Tag Archives: the living daylights

Octopussy (And The Living Daylights)

The book Octopussy is a collection of short stories,written by Ian Fleming, but published, as a collective book, after his death. The book Octopussy contains three short stories. The first is “Octopussy”, the second “The Living Daylights” and the third is “The Property Of A Lady”. “The Living Daylights” was published first in 1962 under the title The Berlin Escape and was first published in Argosy magazine. “Octopussy” and “The Property Of A Lady” were first published in Playboy magazine.

Octopussy The Hero: James Bond; The Villian: Dexter Smythe; Supporting Character: Oberhauser; Location covered: Jamaica

Octopussy isn`t just one of my favorite Ian Fleming stories. It`s one of my favorites stories. Period. It`s a rather unusual story, with Bond actually being a minor character. Also, the “villain” isn`t your typical villain. In Fleming`s hand, Dexter Smythe, is a multi-faceted, complex, weak, guilt ridden man.

The story is set in Jamaica, in particular, a small, out of the way strip of beachfront property where the lonely recluse, Major Smythe, lives. Smythe, once an officer of the Royal Marines, but now retired, spends his lonely days drinking and tending to “his people”. “His people” are actually an assortment of sea life that reside inside the reef right off the beach that Major Smythe owns. His wife is dead, and now he has only the fish to take care of, which he dutifully does everyday. He names every single one of the sea creatures, and even stirs up the sand so that the bottom dwellers will be able to find something to eat.

“He referred to them as “people”, and since reef fish stick to their territories as closely as do most small birds, he knew them all, after two years, intimately, “loved” them, and believed that they loved him in return. They certainly knew him as the denizens of zoos know their keepers, because he was a daily and a regular provider, scraping off algae and stirring up the sand and rocks for the bottome feeders…”—page 13.

You can almost feel a twinge of sadness for the character. Smythe must be desperately sad and a bit senile to believe that fish could love him, yet this bizarre belief makes Smythe a much more tragic character, and thus makes us sympathetic towards him. Major Dexter Smythe may have been loving towards sea life, but he had a secret gnawing away at him.

“…tropical sloth had gradually riddled him so that, while outwardly he appeared a piece of fairly solid hardwood, inside the varnished surface, the termites of sloth, self indulgence, guilt over an ancient sin, and general disguest with himself had eroded his once hard core into dust”— page 12.

“So Major Smythe was bored, bored to death, and, but for one factor in his life , he would long ago have swalloed the bottle of barbituates he had easily acquired from a local doctor”.—page 13

What sin had Dexter Smythe committed that has gnawed away at his conscience for so many years? He murdered a man in cold blood, and stole quite a fortune in gold bars. Bond knows this, and he`s come to Jamaica to give Major Smythe the opportunity to turn himself in. In Jamaica, Smythe recounts the story of what happened and why he killed a man called Oberhauser. He even goes into length describing how he covered up the crime.

“Oberhauser`s sausage was a real moutaineers meal -tough, well fatted, and strongly garlicked. Bits of it stuck uncomfortably between Major Smythe`s teeth. He dug them out with a sliver of a matchstick and spat them on the ground. Then his Intelligence-wise mind came into operation, and he meticulously searched among the stones and grass, picked up the scraps, and swallowed them. From now on he was a criminal…He was a cop turned robber. He must remember that!”—page 34.”

Page 47 holds a neat plot twist, with Smythe finding out why this particularly obscure case was of such interest to Bond. After hearing the why`s and the how`s of the murder tale, Bond tells Smythe the police will be by in a week to arrest him. Is that a hint Smythe wonders? A hint to commit suicide? To spare the court and the taxpayers the time and money of a trial? Bond leaves, and Smythe begins to wonder what his next move will be. Will he try and defend his actions in court? Will he flee the country? Will he kill himself? The choice ends up being made for Smythe. Justice prevails in a bizarre and ironic twist of fate for the Major.

