Tag Archives: licence to kill

For Your Eyes Also: John Glen’s Autobiography

I thoroughly enjoyed John Glen’s new autobiography. Glen jumps into the action as fast any Bond thriller on the big screen. His work on eight of the EON Bond flicks takes up the bulk of this fascinating new book.

Within the first few paragraphs the reader is plunged onto the icy mountains of Baffin Island where Glen is preparing second unit duties on his second Bond, 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me. The incredible teaser stunt, which most Bond fans are familiar with and which is by many considered the best Bond stunt ever, is explored in depth. Bedding down in the icy cold, John Glen writes of Willy Bogner’s legitimate fear at the deadly stunt but bravery in going when needed in one thrilling take from thousands of feet above icy rocks. I learned plenty here, including Glen’s being at risk of freezing himself into a popsicle on location, more than once! You may never view the opener of TSWLM the same way again.

Things were different in the movie industry in recent years, especially in the area of safety for principal personnel, and Glen explains how he risked physical danger or death quite a number of times on his Bonds, between the late 1960’s and late ‘80s. Even Roger Moore assured his safety on one Octopussy shoot working under a moving train by insisting that Glen accompany him on the tracks beneath the moving behemoth-his way of ensuring Glen himself felt the stunt was truly a safe one!

The chapter describing second unit work for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is impressive and a treat for OHMSS fans overall, including yet one more perspective on how George Lazenby must have felt trying to fill Scotland’s largest shoes. Glen apparently was as much a hero of the film as lead director Peter Hunt, and his was much of the creative genius behind the bobsled fight and ski sequences. DVD fans may seem some of the same extra material covered again in Glen’s book, especially the information on License To Kill, but For My Eyes Only is overall a gritty triumph about a hardworking man who waited 30 years to break into lead directing with For Your Eyes Only.

A sad footnote is that Glen’s LTK tested higher than any previous Bond film with test audiences, but was demolished between Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade and Batman, to name just two 1989 summer blockbusters. Underscored throughout the book is the essential nature of the director to any Bond film, from Terence Young and Dr. No to Michael Apted and The World Is Not Enough, the director gets huge leeway regarding casting, script development, exotic locations and stunt choices, to name a few.

Glen’s view from the top explores in some detail how Cubby and Barbara Broccoli, Michael Wilson and the screenwriters thought, plotted and risked hunches and millions on the casting and scripting of the greatest film series in history. Lacking is any moving in-depth background on Glen himself, however. Two marriages are treated almost as footnotes in the book. Glen eventually brought his wife on location with him, but apparently spent nearly five decades “late at the office”.

The book and jacket design lean heavily on the James Bond image and EON 007 logo. I found it bizarre that the designer did not clean up the famous image cropped in close up of George Lazenby in front of “Big Ben,” for example, but left “overhangs” atop of the heads of both Lazenby and Dalton on the front cover. My copy also had ink dropped out on certain pages, lightening some of the photo captions almost beyond recognition. The jacket and book design are still pleasing to the eye, however. This book was certainly aimed at the interested 007 fan. Many pleasant stills are included of action, cast and crew. Some never-before seen photos are included among them. Further insights are also given into Cubby Broccoli’s generosity and a humorous foreword is included by Roger Moore, CBE.

–For My Eyes Only is published in hardback and is available now from various sources including Dave Worral’s Collectors’ Club.

Roulette, Mister Bond?

American and European versions of roulette use the same rules. The difference between the two versions is that the American machines have a zero and double zero for 38 compartments, and the European machines have only the single zero for 37 compartments.

Each player is given his own colored set of chips (except in France, where some problems arise since all players use the same colored chips). The chips have no face value; each player tells the croupier the value of his chips when he purchases them. The croupier keeps track of the value of each set of chips by putting a small check chip with this value on the stack of chips.

Half the 36 numbers for the compartments are red and the others black. The zero and double zero are neutral colors (usually green).

