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10 – Specific films FAQ

Certain questions seem to crop up often regarding things in specific films. This section is a "FAQ in the FAQ" for these oft-repeated queries. PLEASE read them carefully – you will see them appear in the newsgroup and will be able to direct the poster to the FAQ or provide the answer.

A – "Casino Royale" – the television episode

This was the first time Bond appeared in the visual media. Not a feature film, this adaptation was a television production, an hour-long episode of the CBS Climax! Mystery Theatre anthology series. It aired live on October 21, 1954, the television rights selling for $1,000. Barry Nelson played Bond as an American agent, nicknamed "Card Sense Jimmy Bond". Peter Lorre plays the villain Le Chiffre and was inadvertently seen walking across the stage after his character is killed. The joys of live TV.

B – Casino Royale the 1967 spoof

Fleming's first novel, Casino Royale was offered for film rights for $6000 and sold in 1956 to Gregory Ratoff. Later the rights were sold to producer Charles K. Feldman for $75,000. In 1964, seeing the amazing success of EON, Feldman approached Cubby Broccoli and Sean Connery about making Casino Royale jointly. However, Connery asked for a cool million-dollar salary and there was a dispute over production credits. No agreement came to pass.

So Feldman, armed with the legal right to the actual James Bond character and situations of Casino Royale, made a spoof of the Bond genre. The 1967 film is a disaster, despite the combined talents of David Niven, Peter Sellers, Woody Allen, Ursula Andress, Orson Welles, Deborah Kerr, William Holden and John Huston.

MGM obtained the rights to Casino Royale at the turn of the century.

C – Dr. No / Live And Let Die

Both of these films get fans asking, "Where's Q? " Q is in Dr. No. Desmond Llewelyn just does not play him. Actor Peter Burton played Major Boothroyd, head of Q Branch. Llewelyn took over the role in 1963's From Russia With Love, his character's actual name mentioned in The Spy Who Loved Me. He would act in every Bond film through 1999's The World Is Not Enough except for Live and Let Die. No one from Q Branch appears in that film. For more on Q go to Brief #4, Section #2.

D – From Russia With Love

There are two questions regarding this film. The first is about the introduction of Blofeld's cat. Never used in the books, the cat took attention as a focal point to the unseen Blofeld. But the CAT'S NAME IS NEVER MENTIONED AT ANY POINT. Not even a hint of it. Which is good, as any name would be a distraction. Mike Meyers' spoof character Austin Powers proved this point by having the villain, Dr. Evil, name his cat "Mr. Bigglesworth".

The other question is if Ian Fleming actually has a cameo appearance in the movie. Bryan Krofchok submitted the following for issue #3c of the Ian Fleming Foundation's "Shaken, Not Stirred" newsletter in March 1995 (reprinted by permission of the author):

"The curious notion of Fleming's cameo is mentioned in Roger Ryan and Martin Sterling's book of Bond trivia, 'Keeping The British End Up', under the heading 'Brief Encounter'. The scene in question pops up when the Orient Express must stop for a truck that has stalled across the tracks (originally, part of Grant's escape route). Watch for an oddly placed gentleman wearing a white top and dark pants, who seems to be holding some sort of walking stick.

"His mode of dress is suspiciously identical to that of Ian Fleming's in the well known photos of his visit to the set of the film during shooting of the Orient Express. I say that the man is oddly placed, because he seems to have no part in the plot, and cannot simply be brushed off as someone merely out for a casual stroll due to the apparent desolation of the surrounding area. I also find it quite odd that although the train is passing fairly close to him, the man has his back to it and is looking the other way. "

E – Goldfinger

When the bomb is ticking away and Bond is feverously trying to disarm it we are privy to the seconds left. When the bomb is finally defused we see "007" seconds left on it. However, Bond says that "Three more ticks and Mr. Goldfinger would've hit the jackpot. " The reason for this inconsistency is that the clock is supposed to end on "003" but in editing some unknown person thought showing "007" would be a neat idea. Connery was unavailable to loop his line and it stayed that way.

