Wednesday, October 24, 2012

James Bond chapter IV

There will always be the argument about who is the best Bond with Sean Connery most often winning as the original James Bond. George Lazenby and Timothy Dalton seem to be the least popular Bonds, whereas Daniel Craig’s reputation seems to be growing.  For some Pierce Brosnan was a most excellent and worthy 007. Some say that there favourite is Roger Moore. Not as tough as Sean, but about how he played Bond, the charm, and the humour and that he somehow was more refined and matured than the early Bond.
Sean Connery
Sir Thomas Sean Connery, (born 25 August 1930) is a Scottish actor and producer who has won an Academy Award, two BAFTA Awards (one of them being a BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award) and three Golden Globes (including the Cecil B. DeMille Award and a Henrietta Award).
Connery is best known for portraying the character James Bond, starring in seven Bond films between 1962 and 1983 (six Eon Productions films and the non-canonical Thunderball remake, Never Say Never Again).
Connery was a keen footballer, having played for Bonnyrigg Rose in his younger days. He was offered a trial with East Fife. While on tour with South Pacific, Connery played in a football match against a local team that Matt Busby, manager of Manchester United, happened to be scouting. According to reports, Busby was impressed with his physical prowess and offered Connery a contract worth £25 a week immediately after the game. Connery admits that he was tempted to accept, but he recalls, "I realised that a top-class footballer could be over the hill by the age of 30, and I was already 23. I decided to become an actor and it turned out to be one of my more intelligent moves."
Connery's breakthrough came in the role of secret agent James Bond. He was reluctant to commit to a film series, but understood that if the films succeeded his career would greatly benefit.[29] He played the character in the first five Bond films: Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), and You Only Live Twice (1967) – then appeared again as Bond in Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Never Say Never Again (1983). All seven films were commercially successful.

Sean Connery's selection as James Bond owed a lot to Dana Broccoli, wife of Cubby Broccoli, who is reputed to have been instrumental in persuading Cubby that Sean Connery was the right man. James Bond's creator, Ian Fleming, originally doubted Connery's casting, saying, "He's not what I envisioned of James Bond looks" and "I'm looking for Commander Bond and not an overgrown stunt-man," adding that Connery (muscular, 6' 2", and a Scot) was unrefined. Fleming's girlfriend told him Connery had the requisite sexual charisma. Fleming changed his mind after the successful Dr. No première; he was so impressed, he created a half-Scottish, half-Swiss heritage for the literary James Bond in the later novels.

Connery's portrayal of Bond owes much to stylistic tutelage from director Terence Young, polishing the actor while using his physical grace and presence for the action. Robert Cotton wrote in one Connery biography that Lois Maxwell (the first Miss Moneypenny) noticed, "Terence took Sean under his wing. He took him to dinner, showed him how to walk, how to talk, even how to eat." Cotton wrote, "Some cast members remarked that Connery was simply doing a Terence Young impression, but Young and Connery knew they were on the right track." The tutoring was successful; Connery received thousands of fan letters a week, and the actor became one of the great male sex symbols of film.

In 2005, From Russia with Love was adapted by Electronic Arts into a video game, titled James Bond 007: From Russia with Love, which featured all-new voice work by Connery as well as his likeness, and those of several of the film's supporting cast.
In 1988, Connery won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Untouchables. His film career also includes such films as Marnie, The Name of the Rose, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Hunt for Red October, Highlander, Murder on the Orient Express, Dragonheart, and The Rock. He was knighted in July 2000. Connery has been polled as "The Greatest Living Scot" and "Scotland's Greatest Living National Treasure". In 1989, he was proclaimed "Sexiest Man Alive" by People magazine and in 1999, at age 69, he was voted "Sexiest Man of the Century".

George Lazenby
George Robert Lazenby, (born 5 September 1939) is an Australian actor and former model, best known for portraying James Bond in the 1969 film On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
In 1968, after Sean Connery quit the role of James Bond, producer Albert R. Broccoli first met Lazenby when getting their hair cut at the same barber. He later saw him in the Big Fry commercial and felt he could be a possible Bond, calling him in for a screen test.
Lazenby dressed for the part by sporting several sartorial Bond elements such as a Rolex Submariner wristwatch and a Savile Row suit (ordered, but uncollected, by Connery). Broccoli offered him an audition. The position was consolidated when Lazenby accidentally punched a professional wrestler, who was acting as stunt coordinator, in the face, impressing Broccoli with his ability to display aggression.  Lazenby won the role based on a screen-test fight scene, the strength of his interviews, fight skills and audition footage. 
In November 1969, prior to the release of the film, Lazenby announced that he no longer wished to play the role of James Bond. "They made me feel like I was mindless," he said about the film's producers. "They disregarded everything I suggested simply because I hadn't been in the film business like them for about a thousand years."

