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John Glen- Nobody Does It Better

By Adam Farrington-Williams (FelixLeiter)
November 10, 2006


Whilst viewing all the Bond films again in one of my Bond marathons, it again became clear to me that John Glen's direction of the Bond series has not been surpassed to date.

A John Glen autographed photo
Furthermore, to demonstrate the luminosity Glen brought to the series, it is interesting to note that 'Octopussy' received praise from the one and only, Sean Connery, for its brilliant action sequences.

During my viewing of 'The Living Daylights' (Glen's 4th Bond film) his direction talents really shine through. From the energetic car chase, where Glen manages to capture the perfect pace of film, too the beautiful, upper-class Viennese setting. His method of film-making really is inspiring.

When I think of the great Bond action sequences, they are usually from the film's, where Glen was at the helm. The snow chase-sequence from 'For Your Eyes Only', the electrifying battle on top of Octopussy's train, the fight in and outside Kamal's Monsoon Palace, the chase across Gibraltar in the pre-title sequence of 'The Living Daylights', the car chase (as mentioned above) from the same film and numerous other action sequences from his final two Bond films.

Bond waterskiing in Licence to Kill
The two action sequences I particularly point interest to occur in 1989's 'Licence To Kill'. My favourite action sequence in the entire series is so enjoyable, not only for its Bondian content but how it's directed.

The scene I refer to is the water sequence, where 007 escapes his underwater attackers, water-skis a plane, takes control of the plane and flies off "like a little bird". Each time I view this part of the film the hair’s on the back of my neck stand on end. Glen’s marvellous vision make up this classy scene and without his precise sense of direction, the scene would not match up to its Bondian brilliance!

The second scene, I wish to point out is the final action sequence of 'Licence To Kill', where the two narcotics-carrying tankers chase each other around the rocky, mountainous Mexican terrain.

The final action sequence in Licence to Kill
Dubbed numerous times as the "best-directed action sequence" of the Bond series, Glen once again captures the mood and the intensity of the battle, whilst delivering a thoroughly entertaining conclusion to the Dalton era.

Glen's versatility is something on its own! Whether the action is fought out in the air or at ground level, his direction is truly masterful. He can deliver a superb action piece such as fought upon the Golden Gate Bridge (in 'A View To A Kill') or conversely present the audience with a breath-takingly intense final confrontation at Brad Whitaker's lair in Tangier.

With 'The Living Daylights' being voted best picture in Universal Exports’ 2005 Bondies Awards, the result surely adds more foundation to the view…Nobody Does It Better than John Glen!

Article written by Adam Farrington-Williams (FelixLeiter)

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