Missed Opportunities in the Bond Series

In the next issue of Her Majesty’s Secret Servant (on-line imminently) we examine what some believe to be the biggest missed opportunity of the series. Look for “Ugh! Siamese Vodka?!” and other terrific pieces, including a grand pictorial of our favorite and hottest Bond girls.

What might you consider to be some of the bad decisions the producers of the Bond films made that effected the series? The “comedic” direction of the films throughout the 1970’s? Revolving actors in the Leiter role? Letting Dalton walk?

Share your thoughts.

11 Responses

  1. I’d say the biggest missed opportunities relate to the YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE/OHMSS/DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER trifecta. First, switching the order of YOLT and OHMSS robs the former story of its power as a revenge piece. Plus turning YOLT into an overblown, daffy action fantasy doesn’t work, to put it charitably.

    And second, after this filmic switch in order, DAF, the film that follows OHMSS and the death of Bond’s wife, completely ignores that event and then turns into what would become the Moore Bond Comedies! I understand the business decisions behind that change in direction, but sometimes weep for the missed opportunity to continue down the more Fleming-faithful, dramatic path that OHMSS carved out. We had to wait until Dalton’s tenure until some of that was captured again.

  2. Interesting thoughts Paul. Would like to hear your comments after reading the “Ugh! Siamese Vodka?!” piece when the new HMSS issue is unfurled.

    Tom

  3. Great minds think alike : have just written for a French movie mag an article entitled ” The Creation of Bond : missed oportunities , Bond23 and other stupid script ideas ” .
    Due to be published next month…

  4. I don’t know how many times I heard the producers tell us that the next Bond would be different, a return to the style of the early Connery movies.

    Well it never happened; while Timothy Dalton played a serious Bond, his movies still had one foot in the Roger Moore era. I remember the beginning of Goldeneye, when Bond is in his DB5 racing the Ferrari.

    They pass a load of cyclists, who proceed to fall over like dominoes; I though “oh no, not again”.

    It wasn’t until Casino Royale that they did away with the silliness, and that is nothing like the early movies. CR is flawed, but at least it isn’t by juvenile humour.

    And so, there were about 30 years of missed opportunities to bring a real Bond film to the big screen again, which we did eventually get with CR. While I agree FYEO is more serious, it still isn’t serious enough for me.

  5. SPY didn’t really recapture the serious tone; it’s more akin to the overblown action fantasy that was YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE. There’s only a few scenes that have serious overtones and they don’t make up the overall tone of the film.

    FOR YOUR EYES ONLY was a more serious attempt to capture the Fleming tone, but was a one-off. They were back with the hijinks in OCTOPUSSY.

    Dalton’s performance in his two Bond films was the first serious and consistent attempt to capture the Fleming character since OHMSS.

  6. And Tom, looking forward to reading the new issue.

  7. Have you ever watched Frasier? There’s an episode in which he goes out on a date with a completely incompatible woman, just to keep his dating skills alive. She was merely a placeholder. That’s how I view the movies from LALD through AVTAK. All far below the standard of what a good Bond movie should be, but were at least something with some Bond connection to watch until the “real” Bond returned. I always enjoy the argument that the movies of the Moore era followed what people wanted, hence the lighter approach. But when you hear discussions about the great movies of the 1970s, it’s not the fluff pieces that are memorable. It’s still quality and drama, things that the Moore cartoons lacked. The James Bond that Roger Moore portrayed was nothing but a pretender to the throne. He lucked into the roll through bad judgement and stunk up the screen and the series for far too long.

  8. “I don’t know how many times I heard the producers tell us that the next Bond would be different, a return to the style of the early Connery movies.”

    I certainly would never want the films to return to the style of the early Connery films. That style belonged to Connery. I would prefer if each Bond actor create his own style . . . which is exactly what Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, Brosnan and Craig did. Thank goodness.

  9. Have you ever watched Frasier? There’s an episode in which he goes out on a date with a completely incompatible woman, just to keep his dating skills alive. She was merely a placeholder. That’s how I view the movies from LALD through AVTAK. All far below the standard of what a good Bond movie should be, but were at least something with some Bond connection to watch until the “real” Bond returned. I always enjoy the argument that the movies of the Moore era followed what people wanted, hence the lighter approach. But when you hear discussions about the great movies of the 1970s, it’s not the fluff pieces that are memorable. It’s still quality and drama, things that the Moore cartoons lacked. The James Bond that Roger Moore portrayed was nothing but a pretender to the throne. He lucked into the roll through bad judgement and stunk up the screen and the series for far too long.

    I certainly don’t agree with this assessment of Moore’s tenure. He did crap Bond movies like MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN. But he also did top notch films like FOR YOUR EYES ONLY.

    Out of Connery’s six films, I have a high opinion of only two of them – FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE and THUNDERBALL.

  10. Posted on February 17, 2010 by The HMSS Editors
    In the next issue of Her Majesty’s Secret Servant (on-line imminently)

    “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what yuou think it means.”

  11. LOL! “Oh! The sot has spoken!” 😉

    Yes, well… when it finally does get up one day, we hope you like it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: