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A Must For James Bond Fans!,
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This review is from: Battle for Bond: The Genesis of Cinema's Greatest Hero (Paperback)
Kevin McClory, who died last year, was one of the more controversial characters associated with the 007 legend. His ongoing feud with Eon Productions spanned four decades, during which time he made numerous attempts to create a rival Bond movie franchise. The problem for him was he only owned the rights to one Ian Fleming book: 'Thunderball'.
It began in the late '50's when Fleming wrote his ninth Bond novel, and McClory was astonished to find that it contained no credit either to himself or Jack Whittingham, all of whom had collaborated on an unmade screenplay called 'Longitude 78 West' a.k.a. 'James Bond Of The Secret Service'. He sued, and after a lengthy court case, triumphed.
In 1965, he teamed up with Albert R.Broccoli and Harry Saltzman to make 'Thunderball' the fourth Bond movie. It was a gigantic success, arguably the most profitable Bond film of them all.
Ten years later, McClory announced a new version of the story, to be called 'Warhead', written not only by McClory, but also Len Deighton and, surprisingly, Sean Connery.
The full incredible story is here, told in fascinating detail. Author Robert Sellers had access to the papers of the late Jack Whittingham, provided by his daughter Sylvan. The way the story evolved from draft to draft provides a welcome insight into the minds of its creators. You have to remember that there had never been a Bond movie before, so no-one was really sure how to go about it.
It was only McClory's lack of a track record at the box office which stopped him from making his film. Cubby and Harry both had these, and they got Bond on the big screen first. You cannot help but feel sorry for McClory, no matter how appallingly he may have behaved to others, such as Whittingham's family ( he never remunerated them for 'Never Say Never Again' ). There's also a bizarre chapter in which he got a friend to travel to Nassau to sell a property he owned there. Read it and be amazed.
Full of never-before published photographs and revealing new information, this is indeed a must for the shelf of any true Bond fan, and should take away the unpleasant taste left by Simon Winder's 'The Man Who Saved Britain'.