James Bond Fan Club Newsletter Xmas 2014

Newsletter                                                Christmas 2014
Merry Xmas, 007!
The JBIFC would like to wish all our readers, members and supporters a very Merry Christmas and a ‘Spectacular’ New Year.
Many thanks for sticking with us and being so loyal.
The past year started off relatively quietly when it came to James Bond news but we think 2014 is now ending on a real high. The new James Bond adventure SPECTRE began principal photography in December, after an eagerly-anticipated press call was held at the famous 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios, and since then news has been flowing weekly.

This edition of the JBIFC newsletter is a SPECTRE special, and is part of our continuing in-depth coverage of all things Bond as the exciting new movie takes shape. As we enter 2015, get ready for things to heat up even more. Agent 007 has definitely reported for duty again.
"Welcome back, Mr. Bond. We’ve been expecting you"
From a View to a Thrill
After months of speculation, Thursday December 4 at 11.00am GMT saw Sam Mendes take to the stage at Pinewood Studios, where he revealed to the world that Bond no. 24 in the long-running EON franchise was titled SPECTRE. Mendes explained, with a twinkle in his eye: ‘Those of you who have some knowledge of the Bond franchise and the legend of Bond will probably have some idea what that refers to, but I couldn’t possibly comment!’
Standing alongside Bond producer Barbara Broccoli, Mendes also revealed the distinctive logo for the new adventure and also Bond’s new car for the movie, the Aston Martin DB10. In addition, he also confirmed the new movie will have (00)7 months of main shooting, and this will include location shooting in Austria, Morocco, Italy, Mexico City, and London. Within seconds, the news had very quickly gone around the globe, such is the intense interest in one of the most iconic fictional figures in literary and movie history.
Bond was back!
After Mendes had unveiled the new vehicle, an Aston Martin that has been developed specially for the movie (Mendes called the new car a ‘thing of beauty’), the second-time Bond director then proceeded to introduce the principal cast members to the audience. The atmosphere was electric. First of all, key members of Bond’s MI6 support team were introduced: Rory Kinnear (as Bill Tanner), Ben Whishaw (as gadgets expert ‘Q’), Naomie Harris (as the ever-loyal Miss Moneypenny), and Ralph Fiennes (who became the new ‘M’ towards the end of Skyfall).

