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If so, how did you feel about Connery leaving? What did that mean for your relationship with the films? Where you going to continue watching them, think they'd die a death, or that maybe they could survive?
Any information on this would be great to read.
I would be very interested to hear that...when you first heard that he wasn't going to make another Bond film was your first reaction to think that the series was over, or that they would find a new guy (unless they had already announced that they'd find someone new)?
And if you thought they'd find a new guy who was talked about at the time? By that I mean who were the fans talking about? I'm sure that there were a few actors that we would find surprising today because they're not well known, or perhaps no longer known at all. I wonder if some Connery look-alikes seemed like obvious candidates to the general public. I remember how "fans" (more of Highlander than Bond) kept saying that Adrian Paul was the obvious choice to take over from Dalton. I wonder how many 16 year old Bonds fans even know who he is now...
I think i'm old enough to qualify for this thread...which I am moving from General Discussion to Bond Movies ;-)
I hated Sean leaving and didn't quite know what to think of Moore - although I knew, and liked him very much, from The Saint - but really loved LALD (not all but most of the film) and was happy with Moore as Bond. But I still thought Sean should have stayed.
I was sufficiently crazy about Moore as Bond to have his photo on my wall for a looong time. OK, even when I first came to Japan in 2005 (to teach ESL) I had a photo of him, with Barbara B. from TSWLM. What a gorgeous picture that was.
I did not see OHMSS in the theatre, just skipped it. I finally saw it years later but I still don't really like this film, have to be honest.
Bond has been a part of my life for decades - a nice indulgence, I must say.
Absolutely Sam! Good to see some of the originals joining in and ready to share.
So how did I feel about Sir Sean leaving? Absolutely devastated, just like my Dad and my younger brother. Bond was my first (and still my favorite) action hero and the man playing him my first cinematic hero. I remember watching OHMSS after having seen every movie except for Goldfinger beforehand and thinking "this guy sucks when he's not in action", which I still feel to this day, and how much better I just knew Sir Sean would have been in the role. I honestly didn't think I would continue to be interested if this guy was going to be the new Bond for some time. And the way the media went on and on about it, I felt the end of the series could be at hand.
As for Sir Roger taking the role after Sir Sean returned for DAF, which naturally I was thrilled about Sir Sean's return, I already knew Moore from his 2 TV series. After lengthy discussion, the three of us thought that he would do a much better job than George, but were not sure how exactly he'd do against the greatness that was Sir Sean. Of the actors out there whose named had been bandied about in the media, he was our consensus choice so we were pleased that he got the role and as it turned out, he did a fine job.
How have you viewed the more recent chances after Moore? With him being Bond for so long, were people comfortable with another actor carrying the series forward? Did you want Brosnan - most people's choice, or were you happy with Dalton?
How were things with the long delay? Did you feel Bond would never return? How about Dalton leaving, did you want him to continue. Did people during this time, actually want him to come back?
How was Brosnan when he finally arrived? What did you make of him being 'let go' after the CGI mess of his last film?
Lastly, how do you view Craig and the Bond of today? Are you happy for it to continue in it's current trend?
Fellow Ageing Agents,
I saw Dr.No, at age 9, when I was on holiday from a dreadfully oppressive boarding school and I swear to God, it changed my life.
It opened my eyes and made me dream of fare away places, glamour, style and, of course sex. I saw that movie at a flea pit called "The Pavillion" in my home village, Ferryhill, Co.Durham.
I was to visit that cinema three times that week. The first time I saw it, I was with a friend, the second time I took my mother (she was equally as enthusiastic) and the third time I went on my own.
I then persuaded my mother to take me through to Durham and buy every Bond book in print. I started with Dr.No and then read the rest, one after the other, in chronological order.
When FRWL came out I persuaded my mother to come down to London (the boarding school was in the south of England) and we went to London to see it at the Odeon Leicester Square. What a day that was!
