From Connery to Craig: The James Bond Film Series (hardback)
FOREWORD BY 5-TIME 007 DIRECTOR JOHN GLEN
The James Bond film series that started with Sean Connery as 007 in 1962’s Dr. No arguably ended with Daniel Craig holstering the Walther PPK for the last time in No Time to Die in 2021 – with four other actors portraying the iconic leading role in between. Given the success of the 25 films that comprise the official canon – more than $7 billion in global box-office receipts before adjusting for inflation – it is certain that the big-screen adventures of 007 will continue in some form in the years to come. But all signs point to a hard reboot that will reset the sometimes slight but ever-present continuity that knit the series together with a narrative and familiar-face throughline.
From Connery to Craig offers a definitive critical assessment of one of the most successful and beloved film series in cinema history, plus a thorough examination of the movies’ impact on culture and response to it over its 60 years. With more than 50 photographs, fascinating behind-the-scenes details about each production and exclusive interviews with Bond girls, villains and the franchise’s most prolific director, this book showcases the Bond cinematic universe in authoritative, eye-opening and entertaining ways.
JAMES L. NEIBAUR is a film historian and educator with more than 30 books and hundreds of articles appearing in Cineaste, Classic Images, Film Quarterly, Films in Review, Filmfax, and Encyclopaedia Britannica.
GARY SCHNEEBERGER is a former journalist and president of the public-relations firm ROAR, where he has advised Hollywood studios, U.S. television networks, major publishing houses and international nonprofits.
From Connery to Craig: The James Bond FIlm Series
by James L. Neibaur & Gary Schneeberger
BearManor, Aug. 2022. 420 p.
Film historian Neibaur (The Clint Eastwood Westerns) and journalist Schneeberger (Bite the Dog) offer an entertaining jaunt through all 25 of James Bond's cinematic missions, critically analyzing the films, their impact on popular culture, and the behind-the-scenes dramas played out over 60 years. The authors delve into everything, including the clever cold opens, the award-winning theme songs, the futuristic gadgets, and the beautiful "Bond Girls." They also provide fascinating backstories, such as Ian Fleming's original, dull version of Bond and how JFK's passion for Fleming's novels instigated the first movie deal. Interviews with performers and crew, including the series' most prolific director, John Glen, supply firsthand accounts of working with the six different actors playing Bond, struggles with financial disputes and legal issues, and the increasingly demanding stunt work. The ability of the producers to evolve with changing times and current events (AIDS, the thawing of East-West tensions, advances in technology) kept the Bond series relevant, despite obvious issues with chauvinistic tropes and misogynistic undertones.
VERDICT Seven billion dollars in box office receipts guarantees a built-in audience for this well-written and nostalgic exploration of one of the most successful film series ever.
-- Reviewed by Lisa Henry , Sept 30, 2022 (The Library Journal)