Opening to an episode of Secret Agent/Danger Man!

You never know what you’ll find on the Internets. In this case, it’s the opening to an episode of Secret Agent, the U.S. name for the U.K. Danger Man series. Here you get to see the pre-credits sequence, the main title and a commercial for Westinghouse. As it turns out the episode was directed by Peter Yates, the future director of Bullitt and Breaking Away. Take a look:

QoS falls to No. 4 in U.S., Canada

Quantum of Solace, in its third weekend of release in the U.S. and Canada slipped to the No. 4 movie with an estimated $19.5 million in ticket sales. It had been No. 2 last week and debuted in the top slot.

The No. 1 film this weekend was Four Chistmases at $46.7 million, followed by Bolt at $26.6 million and Twilight at $26.3 million.

The total U.S. and Canadian gross for the 22nd James Bond film produced by Eon Productions now stands around $142 million. To see the complete list, posted on Yahoo, with data from Box Office Mojo LLC, click RIGHT HERE.

Happy 90th birthday Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

In the current issue of HMSS, we have a story about espionage-themed episodes of The FBI, the 1965-74 series from producer Quinn Martin. (If you haven’t seen it, you can click RIGHT HERE.)

Today, the star of that series, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. celebrates his 90th birthday. He remained active into the early part of this decade, mostly doing cartoon voices, including a long stint as the voice of Alfred in a series of Batman cartoons produced by Warner Bros.

Anyway, to celebrate, here’s the main title to one of the episodes featured in the HMSS article. It’s from the second season and was titled “The Courier.” The guest stars included Ruth Roman and Gene Hackman. Take a look:

Another Michael G. Wilson-Barbara Broccoli interview

Over at the Movies Online Web site, there’s an interview with Eon Productions chiefs Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. Nothing too startling that hasn’t been reported elsewhere. The Quantum of Solace producers again indicate the 23rd installment of the 007 series will take longer than the two years that elapsed between Casino Royale and QoS.

From the article:

MoviesOnline: Please keep bringing in directors who bring in their own view. It’s so refreshing. There’s been talk about taking a longer break between this one and the next movie. Is that true?

Barbara Broccoli: I mean it’s just how we’re feeling at the moment. Let’s get Christmas over and then we’ll….who knows?

Michael Wilson: You know 2 of these back to back is…you know we started writing the last one when we were post on the last one so it’s been very tight….these things are done on a very tight schedule. Very tight post. When we finished…well Marc had like 3 weeks or something….

Barbara Broccoli: No, 5 weeks to cut the movie.

Also this comment from Wilson about director Marc Forster:

Michael Wilson: Before we started the picture he had every set and every location mapped out with his DP and he had the position of every camera setup on the set before he started the movie. That’s unheard of.

The entire article can be viewed by clicking RIGHT HERE.

Outlaw Vern reviews Quantum of Solace!

America’s finest film critic (and friend of HMSS) has turned his laserlike perception on the new James Bond movie. He reports his findings at his sometimes-hang-out The Ain’t It Cool News, and the world is a better place for it. Go now AND READ IT, and you will achieve full understanding.

You’ll also laugh. A lot.

Worst-to-best Bond movie theme songs

6684099_fromrussiawithloveBritish-based music website GIGWISE.com recently ran a survey of the theme songs from the James Bond film series. Counting down from worst to best, they (correctly) list Rita Coolidge’s “All Time High” as the worst; they also identify Sheena Easton’s “For Your Eyes Only” as the low-ranking fraud that it is.

Take a look at their list HERE, and see where your favorites wound up! One may quibble with some individual choices, but the general arc of their survey is spot-on. Nice job, lads!

007 Thanksgiving hack-a-thon on Sci-Fi channel

On Thanksgiving Day, the Sci-Fi Channel was the latest U.S. cable network to feature a James Bond marathon. Sci-Fi showed Pierce Brosnan’s first three efforts, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, and The World Is Not Enough. The problem: Sci-Fi apparently thought it should treat the Bond movies like a Thanksgiving turkey and cut them up.

Had Eon Productions Big Kahuna Michael G. Wilson been watching Tomorrow Never Dies on Sci-Fi he’d have no doubt been disappointed. The scene with villain Elliott Carver having a video conference with various confederates was hacked out entirely. So much for MGW’s biggest Bond appearance.

Even worse was what Sci Fi did to The World is Not Enough, Desmond Llewelyn’s farewell to the series. In the middle of Llewelyn’s final scene, Sci Fi cut away just after John Cleese “demonstrates” a gadget. A viewer would miss the touching finale to the scene, which begins with Brosnan/Bond asking, “You’re not retiring anytime soon — are you?”

And, of course, we won’t even talk about what they did to the end titles. Echh.