Reviews Of James Bond Films By Professional Critics

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  • RevelatorRevelator Posts: 577MI6 Agent
    edited April 2

    It's also my favorite Moore Bond, and I agree that Brosnan was overly harsh about the plot. The search for the ATAC was a satisfactory string for pearls, and as probably better than any plots from the 70s films, though that's not a high bar. And the avoidance of an over-the-top villain and climax was a refreshing one in my book. Brosnan's disappointment that the film wasn't another FRWL, while understandable, seems to have generated excess negativity. But I do agree with him about the comic relief becoming "awfully dated and embarrassing," especially the Blofeld and Thatcher scenes. FYEO's tonal inconsistencies were its chief flaw, not suprising after the series hangover induced by MR. I view the Glen era as struggling to return to the lean, mean nature of the early Bonds and never quite getting there until LTK.

  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 10,270MI6 Agent
    edited April 2

    And by then, the public wanted the old Bond style in their blockbusters...

    I remember that review, it seems a bit right although Brosnan is the guy who thinks the high watermark was Goldfinger and aside from individual scenes, slags off each Bond more and more as the series goes on. You get the feeling Broccoli might have kept Moore on just to spite the critic! If you have his OP review, I'd be interested - I know he thought Maud Adams was boring, and the whole silliness of it got to him - but I do have a copy of his lukewarm Never Say Never Again review - I think he gave it a let off because for 10 years critics had been saying how great Connery was and here he came back with a nothing much to shout about.

    The plot of FYEO is a McGuffin - even to the extent that even if the Russians got the ATAC, you don't imagine they'd do much with it - this was rectified by the successor, with renegade Orlov in tow.

    Brosnan gave a pass to AVTAK because it had an airship if I recall!

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • RevelatorRevelator Posts: 577MI6 Agent

    Here's a review of The Living Daylights by Raymond Durgnat, which appeared in the Aug. 1, 1987 issue of the Monthly Film Bulletin.

    ***

       In the quarter-century since Dr. No (1962), the Bond films have increasingly opted for a mood of nail-biting exuberance, closer to the old serial spirit—somewhere between The Perils of Pauline and The Mask of Fu Manchu—than to Len Deighton or John Le Carré. Q's death-dealing gadgetry is often as hilarious as it is awesome; the stunts generate a festive air, like a three-ring circus; Bond's seduction of, and by, the various Bond girls has less to do with the serious business of espionage than with the daydreams of cheery virility; and the extravagant villains, with their grandiose schemes for world disruption, have a built-in improbability which, while it never prevents suspense from breaking in, subverts any real suspension of disbelief. Descriptions like "camp", "tongue-in-cheek", or "winking at the audience" risk understating these films’ appurtenance to a curiously overlooked genre: the self-aware spectacle, whose happy self-reflexivity, far from "subverting the illusion", actually celebrates the show qua show.

       The original Bond novels (from 1952) are interesting enough, at least by the standards of what one might call "easy reading" or "upmarket pulp fun". They mix a toughly patriotic gentleman-spy with new perceptions of politico-bureaucratic cynicism; old snobberies with modern affluence-and-anomie; Sapper with Nigel Balchin. Probably Bond's secret agenting does metaphor a new sense of social life as continuous deception all round. Compared to the novels, the movies are brasher, broader and more down-market. The Roger Moore Bond, in particular, far from seeming secretive, had all the swagger of a car salesman relishing an unexpectedly huge expense account.

       While Fleming's novels contained a stiff mix of chauvinism and realpolitik—in a phrase, the spirit of Eden at Suez—the movies merely perpetuate the cocky hedonism inaugurated with the Swinging Sixties (The Avengers amidst the Playboy "philosophy"). The more relaxed screen tone usually extends as far as a worldly tolerance of Russia's adversarial role. The enemy No. One is rarely World Communism, but mischief-making by egomaniacal, often conspicuously capitalistic, masterminds. In Billion Dollar Brain, a "cousin" to the Bond films, via their co-producer Harry Saltzman, the same basic formula tilts in favour of Russian imperialism against U.S. interventionism; and the final flourish on behalf of detente in For Your Eyes Only was audibly protested by a London preview audience, impressed by the invasion of Afghanistan.

       Although The Living Daylights involves heavier references to Second World oppression (not inappropriate in a Czechoslovakian setting), it eschews any further concessions to Cold War revival, Rambo-style, instead attributing trouble to collusion between deviationist ultras on both sides. (A significant omission: Libyans, in the style of Back to the Future.) Here, Afghanistan, ambivalence and amorality call the tune. If the plot is rarely coherent, let alone plausible, its penultimate twists are quite fascinating. They happily mix, into a moral chiaroscuro worthy of Machiavelli himself, (a) a mercenary-capitalist dressed as a U.S. general (virtually an incarnation of the "contra" spirit), (b) a Russian equivalent of Irangate, and (c) freedom fighters who keep going by dealing dope. Almost as a compensatory concession to our finer feelings, Bond’s affair with the gentle, doe-eyed, cello-playing victim of love is more sensitive than heretofore, even faintly romantic. The new, Timothy Dalton version of Bond is relatively sleek, tough and thoughtful; his occasional flash of a fey, pixie-ish expression oddly evokes another multimorphous British hero, Dr. Who.

       Until the "Afghanisgate" revelations, the film rather suffers from its imperfect compromise between the usual spectacular elements, which can be exhilarating however implausible, and its more intimate, smaller-scale tendencies, à la Frederick Forsyth, where an air of horrid ingenuity is indispensable. But if the film probably won't be among the biggest-grossing Bonds, it contains some highly enjoyable set-pieces, notably, the hilarious notion of whisking a fugitive along a pipeline as if he were a pneumatique, and the penultimate rodeo mixing cavalry and aircraft, bulldozers and saboteurs, all performing wildly eccentric manoeuvres. The film is essentially an "action circus", Douglas Fairbanks swashbuckle updated by secret-agent costume (cloak-and-gadget), and sex-with-everything. No doubt its good humour is beginning to seem slightly dated by contrast with the rather grimmer (and, in physical violence, more savagely detailed) tone of the otherwise comparable Indiana Jones sagas.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,238MI6 Agent

    Jhn Brosnan's FYEO review is a fairly good assessment of the movie, although I disagree over Carole Bouquet - I just like Carole Bouquet, so i don't really care how vacant she looks, can we just call it her Electra look? - and Lynn Holly Johnson - the most realistic character in it; hmm maybe but golly she's a pain. I too take issue with his moaning about the plot. ATAC is a McGuffin in the same way the Lektor is a McGuffin in FRWL. He's really pulling pins for no reason here. FRWL is an exceptional product, but the plot is equally as thin as FYEO - it is what surrounds it that makes it a winner. In fact I would agree it is the knowing, insdier and obvioulsy dated and embarrassing humour content which most causes problems when I view the film now. If it had been played straighter, a bit more like FRWL, then Brosnan may have found the film as entertaining. He isn't entirely against FYEO, but I think it is rough to compare it to FRWL simply because John Glen said he likes that movie. If Glen had said he enjoyed Moonraker, would Brosnan be waxing over how well Glen has reined in the excess? Hmm.

    That TLD review is a good one.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,153MI6 Agent

    @Napoleon Plural Yes, both John Brosnan reviews of OP and AVTAK are being posted in due course. And NSNA if I can find it - even though I don’t count any non-Eon Bond film as actually being a Bond film (if that makes any sense!).

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,153MI6 Agent

    @Revelator Thanks for posting the TLD review, it’s a very accurate summary.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • HowardBHowardB USAPosts: 2,742MI6 Agent

    Same here for me. I was an 8 year old in '65 and full of Beatles and Bond. I had already seen DN, FRWL (as a double bill) and GF so I was already firmly entrenched in "Bondmania" but seeing TB in a sold out 1,200 seat classic movie palace on a 50ft wide screen in all its Cinemascope glory was an experience I will never forget. TB is still one of my favorite Bond films and one of my favorite films in general. I have TB on Blu Ray and have Amazon Video so I can watch it anytime but if I saw it was playing locally in proper theater I would go see it. Personally, I would love to see the first four films remastered for IMAX or Dolby Cinema so I could see them all on a giant screen again. Nothing wrong with reliving a piece one's youth at least for a few hours.

