If you were married 50 years ago this time of year (and you know who you are), you’d be celebrating your 50th wedding anniversary–known as the Golden Anniversary. James Bond, the British agent that never grows old throughout his film franchise also scores a Golden Anniversary this year as several companies celebrate his 50th year on the silver screen. It’s not the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, but, hey, it’s close–and heck, she’s the Queen. In a year of Olympics in London and British TV series making their mark overseas, it seems fitting that all things James Bond are big from now through the end of the year.
First up is “Global James Bond Day,” slated for October 5, 2012, the 50th anniversary of the London premiere of Dr. No, starring Sean Connery as the first actor to portray Bond, in the first of now 23 official Ian Fleming James Bond novel adaptations. Although we’ve seen no nations making this a holiday or even a nationally recognized celebration, Albert R. Broccoli’s EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment all are partnering on this big marketing push leading to the release of Skyfall starring Daniel Craig, premiering November 9, 2012, in the U.S.A.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Passion Pictures and Red Box Films are also releasing a documentary about Ian Fleming and the men who made James Bond the largest movie franchise in film history. Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007 focuses on the individuals who have kept Bond fresh and alive with the changing times, Bond producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman. Theater dates for the documentary have not yet been released.
Collectors of screen-used James Bond memorabilia will be happy to hear Christie’s will be auctioning off 50 lots tied to the franchise via an online and live auction charity event benefitting twelve charities (full details are at www.christies.com/bond). Lot details will be released in September.
If you’re in London you can catch some of the most iconic items from the 007 movies displayed at the “Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style” exhibition at the Barbican center in London continuing through September 5, 2012. If you’re not in London but are lucky enough to be living in or visiting Canada between October 26, 2012 and January 20, 2013, the Toronto International Film Festival and Bell Lightbox will be hosting its own spinoff of the London “Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style” event.
Exhibition highlights include the steel teeth worn by Richard “Jaws” Kiel in The Spy Who Loved Me (1997); storyboards for Diamonds are Forever (1971); the Anthony Sinclair overcoat worn by Sean Connery in Dr. No (1962); the poker table from Casino Royale (2006); and multiple gadgets from Q Branch including the attaché case given to Bond in From Russia With Love (1963).
The preservationists of original Albert Broccoli’s EON Productions donated copies of each James Bond film–the New York Museum of Modern Art will be hosting its own Bond film retrospective this year.
Like Bond music like Paul McCartney’s Live and Let Die? The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be hosting a “Music of Bond” night in Los Angeles later this year. If you don’t live in L.A., you might want to know that the best single CD James Bond orchestral compilation of music ever created, Bond and Beyond, was recorded by the late, great Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops in 2002, and can still be found at Amazon.com and other online stores.
And those who saw the big Bond 50 booth at Comic-Con will already know that all 22 Bond films to date will be released for the first time in one Blu-Ray collection beginning September 24, 2012. You can pre-order the Blu-Ray collection Bond 50: The Complete 22 Film Collection for a discount off the release price now at Amazon.com and get a limited edition hardcover book including 50 years of Bond movie posters. It will also be available in a standard DVD collection edition, also now at a pre-order discount at Amazon.com.
And borg.com is participating as well as we continue our “Retro reviews” of all the original James Bond novels, continuing later this week with Ian Fleming’s Moonraker.