Despite what pr people say, our job is LITERALLY just do as you’re told.
Yes, but throughout his tenure Brozza dropped a lot of really broad hints that he had some say in how things were going, so either that just a lot of empty posturing or he’s partially culpable.
Certainly Craig seems to have a lot of influence over how things turn out. Not sure if that extends to scripting powers, but as producer he obviously has some say.
I’ve heard him talk about DAD, he did what he was told.
Craig has had a very different role in the series, courting directors, giving story input (it was apparently him who suggested M’s death in Skyfall, having missed it when it was removed from QOS) and, during a writers strike, doing the job of “life’s a bitch” writer with Marc Forster (as the only two working in every location)
Craig’s producer credit is earned, though I do credit his willingness do that actual work (he doesn’t have to) to the loyalty that MGW and BB in particular inspire (Mendes has talked about this, BB is in charge, and he almost felt most comfortable with a decision when she backed it)
One of the pleasures of TMWTGG is how it channels prevalent 1970’s male attitudes/anxieties toward women (the feminist movement was still young). Also, it is the thorough-going slimeball quality of the movie as a whole that makes it work—as I posted once before, the entire film is one long single-entendre. The maintenance of tone is astonishing—even the theme song contributes to it.
Women were often portrayed in movies (not just Bond films) as lacking agency. In fact, the limited agency Bond movies afforded some female characters is one of their more interesting aspects, and a bright spot in the cinematic firmament of the time. Watching Tiffany Case go from smooth operator to damsel-in-distress and back again over the course of DAF is delightful, and I cannot resist Pussy Galore’s brush-off of Auric Goldfinger.
I think it is a combination of Mankiewicz’s writing and Hamilton’s direction–Mankiewicz said of him that “he’s very sophisticated and a very cynical man.” Mankiewicz also had no idea how to create or write for Black characters which contributes to the disaster that is LALD. Gilbert’s re-calibration of Moore as Commander Bond in TSWLM is brilliant–he set the character up for the remainder of the 1970’s and the 1980’s, and also created a template suited to Moore’s range as an actor.
Fleming wrote: “Bond is not a hero, nor is he depicted as being very likable or admirable. He is a Secret Service Agent. He’s not a bad man, but he is ruthless and self-indulgent” and “Perhaps Bond’s blatant heterosexuality is a subconscious protest against the current fashion for sexual confusion.” Bond’s sexual healing of lesbians is also a look that does not wear well nor his comment that sex with Vesper would have the “tang of rape” and be the spicier for it.
The films–with the exception of OHMSS and SPECTRE at the end (and maybe others I am not remembering) --do not depict Bond in a romantic key–that side of novel Bond is dispensed with. But Bond movies seem better when they are more like contemporary versions of Medieval mystery plays than movies with Cassavetes-esque characters. In fact, as I am composing this post, I am thinking that the very form of a (successful) Bond film works against deep characterization. Bond can be multi-faceted (as is the world through which he moves), but the facets are best served flat (though polished to a high gloss). I know this goes against the contemporary trend for sensitive/reflective/mournful male heroes, but introspection in male movie characters is often used to explain bad behavior rather than critique it. Film is often better at sociology than psychology due to its brevity. One does get to know Franz Biberkopf, but it takes 15 ½ hours to do so. Part of Hitchcock’s genius was to offer sketches of his characters’ psychologies rather than full-fledged portraits—attempts at which often sink present time viewings of Bergman and Cassavetes films.
He effected a change in Connery/Bond for DAF. We watch Connery learning to be Bond in DN and FRWL; come to fruition in GOLDFINGER (Guy Hamilton is key here); be his GOLDFINGER-formed-self in TB and TOLT; and portray a recently damaged version of GOLDFINGER/Bond in DAF (Hamilton as director is again key).
Moore is lost in LALD, but good in TMWTGG, though this characterization of Bond is a dead end–he can only be that blatantly slimy once if the series is to continue.
I think Connery would have been able to project an aura (to use plankattack’s term) which would make the trick seem not so sleazy. Hitchcock used this aspect of Connery’s screen presence to great effect in MARNIE. When Mark Rutland finally rapes his wife, you realize that the potential has been there all along, but Connery was able to play it and camouflage it at the same time.
There is also the response that no matter the tailoring or posture or physical features, men have a tendency to behave in particular ways.
I think TSWLM was the perfect re-boot for the Queen’s Jubilee year–the series felt more British than it had been in while.
I agree, 100%, but I like the dark, sadistic, version of Bond presented in those three films, whilst I wouldn’t want it as a constant, I enjoy it as a different, yet completely valid, interpretation of Fleming’s character.
Also; Live and Let Die is probably my favourite of the three BECAUSE of how unique it is.
Definitely unique. It is the films racist portrayal of Black characters and life that shuts me out. I know what they were trying to do, but Mankiewicz lacked the wherewithal to pen a blaxploitation screenplay, and I do not think Hamilton and his English crew had any sense of Black culture (which lack comes across as disrespect/superiority). So where the slightly jaundiced, gimlet-eyed “look-at-America/Americans” approach worked in DAF (and complemented Mankiewicz’s script), it comes off as contemptuousness in LALD.
Agree 100%. The characterization is a dead end, but what is glorious about the series is that it accommodates dead ends. Continuity (psychological and otherwise) is the danger. One of the reasons I love DAF so much: Connery/Bond #2 is a one-off version of Bond that has a connection to previous Bonds and gestures to future ones, but also exists as its own, self-contained version (in my imagination he is still on that ship with Tiffany sailing around the world).