  • RevelatorRevelator Posts: 577MI6 Agent

    Lazenby Bows as the New James Bond (Los Angeles Times, Dec. 18, 1969)

    by Charles Champlin

    On Her Majesty's Secret Service is by a long shot the very best of the James Bond epics. For those who vastly admired those which went before, this is high praise indeed. (Agent 007-haters are free to retreat, muttering, into the other room.)

    Its is long—well over two hours—and ablaze with action all the way. But it is also the first of the films in which Bond is allowed any genuine claims to humanity, real feeling and sentiment.

    Admittedly he has probably only graduated to a more cerebral form of comic strip or a higher grade of cardboard. But in his own terms he's oddly touching and, in the end, a figure of considerable sympathy. (It's a jolt, the ending.)

    It's ironic that Sean Connery, having seen James Bond through the thinly two-dimensional days, should not be around for the new, higher-interest Bond. But George Lazenby handles it very nicely, although at his first meeting he's a good deal less vivid than Connery was.

    Humanity was the only course left for the Bond series, since the reliance on mechanical gadgetry had about run its course. This time, although the dread Ernst Blofeld (Telly Savalas) intends to dominate the world via post-hypnotic suggestion to platoons of pulchritudinous pretties, the action is largely mundane: car chases, ski races, your everyday avalanche, helicoptering, fist fights.

    But the action is beautifully paced and describes a rising series of highs, interspaced by Bond's blooming romance with a gangster's dazzling and high-spirited daughter (Diana Rigg). Bond in kilts and horn rims as a visiting expert on heraldry is a creature of great and owlish fun.

    There is much violence but it is extravagantly make believe, even at the outrageous moment when one of the bad chaps falls before a rotary snow plow and soon begins to... ah... drift.

    The previous Bonds are evoked in the titles and elsewhere; Lois Maxwell is around as Miss Moneypenny and Bernard Lee as "M" (for whom I have wanted to supply an assistant, to be called "m").

    Sets, special effects, action sequences are extensive and admirable, in the Bond tradition. John Barry's music is always intelligent and this time has a chance to be extensively lyrical as well as adventurous.

    It is a first time effort for Peter Hunt as director and he's turned the splendid trick of creating impressions of depth without jeopardizing the gorgeous escapist nonsense which the 007 enterprises are.

    As followers of the Avengers TV series know, Diana Rigg is a fine actress and delicious lady. She is enchanting here as the love of James' life.

    The film is one of the more welcome Christmas presents, to say the least.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,153MI6 Agent

    TB was billed as the Biggest Bond Of All, and in pure cinematic terms in relation to the expectancy of seeing the film, what with all the advertising, media attention, collectables - bubblegum cards, board games, action figures etc. - there has been nothing like it before or since. You really had to be there to to have any idea of how exciting it was - Bond was bigger than everything (including The Beatles) - memories that have lasted with me forever.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,153MI6 Agent

    What a great find @Revelator Charles Champlin was one of the few reviewers who actually “got” OHMSS decades before the appreciation of this superlative Bond entry started to rise. It’s my favourite of the entire canon, and always was since I first saw it upon release at the cinema.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • RevelatorRevelator Posts: 577MI6 Agent
    edited April 4

    OHMSS is my all-time favorite too. Judging from what I've read, there were a decent amount of critics in 1969 who did "get" the film, although not all of them were enthusiastic about Lazenby. Many of the reviews from the major publications were surprisingly positive (and tomorrow I'll post another one of them). But after Connery's return and Moore's debut, the press and public treated not only Lazenby but also his film as a failure or embarrassment. After OHMSS became more accessible with home video its reputation rose.

  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 26,510Chief of Staff
    edited April 4

    That’s a great find…refreshing to read something from the time that actually offers a review of the cast, crew and film…and doesn’t just ‘dump’ all over it for the ‘sin’ of not having Connery as Bond 👏🏻

    YNWA 97
  • RevelatorRevelator Posts: 577MI6 Agent

    What follows is one of the most intelligent reviews of OHMSS.