Live and Let High
Sam Mendes then proceeded to introduce, one by one, the new principal cast members: Andrew Scott (who plays a high-ranking Whitehall official named Denbigh), Dave Bautista (who plays Mr. Hinx, who is, in Bautista’s own words, ‘a badass’), Monica Bellucci (who plays Lucia Sciarri), Lea Seydoux (who plays Madeleine Swann), and Christoph Waltz (who plays Franz Oberhauser, a character with close links to Bond’s past). Last, but not least, James Bond star Daniel Craig took to the stage, looking relaxed and very happy. Although he was not present on December 4, a few days later it also emerged that Jesper Christiensen (who played the mysterious ‘Mr. White’ in both Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace) is also reprising his role for SPECTRE. Soon after the main introductions had been officially made by Mendes on stage and the live event was over, the director, his producer, and the main members of the cast then spoke in more detail to the waiting members of the press and TV. At one point, Mendes explained his thinking behind his decision to direct a second Bond move, after initially declining to do so. He said: ‘I felt I had introduced new characters in Skyfall and I hadn’t finished telling their story’. He said he still felt ‘a connection with them’ and, after taking some time to reflect on this, he said he felt he wanted to continue their story.
Speculating on SPECTRE
Mendes also went into a little more detail about the reasons for the title. He told the press: ‘I was able today to say that the title of the 24 th movie is SPECTRE, and for those who know their Bond – which is quite a lot of people – SPECTRE is the name of a criminal organisation that featured in Ian Fleming’s novels from a very early stage. Beyond that, I can’t really say much more, but I love the fact that it’ll lead to endless speculation and it also is going to feel as if some big shadows from Bond’s deep past are going to resurface’. The SPECTRE organisation, of course, as many Bond fans are aware, has played a prominent role in the Bond universe, first appearing in Ian Fleming’s novel Thunderball (1961), which had been based on a screen treatment the 007 author had originally worked on with Kevin McClory and Jack Whittingham in the late 1950s. In one sense, ‘SPECTRE’ had been the Bond author’s replacement for ‘SMERSH’ (‘Death to Spies’), the ruthless Russian intelligence and assassination organisation which Fleming had previously used in his writings. Whereas SMERSH had been ideological and a product of the Cold War, SPECTRE was more about private profit from crime, and also about the villainous ambitions of a single individual. Instead of having a murderous state-sponsored organisation (as with SMERSH), the new concept (so to speak) in Thunderball was now an enterprise called the ‘Special Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion’ (or SP.E.C.T.R.E. for short), a private-sector criminal syndicate based at a secret HQ in Paris, and run by arch-villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
The Nature of SPECTRE
The SPECTRE crime syndicate’s managerial executive in Fleming’s fictional Bond world consisted of 21 main members, each known by their number from 1-21. According to Fleming, SPECTRE was staffed by a combination of people from a variety of previous outfits: ex-members of SMERSH, the Nazi Gestapo, the Mafia and the Chinese Black Tong crime network of Peking. The concept of SPECTRE, of course, was also used in the early EON Bond movies (starting with Dr. No in 1962), together with the character of Blofeld (who first appeared - in profile only - in From Russia, With Love in 1963), but both the organisation and the character of Blofeld later became the subject of a complex legal tussle between Kevin McClory and EON/Danjaq in the mid-1970s. Albert R. ‘Cubby’ Broccoli, who had by then taken on the role of solo producer when Harry Saltzman departed after The Man With The Golden Gun, had originally intended to have Blofeld return in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). But the legal objections and claims to ownership of the character of Blofeld being made by McClory at the time had forced a reluctant rethink by EON, much to Cubby’s frustration. However, Cubby Broccoli was able, in a sense, to still make a point about the character and have a subtle dig at McClory: Blofeld appeared in all but name in the pre-credits to For Your Eyes Only in 1981. McClory finally realised his vision of a rival Bond movie with Never Say Never Again (1983), when Blofeld was played by the respected actor Max von Sydow. However, a number of critics noted how von Sydow’s interpretation lacked menace, possibly the result of severe pruning of the script during production on a movie that was fraught with creative differences and financial and other difficulties (one version of the script had Blofeld dying as a result of being scratched by the poisoned claws of his own white cat). Ever the showman, McClory also continued to harbour dreams of a rival Bond franchise, and regularly announced new titles to keep himself in the movie news. At one point, ironically, McClory even announced that he intended to make a Bond film titled ‘Spectre’!
A New Perspective on SPECTRE?
In November, 2013, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and Danjaq issued an official announcement from Los Angeles that, after negotiations with Kevin McClory’s estate, they had reached a settlement of the long-running legal dispute and had now acquired all the Bond rights belonging to the late Irish producer, who had died in 2006. The news from America led to numerous pieces by commentators around the globe speculating on whether this might herald the return of Ernst Stavro Blofeld to the EON Bond series at some point in the near future. What fuelled this speculation even more was the fact that John Logan, one of the scriptwriters on Skyfall, was known to be something of a Blofeld aficionado. Indeed, the speculation had been given a fillip in the run-up to Bond 23 when Logan made a teasing remark that he thought Blofeld was a worthy adversary to Bond: ‘Bond should always fight Blofeld’, he said. It would appear that with the 2013 legal settlement Logan was given a green-light to use the SPECTRE and Blofeld concept for Bond 24. And he was clearly in double-0 heaven about this. So, what can Bond fans expect from these developments? Well, Mendes is right: there continues to be endless speculation, which is excellent news for the Bond marketing people: it helps keep 007 firmly in the news. All the JBIFIC can say is, expect a radical re-invention of the organisation and its founder.
You Know the Name
The main biographers of James Bond creator Ian Fleming have argued that the 007 author ‘borrowed’ the name ‘Blofeld’ from Tom Blofeld, a Norfolk farmer who was chairman of the Country Gentleman’s Association in England and also a fellow member of Boodle’s, the London club where Fleming often went to eat. Tom Blofeld had also been a contemporary of Fleming’s at Eton public school in the 1920s. Tom Blofeld’s son is the famous English cricket commentator Henry Blofeld, who is now retired but is still in demand on the lecture circuit to talk about his favourite sport (something no doubt the cricket-loving Sam Mendes is well aware of!). There has also been some interest in Ian Fleming’s evident fascination with certain words, or variations of the same word, in his Bond novels, including the word ‘spectre’. In Fleming’s fourth Bond novel Diamonds Are Forever (1956), at one point Bond’s cover as a diamond smuggler is blown and he is kidnapped by Serraffimo Spang, of the ‘Spangled Mob’, and is locked up in ‘Spectreville’, a ghost town outside Las Vegas. And in a variation on the word, in Fleming’s adventure From Russia, With Love (1957), Tatiana Romanova offers to defect with the coveted ‘Spektor’ coding machine.
Skyhigh: Wide Media Coverage of SPECTRE Launch
There was widespread media coverage of the launch of the new Bond movie. Newspapers and TV in both the UK and around the globe reported in considerable detail on the events at Pinewood and, inevitably, there was intense interest in the new members of the cast. Such is the fascination and love of James Bond in the UK that a number of British newspapers placed coverage of the SPECTRE launch on their front pages. Typical headlines included: ‘We’ve been expecting you Mr. Bond... 007 is back’ (Daily Express); ‘Bond’s triple glammy’ (The Sun); ‘007 – and Blofeld – return for highbrow 24 th Bond film’ (The ‘I’-newspaper); ‘Bond is back for the 24 th time and he’s got a new motor’ (City A.M.); ‘Bond’s new girls’ (Daily Mirror); ‘The sexiest Bond ever’ (Daily Star); and: ‘Bond is back! Oh Oh heaven’ (The Metro). Most other newspapers devoted eye-catching stories to the new Bond movie, with large stills of the key cast, especially Monica Bellucci and Lea Seydoux. How many other movie franchises today could generate such interest? Not many. There were also some notably thoughtful articles on SPECTRE in some of the British press, including in The Daily Telegraph (December 5) and The Guardian (December 5). Ben Child in TheGuardian argued that the introduction of the SPECTRE organisation ‘marks a definitive return to traditional 007 territory’ on the part of EON. Robbie Collin, in the Telegraph, noted in particular all the behind-the-camera talent also returning to the movie, which ‘bodes very well’. At one point Collin also noted that former James Bond, Sir Roger Moore, had tweeted excitedly during the press conference: ‘So Blofeld is back!’
From London with Love
Principal photography on SPECTRE commenced at Pinewood on Monday, December 8, 2014. In the same week, set construction in preparation for some London location shooting also began, with a small crew building some platforms on scaffolding on a section of the Regents Canal at Camden Lock. Week 2 of principal photography thus began with some central London filming and, in a sense, Bond returned to some very familiar territory – the famous River Thames (which was previously used heavily for the pre-credits of The World Is Not Enough in 1999). Monday, December 15 thus saw some sequences shot on the UK capital’s main river which involved both Daniel Craig and Rory Kinnear (who plays the MI6 chief-of-staff Bill Tanner). In what appeared to be a water-borne trip to the MI6 headquarters, which is located near Vauxhall Bridge, the two actors were filmed travelling as front passengers in a speedboat as it sped along the river. They were taken at some speed to the area directly outside the real-life MI6 HQ, with the boat at one point going directly under Vauxhall Bridge itself. Along with Craig and Kinnear, the speedboat was manned by two extras in helmets, who were piloting the boat as 007 and Tanner stood in front of them and looked straight ahead as the boat whizzed along the river. A camera crew, with Mendes on board, travelled alongside the speedboat in their own special boat, filming from a short distance. Both Bond and Tanner wore dark overcoats over suits, with Bond also in black gloves and a scarf (which was undoubtedly needed on a bright but crisp morning on the breezy Thames). After filming the trip up to the MI6 HQ area of Vauxhall, the two actors were then given an even speedier ride back down the river, much to their delight. Both men were in high spirits, swapping jokes and comments with each other as they took in the sights along the embankment. The MI6 building and Vauxhall Bridge also featured, of course, in the previous 007 adventure Skyfall. Dame Judi Dench, as ‘M’, and Rory Kinnear, as Tanner, were seen being stuck in heavy traffic on the Bridge and then witnessing a dramatic explosion at the Secret Service HQ.
