It is my humble opinion that Albert R. Broccoli was an over-rated hack.
Why do I think that? Well, this is the hit rate when he was co-producing
8/9 (The Man With the Golden Gun is the only movie out of the 9 that receives a great deal of negative criticism)
Here is the hit rate after Saltzman left-
2/8 (from The Spy Who Loved Me through GoldenEye)
Now, I know these hit rates are really my opinion only, but I just think
Cubby was a bit rubbish. It's probably not all his fault that the movies
of the 80s were uninspired (weaker original stories, an older star, stodgy
direction) but even the weaker Saltzman movies have more cheeky power than,
say, For Your Eyes Only.
And of course, under his helmsmanship, the series reached a new financial
low. The Man With the Golden Gun might not have been a big hit but by that time Harry had all but left. On Her Majesty's Secret Service might have taken a relatively tiny amount compared to the Connery Bonds but it still did well for a film with a new lead actor.
Contrast this with the late Moore era. $152 million or so for A View to a Kill might sound good but it isn't. A well established Bond like Moore should've been making
closer to $180 or $190 million. Then there were the lacklustre Dalton takes and
Cubby didn't really have a hand in Bond's rejuvenation either. Michael G.
Wilson and Barbara Broccoli have produced the last four Brosnan movies,
not him. Sure, he might've made a few important decisions in the run up
to GoldenEye, but he had gotten very ill since 1989. Do you seriously think
that he took a dominating role in the new Bond? I don't.
Also, take a look at the movies. You might like A View to a Kill, Octopussy and Licence to Kill. If so, good for you...I have no objection. But they have less real invention than the first 9 movies. Ask a regular guy on the street for a scene from
For Your Eyes Only and I bet you they'll draw a blank. Ask them about one from Goldfinger
and they'll say the laser table scene. Let us not forget that he was the
sole producer behind The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, the two most derivative Bond films
ever. Considering they came after the relatively original The Man With the Golden Gun, it goes
some way to show how dull Cubby was without Harry taking even a minor role.
I don't think Cubby had a genuinelly good grasp of what made great movie
Bond. His idea of getting Bond back to basics is nothing like From Russia With Love, which
he would probably claim it was. For Your Eyes Only is considerably more action packed
and silly than From Russia With Love was.
So maybe I haven't convinced you that Cubby is over-rated. Maybe a different
message you can take from this thread is that Harry Saltzman is far too
overlooked. Cubby was fairly good at the business side of things, but I
am pretty certain it was Harry who came up with the creative decisions.
There is a rather wonderful but tellingly short documentary on the From Russia With Love DVD about him which seems to hint as much.
By the way, I want to take this opportunity to assure you I am not having a dig
at Roger/Tim/Pierce. I think that if Harry had stayed on Roger's Bond
worked much better.
Anyway, take from this article what you will.
Article written by Allan Johnstone (sausagebrigade)