The Living Daylights The Hero: James Bond; The Villain: Trigger; Supporting Characters: “M”, Captain Sender, 272; Location covered: East Berlin

The Living Daylights is yet another of Ian Fleming`s best stories. In this one, Bond is assigned to provide cover for a defector code named 272. 272 will try and make the escape from East Berlin over to the West side and into freedom. However, the KGB have already been put on alert by a double agent, and not only know the escape route 272 will use, but now have one of their best snipers, code named “Trigger”, to assasinate 272 before he can cross the wall. Fans who`ve already seen the movie will certainly suspect a few of the plot points and twists that Fleming provides. However, enough original material remains intact to make this worth your time to read. What`s impressive about the story was the absolute dread that Bond felt in having to murder an enemy agent in cold blood. Even though “Trigger” is the enemy, Fleming does such a wonderful job of portraying Bond`s anxieties about the mission, that we yet again see Bond, not as an all-powerful superhero, but as an ordinary man. A man that could be any one of us. In several passages, Fleming remarks about the sweat pouring off of 007`s body. In order to complete his mission, 007 has a bit to drink, which causes an angry outburst between James and his assistant, Sender.

Bond took a stiff drink of the whiskey before he donned the hideous cowl that now stank of his sweat. Captain Sender had tried to prevent him, and when he failed, had threatened to call up Head of Station and report Bond for breaking training.

“Look my friend”, said Bond wearily, “I`ve got to commit a murder tonight. Not you. Me. So be a good chap and stuff it, would you?” —page 86

Also of interest to readers is the relationship between Bond and “M”. There`s some mutual feelings of, dare I say, love, or at least respect for one another. “M” realizes this is going to be a tough assignment for Bond, and tries to shoulder much of the responsibility for it and to take off the weight of dread that 007 must be feeling.

“Where do you come in, 007?” M. looked coldly across the desk. “You know where you come in. You`ve got to kill this sniper. And you`ve got to kill him before he gets 272. That`s all. Is that understood?”. The clear blue eyes remained cold as ice. But Bond knew that they remained so only with an effort of will. M. did`nt like sending any man to a killing. But, when it had to be done, he always put on this fierce, cold act of command. Bond knew why. It was to take some of the pressure, some of the guilt, off the killer`s shoulders. —-page 67

Ian does a fantastic job putting in plot twists and turns, and intermixing them with real, discernible tension. From a beautiful cello player to “strawberry jam”, this story`s got it all!

The Property of a Lady The Hero: James Bond; The Villian: Maria Freudenstein Supporting Characters: Dr. Fanshawe; Kenneth Snowman; Mary Goodnight; Location covered: Sotheby`s

This one is the shortest of the short stories, and consequently has the least amount of character development. Also, too many characters are in this story, in my opinion, for a short story. The plot, in summary, is the investigation into a gift, received by a Miss Maria Freudenstein, working for M.I.6, which may have come from the KGB. Maria is due to receive the proceeds from the auction at Sotheby`s of the Emerald Sphere, and Bond, along with art expert Kenneth Snowman, goes to the auction to see who it is that will be there to bump up the price. The KGB may be sending someone to outbid everyone else at the auction, as a way of repayment for double agent services rendered by Miss Freudenstein. There`s not any surprises in this tale, and it`s much more of a straight forward story than anything else. It`ll give you a nice education in auction ettiquette though.

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.

Bond and morocco

Tangier and Quarzazate served as two of the international backdrops for “The Living Daylights”. Morocco is located in the far Northwest corner of Africa. It`s boundaries are primarily made up of The Atlantic Ocean, The Meditteranean Sea, and The Atlas Mountain range.

Tangier For Brad Whitaker`s villa in “The Living Daylights”, the producers made use of the esate of Albert Broccoli`s good friend, Malcolm Forbes. The interiors were filmed at Pinewood , but extensive exterior footage was shot around the sprawling sea side estate, including use of the pool, gardens, and sea side terraces. The crew filmed exteriors in the early part of October `86 during the day. And it shows. For while the climactic fight between Whitaker and 007 was supposed to be in the evening, the bright shining light of the sun in closeups of 007 infiltrating Whitaker`s compound clearly show that this sequence was not filmed in the evening.

