Blu-ray Review: Taking a Look At the BOND 50 Special Features, Pt. 1

With the recent release of the Bond 50 Blu-ray collection, it was a little tough providing a comprehensive review of the entire 22-disc set. With that in mind, Jason Gorber and I have decided to break up the collection, with me covering the special features over two articles (expect the second installment next week), while Jason handles the particulars of the video and audio presentation.

The entire set comes in a sleek slipcase, with the 22-disc collection spread out in a series of sturdy pages in the book-style packaging across two volumes. Flipping through, you've got two discs on the right black matte page next to its respective Bond girl and year of release. On the left, stills from each film. MGM/Fox apparently wanted to throw a bone to the collection obsessives out there by leaving an open slot for Skyfall on the last page of the second volume.

The features here are all ported from earlier releases on DVD and Blu-ray, particularly from the 2006 Ultimate Edition set for all of the pre-Casino Royale films. Unless otherwise noted, all of the features are presented in standard definition.

Dr. No (1962)

* Feature commentary with director Terry Young: Young is joined by the Dr. No cast and crew to talk about the production.
* 007: License to Restore (11:56): An overview of restoring the movies from the original negatives for the 2006 Ultimate Edition DVD releases.
* The Guns of James Bond (5:06): Footage from the Goldfinger era looking at some of the guns used in that film.
* Premiere Bond: Opening Nights (13:09): A look back at some of the Bond film premieres including red carpet footage of the stars arriving to the theaters.
* Inside Dr. No (42:10, HD): A documentary on the history of the film's production back at United Artists, including prospective directors.
* Terrence Young: Bond Vivant (17:57): Looking at Dr. No's director.
* 007 Mission Control: Essentially a fancy scene selection menu that allows you to view sequences specific to a topic (007, Women, etc.). This is included throughout most of the entries in the set.
* Dr. No 1963 Featurette (8:40): Newsreel-style presentation about casting Connery, and bringing Ian Fleming's story to the screen, featuring black and white production footage.
* Image Database: A series of stills and photos from the period in which the movie was made. another feature available throughout most of the set and cool if you like to take a look back at then-contemporary fashion, advertising, etc.

From Russia With Love (1963)

* Feature commentary with director Terry Young: Young is joined by the film's cast and crew to talk about the production.
* Ian Fleming: The CBC Interview (7:42): Talking with the writer at his Goldeneye compound.
* Ian Fleming and Raymond Chandler (5:11): An audio conversation between the two pulp titans about the contrast between American and British thrillers set over photos of both.
* Ian Fleming on Desert Island Discs (5:12): Another audio conversation over photos, with Fleming talking about his life and career.
* Animated Storyboard Sequence (1:28): The original storyboards for the film's boat chase sequence.
* 007 Mission Control
* Inside From Russia With Love (33:46, HD): From the sure-fire greenlight of another film to some of the troubles behind the production. Narrated by Patrick Macnee.
* Harry Saltzman: Showman (26:42, HD): Considering the producer of the first nine Bond films.
* Image Database

Goldfinger (1964)

* Feature commentary: The cast and crew discuss the making of the film
* Sean Connery From the Set of Goldfinger (3:12): Footage and an interview with Connery on-set.
* Theodore Bikel Screen Test (5:39): The filmmakers look for their villain in this screen test. Personally, I think he nailed it.
* Tito Vandis Screen Test (4:13): The Exorcist actor takes a stab at the villain's role.
* On Tour With the Astin Martin DB5 (11:43, HD): A celebration of the car by the brand's European sales manager.
* Honor Blackman Open-Ended Interview (3:53): Prepared interview responses sent out to local outlets, allowing interviewers to fake an interview with the actress.
* The Making of Goldfinger (26:00, HD): Another narrated look back at the film, from the book to the screen.
* The Goldfinger Phenomenon (29:14, HD): A mix of a featurette from the period along with a consideration of some of the more iconic elements of the film.
* Original Publicity Featurette (2:15): A mini-doc on actor Harold Sakata (Oddjob) and Honor Blackman (Pussy Galore).
* 007 Mission Control
* Three classic TV spots
* Sean Connery Radio Interview (11:50): Like the Blackman piece, prepared responses that could be sent out to disc jockeys to give the illusion they had an exclusive interview with the actor.
* Radio spots
* Image Database