Nightfall: Bond and Moneypenny in Notting Hill
Later that same day (Monday, December 15), the London location shooting continued in the evening, but this time in another part of the capital. This involved Craig as Bond and another key member of the MI6 HQ support team, the ever-loyal Miss Moneypenny (played once again by the lovely 38-year old Naomie Harris). The night-time shooting took place at a plush apartment located in the more up-market area of London’s Notting Hill. A small team of crewmen, arc-lights, cameras, cranes and trailers had arrived in the relatively quiet and exclusive W11 area at the weekend, and took up temporary positions in the residential parking bays outside various townhouses in the nearby streets. Filming then commenced on Monday evening inside an upper-floor apartment in a large former townhouse located on the corner of Stanley Crescent and Ladbroke Gardens, and also outside in the adjacent street. The scenes involved Miss Money penny in the street below, while Craig (as Bond) could be seen through the large window of the apartment. At one point he was filmed looking out of the window, wearing a coloured dressing-gown and gazing down into the street outside the flat. The residents of the elegant townhouses in the area have become quite used to seeing film-makers over the past few years, as a number of movies have made use of the streets. Ironically, in early 2014, Naomi Harris herself shot some scenes in the very same street used by the SPECTRE crew when she filmed for another spy movie, Our Kind of Traitor, which is based on the best-selling espionage novel penned by John le Carre. Harris stars in the gritty film alongside Ewan McGregor. It is understood that the scenes Naomi shot with Craig on the Monday evening are connected with some interior scenes shot at Pinewood in the first week of filming.
Return Another Day
The very next morning, on Tuesday, December 16, the London location shooting returned to the waterways when Sam Mendes oversaw some SPECTRE filming with the speedboat seen on Monday, but this time on a section of the Regents Canal, at Camden Lock. The scenes once more involved Bond star Daniel Craig and MI6 Chief-of-Staff actor Rory Kinnear. A large section of the waterway was closed off for the day as Craig and Kinnear were filmed standing once again in the front section of the speedboat, in a sequence where their boat went across the canal water at (what is known locally as) West Yard and then travelled under an arched bridge, taking them under a large building on the canal-side. Both actors wore dark overcoats over suits, with Bond again in black gloves. While some parts of the canal have good light, other sections do suffer from shadow at certain points in the day. A large back-screen had been put in place to help reflect light, and large floodlight had been suspended from a crane on the opposite bank of the canal.
Canal Royale
Both actors were again in high spirits in between takes at Camden, and also shared comments and jokes with Mendes, who spent part of the day in his own small boat close by, overseeing the canal filming. Mendes also watched footage of the takes carefully at one point on small monitor screens. The back-screen, various platforms, some elaborate scaffolding and lights had been put in place a few days previously by crew members, some of them wearing distinctive SPECTRE stunt-crew jackets. Some members of the crew also wore these on the filming day. Inevitably, as word went round among locals and shoppers at the nearby famous Camden Lock market, quite a few onlookers gathered in the area at times, eager to try and catch a glimpse of the action. At one point Craig gave a big smile and wave to the enthusiastic public, but also a less pleasant sign to some of the more over-zealous paparazzi with their zoom-lensed cameras!
Did You Know?
Christoph Waltz, who is Franz Oberhauser in SPECTRE, was briefly associated with the world of Bond once before. He played the role of a German spy in the Anglia TV movie Goldeneye (1989), which was a carefully-observed and largely faithful biographical study of Bond author Ian Fleming. The movie was based largely upon the biography of the Bond author written by his former journalistic colleague John Pearson in 1967 (Pearson had first met Fleming back in 1954). The well-received 1989 TV movie starred Charles Dance as Fleming. Ironically, Dance himself had also had a small role as a ‘heavy’ in the Roger Moore 007 adventure For Your Eyes Only (1981).
Bond Bits: Brief Items of News You May Have Missed
More gadgets for ‘Q’? Actor Ben Whishaw, who is making a very welcome return as MI6 gadgets expert ‘Q’ in SPECTRE, gave a brief interview to the ‘Heatworld’ website during his appearance at the December 4 launch at Pinewood...
The 34-year old actor, who is the voice of the popular bear in the new Paddington movie, which has just stormed the UK box office, was asked at one point what new devices might be in store from ‘Q’ branch in the new movie. He responded: ‘I’m definitely not allowed to say anything, but there’s a few more than last time’...
Intriguingly, when Whishaw was asked a cheeky question about his dream song artist would be for the movie, he said: ‘I actually know who it is, but I can’t say. If I did I’d be hauled into someone’s office and given some very stern looks’...
Whishaw’s comments appeared to be confirmed a few days later, when director Sam Mendes revealed to Entertainment NOW! that he also knows who will be singing the theme song to SPECTRE. But Mendes added: ‘When will you find out? You’ll have to ask Barbara Broccoli, but I would say – on the basis of the last one – very, very late in the day’...
Double-0 heaven: the beautiful Italian actress Monica Bellucci, who is joining French actress Lea Seydoux as one of the two new Bond women in SPECTRE, was given a detailed profile in the UK’s Sunday Times newspaper (December 7), and the paper commented that ‘for millions of her worshippers the news that the Italian bombshell is to star in the latest Bond film is the cause of unmitigated rapture’...
As many Bond fans know, and as the SPECTRE-related coverage again reminded people, it is not the first time that Monica has been linked to the world of 007. She first auditioned to be a Bond woman for 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies, when she was considered for the role of Paris Carver...
However, after behind-the-scenes pressure from MGM, Bellucci lost out to American actress Teri Hatcher, the preferred choice of the main studio (which caused much disappointment to the then-007 star Pierce Brosnan). So, it must be doubly-satisfying for the 50-year old Italian star to have finally secured a role in a Bond movie. Bella!...
Irish actor Andrew Scott, who played the criminal mastermind Moriarty in the BBC’s popular TV series Sherlock, has said he will give nothing away about his role as Denbigh in the new James Bond film. He told the London Evening Standard (December 8): ‘I’m quite good at keeping the secret’...
Speaking after winning the best supporting actor award for his role in the film Pride at the Moet British Independent Film Awards, Scott added: ‘You learn how to nod and smile. It’s great fun. It would be so weird if I started giving plots away. People would be aghast. I just keep schtum’...
According to the Standard, Scott declined to be drawn on ‘completely speculative’ deductions about the relationship of his character, Denbigh, to Daniel Craig’s James Bond. Quite right, too. It would be very unwise to upset the SPECTRE syndicate. Remember what happened to Count Lippe in Thunderball?!...
Bond’s favourite car firm, Aston Martin, now under new boss Andy Palmer, is planning to raise millions in new income to make manufacture new models. Palmer is working on plans to issue new shares or bonds to raise up to £150 million for the launch of new Aston Martin models. The unveiling of the new Aston Martin DB10 on December 4 was part of this bold new plan...
The loss-making car manufacturer, which sold 4,200 cars in 2013 compared to the 7,300 it was able to sell in 2007 (before the recession hit in), hopes that the new Aston Martin DB10 (which has been designed for SPECTRE only and will not go on general sale) will provide a badly-needed publicity boost for the company. The signs are very encouraging. There has already been considerable interest from around the world in Aston Martin’s new turnaround efforts. Fingers crossed, 007...
Naomi Harris, who has reported for duty again as Miss Eve Moneypenny for SPECTRE, was interviewed for the ‘Upfront’ page of ES magazine, the free magazine of the London Evening Standard newspaper (December 12) and, at one point, referring to her role as Moneypenny, she said she has had to ‘put in some serious time and effort practising walking in high heels’...
Naomi also commented: ‘When I’m filming Bond the most important thing is getting enough sleep’. Hmmm. We wonder how she felt about her recent night-time shooting in Notting Hill?!...
Chistoph Waltz, who will play such an important role in SPECTRE, has recently played the husband of artist Margaret Keane in the movie Big Eyes, directed by Tim Burton. Waltz gave a Big Eyes tie-in interview to the Metro newspaper (December 18) and described some of views of acting and the interpretation of roles...
When asked about his role as ‘Walter’ in the new film, Waltz told the Metro: ‘I don’t describe characters. I play them. I find it very counterproductive if actors put themselves and their opinion in... Actually, I’m interested in what you tell me’...
Waltz was also (inevitably) asked at one point about how he felt about being in the new James Bond film. He replied: ‘It’s great, although I haven’t started working on it so there is nothing to feel great about yet’. That will soon change, Mr. Waltz...