Though production in Tangier did run smoothly overall, there were a few holdups. The cherry red `57 Chevy Impala Liz and Ava use to drive 007 to Felix`s yacht kept stalling out so many times that the director had two men get behind the car and push it for closeups of the car coming to a stop. Luckily, the car did manage to start long enough to get one good wide shot of it pulling in front of Leiter`s yacht. In addition to that little problem, the $5 million dollar yacht, on loan to the producers , pulled in to the marina several hours late, thus holding up filming that day.

On a side note….prostitution is everywhere in Tangier. Discos, restaurants, street markets, shopping centers, etc… It`s very obvious and not hidden. So it`s not a stretch to understand why Ava and Liz went undercover as prostitutes to lure 007 to Leiter`s hideout. General Pushkin and his wife stayed at the Hotel Ile De France which is a real hotel in Tangier. The Convention Center where the North African Trade Confernce takes place is real as well, but the interiors were shot in an assembly hall in England.

Quarzazate This small town deep in the heart of Morocco was planned and built to be the next big Casablanca. It failed and is instead mostly a ghost town, with hotel occupancy rarely at full capacity. The producers used Quarzazate to double for Afghanistan. With it`s barren ranges, and snow capped mountains, it was the perfect location to simulate then war torn Russian occupied Afghanistan. Quarzazate`s airport and runway were converted and remodeled to resemble General Fedor`s basecamp.

Useful Facts:

Full country name: Kingdom of Morocco

Area: 447,000 sq km

Population: 29 million

Capital city: Rabat

People: 55% Arab, 44% Berber, 0.7% foreign immigrants, 0.2% Jewish

Chief Religion: Islam

Government: Constitutional Monarchy

Head of State: King Hassan II

Language: Apart from classical Arabic, the everyday language in Morocco is a dialectal Arabic, as well as Tamazight (Berber) spoken in the Rif, the Atlas and the Souss and varies according to region. Most Moroccans speak French and many speak Spanish and English.

Dress: Appropriate attire for women is a customary courtesy for the Moroccan tradition, mostly in the South where shorts and very provocative attire on women is discouraged.

Money: The Moroccan currency is the Dirham (DH) divided into 100 centimes. You can only obtain Dirhams in Morocco.

–Special assistance with this story courtesy of The Department of Ministry and Tourism For The Kingdom Of Morocco

The Living Daylights: Sam Neill, Lambert Wilson and Finlay Light

Barbara Broccoli, Michael Wilson and Director John Glen all considered Sam Neill to play 007 for “The Living Daylights”. His name was circulating around the studios at that time in part due to the mini-series Reilly: Ace of Spies but the one producer whose vote counted the most, Albert Broccoli, wasn`t so certain. He was thinking of Lambert Wilson.

And Aussie model Finlay Light also was mentioned for the role, but how seriously his ranking was on EON`s list is not known. It appears that Mr. Light may have bragged, exaggerated or even flat out fabricated a story that had EON interested in him. In fact, some even wonder if Finlay Light exists. No one seems to have ever seen him, talked to him or heard of him. Alright, actually we’ve seen his screen test.

The Living Daylights: Pierce Brosnan

Brosnan was signed to do Bond in 1986. At the very least, he was the leading choice of Broccoli and company. The interest swirling around Brosnan as Bond caused NBC to hold onto Brosnan and his Remington Steele show, a show they had cancelled, but still had a 60 day renewal option on. The script sat on his nightstand for weeks, undread, until Brosnan was sure he was free to do Bond.

Then on the 59th day of a 60 day renewal window, NBC brought back Remington Steele. Yet it wasn`t totally over with. EON was willing to alter its schedule by 6 weeks to allow Brosnan to do both `Steele` and Bond, but finally Cubby Broccoli got tired of NBC`s hardball tactics and decided there was no reason to spend any more time and money pursuing Brosnan when people could see him on television for free. Brosnan of course got the role 8 years later.

