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Sunday, 27 June 2010

IN MEMORY: Albert 'Cubby' Broccoli - The Mastermind behind the James Bond movies

IN MEMORY: Albert 'Cubby' Broccoli - The Mastermind behind the James Bond movies

Albert 'Cubby' Broccoli (who died this day - June 27 - in 1996) was an American film producer best remembered for bringing James Bond to the big screen. In all, Broccoli was involved in 17 Bond films from the very first Dr No in 1962 to his last involvement as Consulting Producer with 007 with Goldeneye in 1995

Born in Queens, New York in 1909, Cubby worked in a pharmacy, as a coffin-maker and selling Christmas trees. He later became a talent agent (representing stars such as Robert Wagner and Lana Turner) before making a name for himself as a producer in the movie business in the 1950s. Having worked with the likes of Howard Hughes and Irving Allen, Cubby moved to London but eventually went bust after The Trials of Oscar Wilde flopped at the box office in 1960.

Having long dreamed of bringing Ian Fleming's 007 secret agent to the screen, Broccoli and Harry Saltzman (who owned the screen rights to the books) formed Eon Productions. Casting the relatively unknown Sean Connery as James Bond, they made Dr No in 1962 on a million dollar budget and the rest as they say is history.

Broccoli's legacy with James Bond continues as his stepson, Michael G. Wilson and daughter Barbara now run the mulit-million dollar industry that has grown up around the Bond movies.

To celebrate the life and career of the inspirational film producer and proud family man, here is a selection of quotes by and about Cubby Broccoli ...

Quotes by Cubby ... 

On the Bond movie formula - "A virile and resourceful hero, exotic locations, the ingenious apparatus of espionage and sex on a fairly sophisticated level."

Dr No - "It was with this film that the James Bond formula and style were perfected."

"My favourite films are From Russia With Love, Goldfinger and The Spy Who Loved Me. I can’t say there is a single one I’d want to re-do, although there are parts of The Man With The Golden Gun I’d change."

"I honestly felt a responsibility toward all the Bond fans out there. I know they look forward to these pictures. And so I’m going to go on delivering then as long as I can. Also, it’s a challenge, which I enjoy. We try to make each picture more exciting than the one before, to take Bond somewhere he hasn’t already been."

"Bond is my life. I get ideas for the films all the time. I scribble down ideas on the backs of old envelopes. Even when I’m on the toilet and get a Bond idea I grab a piece of toilet paper and write it down. And that idea, though it began on a piece of toilet paper, can cost millions of dollars to put on the screen."

On the 007 leading men after Sean Connery - "Like comparing a still photograph with a film."

"Bond’s ladies must stay in the background and must give the impression of being experienced with men. They must be strong but elegant. ‘Something’ must happen when you look at them."

"It is not necessary to use established actresses in these films. It’s entertainment after all, not Macbeth."

"Nudity would destroy Bond’s career. His image must be clean cut. We can’t risk offending his massive family audience in any way."

"I love looking at the old Bond films. Maybe it's purely out of reminiscence, the nostalgic things you think about. But there were some very good films made and I think that the public has enjoyed them, too."

"That we were lucky to stumble upon Ian Fleming and Bond, was a bit of a good fortune. The rest was all hard work."

"The Russians did invite me to make a film there. But when I said I’d like to make a Bond movie there, they said, 'We’re not ready for that yet!' "


Quotes about Cubby ...

"The production team of Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman had pretty well invented a whole new genre - the big, glossy, no-expense-spared international thriller. A heady mix of beautiful locations, beautiful people and beautiful cars, whipped up into a confection of non-stop action and sex. There is no depth to a Bond movie; it is a world of goodies and baddies, a world where death is played for laughs. The films do not nourish the soul. They do not set out to. They are pure entertainment. Pure cinema."
Charlie Higson in The Spectator (2006)

"He was remarkable man, a fantastic producer, and if it wasn’t for Cubby there wouldn’t be Bond films today. He is the main reason for them. When I arrived he came onto the set to welcome me. Normally one doesn’t meet a producer."
Desmond Llewelyn - ‘Q’ in the Bond films

"Producer Albert R. Broccoli seems to know exactly how to stretch his formula like a cat’s cradle in his hands."
Sheila Benson in The Los Angeles Times

"Producer Albert R. Broccoli, the major-domo of the James Bond movies, is the proverbial Jewish mother of cinema: he is not about to let anyone go away hungry. In Moonraker, the eleventh 007 opus, Broccoli serves the audience a space-shuttle hijacking, a jumbo-jet explosion and a protracted wrestling match between two men who are falling from the sky without parachutes. All this happens before the opening credits. From there, it's on to gondola chases in Venice, funicular crashes in Rio and laser-gun shootouts and lovemaking in deep space. Meanwhile, beautiful women come and go .... When Broccoli lays out a feast, he makes sure that there is at least one course for every conceivable taste."
Frank Rich in Time magazine (1979)

"Albert (Cubby) Broccoli, the constant force behind the pictures. Directors come and go, but Broccoli remains, lavishing time, attention and megabucks on the formula adventures."
Rita Kempley in The Washington Post (1987)

"Producer ‘Cubby’ Broccoli took Fleming’s ingredients and turned them into his own dish."
James Taylor in The Times (2007)

"Indiana Jones, Arnie, Derek Flint et al owe a major debt to Bond, James Bond. Or perhaps Broccoli, Cubby Broccoli."
Michael Cooper on Alternative007.co.uk (2006)

(1500 Humorous Quotations about 007)
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