In this blog series James Bond•O•Rama.dk will attempt to cover every connection to Denmark seen on-screen in the James Bond 007 film series. If you spot a detail that we have missed, please fill us in!
● Shortly before Oddjob (Harold Sakata) knocks out James Bond (Sean Connery) with a karate chop, Bond opens the fridge at Hotel Fontainebleau to get a suitably chilled bottle of Dom Perignon '53 for himself and Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton). The fridge also contains four golden cans of Danish Carlsberg beer as well as a green can placed upside down. Time code (Blu-ray): 15 minutes 56 seconds.
● As James Bond is saying goodbye to Tilly Masterson (Tania Mallet) at a Swiss gas station, the Danish flag is waving in the wind on the opposite side of the road. Thanks to flag spotter extraordinaire Rikart Købke for noticing this detail. Time code (Blu-ray): 40 minutes.
In 1989 Warner Home Video issued all of the James Bond 007 films (except the Columbia-produced "Casino Royale" from 1967) on retail VHS through local distributor Metronome Video. The Bond films had not previously been available for sale in Denmark.
This initial retail series had specially designed cover art with raster graphics on a metallic grey background which was obviously meant to resemble Maurice Binder's famous gunbarrel design.
The third cassette in the series was issued as "Goldfinger" (1964) rather than the film's original Danish title "Agent 007 contra Goldfinger".
In December 1964, United Artists released the third James Bond 007 film from EON Productions, "Agent 007 contra Goldfinger" (Goldfinger), into Danish cinemas.
An unnamed designer created this simple one-sheet for the Danish market with artwork culled from existing materials.
Renato Fratini's illustration of Sean Connery as James Bond was recycled from the 1963 release poster for "Agent 007 jages" (From Russia with Love). The horizontal image of the golden girl, Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton), was adapted from a still photograph owned by The Everett Collection (Eaton's left arm is missing on the Danish poster).
Did you know that three years before starring as Solitaire in "Live and Let Die" (1973), Jane Seymour made her film debut playing a Jewish ballerina in a Danish WWII drama?
And that the film, "The Only Way" (1970), was edited by none other than Norman Wanstall, the Oscar winning sound editor of "Goldfinger"?
In the following exclusive, Norman Wanstall talks about his little-known contribution to Danish film history as an editor on ”The Only Way” (aka Oktoberdage).
”The Only Way” depicts the historical events of the night between 1 and 2 October 1943 when the Danish people saved several thousand Jews from a raid by the German occupying forces.
In her first speaking part, 19-year-old Jane Seymour plays Lillian Stein, the ballerina daughter of violin dealer Leo (Ebbe Rode) and Ruth Stein (Helle Virkner). When the Nazi security police decide to round up all the Jews in Denmark, the Steins are forced to flee. Luckily, their resourceful downstairs neighbour Mr Petersen (Ove Sprogøe) is a member of the Danish resistance and manages to get the Steins out of Copenhagen and to the coastal town of Gilleleje, where fishing boats carry the evacuated Jews across the Oresund strait to neutral Sweden.
Director Bent Christensen also co-wrote the original script for “The Only Way” with well-regarded Danish author Leif Panduro. Their previous collaboration ”Harry and the butler” (Harry og kammertjeneren, 1961) was nominated for an Academy Award in the category Best Foreign Language Film.
Apart from Jane Seymour and Martin Potter as Lillian's boyfriend, the entire cast of “The Only Way” consisted of Danish actors performing in English. As the story of the Danish resistance operation in 1943 was fairly well-known outside of Denmark, the film's producer, Mogens Skot-Hansen, decided that shooting in Danish would hinder the film's chances internationally. The film was co-produced by Danish company Laterna Film and the American-owned Hemisphere Productions, making the film an official Danish-Panamanian collaboration. Unfortunately, “The Only Way” was not much of a success neither in Denmark (where it was called “Oktoberdage”, ie. October Days) nor abroad.
Norman Wanstall, now aged 81, was sound editor on four of EON Productions' James Bond 007 films from 1962 to 1967. He has long since left the film industry but was happy to share his memories of editing “The Only Way” in this exclusive e-mail interview with James Bond•O•Rama.
Bonus trivia: Since “The Only Way”, two other Danish films have told the story of the resistance operation in 1943: ”A Day in October” (En dag i oktober, Kenneth Madsen, 1991) and ”Across the Waters” (Fuglene over sundet, Nicolo Donato, 2016).
Today, veteran James Bond 007 stunt co-ordinator and second unit director Vic Armstrong turns 70. The following interview was conducted during the "Bond in Motion" press day at London Film Museum, 18 March 2014.
Vic Armstrong, very pleased to meet you. You and the Bond franchise go way back.
Yeah, 1966. Forty-odd years.
Do you have a favorite Bond car?
I did like the Aston Martin. But if I had my choice to pick any one of the cars I've worked with, it would be the BMW Z8. I think it's unique. I got a few cars, I've got a 450 SL C Mercedes, I've got a Bentley Continental GT. I like cars that are pretty and have a certain personality, as all those cars have, and I think the BMW is actually matching them quite well.
Some people didn't care much for the BMW's, mainly because they weren't British.
Yes. All that sort of talk went on, but the sales of BMW quadrupled, I think, after "GoldenEye" (1995). It went through the roof.
And Bond barely used the car in the film.
I know! Did nothing with it, just drove it along. But it quadrupled the sales.
These are United Artists' original Danish ad sheets for "Goldfinger" (EON Productions 1964). The press book (in A4 format) was distributed to Danish cinema owners to mark the film's theatrical release in December 1964.