Stevan Riley’s documentary from 2012 has been playing from time to time on BBC America and is a fascinating look at the legacy of the James Bond movie franchise.
For the record, I am an avid fan of both the books and the movies, and even the continuing novels. I am by no means a Hollywood insider, so I therefore consider anything I know to be something that anyone might know.
It’s done quite cleverly, by using facts available to pretty much every single person who read the books and especially who watched the movies. From the opening montage of every single EON Productions Bond actor
to the early free press coverage after the Bay of Pigs flap with JFK himself wishing we had 007 on our side to the feud between Albert “Cubby” Broccoli and Harry Saltzman to the feud between Sean Connery and Cubby that we all got to see on The Tonight Show
with Johnny Carson asking Sean Connery who was the first Bond villain and him answering Cubby Broccoli to Ronald Reagan
quipping that “some people complain that Bond is just an actor but we all have to start somewhere!” like heY did to everyone being mad at Kevin McClory
who sued Ian and Cubby and remade Thunderball. Plus George Lazenby and so on and so on, ad infinitum.
But we all knew that; we know some or all of those stories.
The untold or at least undertold story is actually in the Ian Fleming novels, from
• The Spy Who Loved Me which he wrote unhappy that his novels were being read by younger readers so he experimented with trying to prove them wrong and later tried to keep it from ever being republished;
• You Only Live Twice, where the hero is left at the end of the book missing and presumed dead while we get to see him as a man with amnesia, looking at the word Vladivostok thinking he can go to the USSR to be helped;
• The Man With The Golden Gun, which starts off with the brainwashed James Bond trying to assassinate his boss Admiral Sir Miles Messervy KCMG and ends with a successful mission and him being offered his own knighthood which he politely refuses through his secretary Mary Goodnight.
to other random issues beyond the scope of the books or the movies themselves like British television series The Avengers that was a practice area for Cathy Gale and Emma Peele as future Bond girls to be and which brought Patrick Macnee into A View To A Kill as an ultimate inside joke about titles that almost no one got to Honor Blackman aka Pussy Galore refusing her own CME and later going public about her disapproval of tax exile SIR Sean Connery not paying taxes yet claiming the title anyway, and many other tales that I would have loved to have seen in an untold story but which did not fit the narrative that was actually more accurately best thought of as The Ballad of Cubby and Barbara Broccoli…..