MI6 uncovers a rare interview from 1987 where
producer Albert R. 'Cubby' Broccoli reflects on 25
years of 007 as he introduces James Bond #4...
Broccoli Reflects On 25 Years
9th April 2012
"How do you do? My name is Bond.
James Bond." -
April 17th, 1987
The film world's most durable star, survivor of uncounted attempts
on his life and safety, is celebrating his 25th anniversary as
a box-office attraction this summer. His name? Bond. James Bond.
This time the British Secret Service's premier
agent is combating not only the Soviet KGB and ruthless arms
dealers, but also the
deadly supplier of the world's heroin and a flock of free-lance
terrorists. The feats may be familiar in "The
Living Daylights." but
James Bond will be new: Welsh actor Timothy
The worldwide popularity of the previous Bond
movies - United Artists claims 1.5 billion tickets sold - has
changing faces. Dalton's predecessors as the licensed-the-kill
hero have been Sean Connery, George
Lazenby and Roger Moore.
No one knows more about James Bond than Albert
R. (Cubby) Broccoli,
who has produced or co-produced 15 Bond movies. To others, "Casino
Royale" and "Never
Say Never Again" were made
by other filmmakers who acquired rights to Ian
Recently at his Beverly Hills mansion the portly, 77-year-old
film veteran discussed his life with Bond.
Above: Broccoli on location with "The Living Daylights" (1987)
in Vienna, Austria.
In the early 1950s, Broccoli, one a Long Island
farmer and later a Hollywood assistant director, was in England
with Alan Ladd and other American stars. Broccoli became interested
in filming the Fleming spy novels but found they were owned by
a Canadian-born producer, Harry
Saltzman. They joined forces
in a partnership that lasted nine films.
Saltzman had tried without success to sell American
film companies on making a Bond movie. Even though United Artists
had been queried,
Broccoli decided to try the company's top man Arthur
and I flew to New York and made a deal in about 40 minutes," the
producer recalled. "That's about as quick as you can do
Broccoli found his James BOnd while sitting
in Howard Hughes' projection room in Hollywood. He watched a
Disney movie, "Darby
O'Gill and the Little People," and was impressed by a young
Scottish actor named Sean Connery. "He didn't look like
James Bond; it was kind of a rough, uncouth character," said
Broccoli. "But there was something about him I was looking
for. At that time he was living in a trailer and was quite badly
dressed. We made a deal, but United Artists was not in agreement
with us. They wanted us to find someone else. But we had looked
at a lot of actors, and Sean was the best."
United Artists agreed to go ahead with "Dr.
a $1 million budget. Later the company wanted the film made for
$850,000. The producers balked, and the final tab came to around
$1.1 million. UA was "shaky" about the film and first
released it in drive-ins [in the USA], said Broccoli. But "Dr.
No" caught on, especially with collegians.
"We were lucky in many respects, in picking
Connery and then in having President Kennedy say that the Bond
his favourite," said Broccoli.
Above: Timothy Dalton as the fourth James Bond in the EON Productions
Expectably, Connery wanted a piece of the action,
and he was cut into the profits with the second film, "From
Russia With Love." But after "Goldfinger", "Thunderball" and "You
Only Live Twice," he decided he wanted to pursue other roles. "The
I found this guy George Lazenby; he was my fault," Broccoli
admitted. "I saw him one day when I was in a hairdresser's
in London, and he looked good. He told me he was an actor. Well,
he had done a commercial." Lazenby's only Bond movie was "On
Her Majesty's Secret Service." His temperament and lack
of charisma prompted United artists to pay Connery a handsome
sun to return in "Diamonds Are Forever."
After his experience with Lazenby, Broccoli decided he should
try a more established actor for the next Bond role. He chose
Roger Moore, who went on to play 007 seven times, from "Live
And Let Die" to "A
View To A Kill".
"The Roger decided he wanted to quit, and I felt we needed
someone new," the producer said. "It was an amicable
parting. In fact, Roger is narrating an ABC special this June
about memorable moments from the Bond pictures."
Pierce Brosnan, TV's "Remington Steele," was to be
the fourth James Bond, but he lost out "because of the shenanigans
of a certain network which wanted to hold on to him," Broccoli
said. NBC refused to release Brosnan even though the series'
return was iffy, and it was later canceled. Broccoli's choice
for "The Living Daylights" was the classic-trained
"I had tried to get him before Roger," said
the producer. "But
then he didn't want to do Bond. I don't know whether he felt
he couldn't do Bond or shouldn't do Bond. When I went back to
him last year, I was surprised when he said he would be interested.
He even agreed to make a test, which he wouldn't do before. We
didn't want to test his acting, because he's a fine actor. We
wanted to see how he looked photographically. He came out with
full marks as far as all of us were concerned..."
"For the first time, an actor called me up and said, 'Cubby,
I had a delightful time on this picture. It was one of the most
enjoyable films I ever worked on. Everyone was sensational, and
I want to thank you.' That never happened to me before."