F – Thunderball / Never Say Never Again

This is the most rancorous debate of anything regarding James Bond. The questions are aplenty here. Why is Never Say Never Again a retelling of Thunderball, and why did a different production team make it? Why do fans often snub it as an "unofficial" film? Who is Kevin McClory and what role did he play in shaping James Bond? And why are there so many continuity errors in Thunderball? Let's begin with Kevin McClory.

Kevin McClory was a film producer who first made plans with Ian Fleming to produce the first ever Bond feature film back in 1958. He wrote a script with Fleming and screenwriter Jack Whittingham originally called "Longitude 78 West" in 1959. When the project fell through Fleming used the story as the basis for his 1961 Bond novel Thunderball, without crediting either McClory or Whittingham.

McClory unsuccessfully attempted then to block Jonathan Cape's publication of Thunderball. He brought suit against Fleming in 1963 and the outcome was that all future publications of the novel would state that "it is based on a screen treatment by Kevin McClory, Jack Whittingham, and Ian Fleming." Furthermore McClory acquired all movie rights to the story and its various treatments, referred to as "the film scripts".

His 1965 collaboration with EON, co-producing Thunderball, was an appeasement of sorts to prevent a competitor of EON facing off against them during the apex of Bondmania worldwide. In exchange McClory abandoned all claims for another 10 years after the initial release of the film. When in January 1976 the rights reverted back to him he wrote an original script along with Len Deighton and Sean Connery himself, called "Warhead 8". When legal battle was started again by EON he was finally forced to produce only a direct remake of Thunderball. The result was 1983's Never Say Never Again. The film was not EON's, and could not use the trademark gun-barrel opening or theme music, not even the name "Q" who was never in the novel or the original film scripts, making many fans consider it "unofficial".

McClory seemed to be the owner of SPECTRE and Blofeld, introduced in Thunderball, and EON has never used them by name since 1971's Diamonds Are Forever. The villain in The Spy Who Loved Me was originally SPECTRE, changed when it appeared legal trouble might have ensued. The character in the opening credits of For Your Eyes Only is Blofeld unnamed. Stay in this Section and go to I For Your Eyes Only.

McClory attempted to make his own Bond output for years after that. In late 1997 he aligned with Sony to attempt to produce an original film series featuring James Bond. MGM responded with legal action to prevent this. In March 1999, the Sony/McClory camp was soundly thumped in court and Sony gave up any claim to owning James Bond. McClory, publicly claiming "abandonment", began peddling the rights he had, real or imagined, to any interested party.

In the end MGM proved to hold a surprising edge, namely due to an oversight on McClory's behalf. The copyright to Thunderball was claimed by MGM when McClory had not renewed it properly and in effect they retain at least the legal position to withstand any charge he may bring.

Thunderball features more visible continuity errors than usual. From the ever-changing color scuba masks in the end battle to Leiter changing from shorts to pants during a helicopter ride, the editing seems sloppy. The problems stemmed from a meltdown in postproduction. Terence Young had directed the first two films, and then sat out the third before returning to direct Thunderball. The rigorous schedule took its toll, as well as artistic differences with EON. Young walked out during editing leaving editor Peter Hunt having to make the most of what was already shot without the possibility of reshooting.

G – On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Two prevalent questions arise often. The first is explaining why Blofeld does not recognize Bond when they meet at Piz Gloria. The previous film, You Only Live Twice, had the two antagonists come face-to-face for the first time. This flew in the face of the Fleming novels where the Piz Gloria meeting was the first meeting. EON both scrapped the entire novel and storyline of YOLT and filmed it out of sequence.

Director Peter Hunt and writer Richard Maibaum had to deal with this issue. They decided to stay true to Fleming and film the Piz Gloria scene as it had been, simply ignoring the gaffe. In truth they need not have done so, since Bond did not glean anything with Blofeld/de Bleuchamp at that time and could have merely held off their face-to-face meeting until later with a bit of tweaking. But they did not go this route.

