Today, we'll take a look at United Artists' original Danish ad sheet for "Dr. No" (1962), the first James Bond film from EON Productions.
The duplex-printed A4 sheet (reproduced below) was distributed to Danish cinema owners as part of the "Dr. No" press book. The film premiered in Nørreport Cinema in Copenhagen on 5 April 1963 followed by a nationwide roll-out release.
"The Program", a French-British co-production directed by Stephen Frears ("The Queen", "Philomena"), is released in Danish cinemas today.
"The Program", which premiered in the UK on 16 October, tells the story of professional cyclist Lance Armstrong (played by Ben Foster) and his fall from grace. Armstrong defeated his early cancer diagnosis and went on to win seven consecutive Tour de France titles, all the while denying his use of performance-enhancing drugs.
A special point of interest for fans of James Bond 007 comes during a brief sequence in which Lance Armstrong receives some hard-hitting news from an oncologist at an American clinic.
The doctor is played by none other than Michael Gregg Wilson, who is of course best known as one of the two main producers behind EON Productions' James Bond film franchise. Wilson is credited in the end crawl of "The Program" for his performance as "Lance's Doctor".
The 73-year old Michael G. Wilson has been involved as a writer and/or producer on every James Bond film from EON Productions since "Moonraker" in 1979.
"Listen, you have to suck up to anyone you can!" Stephen Frears joked, when Bond•O•Rama.dk asked him about Michael G. Wilson's cameo part in "The Program" during Toronto International Film Festival, where the film had its world premiere in September 2015.
Stephen Frears continued: "Lance Armstrong went to a hospital in America. It was a very, very distinguished doctor who treated Lance, and I thought I'd better find somebody substantial to play him. I just didn't want to be frivolous about the doctor."
At the Danish gala premiere of "SPECTRE" at the Imperial cinema in Copenhagen 27 October 2015, Bond•O•Rama.dk had the chance to ask Michael G. Wilson himself about his guest appearance in "The Program" (watch video below).
"Well, he asked me to play a doctor, yes. The oncologist. It was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it," Michael G. Wilson said. He then inquired if I had seen "The Program", which I confirmed. "Oh, good. Well, alright. Don't give me any reviews," Wilson added, laughing.
Michael G. Wilson also reminisced about his brief cameo apperances in the James Bond film series. To date, Wilson has appeared as an extra or a bit player in 16 of the EON Bond films, starting when he was a teenager helping out his stepfather, Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli, on the American leg of the "Goldfinger" shoot in 1964.
"I was only there for three weeks. We went to Fort Knox, and I worked there as a runner. Third assistant director kind of thing," Michael G. Wilson told Bond•O•Rama.dk.
"It was a necessity at one time, when I was in "Goldfinger", I had to appear just to fill out the background. But you know, it became sort of something that we did; [it] became a tradition".
In the current Bond smash "SPECTRE" (2015), Michael G. Wilson has a "blink-and-miss-it" walk-on part. He can be glimpsed shaking hands with Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott). The young man accompanying Wilson in this sequence is his son, Gregg Wilson, who is also the film's associate producer. If Michael G. Wilson should ever choose to retire, Gregg Wilson is expected to carry on the EON Productions' James Bond franchise as Barbara Broccoli's main producing partner.
The relationship between Michael G. Wilson and Stephen Frears goes back to 2003, when Wilson and his half-sister and fellow producer, Barbara Broccoli, considered doing a spinoff movie starring Jinx, the Halle Berry character from "Die Another Day" (2002).
Stephen Frears was slated to direct "Jinx" for a short while ("About ten minutes!" Frears chuckled when Bond•O•Rama.dk asked him about it). EON's regular writing duo Robert Wade and Neal Purvis delivered a first draft in 2003, but MGM decided not to go forward with the project, apparently to the dismay of Wilson and Broccoli.
In this rarely seen TV special from 1996, journalist Elisabeth Wille meets a remarkably candid Pierce Brosnan at the Hotel d'Angleterre in Copenhagen during the actor's Danish press tour for "GoldenEye".
Pierce Brosnan is so unguarded in this lengthy chat that he even agrees to say the famous line on camera: "The name is Bond ... James Bond" (which is also the show's title in Danish).
The 14 ½ minute programme is in English with Danish subtitles. It was originally shown 25 January 1996 on DR1 (Danish national television). This version is a VHS rip.
With this slightly awkward spin on the "GoldenEye" tagline, the company Estrella A/S launched these GOLDENEYE CHIPS on the Danish market in 1996:
The packaging proudly stated that these potato crisps were in fact "recommended by James Bond 007". A highly dubious claim, given the four flavour enhancers and artificial meat flavouring (!?) found among the ingredients.
Chris Corbould, your first Bond gig was as a special effects assistant on ”The Spy Who Loved Me” back in 1976. How many Bond films have worked on since then?
I've done 13 in all [14 including the later ”Spectre” - ed.]. The one film I didn't work on was ”Octopussy” (1983).
So you're definitely an integral part of the Bond family.
Yes. They [the Broccolis] are a great family to work with. I've had many great years working with them. Hopefully many more.
Do you ever get to drive any of the cars in the films?
