Throughout the day various sources report that production designer and art director Peter Lamont has died. Confirmation finally came from the official 007 Twitter account.
Peter Lamont’s career spanned an impressive 56 years, during which he worked his way up from draughtsman to set decorator and further to art director and production designer. He often worked closely with fellow production designer Sir Ken Adam and was involved on every Bond film from GOLDFINGER through CASINO ROYALE, just skipping TOMORROW NEVER DIES.
That year he won the Oscar as TITANIC’s art director. His work on FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, THE SPY WHO LOVED ME and ALIENS earned him three more Academy Award nominations.
The community of Bond fans suffers another bad loss this year. In an Eon statement Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli call Lamont “a much beloved member of the Bond family and a giant in the industry,” who was “inextricably linked with the design and aesthetic of James Bond since GOLDFINGER.”
Connery. Sean Connery.
What can you say about a man whose work already had achieved a legendary status during his lifetime? A man who was one of the last true movie stars. A versatile actor who got the chance at big time stardom early in his career by taking on a part which nobody knew would still generate blockbuster movies almost 60 years later.
Countless obituaries will give you all the details about Connery´s long and productive career, about the many awards he was given, the big range of films he starred in. In fact, I had already written one such obituary, as it is always done for newspapers so one can react immediately at the sad news which inevitably come. But when I learned about Connery´s death today and reread what I had written I did not think it did justice to what I actually thought and felt. So I threw it away and started again.
Because we´re here on a James Bond fan site. And people come and discuss all things related to this character for one reason.
If he had not starred in “Dr. No” we would not have gotten the series of films which built on that surprise success. If Connery had not embodied Ian Fleming´s creation so charismatically, giving the character his own spin, audiences would not have wanted more of it.
Sure, every generation gets its own Bond actor to celebrate, and some here would consider Connery not even their favourite. I was born in 1969, ironically the year of George Lazenby´s only turn as Bond, but I grew up with Roger Moore, the one actor who was able to carry the torch Connery had left behind and cemented the immortal status of the film series for all future incarnations. When I saw Connery as Bond for the first time I was even taken aback at how different he was from Moore. I was admittedly a bit scared of him because he was so much more forceful and sardonic and at times even cruel. But I discovered very soon that he was a perfect Bond. I saw a man who entered a room and commanded it. A man who was really a man, possessing strength and wit and skills, employing brute force but only when it was needed, showing fear without giving in to it, standing his ground even in the face of insurmountable problems or bad guys trying to start World War III from a hollowed out volcano. A man whose toughness was never mean-spirited but an asset to rely on.
Of course, as we all know, the proudly Scottish actor born in Edinburgh as Thomas Sean Connery, was eager to move on from Bond, establishing himself not only as a popular star actor but also as someone who did not play along with the idiocy of the film industry. He always fought for what he felt was right, he carved out his space and delivered performances which proved that he could do anything as an actor. His wry humour lifted every film he starred in, his appearance even seemed to become more powerful the older he got. The camera loved him, and so did world wide audiences. When he decided to retire and not make any movie anymore, cinema was all the poorer for it.
Yes, I never knew Sean Connery personally. And I would never claim that I at least felt as if I knew him, just from watching his movies. Still, there is a certain (pardon the pun) bond between a performer and his audience. Something that immediately pulls us into a story when the actor is skilled and charming and compelling enough to do so. Sean Connery was one of those rare actors, and to think that he, even after a long life of 90 years, has left us, is hard to accept. Because this reminds us that this part of the past is really gone. His absence is a huge loss. There are not many actors of such iconic stature around anymore, and there are not many who reach that point in today´s cinema. And in a year which already saw the deaths of Honor Blackman, Diana Rigg and Michael Lonsdale, the passing of Sean Connery is another gutpunch for us Bond fans. A year which did not allow us to watch the last Bond film of Daniel Craig´s tenure now even takes away the first and greatest and best Bond of them all.
But as Sean Connery as Bond has taught us: never give up. Fight for what is right. Keep up the good work. And stay in the game until the evil geniuses are taken care of.
Photo: © 1962 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. and Danjaq, LLC.
