Do you mind if my friend sits this one out?  She’s just dead.”


Terence Young .  1965


Goldfinger had announced “James Bond will return in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service…”  Only there was a hassle about  the Swiss locations required.  And a lot more besides forcing Eon to revert  to its beginning

Cubby, Harry, Sean and Terence Young were set to make Thunderball as the first of the official Bond series, until Kevin McClory sued Ian Fleming to win back film rights to the 1961 book heavily based on their original, 1959 script. (Remember James Bond of the British Secret Service?). Fleming was routinely, er, influenced by plots of other abandoned Bond projects, newspaper comic strips and TV series, for his Bond books. He died – soon after settling the case – in August 1964 as the Eon film team prepared a way to produce the film with McClory.

Why? Obviously, to avoid him dealing with some other studio to make Thunderball and upset the Eon applecart. (As McClory tried to accomplish with his Thunderball re-hash, Never Say Never Again, in 1983). Broccoli explained:


“If anyone else came in

and made their own Bond film,

it would have been bad for us.”


“After Goldfinger, we naturally felt that we knew more about Bond than anyone else.” And it is exactly because of that insight – and experience – that Thunderball is, for millions, the greatest Bond film. (Until Skyfall).

Cubby and Harry were so delighted with Guy Hamilton, they asked him to handle Thunderball, At first, I thought that I had run out of ideas… After one Bond, you should walk away from it, charge your batteries and then come back if you have something to say. I felt I didn’t have that and to do Bond justice, you have to arrive with a huge amount of enthusiasm.”

And so, Terence Young came back to Bondland. He loved to boast that he’d made the first, the best and the most successful Bond film: Dr No, From Russia With Love and Thunderball.

In the 1959-1960 days when McClory thought he hadthe right(s) to produce the first ever 007 feature, the potential secret agents included Richard Burton, Richard Harris, James Mason, David Niven (Sir James in Casino Royale, 1967), even James Stewart. Opposite, perhaps, Shirley MacLaine or Brigitte Bardot as Domino.

After his court action, Kevin was talking to – and about (loudly) – Burton again, Laurence Harvey, Peter O’Toole (who had helped McClory celebrate the legal victory) and an earlier Broccoli choice,Rod Taylor.Opposite Sylva Koscina as Domino – she had nearly been Tatiana in From Russia With Love.

“But deep down, I knew I wanted Sean.” And so, he accepted the deal to meld with Eon after a 1964 Dublin meeting with Harry Saltzman – having refused such an offer three years before in London.So now, McClory would produce thefourth Bond film…

Domino Derval . Cubby Broccoli andhis wife were struck in 1961 by “a beautifulgirl on television.” So was everyone elsein thecountry. She wasJulie Christie in the sf serial A For Andromeda.And too flat-chested for a certain tit-test.


Broccoli went for the tits of the hour.

He signed Raquel Welch.

20th Century Fox wasn’t happy.


“The studio called on a Saturday,” she told me, when filming One Million Years BC, at Elstree studios. “Now in Hollywood, nobody calls anybody from the studio on a Saturday. I mean, the head of the studio just doesn’t go near a phone, any phone, on a Saturday. But he did. ‘We gotta picture for you.’ ‘Well, I don’t wanna do it.  I wanna do Thunderball.’ And he said: ‘Well, that’s tough, baby because we have a deal going with those boys and we have cooled the whole issue.’  As it turned out, they used four girls. I looked like three of them, we would have cancelled each other out. But in Fantastic Voyage, I’m the only girl!”

As she was an unknown, it was no big deal. Eon released her – “which may or may not have done her a favour,” pondered Broccoli. Ironically, shehad already tested for Fox’s Bond flick, Our Man Flint.And that did no one any favours.

Cubby decided to  sign the equally unknown Faye Dunaway, two years away from her screen debut. “She had a change of heart and we let her out of it.”  (Actually,. her agent said The Happening would be better for her. It was not. The problem with The Happening was that it was never happening).  Broccoli tried to tempt Faye into Bondage before – for Tatiana in Russia  and  he would do so again – for Tiffany Case in  Diamonds and for  Octopussy, herself. That added up to     21 years of being talked of  but  never signed as a Bond Girl!!       


Terence Young bit the bullet

and saw 600 bountiful lasses

… testing far less of them.


  (Clic to enlarge)  

* Testing for Bond –  in the swimsuit of the year – French starlet Yvonne Monlaur, ex-Bluebell girl Gloria Paul. and South African Marisa Menzies.  Yvonne was already popular in Britain’s Inn For Trouble and Circus of Horrors. She went home to thud ’n’ blunder actioners, one opening  in America as… License To Kill.

