An interesting and illuminating documentary on a great producer
Harry Saltzman achieved his greatest fame and success as one of the key producers of the first nine James Bond movies. Stemming from humble origins (his mother died when he was young), Saltzman ran away from home at age fifteen and was a field officer in France at age seventeen. He produced his first film "The Iron Petticoat" in 1956 and helped create the kitchen sink movie. But it wasn't until he became partners with the radically different fellow producer Albert "Cubby" Broccoli and made the first 007 feature "Dr. No" that Harry really hit his stride. This documentary gathers up a neat assortment of folks -- Cubby's outspoken wife Dana Broccoli, his son Steven and daughter Hilary, composer John Barry, James Bond actors George Lazenby and Roger Moore, actresses Ursula Andress and Honor Blackman, special effects expert John Stears, and so on -- to tell lots of fun, amusing, always compelling, and even occasionally quite touching stories about the colorful and larger-than-life Saltzman. With his legendary volatile temper, penchant for flamboyant clothes, picky eating habits, tremendous talent for selling ideas, restless nature, and an ambition that alas ultimately exceeded his grasp, Harry certainly lived life to the fullest and then some. This documentary pulls no punches in depicting Saltzman both at his best and at his worst: Blackman notes that he was a tough guy with a dry sense of humor, Andress describes him as a nice man who she truly liked, and Dana Broccoli candidly discusses how Saltzman and her husband's contrasting personalities eventually caused their partnership to fall apart. As someone points out in an interview, Harry's gift of gab and ability to get people to believe anything was both his biggest strength and greatest weakness. A neat warts'n'all portrait.
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