    ***

    Film: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

    By Molly Haskell (Village Voice, Dec. 25, 1969)

    In a world, an industry, and particularly genre which values the new and improved product above all, it is nothing short of miraculous to see a movie which dares to go backward, a technological artifact which has nobly deteriorated into a human being. I speak of the new and obsolete James Bond, played by a man named George Lazenby, who seems more comfortable in a wet tuxedo than a dry martini, more at ease as a donnish genealogist than reading (or playing) Playboy, and who actually dares to think that one woman is enough for him, or at least that one woman who is his equal is better than a thousand part-time playmates.

    And Diana Rigg, a handsome brunette who radiates softness, light, and intelligence, is a subtle sensation as his match, and looks just like what she is supposed to be—the daughter of a romantic, departed Englishwoman and an Italian bandit-count (Gabriele Ferzetti). Indeed, there is something downright Shavian if not Congrevian in this mating of true minds, who “dwindle” like Millamant and Mirabell into marriage, and in the comedy-of-manners style of the film, which affectionately mocks the conventions it uses to disguise true feelings.

    With On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Peter Hunt has directed what to my mind is the most engaging and exciting James Bond film. Hunt is a newcomer, who, according to the program notes, worked as editor and unit director on the five previous Bond films. He has been able to call upon and yet carefully modify certain expectations.

    Lazenby is a less slick and streamlined model than his predecessor. He has small eyes in an unmemorable face (none of Connery’s beaming black and white contrasts), and a hesitant, attentive manner strongly suggestive of both thought and feeling. He is less than efficient at his work. “Have you lost confidence in me, Sir?” he asks M, who is releasing him from a case on which he has spent two fruitless years.

    On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is least effective in the areas where the others were strong: in wizardry, gimmickry, and narrative neatness. There are loose ends, longeurs, the nature of the Enemy takes forever to emerge and when it does is anti-climactic, and the only gimmick is a safe-cracking computer which takes an entire hour to do the job. But the action sequences, particularly the ski chase, winter carnival, and stock-car racing episodes are breathtaking. Each is long, beautifully developed and refined, and invites the thrill of complicity more than the shock of surprise. The fist fights, on the other hand, are sheer hyperbole—big black henchmen, a few swift belts and chops that sound like they were recorded from inside a punching bag. Death is comically rather than cosmically cheap, perhaps to beguile us before the tragic ending. If the film refers to anything beyond its own unfolding it is neither the aesthetics of death nor the poetics of men-machines, but human weakness and sex (i.e. maleness and femaleness) as the most human of weaknesses and the most private and variable of joys.

    The stable of nitwit beauties being brainwashed by the evil Blofeld (Telly Savalas) are seen with humorous interest rather than contempt. Even Bond’s dalliances are mutual jokes rather than caricatures. The only truly wicked and immutable character in the film is the dikey but sexless Irma Bunt (Ilse Steppat), assistant to Blofeld and executor of his wishes. The most grotesque scene in the film is when she substitutes herself for one of the young girls as a trap for Bond, and he pulls back the sheets to discover her.

    The love between Bond and his Tracy begins as a payment and ends as a sacrament. After ostensibly getting rid of the bad guys, they are married. They drive off to a shocking, stunning ending. Their love, being too real, is killed by the conventions it defied. But they win the final victory by calling, unexpectedly, upon feeling. Some of the audience hissed, I was shattered. If you like your Bonds with happy endings, don’t go.

  • HowardBHowardB USAPosts: 2,742MI6 Agent

    Excellent point. I recall as we exited the theater, there was a long line in the lobby waiting to enter the auditorium and another long line outside the theater of folks waiting to purchase tickets at the box office.

    When TB opened in NYC, it premiered at the Manhattan Paramount Theater, (TB also opened at the same time in two other Manhattan theaters and numerous other locations throughout the other four NY Boroughs and Long Island as part of the new "United Artists Premier Showcase Presentation" wide release format; prior to that most major film releases were initially limited to a few large major cities (NY, LA, Chicago) and then slowly rolled out to other smaller cities and suburbs). Despite the wide release schedule, demand for tickets was so high that the 3,600 seat Paramount Theater was open 24 hrs with round the clock showings.

