Browse Tag: bernard lee

The Man with the Golden Gun

The Man with the Golden Gun (1974): Guy Hamilton

Rolling along with the new Bond, The Man with the Golden Gun represented the last time original producer Saltzman stepped stirred the pot. He departed after selling his share to cover debts, and the resulting legal tie-ups held back production for three years. That probably turned into a blessing, because signs of Bond fatigue were racking up. The public needed a break.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: James Bond travels to Thailand to help save the solar industry, but mostly to play The Most Dangerous Game with Francisco Scaramanga, the world’s most dangerous assassin and man with the golden gun.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Live and Let Die

Live and Let Die (1973): Guy Hamilton

Connery, Lazenby, Connery, and introducing Roger Moore. That was the order of four straight James Bonds in the 1960s and ’70s. Turnover should indicate tension, dissension, or fatigue, by the producers or the public, but Roger Moore appeared in seven 007 movies, still the record, across fourteen years.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: James Bond follows the Prime Minister of Caribbean fake nation San Monique and his links to voodoo and the drug trade.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Diamonds Are Forever

Diamonds Are Forever (1971): Guy Hamilton

George Lazenby had one go at James Bond and said sayonara, welching on a seven-picture deal, which seems insane, but you have to consider he went on to appear in [three bad movies].

Sean Connery decided that maybe Bond wasn’t such a bad character to play, so he came back. Helping sway him was a then-record salary of £1.25 million.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: James Bond battles his arch-nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld, for we swear is the final time, who is at the apex of a diamond smuggling outfit and determined to make the great powers cower with them.   Continue Reading

RECAP: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969): Peter Hunt

In 1967, Sean Connery decided he was over playing James Bond. He stopped speaking to producer Albert Broccoli. The boys and girls at Eon, now United Artists, needed a new 007. They selected an unknown Australian commercial actor named George Lazenby.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: James Bond chases his arch-nemesis Blofeld into the mountain heights of Switzerland, where only he and a new, maybe-permanent lover can stop him.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Goldfinger

Goldfinger (1964): Guy Hamilton

Still the-ahem-GOLD standard of James Bond movies, the third Bond movie in as many years catapulted the character and its star into icon status. If From Russia with Love left any doubt, Goldfinger erased thoughts that Bond would fade in years to come.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: James Bond counters a gold-mad villain named Goldfinger, a man determined to nuke the bulk of America’s gold supply.  Continue Reading

RECAP: From Russia with Love

From Russia with Love (1963): Terence Young

Following the modest success of Dr. No, United Artists gave Eon Productions twice the budget for its sequel. The movie barley made it to theaters in time, but the audiences didn’t care. They embraced the movie with glee.

Everything about From Russia with Love is more than its predecessor. More run time, women with more beauty and more women with beauty, more locations, more characterization, more gadgets, more one-liners, and more explosions. And yet, in nearly every way, the movie supersedes the original Bond installment. That’s a feat in and of itself.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Global criminal syndicate SPECTRE, seeking vengeance against James Bond for the death of one of its agents, uses the spy and Britain in a plot to steal a coding machine from the Soviet Union.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Dr. No

Dr. No (1962): Terence Young

Dr. No is not the first book in the Ian Fleming franchise. When Albert Broccoli and Eon Productions set to make a James Bond film, they chose Dr. No for its ease of filming. The budget was low, and that shows up with the small scale of its action sequences and use of sets in England.

The filmmakers cast an unknown named Sean Connery as Bond, primarily because he would sign on for five films. Five deuces later and the series remains in the shadow cast by those Connery films.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A British spy travels to Jamaica to foil the plot of a deranged megalomaniac to foil American rocket launches and launches the most successful film franchise in history.  Continue Reading