Monday, December 9, 2013
What you see is a man whose life is about to change forever. Sean Connery, unknown Irish actor and former weightlifter, had filmed a genre spy flick that was no different than so many others. In no way could it hope to compare with Alfred Hitchcock's "North By Northwest" of a few years previously, at best it would not be embarrassed by the comparison.
Well, "Dr. No" premiered on October 5, 1962, and unknown Sean, unknown Ian Fleming, and little-known James Bond became household names. And the life of the man in the picture would never be the same. Make the shot, Sean, we're counting on you.
Sunday, October 20, 2013
PayPal and Tesla co-founder Elon Musk purchased the submarine-car prop from "The Spy Who Loved Me" for $866,000 in a September auction and plans to turn it into a working electric-powered submarine-car.
"It was amazing as a little kid in South Africa to watch James Bond in 'The Spy Who Loved Me' drive his Lotus Esprit off a pier, press a button and have it transform into a submarine underwater. I was disappointed to learn that it can't actually transform. What I'm going to do is upgrade it with a Tesla electric powertrain and try to make it transform for real."
Well, anyway, good luck with that. And, better luck for the common Joe in New York who found the car abandoned in a storage locker, bought it for $100, and brought it home with him back in the '80s.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Underwater Car Could Be Yours
|Lotus Esprit sailing underwater in "The Spy Who Loved Me"|
Most James Bond fans recall the famous Lotus Esprit S1 Turbo that Roger Moore drove into the ocean in the 1977 film "The Spy Who Loved Me." While Barbara Bach quivered in the passenger seat, Moore calmly flipped a few switches and the car turned into a submarine. It was one of the most epic stunts in the entire James Bond film series, if not all of filmdom.
|Another view of the Lotus Esprit underwater|
One of the cars - the very one seen in the above photograph, in fact - was found in a Long Island storage locker - you know, like the ones seen in "Storage Wars." Some guy who knew nothing about James Bond or the Lotus bought the contents of an abandoned storage locker, and what would you know, inside was the Lotus. Sounds hard to believe, but apparently it's true.
|The Lotus emerges from the ocean|
The Lotus is to be auctioned off on September 9, 2013 at RM Auctions in London, England. It is expected to fetch in the neighborhood of $1 million.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Sean Connery Stills Owns the Role of James BondHere, for no particular reason, some photos of Sean Connery from the early days of James Bond. Easy now to forget how revolutionary the whole idea of a manly spy was back in the early 1960s, which is a tribute in its own way to the very special Mr. Sean Connery. These are all, I believe, from the "Dr. No" - "Thunderball" period.
|Sean Connery at the golf course in "Goldfinger."|
|Sean Connery in "Goldfinger."|
|Robbie Williams in his "Millenium" video looks eerily like this Sean Connery promo picture|
|Sean Connery in his first moments as James Bond in "Dr. No."|
|Sean Connery relaxing at the beach|
|Sean Connery while filming "Thunderball" 1965|
|Sean Connery, promo from the "Thunderball" period.|
|Sean Connery in a classic pose|
Monday, May 13, 2013
"Skyfall" Justifies All that Came Before with Daniel CraigThe abrupt about-face of the James Bond franchise when Daniel Craig came on board startled a lot of fans. Many did not take kindly to this preening usurper, pretending to be some kind of superhero as the iconic Ian Fleming super-spy. Craig's first two films did well financially, but it was clear that he had not won over the general moviegoing audience. All that changed with "Skyfall," which isolated Craig as a Bond who was hurt but kept on coming. "Skyfall" was a massive financial success, earning over a Billion Dollars at the box office, and it resulted in the immediate order two more James Bond films with Daniel Craig in the lead role.
Note the difference from the Pierce Brosnan years - not only are there no women with guns standing ready to smite James Bond's foes for him, there aren't any women in the posters period. This is a man's business, the posters seem to be saying, and it is best left to men. The strategy worked brilliantly and Daniel Craig finally won over the hearts of fans around the world.
"Quantum of Solace" Continues the Rebirth of James Bond"Quantum of Solace" was not a particularly successful James Bond film. Oh, it undoubtedly made the producers money and paid the actors quite handsomely, but critically, it was a major failure. The production was troubled, with bad weather causing trouble and injury on set. Nothing seemed to go smoothly. There was some question of whether the series would survive at all. Daniel Craig, though, continued his heroic recreation of the James Bond character in the vein of Sean Connery, and it continued working.
In several of the film posters for "Quantum of Solace," Craig is seen leading his female through devastation, manfully contemplating what he must do in solitude. In other versions of the poster, all that is seen is Craig's shadow. James Bond is waving his gun, prepared for action, with all the implied menace that an inhuman silhouette can convey. It was brilliant marketing that ran counter to everything that came before in the Pierce Brosnan days.
The publicists were building a brand, or more accurately re-branding James Bond, brick by brick. They faced strong resistance from that part of the fan base which had grown accustomed to the girly man image which had infested the Pierce Brosnan era film posters. The payoff of this foundation-laying did not come with "Quantum of Solace" itself, but rather with its successor. "Skyfall" would eclipse all of its predecessors in terms of critical and financial rewards because of the hard work recreating the character that had been done in "Casino Royale" and "Quantum of Solace."