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‘Bond: Photographed by Terry O’Neill: The Definitive Collection’ (review)

By Terry O’Neill
Edited by James Clarke
Published by ACC Art Books

Bond: Photographed by Terry O’Neill: The Definitive Collection was obviously meant to be a tie-in with the new 007 movie, No Time to Die. Who could have guessed that Daniel Craig’s latest excursion as the ever-popular British secret agent would be endlessly postponed? 2020 being 2020, though, that’s exactly what happened, and is still happening.

No such postponement for this lovely photography book, though! Photographer Terry O’Neil didn’t shoot stills for every Bond film but he has, in fact, covered a number of them, going way back, and was responsible for some of the most iconic images of the hero in several of his guises, as well as his women, and a few of his enemies.

The emphasis here is on Roger Moore—said to have become close friends with O’Neil—and also on Sean Connery. George Lazenby is here, along with David Niven, and even Peter Sellers, from the Casino Royale pastiche. Pierce Brosnan shows up for a few pages, but Timothy Dalton is nowhere to be found.

But discounting what isn’t here, what IS here is choice! As I said, a number of iconic photos of James Bond can be found here but also an incredible amount of great photos completely new to me, and yet instantly recognizable as to what movie with which they were associated.

Connery is mainly covered from Diamonds Are Forever while Moore gets the most depth from Live and Let Die, each of those being favorites of mine. Thus Jill St. John and Jane Seymour, from those two films, get prominent coverage, also, in some lovely pin-up-style shots. There are whole sections on several other Bond girls, too, including Britt Ekland, Barbara Bach, and the great Honor Blackman.

The captions accompanying all of these images are mainly fluff, but the several behind-the-scenes essays by O’Neil and others are interesting and there are comments from many of the subjects of the photos throughout.

Guns, girls, and stoically handsome secret agents. That imagery is what made James Bond, secret agent 007, popular in the first place, and what keeps his adventures, and his images, coming.

Booksteve recommends.


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