By Helmut Schierer on 2012-12-19
Cover image ‘The Making of The Living Daylights’ by Charles Helfenstein, used with kind permission
In 2009 author Charles Helfenstein dropped the book equivalent of a nuclear bomb on James Bond fans:
The Making of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
The Bond experts took notice: Bond author, historian, and DVD producer John Cork was “Stunned” by what Helfenstein had uncovered. Bond author Raymond Benson described the research as “Jaw dropping.” 007 magazine‘s Graham Rye described the book as “Breathtaking, matching the movie in its scope and detail.”
The cast and crew took notice. OHMSS Cinematographer Michael Reed described the book as “Wonderfully well written and illustrated.” OHMSS cameraman Alec Mills was also impressed, summing up the book in a single word: “Wonderful.” 2nd unit director and OHMSS editor John Glen, the most prolific of all Bond directors, praised the book as “Beautifully produced.”
The entertainment industry took notice: The Motion Picture Editor’s Guild described the book as “A fitting tribute to Peter Hunt”, the man who so radically altered their industry. The book’s influence extended in a highly unlikely direction: The BBC’s Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Producer Mark Gatiss is a huge OHMSS fan, and he praised the “Exhaustive” book and described how the unused OHMSS scenes influence “A Scandal in Belgravia” in the audio commentary of that episode.
But we as Bond fans are always wanting more.
Did this Vulcan have just a single nuke on board? No.
The phrase, I believe, is “Better make that two.”
To mark the 50th anniversary of the James Bond series, Helfenstein turned his sights on the half way point of the franchise, the 25th anniversary film, The Living Daylights. In an exclusive excerpt from The Making of The Living Daylights, Helfenstein describes the first day of filming for the first unit, and its fascinating tie-in to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and For Your Eyes Only:
The very first scene shot by the first unit on the first day of filming on The Living Daylights was a close-up of a parrot once owned by Diana Rigg. The actress had bought the blue, green, and gold macaw, named Chrome, in the late 60s, and the bird caused her some distress during the filming of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Rigg would rehearse her lines of dialog at home, and the parrot would repeat them, which wasn’t a problem when they were alone, but Rigg realized that the words the bird was repeating gave away plot details when she had guests over to her house.