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TopBilled’s Essentials


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#41 TopBilled

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 09:36 AM

screen-shot-2017-05-02-at-10-19-18-am.jp

 

Tomorrow I will be reviewing THE WAR AGAINST MRS. HADLEY as part of my series on 'War Films as Propaganda for Female Audiences.' Please check back.

 

screen-shot-2017-05-05-at-7-32-01-am.png


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#42 rayban

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 11:42 AM

I agree.  Danielle Darrieux deserves more exposure.

You really couldn't do her "justice", because she made films for such a long period of time.

 

One of my favorites is her role as Catherine Deneuve and Francoise Dorleac's mom in "The Young Girls of Rochefort".

 

She was also radiant in one segment of "Le Plaisir" as a "house prostitute".


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"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".


#43 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 02:54 PM

Glad you caught most of her films last night. This is an example where TCM should rerun the same lineup (as part of Summer Under the Stars in August).

 

I agree.  Danielle Darrieux deserves more exposure.


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#44 TopBilled

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 02:06 PM

I'm glad you posted this since it reminded me to watch her films.   Since the NBA game I was planning to watch was 'over' by the 1st Quarter,  my wife and I spend the evening watching her films (well expect for one hour where we had to see Better Call Sal). 

 

It was nice to see films from various decades.     Hopefully TCM will show more of her films in the future especially some of her more racy French films.

 

Glad you caught most of her films last night. This is an example where TCM should rerun the same lineup (as part of Summer Under the Stars in August).


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#45 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 01:44 PM

Thanks again Larry for all your extra information about the Bond films. It's been fun. 

 

I wanted to let everyone know that today is Danielle Darrieux's 100th birthday. TCM is airing several of her films tonight, including a Universal picture she made in the late 30s with Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

 

THE RAGE OF PARIS was my very first review in this essentials thread, so I hope everyone gets a chance to watch it later.

 

 

 

I'm glad you posted this since it reminded me to watch her films.   Since the NBA game I was planning to watch was 'over' by the 1st Quarter,  my wife and I spend the evening watching her films (well expect for one hour where we had to see Better Call Sal). 

 

It was nice to see films from various decades.     Hopefully TCM will show more of her films in the future especially some of her more racy French films.


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#46 TopBilled

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 12:27 PM

Theme for May 2017: War Films as Propaganda for Female Audiences

 

screen-shot-2017-05-02-at-10-19-18-am.jp

Saturday May 6, 2017

THE WAR AGAINST MRS. HADLEY (1942), with Fay Bainter. Studio/production company: MGM.

 

screen-shot-2017-05-02-at-10-17-36-am.jp

Saturday May 13, 2017

THE GENTLE SEX (1943), narrated by Leslie Howard. Studio/production company: General Film Distributors.

 

screen-shot-2017-05-02-at-10-34-35-am.pn

Saturday May 20, 2017

TENDER COMRADE (1943), with Ginger Rogers. Studio/production company: RKO.

 

screen-shot-2017-05-02-at-10-26-40-am.jp

Saturday May 27, 2017

GREAT DAY (1945), with Isabel Jeans. Studio/production company: RKO


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#47 TopBilled

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 10:07 AM

Thanks again Larry for all your extra information about the Bond films. It's been fun. 

 

I wanted to let everyone know that today is Danielle Darrieux's 100th birthday. TCM is airing several of her films tonight, including a Universal picture she made in the late 30s with Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

 

THE RAGE OF PARIS was my very first review in this essentials thread, so I hope everyone gets a chance to watch it later.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-30-at-5-45-19-pm.png


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#48 LawrenceA

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 11:54 AM

TopBilled, great job on this series of James Bond reviews, and thanks again for the opportunity to talk about them here. I've enjoyed it all very much.

