Peter Hunt - An Appreciation (the former Peter Hunt Auteur thread)

edited December 2020 in Bond Movies Posts: 712
Peter Hunt’s direction for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service could be considered to be a large reason as to why the film works on so many levels. His direction of the cast, and direction of the action scenes, his direction of the love/exposition scenes, his desire to have the film shot differently than what had come before, his total control over the production (even exceeding that of Broccoli, and Saltzmen’s control at times), his desire to return to Fleming’s source material (which wasn’t present in most of the previously written drafts for OHMSS), and his final say over the editing and length of Majesty’s. This leads me to ask this question, could Peter Hunt be the “Auteur” Bond director?

***UPDATED TO BE A GENERAL APPRECIATION THREAD FOR PETER HUNT***
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Comments

  • Posts: 1,027
    I don't know about "Auteur" but Peter was a visionary and craftsman.
  • delfloria wrote: »
    I don't know about "Auteur" but Peter was a visionary and craftsman.

    Fair enough, I just think that if Majesty’s was directed by say, Terence Young, Guy Hamilton, or Lewis Gilbert, they wouldn’t have added the personal flair that Hunt brought to the project. Hunt was also a big reason as to why the film returned to the source material, the earlier drafts all seemed to have indicated that the film was originally going to continue to over excessive nature of TB and YOLT, it’s Hunt that dialed everything back.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 4,091
    Hunt is the prime example of knowing how to work within the Eon system. He did not have final cut, but after showing his cut to UA, they were so impressed they told him not to trim it at all.
  • echo wrote: »
    Hunt is the prime example of knowing how to work within the Eon system. He did not have final cut, but after showing his cut to UA, they were so impressed they told him not to trim it at all.

    That’s why I respect Hunt so much. He wasnt going to allow Broccoli and Saltzmen to call the shots the way they usually did. He was going to get his way, even if it meant go to the higher ups at UA. I simply can’t see Terence Young or Guy Hamilton doing that.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    edited December 2020 Posts: 5,065
    delfloria wrote: »
    I don't know about "Auteur" but Peter was a visionary and craftsman.

    Fair enough, I just think that if Majesty’s was directed by say, Terence Young, Guy Hamilton, or Lewis Gilbert, they wouldn’t have added the personal flair that Hunt brought to the project. Hunt was also a big reason as to why the film returned to the source material, the earlier drafts all seemed to have indicated that the film was originally going to continue to over excessive nature of TB and YOLT, it’s Hunt that dialed everything back.

    Good post. Agreed on Hunt and OHMSS.

    However, I wouldn’t call TB excessive. That film is also very close to the source material.

    It’s a travesty that Hunt didn’t direct more Bond films. He may well have been competing with Terence Young as the all time best Bond Director if so.
  • suavejmf wrote: »
    delfloria wrote: »
    I don't know about "Auteur" but Peter was a visionary and craftsman.

    Fair enough, I just think that if Majesty’s was directed by say, Terence Young, Guy Hamilton, or Lewis Gilbert, they wouldn’t have added the personal flair that Hunt brought to the project. Hunt was also a big reason as to why the film returned to the source material, the earlier drafts all seemed to have indicated that the film was originally going to continue to over excessive nature of TB and YOLT, it’s Hunt that dialed everything back.

    Good post. Agreed on Hunt and OHMSS.

    However, I wouldn’t call TB excessive. That film is also very close to the source material.

    It’s a travesty that Hunt didn’t direct more Bond films. He may well have been competing with Terence Young as the all time best Bond Director if so.

    Perhaps I chose the wrong word, maybe Fantastical works better.

    Agreed on Hunt however, he was offered to do both TSWLM and FYEO but turned them down for some reason. I guess a large part as to why he didn’t come back immediately after OHMSS was because Broccoli and Saltzmen found him to infuriating to work with. There’s a letter in the archives of Richard Maibaum that describes Hunt as being a “Monster when directing”, but also defending Hunt as knowing Bond better than anyone else save Terence Young. I do agree that he definitely would’ve rivaled, perhaps even surpass Young’s efforts as director had he done more with the series.
  • edited December 2020 Posts: 266
    I wouldn't say Hunt is the only auteur Bond director. I would even say that Eon has only recruited auteurs in recent years, from Forster to Fukunaga, to Mendes and Boyle, with, we will all agree, varying degrees of success. What bothers me a little with this denomination, regarding Hunt, is that apart from OHMSS, does his career make him an auteur? I haven't seen his other films, did he have such a creative influence in their development and production? Thus, if OHMSS could be considered a surely auteurist Bond with Hunt at the height of creativity, putting his stamp on the film, does that make him an auteur in general, beyond this exemple?
    Agreed on Hunt however, he was offered to do both TSWLM and FYEO but turned them down for some reason.
    I did not know that these installments had been formally offered to him. I read there had been some early talks, but nothing quite so substantial. While I doubt that Hunt would have been better than Gilbert in handling the TSWLM large action set pieces, he would have been definitely a better choice, in my opinion, than Glen on FYEO, based solely on his work on OHMSS.
  • I wouldn't say Hunt is the only auteur Bond director. I would even say that Eon has only recruited auteurs in recent years, from Forster to Fukunaga, to Mendes and Boyle, with, we will all agree, varying degrees of success. What bothers me a little with this denomination, regarding Hunt, is that apart from OHMSS, does his career make him an auteur? I haven't seen his other films, did he have such a creative influence in their development and production? Thus, if OHMSS could be considered a surely auteurist Bond with Hunt at the height of creativity, putting his stamp on the film, does that make him an auteur in general, beyond this exemple?
    Agreed on Hunt however, he was offered to do both TSWLM and FYEO but turned them down for some reason.
    I did not know that these installments had been formally offered to him. I read there had been some early talks, but nothing quite so substantial. While I doubt that Hunt would have been better than Gilbert in handling the TSWLM large action set pieces, he would have been definitely a better choice, in my opinion, than Glen on FYEO, based solely on his work on OHMSS.