The Living Daylights: The Pet Shop Boys!

A bootlegged Pet Shop Boys LP in existence came complete with an instrumental track titled James Bond #1/James Bond #2. The sleeve says that it had originally been meant for The Living Daylights but was never used. Why it was not used is unclear, as it`s pretty good and Bondlike. It may possibly have been because of the group`s antipathy towards soundtrack albums (they also turned down the chance to do the music for The Lives and Loves of a She-Devil and Pretty Woman).  Rumor has it they wouldn’t do the title song only and wanted the whole soundtrack or none of it.

The song was later used as the backing track to This Must Be The Place I Waited Years To Leave on the 1990 Behaviour album.

The Living Daylights: Antony Hamilton

When a worldwide search began for the next James Bond in 1986, 007 history says that Roger Moore anointed Pierce Brosnan as his successor if his word meant anything. And try the producers did to secure Brosnan. But after failing to negotiate an agreement with NBC over Brosnan`s future, the role went to Timothy Dalton. But not so fast. Between Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton there was Pierce Brosnan. But between Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan there was Antony Hamilton. In fact, other than Brosnan, there was probably no other actor at that time that came so close to getting that coveted role of James Bond and ended up going home empty handed. But why? Who exactly was Antony Hamilton? How could he get so close and yet be denied?

Antony Hamilton was born in Liverpool, England 1952. He eventually became a professional ballet dancer with the Australian Ballet Company before making a move to Hollywood to pursue the life of an actor. He took small parts in television shows and movies, including the lead role of Samson in “Samson and Delilah”. But it was a fateful mistake by another actor that would put Hamilton in position to make a run for Bond.

Jon-Eric Hexum was a young, good looking Hollywood actor, mid 20`s, co-starring on the CBS-Television show “Cover Up” with Jennifer O`Neill. The show partnered O`Neill and Hexum as undercover agents busting spy rings and crooks. One day, while the cast was taking a break, Hexum picked up a prop gun from the set. While it didn`t have any bullets in it, it did have a blank cartridge. Hexum put the gun to his temple, playfully said words to the effect of `Let`s see if there is one in here for me` and pulled the trigger. The impact from the blast was immediate. It shoved a chunk of Hexum`s skull into his brain. He went into a week long coma and died.

Hamilton took over as O`Neill`s new partner, but the show didn`t go on much longer. It did however catch Cubby Broccoli`s attention.

Antony Hamilton confirmed to People Magazine in December of 1985 that Albert R. Broccoli had contacted him about possibly taking over the role of 007. The People Magazine article was a small one, with a picture of Hamilton and the caption: “A View To A Role?”. And depending upon whom you talk to, the story either goes that Antony was made a firm offer and then had it withdrawn, or that the talks were only preliminary and an offer was never made. What`s not in dispute is that after Cubby Broccoli began considering Hamilton, he discovered that Antony was homosexual, a definite lifestyle clash when compared to the role of James Bond as a womanizing heartbreaker.

Caught up in the mid 1980`s of Reagan-era conservativism, Hamilton never stood a chance. Whether it was withdrawn or merely not offered is probably pointless to debate. In the “old days”, an actors sexuality, even the hint of it not being “straight”, was kept quiet by the tabloids and other media outlets, who complicitly went along with the studio`s request to keep mum about it. But ever since the Rock Hudson debacle, it was apparent that any celebrity`s sexuality would become fair game. Cubby, nor the studio, could trust that Hamilton`s sexuality would not become an issue, nor could they guarantee that the press wouldn`t dig it up. After all, Broccoli and company were acutely aware of the firestorm that ensued when it was revealed that a former Bond Girl, Tula Cossey, was actually born a man.

