Brutal Bond - Close Quarters With Franks
20th February 2018
MI6 looks at the moments in the series when James Bond is at his most hardcore
By MI6 Staff
"You just killed James Bond" - Tiffany Case
James Bond is sent to Amsterdam to infiltrate a diamond smuggling ring as part of his seventh on-screen mission. He follows the trail of murders associated within the ring as its ringleaders try to quickly close the circle and shut down the operation with few leaks. After long-time smuggler Peter Franks is detained on the Amsterdam border by a sting involving MI6 and M's lovely assistant, Miss Moneypenny, Bond is set to rendezvous with Franks' contact, and the next link in the chain: T. Case.
En route to the meeting at Tiffany's apartment, Bond learns of Franks' escape. He too is heading for Case's apartment to continue the deal. On their way up to Tiffany's apartment in a steel cage elevator Bond makes the first move.
Standing behind the smuggler Bond checks his watch, smiles at Franks, lifts his left fist, but breaks a glass panel with his elbow, alerting Franks who springs into action. As the lift rises, the secret agent and the smuggler go fist to fist in a confined, brutal punch up. Glass panels crash around them as Franks gets Bond into a series of judo holds and draws a gun on 007.
Bond is on the ground, choked by Franks, as the lift rises and the danger becomes imminent. Kicking the emergency stop with a leather brogue, Bond delivers the next blow to Franks' groin and the villain fall back in pain. As the lift rises to Cases' floor, she emerges to see the brawl continue into the hallway, with Franks wielding a wedge of broken glass.
Franks then pulls a crowbar out of an emergency box and Bond retorts with a blast from a high-pressure fire extinguisher. A large whack from the barrel of the extinguisher sends Franks over the balcony, falling several floors to his death. Bond glaringly throws the object after the deceased smuggler.
All that is left is to convince Case of his identity and his mission and confidence trick is complete.
It was the late stuntman Joe Robinson who was cast as Peter Franks for this particular fight. Robinson landed the part through his friendship with Sean Connery. "It was Sean who recommended me to the director because he knew what I looked like and what I could do," he recalled back in 2007. "I trained him to fight in those scenes and did all the choreography for it."
He was only supposed to be paid £2,000 for his role in the film, which also included stunt arranging the iconic elevator scrap. "Connery said that was rubbish because he didn't like the producers and thought he was badly paid," he explained. "So thanks to him I ended up with £9,000, which was a lot of money in those days."
"Jill St John, who was absolutely beautiful, bent over me and I couldn't help but open my eyes. Sean Connery shouted: 'Joe, you're supposed to be dead!'" - Joe Robinson