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007/ 50: birthday Bonding #4 ~ rare but brilliant pics of Blighty’s finest (’90s/ ’00s)

March 19, 2012

Get the picture?: Bond was back after six years away in 1995 with GoldenEye – a retro-friendly box-office blockbuster that, in the shape of Pierce Brosnan as 007 and co-stars Famke Janssen and Izabella Scorupco, returned the playfulness, sexiness and cool to the series in a big way

And here it is, peeps – the fourth and final post that celebrates not just this blog’s second birthday, but as a tribute containing rarely seen yet rather wonderful images, also celebrates the 50th anniversary of that man Bond on the silver screen.

So, the ’90s and the ’00s, eh? The Playstation and the Gameboy, Richard and Judy, Blair versus Brown, Blur versus Oasis and the return of the cinematic Bond? Wait a minute, the return of the cinematic Bond? When has Bond not been around? Well, it maybe hadn’t felt like it before and it certainly doesn’t now, but the 007 of the big-screen had been on a forced hiatus after the box-office disappointment that was Licence To Kill (1989) for six whole years. Legal disputes involving the Bond producers’ company Eon Productions/ Danjaq LLC and the Hollywood giant MGM/UA ensured the career of Blighty’s finest was put on hold while the Soviet Union crumbled and the likes of the Lethal Weapons and Die Hards revolutionised the movie actioner.

By 1995, though, Bond was back and, in the guise of the smooth, slick, male model-handsome Pierce Brosnan (gloomy Timothy Dalton had left Bond-age in ’92), he looked, well, every inch the 1990s icon-in-waiting. His first effort out of the blocks was the near-classic of the genre GoldenEye, which smartly balanced post-Soviet insecurities with ’60s-throwback Bondian sensitivities (a bombastic theme tune, natty gadgets, sexy girls with innuenduous names and a huge villain’s lair). GoldeneEye‘s box-office take was the biggest ever for a Bond flick (breaking the record set by 1979’s Moonraker) and it was swiftly followed by the just as retro-flavoured, if very formulaic Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough, the latter of which offered up a terrific cast if a soap factory’s worth of melodrama. Fittingly for an era that wallowed in retrospective, the ’90s-into-the-millennium couldn’t get enough of 007 (he’d surely never been more popular since his ’60s/ ’70s high) and the joyride came to something of a juddering halt with the incredibly silly Die Another Day, Brosnan’s last. If The Brozzer’s flicks had got increasingly dafter, his 007 had ironically got subtler and more nuanced each time he’d slipped on the shoulder-holster.

But the cinematic Bond himself didn’t die with Brosnan’s departure; instead in the darker, less sure and arguably more real post-9/11 world he became… er, blond. More pertinently, he also became more dangerous, intense and internalised than ever with the casting of ace TV actor Daniel Craig. And when he returned in 2006 in (at last) an adaptation of Ian Fleming‘s very first 007 novel Casino Royale, the public absolutely couldn’t get enough of him. This Bond flick was surely the most critically acclaimed of all and was, frankly, bloody brilliant. Its sequel (and, for the first time in the series, it genuinely was a sequel) Quantum Of Solace may not have quite hit its heady heights but was a more than intriguing, arty and worthwhile venture. And, what with the latest effort that’s filming right now, SkyFall, looking not just gritty and interesting, but exciting and compelling, now in his 50th year the cinematic 007 is imply as unmissable and essential as ever. Good work, Bond…

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

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GoldenEye (1995)

Directed by: Martin Campbell; Produced by: Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson; Screenplay by: Jeffrey Caine, Bruce Fierstein and Michael France – title taken from Ian Fleming’s Jamaican home where he wrote the Bond books/Visual effects supervised by: Derek Meddings/ Locations: Verzasca Dam, Switzerland (for pre-title sequence bungee jump stunt); Monte Carlo, Monaco; Alpes-Maritimes and Bouche-du-Rhône, France; St. Petersburg, Russia; Puerto Rico (for Cuba); London, Nene Valley Railway and Leavesden Studios, UK/ Cast includes: Pierce Brosnan (James Bond); Sean Bean (Alec Trevelyan); Izabella Scorupco (Natalya Simonova); Famke Janssen (Xenia Onatopp); Alan Cumming (Boris Grishenko); Desmond Llewelyn (Q); Minnie Driver (Irina)

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Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

