OHMSS finishes No. 1 in 007 Magazine survey

“007 Magazine? I demand a recount!”

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the sixth in the Eon Productions 007 film series, was named the best James Bond movie in a survey by readers of 007 Magazine.

The 1969 007 film was the first Eon Bond movie without Sean Connery, instead starring George Lazenby in his only Bond appearance. It was directed by Peter Hunt, who had worked on the previous Eon 007 films as a film editor and second unit director.

Here’s an excerpt from 007 Magazine’s announcement:

Readers of 007 MAGAZINE were asked to rate all 24 Bond films (including the ‘unofficial’ 1967 spoof version of Casino Royale and the rogue 1983 Thunderball remake Never Say Never Again) on a scale from 0-10. The average score for each film was then calculated, with OHMSS averaging an impressive 8.912 to finish ahead of second-placed Goldfinger (1964) – average mark 8.824, and third-placed From Russia With Love (1963) – average mark 8.802.

A similar vote was announced ON THE OFFICIAL JAMES BOND FACEBOOK PAGE though it’s restricted to the Eon series only. The result of that vote is supposed to be announced on Oct. 5, the 50th anniversary of Dr. No’s U.K. premier.

007 questions about Bond 24

The past month has seen a blitz of stories on entertainment Web sites, U.K. newspapers and other outlets about Skyfall. The stories spurred us to think ahead about where the 007 film series goes from here.

“Questions about Bond 24? We’re still filming this one!”

001. Is Sam Mendes coming back to direct Bond 24? You could rephrase the question, “Is (NAME HERE) coming back to direct Bond (XX)?” The series hasn’t had a director do consecutive movies since John Glen did five in a row in the 1980s. Since Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli assumed control, only Martin Campbell has directed two and they were separated by more than a decade (GoldenEye and Casino Royale). The others were all one and done.

002. If not Mendes, then who? Most likely a “prestige” director. Here’s a quote from Barbara Broccoli IN AN INTERVIEW IN COMINGSOON.NET

We’ve always wanted a director that would put a stamp on the movie, so we’ve never been one to hire directors for hire.

It wasn’t always that way with the Bond series. Terence Young, who helmed three of the first four 007 films, and Guy Hamilton (four in total) were directors for hire. Peter Hunt was a rookie director as was John Glen, both promoted from being second unit directors. But that was Albert R. Broccoli’s Eon, not the current version.

003. Come on. Isn’t this an upgrade in quality? Check back with us after Skyfall. Marc Forster was a prestige hire. In our view that hire didn’t work out so well. (To read an opposing view, CLICK HERE to read an essay by Paul Rowlands.) “Directors for hire” turned out Bond movies such as From Russia With Love, Goldfinger and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Pedigree doesn’t guarantee a great movie.

004. Is Daniel Craig coming back? Michael G. Wilson has talked about trying to get Craig to do eight movies eventually. If someone were dealing tarot cards, we’d guess they’d indicate Craig would be back for at least one more film. Whether Craig makes it to eight depends in part on another question….

005. Will Bond 24 really come out in 2014? Sony (which is releasing Skyfall and Bond 24 in a deal with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) says yes. MGM is counting on an every-other-year for Bond movies. Eon hasn’t been heard from and Sony and MGM need Eon to actually produce the movies. Plus, there are some scenarios we see where Bond 24 would come out later than 2014.

006. Such as? Hypothetical situation: Sam Mendes does come back as director. The Collider Web site ran a transcript of a group interview Mendes gave about Skyfall. Here’s a quote that caught our eye:

But, it’s fair to say that there’s no screenplay that wouldn’t be improved by having a year more to work on it. There’s always trying to find ways, different interesting ways of telling a story.

That doesn’t sound like a guy who’d rush things to meet an every-other-year schedule. Plus, one of the most consistent talking points from Skyfall principals is how the four-year gap between Quantum of Solace and Skyfall turned out well because there was more time to work on the script. Two years sounds like a lot of time until you consider principal photography alone takes six months or more.

007. Do you like playing spoil sport? No, and that’s not the purpose here. We’re just pointing out there’s a lot of uncertainty despite public announcements (i.e. Sony saying Bond 24 will be out in two years). And we’d rather have this type of uncertainty compared with 2010 when MGM was having financial troubles and going into bankruptcy court.

