The forgotten James Bond

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Everyone knows there have been 7 actors who played the illusive 007. Sean Connery,Roger Moore,George Lazenby,Timothy Dalton,Pierce Brosnan,Daniel Craig and David Niven(who played Bond in the parody Casino Royale)

And when you exclude the parody Casino Royale there have been 24 movies and number 25 is currently being made.

Well on both counts you’d be wrong. Starting with the number of  feature movies there already have been 25 movies made. Never_Say_Never_Again_–_UK_cinema_posterAlthough “Never Say Never Again” does star Sean Connery as James Bond, It is technically not considered to be a James Bond movie.

A  High Court in London in 1963 allowed Kevin McClory to produce a remake of Thunderball titled Never Say Never Again in 1983.The film, produced by Jack Schwartzman’s Taliafilm production company and starring Sean Connery as Bond, was not part of the Eon series of Bond films.

McClory then took Fleming to the High Court in London for breach of copyright and the matter was settled in 1963. After Eon Productions started producing the Bond films, it subsequently made a deal with McClory, who would produce Thunderball, and then not make any further version of the novel for a period of ten years following the release of the Eon-produced version in 1965.

When it comes to playing the character James Bond there is an eighth actor who played him.In fact he was the first actor to play 007.

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In 1954 CBS paid Ian Fleming $1,000  to adapt his first novel, Casino Royale, into a one-hour television adventure as part of their dramatic anthology series Climax!, which ran between October 1954 and June 1958.GW200H303It was adapted for the screen by Anthony Ellis and Charles Bennett; Bennett was best known for his collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock, including The 39 Steps and Sabotage.Due to the restriction of a one-hour play, the adapted version lost many of the details found in the book, although it retained its violence, particularly in Act III.

The hour-long Casino Royale episode aired on 21 October 1954 as a live production and starred Barry Nelson as secret agent James Bond, with Peter Lorre in the role of Le Chiffre and was hosted by William Lundigan.The Bond character from Casino Royale was re-cast as an American agent, described as working for “Combined Intelligence”, supported by the British agent, Clarence Leiter; “thus was the Anglo-American relationship depicted in the book reversed for American consumption”.

Clarence Leiter was an agent for Station S, while being a combination of Felix Leiter and René Mathis. The name “Mathis”, and his association with the Deuxième Bureau, was given to the leading lady, who is named Valérie Mathis, instead of Vesper Lynd.

So you see there were 8 Bond movies and in total 26 movies, 3 of which were titled “Casino Royale”.

 

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