    Good points, I’ve seen Gold with Roger Moore, and I can see the directorial flair that Hunt brings into that film. But I can’t confess to having seen any of his other films beyond that. However I think Gold is a neat, interesting little thriller with some good action set pieces in it. However I think what separates Hunt from those other directors was that, to my knowledge, I don’t think any of the others took as much control over the production of those films as Hunt did. Mendes was working from scripts by Purvis/Wade, and seemed to have no input in their development (as far as I can tell), Fukanaga has yet to prove himself as an established Bond director, in fact I think Bond represents his first feature film directorial effort (correct me if I’m wrong), Forster tried to input his own stamp on QOS but failed in doing so, and Danny Boyle was let go because his ideas didn’t gel with what EON had in mind for Bond 25. Hunt by comparison, had huge say in nearly every aspect of the production of OHMSS. From the development of the final script, to the casting, and the editing. Even the hiring of Michael Reed as DP was Hunt’s personal choice, he wanted his film to stand out differently from what had come before, which stands the reason why I think Majesty’s has, in my opinion, the best look of the entire series. While I can’t say for 100% complete fact that Hunt was an auteur for any of the other films, strictly speaking within the franchise itself, I’m hard pressed to think of any other director who had as much say in the production of their Bond films as Hunt did, thus I think he may be the closest example to an “Auteur” this franchise has ever seen.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited December 2020 Posts: 5,263
    I think Mendes would easily be up there if Hunt is. His films have a very distinct feel from all the other Bonds (Hunt stuck with house composer Barry for his film, note) and he certainly was involved in the scripts. The success of Skyfall is undoubtably down to him. Young is the only other director have cast M, Q and Moneypenny too! :)

    Hunt did seem to have a predilection for making fairly ponderous and slightly overlong movies, and I think you can even detect that in OHMSS. There's not a huge drive forward in it. And his two later Roger Moore movies I find to be a real slog to get through.
  • mtm wrote: »
    I think Mendes would easily be up there if Hunt is. His films have a very distinct feel from all the other Bonds (Hunt stuck with house composer Barry for his film, note) and he certainly was involved in the scripts. The success of Skyfall is undoubtably down to him. Young is the only other director have cast M, Q and Moneypenny too! :)

    Hunt did seem to have a predilection for making fairly ponderous and slightly overlong movies, and I think you can even detect that in OHMSS. There's not a huge drive forward in it. And his two later Roger Moore movies I find to be a real slog to get through.

    I think Mendes is certainly more of an auteur outside of the franchise. I adore Road to Perdition, and I agree that Skyfall and Spectre do have their own unique style to them. Skyfall in particular felt like nothing else the series has produced, even in the way it was shot, my hat is off to Mendes for getting somebody like Roger Deakens to shoot the film. Even SPECTRE is beautiful to look at. But in a way, I feel like Mendes’ strengths as director (strictly speaking within the series) also become some of his weaknesses. His desire to put his own stamp on the series worked for Skyfall, but I felt overstayed it’s welcome on SPECTRE. I also don’t think he handled the action scenes as well as Martin Campbell did. I can’t say that I’m entirely sure what capacity Mendes played in the development of the script for SPECTRE, and I’m sure the Sony leaks/Various Rewrites didn’t help matters either, but I didn’t agree with some of the plot points in the film. Back onto Hunt, I kind of like the length of Majesty’s. It doesn’t really slow down for me at all, even the scenes where Lazenby is dubbed, I think the film moves along at a very good pace. The long wait for the vast majority of the Action scenes feels worth it. The first ski chase for example came along at the perfect time, the slow build up from Bond escaping the room with the gears, to him climbing the steel cable, and then him knocking out the guard inside Piz Gloria, it felt like a wonderful buildup to the wonderful Ski Chase scene, and then even after the initial Ski Chase, the action just keeps going and going for the most part (save for the proposal scene.) Id say the final 3rd of the film is dedicated to amazing Action set pieces. Even the Bobsleigh scene is breathtaking. I also get a huge sense of eeriness during the Wedding scene, and the build up to the end. Now compare that to Thunderball, where I think the movie feels immensely slow and jaded up until the fight scene on the Disco Volante. Even the underwater sequences are dull to get through. But for Majesty’s, the length of that film makes it feel like an Epic more than any other entry in the series, and that’s why I love it.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 5,263
    mtm wrote: »
    I think Mendes would easily be up there if Hunt is. His films have a very distinct feel from all the other Bonds (Hunt stuck with house composer Barry for his film, note) and he certainly was involved in the scripts. The success of Skyfall is undoubtably down to him. Young is the only other director have cast M, Q and Moneypenny too! :)

    Hunt did seem to have a predilection for making fairly ponderous and slightly overlong movies, and I think you can even detect that in OHMSS. There's not a huge drive forward in it. And his two later Roger Moore movies I find to be a real slog to get through.

