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Join us for Bond Weekend VI at SpyFest 2003!

Meet George Lazenby, James Bond, 007 in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” and his costars and experts from Bond’s world:

  • Barbara K. Emanuele, Commander Bond author
  • Bruce Glover, Diamonds Are Forever
  • Bruce Scivally, The James Bond Legacy
  • Charles (007) Axworthy, Bond maven
  • Don Stroud, License To Kill
  • John Cork, Ian Fleming Foundation
  • Jon Burlingame, Bond soundtrack music authority
  • John Cox, 007 pundit
  • Paul Kyriazi, Living The Bond Lifestyle
  • Steven Jay Rubin, The James Bond Encyclopedia
  • Virginia Hey, The Living Daylights

And see SpyFest’s Guns of 007 Special Exhibit!

**Get this: SpyFest admission is only $20 for the day, $30 for the entire weekend!

Bond Weekend V was superb with fans getting to meet Lois Chiles (Moonraker), Richard Kiel (TSWLM and Moonraker), Vic Flick (Bond Signature Theme Guitarist), Barbara Bouchet (Casino Royale) and the Diamonds Are Forever Mach 1 in person!

We are grateful to our sponsors including TNN, Swatch, Sideshow Toys and many more!

Join us for BCW6 at SpyFest.org!

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“The Spy Who Thrilled Us: A Guide to the Best of Cinematic James Bond”

Matt Sherman: What was your chief motivation in writing “The Spy Who Thrilled Us: A Guide to the Best of Cinematic James Bond”?

Michael DiLeo: I’ve always dabbled in writing and just thought it was time to try and write a book. I’m am an expert on two subjects—The New York Yankees and James Bond and decided that Bond would be more fun to write about. Once that was decided, the decision then became—what kind of Bond book to write? There had been so many good ones already written (Benson’s Bedside Companion, and Rubin’s The James Bond Films are my two favorites) that I had to come up with something that hadn’t been done before. [Note: Mr. Benson appeared at BCW4 and Mr. Rubin is appearing at BCW6 and SpyFest. --Editor] So I figured that since I—like most Bond fans—was always coming up with “best of” or “top ten” lists relating to 007—that this kind of book would be fun. I wanted to write something that was lighthearted and that poked fun at Bond while celebrating him.

Matt: Of the nearly 50 different categories you selected for Bond’s “Top 5 Moments” from “Why Don’t They Just Shoot Him?” to “ "Helicopter Explosions”, (!) which was your favorite and why?

Michael: Well, those two right there are two of my favorites! Obviously, a book like this was going to feature the best villains, girls, gadgets, etc.—those were categories that had to be there. The fun part was racking my brain to come up with categories that were not so obvious. I remember telling my wife once half-jokingly that if you see a helicopter in a Bond movie—watch out—its probably going to explode very shortly. So that gets you thinking and running the videotape in your brain to quickly review all of the helicopters that have exploded in Bond movies. Then of course you say to yourself, okay, which were the most memorable? And there you have it, a new category for the book. Another fun one was “Animal Adventures.” The fun was going back and noting all of the encounters 007 has had with animals and being surprised at how many there have been—only in the Bond series can you look back and find so many different aspects to choose from.

Matt: Was their one particular category that has generated the most fan feedback to you? Has anyone taken exception with one of your choices in a memorable way?

Michael: One fan was very upset that I didn’t include NSNA in the book. It was never one of my favorites and I made the decision early on that I was only going to focus on the EON films (which I state in the book’s intro). But he didn’t seem to get that. He kept asking how I could not list Barbara Carerra as one of the best Femme Fatales!!! One that I have gotten very positive feedback on was in the “Other Gems” category where I talk about “The Stare in Goldfinger.” More than one fan has mentioned that they had never noticed this moment before until they read my book. So that was pretty neat to hear—to know that you could point something out to a knowledgeable Bond fan that they hadn’t noticed before.

Matt: You liked License To Kill and along with Lee Pfeiffer and other others, have critiqued the 16th Bond film as an outstanding entry in the EON series. Yet many viewers and aficionados panned the film. Tell us more.

Michael: Well, I remember when TLD came out, that I liked the film, but felt that it was missing some important things. One—it lacked a strong main villain; Two—there was not enough action. If you think about it, there really isn’t a major action sequence between the Aston Martin chase and the attack on the Russian airbase—that’s most of the film! Three—I don’t think Dalton was completely comfortable in the role yet (understandable for his first film) and remember, the original draft was written with Moore in mind and then tailored for Dalton. I don’t think that transition was completely smooth. This brings us to LTK—which improved immensely on my criticisms of TLD. You can’t get a stronger main villain than Franz Sanchez. And the chemistry between Robert Davi and Dalton was great. The action in the film is abundant (but never forced) and topnotch in every way. And the idea of a revenge tale with Bond going rogue was just made for Dalton—at the time this film came out in 1989 it had been 27 years since we had seen a Bond this ruthless and realistic. Considering that the same writers, director and producer had made AVTAK only 4 years earlier, well, LTK was a revelation and I feel the kind of Bond film that many of us thought we would never see.

Matt: Please tell the 007Forever.com readers about your other work (when you are not watching Bond films and making lists of them, for example)...

Michael: The Spy Who Thrilled Us is my first book—I am currently working on a second book (not Bond- related) and doing what I can to promote this one. I make a living as a Property Manager in New York. I would love to revisit the Bond films again in a future book—I just have to come up with another idea that no one has done before!

“The Spy Who Thrilled Us: A Guide to the Best of Cinematic James Bond”…160 pages in softcover, published by Limelight Editions and available today at Amazon.com and at other outlets!

 

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