Antony went on to small roles in a variety of films including “Jumping Jack Flash”, which starred future Bond villain Jonathan Pryce as the title character. Hamilton did end up getting to play a spy of sorts; he starred for 2 years on ABC`s revival of Mission:Impossible that ran from 1988 -1990. He then joined forces with former “Cover Up” producer Bob Shayne for the television show “P.S. I Luv U”. The show lasted one season.

Antony died of AIDS-related complications in Los Angeles March 29, 1995.

Below is an article on Antony Hamilton taken from the May 25th, 1985 edition of TV GUIDE. Already the foreshadowing, the parallels, to James Bond were beginning.

BALLETS TO BULLETS
–Lack of acting experience hasn`t kept the one-time Australian
dancer from starring in a prime-time spy series–
By Bill Davidson

There was considerable tension that monday morning on the set of the CBS series Cover Up. For one thing, a pistol shot had to be fired by one of the stuntment as part of the run-and-chase action. Ordinarily, pistol shots are as common on TV action shows as bangles on Mr. T–but this time everyone remembered the shot that had closed down the series not quite three weeks before. Cover Up co-star Jon-Erik Hexum had killed himself by shattering his skull with a blank from a .44 Magnum he had been reloading for a routine scene. Says Antony Hamilton, Hexum`s replacement as the hero of the series, “That pistol shot on the first day of the resumption of filming was a psychological hurdle we all had to get over–especially me, because I was a friend of Jon-Erik`s.” (And especially co-star Jennifer O`Neill, some might have said, because, in 1982, O`Neill shot herself in the abdomen with a supposedly unloaded .38 caliber revolver she kept in the bedroom safe of her Bedford Hills, N.Y. home.)

The second cause of tension on the Cover Up set that day was the fact that Hamilton was making his debut as O`Neill`s new partner in espionage, Jack Striker (Hexum`s quite different character had been named Mac Harper). The cause of the anxiety was that the 6-foot-2, 30-year-old Hamilton had been a ballet dancer with the Australian Ballet Company, then a model for 10 years, and then an actor in only one previous TV production, an undistinguished ABC TV-movie called “Samson & Delilah.” “A ballet dancer?” groaned one unsophisticated electrician on the set. “Do you think he`ll be an alto or a soprano?” To his surprise, Hamilton came equipped with a rich baritone, the rangy build of a pro-football wide receiver, a noticeable Australian accent and an aura of James Bond-like masculinity. A further surprise was the inexperienced Hamilton`s acting–though in all truth, acting, in such derring-do drama, consists mostly of running, jumping and chasing the bad guys in autos and other wheeled or winged vehicles. In his few talking scenes he was more than adequate. (One, however, required nine takes before he got it right, but that can happen even to Laurence Olivier.) The natural simplicity of Hamilton`s acting did not surprise Richard Anderson, who plays his usual role of intelligence-agency official as he did in The Six Million Dollar Man. In a perceptive analysis of his craft, Anderson said, “Acting basically is selling. We have to sell a sometimes unbelieveable story. Tony is good at selling. For 10 years, as a model, he had become very good at selling the clothes on his back.”

Hamilton was born in England and adopted, at the age of 2 weeks, by an Australian hero of the RAF, Wing Commander Donald Smith, and his wife, Margaret, a nurse. Taken to Adelaide, Australia, at 3, young Tony grew up on a sheep farm and attended Scotch College (a Presbyterian-run middle and high school), where he was required to wear kilts as part of the school uniform. He also was required to play football, cricket, basketball and many other sports. “Australia is an enlightened country,” says Hamilton, “and we also took ballet, with a thought that it might be unmasculine. In fact, I thought of it not only as artistic but also as the most rugged of the physical activities. In fact, the dancers always beat the `footies,` the football players, in stamina tests. So it was completely natural to me as a chance to get out of Australia, a very complacent country, and see something of the world.”

