The Spy Who Loved Me poster’s credit changes

CLIP TO EMBIGGIN

CLIP TO EMBIGGIN

One of the most memorable posters in the history of the James Bond movie series is artist Bob Peak’s artwork for 1977′s The Spy Who Loved Me. But there were a couple of tweaks in the credits that accompanied that artwork on its way to theaters.

Gary Firuta, a Bond collector, shared with us an image of the original poster. Roger Moore’s billing as Bond is above the title, just as in the final version. Two things caught our eye down toward the bottom. First, there was the billing for Moore’s fellow actors: “Starring CURT JURGENS and Introducing BARBARA BACH.” Then, elsewhere in the credits on the poster, “Assistant to the Producer MIKE WILSON.”

The Starring Jurgens/Introducing Bach order also appeared on the back cover of Christopher Wood’s novelization of the movie. An “introducing” credit is sometimes used for a big role of a relatively new actor. In this case, the then-29-year-old Bach had acting credits dating back to 1968.

A revised poster came out with this billing: “Starring BARBARA BACH and CURT JURGENS as ‘Stromberg.’” That matched the after-the-title billing of the movies main titles.

The “Mike Wilson” credit is also interesting. Wilson, of course, was Michael G. Wilson, the stepson of producer Albert R. Broccoli, who had been deeply involved in legal matters involving Broccoli’s business separation from Harry Saltzman. “Assistant to the Producer” is not often a credit that gets included on movie posters, then or now. One could argue it was understandable; Eon Productions is a family business and Broccoli and Wilson were family. The poster credit was also slightly different than the credit Wilson had in the main titles of the movie: “Special Assistant to Producer MICHAEL WILSON.”

What’s more, production designer Ken Adam, whose credit was included on the posters of You Only Live Twice and Diamonds Are Forever, wasn’t getting credit on Spy’s poster. Neither did the movie’s associate producer, William P. Cartlidge, who, at least on paper, outranked Wilson. Up until that point, associate producers (Stanley Sopel on On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Diamonds Are Forever and Charles Orme on The Man With The Golden Gun) hadn’t gotten credits on Bond movie posters either.

On the other hand, in the movie’s main titles, Wilson shared the screen with eight other crew members, among them art director Peter Lamont. Adam and Cartlidge had the screen to themselves when their credits appeared in the Maurice Binder-designed titles. Thus, it’d be kind of odd for Wilson to get onto the movie poster while Adam and Cartlidge did not.

When the final poster came out, producer Broccoli, director Lewis Gilbert, screenwriters Wood and Richard Maibaum and composer Marvin Hamlisch had credits. Wilson’s name was removed.

We don’t pretend to *know* the inside story. But it is worth noting when the next Bond movie, Moonraker, came out, Wilson (now sporting the title of executive producer), Adam and Cartlidge all got credits on the poster.

Michael G. Wilson’s unheralded 007 milestone

Michael G. Wilson, the co-boss person of Eon Productions, either has, or is about to, hit a noteable milestone in the history of the James Bond film series. It hasn’t gotten much publicity. And, it’s kind of hard to precisely measure it.

In any case, Wilson’s tenure on the 007 series has now exceeded, or will shortly exceed, that of his stepfather, Albert R. Broccoli.

Broccoli was involved in the Bond series for 35 years, starting in 1961 (when Eon and its holding company, Danjaq, was formed when Broccoli and his then-partner Harry Saltzman struck a deal with United Artists) until his death in 1996.

Wilson, meanwhile, has been involved with the series for at least 36 years, from 1975 (when the Broccoli-Saltzman partnership was dissolved) to the present. Arguably, you date it further back. Broccoli’s posthumously published autobiography, When The Snow Melts, ghostwriter Donald Zec says Wilson took a leave of absence from a law firm in 1973 “to help Cubby with tax matters and the burgeoning problems with Harry Saltzman.” He was also an extra on 1964′s Goldfinger, but he didn’t hold any kind of adminstrative position. So, for our purposes, we’ll exclude that.

