“Bond. James Bond.”
Terence Young . 1962
“I’ve got to thank President Kennedyfor getting the financing for the first one.”
– Cubby Broccoli
The movie Bond was born on January 16, 1962, in Jamaica… On April 2, long before the October 5 premiere, UA signed a deal with Eon for six more Bonds.
Memo from Ian Fleming to Cubby Broccoli: “Neither Bond nor his Chief, M, should initially endear themselves to the audience. They are tough, uncompromising men and so are the people who work for and with them.”
Neither producer really knew the potential importance of 007 – as proved by asking routine thud ‘n’ blunder B-movie-maker Phil Karlson to direct. Someone remembered that in 1966 and he started the Matt Helm series with Dean Martin as a copy Bond in The Silencers . Karlson never had a big hit until 1973’s Walking Tall – starring Joe Don Baker, a future Bond villain in The Living Daylights and Bond’s CIA cohort in GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies.
Fortunately, Cubby turned to Terence Young, who had directed The Red Beret in 1953 for the previous Broccoli company, Warwick Films. Terry didn’t get Cary Grant for Bond, nor for another spy in Triple Cross, 1966: the real-life burglar turned WWII double-agent. Eddie Chapman. Smooth, all right, just not suave.
A bon vivant, ladies’ man of the world and war hero (the teenage Audrey Hepburn helped nurse his wounds after the Battle of Arnhem), Young was quite a model for Bond, himself.
“Terence knocked me into shape,” praised Connery.
“But I can’t say I made him a star,” said Young.
“He’s a damn good actor. I’ve been a fan ever since he was in my Action of the Tiger . Sean could walk through Bond on his ear. He’s got the attitude. Probably my greatest contribution was that I established this attitude and the way the part should be played – tongue in cheek.”
“We were looking for someone with a lot of characteristics that fit the role, ” recalled UA’s David Picker. “But we also needed to get someone who would commit to a series of movies, and that’s not easy to do for a big movie star.”
“It came down to who was the best for the role and would commit to options and Harry and Cubby looked at a lot of people and then they sent me two movies that Sean had been in, little tiny roles in Darby O’Gill and the Little People and Another Time, Another Place, so I could see what he was like on screen. And it wasn’t like they were over the hill, but this was the greatest guy that they had found. I think the phrase one of them used was: He was the richest man in the poor house. He got the part because he was handsome and he was attractive.”
Writing to Blanche Blackwell, his neighbor and, indeed, mistress, in Jamaica, (October 29, 1961), Fleming called Terence Young “nice” (nice!) and Connery a “fairly unknown but a good actor with the right looks and physique.”Although he would later refer to him for awhile as “a Scots lorry driver.”
But who wrote the first Bond film?
Richard Maibaum, maybe?
Wrong! And we have Roger Moor to thank for putting the 007 record straight and giving much delayed praised to an Irish writer called Joanna Hartwood…
She played an important role in the early years of the franchise, said Moore. “Her involvemnts has been overlooked and her pivotal role clouded by the vagaries of film history and the egos of those within it.” Having starttd in film continuity in in her native Ireland, she wound up Harry Saltzman’s secretary – and script-reader.
“Her talent for writing developed,” said Moore among his Tinseltown Town tales in Last Man Standing, 2014, “and she authored many articles and stories, including a James Bond magazine spoof in 1959, and so when Harry had an idea for a film one day he asked Joanna to write the outline for him. Johanna was subsequently handed books Harry has read and felt could be fim subjects. “I had to write film outlines or first draft scripts, so that Harry could tout them around financiers in the hope of raising funds. When he optioned Ian Flemingls books and was trying to create an interest in making a film, I adapted Dr No for him. It was a first draft script.”
Alfred Hitchcock was offered Casino Royale which would have sideswiped Dr No as the first Bond movie. But no. Next, when Cubby and Harry couldn’t make Thunderball either, Harry pulled out Joanna’s Dr No script. “When Harry and Cubby couldn’t make Thunderball as their first Bond fiilm, Harry pulled out her Dr No script.
“Terence Young was a terrible misogynist,” she told Moore, her Monaco neighbour, “and so the idea of working with a female scriptwriter didn’t appeal one bit. He brought in Wolf Mankowitz who wanted to make the villain a monkey – which appalled Cubby – and then Richard Miabaum and [novelist] Berkely Mather were brought in to add a man’s touch. However, it was largely my script they ended up filming as it was closest to Fleming’s book.” With Dr No before the cameras, she was sent to Patrs to start adapting From Russia With Love. “She later heard Terence Young dismiss her as ‘my script girl,’ suggesting she only contributed one or two ideas in the screenplay.” (She wrote Cubby’s Call Me Bwana and then quit the male-dominated movie scene for a job with Reader’s Digest in Paris.