The Australian Ballet went on tour to Russia and several East European countries, where it was a big hit with a classically based modern ballet called “Gemini.” In Moscow, a ballet photographer named Vladimir Bliocht took 200 extraordinary photos of Hamilton, both in costume and in street clothes, and presented them to the young Australian at the airport when he left. “I saw myself in decent photographs for the first time,” says Hamilton, “and since I was getting tired of the discipline of ballet anyway, I took the pictures to a modeling agent when we got to London.”

And so, the second phase of Hamilton`s career began. He modeled clothes all over Europe, appeared in magazines such as Vogue and GQ, became a favorite subject of such world-famous photographers as Richard Avedon and Bruce Weber, and appeared in TV commercials for products like Close-Up toothpase and Hanes panty hose: “I didn`t wear them. I gaped at women wearing them, and I even tap-danced for Hanes in a Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers sequence.”

By 1977, Hamilton had tired of modeling and moved to New York. “I had to keep on modeling to pay the rent, but I took acting classes with a good drama coach, Mervyn Nelson. That`s where I first met Jon-Erik Hexum, who was a Nelson student at the same time. Strangely, Jack–as we called him–wanted to be a model, but with his bulky chest and 220 pounds, he was too big. That`s why I was amazed when we both tried out for the part in the ABC movie `Samson & Delilah,` and I got the role. Jack was built more massively, more like a Samson, than I was. I later was told that I was picked because of my Australian accent. I guess Biblical dramas sound silly if they`re spoken in plain American, and some sort of foreign accent makes them more acceptable. That`s the way of Hollywood.”

Late in the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 12, came that tragic accident when Hexum, preparing for a minor scene on 20th Century Fox`s Sound Stage 18, was sitting on a bed on a hotel-room set and reloading the .44 Magnum with blank cartridges. It still has not been explained why he, and not a propmaster, was doing the reloading, but the gun went off close to his head, and the sheer force of the exploding gunpowder drove a section of Hexum`s skull deep into his brain. He was rushed to a nearby hospital in a coma and died, without regaining consciousness, the following Thursday. Hamilton knew about the accident, of course, and was shocked and dismayed by it. He did not know about the cliffhanger drama that went on behind the scenes at 20th Century Fox before it finally involved him.

Terry Allan, one of Cover Up`s top executives, tells the story: “We immediately closed down the set after the accident, hoping that Jon-Erik would survive and return. But the following week, when we were told he was brain dead, we had to go into action to try to save the series. We knew that, unless we found a new male lead, we had two or three weeks at most before CBS would put us on hiatus. We looked everywhere–Los Angeles, New York, even Europe–and a lot of tests were made of possible replacements. CBS didn`t like any of them.

“Nearly three weeks after Jon-Erik`s death, we had a 5 P.M. Tuesday appointment with [programming chief] Harvey Shephard and other CBS brass to look at the screen test of the last 21 candidates. We now were about four days short of being dropped unless we came up with someone–and we didn`t have high hopes. That afternoon, I got the idea of calling Paul Darrow, an executive at Jon-Erik`s modeling agency in New York, to see if he had any ideas. I finally tracked Darrow down in Paris. He said he could think of only one guy who might fit the bill, name of Tony Hamilton. All he knew about him, aside from his modeling, was that he had done a TV-movie called `Samson & Delilah.` I never heard of the picture but I put my secretary to work tracking it down, and finally we found it at ABC. We asked them to send over tape of some of Hamilton`s scenes.

“I looked at the tape and saw this tall, powerful, handsome guy, with an Australian accent. I figured he might be right if we could make him an `outrider.` It would be totally different from the American character played by Jon-Erik. The problem was it was now 4 and the CBS brass were coming in at 5.”

Five came and went and all 21 candidates in the screen tests were turned down by CBS. The network people left. Then Allan called in executive producer Glen Larson and Harris Katleman, president of 20th Century Fox Television, and showed them the Hamilton tape. “Wow!” said Katleman. “Let`s bring him in to talk,” said Larson. Allan got on the phone to Hamilton`s agent. A small hitch. Hamilton was in rehearsal for an NBC TV-movie, “Mirrors,” in which he was playing a macho, woman-chasing male dancer. “Bring him in now,” said Allan.

