Posts Tagged ‘Thunderball’

Epitome of Cool…

March 8, 2010

Sean Connery for Louis Vuitton

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Peter Murton passes away…

February 11, 2010

Cinema Retro has reported that acclaimed production designer Peter Murton passed away just before Christmas 2009. Murton worked on the earlier Bond films, such as “Goldfinger” and “Thunderball”, and later became the art director for “The Man With the Golden Gun”. Murton was also the art director for Stanley Kubrick’s Cold War satire, “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” in 1964. Another great artist has passed on. Condolences go out to the family of Mr. Murton.

Rest in peace…

Ian Fleming’s Original Manuscripts Part of Upcoming Exhibit at Watch and Clock Museum

December 17, 2009

COLUMBIA, PA: Ian Fleming carefully kept the original manuscripts for his James Bond thrillers, in addition to pre-publication book proofs and author’s copies that include summary notes in his own handwriting. For researchers and fans, these represent incredible views into the origins of the 007 character and the mind of his fascinating creator.

A sampling from among these one-of-a-kind texts will be displayed as part of the Bond Watches, James Bond Watches exhibit at the National Watch & Clock Museum, opening June 17, 2010. This loan was made possible by special arrangement with the Lilly Library at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.

“We can tell a lot by looking at the actual pages as Mr. Fleming hammered them out at the keys of his Imperial portable typewriter,” notes Dell Deaton of JamesBondWatches.com and guest curator for the Bond Watches exhibit. “The ‘Rolex’ reference in Live and Let Die, for example, is first-draft. That, then, specifically dates it to February or March of 1953 — and establishes a context for examining the role that his friend Commander Jacques Cousteau may have had in providing input on the brand.

"Live and Let Die," original manuscript as first typed by Ian Fleming. To be loaned for display at National Watch & Clock Museum "Bond Watches, James Bond Watches" exhibit, by Lilly Library (Indiana University at Bloomington).

Thunderball, of course, shows how Ian Fleming created the first Bond gadget-watch, in 1960.

“There’s also what we can see as iterations progress. This National Watch & Clock Museum display, for example, will include three versions of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service that reveal Fleming’s interesting focus on wristwatch-related details,” Deaton continues. “There’s a curious continuity error that started with the manuscript when it was written at Goldeneye and made it all the way to the ‘Uncorrected Proof’ binding, but which was caught and corrected before the first edition book run and serialized publication in Playboy. We’re planning to show this complete progression as part of this special exhibit.”

"On Her Majesty's Secret Service," as bound by Ian Fleming for his personal collection. To be loaned for display at National Watch & Clock Museum "Bond Watches, James Bond Watches" exhibit, by Lilly Library (Indiana University at Bloomington).

The original James Bond manuscripts, author’s first editions, and other materials were acquired by the Lilly Library in 1970. Thus, the Bond Watches, James Bond Watches exhibit will mark the first time in four decades that the original 007 wristwatch (Ian Fleming’s Rolex 1016 Explorer) and the 1962 manuscript in which it is referenced will be displayed together.

“The National Watch & Clock Museum is extremely grateful to Indiana University and its Lilly Library for the loan of these materials,” Museum Director Noel Poirier adds. “Through the years, we’ve been able to enter into cooperative exchanges such as this with a variety of other institutions, expanding the reach in sharing what we’ve preserved from the history of timekeeping. It allows us to broaden the context of exhibits such as this, showing not just the watches, but the culture and period in which they were important.”

Dell Deaton is the creator-author of JamesBondWatches.com and guest curator for this Bond Watches, James Bond Watches exhibition. He is a member of both the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors and American Marketing Association, and a recognized expert on Ian Fleming and James Bond horology. Previously he was elected to a three-year term on the board of directors that governs the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, and served three terms on the editorial advisory board for Exhibitor Publications.

The National Watch and Clock Museum is operated by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) association with close to 20,000 members, representing 52 countries. April through November the Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.  December through March hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Discounts are available to seniors, students, AAA members, and groups of 10 or more. Groups of 10 or more are encouraged to call ahead.  For more program information, directions, or general Museum information, call 717-684-8261 or visit our website at www.nawcc.org.

Celebrate Thanksgiving weekend with James Bond…

November 25, 2009

The SyFy Channel will be airing a total of sixteen James Bond films this Thanksgiving weekend. Below is the full schedule:

Thursday – November 26th 2009

8:00 AM –  Dr. No
10:30 AM – Licence To Kill
1:30 PM –  Live And Let Die
4:00 PM – The Spy Who Loved Me
6:30 PM – Tomorrow Never Dies
9:00 PM – Casino Royale

Friday – November 27th 2009:

12:00 AM – For Your Eyes Only
2:30 AM – The Man With The Golden Gun
08:00 AM – Thunderball
10:30 AM – From Russia With Love
1:00 PM – You Only Live Twice
3:30 PM – Diamonds Are Forever
6:00 PM – Casino Royale
9:00 PM – GoldenEye

Saturday November 28th 2009:

12:00 AM – Goldfinger
2:30 AM – Never Say Never Again

 

All times are EST.

