Saturday, 26 November 2011

Classic Bond - Doctor No: 1962

Dr. No was made in 1962 and starred Sean Connery as 007 James Bond. Doctor No was the first James Bond film. Based on the 1958 Ian Fleming novel of the same name, it was adapted by Richard Maibaum, Johanna Harwood, and Berkely Mather and was directed by Terence Young. The film was produced by Harry Saltzman and Albert R Broccoli, a partnership that would continue until 1975.

In the film, James Bond is sent to Jamaica on an investigation into the death of a fellow British agent. The murder trail leads him to the underground base of Doctor Julius No, who is plotting to disrupt an early American manned space launch with a radio beam weapon. Although the first of the Bond books to be made into a film, Dr. No was not the first of Fleming's novels, Casino Royale being the debut for the character; however, the film makes a few references to threads from earlier books.

Dr. No was produced with a low budget, but was a financial success. While critical reaction at release was mixed, over time the film received a reputation as one of the franchise's best instalments. The film was the first of a successful series of 22 Bond films; a 23rd is planned for release in 2012. Dr. No also launched a successful genre of "secret agent" films that flourished in the 1960s. The film also spawned a spin-off comic book and soundtrack album as part of its promotion and marketing.

Many of the iconic aspects of a typical James Bond film were established in Dr. No: the film begins with an introduction to the character through the view of a gun barrel and a highly stylised main title sequence, both created by Maurice Binder. Production Designer Ken Adam established an elaborate visual style that is one of the hallmarks of the Bond film series.

John Strangways, the British Intelligence (SIS) Station Chief in Jamaica, is ambushed and killed, and his body taken by a trio of assassins known as the "Three Blind Mice". In response, MI6 agent James Bond – Agent 007 is summoned to the office of his superior, M. Bond is briefed to investigate Strangways' disappearance and to determine whether it is related to his cooperation with the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on a case involving the disruption of Cape Canaveral rocket launches by radio jamming.

Upon his arrival at Kingston Airport, a Female photographer tries to take Bond's picture and he is shadowed from the airport by two men. He is picked up by a chauffeur, whom Bond determines to be an enemy agent. Bond instructs him to leave the main road and, after a brief fight, Bond starts to interrogate the driver, who then kills himself with a cyanide-embedded cigarette.

During his investigation in Strangways' house Bond sees a photograph of a boatman with Strangways. Bond locates the boatman, named Quarrel, but finds him to be un-cooperative. Bond also recognises Quarrel to have been the driver of the car that followed him from the airport. Bond follows Quarrel and is about to be beaten by him and a friend when the fight is interrupted by the second man who followed Bond from the airport: he reveals himself to be CIA agent Felix Leiter and explains that not only are the two agents on the same mission, but also that Quarrel is helping Leiter. The CIA has traced the mysterious radio jamming of American rockets to the vicinity of Jamaica, but aerial photography cannot determine the exact location of its origin. Quarrel reveals that he has been guiding Strangways around the nearby islands to collect mineral samples. He also talks about the reclusive Dr. No, who owns the island of Crab Key, on which there is a bauxite mine: the island, and mine, are rigorously protected against trespassers by an armed security force and radar.

During a search of Strangways' house, Bond found a receipt, signed by Professor R. J. Dent, concerning rock samples. Bond meets with Dent who says he assayed the samples for Strangways and determined them to be ordinary rocks. This visit makes Dent wary and he takes a boat to Crab Key where Dr. No expresses displeasure at Dent's failure to kill Bond and orders him to try again, this time with a tarantula. Bond survives and after a final attempt on his life, sets a trap for Dent, whom he captures, interrogates and then kills.

Having detected radioactive traces in Quarrel's boat, where Strangways' mineral samples had been, Bond convinces a reluctant Quarrel to take him to Crab Key. There, Bond meets the beautiful Honey Ryder, dressed only in a white bikini, who is collecting shells. At first she is suspicious of Bond but soon decides to help him, leading them all inland to an open swamp. After nightfall they are attacked by the legendary "dragon" of Crab Key which turns out to be a flame-throwing armoured tractor. In the resulting gun battle, Quarrel is incinerated by the flame-thrower whilst Bond and Honey are taken prisoner. Bond and Honey are decontaminated and taken to quarters before being drugged.

Upon waking they are escorted to dine with Dr. No. He reveals that he is a member of SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence,Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion) and plans to disrupt the Project Mercury space launch from Cape Canaveral with his atomic-powered radio beam. After dinner Honey is taken away and Bond is beaten by the guards.

Bond is imprisoned in a holding cell but manages to escape through a vent. Disguised as a worker, Bond finds his way to the control centre, a multi-level room full of high-tech instrumentation with an atomic reactor set into the floor, overseen by Dr. No from a command console. Bond overloads the nuclear reactor just as the American rocket is about to take off. Hand-to-hand combat ensues between Bond and Dr. No; the scientist is pushed into the reactor's cooling vat, in which he boils to death. Bond finds Honey and the two escape in a boat just as the entire lair explodes.

