As James Bond turns 50, he gets the ultimate photo album to mark the occasion. This comprehensive history of 007 and his exploits is just as lavish as the price tag suggests, and backs up hundreds of rare behind-the-scenes pictures and documents with exhaustive Making Ofs for every single Bond movie – there are even chapters on “unofficial” outings Never Say Never Again and the spoof Casino Royale .
Alongside the extensive archive material (highlights include Sean Connery’s notes on Goldfinger ’s script, and technical drawings of the jetpack from Thunderball ), editor Paul Duncan and his team of writers pull together comments from all the main players – everyone from Cubby Broccoli to George Lazenby, Ian Fleming to Shirley Bassey. There’s so much here that even the most fanatical of Bond aficionados is likely to pick up new intel.
Exhaustive as the book is, however, you can’t help feeling that all that access to the Bond archives came at a price. It never feels like anything other than the “official” version of 007’s history, with some potentially interesting stories (such as Pierce Brosnan’s departure) rather hurried over. Nonetheless, for any Bond fan with a hundred quid burning a hole in their pocket, this is a must-buy.
Richard Edwards twitter.com/RichDEdwards
DR. NO © 1962 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved.
THUNDERBALL © 1965 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved.
LIVE AND LET DIE © 1973 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved.