Man with the Golden Touch: How the Bond Films Conquered the World

Overview

The Man with the Golden Touch tells the unlikely story of how Eon Productions—the owners of the Bond franchise—has kept James Bond at the top of the charts for forty-five years when originally only three or four films were planned. Through twenty-one films featuring three M’s, two Q’s, and six Bonds—from Sean Connery’s career-transforming turn in 1962’s Dr. No to Daniel Craig’s debut in the 2006 blockbuster Casino Royale—the action superstar and perfect English gentleman reigns ...
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The Man With the Golden Touch: How The Bond Films Conquered the World

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Overview

The Man with the Golden Touch tells the unlikely story of how Eon Productions—the owners of the Bond franchise—has kept James Bond at the top of the charts for forty-five years when originally only three or four films were planned. Through twenty-one films featuring three M’s, two Q’s, and six Bonds—from Sean Connery’s career-transforming turn in 1962’s Dr. No to Daniel Craig’s debut in the 2006 blockbuster Casino Royale—the action superstar and perfect English gentleman reigns supreme.

Thanks to the films, Ian Fleming’s original creation has been transformed from a black sheep of the postwar British elite into a figure with universal appeal, constantly evolving in step with changing social and political circumstances. Sinclair McKay interviewed those concerned with every aspect of the film, and is ideally placed to describe how the Bond brand has been managed over the years and to tell the inside stories of the vivid supporting cast, from Bond girls and Bond villains to Bond cars and Bond gadgetry.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This delightful critical appreciation celebrates the longest-running of all film franchises as much for its absurd excesses as for its stylish thrills. Journalist McKay considers the films' family-run production company to be the Bond saga's true auteur and devotes a chapter to each of the movies up through the groundbreaking Casino Royale with Daniel Craig. McKay's 360-degree treatments take in everything from the script and actors' performances to the set design, score, and titles sequences, with droll digressions thrown in on such Bond motifs as Persian cats, monorails, “impossible leaps of villainous logic,” and substandard action set pieces (“That's another thing that Bond producers never really learn: boat chases are intrinsically dull”). McKay writes in a breezy, chatty style, as if perpetually in between mouthfuls of popcorn; he remains raptly focused on aesthetics and eyeball impact while still teasing out underlying sexual and geopolitical themes. He's a charming hybrid of critic and fan, calling out Thunderball's failings—“How is it possible for a drama involving nuclear blackmail to drag on so?”—while managing to find the good even in George Lazenby. The result is a scintillating read that's often more entertaining than the movies themselves. Photos. (Aug.)
Library Journal
For almost 50 years, throughout a cinematic oeuvre of 22 films, fans of Ian Fleming's fictional Cold War MI6 überspy have been in glorious Bondage. Freelance writer McKay explores the entire Bond cash cow, the longest-running film franchise in history. All the leading men get their due with film backstories and anecdotes. McKay also includes an informative analysis of EON productions, the London production company (started by Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman in 1961) that owns the Bond franchise. The Bond formula—exotic locales, technical gadgetry, megalomaniacal villains, obligatory chase scenes, and, oh yes, all those girls—is delineated in all its splendor. There is no shortage of critical (James Chapman's License To Thrill: A Cultural History of the James Bond Films), popular (John Cork's Bond Girls Are Forever: The Women of James Bond), and fan-based (Michael Di Leo's The Spy Who Thrilled Us: A Guide to the Best of Cinematic James Bond) 007 titles. VERDICT Thoroughly researched and documented yet fetching in tone and style, McKay's fun, smart, and informative book gracefully treads the criticism/entertainment border.—Barry X. Miller, Austin P.L., TX
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590202982
  • Publisher: Overlook Press, The
  • Publication date: 8/5/2010
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 9.48 (w) x 11.28 (h) x 1.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Sinclair McKay, formerly Assistant Features Editor at The Daily Telegraph, works in London as a freelance writer and journalist.
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Table of Contents

Introduction

One Authenticity 1

Two You've had your six 14

Three Europe by Train 34

Four The Glittering Prize 50

Five Raincoats, Walls and Betrayals 68

Six Great Balls of Thunder 76

Seven Spies in our Eyes 88

Eight This Dream is for You 98

Nine The Other Fella 113

Ten A Little more Cheek 129

Eleven Dark Unconfident World 145

Twelve Man at Austin Reed 150

Thirteen Will he Bang? we shall See 165

Fourteen England Needs me 180

Fifteen Once More Round the World 195

Sixteen The Smack of firm Espionage 207

seventeen You can Never say Never Twice 222

Eighteen Most Disarming 229

Nineteen Microchips with Everything 244

Twenty Darling Moneypenny 256

Twenty-One One for the Ladies 262

Twenty-Two Night of the Iguana 276

Twenty-Three Bond in Abeyance 288

Twenty-Four We Knew the Name, we Knew the Number 294

Twenty-Five We're in a Puddle on the Floor 308

Twenty-Six Art and Craft 319

Twenty-Seven Birthday Boy 330

Twenty-Eight The Autobiography of Dreams 344

Twenty-Nine Quantum Theories 361

Thirty You can Never kiss Death Goodbye 376

Notes 385

Related Reading 390

Index 391

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 18, 2012

    Great read!

    I have only read 30 pages so far, but 30 pages in I knew I wanted to own this book. It's well written, funny, very British, and very Bond. Loving it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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