The other question regards Bond's marriage. He marries Tracy di Vicenzo in the movie. It is the only time he ever married on screen. There is a wedding scene in YOLT, but it is explained in the film that the ceremony was a hoax.

H – Diamonds Are Forever

Two of the three common questions regarding this film arise from editing, one from questionable writing.

First, when Blofeld calls for Burt Saxby we see Bond mimicking his voice to fool Blofeld. However, after Bond shows up, so does Saxby. How did the real Saxby know where and when to show up? Perhaps someone can find out that answer, as the FAQ has not located a credible one.

Another frequent inquiry is how Plenty O'Toole ended up at Tiffany Case's California home. After being thrown in the Tropicana hotel pool in Las Vegas, Plenty sneaks back into the room and goes through Tiffany's purse, finding her address, as Bond and she keep occupied. This scene was edited out of the movie before it was released making it confusing. This does not explain WHY Plenty would want to get that far involved.

Lastly, when Bond's car goes in the alley on the right set of wheels it comes out on the left set. This is a flat out mistake. The filmmakers attempted to correct this error by interspersing a close-up of Bond and Tiffany as the car tilts from one side to the other. However, this should still be impossible considering the width of the alley.

I – For Your Eyes Only

More frequent questions arise from this film than any other. Here are the facts.

First, fans clamor to know if that was actually Blofeld in the opening sequence of For Your Eyes Only. Yes it is. The character is never mentioned by name since in 1981 EON was legally barred from using Blofeld. See this Section's E Thunderball/Never Say Never Again for details. But on the Special Edition DVD of the film, both producer Michael G. Wilson and director John Glen mention that it is Blofeld in a direct reference to On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Another question involves the Blofeld plea promising Bond a "delicatessen in stainless steel" in exchange for his life. It seems Cubby Broccoli is responsible for the line being used in the film. Both Michael G. Wilson and John Glen confirm this. It seems completely out of character and not terribly clever.

Also recurrent is asking if the "Bond girl" was once a man. The answer is NO! One of the bikini-clad women hanging out at Gonzales' pool is a British actress named Tula, a.k.a. Caroline Cossey, who later grabbed headlines by revealing she had started life as a man. Although the world press played up the Bond angle ("Even 007 can't tell the difference! "), Tula's role in the film was nearly non-existent. But the actual "Bond girl" of the film is Carole Bouquet.

J – Octopussy

An interesting question concerns Robert Brown appearing as "M" in the film. The original "M" was Bernard Lee, who died after appearing in 1979's Moonraker. EON did not use "M" in For Your Eyes Only out of respect for Lee, but then they knew they needed the character to return.

What sets fans' minds off is that Brown had already made an appearance in The Spy Who Loved Me as Admiral Hargreaves. It is never stated whether Brown is playing Lee's character, Sir Miles Messervy, or is playing Hargreaves as a new "M". But the clear inference is that he played Messervy. EON had recast actors in different roles very early on and when Dame Judi Dench took over the role, Bond mentions her "predecessor" in a singular fashion. In The World Is Not Enough there is a picture of her predecessor, which is a portrait of Lee. It is visible for a split moment after the holographic image of Renard is turned off. The novelization of Licence To Kill, six years later with Brown still in the role, features Sir Miles.

The other common question pertains to the Faberge eggs. Namely which one was destroyed on camera. It was the real one. 009 is found with the fake. Bond then switches it at the auction and keeps the real one. Later he shows off the real one during the backgammon game. We also see Q put the transmitter in the real egg. The real egg is then stolen by Magda and given back to Kamal Khan. When Orlov arrives he claims that the "fake" has caused enough trouble and smashes the egg. But it is the real one that is smashed, as the Q Branch transmitter is in it.

K – Licence To Kill

This is not easy for everyone to discover but it is true that bullets are used as music in the movie. During the tanker chase in the film's climax, listen closely for a machine gun fired at Bond. The ricocheting bullets do indeed play out the introductory notes of the "James Bond Theme" before the soundtrack kicks in.