    I think Mendes is certainly more of an auteur outside of the franchise. I adore Road to Perdition, and I agree that Skyfall and Spectre do have their own unique style to them. Skyfall in particular felt like nothing else the series has produced, even in the way it was shot, my hat is off to Mendes for getting somebody like Roger Deakens to shoot the film. Even SPECTRE is beautiful to look at. But in a way, I feel like Mendes’ strengths as director (strictly speaking within the series) also become some of his weaknesses. His desire to put his own stamp on the series worked for Skyfall, but I felt overstayed it’s welcome on SPECTRE. I also don’t think he handled the action scenes as well as Martin Campbell did. I can’t say that I’m entirely sure what capacity Mendes played in the development of the script for SPECTRE, and I’m sure the Sony leaks/Various Rewrites didn’t help matters either, but I didn’t agree with some of the plot points in the film.

    Maybe if Hunt had done a second you'd think he was rubbish too.

    I don't think Hunt wrote much of OHMSS. I believe most of the plot came from a book by some bloke...
    Back onto Hunt, I kind of like the length of Majesty’s. It doesn’t really slow down for me at all, even the scenes where Lazenby is dubbed, I think the film moves along at a very good pace. The long wait for the vast majority of the Action scenes feels worth it. The first ski chase for example came along at the perfect time, the slow build up from Bond escaping the room with the gears, to him climbing the steel cable, and then him knocking out the guard inside Piz Gloria, it felt like a wonderful buildup to the wonderful Ski Chase scene, and then even after the initial Ski Chase, the action just keeps going and going for the most part (save for the proposal scene.) Id say the final 3rd of the film is dedicated to amazing Action set pieces. Even the Bobsleigh scene is breathtaking. I also get a huge sense of eeriness during the Wedding scene, and the build up to the end. Now compare that to Thunderball, where I think the movie feels immensely slow and jaded up until the fight scene on the Disco Volante. Even the underwater sequences are dull to get through. But for Majesty’s, the length of that film makes it feel like an Epic more than any other entry in the series, and that’s why I love it.

    Maybe, but when you view it alongside his other films it does seem that slightly ponderous and meandering is his thing.
  • mtm wrote: »
    mtm wrote: »
    I think Mendes would easily be up there if Hunt is. His films have a very distinct feel from all the other Bonds (Hunt stuck with house composer Barry for his film, note) and he certainly was involved in the scripts. The success of Skyfall is undoubtably down to him. Young is the only other director have cast M, Q and Moneypenny too! :)

    Hunt did seem to have a predilection for making fairly ponderous and slightly overlong movies, and I think you can even detect that in OHMSS. There's not a huge drive forward in it. And his two later Roger Moore movies I find to be a real slog to get through.

    I think Mendes is certainly more of an auteur outside of the franchise. I adore Road to Perdition, and I agree that Skyfall and Spectre do have their own unique style to them. Skyfall in particular felt like nothing else the series has produced, even in the way it was shot, my hat is off to Mendes for getting somebody like Roger Deakens to shoot the film. Even SPECTRE is beautiful to look at. But in a way, I feel like Mendes’ strengths as director (strictly speaking within the series) also become some of his weaknesses. His desire to put his own stamp on the series worked for Skyfall, but I felt overstayed it’s welcome on SPECTRE. I also don’t think he handled the action scenes as well as Martin Campbell did. I can’t say that I’m entirely sure what capacity Mendes played in the development of the script for SPECTRE, and I’m sure the Sony leaks/Various Rewrites didn’t help matters either, but I didn’t agree with some of the plot points in the film.

    Maybe if Hunt had done a second you'd think he was rubbish too.

    I don't think Hunt wrote much of OHMSS. I believe most of the plot came from a book by some bloke...
    Back onto Hunt, I kind of like the length of Majesty’s. It doesn’t really slow down for me at all, even the scenes where Lazenby is dubbed, I think the film moves along at a very good pace. The long wait for the vast majority of the Action scenes feels worth it. The first ski chase for example came along at the perfect time, the slow build up from Bond escaping the room with the gears, to him climbing the steel cable, and then him knocking out the guard inside Piz Gloria, it felt like a wonderful buildup to the wonderful Ski Chase scene, and then even after the initial Ski Chase, the action just keeps going and going for the most part (save for the proposal scene.) Id say the final 3rd of the film is dedicated to amazing Action set pieces. Even the Bobsleigh scene is breathtaking. I also get a huge sense of eeriness during the Wedding scene, and the build up to the end. Now compare that to Thunderball, where I think the movie feels immensely slow and jaded up until the fight scene on the Disco Volante. Even the underwater sequences are dull to get through. But for Majesty’s, the length of that film makes it feel like an Epic more than any other entry in the series, and that’s why I love it.

    Maybe, but when you view it alongside his other films it does seem that slightly ponderous and meandering is his thing.

    Maybe, that’s the tricky thing, he’s only done one Bond film, and it’s highly regarded as one of the best. He wouldn’t have been good for the big, over the top spectacles like TSWLM, but would’ve been perfect for something like FYEO.