Once the legal fight with Saltzman concuded, the Broccoli autobiograhy says, “Michael Wilson becoming more and more becoming involved in the creative side of filming, was a great help to me as associate producer.”

Cubby’s memory is a bit faulty here. Wilson’s credit on The Spy Who Love Me, the first entry in the 007 series without Saltzman, was as “special assistant to producer,” and that credit was in small type along with others in the main titles. The film’s associate producer was William P. Cartlidge (who got his credit in big type and had the screen all to himself when his name was shown). Still, Wilson was having an impact on the Bond series starting with that 1977-released film.

A picture of Wilson and his co-boss person (and half-sister) Barbara Broccoli showed up IN A TURKISH NEWSPAPER this week with officials in Turkey after having secured permission to film in Istanbul for Bond 23.

Wilson, 68 or 69 (Wikipedia lists his date of birth as Jan. 21, 1942, while IMDB.com lists it as A YEAR LATER) wasn’t an innovator the way his stepfather was. But he has had a major impact on the series, having held the titles of executive producer (Moonraker through Octopussy), sharing the producer’s chair with Cubby Broccoli (A View To a Kill through Licence to Kill), co-screenwriter (For Your Eyes Only through Licence to Kill) and sharing the producer’s title with Barbara Broccoli (GoldenEye to present).

So this is a milestone that should be noted, even if terms and dates may vary. Here’s Wilson and Barbara Broccoli at the 2008 premier of Quantum of Solace:

007 questions about Bond 23 oddities

For a movie that’s two months, or less, away from filming, there have been a number of odd things related to Bond 23, the James Bond movie due out in November 2012 in the U.S. Here’s a partial list:

001. Why hire a writer who doesn’t like James Bond to write a James Bond movie? In 007 fandom, this keeps getting swept under the rug, but on the surface it doesn’t make a lot of sense to hire a writer who has contempt for 007. Yet, Eon Productions did just that in 2009 when it hired Peter Morgan to do Bond 23′s screenplay *and put out a press release before he ever submitted a draft of a script*

Morgan, the writer of Frost/Nixon, said after he exited Bond 23 that “I’m not sure it’s possible to do it …I just personally struggle to believe a British secret agent is still saving the world.” OK, it’s easy to figure out why Morgan sought the Bond 23 gig. A paycheck is a paycheck. What’s more puzzling is why Eon Productions boss people Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli hired him in the first place. Unless, of course, they sought “prestige” from Morgan’s resume, even if he had contempt for the 007 character, which is Eon’s primary asset.

002. So why don’t fans ever metnion the Morgan hiring and how weird it was? Partially, they want to put the past behind them. Still, it’s worth remembering how on some message boards, fans were all gung-ho about the Morgan news, with comments tht he was a quality writer and a great choice.

003. Why are Bond 23 cast and crew announcements have been handled they way they’ve been? Good question. Eon put out one very short press release early this year. It said the U.S. release date would be in November 2012, that Daniel Craig would be the star, that Sam Mendes would be the director and that Neal Puris, Robert Wade and John Logan would be the screenwriters (the earlier Morgan announcement evidently having been forgotten).

Judi Dench returning as M? No mention. She’s made her own announcements in press interviews. Roger Deakins as director of photography? He put that out on his Web site.

004. What’s wrong with that? Well, it’s hard to tell whether all the self-announcements are legitmate. For example, Tariq Anwar told The Telegraph of Calcutta, India, that he’d be editing Bond 23, after being sought by director Mendes. Except, now there are reports (or rumors) that Stuart Baird has the editor’s job. Confusing? You bet. But when you lose control of the message, as Eon has evidently done, these things happen.