 

Licence to Kill features a long list of interesting character actors in the supporting cast. Besides the several that you have mentioned, there's also Frank McCrae as a boat captain,

 

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70's B-movie star Don Stroud as bad-guy Sanchez's head of security,

 

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Grand L. Bush (who had just appeared in Die Hard, where he shared his scenes with Robert Davi) as an American law enforcement agent that disagrees with Bond's quest for vengeance,

 

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Everett McGill, shortly to go on to greater fame with Twin Peaks, as a corrupt DEA agent,

 

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Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as an undercover Hong Kong cop after Sanchez,

 

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and perhaps most interestingly, Pedro Armendariz Jr as the president of the fictional country. Armendariz's father had co-starred 26 years earlier in From Russia with Love.

 

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The music of Licence to Kill was noticeably different, due to usual composer John Barry being unavailable, and the score work going instead to frequent 80's action film composer Michael Kamen. The original idea for the main theme song was a re-imagining of the classic James Bond instrumental theme, this time with guitar work from Eric Clapton and Vic Flick. Scheduling issues prevented this, though, and a traditional vocal theme was performed by Gladys Knight. It became a top ten hit in the UK, and a top 20 in the US on the Adult Contemporary chart. I've always found it one of the least memorable.

 

 

 

One final anecdote before signing off. Licence to Kill was not the intended title, but rather it was Licence Revoked. However, as sad as this sounds, market testing in the US showed that so few people knew what the word "revoked" meant, that the title was deemed "too confusing" and it was changed to its final form!

 

.s-l1000.jpg


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#49 TopBilled

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 11:35 AM

I have lost track of how many 007s had sharks in them

 

Yes, it's a trope the producers/writers seem to like using.


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#50 Jlewis

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 11:31 AM

I have lost track of how many 007s had sharks in them, usually Tiger Sharks. You Only Live Twice had piranhas. That scene was quite silly, especially involving a lady in a red dress.


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#51 rayban

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 11:24 AM

Essential: LICENCE TO KILL (1989)

 

screen-shot-2017-04-26-at-8-17-45-pm.png


Timothy Dalton is back for his second and final adventure as James Bond. He seems more comfortable in the role, though he is still playing the character in a slightly detached manner. Dalton seems to understand the connection Bond has with an American friend named Felix (David Hedison) and Felix’s young bride (Priscilla Barnes). This is apparent when Felix’s bride is murdered shortly after she and Felix are wed. It becomes personal for Bond, since he also lost his wife not long after he was married.
 

screen-shot-2017-04-26-at-8-43-25-pm.png


The scene where Bond discovers Felix’s dead wife is a bit graphic. And so is the moment where the killers, rich creeps in the south Florida drug trade, take Felix to a warehouse and toss him into some water with a ferocious shark. Felix doesn’t die, though I didn’t quite understand why they spared him and not his wife. Later Felix is returned to his home where Bond finds him and takes him to the hospital. While Felix recuperates after the near fatal shark bite, it’s up to Bond to track down the men responsible.
 

screen-shot-2017-04-29-at-7-53-54-am.png


While much of the film’s early action takes place in Florida, the next segment occurs in a fictional Central American country (based on Manuel Noriega’s Panama). The cold war is over, so now Bond is focused on a large scale drug war. In many ways this film plays like an extended episode of Miami Vice, the TV crime drama that was very popular in the late-80s and often focused on the drug trade.
 

screen-shot-2017-04-26-at-8-53-06-pm.png


A word or two about the villains. Robert Davi plays the pockmarked Latin American drug lord Sanchez; and he is in league with two unsavory henchmen. One of them is Milton Krest (Anthony Zerbe), who operates a marine research center that helps smuggle cocaine into the country. And the other bad guy is Dario, a young assistant played by Benicio del Toro before he became a bonafide movie star. There is a great deal of homoerotic tension between Sanchez and Dario that Davi seems to deliberately add to the scenes by brushing his hand across del Torro’s face when they’re together on camera, as well as all those longing (and apparently meaningful) stares.
 

screen-shot-2017-04-26-at-8-54-57-pm.png


There’s a key scene where Sanchez says loyalty is more important than money; and when Bond tries to infiltrate the Sanchez organization later on, Bond repeats the loyalty oath, which impresses Sanchez. Sanchez knows  more money can always be made, but he wants real loyalty and companionship from his male partners in crime.
 

