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James Brolin Original Screentests (2006)

| Video 2006
Short documentary of interviews and screen-test footage of James Brolin screen-testing as James Bond for the James Bond movie "Octopussy".
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Short documentary of interviews and screen-test footage of James Brolin screen-testing as James Bond for the James Bond movie "Octopussy".

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2006 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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During casting, James Brolin was almost given the role of James Bond in Octopussy (1983). At the last minute, Roger Moore agreed to play Bond again. Brolin's screen tests can be seen on the Ultimate Edition DVD. Moore had gone out of contract after For Your Eyes Only (1981). The production went with Moore because the film would be competing with Never Say Never Again (1983) starring original and former James Bond actor and legend Sean Connery. The uncertainty in using an American actor in the role and having to introduce a new actor in going-up against Connery were the reasons. See more »

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References From Russia with Love (1963) See more »

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There are four parts to this collection . . .
23 July 2014 | by (Jacksonville, FL) – See all my reviews

. . . and I only have time to review the first, a 4 minute, 26.4 second piece titled BROLIN ON BOND. (I'll tack on information about parts #2, #3, and #4 as soon as I get a chance.) In it, Mr. Brolin talks about being chauffeured all over the London area to meet the friends and acquaintances of Eon Production Company's top producer, Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli, who was considering the unthinkable: hiring an American (Mr. Brolin) to play James Bond in the 13th Agent 007 flick, OCTOPU$$Y. Mr. Brolin says he bought (treated himself to) four rather expensive suits on his own dime to look the part, and also shopped around for a London "flat." However, eventually Cubby decided to pay his gambling buddy Roger Moore the amount for which he was holding out, and Mr. Brolin's dreams went up in a cloud of cigar smoke.

I only gave segment 2, which is titled THE FIGHT SCENE SCREEN TEST, a rating of 7/10. Brolin, playing Bond, is in a hotel room when the rotary dial phone rings. An (uncredited) attacker who had been hiding in the curtains tries to garrote him, but "Bond" puts the thug's head through a glass cabinet front (a picture also falls off the wall, and a coffee table is overturned). As the attacker groans on the floor, Bond picks up the phone again and says, "Hello, are you still there? Yeah, I had a little trouble with the line--it's been fixed now."

I also gave segment 3, entitled JAMES BROLIN & MAUD ADAMS: THE LOVE SCENE SCREENTEST, 7/10. In this 178-second scene taken out of the second Eon Production Company Bond flick, FROM RUSS1A WITH LOVE, Ms. Adams is repeating lines (such as, "I think my mouth is too big") as Russian spy "Tatiana" (played in the movie by Daniela Bianchi), but Mr. Brolin does not seem nearly as self- assured as Sean Connery (RUSS!A's Bond) in responding, "I think it's just the right size--for me, anyway!"

The final 4-minute, 26.4-second DVD menu subheading item in this quartet (Part 4, to the non-musical) is labeled THE VIJAY SCREEN TEST. I found it pretty interesting, and rated it 8 of 10. Though he's not credited on this segment itself, tennis fans will recognize that--as was the case with Ms. Adams--Brolin was being tested with an actual member of the final cast, India's Davis Cup netter Vijay Amritraj. In a brief introduction, an older Brolin opines, "That was a tough one, that was a tough one. Sure, he (Amritraj) was holding the snake, but it was pointed at me the whole time." In the movie's final version of this scene (with Roger Moore playing Bond, of course) Vijay--as Bond's liaison in India--needs to exchange passwords with James while "charming" a snake (which looks like a hooded cobra). In this screen test, however, the snake does NOT appear to be a cobra. Brolin also reveals in his intro, "There were a lot of outtakes, where I'd end up grabbing the snake and stuffing it back into his (Vijay's) basket."


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