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007/ 50: birthday Bonding #1 ~ rare but brilliant images of Blighty’s finest (1960s)

March 16, 2012

A cut above the rest: the filming of the legendary laser table scene from Goldfinger – Connery wasn’t acting here; he was petrified of the flame that was approaching his crown jewels from underneath the table (the laser effect – brand new at the time – was added in post-production)

In just under seven months, 007 will be celebrating an enviable, incredible milestone – yes, one of Britain’s (indeed, one of the world’s) greatest heroes will have been on the silver screen for a full 50 years. And, methinks, what better way to kick off the – frankly inevitable – panopoly of posts on this blog dedicated to this one-off occurence than to tie it in with this blog’s second anniversary? For it’s absolutely true, peeps, today George’s Journal is two. Fifty years of Bond; two years of this blog? It’s heady stuff, all right – as is this post (and the three very similarly themed ones that’ll directly follow it), a pictorial tribute to the opening decade of cinematic Bondom: the 1960s.

In many ways, there’s no more a ‘Bond decade’ than the ’60s. The opening and (in the opinion of many) majority of the best Bond films were made during this positive, progressive, colourful, controversial and contradictory 10 years. Thanks to the lift-off he received in the hard-edged but quality-meets-larger-than-life thrillers Dr No and From Russia With Love, the big-screen Bond and the man who played him (that’d be Sean Connery then) became an icon of the age – impossibly cool, unarguably dangerous and incredibly appealing. He hit perhaps his biggest heights (at least in terms of popularity) in Goldfinger, Thunderball and You Only Live Twice, where admittedly the fantasy began to displace the probable.

This latter fact, though - plus the fact nobody wanted an autograph from him that didn’t read ‘James Bond’ – encouraged Connery to walk out on producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R Broccoli. At first, their late ’60s-set but very swinging next effort On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (with new lead actor George Lazenby, whom boasted no previous acting experience) seemed to threaten Bond’s very movie existence; only now it’s revered as an absolute classic of the series and, as much as any of the other ’60s efforts, paved the way for all the Bond films that followed it. Indeed, although his creator Ian Fleming died prematurely in 1964, 007′s dominance in the ’60s helped ensure he’d spy, save the day and, well, shag forever more. Oh yes…

PASS MOUSE over images for more information/ CLICK on them for full size

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Dr No (1962)

Directed by: Terence Young; Produced by: Harry Saltzman and Albert R Broccoli; Screenplay by: Richard Maibaum, Johanna Harwood and Berkely Mather – adapted from the novel by Ian Fleming (1958)/ Locations: Kingston, St. Ann and Blue Mountain, Jamaica; Pinewood Studios, UK/ Cast includes: Sean Connery (James Bond); Ursula Andress (Honey Ryder); Joseph Wiseman (Dr No); Jack Lord (Felix Leiter)

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From Russia With Love (1963)

Directed by: Terence Young; Produced by: Harry Saltzman and Albert R Broccoli; Screenplay by: Richard Maibaum and Johanna Harwood – adapted from the novel by Ian Fleming (1957)/ Locations: Istanbul and Pendik, Turkey; Crinan, Loch Craignish, Snowdonia and Pinewood Studios, UK/ Cast includes: Sean Connery (James Bond); Daniela Bianchi (Tatiana Romanova); Pedro Armendariz (Kerim Bey); Robert Shaw (Red Grant); Lois Maxwell (Miss Moneypenny); Aliza Gur (Vida); Martine Beswick (Zora)

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Goldfinger (1964)

Directed by: Guy Hamilton; Produced by: Harry Saltzman and Albert R Broccoli; Screenplay by: Richard Maibaum and Paul Dehn – adapted from the novel by Ian Fleming (1959); Score by: John Barry; Title Song performed by: Shirley Bassey/ Locations: Andermatt, Furka Pass and Rhone Glacier, Switzerland; Muldraugh, Kentucky and Miami Beach, USA; Stanwell, Stoke Poges Golf Course, Southend-On-Sea and Pinewood Studios, UK/ Cast includes: Sean Connery (James Bond); Honor Blackman (Pussy Galore); Gert Fröbe (Auric Goldfinger); Shirley Eaton (Jill Masterson); Tania Mallet (Tilly Masterson); Harold Sakata (Oddjob)

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Thunderball (1965)

Directed by: Terence Young; Produced by: Kevin McClory (Executive Producers: Harry Saltzman and Albert R Broccoli); Screenplay by: Richard Maibaum and John Hopkins – adapted from the novel by Ian Fleming (1961), itself based on a screen-treatment by Fleming, McClory and Jack Whittingham/ Locations: Anet and Paris, France; Nassau, New Providence Island and Paradise Island, The Bahamas; Chalfont Park and Pinewood Studios, UK/ Cast includes: Sean Connery (James Bond); Claudine Auger (Domino); Adolfo Celi (Emilio Largo); Luciana Paluzzi (Fiona Volpe); Martine Beswick (Paula); Molly Peters (Pat Fearing)

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You Only Live Twice (1967)

Directed by: Lewis Gilbert; Produced by: Harry Saltzman and Albert R Broccoli; Screenplay by: Roald Dahl – loosely adapted from the novel by Ian Fleming (1964)/ Score by: John Barry/ Title song performed by: Nancy Sinatra/ Locations: Tokyo, Akasaka, Akime, Chiyoda-ku, Ebino, Ginza, Himeji, Kagoshima, Kobe and Miyazaki, Japan; Mågerø, Norway; Hong Kong and Gibraltar (for Hong Kong); Torremolinos, Spain (Little Nellie sequence); The Bahamas and Bermuda (underwater sequences); Pinewood Studios, UK/ Cast includes: Sean Connery (James Bond); Akiko Wakabayashi (Aki); Tetsuro Tamba (Tiger Tanaka); Mie Hama (Kissy Suzuki); Karin Dor (Helga Brandt); Donald Pleasence (Ernst Stavro Blofeld)

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On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

Directed by: Peter Hunt; Produced by: Harry Saltzman and Albert R Broccoli; Screenplay by: Richard Maibaum – adapted from the novel by Ian Fleming (1963)/ Locations: Piz Gloria, Bern, Grindelwald and Murren-Schilthorn, Switzerland; Estoril, Setúbal and Lisbon, Portugal; London, Marlow and Pinewood Studios, UK/ Cast includes: George Lazenby (James Bond); Diana Rigg (Tracy); Telly Savalas (Ernst Stavro Blofeld); Angela Scoular (Ruby Bartlett); Catherine Von Schell (Nancy); Joanna Lumley and Jenny Hanley (Piz Gloria Girls)

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