screen-shot-2017-04-26-at-8-48-19-pm.png


Another pseudo-villain in the story is televangelist Joe Butcher played by Wayne Newton. Newton seems like an odd choice, but apparently he enjoyed the Bond films so much he asked the producers if he could do a cameo. In a way it’s an extended cameo, since there are several scenes with Newton asking for donations to his “church,” which is really a cover for more dope smuggling. And there’s a sequence which occurs at Butcher’s meditation institute (a euphemism if ever there was one) that prominently features Newton, whom I found to be quite charming in a non-sequitur sort of way.
 

screen-shot-2017-04-26-at-8-56-48-pm.png


Much of the picture’s second act concerns Bond trying to set Krest against Sanchez. There’s a particularly gruesome death scene where Sanchez decides Krest has been “unfaithful” and has to be eliminated. Krest’s blood gets all over a pile of money– symbolism for blood money (literally)– and Sanchez’s answer when asked about how to clean the cash is to launder it. While working to get Krest out of the way, Bond receives help from his old pal Q (Desmond Llewelyn) who poses as a chauffeur and supplies necessary gadgets to foil the villains. Also, Bond is aided by two women with whom he naturally falls in love.
 

screen-shot-2017-04-26-at-8-57-39-pm.png


As in the previous Dalton picture, Bond’s bed hopping has been significantly curtailed. The two girlfriends he has in this story are depicted as strong romantic possibilities in a rather impossible triangle. One of them is a chick that has been having a relationship with Sanchez; she’s portrayed by Talisa Soto; and the other is the main Bond girl, Carey Lowell as CIA informant Pam Bouvier. There’s an interesting line where Pam joins up with Bond in Latin America, and she has to pose as 007’s assistant. She asks why he can’t pose as her assistant, and he says women are not that strong or powerful south of the U.S. border. Not sure whether that’s true, or if any feminists in 1989 bought it.
 

screen-shot-2017-04-26-at-8-58-20-pm.png


Overall this is a fast-moving, suspense-filled entry. It might seem formulaic in spots, but there are pleasant moments of creativity. The tanker chase sequence at the end is truly spectacular and fun to watch. Incidentally, the producers included the Surgeon General’s warning in the closing credits, almost apologizing for the use of tobacco in the story. However, they did not apologize for cutting Felix’s honeymoon short. And they did not apologize for putting all those trucks on the road. If they had, their licence to thrill might have been revoked.
 

screen-shot-2017-04-26-at-9-02-50-pm.png


LICENCE TO KILL is directed by John Glen and can be streamed on Dailymotion.

 

Timothy Dalton wanted to de-glamorize James Bond.

 

Because he came onboard late with the first film, he didn't get the opportunity there.

 

But he succeeded with the second film.

 

But I don't think that the producers were happy with this new conception of James Bond.

 

And I don't think that Timothy Dalton was that interested in starring in a franchise.  


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#52 TopBilled

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 11:09 AM

Essential: LICENCE TO KILL (1989)

 

screen-shot-2017-04-26-at-8-17-45-pm.png


Timothy Dalton is back for his second and final adventure as James Bond. He seems more comfortable in the role, though he is still playing the character in a slightly detached manner. Dalton seems to understand the connection Bond has with an American friend named Felix (David Hedison) and Felix’s young bride (Priscilla Barnes). This is apparent when Felix’s bride is murdered shortly after she and Felix are wed. It becomes personal for Bond, since he also lost his wife not long after he was married.
 

screen-shot-2017-04-26-at-8-43-25-pm.png


The scene where Bond discovers Felix’s dead wife is a bit graphic. And so is the moment where the killers, rich creeps in the south Florida drug trade, take Felix to a warehouse and toss him into some water with a ferocious shark. Felix doesn’t die, though I didn’t quite understand why they spared him and not his wife. Later Felix is returned to his home where Bond finds him and takes him to the hospital. While Felix recuperates after the near fatal shark bite, it’s up to Bond to track down the men responsible.
 

