Evolution of Matt Helm novel covers

We just came a Web page that every fan of the literary Matt Helm ought to see. It’s a diagram showing the various version of Matt Helm paperback covers of the stories spun by Donald Hamilton (1916-2006). Some of the books kept to one design during their print runs, but others changed. Among them: Death […]

Evolution of a meme: Helm to 007 to Kingsman

The Year of the Spy (in the United States, anyway) shifts into another gear this month with the debut of Kingsman: The Secret Service. The movie, directed by Matthew Vaughn, strives for a return of the escapist spy film in a century known mostly for the grim and gritty, first popularized by Jason Bourne and […]

Matt Damon disses 007

Matt Damon, star of the Bourne films, gave an interview to the Miami Herald. He’s definitely not a James Bond fan. He also indicates that director Steven Sonderberg also took took a pass when offered a chance by Eon to helm a Bond production. From the article: ”They could never make a James Bond movie […]

Bond 25 questions: The new director edition

Almost a month after the old director left, Bond 25 has a new director. Of course, the blog has questions. Who is Cary Joji Fukunaga, the new Bond 25 director? Fukunaga, 41, is a U.S.-born writer-producer-director. His credits go back to the early 2000s. They include TV series such as True Detective and Maniac as well as films […]

Lalo Schifrin to receive an honorary Oscar

Composer Lalo Schifrin will receive an honorary Oscar later this year, the Academy of Motor Picture Arts and Scientists announced this week. Schifrin, 86, first made his mark composing for scores for television, including the pilots for Mission: Impossible and Mannix. He moved into films, scoring, among others, The Cincinnati Kid, Bullitt, Dirty Harry and […]

1970s: McClory enlists Connery, Deighton for a 007 script

Kevin McClory had struck it big in 1965. Holding the screen rights to Thunderball, he had been, in effect, made a partner by Eon Productions on the film adaptation. It was a big hit. Under terms of his deal, McClory wasn’t to attempt another Thunderball-related project for a decade. Once that time elapsed, McClory decided […]

Wayne Fitzgerald, title designer for movies and TV

When it comes to titles, names such as Saul Bass, Maurice Binder and Robert Brownjohn get a lot of attention. However, there’s another prolific designer who had an extensive impact on movies and U.S. television: Wayne Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald, 88, went to work at Pacific Title in 1951, according to his bio at the Art of […]

Ford cars, RIP

This week, Ford Motor Co. said it was virtually exiting the car business in North America, its home (and most profitable) market. By 2020, Ford announced, it will just have two cars in its lineup: the Mustang sports car and the Ford Active crossover due out next year. Ford will concentrate on trucks, SUVs and […]

Soon-Tek Oh, busy actor, dies

Soon-Tek Oh, a Korean-born actor whose career extended decades, died April 4, according to an obituary in Korea JoonAng Daily, an English language newspaper in South Korea. The publication listed his age as 85. The Internet Movie Data Base listed his age as 74. (UPDATE: Both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter have listed his age […]

Is The Ambushers coming true?

Today, the Reuters news service had a story with the following first paragraph: “High exposure to radiofrequency radiation of the type emitted by cell phones has been linked to tumors in tissues surrounding nerves in the hearts of male rats, but not female rats or any mice, according to a draft of U.S. government studies released […]