Wine Spectator.com’s talk with Sean Connery

October 7, 2009

Sir Sean Connery, 79, burst into stardom in 1962, with his portrayal of British secret agent James Bond in Dr. No. But Connery appeared in dozens of films between his debut in 1954 and his retirement in 2003, and he won an Oscar as best supporting actor for his 1987 role as Jim Malone in The Untouchables. In 2000, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. Connery was born in Scotland, has lived in Spain and Switzerland, and now spends most of his time in the Bahamas. He spoke with executive editor Thomas Matthews, who has equated Connery, Bond and the good life since seeing From Russia With Love in 1965.

Wine Spectator: Tell us about your interest in wine.
SC: I can tell you more about whiskey than wine. I’m not an aficionado by any means, mostly because I have a heart condition and am not supposed to take much alcohol. But I do drink red wine, because of my great friend David Murray [a Scottish entrepreneur who owns two French wine estates, Château Routas in Provence and Domaine Jessiaume [in Burgundy]. He showed me the evidence that it was good for the health.

I favor Merlots from Chile for their value, and I keep a good deal of California wine in my cellar. Don’t ask me to tell you their names. I have one that cost me $2,000 for two cases, which I think is rather steep, but people are prepared to pay it.

WS: Is there a particular wine that has really stuck in your memory?
SC: I once lived a few years in Spain. It was around the time I was doing The Man Who Would Be King [in 1975]. I enjoyed a wine called Vega Sicilia, and back then, you could get it by the bucketful. Now it’s several hundred dollars a bottle.

WS: Do you ever visit wine country?
SC: I spend a week every year in France with David Murray. He’s got the two main bases. We fly to France, then pick up the car, drive down to the coast and spend a week. Château Routas is 1,300 meters above the sea, and it’s just a perfect site for health.

There’s nothing but wine down there. It’s amazing to see how it’s all done, from soup to nuts, and how important it is to everyone. The people are really in tune with what they are doing, and it gives a great atmosphere.

We have good food and wine every night [chuckling]. When we’re at his places, we drink his wines. But when we’re traveling, we try everything. He’s a great wine connoisseur, and I just go along with him. Providing you have nothing else to do, it’s a marvelous way to spend some time.

WS: As James Bond, you played a character whose connoisseurship of wine was a defining trait. How much of that was from your own experience?
SC: That was all part of the character. I remember the Dom Pérignon scene in Dr. No. But I can’t really claim I had any knowledge of wine at the time. The director, Terence Young, put a great deal of sophistication into the films [Dr. No, From Russia With Love and Thunderball], and he never got the credit he deserved. He taught me, and helped develop the character. I can wear the clothes well, but he was the one who picked them out.

Dr. No cost $1 million in 1962. Today, to make that film would cost $100 million or more. That gives you an idea how it’s gone. Wine is the same thing.

This was an interesting interview, and deserved to be posted. I especially liked his praise for Terrence Young.

Recipe: Spaghetti Bolognese

July 11, 2009

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 3 slices of bacon or pancetta
  • splash of milk
  • 500g minced beef
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 2 grated carrots
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 glass of red or white wine
  • Parmesan cheese

Directions:
Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan and fry the bacon or pancetta for a couple of minutes.

Add the onion and garlic and fry until golden. Add the minced beef and stir until browned. Add the splash of milk and mix well. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, carrots and herbs.

Use an electric blender to break down the meat and vegetable mixture into a smooth sauce.

Season with salt and pepper, mix well then add the wine and bring to the boil.

Turn down to the heat and simmer, covered, for and hour. If needed, add water to the mixture and stir well.

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add 125g of good quality spaghetti per person and cook for 8-10 minutes until al dente.

Serve the spaghetti and ladle on a portion of Bolognese sauce. Mix well and cover with as much grated Parmesan cheese as you like.

Source:
This recipe was taken from Ian Fleming’s Thunderball.

Following a period of rehabilitation and dieting at Shrublands health farm, James Bond is ready for a real meal or, as Fleming puts it: “a passionate longing for a large dish of Spaghetti Bolognese containing plenty of chopped garlic and accompanied by a whole bottle of the cheapest, rawest Chianti” and “an overwhelming desire for the strong smooth body of Patricia Fearing”.

We later read that Bond achieved “a most satisfactory left and right of Spaghetti Bolognese and Chianti at Lucian’s in Brighton and of Miss Patricia Fearing on the squab seats from her bubble car high up on the Downs”.