screen-shot-2017-04-29-at-7-53-54-am.png


While much of the film’s early action takes place in Florida, the next segment occurs in a fictional Central American country (based on Manuel Noriega’s Panama). The cold war is over, so now Bond is focused on a large scale drug war. In many ways this film plays like an extended episode of Miami Vice, the TV crime drama that was very popular in the late-80s and often focused on the drug trade.
 

screen-shot-2017-04-26-at-8-53-06-pm.png


A word or two about the villains. Robert Davi plays the pockmarked Latin American drug lord Sanchez; and he is in league with two unsavory henchmen. One of them is Milton Krest (Anthony Zerbe), who operates a marine research center that helps smuggle cocaine into the country. And the other bad guy is Dario, a young assistant played by Benicio del Toro before he became a bonafide movie star. There is a great deal of homoerotic tension between Sanchez and Dario that Davi seems to deliberately add to the scenes by brushing his hand across del Torro’s face when they’re together on camera, as well as all those longing (and apparently meaningful) stares.
 

screen-shot-2017-04-26-at-8-54-57-pm.png


There’s a key scene where Sanchez says loyalty is more important than money; and when Bond tries to infiltrate the Sanchez organization later on, Bond repeats the loyalty oath, which impresses Sanchez. Sanchez knows  more money can always be made, but he wants real loyalty and companionship from his male partners in crime.
 

screen-shot-2017-04-26-at-8-48-19-pm.png


Another pseudo-villain in the story is televangelist Joe Butcher played by Wayne Newton. Newton seems like an odd choice, but apparently he enjoyed the Bond films so much he asked the producers if he could do a cameo. In a way it’s an extended cameo, since there are several scenes with Newton asking for donations to his “church,” which is really a cover for more dope smuggling. And there’s a sequence which occurs at Butcher’s meditation institute (a euphemism if ever there was one) that prominently features Newton, whom I found to be quite charming in a non-sequitur sort of way.
 

screen-shot-2017-04-26-at-8-56-48-pm.png


Much of the picture’s second act concerns Bond trying to set Krest against Sanchez. There’s a particularly gruesome death scene where Sanchez decides Krest has been “unfaithful” and has to be eliminated. Krest’s blood gets all over a pile of money– symbolism for blood money (literally)– and Sanchez’s answer when asked about how to clean the cash is to launder it. While working to get Krest out of the way, Bond receives help from his old pal Q (Desmond Llewelyn) who poses as a chauffeur and supplies necessary gadgets to foil the villains. Also, Bond is aided by two women with whom he naturally falls in love.
 

screen-shot-2017-04-26-at-8-57-39-pm.png


As in the previous Dalton picture, Bond’s bed hopping has been significantly curtailed. The two girlfriends he has in this story are depicted as strong romantic possibilities in a rather impossible triangle. One of them is a chick that has been having a relationship with Sanchez; she’s portrayed by Talisa Soto; and the other is the main Bond girl, Carey Lowell as CIA informant Pam Bouvier. There’s an interesting line where Pam joins up with Bond in Latin America, and she has to pose as 007’s assistant. She asks why he can’t pose as her assistant, and he says women are not that strong or powerful south of the U.S. border. Not sure whether that’s true, or if any feminists in 1989 bought it.
 

screen-shot-2017-04-26-at-8-58-20-pm.png


Overall this is a fast-moving, suspense-filled entry. It might seem formulaic in spots, but there are pleasant moments of creativity. The tanker chase sequence at the end is truly spectacular and fun to watch. Incidentally, the producers included the Surgeon General’s warning in the closing credits, almost apologizing for the use of tobacco in the story. However, they did not apologize for cutting Felix’s honeymoon short. And they did not apologize for putting all those trucks on the road. If they had, their licence to thrill might have been revoked.
 

screen-shot-2017-04-26-at-9-02-50-pm.png


LICENCE TO KILL is directed by John Glen and can be streamed on Dailymotion.