The croupier asks the players to place their bets. A player does not have to sit at the table to place a bet. Once all bets are down, the croupier spins the wheel clockwise and then flips the ball counterclockwise around the rim of the wheel. Eventually, the ball lands in one of the compartments and the bets are paid off.

The simplest bet is to place chips on a single number. This is betting Straight Up (Plein); if the ball lands in this numbered compartment, the player is paid off at a ratio of 35 to 1.

Chips can be placed to cover several numbers at once. The diagrams on this page show the American and European roulette tables. The chip marked A touches “14” and “17”; this is called Split Numbers (Cheval). If either of these numbers wins, the player is paid off at a ratio of17 to 1. The chip marked B is placed on the corners of 26, 27, 29 and 30; this is called a Corner (Carre) and pays off at 8 to 1.

A Trio (Traversale Plein) bet is on the three numbers in a particular row (chip C in the diagram is betting on 28, 29, and 30); this bet pays off at 11 to 1. On the American version only, a Five Numbers bet can be made (chip D in the diagram covers 0, 00, 1 ,2, and 3); this bet pays off at 6 to 1. A Six Numbers (Traversale Simple) bet covers two rows (chip E in the diagram covers 10, 11, 12 , 13, 14, and 15); this bet pays off at 5 to 1.

A Column Bet (Colonne) covers 12 numbers (chip F in the diagram) in a column, and pays off at 2 to 1. The European tables allow a Split Column (Colonne a Cheval) that covers two columns (24 numbers); it pays off at 1 to 2. A Dozen (Douzaine) bet covers 12 numbers (chip G in the diagram covers 1 through 12); it pays off at 2 to 1. The European tables allow a Split Double (Douzaine a Cheval) where a chip covers 24 numbers; this bet pays off at 1 to 2.

Players can make Even Chance (Chances Simples) bets where the number that will come up will be red (Rouge) or black (Noir), odd (Impair), or even (Pair) or low (Manque; low numbers 1 to 18) or high (passe; high numbers 19 to 36.) These bets pay off even money.

In the American version, if the number that comes up is a 0 or 00, only single bets made on those numbers win. All Even Chance bets are lost in this case. In the European version, a 0 means the croupier “imprisons” the chips (that is, the chips stay on that bet until the next roll) but the chips lose half their value.

Blackjack or “Vingt-et-un”

This game is also known as “Twenty One” and, in Europe, as “Vingt-et-un”. The house dealer asks for bets and then gives out one card face up to each player plus one for himself. Then he deals a second card face up to the players and himself. (Note that the dealing of cards face up or down varies from casino to casino) The object of the game is to reach 21 or come as close as possible without going over. The players can elect to take extra cards to get closer to 21.

An Ace in this game is worth either 1 or 11 (at the players choice); face cards (Jacks, Queens, and Kings) are worth 10; and the other cards are worth their face value. Thus, a combination of an Ace and a 10 equals 21 (this is called a “natural” blackjack and automatically wins, unless the dealer also has a natural blackjack in which case the player neither wins nor loses his bet).

If a player`s first two cards equal less than 21, he may continue to have the dealer give him extra cards (“hits”) one at a time until he elects to stand or goes over 21 (in which case he automatically loses). After all players have taken their extra cards, the dealer must give himself an extra card if his first two cards total 16 or less and he must stand if his total is 17 or more.

Any player who has a natural blackjack wins at the rate of 3 to 2 (unless the dealer also has a natural blackjack, in which case there is a tie). Any player whose card total is higher than the dealer`s wins at even odds. Any player who ties the dealer`s card total is in a tie and neither wins nor loses his bet. All hands that are less than the dealer`s total or that go over 21 lose.

There are several variations that may occur during a hand. A Split Pair occurs when a player`s first two cards are of the same value ( a pair of 9`s for example) or are both worth 10 ( a 10 and a Queen, or a Jack and a King). The player in this case can split the cards and play them as if they are two hands. Play proceeds as described above and the player can bet on both hands. If the player gets another pair, he can split up those cards for new hands, up to a maximum of 5 splits. The use of Split Pairs varies from casino to casino.

