The actors and team members responsible for one of the best action successes of the 1990s.
Golden Eye, released 25 years ago this week, is still considered a modern James Bond classic. For those who lived their childhood in the 1990s and saw it on the big screen or even on VHS, laserdisc or television, it had the same effect as the Goldfinger or Thunderball released among the oldest 007 fans.
The film grossed over $356 million worldwide and became an instant box-office hit, especially in the United States, where critics also praised the game’s director Martin Campbell and new star, 007 secret agent Ian Fleming, Pierce Brosnan. Now let’s look at the actors and team members who were directly responsible for the revival of Bond in the nineties (in no big order).
How Golden Eye laid the foundation for bonds after the Cold War.
GOLDENEYE from MARTIN CAMPBELL (Image by Frank Trapper/Corbis from Getty Images)
He may be the one who deserves the most praise for Golden Eye’s success. Campbell only shot the sinister action film No Escape in 1994 and was already very popular in England in 1985 with Edge of Darkness. It was these two productions that made him the direct successor of John Glenn, who made five Bond films in the eighties (three with Roger Moore, two with Timothy Dalton). The New Zealand-born director reminded us why James Bond is best seen on the big screen, after his character was artistically limited to Glenn’s films, which were quite interesting in their plot, but lacked the brevity and visual impact of a Bond film.
Campbell reconsidered the first 16 films and decided that the Bond era of the 1960s, when the late Sean Connery was filmed, was the time when he would find GoldenEye. He thought Roger Moore was too focused on comedy, while Timothy Dalton was not relaxed enough. He also paid a lot of attention to details and hired professionals who will make the film great and influence the next generation of viewers. A film that not only fails to preserve the best elements of Bond folklore, but also competes with other fighters, such as the sequels of True Lies, Pure and True Danger and Die Hard. The intrigue and humour clearly refer to these productions, but the exotic character of places like Monte Carlo, St. Petersburg or the Caribbean and places like Paradise Beach or the Baccarat high table are exclusive Bond brands.
Campbell can combine both styles and get the best out of the actors and the team and push the boundaries. It also makes the women in the film incredibly beautiful, and Golden Eye presents the first real sex scene of the series, where Xenia Onatop ends up with Admiral Farrell and crushes him with her feet during sex: Shooting Famke Janssen in black stockings and playing red lips with their prayers like a wild tiger was the ultimate fantasy of the hot-blooded heterosexuals Jan Fleming wrote in his novels – proof that Martin Campbell launched an erotic industry where movies like Eskimo Nell and Sexy Thief weren’t wasted! Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli praised Campbell’s directing talent, who hired him to present Daniel Craig’s reloaded 007 in the first official adaptation of Casino Royale, released in 2006.
Die another day: Leaving the James Bond Action Classic.
Nominated for an Oscar for Chariots of Fire in 1982 and known for his science fiction thriller Blade Runner, Rawlings worked with director No Escape Campbell and contributed significantly to the success of Golden Eye. On the floor in the dressing room, listening to jazz or a Vivaldi CD, he edited the film in such a way that he was either angry or relaxed, depending on the needs of the film: When Natalia Simonova, the lead actress of the film, realizes that the space weapon that gives the film its name is going to explode exactly where it is in a few seconds, Rawlings gives us breathtakingly fast shots of Natalia’s face capturing the excitement, and counts down the digital face on the wall screen to death.
Similarly, Natalia shares a romantic kiss with James Bond on a Caribbean beach near Cuba. Their kiss dies in the fire in the fireplace where they will later share the bed, symbolising a liberated passion between the two protagonists. The many scenic events in the film, from the storming of the opening to the nervous conduction in the Soviet Union and the escape from the military archives in St. Petersburg with the subsequent tank race and the hero’s collision with the villain on a flying platform 300 meters above the ground – all are characterized by the intense and breathtaking rhythm of this professional. Rawlings, who died in April 2019, didn’t come back for another Bond film, but his efforts certainly weren’t ignored by the millions of Bond fans still enjoying Golden Eye at that time and age.
James Bond: A review of the licence to kill Timothy Dalton (1989).
Selected by Campell DP (he worked with him on all large format productions except Vertical Limit, Green Lantern and Foreigner), the Gouden Oog (Golden Eye) has been given a particularly lively tint. The colours speak for every scene in the film: The claustrophobic feeling one gets in an interrogation room in St. Petersburg or a chemical weapons facility in the USSR is reminiscent of claustrophobic technology and the abundance of rich shades of grey and green, while in the port of Monaco the rich blue of the sea contrasts with the glowing white of the yachts anchored at anchor. During the scenes in Cuba, the vegetation is deep green and the sky is bright orange at sunset.
