Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Empire's New Tom Cruise Cover
The Jameson Empire Awards 2014
Vote: The Greatest 301 Movies Of All Time!
Rebecca Hall:
My Movie Life

The actress picks the movies that shaped her
Mountain Dew Green Screen
Register Now to see X-MEN First Class!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

BOOK DETAILS
Released
26 November 2012
Author
Paul Duncan
Publisher
Thames and Hudson

LATEST BOOK REVIEWS
Steven Spielberg And The Duel
4 Star Empire Rating
Snowpiercer: Vol 1 & 2
4 Star Empire Rating
Art Of Dreamworks Animation, The
3 Star Empire Rating
Warp Films 10
4 Star Empire Rating
Five Came Back
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Making Of The Return Of The Jedi, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Terminator Vault
5 Star Empire Rating
Star Wars: The Blueprints
5 Star Empire Rating
Book of Mormon: The Testament of a Broadway Musical, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Revolution Was Televised, The
5 Star Empire Rating

The James Bond Archives


submit to reddit

Review
You might have gotten wind that this year marks 007’s 50th anniversary. Under the ceaseless barrage of Bond-branded tie-ins, you might have simply gotten wind. Still, as Skyfall fills multiplex stalls from Eton to Scunthorpe, so a convoy of books has been issued to illustrate, pontificate, and above all, celebrate the agent’s vaunted history keeping the British end up.

Taschen, never knowingly underpublished, have assembled The James Bond Archives, a tome so bulky it would rival the residence of an over-schooled megalomaniac clad in a dun-coloured safari suit plotting world domination over his built-in piranha pond. Pictorially this snake-skinned epic is as adorable as Kissy Suzuki, traversing five decades of Bondian glamour and robust shop-floor manufacture from Dr. No to Skyfall, manfully including Sean Connery’s unwelcome comeback in Never Say Never Again (if not the gimcrack dottiness of the original Casino Royale).

Granted full access to the Eon archives, we can only drool over the extraordinary (and much of it unseen) evidence of the series’ languid brand of escapism — however self-aware they have become, these remain films offering ordinary lives a dream of impossible beauty, tireless thrill and iceberg cool. Here is Honey Ryder menaced by crabs in a scene cut from Dr. No; here is screenwriter Roald Dahl, clenching his pipe while consulting with Broccoli and Saltzman like a pair of scowling Goldfingers; and here is Daniel Craig cracking up between takes in Casino Royale. Such a list could run forever, and editor Paul Duncan’s rhythm of mixing movie stills over lavish space with behind-the-scenes detail (how is it model shots are so beguiling?) moves adoringly from film to film.

And amid the world-spanning splendour, there is something electric in glancing over the agreement drawn up between Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman in June 1961 to cement their joint venture, to read, “I am negotiating to acquire all the motion picture and television rights, or options thereon, of all the James Bond stories by Ian Fleming.” Still, such eye-catching particulars prove thin on the ground. Compared to the prolific minutiae of The Stanley Kubrick Archives, there are only dribs and drabs of script pages, designs and personal notes — the telling scribbles in the Bondian margins.

Meanwhile, the accompanying text errs to the conventional: no more than standard-issue interviews (many of them lifted from the DVDs), and long-in-the-tooth testimony as to each film’s complex creation and the series’ endurance. As a visual gallery of what Bond has given to movies, glossy and rather unwieldy (bedtime reading for Oddjobs alone), it is peerless, but it goes no further than that.


Reviewed by Ian Nathan

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Making Of Locke: A Filmmaker's Journey
Steven Knight takes us through six pitstops (via Heston Services)

The 10 Most Exciting Movies At Cannes 2014
Empire's pick of the Croisette's finest

Tom Hardy: A Viewer's Guide
The essential, the recommended, the one for the fans... and the one to avoid

Ten Things To Know About The Spooks Movie
Under the hood of The Greater Good

Who’s In Spider-Man’s Sinister Six?
A bluffer’s guide to the planned spin-off from the Amazing Spider-films

14 YouTube Videos Every Game Of Thrones Fan Should Have Watched By Now
From goats singing the theme tune to every death in under three minutes

Hollywood's Biggest Names On Their Favourite Films
Stars and directors like Nolan, Whedon, Wright and Ford on the films that inspire them

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get Limited Edition Collectable X-Men Art Cards

Subscribe today and get 6 issues of Empire plus a set of collectable X-Men Art Cards for only £20!

Subscribe today

Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Just £25
Receive limited edition subscribers-only covers every month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)