James Bond film #06 (George Lazenby Bond)
Film #23: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
All right. Back to Bond. Mostly, anyway -1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service marks the first time in the Eon Productions series that Mr. Bond is played by someone other than Sean Connery. This time around, newcomer George Lazenby fills the role for the longest Bond film that isn’t Casino Royale. It wasn’t until midway through production that Lazenby decided he’d only play Bond once, having been convinced by his agent that 007 would become irrelevant in the 70s. The film’s length and the fact that it features an isolated Bond actor puts it in a unique position amidst the Bond canon, and at times the film seems uncomfortable with itself as it struggles with the new Bond incarnation.
March 17, 2012 | Categories: 6 - 6.5, Action, Adventure, Genre, Ratings | Tags: 007, albert r. broccoli, angels of death, bernard lee, bond, Desmond Llewelyn, diana rigg, england, eon productions, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, george baker, george lazenby, harry saltzman, ian fleming, ilse steppat, james bond, john barry, john glen, lois maxwell, michael reed, Peter R. Hunt, portugal, richard maibaum, sean connery, switzerland, telly savalas, tracy draco | 1 Comment
Film #15: You Only Live Twice (1967)
James Bond film #05 (Sean Connery Bond)
Sean Connery is back as James Bond in the fifth film of the series, You Only Live Twice. SPECTRE’s back again, trying to goad the US and the Soviets into a war by eating up their astronauts with a big ole hungry spacecraft. Despite the fact that SPECTRE just stole two atomic bombs in Thunderball, the Americans and Soviets blame each other, so of course it takes level-headed Britain to take care of things. Noting that the mysterious hungry hungry spacecraft landed somewhere in the sea of Japan, they dispense their top agent to the land of the rising sun to see what’s up. During his mission, Bond finally comes face-to-face with SPECTRE’s number 1, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, as played by Donald Pleasance and as spoofed by Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers series.
February 22, 2012 | Categories: 7 - 7.5, Action, Adventure, Genre, Ratings | Tags: 007, Akiko Wakabayashi, albert r. broccoli, austin powers, bernard lee, Desmond Llewelyn, donald pleasence, dr. evil, eon productions, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, hans, harry saltzman, helga brandt, ian fleming, james bond, john barry, karin dor, kissy suzuki, lois maxwell, maurice binder, mi6, Mie Hama, mike myers, nancy sinatra, osato, Peter R. Hunt, q, ronald rich, sean connery, spectre, Tetsurō Tamba, tiger tanaka, united artists, you only live twice | 1 Comment
Film #15: Thunderball (1965)
James Bond film #04 (Sean Connery Bond)
After their absence from the third Bond movie Goldfinger, SPECTRE is back in Thunderball to screw with the world and try to kill James Bond in the process. This time, hook-nosed, eye-patched #2 Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi) hijacks two atomic warheads from NATO and threatens to destroy Miami unless he gets 100 million pounds in diamonds. It’s a classic hostage situation that must have reminded audiences of the contemporary Cuban Missile Crisis, and it’s a great return for an evil organization that uses Cold War fears to enrich themselves.
February 21, 2012 | Categories: 7 - 7.5, Action, Adventure, Genre, Ratings | Tags: 007, Adolfo Celi, albert r. broccoli, bernard lee, Claudine Auger, Desmond Llewelyn, domino, emilio largo, eon productions, harry saltzman, ian fleming, james bond, john barry, Luciana Paluzzi, Martine Beswick, maurice binder, mi6, Paula Caplan, Peter R. Hunt, q, sean connery, spectre, terence young, thunderball, tom jones, united artists | Leave a comment
Film #14: Goldfinger (1964)
James Bond film #03 (Sean Connery Bond)
Goldfinger, the third in the Eon Productions James Bond series, sees Connery return to the role for what many consider the quintessential 007 film. Amidst the usual babes and bad guys, Bond is after eponymous villain Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe), who plans to attack the United States’ gold depository at Fort Knox. Goldfinger takes the formula that From Russia With Love established and adds many things that would become staples of the series. It’s also chock-full of iconic lines and scenes. Many things that spoof Bond pull dialogue and imagery from this third installation, so if you’re watching this for the first time (like I was), you’ll undoubtedly be stricken with a constant sense of déjà vu.
February 16, 2012 | Categories: 8 - 8.5, Action, Adventure, Genre, Ratings | Tags: 007, albert r. broccoli, auric goldfinger, bernard lee, Desmond Llewelyn, eon productions, Gert Fröbe, goldfinger, guy hamilton, Harold Sakata, harry saltzman, honor blackman, ian fleming, james bond, jill masterson, john barry, mi6, oddjob, pussy galore, q, sean connery, Shirley Eaton, tania mallet, united artists | Leave a comment
Film #12: From Russia With Love (1963)
James Bond film #02 (Sean Connery Bond)
With the success of Dr. No, the makers of the first James Bond film were given double the budget to do it all over again. And boy, did they. From Russia With Love, released a year after its predecessor, ups the ante on everything that made Dr. No such an excellent flick. Taking place mostly in Turkey, this installment sees Bond (Connery once again) agree to help a beautiful Russian agent (Tatiana Romanova, played by Daniela Bianchi), purportedly defect, in order to obtain a cryptographic machine known as a Lektor. Little do either of these absurdly attractive secret agents know, the entire engagement is a ploy by the terrorist organization SPECTRE, which is plotting to kill Bond in vengeance for the death of Dr. No.
February 9, 2012 | Categories: 8 - 8.5, Action, Adventure, Genre, Ratings | Tags: 007, albert r. broccoli, boat chase, daniela bianchi, eon productions, fist fights, flare gun, harry saltzman, ian fleming, james bond, james bond film, johanna harwood, john barry, lotte lenya, pedro armendariz, richard maibaum, robert shaw, sean connery, ted moore, terence young | 1 Comment
Film #11: Dr. No (1962)
And all of a sudden, I started the James Bond series. I don’t know how long it will take me to get through all 22 films, but join me as I do it. Or else.
James Bond film #01 (Sean Connery Bond)
Dr. No was the first movie based on Ian Fleming’s series about British secret agent James Bond. This is the one, man. The one that started it all. The first step down a road that would eventually see 22 (and counting) movies, 6 different actors taking up the role of Bond, and nearly $5 billion in domestic box office revenue. Coming just after the fll of the studio system, this is the movie that created the secret agent genre, pitting a ridiculously adept protagonist against the forces of evil in the political world. It’s now been fifty years – a full half a century – since Dr. No was released, and there’s simply no other way to view this film than with the knowledge that it was the start of something huge.
February 6, 2012 | Categories: 8 - 8.5, Action, Adventure, Genre, Ratings | Tags: 007, albert r. broccoli, anthony dawson, bernard lee, harry saltzman, jack lord, james bond, john kitzmiller, joseph wiseman, maurice binder, monty norman, sean connery, terence young, ursula andress | 2 Comments