Are you a Thunderball fan with some cash to spend?

June 23, 2009

If you’re a Thunderball fan with a bit of extra cash to spend, you can now get your hands on some very rare storyboards that were drawn for Kevin McClory’s Thunderball project of 1959.

The site below contains a bit of history about the ill-fated project, along with images of the storyboards, and ordering options. Prices range from £125.00 to £350.00, or roughly $205.00 to $570.00.

As interesting as the history of Thunderball may be, I don’t think you’ll be finding me shovelling out money for those prints.

Happy Father’s Day, Mr. Bond

June 21, 2009

Many fans of Ian Fleming’s literary Bond series, and even fans of the films, will know that James Bond married Contessa Teresa di Vincenzo in the novel (and film) On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Tragically, though, the bride was slain by Bond’s arch-nemisis — Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

What casual Bond fans may not know is that James Bond goes to settle the score with Blofeld in Ian Fleming’s You Only Live Twice.

I won’t spoil the entire story for you, but I will say that it is significantly different from the film. Don’t expect James Bond to be flying around in that bright-yellow gyro-copter, made in the quartermaster’s garage.

However, that’s not the point of this article.

I wanted to mention James Bond’s child.

Yes – you read correctly.

Recovering from amnesia in Fleming’s You Only Live Twice, Bond adopts the life of a Japanese merchant with Kissy Suzuki, while he is presumed dead by the rest of the world. During this time period, it’s said that Kissy becomes pregnant after sleeping with James…

However, we don’t hear (or read) anymore of this until Raymond Benson releases his short story, Blast From the Past. Though I haven’t read the short yet, it’s said that James Bond is contacted by his son, James Suzuki, and is asked to meet him New York City on a matter of urgency. When Bond arrives, he finds his son dead — supposedly killed by Irma Bunt

This is all very interesting; though, it seems as if James Bond cannot maintain solid aspects of his personal life. By this, I mean, first of all, his wife Tracy was murdered. He ended up abandoning Kissy Suzuki, obviously. And his one known son is killed. It’s a very tragic case, but surely brings a lot more depth to this character. I’ll have to get around to finding Benson’s story.

So, on this Father’s Day, my suggested reading material includes Ian Fleming’s You Only Live Twice.

Before you jump into it, though, I suggest reading Fleming’s Thunderball and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Combined with You Only Live Twice, these form “the Blofeld trilogy”.

To any fathers reading this, I kindly extend a “Happy Father’s Day” greeting to you.

All the best…

Film Review ::: Thunderball

November 21, 2008

It’s safe to say that James Bond is back in action.

Sure, they said that about “Goldfinger”, but I believe “Thunderball” was far more exciting and more down-to-Earth than “Goldfinger” was. Of the films following “Dr. No” and “From Russia With Love”, I also think that “Thunderball” was the film that could most closely relate to those two. By that, I mean, Bond seems like the Bond he was in those films, the locations are again stunning, we’ve got beautiful women, tons of danger, and the return of another bunch of ruthless SPECTRE agents.

The locations in this Bond flick were nearly as gorgeous as the places we saw in “Dr. No”. Sure, at first we’re stuck with Bond while he’s at the clinic- what could be beautiful about that location? However, as we move on to Nassau, there’s hardly an unattractive site. The water’s gorgeous, the beaches are beautiful, the hotel is high-end and comfortable looking, and the streets are swarming with plenty of people. Then, we even get a look at SPECTRE’s main meeting room- grand and diabolical-seeming, thanks again to Ken Adam.

Barry delivers another superb soundtrack, with plenty of themes that fit right in with the underwater scenes, beach scenes, and the beauty of the locations. We also get a few Bond themes, which also add Connery’s suave and stylish looks in the film. Not much to complain about here. My favorite piece is probably the Chateau Flight, which really enhances Bond’s pre-title sequence fight.

Emilio Largo- I see him as a Dr. No: 2.0. He’s certainly a well-respected SPECTRE member, and even has the high rank of #2. He’s a very serious man, even when he’s joking around with Bond. By the way he treats Domino, and his fellow SPECTRE henchmen, it’s pretty easy to notice that Largo will do anything to succeed with his plans and impress Blofeld.

I see Connery’s performance in this film as one step below his performances in “Dr. No” and “From Russia With Love” . For me, they’re his top-notch performances… but his acting in “Thunderball” doesn’t fall far from them. Again, as he had in the past three pictures, he’s got that natural Bond style, look, and attitude. Having viewed all of the Connery films this week, to me, it’s safe to say that this man is the only classic cinematic James Bond. I don’t think anyone can replace him.

