Saturday, June 20, 2015

Commemorating 100th Year of Young’s Birth…Day 171 of Bond 365

Today was spent at the Richard Nixon Library. It’s not located far from home, but it took having a German friend visit as the impetus for finally going. It was definitely worth the trip and the several hours going through the various wings of the library as well as Nixon’s birth house. I took a lot of photos and notes so I can do a write up very soon that I’ll post here.

On Set (Google Images)
Shaun Terrence Young
Born this day in 1915
Director for Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Thunderball
Writer (Uncredited) for Dr. No
Body Double: Pedro Armendariz in From Russia With Love
Director: Pre-Production for Goldfinger

Shaun Terrence Young was born in Shanghai, China where his father was a Police Commissioner. He attended public school and at some point, moved to England to attend St. Catharine’s College at the University of Cambridge. Young got his start as a writer for The Fugitive (1939), a London Film Studios project about a man who becomes embroiled in blackmail and murder. War interrupted Young’s career as he was commissioned into the Irish Guards.

During the war, he was a paratrooper and was in the battle of Arnhem. He was wounded and convalesced in a Dutch hospital where he met a 16 year-old future starlet, who he directed in Wait Until Dark (1967). That young girl matured into Audrey Hepburn.

Dr. No Set (Google Images)
After the war, Young completed his first directorial debut was on Corridor of Mirrors (1948), a mystery starring Eric Portman, as well as a couple of Bond alums: Christopher Lee (it was his film debut as well) and Lois Maxwell. He also ran into Sean Connery when he directed Action of the Tiger (1957) and that association would become forever immortalized within the franchise. Maxwell recalled “Terrence took Sean under his wing. He took him to dinner, showed him how to walk, how to talk, even how to eat” (Wiki, ‘Terrence Young’). Taking Connery under his wing was not an isolated instance. When I met Luciana Paluzzi at one of the Hollywood Collector’s Show, she talked fondly of Young’s interest in and fatherly guidance he provided her.

Young worked on handful of Warwick films, which were produced by Albert Broccoli and led to Young being hired to direct the first Bond film, Dr. No. It was successful and well received, that Young was brought back for From Russia With Love and again for Thunderball. Although he filled other roles as well on the early films of the franchise, he did move on to direct several more films – 41 credits in all. His last film was Run For Your Life (1988). He suffered a fatal heart attack in 1994 in Cannes at the age of 79.

Bond Trivia: Young’s favorite Bond film is From Russia With Love and he liked to cast Desmond Llewelyn and Anthony Dawson.

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