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      APRIL 2017 - Clifton James (1920-2017)

Clifton James in Live And Let Die (1973)

15 April 2017
American actor Clifton James who played Sheriff J.W. Pepper in Live And Let Die (1973) and The Man With The Golden Gun (1974) has died at the age of 96.

In a career spanning seven decades, James appeared in over 100 films and TV series including The Chase (1966) and Cool Hand Luke (1967). Later films included The Last Detail (1973), Superman II (1980) and The Untouchables (1987).

Often cast as Southern American law men, James was actually born in Spokane, Washington. Sheriff J.W. Pepper was created by Live And Let Die screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz as comic relief as he didn't want the audience laughing at the African American villains in the film. The character was so popular that James was asked to reprise the role in the next film in the series The Man With The Golden Gun.

Clifton James was one of several James Bond alumni who attended Autographica 2005 where the biggest name by far on the guest list, courtesy of Graham Rye and 007 MAGAZINE, was Ursula Andress.

      APRIL 2017 - Casino Royale at 50 - The film that is still too much for one James Bond!
Casino Royale poster artwork by Robert McGinnis

1 April 2017
50 years ago Casino Royale was released on an unsuspecting British public following it's Royal Charity premiere on 13 April 1967. Despite some poor reviews in the British press, the film went on to do brisk business at the Odeon Leicester Square in the weeks before Sean Connery's fifth 007 outing You Only Live Twice premiered there on 13 June. Casino Royale opened at the LOEW'S Capitol Theatre in New York on 28 April 1967, and for six weeks it was the highest-grossing film in the United States, eventually becoming the thirteenth most successful film of the year.

The story behind how the 1967 version of Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel was made would make a fascinating film in itself, and the many behind-the-scenes stories surrounding its troubled production have since become legend.

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the release of Casino Royale, 007 MAGAZINE presents 007 little-known facts about the film that was too big for one James Bond!    
Casino Royale at 50  

       MARCH 2017 - Becoming Bond - a new 90-minute docu-drama premieres at the SXSW Festival
George Lazenby at the Becoming Bond premiere

11 March 2017
Becoming Bond
, a new 90-minute docu-drama has premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas. The film will be available to stream on HULU from 20 May 2017.

Written and directed by Josh Greenbaum, the film, described as a “unique documentary/narrative hybrid” chronicles “stranger-than-fiction true story of George Lazenby, a poor Australian car mechanic who, through an unbelievable set of circumstances, landed the role of James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), despite having never acted a day in his life. Then after being offered the next seven Bond films and a $1 million signing bonus, he turned it all down.” Australian actor Josh Lawson stars as George Lazenby. Also appearing in Becoming Bond is former Bond girl Jane Seymour who played Solitaire in Live And Let Die (1973).

FULL STORY AND MORE IMAGES

       MARCH 2017 - Ian Fleming and Book Collecting - A Special Issue of The Book Collector

Everyone knows about Bond but few are aware of Fleming’s passion for collecting books. In 1952, the same year he wrote CASINO ROYALE, he launched The Book Collector. By then he was well into his collection of first editions of the crucial books of modern civilisation (on TV, atomic fission, X-rays, birth control, the motor car and penicillin among other things). As an idea it was unique. When he died in 1964 it was bought by the Lilly Library, Indiana University.

• “James Bond Invades America”
• “Collecting Ian Fleming”
• “You Only Live Twice, the dust-wrapper”
• “Two Bond Collectors: Why Bond?”
• “The Bond Market: an 007 Price Index”

These are only a few of the articles you’ll find in the March Special Issue. Much of the material comes from unseen family papers. It will be a unique publication in the vast history of the Bond phenomenon. FULL STORY

       FEBRUARY 2017 - Alec McCowen (1925-2017)
Alec McCowen

6 February 2017
Alec McCowen, the respected stage and film actor has died at the age of 91. Remembered by Bond fans as 'Q' [Algernon] in Never Say Never Again (1983), he gave a brief but memorable performance opposite Sean Connery who returned to the role of James Bond for the first time in over a decade. McCowen provided the most memorable lines in the film during his brief exchange with Connery in the Q-branch scene.

McCowen made his film debut in The Cruel Sea in 1953 and later joined the Old Vic Company for its 1959–60 season at the Royal Court Theatre. Moving to the Royal Shakespeare Company he played many important roles in the early 1960s.

Perhaps his most famous screen role was in Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy (1972) when he played Chief Inspector Oxford, whose pretentious gourmet cook wife (played by Vivien Merchant) offered comic relief in the master director's penultimate film. Returning to the stage in 1973 he originated the role of child psychiatrist Dr. Martin Dysart opposite Peter Firth in the world premiere of Peter Shaffer's Equus, which ran at the National Theatre in London from 1973 to 1975.


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