[© Eon Productions, 1965]


Domino . Italy’s deliciously sultry Luciana Paluzzi,the sizzle from two Fleming-inspired Man From UNCLE quickies, tested for Domino…With about 150  other girls, including Marisa Menzies. “I couldn’t believe how many people there were in the make-up room.I did the test and went back to Rome. Two months went by… Nothing!“  Italy’s British-born pin-up Gloria Paul had to make do with a 007 send-up, The Intelligence Men –   as the former Miss France, Claudine Auger, won Domino. She was dubbed by Nikki Van der Zyl… who also spoke for Ursula Andress and Eunice Gayson (indeed, almost every female) in Dr No,   Shirley Eaton in Goldfinger  (Nikki was also Gert Fröbe’s vocal coach) and Mie Hama in For Your Eyes Only. Nikkiwas paid £100, possibly the lowest salary in any Bond accounts.

Fiona Volpe . British blonde Suzanna Leigh, Vivien’s God-daughter, was considered when the bad babe Fiona was Irish and called Fiona Kelly. Leigh went on from Saint Roger Mooreto a five minute  Hollywood career with Elvis, Tony Curtis,  Jerry Lewis and back home to UK horror. Turning Kelly into Volpe meant  a glance at Lea Massari and German Gisela Hahn (they later won a  French classsic each: César et Rosalie and Les Choses de la vie).  

That’s about when Young finally telephoned Luciana Paluzzi with good/bad news…  “The bad news is that you can’t play Domino. The good news is that you’re going to play Fiona.”  Fiona, Kelly-that-was, had been written as an Irish redhead, now she was an Italian red-head called Volpe.  Young had known Paluzzi since 1957, when he chose her for No Time Tol Die (US: Tank Force), 1957, one of the Warwick WWII movies from  Cubby Broccoli, Terry Young, writer Richard Maibaum, cameraman Ted Moore and stuntman Bob Simmons –  in the Libyan desert with Victor Mature and, of course, dear old Anthony Newley… propping them all up as Private Noakes. Tony then surprised us all by becoming a major singer-songwriter and  helping to supply Shirley Bassey’s classic Goldfinger song.

Paula Caplan . Back from Russia  as the first Bond Girl to have speaking parts twice in the series, Martine Beswick beat off American Ena Hartman. And Ena promptly became secretary to the Hollywood M, Lee J Cobb, in In Like Flint.


  (Clic to enlarge)  

* Patricia Fearing was the Bond babe missing from all the fun (and publicity) in the Bahamas but the character made an impact as the masseuse with the mink glove… in the first nude scene of the Bond series.
Mollie Peters won the Patricia role after tough opposition from Elizabeth Counsell, Justine Lord and (below) Uschi Bernelle. Justine went on to make six chapters of The Saint with future Bond Roger Moore. Elizabeth had been seen – just! – in From Russia With Love – or, at least, one of her knees was seen… as Woman In Punt gliding  by with  actor Michael Culver… while   Bond was on the river bank with another girl.

[© Eon Productions, 1965]



Patricia Fearing . Ushi Bernelle, Elizabeth Counsell, Justine LordMarisa Menzies tested for Bond’s Shrublands masseuse with the sensous mink glove.  But it was a British copper’s wife, Mollie Peters (credited as Molly) who missed the West Indian locations but made a sice of history – the first 007 nude scene.

Emilio Largo .  American folksinger and folksier actor Burl Ives was McClory’s idea for the villain when trying to get the Bond series up and running in 1959. I suggsted Mexican actor-director-legend Emilio Fernandez to (an apparently disinterested) Cubby. Well, he was busy comparing two Italians: Venantino Venantini and… the winner, Adolfo Celi. He became the #2 of SPECTRE, The Special Executive cutive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion. (Mafia would have been more simple). Celi was dubbed by the most familiar dubbing voice in UK movies, that of Robert Rietty. He also voiced John Hollis’ Blofeld in For Your Eyes Only. “In nearly every Bond picture,” said Riettty, “there’s been a foreign villain, and in almost every case, they’ve used my voice.”   Not quite…  more like villains or their henchmen. 

What?  No, no.. that wasn’t  Sean  flying in the jetpack sequence. Or not in all of it.  That was an engineer called Bill Suiter – one of the two only people allowed to fly it.  But, yes, after his stuntman Bob Simmons in the first three 007 trips,  it was actually Connery in the now signature gunbarrel sequence…because of the new Panavision process and from hereon, it is always the new Bond star gun-barrelling.