Interview with Tom Mankiewicz and Chris Wood

royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
edited May 2014 in Trivia & Games Posts: 4,168
http://www.empireonline.com/interviews/interview.asp?IID=1101

http://www.shatterhand007.com/QuestionRoom/ChristopherWood/ChristopherWoodInterview.html

Some very interesting info there...

"When Lana Wood appears at the crap table and says, “Hi, I’m Plenty.” Bond says, “Why, of course you are.” She says, “Plenty O’Toole.” He asked me if he could respond, “‘Named after your father perhaps?’” I said, “It’s a great line.” But the very fact that he asked me – I was (only) 27 years old – shows you the kind of way he goes about his work. He’s totally professional. Any other actor would just have tried it right in the take. I was amazed. It’s a good line, and it’s his line."

from the Mankiewicz interview. I've always enjoyed Mankiewicz anecdotes/interviews. The Wood interview is quite revealing. "I hated Dolly...."

Comments

  • Posts: 5,716
    For me this interview perfectly sums up all the problems I have with the seventies films. Mankiewicz talks like if he really knew "what Bond is all about", but as far as I am concerned, he didn't have a clue (RIP)...
  • edited May 2014 Posts: 12,671
    jobo wrote:
    For me this interview perfectly sums up all the problems I have with the seventies films. Mankiewicz talks like if he really knew "what Bond is all about", but as far as I am concerned, he didn't have a clue (RIP)...

    Same here. His "vision" of Bond seemed to be a catalogue of clichés about British people. I am so glad his dreadful Batman script never made it into a movie.
  • pachazopachazo Make Your Choice
    Posts: 6,992
    Thanks @royale65. That Mankiewicz interview was a great read. I'm once again reminded of the enormous influence that GF had on all successive Bond films, for better or worse. It also reinforced the fact that Moore was the only one who could have successfully succeeded Connery in the 70's. He knew that he couldn't outdo the legend so he molded the character into his own unique interpretation. He was just such a charming and gracious individual that people were glad to go along for the ride even if they did miss the hard edge of Connery.
  • Posts: 5,716
    Ludovico wrote:
    jobo wrote:
    For me this interview perfectly sums up all the problems I have with the seventies films. Mankiewicz talks like if he really knew "what Bond is all about", but as far as I am concerned, he didn't have a clue (RIP)...

    Same here. His "vision" of Bond seemed to be a catalogue of clichés about British people. I am so glad his dreadful Batman script never made it into a movie.

    I'm so glad they scrapped his supposedly "best quip" :O in TSWLM too. That would have been cringeworthy! So tasteless, and not even funny.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 13,419
    jobo wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    jobo wrote:
    For me this interview perfectly sums up all the problems I have with the seventies films. Mankiewicz talks like if he really knew "what Bond is all about", but as far as I am concerned, he didn't have a clue (RIP)...

    Same here. His "vision" of Bond seemed to be a catalogue of clichés about British people. I am so glad his dreadful Batman script never made it into a movie.

    I'm so glad they scrapped his supposedly "best quip" :O in TSWLM too. That would have been cringeworthy! So tasteless, and not even funny.

    I know, it adds fuel to my theory that in the decadent era of the 1970s the Bond films descended into little more than sex comedies in those scripts provided by Tom Mankiewicz and Christopher Wood (himself of Confessions... fame). I have more to say on all of this subject area of the Bond films of the 1970s in more depth on my blog at some point.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 29,633
    Very informative.
  • edited May 2014 Posts: 4,622
    Really enjoyed the Mankiewicz piece! Thanks for posting! Will read the other link too.

    This would have made for a fun exchange. It does sound very similar to the tone of some of their actual tetes a tetes, but I do think it is helped by the connection with FRWL. I like the connection between the two films.

    =====
    Do you have a favourite one liner?
    The Best Bond quip maybe that I ever wrote – and I wrote hundreds of them – was cut out of The Spy Who Loved Me. It’s when Roger meets Barbara Bach at the bar. He knows that she’s a Soviet Major or something and she knows he’s 007. Anyway, he says, “I must say, you’re prettier than your pictures, Major,” and she responds, “The only picture I’ve seen of you, Mr. Bond, was taken in bed with one of our agents – a Miss Tatiana Romanova.” (She’s the girl in From Russia with Love.) Roger then said, “Was she smiling?” And Barbara Bach answers, “As I recall, her mouth was not immediately visible.” Roger retorts, “Then I was smiling.”


    Edit: very informative discussion with Wood as well.
    Being a huge fan of the Remo Williams Destroyer novels, Wood confirmed what I have suspected; that there was no second Remo movie as the first was a boxoffice flop.
    I liked it obviously, as it turned me on to reading all of the published books, which are way better than the film.
    But I also thought the film title was one of the worst ever, "Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins." That title is uber lame, considering all the great Bond-like book titles they could have chosen. And its also pretentious, with the title seemingly presuming a sequel.
    Remo film rights, or more properly, The Destroyer film rights, have been back in play for a while. Someone though is sitting on actually making a new movie.
    But if and when another Destroyer film is made, please do work with the Destroyer title, not the Remo name. Remo is an assassin of the highest order. He's not only witty and glib, but also dark and dangerous when need be. The Destroyer moniker fits the character perfectly.

    ==also liked Woods reflections on Moonraker. He made it clear, he wanted a harder edged film, that he hated Dolly ( don't blame him he says) and a great line that Jaws had totally sacrificed credibility as a figure of menace. Not his fault though.

    His two screenplay adaptations I think are as good as they are, because he did consciously try to imitate Fleming's style.