In 1988, Connery won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Untouchables. His film career also includes such films as Marnie, The Name of the Rose, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Hunt for Red October, Highlander, Murder on the Orient Express, Dragonheart, and The Rock. He was knighted in July 2000. Connery has been polled as "The Greatest Living Scot" and "Scotland's Greatest Living National Treasure". In 1989, he was proclaimed "Sexiest Man Alive" by People magazine and in 1999, at age 69, he was voted "Sexiest Man of the Century".

Roger Moore
Sir Roger George Moore, (born 14 October 1927), is an English actor, perhaps best known for his role as British secret agent James Bond in the official film series between 1973 and 1985, and also as Simon Templar in The Saint, between 1962 and 1969.

In the early 1950s, Moore worked as a model, appearing in print advertisements for knitwear (earning him the amusing nickname "The Big Knit"), and a wide range of other products such as toothpaste – an element that many critics have used as typifying his lightweight credentials as an actor. His earliest known television appearance was on 27 May 1950, in Drawing Room Detective, a one-off programme. Presented by veteran BBC announcer Leslie Mitchell, it invited viewers at home to spot clues to a crime during a playlet, whose actors also included Alec Ross (first husband of Sheila Hancock) and Michael Ripper.
Although Moore won a contract with MGM in the 1950s, the films which followed were not a success and, in his own words, "At MGM, RGM (Roger George Moore) was NBG [no bloody good]." His starring role in The Miracle, a version of the play Das Mirakel for Warner Bros., had been turned down by Dirk Bogarde.

Eventually, it was television in which Moore made his name. He was the eponymous hero in the serial Ivanhoe, a very loose adaptation of the romantic novel by Sir Walter Scott, and he also appeared in the series The Alaskans, as well as playing Beau Maverick, an English-accented cousin of frontier gamblers Bret Maverick (James Garner) and Bart Maverick (Jack Kelly) in Maverick.

Worldwide fame arrived after Lew Grade cast Moore as Simon Templar in a new adaptation of The Saint, based on the novels by Leslie Charteris. Moore said in an interview, during 1963, that he wanted to buy the rights of Leslie Charteris's character and the trademarks. He also joked that the role was supposed to have been meant for Sean Connery who was unavailable. The television series was made in the UK with an eye on the American market, and its success there (and in other countries) made Moore a household name – and in spring 1967 he eventually had reached the level of an international top star. It also established his suave, quipping style which he would carry forward to James Bond. Moore would also go on to direct several episodes of the later series, which moved into colour in 1967.
Television lured Moore back to star, alongside Tony Curtis, in what has become another cult series, The Persuaders! It featured the adventures of two millionaire playboys across Europe. It was for this series that Moore was paid the then unheard-of sum of £1 million for a single series, making him the highest paid television actor in the world. However, Lew Grade claimed in his autobiography Still Dancing, that Moore and Curtis "didn't hit it off all that well". Curtis refused to spend more time on set than was strictly necessary, while Moore was always willing to work overtime.

Because of his successful television shows, in particular the long-lasting series The Saint, Roger Moore was unavailable for the James Bond franchise for a considerable time. His participation in The Saint was not only as actor, but also as a producer and director, and he also became involved in developing the series The Persuaders! As Roger Moore frankly explains in his autobiography My Word Is My Bond (2008) on page 172, he had neither been approached to play James Bond in Dr. No, nor had he felt that he had been considered. It was only after Sean Connery had declared in 1966 that he would not play Bond any longer that Moore became aware that he might be a contender for the role. But after George Lazenby was cast instead and then Connery played Bond again, he didn't consider the possibility until it seemed abundantly clear that Connery had in fact stepped down as Bond for good. At that point he was indeed approached and accepted the producer's offer in August 1972. Moore says in his autobiography that he had to cut his hair and lose weight, but although he resented that, he was finally cast as James Bond in Live and Let Die (1973).