Hamilton came in. Both Allan and Larson were impressed. He seemed brighter and more self-possessed than most young actors. Larson said to Allan, “Have Tony come here tomorrow to read with Jennifer. I`m going to write a special scene to see if their chemistry matches.” The next day, it was obvious that their chemistry matched. “Call Harvey Shephard at CBS,” said Larson, “and ask him to come over.”

Shephard listened to the reading for a few minutes and said, “Go.”

It may be one of the first times in TV history that a near-defunct series was brought to life again on the basis of nothing on film, nothing on tape–just two people reading a few pages of script in a producer`s office.

Hamilton was elated, but he still had 27 days of unbelievable ordeal ahead of him. “I had to continue in `Mirrors`,” he says, “and begin work in Cover Up the very next morning after the reading with Jennifer. I`d get up at 5 for `Mirrors,` be on that set all day, start work in Cover Up at 7 P.M., work until 2 A.M., and then start the whole cycle over again. A couple of times they had to fly me from one set to another by helicopter. At one point, I called my father in Australia to bitch about this backbreaking schedule. Dad said, “Let me tell you a war story. In the Battle of Britain, I fought the Luftwaffe every day from 3 A.M. until midnight. My valet had to get me up after two hours` sleep. He`d be court-martialed if he didn`t have my signature on his wake-up slip. And that went on for months. So don`t complain, son.` I stopped complaining.”

Today, Hamilton pretty much has settled into his part and Cover Up, once a marginal show, has picked up in the ratings. On the set, Hamilton is eager to learn from everyone–Anderson, O`Neill, the director, the technicians. “That, too, will change,” mused one wiser, older assistant cameraman. Tony is in constant motion while discussing scenes, stretching his legs like a ballet dancer warming up, whirling about, or isometrically expanding his pectoral muscles. In his trailer dressing room, he is different. He listens to classical music, reads Eugene O`Neill and Lillian Hellman plays, and speaks lovingly of his lady friend, Emily Davis, who is a movie/TV production assistant in New York. So exhausting has been Hamilton`s schedule that he has not had time to see her. He spends his weekends recuperating in his West Hollywood apartment. As a conversationalist, Hamilton is a fount of interesting, sometimes revolutionary, ideas. After a fight scene, he says disconsolately, “I always win. Wouldn`t it make me more intriguing as a hero if I were a little more vulnerable and got beat up by the bad guys once in a while?”

Concerning Method-type acting with all its analyzing, he says, “Jennifer does that and I use the simplest techniques possible–but somehow it works out between us. Perhaps I`m so simple in my acting because I`m inexperienced and don`t know any better. The only time I did any Method acting, it was involuntary and maybe the will of God, in Whom I`m beginning to believe more and more. In `Samson & Delilah,` which we shot in Mexico, I came down with Montezuma`s revenge–fever, vomiting, the whole bit. I was so weak when I had to push down the pillars of the temple that I must have looked just like Samson did after losing his hair had made him so weak. Everyone asked me how I managed to pull off that scene and figured I must have talked myself into it. It was the germs or the virus, but I kept my mouth shut and everyone complimented me on my realistic acting.”

Hamilton has made such an impression that Cubby Broccoli, the mogul of the James Bond movies, already has talked with him about becoming the fourth Bond. Anderson is so impressed with the young man that he`s sure it will happen. “And then,” reflects Anderson, “think of the wonderful question in future trivia games: `Which of the James Bonds–Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore or Antony Hamilton–began as a ballet dancer?`”

Only in Hollywood.

For more on Antony Hamilton`s life, be sure to check out the Antony Hamilton Uncovered website.

Amanda Donohoe as kara milovy

Date: 30.06.2006 Ref: SS01_C2957_G05

Donohoe, the star of such film and television projects as LIAR, LIAR (w/Jim Carrey) and L.A. LAW ran several screen tests back in 1986, presumably for the role of Kara Milovy. Donohoe was presented by the tabloids as “Bond`s new blonde” and Cubby Broccoli was quoted as having told associates “she`s wonderful”.