007 things we missed the first time watching Bond movies

This year, of course, marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the James Bond movie series. And, it goes without saying, some 007 fans have viewed each film multiple times. Even tens of times. But there are some things that people don’t notice until well after they first saw it. In some cases, decades after they first saw it. So here are some examples:

001. Mr. Jones’s changing dashboard in Dr. No: In 1994, Peter Hunt, film editor of the first four 007 films made by Eon Productions, was guest of honor at a James Bond fan convention in Los Angeles. Hunt was very British and understated in his presentation. But you got the impression he had a bit of a chip on his shoulder.

Why? The way he told it (at least this is how we remember him telling it), fans felt so superior being able to catch mistakes watching 007 films on their VCRs. Hunt remarked how his job as editor was to rush the viewers through a scene so they wouldn’t notice the mistakes. He played a clip from Dr. No where “Mr. Jones,” in reality an operative for Dr. No, picks Bond up at the Kingston airport. It turns out Mr. Jones had an interesting car, one that could change dashboard colors in an instant.

When we first see Mr. Jones pick up Bond, the car has a red dashboard above the instrument panel. But, in an insert shot at the 19:18 mark, it’s black. Then it reversts to black at the 19:24 mark. Hunt showed the clip to impress upon the fans that the editing department worked really hard to move the audience past such gaffes.

002. Bond’s remarkable hair in Dr. No: After having vanquished Dr. No, agent 007 (Sean Connery) is anxious to find Honey Rider (Ursula Andress). As he exits Dr. No’s reactor room, he removes a uniform he took from one of Dr. No’s men at the 1:45:31 mark. His hair is disheveled and he runs his hands through his hair at the 1:45:34 mark as he goes through a hatch. Upon coming out the other side at the 1:45:36 mark, not a hair is out of place, as if he had been worked on by a professional hairdresser. Pretty good for running your hands through your hair once. To be honest, we never noticed that until Dr. No was on TCM a few years back.

Junkanoo revelers wearing 007 hats observe a dog taking a bathroom break in Thunderball.

003. Junkanoo revelers wear hats with “007” on them (Thunderball). Here we thought James Bond was a secret agent and this was his top-secret code number. A moment of honesty: we didn’t notice that until that until TBS showed Thunderball during one of its James Bond marthons in the 1990s.

004. The Thunderball dog decides to take a pee: It’s in the same shot as the folks with the 007 hats, but we didn’t notice the dog until the next time we saw the movie.

005. Felix Leiter’s disappearing pants (Thunderball): The fourth 007 film has lots of continuity errors. The one that gets written up the most is during the underwater fight when Bond rips off a blask mask from a dead SPECTRE frogman, puts it on and it’s suddenly blue. But there’s another continuity error that, for our money, is more glaring (even if we didn’t catch it the first few times).

Bond and Felix Leiter (Rik Van Nutter) are searching for the hijacked NATO bomber and Bond thinks he has found it. Leiter puts their helicopter down on the water. At the 1:33:20 mark, he’s wearing swim trunks. At the 1:34:23 mark, Leiter has black pants on. We see Bond dive down where he indeed finds the bomber. As he returns at the 1:36:23 mark, Leiter has his swim trunks, then pants at the 1:36:26 mark then swim trunks again at 1:36:30.

006. Siberian palm trees (You Only Live Twice): At the 58:54 mark of the fifth James Bond film, we see the Soviet Union launch a manned rocket. On the side of the shot, we see palm trees (while not noticing them the first few times) on the side of the shot. In reality, Eon used file footage from a U.S. space shot in Florida, even if that didn’t match how the Soviets conducted space launches from Siberia.

007. Mathis’s villa (Quantum of Solace): For Quantum of Solace, Eon promised its first “direct sequel” that would begin a short while (the exact time varied depending on who was being quoted) after Casino Royale. Now you could overlook some continuity issues (Totally different looking MI6 headquarters? Well, Eon did change production designers). Still, there’s one glaring one that just doesn’t wash.

At the end of Casino, we’re told that Rene Mathis is still being interrogated by MI6. Bond tells M to keep “sweating” him even though he appears to be cleared. When we catch up to Mathis in Quantum, MI6 has bought him a villa, he’s moved in and he has a live-in girlfriend. This point was discussed recently among the HMSS staff. It went something like this:

HMSS #1: And don’t forget how MI6 bought Mathis a “sorry-we-tortured-you villa” just two hours after Casino Royale entered.

HMSS #2 (look of realization comes over his face): You just made me enjoy that movie even less.

HMSS #1: Sorry.