Thunderball (1965)

* Feature Commentary: Editor Peter Hunt is joined by screenwriter John Hopkins and the crew.
* The Incredible World of James Bond - Original 1965 NBC Televison Special (50:54): A network-produced special looking at the series as a phenomenon along with the particulars of each movie like the stunts, characters, etc.
* A Child's Guide to Blowing Up a Motor Car - 1965 Ford Promo Film (17:09): A weird production from Ford on some of the car stunts narrated by a character taking his young son to the set of the Thunderball.
* On Location With Ken Adam (13:06): The film's production designer presents scouting film from some of the movie's locations.
* Bill Suitor: The Rocket Man Movies (3:54): A look at the rocket belt featured in the film and background on its inventor who wanted it to be used by the Army.
* Thunderball Boat Show Reel (2:51): Publicity stills and clips from an alternate version of the movie's undersea scene used for promos.
* Selling Bonds - Original 1965 Television Commercials: Three TV spots featuring Bond-branded fashion and toys. A treat for those of you who like old-school marketing and tie-ins.
* The Making of Thunderball (27:34, HD): More Macnee narrating the history of the film series, from its initial book sales failure to the big screen.
* The Thunderball Phenomenon (31:04, HD): More history of the series, and translating Fleming's writing to the screen via Thunderball.
* The Secret History of Thunderball (3:56): A collection of factoids about the movie.
* 007 Mission Control
* Image Database

You Only Live Twice (1967)

* Feature Commentary With Director Lewis Gilbert:
The director is joined by the cast and crew to discuss the making of You Only Live Twice.
* Welcome to Japan Mr. Bond (52:23): two ladies from the MI6 secretarial pool talk about Mr. Bond's exploits leading up to YOLT.
* Whicker's World - Highlights From 1967 BBC Documentary (5:22): The BBC journalist gets some behind-the-scenes footage from the film.
* On Location With Ken Adam (13:59): More location details narrated by the production designer.
* Inside You Only Live Twice (30:24): Another book to screen piece.
* Silhouettes: The James Bond Titles (23:24): A look at the opening sequences, from their origins in Dr. No and their accidental beginnings.
* Plane Crash: Animated Storyboard Sequence (1:38): Two alternate versions of this sequence from the original storyboards.
* Exotic Locations (4:08): Maude Adams narrates this look at some of the spots in Japan and beyond.
* Theatrical trailers
* TV spots
* Radio spots
* 007 Mission Control
* Image Database

On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

* Feature Commentary With Director Peter Hunt: The editor-turned director is joined by the cast and crew.
* Casting On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1:35): A narrarated short on the casting of Lazenby and Diana Rigg and the introduction of the new leads to the world.
* Press Day in Portugal (1:32): BTS footage of the press attending a staged shooting day for the wedding scene.
* George Lazenby: In His Own Words (9:27): A series of interviews with the one-time Bond.
* Shot On Ice - Original 1969 Ford Promo Film (9:45): Stunt driving as Bond as his new lady are chased by the film's villains.
* Swiss Movement - Original 1969 Featurette (7:29): Old-school featurette on shooting in Switzerland.
* Inside On Her Majesty's Secret Service (41:41): A making of and a look at the transition between actors and bringing the movie to the screen.
* Inside Q's Lab (10:26): A look back at the many gadgets from the film with interviews with actor Desmond Llewelyn.
* Above It All - Original 1969 Featurette (5:41): A promo video looking at shooting in the Alps and Lazenby's additon to the series.
* Exotic Locations (4:24): A quick look at some of the Portuguese and Swiss locations.
* Theatrical trailer
* TV spots
* Radio spots
* 007 Mission Control
* Image Database

Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

* Feature Commentary With Director Guy Hamilton: Hamilton is joined by the cast and crew to talk about the film.
* Sean Connery 1971: The BBC Interview (5:13): Connery chats about being Bond and is fairly candid about his reasons for returning including his contract negotiations. He's very much a man who can't be bothered and is back for the cash here. Note his response when asked about his affection for the character.
* Lesson #007: Close Quarter Combat (4:36): A look back at one of the film's fights.
* Oil Rig Attack (2:22): A look back at an excised sequence involving a frogman assault on Blofeld's oil rig.
* Satellite Test Reel (1:55): Behind Wally Veever's special effects for the satellite sequence.
* Explosion Tests (1:53): Behind the visual effects for the explosion at the end of the film.
* Alternate and Expanded Angles: You can finally use the mult-angle function on your Blu-ray player with these alternatate takes on scenes from the movie.
* Deleted Scenes
* Inside Diamonds Are Forever (30:40): Another making of about some changes to the script to bring the film to the screen and making the character more American.
* Cubby Brocoli The Man Behind Bond (41:23): Celebrating the producer.
* Exotic Locations (4:25): Considering the French, English, and U.S. locations for the film.
* Theatrical trailers
* TV spots
* Radio spots
* 007 Mission Control
* Image Database

Live And Let Die (1973)

* Feature Commentary With Screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz
* Bond 1973: The Lost Documentary (21:41): A making of from the period on Roger Moore and the new film.
* Roger Moore As James Bond, Circa 1964 (7:44): Moore plays the character in a sketch from the 1960s TV series Mostly Millicent.
* Live And Let Die Conceptual Art (1:39): A look at the key art and posters for the film.
* Inside Live And Let Die (29:47): The struggle to keep the character relevant in a new decade with a new actor, and some of the other performers looked at to take on the part.
* On Set With Roger Moore: The Funeral Parade (1:42): Moore presents a behind-the-scenes look at a scene from the movie.
* On Set With Roger Moore: Hang Gliding Lessons (3:58): Veteran stuntman Bill Bennett on prepping for the hang gliding sequence and teaching Moore to fly.
* Theatrical trailers
* TV spots
* Radio spots
* 007 Mission Control
* Image Database

The Man With the Golden Gun (1974)

* Feature Commentary With Director Guy Hamilton: Hamilton is joined by the cast and crew to talk about the film.
* The Russell Harty Show (3:00): Excerpts from a TV interview with the affable Moore.
* On Location With The Man With the Golden Gun (1:31): Footage from one of the Kowloon-set locations.
* Girls Fighting (3:32): A look at some dailies from one of the fight scenes involving two Tae Kwon Do expert school girls.
* American Thrill Show Stunt Film (5:17): With commentary, a look at the Astro Spiral stunt from the film with optional commentary.
* The Road to Bond: Stunt Coordinator W.J. Milligan (8:01): An audio-only chat with the auto pro stunt man about his career and working on the film.
* Guy Hamilton: The Director Speaks (5:22, HD): The director talks about his career over stills and photos from his Bond film work.
* Inside The Man With the Golden Gun - An Original Documentary (31:00): Basing the film on Fleming's final published book and the change in locations and the false starts with the production before Moore comes on as Bond.
* Double-0 Stuntmen (28:39, HD): A series-wide look at some of the stunts in the Bond films and the stunt men crazy enough to do them.
* Theatrical trailers
* TV spots
* Radio spots
* 007 Mission Control
* Image Database