Then of course came the awesome "Goldfinger", the good "Thunderball" and the less good YOLT but by then the films were not going in the direction I would have liked. Too many gadgets and too many bad jokes and furthermore furthermore I had become a huge fan of the literary Bond and couldn't understand why the movies were becoming so divorced from their source material.
As a consequence, when Connery threw his hand in the first time I was more interested in how Lazenby would do than mourning the demise of Sean. In fact, I liked OHMSS and would have liked to have seen George make another couple of outings. As we all know, it wasn't to be and the rest is, as they say, history.
I tell you all of this because by then, I had become an avid reader, a dreamer and somebody who wanted an adventurous life.
I got it, I traveled the world. I have lived and worked in London, NYC, Paris and Copenhagen. I have had a fabulous career and now I'm retired in Surrey writing this.
Yes, it's all thanks to you Mr.Fleming - you opened my eyes with your fabulous adventures and there are absolutely no prizes for guessing what type of car I drive or the watch I wear and yes, I will be there when "Skyfall" opens and I will buy the Boyd book. I haven't stopped dreaming.
Your phrase "It opened my eyes and made me dream of far away places, glamour, style and, of course sex" perfectly described what I saw and felt myself while witnessing Thunderball in 1968 at the age of about 7. I have to laugh when I remember those feelings because even then I knew I was a "bad boy" who someday wanted a major babe on my arm and some luxuries. John Barry's music though, made me aware of how much music meant to me and led to much of my adult career being involved in live performance with my band, or working in the business end of music entertainment. Barry with the imagery and the whole experience of seeing a place like the Bahamas was a huge influence. I was hooked then and there.
Me, I almost got to be a rock star. Bad business decisions on my part, I have no one but myself to blame. Life goes on. But I got to play up and down the East Coast at the best rock clubs, and lived the life as much as possible with great lust and zeal, and got to be the "bad boy" I always knew I was at least for quite a bohemian time before starting my family and settling down into a routine. I've traveled around the USA and I love visiting the Caribbean. I want to visit England to see when Bond began, and to visit Germany and the Alsace part of what is now France to see where my ancestors came from. I'm reasonably comfortable and have no plans to retire any time before normal retirement age because work keeps me busy and productive.
I have read all the Fleming books and have always been an avid reader of any topic I enjoy.
I still love Bond as much as ever and I am mostly enjoying the Craig era to this point. The usual "itch" knowing a new film is on it's way is as strong as it ever was. "Bond Until Death" could well be the family motto, now four generations and counting :D
Dear Sir Henry,
How right you are about Barry's music!
When I heard that guitar riff in Dr.No I was transported amd although I came to be a huge Beatles, Stones, Soul and Roxy Music fan but, I was always the strange one, walking around with a John Barry vinyl soundtrack under my arm at the height of "Flower Power".
I remember squinting at the Dr.No titles to discover that Monty Norman's James Bond theme was arranged and played by "The John Barry Seven". I walked the streets until I found it on a Decca 45rpm - went home and played it to death on my sister's Dansette. I had it on permanent repeat!
This started a life long love of Barry's music. I play his stuff all the time and I credit his Jazz influence with turning me on to the likes of Chet Baker.
He was certainly a massive part of the dream and, as you know, he sadly passed a short while ago. M wife and I were lucky enough to go to his memorial concert at London's Royal Albert Hall. it was a magnificent evening and a fitting tribute to a true original.
Great to hear that you got to live out your music dream. We certainly loved living in your country and spent eight great years living in Old Greenwich CT when I was working in NYC.
In fact, we nearly stayed but had to return to Bond's home country!
You are right, us "Ageing Agents" need our own motto. "The World Is Not Enough" would be the easy one - but your "Bond Until Death" is better!
Thanks for this lovely post; yours too, Bentley. And please note my username. It's true for me, too. ;)
I'll answer this for you Sam, got carried away with chatting with the other originals who have joined. Hopefully there will be more. I am really enjoying myself here.