005. Do you want the face of the 007 franchise casually dropping f-bombs in interviews? Here’s star Daniel Craig discussing Bond 23 in an interview with Esquire:

“No-no-no, Sam’s gonna do it, Sam Mendes, and I’m really fucking really lookin’ forward to the fact that he’s gonna do it,” he says, snapping to. Mendes directed him in the gloomy thriller Road to Perdition in 2002. Craig tricks out a little smirk then. A concession, a comfort maybe.

“This has become my way, it’s as simple as that,” he says. “I mean, since I’ve just become James Bond. And I think, you know, that means being something that people feel they own. And all of the sudden I’m getting magazine covers, when I got nothing for ten years before that. I say it’s just pure luck. And doing covers, people interviewing me, and they want to know everything and I’m going, I’m not gonna fucking tell you!”

Ian Fleming, rather famously, initially disapproved of Sean Connery because he thought the Scot lacked Bond’s style. The 007 author later warmied to Connery. Still, one wonders what would Fleming think of the actor playing his creation dropping f-bombs in interviews.

To be fair, Craig doesn’t reserve f-bombs for his Bond movies. Also from the Esquire interview:

Listen to him speak on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: “It’s as adult as you can possibly make it. This is adult drama. I grew up, as we fucking all did, watching The Godfather and that, movies that were made for adults. And this is a $100 million R-rated movie. Nobody makes those anymore. And Fincher, he’s not holding back. They’ve given him free rein. He showed me some scenes recently, and my hand was over my mouth, going, Are you fucking serious?”

(snip)

“We shot (Tintin) in mo-cap. Which is like: Fuck me, I’m literally in a leotard with a fucking helmet on, and a camera strapped to it. It’s Steven Spielberg, so every fucker in the world comes to visit. Fincher comes to visit. Clint fucking Eastwood comes to visit. It was just like, are you kidding me? I’m gonna meet these people dressed like this? Playing a pirate, wearing a leotard and a camera? Really?”

006. What’s the alternative? Studios begin to market other major movies long before they actually come out. The marketing starts out slowly, with little bits of information and gradually builds up. There are already teaser posters in movie theaters for 2012′s The Avengers, a film Marvel Studios has been building up to since Iron Man was release in 2008. Bond movies are still being marketed as if they’re the biggest thing in cinema, something that, truth be told, hasn’t been true since 1965. It might be time for Eon to update its marketing plans. At the very least, it might want to take back control of the marketing of Bond 23.

007. Isn’t it a little early to get worried? We’re not worried. We’d just like to see Bond being marketed in a more proactive manner. So far, most of the information about the film has been dispersed haphazardly. Or as Daniel Craig might say, “f***ing haphazardly.”

1963: To Tell The Truth panel hunts a real spy

The defection of Pawel Monat from Poland to the U.S. caused a stir (as noted in a 1959 article in Time magazine). In 1963, Monat did something unusual for a defecting spy: he appeared on the CBS game show To Tell the Truth.

Going on a national television show isn’t the best way to keep a low profile. But Monat and two impostors wore masks and the real spy’s face was never revealed on the show. So a panel of Tom Poston, Peggy Cass, game-show host Art James and Kitty Carlisle went about trying to figure which of the three was the former spy. The staff of the Bud Collyer-hosted program, though, had one more twist to throw at the panel. Here’s how it played out (the video quality is unfortunately poor):

UPDATE (Oct. 5, 2012): Here’s a better quality video. The title admittedly gives the surprise away:

`Bored She Hung Herself,’ the lost Hawaii Five-O episode

The term “lost episode” gets thrown away rather loosely. It usually refers to an episode that, for a variety of reasons, hasn’t shown up in syndication. In the case of the original Hawaii Five-O series, there’s an episode that wasn’t so much lost as buried — shown once on CBS, never rerun, never included in a DVD set.

That would be the second-season episode “Bored She Hung Herself.” One of the plot points involves a character who uses a yoga technique where he hangs himself from a beam without dying. He naturally becomes a suspect when somebody is killed by hanging. In 1996, Rose Freeman, widow of Five-O creator Leonard Freeman, told atendees that within a day or two of the epsiode airing somebody tried to duplicate the trick — and killed himself in the process. Mrs. Freeman said the decision was made there and then that the episode would never ben shown again.