    As far as Hunt’s influence on the script, if you read the various drafts and screenplays for OHMSS (5 of each to be exact), Maibaum strays far from the source material in his work for the 1966, 1967, and 1968 drafts/screenplays. At one point there was an aquatic Aston Martin, a laser gun, and a scene with Bond trapped inside cage with a chimp in all three of them. His 1964 Drafts/Screenplay remains pretty faithful to the book, but still have their odd discrepancies (like Bond dying his hair orange and donning a beard to infiltrate Piz Gloria), but it was Hunt who ordered Maibaum to stick close to the book for the final Draft, which eventually became the screenplay they wound up shooting.

    As far as his other films outside the series, I’ve only seen Gold with Roger Moore which I personally found entertaining, so that’s why I wanted to keep this “Auteur” question strictly within the confines of the series.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 5,263
    mtm wrote: »
    mtm wrote: »
    I think Mendes would easily be up there if Hunt is. His films have a very distinct feel from all the other Bonds (Hunt stuck with house composer Barry for his film, note) and he certainly was involved in the scripts. The success of Skyfall is undoubtably down to him. Young is the only other director have cast M, Q and Moneypenny too! :)

    Hunt did seem to have a predilection for making fairly ponderous and slightly overlong movies, and I think you can even detect that in OHMSS. There's not a huge drive forward in it. And his two later Roger Moore movies I find to be a real slog to get through.

    I think Mendes is certainly more of an auteur outside of the franchise. I adore Road to Perdition, and I agree that Skyfall and Spectre do have their own unique style to them. Skyfall in particular felt like nothing else the series has produced, even in the way it was shot, my hat is off to Mendes for getting somebody like Roger Deakens to shoot the film. Even SPECTRE is beautiful to look at. But in a way, I feel like Mendes’ strengths as director (strictly speaking within the series) also become some of his weaknesses. His desire to put his own stamp on the series worked for Skyfall, but I felt overstayed it’s welcome on SPECTRE. I also don’t think he handled the action scenes as well as Martin Campbell did. I can’t say that I’m entirely sure what capacity Mendes played in the development of the script for SPECTRE, and I’m sure the Sony leaks/Various Rewrites didn’t help matters either, but I didn’t agree with some of the plot points in the film.

    Maybe if Hunt had done a second you'd think he was rubbish too.

    I don't think Hunt wrote much of OHMSS. I believe most of the plot came from a book by some bloke...
    Back onto Hunt, I kind of like the length of Majesty’s. It doesn’t really slow down for me at all, even the scenes where Lazenby is dubbed, I think the film moves along at a very good pace. The long wait for the vast majority of the Action scenes feels worth it. The first ski chase for example came along at the perfect time, the slow build up from Bond escaping the room with the gears, to him climbing the steel cable, and then him knocking out the guard inside Piz Gloria, it felt like a wonderful buildup to the wonderful Ski Chase scene, and then even after the initial Ski Chase, the action just keeps going and going for the most part (save for the proposal scene.) Id say the final 3rd of the film is dedicated to amazing Action set pieces. Even the Bobsleigh scene is breathtaking. I also get a huge sense of eeriness during the Wedding scene, and the build up to the end. Now compare that to Thunderball, where I think the movie feels immensely slow and jaded up until the fight scene on the Disco Volante. Even the underwater sequences are dull to get through. But for Majesty’s, the length of that film makes it feel like an Epic more than any other entry in the series, and that’s why I love it.

    Maybe, but when you view it alongside his other films it does seem that slightly ponderous and meandering is his thing.

    Maybe, that’s the tricky thing, he’s only done one Bond film, and it’s highly regarded as one of the best. He wouldn’t have been good for the big, over the top spectacles like TSWLM, but would’ve been perfect for something like FYEO.

    As far as Hunt’s influence on the script, if you read the various drafts and screenplays for OHMSS (5 of each to be exact), Maibaum strays far from the source material in his work for the 1966, 1967, and 1968 drafts/screenplays. At one point there was an aquatic Aston Martin, a laser gun, and a scene with Bond trapped inside cage with a chimp in all three of them. His 1964 Drafts/Screenplay remains pretty faithful to the book, but still have their odd discrepancies (like Bond dying his hair orange and donning a beard to infiltrate Piz Gloria), but it was Hunt who ordered Maibaum to stick close to the book for the final Draft, which eventually became the screenplay they wound up shooting.

    And Mendes rejected Morgan's script and suggested many of the major plot beats and major characters. You can't say Hunt somehow created this story he got out of a book whereas Mendes had nothing to do with his.
    As far as his other films outside the series, I’ve only seen Gold with Roger Moore which I personally found entertaining, so that’s why I wanted to keep this “Auteur” question strictly within the confines of the series.

    I've found it very boring. And there's not really any such thing as a real auteur acting an an auteur inside the series, that's why you have to consider what they did outside of it. Mendes is one of those and they brought him onboard to do as much of exactly that as he possibly could.
  • Posts: 266
    Maybe, that’s the tricky thing, he’s only done one Bond film, and it’s highly regarded as one of the best. He wouldn’t have been good for the big, over the top spectacles like TSWLM, but would’ve been perfect for something like FYEO.
    I guess if Hunt had been hired instead of Gilbert on TSWLM, he would have put his stamp on the script, the same way he did for OHMSS, as you point out. Perhaps the final product would have been close to Christopher Wood's novelization in terms of tone. Not that I would have liked to see that rather than the movie that ultimately got made, but it would certainly have been something else. Otherwise I agree with you that he would have been perfect for something like FYEO.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,065
    I must say I am biased towards Hunt as I find his faithful adaption of OHMSS to be one of the best in the series.