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

* Feature Commentary With Director Lewis Gilbert: Gilbert is joined by production designer Ken Adam, co-writer Christopher Wood, and producer Michael G. WIlson.
* 007 In Egypt (6:12): 16mm BTS footage of the Egypt shoot.
* Roger Moore: My Word Is My Bond (4:31): An interview with the actor.
* On Location With Ken Adam (5:55): The production designer on location scouting for the film.
* 007 Stage Dedication: Original 1977 Featurette (1:10): Dedication of the world's largest soundstage for the submarine sequences.
* Escape From Atlantis: Storyboard Sequence (2:20): Original storyboards including an early version of the final sequence from the film.
* Inside The Spy Who Loved Me (40:41): Moore calls this one his favorite. A look back at how it got made in around behind-the-scenes drama.
* Ken Adam: Designing Bond (21:42): A featurette on the late production designer and the sets he designed for the film.
* Exotic Locations (4:49): Globetrotting for the tenth film.
* Theatrical trailers
* TV spots
* Radio spots
* Image Database

Moonraker (1979)

* Feature Commentary With Director Lewis Gilbert:
Gilbert is back and joined by the cast and crew of the film.
* 007 In Rio - Original 1979 Production Featurette (12:45): A more commercial making-of doc.
* Bond '79 (12:18): On set interviews with the director and stars in Rio.
* Ken Adam's Production Films (12:03): Location scouting for the film with the production designer. It's odd that they changed the title for this regular feature with Moonraker.
* Learning to Freefall - Skydiving Test Footage (3:56): Test footage used to set up the skydiving sequence which opens the film.
* Skydiving Storyboards (1:21): Original storyboards for the opening sequence.
* Circus Footage (1:19): Cut circus footage for a longer sequence featuring Jaws' crash landing in the circus.
* Cable Car Alternative Storyboard 1 (1:23): Original storyboards for the cable car fight with the concept of Jaws' strong woman girlfriend (later made a petite blonde).
* Cable Car Alternative Storyboard 2 (2:10): Early pass on this fight including an unused henchman.
* Inside Moonraker - An Original Documentary (42:02, HD): Behind the making of the film and producer Cubby Brocoli's expanded scope in making the film, taking the character to the moon. This, after initially announcing at the close of The Spy Who Loved Me that they would do For Your Eyes Only next, the big box office of the previous film and success of Star Wars inspired Brocoli and compnay to take advantage of the sci-fi craze.
* The Men Behind the Mayhem - Special Effects Documentary (19:01, HD): Some of the effects men behind the films talk about the minatures, explosions, gadgets, etc.
* 007 Mission Control
* Relase Trailer
* Image Database

For Your Eyes Only (1981)

* Commentary With Michael G. Wilson: The producer is joined by the crew to talk about the film.
* Deleted Scenes and Expanded Angles
* Bond in Greece (5:58):
Michael G. Wilson narrates a look at filming with a new director.
* Bond in Cortina (4:17): Wilson on taking the movie up into the snowy mountains.
* Neptune's Journey (3:33): Shooting the underwater sequences, narrated by Wilson who talks about enlisting famed oceanographer Al Giddings for the Bahamas shoot.
* Inside For Your Eyes Only (29:48, HD): Taking the movie back down to Earth for the post-disco era Bond.
* Animated Storyboard Sequence: Snowmobile Chase (1:14): Original concept for what would become a motorcycle chase.
* Animated Storyboard Sequence: Underwater (1:46): More original storyboards for the Bahamas-shot sequence with comparisons to the final scene.
* Sheena Easton Music Video (2:46): The singer's title track for the film.
* 007 Mission Control
* Theatrical trailer
* TV spots
* Radio spots
* Image Database

Bond 50: The complete 22 Movie Collection is available now on Blu-ray from MGM and Twentieth Century Fox.

Around the Internet:
  • Matt

    Where can I find part 2 to this?

  • mightyjoeyoung

    "With that in mind, Jason Gorber and I have decided to break up the collection, with me covering the special features over two articles (expect the second installment next week), while Jason handles the particulars of the video and audio presentation."
    I will looking forward to this review, thanks Mr Webb & Gorber.

blog comments powered by Disqus
​​