Directed by: Roger Spottiswoode; Produced by: Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson; Screenplay by: Bruce Fierstein/ Locations: The Pyrénées, France (for the Khyber Pass in pre-title sequence); Hamburg, Germany; Bangkok and Phuket, Thailand (for Vietnam); London, Oxford, Eon Frogmore Studios and Pinewood Studios, UK/ Cast includes: Pierce Brosnan (James Bond); Jonathan Pryce (Elliot Carver); Michelle Yeoh (Wai Lin); Teri Hatcher (Paris Carver); Cecilie Thomsen (Professor Inga Bergstrom)

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The World Is Not Enough (1999)

Directed by: Michael Apted; Produced by: Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson; Screenplay by: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Bruce Fierstein – title taken from a passage in the Ian Fleming novel On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1963)/ Locations: Bilbao, Navarra and Cuenca, Spain; Baku and Bibi-Heybot Region, Azerbaijan; Chamonix, France; Istanbul, Turkey; The Bahamas (underwater sequences); London, Eileen Donan Castle, Halton House and Pinewood Studios, UK/ Cast includes: Pierce Brosnan (James Bond); Sophie Marceau (Elektra King); Robert Carlyle (Renard); Robbie Coltrane (Valentin Zukovsky); Maria Grazia Cucinotta (The Cigar Girl); Desmond Llewelyn (Q); Samantha Bond (Miss Moneypenny); Goldie (Mr ‘The Bull’ Bullion)

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Die Another Day (2002)

Directed by: Lee Tamahori; Produced by: Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson; Screenplay by: Neal Purvis and Robert Wade – influenced by the Ian Fleming novel Moonraker (1955) and the Kingsley Amis Bond novel Colonel Sun (1968)/ Locations: Peahi Beach, Hawaii (surfing in pre-title sequence); Andalucia, Spain (for Cuba); Vatnajökull, Iceland; Sogn og Fjordane, Norway (for Iceland); London, Aldershot and Deepdale Burnham (for North and South Korea), Penbryn, St. Austell and Pinewood Studios, UK/ Cast includes: Pierce Brosnan (James Bond); Halle Berry (Jinx); Toby Stephens (Gustav Graves); Rosamund Pike (Miranda Frost); Rick Yune (Zao)

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Casino Royale (2006)

Directed by: Martin Campbell; Produced by: Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson; Screenplay by: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Paul Haggis – adapted from the Ian Fleming novel (1953)/ Locations: New Providence Island and Paradise Island, The Bahamas (also for Madagascar); Karlovy Vary, Locket and Prague (for Montenegro), Barrandov Studios and Modrany Studios, Prague, Czech Republic; Lake Como and Venice, Italy; London and Pinewood Studios, UK/ Cast includes: Daniel Craig (James Bond); Eva Green (Vesper Lynd); Mads Mikkelsen (Le Chiffre); Judi Dench (M); Jeffrey Wright (Felix Leiter); Caterina Murino (Solange); Sébastien Foucan (Mollaka)

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Quantum Of Solace (2008)

Directed by: Marc Forster; Produced by: Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson; Screenplay by: Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade – title taken from the Ian Fleming short story Quantum Of Solace from For Your Eyes Only (1960)/ Locations: Siena, Lake Garda/ Talamone, Carrara, Malcesene and Maratea, Italy; Colón and Panama City, Panama (for Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and La Paz, Bolivia); Bregenz, Austria; Antofagasta Region and Atacama Desert, Chile (for Bolivia); London, Aldershot and Pinewood Studios, UK/ Cast includes: Daniel Craig (James Bond); Olga Kurylenko (Camille); Mathieu Amalric (Dominic Greene); Giancarlo Giannini (René Mathis); Jeffrey Wright (Felix Leiter);Gemma Arterton (Strawberry Fields)

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And finally…

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Ian Fleming (1908-64)

Harry Saltzman (1915-94)

Albert R Broccoli (1909-96)

without whom…

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Paragraph Film Reviews permalink
    March 27, 2012 12:24 pm

    Great posts – a massive Bond fan and it’s awesome to have a peek behind the scenes. Absolutely p*ssing myself over the upcoming Blu Ray 50th re-release of everything. Can’t wait to get stuck in to those extras.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. T. Evans permalink
    February 27, 2013 2:45 am

    Big on Bond, James Bond….the Ladies are always lovely too. Thanks for sharing!
    T. Evans

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