Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Chess and Secret Agents….Day 55 of Bond 365

Hasan Ceylan as a Foreign Agent in From Russia With Love
Hasan Ceylan
Born this day in 1922
Foreign Agent in From Russia With Love

Hasan Ceylan was born in Istanbul and had a robust acting career that began in 1952 and continued up until his death in 1980. He had 172 acting roles and as far as I can tell, his role in From Russia With Love may have been his only English speaking film. Well, if you are only going to do one, what better production group and franchise is there?

Peter Madden ponders his next move as McAdams
Peter Madden
Passed away this day in 1976
McAdams in From Russia With Love

“I’m generally cast as a baddie because I’ve got such a miserable bloody face. Thank God I never wanted to be a star,” Peter Madden is quoted as saying about his roles as villains and bureaucratic types (IMDB). He also had a gravelly voice, so that may have been another casting reason. Regardless, he had a prolific career as an actor that started way, way back in 1937 when he played Lawrence Vail in a television film, Once in a Lifetime.

He did a lot of television series over the intervening years. Highlights include: as Dr. Jim Harrison in The Flying Doctor (1959), Admiral Hobbs in Secret Agent (1964-1965), various roles in Z Cars (1962-1968), Inspector Lestrade/Bill McCarthy in Sherlock Holmes (1965-1968), and Doctor Mouraille in Clochemerle (1972). He also made guest appearances in The Saint and The Avengers where he would have bumped into Bond alums Roger Moore and Diana Rigg.

Below is a video clip of Peter Madden as McAdams and Vladek Sheybal as Kronsteen during the Chess match scene. I liked the mise-en-scene and the tension surrounding the match. Sheybal steals the scene when he slowly looks up to the waiter when he set the glass of water down. Kronsteen's meticulous eye gaze to the waiter and the water glass accentuates the tense situation of the game. Given how quickly Sheybal’s character forces McAdams to concede the match leads me to believe that Kronsteen was toying with his opponent instead of quickly winning the game.

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