With Fleming, final scripter Richard Maibaum, and, of course, Sean, Young mixed the Bond cocktail of suavity, technology, promiscuity. And gave good back-up.
Three of Young’s girls – Eunice Gayson, Zena Marshall and Lois Maxwell – had first been in Hammer Films. Hammer used many Bond players – most famously Christopher Lee, The Man With The Golden Gun. Plus Robert Brown (Bernard Lee’s successor as M), Charles Gray, Geoffrey Keen and, in the same movie with Chris Lee, Dracula AD 1972, Michael Kitchen, Christopher Neame. And many a Bond babe: Ursula Andress, Martine Beswick, Shirley Eaton, Julie Ege, Joanna Lumley, Nadja Regin, Madeline Smith. However, apart from the statuesque Valerie Leon (in The Spy Who Loved Me and Never Say Never), 007 never dallied with any of the Bondable harvest of Hammerettes: Stephanie Beacham, Olinka Berova, Carita (Järvinen), Veronica Carlson, the Collinson twins, Marie Devereux, Dana Gillespie, Anouska Hempel, Gillian Hills, Suzanna Leigh, Kirsten Lindholm (she refused a Cubby Broccoli offer), Ingrid Pitt, Yvonne Romain, Yutte Stensgard, Victoria Vetri, Wanda Ventham, Virginia Wetherell, etc.
Honeychile Ryder . Julie Christie (already seen when Thunderball was to be the first film) failed the Broccoli tit-test. Cubby said it was Saltzman and Young’s tit-test – but hey, it was Broccoli who had worked with the tit-test inventor Howard Hughes. Cubby’s Hollywood schooling went back to the two reasons why Howard Hughes fell for Jane Russell in The Outlaw in 1941. Until Hughes took over the reins, Howard Hawks was the helmer of that Western.And in the 60s,Broccoli nearly signed Hawks for the first 007 movie.
“I don’t say the girls have to be necesarily endowed that way to do the film,” Cubby told me. “We like to think that the male audience – and I don’t wanna sound chauvinistic at this point – like to see a beautiful bosomed lady. And I do, too. So there we are. If I had the choice, I’d go for the bosomed girl – with an obvious amount of acting talent, as well. We use some models and models in any country are not supposed to be over endowed… something I can get used to. Apparently!”
The Honey search reached the Canadian star of the French New Wave, Alexandra Stewart, back on the continent in 1960 after completing Otto Preminger’s Exodus in Israel. She got a phone call in Nice. Terence Young wanted her for what Eon was already calling “the absolutely most perfect woman possible.” “Well,” chortled Alexandra, “you don’t want me! Better you should take my friend Ursula Andress.” Who? “John Derek’s wife. She has a much better figure…”
Good news for Cubby. “He had fixed ideas about the type of girl he wanted in Bond’s bed,” said Guy Hamilton, the first director to make four Bonds. “And one thing he wanted was good tits.” He found them bursting through Ursula’s wet T-shirt in some pin-up shots. “Beautiful and cheap,” noted Harry, “but how do you know she can act?
“The way she looks,” said Cubby
“she doesn’t have to act.”
It was Cubby’s casting agent, Max Arnow, who unearthed Ursula in LA. The perfect Andress was last to be cast as late as two weeks before the off. She had alrady had contracts at Paramount and Columbia but refused most of their proffered roles. “I was supposed to show my feelings, my soul, my intimacy and I got scared.” She found easier, thankfully, to show off her body. The crew knew they had a winner when she strode out of the Caribbean to the Laughing Waters beach, not “naked apart from the belt that carried her hunting knife,” as per Fleming, but with a cream bikini, belt, diving mask and, of course, the essential hint of tough cookie danger, the knife.
One of her Hollywood pals said Ursula talked like a Dutc hcomic and Young said “Another disaster!” She was dubbed by singer Diana Coupland and an actressnamed like a Bond character: Nikki Van Der Zyl. Young was soon claiming he’d discovered Ursula (and Sean) as the mould was set in the West Indies fromJanuary 5, 1962.Exotic locations, beautiful women, wry humour,spiffin’ action and, as another of the first Bond girls (a whole new kind of woman for the screen – and, as Zena Marshall put it, “Connery as a walking aphrodisiac.”