Absolutely. These [Jaguars and Aston Martins from ”Die Another Day” (2002)] are quite interesting, because my department had to modify both cars. We actually had four Jaguars and four Astons to be four wheel-drived, because there were no four wheel-drive models of these cars. The whole chase sequence, the battle sequence, happened on the ice, so we decided to convert them to four wheel-drive. Plus all the weapons. We had a lot of fun on this sequence on the ice, and because we were on ice, both cars had an inflating ... buoyancy system. So if they went through the ice, they would automatically inflate and keep both the driver and the car afloat.
And you're triggering all effects live from this radio-control console?
Yes. That controls the missiles coming out, the gun rotating, the gun firing ... You know, the driver has enough to do doing all the stunt driving, so we figured we wouldn't give him that responsibility. So we would always handle all the gadgetry that went on.
I'm guessing you didn't do the invisible car. That would have been another department.
No, no, no, we left that to somebody else. I'm not a great fan of that one, but there you go! I think we pushed the limits a bit too far on that one.
So which of the Bond cars did you like the most?
I enjoyed the Vanquish, I thought it was a nice car. Actually liked the one in ”The Living Daylights” (1987), which was a real meaty ... the Vantage?
The [Aston Martin] Volante? The black one with the outrigger skis?
Yeah, that was my favorite, because I was prepping that, doing all the preparation in Austria when we shot it, so we would take it out on the ice and drive it around the ice. It was a lot of fun.
Did you work on the Lotus Esprit when you did ”The Spy Who Loved Me”?
Sadly, I didn't. I was on that film mainly based back in England, and they shot most of that in the Bahamas.
Is it true that you couldn't get the Aston Martin DBS in ”Casino Royale” (2006) to roll over because the tyre grip was too good?
It wasn't that. The centre of balance was so good that the stunt guys tried several times to steer into it and turn it, and in the end, we had to put a small nitrogen cannon in it. So as they turned into it, we would hit the nitrogen cannon, and it would make that flip. Once it was flipping, it was fine. It was just getting it flipping that was the problem, initially. But we got it in the end. They're just class cars, aren't they? They're not designed to flip over. They put a lot of work into them to make sure they don't flip over. We had to help it a little bit.
Apparently, around the time of ”GoldenEye” (1995), the British Automobile Association complained that Bond shouldn't be driving a BMW.
Well, so what really? You have to change every now and again, and when the Aston came back, everybody loved it again. You can't just stick with the same car every time. We had the Lotuses for a little while, we had the BMW's, and we're back to Astons now. It just makes it more fun, I think, if you change it a little bit every now and again. It would get boring if you just kept using the same car.
What do you think makes the Aston Martin such an iconic car?
I think it's quintessentially a very British car, as Bond is. It's a classy car, elegant, and it just lends itself to fast driving. And also, the gadgets that we put in it. You don't expect to see the gadgets coming out of such a classy car. I think [the contrast] that all helps.
Part of your job seems to be giving the cars personality beyond what they already have from the factory.
Yeah, character. Absolutely. That's what we strive to do. We have to really dig deep in your brain these days to try and come up with something that hasn't been seen before. I mean, when you look at how many of the cars have got missiles on! We have to strive and come up with something different.
Even though casting director Debbie (Deborah) McWilliams is one of the longest-standing members of EON Productions' Bond family, her media appearances have been few and far between.
Hence, it is my great pleasure to present this interview that I conducted in 2012 with the esteemed British casting director, who has cast every EON Bond film from "For Your Eyes Only" (1981) to "SPECTRE" (2015), with the America-based "Licence to Kill" (1989) being the only exception.
In the interview below, Debbie McWilliams discusses her casting of several Danish actors in the Bond series: Mads Mikkelsen, Jesper Christensen, Ulrich Thomsen and Cecilie Thomsen.
McWilliams also offers her opinion on the durability of the James Bond character.
James Bond•O•Rama: So what's the secret? Why do you think James Bond has endured as a cultural icon for so long?
Debbie McWilliams: Bond is part of the blood stream. Any child, from the age when they can walk and talk, know him and make a hand like a gun, even if they haven't seen any of the films. It's inherited through our genetic system, quoted and referred to endlessly. My generation grew up with Bond, and younger generations take him for granted. He's sort of an unclassifiable hero, played by actors from different backgrounds, with different accents and hair colors. Also, he's a troubled hero. Even though we know he's going to win, he has a struggle that we like to watch. Finally, the films set a high standard. They always look good, whether the script is good or not. And even if the series has faltered from time to time, I think ”Skyfall” is gonna put it back up there again.
You've now been part of EON Productions' Bond family for more than 30 years, starting out on ”For Your Eyes Only” in 1981. This makes you one of the longest serving members of the Bond team along with producer Michael G.Wilson and production designer Peter Lamont!
Debbie McWilliams: Yes, I'm part of the furniture, as they say. The producers, Barbara and Michael, are very loyal to the people who work with them, and they've kept the family atmosphere on the Bond series. That all stems from Cubby [Albert R. Broccoli, co-producer of Eon's Bond series 1962-1974 and main producer 1977-1989; father of current co-producer Barbara Broccoli, stepfather of Michael G. Wilson, ed.]. He was fantastic, warm, always on the set, not shut away in his ivory tower. He threw parties, played jokes, cooked food for the actors and crew, and Barbara is much like that. They look after people. It's just the way they think people should be treated, and it produces good work.