Saturday, January 31, 2015

Two Pairs....Day 31 of Bond 365

I have been writing most of today and I’m finding I’m about to hit my quota for getting words to link coherently together. But, I’m checking in for day 31 and can you believe, it is the last day of January already? 

One observation I have in doing these posts each day is how little information there sometimes is on a person. Jacqueline Saltzman is a perfect example. I could not find a date of marriage nor her maiden name. If the details are sketchy, then I can usually figure that finding a picture will also be tough. It makes me feel a bit sad for the person.

Without further adieu, here's Saturday group: 

Patrick Holt

Patrick Holt
Born this day in 1912
Group Captain Dawson in Thunderball

He was a real life secret agent during World War II where he went behind enemy lines for secret army missions, so a real life James Bond. He had been an actor prior to the war and afterwards, he returned to acting where he became a leading man for the 1950s films. But he shifted to character acting, which allowed him to continue acting in a career that spanned half a century!

Stanley Kubrick and Sylvester
William Sylvester
Born this day in 1922
Pentagon Official in You Only Live Twice

You know, it makes it hard on me when a person shows up twice in one month and within a few days of each other! So you might just remember William Sylvester, who featured back on the January 25. I still like the picture of Sylvester with Kubrick on the set of 2001: A Space Odyssey

Daniela Bianchi & Sean Connery

Daniela Bianchi
Born this day in 1942
Tatiana Romanova in From Russia With Love

Daniela Bianchi is a beautiful woman and I serious wish she would show up at an autograph collector’s show. She is the youngest woman to play a leading Bond girl according to Wikipedia. She starred opposite the Connery brothers: Sean Connery in From Russia With Love and Neil Connery in OK Connery (1967), a Bond spoof. Her voice was dubbed in both films because of her heavy Italian accent. Although I did not see the spoof, I did see Bianchi in Missione speciale Lady Chaplin (1966) in which she plays an agent pretending to be a double agent and her cover is a fashion designer/owner. Talk about being a "modern woman" when the second wave of feminism was gaining momentum. I think she got to stretch her acting because she carried the movie and the leading man, who was also an agent. The movie had a decent budget, so the production value is high. I definitely recommend it.

Bianchi did one American production and that was Dr. Kildare, which starred a very young Richard Chamberlain. She starred opposite Chamberlain in the three-part story titled “ Rome Will Never Leave You.”

The Saltzmans
Jacqueline Saltzman
Passed away this day in 1980
Woman on train in From Russia With Love

Born in Bucharest, Romania, Jacqueline Saltzman was a refugee from her native country at the end of World War II. She was living in Paris where she and Harry Saltzman met. They married, however I could not find a marriage date and very little information about Jacqueline herself. 

She was a supporting character in From Russia with Love, her only IMDB credit, however she will always be remembered as having lent her name to the company name of Danjaq. 

© Copyright. Michele Brittany. 2011 - 2015. All rights reserved. All text, graphics, and photos are protected by US and International Copyright Laws, and may not be copied, reprinted, published, translated, hosted, or otherwise distributed by any means without written permission.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Count the Notes Mr. Bond....Day 30 of Bond 365

Welcome to Friday and can you believe we are 30 days into 2015 and hence 30 days into Bond 365. At lunch today I got to talk Bond with a Bond aficionado from another team that I don’t usually work with. He mentioned how much he had liked the underwater scenes from Thunderball and at a drop of a hat, I mentioned Lamar Boren because he was featured earlier this month. Anyway, always cool when I get to talk with someone who is passionate about the franchise.

Composer John Barry
John Barry
Passed away this day in 2011
Composer, multiple James Bond films

One cannot go to far into a conversation about the franchise and not bring up the music, which is a component of filmic Bond’s success over the decades. Bond is indebted to Monty Norman who created the initial theme in Dr. No, but for the next 25 years, Barry’s signature musical style and innovation did lend to Eon Productions' success. 

