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Don't be fooled (again).
One of his very best qualities, and one that distinguishes him from many others in the business.
(Since T-Dalt is playing the villain in this series, shouldn't he be sporting a mustache?)
That's how I feel about GE. As you say, the conflict with Trevelyan, and the beach scene with Natalya, would have suited Daltons approach. I like to think that a 3rd film would have cemented Dalton as Bond in the eyes of the public. Aiming for a tone somewhere between TLD and LTK. And directed and written by people who believe in Dalton, that think that he was the man for the job. But there still remains the problem of John Calley, who flat out refused to greenlight another Bond with Dalton. Unfortunately, he had EON over a barrel, so we will never know for certain.
On saying that, all 5 80's Bond films feature in the bottom 10, so maybe the issue ran deeper than who the leading man was
What was Picker wrong about in ‘69?
A noticeable drop in box office receipts happened right after MGM bought UA. For various reasons, MGM’s marketing and distribution system in the 80s was no where as good as UA’s in the 60s and 70s.
In fact, we saw something similar with NTTD. Universal’s marketing and distribution of NTTD for international was very successful, whereas United Artists Releasing, after taking over from Sony, was not as successful in the North American market.
I get that Lazenby himself had decided he wasn't coming back. But unless my memory doesn't serve me well, it was Picker (among others, probably) who rejected the tone of OHMSS and therefore wasn't willing to have DAF be some sort of 'sequel' to OHMSS. Now, we see Bond get his revenge on Blofeld with a smile and some slapstick comedy. That's a mistake, in my opinion. Either way, he probably wasn't wrong from the POV of the chief of UA. OHMSS had not met their expectations after all.
John Calley was a duplicitous and conniving snake who’s choices for Bond after Dalton left the role included Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, and Hugh Grant (Seriously?!) before Brosnan was cast. He buggered off to Sony in 1996, which shows you what kind of person he was.
I feel that if Dalton did GE, we would have gotten a older Alec Trevelyan, as originally planned. Maybe Sir Anthony Hopkins, as wanted? I don’t know if Martin Campbell would have directed as well.
As for his third film, some things to consider. He needed new writers and a new director drastically. I think that’s why the box office numbers dropped off in the late 80s. The public realized that the movies were being made by the same people in a possible creative decline. Maibaum and Glenn really needed to go. The right director and possible editor would have been more helpful. Same with RWD. EON’s biggest gift and curse is keeping people around for too long.
Agreed. A fresh director and writer, along with an editor and cast would have helped Dalton win audiences over.
Never heard of that, I always understood it to be that Eon made the conscious choice to NOT make an overt sequel to OHMSS from the moment Lazenby left, and that bringing back Guy Hamilton and hiring Tom Mankiewicz was part of a concerted effort to return to the tone of GF for the early 70s. I honestly don’t blame them for making that decision. Trying to double down by making a direct follow up to one of the least popular Bonds wouldn’t have been wise.
Now, regarding Picker, the only thing I know he had a direct involvement as far as DAF goes was the casting of Bond. In 1971, Eon had already picked American actor John Gavin to be the new Bond. He was all set to play it. But Picker had no confidence that this guy could help right the ship, so he came directly to Connery and asked what it would take to get him back for one more film and the deal was made. As far as I know, this is one of the rare times Picker involved himself in such an overt matter because he preferred to leave it to the filmmakers but this was one of those rare instance he asserted himself. This was also done at the very last minute too. Connery signed onto play Bond in March and was expected to start shooting in April. That would probably account for why Connery wasn’t in good shape because he had very little prep time to get back to that physique he had in his 30s, and he was already 40.
IMO, I think Picker made the right call for both the short and long run. By getting Connery back, Eon was able to deliver another hit film and this would assure them to later recast this time with Roger Moore, and the rest is history.
Would I have liked a OHMSS follow up? Sure, I think every Bond fan would. But the reality of the situation at the time just didn’t allow for that. Eon needed to rebound, not double down. But I may also be biased because I love DAF for the film it is as just another Bond film. The film was never meant to be a follow up to OHMSS, so why should I berate it for not being what it never was meant to be?
I think this is a bit hard on the pair. I think this up-thread explanation helps explain the sagging 80s grosses:
Maibaum can't be blamed for the final draft of LTK, since the writer's strike prevented him from bringing the ship into port (and it's not as if the final script was badly written). As for Glen, after five films he probably needed a break, but he also deserves some credit for guiding the series after its budget was frozen (post-MR) and UA lost its bearings. Only LTK came out looking like it was on a lowered budget, and that was partly because it had to be made in Mexico, again because of the squeezed budget. A different director would have still struggled with later films if the series's resources hadn't risen by the time of GE.
Why is Maibaum considered a scapegoat when Michael G. Wilson seemed to have a more active if not equal role in writing at the time in addition to his other behind the scenes work? Also, Glen proved his versatility as director, going from the Moore years of action and humor to the more serious with TLD to the very serious with LTK.
Cubby should also be looked at in this capacity as he could be overly loyal to certain team members, and now his heirs are repeating that with keeping Purvis and Wade for multiple films.
Overall loyalty can be shown in repeating mistakes at times. I’ll leave Glenn alone as he didn’t criticize others for his shortcomings. Maibaum criticized everyone who worked on his scripts, actors and other writers especially. Karma’s not nice, always, but let’s not pretend that he was a flawless writer. For crying out loud, he wanted a chimp to be Bond’s ally more than once!
A parrot is as far as we went. ;)
It would be difficult for any creative person to not have at least one bad idea, and the chimp one isn't as awful as some that other Bond folk have either had or implemented. And most of Maibaum's criticisms are fair rather than petty, even if one doesn't agree with them. Beyond all that, there was nothing to prove Maibaum was written out after LTK (which I consider better written than any of the Brosnan films). But since he was old and the film was a commercial flop, he was punished for it. Interestingly, that was also the last time Michael G. Wilson co-wrote a Bond film.