Originally posted Feb. 5, 2009. Re-posting because this year’s Oscars on Feb. 24 will have the biggest 007 component in 31 years. We’ve added some links that weren’t available when the original post was published.
The Oscars (R) are coming up this month. That got us to wondering: What were the great James Bond moments at the Academy Awards?
There haven’t been that many, but here’s a partial list:
1965: Soundman Norman Wanstall picks up the first Oscar (R) for a James Bond movie for his work on Goldfinger. We weren’t watching, alas. But a film historian talked to Wanstall decades later. He described the sound effect when Oddjob demonstrates his deadly hat:
“That had to be really frieghtening. So we got an ordinary carpenter’s woodsaw, put it on a bench and just twanged it.” (Adrian Turner on Goldfinger, page 216)
To see Wanstall pick up his Oscar, CLICK HERE.
1966: We weren’t watching, alas. Nor was the special effects wizard of Thunderball, John Stears. In extras for Thunderball home video releases available since 1995, Sears said he didn’t know he had won the Oscar (R) until his arrived in the U.K.
To see Ivan Tors pickup the award for Stears, CLICK HERE
1973: Roger Moore, the incoming Bond, and Liv Ullmann are on hand to present the Best Actor Oscar (R). Marlon Brando won for The Godfather. But the new 007, and everybody else, got a surprise:
1974: Roger Moore is back, with one 007 film under his belt, and ready to film a second. He introduces Best Song nominee Live And Let Die, written by Paul and Linda McCartney. Instead of a performance by McCartney, the audio of the song is played while Connie Stevens dances to it. The song doesn’t win.
1978: The Spy Who Loved Me, nominated for three Oscars (R), is blanked, taking home none. Ken Adam, the production designer guru, loses out to Star Wars. Marvin Hamlisch is double blanked, losing out for best score and he and his lyricist fail to get the Best Song Oscar (R).
1980: Moonraker, nominated for Best Special Effects, fails to repeat what Thunderball accomplished. It’s just as well after we found out about the salt shakers in the rockets in the extras for the DVD. (Feb. 20, 2013 observation: Then again, given the lack of resources that Derek Meddings and his team had, relative to other nominees such as Alien, The Black Hole and Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the Moonraker nomination is pretty impressive.)
1982: Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli, founding co-producer of the Bond franchise, receives the Irving G. Thalberg award, given to producers for a career of work. Then-Bond Roger Moore is on hand once again, this time to give Cubby the award.
Snaring the Thalberg award put Broccoli in some impressive company:
Note: Broccoli is shown twice in that video, once by mistake.
What’s more, the music director for the Oscar (R) show is Bill Conti, composer of For Your Eyes Only, which was nominated for Best Song. Sheena Easton performs the song as part of an elaborate Bond dance act. The long skit includes Richard Kiel and, shortly before his death, Harold Sakata, the actor who played Oddjob, for whom Norman Wanstall labored for his sound effect years earlier.
The only sour moment (from a Bond perspective): For Your Eyes Only didn’t win the Oscar (R). But it hardly ruined the evening for the Broccolis.
Filed under: James Bond Films Tagged: | Albert R. Broccoli, Bill Conti, Cubby Broccoli gets the Irving Thalberg award, For Your Eyes Only, Goldfinger, Harold Sakata, Ivan Tors, James Bond Films, John Stears, Ken Adam, Liv Ullmann, Live and Let Die, Marlon Brando, Marvin Hamlisch, Moonraker, Norman Wanstall, Paul Mc, Paul McCartney, Richard Kiel, Roger Moore, Sheena Easton, The Godfather, The Spy Who Loved Me, Thunderball