Moreover, in many cases Meyo is responsible for the images that decorated the film, commissioned by Campbell: The opening of the cult tribal series opens on the Pilate Plain, flying over a huge dam and leading the viewer to the first installed Golden Eye statue; A rear view in which Bond is searched for by Janus’ guards at the Cuban antagonist base, the perfect zoom in the eyes of 007 when he discovers that his mysterious enemy is none other than his former colleague and friend, Agent 006, a half-conscious Bond shot in which the villain Xenia Onatop is reflected from the helicopter, and much more. The close-ups and extreme close-ups are also remarkable, especially in the casinos, where one can appreciate Xenia’s bonds and cards in hand or their reaction when seduced. He returned to the Casino Royale with Campbell Meyo and made another memorable contribution to the franchise.
Pierce Brosnan: The new James Bond for the new world.
Everyone talks about the scenes from the movie Golden Eye, but many seem to forget the person behind it. Crane has been a member of the James Bond stunt team in The Living Daylights since 1987 and was promoted to stunt coordinator in Golden Eye. The plot of the film seems extremely realistic: Every shot hurts, the bullets of the Bond AK-47 let the Russian soldiers fly through the windows and the destruction of St. Petersburg by the T55 tank has never been so shocking.
Under Campbell’s leadership, Crane developed ways for Brosnan Bond to kill enemies quickly and cheaply, as a trained professional would do: A single towel was enough for the new 007 to take out an attacking sailor who slowly tried to get behind the head of a secret agent with a baseball bat on a Manticore. Every trick in the film and the insignificant scene of a fight or a shooting seem to be choreographed down to the smallest detail.
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This is not a new face for the Bond series, as he has been in the series for Goldfinger since 1964, has been production designer for For Your Eyes Only since 1981 and was production designer for Casino Royale until 2006 (with the exception of Tomorrow Never Dies in 1997), but Lamont is certainly a great hero of GoldenEye. No film studio was big enough to house the production, and the 007 stage in Pinewood was already occupied by the First Knight. He found an abandoned property in Livsden, Hertfordshire, England. This place was an airport during the Second World War and later became a Rolls Royce factory.
Lamont transformed it, mostly from scratch, into a film studio and built the dressing rooms, administrative areas and film sets of the actors. Only the bathrooms were useful enough. The Leavesden Studio was used for all purposes and doubled in size for many of the interiors in the film, such as the bad guy’s high-tech base in Cuba, Valentin Zukovsky’s nightclub, the chemical weapons factory and the MI6 office. While filming the tank hunt in St. Petersburg, which required a lot of negotiations in Russian and bureaucracy fell apart, Lamont made a literal copy of the streets of the city of Livesden to film most of the tank action. 007 The editor of Graham Paradise magazine, who was invited to film these scenes, said you could be forgiven for thinking you were in Russia when you were taken out of bed and woke up in that street.
Lamont has helped producers save at least a million dollars on their expensive budgets, but that’s not all. His talent has made every place feel good: If we’re in the mid-1990s and computers are the main weapon the bad guy uses to hurt the British economy, then his base must be surrounded by all kinds of computers and digital imaging: a huge Pioneer wall screen, lots of desktop PCs, an improvised e-mail interface that looks like a modern cat (at a time when few people were familiar with this revolutionary means of communication), and digital palm readers.
The interior of Alec Trevelyan’s hideout, an abandoned ICBM train, has all the technology this villain needs in a single car, but the dining room is furnished with furniture and wallpaper that Czar Nicholas would envy. But if the enemy is so technologically advanced, British intelligence can’t stay far behind: The new MI6, run for the first time by a female M, played by Judy Dench, is also equipped with computers, fax machines, electronic files, a situation centre with satellite images of Russia and furniture much more in line with the 1990s than the naval spirit of the old room of Admiral Messervis.
No one should be surprised at the scope of Lamont’s work, but in Golden Eye he obviously feels better than in most of the other Bond films he’s worked on, thanks in part to the increased budget and the vision of Campbell and Mesha, making him stand out more than in Glen’s films.
Pre-Bond Brosnan goes to ballistics in Tuffin (1988).
Argumentative, you say? Well, it’s true. For many, one of the weak points of Golden Eye is the soundtrack of the film by Luke Besson, who chose the composer. However, his music was an important element that gave the film a special atmosphere. The timpani’s and synthesizers contribute to a metallic and industrial feel far removed from John Barry’s brass and guitars, but that’s exactly what the people behind the film wanted. According to author John Birlingheim, Marsha Glyman of MGM/UA Music felt that since Barry couldn’t record the Golden Eye, she should try something else and appeal to current generations with the sound of the film. It was Serra who scored with Nikita and Leon: Professionally, took part in the game.
Serra’s music emphasized the dark feelings of the days after the end of the Cold War in Russia, as well as the dominance of technology in our lives and the use of space weapons to create chaos on earth. But his more traditional perception of music can also induce a sense of melancholy, sharpness, romance and grace: This is what his repetitive string music (We Share The Sewernaya Suite, That’s What Keeps You Alone and For Ever, James on the album) looks like, depending on the scene. Serra also played the title track of the movie Experience of Love, which is based on the music he first wrote for Leon: A professional, in the words of the late Rupert Hine. The lyrics aren’t exactly what you’d expect from a Bond song, but there really is a romantic ending to the film, and the music is really beautiful.
Remo Williams: Fred Ward as the American James Bond.
