaps James Bond and the Beatles could get along after all?
Not if Bond producer Harry Saltzman had his way. Saltzman still wasn’t won over. In his autobiography, My Word is My Bond, Roger Moore recounts an oft-told story about how the producer was displeased with Paul McCartney’s title song for Moore’s first Bond movie, the 1973 entry Live and Let Die:

`When Harry first heard the song, he said he didn’t like it but – perhaps reserving final judgement – turned to [composer and former Beatles producer] George Martin and said, ‘So, who are we gonna get to sing it?’ George Martin diplomatically told Harry that he already had one of the biggest recording artists of all time singing it.’

Martin was now scoring Bond, and the Beatles got the last laugh when McCartney’s Live and Let Die (performed with his new band, Wings) charted instantly and went on to become one of the best-known Bond songs of the entire series, covered over the years by the likes of Guns’n'Roses, Chrissie Hynde, Geri Halliwell and, most recently, Duffy.

A permanent truce was finally formed between the rival Sixties icons via marriage when Ringo Starr wed Bond Girl Barbara Bach in 1981 (below).

 

Paul McCartney and Wings performing Live and Let Die live: YouTube Preview Image

 

 

 

M4 Members Webway Now Open

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After months in development, FilmNav are pleased to announce the new M4 Members section is now finally open. Register free today, start  promoting yourself and begin networking with other filmmakers –

http://www.filmnav.co.uk/m4-members/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The X Rated James Bond Scenes

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With anticipation now high on the upcoming new James Bond film Skyfall starring Daniel Craig, will the completed film survive without any cuts?

There is a long history with the Bond films and the British Board of Film Classification, and listed below are just some of the scenes that the censors didn’t want you to see.

Producers of the 007 movies had to cut scenes, redub dialogue and rewrite scripts because the British Board of Film Classification objected to some of the spy’s more risque exploits.

Censors insisted on 13 separate cuts from Sean Connery’s 2nd Bond film, 1963’s From Russia With Love, before they would grant it a coveted A rating – allowing children to see the film if accompanied by an adult. Demands included the removal of a nude shot of Russian heroine Tatiana Romanova, played by Italian starlet Daniela Bianchi, walking towards a bed.

 

Terence Young directs Sean Connery and Daniela Bianchi in the controversial From Russia with Love scene

 

Seven of the cuts involved what the censors described as ‘double entendre dialogue’. A line where Romanova asks Bond, ‘Was I as exciting as all those Western girls?’ was toned down by replacing the word ‘was’ with ‘am’.

And a shot in a compartment on the Orient Express when Bond lowers a blind and tells Romanova ‘two hours should straighten this out’ was removed altogether.

During the making of Thunderball in 1965, starring Connery, the BBFC wrote to co-producer Harry Saltzman warning that unless changes were made to the script, it could end up with an X certificate.

The letter outlined 32 scenes which could be problematic because of ‘sex and sadism’, including love scenes between Bond and physiotherapist Patricia Fearing, played by British actress Molly Peters.

The BBFC warned that Fearing’s costumes amounted to ‘semi-nudity’ and raised concerns about a scene in which Bond massaged her back with a mink glove. The scene was dropped from the British version.

The censor also said there could be ‘a lot of trouble’ about a ‘gratuitous’ sex scene where Bond makes love to enemy agent Fiona Volpe, played by Luciana Paluzzi, and then tells her he did it for ‘King and country’. The scene appears to have survived, however, after being toned down.

 

The scene in Thunderball which was originally cut from it’s UK release

 

In 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, starring George Lazenby, the BBFC objected when a flirtatious dinner-party guest (played by British actress Angela Scoular) wrote her room number on 007′s bare inner thigh under the dinner table. Bond was originally supposed to say ‘I have a slight stiffness’ but the line was redubbed with the extra words ‘in my shoulder’ so that the erotically charged scene could remain. The edit persisted into all home video releases.

