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The Battle for Bond: The Genesis of Cinema's Greatest Hero
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The Battle for Bond: The Genesis of Cinema's Greatest Hero

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Cinema history might have been different had the first James Bond film not been Dr. No starring Sean Connery, but instead Thunderball directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Richard Burton as Bond. It sounds unbelievable, but it almost happened. This book unravels the story behind the most controversial part of the James Bond legend.
Paperback, 264 pages
Published January 21st 2008 by Tomahawk Press (GA) (first published August 10th 2007)
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Aaron Cooley
Aug 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
The blackest eye on the Bond franchise is the 1961 plagiarism suit brought against Fleming. Before Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman bought the rights to the books and made DR. NO, Fleming developed a Bond screenplay called THUNDERBALL with producer Kevin McClory and screenwriter Jack Whittingham. When this project failed to get off the ground, Fleming turned the script into his next Bond novel – without crediting his collaborators. The series of legal actions chronicled in this book ultimately ...more
Malcolm Frawley
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
The most successful movie franchise in cinematic history contains a lot more intrigue than who was the best Bond. The behind the scenes battle for the rights to the character, & the Thunderball book (Fleming's book came after the screenplay, & there's a suggestion here that plagiarism occurred), is a no holds barred tale of ego, greed, pride, legal action, & money - lots of it. Fascinating for any movie buff, & even more so for those of us of an age to believe Connery was the best. As he obvious ...more
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This story, about the 50 year trademark and libel lawsuit involving the Bond franchise, mostly concerning the Thunderball story is, despite occasionally poor writing, often more exciting than any Bond movie itself. Neither Ian Fleming nor Kevin McClory come out well here, and you find yourself really only feeling bad for Jack Whittingham, who came up with many of the ideas in the first place, had the misfortune of the defendant, Ian Fleming dying in the middle of his "open and shut" lawsuit and ...more
Matthew Kresal
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Covering the tumultuous story behind the James Bond novel and film Thunderball, Robert Sellers book is a godsend for Bond fans. Starting in the late 1950s, readers are there at the beginning as Ian Fleming, desperate to bring his literary character to the screen, meets filmmaker Kevin McClory. What seems like a match in heaven turns out to be anything but when McClory's ambitions didn't match reality and Fleming, as he had done before with various Bond TV pitches, turned their intended film into ...more
Simon Billinton
Jan 02, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Harry  Steele
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite-books
A must read for Bond fans or anyone with a slight interest in how legends are made (and behind-the-scenes warfare).

Honestly, Ian Fleming was a prick
Feb 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Jack Lugo
May 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Robert Sellers' book is a must-read for Bond fans and anyone interested in Film / Hollywood history. Here we learn all the details of the Kevin McClory legal battles that have affected the Bond franchise from 1963 all the way up until very recently when EON finally obtained the rights to SPECTRE and the character of Bloefeld. It also provides insights into the lives of Kevin McClory and Jack Whittingham and the role each of these men played in the legacy of James Bond. Whittingham penned the fir ...more
Thomas Strömquist
"I was aware of the complicated situation regarding the screenplay (and later novel) Thunderball as rumours circulated about this (as well as "Casino Royale", the other story with differing right ownership) being remade by a rival company (which happened in the form of "Never say never again" in 1983). The background and stakeholders where nowhere near clear to me though and it is a very interesting story. The book is a lot more though, I would imagine anyone with a movie interest will find it i ...more
Tim Jopling
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Really good read this. It covers the history of bringing James Bond to the screen and the role Kevin McClory played together with those we already know about, Cubby Broccolli and Harry Saltzman. Anyone who is interested in Bond should read this book, it is fascinating and includes all the correspondence from Ian Fleming, McClory and others at the time the author was trying to bring James Bond the screen. I have to say though I do feel sorry for McClory and Jack Whittingham too (the original writ ...more
Sean Seger
Jun 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent look into the machinations and moves by the many players involved in bringing James Bond to the big screen. I felt the author was a bit sympathetic to McClory above all other players and it seemed that sympathy clouded his perception of Fleming, but those complaints are minor. Definitely worth the read if you are a James Bond fan.
Dec 13, 2010 rated it liked it
The fascinating story of James Bond's journey from books to movies. What makes it so interesting are all the excerpts from private letters and court cases, which spell out all sorts of nasty backstabbing and broken promises. Not particularly well-written, but worthwhile for Bond fans and for those interested in Hollywood's darker side.
Robert Burnett
Apr 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in both Bond and the business of Hollywood.

Kevin McClory is one of the great cautionary tales from Hollywood The guy produced THUNDERBALL and NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN, yet went to his grave in the oughts STILL trying to sue for the rights to Bond.

Truly sad.

But a monumentally compelling tale...!

Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Terrific research
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