Sunday, May 07, 2006

The New James Bond-1968





The trailer for the new James Bond thriller, CASINO ROYALE, went on line this week ('Casino Royale' Exclusive Trailer Premiere - Moviefone) and I’m sorry to say I was not particularly impressed. If Timothy Dalton was a Sean Connery type and the more polished, self-effacing charm of Pierce Brosnan echoed Roger Moore’s 007, then Daniel Craig may well be the new George Lazenby.
Let’s go back to October of 1968 when LIFE Magazine presented the finalists of the first "New Bond" sweepstakes and then announced Lazenby as the winner. It’s fascinating to see actual moments from these gentlemen’s screen tests. Of the bunch, De Vries and Rogers had both played monsters on DOCTOR WHO and Richardson, with a fake beard, appeared opposite Raquel Welch in Hammer’s ONE MILLION YEARS, BC a couple years earlier. He was probably the favorite or at least thought so.
George Lazenby, an Australian model, got the role and did a passable job in what many fans say they would consider perhaps the best Bond of them all if only Connery had done it. Although he claims in the piece to be looking forward to the hoopla, it didn’t last long for him as this was his only starring film. Connery returned for one more Bond and then the role was recast with former SAINT Roger Moore. Lazenby would turn up in odd places over the years including in a fun cameo as essentially James Bond in the TV movie, THE RETURN OF THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. and in several appearances as the main character’s father in the series THE PRETENDER. It’s a shame he doesn’t work more often because he seems a much better actor now.

2 comments:

  1. I've always been convinced that Lazenby got the gig due to his slight resemblance to Cary Grant, who ol'Cubby wanted from day one. Love "On Her Majesty's" though - such a good comic book adventure.

    I think it's less likely they've hired Daniel Craig due to his slight resemblance to Carry On star Sid James, but you never know...

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  2. I think GL did an excellent job in potraying JB.. really..

    He certainly had style, cool and calm.. and i would fully agree with Peter Hunt that GL was the best bond ever...

    Connery, RM, TD and PB are no match for GL. GL looks good, and most importantly he really potrayed JB as it was suppossed to.

    I think that many was amazed how GL did the acting so well, considering someone who had no acting skills before. Many couldnt accept that fact.. It will forever be regarded as many as the best JB ever... becos it was GL.. and partly becos it was Peter H doing the directing.

    But George.... what the hell were you thinking ?? at that point in time ??

    Can anyone tell me where to get the whole article from Life Magazine ?? I really want to read it..

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