The James Bond Files ~
Untold Stories of 007, Part 1
– Writer Ronald Payne Shares Some Secrets
By Wesley Britton
If anyone was born destined to keep crossing paths with the
world of 007, it would have to be writer, agent, and raconteur
For one thing, he was part of a family with Hollywood
connections. In 1950, Payne recalls that “my father saw
Ronald Colman in Bulldog Drummond and was so
taken with his fine manners, elegant style, his humor, etc., that
he persuaded my mother to name me for him. I’m happy
he did. There couldn’t have been a finer role model.”
(While his full name is William Ronald Colman Payne, he’s
been going by Ron Payne since his writing career began.)
Later, Payne’s uncle, James Ellsworth, produced the
film Five Minutes to Live, “which was released
heavily to drive-ins in 1961 through American-International. It
starred Johnny Cash, Ronny Howard, and the late Vic Tayback,
who became famous as Mel in the CBS sitcom, Alice.
My uncle also produced Chesty: Tribute to a Legend,
the color documentary about Lt. General Lewis B.
‘Chesty’ Puller, the most decorated Marine in
history. John Ford directed the documentary and the on-camera
host was John Wayne.” During the late 1940s, Ellsworth
also worked with a fellow named Albert Broccoli selling Christmas
Ron’s family tree also set the stage for his own Bond
might-have-beens. “In 1956, a distant relative of mine, the
actor John Payne (who was also born in Virginia), optioned
Moonraker, with the intention of becoming the
movies’ first James Bond 007. Anyone who has ever seen
John Payne in any of his 1940s films for 20th Century-Fox (where
Payne wears a white dinner jacket or plays a swashbuckling tough
guy) will see that Payne had possibilities. Moonraker,
as adapted faithfully from the book, would have been perfect for
John Payne. I would like to think so.”
Growing up along the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, Ronald
Payne also became an avid reader of world literature. He began
his collection of rare books that ultimately led to an important
Bond connection. Before that happened, in 1964 at the age of
14, Payne sold his first script to Leslie Goodwin, who'd directed
episodes of Maverick and Highway
Patrol. (The story wasn’t produced due to
In 1973, Payne’s first novel, Shadows in the
Sun (Dorrance) was published followed by Black
Thursday in 1982. In this novel, the World Trade Center
was bombed by Indian terrorists. “Most of the
book,” Payne says, “was set in Mexico where
neo-Nazis were setting up gas chambers.”
After beginning his career of ghost-writing, his third novel,
The Dark Side of Twilight, came out in 1987
when, Payne admits, he was still imitating his literary inspirations,
including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Thomas
Wolfe. “I was a big fan of Kenneth Miller and he
influenced my writing in The Dark Side of Twilight.
I don’t want to get going on Ross Macdonald and
Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, right now, or
we’ll be here all day.”
What has all this to do with 007?
Well, it’s true Ron Payne has yet to work for the
official film company. In 1979, Payne hoped to find work with
EON Productions but turned down the one task they hoped
he’d take on – seeking out counterfeit 007
toys in the U.S. “Reginald Barkshire, Cubby
Broccoli’s assistant,” Payne says, “was
always most kind to me. In 1985, I first learned Pierce Brosnan
was considered for 007, right in Barkshire's office.”
Perhaps the unkindest cut occurred when Payne’s
car was stolen just outside of EON’s Hollywood
As described below, in 1979 Payne met writer O. F. Snelling
and learned much about the literary James Bond. Later, he
befriended George Lazenby and has stories to tell about his
friend. And, in his quest to try to find work with Kevin McClory,
Payne found himself a bearer of true 007 secrets – inside
stories about the legendary, never produced
In short, Ron has so many stories, we offer them here in three
In Part 1 (below), I interview Ron about his
personal involvement with Bond, moviemaking, and his support of
George Lazenby, among other Bond matters.
In Part 2 – subtitled
“The James Bond Curse?” – Ron talks
about his attempts to produce a Bond film. If this doesn’t
whet your appetite, you’ll also find an interview within
an interview when Ron reveals what he learned about the
production of Never Say Never Again when he met
with producer Jack Swartzman.
Part 3 will be, in
Ron’s words, what might have been if the script written by
Sean Connery, Len Deighton, and Kevin McClory had come to be.
So, without further ado, allow me to introduce – Ronald
John Ford, Ian Fleming, and Rare Books
Q – There are few folks who can claim
they learned about the movie business helping out director John
Ford. Can you tell us about your experience?