    Here's a little TB trivia from my hometown of Atlantic City. TB was packing them in to capacity so well at the 1,000 seat plus Beach Theatre, that when TB finished it's run there, the theater owner rented the local "Adult / Burlesque" theater down the street (which hadn't shown anything but Adult films and live Burlesque for years) and continued to show the film there.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,153MI6 Agent

    That’s another great find @Revelator I’m enjoying these positive OHMSS reviews.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,153MI6 Agent

    Good to read your reminiscences of TB @HowardB it was such an exciting time to be a kid in the 60’s!

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,153MI6 Agent

    Review of Octopussy by John Brosnan in Starburst #61 September 1983


    Octopussy tries to mix a Raiders of the Lost Ark-style fairy tale with a relatively serious Cold War plot but the mixture refuses to gel. The Raiders part of the film is set in a fantasy India that has only ever existed in the minds of Hollywood script writers: the contemporary section is set in Germany where a renegade Russian general plans to explode an atomic bomb in an American air force base.

    Octopussy is unusual for a Bond movie in that it has a political message - that the nuclear disarmament movement is a threat to the West - but in all other ways it breaks no new ground. Like For Your Eyes Only it concentrates on stunts and action sequences while eschewing gadgetry, giant futuristic sets a la Ken Adam) and Blofeld-type master villains. Admittedly much of the stuntwork is truly amazing, though it's a pity that the stuntman doubling Moore has different coloured hair in many scenes. As for Moore, he is now much too old and overweight for the role and at times looks faintly ridiculous, especially in the love scenes. And I don't know if it's old age on my part too but I found this Bond movie to be much more annoyingly sexist than usual. It reminded me, in its treatment of the women, of one Of those awful Dean Marlin "Matt Helm" films of the 1960s; embarrassing and old-fashioned at the same time.

    See it for the pre-credits sequence (where most of the budget obviously went) and the stunts but during its many longueur shut your eyes and hope that Never Say Never Again will be a real James Bond movie.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 10,270MI6 Agent

    Okay, to save you the trouble, here's John Brosnan on NSNA - scanned from my Never Say Never Again scrapbook!

    And here's a review from another UK magazine.

    Both are way too favourable imo - I don't think there was a dissenting view on this film, it seems to me the critics all toed the line.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • RevelatorRevelator Posts: 577MI6 Agent

    I thought Brosnan's review had a fair amount of criticism: the film couldn't match EON in spectacle or budget, Von Sydow was wasted as Blofeld and SPECTRE was wasted in the film, Atkinson's comic relief was over-the-top, and the climax was a "wet squib." Those are all part of the modern consensus on the film, along with Brosnan's conclusion: "fell far short of the movie it could have been."

  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 10,270MI6 Agent

    I see what you mean - but I feel the John Brosnan who wrote the excellent James Bond In The Cinema, which was my bible from 1980 onwards - would have torn a hole in this movie. It's the worst Sean Connery Bond film by far, and I'd sooner watch Octopussy any day.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,238MI6 Agent

    I enjoyed both reviews of NSNA, which resonate well with me. That underwater climax is distinctly underwhelming and they are right to praise the villains and Connery. Holliss' note that Moore was sending up the character of Bond by 1983 rings very true.

    The OHMSS reviews are tight and full of good insight. Haskell's priase for Diana Rigg made my heart sing. I've caught a few repeats of The Avengers lately and Rigg is always simply gorgeously divinely sexily sophisticated.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,929MI6 Agent

    chrisno1 said: I've caught a few repeats of The Avengers lately and Rigg is always simply gorgeously divinely sexily sophisticated.

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    research for your next episode-by-episode review thread?

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,153MI6 Agent

    Thanks for posting @Napoleon Plural I wonder if kids today keep scrapbooks?