The girls in this movie were gorgeous. We had Domino, Fiona, and Paula. Unfortunately, we didn’t see Paula as much as the others; however she was a very pretty woman for Bond to be working alongside of. Fiona- definitely the best bad girl of the Bond series, and sexiest bad girl, too. Then, Domino- an innocent, nice girl, caught up in one big mess, in my opinion. The gorgeous Claudine Auger played the part well, and she was certainly a memorable Bond girl.

Rik Van Nutter played a decent Leiter, I suppose. It wasn’t great, nor atrocious. I certainly thought his Leiter could be taken more seriously than Linder’s from “Goldfinger”. It further proves that no Leiter was as great as Lord, though.

Aside from those aspects, “Thunderball” offers classic Bondian action, romance, humor, locations, plots, and characters. The overall plot of the film wasn’t too complex, and intelligent- much like the earlier films. The gadgets were kept to a minimum: Bond had the re-breather, which is probably one of the most useful Bond gadgets. The jetpack was good fun in the pre-title sequence, too. The rest of the gadgets seemed more like real spy gadgets- the watch, the camera, the tracking pill. I think they threw a realistic touch on the world of Bond gadgets.

There are a few choppy bits of editing in this film, however, it’s not anything to get worked up about.

Other than that, “Thunderball” makes for an excellent Connery Bond film, and is a superb addition to the series. While I hold “Dr. No” and “From Russia With Love” higher than it, “Thunderball” is given a secure #3 spot in my Bond film ranking list. Also- perhaps Terence Young has to do with my liking of some of the early Bond films. I just thought I’d give him a nod here, as he’s my favorite Bond director.

9.5 / 10

9.5 / 10

"A Quantum of Covers" for Children In Need

November 19, 2008

Article Link: BBC Oxford > Children In Need > A Quantum of Covers

 

A Quantum of Covers
The Name’s Bear, Pudsey Bear… 

The BBC Oxford team certainly like their music shaken and not stirred judging by their idea for this year’s BBC Children In Need.

It seems Nobody can do a Children In Need Event better than BBC Oxford Introducing who have brought together eleven of the best Oxfordshire bands you’ve never heard of to record their favourite Bond themes for the appeal.

The album, called a Quantum of Covers is available on iTunes and for every individual track downloaded 49p goes to Children In Need and for every album purchased £4.90 will go to the charity.

And with the likes of former Miss England Eleanor Glynn contributing to an industrial electro version of The Living Daylights with Banbury’s Sikorski to Borderville doing a glam-stomp through the Wings classic Live and Let Die, it is sure to be a hit.

Talking about the charity project and their choice of theme Nobody Does It Better, David Balch, from Witches said: “I think A Quantum of Covers is an excellent idea. Bond is an institution and the themes are such iconic songs, it’s great to be a part of it. Hopefully it’ll raise a load of cash for Children in Need’s work with disadvantaged children.”

Xmas Lights took on the challenge of the Bond theme. James Gray-King of the band commented: “It was an honour to be asked to take part in the project and a huge challenge. The main theme has been tackled by so many incredible people over the years that finding a route in and keeping it recognizable while retaining our sound was a really interesting endeavour. I am proud of what we have done and very proud that it is for a worthy cause…”

Sikorski joined forces with their own Bond girl and former Miss England Eleanor Glynn for the Living Daylights, with Jan and Darren saying: “We really enjoyed the process of reinterpreting and recording this song. It was a real challenge from the outset, but one we enjoyed and endeavoured to get right. We wanted to make it our own and not just a copy of the original, and we think we have achieved this.”

And Maria Ilett noticed how BBC Children in Need brings out the generosity in people:
“We were really excited to be asked to record a song for a Quantum of covers BBC Oxfords Children in Need album, people have been extra generous when they realised what charity the song was for- Barry and Markus from The Doghouse Studio donated their studio and engineer time! Just goes to show what a much loved charity Children In Need is.”

BBC Children in Need positively changes the lives of disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.

This theme of this year’s Appeal is Do Something Different and we are asking you to take up the challenge and help thousands more young people, here in the UK, who need our help. Doing Something Different doesn’t mean anything difficult, expensive or scary; it just means something outside of your normal routine which will help raise money.  There are lots of fun, silly and unusual ideas in our BBC Children in Need Fundraising Pack. For more information go to bbc.co.uk/pudsey or call 0345 607 3333.

Remember, for every penny raised, a penny will go towards projects helping those in need. We couldn’t do it without you, so a big Pudsey thanks in advance!

iTunes — “A Quantum of Covers”

Cover songs, especially of Bond tunes, are always interesting to listen to. Even if you buy this, and don’t like it, you’re still contributing to a good cause. If you buy this, and do like it, then I suppose it’s a win/win. I’ll definitely check it out, as it’ll make for a good piece to add to my Bond soundtrack collection. Plus, I like the idea of helping the Children In Need organization.

If you’re not interested in the music, but feel like being generous and helping out the organization, here’s their site link: 

Children In Need