1. I absolutely never thought DAF could be it for anyone but Sir Sean. Any and all statements from Cubby and Harry indicated they would carry on and move forward.
2. The recent choices have been good for the most part. I was fairly put off by only two of the movies (MR and DAD), but not enough to hang up the tux and PPK. Besides, I thought they followed those with two great entries and my faith was restored in full. I remember watching Pierce in Remington Steele and thought he definitely had the right look in comparison to Connery and Lazenby. My Dad was gung-ho for him to be the successor to Sir Roger and I remember him being very disappointed that the producers exercised his option, which we know took him out of the picture. I didn't know Dalton at all and neither did he, but when they announced him I managed to catch a film or two of his and thought he also had the right look and actually better acting chops at the time. After reporting to Dad I thought this guy might be able to do it, the usual 3 suspects (Dad, me and my younger brother) went as usual on opening weekend and when I asked my Dad how he felt afterwards, he said he did well and he looked forward to seeing more of Dalton. LTK was the last film he saw before he passed and he loved that one too and I'll always remember him saying that it was a classic as far as he was concerned and that the series was in good hands after Sir Roger, whose sense of dress he loved and whose era he generally appreciated. He'd always have Sir Roger's on screen suits in his closet hardly a week after the newest movie. He could remember exactly how it was put together down to the exact shade of color and duplicate it perfectly. I was always amazed how he could get them so quickly!
3. Sometimes I truly wondered more about the years 1991-1994 as far as the end in comparison to Sir Sean's departure. I prayed often that I would get another Dalton film, I loved both his movies and the swagger he brought back to the role that I felt Sir Roger had lacked. I'll always wish he had done more. How others felt, well the media generally weren't big fans of his and I think that unlike Craig, it worked against him.
4. As for Pierce, I thought he had an excellent debut and solid second outing, but there has always been something missing in his portrayal that just made think he was OK, but not great. This is hard to explain. He looked right, delivered his quips well, I thought he was reminiscent of Sir Roger's approach- but to me he just didn't pull it off. Sir Roger I found to be endlessly entertaining as Bond even if I always obviously idealized Connery. Like MR, the mess that was DAD wasn't Pierce's fault, but I honestly felt that he gave us all he had to give after his 4 films and a change was needed. I wanted to like him a lot more than I actually did, but he kept the series financially healthy and moving forward and for that I appreciate him and his hard work.
5. OK. When I first saw Craig's blond hair, I was ready to join the CNB crew. I did remember him from Road To Perdition but as a thoroughly bad guy in the role, I couldn't get a grip on how he would be, or any of it for that matter. I resisted like crazy going to see CR and after the taste that DAD had left, I probably feared for the longevity of the series more than at any other time. My wife and brother practically dragged me along, reminding me that I would be breaking a family tradition of 3 generations and that Sir Roger had light brown hair and I gave him a chance, so I would be a hypocrite. Once I saw him rub out Dryden as coldly as Sir Sean sent Professor Dent to the afterlife, he had my attention. When the movie ended, I was stunned into "wow" while my wife and brother endlessly rubbed it in! I love Craig as Bond even if he hasn't done the traditional character full blast, and I'm greatly anticipating SkyFall to see how he truly measures up to Connery and Dalton, still my two favorites to this day. I love his swagger and cold efficiency, his sense of humor and style when CR/QOS have allowed him to be lighter, and he's a terrific actor with a great range to boot. No one will ever be Sir Sean to me, but I see a whole lot of Connery in him much as I did with Dalton, and thus far my mild disappointment with QOS has nothing to do with how he actually was in that film. I am counting down the days until November, 4 years is 2 years too long for a new one and I am very excited by what I've seen and read to this point.
Bond Until Death!
My school chums and I had heard he was leaving during the summer before YOLT was released. Did not believe it of course. Not until we saw an article in Life magazine that a new Bond had been selected did we accept it.
after missing YOLT during it's run I had vowed never to miss another Bond film. So I did not care that they had replaced actors. I liked the Bond films. I had friends who stayed away after OHMSS came out but I wasn't one of them.