  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    Posts: 13,254
    Fantastic. Thank you.
  • Posts: 12,671
    jobo wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    jobo wrote:
    For me this interview perfectly sums up all the problems I have with the seventies films. Mankiewicz talks like if he really knew "what Bond is all about", but as far as I am concerned, he didn't have a clue (RIP)...

    Same here. His "vision" of Bond seemed to be a catalogue of clichés about British people. I am so glad his dreadful Batman script never made it into a movie.

    I'm so glad they scrapped his supposedly "best quip" :O in TSWLM too. That would have been cringeworthy! So tasteless, and not even funny.

    And it would have been a vulgar joke on the greatest Bond movie.
  • Posts: 7,599
    Still both men were responsible for an important part of the 007 franchise and in hindsight everybody can be criticized. I enjoyed reading both interviews, and these men both did a good job.

    Wood wrote two excellent novels that I would not have minded on the big screen, but what we ended up with was excellent enough.

    And I do agree with the remark about the ski stunt from TSWLM it is a far better stunt than QoS or SF has delivered without CGI, the difference being that the stuntman of TSWLM indeed did something very daring and as a viewer I know it.
  • edited May 2014 Posts: 12,671
    I remember reading the novelization of TSWLM and finding it very Flemingesque in style. But the movie was rather weak IMO, a remake of YOLT.
  • Posts: 7,599
    Ludovico wrote:
    I remember reading the novelization of TSWLM and finding it very Flemingesque in style. But the movie was rather weak IMO, a remake of YOLT.

    I found TSWLM a superiour version of YOLT in that case, YOLT was imho a crime against Flemings novel.

  • Posts: 12,671
    SaintMark wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    I remember reading the novelization of TSWLM and finding it very Flemingesque in style. But the movie was rather weak IMO, a remake of YOLT.

    I found TSWLM a superiour version of YOLT in that case, YOLT was imho a crime against Flemings novel.

    In that regard, yes. At least TSWLM was not mean to be an adaptation of the novel.
  • Posts: 7,599
    Ludovico wrote:
    SaintMark wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    I remember reading the novelization of TSWLM and finding it very Flemingesque in style. But the movie was rather weak IMO, a remake of YOLT.

    I found TSWLM a superiour version of YOLT in that case, YOLT was imho a crime against Flemings novel.

    In that regard, yes. At least TSWLM was not mean to be an adaptation of the novel.

    And TSWLM showed Roger Moore at his best as 007 while YOLT did show a sometimes less than enthusiastic Sean at work.
  • Posts: 12,671
    I am reading the interview, and while I do not agree with everything he says, I do like a lot of what Christopher Wood said. About how Jaws lost his menace, something that started with TSWLM and about a setting in space actually makes the action slow.
  • Posts: 2,115
    In a related link where Mankiewicz discusses his work on the Superman movies, there are some interesting 007 nuggets. In particular, Mankiewicz references how Reeve wanted Mankiewicz to see if the actor could talk to Sean Connery about the dangers of being typecast in an iconic role.

    http://www.empireonline.com/interviews/interview.asp?IID=1109
  • Posts: 12,671
    Something I remember: I read the novelization of TSWLM before watching the film, and I was disappointed about the movie not being as good as the novel.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 13,419
    Ludovico wrote:
    Something I remember: I read the novelization of TSWLM before watching the film, and I was disappointed about the movie not being as good as the novel.

    I can imagine that you were as it is far superior to the film version.

  • edited May 2014 Posts: 12,671
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    Something I remember: I read the novelization of TSWLM before watching the film, and I was disappointed about the movie not being as good as the novel.

    I can imagine that you were as it is far superior to the film version.

    And I kept imagining Sean Connery in it. What surprised me is that, although the setting and plot is ludicrous, Bond is very close to Fleming's Bond. And Wood goes through great efforts to make Stromberg a Flemingesque villain.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Robotswana
    edited May 2014 Posts: 38,573
    Wood was an excellent writer. Agree the book was better than the film, and close to Fleming. (TSWLM, did not read the MR novelization.)
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 29,633
    Wood was an excellent writer. Agree the book was better than the film, and close to Fleming. (TSWLM, did not read the MR novelization.)

    I read those when they came out (haven't seen them since), I remember being impressed how Wood bridged the film Bond to Fleming's Bond.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Robotswana
    Posts: 38,573
    Wood s TSWLM was even better, or at least more engaging, than Fleming s novel. IMO, as if that is not clear.
  • Posts: 12,671
    Wood s TSWLM was even better, or at least more engaging, than Fleming s novel. IMO, as if that is not clear.

    Oh no, Fleming's novel is the best. And very underrated.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 13,419
    Ludovico wrote:
    Wood s TSWLM was even better, or at least more engaging, than Fleming s novel. IMO, as if that is not clear.

    Oh no, Fleming's novel is the best. And very underrated.

    It's certainly his most autographical work too, along with 'Octopussy' but the novel and film versions off TSWLM cannot really be compared for obvious enough reasons.
  • Posts: 7,599
    Ludovico wrote:
    Wood s TSWLM was even better, or at least more engaging, than Fleming s novel. IMO, as if that is not clear.

    Oh no, Fleming's novel is the best. And very underrated.

    I really love Flemings' TSWLM as it read more like one of those noir detectives, I found it a valid exercise by Fleming to show James Bond in a different light. And he did that very well imo.

  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Robotswana
    Posts: 38,573
    I love Fleming s TSWLM, too. Just found the Wood book more exciting. And miles above the Gardner books I have read. (Sorry, @Dragonpol.)
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