Synopses & Reviews
Yet the role of James Bond, which transformed Sean Connery's career in 1962 when Dr No came out, still retained its star-making power in 2006 when Daniel Craig made his Bond debut in Casino Royale. This is the story of how, with the odd misstep along the way, the owners of the Bond franchise, Eon Productions, have contrived to keep James Bond abreast of the zeitgeist and at the top of the charts for 45 years, through 21 films featuring six Bonds, three M's, two Q's and three Moneypennies. Thanks to the films, Fleming's original creation has been transformed from a black sheep of the post-war English upper classes into a figure with universal appeal, constantly evolving to keep pace with changing social and political circumstances. Having interviewed people concerned with all aspects of the films, Sinclair McKay is ideally placed to describe how the Bond 'brand' has been managed over the years as well as to give us the inside stories of the supporting cast of Bond girls, Bond villains, Bond cars and Bond gadgetry. Sinclair McKay, formerly assistant features editor of the Daily Telegraph, works as a freelance writer and journalist. He is also the author of A Thing of Unspeakable Horror: The History of Hammer Films, which the Guardian called 'A splendid history' and the Independent on Sunday described as 'Brisk, cheerful and enthusiastic.'
"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.)
¦[R]eading McKay¦s retrospective, it seems like Bond is just getting started.¦ --New York Post
¦[O]ne of the very best attempts to take stock of the Bond filmsèsmart and unexpected.¦ -- The New Republic
¦Thoroughly researched, drolly written and critically sophisticated.¦ -- The Daily Mail
¦Armed with encyclopedic knowledge and wit as dry as a shaken martini, Sinclair McKay casts a critical eye at the cinematic phenomenon launched in 1962¦s Dr. No with Sean Connery uttering that famous introduction: îBond. James Bond.¦ McKay astutely addresses the plots of each film and places them in the political and popular cultures of their eras (Bond has but one love interest in 1987¦s The Living Daylights because producers feared encouraging promiscuity in an age of AIDS). He¦s also an insightful critic, championing the initially maligned On Her Majesty¦s Secret Service (1969) as one of the best in the series. And he¦s often funny, discussing Roger Moore¦s îmany centuries¦ in show business, and describing sillier moments in the films as înaff,¦ which the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines as îunfashionable, lacking in taste or style¦ -- something McKay¦s book most definitely is not.¦ -- Newark Star-Ledger
¦A marvelously entertaining tome...an arch but jolly galumph.¦ -- Metrolife
¦Thoroughly researched and documented yet fetching in tone and style, McKay¦s fun, smart, and informative book gracefully treads the criticism/entertainment border¦ -- Library Journal
¦Delightful critical appreciationèMcKay writes in a breezy, chatty style, as if perpetually in between mouthfuls of popcornèHe¦s a charming hybrid of a critic and fanè[The Man with the Golden Touch is] a scintillating read that¦s often more entertaining than the movies themselves.¦ -- Publishers Weekly
¦Zeltserman deftly drags the reader through the story, keeping you wondering about the truthè The Caretaker of Lorne Field is camp, and therein lies its appeal.¦ -- Dallas Morning News
andquot;McKay's book is an eloquent tribute to a quite remarkable group of men and women, whose like we will not see again.andquot; - Mail On Sunday
andquot;Five stars.andquot; - Sunday Telegraph
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.
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.
Go behind the scenes of the top-secret setting of The Imitation Game
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 Britainand#8217;s Government Code and Cypher Schooland#151;and the site where Germanyand#8217;s legendary Enigma code was finally cracked. There, the nationand#8217;s most brilliant mathematical mindsand#151;including Alan Turing, whose discoveries at Bletchley would fuel the birth of modern computingand#151;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.
When Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman set out to make what they expected to be the first of three or four movies based on the espionage novels of Ian Fleming they can hardly have dreamt that they were founding a business that would still be going str