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#53 VivLeighFan

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:45 PM

Thanks for your comment. Obviously, I haven't seen all the Bond films yet, but I must admit of the ones I have seen and reviewed-- MOONRAKER gets major points from me for taking risks. It was like they really let their imagination take over. Not all of it worked, but much of what we see and hear on screen is quite memorable.


I know what you mean. I look forward to reading your reviews on the Pierce Brosnan films. Those are the ones I grew up with so they hold a special place in my heart. :)
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#54 TopBilled

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:30 PM

I have to say that the music called Bond Lured to Pyramid in the soundtrack is some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard. Worst Bond film? Maybe, but not all of it is bad. (I know I'm late. Sorry!)

 

Thanks for your comment. Obviously, I haven't seen all the Bond films yet, but I must admit of the ones I have seen and reviewed-- MOONRAKER gets major points from me for taking risks. It was like they really let their imagination take over. Not all of it worked, but much of what we see and hear on screen is quite memorable.


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#55 VivLeighFan

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:24 PM

Essential: MOONRAKER (1979)
 
screen-shot-2017-03-24-at-9-38-37-am.png
 
Roger Moore is back as the world’s number one spy. Only this time Bond becomes more like an astronaut. In order to capitalize on the late 70s science fiction craze, producers have decided to get a bit futuristic with the character. He is now battling an adversary named Drax– an evil industrialist determined to control the space age for personal gain. Drax is portrayed by French actor Michael Lonsdale. And trust me, he’s not someone you want to mess with before he has his first cup of coffee in the morning.
 
screen-shot-2017-03-24-at-9-38-15-am.png

Meanwhile, our lovely Bond girl is Holly Goodhead played by Lois Chiles. It is quickly established that Holly is an American CIA agent, posing as an astronaut. Like Bond she’s been sent to infiltrate Drax’s organization. Together they will thwart his plans to destroy the earth’s population and start over with a new super race. Of course, Holly falls in love with Bond and the relationship develops into one that is out of this world in more ways than one.
 
screen-shot-2017-03-24-at-9-34-59-am.png

The first half of the film seems fairly routine as these plots go. Bond is seen globe trotting, dealing with various people working for Drax. One of them is Jaws, a henchman who appeared in the previous 007 picture. Jaws is now less sinister and used for comic relief. There is a spectacular scene atop a hanging cable car in Rio, where Jaws wants to harm Bond. He tries to sever the cable by chewing his way through it. He probably had a bit of indigestion afterward. (The thick cable was actually soft licorice that actor Richard Kiel was able to enjoy on camera.)
 
screen-shot-2017-03-24-at-10-01-25-am.pn

After the Rio sequence, Bond and Holly make their way up the Amazon jungle to Drax’s South American headquarters. This is where the story heads into sci-fi territory. Bond and Holly arrive just as Drax is launching rockets into outer space, taking with him the “perfect” human specimens he has chosen to start his new race. In a way it’s funny to see Roger Moore and Lois Chiles try to blend in with the other actors, who are much younger and different in appearance.
 
screen-shot-2017-03-24-at-9-33-49-am.png

It’s even funnier watching Jaws and his girlfriend Dolly try to blend in. They’re a true cinematic match if ever there was one. Of course Jaws with his deformities and Dolly with her unique height make them less than ideal for Drax’s experiment. But hey, they’re not going anywhere, and neither is Bond, until Drax gets what he deserves.
 
screen-shot-2017-03-24-at-9-36-09-am.png
MOONRAKER is directed by Lewis Gilbert and can be streamed on Dailymotion.


I have to say that the music called Bond Lured to Pyramid in the soundtrack is some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard. Worst Bond film? Maybe, but not all of it is bad. (I know I'm late. Sorry!)
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#56 TopBilled

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 10:28 PM

Thank you Larry for your comments. Definitely a great theme song. On Saturday I will be reviewing the next (and last) film Timothy Dalton did as 007. This will wrap up the two months we've spent covering Moore and Dalton in the role. In August, I plan to review the four Bond films starring Pierce Brosnan.