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 8,671MI6 Agent
    edited April 10

    I must say I was a little surprised that John Brosnan had written reviews of the Bond films as well (though I probably shouldn't have been). I thought his only connection to Bond was his seminal book, James Bond in the Cinema. This thread has been an education to me. I agree I'd rather watch Octopussy too but then it's long been one of my favourite Bond films.

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 10,270MI6 Agent

    Yes, John Brosnan worked for Starburst magazine - before I got hold of James Bond in the Cinema he did a feature that gave a paragraph or two review of all the Bonds, which was gold dust to a young fan who really didn't know how many films there were or the order, and had no way of finding out. The 60s were like the Dark Ages back then, like you would know the Beatles but not how many albums they did or the order - then again, you could just find out by visiting your local record shop, there were no DVDs or videos for films back then, it was largely word of mouth, what you could find out.

    Brosnan joked that when his namesake took the role, it meant he no longer had to clarify his surname - he'd been confused for the actor Charles Bronson until then. His last review was a favourable one for GoldenEye I think - he said the reference to the real-life betrayal of the Kossacks left a bit of a bad taste, however.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,238MI6 Agent

    Goldfinger

    So James Bond is off again and, as in From Russia With Love, a pre-credits sequence of breathless speed and impudence tips a colossal wink at the audience. After these first five minutes of outrageous violence, callous fun and bland self-mockery, the tone is so firmly set that the film could get away with almost anything. Having hit on a gold-plated formula, the Broccoli-Saltzman team have had the wit to keep on developing it. Their only worry now must be how far they can keep it up, in ensuring that each adventure is more enjoyably extravagant (or extravagantly enjoyable) than the last one. Here, they have gone all out for sets and gadgetry. A laconic secret service man introduces Bond to the Aston Martin special, fitted out with radar, smoke-screen, flamethrowers, machine-gun headlamps, and an ejector seat for unwanted passengers. Later, all this equipment is of course put to good use. When Goldfinger wants to dispose of a recalcitrant ally, he has the man shot by Oddjob, who then drives the corpse to a yard in which cars are pulped for scrap metal. Into the works goes a gleaming Thunderbird; from it emerges a neat little cube of scrap. Sympathy, it goes without saying, is all for the car, with none to spare for the corpse. Ken Adam’s sets, notably the operations room at the Kentucky ranch and the glittering vaults of Fort Knox, are masterpieces of technological fantasy. Only characters as extreme as Gert Frobe’s bloated tweedy Goldfinger and Harold Sakata’s entirely imperturbable Oddjob could live up to them, and even Honor Blackman’s Pussy, in spite of the judo and the wardrobe, seems a trifle diminished. Characters, in Goldfinger, have to make an immediate impact: they will probably be dead before they get a second chance. But the real trick of the formula – not, incidentally, Ian Fleming’s formula at all, but the film’s invention – is the way it uses humour. In all his adventures, sexual and lethal, Bond is a kind of joke superman, as preposterously resilient as one of those cartoon cats. It may be Paul Dehn’s collaboration on the script which here gives a new finesse to the jokes, or it may simply be a growing confidence on the part of everyone concerned, and most notably of Sean Connery himself. Goldfinger really is a dazzling object lesson in the principle that nothing succeeds like excess.

    Monthly Film Bulletin, November 1964 

  • RevelatorRevelator Posts: 577MI6 Agent

    Having hit on a gold-plated formula, the Broccoli-Saltzman team have had the wit to keep on developing it. Their only worry now must be how far they can keep it up

    Spoiler: they couldn't.

    As a work of entertainment GF was the series' greatest triumph but also screwed it up. The shadow of GF is upon every subsequent Bond film, which either tries to emulate the perfect formula or pointedly rejects it. Or awkwardly tries to do both--to paraphrase Michael G. Wilson, when they tried making another FRWL they usually ended up with another GF (but not as good). Any short-lived series would be glad to hit its high point three films in, but for a long-running series to do so is a curse.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,153MI6 Agent

    That’s a very insightful review - is the reviewer named or does MFB only post anonymous reviews? A good find @chrisno1

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,238MI6 Agent

    I have no idea. These were copied from old notelets provided at BFI screenings. They usually mention critics / writers as a matter of reference but none are attached to these MFB reveiews.

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