IAN FLEMING 1908-64
The Eton-educated Fleming worked for Naval Intelligence during World War Two, so unlike most pulp novelists, he really did know what he was talking about. He was also involved in the setting up of the CIA and took part in an undercover operation in Spain. Its codename? Goldeneye – the monicker he later picked for his Caribbean house, and which Bond producers Eon grafted onto Pierce Brosnan’s first 007 movie.
A bit of a slow starter in the literary game, Fleming didn’t write his first novel, the Bond-introducing Casino Royale, until 1953, but by the time of his death 11 years later, he’d banged out 13 more 007 novels and several short stories, which were plundered in some form for every movie up to and including 1989’s Licence To Kill.
ON BOND: “My books are written for warm-blooded heterosexuals in railways, trains, aeroplanes or beds.”
BEYOND BOND: Fleming also wrote possessed-car fairytale, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
ALBERT R ‘CUBBY’ BROCCOLI 1909-96
It’s somewhat ironic that it took a second-generation Italian-American to make the most famous British film series ever, but without Broccoli there would have been no Bond movies. Along with Harry Saltzman, he started Eon Productions (which stands for “everything or nothing”) and convinced United Artists to put up $1 million for Dr No.
A lover of the high-life himself, Broccoli made sure that the Bond films had everything he wanted to see on-screen: exotic locations, high-tech gadgets and scantily clad, large-breasted women. Giving up the chance to develop other film projects, he focused his energy on the Bond series, having the final say in everything, from the choice of actor to play Bond down to the design of the posters.
ON BOND: “I was never pretty enough to be an actor and no damn good at it anyway. Getting a movie made, working out the right faces, the right mix, is creative in its own right.”
BEYOND BOND: Before trying the movie business, Cubby worked as a farmer, a talent agent, a cosmetics salesman, a racing promoter and a bookkeeper.
JOHN BARRY 1933-
One of the all-time great cinema composers, Barry started off as a jazz musician, founding the John Barry Seven in 1950. He had dabbled with film before providing the notes for Dr No, but afterwards he went on to score dozens of movies (including The Ipcress File, Midnight Cowboy and Dances With Wolves), bagging five Oscars so far for best soundtrack (none for Bond, though).
The Bond theme itself may have actually been written by Monty Norman (it originally appeared in a musical called A House For Mr Biswas), but it was Barry’s brassy orchestration of the 32-bar ditty that made it the most famous piece of movie music ever. And, besides, it was Barry who, through scoring no less than 12 Bonds, was to enshrine 007 in music form, from the spiralling strings of You Only Live Twice, through to the surging brass of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, to the unforgettable, sleazy horn blasts of Shirley Bassey’s chart-topping Goldfinger.
ON BOND: “Shirley Bassey is great on the Bond songs, because she doesn’t ask too many questions – which for a Bond theme is a virtue!”
BEYOND BOND: He also scored Howard The Duck (1986), from which he unsuccessfully tried to have his name and music removed after seeing the print.
KEN ADAM 1921-
You Only Live Twice’s vast, hollowed-out volcano. The Spy Who Loved Me’s looming, sub-swallowing supertanker. Moonraker’s shimmering, screen-filled space station. All these outlandish villain HQs, and more, were brought to vivid life by production designer Ken Adam.
A refugee from the Nazis, Adam became the only German to fly for the RAF during the war, then began work as a draughtsman in1947, rising to the position of art director in just three years. He designed seven Bonds in all, calling it a day after Moonraker, but by then he’d stamped his style on the series. Without Adam, the world of 007 would look very different.
ON BOND: [Regarding You Only Live Twice’s volcano set] “Cubby said, ‘Can you do it for a million dollars?’ I said, ‘For a million dollars, I think I can.’ And then my troubles really started.”
BEYOND BOND: Adam’s work on Dr No caught Stanley Kubrick’s eye and earned him the art directing gig on Dr Strangelove.
TERENCE YOUNG 1915-94
A suave, urbane ladies’ man, Terence Young was closer to the globetrotting figure of James Bond than anyone else involved in his genesis – other than Fleming, of course. And he knew that if anything was going to transform Fleming’s pulpy books into hit movies, it was going to be the style factor.
He took former milkman Sean Connery to his tailor and his shirt maker (legend has it that he even made Connery sleep in his new clothes to get used to the feel of them), taught him how to eat properly, how to appreciate fine wines and how to live the high life like he was born to it. After directing three of the first four Bonds, he went off to other projects but by then he’d set the style of the character in stone.
ON BOND: “Ian Fleming and I became, eventually, good friends, but when we met just after I’d been signed, he said: “So they’ve decided on you to fuck up my work.”
BEYOND BOND: Injured in World War Two, Young was nursed back to health by the 16-year-old Audrey Hepburn, then working as a nurse in a Dutch hospital.