The Golf Club is Out on PC/Xbox1 & PS4

Colinmafia @ The Golf Club

Available in the USA Playstation store Now Digital dlc only, UK next Tueday Sept. 1st.

The James Bond Fan Club Newsletter Summer 2014

Newsletter                                                   Summer 2014
Live and Let Ski: Bond 24 Takes Shape
There are strong indications that the next James Bond movie will at one point make dramatic use of the beautiful Austrian Alps for some snow-bound sequences. Since the last JBIFC Newsletter, various exciting news items have emerged about the possible themes and locations for the upcoming Sam Mendes-directed 007 movie, and it was recently suggested that a 3-day shoot has been scheduled in the small Austrian village of Obertilliach, with sets for another ‘village’ to be constructed nearby. Snow and ice have regularly played a big role in previous Bond movies (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Spy Who Loved Me, For Your Eyes Only, The World Is Not Enough). Moreover, in Ian Fleming’s 007 books, the author gave the orphan Bond an interesting family history: Bond’s parents had been killed in the Alps. Fleming also described 007 as an expert skier. So, in a sense, Bond 24 will be tapping into some traditional Bond angles with a snow-bound location. Interesting rumours have also emerged (warning: possible spoiler alert here!) that a chase sequence will be shot in the area, involving skidoos (one-person snowmobiles).
Double Snow Seven
According to the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet, the Bond producers had originally considered the Svalbard Island group as a possible filming location, and had requested some image material on the location. However, possibly due to the sheer logistical challenge of shooting there in ice-cold wintry conditions, or due to script changes (or for both reasons), they opted for the more accessible Austrian Alps instead. The Norwegian Svalbard group of Islands (formerly known as Spitsbergen) is a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic ocean, located north of mainland Europe. We understand that an icy or wintry location played a key role in John Logan’s original storyline for Bond 24, and it is interesting to note that sources in the Swedish media have pointed out that some Swedish actresses have been screen-tested for the role of a ‘Scandinavian’ woman in the movie.
Licence Reviewed: ‘Tweaked’ Script Now Delivered
As many Bond fans are aware, news emerged in the early summer that EON’s producers had hired the veteran screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who had stepped aside from Bond script-writing duties after Skyfall, to carry out some work on John Logan’s script for Bond 24, and provide it with more ‘punch’ and some extra interplay between 007 and the other characters. Although we have been unable to verify this, the JBIFC has been led to understand that Logan’s main focus in his original treatment had envisaged 007 lying low in a north European country after a mission had gone wrong, but the producers, along with Daniel Craig and Sam Mendes, felt the storyline needed to be widened out and given more action. Purvis and Wade, who worked in close collaboration with Craig and Mendes, have now finished their work on the Logan treatment and have delivered the script, and everybody is now said to be ‘very happy’ with the reworked treatment.
From Rome With Love?
From ice to sun: sources in Italy recently claimed that Bond 24 will make use of the beautiful Italian capital city of Rome for some important location shooting. According to media reports in Italy, the recently appointed president of the Rome and Lazio Film Commission, Luciano Sovena, had said that Bond 24 will possibly make use of locations in Rome later this year, subject to approval from the city authorities. He said he had met the producers of the Bond films, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson and had ‘discussed the project’, which may include a car chase in streets around the Via Quattro Fontane (the Four Fountains).
Golden Touch: Barry Norman on Bond
Since the rights to screen the James Bond films on TV in the UK were recently transferred back to the ITV network, after a brief spell with Sky, ITV have certainly been making the most of its screening opportunities, with regular showings of the movies on ITV4. And this has inevitably led to some interesting reviews and reassessments of the series by various film critics. One veteran writer on 007 is the BBC film critic Barry Norman, who has taken a close interest in the franchise ever since 1961-1962, when he first got to know the then relatively unknown young actor Sean Connery. Norman’s love of the franchise was on display again recently, when he penned one of his typical appreciations of a Bond film, Goldfinger, when ITV screened Connery’s third entry on Saturday August 2. Writing in the BBC’s listings magazine Radio Times, Norman argued: ‘Dr. No was a good start, From Russia With Love a strong follow-up. But it was the third 007 movie Goldfinger that truly established the never-ending franchise because it was here that most of the elements that characterised so many of its successors were first introduced’. He continued: ‘For a start there’s the pre-credits sequence with Bond performing heroic and sexual feats that have little or nothing to do with the action that follows. Then there are the gimmicks, the technological gadgets. The first two films were relatively free of those, but this time around Bond is equipped with such things as an Aston Martin with radar, machine guns and an ejector seat for unwelcome passengers. Add to that Oddjob (Harold Sakata), the Korean valet with a decapitating bowler hat, Shirley Eaton slain by being painted gold and a lethal laser beam that threatens to end 007’s womanising days for good, and you have the quintessential, albeit 50-year-old, Bond movie’.
Oddjob, Nick-Nack, Hinx?
There were some further fascinating (unconfirmed) reports in late August that a leading casting agency has been on the lookout for an actor to play a key henchman in Bond 24, a character provisionally named ‘Hinx’. The agency has indicated that the Bond 24 team are interested in equipping the new 007 movie with a memorable or quirky henchman in the tradition of Oddjob or Jaws, as this has arguably been absent from the last three Craig Bond movies. The agency has been looking for a ‘physically fit male between the ages of 30 and 45’, and over 6 foot 2 inches; the successful candidate will undertake stunt training for fights and also some driving duties. It is known that both Craig and Mendes are particular fans of Live and Let Die, and some sources have suggested to us that they may be keen to have a henchman like Tee Hee (played by Julius W. Harris) – a tough henchman with a peculiar physical quirk or ability, but still very believable and dangerous and rooted in reality. Make of all this what you will. Time will tell.
From Switzerland With Love
Some key sequences for Goldfinger were shot, of course, in some beautiful and spectacular locations in Switzerland. To help celebrate the 50 th Anniversary this year of the movie, our good friends at James Bond Club Switzerland have organised an event called ‘Goldfinger Reloaded’, which will take place on Saturday, September 13, 2014. The Club want to ‘honour and celebrate’ the movie and will host special guests Tania Mallet, who played Tilly Masterson, and Norman Wanstall, Oscar-winner for Best Sound Effects for Goldfinger.
The special event will have a guided tour of the original movie locations, with vehicles and a photoshoot, and later there will be an autograph session, Q&As, a memorabilia sale, and a 3-course dinner. Organised by Markus Hartmann, further details of the very special day can be obtained from: or:

