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The Man with the Golden Touch: How the Bond Films Conquered the Worldby Sinclair Mckay
Synopses & Reviews
The Man with the Golden Touch tells the unlikely story of how Eon Productions?the owners of the Bond franchise?has kept James Bond at the top of the charts for forty-five years when originally only three or four films were planned. Through twenty-one films featuring three M?s, two Q?s, and six Bonds?from Sean Connery's career-transforming turn in 1962's Dr. No to Daniel Craig's debut in the 2006 blockbuster Casino Royale?the action superstar and perfect English gentleman reigns supreme.
Thanks to the films, Ian Fleming's original creation has been transformed from a black sheep of the postwar British elite into a figure with universal appeal, constantly evolving in step with changing social and political circumstances. Sinclair McKay interviewed those concerned with every aspect of the film, and is ideally placed to describe how the Bond brand has been managed over the years and to tell the inside stories of the vivid supporting cast, from Bond girls and Bond villains to Bond cars and Bond gadgetry.
"This delightful critical appreciation celebrates the longest-running of all film franchises as much for its absurd excesses as for its stylish thrills. Journalist McKay considers the films' family-run production company to be the Bond saga's true auteur and devotes a chapter to each of the movies up through the groundbreaking Casino Royale with Daniel Craig. McKay's 360-degree treatments take in everything from the script and actors' performances to the set design, score, and titles sequences, with droll digressions thrown in on such Bond motifs as Persian cats, monorails, 'impossible leaps of villainous logic,' and substandard action set pieces ('That's another thing that Bond producers never really learn: boat chases are intrinsically dull'). McKay writes in a breezy, chatty style, as if perpetually in between mouthfuls of popcorn; he remains raptly focused on aesthetics and eyeball impact while still teasing out underlying sexual and geopolitical themes. He's a charming hybrid of critic and fan, calling out Thunderball's failings — 'How is it possible for a drama involving nuclear blackmail to drag on so?' — while managing to find the good even in George Lazenby. The result is a scintillating read that's often more entertaining than the movies themselves. Photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
McKay relates the unlikely story of how Eon Productions--the owners of the Bond franchise--has kept James Bond at the top of the charts for five decades when originally only three or four films were planned.
A remarkable look at day-to-day life of the codebreakers whose clandestine efforts helped win World War II
Bletchley Park looked like any other sprawling country estate. In reality, however, it was the top-secret headquarters of Britainandrsquo;s Government Code and Cypher Schoolandmdash;and the site where Germanyandrsquo;s legendary Enigma code was finally cracked. There, the nationandrsquo;s most brilliant mathematical mindsandmdash;including Alan Turing, whose discoveries at Bletchley would fuel the birth of modern computingandmdash;toiled alongside debutantes, factory workers, and students on projects of international importance. Until now, little has been revealed about ordinary life at this extraordinary facility. Drawing on remarkable first-hand interviews, The Secret Lives of Codebreakers reveals the entertainments, pastimes, and furtive romances that helped ease the incredible pressures faced by these covert operatives as they worked to turn the tide of World War II.
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