Never is a long time. It’s on YouTube (at least for now). It’s clearly a faded film copy of the original. To be honest, the episode (written by Mel Goldberg and directed by John Newland) is hardly the best episode of the 1968-1980 series. (To read Mike Quigley’s review on his Hawaii Five-O fan Web site, JUST CLICK HERE AND SCROLL DOWN TO EPISODE NO. 39.) But it has taken on a mystique because it has never been shown officially since it was first broadcast. Here’s the start:

And here’s the conclusion where McGarrett (Jack Lord) and Danno (James MacArthur) crack the case:

Blofeld back again (for the very first time)?

We are smack dab in the middle of the “silly season” for James Bond fans: that time between when a new 007 picture is shaping up for production, and the time when definite details are released by the studio. Rumors and speculation abound. This particular rumor got our attention, however. Latino Review.com is a site well-known and respected for its credibility. They don’t get everything right every time, but they get more things right more often

Telly Savalas as Ernst Stavro Blofeld in ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE -- 1969. Graphic by Paul Baack.

than other movie news sites. (They were the first to review the Casino Royale screenplay, alerting the world that we had a new classic James Bond movie aborning.) They have deep and well-placed sources…

The title of Gig Patta’s article pretty much says it all: Bond 23 Scriptwriter John Logan Hints Blofeld as Villain in New Movie. Logan, brought in to polish-up Neal Purvis & Rob Wade’s script, hinted — or perhaps joked — to a BAFTA Screenwriters lecture that “Bond should always fight Blofeld.” Which, when you think about it, is an odd thing to say. The character of Ernst Stavro Blofeld has been missing from the Cinèma du Jamesbonderie since 1983 (1971 if you want to get all canonical on us,) and doesn’t have much resonance for the Brosnan/Craig generation of fans. So, in our humble opinion, his choice of words were oddly specific. And, since this is the rebooted series, there’s no logical reason the earlobe-less one couldn’t show up, SPECTRE in tow. It’s a fun idea to contemplate.

Donald Pleasance as Ernst Stavro Blofeld in YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE -- 1967. Graphic by Paul Baack.


The HMSS Weblog… Your Source for Unfounded Rumors and Baseless Speculation! You’re welcome.

Diamonds Are Forever House for Sale

James Bond fans who might happen to have $14 million burning a hole in their pocket might be interested in the fact that Willard Whyte’s Palm Springs pied-à-terre is for sale. Known as The Elrod House, it was commissioned by the famous designer Arthur Elrod in 1968, but is more commonly known as the place where Sean Connery’s 007 got his butt kicked by Bambi and Thumper in the 1971 Bond caper Diamonds Are Forever.

The Elrod House

The 8,901-square-foot joint sits on 6 1/2 acres, which works out to $1,560 per square foot, and close to $2.2 million per acre — not bad for California real estate! You can get all the specs and info on the house’s Redfin listing. It’s been listed since November of 2009, so make your best offer!


(It also comes with a pool.)

MI6 Confidential #11 available now!

Our friend and colleague Hugh Maddocks over at MI6 Confidential has just informed us that a new issue — number 11! — has arrived and is available for ordering.

This time around, the full-color magazine focuses on one of the most troubled productions in the 007 series — From Russia with Love. It showcases rarely seen photographs from the set and charts how director Terence Young managed to hold it all together through near-misses, accidents, cancelled locations and delays. Keeping with the ‘Bond On Set’ theme, the magazine also go behind the scenes of the ice palace car chase and hovercraft stunts from Die Another Day with all-access photographs and firsthand accounts from those who made it possible.