UPDATE: Based on the one response to this post, time to remind people about reality. A cell phone is like a GPS device. You can track someone down (at least MI6 could) shortly after getting the cell phone number. It wouldn’t have taken weeks for Bond to track down Mr. White once he had his cell phone number. If it did: 1.) Mr. White isn’t as smart as a street thug (who use disposable cell phones) and 2.) Bond was an idiot for taking “weeks” to track Mr. White down. We suspect neither Mr. White nor Bond was that clueless. Once again, denial is not just a river in Egypt.

Also, there are references to Casino taking place in 2006 and Quantum in 2008. Two years to track down Mr. White?

Recalling the 007-Mary Poppins collaboration

Songwriter Robert B. Sherman died this week at age 86 and, understandably, much of the attention has focused on the many songs he did with his brother Richard for Walt Disney. But Sherman’s passing also reminds us of producer Albert R. Broccoli’s attempt to combine the best available talent from Disney’s Mary Poppins movie and the James Bond film series.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming

To adapt Ian Fleming's children novel to the screen, producer Albert R. Broccoli enlisted the best available talent from 007 films and Disney's Mary Poppins

That would, of course, be Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the 1968 film that would be Broccoli’s final non-007 project, based on Ian Fleming’s children novel.

Officially, Chitty wasn’t made by Eon Productions, which produced by Bond movies. Harry Saltzman, Broccoli’s Eon partner at the time, wasn’t involved with Chitty. So another company, Warfield, was the production company of record.

Broccoli looked to Mary Poppins for key personnel, bringing on board the Sherman brothers, who had written the songs for Mary Poppins, to do the same for Chitty as well as Irwin Kostal (composer/conductor/music director) and Dee Dee Wood (choreographer) not to mention actor Dick Van Dyke to play the lead character, Caractacus Potts.

From the 007 films, the producer hired actors Gert Frobe and Desmond Llewelyn. Behind the camera, Broccoli had even more 007 film veterans: screenwriters Roald Dahl and Richard Maibaum; Peter Hunt (billed as a production associate); production designer Ken Adam; associate producer Stanley Sopel; art director Harry Pottle; production supervisor David Middlemas; assistant director Gus Agosti; assistant art directors Peter Lamont and Michael White; special effects guru John Stears….well, you get the idea. (To see the complete cast and crew CLICK HERE; some crew members on Chitty would end up working on later Bond films.)

Financially, Chitty wasn’t a big success. The film had an estimated budget of $10 million, with U.S. ticket sales of only $7.12 million, not the kind of return that studio United Artists was used to seeing from Broccoli productions. With worldwide tickets sales and later home video sales, UA (and its successors) probably did just fine. But it wasn’t the breakout hit that Mary Poppins was for Disney.

Still, Chitty seems to be mostly well remembered today. Here’s a sample of the work that Robert and Richard Sherman did the for the film:

John Barry’s score for The Ipcress File on sale from SAE

John Barry’s score for The Ipcress File is available for sale on the Web site of Screen Archives Entertainment.

Barry was one of several crew members of James Bond movies hired by producer Harry Saltzman, Albert R. Broccoli’s partner in making the 007 films, to work on Ipcress. Others included production designer Ken Adam, art director Peter Murton and editor Peter Hunt.

The 1965 film and its two sequels, Funeral in Berlin and Billion Dollar brain, were based on novels by Len Deighton, who also was involved for a time in scripting From Russia With Love. Michael Caine starred as Harry Palmer (whose character was unnamed in the books), a sort of anti-Bond. All three films in the series had some Bond crew members on them. Barry didn’t work on any other film in the series.

You can CLICK HERE for more information or to order. The price is $15.95.

A look at one week of 007 on Facebook and Twitter

Eon Productions and its Skyfall partners embraced social media for Skyfall. So we thought we’d take a look at what the official 007 Facebook and Twitter accounts were doing. Nothing special involved, we just decided to use this past week (Jan. 29-Feb. 4).


Jan. 29: Post stating that voting was ending concerning the best James Bond movie posters ever.

Jan. 30: Post about the first anniversary of the death of composer John Barry, urgest readers to check official 007.com Web site “about how a scholarship is continuing his amazing work.”

Jan. 31: Post saying first official Skyfall image to be unveiled the following day at 8 a.m. GMT at 007.com. Also urges U.S. readers to grab a copy of USA Today, which would have the image in print.

Feb. 1: Post saying the image was up on 007.com. There’s a followup post 47 minutes later with the image.

