The BARRY NELSON Appreciation thread - Discuss His Life, His Career, His Bond Films

SeveSeve The island of Lemoy
edited October 24 in Actors Posts: 312
It seems only fair

casino-royale-1954-torture.jpg?resize=640%2C598

Royale with cheese

"The name's Bond. Card Sense Jimmy Bond."

On its own this obscure TV drama come thriller would be totally forgotten if it wasn't for the fact that it's the first on screen appearance of someone playing Ian Fleming's James Bond. Before Sean Connery played him in 1962's big-screen "Dr. No," Barry Nelson played the secret agent in this 1954 CBS small-screen live adaptation of Ian Fleming's first Bond novel, "Casino Royale"

Jimmy Bond is an American CIA operative. He is tasked with cleaning out communist agent Le Chiffre (Peter Lorre, of "Casablanca" fame) in a game of baccarat. Bond is helped by British secret agent Clarence Leiter and sexy French double agent Valerie Mathis (Vesper Lynd and René Mathis rolled into one).

Since "Casino Royale" was made for American TV as a part of the CBS series Climax!, the producers seemed to think they needed to make the hero American. Nelson plays Bond like a hard-boiled private eye. Peter Lorre is spot-on as the villain. Even though he is a small man, he radiates an erratic intensity that makes him menacing.

Since this version of "Casino Royale" was made for live TV, there are also mistakes as a result of not having multiple takes to get it right. Shadows are cast over actors' faces. There are long pauses in telephone conversations, Lorre is inaudible at times, and in one shot, he clearly didn't know the camera was still on him. Nelson crams his shoulder into a lampshade. Someone can be overheard coughing behind the camera during a tense interrogation scene.

Even in these politically inclusive days, when 'non-traditional' casting is lauded, there is still something uniquely blasphemous about the idea of an American James Bond...

Best lines of dialogue;-

After surviving a murder attempt in the opening scene:

Chef DePartre - "The casino is full of apologies Mr. Bond. Such an act is beyond explanation. You had not begun to play, so it was not your winnings they were after."
Jimmy B quips - "Yeah, and it wasn't my autograph either!"

Valerie Mathis - [Leaving casino] "Perhaps we can go together."
Jimmy B - "Well, if you don't mind going through a barrage of bullets. Right now I'm not a very good risk."
Valerie Mathis - "So it was you those men were shooting at. But why?"
Jimmy B - "Maybe they needed the practice."

Clarence Leiter - "Aren't you the fellow who was shot?"
Jimmy B - "No I was the fellow who was missed!"

Clarence Leiter - "You know you're here to deal with Herr Ziffer, Le Chiffre, he's the same fellow."
Jimmy B - "Deal with... you mean kill him?"
Clarence Leiter - "You won't have to, he'll die anyway... if you play your cards right."

Gadget;- a silencer-equipped walking-cane gun

Torture scene; - The bad guys use a pair of pliers on Bond's toes (Hey it's 1950s American TV after all).

Comments

  • SeveSeve The island of Lemoy
    edited October 19 Posts: 312
    quote-ten-years-ago-desalination-was-the-crazy-aunt-in-the-attic-that-s-changed-it-is-now-barry-nelson-63-19-11.jpg

    In 2004, Nelson said, "At that time, no one had ever heard of James Bond...I was scratching my head wondering how to play it. I hadn't read the book or anything like that because it wasn't well-known." Bond did not become well known in the U.S. until President John F. Kennedy listed "From Russia, with Love" among his 10 favorite books in a March 17, 1961, Life article.

    The program also featured Peter Lorre as Le Chiffre, the primary villain. Nelson later noted the opportunity to work with Lorre was the reason he took the role
  • edited October 19 Posts: 12,812
    I always wondered what film or television show this image was from.........

    299496.jpg?437
  • SeveSeve The island of Lemoy
    edited October 19 Posts: 312
    ToTheRight wrote: »
    I always wondered what film or television show this image was from.........

    I'll do my best to find out, as I have "all the time, in the World" on my hands at the moment, being in Covid Lockdown...

