Behind the scenes of a well-known James Bond shoot
A supervillain, an murderer, a mountain automotive chase and an Aston Martin outfitted with gadgetry — the Alpine scenes in 1964’s “Goldfinger” set a brand new benchmark for the archetypal James Bond sequence. And in addition to being, arguably, probably the most iconic six minutes and 37 seconds within the franchise’s historical past, it’s also top-of-the-line documented.
In a then-unprecedented publicity transfer, journalists and photographers had been invited to the Swiss Alps for the seven-day shoot, the place they mingled with solid and crew members. The technique appeared to work — “Goldfinger” grew to become, on the time, one of many field workplace’s highest-ever grossing films.
This all-access strategy resulted in a wealthy archive of behind-the-scenes images. Waelty brings collectively greater than 200 of them in his guide, alongside name sheets, annotated scripts and manufacturing paperwork.
The late Sean Connery pictured alongside Bond’s Aston Martin DB5. Scroll by way of the gallery to see extra pictures from behind the scenes of the “Goldfinger” Alpine sequence. Credit score: EON Productions/Promotional shot by Arthur Evans
One of many first pictures reveals the late Sean Connery arriving at Zurich airport with a surprisingly skinny head of hair (he wore a toupee as James Bond). Later photographs seize the crew organising pictures and actors enjoyable throughout downtime on set. Among the many best-known footage are these from an impromptu style shoot with actress Tania Mallet, who’s pictured brandishing a — actual, not reproduction — AR-7 rifle.
‘A variety of ingesting’
The well-known sequence facilities round Bond’s encounter with Mallet’s character, Tilly Masterson, as they individually pursue rich villain Auric Goldfinger. After Masterson’s failed assassination try on Goldfinger nearly strikes down Bond, the British agent chases her down and forces her automotive off the street earlier than casually introducing himself and driving her to the closest storage.
Director Man Hamilton, collectively together with his manufacturing designer and site supervisor, selected the Furka Cross, which winds by way of central Switzerland’s Urseren Valley, for the shoot. The week-long manufacturing noticed a crew of 50 organising within the small mountain village of Andermatt.
Rehearsals for the scene through which Tilly Masterson makes an attempt to assassinate Bond’s nemesis, Auric Goldfinger. Credit score: EON Productions/Promotional shot by Arthur Evans
“Surprisingly, the Swiss authorities gave approval, which is absolutely astonishing,” mentioned Waelty, explaining that the places had been shut to varied navy websites. “However they all the time needed to have two troopers and two policemen there (throughout filming). The police had been put in to carry up the visitors, and the troopers had been there to ensure they did not movie something categorized.”
Waelty interviewed a spread of individuals concerned within the shoot, from the physician on set to a barman on the crew’s resort. And whereas the pictures captures what transpired on set, the anecdotes inform of what occurred off it.
They paint an image of a hard-partying manufacturing, with loads of late nights. “There was lots of ingesting and lots of bingeing,” Waelty mentioned. Within the guide, a member of the resort band, Arthur Dänzer, recollects Harold Sakata, the Japanese-American actor who performed Goldfinger’s henchman Oddjob, being a “enormous attraction.”
“On the dance ground within the membership he stacked up every kind of wood boards and bricks each night. He chopped all of it in half,” Dänzer mentioned of Sakata, who was additionally a wrestler and Olympic medal-winning weightlifter.
Though Connery was married on the time, Waelty’s guide says that each feminine journalist spoken to throughout analysis acquired “a roughly clear proposition” from the actor. Tom Carlile, then press officer for the film’s distributor United Artists, is quoted as saying that, to safe an interview with Connery, “all a newspaper has to do is ship a lady.”
Regardless of his infamous attraction, not everybody was enamored by Connery. The Swiss journal Schweizer Illustrierte ran its story in regards to the shoot underneath the headline “James Bond — ein humorloser langweiler” (or “James Bond — a humorless bore”).
The villagers in Andermatt additionally gave the impression to be detached to the entire affair.
Forward of the journey, the film’s manufacturing firm struggled to safe resort rooms within the space, with native proprietors each unaware of the Bond franchise and possessing “doubts in regards to the solvency of the British,” in response to Waelty’s guide.
“They did not actually care,” Waelty mentioned. “Are you able to think about these days, there is a James Bond film crew coming? Any village, any city would go completely loopy. However not these guys.”
Sean Connery pictured alongside Tania Mallet’s stunt double, Phillys Cornell (left), and director Man Hamilton’s spouse, Miriam Charrière (proper). Credit score: EON Productions/Promotional shot by Arthur Evans
But, Bondmania wouldn’t attain fever pitch till the film’s launch later that yr. Whereas its predecessors, “Dr. No” and “From Russia With Love,” had carried out fairly properly, “Goldfinger” was afforded a considerably larger price range of $three million, which it recouped many instances over, grossing $46 million worldwide throughout its preliminary field workplace run.
In response to Waelty, that is thanks, partly, to the Alpine sequence, which not solely helped generate buzz however set out a visible blueprint for Bond films to return.
“When Sean Connery died, so many footage had been printed of him standing on the Furka Cross together with his Aston Martin,” he mentioned. “This appears to be the signature image of James Bond.”