L – Tomorrow Never Dies

There is a large misconception regarding Bond's failure to read the Chinese keyboard when intending to send a message. The movie Thunderball had claimed (departing entirely from Fleming's character) that Bond had taken a first in Oriental languages at Cambridge. However, that does not mean he is fluent in written Chinese. It is never specified whether it was Chinese in the first place, and whether it was merely the spoken dialect he had mastered as opposed to the written language.

M – Die Another Day

Madonna, in addition to performing the theme song, has a cameo as Verity, the fencing instructor, joining Sheena Easton (For Your Eyes Only) as the only theme performer to appear in the same film. John Cleese was called Q following Desmond Llewelyn's death, though his real name remains unknown. Many references from previous films, particularly in the Q scene, are shown. The book that Miranda is "attached to" at the end is Art of War by Sun Tzu, referenced earlier in the film.

The most common query is why Bond did not realize Miranda Frost had emptied his gun, since the weight change would be noticeable and it does appear that Bond briefly inspects it on screen. As the novelization from Raymond Benson explains, Miranda did NOT empty the gun. She instead bent the firing pin, meaning the quick inspection Bond gave it would not detect it. When trying to fire it later Bond hears the click of the pin and realizes what happened. It is not mentioned in the dialogue and confused many fans.

This was the last film with Pierce Brosnan as James Bond. Reports have stated that he was demanding $40 million (£23million) for his next film as 007. Pierce Brosnan issued the statement “I was just getting the hang of it, you know? But they wanted to go younger. They wanted to reinvigorate the part. Whether they made the right choice, who knows? They´re probably scared s***less, thinking, ‘What have we done?´ ’

N - Casino Royale

This would become the first film with a new actor to portray 007. The actors that were considerd included Ewan McGregor, Eric Bana, Hugh Jackman, and Colin Farrell.

Daniel Craig would become the latest actor to strap on the PPK. The actor´s build was important to his selection, according to a leaked memo from Eon Productions.

Casino Royale was the first Bond novel, penned by Ian Fleming in 1953. It has been adapted twice before, first in 1954 on the CBS television network starring American actor Barry Nelson and then as a spoof in 1967 with Peter Sellers, Orson Welles, David Niven and Woody Allen.

Casino Royale, the 21st James Bond film, directed by Martin Campbell who also directed Pierce Brosnan's debut as 007 in GoldenEye. Release date was November 17th 2006, distributed by Columbia Pictures. The film had critical and financial success when it was released and provided a possible story arc to be maintained in the next film involving a criminal organization on par with SPECTRE.

The film provided a new back story as to how James Bond became a double O agent for MI-6 during the pre-credit sequence. In the fim there is no mention of Q and Judi Dench returns as M, although it may be confusing for some since her M took over the job in GoldenEye and Casino Royale is James Bond's first mission.

O - Quantum of Solace

Quantum Of Solace, the 22nd James Bond film, would be a rarity that would set itself off from the rest of the EON produced Bond films, the very first direct sequel to the film that preceded it. It was released in November of 2008 and to this date it has the shortest run time of all the Bond films.

The film was directed by Marc Forster who was a first time director of a Bond film (but did direct former Bond girl Halle Berry -- Jinx in DAD -- in the film Monster's Ball). Producer Michael G. Wilson developed the film's plot while Casino Royale was in production. Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Paul Haggis, and Joshua Zetumer contributed to the script.

In the film, 007 matches wits with Dominic Greene who is a member of the "Quantum" organization which happens to be responsible for the death of his lover Vesper Lynd from the previous film Casino Royale. In the film Bond seeks revenge but he comes across a vast network not unlike SPECTRE and must decide between his personal vendetta for Vesper's death or doing his bit for Queen and country.

The title of the film was also a 1960 short story in Ian Fleming's For Your Eyes Only, however it does not contain any elements of the original story.