 

Lazenby’s `stiffness coming on’

 

In 1971, Sean Connery returned in Diamonds Are Forever, following Lazenby bowing out after only outing, and this film would suffer several cuts, including a scene of a man on fire, that was cut back on the grounds that it was too harrowing. Footage of the ablaze Mr Kidd running across the deck screaming and climbing up onto the railing, as he throws himself overboard was removed, leaving just the shot of him hitting the water. When shown on TV, this scene is usually cut similarly.

 

The cut scene from Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

 

In 1985′s A View To A Kill, Roger Moore’s last film as Bond suffered the most cuts during his tenure. The BBFC requested that a heavy crotch kick and a double neck chop, both given by Bond, be removed from the film to get a PG rating. These cuts occur during the fight in the hidden room under Zoran’s stable. If you watch the scene closely, or even frame by frame, the scene is somewhat sloppy in a couple of places. When the film was edited, the pre-cut version was submitted for a formal rating.

During this stage of classification, the Board asked for an alteration to the opening titles on a shot of an almost nude woman. Its hard to speculate which woman this refers to, but viewing the titles it seems likely that it could be the woman seen through a scope near the beginning, who becomes defocused and blurry whenever she turns the front of body towards the camera, or the mirrored image of the dancing women at the end as Michael Wilson’s name appears. She too, goes out of focus on a profile shot where her nipples almost become clearly visible.

 

One unnamed female censor took offence at a scene in 1981’s For Your Eyes Only, when the villain uses a knife to undo a costume worn by French actress Carole Bouquet.

 

But undoubtedly the film which suffered the most at the hands of the censors was Timothy Dalton’s 2nd outing as Bond in Licence to Kill.

The 23rd of February 1989 saw Licence to Kill come before the BBFC for an advice viewing. The print was a rough cut, with an incomplete sound mix and no credits sequence. The running time was 2 hours, 8 minutes, 42 seconds and 9 frames. The BBFC examiners finished viewing the film, and were split between three options – an uncut 15, a 15 with cuts and, amazingly, an uncut 18. A decision was eventually made between the examiners that an uncut 15 was not possible, and a potential cuts list was drawn up for a cut 15 version.

These initial cuts were small, but also somewhat vague, and were outlined by the BBFC in their original notes:

  • Reel 1: the whipping of the woman [Lupe]
  • Reel 2: the man [Felix] lowered into the shark tank
  • Reel 10: the man [Krest] in the pressure chamber
  • Reel 11: the man [Dario] crushed in the grinder

Licence to Kill was then re-edited and almost a full month passed before the film was back at Soho Square. During this second screening more cuts were required for a 15 certificate.

Licence to Kill was then submitted for viewing by a new, different team of examiners. After the screening of the film, the BBFC concluded that more cuts were required for a 15 rating, and that extensive cuts for a 12 rating were not a viable option. The 12 rating was not yet available to distributors but was soon going to be introduced later in the same year.

 

As a result of this second screening, the BBFC stated further cuts still had to be made to pass the film as 15, which included the trimming of Sanchez being set alight by Bond at the end of the film by removing two shots of his body in flames (above).

Staggeringly, it would be nearly two decades before British Bond fans could finally see Licence to Kill uncut. Seventeen years after its heavily edited cinema release in 1989, the Ultimate Edition DVD released in 2006 finally restored all the BBFC- and MPAA edits to the picture.

 

 

Daniel Craig’s chase with his Walther PPK

First official Skyfall photo

Who is the Greatest James Bond?

007′s Range Rover

From Bognor Regis with Love

Skyfall photos in London

First Official Skyfall photo

Thomas Newman to Score Skyfall

Skyfall official Bond site launched

Craig Could Be Longest Running Bond After Multi Million Pound Deal

Interview with Daniel Craig

Photos Of New Bond Film On London Rooftop

Skyfall Press Conference

 

 

 

 

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Who is the Greatest James Bond?

James Bond poll

With more news trickling through the media daily on the highly anticipated next James Bond film Skyfall, we thought it time to ask who is the greatest James Bond of all time. 

Many are hailing Daniel Craig as the best Bond since Sean Connery, but wasn’t that the same thing we heard when Brosnan was 007 before him?