Dr No . Swedish legend Max von Sydow (who had not yet started working outside the brilliance of Swedish regissor Ingmar Bergman) was offered the titular villain. Instead, he was played by Joseph Wiseman, as if guesting in a bad Mission: Impossible episode). Max would be back… as Blofeld, no less, in Never Say Never Again. “I’d no idea what I was letting myself in for,” said Wiseman in later years. “I’d no idea it would achieve the success it did. As far as I was concerned,
“I thought it might be just another
Grade-B Charlie Chan mystery.”
Quarrel . As the producers soon found out, like the Cape publishers before them, Flemig loved to be involved in the minutiae of production. Another way of saying: tinkering… meddling. He wrote to Saltzman, August 31, 1961, reccommending “an attractive coloured man” for Quarrell. “He is studying law here [actually, he was London-born] but has been very much taken up by the bohemian set, and I have met him on and off for several years. He has all the qualities this role demands and, in particular, a most pleasing personality and good looks.” In fact, he knew him so well, he couldn’t even spell the guy’s name correctly, writing Paul Dankwa in place of Paul Danquah. Fleming then foolishly added that the actor had had just finished Tony Richardson’s A Taste of Honey – poor Ian didn’t even realise that Saltzman had produced Honey! Maybe that’s why Harry didn’t reply… Then again, I never heard back from Cubby when reccommending Mexico’s actor-director legend, Emilio Fernandez, for Emile Largo in Thunderball.
These days, Quarrel would automatically go to Morgan Freeman or Samuel Jackson. Because of his three Warwick Films with them – Safari, 1956; Odongo, 1956; The Killers of Kilimanjaro, 1959 – Broccoli and Terence Young never considered anyone other than Earl Cameron in the part. Harry Saltzman did not agree. “I think he’d promised the role to a certain Kitzmiller, an American actor living in Rome,” said London’s busiest Caribbean actor, 93 screen credits in 62 years, “and I would have loved to shoot in Jamaica.” CUT to 1965, and Cameron is spending eight glorious weeks in Nassau, as part of the Thunderball team. As Pinder, Sean’s MI6 contact in the Bahamas. After 93 screen credits in 62 years, a theatre is named after Cameron in Hamilton, Bermuda.
Hailing from Battle Creek, Michigan, John Kitzmiller was the first black winner of the Cannes festival Best Actor prize in 1957 – for the Yugoslavian Dolina miru (Valley of Peace). An US Army captain who stayed on in Italy after helping liberate the country with the 92nd Infantry Division, the tall Kitzmiller (Kitzmuller in the credits!) fell into acting in 53 Euro-movies, such as Alberto Lattuada’s 1948 Senza pietà/Without Pity (Fellini had worked on the scenario) and a German version of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, released two months after his 1965 death
Miss Taro . Marguerite Lewars refused – too risqué for her. “They had me reading for a part where I was supposed to be wrapped in a towel, lying on a bed, kissing a strange man. I said: Who is this man I’m supposed to be kissing? Terence Young said to me: This man is Sean Connery.” Never heard of him. And he said: Well you soon will.” She played the airport photographer in Jamaica’s Kingston airport – which is where she worked and where she discovered for her one and only film.
Miss Moneypenny . In need of a job due to her husband’s ill-health, Canadian Lois Maxwell (real name: Lois Hooker!) called on friends Young and Broccoli, who offered her Sylvia Trench or Miss Moneypenny. Lois (she studied drama at RADA with Roger Moore) did not see herself in Bond’s pajama top, hitting golf balls down the hallway. “If you allow me to give Moneypenny a background and not force me to wear my hair in abun, horn-rimmed glasses, with a pencil over my ear, I’d like to play her.”
She passed the pyjama top to Eunice Gayson and was Moneypenny for 14 films, second only to Desmond Llewelyn’s unbeaten run of 17 as Q. Lois always said that Miss Moneypenny was always called Miss Moneypenny “because she doesn’t want anyone to know that her first name is… Gertrude!”
Ian Fleming told her that he envisioned Moneypenny as a “tall, elegant woman with the most kissable lips in the world – you are her!”
He had other ideas, like Dr No being his first cousin, Christopher Lee (an idea ignored by Eon until1974) – or by Fleming’s Jamaica neighbour Noel Coward. That terrible notion was saved by Coward’s cable. “The answer to Dr No is No! No! No!” Coward did, though, meet Connery. “So you’re going to play James Bond/ Dreary slob, isn’t he?”
Realising just what they had – and should keep – Broccoli and Saltzman their founded Danjaq “to ensure all future films in the series.” The company title came from their wives: Dana Broccoli and Jacqueline Saltzman. In need of funds in 1975, Harry sold his 50% to United ; CVubb yu and Dane bought it back in 1986. Eon Productions makes the films., Danjaq protects them.