Deadline Hollywood (what an apt name…) just reports that NO TIME TO DIE will be delayed to the Easter weekend 2021 – for now, that is. Fans are of course extremely miffed, to say the least. But everybody with an even distant relationship to the concept of ‘reality’ will at least have had cautious reservations about this November release date anyway.
Be that as it may, for now we’re looking at Easter 2021 as the new release date for NO TIME TO DIE. Stay tuned and stay healthy…
He was an actor, a director and a painter – but I, like so many here, encountered him in 1979, displaying a steely, eerie calmness as Sir Hugo Drax, hiding his contempt for James Bond withstanding every amusing attempt to rid him of his life.
Michael Lonsdale followed the wonderful Curt Jürgens, playing another megalomaniac insanely planning to change the world through mass murder, but while Jürgens, in the massively successful “The Spy Who Loved Me”, brought a creepy world weariness to his Stromberg, Lonsdale played Drax in “Moonraker” as a deeply determined, arrogant oligarch enjoying his luxurious life – and delivering his sardonic one-liners with slow-burn glee. He is the perfect counterpart to Roger Moore´s playful Bond, both underplaying the silliness of the whole extravaganza, thus making it work even better and transforming it into one of the most entertaining Bond films ever.
Born in Paris on May 24, 1931, the son of a French mother and a British father lived in London, Morocco and Paris where he studied acting. His breakthrough in the films of Francois Truffaut (“La Mariée était en noir” / “Baisers volés”) was followed by more than 240 films. One of the most celebrated character actors, Lonsdale worked with legendary directors such as Louis Malle (“Le souffle au cœur”) , Marcel Carné (“Les assassins de l’ordre”), Jacques Rivette (“Out 1: Noli me tangere / Out 1: Spectre”), Orson Welles (“Le procès”), Fred Zinneman (“Day of the Jackal”), John Frankenheimer (“Ronin”) and Steven Spielberg (“Munich”). Fun fact: he is one of the rare Bond villains who acted with three other Bonds: Roger Moore (“Moonraker”), Sean Connery (“The Name of the Rose”) and Daniel Craig (“Munich”).
In 2011 he won the César, after being nominated three times, for Xavier Beauvois´ “Des hommes et des dieux”. He died on September 21st, 2020, in Paris, in his grandfather’s apartment, where he had been living since 1949.
With great sadness today we learn Dame Diana Rigg has passed away. The actress, a veritable legend of the British stage and one of the most popular British actresses since the late 1960s, died aged 82, as various sources now report.
Her fans will always remember her as Mrs Peel, her role in the British cult tv series The Avengers, and of course as Tracy Bond in ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE. She played alongside Vincent Price and Ian Hendry in THEATRE OF BLOOD and starred with Peter Ustinov, Jane Birkin, Maggie Smith and James Mason in EVIL UNDER THE SUN. Countless stage and tv productions attest to an enormous career.
Crew and members of CommanderBond.net will not forget her.
…that second trailer that was promised. Without further ado, meet…
…a new poster for NO TIME TO DIE.
Optimistically states ‘November’. Supposedly, a new trailer is also expected for Thursday.
Honor Blackman, best known for her roles as Pussy Galore in GOLDFINGER and Cathy Gale in the tv series The Avengers, has passed away aged 94. Her family gave a statement to the media:
“It’s with great sadness that we have to announce the death of Honor Blackman aged 94. She died peacefully of natural causes at her home in Lewes, Sussex, surrounded by her family.”
Blackman’s role as Goldfinger’s private pilot – and leader of an all-female deadly flying circus – has become iconic over the decades, a fan favourite and a blueprint for the cliché of the ‘Bond-Girl’. A girl that knows how to handle guns and sometimes is seen throwing Bond around in decidedly un-girly fashion…
But her career went on after 1964 to numerous film and tv roles. She appeared in JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, SHALAKO and BRIDGET JONES as well as Colombo, Doctor Who and Coronation Street. Blackman also publicly supported the Liberal Democrats and was a staunch republican, who turned down a CBE so as not to become a hypocrite.
For many fans around the world today’s news of her death will be a sad loss. Crew and members of CommanderBond.net will fondly remember her.