And what defines a great Bond? Is it the looks? From how Fleming described Bond, he was a ruthless cold killer, with cruel looks and could quite easily be mistaken as a villain – SMERSH study a photo of 007 in From Russia with Love and think of him as a `nasty looking customer.’ In the novel The Spy Who Loved Me, the Bond girl Vivienne Michel immediately thinks Bond is a villain on first sight of him.

 

 

Is it the charisma and swagger? This is something more related to the cinematic Bond, defined by Sean Connery. Fleming’s Bond was by no means a prude, and was quite the ladies man, but rather introvert in the novels, almost devoid of any real humour. The cinematic Bond on occasion became almost a parody, with endless one-liners and quips, while drinking his vodka Martini and relying on the latest gadget to get him out of a scrape – something very different from the James Bond that Fleming wrote about.

Here is the case for each actor who donned the tux and stepped into the shoes of 007 that Fleming created, capturing both the cinematic and literature essence that defines the character audiences have grown to love.

 

Sean Connery

Did he fit the Fleming description? – Yes and no, surprisingly. Connery has dark eyes, whereas Fleming’s Bond had ice cold blue eyes, but apart from that he pretty much tallies with the character (regardless of Connery’s working-class roots, light years apart from Fleming’s upper class upbringing). The rough Scottish edge of Connery, with an animal-like panther walk and physically imposing, refined by director Terence Young’s English gentleman guidance, Connery found the perfect blend that would become near on impossible to replace.

Defining moment – The first intro on screen when Connery utters the now immortal line `Bond…James Bond’? Connery’s infamous fight with Robert Shaw in From Russia with Love? Connery ejecting a startled passenger in his DB5? There are too many to mention, but we have chosen a scene which best defines the Connery era, when Bond is tied to a table and watches a laser slowly working its way up to his jaffas. It’s a moment when Connery’s 007 becomes vulnerable, and reflects the more human side of Fleming’s character, showing naked fear at what is about to happen to his manhood! And it includes the now immortal line from Goldfinger, `No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!’

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George Lazenby

Did he fit the Fleming description? – Again, like Connery, yes and no, this time because the producers were looking for an actor to fit the Connery mould. Lazenby, like Connery has dark eyes, whereas Fleming’s Bond had ice cold blue eyes, but apart from that he pretty much tallies with Fleming’s Bond, despite Lazenby being Australian. He possessed similar physical attributes to the character, which helped Lazenby overcome any weaknesses with his inexperience as an actor – mainly in the action scenes. Lazenby looked most convincing as Bond during these moments, in the only movie he would play as Bond, and lucky for him one of the best in the series – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Defining moment – Rather than going for one of the action scenes in OHMSS (which Lazenby was a dab hand at), we decided to go for the tear-jerking moment at the end of the movie, when newly-wed Bond witnesses the muder of his wife before his very eyes. It is a scene which suddenly gave the Bond character depth, and helps define the man Fleming wrote about. And for all the criticism that came Lazenby’s way regarding his acting, this was one moment when he truly shone, showing the human side to James Bond. Here it is – the tragic, and rather shocking scene that follows the book near-on identically.

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Roger Moore

Did he fit the Fleming description? – Apart from the light brown hair, yes. In fact, Fleming himself thought he would be ideal as Bond. Moore definitely possessed the upper-class refined English gentleman qualities of Flemings character, but perhaps lacked the tougher edge that Connery and Lazenby had in abundance.

Defining moment – Moore unfortunately suffered some of the poorest scenes in the franchise – double-taking pigeons, telling snakes to `hiss off’, doing Tarzan yells from swinging ropes, but he was also lucky enough to appear in one of the greatest scenes in the entire franchise. It’s near the beginning of Moonraker, when Drax asks Bond to try out his flight take-off simulator. For once, Moore plays the character straight, and the audience is left with a truly heart-in-mouth moment, as Bond appears to be on the brink of certain death. A classic moment which Fleming himself would have been proud of!

