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Recently, I've been commenting on films I haven't seen for years. At my age, It just seems about right to remark films that left decided impressions on me, many years ago.
As one reviewer remarked, this film was released shortly after Sean Connery's last appearance in the original James Bond series, with "Diamonds Are forever". I know of more than one friend who finds "DAF" an entertaining film. I was appalled when I first saw it and I am still appalled, a truly wretched film, and prophetic of the dip in class in the Bond films represented by Roger Moore.
So I was utterly delighted when I saw this film in an old movie-house in my home town a short while later. The experience was so pleasurable, I still remember that it was a snowy night, but not too cold; I remember the original poster advertising the film; and I remember that I felt personally disappointed that so few others were in the audience - the film disappeared within a week.
Hopkins' performance especially made the film memorable. I can still see his walk, how he carried a machine-gun, and his wry, somewhat jaded smile.
Everything about the film is "Bond on a low budget"; and the fact that MacLean actually wrote the script tells me that this was probably intentional - the Bond films, after all, had borrowed heavily from earlier films based on Maclean novels, while at the same time effectively burying them - "The Guns of Navarone" is well-remembered, but only brought out of mothballs for the Turner Movie Channel every now and again, but everyone owns a copy of "Goldfinger".
Yet it is this quality - which I recognized at once on initial viewing - that endeared the film for me forever - Producer Albert Brocolli had turned Bond into a clown; MacLean returned my hero to me as I always imagined him.
I think that says something positive about this one.
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