Everything or Nothing for Bond

What better way to prepare for this week’s Skyfall opening than by watching the superb documentary Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007, directed by Stevan Riley for Passion Pictures (airing on EPIX)? I also recommend diving into the Golden Anniversary Blu-ray set from Fox Home Ent. You will be totally prepped for this 50th homecoming and breakthrough.

Everything or Nothing (EON is the production company formed by Bond producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman) tells the story of how Ian Fleming’s iconic superspy made it to the big screen in 1962 with Dr. No and became a cultural phenomenon. Fleming, we learn was a “reluctant success,” and vicariously created an alter ego and a world of danger and sex. Likewise, Broccoli and Saltzman joined forces for their own adventure. Filled with ups and downs, the producers kept Bond alive through the swinging ’60s and into the turbulent ’70s until Saltzman was forced to sell his share of the company to UA, leaving Broccoli the lone caretaker of the franchise until step children Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli took over after his death with the arrival of Pierce Brosnan in GoldenEye. And Bond has truly come of age dramatically in the current Daniel Craig era.

I cried when Saltzman and Broccoli reunited at the Octopussy premiere and also when Barbara related how Connery and Cubby made up on the phone and said goodbye before the producer’s passing.

Thus, Bond has endured as the only continuing franchise because of the fierce dedication of this passionate family. When viewing the movies again in succession on Blu-ray and then coming full-circle with Skyfall, you realize that he’s a reflection of our vicarious need for excitement and danger and represents the ultimate in power and freedom. From the free-spirited Connery to the more vulnerable George Lazenby to the more humorous Roger Moore to the more serious Timothy Dalton to the neo-classical Brosnan to the more conflicted Craig, Bond has become a cinematic ritual handed down from generation to generation. He’s a survivor and one of the few traditions we can rely on.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Blu-ray, Books, Clips, Home Entertainment, James Bond, Movies, Trailers

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