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Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007 - DVD Review

Everything or Nothing

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

TIMED to coincide with the release of 23rd Bond adventure Skyfall and the 50th anniversary of 007, this entertaining documentary promises the untold story behind the world’s biggest and most enduring film franchise.

Directed by Stevan Riley, the film chronicles the origins of James Bond from point of conception on Ian Fleming’s typewriter to his various movie guises.

It examines how success was achieved against the odds as well as the numerous conflicts that took place along the way, and features interviews with most of the key players too (as well as some notable admirers).

It’s nicely paced, often very funny but also quite poignant, especially when operating from the personal insights afforded by the likes of current producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson.

And while lifelong Bond aficionados may know a lot of what is revealed, some elements may surprise too, such as the depth of ill feeling between Cubby Broccoli, Harry Saltzman and Sean Connery or why 9/11 marked the end of the road for the Pierce Brosnan era.

Fascinating, too, is the unrelenting legal war between Broccoli, Saltzman and Kevin McClory over Thunderball, which continued up to and beyond the release of Never Say Never Again, as well as the audience backlash that marked both the Timothy Dalton era and the casting of Daniel Craig (with current Skyfall director Sam Mendes among the self-confessed doubters).

The humour, meanwhile, comes from the likes of George Lazenby candidly recalling his path to and rapid departure from the franchise and even Brosnan’s hilarious acknowledgement of the utterly ridiculous nature of some of the stunts he was asked to perform in his later Bond films.

The biggest criticism is that it is rose-tinted in favour of Broccoli and company, only fleetingly nodding towards any ruthless tendencies. Connery, meanwhile, is notable for his absence, apart from recorded footage unearthed from the time.

But perhaps more important is how the film really does succeed in making you look upon the franchise with a deeper respect and admiration, while raising excitement levels for the forthcoming new Bond adventure. In that regard, it’s an unqualified success.

Read our exclusive interview with Hilary Saltzman

Certificate: 12A
Running time: 98mins
UK Blu-ray & DVD Release: January 28, 2013