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The Global Film Village: Behind the scenes with James Bond

by Marc Halperin

The USC School of Cinematic Arts and
Visions and Voices and The USC Arts & Humanities Initiative in conjunction with Danjaq and Eon Productions presented a special program taking us behind the scenes of the world’s most well known secret agent on the 6 through the 8th of November,  2009. Nine of the popular films were shown during three days and two panel discussions were presented with stars and members of the production team. This was a tribute to the man who started it all  Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli. For almost 50 years, the name “Cubby” Broccoli has been synonymous with the most prolific and longest running film franchise in cinema history, Ian Fleming’s James Bond series.

James Bond Today was a conversation about James Bond in the 21st century, featuring family members and Bond Franchise Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson, Screenwriters Robert Wade and Neal Purvis (Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace), and Director Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace). Moderated by SCA Professor Rick Jewell. I was not able to attend this discussion.

Sunday the panel was Cubby Broccoli, Producer a conversation about legendary Bond franchise producer Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli in celebration of his centennial, featuring family members Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson, Screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz (Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun), Actor Richard Kiel (“Jaws” in The Spy Who Loved Me, and Moonraker) and Actress Maud Adams (“Octopussy” in OctopussyThe Man With the Golden Gun). Moderated by SCA Professor Rick Jewell.

Cubby was on the set every day to ensure that everything went according to plan. Cubby was always a gent. He was willing to take advice from his friends especially his wife who always helped him with casting the Bond Girls. Dana Broccoli and Cubby had an extraordinary partnership. She had great intuition and creative sense. She had seen Sean Connery in Darby O’Gill and the Little Peopleand felt that he was really sexy. Tom Mankiewicz said that “Cubby felt that Sean had the wonderful glint in his eye when he entered a room. He was a wonderful bastard. He was just enough of a prick to be interesting to everyone”.

Barbara’s older half brother Michael Wilson said that his mother was a novelist and screenwriter. This guided her in the suggestions that she made. After Cubby’s death she was able to run the company. Both of his parents had been actors. During a break from law school Cubby invited him to come work on a Bond film. After two weeks on Goldfinger at Fort Knox, the movie bug had bitten him and he stayed. He has been a partner in the company since A View To A Kill and partnered with Barbara since Goldeneye.

Cubby was very stubborn about making sure that the money spent ended up on the screen. He had two guiding principals; listen to every one’s ideas and everybody had to be making the same film. Cubby made nineteen films before Dr. No so he knew the best craftsman in the business. He kept them all as part of his team. Today their children and grand-children are still part of the team.

Barbara told us how much she enjoyed working with and learning from her dad. She felt that he was the embodiment of the American Dream. He grew up on a farm and came to California and became a producer. He felt like he had struck gold and wanted everybody to come along for the ride. Cubby was 57 years old when she was born. She always wanted to spend as much time as she could with him because he was so entertaining with his funny stories. He was an extraordinary mentor and loved to meet and encourage young filmmakers. She said that whenever she has a tough decision to make she asks herself what would Cubby do?

Barbara grew up on the Bond film locations and the team was an extended family to her.  The first film she was on location for was Dr. No but the first film she remembers was Thunderball. Today when she sees one of the films it is an opportunity to relive her childhood. She said that her dad always said movie making was like watching the circus come to town. There was always something interesting to see or to take part in.

The entire panel held Cubby in the highest regard because he always treated everybody as family. He may not have paid high wages but he made up for it with lavish hotels and genuine kindness at all times. Richard Kiel spoke about how Cubby had his personal physician fly back to the United States with his family because Kiel’s wife was due to give birth and he wanted her cared for properly on the long flight home if she should go into labor.

Barbara said that Cubby liked to promote from within the team. He understood that it is a tough business and everyone needs a chance. He loved making movies. He loved the passion and the hard work and the magic that was created. He was very supportive of women. He always felt that someday they would be treated equal to men. She said there is always tension between the producer and the studio when you make a movie. Today the studios are run by business people and producers are artists. She felt that she had been very lucky with Amy Pascal at Sony because Amy is also a filmmaker.

It all began with Dr. No in 1962, when Broccoli transformed Fleming’s novels into a groundbreaking and trendsetting pop-culture phenomenon.  Film screenings included at least one film starring each of the five actors who have played Bond:

Dr. No. (1962), 110 minutes, Written by Richard Maibaum, Johanna Harwood and Berkely Mather, Directed by Terence Young

Goldfinger (1964), 110 minutes, Written by Richard Maibaum and Paul Dehn, Directed by Guy Hamilton

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), 142 minutes, Written by Richard Maibaum and Simon Raven, Directed by Peter Hunt

Live And Let Die (1973), 121 minutes, Written by Tom Mankiewicz, Directed by Guy Hamilton

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), 125 minutes, Written by Richard Maibaum and Christopher Wood, Directed by Lewis Gilbert

The Living Daylights (1987), 130 minutes, Written by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson, Directed by John Glen

GoldenEye (1995), 130 minutes, Written by Michael France, Jeffrey Caine and Bruce Feirstein, Directed by Martin Campbell

Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), 119 minutes, Written by Bruce Feirstein, Directed by Roger Spottiswoode

Casino Royale (2006), 144 minutes, Written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Paul Haggis, Directed by Martin Campbell


Maud Adams (Actress, Octopussy) was born in Luleå, a town on the northeast coast of Sweden. She started her professional career as a fashion cover girl in the late 1960’s in Europe and was soon discovered by the world famous Ford Model Agency and brought to New York City. A supermodel during the 1970’s, she was frequently seen in fashion layouts and magazine covers, such as Vogue and Harper’’s Bazaar.

In 1974, she landed a coveted role as a “Bondgirl” in the James Bond thriller The Man With The Golden Gun, playing opposite Roger Moore. The following year, director Norman Jewison placed her opposite James Caan in his futuristic drama Rollerball. In 1984, she was once again coupled with Roger Moore, playing the title role of Octopussy, thus becoming the only actress to twice star in a James Bond movie.

Barbara Broccoli (Producer) has worked on the James Bond films for many years. Starting her career as an assistant director on Octopussy and A View to a Kill, Barbara worked her way up to become associate producer and then earning her first producer credit on GoldenEye, most recently producingQuantum of Solace with her brother Michael Wilson. In 2003, together with Dana Broccoli and Michael Wilson, Barbara produced the award winning stage version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bangwhich opened to rave reviews in London and later in New York. Barbara was awarded the OBE in the Queens New Years Honours 2008.

Marc Forster (Director), a BAFTA and Golden Globe-nominated director, made his directorial debut in 2000 with a psychological horror movie entitledEverything Put Together, which he also co-wrote. The film premiered at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival and Forster went on to direct a string of critically acclaimed blockbuster hits including, most recently, The Kite Runner, based on Khaled Hosseini’s best seller. Although born in Germany, Forster was raised in Switzerland where he attended the famous Institut Montana Zugerberg. However, his early ambition was to make films and in 1990 he moved to America to study film at New York University. Forster commented, “When you grow up like that and suddenly you decide you intend to make movies, everybody says it’s impossible, but here I am and I’m living my dream.”

Today, Forster’s impressive filmography includes Monsters Ball (2001), which received two Oscar® nominations with Halle Berry winning Best Actress, and Finding Neverland (2004); a film based on the semi-autobiographical story of the friendship between J.M. Barrie and the single mother who lived next door with her four boys. Finding Neverland, starring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet, received seven Academy Award® nominations, five Golden Globe nominations and eleven BAFTA nominations all including Best Picture. Forster was also nominated Best Director by his peers at the Directors Guild Of America. In 2005, Forster helmed the reality bending thriller Stay starring Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts and went on to direct the hit comedy Stranger Than Fiction, with Will Ferrell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson and Queen Latifah, the following year.

Richard Kiel (Actor, Jaws) is one of the biggest actors in Hollywood, standing seven feet, two-inches tall and weighing three hundred and forty-five pounds. As an actor, writer and producer, Kiel is best known as the menacing, steel-dentured Jaws in the 1977 James Bond flick The Spy Who Loved Me. So well received was this appearance that the scriptwriters contrived to bring Jaws back from the dead in the next Bondfest, Moonraker (1979).

Richard seemingly became an overnight success after Bond, co-starring in many films such as So Fine where he played his gangster role alongside co-stars Ryan O’Neal and Jack Warden. More recently, Kiel starred as “Mr. Larson,” Adam Sandler’s boss in Happy Gilmore. Currently, he is working on a science fiction trilogy for the SciFi Channel.

Tom Mankiewicz (Writer), son of writer-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz (All About Eve) and nephew of screenwriter Herman L. Mankiewicz (Citizen Kane), has had a multi-faceted and successful career as screenwriter, producer and director. As a screenwriter, Mankiewicz co-wrote the first of several James Bond thrillers, Diamonds are Forever (1971). He later scripted Live and Let Die (1973) andThe Man With the Golden Gun (1974) while consulting on others in the 007 series includingMoonraker (1979) and The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). In 1976, after writing and co-producing the comedy Mother, Jugs and Speed, Mankiewicz wrote the final draft for Yates’ production of The Deep followed by the wartime adventure The Eagle Has Landed. The Cassandra Crossing, a European suspense thriller starring Sophia Loren, Richard Harris, Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner was written by Mankiewicz in 1976 and by 1978 Mankiewicz had completed the final draft of Donner’sSuperman, followed by the hit sequel Superman II (1980).
Presently, Mankiewicz teaches a course in Film Language at Chapman University at the Dodge College of Media Arts where he served as Filmmaker in Residence in 2006.

Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (Writers) had their first success in 1991 with the screenplay of the controversial screen drama Let Him Have It, a true story about the killing of a policeman. The critically acclaimed film, directed by Peter Medak, was screened for Parliament and played a part in Derek Bentley’s eventual posthumous pardon. They have since worked in a variety of genres with screenplays such as The Wasp Factory, an adaptation of Iain Banks’ novel for director Stephen Daldry, and Plunkett & Macleane, starring Robert Carlyle and Liv Tyler.

Between writing James Bond films The World is Not Enough and 2002’s Die Another Day, they worked on The Italian Job, starring Mark Wahlberg and Edward Norton, and Johnny English, starring Rowan Atkinson and John Malkovich. They then wrote and co-produced Return to Sender for director Bille August and performed the same duties on Stoned for director Stephen Woolley, before writing the screenplay for Casino Royale. After delivering their screenplay for Quantum of Solace, they wrote Barbarella for director Robert Rodriguez, to be produced in 2009 by Dino DeLaurentiis, and have adapted John Le Carre’s latest novel, The Mission Song, for producers Simon Channing-Williams and Gail Egan. Their most recent collaboration is with director John Carney, on an adaptation of an M.R. James horror story, Casting the Runes. They are currently producing The Little Red Car, a comedy from their own script set in Paris and directed by Hattie Dalton.

Michael G. Wilson (Writer, Producer) joined EON Productions in 1972 and was named Assistant to the Producer on The Spy Who Loved Me. He became Executive Producer on Moonraker and continued with that credit on the following two Bond films. He co-wrote For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View to a Kill, The Living Daylights and License to Kill. When James Bond returned to the big screen after an absence of six years, Wilson produced the hugely successful GoldenEye with his sister Barbara Broccoli, followed by the blockbuster releases Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough, Die Another Day, Casino Royale and Quantm of Solace. He was awarded the OBE in the Queens New Years Honours 2008.

Rick Jewell is the moderator a professor in the USC School of Cinematic Arts where he holds the Hugh M. Hefner Chair for the Study of American Film. After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree from Vanderbilt University and Master’s Degree from the University of Florida, Dr. Jewell began his doctoral studies at USC in 1972, started teaching in 1974 and became a full-time faculty member in 1976. From 1985-1990, Dr. Jewell served as chair of the Critical Studies Program and from 1995 through 2004 he was the School’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Professor Jewell’s latest book is The Golden Age of Cinema: Hollywood, 1929-1945 (2007).


These are the Bond-films produced by EON Productions:


James Bond
U.S. Box Office
Total Box Office
Total Admissions

Dr. No
Sean Connery
Terence Young
72.1 million

From Russia With Love
Sean Connery
Terence Young
95.3 million

Sean Connery
Guy Hamilton
130.1 million

Sean Connery
Terence Young
166 million

You Only Live Twice
Sean Connery
Lewis Gilbert
81.7 million

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
George Lazenby
Peter R. Hunt
62.4 million

Diamonds Are Forever
Sean Connery
Guy Hamilton
70.3 million

Live And Let Die
Roger Moore
Guy Hamilton
91.6 million

The Man with the Golden Gun
Roger Moore
Guy Hamilton
51.6 million

The Spy Who Loved Me
Roger Moore
Lewis Gilbert
84.0 million

Roger Moore
Lewis Gilbert
85.1 million

For Your Eyes Only
Roger Moore
John Glen
72.9 million

Roger Moore
John Glen
59.5 million

A View To A Kill
Roger Moore
John Glen
44.5 million

The Living Daylights


Timothy Dalton
John Glen
48.9 million

License to Kill
Timothy Dalton
John Glen
39.1 million

Pierce Brosnan
Martin Campbell
81.2 million

Tomorrow Never Dies
Pierce Brosnan
Roger Spottiswoode
75.5 million

The World is Not Enough
Pierce Brosnan
Michael Apted
77.1 million

Die Another Day
Pierce Brosnan
Lee Tamahori
78.6 million

Casino Royale
Daniel Craig
Martin Campbell


Quantum of Solace
Daniel Craig
Marc Forster









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About MarlaLewinGFV

Lewin Marla
(Global Film Village)

Marla is a producer, playwright, screenwriter, publicist and now a journalist. She attends 12 to 20 film festivals per year. She has spoken on filmmaking at many festivals including Cannes and SXSW.



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