Feb. 3: Yet another Skyfall clapperboard picture (one of a series going back to November when Skyfall filming began), this one of the clapperboard in front of some stone columns.


Jan. 29: Tweet that this day in 1995, production of GoldenEye shifted to Puerto Rico, which doubled as Cuba.

Jan. 29: Tweet that voting in the best Bond posters survey was ending.

Jan. 30: Tweet about the one-year anniversary death of John Barry.

Jan. 31: Tweet about how A View to a Kill had its U.S. television premier in 1987 on ABC. Also a Tweet about how the first official Skyfall would be revealed the next day on 007.com. Another tweet about the image appearing the day in USA Today.

Feb. 1: Tweet saying the official image was up on 007.com. A followup tweet with a link to the image. Then, a final tweet for the day about how 10 years earlier, Lee Tamahori “shot the DIE ANOTHER DAY scene in which #007 escapes the military medical facility.”

Feb. 2: Another “on this day in history” tweet about “LIVE AND LET DIE crew shot the scene in which Baron Samedi is ‘risen from the dead’ in the voodoo graveyard. #007”

Feb. 3: You guessed it, tweet with another look back. “ON THIS DAY IN BOND HISTORY: 2005 it was announced that Martin Campbell would direct the 21st #007 movie, to be titled CASINO ROYALE.” Later, there’s a Tweet with THIS LINK to the latest clapperboard shot.

Feb. 4: Another look back with this tweet: “ON THIS DAY IN BOND HISTORY: 1969 Peter R. Hunt began shooting #007’s seduction of Tracy in ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE.” (This as of 1 p.m. ET in the U.S.)

The `banned’ 007 commentaries: what was the fuss?

Over the holidays, we had a chance to listen to the so-called “banned” James Bond laser disk commentaries from the early 1990s. They appeared on Criterion laser discs of Dr. No, From Russia With Love and Goldfinger, featuring some of the people who helped create those classic 007 films.

The commentaries have taken on a life of their own. Albert R. Broccoli, who started the film series with then-partner Harry Saltzman, objected after the discs went on sale and unsold discs were recalled. As a result, the original discs are collector’s items. But what was the fuss? Why did Broccoli object so strongly?

We can only guess. So here are two of them:

There’s some occasional bad language, at least by early ’90s standards. Near the end of the Goldfinger commentary, film editor Peter Hunt says that star Sean Connery “was really a very sexy man” and that the few stars of his appeal “virtually can walk into a room and f*** anybody.”

Some of this language includes anti-gay slurs (or certainly would be classified as that now).

Terence Young, director of From Russia With Love, describes his first meeting with Pedro Armendariz. Prior to that encounter, Young says he intended to shampoo his own hair while accidentally using his wife’s hair coloring. He had his hair dyed black but it turned “black green.” Armendariz stared at the director’s hair. “Look here, Mr. Armendariz, you get one thing straight, I’m not a…” Young says before using the anti-gay slur, which got got NBA player Kobe Bryant in hot water when he used it on a referee.

Guy Hamilton, director of Goldfinger, describes the scene where Bond wins Pussy Galore to his side, using a term for a female gay person, says the character goes from that “to sexpot, to heroine in the best of two falls, one submission, one roll in the hay. I suppose it comes off.”

Some comments may have rubbed the Eon leadership the wrong way. Screenwriter Richard Maibaum, in an interview shortly before he died in 1991, talked about why James Bond made such an impression on movie goers.

“He was a great ladies’ man,” Maibaum says on the Goldfinger commentary. “He was not above using them in his work. That was part of the James Bond mystique, that he could manipulate women that way….The women’s lib people hated that…we eventually had to do it less and less.” That would imply Eon might have compromised the Ian Fleming original to appeal to changing audience tastes.

Young, on the From Russia With Love commentary, talks about how the series went from small- to big-budget films. “They threw money around,” he says. Beyond that, the host of the From Russia With Love commentary introduces himself as Steve Rubin. Steven Jay Rubin wrote 1981’s The James Bond Films, a book where Eon didn’t cooperate and thus no stills from the movies could be used. It’s possible his participation might not have sat well with Broccoli.

Again, these are only guesses. If language was a concern, well, one can only imagine what Cubby Broccoli would have thought about Daniel Craig interviews such as this one in Esquire or this one in Time Out magazine.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car up for sale, AOL Autos says

Oh you Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, we love you — to see how much of a sales price you’ll fetch.