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Timothy Dalton

Did he fit the Fleming description? – Probably moreso than any other actor that played Bond. Dark hair, cold blue eyes, unconventionally handsome in a cruel way. And he studied the Fleming novels to really nail the literary character. Gone was the humour, replaced with a hard-edged, no-nonsense Bond that 1980′s audiences were not really prepared for. Dalton perhaps lacked the more refined qualities of Fleming’s Bond, not helped by a very casual wardrobe he wore in the two films he starred in.

Defining moment – Dalton had plenty of thespian moments playing the character, so we’ll focus instead on one of his greatest action scenes. The climactic moment in Licence to Kill, involving hair-raising trucks stunts on tight mountain bends, but the true Fleming moment comes at the very end, when a bloodied and battered Bond meets Sanchez face-to-face for the last time. The scene echoes the climax to Fleming’s last ever novel The Man with the Golden Gun (who Sanchez was based on – they even share the same initials)!

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Pierce Brosnan 

Did he fit the Fleming description? – Yes, nearly as much as Dalton did, only let down by probably being too handsome, to the extent he bordered on looking more of a male model type, rather than the tough, cruel, hard-edged killer that Fleming wrote about. But as a cinematic incarnation that audiences expected to see as Bond, he fit the bill perfectly.

Defining moment - Like Moore, Brosnan suffered from many weak moments in his films, most notably in his last appearance as Bond in the dreadful Die Another Day, when silly, meaningless CGI replaced traditional stunt-performed action sequences. Luckily, Brosnan still managed one crowning moment as Fleming’s Bond, none other than the classic scene when a morose Brosnan sits in his room waiting for Teri Hatcher to arrive, with only his gun and a bottle of vodka to keep him company.

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Daniel Craig

Did he fit the Fleming description? – Not particularly. In fact, out of all the actors to play Bond, he fits the description the least, other than the ice-cold killer blue eyes. Bond wasn’t blonde in the novels. Craig looks closer to Steve McQueen than the upper class gentleman spy. And yet, there is something about the Connery swagger that Craig mimics so well. The tough, badass approach, enhanced by the muscular physique which makes Craig’s Bond so convincing as a spy, that he looks as though he could truly handle himself. Craig carries the raw toughness that Connery and Lazenby naturally exuded, bolstered by his strengths as an actor. He isn’t conventionally handsome either, but more rugged. Looking back at Fleming’s novels, when Vivienne Michel sees a villain when first casting her eyes on Bond, or SMERSH thinking of a `nasty looking customer’ when studying Bond’s photograph, this is Daniel Craig’s Bond.

Defining moment – Daniel Craig gets many Flemingesque scenes in Casino Royale – being tortured, poisoned, gripping card games with Le Chiffre, romantic scenes with Vesper, tragedy on witnessing her betrayal and suicide, but the defining moment has to be the final scene, when he utters the now immortal lines, `Bond….James Bond!’ after firing off one at poor old Mr. White’s leg.

YouTube Preview Image

 

So, we’ve seen Bond having his balls almost lasered apart, his newly-wed bride being murdered, a stomach-churning centrifuge ride, wild trucking off a mountain, sitting alone with a bottle of vodka, and taking pot-shots at villain’s legs.

But which is your favourite Bond actor to play Fleming’s 007?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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From Bognor Regis with Love

bognorregis 007 copy

The tabloid rumour mill on the new James Bond film is in full flow again. The Mirror reported earlier this week that there are budgetary constraints on Skyfall.

Apparently the Bond team are shooting in Bognor Regis after scrapping plans to head for six different exotic countries. Instead of filming in distant locations such as India, China and Bali, they are using various UK beaches for the next Bond film. Continue Reading →

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So How Do British Filmmakers Find Box Office Gold?

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Following on from David Cameron’s comments yesterday, regarding British filmmakers to focus on the Box Office as their main target, I thought this is what naturally happens anyway when a film gets made. Why would financial investors ever throw money into a film if they didn’t think it would make healthy returns at the box office? Without the funding, films would never see the light of day, and investors would not take the risk, especially considering film is one of the most riskiest investments to be made anyway.

 

Continue Reading →

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Profile on Film Director Tom Clegg

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