 

screen-shot-2017-04-26-at-8-17-45-pm.png


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#57 LawrenceA

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 10:31 AM

I'm glad to see some of you have discussed the AIDS issue, because that was in fact in the forefront of the producers' minds when they decided to tone down Bond's sexual conquests. Critics and naysayers had been beating the war-drums against the Bond franchise as far back as Thunderball in 1965, and after every film, there would be articles decrying this or that aspect of the series. While the producers tended to shrug most of it off, they did pay attention to societal trends and tried to match them as well as possible in order to meet the audiences expectations. The AIDS crisis made bed-hopping look not only foolish, but downright dangerous and irresponsible. 

 

Looking at the cast in The Living Daylights, there are a few worthy of mention. Longtime series regular Walter Gotell makes his final appearance as Soviet General Gogol, the USSR's counterpart to M. His character is shown to be retired into a diplomat's position, and his former job has now fallen to General Pushkin, played by familiar character actor John Rhys-Davies. This would be a one-time showing, though, as Bond's next film would leave out the Cold War settings, and when the series was re-started in 1995 with Pierce Brosnan, the Russian contact would be played by Robbie Coltrane.

 

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ld2.jpg

 

John Terry has the role of Felix Leiter. Felix is Bond's longtime American contact in the CIA. He's memorable in the series as having been recast so many times. He first appeared onscreen in 1962's Dr. No, the first Bond film, played by Jack Lord. After that he was played by Cec Linder (Goldfinger), Rik Van Nutter (Thunderball), Norman Burton (Diamonds are Forever), and Bernie Casey (Never Say Never Again). The first actor to play Leiter twice was David Hedison, who played the role in 1973's Live and Let Die and then again 16 years later in 1989's Licence to Kill. The character remained off-screen throughout the Brosnan years (more on that next), but would return in the Daniel Craig era, played by actor Jeffrey Wright in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.

 

John_Terry.JPG

 

Joe Don Baker, who appears in The Living Daylights as the villainous Brad Whitaker, would later join a rarefied club: performers who have played more than one major character in the James Bond series. The first notable example was actor Charles Gray, who had a small but memorable role in You Only Live Twice, and then landed the role of Bond arch-nemesis Blofeld in Diamonds are Forever. TopBilled discussed Maud Adams, who appeared in both The Man with the Golden Gun and Octopussy. And now Baker, who, after playing this role, would return during the Brosnan years as Bond's new CIA contact, Jack Wade, in both GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies.

 

worst-james-bond-movies-joe-don-baker.jp

 

Finally, regarding the movie's theme song: I stand among the minority in preferring this song, from Norwegian new wave pop group A-ha, to the previous Duran Duran theme (although I like them both). Once again, the song was co-written by the film's composer, John Barry. This co-writing set-up actually caused the producers' original theme performers to refuse: the English pop group Pet Shop Boys, who were only interested if they could compose the entire film score. This Bond film also features 2 songs from The Pretenders, one incidentally during the film, the other during the end credits. The producers considered The Pretenders for the theme performers, as well, but opted for A-ha and their new wave sound in an attempt to match the success of the previous Duran Duran hit. While the song reached number one in the band's native Norway, it only reached #5 in the UK, and a dismal #113 on the US charts.

 


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#58 TopBilled

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 09:54 AM

I did notice that Larry Hagman's JR Ewing cut down a bit on his bed-hopping during the second half of the decade on Dallas too. I think around 1988 or so he had to marry that pretty young thing after doing the deed. At least he grew to appreciate her after she left him. This was also after The Golden Girls and Designing Women had important AIDS-centric episodes, proving you don't have to be "gay" in order to be vulnerable. In fact, it was only after enough of these shows focusing on heterosexuals as victims or potential victims that the Bush administration finally decided to fund the research after Reagan hardly budged. Sadly those were the times...

 

However, there is a homoerotic relationship in LICENCE TO KILL which I will cover in my review about that film next week. So the sex is still implied in the Bond films of the late 80s but it is just depicted more discretely. This seems like a very conscious attempt to go in a different direction than the Connery and Moore eras, and I wouldn't doubt the producers and writers had long discussions about how the sex scenes would be changed in the Dalton films. Plus I wonder if Dalton had input about the way the sex scenes would be presented. In LICENCE TO KILL, you would almost think you are watching a production code romance from the 1940s when he plays the triangle with the two girlfriends. It is certainly subdued with a lot left to the imagination.