There are some limitations on Split Pairs. If Aces are split, the player receives only one card on each Ace. Also, if a player has an Ace and a 10 or picture card with a split pair, he does not have a “natural” blackjack` instead, the cards are worth 21 and if he wins, the payoff is at even money. These variations in Split Pairs differ from casino to casino.

A second variation is Double Down. When a player`s first two cards equal 9, 10, or 11, he can double his bet. In this case, he receives only one more card (the exception being that if his first total is 9 and he draws a 2, he can be given one more card).

A player may also place an Insurance bet if the dealer drew an Ace on his first card. Before anyone receives a second card, a player may bet up to half his original bet that the deal will get a natural blackjack with his second card. If the dealer does indeed get a natural blackjack, the player is paid off at 2 to 1; if the dealer does not make a natural blackjack, the player loses his Insurance bet.

Spain, Vietnam and China – bond movie locations

Spain: Was once an original location shoot for Tomorrow Never Dies but was scrapped just prior to filming. The film was behind schedule and this may have been the reason. Spain and the Guggenheim made it back into the next film, The World Is Not Enough.

Vietnam: The producers wanted to actually film the relevant scenes of Tomorrow Never Dies in Vietnam where part of the film is set. Apparently the Communist factions of either China or Vietnam didn`t approve and took away Bond`s permit to film there. Thailand was then used as a substitute. EON will tell you though that they backed out of Vietnam, not the other way around. Why China would crush this production is a mystery, since the script is very complementary of them. Speaking of China…

China: Was one of the original locations for Licence To Kill. Locations had been scouted as early as December of 1987 in preparation for a summer 1988 filming date. What happened to the China angle? The primary reason is that EON wanted to be the first major Western film production to use China as a backdrop. “Empire Of The Sun” beat them to it. And it would`ve been more expensive to film in China as well and EON found a good place to film with Cherubusco Studios in Mexico City.

licence to kill – adaptation

License To Kill was based, in part, upon two different Fleming Novels; the novels–Live And Let Die and The Hildebrand Rarity. With most novel to film transitions, some of the most fun can be had seeing what made the final script and what did not. We`ll first take a look at The Hildebrand Rarity.

The Milton Krest character made the film, but he was drastically different than the book character. As in the book, LTK`s Krest had a drinking problem. What Krest did`nt have in LTK was his `corrector`, a whip made of sea spines. He used it, in the book, to keep his wife in line. In the film, the `corrector` is given to the newly created character of Franz Sanchez, who only uses it once. Liz Krest did`nt make the film, but instead was essentially replaced by Lupe Lamora. The WaveKrest in the book made the film and in both cases, The WaveKrest was being used searching for marine specimens as a cover for more nefarious activities. In the case of The Hildebrand Rarity, The WaveKrest was used as a tax writeoff/way to travel around the world free. In LTK, it was used to smuggle cocaine.

A whole section was taken from Live and Let Die, that had not been used for the film of that name. Mostly, this had to do with the revenge of a criminal against Felix Leiter, and how Bond reacted to it. In the book, Felix was partially fed to a great white shark and a note attached to the leftovers of his body that said “He disagreed with something that ate him”. In the book, this sequence takes place on an ocean front warehouse in Tampa/St.Petersburg, whereas in the film, it takes place in Key West.

In the book, Bond is investigating treasure smuggling by Mr. Big. In LTK, Felix and Bond investigate drug smuggling by Franz Sanchez. In LALD, the treasure was being smuggled in the bottom of aquariums that had collected sea creatures. The gold coins were buried in the silt. In LTK, the cocaine was smuggled inside the WaveKrest, and buried underneath a maggot incubator.

In The Hildebrand Rarity, Bond was aided by Fidele Barbery and in Live and Let Die, Bond was aided by Quarrel. In License To Kill, Bond is aided by Sharky who is either one of these characters in disguise. Take your pick.