In my senior year of high school, my uncle and John Ford
moved the production of their documentary Chesty: Tribute
to a Legend to Saluda, Virginia, and filmed inside of General
Puller’s home. I knew General Puller quite well, as I often
visited with him after school. And, of course, I knew my uncle. I
was given the task of “keeping John Ford upright,”
not that I had ever seen him in any other condition. But taking into
account that there is a “first time for everything and
anything,” I was given the important responsibility of making
certain that this venerable (if not vulnerable) Hollywood legend
“did not stumble and break a hip” and thus
completely “derail the production.”
I was “Executive in Training in Charge of John
Ford,” so to speak, and did my utter best to keep him
away from booze during filming, but was not too successful at it,
though he did cut back. And, he never fell or broke any bone in
his body during the entire shoot, so my involvement in
Chesty must be labeled a success. I lived to see
19 the following year (because my uncle did not fire me or kill me)
and for the most part I fared much better during this period than
the debut of Chesty when it premiered in Los
Angeles. It was shown in a large theatre, but anti-war activists
boycotted the film and generally made life miserable for John
Ford and my uncle and the film was, generally, withdrawn.
But, it was this film where I had the pleasure to learn a little
something from a master about movie making. Admiral Ford was
a decent guy and we got along splendidly.
Q – I understand you hold the rights
to the 1964 nugget, O. F. Snelling’s 007 James Bond:
A Report. How did you become involved with Snelling and
plans for updates for the book?
Freddie Snelling was my mentor. He and I met in Hodgson’s
Rooms at Sotheby’s Rare Book Department in London where
he was the department head. This was January 1979. I became his
sole Literary Agent in the Western Hemisphere. Freddie was like
a second father to me.
Originally, the book was published by Neville Spearman (London)
in hardback. However, with the Bond boom after the release of the
film Goldfinger, the book’s sales skyrocketed.
It was published in paperback in London and serialized in the French
magazine, Luii, the equivalent of Playboy
in this country. It went on to be published in 17 languages and
sold more than 2 million copies (nothing to be sneezed at in
1964-65). Of course, it was published in paperback in the U.S. by
Fleming’s own publishers (Signet-The New American
Library) and was listed right along with Fleming’s titles,
while going head to head with Kingsley Amis’s The
James Bond Dossier.
I acquired all rights to the book from Freddie, early on, and still
hope to do a documentary based upon the book. I miss Freddie
very much. He really was my second Dad. Freddie became a recluse
after leaving Sotheby’s. I will always remember him as an
exceedingly kind man and as one of England’s best writers.
He also wrote The Bedside Book of Boxing and
Rare Books and Rarer People about his life at
Sotheby’s and the Antiquarian book trade. He ghost-wrote a
great number of books for celebrities – most of them from the
sports world. He got me hooked on Hitchcock films and the works
of John Buchan, Dornford Yates and Sapper (the Unholy Trio of
Richard Hannay, Jonathan Mansel and Bulldog Drummond, the
original “Clubland Heroes” and forerunners of James
Bond). Kingsley Amis himself told me he thought Freddie’s
book a notch up on his own James Bond Dossier,
which pleased me very much.
Q – Is it true Snelling had connections
with some actual spies?
Freddie was the literary agent and liaison for Helen and Peter
Kroeger, two spies who worked for Russia. The Kroegers entered
England on New Zealand passports without ever stepping foot into
New Zealand back in the early 1950s. They were from New York.
They passed themselves off as Antiquarian book dealers outside
London and were Freddie’s Wednesday night bridge
partners for about five years.
The Kroegers placed micro-dots in the spines of books they
sent to Russian agents. Kroeger was famous for dismissing himself
for about twenty minutes during each bridge game to send radio
messages from his basement to Moscow.
Freddie played an important part in the Kroegers being
apprehended by MI6, though we will never know the real story
during our lifetimes. The Kroegers were stealing Britain’s
nuclear submarine secrets and doing a good job of it. They were
later traded for British agents and lived out their lives in a comfortable
Moscow apartment with all the luxuries the Kremlin promised them.
Freddie, actually, liked and admired them, though he didn’t
like the side they were on. Freddie arranged with a major British
publisher to have their autobiography published in the west.
