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Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007


Stars: Barbara Broccoli, Michael G Wilson, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Daniel Craig, Bill Clinton, Ian Fleming, Albert "Cubby" Broccoli, Harry Saltzman, Dana Broccoli, Christopher Lee, Mike Myers, Ronald Reagan

Director: Stevan Riley

The self-explanatory title misses a key element of this entertaining, educational and sometimes irritatingly uninformative documentary – its key mission is as an absorbing trailer to whet cinemagoers’ appetites for Skyfall, the next offering in the mega-profitable series, although. to be fair to director Stevan Riley and producers John Battsek and Simon Chinn, there is a brief – very brief – mention of the latest Craig offering.

Where the film scored most strongly for me was in its fascinating footage of former intelligence officer and Bond creator Ian Fleming, who took his hero’s name from the author of a book on the birds of the West Indies.

After which James Bond became the ‘property’ of legendary producers Albert R ‘Cubby’ Broccoli and Harry Saltzman and then first appeared on screen, played by Barry Nelson, in an American television version of Casino Royale.

His big screen birth was in 1962 when Sean Connery (chosen despite Fleming’s reservations) played 007 in Dr No. And, it would appear, “No!” was his response when asked to contribute to this paean of praise.

Roger Moore, however, is perfectly happy to talk to camera about his contributions to the 007 oeuvre, as are one-time-only-Bond George Lazenby who is genuinely amusing about his contribution, commenting that a woman was sent to his hotel room to ensure he wasn’t a homosexual (he wasn’t!) and happily putting on record that one of the benefits of joining the celluloid secret service was that “It wasn’t difficult to get laid”.

Timothy Dalton, the most violent Bond so far, speaks well of his time, as does his successor Pierce Brosnan. although it’s not hard to guess that he wasn’t exactly overjoyed at being replaced by the current 007 Daniel Craig who, like Connery, is essentially a thug in a dinner jacket and brings the story round full circle.

Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson make entertaining contributions to the cinematic saga (the battles with Kevin McClory over the rights to Thunderball are as gripping as any Bond movie) and notable by its absence, is any mention of the spoof 007 adventure Casino Royale which featured David Niven as Sir James Bond, while 007 was variously played by Woody Allen, Peter Sellers, Daliah Lavi, Ursula Andress et al.

(Oddly, given that he cannot stand as US President again, Bill Clinton turns up and preens in front of the camera with nothing in the least bit significant to say).

As a powerful product promotion, tangy taster to Skyfall and as a Bond fan’s dream date, Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007 does the business very nicely.

Alan Frank

UK 2012. UK Distributor: Sony. Technicolor.
98 minutes. not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 05 Oct 2012