This issue’s features:

  • Bond On Set – Rare images from the set and an exhaustive account of the From Russia With Love production history
  • Jeffery Deaver explains his successful Carte Blanche recipe in an exclusive interview
  • On Thin Ice – Behind the scenes of Die Another Day with stunt driver George Cottle
  • GoldenEye 007 Reloaded – An exclusive interview with the producer of this year’s Bond game for Xbox 360 and PS3
  • Dr. No Showcase – Breathing new life into the classic 1963 comic
  • Composing Blood Stone – Richard Jacques talks one on one about creating the Bond sound
  • The Bond Connection – Rowan Atkinson and director Oliver Parker talk Johnny English Reborn
  • The Last Word – Richard Kiel recalls his three run-ins with James Bond

The new issue is shipping worldwide. To order online, go to the MI6 Confidential website.

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Michael Fassbender among actors considered for U.N.C.L.E., The Playlist says

With George Clooney out, there are lots of actors being considered (or at least mentioned) for the movie version of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. to be directed by Steven Soderbergh.

The Playlist Web site has a long list IN A LONG POST YOU CAN READ BY CLICKING HERE. A sampling:

Bear in mind (Warner Bros.) would like a franchise here, so younger actors have been more appealing than Clooney almost from day one. Soderbergh also has a Napoleon Solo in mind in “Haywire” co-star Michael Fassbender. While the quickly-rising star only shot a few days on “Haywire,” both director and actor shared a good experience working together on the set.

The post mentions a number of actors who might play either Solo or Illya Kuryakin. Among them: Joel Kinnaman, Ewan McGregor, Bradley Cooper, Ryan Reynolds, Chris Pine, Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jon Hamm, Russell Crowe and Robert Pattinson. Some of these are supposed to be Soderbergh’s preferences, the other being pushed by Warner Bros.

There’s more intriguing possibilities that have nothing to do with actors:

(If) Soderbergh isn’t fully satisfied with the way casting goes down, he can easily walk and prep “Liberace” instead, which will shoot sometime in the second half of 2012 with (Matt) Damon and Michael Douglas.

(snip)

While Soderergh won’t direct it, another interesting piece of the puzzle is that Soderbergh and (screenwriter Scott Z.) Burns have already mapped out an ‘U.N.C.L.E’ sequel plus have a tantalizing idea for a third film that we won’t yet reveal here.

The post says the U.N.C.L.E. movie is supposed to start filming on Feb. 14, 2012.

Fassbender has been the subject of speculation that he might succeed Daniel Craig as James Bond. Here’s the trailer for X-Men: First Class, where Fassbender played the future Magneto:

Hawaii Five-0 season 2 gets off to paranoid start

Hawaii Five-0 kicked off its second season with an episode full of paranoia and more than a bit of coincidence.

Trying to keep spoilers to a minimum, here’s a recap: McGarrett 2.0 did, was exonerated (eventually) but not before getting stabbed in prison by the guy who killed his father last season. But that was a ruse because McG was stabbed in such a way to avoid major organs. Dad’s killer figured Wo Fat would eventually silence him so he decided to help McG escape. The Big Kahuna did just that, overcoming two ambulance attendants despite still bleeding.

Also, it turns out McG’s father knew a (now elderly) former Japanese World War II bomber pilot who moved to Hawaii, got rich and wanted to atone for bombing Pearl Harbor. So he backed the senior McG’s secret investigation. And, good ol’ dad, in the course of that investigation did something that conveniently provided the proof that McG 2.0 was innocent. Finally, McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), despite losing lots of blood earlier in the show, is able to jump from a speed boat to a yacht and come up shooting.

Wo Fat, though, continues to be an interesting menace. Turns out Wo (Mark Dacascos) was involved in a lucrative deal involving materials that could be used to make a “dirty” bomb. And he managed to infiltrate the prison disguised as a guard to silence his former confederate. And somebody who we thought was McG’s ally (another legacy character from the original series who got a sex change in this new version) is really another lackey. Or is she? Based on this episode, there may be other twists.

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