The last Bond film that Barry scored was Timothy Dalton’s The Living Daylights. He was supposed to score Dalton’s follow up film, but was recovering from throat surgery and could not travel. Michael Kamen (Pink Floyd – The Wall, Brazil, Lethal Weapon) filled in. 

After the lengthy break between movies that lasted into the 1990s, Barry recommended composer David Arnold, who had created new versions of Barry’s scores in Shaken and Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project.

I’m linking to Adrian’s Film Music blog where the top two entries feature Barry. The first is a discussion of Dances with Wolves, a film that Barry composed and won an Academy Award for Best Original Score in 1990. The second entry is a remembrance and includes a clip from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. In Eddi Fiegel’s John Barry: A Sixties Theme: From James Bond to Midnight Cowboy (2001, Macmillan), Barry stated, “I have to stick my oar in the musical area double strong to make the audience try and forget they don’t have Sean….to be Bondian beyond Bondian.” He nailed it in my estimation. His score for OHMSS is one of the best, all-around powerful soundtracks of all the Bond films that have been released thus far.

Guy Doleman as Count Lippe
Guy Doleman
Passed away this day in 1996
Count Lippe in Thunderball

Born in New Zealand, Guy Doleman was an international actor, landing roles in his native country as well as American and Britain. He is probably best remembered as Count Lippe in Thunderball who tangled with Bond at the clinic and who was later bumped off by fellow SPECTRE agent Fiona Volpe (the gorgeous Luciana Paluzzi). 

I really need to revisit Thunderball, which I have not seen since last year when I started to watch each film in order. I'm embarrassed, I did not get far...why can I not get paid to write and watch films?? 

© Copyright. Michele Brittany. 2011 - 2015. All rights reserved. All text, graphics, and photos are protected by US and International Copyright Laws, and may not be copied, reprinted, published, translated, hosted, or otherwise distributed by any means without written permission.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Fleming: The Man Who Would be Bond…Day 29 of Bond 365

Welcome to Day 29 of Bond 365 where each day I spotlight events and people that were and are part of the Bond franchise. The franchise could not be what it is today without the hard work and belief these individuals have in James Bond.

Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond featured in Total Film
Fleming: The Man Who Would be Bond
Premiered this day in 2014
Television mini-series in the US

IMDB provides the following storyline: “Look at the 007 creator, Ian Fleming, and his early life set against the permissive society of war-torn WWII London.” I personally have not had the pleasure to watch this mini-series because I do not have television. However, I just checked and it is available on Netflix, so I will be adding this to my list. This series originally aired on BBC American in the US and Sky Atlantic in the UK last year and featured the writing team of John Brownlow (Sylvia) and Don MacPherson (The Avengers, The Guman) and directed by Mat Whitecross (Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, The Shock Doctrine). The dashing Dominic Cooper (Dracula Untold, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) took lead as Ian Fleming and the striking Lara Pulver (Sherlock, Da Vinci’s Demons) was Ann O’Neill.

The four-part series covered the years 1938 through the end of the war in 1945. Based on the trailer, it looks to be a fairly sexualized and glamourous interpretation of Fleming’s development of the James Bond character that he would later realize in his first of several novels, Casino Royale in 1953. BBC America online still has all of their materials up concerning the series. In addition to the trailer, there are character sketches, interviews and photos, etc.

Additionally, the December 2013 issue of Total Film spotlighted the mini-series and included a first look of the new movie The Man From U.N.C.L.E. that will be out this year and an interview with Javier Bardem in which he made mention about Skyfall. I wrote up a post about it, which you can link to here

I would be interested to hear what people thought of the series, so leave a comment if you have.  

© Copyright. Michele Brittany. 2011 - 2015. All rights reserved. All text, graphics, and photos are protected by US and International Copyright Laws, and may not be copied, reprinted, published, translated, hosted, or otherwise distributed by any means without written permission.