    With regards to Mendes, his films are my least favourite of the Craig era. But that’s down to personal preference rather than anything else.
  • edited December 2020 Posts: 712
    mtm wrote: »
    mtm wrote: »
    mtm wrote: »
    I think Mendes would easily be up there if Hunt is. His films have a very distinct feel from all the other Bonds (Hunt stuck with house composer Barry for his film, note) and he certainly was involved in the scripts. The success of Skyfall is undoubtably down to him. Young is the only other director have cast M, Q and Moneypenny too! :)

    Hunt did seem to have a predilection for making fairly ponderous and slightly overlong movies, and I think you can even detect that in OHMSS. There's not a huge drive forward in it. And his two later Roger Moore movies I find to be a real slog to get through.

    I think Mendes is certainly more of an auteur outside of the franchise. I adore Road to Perdition, and I agree that Skyfall and Spectre do have their own unique style to them. Skyfall in particular felt like nothing else the series has produced, even in the way it was shot, my hat is off to Mendes for getting somebody like Roger Deakens to shoot the film. Even SPECTRE is beautiful to look at. But in a way, I feel like Mendes’ strengths as director (strictly speaking within the series) also become some of his weaknesses. His desire to put his own stamp on the series worked for Skyfall, but I felt overstayed it’s welcome on SPECTRE. I also don’t think he handled the action scenes as well as Martin Campbell did. I can’t say that I’m entirely sure what capacity Mendes played in the development of the script for SPECTRE, and I’m sure the Sony leaks/Various Rewrites didn’t help matters either, but I didn’t agree with some of the plot points in the film.

    Maybe if Hunt had done a second you'd think he was rubbish too.

    I don't think Hunt wrote much of OHMSS. I believe most of the plot came from a book by some bloke...
    Back onto Hunt, I kind of like the length of Majesty’s. It doesn’t really slow down for me at all, even the scenes where Lazenby is dubbed, I think the film moves along at a very good pace. The long wait for the vast majority of the Action scenes feels worth it. The first ski chase for example came along at the perfect time, the slow build up from Bond escaping the room with the gears, to him climbing the steel cable, and then him knocking out the guard inside Piz Gloria, it felt like a wonderful buildup to the wonderful Ski Chase scene, and then even after the initial Ski Chase, the action just keeps going and going for the most part (save for the proposal scene.) Id say the final 3rd of the film is dedicated to amazing Action set pieces. Even the Bobsleigh scene is breathtaking. I also get a huge sense of eeriness during the Wedding scene, and the build up to the end. Now compare that to Thunderball, where I think the movie feels immensely slow and jaded up until the fight scene on the Disco Volante. Even the underwater sequences are dull to get through. But for Majesty’s, the length of that film makes it feel like an Epic more than any other entry in the series, and that’s why I love it.

    Maybe, but when you view it alongside his other films it does seem that slightly ponderous and meandering is his thing.

    Maybe, that’s the tricky thing, he’s only done one Bond film, and it’s highly regarded as one of the best. He wouldn’t have been good for the big, over the top spectacles like TSWLM, but would’ve been perfect for something like FYEO.

    As far as Hunt’s influence on the script, if you read the various drafts and screenplays for OHMSS (5 of each to be exact), Maibaum strays far from the source material in his work for the 1966, 1967, and 1968 drafts/screenplays. At one point there was an aquatic Aston Martin, a laser gun, and a scene with Bond trapped inside cage with a chimp in all three of them. His 1964 Drafts/Screenplay remains pretty faithful to the book, but still have their odd discrepancies (like Bond dying his hair orange and donning a beard to infiltrate Piz Gloria), but it was Hunt who ordered Maibaum to stick close to the book for the final Draft, which eventually became the screenplay they wound up shooting.

    And Mendes rejected Morgan's script and suggested many of the major plot beats and major characters. You can't say Hunt somehow created this story he got out of a book whereas Mendes had nothing to do with his.
    As far as his other films outside the series, I’ve only seen Gold with Roger Moore which I personally found entertaining, so that’s why I wanted to keep this “Auteur” question strictly within the confines of the series.

    I've found it very boring. And there's not really any such thing as a real auteur acting an an auteur inside the series, that's why you have to consider what they did outside of it. Mendes is one of those and they brought him onboard to do as much of exactly that as he possibly could.

    Not once did I imply that Hunt created the story. I merely stated that Hunt’s influence was what caused the shooting script to faithfully follow the book. It’s well documented. Even if Mendes did order the script and plot changes for SPECTRE, it’s not like the end result was any better, because I strongly believe that SPECTRE is one of the worst entries in the franchise, and a lot of that is down to the creative decisions that Mendes had in the film.

    Even then, the “auteur” theory doesn’t exactly mean the story has to be 100% completely original. Look at Francis Ford Coppola, he was considered to be one of the leading auteurs of the 1970’s, yet The Godfather was adapted from the Mario Puzo book, Godfather Part 2 lifted the flashback scenes directly from the same book, and Apocalypse Now was based off of Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness, only updated to fit in contemporary Vietnam.

