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Revelator

Member Since 19 Sep 2003
Offline Last Active Mar 16 2015 05:06 PM
*****

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Revisiting You Only Live Twice

12 March 2015 - 10:46 PM

The Connery-is-bored trope has become conventional wisdom, but not everyone subscribed to it. Here's Pauline Kael's capsule review:

 

The fifth of the Bonds, it can easily be differentiated from the others because it's the Japanese one. It's a product, but probably the most consistently entertaining of the Bond packages up to the time--not as startling as parts of GOLDFINGER but much superior to THUNDERBALL. Ken Adam's sci-fi production designs (including a hollow volcano) seem almost perfectly calculated for the genre. Lewis Gilbert is a rather more humanistic director than his predecessors and he's a reasonably efficient traffic manager; he doesn't let the actors loiter on the sets too long. And Sean Connery's James Bond isn't the sleek, greasy-lipped dummy of the earlier films; playing the super-hero as a paunchy, rather bemused spectator, Connery gives him more character than he's ever had before. This casual, human Bond is rather tender in his sex relationships--one might almost call them love relationships this time. The Roald Dahl screenplay (out of Jules Verne and old movies) is clever enough, and Donald Pleasence, as Blofeld, pets his white cat ominously.

In Topic: Spectre in Octopussy?

08 January 2015 - 08:57 PM

I don't have my copy with me so I may have some details wrong, but the Taschen james Bond Archives book explains it:

SPECTRE attacks MI6 and kills M. Bond is framed as an inside man and goes on the run, and Moneypenny is sacked. SPECTRE then replace M with their own man, so they can run the secret service or something. Octopussy runs a spy outfit of her own that's at war with SPECTRE, and Bond teams up with her and an Afghan freedom fighter called Kamal Khan. The villains are Blofeld and the head of his SPECTRE army, Smythe. The pre-titles was in the Netherlands.

Kamal Khan's name later turned up as the villain's, the character of Kamal Khan later turned up in TLD as Kamran Shah, and it looks like literally the entire rest of the plot was recycled for BOND 24!

The Taschen book actually relates a lot of original plot ideas that I've never head of before, and no sources are cited! But it's fun! Apparently TOMORROW NEVER DIES was originally set in Transylvania... the land of vampires and werewolves...

 

Fascinating stuff--thank you for sharing it. I'll have to save up to buy that Taschen book! As Odd Jobbies commented, that's a very bold scenario. Like the Spectre version of TSWLM, it seems to have been too bold for Broccoli. I also wonder how they would have filmed the death of M, considering that Bernard Lee was already dead.


In Topic: Spectre in Octopussy?

05 January 2015 - 03:56 PM

Never heard this before. But I am not surprised since they maybe tested a few new writers (e.g. George Fraser who did the first draft), and that's when these crazy ideas usually comes up. Goldfinger's brother, Tracy's daughter, Blofelds brother etc. Of course, these days EON are so desperate that they actually have to film them.

 

Goldfinger's brother was actually one of Maibaum's crazy ideas--he'd been proposing it to the producers since 1964, when he wrote the first drafts of OHMSS. But your main idea remains valid. Fraser wrote a memoir partially dealing with his screenwriting work (The Light's On at Signpost) and I'll have to check to see if it has information on his original script for Octopussy.


In Topic: Spectre in Octopussy?

05 January 2015 - 04:12 AM

I was looking through my copy of The Making of On Her Majesty's Secret Service and found a passage I'd completely forgotten about, which mentions that in an early draft of Octopussy there's a scene of Octopussy's girls raiding a Spectre factory that prints counterfeit money. Apparently the earlier scripts portrayed Octopussy as an Asian woman who ran a nightclub in Tokyo and teamed up with Goldfinger's diamond-obsessed brother, Monsieur Diamont...

In any case, we now have confirmation of Spectre's involvement in the genesis of Octopussy.


In Topic: Crisis of faith as a literary bond fan

22 December 2014 - 10:59 PM

That's actually a really good and useful analysis of Fleming as a person there. Thank You.


 

 

You're very welcome. Fleming's attitudes can be very difficult to understand, and many modern-day readers have had difficulties in stomaching them.