We Have All The Time In The World: OHMSS Turning 50

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by cooleddie74, Nov 24, 2019.

  1. DarrenTR1970

    DarrenTR1970 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Over in the 'Classic/Retro TV Pop Culture' thread, we had a brief discussion about actors who could have replaced Sean Connery after 'Diamonds Are Forever', and as I said, I came across a book in my local library called 'Nobody Does It Better: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of James Bond', and one of the chapters goes into great length about who producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman wanted for the role. Their leading candidate was Michael Billington, who recently played Paul Foster on Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's first live-action series 'U.F.O.'



    He read for the role and screen tested three times before the producers settled on Roger Moore.

    What do you think? Would he have been as successful as Moore or would the series died after a couple more movies? I think he would have played the role closer to Connery, rather than the light touch Moore brought to the role.
     
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  2. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Admiral Admiral

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    Billington went on to play the Russian agent who Bond kills at the start of TSWLM. Apparently he was in contention a few more times over the 70s & 80s (maybe just as a ploy by Eon in negotiations with Roger. From looking at some of the pics on his IMDb page, he had a bit of a Daniel Craig look to him too.

    As to whether he’d have been more or less successful than Moore, it’s really hard to say. Dalton proved that one can be a credible, critically-well-received 007 but one who doesn’t land all that well with audiences. I’m not the biggest fan of Moore’s Bond but he was consistently successful across a decade and a half and I think audiences in the 70s wanted slightly more tongue in cheek leading men than those in the 60s (Burt Reynolds succeeded Steve McQueen as the top box office draw, for example). But he could sure have been an interesting Bond.
     
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  3. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    James Brolin is the biggest "What If" in Bond history to my eyes. We even have what were deemed successful screen tests during pre-production for Octopussy that gives us our first big screen American Bond and preserved on celluloid. I wonder how Broccoli would have explained and retconned Bond suddenly being American but still working for British Intelligence, but then there must have been the same problems when John Gavin was cast in the role before shooting began on DAF. Twice in a twelve-year period EON Productions was working behind the scenes to give us an American James Bond but neither time was the official explanation required.

    For the best, really. I like Brolin a lot but as jarring as the transition from Moore to Dalton was for so many people or even Connery to Lazenby can you imagine what an AMERICAN Bond would have done to the fanbase?

     
  4. DarrenTR1970

    DarrenTR1970 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Speaking of Burt, before I read the book and found out that he was also considered for the role of Bond (Burt met with the producers and told them that Bond should be played by a British actor), I watched this movie on one of my local subchannels at about the same time 'Casino Royale' came out in theaters, and thought to myself that Burt gives off a very strong Connery/Craig vibe in this movie. I think Burt could have pulled it off; he could have started out serious as Connery and slowly turned into the slightly tongue in cheek Moore version.

     
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  5. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, at least we would know what he would drive:
    http://www.barris.com/carsgallery/tvmovie/thecar.php :)
     
  6. Foxhot

    Foxhot Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I suspect we'd be seeing J.W. Pepper more than twice in that scenario.
     
  7. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

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    especially if that change had been made in the year of Battle of the Bonds. People are kinder to reboots now than they were when NSNA came out (it's a good movie, great cast, terrible soundtrack) but an American Bond in clown costume in am movie called Octopussy vs Connery with Max von Sydow as Blofeld.. no comparison).
     
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  8. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And NSNA is legitimately mediocre if not downright terrible and even it would have whooped Octopussy at the box office had Brolin been Bond that year. Combine the culture shock of now having an American Bond with Sean Connery returning to the role after 12 years in a competing movie and it wouldn't have boded well for EON Productions.
     
  9. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

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    Connery on the Bond bike makes up for a lot of sins in NSNA
     
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  10. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I will give it this much. NSNA does have one of the coolest lines anyone can say in pleasant conversation and science has yet to top it.

    "Oh, I've made you all wet!!"

    "Yes, but my martini is still dry."
     
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  11. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Admiral Admiral

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    Probably my favorite lines of the movie are very early on.

    "They're toxins that destroy the body and the brain, caused by eating too much red meat and white bread and too many dry martinis."

    "Then I shall cut out the white bread, sir."
     
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  12. Foxhot

    Foxhot Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The line I remember above all others is ''Your brother's dead. Keep dancing.'' It almost sounds like something Connery would have written himself. But I do admit this scene was spectacularly parodied and outdone by Leslie Nielsen and Priscilla Presley in 1991.

    On first viewing, NSNA seemed flashily fine and head and shoulders above OCTOPUSSY. But on the second and further watches, the pedestrian music stakes off most of the enjoyment.
     
  13. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'll watch Octopussy any day over its fellow 1983 Bond flick unless I'm craving some of the small standout moments of the Connery film. Bernie Casey definitely helped the film by being a pretty good Felix Leiter but it's a shame Casey, Klaus Maria Brandauer and von Sydow couldn't rescue the entire production. There are seeds of something potentially great there but most of them never even sprout much less grow.
     
  14. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Admiral Admiral

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    I just remembered how they switched out the game of Chemin de fer between Bond and Largo for a laser-holographic video game about World War III. Ugh, that did not age well.
     
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  15. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    As a kid I loved that video game sequence. Now it's just another thing about the film I like a lot less than I did as a child in the 1980s.
     
  16. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Admiral Admiral

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    We’re all gonna talk about 1983 James Bond and nobody is gonna mention George’s cameo in Return of the Man from UNCLE?!
     
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  17. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Your wish is my command. :)

     
  18. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Admiral Admiral

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    That scene is canon and I will not be dissuaded
     
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  19. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It does show George had the visual looks to pull off Bond in the '70s and '80s.
     
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  20. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Admiral Admiral

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    That’s the frustrating thing about him only doing one movie. He was youthful and vigorous enough to have kept going up to A View to a Kill and quite possibly The Living Daylights or Licence to Kill. In fact, Bond’s mission of revenge in LTK would have had even more impact, if the Bond who lost his wife on his honeymoon was in the lead.

    (Yes, I know LTK was written specifically for Tim, but let me spitball)
     
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