Pure Gold: New Goldfinger Anniversary Steelbook
And here’s some more special Goldfinger news: to help celebrate the 50 th Anniversary this year of the iconic third James Bond movie, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment are to release an elegant Limited Edition gold Steelbook Blu-ray of Goldfinger. Available from September 22, 2014, this exciting new collector’s item will feature sketches of the Aston Martin by legendary Production Designer Sir Ken Adam on the inside of the case and will contain a variety of Special Features, some of them sourced from the archive of EON Productions. There will be Audio Commentaries by the Director Guy Hamilton and other members of cast and crew. There will also be special Featurettes on the movie’s locations, production, publicity campaign, and global impact. In addition, the Steelbook will include the Screen Tests of Theodore Bikel and Tito Vandis, an interview with Honor Blackman, and some notably rare stills. Special Interactive Features will also be available in the Steelbook. The Goldfinger 50 th Anniversary Limited Edition Steelbook will be priced £24.99 in the UK.
From Sweden With Love
Fancy a trip to Sweden? Our good friend Anders Frejdh, who runs the notably comprehensive Swedish 007 website ‘From Sweden With Love’ (FSWL), has spent the last six months very busily organising a special ‘James Bond Weekend’ in support of the charity UNICEF. There will be exclusive film screenings with Q and As, autograph signings, a Bond exhibition, a charity gala and a live singing performance by none other than Robert Davi who, of course, so memorably played the main villain Franz Sanchez in Licence to Kill (1989). Yes, while Robert Davi still acts in films (he can be seen for example, in The Expendables III, currently in cinemas), he also has another huge talent: he can sing Frank Sinatra songs! Other guests will include director John Glen and stunt coordinator Paul Weston, to name just a few. The special FSWL James Bond weekend will take place September 19-21, 2014. Full details of the not-to-be-missed event can be obtained at:
Spy Another Day
The World Premiere of the new espionage thriller The November Man, directed by Roger Donaldson and starring former four-times 007 star Pierce Brosnan, took place on the evening of Wednesday August 13 at the famous Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles. Brosnan plays veteran former CIA agent Peter Devereaux (code-name ‘November’) in the new movie, which is based on a series of best-selling novels by Bill Granger. Brosnan and his co-star Olga Kurylenko (who played Camille Montes in Quantum of Solace) attended the premiere, and both generously spent time signing autographs for fans, who had been waiting patiently across the street since the afternoon. Other special guests at the red-carpet premiere included actor Ben Kingsley and two-times Bond director Martin Campbell, the man who launched both Brosnan and Craig on their Bond careers, directing the debut 007 movies of both men. Looking super-cool in a dark, three-piece suit, 61-year old Brosnan, when asked to comment about director Donaldson’s view that Brosnan’s character Devereaux ‘could kick James Bond’s butt’, smiled and described his character as a ‘hard-boiled man, a cultured bad-ass and sassy operative’, someone who had been in the game of espionage for quite a long time and is called out of retirement. Brosnan said he felt that there had been sufficient time between him playing Bond and now for him to ‘jump back into the ring’ and play a spy again. He also said he had very good support from a team who had worked with him previously on the Bond movies, led by stunt co-ordinator Mark Mottram. Mottram was Brosnan’s (uncredited) stunt double on Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) and The World Is Not Enough (1999), and was also a stunt performer on Die Another Day (2002). Pierce also revealed that they were allowed to have free run of the streets of Belgrade for the new movie, allowing them to create plenty of dramatic explosions and action for the fast-paced plot of The November Man. Produced by Brosnan’s own Irish Dreamtime production company, there are already plans in place for a possible sequel.
Return Another Way?
While busily promoting November Man since its premiere, Brosnan has made some interesting further reflections on the links with his time as James Bond and, in the process, given us some clues as to where he may have taken the character of 007 had he been given the chance of a final Bond movie. Speaking to Wenn, for example (August 21), Pierce revealed that he signed up for the role of Peter Devereaux in a bid to conclude his journey as James Bond which, in a sense, was ‘unfinished’ after he was abruptly replaced as 007 by Daniel Craig. Brosnan told Wenn that he never really got the chance to get the Bond franchise or character out of his system. But now November Man has helped him ‘exorcise’ that ghost once and for all. He said: ‘After my four outings as James Bond there seemed to be unfinished business in the way that the Bond films finished in my life and the demise of Bond going offstage left into the night; it seemed like there was a certain void there... Bond was so big and mighty in my career’. He added: ‘I wouldn’t be in the company of you all, talking about The November Man, if it hadn’t been for James Bond’. On the other hand, given the complexity of the character of Devereaux, which had a ‘punch and a grit to it’, Brosnan said the role gave him ‘the opportunity to really take the gloves off’ and ‘be as hard as nails’, showing a moral ambivalence to his character.
A View From a ‘Q’
John Cleese, former gadget master in two the last two Brosnan 007 films, speaking as his famous Monty Python team embarked on their final reunion stage shows in London in July, voiced some reservations about what he claimed has been the ‘humourless’ tone of the recent James Bond films. Cleese, who played a trainee assistant to ‘Q’ in 1999’s The World Is Not Enough and then assumed the full Quartermaster role in 2002’s Die Another Day (following the tragic death of Desmond Llewelyn in 1999), spoke to the BBC’s Radio Times magazine. The 74-year old comedy actor reminded readers of the magazine that he did two 007 films ‘and then I believe that the tone they needed was that of the Bourne action movies, which are very gritty and humourless’. He said that in his view the action sequences now go on for too long. Cleese has been hard at work recently working on his memoirs, and has just agreed to appear as the villain in The B Team, a new movie directed by Chris Cottam, which will (unofficially) reunite some of the stars from the old Baywatch TV series, but with a comedy and espionage storyline. The movie starts shooting in September. The Monty Python reunion shows took place at the 02 Arena in east London, near the River Thames; this was formerly the Millenium Dome and will be very familiar to Bond fans after it featured in the spectacular pre-credits river chase sequence in The World Is Not Enough.
Concert Royale: David Arnold Wows his Many Fans
The theme song to The World Is Not Enough, originally sung by Garbage, was one of the songs bravely sung live on stage by former 007 music composer David Arnold at his first live London concert, which took place in front of a packed audience at the Royal Festival Hall on July 6, to much acclaim from Bond fans and general film music enthusiasts. There was a great atmosphere in the auditorium. Arnold played a variety of excellent compositions from his distinguished film music career, and was backed on the evening by a 75-piece orchestra conducted by Nicholas Dodd. The evening included Arnold’s main song from Made in Dagenham, the new West End stage show, sung on stage by Arnold himself. As well as a range of familiar and less familiar Arnold film compositions, the superb evening included (for Bond fans) ‘Surrender’ (sung by David McAlmont, with backing on acoustic guitar by Arnold); ‘City of Lovers’ from Casino Royale; ‘A Night at the Opera’ from Quantum of Solace; and a brilliant instrumental version of ‘You Know My Name’, the main title song from Casino Royale. There was also a nice surprise for Sherlock Holmes fans, when Arnold introduced Mark Gatiss and Amanda Abbington who both introduced the ‘Sherlock Suite’, conducted by Michael Price, from the smash-hit Sherlock TV series. After Nicholas Dodd reappeared to conduct the spectacular end titles to Arnold’s music for Independence Day, there was a mouth-watering Encore to the evening when David Arnold played the famous ‘James Bond Theme’ on his electric guitar. There is no doubt this remains one of the most famous pieces of film music in the world, and Arnold did it more than justice. What a musician!
Barry is Forever
One of David Arnold’s big personal heroes was John Barry, and he has pointed to Barry’s music for You Only Live Twice as having a major inspirational impact on his own decision to become a film composer. Regular filmmakers at Pinewood Studios over the years will have become very familiar with what was once called the Pinewood Studios Screening Theatre no.7. However, in honour of the famous James Bond music composer John Barry, who scored some classic 007 films and many other films produced at Pinewood but sadly died in January 2011, the screening theatre has been renamed ‘The John Barry Theatre’ in memory of the Yorkshire-born music maestro. A private unveiling ceremony took place at the location on Friday 20 June, attended by his wife Laurie and Jonpatrick Barry, together with the 007 producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli and former Bond director John Glen. Barry scored the soundtracks to 11 Bond movies between 1963 and 1987 (arguably 12 if you include his work on rearranging Monty Norman’s ‘James Bond Theme’ for Dr. No in 1962).
Double-O-Heaven: New edition of Music of Bond
And while we are on the subject of the music of the 007 films, September 2014 sees the publication of a new, updated edition of Jon Burlingame’s superb study The Music of James Bond, which was originally published in 2012 to coincide with the 50 th anniversary of the James Bond movie series. The first edition of the book contained a chapter devoted to each of the Bond movies (including the non-official ones), and quickly became a key reference book for Bond scholars and general film music enthusiasts alike. Oxford University Press have announced that the new 2014 paperback edition includes a new chapter on the most recent Bond movie Skyfall. Moreover, Burlingame has revealed to eager readers that the new chapter is based on some comprehensive interviews with all the people involved behind the scenes with the production of Adele’s award-winning theme song, together with the movie’s soundtrack composer Thomas Newman. Burlingame, who teaches film and TV music scores at the University of California, has become one of America’s leading experts on movie soundtrack compositions, and it will be fascinating to read his views on the latest entry in the Bond music canon.
To Jamaica With Love
Another book well worth investing in concerns Ian Fleming’s love of Jamaica and the extent to which the island may have played an even more important role in his development of James Bond than experts previously realised. The book, which has just been published in the UK by Hutchinson, is Goldeneye: Where Bond Was Born – Ian Fleming’s Jamaica, written by historian Matthew Parker. The new book is a combination of part-biography of Fleming, a history of Jamaica (and especially its tourist industry), and a critical exploration of the James Bond novels. Many of the 007 books were developed and written in Fleming’s island retreat of ‘Goldeneye’, the rather austere bungalow built to his own specifications, where the Bond author would regularly sit at his writing desk (still there today) and type out a first draft of his latest Bond adventure, smoking his beloved cigarettes and listening to the tropical birds in the lovely sunken garden; he would then reward himself with a daily swim in the bay. Parker’s thesis is that, not only did the exotic island provide much incidental background and atmosphere to the Bond series, but that Jamaica’s place in the wider global context of the Cold War was also an influence on the Bond books, especially in relation to Anglo-American relations in the Caribbean and evidence of Britain’s declining power in the post-war world. A good example was the friendly sparring between Bond and his CIA buddy Felix Leiter.
Golden High for Goldeneye
The book has been well-received by critics and highly praised in various quarters. Fleming biographer Andrew Lycett, for example, writing in the Literary Review (August, 2014 issue), praised Parker’s ‘close and intelligent’ reading of Fleming’s work while David Mills, writing in the Sunday Times review section (August 3), also noted how Parker has pointed to Bond as Fleming’s response to the decline of Britain as a world power. Robert McCrum, writing in the UK’s Observer newspaper (August 17), said that Parker’s account of the role Goldeneye played in the evolution of 007 is ‘persuasive, well-researched and entertaining’, while John Preston in the Daily Mail (August 15) reflected: ‘You might think there is nothing new to say about Ian Fleming – that every detail of his life has been obsessively picked over by biographers. Matthew Parker, though, has produced a book as illuminating as it is intriguing’. The JBIFC hightly recommends the book for your collection. And for those who want yet more, Parker himself has also penned a special tie-in article on his book’s main themes for the new BBC History magazine (September, 2014), which has just gone on sale in the UK.
Underneath the Mango Trees