@SirHenryLeeChaChing: Thanks for starting this for us "oldsters" the youngsters will be welcomed as well.
I definitely welcome questions from the younger fans such as about how it was to remember Bondmania at it's dizzying height when Bond was everywhere you looked, but I truly want this to be our special thread, our "hangout and refuge" amidst the craziness that this Forum sometimes becomes. The younger fans can see the features and all from that day but they can never truly experience what we did. Our support for the series kept it alive for them to enjoy, but there are fewer and fewer of us as time goes by and we deserve this place of honor even if it exists only here in this space.
I was happy to hear the announcement in the spring of 1971. then when I saw DAF, I spend the whole time just shaking my head. Not until MR came out was I so friggin disappointed!
I for one was not happy with the Moore selection. Had always remembered him as The Saint. Yet I still was not going to stay away (remember my vow after YOLT?) I came to love Moore and was actually sad to see him leave even though he had obviously outgrown the part but Moore had grown on me. Was he more beloved than Sean. No.
I was happy with Dalton and always hated Brosnan. I suffered thru his era (the 90's). I was glad he was fired after DAD. good riddance to bad rubbish.
First time I saw the CR trailer I thyought Craig was incredibly homely. Just did not think he would fit the role but after seeing CR, I must say: Daniel Criag rocks. He may not be as pretty (Brosnan, Moore) or have rugged good looks (like Sean, George, Dalton) as earlier Bond's but I really like him in the role.
I hope the Bonds will continue and that Skyfall be as pleasing as CR was.
Not old enough properly to contribute, though - the furthest I go back to is seeing the LTK trailer at the flicks before The Last Crusade. I am peppering on top now, mind... ;)
Then Thunderball was released that Christmas season...
Of course Mom would not let me go see it. It was the following year when DN and GF were shown on a double bill when I finally saw a Bond film. I was blown away by DN and when GF came on I was so friggin impressed there was no turning back. Bond was the greatest. He trumped Superman, Tarzan, Robin Hood, the Lone Ranger, all our childhood idols were nothing compared to "Double nought Seven" (quoted Jethro Bodine--you guys remember the Beverly Hillbillies? ) :)>-
So cool. When I was at first school we used to take the silver foil from Kit Kat wrappers, roll them into balls and play with them as those silver globe things with eyes from Terrahawks. Think it's fair to say the '60s were far cooler than the '80s - after all, in the '60s Gerry Anderson delivered Captain Scarlett; that beats Terrahawks to a pulp in the cool stakes... ;)
Those who cannot remember are still welcomed, so welcome George. That's why the thread was started, so we can also impart our knowledge by answering questions anyone might have. It's a very unique perspective we have, it's "agecentric" yes but as "aging agents" it comes with the territory. I often read many of the younger fans' perspectives and as Professor Joe would say "bless their hearts", they miss a lot of the little subtleties of living through each era, seeing the films from their inception in the theaters on old 35mm celluloid like I saw Goldfinger on Sunday, and how they correlate from then to now in all aspects. They can go back and watch the movies and see the features but they can't know our perspective because they simply were not born or aware of how truly big the phenomenon was. I know many of them wish they could have gone back in time to our time, but until they invent a time machine it isn't happening, so the best thing us originals can do for them is to tell our stories and do our best to capture it for them.
A favorite demise was push them into an electrifed fence... :)) (probably dreamed of that from watching TV shows and monster movies)
Our grade school minds even had Bond battling monsters: werewolves, the blob, etc. Of course Bond could always killed all of them.
Here's another one, what did you make of the non-Bonds, Casino Royale '67 and Never Say Never Again? Did the threat of McClory trouble you? He'd been after Bond for a long time, after all. Was Moore the right choice to go opposite Connery rather than a new actor?
A school chum and I caught Casino Royale in the spring of 67. Had no idea what we were getting into. After about 15 minutes into the film we realized it was a silly comedy. The high point of the day was seeing the YOLT trailer...
