PERFORMING ARTS

The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia

Chicago Review. Nov. 2020. 400p. ISBN 9781641600828. pap. $35. REF
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With the recent passing of Sean Connery, film historian Rubin’s (The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia) dense title isn’t the completely up-to-date reference work it purports to be—but that’s the only thing wrong with it. First published in the early 1980s, the volume has been through numerous iterations, and while all have shared a detailed construction comprised of facts, anecdotes, interviews, trivia, and biographies, this latest edition is distinguished by the hundreds of photographs, most of which are new (many donated to Rubin by the legion of Bond fans around the world). The gadgets, the varied locales, the villains that viewers love to hate, and the bountiful bevy of Bond girls are all part of this rich, well-designed tome. Entries for each Bond film (24 and counting) include production and box office gross financial data, a plot synopsis, full cast and crew credits, and a delightful “Behind the Scenes” section with interviews and backstory.
VERDICT Pair this trivia book with Edward Gross and Mark Altman’s Nobody Does It Better: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of James Bond for a comprehensive history of all things Bond.

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