    And I completely disagree with your assessment on “no auteurs can work from within the series”, if that was the case, then Hunt wouldn’t have been able to get away with half of what was in Majesty’s. He fought to the nail just to get his way. As mentioned previously, he even went behind Cubby and Harry’s back just to get his way when it came from the editing of the film. He had succeeded in getting complete control over the production of the film, which fits the definition of an auteur. There’s a reason Cubby and Harry didn’t want him back immediately for the next film; because Hunt didn’t play by their set rules. Where I feel Mendes still had to answer to Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson at the end of the day. If you don’t believe me, then why would they cut ties with someone like Danny Boyle? Clearly because he wasn’t going to play along the same way Mendes did, and had his own ideas for how B25 should’ve gone.
    Maybe, that’s the tricky thing, he’s only done one Bond film, and it’s highly regarded as one of the best. He wouldn’t have been good for the big, over the top spectacles like TSWLM, but would’ve been perfect for something like FYEO.
    I guess if Hunt had been hired instead of Gilbert on TSWLM, he would have put his stamp on the script, the same way he did for OHMSS, as you point out. Perhaps the final product would have been close to Christopher Wood's novelization in terms of tone. Not that I would have liked to see that rather than the movie that ultimately got made, but it would certainly have been something else. Otherwise I agree with you that he would have been perfect for something like FYEO.

    Even then I’m not even sure if Wood’s novelization of TSWLM lines with Hunt’s desire to keep things as close to Fleming as possible, I haven’t read the Christopher Wood Novelization, I understand its bit darker than the final film, and maybe Hunt would’ve played with those elements, but I doubt he would’ve wanted to go with the overall plot. That’s why I think he would’ve gelled nicely with FYEO; it was just something that was more in his alley. I always get the impression that Hunt was either 100% set on faithfully following Fleming, or not doing it at all.
    suavejmf wrote: »
    I must say I am biased towards Hunt as I find his faithful adaption of OHMSS to be one of the best in the series.

    With regards to Mendes, his films are my least favourite of the Craig era. But that’s down to personal preference rather than anything else.

    I’m biased towards Hunt as well. His task was far tougher than Mendes’ was. The man had to prove himself as a first time director, while also handling the task of replacing Connery, and handling what was, at that time, probably the most difficult subject matter within the entire series. He also handled the love scenes incredibly well. I do not buy for a single second that Craig’s Bond fell in love with Madeleine. The romance element of SPECTRE is a large reason why that film doesn’t work on the level that OHMSS does. There’s also the issue of SPECTRE connecting the previous films, which came off as a lazy and desperate attempt to tie everything neatly, and also lessened the impact that Skyfall has. That’s why I’m inclined to say that Hunt’s success with OHMSS is far greater than Mendes’ success with his two films.
  • M_BaljeM_Balje Amsterdam, Netherlands
    edited December 2020 Posts: 3,495
    Long time a go i believe that The Departed (2006) mabey get help from John Logan. From Neal Pervis and Robert Wade uncredit but confirmd wrote The Italian Job (2003) and possible also Saraha (2005). Both a lot of inspiration from The World Is Not Enough.

    Over the years you can see typical style of P&W, mabey also because of producers, Chris Corbould and designers.

    My opnion is that Thunderball set case for some things in OHMSS and both and drama of OHMSS sort of also be inspiration from later movies like FYEO, TDL and Twine. Same way i think QOS is Daniel Craig Yolt and LTK.
  • edited December 2020 Posts: 712
    M_Balje wrote: »
    Long time a go i believe that The Departed (2006) mabey get help from John Logan. From Neal Pervis and Robert Wade uncredit but confirmd wrote The Italian Job (2003) and possible also Saraha (2005). Both a lot of inspiration from The World Is Not Enough.

    Over the years you can see typical style of P&W, mabey also because of producers, Chris Corbould and designers.

    My opnion is that Thunderball set case for some things in OHMSS and both and drama of OHMSS sort of also be inspiration from later movies like FYEO, TDL and Twine.

    Same way i think QOS is Daniel Craig Yolt and LTK.

    I agree that Terence Young’s films were the blueprint for OHMSS. Hunt was a protégée of Young’s. However I feel the influence came more from Dr. No and FRWL rather than Thunderball.

    I do agree that Purvis and Wade’s style is incredibly evident in the films they’ve worked on however.

    I don’t see the influence of YOLT on QOS, but can definitely see LTK’s influence. If anything I think YOLT played an influence on SPECTRE. Even going so far as to recreate the Blofeld Scar just for pure fan service.
  • Hunt was the secret weapon of the series and like all the key personnel horrendously undervalued. But none of the original five directors are considered auteurs by the critical establishment because they don’t take Bond seriously and save for a hit or two only Gilbert had a number of respected successes outside of the series.

    Young and Hamilton’s importance cannot be stressed enough. They’re opposites in their approach but without either one you lose some of the richness developed in the series dna. But without Terence we wouldn’t be anywhere. He was the primary influence on Hunt and you can both see and feel that all the way through OHMSS.

    I do hate that none of the guys ever had much traction after their series tenure. They may have had their issues with EON but it can’t be argued that they had found their creative niche for a time.

