007 MAGAZINE - The World's Foremost James Bond Resource!

EXCLUSIVE ARTICLE

 
 

“The One and Only… meets The Man With No Name”
Although made in 1964, A Fistful of Dollars, the first of Sergio Leone’s so-called ‘spaghetti westerns’, was not screened in London until May 1967, when it received less than rave reviews and a very limited release. After its success in the US and its sequel For A Few Dollars More (1965), United Artists decided to re-release the two together on a double-bill in 1969, and later also paired them with two James Bond films. Although advertised as a double-bill and posters were printed (basically the two double-crown poster for each film with additional text), cinemagoers had to be over 16 years old to see the Clint Eastwood films as they were given an ‘X’ certificate when first classified by the British Board of Film Censors. You Only Live Twice went out with A Fistful of Dollars and briefly played at the London Pavilion in May 1971 (and provincially in October/November 1971); whilst Goldfinger was paired with For A Few Dollars More and screened at the London Pavilion for three weeks in June/July 1971 and in selected provincial cinemas during October/November 1971. A third combination of Dr. No/The Good, The Bad and The Ugly also played in Dublin during the same period, and again in June 1972. A double-bill of From Russia With Love and Hang ‘Em High (a 1968 western also starring Clint Eastwood) played in provincial cinemas in early 1972.

Goldfinger/For A Few Dollars More - London Pavilion 1971

You Only Live Twice/A Fistful of Dollars double-bill
Dr. No-Goldfinger double-bill 1971

“The One and Only… James Bond is Back!”
Sean Connery's return as 007 was announced in March of 1971 and shooting on Diamonds Are Forever began the following month. In the interim there were many re-releases of Connery's earlier Bond films utilising the tag-line "The One And Only!" - as if to erase the existence of George Lazenby from the public's memory forever. A double-bill of Dr. No/Goldfinger could be booked by cinema managers at this time - the pair had been successfully re-released in the United States in 1966. No quad-crown poster was created for this release but cinemas could order the double-crown posters for each film to create their own foyer displays. Throughout 1971/1972 all of Sean Connery's Bond films could either be seen on double-bills with the Clint Eastwood films or another film from the Eon series. The Dr.No/Goldfinger double-bill played in Dublin in February 1973 under the 'Big, Brilliant Bondshell!' banner, and in Manchester as late as August 1973 just before the general release of Live And Let Die.

Dr. No/Thunderball Odeon South Shields 1972

You Only Live Twice/A Fistful of Dollars - Odeon Bournemouth 1971

From Russia With Love/Hang 'Em High double-bill

ABOVE: (top) Dr. No/Thunderball at the Odeon South Shields - the double-bill  played in selected regional cinemas  from July - October 1972 accompanied by an eye-catching quad-crown poster. (bottom left) You Only Live Twice/A Fistful of Dollars at the Odeon Bournemouth in 1971. You Only Live Twice was also paired with Guns of the Magnificent Seven (1969) in some cinemas in 1972. (bottom right) A double-bill of From Russia With Love and Hang ‘Em High (1968) played in provincial cinemas in early 1972.

Diamonds Are Forever newspaer advertisement

Diamonds Are Forever opened at the Odeon Leicester Square on December 30, 1971 and was the only James Bond film ever not to have a premiere in London. The film was first released in West Germany on December 14, 1971 and in the United States four days later. Sean Connery had attended the London press screening on December 29th bringing Roger Moore as his guest, fuelling speculation that he would be cast as the next James Bond. Connery later attended the Gala Scottish Premiere that was held at the Odeon Theatre, Clerk Street, Edinburgh on Friday January 14, 1972. The premiere was held in aid of the Scottish International Education Trust, which Sean Connery had founded in 1971 using the $1 million fee he received for returning as James Bond in Diamonds Are Forever.

Diamonds Are Forever release dates 1971/72

Diamonds Are Forever once again broke box-office records at the Odeon Leicester Square, taking almost £35,000 in its first week. The film then went on general release from March 26, 1972 when the majority of its audience would see it. Diamonds Are Forever also played at the London Pavilion from February 24, 1972 finishing its initial London engagement at the Odeon Leicester Square on March 25, but was still on general release across the UK until August. The Gala Royal, Tottenham Court Road then screened Diamonds Are Forever from May 14 to September 30, 1972.

Diamonds Are Forever London Pavilion 1972

ABOVE: Double-crown advance posters appeared on London buses to advertise the opening of Diamonds Are Forever at the Odeon Leicester Square in December 1971. (main picture & below) Diamonds Are Forever at the London Pavilion in early 1972.

Diamonds Are Forever at the London Pavilion in 1972.


JAMES BOND NEWS

James Bond UK posters

 FACT FILES