I had little interest in seeing NSNA. I did not see it until a couple of years later on home video. I liked the concept of an aging and out of shape Bond. I liked Fatima Blush (Barbara Carerra was always hot) and Klaus Maria Brandenauer was a good Largo. I knew the film was a remake of TB (I knew the backstory) probably why I had so little interest in the movie. It just never seemed like a bond movie without the opening gunbarrel or that music. McClory's hands were so tied and that might have been one of the problems.
Time and box office receipts have proven that Moore was the right choice. A new actor would have been risky and Moore was well established by that time. EON made the right choice to bring Moore back for OP and in my opinion that was his best Bond film.
What did I think of the non-Bonds? Garbage, plain and simple. CR67 was a spoof, and NSNA was a remake. I've seen them, but I don't own copies of either nor will I ever.
It did bother me that McClory and Warner Bros decided to put NSNA up against Octopussy, greatly to be honest. I've never been sure whose idea it was to do that, but McClory's greed and hatred of EON is an open book. That was the year that I elected to see Octopussy instead because I knew NSNA was a remake and I felt very confident it would do nothing to improve what had been done in 1965, on which I was right. My Dad and brother went to NSNA and weren't real happy that they did afterwards. It was tough not to be with them because as I've said it was tradition for the 3 of us to go together. And I was even more vindicated in my choice when I saw NSNA myself and when they saw Octopussy.
EON needed Sir Roger badly for this film, he was the established Bond of the day and still popular. They were absolutely right to put him up against Sir Sean and it would have been a mistake to run a new Bond against a legend.
Along the lines of that question, do you feel like there is a lot more knowledge about Bond that you didn't know prior to the internet, or was that information always well known? (I.e.: we're all basically Bond scholars now). If so, do you feel that knowing all this trivia has diminished your enjoyment of the series or has it rather boosted your fandom instead?
What was Bondmania like around the time of Thunderball? Was it really that impressive? I mean, it is my favorite, but i'd really like to know what that time was like? And did you get many 'Bond items', (random) things tht had 007 printed on them and/or stuff like that?
Well, it's like I've explained to my kids, it was a very different day. They think I lived in the Stone Age. We didn't have all the sources of information available nowadays. Computers were something Mr. Spock used on TV. There were no VCR's, let alone DVD players. They didn't even start to show the films on TV (we had all of 7 channels back then in the Philly area) as you've mentioned until the early 70's in the US. So to see them, you had to go to the theater and yes, absorb as much as possible. It was the norm for me then to see the film 2-3 times before it left the theater, even today I usually get two showings to catch as much as I may have missed on the first showing. Now my itch is a 3-6 month one for the DVD to come out, but back then it was a 2 year itch waiting for the next movie period.
I just told my boy the other day that the merchandising was unbelievable. I don't remember "Bondmania" exactly because I was so young (4, 5 years old), but my parents said that at it's height you couldn't walk into a store whether a department or a Mom and Pop without seeing the merchandise. Plus there was lots of print media articles and as the UDVD's have shown, you usually got a TV special to get you psyched up about the new movie shortly before release. I loved that they re-released those because I vaguely remembered seeing some of them as a kid.
So with all the media outlets for information nowadays, there is a whole lot more we know now in the way of trivia. And for me, the UDVD releases have definitely boosted my fandom. Over the years I've participated in quite a few Bond trivia contests and remain undefeated to this day, so I've always been a freak for the films and always interested in knowing more.
ALSO - for Bondmania around the world, read here on MI6 some of the special articles they have highlighted this month from the past. I just read about Sean's experience while filming YOLT in Japan and it again makes me realize what a huge pain that must have been for him. I would have hated that, too (the neverending prying into his life, trying to get a photo of him - even while on the toilet, for heaven's sake - the pressure, etc.). And it was not just Japan, I am sure. He was swamped whereever he went during that time (TB thru YOLT).