    The other things that makes OHMSS so different isn’t direction at all:
    -first of the solo Harry produced films which are all tougher, grittier and down to earth as opposed to the Cubby handled films which had more grandeur.
    -Most important it’s the one and only film where Richard Maibaum got solo screen credit. His work usually got changed or pulled around by others so here he’s undiluted and does I think the best adaptation work he ever did on a Fleming title. He said in many interviews he felt it was Ian’s best novel.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 4,091
    I think that Hunt and Maibaum are the two unsung heroes of the franchise. And both were at the top of their games here.

    And don't forget Simon Raven.
  • edited December 2020 Posts: 712
    Hunt was the secret weapon of the series and like all the key personnel horrendously undervalued. But none of the original five directors are considered auteurs by the critical establishment because they don’t take Bond seriously and save for a hit or two only Gilbert had a number of respected successes outside of the series.

    Young and Hamilton’s importance cannot be stressed enough. They’re opposites in their approach but without either one you lose some of the richness developed in the series dna. But without Terence we wouldn’t be anywhere. He was the primary influence on Hunt and you can both see and feel that all the way through OHMSS.

    I do hate that none of the guys ever had much traction after their series tenure. They may have had their issues with EON but it can’t be argued that they had found their creative niche for a time.

    The other things that makes OHMSS so different isn’t direction at all:
    -first of the solo Harry produced films which are all tougher, grittier and down to earth as opposed to the Cubby handled films which had more grandeur.
    -Most important it’s the one and only film where Richard Maibaum got solo screen credit. His work usually got changed or pulled around by others so here he’s undiluted and does I think the best adaptation work he ever did on a Fleming title. He said in many interviews he felt it was Ian’s best novel.

    Great post, but why isn’t Bond taken seriously amongst the critical establishment? I can see how the reputations of films like DN, GF, TB, YOLT, and further adventures shouldn’t be considered for serious evaluation. But films like FRWL, and OHMSS, I think anyway, should’ve have garnered more serious examinations from said establishment, particularly OHMSS. Their scripts are immaculate, their acting superb (even if Lazenby is highly debated amongst the public, he still does great), and Hunt’s control over the production of OHMSS, leads me to consider OHMSS as the work of a filmmaker trying to be “auteurish” with his material. Also, OHMSS seems to fall in line with the then growing trend of filmmakers being influenced by the French New Wave, which seems a fitting style seeing as how American New Wave seemed to have started 1-2 years prior to OHMSS. The high brow nature of the establishment is a reason why I feel like the Fleming books also never got the respect they truly deserved. They always seemed to dismissed Fleming and Bond when the writing was superb at times, so why the snobbery from both the literary, and film establishments? And what constitutes being a true “Auteur” filmmaker? Everyone seems to have differing opinions on that.

    Also I wasn’t aware the producers decided to produce films by themselves at the point? What’s the story behind that?
    echo wrote: »
    I think that Hunt and Maibaum are the two unsung heroes of the franchise. And both were at the top of their games here.

    And don't forget Simon Raven.

    Of course, I think the “Thy Dawn” scene between Diana Rigg and Telly Savalas was wonderfully exchanged.
  • Posts: 266
    Also I wasn’t aware the producers decided to produce films by themselves at the point? What’s the story behind that?
    I don't remember exactly in what context it emerges, but the relationship between Broccoli and Saltzman was more and more strained at the end of the 1960s, so much so that they decided to divide up the films and alternate. Saltzman was the main producer on OHMSS, as the documentary Becoming Bond illustrates, always showing Saltzman but never Broccoli. I don't think however that there was a real separation and the creative process was always more or less shared, but always with a dominant person. If TMWTGG was therefore a Broccoli movie, Saltzman was set to produce the next one which would have been Moonraker and commissioned a script from Gerry Anderson. Comic book writer Cary Bates also wrote a treatment for Moonraker at that time, but I think it was for the broccoli, after Saltzman left.
  • Also I wasn’t aware the producers decided to produce films by themselves at the point? What’s the story behind that?
    I don't remember exactly in what context it emerges, but the relationship between Broccoli and Saltzman was more and more strained at the end of the 1960s, so much so that they decided to divide up the films and alternate. Saltzman was the main producer on OHMSS, as the documentary Becoming Bond illustrates, always showing Saltzman but never Broccoli. I don't think however that there was a real separation and the creative process was always more or less shared, but always with a dominant person. If TMWTGG was therefore a Broccoli movie, Saltzman was set to produce the next one which would have been Moonraker and commissioned a script from Gerry Anderson. Comic book writer Cary Bates also wrote a treatment for Moonraker at that time, but I think it was for the broccoli, after Saltzman left.

    That’s interesting, I always just assumed that Broccoli and Saltzmen continued to co-produce and put up with each other until the partnership ended. That would also explain why Saltzmen’s crazy ideas for TMWTGG never made it into the final film.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 1,579
    Also I wasn’t aware the producers decided to produce films by themselves at the point? What’s the story behind that?
    I don't remember exactly in what context it emerges, but the relationship between Broccoli and Saltzman was more and more strained at the end of the 1960s, so much so that they decided to divide up the films and alternate. Saltzman was the main producer on OHMSS, as the documentary Becoming Bond illustrates, always showing Saltzman but never Broccoli. I don't think however that there was a real separation and the creative process was always more or less shared, but always with a dominant person. If TMWTGG was therefore a Broccoli movie, Saltzman was set to produce the next one which would have been Moonraker and commissioned a script from Gerry Anderson. Comic book writer Cary Bates also wrote a treatment for Moonraker at that time, but I think it was for the broccoli, after Saltzman left.