According to a post on AOL Autos (which you can read BY CLICKING HERE), the original car from the 1968 movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is up for sales on eBay. (To look at the eBay listing, you can CLICK HERE.)

As we type this, the highest bid was $1 million and the reserve price had not been met, according to the eBay listing. It also has 44 miles on it. Not bad for a 43-year-old vehicle.

The movie was based on an Ian Fleming children’s novel, and was the last non-James Bond film produced by Albert R. Broccoli. The 007 producer talked Walt Disney into permitting the Sherman brothers song writing team (which had written the songs for 1964’s Mary Poppins, among other Disney productions) to work on his film adaptation.

Broccoli also enlisted the talents of various members of his 007 film crews, including Roald Dahl, Richard Maibaum, Ken Adam and Peter Hunt, on the musical. (Hunt in an interview for the documentary Inside On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, says he and Maibaum were already doing work on that Bond film during the filming of CCBB.) The producer also cast Gert Frobe, who had played Goldfinger, and Desmond Llewelyn, who played Q, for parts in CCBB.

A brief excerpt from the AOL Autos post:

To that end, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang sports a 3.0-liter Ford V6 and automatic transmission, mounted in a one-off ladder frame. The body features a handmade aluminum hood and red and white cedar boattail rear. Unfortunately, none of Chitty’s magical powers made it to the road car, meaning this thing won’t fly.

007 films and their (sort of) continuity part I

Poster for a Dr. No/From Russia With Love double feature

Poster for a Dr. No/From Russia With Love double feature

We were scanning some 007 Internet message boards recently. A couple of assertions caught our eye, including one that *every* James Bond film has its own timeline that has nothing to do with any other 007 film. The other was that Casino Royale wasn’t a “reboot,” in which the Bond saga started over.

Facts would indicate otherwise. Still, the subject of continuity is a murky one for Bond films. Continuity has never been a big marketing point, at least until 2008’s Quantum of Solace, which was hyped as the first “direct” sequel to a Bond film (Casino Royale, in this instance). So here’s a glance at when the series at least attempted continuity.

Contrary to the Quantum of Solace hype, 1963’s From Russia With Love contains a few references to the events of Dr. No. True, it’s not mere minutes or hours later (even that is murky in Quantum, which we’ll get to in part II), but it’s clearly a year or less. Examples:

Early in the film, SPECTRE chief Ernst Stavro Blofeld is conferring with Kronsteen, his director of planning, and Rosa Klebb, a recent SPECTRE hire from the Soviet Union. Kronsteen tells Blofeld that SPECTRE “will have the chance for a personal revenge for the killing of our operative, Dr. No, because the man the British will almost certainly send is their agent, James Bond.”

After the plot has started, we finally see Sean Connery’s Bond spending a pleasant day making out with girlfriend Sylvia Trench out in the English countryside. Bond had met Sylvia in Dr. No and the two, eh, enjoyed each other’s company before Bond flew to Jamaica on the Dr. No assignment. Their reunion is interrupted when Bond has to call the office and is told he needs to return. Bond tells a disappointed Sylvia, “We’ll do this again some time soon.” Sylvia replies: “The last time you said that, you flew off to Jamaica. I haven’t seen you in six months…” Bond manages to buy some time before returning to headquarters.

In 1964’s Goldfinger, there’s another apparent refernece to Dr. No. In the original film, Bond met CIA agent Felix Leiter for the first time (Leiter wasn’t in the Ian Fleming novel). After the main titles, Leiter meets Bond again in Miami, where 007 is getting a rubdown from a woman named Dink. After Dink departs, Leiter says he’s surprised that Bond has let “a member of the opposition get that close to you.” Bond’s reply: “Well, they got a lot closer to you in Jamica, didn’t they?”

Five years later, 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service has a new Bond with George Lazenby. M tells Bond he’s being taken off Operation Bedlam because he’s had “two years” to track down Blofeld but has been unsuccessful. You Only Live Twice had come out in 1967 (and showed Blofeld’s face on camera for the first time), so that’s an apparent reference. More explicitly, when Bond decides to quit, he’s going through his desk, taking out objects from previous movies, including Honey Rider’s knife and Red Grant’s garrote watch, with excerpts from the scores of Dr. No and From Russia With Love playing in the background as he does so.

All of this was probably meant to reassure the audience that despite the new face, it was still Bond. Whatever the motivation, dicector Peter Hunt, screenwriter Richard Maibaum and composer John Barry had hit continuity button hard. On top of that, Maurice Binder’s main titles had an “hourglass” motiff showing the passage of time as well as (non-Sean Connery) clips from the five previous 007 films.