Freddie flew to Moscow with the contract in hand and there were
smiles all round, as the caviar and champagne flowed the entire
evening. A happy ending to what might have turned out quite
differently. (This will be the subject of my next spy novel,
The Follies of Arrogant Men, which I hope to write
Q – The Snelling book was a rather
early entry in Bond studies – does it have any relevance
Yes, I believe Snelling’s book is even more relevant
today, because so many of the original players are dead. Fleming
approved the Snelling book for publication, just two weeks before
his death in 1964. It was the only time he was to ever do so for
anyone. In that respect, Snelling’s work stands alone.
Fleming authorized it.
Q – Snelling’s book appeared
before all the Fleming books had been published and only two films
had been produced in time for him to comment on them. What
sorts of things would Snelling have liked to add to a new edition?
Freddie and I always intended to update the book to accommodate
the new films with Dalton, Brosnan, et al. We were also to include
a new section on the writers, Amis, Gardner, Benson, etc. Freddie
hated the original title, 007 James Bond: A Report.
That was Neville Spearman’s idea. I am currently updating
the book and will use Fred’s true and only title, Double
0 Seven, with the sub-title – James Bond Under
the Microscope. I used this title in 1981-82 when I serialized
the chapter “His Image” from the book in my rare
fanzine, James Bond, Secret Agent.
In addition to the original text, I have 100 plus letters to include
in the new book. The James Bond Letters, will cover
every topic there is about “double-0-seven”
– from Snelling’s perspective. You will find his
insights interesting and provocative. He also goes into some detail
about the Fleming story, “The Property of a Lady,”
of which he was very fond for obvious reasons. [The obvious
reason being the story was set in Sotheby’s, Fleming
having used Snelling as a source for the story.]
Snelling enjoyed Bernard Lee as “M.” He
knew Lee from the film The Third Man, as he played
Sgt. Paine. Freddie didn’t care much for Edward
Fox’s “M” in Never Say Never
Again and Judy Dench he saw as a “great actress
and a sign of the changing times.” However, in his
mind’s eye, Snelling saw “M” as C.
Aubrey Smith, the great British Colonial of Tarzan, the
Ape Man and many other Hollywood and British films.
Q – What can you tell us about that
“rare fanzine” you mentioned?
My fanzine, James Bond, Secret Agent, was
published in November 1981, though 1982 appears on the front,
along with a large photo of Roger Moore and Lois Chiles from
Moonraker. Moore is drawing his Walther PP-K as
Lois Chiles looks on. It’s a famous photo. The magazine
was done like a tabloid newspaper. There were many very good
photos of Sean Connery as James Bond and in other roles. I
ran a chapter from Freddie’s Double O Seven
– James Bond Under the Microscope. This
pleased Freddie a great deal to see his actual title for his book
being used for the first time.
I ran a short story I had written way back in 1966. Originally,
James Bond had been the main character, but due to copyright
restrictions, I changed the hero’s name to Philip Reynolds
after the character in my novel Shadows in the Sun
(1973). In that story, Reynolds (James Bond) is in Jamaica for
the purpose of assassinating Marcus Fynche, a former SMERSH
operative, who has murdered several of his colleagues. Fynche,
like most Bond villains, is larger than life, extraordinarily wealthy
and lives for big game fishing on his yacht. Reynolds is
accompanied by “Morocco Jade”, who is half
Chinese and half French. The story was called “Red
Moon Over Moscow,” in reference to Fynche’s
past life as a Russian agent. His real Russian name is never
revealed, but it is believed he is Georgian. That story was fun.
I also wrote an article about my pursuit of Kevin McClory in
hopes of getting a job on Warhead (circa 1978). A
long time before Never Say Never Again.
Q – What can you tell us about your
friendship with George Lazenby?
George and I met in Los Angeles in 1986 when we discussed
doing a film I wanted to produce. He accompanied me to the first
Virginia Festival of Film in October 1988 at Charlottesville, which
was initiated and sponsored by John and Patricia Kluge. It was
held at the University of Virginia. The special guest speaker that
night was Nick Nolte. Kluge owned Orion Pictures at the time and
would premier Nolte’s new film that night, but all eyes
were on George Lazenby, once one of the students in the audience
whispered “James Bond” was sitting two rows
Samuel Goldwyn, Jr. was there. Al Ruddy, the producer of
The Godfather and Hogan’s
Heroes, was there. George Stevens, Jr. introduced Nolte.
Closer to home for George, David Picker, the producer and former
Vice-President of United Artists, was up on the podium sitting
next to Nolte. George sat there and enjoyed the show while the
student whispers continued to buzz around the U. Va. audience.