    I guess Johnny Eager is the most likely candidate?
    A film noir with guns and gangsters

    b7A4IjoYBbBWXM666NZQ6wYa3OR.jpg



    Meanwhile I think, arguably, he looks more like James Bond in "Shadow of the Thin Man" than he did in Casino Royale, if a bit too boyish

    ce4i7uh9n7mwuwnc.jpg?skj2io4l
  • Posts: 12,812
    Seve wrote: »
    ToTheRight wrote: »
    I always wondered what film or television show this image was from.........

    I'll do my best to find out, as I have "all the time, in the World" on my hands at the moment, being in Covid Lockdown...

    I guess Johnny Eager is the most likely candidate?
    A film noir with guns and gangsters

    b7A4IjoYBbBWXM666NZQ6wYa3OR.jpg



    Meanwhile I think, arguably, he looks more like James Bond in "Shadow of the Thin Man" than he did in Casino Royale, if a bit too boyish

    ce4i7uh9n7mwuwnc.jpg?skj2io4l

    I'm actually thinking it might be from from a television appearance he would have done in the 60's/ just by his hair length and visible aging.
  • Posts: 8,785
    he was alive when EON did Casino Royale I would of loved a nod to the 54 show if Nelson was to sickly to do anything still aline would of been nice...


    that being said Royale54 is almost always the first bond "film" each year
  • SeveSeve The island of Lemoy
    Posts: 312
    ToTheRight wrote: »

    I'm actually thinking it might be from from a television appearance he would have done in the 60's/ just by his hair length and visible aging.

    Hmmm, I can't identify one which fits the bill so far
  • SeveSeve The island of Lemoy
    edited October 23 Posts: 312
    Barry's movie career peaked out early, with supporting appearances along side Robert Taylor in "Johnny Eager" and "Bataan", and in one of Robert Powell's "Thin Man" franchise, but he never really made it as far as being a lead actor

    After returning from WW2 he did a bit more of that, before moving into the new medium of Television, which led to repeat invitations to appear in an anthology TV series called "Suspense".

    As a result of his good work in this genre he was finally given the opportunity to the top of the bill in a movie, starring in the noir thriller "The Man Who Stole My Face". If only Hitchcock had directed it perhaps it might have been the turning point of his career?

    He then got the chance to star in his own TV series, "The Hunter" where he portrayed Bart Adams, a wealthy, carefree, booze loving womanizer who had a secret side (sounds familiar?) who is also a freelance Communist hunter. For some reason he left that program after season one and went for a complete change of pace as the star of a sitcom called "My Favourite Husband"

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    However it was also during this period that he landed his most iconic role, as "Card Sense Jimmy Bond" in "Casino Royale".
    BarryNelsonBondCR1954.jpg


    After a spell back on the TV Playhouse circuit and a couple of roles supporting the female star in movies, he starred in another TV series, a "Canadian Western" called Hudson's Bay, which only lasted a season, before settling in to the rotation of actors who guest star on other people's TV shows.

    Late career highlights would include playing co-pilot Anson Harris alongside Dean Martin in "Airport", the film which inaugurated the "Disaster Movie" craze of the 1970s

    4098e-airport-dean-martin-gary-collins-barry-nelson.jpg


    "Honest Bob" Bailey in the Mini Series "Washington Behind Closed Doors" which was part of the 1970s "Mini Series" craze which also gave us the likes of "Shogun" and the original version of "Roots"

    harold-gould-cliff-robertson-andy-griffith-tony-bill-robert-vaughn-picture-id1190609027


    and Stuart Ullman, the Hotel Manager, in Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining"

    e53e219471da47d9c57b0f79f4b9474d--stanley-kubrick-the-shining.jpg



  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Per ora e il momento che verrà
    Posts: 5,655
    Thanks @Seve , that was interesting. I remember him from The Shining.

    Now that Barry has his own thread, I think I might create one for David Niven, who had quite a career, as well.
  • SeveSeve The island of Lemoy
    edited October 26 Posts: 312
    GoldenGun wrote: »
    Thanks @Seve , that was interesting. I remember him from The Shining.

    Now that Barry has his own thread, I think I might create one for David Niven, who had quite a career, as well.

    Why not, David's career will take a bit more time to summarise though
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