Bruce Chopping stone
A good film needs a good script, and if the late Michael Frans is to be congratulated on making the Golden Eye story, then the New Jersey born screenwriter and writer Bruce Feirstein should be congratulated on directing the 17th Golden Eye. Bond’s film made it so entertaining and attractive to a young audience. Fernstein is the man who brought Bond to the threshold of the new millennium. He gave us the impression of seeing James Bond in a James Bond movie and not just in a James Bond movie.
France has come up with a scenario in which the escape doesn’t go as far as the lunar cruiser, and gravity doesn’t go as far as the kill permit, while trying to confront 007 with new challenges. So his enemy was a former colleague and almost a mentor to him, who wore the number 006, betrayed the British and conspired against them under the diplomatic immunity of the new Russian government. The action scenes were clever, but at the same time too expensive to execute. After Jeffrey Kane and Kevin Wade worked on the film together, Ferstein appeared, who made some interesting changes that made the pace of the film faster and more exciting.
He softened the political aspect of the original story and introduced new characters into the play: The hacker Boris Grishchenko, who despite his stupidity is needed to carry out the villain’s plan; the former KGB agent and current arms dealer Valentin Zukovsky, Bond’s former enemy, who must act again; and Xenia Onatop, who already existed in the French scenario, but Fairstein emphasized her sexual attraction by forcing her to kill people while making love – that’s why the heroine’s name was changed from Labyakova to Onatop. He also suggested that the new M would be a lady, as Stella Rimington was appointed head of MI5 a year before the release of the film.
Firstein’s principle for Golden Eye was that the world had changed, but not Bond. It has thus not altered any of the known characteristics of 007, with the exception of smoking. He will always be a womanizer, although this time the women he met are crucial to the plot of the film. He will continue to work for MI6 and is considered one of the best officers in the service, although the new M stigmatises him as a sexist and misogynistic dinosaur and a Cold War survivor. People like Valentin Zukovsky, Jack Wade and Alec Trevelyan would mock his outdated patriotic codes and ethics, but he would still prove that we need people like him in the new world order.
Feirstein would later write Tomorrow will never die and the world will not be enough, plus the Bond 007 All or Nothing video games and the Russian love for electronic art, plus the Bloody Stone and the remake of Golden Eye 007 for Activision in 2010.
The wise and sharp actions of James Bond will not die tomorrow.
In every James Bond movie, James Bond is the main character. None of the elements of the formula can work if he is not there or if he has no power personality in the story. And if the actor who played Bond wasn’t good enough and had no connection with the audience, all efforts were lost. Pierce Brosnan was originally signed for 007 in 1986, before his contract with Remington-Steele robbed him of the opportunity to become the fourth bail. However, it was the first option considered by the producers after Timothy Dalton left the series without being able to return to more than one film. Luckily Brosnan didn’t compromise this time, and on the 8th. In June 1994 he was named the fifth actor of Bondage.
An Irish star has blended the best elements of its predecessors: The self-confidence of Sean Connery, the humour and elegance of Roger Moore and the emotional qualities of the short performances by George Lazenby and Timothy Dalton. At the same time, Brosnan was able to form a picture of the psychology of a secret agent suffering from the tensions of his specific profession. He could look boisterous in a Brioni dinner jacket or a three-piece business suit, but he could also look deadly in close combat and dodge thousands of bullets. Without a clear love for her, he was able to enter into a loving relationship with a Golden Eye star who felt sincere. Like Connery and Moore before him, Brosnan wasn’t just talking to a few fans, but to entire generations of men who dreamed of being just like him, and women who dreamed of being seduced by him.
On film posters he wore a classic tuxedo and held the famous Walther PPK rifle in his hand. A comma of black hair fell on his right eyebrow, which corresponds to the description of the character in Ian Fleming’s first novel Casino Royale in 1953. There’s no doubt that a man who watches, kills and seduces like James Bond should have starred in a James Bond movie that guaranteed half the success of Golden Eye.
Among the cast and crew there are many more people who deserve to be congratulated on the rejuvenation of James Bond with this film: Daniel Kleinman has delivered a series of unforgettable and relevant main titles that artistically depict the fall of Eastern Communism, with Lindy Hemming’s costumes that match the character’s personality and mood. The trailer directed by Joe Nimziki impresses with his adaptation of the James Bond theme directed by Starr Parodi and Jeff Fair. Bemis Balkinda’s poster would make you pay for an IMAX 4D ticket for this film if it were released today, and let’s not forget the supporting cast: Gottfried John, Chicky Cario, Joe Don Baker, Robbie Coltrane… …far from the Oscar radar, but very impressive in their roles. Golden Eye is in fact one of the few Bond films in which all the supporting actors leave an indelible presence in the mind of the viewer.
Not to mention the stuntmen, from Wayne Michaels, who jumped 195 meters from the dam, to Tracy Eddon, who shot in Q’s Lab and suffered numerous injuries, to Gary Powell, who drove that T55 tank at full speed and still indicates it was something difficult. And they all often risk their lives to cheer us up!
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