Who cares about George Stevens, Jr., when you’ve got
“double 0 seven” hanging out with you? He
wasn’t on the podium. He was in the audience, just like
Afterward, the press people couldn’t wait to get to
Lazenby. He was a mystery. He hadn’t been invited to
speak. What was he doing there? The Richmond
Times-Dispatch gave more space to George Lazenby
than any of the people on the podium.
Q – So why was he there that night?
John Hartman, a local television personality had written a
script entitled It’s Only a Game. The script
was a murder mystery about a bridge champion whose wife is
kidnapped and held for ransom. There was talk of teaming George
Lazenby with Omar Sharif, with George playing the policeman,
who saves Sharif’s wife. Hartman had interested
multi-millionaire retailer (A&N Stores) Zach Sternheimer in
the project as sole investor and Executive Producer. The budget
was $2,000,000, but nothing ever materialized. The last I heard
Zach Sternheimer was in Hollywood working on a project with
George drove us back to Richmond from Charlottesville that
night. It still amuses me, his affection for Buicks. His rental car
was a Buick and he explained all the particulars to me as we rode
along. George was once a car salesman in London. That night, I
would have bought that Buick from him on the spot.
In 1999, I had the very great pleasure of producing the first
“An Evening with George Lazenby” for
“The Association for Research and Enlightenment –
the Edgar Cayce Foundation,” at the Virginia Beach Pavilion.
George performed his second “An Evening with George
Lazenby” in July 2005 at the invitation of Pinewood
Studios in England. I have the greatest affection and utmost
respect for George Lazenby. He has been a good friend for more
than twenty years now.
George did me a great favor by doing the program. It was
standing room only that night and the Virginia Beach audience
loved him. He talked about the death of his 19-year-old son, Zach,
from brain cancer. And what it was like getting the coveted 007
role. The James Bond theme played in the background. The man
walked with confidence onto the stage. He looked better in 1999
than he did when he played Bond. He reminded most of us of
Cary Grant. He showed humor, warmth toward his audience
and was a delight to watch. He was impeccably dressed. All I
could think – “It’s too bad he didn’t
continue as Bond.” But, that was me thinking of me.
The reality is – George Lazenby is so much more
than the famous character he played in On Her
Majesty’s Secret Service. And he’s
talented far beyond most people's perception of him. 2006 is a
long journey from 1969. In that period of time, George Lazenby
has turned into a true professional. He’s a good actor
after many years of learning his craft. He’s also
intuitive about people. This sensitivity only enhanced his stage
to audience performance that night in Virginia Beach. George
spoke from the heart and connected with his listeners. They
liked him. And, once more, it was evident he liked them, too.
I appreciated his taking the time to do the program for me. He
was a smashing success with everyone.
Q – So how do you rate Lazenby as
I have said this before. Please allow me to say it again. I believe
George Lazenby would have been as popular as Sean Connery had
he continued with the Bond series. Cary Grant once stated that an
actor had to make fifteen pictures or more before he could really
consider himself a star, because that would allow time for the
audience to find the actor and he would develop in his craft along
the way. George didn’t give himself enough time. He was
given some rotten advice by his business manager. George
Lazenby’s picture, On Her Majesty’s Secret
Service, is one of the best in the series. There are people
who talk about how much greater the film would have been with
Connery. I don’t care how great the film “might
have been” with Sean Connery. It is George Lazenby’s
picture and George is great in it. That’s all that matters.
Lazenby gave us a great piece of work of high entertainment value.
To me, he is James Bond in On Her Majesty’s
Secret Service. He was not filling in for Sean Connery.
If George Lazenby had done Diamonds Are Forever,
as his follow-up film, his career would have blasted through the roof.
He would have become one of the most successful motion picture
stars in the world. Lazenby’s Bond, unlike Connery’s
Bond, derives right out of the cinematic traditions of Douglas
Fairbanks and Errol Flynn. Lazenby’s Bond is
“Robin Hood” and that certainly makes for great
adventure – “double 0 seven” style.
Q – Is it true you talked about Lazenby
with Bond novelist Raymond Benson?
In the late 1990s – beginning around 1998, I shared
several e-mails and telephone conversations with the new James
Bond author, Raymond Benson. I liked all of Raymond Benson’s
James Bond thrillers. My favorite is his first, Zero Minus
Ten. To me, it is high adventure. I know that Raymond
Benson would love to write a James Bond film. I wish Barbara
Broccoli and Michael Wilson would give Mr. Benson the opportunity.