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#59 Jlewis

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 09:45 AM


Another noticeable change in THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS is they've toned down the sex (perhaps in response to the AIDS epidemic). Bond only has one girlfriend in this picture. In LICENCE TO KILL, he has two girlfriends but it is developed more as a romantic triangle. With Dalton in the role, he is no longer bed hopping as much. In fact one of his love scenes in LICENCE TO KILL just fades to black as soon as he and a girl begin to get amorous on a boat. They barely kiss. And he's never really tearing their clothes off, like Moore would do. The focus is on stunts and non-sexual physical action.

 

I did notice that Larry Hagman's JR Ewing cut down a bit on his bed-hopping during the second half of the decade on Dallas too. I think around 1988 or so he had to marry that pretty young thing after doing the deed. At least he grew to appreciate her after she left him. This was also after The Golden Girls and Designing Women had important AIDS-centric episodes, proving you don't have to be "gay" in order to be vulnerable. In fact, it was only after enough of these shows focusing on heterosexuals as victims or potential victims that the Bush administration finally decided to fund the research after Reagan hardly budged. Sadly those were the times...


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#60 TopBilled

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 09:07 AM

Most of the 007 I have seen either on TV or video/DVD, but this is one of the few I saw on the big screen when it came out, the same summer as Kevin Costner's boring No Way Out and the horrendous (if much beloved) Dirty Dancing. What really impressed me at the time were the airplane scenes, which were genuinely spell bounding on a LARGE screen. No, this was not CinemaScope or Cinerama, but the Panavision still impressed.

 

Timothy Dalton was new, so they had to emphasize the stunts. The same was true back when George Lazenby signed on to replace Sean Connery in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, a film that took roughly half a year to shoot just to get all of the stunts right, especially anything on snow and ice. Lazenby was no Connery any more than Dalton was Moore. The one plus was that Lazenby at least smiled a lot. Dalton was... well... at least he displays a good memory of where the next restaurant is available for his selected dame. Consider Dalton the "engineering mind" better suited to mathematics than romance among the Bonds. At least they used him twice.

 

I think the Bond films have always tried to be "contemporary" and appeal to modern audiences. They do this by capitalizing on current trends. The increased violence in A VIEW TO A KILL (which Roger Moore complained about) is an example, because in the mid-80s, excessive shootings and high body counts were the norm in the Rambo series and the Beverly Hills Cop series.

 

In THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS they tried to get back to focusing on espionage. With a new actor in the role, they could re-set the character. But as I indicated in my review they seem to be trying to exploit the Indiana Jones trend this time around-- where our hero has a daring aerial sequence with more death-defying stunts than ever. I am sure it was amazing to watch on screen in a theater. In fact the whole elongated scene where Bond and his girl fly out of Afghanistan helps lift the franchise out of the ordinary and puts it into the realm of the extraordinary. The producers were not only exploiting what audiences wanted to see in other movies, but they were doing it better than the makers of those other franchises. 

 

As for Dalton, I read that he was a bit reluctant to sign on. He probably worried it would typecast him and affect his stage work and opportunities for different screen roles. By the time we get to his second Bond picture, he seems considerably more relaxed, like he's enjoying it more. Though he still plays the character a bit coolly and detached in LICENCE TO KILL.

 

Another noticeable change in THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS is they've toned down the sex (perhaps in response to the AIDS epidemic). Bond only has one girlfriend in this picture. In LICENCE TO KILL, he has two girlfriends but it is developed more as a romantic triangle. With Dalton in the role, he is no longer bed hopping as much. In fact one of his love scenes in LICENCE TO KILL just fades to black as soon as he and a girl begin to get amorous on a boat. They barely kiss. And he's never really tearing their clothes off, like Moore would do. The focus is on stunts and non-sexual physical action.


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