The role of Kara Milovy was that of a Czech cellist. It was played by Russian/English/French actress Maryam D`abo, who was more suited to the role than the English Donohoe . . .

The Living Daylights – A Look Back

tld bondBy Robert Baum

Timothy Dalton makes his debut as superspy James Bond in the newest cinematic mission marking 007’s cinematic silver anniversary. The Living Daylights begins a new era with a new Bond (number four) rugged enough to take on those who seek to conquer the world. Unlike Roger Moore, Dalton is not one for humor but for getting the job done. Handsome but deadly, Dalton’s 007 is something of a throwback to Sean Connery.
Bond’s mission: aborting a plot that might start WWIII–of course. Being a Bond film, there is a lovely lady (Maryam d’Abo) who succumbs to the charm of the British agent–who happens to be played by Welsh-born Dalton–incredible stunts, exotic locales, and an adversary (a rather blustery and not very menacing Joe Don Baker), with an army of goons.
Of course there are an incredible array of spectacular stunts, especially in the opening sequence when Bond and a few fellow agents drop in to commence a training exercise on Gibraltar. The opening offers the greatest action in the film. To his credit, Dalton does many of Bond’s stunts himself. We get to see an updated Aston Martin, the wheels Connery utilized in Goldfinger (and Thunderball). It too offers a few surprises which are employed as Bond and Kara (d’Abo) are chased by the Czech army. He explains–with deadpan delivery a la Connery–to Kara, “I’ve had a few optional extras installed,” options like a laser blowtorch that Bond uses to disable a pursuing car, missiles to blow up a road blockade, and a rocket engine to escape pursuit.
Bond’s nemesis, an arms merchant named Brad Whitaker (Baker), is something of a joke. He has a chameleonic Red Grant knockoff named Necros (Andreas Wisniewski) do his dirty work, which is often done while the brute’s Walkman plays the Pretenders’ “Where Has Everybody Gone” and notes from the song are threaded through the compositions by John Barry whenever the thug is onscreen. Whitaker is always at his villa in Tangier (supplied by tycoon Malcolm Forbes) playing with his toy soldiers. He also has a collection of mannequins that include Hitler, Genghis Khan, and Napoleon (an obvious allusion to Christopher Lee’s funhouse in The Man with the Golden Gun) which almost resemble the wily Whitaker. When first seen, Whitaker is standing with them as he no doubt fancies himself a great warrior in his own right. Or maybe just a dummy.
While making a brief appearance, Bond’s CIA chum Felix Leiter (John Terry)–the part was last played by David Hedison in Moore’s first 007 adventure Live and Let Die and recently by Bernie Casey in Connery’s return to MI6 in Never Say Never Again–turns up to help him, though the part seems little more than a cameo. The wonderful John Rhys-Davies is General Leonid Pushkin, head of the KGB, whom the British are led to believe by one of Pushkin’s subordinates (Jeroen Krabbe) is responsible for wanting to destroy the world.
While Dalton is not the charmer his predecessor Roger Moore was, he is a presence which is believable when it comes to getting the mission accomplished–with or without his PPK. Some might not be keen on Dalton’s deadpan delivery as he adopts a no-nonsense approach which might make Jack Webb’s followers thinking the former Joe Friday is eloquent. Thus making Dalton the second Jack Webb impersonator of the summer. Dan Aykroyd was first in the big screen adaptation of Dragnet. His deadpan is a virtual flatline and needs defibrilation to give it a spike. Dalton’s 007 has been described as the most deadly Bond on the teaser posters which have been displayed in theatres. Dalton clearly has what it takes to play the role: a commanding presence, looks that kill, and now a license (or licence in his case) to do so. He injects a suaveness that has been absent from the Bond films for a long while. Definitely a far cry from Moore’s swan song A View to a Kill.