There is no doubt that Fleming drew upon his immediate surroundings as well as his friends (and enemies) for inspiration and plotlines in his 007 novels, as well as key aspects of his own personality and life. The lovely Caribbean island of Jamaica provided the setting for three James Bond adventures penned by Fleming: Live and Let Die, Dr. No, and The Man with the Golden Gun. A Jamaican backdrop was also used for his short story Octopussy (published posthumously in 1966). In his recent book Ian Fleming’s Commandos (2011), the historian Nicholas Rankin noted how the central character of the story of Octopussy, Major Dexter Smythe, shared certain key characteristics with Fleming himself: both lived on the north shore of Jamaica, and both spent much time snorkelling in the water by their home. Moreover, during the war (like Fleming), Dexter Smythe had formed a unit for ‘special operations’.
Did You Know?
When Albert ‘Cubby’ Broccoli and Harry Saltzman decided that Dr. No would be the first James Bond movie instead of their original choice (Thunderball), they faced the tricky challenge of casting an appropriate actor for the main villain, Julius No. A near-neighbour and close friend of Ian Fleming in Jamaica was Noel Coward, the famous playwright and star of stage and screen. Fleming was keen for Coward to play the role of Julius No but, when he sounded the famous thespian out, Coward sent a telegram back to Fleming with the now immortal words: ‘Dear Ian, the answer to Dr. No is No! No! No!’
Bond Bits: Brief News Items You May Have Missed
Award-winning actor Rory Kinnear, who played M’s assistant and Chief of Staff in Quantum of Solace and Skyfall, and will reprise his role in the upcoming Bond 24 this autumn, was interviewed in the BBC’s Radio Times in May in relation to his BAFTA nomination for his role in the TV series Southcliffe. He said he loved ‘working with actors who surprise me’...
It has been very good news recently for Pinewood Studios, the traditional home of James Bond. The film studios group Pinewood Shepperton reported in June that there has been ‘unprecedented demand’ for its famous production facilities and pre-tax profits had recently doubled to £3.5m...
Pinewood also recently finally won permission for its £200m expansion project to go ahead, which will double the size of its studios with new stages, new facilities and badly-needed additional capacity, such as offices and workshops...
A fair number of Bond fans are also big fans of The Saint TV series, which famously starred Roger Moore in the 1960s, before he became 007. So there was much excitement when a new Saint TV movie began shooting. Then all went strangely quiet. So, what happened? The JBIFC recently checked out the latest news...
The new Saint revival project, which had the backing of Sir Roger and also his TV-producer son, seemed to have ended in stalemate, but all is not lost. A pilot movie for a new TV series (which also included a small role for Sir Roger) was indeed made and completed, and the hope was that the major US TV networks would take it up...
But the major networks apparently took so long trying to decide whether to buy the pilot that the main star and his female lead have moved on to other projects! According to insiders, though, all is not lost. The plan is to try to recast the main role and carry on with making the TV series...
Interestingly, the scriptwriter Chris Lunt told The Times newspaper (May 1) that he has been working on new scripts for the Saint reboot and that they now hoped to find a ‘Roger Moore-type character’, who would give the new series a ‘very British feel’...
Famke Janssen, who played the wonderfully-named Xenia Onatopp in Goldeneye (1995), remains as busy as ever. Famke was interviewed for the London Metro newspaper (July 24), while she was promoting her role in the second series of the supernatural Netflix drama Hemlock Grove...
Famke reflected on her role in the X-Men franchise, making it clear she would like to feature in the films again in the future if the possibility is there, but she is also very keen to continue pursuing her own independent projects: she was a writer, director, and producer on Bringing Up Bobby (2011), which starred Milla Jovovich, and she is now trying to get her next script, a satire about Wall Street in the 1970s, off the ground: ‘I’m about to shop it around to producers to look for money’, she said. ‘It’s a difficult time for independent films and I have to work on it between acing jobs. But I’ve never shied away from challenges’...
Another veteran of Goldeneye, Sean Bean (who played the villainous former ‘double-0’ section agent Alec Trevelyan), hosted an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session on the social media site in early August and, perhaps inevitably, he was asked about Bond, James Bond. He revealed that he was given an Omega watch, with ‘Issued to Sean Bean, 006’ inscribed on the back, as part of his thanks for playing the role...
In response to another Bond-related question, Sean also said the famous Goldeneye Nintendo 64 game is ‘great’, but he thinks his head looks ‘a bit square’ in it! Perhaps the designers used ‘Q’s facial identikit hardware from For Your Eyes Only? (“I said a nose, Q, not a banana”!!)...
Alan Cumming, who played the computer-hacking henchman Boris Grishenko in Goldeneye, and has been treading the boards of Broadway in a revival of the hit show Cabaret for Sam Mendes, has been busy penning his memoirs. He recently (in May) signed a contract with Canongate books. Entitled Not My Father’s Son, his new book will be published in November, 2014...
The JBIFC were very sad to hear about the death of Tom Pevsner (1926-2014), Executive Producer on Goldeneye, who died on August 19, aged 87. He was also Associate Producer on For Your Eyes Only, A View To A Kill, The Living Daylights, and Licence to Kill. He started his career in the film industry back in 1951...
Live and Let Bye: it was announced in June that Sir John Sawyers, currently the real-life ‘M’ (known officially as ‘C’) is to bid goodbye and step aside from his job as head of MI6 in November, 2014, on the fifth anniversary of his appointment in 2009...
Known as a ‘smooth operator’, when he was originally appointed Sir John was likened to Pierce Brosnan’s portrayal of Bond by some media outlets, who were keen to coin a headline. Rumours that Dame Judi Dench, who took over as ‘M’ in Goldeneye and recently ‘vacated’ the role in Skyfall, has offered to step in and fill Sir John’s shoes have been vigorously denied by MI6 insiders...
The latest James Bond novelist, William Boyd, whose best-selling 007 adventure Solo recently appeared in paperback, has joined a campaign to save the old Curzon Cinema, in the King’s Road, Chelsea, London, which is not far from where he lives...
According to the London Evening Standard (August 12), the Bond author recently used the newsletter of the Chelsea Arts Club to help drum up support for the ‘Save Curzon Chelsea’ campaign, as he is unhappy about the plans of a developer to drastically reduce the size of the unique pre-war picturehouse...
Boyd said the cinema is an integral part of the local area’s ‘rich and enduring artistic life’ and demolishing it risks ‘King’s Road being turned into a soulless, homogenous 21 st-century shopping mall’...
People tend to forget that Boyd is not just a highly talented novelist: he also has a love of cinema. He directed the independent movie The Trench (1999), set in the First World War on the eve of the battle of the Somme. The film included a gritty performance from a younger pre-007 Daniel Craig as a war-hardened British army soldier, Sergeant Winter. Eagle-eyed viewers of Boyd’s dramatic account of the last 48 hours in the lives of some infantrymen can also see a young Ben (‘Q’) Whishaw in the movie, who played Private James Deamis...
King’s Road, of course, is also famous as the road named by Ian Fleming as James Bond’s local residential area in London. In the Bond novels, 007 has a flat just off the King’s Road, which is maintained by his loyal Scottish housekeeper, May. Ian Fleming himself was very familiar with the general area, and had a flat not too far away in Ebury Street, near Victoria Station...
King’s Road was also increasingly famous in the Swinging Sixties as the place to be seen for fashion-conscious youngsters and upcoming pop stars. Interestingly, Sebastian Faulks, who penned the James Bond continuation novel Devil May Care (2008), had Bond in chapter 3 driving his beloved Bentley Continental down the King’s Road towards Sloane Square...
Another Fleming car was in the news recently: a survey by the UK’s Auto Trader of the British public’s favourite screen cars placed ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ at no.3, even beating the Batmobile (which came in at no.4). First place went to ‘Herbie’ from The Love Bug...
The musician, painter and actor Goldie, who played the gold-toothed henchman ‘The Bull’ in The World Is Not Enough (1999), has just curated a new triple CD called Masterpiece, which showcases the music that has influenced him over the years...
And talking of music, Sam Smith has poured cold water on recent internet rumours that he could be singing the theme song to Bond 24. The 22-year old singer, famous for Money On My Mind, spoke to the New Musical Express in mid-August and said of the claims: ‘I have no idea what that was about. I think it’s something everyone would love to do, but yeah, it was all news to me’...
However, according to the NME, he did reveal that he is a big fan of the song written for Quantum of Solace, sung by Jack White and Alicia Keys: ‘I thought it was amazing. Her voice and his voice together, I thought, was really interesting’...
The ever-lovely Rosamund Pike, who played treacherous Miranda Frost in Die Another Day (2002), joined Simon Pegg to sign autographs for fans in Leicester Square, London, on the evening of August 13 for the World Premiere of their new comedy Hector And The Search For Happiness. Pike plays the wife of a psychiatrist (Pegg), a man who sets off to find out what makes people happy. Just getting an autograph from Rosamund should be on top of the list, surely?...
We were very sad to learn of the loss of Iris Rose, one of the veteran members of the EON ‘Bond family’, who passed away on Tuesday, August 12. Iris had served four 007 actors since 1981. She was promoted to Unit Manager in 1985 on A View to A Kill, and her last film was Quantum of Solace. RIP, Rose...
Dame Diana Rigg, who played Tracy Di Vicenzo in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), and more recently starred in Game of Thrones, performed her own one-person show at the Edinburgh Fringe Arts Festival, August 14-12, entitled ‘Dame Diana Rigg: No Turn Unstoned’ (great title!). Her well-reviewed stage show was based on Dame Diana’s old 1982 book of the same title, which famously brought together some of the worst critical notices ever served on actors over the years. Her show updated this material...
As part of the tie-in publicity for her Edinburgh show, Dame Diana was interviewed by Peter Rossin in The Sunday Times newspaper (August 3) about her life and wide acting career, and she revealed that, despite her iconic role as super-fit Emma Peel in the cult TV series The Avengers and her subsequent role as James Bond’s late wife in OHMSS, she could still get awful reviews from critics who, instead of commenting constructively on her acting, would make jibes about her physical attributes...
Dame Diana said she had never forgotten one such wounding review given to her in 1971, when she was starring on Broadway in Abelhard & Heloise, in a role that required a nude scene: the critic John Simon, reviewing the production, wrote that the actress was ‘built, alas, like a brick basilica with insufficient flying buttresses’...
Dame Diana clearly still knows a trick or too from her karate-chopping days on The Avengers, however. According to the London Evening Standard (August 19), Rigg, who played the kickass Emma Peel in the famous series, put her martial arts training to good use again during her stay in Edinburgh. Minutes before being interviewed live by the BBC, Rigg found herself locked in a Portaloo. After calling for help to no avail, Dame Diana, now 76-years old, karate-kicked the lock off (!)...
Interestingly, Dame Diana had some hard-hitting things to say about her time as a Bond woman. Interviewed at the Edinburgh Fringe by Sue Perkins, at one point she was asked about OHMSS. She said that working with George Lazenby ‘was a nightmare’, and she wished it had been Sean Connery or Roger Moore instead. She said that George ‘had read too many film magazines and thought that was the way you have to behave. Oh, he was ghastly. And I had to marry the man!’. Ouch. Strong stuff...
The British radio channel Classic FM devoted the rain-soaked August Bank Holiday Monday (August 25) to a special ‘Movie Music Hall of Fame 2014’, playing the top 100 favourite film music scores of all time, as selected by the channel’s listeners. Bond composers, predictably, did very well in the chart. David Arnold’s Casino Royale came in at no.83, followed closely by John Barry’s theme for The Lion In Winter at no.82. Monty Norman’s James Bond Theme came in at no.55, while Barry’s dramatic Zulu was placed at no.46...
John Barry also featured twice in the survey’s top ten: his haunting and beautiful Dances with Wolves reached no.6, followed next, at no.5, by his remarkable classic Out of Africa. First place went to Canadian composer Howard Shore’s 2001 theme for Lord of the Rings...
Happy birthday, Sir Sean! It may be over 50 years since Sean Connery took on the role of 007 and changed cinema history, and he may now be retired from movies, but he’s still pursuing an active life and looking as cool as ever when he appears in public. Sir Sean, who turned 84 on August 25, was seen recently in New York with his wife Micheline eating at the Atlantic Grill, and then going for a stroll and some shopping. Photos appeared in the UK’s Daily Mail (August 22) and in other media outlets...