I will not comment much more because the sidebar is asking
This topic is clearly important to you – you’ve posted more than 20% of the replies here.
Are you sure you’re providing adequate time for other people to share their points of view, too?
but that attitude, slightly mocking as it is, may be the closest to Fleming’s the series ever experiences (“you’re not me, so, you’re wrong” being VERY Fleming)
Yes. That is xenophobic.
I am going to risk the sidebar warning me as well and post once more (like drawing another card at blackjack)–also realizing that once I go to sleep and my UK and other European friends get home from Friday night out and/or wake up and post, my percentage will drop.
I think that DAF’s attitude toward and depiction of America and Americans–even Blofeld’s mocking comment that Bond’s little island was not even being threatened–is close to Fleming’s despairing vision of the UK’s new status in the world (why TSWLM seems so tonic with its Commander Bond and his Union Jack parachute–Bond didn’t get many great gadgets in TMWTGG–Scaramanga gets the flying car and Bond is forced to drive an AMC vehicle).
Just ignore that. Our new forum has some rather patronizing features which are beyond the team’s control. Well-meant can often be the opposite of well made…
The flying car was an AMC Matador. Scaramanga should have been able to do better (perhaps he just liked the colour).
I never knew. Thank you!
I actually always loved the car and the color. Bond’s car is dumpy and doesn’t convert to flying.
Spinning it about a bit because I am in a good mood (don’t worry, it’ll pass), seems that the usual suspects are getting their deserved kickings but is there anything “bad” in, say, From Russia with Love? Strikes me that whenever this sort of discussion gets going, that film is notable by its absence. I’m not looking for bad things, just contemplating that it might be one of the more bulletproof ones.
There’s a reason why it’s been on top of my list for years.
Okay, maybe one or the other exploading boat in the boat chase near the end doesn’t look exactly perfect, but apart from that…
Surprised that in the above discussion no one has mentioned Bond’s treatment (no pun intended) of Pat Fearing after the traction table scene. I remember that I felt uncomfortable with it even when I first saw it (must have been back in the 80s).
Also surprised that no one has mentioned that parrot from FYEO. Rarely has a Bond painted itself into a corner in a way that it needed the help of a talking parrot. That’s not even “Carry On”, that’s Enid Blyton. And I’m not even mentioning the Maggie & Dennis scene at the end…
ok, i’ll bite
Thunderball I’d completely forgotten about…I think I blocked shrublands from my mind because I really hate the whole segment. From the ‘she wants it really’ to the massive amounts of narrative helping coincidences that unveil Lippe and unravel the films whole plot for Bond. It’s just so painful to watch.
As for FRWL, does anyone else cringe at the stuff on the gondola? From how shaky the footage of Venice is to Bond waving goodbye to his sex tape, it’s a bad coda to an other wise brilliant film.
Put the boot into FRWL…? OMG, the humanity.
So does the Sylvia Trench appearance really work? It does jar somewhat for me. Though I guess it depends in what order you first see the films/the character. If you’re not exposed to cinema-Bond in chronological order, then the re-appearance of a “cameo character” seems somehow, trivial, TV-like.
Yes, there was crossover from backcover to frontcover in literary Bond, but if you’ve met film-Bond, well, it’s why Moneypenny has special status, no?
As for Ms Trench, well, she’s one-note at best, appearing as nothing more than Bond bedpost notch. Having her back for film two relegates her to comic-effect at best; and even then the character, or Bond’s relationship with her, is not particularly funny.
As to the original example, I was of the understanding that the tidal wave was just another DAD reference, to dodgy back-screen projection…(apologies if that “joke” has already been made )
Not sure how to understand ‘cohort’, but notwithstanding, Campbell did direct Collins a few times in The Professionals. Campbell was as hard hitting then as he was later.
And also irrelevantly to this thread, I always tell people my two favourite Brosnan Bond films are Tailor of Panama, and Thomas Crown Affair. The timing of his arrival that landed him with all things compendium was very unfortunate. I am sure had any other actor have been chosen, he too would have been saddled.
A pity, as Brosnan can do bastard very well indeed and I would love to have seen him unleashed.
Well, the film is close to perfect as thrillers, especially Bond thrillers go. The only thing that seriously disturbs me is Kerim Bey’s treatment of women:
I had a little Bessarabian hell-cat. I had won her in a fight with some gipsies, here in the hills behind Istanbul. They came after me, but I got her on board the boat. I had to knock her unconscious first. She was still trying to kill me when we got back to Trebizond, so I got her to my place and took away all her clothes and kept her chained naked under the table. When I ate, I used to throw scraps to her under the table, like a dog. She had to learn who was master.
Of course, this is not from the film but from the book. But in both Kerim Bey is by far the most vivid character, at least to me. So I always have trouble ignoring the Fritzl treatment, even though it doesn’t happen on screen.
But I admit it’s unfair to give the film the stick for the book’s weaknesses. And Fleming, perhaps because he felt he had to ‘correct’ this character’s fault - after all, we are invited to share and agree with Bey’s views - describes on the same page how his mother kicked an ounce of civility back into this creep.
As in part of the same group, or in this case troupe working together on The Professionals. And, yeah, unleashing the Brossa is always the way to go; he nailed it in The Matador.