He knows more about the world of 007 than all the rest of us put
Sometime in 1999, soon after George Lazenby did his “An
Evening with George Lazenby” for me at the Virginia
Beach Pavilion, Raymond and I discussed by telephone the right
script for George Lazenby’s comeback. I wanted to do
either Peter Fleming’s The Sixth Column or
Nichol Fleming’s Counter Paradise. (Here,
we are talking about the brother and nephew of Ian Fleming.)
Raymond shot all that down because he said it was too similar to
007 and people would say, “It’s just George
Lazenby trying to be Bond again.”
Raymond suggested I watch a small independent British film
entitled The Limey. Raymond Benson suggested we
make George Lazenby an ex-convict – a tough guy
Bogart-style – seen getting out of prison. He looks up his
old gang and together they plan the biggest caper of their careers.
(All I could see in my mind was Sean Connery in The
Anderson Tapes, but I think Raymond had a clearer grasp
of things.) Perhaps someday, Raymond, you and I will do that
caper film with George Lazenby. I hope so. But, first, I hope the
Broccoli organization gets smart and gives you a shot at doing
a Bond film. You deserve it. Thanks for some great James Bond
novels along the way.
I would like to recommend an interview with George Lazenby
that appeared in Cinemafantastique magazine in
November 1998, in time for the release of The World is Not
Enough. Pierce Brosnan is on the cover. The article was
written by New York writer, Richard Handley, and I acted as liaison
between George Lazenby and the author. It is one of George
Lazenby’s best interviews and anyone who is interested
in George Lazenby should attempt to find it and read it.
[Editor’s Note – For more on George Lazenby
and Ron’s hopes to pit him against Sean Connery in a
Bond film, refer to Part II of these
files posted at this website.]
The Many Faces of 007
Q – Any thoughts on the casting of Daniel
I didn’t know anything about Clive Owen, who was first
touted for Bond. I had never heard of Daniel Craig. I thought Hugh
Jackman was all wrong. I had hoped someone would look at the actor,
Adrian Paul, who has a superficial resemblance to the young Connery.
(Adrian Paul starred in the television series, Highlander.)
And, while Daniel Craig was unknown to me, he was certainly not
unknown to Steven Spielberg, who cast him in Munich.
The trailer for Casino Royale intrigues me. If
Craig’s performance lives up to the persona in the trailer, he
will be sensational. It’s too early to tell.
The producers are attempting to get back to Fleming’s
Bond of the novels, but I’m not certain even Fleming knew
who was right for James Bond. So many people ask today,
“Why would Fleming make Bond look like Hoagy
Carmichael?’ That’s easy: because Fleming’s
brother, Peter, looked like Hoagy Carmichael, that’s why.
Ian Fleming thought himself to look like Carmichael as well.
Initially, Fleming wanted (1) Cary Grant, (2) David Niven, or
(3) Richard Burton. Now, that offers one a lot of diversification.
Cary Grant was not the tough, edgy 007 of Casino Royale.
On the other hand, if Hitchcock had directed From Russia
With Love, Cary Grant would have been perfect, because
he would have given us a cross between To Catch A
Thief and North By Northwest and set the gold
standard for the series. It would have been a matter of style over
substance. And, who would have looked better in a tailored Saville
Row suit than Cary Grant? (Harry Saltzman liked George Lazenby
because G. L. reminded him of Cary Grant. And, John Gavin, who
was signed to do Diamonds Are Forever before the
return of Connery, actually played Cary Grant in the mini-series,
Sophia, based upon the biography of Sophia Loren
by A.E. Hotchner.)
Cary Grant was best man at Cubby Broccoli’s wedding
to Dana Wilson in 1959, so it would be reasonable to think Cary
Grant might have been in Broccoli’s mind, too, for 007.
Howard Hawks, certainly, wanted Cary Grant when Charles Feldman
asked him to direct a faithful adaptation of Casino
Richard Burton and I met in London when I saw this fellow
staggering in front of the Dorchester Hotel. I went to help him and
it was “Rich Jenkins,” all right. He told me he was
“Rich Jenkins” and thanked me for helping him, by
offering me as many drinks as I could handle. We discussed James
Bond and the fact that Kevin McClory had once approached him
about playing the role. The Bond series would have taken a
different route with Richard Burton. I loved his acting and admired
him, but it is doubtful (to me, anyway) that we would be discussing
007 today, if Sean Connery had not come along.
