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Highs and lows of James Bond film franchise brought to life in new documentary

posted 3 Oct 2012, 11:05 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 3 Oct 2012, 11:06 ]

A warts-and-all documentary about the James Bond movie franchises screens in London, one of many events marking the film series' 50th anniversary.

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (OCTOBER 01, 2012) (REUTERS) -  Former Bond girls mingled with the biggest names in James Bond on Monday (October 1) at a screening in London of a new documentary based on the spy series.


Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007' charts the real story behind the movie franchise, a plot often as dramatic as the 007 fantasies themselves.

Director Steven Riley was pleased the producers let him delve into all the twists and turns the spy drama has gone through: "I wanted to tell a real truthful history of the franchise, so I had requested that we could tackle some of the tricky areas, some of the hard luck story of Bond and they were thankfully very open about that," he told Reuters Television.

The documentary explains how Ian Fleming's novels made it to the big screen, and reveals how the series was not always as secure as it seemed.

"There were many obstacles in the way, there were changing times to cope with changing generations, tastes, there were changing relations - well personal struggles and personal relationship failures and really how did the films survive despite those obstacles in the way was something I really wanted to get to the root of." Riley said.

Alongside Fleming, the two most important figures in Bond movie history are producers Albert "Cubby" Broccoli of the United States and Canadian Harry Saltzman.

Their shared passion for the character and novels was what got Bond to the big screen, and after "Dr. No" in 1962 came "From Russia With Love" in 1963 and "Goldfinger" in 1964.

The pair's intense relationship is at the heart of Riley's documentary.

Both Broccoli and Saltzman died in the 1990s, and since then much of the responsibility for the franchise has been passed over to their children.

Cubby's daughter Barbara Broccoli and his stepson Michael G. Wilson produce, while Saltzman's offspring Hilary and Steven maintain a keen interest in the series.

"Well you know it's our baby and we feel very very protective over the Bond franchise, it's something our father started over 50 years ago and he had great passion for it and we have just been carrying the flame." Broccoli told Reuters.

As well as the story of the producers, the new documentary also features interviews with five of the six official Bond actors including Pierce Brosnan and Roger Moore.

Original Bond Sean Connery however, was absent from the line-up, after having turned down requests for interviews. "I think Roger (Moore) made a good point in the documentary, where he said that he felt that he made a career after Bond and I don't think he would have necessarily would have had that career so I think he does have a debt of gratitude towards Bond." Steven Saltzman said.

The documentary shows the difficult relationship Connery had with Steven's father, Harry Saltzman and his business partner Cubby Broccoli.

"I think there was a certain reunification between Cubby and Sean, when I saw Sean last was at BAFTA event here in London about six years ago and he was very courteous to me." Steven Saltzman said.

Casting always a major dilemma for producers, Michael G. Wilson was clever as he revealed his favourite Bond actor: "You want us to tell you that!? Well it's like I say for people who have been married several times, it's always the present wife."

Daniel Craig is the current Bond. His first two outings on her majesty's secret service both earned around $600 million at the box office and "Skyfall", the 23rd official Bond film, hits theatres in a few weeks.

"Everything or Nothing" is released in theatres on Friday, branded "Global James Bond Day" to mark 50 years since the world premiere of "Dr. No" which introduced author Ian Fleming's suave, sophisticated secret agent to the masses.