The character James Bond was introduced towards, but not at, the beginning of the film in a "now-famous nightclub sequence featuring Sylvia Trench", to whom he makes his "immortal introduction". The introduction to the character in Le Cercle at Les Ambassadeurs, an upmarket gambling club, is derived from Bond's introduction in the first novel, Casino Royale which Fleming had used because "skill at gambling and knowledge of how to behave in a casino were attributes of a gentleman". After losing a hand of Chemin de Fer to Bond, Trench asks his name. There is the "most important gesture [in]...the way he lights his cigarette before giving her the satisfaction of an answer. 'Bond, James Bond'." Once Connery says his line, John Barry's Bond theme plays "and creates an indelible link between music and character." In the short scene introducing Bond, there are portrayed "qualities of strength, action, reaction, violence - and this elegant, slightly brutal gambler with the quizzical sneer we see before us who answers a woman when he's good and ready." Raymond Benson, author of the continuation Bond novels, has stated that as the music fades up on the scene, "we have ourselves a piece of classic cinema".

Following the release of Dr. No, the quote "Bond ... James Bond," became a catch-phrase that entered the lexicon of Western popular culture: writers Cork and Scivally said of the introduction in Dr. No that the "signature introduction would become the most famous and loved film line ever". In 2001 it was voted as the "best-loved one-liner in cinema" by British cinema goers. In 2005, it was honoured as the 22nd greatest quotation in cinema history by the American Film Institute as part of their 100 years service.

Elvis - King Creole (1958)

King Creole - Paramount 1958
Elvis Presley's most critically acclaimed performance as an actor was in what is considered (rivaled only by 'Jailhouse Rock') the best of all the films he starred in - 'King Creole' (1958). The story was based upon the Harold Robbins novel 'A Stone For Danny Fisher'. Generally considered Elvis' best narrative film, King Creole benefited from the talents of several Hollywood notables. Producer Hal Wallis chose one of his closest associates, the well-respected Michael Curtiz, to direct the film. Best known as the director of Casablanca, Curtiz was an expert craftsman known for his deft handling of a wide variety of film genres during his 30-year career. The tight control over the many twists and subplots of King Creole reflects Curtiz's expertise.

Other Hollywood veterans who made up the crew included cinematographer Russell Harlan, who photographed the film in a dark, moody lighting style that captured the seedy but seductive atmosphere of the French Quarter.

King Creole - Paramount 1958

The level of experience that Wallis, Curtiz, and Harlan brought to the production of King Creole would never be matched in another Presley feature. Elvis' supporting cast represented some of the finest Hollywood actors of the 1950s. Elvis played the role of Danny. Danny Fisher (Elvis) coming up from the ghetto to seek fame and fortune as a singer in the New Orleans Jazz clubs. Along the way he tangles with gangland boss Maxie Fields (Walter Matthau) and love interest Ronnie played by Carolyn Jones.

Elvis Presley and Carolyn Jones as they relax for photographs and Carolyn holds a cup of tea.

Danny is dissatisfied with the financial situation of his poverty-stricken family and blames his father for their problems. He sweeps up at a nightclub to earn extra money -- a job that places the impressionable young man in the company of some shady characters. An encounter with Ronnie, a local gangster's moll portrayed by Carolyn Jones, results in Danny's expulsion from high school. On the job that night at the club, Danny runs into Ronnie and gangster Maxie Fields, played by Walter Matthau, who insist that Danny sing a song. Danny's natural talent attracts the attention of the owner of the King Creole night spot, who offers him a job.

Danny is at a crossroads. He is torn between the love of good girl Nellie, played by Dolores Hart, and his attraction to the ill-fated Ronnie. Danny is also torn between his desire for a singing career and the temptation to join a street gang. A violent altercation with the gang's leader, played by Vic Morrow, leaves Danny with a serious knife wound. After Ronnie nurses him back to health, a jealous Maxie shoots her in cold blood.

Maxie in turn is shot by a gang member Danny had once befriended. Danny returns to singing at the King Creole, reconciled with his family and with Nellie.

Dolores Hart and Elvis Presley

While on location in New Orleans, the crowds of curious onlookers and excited fans were so large that Wallis had to arrange for tighter security. The entire top floor of the Roosevelt Hotel was booked for the film's cast. Pinkerton guards patrolled the floor, the elevators, and the staircase to keep overzealous fans from Elvis.

