Friday Flick: Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007

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Official Description: He’s the greatest secret agent in the world, but who are the men behind Agent 007? This engrossing documentary goes inside the James Bond legend to uncover how a series of spy stories became one of the most iconic franchises in cinema history.

Unofficial Description: Bond flicks have been a huge part of my life.  I can remember The ABC Sunday Night Movie, which was almost always a Bond movie.  As a kid, they were fun.  (Of course, ABC edited a lot of content out before airing the movies.)  I still enjoy Bond as a character.  There have been attempts to modernize the character, first with Timothy Dalton, but more recently (and more successfully) with Daniel Craig, and that’s been fun to watch as well.  A new Bond for a new era.

I’ve never picked up any of the Fleming books.  I did watch a Fleming bio-pic way back when that stared Jason Connery (yes, Sean’s son) as Ian Fleming and detailing his time (I believe it was quite heavily fictionalized) during the war, giving us a glimpse into the creation of the Bond character through his interactions with the WWII spies fighting against the Nazi’s.

I also knew that, at one point, American television did a version of Casino Royale that turned James Bond, 007 into Jimmy Bond, the CIA’s best agent.  (and that it was awful.)

But there was a lot about James Bond I didn’t know, and this documentary filled in the blanks.  I remember seeing that the Bond flicks were an ‘EON Production’, but had no clue it stood for ‘Everything or Nothing’, the motto taken up by two men who would come together in order to bring James Bond to the silver screen in a way that would, at least in part, please his creator, Ian Fleming, who was himself, a tortured soul.  Fleming poured everything he had into the character and the books to little applause or appreciation, and that period in his life is touched upon in this film as well.

Add to that little bits and pieces like; Sean Connery felt used and underpaid, George Lazenby wanted out not because he thought it wasn’t going anywhere, but because he didn’t like the message the character sent, or how Kevin McClory sued the producers over and over because he thought he had rights to the character of James Bond, which led to the Never Say Never Flick, which Connery did out of spite.  All of these little tidbits and so much more, are part of this documentary.

I had no idea I’d enjoy it as much as I did.