Eight years later, in The Spy Who Loved Me, Bond and Agent Triple-X are showing off how much they know from each other’s dossiers. Triple-X one ups Bond by starting to talk about his late wife, presumably Tracy from OHMSS. Bond cuts her off, showing it’s still a sore subject. It’s the first time since OHMSS the marriage was explicitly referenced.

For Your Eyes Only in 1981 takes the OHMSS continuity play one step further. In the pre-titles sequence, Bond visits Tracy’s grave (and her name is on it, so there’s no possible mistake). The tombstone says Tracy died in 1969, the year OHMSS was released. The epitath is “We Have All the Time in the World,” the last line of OHMSS when a disbelieving Bond is mourning the loss of his wife, as well as the name of the main song from the film.

What’s more, the script contained a reference where the (sort of) Blofeld in the film’s pre-titles sequence says this is “the 10th anniversary of last encounter,” which would match 1971’s Diamond Are Forever, the last time the official film series used the Blofeld character openly. The line was snipped in final editing; Kevin McClory claimed ownership of Blofeld so Eon opted to take out the explicit reference. That decision was too late for Marvel Comics, which included the line in its comic book adaptation of the movie.

The ill-fated marriage gets referenced yet again in 1989’s Licence to Kill when Felix (whose own wife is about to get killed) says Bond was once married “but it was a long time ago.”

So connecting the dots, it would seem, at the very least, the Sean Connery-George Lazenby-Roger Moore films all share a timeline, though you’ll get arguments whether Diamonds Are Forever pretends OHMSS never happened. The films all have Lois Maxwell playing Miss Moneypenny. Extending the timeline through Timothy Dalton’s two films may be a more dicey proposition (he had his own Moneypenny, Caroline Bliss). On the other hand, Robert Brown, who had played M in the last two Roger Moore films, was still around, and so was Desmond Llewelyn’s Q.

After Licence to Kill, Bond went into a hiatus during a six-year period when Albert R. Broccoli considered selling off his Bond interest as well as getting into a legal fight with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. When the dust settled, yet another new Bond was about to debut. And one of the key Eon Production personnel was about to muddy things up more, continuity wise.


Thunderball’s 45th anniversary part V: Peter Hunt fights with the film

Peter Hunt, lead film editor on the first five 007 movies, said in the documentary Inside From Russia With Love that the film “wasn’t beautifully storyboarded” and that sometimes “you have to fight with the film” to make the story work. If From Russia With Love was a fight between editor and film, Thunderball must have been all-out war.

From urinating dogs to wounds shifting from one leg to the other to disappearing pants, Thunderball didn’t enjoy tight continuity.

The fourth 007 film was the most sprawling to date. It had a $9 million budget, according to the Numbers.com Web site, a huge amount for 1965 and nine times as expensive as the series’ first entry, Dr. No. There was extensive location shooting in the Bahamas and underwater sequences done on an enormous scale — and all being done on tight deadlines to ensure a release for Christmas 1965.

It was up to Peter Hunt to make it work. Hunt had a new spiffy title, supervising editor, and he had help from editor Ernest Hosler and assembly editor Ben Rayner. But Hunt ultimately had to battle with the film shot by director Terence Young. Hunt, at an appearance in at a 1994 007 fan convention in Los Angeles, told attendees the editor knows the flaws of a film better than anyone. The way Hunt described it, the editor’s job was to speed the audience through those flaws so they wouldn’t notice (at least on the first viewing).

Hunt & Co. had a number of flaws to deal with. Here’s a YouTube video that looks at some of just one major sequence, where we meet the aforementioned dog (Hunt in one telling, had actually spotted and removed it but it got reinserted because producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman thought it was funny), locals wearing 007 hats (and here we thought he was a secret agent) and a bullet wound that changes location on Bond’s body:

Meanwhile, at the Thunderball Obessional Web site, there’s a page that includes even more of the continuity issues with Thunderball, including how CIA agent Felix Leiter’s pants disappear and reappear in the same sequence.

Despite trimming by Hunt and his editors (also detailed on the Thunderball Obsessional page with the continuity errors), Thunderball also was the longest of the first four 007 film adventures at 2 hours and 10 minutes. In the end, despite the challenges, Hunt did speed the audience through the mammoth adventure and once again showed he was a valuable 007 contributor to the series’ early years.