Moore played Bond in Live and Let Die (1973); The Man with the Golden Gun (1974); The Spy Who Loved Me (1977); Moonraker (1979); For Your Eyes Only (1981); Octopussy (1983); and A View to a Kill (1985).

Moore is the longest-serving James Bond actor, having spent twelve years in the role (from his debut in 1973, to his retirement from the role in 1985), and having made seven official films in a row. In 1987 Moore also hosted Happy Anniversary 007: 25 Years of James Bond. It was announced in December 2011 that Daniel Craig had signed a contract for five more films, meaning that Craig will portray Bond eight times - once more than Moore's record of seven films. Moore is the oldest actor to have played Bond - he was 45 in Live and Let Die (1973), and 58 when he announced his retirement on 3 December 1985.

James Bond was different during this era because times had changed and the scripts were different. Authors like George MacDonald Fraser provided scenarios in which 007 was a kind of seasoned, debonair playboy who would always have a trick or gadget in stock when he needed it. This was designed to serve the contemporary taste.

In 2004 Moore was voted 'Best Bond' in an Academy Awards poll, and he won with 62% of votes in 2008.

During Moore's Bond period he starred in 13 other films, including the thriller Gold (1974) and unorthodox action film The Wild Geese, and even made a cameo as Chief Inspector Clouseau, posing as a famous movie star, in Curse of the Pink Panther (1983) (for which he was credited as "Turk Thrust II"). However, most of these films were not critically acclaimed. Moore was widely criticised by anti-apartheid campaigners for making three movies in South Africa under the Apartheid regime during the 1970s.

Timothy Dalton
Peter Dalton (born 21 March 1944 or 1946) is a British actor of film and television.
Dalton is known for portraying James Bond in The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989), as well as Rhett Butler in the television miniseries Scarlett (1994), an original sequel to Gone with the Wind. In addition, he is known for his roles as King Phillip II of France in the 1968 Academy-award winning The Lion In Winter, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1970), Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre (1983), Prince Barin in Flash Gordon (1980), Shakespearean films and plays such as Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Henry V, Love's Labour's Lost, Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2. Recently, he had a voice acting part in Toy Story 3 as Mr. Pricklepants. He has also appeared as Skinner in the mystery comedy film Hot Fuzz; portrayed the recurring character of Alexei Volkoff in the US TV series Chuck; and Rassilon in the Doctor Who two-part episode "The End of Time".

Dalton had been considered for the role of James Bond several times. According to the documentary Inside The Living Daylights, the producers first approached Dalton in 1968 for On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Although Dalton himself in this same documentary claims the approach occurred when he was either 24 or 25 and had already done the film Mary, Queen of Scots (1971). Dalton told the producers that he was too young for the role. In a 1987 interview, Dalton said, "Originally I did not want to take over from Sean Connery. He was far too good, he was wonderful. I was about 24 or 25, which is too young. But when you've seen Bond from the beginning, you don't take over from Sean Connery."[9] In either 1979 or 1980, he was approached again, but did not favour the direction the films were taking, nor did he think the producers were seriously looking for a new 007. As he explained, his idea of Bond was different. In a 1979 episode of the television series Charlie's Angels, Dalton played the role of Damien Roth, a millionaire playboy described by David Doyle's character as "almost James Bond-ian".

In 1986, Dalton was approached to play Bond after Roger Moore had retired, and Pierce Brosnan could not get out of contractual commitments to the television series Remington Steele. However, Dalton would soon begin filming Brenda Starr and could only do The Living Daylights if the Bond producers waited six weeks.

Unlike Moore, who had played Bond as more of a light-hearted playboy, Dalton's portrayal of Bond was darker and more serious. Dalton pushed for renewed emphasis on the gritty realism of Fleming's novels instead of fantasy plots and humour. Dalton stated in a 1989 interview:

"I think Roger was fine as Bond, but the films had become too much techno-pop and had lost track of their sense of story. I mean, every film seemed to have a villain who had to rule or destroy the world. If you want to believe in the fantasy on screen, then you have to believe in the characters and use them as a stepping-stone to lead you into this fantasy world. That's a demand I made, and Albert Broccoli agreed with me."

