Retro Heaven

Never Say Never Again

The return of Bond is thirty two years old….

neversayneveragainaustralianonesheetIt is hard to believe that this week in 1983 the cinema world saw the much heralded return of Sean Connery as James Bond in Never Say Never Again.

Released as another version of the Thunderball story, it was the second ‘Bond’ movie to be made outside of the EON/United Artists group and as a result it has never been featured in any of the official collections and media publications.

The film title comes from the answer Connery gave to a question posed to him after he made Diamonds Are Forever and in my mind he should have stuck to it. Anyone who has seen Michael Caine’s rather unfortunate reprisal of Harry Palmer in the 1990s alongside Connery’s son will doubtless understand my point.

Yes, the film was generally well received and yes, he was playing a middle aged Bond but it just didn’t work for this particular Bond fan. It could have been so much different (better) than the incumbent Roger Moore comedy farce which the franchise had succumbed to but no, when Rowan Atkinson is cast as a fellow British agent you know what you are going to get; Connery with a wig.

At the time of production it ran over budget but on release broke previous Bond release records (hardly surprising given Connery’s return) and they managed to recoup a very healthy one hundred million dollar profit. As I write I am mindful of coming across as critical of the Bond movie franchise and I wish I wasn’t but there’s an elephant in the room. The books.

If I’d never read Fleming and knew nothing of the original character then I would share the same nostalgic view of Bond as most of the rest of the planet but I have read them and I do know and therein lies the problem.

But hey! Anyone producing something which takes $140 million in 1983 won’t be bothered about some old traditionalist!

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