Eric Clapton – Almost Recorded With vic flick

Clapton recorded a rendition of the Bond theme for the Licence To Kill soundtrack with multi-time Bond guitarist, Vic Flick, also on guitar–a title song. They shot video footage too, along the Thames with a live performance!

Conventional wisdom says the producers wanted a ballad sung by a female. Hence, Clapton`s version, if he did one, would have been scrapped. However, the 30th Anniversary Album contains rare and never before heard tracks from discarded song attempts. It`s possible that maybe something Clapton recorded would show up on a future compilation album at some date . . . his archival stuff is stored at a relative’s house!

25th Anniversary Look At Licence To Kill

Timothy Dalton actor as Bond  July 1988 dbase MSI

By Robert Baum

Timothy Dalton makes his second time around as Ian Fleming’s James Bond in the sixteenth 007 screen adventure, Licence to Kill. This film is more influenced by the sort of mega-action blockbusters produced by Joel Silver and not prior Bond efforts by producer Albert Broccoli. Dalton’s 007 is tough-as-nails and takes on a very real adversary: a cocaine kingpin (Robert Davi, who appeared in Silver’s Action Jackson and Die Hard).

The previous Bond picture The Living Daylights–which marked Dalton’s 007 debut–seemed typical 007: nifty gadgets, lovely ladies, a slew of exotic locales, and an incredible assortment of stunts. This time we see a Bond unlike prior Bonds (Sean Connery, George Lazenby, or Roger Moore). In the course of the film’s 133 minute running time we get to glimpse but a few locales. While the primary female (Carey Lowell), formerly in the army and CIA, is attractive she doesn’t seem credible as a veteran operative accustomed to working in hostile territories.

Helmed by John Glen, who has directed the Bond films since 1981s For Your Eyes Only, this installment has no moments of laughter or levity in any way whatsoever. For the first time in his career 007 is on his own. No mission this time. This time the matter is a personal one.

En route to the wedding of longtime friend Felix Leiter (David Hedison, who makes a return to the role he first portrayed in 1973s Live and Let Die), he and Bond stop to capture drug lord Franz Sanchez (Davi) as the film opens. The opening sequence offers a chance for us to witness an amazing display of jaw-slackening stunts.

Unlike prior Bond tales, Felix Leiter plays a pivotal role in the story. Actually what happens to him is taken from the Fleming novel Live and Let Die. Though Hedison is about two decades older than Dalton, they seem to have some rapport. This hasn’t really been apparent with Leiter’s other appearances, or any other Leiter–save Jack Lord and Hedison–for that matter. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see much here. Hedison seems little more than an extended cameo, a pity.

Bond’s love interest Pam Bouvier could have been more interesting but she isn’t. While she makes for a far more better 007 ally than Tanya Roberts in A View to a Kill, Lowell is not a great beauty like Dr. No’‘s Ursula Andress or Live and Let Die‘s Jane Seymour. Lowell makes Britt Ekland, who played Mary Goodnight in The Man with the Golden Gun) look like Diana Rigg in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Lowell looks as if she’d be more at home as a comely coed in an Animal House type of film. Lupe Lamora (Talisa Soto), Sanchez’s mistress, exudes a stronger presence than Pam Bouvier. Despite being only 22, Soto exudes an exotic sensuality that makes her seem more mature. Even if she is merely little more than an ornament.

As Sanchez, Davi is quite a convincing foe. His presence makes for perhaps one of the few times in the series that Bond has faced an opponent who possesses a very real threat to him. Davi brings a suave and menacing charm to the role and is likable in a perverted way. His Sanchez is a villain to be feared. We know it. Davi knows it.

While the film is far from perfect, it is far from the typical Bond films, particularly those of recent years. But in an era of Indiana Jones and high body count, testosterone-laden, jingoistic protagonists often essayed by Sylvester and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dalton shows that when it comes to action, no one does it quite like 007.