From Connery to Craig: The James Bond Film Series

BearManor. Aug. 2022. 420p. ISBN 9798887710051. $42. FILM
Film historian Neibaur (The Clint Eastwood Westerns) and journalist Schneeberger (Bite the Dog) offer an entertaining jaunt through all 25 of James Bond’s cinematic missions, critically analyzing the films, their impact on popular culture, and the behind-the-scenes dramas played out over 60 years. The authors delve into everything, including the clever cold opens, the award-winning theme songs, the futuristic gadgets, and the beautiful “Bond Girls.” They also provide fascinating backstories, such as Ian Fleming’s original, dull version of Bond and how JFK’s passion for Fleming’s novels instigated the first movie deal. Interviews with performers and crew, including the series’ most prolific director, John Glen, supply firsthand accounts of working with the six different actors playing Bond, struggles with financial disputes and legal issues, and the increasingly demanding stunt work. The ability of the producers to evolve with changing times and current events (AIDS, the thawing of East-West tensions, advances in technology) kept the Bond series relevant, despite obvious issues with chauvinistic tropes and misogynistic undertones.
VERDICT Seven billion dollars in box office receipts guarantees a built-in audience for this well-written and nostalgic exploration of one of the most successful film series ever.
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