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Collecting 007 Lobby Cards (2)

8th July 2013

Guest writer Simon Firth offers a collector's perspective on the history of Bond's front of house marketing

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Continuing from Part 1

The lobby sets for "Live and Let Die" through to "For Your Eyes Only" all followed the same style as the "Diamonds" set in that the image was placed in the top right corner and the title and minimal credits filled the remaining space. "Live and Let Die" had an unrelated-to-the-film publicity still of Solitaire and Baron Samedi struggling on the beach. "The Man with the Golden Gun" showed an image of Moore and Adams as he is being held at gunpoint in the shower scene. As it is angled, Roger Moore is directly under a circular ceiling light giving him a faintly haloed look - intentional? "The Spy who Loved Me" is another set to include a crew scene of the Lotus being filmed underwater.

 

Curiously, there are two sets for "Diamonds", "Die" and "Golden Gun". The standard American NSS set, labeled as Western Hemi(sphere), and an international set, labeled as Eastern Hemi(sphere) with no Guidance Rating, no NSS information, and the Broccoli and Saltzman credit reversed to read Saltzman first, then Broccoli. The latter were printed for the international markets and the 1 Sheet posters for these three films followed the same segregation of Hemispheres. One can tell that this entailed a resetting as, while the images are the same, they are slightly offset from their equivalent card. The history behind this contractual move was that the two producers decided from the start to share top producer billing so "Dr. No" and "From Russia With Love" had Saltzman as the first name credited on the US and European posters and "Goldfinger" had Broccolis' name first.

 

After the success of this decision, they decided to divide the production credits and entered into a contractual agreement for top billing, and so were created the Hemi's - they divided the world into hemispheres. Saltzman took the East Hemisphere and Broccoli took the West Hemisphere translating into Saltzman getting the European countries and Broccoli getting the Americas. The first poster to showcase the division was "Thunderball" although this never made it to the lobby cards.

What has become apparent though is that as marketing competences have increased, so has the amount that can be discussed. The main sets for "Moonraker" and "For Your Eyes Only" are unremarkable in that they are nicely produced; indeed "Eyes" is the only other main release set to include a crew scene showing Bond and Melina being given a helping hand over the edge of the boat for the keel hauling scene. What is worthy of mention however is that with these two films, MGM decided to experiment for the first and last time with paper lobbies of different content.

 

There were two "Moonraker" sets that came as part of a large sheet of paper including two posters and the set of eight cards. These were called an Advance 1 Stop Poster and the 1 Stop Poster. Why, is anyone's guess but as the name suggests, one was released in advance of the release of the film, the other during its release. The card designs on both were similar to each other in that the title was centered, small and on a solid colour background. The card sizes were no longer 11x14 and were reduced to 9.5x12. The Advance 1 Stop had images all included in the final edit of the film and if mention must be made of the two posters, then one could say they were basic. The later 1 Stop had a different set of images to the Advance and which happened to be identical to the main release set. Indeed the overall presentation was similar to that of the main set as the border background was black; only the credits were missing. Again, for reasons of accurate and complete reportage, the two posters with the 1 Stop were final design 1 Sheets differing only in that the right hand poster had the credits on a white background.

 

"For Your Eyes Only" was represented by a total of three sets released at the same time, two sets of large perforated sheets that cinema managers could tear up into 16 individual "cards", the size still being 11x14. With these, there is less aspect given towards design, the images fill the majority of the space with the film title on a yellow background occupying the full width of the card at the bottom. These two sets were distinct from one another when still in their attached form by the number 1 and 2, bottom left of the sheet. Once they are split up however, making that distinction for all but two of the 16 cards is not possible without reference. Set 1 was full of shots otherwise seen in most other forms of advertising, set 2 has the more varied collection of shots plus a production shot of the bob sleigh chase whereby one can see that snow was shipped in to the set as surrounding scenery is as green as would be found on the spring day. Currently there is an outstanding question as to whether this set actually originated from the Australian shores as opposed to US. Most sets seen for sale seem to come from the States but with a question mark as to whether it should be called a lobby set or, as the Australians were wont to trial for a period, a photosheet.

 

With "Octopussy", the presentation is reverted to a generous and welcome full card sized image with just a small square bottom left or right for title and credits. It is readily apparent now that the author favours full size images for which no apology can be made. One anomaly to this set is that the image of Moore and Adams kissing at the end of the film on the boat has been reversed, that is to say that Moore's hair parting is now on the right as opposed to left. This was an often-recurring event in marketing that was sometimes committed for reasons of magazine page layout or was a genuine error based on printing from a slide or transparency for a report. For it to occur in a lobby card is, in the author's eyes, fairly unforgivable. The relationship between UA and Transamerica had come to an end when MGM bought United Artists. From "Octopussy" through to "The World is Not Enough", the logo was of MGM/UA.

 

Again with "A View to a Kill", the image presentation is card sized with title and credits along the bottom. However, production duties are shared, and indeed for this film, duplicated. Until now, all the lobby cards were produced in the US. All cards were numbered 1-8 and a quality heavy stock paper was used. At this point for reasons unknown, the UK started to take over lobby card production duties and, with this film, created their own set as well as the Americans. The NSS numbering was removed and the paper stock was noticeably less impressive. As with the American lobbies using the same images as their FOH stills, the images used for the UK lobbies were identical to those used for the UK Front of House cards until the latter stopped being produced at the point of "Licence to Kill". The inclusion of larger poster graphics, (which for "View" was black and white), title and more cast and crew credits was also implemented leading, much later in the series, to a rather frantic presentation. If the US and UK cards depicting Bond on the Eiffel Tower are compared, one can see that they are in fact two different shots, taken perhaps a couple of seconds apart. The same can be said for the cards showing Mayday heave the Russian over her head - evidenced by his finger.

 

Many thanks to Simon Firth. Stay tuned to MI6 for more Lobby Card commentary. All photographs graciously provided by the author.

About The Author
Simon has been interested in the world of Bond since 1981 whereupon a halfhearted attempt to collect something formed the basis for a collection. Working for a living financed further forays into the more expensive side of collecting but, as life would have it, this coincided roughly with the explosion of Bond sales through auction houses such as Sotherby's and Christies with the unfortunate result that, he never really caught up.

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