Show contents, with start times:
- Series Spotlight: James Bond, Part 1 (1:55)
- Trivia Question: Best Picture Winner With No Other Nominations (18:35)
- Industry Trend: Color, Part 2 (19:16)
- Controversial Take: Spider-Man (32:19)
- Top 6: Train Movies (37:46)
- Double Feature: Big Fish and Secondhand Lions (49:49)
- Closing: Trivia Answer, Preview of Next Week (54:48)
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James Bond, Part 1
As usual, a good starting point for general info about James Bond is the Wikipedia page on James Bond.
- James Bond was created by writer Ian Fleming in 1952. The character’s name is an intentionally bland, British name that Fleming took from the author of a book about birds.
- The first Bond novel is Casino Royale, published in 1953.
- The first Bond story adapted for the screen is Casino Royale in 1954, though it is made for a television anthology series and stars an Americanized version of Bond played by Barry Nelson.
- During the late ’50s, Fleming teams up with writers Kevin McClory and Jack Whittingham to come up with some ideas for Bond stories, including the creation of SPECTRE, the evil organization that antagonizes Bond. The relationship went sour, however, and McClory and Whittingham sue Fleming after Fleming uses the ideas in his novel Thunderball.
- In 1960, John F. Kennedy publishes a list of his favorite books and a Bond novel is among them. EON Productions, headed by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman purchase the film rights to all the Bond novels. The two men will serve as producers on most of the Bond movies to date.
- It’s not until 1962 that Sean Connery takes the role in Dr. No. Many of the Bond trademarks are established at this point, but many of the conventions are not. It is more of a realistic espionage thriller than the later films will be.
- From Russia With Love (1963) still maintains much of the psychological intensity of the first film while ratcheting up the action a bit.
- With Goldfinger (1964), Bond becomes a cultural phenomenon. It helps establish many of the Bond cliches, including elaborate methods of killing people (covering women with gold paint), memorable quotes (”No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!”), and villains who just have to explain their elaborate plans (even if they kill everyone they just told).
- After Goldfinger, Thunderball (1965) gets the most admissions of any Bond film — ever. Kevin McClory had won his lawsuit and got the rights to make this film, which he co-produces with longtime series producers Broccoli and Saltzman.
Trivia Question: Best Picture Winner With Just One Nomination
Industry Trend: Color, Part 2
This discussion is a conclusion of Industry Trend: Color from Episode 2. In a nutshell, we feel black-and-white makes a good alternative to color cinematography because it allows for greater focus on composition and lighting of shots and that color is a little less interesting when it’s the norm rather than reserved just for spectacle.
This color remake of Psycho doesn’t exist.
Controversial Take: Spider-Man
Stephen hates both Spider-Man (2002) and Spider-Man 2 (2004). In general, he thinks director Sam Raimi has problems managing the tone of his pictures (though Stephen believes this works to Raimi’s advantage in the horror-comedy movies Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness) and that this is a major flaw in both films. Sam is not a huge fan of the first movie, but he thinks the second one is a very well done piece of entertainment and that the alternately silly and serious moods suit the material well.
Top 6: Train Movies
Double Feature: Big Fish and Secondhand Lions
In 2003, two movies were released within months of each other that make for an interesting comparison about storytelling and its role in our lives. While Big Fish was released in limited release in December and saw a big Oscar push with lots of publicity, Secondhand Lions — released in September — may have been the more insightful and fulfilling film on the same topic.