Wednesday, May 11, 2016

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN - James Bond (1983)

I'm not sure exactly what I was doing back in 1983, but I know one thing, it wasn't watching movies like this! "Never Say Never Again" is the last time Sean Connery will ever play James Bond. He was really done in 1971 in "Diamonds Are Forever," but they dragged him back out, and in the nuttiest of nutshells, here's the reason why! It's well documented all over the internet, so if you want to know the whole story, do a search, but while the well known Ian Fleming is the author of the James Bond books, the lesser know Kevin McClory was given the job of adapting the Bond character to the big screen, so much that he owned the film rights to "Thunderball." Fleming and McClory had a big falling out, and after duking it out for years, he was eventually given the right to make another James Bond movie. So, they got Sean Connery to come back for a remake of "Thunderball!" Unfortunately none of the other regulars, M, Q, and Miss Moneypenny were able to return, so the whole thing kind of seems like a weird dream. For me, it's okay, but it doesn't really work, but that's just me!

The story goes that after 1967, Sean Connery said he would never ever do another James Bond movie, so when he took this role, his wife jokingly suggested it should be called "Never Say Never Again!"

Back in the real world, the other James Bond movies continued to be made, and in the same year, "Octopussy" with Roger Moore was released, and actually sold more that "Never Say Never Again!"  Ironic as it may be, even though Sean Connery was deemed to be too olde to continue in the role, Sean was 53 years old, and Roger Moore was 56 the same year!

The beautiful Barbara (Embryo) Carrera had the role of the eveil Fatima!

Of course the world's most evil and influential man is nothing without his beloved pussy cat!

Klaus Maria (Mephisto) Brandauer has the role of Maximilian Largo, the same character played by Adolfo Celi in"Thunderball!" Talk about longevity, Klaus has got his own TV show coming out this year called "Capelli Code," where he plays the leading character of Frank Capelli!

What finally takes out a giant bad guy pursuing James Bond?  A big heaping dose of James Bond's piss!

The glow in the room full of nuclear armaments is freakin' eerie!

This is how Fatima repays her loyal and dedicated employee!

I didn't find Alec (Frenzy) McCowen to be any match to Desmond Lleweln in the role of Q!

"Never Say Never Again" was the big screen debut of Rowan (Mr. Bean, Johnny English) Atkinson!

I'm not a big fan of underwater scenes, and this movie has probably got 15 or 20 minutes underwater, but I have to admit, it's some of the best underwater footage I've ever seen, and it just might have something to do with that fact that "The Creature From The Black Lagoon" himself, or at least the guy who wore the creature suit, Ricou Browning, was the guy working as the underwater sequence director!

This is a great shot!

Bernie (Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde) Casey is in there as Bond's best buddy and sidekick!

This film was only Kim (L.A. Confidential) Basinger's third big screen outing, she had only done TV before that!

I think this scene dates this film the most! A big dollar party where the highlight of the evening was playing arcade video games like Centipede!

The theme song and ending credits as composed by Michel Legrand, performed by Sergio Mendes and Herb Alpert, and sung by Lani Hall, and Sophie Della respectively, is 1983 to a tee!
The better music is like this 60 seconds of funk that was on the radio when Largo throws a fit!

The big challenge between Bond and Largo is a big and rather stupid video game that shocks the loser!

I think an equally appropriate title for this film would be this half-ass quote from Shakespeare, "Quoth the Raven.......
Never Moore!"

You know it's really over for this version of James Bond when he's served a fruity drink in a hurricane glass instead of a martini! Yep, that's all folks!!


Grant said...

I know I go on about villainess characters, but whatever is or isn't right about this film, Barbara Carrera's Fatima really makes you watch it. They could have made that character pretty much a copy of Luciana Paluzzi's Fiona in THUNDERBALL, and it would have STILL worked (at least to me), but they went in another direction by making her a really hot "crazy lady" villainess instead of an underplayed one in any way like Fiona.

EEGAH!! said...

You go on as much as you want about villainesses Grant! We love to hear it! We should have you do a guest post on the subject some day!

TC said...

Maybe if the producers of the "real" Bond movies had realized how popular Fiona Volpe' would turn out to be, they would have kept her in the series as a recurring villain instead of killing her off. (I know I would rather watch Luciana Paluzzi than any of the guys who played Blofeld.) It may not be a coincidence that the next Bond movie, You Only Live Twice, also had a red-haired femme fatale, as if they were trying to duplicate what worked so well in Thunderball.

Fun fact: George Lazenby had a cameo as a good guy secret agent with the initials "JB" in the 1983 Man From U.N.C.L.E. made-for-TV movie. So all three Bonds from the official series were playing the character in different movies at the same time.

Maybe another appropriate title for Sean's last Bond movie would be from Thomas Wolfe: "You Can't Go Home Again."

EEGAH!! said...

Great stuff TC! We always dig more opinions, details, and trivia!

Grant said...

TC's comments are very interesting, partly because when it comes to the second paragraph, I've always thought the same things. The thing I find strangest about YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE is that there's a "fade" just as things are starting up between Bond and the femme fatale, then it's on to the next part. In other words, one thing from THUNDERBALL that they DIDN'T try to copy was the "steamy" bed scene between them. (I'm sure Karin Dor fans in particular have mixed feelings about THAT.)

EEGAH!! said...

I don't know about the rest of you, but I know I'd like to see Karin Dor in a steamy bed scene!

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