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Ten Things I Learnt From The Bond 50 Press Day

Posted on Thursday September 27, 2012, 14:59 by Phil de Semlyen in Empire States
Ten Things I Learnt From The Bond 50 Press Day

You may have heard that the James Bond movies – all 22 of them – have arrived in one giant case of pure, Blu-ray 007ness; motored across Britain in the kind of crazed PR stunt that’s worth its weight in valium. The convoy of Bond vehicles stopped at every James Bond location en route to London, from Scotland's Eilean Donan Castle (The World Is Not Enough) to Nene Valley (Octopussy). I was invited along to Day 5, the Stoke Park leg, to celebrate with three Bond girls and a certain toothy villain. Here’s what I learnt along the way.

Stoke Park Has A Surprising “00” Back Story
As any fule kno, Stoke Park appears in Goldfinger and again as a double for a Hamburg ballroom in Tomorrow Never Dies* (*I didn’t actually know this). It’s also a hefty 1-wood from Pinewood Studios, which made it Connery’s course of choice during his Bond years. Another intriguing Bond connection comes in a whole other movie. In it, Q shoots James Bond in the back. Answers on a postcard...

Goldfinger’s Ride Was Seriously Pimped

Auric Goldfinger’s Rolls-Royce Phantom III is the least practical “00” vehicle since Dick Dastardly’s Mean Machine Double Zero – and that had five rockets on the back. It’s a four-wheeled death machine for the ozone layer, getting a wheezy seven miles to the gallon, but it’s also like driving around in someone’s living room. Someone REALLY rich. The 1937 car, which now lives in Beaulieu, has 80,793 miles on the clock. I drove in it and there's no gold left.

Richard Kiel Was Offered A Part In Austin Powers
He turned it down out of loyalty. “I didn’t do it out of respect for what the real Bond people had done for me and my career,” he told me.

This Isn't As Much Fun As I Thought It Would Be


A boyhood nightmare comes true

Kiel Doesn’t Own Jaws’ Metal Mouthbrace
On reflection, he may not have liked the metal teeth question – no doubt the bajillionth of his life – but nice man that he is, he answered it anyway. “The teeth were nauseating to wear,” he grimaced. “A minute or two was all I could handle before I wanted to throw up.”

There’s Method In The Martini
If you’re going to learn about Bond’s tipples, you might as well hear it from the head mixologist of The Savoy, Erik Lorincz. As Vesper martinis go, he’s a stirred not shaken man (“it bruises the gin”) but said Bond liked his martinis a little diluted from the shaking, presumably so he could drink a bunch without falling over or kicking any taxis. The Vesper he made for me was the classic recipe: a combination of vodka, gin, lillet and lemon peel that reflects the mysterious Vesper Lynd’s character: vodka for the KGB, gin for MI5, and, erm, lemon in case, um, Bond goes on a long sea voyage?

There’s A Lot Of Love For Dr. No

Everyone has a favourite Bond film – I have three: Goldfinger for its verve, OHMSS for its raw emotion and John Barry score, and Moonraker for the pigeon – but for the Bond veterans I asked, the original is still the best. “Dr. No is my favourite,” Britt Ekland, aka Mary Goodnight in Golden Gun, told me. “When I saw Ursula Andress, I thought: ‘That’s what I want to do. I want to be that character.’” Tania Mallett, Tilly Masterson in Goldfinger, agreed. “The scene with Ursula was amazing.”

Bond Is Sacred
The assembled Bond cast members didn’t know their Dr. Evil from their Derek Flint, with 007 homages brushed off in favour of the real thing. “Austin Powers isn’t my kind of movie,” said Ekland, “although I was offered a part in Dean Martin’s Matt Helm movies which spoofed Bond. But I was married to Peter Sellers at the time and he vetoed it.”

Golf Is Bastard Hard
Sean Connery was a one-handicap golfer around the time of Goldfinger and Gert Fröbe was pretty gifted, too. I, however, suck. Plus, I'm sure someone swapped my Slazenger 1 for a different ball.

"This is called a C-L-U-B"

007 Was Supposed To Marry His First Bond Girl
According to the first (okay, first equal) Bond girl, Eunice Gayson, who played Sylvia Trench in Dr. No and From Russia With Love, the golf-and-punting loving, casino-based lovely. "Our relationship was originally supposed to grow over six films and in the final picture, the writers would have considered the idea of us getting married."

Bond 50 Blu-ray Collection is out now. Visit the official site for the full briefing.

(c) 2012 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. TM Danjaq, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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Comments

1 jonnytwist
Posted on Friday September 28, 2012, 20:40
The Stoke Park connection: Layer Cake - Ben Whishaw (future Q) shoots Daniel Craig (future Bond) on the steps. Naturally.

2 MadGrad86
Posted on Thursday March 13, 2014, 13:27
Hmmm, I have read in several places that Sean Connery credits the filming of 'Goldfinger's golf scene with sparking his interest in the game.
In the late 90's when I had a contact at the Royal & Ancient, I learned that Connery's handicap was 7 strokes at that time.
As such, I respectfully doubt his handicap was 1 at the time the movie was filmed for both reasons above.

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