A fan of the literary character, often seen re-reading and referencing the novels on set, Dalton determined to approach the role and play truer to the original character described by Fleming. His 007, therefore, came across as a reluctant agent who did not always enjoy the assignments he was given, something only seen on screen before, albeit obliquely, in George Lazenby's On Her Majesty's Secret Service. In The Living Daylights, for example, Bond tells a critical colleague, "Stuff my orders! ... Tell M what you want. If he fires me, I'll thank him for it." In Licence to Kill, he resigns from the Secret Service in order to pursue his own agenda of revenge. Steven Jay Rubin writes in The Complete James Bond Movie Encyclopaedia (1995):

"Unlike Moore, who always seems to be in command, Dalton's Bond sometimes looks like a candidate for the psychiatrist's couch – a burned-out killer who may have just enough energy left for one final mission. That was Fleming's Bond – a man who drank to diminish the poison in his system, the poison of a violent world with impossible demands.... [H]is is the suffering Bond."

This approach proved to be a double-edged sword. Film critics and fans of Fleming's original novels welcomed a more serious interpretation after more than a decade of Moore's approach. However, Dalton's films were criticised by many for their comparative lack of humour. Dalton's serious interpretation was not only in portraying the character, but also in performing most of the stunts of the action scenes himself.

Pierce Brosnan
Pierce Brendan Brosnan (born 16 May 1953) is an Irish-American actor, film producer and environmentalist. After leaving school at 16, Brosnan began training in commercial illustration, but trained at the Drama Centre in London for three years. Following a stage acting career he rose to popularity in the television series Remington Steele (1982–87).

After Remington Steele, Brosnan took the lead in many films such as Dante's Peak and The Thomas Crown Affair. In 1995, he became the fifth actor to portray secret agent James Bond in the Eon Productions film series, starring in four films between 1995 and 2002. He also provided his voice and likeness to Bond in the 2004 video game James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing. Since playing Bond, he has starred in such successes as The Matador (nominated for a Golden Globe, 2005), Mamma Mia! (National Movie Award, 2008), and The Ghost Writer (2010).

Brosnan first met James Bond films producer Albert R. Broccoli on the sets of For Your Eyes Only because his first wife, Cassandra Harris, was in the film. Broccoli said, "if he can act… he's my guy" to inherit the role of Bond from Roger Moore. It was reported by both Entertainment Tonight and the National Enquirer, that Brosnan was going to inherit another role of Moore's, that of Simon Templar in The Saint. Brosnan denied the rumours in July 1993 but added, "it's still languishing there on someone's desk in Hollywood."

In 1986, NBC cancelled Remington Steele, so Brosnan was offered the role, but the publicity revived Remington Steele and Brosnan had to decline the role, owing to his contract. The producers instead hired Timothy Dalton for The Living Daylights (1987), and Licence to Kill (1989). Legal squabbles between the Bond producers and the studio over distribution rights resulted in the cancellation of a proposed third Dalton film in 1991 and put the series on a hiatus for several years. On 7 June 1994, Brosnan was announced as the fifth actor to play Bond.

Brosnan was signed for a three-film Bond deal with the option of a fourth. The first, 1995's GoldenEye, grossed US $350 million worldwide, the fourth highest worldwide gross of any film in 1995, making it the most successful Bond film since Moonraker, adjusted for inflation. It holds an 80% Rotten tomato rating, while Metacritic holds it at 65%. In the Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert gave the film 3 stars out of 4, and said Brosnan's Bond was "somehow more sensitive, more vulnerable, more psychologically complete" than the previous ones, also commenting on Bond's "loss of innocence" since previous films. James Berardinelli described Brosnan as "a decided improvement over his immediate predecessor" with a "flair for wit to go along with his natural charm", but added that "fully one-quarter of Goldeneye is momentum-killing padding."

In 1996, Brosnan formed a film production company entitled "Irish DreamTime" along with producing partner and long time friend Beau St. Clair. Three years later the company's first studio project, The Thomas Crown Affair, was released and met both critical and box office success.

Brosnan returned in 1997's Tomorrow Never Dies and 1999's The World Is Not Enough, which were also successful. In 2002, Brosnan appeared for his fourth time as Bond in Die Another Day, receiving mixed reviews but was a success at the box office. Brosnan himself subsequently criticised many aspects of his fourth Bond movie. During the promotion, he mentioned that he would like to continue his role as James Bond: "I'd like to do another, sure. Connery did six. Six would be a number, then never come back."[34] Brosnan asked Eon Productions, when accepting the role, to be allowed to work on other projects between Bond films. The request was granted, and for every Bond film, Brosnan appeared in at least two other mainstream films, including several he produced, playing a wide range of roles, ranging from a scientist in Tim Burton's Mars Attacks!, to the title role in Grey Owl which documents the life of Englishman Archibald Stansfeld Belaney, one of Canada's first conservationists.