Laguna Lang' Co' Vietnam

Fly Over Vid. 

Carnoustie Golf Links

Home of the Open Championship 1931, 1937, 1953, 1968, 1975, 1999, 2007 & 2018Host of the Seniors Open 2010, 2016 and the Women's British Open 2011
Hole Fly Overs
1st. Cup
 410 yards - Par 4 - Stroke Index 10
A reasonably gentle introduction to Carnoustie Championship golf course. The drive is played to a wide fairway with slopes which tend to take the ball to the right hand side, and should pose no real problems although the burn meandering in front of the 1st tee can intimidate the nervous golfer.
The 2nd shot is one of the few blind shots to be played at Carnoustie and it is important to judge the distance correctly.
Caddie's Tip
"Ideally left centre of fairway off the tee which will allow you to see the whole of the green."
2nd. Gulley
435 yards - Par 4 - Stroke Index 4
A long and straight drive is required to avoid the bunkers which will catch even the slightly miss-hit shot. Once the fairway has been found the 2nd shot is straightforward, but with a green measuring 60 yards from front to back the choice of the right club is crucial.
Caddie's Tip
"Play to the middle of the green with your approach shot as most of the trouble is at the front of this green."
3rd. Jockie's Burn
351 yards - Par 4 - Stroke Index 14
A short but very deceptive par 4, this hole does not place too many pressures upon the drive although the fairway bunkers will catch anything pulled slightly left.
Jockie’s Burn, after which the hole is named, sits immediately in front of the green and awaits any approach shot that is under-hit.
Caddie's Tip
"Be aware of water hazard at front of green. Pay particular attention to the pin placement on this hole."
4th. Hillocks
375 yards - Par 4 - Stroke Index 16
The hole dog legs slightly to the right and players must be cautious not to hook the ball as a ditch awaits just over the back of the fairway bunker.
The green, the only double green on the golf course, is well protected by bunkers and the approach should be long if anything.
Caddie's Tip
"All trouble visible from tee, but do remember this is a double green. Play to the yellow flag on the front nine."
5th. Brae
392 Yards - Par 4 - Stroke Index 12
A hole which dog legs to the right and which has a two tiered green. If the pin is placed on the top tier it can add as much as 4 clubs to the approach shot. Longer hitters must be careful not to run out of fairway as a narrow ditch stretches the entire width of the fairway at around 280 yards.
Caddie's Tip
"Do not be too aggressive from the tee as a drainage ditch awaits too long a drive."