As an added precaution, Wallis insisted that the elevator should not be allowed to run to the top floor to prevent any outsiders from getting onto Elvis' floor. Simply returning to his hotel room at the end of the day proved difficult for Elvis because there were always large crowds waiting for him in the lobby. To avoid the crowds, Elvis entered an adjacent building, climbed out a window, crossed the roof, and entered his hotel via the fire escape. In his autobiography, Hal Wallis recalled a particularly sad moment for Elvis. Eager to try some of New Orleans' famous cuisine, Elvis was disappointed to learn he could not dine at the legendary Antoine's because no one could guarantee crowd control. During his stay in New Orleans, Elvis ordered room service. This isolation was part of the price Elvis paid for stardom, and by this point, it had begun to affect his lifestyle.

Elvis Presley in King Creole

Elvis Presley in King Creole

Elvis Presley in King Creole

King Creole' co-starred Carolyn Jones, who is best known for her work in the TV show 'The Addams Family'. However, long before the TV series, she appeared in a number of stage productions and in movies such as 'East of Eden', The Seven Year Itch', The Tender Trap' and 'The Man Who Knew Too Much', as well as 'The Bachelor Party', for which she her 1957 Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She also won a Golden Globe award in 1958 as Most Promising Female Newcomer. Ms. Jones was born in Amarillo, Texas in 1929.

King Creole Book / CD Set From FTD

King Creole: The Music: was both a book + CD, and was released back in August 2010. This is a 200-page book with images exclusively designed to complement the music from the film. It consists of two main sections; the recording sessions on January 16, 1958 and song scenes from the filming of the movie (including behind-the scenes shots). The images are classic and well-known shots with the majority being previously unpublished and taken by the original stills Photographer on set photographers on the set (no freeze-frames)

Elvis Presley Photos : From the King Creole FTD Book

Elvis Presley Photos : From the King Creole FTD Book

Elvis signing autographs on location King Creole. 2/3/5 or thursday 6th of January 1958

Elvis signing autographs on location King Creole. 2/3/5 or thursday 6th of January 1958

Carolyn Jones and Elvis Presley - King Creole

The David Cassidy Magazine - No 3: August 1972

Front cover
The David Cassidy Magazine was one of numerous fan magazines printed throughout the 1970s due to the star's growing popularity. The star was a singer and actor most notably appearing in, "The Partridge Family." Below is the Third edition of, The David Cassidy Magazine.
click to read page 2 click to read page 4
Click to read page 7 click to see the pages
click to read the pages Click to read page 13
Click to read the pages

Click to read page 19 click to read page 20
Click to read the pages click to read page 24
Click to read page 26 click to read the pages
Back cover

Picture Show & Film Pictorial (1940)

This edition of Picture Show & Film Pictorial dates back to 1940 and featuring on its cover is the late, great Alastair Sim.

Man about the House: Series One - Episode One - Three's a Crowd (1973)

Chrissy and Jo have a farewell party for their flatmate, who is moving out, now that she's engaged. The morning after the party, they find Robin in their bathtub, asleep. They need a new flatmate, and he needs a place to live, so it seems like a match made in heaven, and they invite him to move in. There's just one problem: Mr. and Mrs. Roper, the landlords, may not think that this idea is such a good one.
The morning after the farewell party for their former flatmate Eleanor, Chrissy and Jo find themselves in different conditions. Jo has enough energy to start cleaning the flat, Chrissy suffers from a massive hangover and some bad memories from the night before. Perhaps a bath can relax her. As she turns on the taps, the man sleeping in the tub wakes up abruptly, scaring the girls.
Robin Tripp was taken to the party by a friend and fell asleep in the bath. He officially introduces himself to the girls and wonders what to do in his drenched clothes. Chrissy offers to dry them, and he can wear her robe while he's waiting. He might even join them for breakfast. Downstairs George Roper, the landlord, and his wife Mildred discuss the noisy party of the night before. George intends to complain to the girls. When Mildred warns Chrissy and Jo, she meets Robin.
Robin is served a horrible breakfast and offers to make something edible instead. After all, he's just arrived from Southampton to attend cookery college. With different leftover he starts whipping up a fancy egg dish. Meanwhile Chrissy and Jo show Gabrielle around the flat, a girl who's interested in becoming their new flatmate. Unfortunately, George Roper bursts in, having heard about the man in the flat. He mistakes Gabrielle for a man, though when he pokes her chest, he realises he's wrong. A shocked Gabrielle decides not to live in a house with such an abusive landlord.
Robin serves the girls his breakfast and they are delighted with the result. When he explains that he hasn't found a place to stay in London yet, they offer him the vacant room in their flat. But how will the Ropers react? George and Mildred drop by again to apologise for George's behaviour, but then George sees Robin for the first time. He won't hear of a man staying with two single girls. Chrissy takes him aside for a moment, has a talk and eventually George agrees to let Robin stay. When Robin asks Chrissy how she convinced George to change his mind, she states that she told Roper that Robin was gay. With Robin wearing that frilly robe, the story made sense.