Shortly after the release of Die Another Day, the media began questioning whether or not Brosnan would reprise the role for a fifth time. Brosnan kept in mind that both fans and critics were unhappy with Roger Moore playing the role until he was 58, but he was receiving popular support from both critics and the franchise fanbase for a fifth instalment. For this reason, he remained enthusiastic about reprising his role.[35] Throughout 2004, it was rumoured that negotiations had broken down between Brosnan and the producers to make way for a new and younger actor. This was denied by MGM and Eon Productions. In July 2004, Brosnan announced that he was quitting the role, stating "Bond is another lifetime, behind me". In October 2004, Brosnan said he considered himself dismissed from the role. Although Brosnan had been rumoured frequently as still in the running to play 007, he had denied it several times, and in February 2005 he posted on his website that he was finished with the role. Daniel Craig took over the role on 14 October 2005. In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Brosnan was asked what he thought of Daniel Craig as the new James Bond. He replied, "I'm looking forward to it like we're all looking forward to it. Daniel Craig is a great actor and he's going to do a fantastic job". He reaffirmed this support in an interview to the International Herald Tribune, stating that "[Craig's] on his way to becoming a memorable Bond."

Daniel Craig
Daniel Wroughton Craig[2] (born 2 March 1968) is an British actor best known for playing British secret agent James Bond since 2006.

Craig is an alumnus of the National Youth Theatre and graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and began his career on stage. His early on screen appearances were in the films Elizabeth, The Power of One and A Kid in King Arthur's Court, and on Sharpe's Eagle and Zorro in television. His appearances in the British films Love Is the Devil, The Trench and Some Voices attracted the industry's attention, leading to roles in bigger productions such as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Road to Perdition, Layer Cake and Munich.

Craig appeared as Joe in the Royal National Theatre's production of Tony Kushner's Angels in America in November 1993. Also in 1993, Craig appeared in an episode of Yorkshire Television's Heartbeat, which aired on 31 October 1993. An early starring role was as 'Geordie' in the BBC's 1996 drama Our Friends in the North, with early film roles being as Angelina Jolie's rival and love interest in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), before appearing in Sam Mendes's movie Road to Perdition (2002), with Tom Hanks and Paul Newman. Other leading film roles include Sword of Honour (2001), The Mother (2003) with Anne Reid, Sylvia (2003) with Gwyneth Paltrow, Layer Cake (2004) with Sienna Miller, Enduring Love (2004) with Rhys Ifans, Steven Spielberg's Munich (2005) with Eric Bana, Infamous and Casino Royale (2006), The Golden Compass (2007), Quantum of Solace, Defiance (2008), and Cowboys & Aliens (2011).

Craig achieved international fame when chosen as the sixth actor to play the role of James Bond, replacing Pierce Brosnan. Though initially greeted with scepticism, his debut in Casino Royale was highly acclaimed and earned him a BAFTA award nomination, with the film becoming the highest grossing in the series to date. Quantum of Solace followed two years later, with the third film Skyfall, premiered on 23rd October 2012, having been delayed due to MGM's financial troubles.

In 2005, Craig was contracted by Eon Productions to portray James Bond. He stated that he "was aware of the challenges" of the James Bond franchise which he considers "a big machine" that "makes a lot of money". He aimed at bringing more "emotional depth" to the character.[15] Being born in 1968, Craig is the first actor to portray James Bond to have been born after the Bond series already started, and Ian Fleming, the novels' writer, had died. Significant controversy followed the decision, as it was doubted if the producers had made the right choice. Throughout the entire production period Internet campaigns expressed their dissatisfaction and threatened to boycott the film in protest. The 5'10 (178cm) blond Craig, unlike previous actors, was not considered by the protesters to fit the tall, dark, handsome image of Bond to which viewers had been accustomed. The Daily Mirror ran a front page news story critical of Craig, with the headline, "The Name's Bland – James Bland." Although the choice of Craig was controversial, numerous actors publicly voiced their support, most notably, four of the five actors who had previously portrayed Bond – Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Dalton, Sean Connery and Roger Moore – called his casting a good decision. George Lazenby has since voiced his approval of Craig also. Clive Owen, who had been linked to the role, also spoke in defence of Craig. 
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