Fleming also liked fellow Etonian, David Niven, who had
played both “Raffles” and “The Scarlet
Pimpernel,” but no one could be further from Daniel Craig
than David Niven. I can’t imagine David Niven shooting
a Japanese cipher expert in cold blood, the way Bond is alleged
to have done before becoming a “double O”. I
have heard it said that Fleming was interested in Roger Moore
for the role, as he had watched The Saint on
television. And, I’ve heard Broccoli considered Peter
Lawford at the beginning. Patrick McGoohan was Danger
Man, so I suppose he was something of a front runner.
(I don’t know.)
I do know this. Broccoli & Saltzman were lucky to get
Connery. Reginald Barkshire, who ran Broccoli’s offices
in London, told me how Connery walked in looking like a thug
– dressed in the most abysmal brown outfit with non-matching
socks and banged his fists on the table and told the producers
how he would play Bond. He shook them up. Intimidated them.
Fleming, I understood from Freddie Snelling, was horrified that
Connery was being considered.
But, once Fleming saw Connery’s strengths in the
role, he couldn’t have been more delighted or felt more
fortunate. Fred Snelling told me, “Once I saw Connery
as James Bond in From Russia With Love, I
couldn’t possibly imagine anyone else.”
Where I would have gone wrong: not knowing who Connery
was in 1962 – and unable to get Cary Grant – I
would have pegged for (1) Stewart Granger, (2) Laurence Harvey,
who strikes me as having been more faithful to the spirit of
Fleming’s literary Bond. So, there you are. (I might have
gotten two pictures out of it, with either Granger or Laurence
Harvey. James Mason would have been a third consideration.
But, we wouldn’t have had the films that everyone loves
Q – What projects are you working on
My greatest desire would be to see the film, Marine!
produced, based upon the life of Lt. General Lewis B.
“Chesty” Puller. The documentary my uncle,
John Ford, and John Wayne worked on was to be a
pre-cursor to this theatrical film. The screenplay, which I am
currently rewriting, is based on the script by Harry Brown (A
Walk in the Sun) and Beirne Lay, Jr., Academy Award
winner for Twelve O’Clock High. It was
commissioned by John Wayne and director John Ford. My uncle
was set to produce it, but Ford and Wayne died all too soon and
today my uncle is 81 years old and in a nursing home in Beverly
Hills. He has Alzheimer’s. I would really love to see this
project get off the ground, especially after so many years.
I am in the process, with another writer and director, of updating
the script. The film is perfect for (1) Tommy Lee Jones as
“Chesty” Puller. (2) Chuck Norris’ people
would be interested in Norris playing “Chesty”
Puller. (3) My director is interested in Kurt Russell, whom I thought
all wrong until someone showed me Russell in Soldier.
He’s “Chesty” right on, in that film. This
is a big picture set in World War Two and Korea.
Puller was the most decorated Marine in U.S. history and a
Marine icon. He’s now on his own postage stamp. John
Wayne wanted desperately to make this film, but it was shelved
after the failure of The Green Berets. Wayne never
made another war film after The Green Berets.
Darryl Zanuck wanted 20th Century-Fox to finance and release it,
but their Tora, Tora, Tora stopped them. Zanuck
was eager to get John Ford back on his payroll. The time has
never been better than now to do this great motion picture.
Q – Before we switch gears and
reveal your quest to produce a Bond film, any thoughts on 007
in general you’d care to share?
I would still like to write up my interview with the director,
Terence Young, whom I met in Jamaica in August, 1975. Young,
who directed Dr. No, From Russia With
Love, and Thunderball, was a charming man.
He did more to get the Bond series rolling than any other person
outside of Broccoli, Saltzman and Connery. He gave me many
insights into those early years of the cinematic Bond. He,
basically, taught Sean Connery how to talk, dress and behave
as James Bond. To me, Terence Young WAS James Bond.
In concluding this discussion, I would like to thank
Professor Dr. Wesley Britton, Ph.D., for taking the time to hear me
out. I haven’t had this much fun since Martin Amis gave me
his dad, Kingsley’s, private telephone number (sight
unseen). Martin Amis didn’t know me from Adam and I
was calling from a red phone booth in Trafalgar Square. He
got a great kick out of giving his father’s private telephone
number to strangers. Kingsley Amis spent two hours asking me
how I got his phone number rather than hanging up on me.
(Now, there’s insight into a famous Bond author.) I would
still like to do a James Bond film.
On that note – check out Part
2 of the “Untold Stories of 007” files posted
here, in The James Bond Files at
We’ve only just begun . . .