    Interesting, where did you hear about the Moonraker information?
  • Posts: 1,027
    When you consider what Hunt was able to do with OHMSS in the Bigger, Better and more Fantastical era of YOLT it's a miracle. Had Connery stuck around I'm not sure Hunt would have gotten a chance influence OHMSS the way that he did.
  • delfloria wrote: »
    When you consider what Hunt was able to do with OHMSS in the Bigger, Better and more Fantastical era of YOLT it's a miracle. Had Connery stuck around I'm not sure Hunt would have gotten a chance influence OHMSS the way that he did.

    That’s true. That’s why the whole “If Connery was in OHMSS, it’d be the best Bond film” argument annoys me to no end. Maybe if they had film Majesty’s after Goldfinger perhaps, but following on from TB, or YOLT means that the fantastical nature of both films would’ve continued being explored. OHMSS presented a perfect opportunity to return to the source material, because with a new Bond they could’ve explored an aspect that would otherwise not been explored. I also can’t picture Connery in the final scene of the film. Even the earlier drafts that would’ve featured Connery, end the film on the shot of Dead Tracy, not allowing the audience to see Bond grieve.
  • Posts: 266
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    Interesting, where did you hear about the Moonraker information?
    Most notably from MI6 HQ's report on TSWLM production history:
    https://www.mi6-hq.com/sections/articles/tswlm_script_history
    I don't remember where I read it first but I think the recent The Lost Adventures of James Bond book also confirms that Bates was hired to write a Moonraker adaptation that evolved to become TSWLM.
  • MaxCasino wrote: »
    Interesting, where did you hear about the Moonraker information?
    Most notably from MI6 HQ's report on TSWLM production history:
    https://www.mi6-hq.com/sections/articles/tswlm_script_history
    I don't remember where I read it first but I think the recent The Lost Adventures of James Bond book also confirms that Bates was hired to write a Moonraker adaptation that evolved to become TSWLM.

    It does, but the book doesn’t dive into the aspects of his script. According to Bates, he sold the script to Broccoli, but apparently some of the ideas from the script made their way into TSWLM.
  • edited December 2020 Posts: 2,086
    Hunt is probably the director who exerted the most personal control over the major aspects of a Bond film, because after Connery's departure the producers were willing to let him take control and take risks. They trusted Hunt because he was one of the secret saviors of the series. Every Bond film after DN had required extensive editing: Hunt restructured FRWL in the editing room, finessed GF to resemble Young's style, sorted through the mess of TB's footage after Young walked off the production, and was called in to rescue and re-edit YOLT after directing its second unit. Hunt's editing is literally the glue that holds the first Bond films together as a stylistic unit, and OHMSS is the culmination of that style.

    Hunt's history with the Bond series and knowledge of the books meant he approached OHMSS with greater interest, investment and vision than any other director on a Bond film, before and since. And OHMSS probably has a greater sense of directorial style than any other Bond. Every aspect of the production--from cinematography to editing-- feels like a conscious stylistic decision and functions as a stamp of individualized creativity.

    Helfenstein's book on OHMSS also makes the point that Hunt was an uncredited co-writer of the script. For all the talk about how faithful OHMSS is to the novel, it deviates significantly from Fleming, and almost always for the better. This was not simply a case of filming the book. As with GF, the filmmakers improved on their source.

    I think a word like auteur is almost meaningless--nowadays it signifies little more than treating a director like a brand-name. Originally it was used to suggest that Hollywood studio directors were capable of making films with the same level of individuality and style as more independent European director-artists like Renoir and Bergman. This was occasionally true in cases where a director had enough clout to get his way, but the theory overlooked the collaborative nature of filmmaking and the conditions of the studio system and the roadblocks it presented to individual expression.

    The same problems occur when applying auteur theory to the Bond films, which almost always have been producer's films rather than expressions of directorial vision. OHMSS is unique in that the director was given an almost free hand--in that sense, Hunt was working somewhat as an "auteur" and able to take his style further than he was allowed to before or since. The editing in OHMSS remains far more elliptical and daring than anything in the succeeding Bonds or in John Glen and Peter Hunt's later films. We know from Hunt and Shout at the Devil that Hunt retained his gifts as an adventure/action director, but afterward he was never given equal opportunities as a filmmaker. For anyone unfamiliar with it, this interview with Hunt is good reading.
  • edited December 2020 Posts: 423
    I recall that Hunt was begging for a chance to direct YOLT after TB. TB was to be his last editing job as he planned to graduate to directing. Then at the last second either the producers or the studio got cold feet and panicked and decided to go with an experienced director so they got Lewis Gilbert. Hunt was furious but then was promised that the next one would definitely be his. For YOLT they promoted Hunt to “Supervising Editor” as some sort of consolation. In any case it seems like Hunt just wanted a chance to direct. He didn’t want to edit anymore. So I have to wonder what YOLT would have looked like if he directed it. I can’t imagine he would have been in any position to make demands. He would have probably just gone with the Roald Dahl script and been happy to direct. But after getting screwed over on YOLT he probably felt more bold on OHMSS and they felt they owed him so they went along with his demands.
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