6th. Hogans Alley

512 Yards - Par 5 - Stroke Index 2
The 6th hole on the Championship Course was officially renamed on Wednesday 24th September 2003 as Hogan's Alley by our 1999 Open Champion, Paul Lawrie.
To commemorate Ben Hogan's feat in 1953, today's professionals were invited to take part in a longest drive competition using a 1953 driver and old 1.62 golf balls. The winner was Arjun Atwal with a drive of 251 yards. Other notable entries were Paul Lawrie 245 yards, Adam Scott 231 yards, Vijay Singh 219 yards, Colin Montgomerie 203 yards and Sam Torrance 200 yards.
Named after the immortal Ben Hogan who won the Open Championship in 1953, this hole is where Carnoustie starts to turn up the heat.
Normally played into the prevailing wind this hole can be a severe par 5. Bunkers and out of bounds await the miss-cued drive and although the best line is up Hogan’s Alley between the bunkers and the out of bounds fence, it requires a brave player to drive to that narrow piece of fairway. The 2nd shot is no less perilous with a ditch angling across the fairway and the out of bounds continuing to be a threat.
The approach is reasonably straightforward to an undulating green, particular care must be taken if the pin is located on the back right portion of the green.
A player should always be content with a five on this hole as it can be the ruin of many a scorecard.

Caddie's Tip
"Hogan's alley for the brave, but not for the faint hearted, who should favour the right of the centre bunkers on this very difficult par five. Care must also be taken with your second shot as once again Jockey's burn bites deeply into the right side of the fairway."
7th. Plantation
394 Yards - Par 4 - Stroke Index 8
Again the out of bounds threatens on the left hand side and the fairway bunkers are cleverly placed to catch the drive pushed only slightly to the right. Care must be taken not to over hit the 2nd shot and run through the green where a difficult up and down awaits.
Caddie's Tip
"A long drive on this narrow hole will be rewarded with a much simpler approach shot."
8th. Short
167 Yards - Par 3 - Stroke Index 18
Carnoustie's first par 3 and well worth the wait. On par with the great par 3's in world golf with out of bounds left and bunkers surrounding an elevated green. Normally played into a cross wind it requires a good swing and no little courage to find the heart of this green.
Caddie's Tip
"Take plenty of club as there is less trouble beyond the green."
9th. Railway
413 Yards - Par 4 - Stroke Index 6
The drive is paramount on this hole with out of bounds left, a ditch on the right and numerous fairway bunkers. Finding the fairway always comes as a welcome relief to any player but then a long difficult approach to a well-protected green awaits.
Caddie's Tip
"A long drive on this narrow hole will be rewarded with a much simpler approach shot."
10th. South America
446 Yards - Par 4 - Stroke Index 3
The start of the back 9 and perhaps the most challenging 9 holes in golf await the player who stands on this tee.
In order to reach the green in 2 a long and straight drive is required with particular care required to avoid 3 bunkers on the right hand side. Once the player has found the fairway, a decision is then required as to whether the Barry Burn which runs some 40 yards in front of the green can be carried with a 2nd shot or not. Unless the player is confident of his ability to fly the ball all the way onto the putting surface, it is often best to lay up and accept a 5, which is never a bad score on this hole.
Caddie's Tip
"Avoiding the three right hand bunkers is essential if you hope to reach this green in regulation."
11th. John Philip
362 Yards - Par 4 - Stroke Index 15
The decision must be made on the tee as to whether to take on the fairway bunkers with the driver and try to guide the ball through a narrow neck of fairway or to lay up and thereby leave a longer shot into the green. The green is well bunkered and slopes quite significantly from back to front which can make putting tricky.
Caddie's Tip
"Hitting the fairway with a reasonable length of drive on the slight dogleg assures only a mid to short iron approach to the green."
12th. Southward Ho
479 Yards - Par 5 - Stroke Index 9
Played as a par 5 from the back tees and a par 4 from the other tees, this hole again challenges the player with an intimidating drive, whins and gorse must be carried and there are ditches on both the right and left hand sides. Two massive fairway bunkers on the right hand side eat into the heart of the fairway and will catch any shot that cuts slightly to the right. The approach must be played between 2 sets of bunkers positioned on the right and left hand side about 30 yards short of the green and it is often wise to lay up and rely upon a pitch and a putt.
Caddie's Tip
"This hole should be treated as a three shot par five regardless of the tee in use on the day you play."
13th. Whins
161 Yards - Par 3 - Stroke Index 17
A deceptively difficult short hole, particularly if it is played down wind when it becomes extremely difficult to stop the ball from running through the green. Bunkers surround the green and will catch anything which is not straight. Once in the bunker the high lips will test any players ability to get up and down.
Caddie's Tip
"Heavily bunkered par three at which if you play for the middle of the green and find it you should not be too far away."
14th. Spectacles
476 Yards - Par 5 - Stroke Index 1
Gary Player struck the finest shot of his life here in 1968 to make an eagle 3 which enabled him to go on to win the Open Championship. The drive is tough enough with out of bounds left and bunkers well in play. However the hole is made by the 2nd shot, where the player must decide whether he is going to carry the massive Spectacle bunkers or not. If a player goes for the green and lands in the Spectacles he can expect to be there for some time as these bunkers are huge and intimidating. Further bunkers closer to the green provide further protection and any player making 4 can feel justifiably proud of that score.
Caddie's Tip
"Another hole where getting on the green in three is not a disappointment. An accurate drive is paramount and remember this is the second part of our only double green, you play to the red flag on this nine."
15th. Lucky Slap
459 Yards - Par 4 - Stroke Index 7
As hard a par 4 as can be found anywhere in golf, this hole requires a long and accurate drive and then a powerful approach to the very well protected green. Into the wind the majority of golfers will not be able to get home in 2 and if a lay up is required it must be kept well away from the bunkers some 25 yards short of the green as getting out of these in one stroke is extremely difficult.
Caddie's Tip
"Most exacting par four on the course. What is required is a drawn drive followed by a faded approach, but for the majority playing this hole for a bogey is not a bad idea."
16th. Barry Burn
245 Yards - Par 3 - Stroke Index 13
A 245 yard par 3 often played into the wind. Tom Watson had 5 attempts to get a par 3 here during the 1975 Open Championship and was not successful in doing so. In 1968 Jack Nicklaus was the only player to get past the pin during the final round. This hole is really a 3.5 and a par is an outstanding achievement.
Caddie's Tip
"Hit plenty of club on this lengthy par three. Just like number eight the majority of the trouble is at the front of the green."
17th. Island
433 Yards - Par 4 - Stroke Index 5
Continuing with Carnoustie’s fearsome finish, the Barry Burn winds and twists it’s way down this hole. The drive must be placed between the island part of the hole and then the player is left with a long difficult approach to a green protected by whins and bunkers.
Caddie's Tip
"The line from the tee is the gable end of the white house, which means you are aiming for the right half of the island. Water awaits the hooked tee shot."
18th. Home
444 Yards - Par 4 - Stroke Index 11
No more difficult finishing hole will be found anywhere. The burn is in play for the drive to the right and left of the hole and also short. Fairway bunkers edge in to the right hand side and it was here that Johnny Miller lost the 1975 Championship when he took 2 to get out of the bunker. The Barry Burn crosses right in front of the green and it poses a huge obstacle for the 2nd shot. It was here that the hopes of Jean Van De Velde sunk in 1999 when Paul Lawrie went on to take the title.
Caddie's Tip
The clock on the Hotel is the line off the tee. Remember the Barry Burn at the front of the green "and if you better a seven - reward yourself with a drink!"  
Course GPS