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James Bond - The Legacy



Review by Dean Allen

In Brief: The name's Bond, James Bond. 2002 marks the 40th anniversary of the birth of the cinematic legacy that is Bond, with the 20th film in the series released, Die Another Day. A celebration is in order and so The Legacy gives us an exhaustedly researched, coffee table book on the cinematic and social importance of a man we like to call 007.

Review: Those familiar with the Bond collection on DVD will recognise the names of John Cork and Bruce Scivally as responsible for the excellent documentaries that dominate the special feature sections. They obviously know their Bond and The Legacy companion book proves it once and for all. As Cork puts it in his introduction, 'Bond changed my life.'

The Legacy forgoes solely concentrating on behind the scenes details by answering the bigger question. How has James Bond changed the world?

It may seem supercilious to suggest so, but Cork and Scivally explain how 007 has changed the mythology of the Cold War, the way that the CIA and MI6 operate and how the franchise has dominated cinema, with new methods of marketing and franchising.

 

This isn't your average production line cinema book. With its detailed account of the shifting of culture within the 50 years of Bond's life and how Bond had to change, The Legacy offers more depth and serves as a fantastic reminder of how culture and crazes quickly pass.

Witness Bond in the Roger Moore era struggling to keep up with new culture by using current cinematic crazes of Blacksploitation (Live and Let Die); kung-fu (The Man With The Golden Gun); and Star Wars (Moonraker).

Whilst the text is in-depth and of a high quality - Cork and Scivally know how to spin a good yarn - it is the lavish, high gloss picture content that attracts the eye initially. With what appears to be complete access to the Eon archive, The Legacy is stuffed packed with great images from the films, behind-the-scenes snaps, storyboards, vehicle and gadget schematics, poster images and artwork, and high action film stills. As far as Bond books go, this is the only one to buy.

Verdict: A touch expensive it may be - although shop around, as the price can be heavily reduced - this is the authorative tome on Bond. Not only filled with amazing images, but with some quality text, reading it makes you want to watch all of the Bond films afresh.

James Bond The Legacy (John Cork and Bruce Scivally) - Published by Boxtree; Priced £35

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