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Three James Bond actors and main producers all have the same favourite 007 film | Films | Entertainment

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Sean Connery and Lois Maxwell on the set of From Russia with Love

James Bond icon Sean Connery and Miss Moneypenny actress Lois Maxwell (Image: GETTY)

There have been 25 official EON James Bond films so far, from Dr No to No Time To Die. Plus, of course, the non-canon Peter Sellers spoof Casino Royal and Sean Connery‘s rogue Never Say Never Again. Everyone has their favourite 007 actors and films, but one stands far out in front, according to those involved.

It was listed by legendary original Bond producer Albert ‘Cubby’ Broccoli as one of his three favourite 007 films, saying, “it was with this film that the Bond style and formula were perfected.” The other two were Goldfinger and The Spy Who Loved Me.

His daughter Barbara Broccoli and her step-brother Michael G Wilson (who now produce the franchise together) also named it as their choice. Miss Moneypenny star Lois Maxwell selected this movie as her favourite – as did Timothy Dalton when he was asked at the Bond 40th Anniversary celebrations.

Daniel Craig named it as his top choice – although he has cheekily also plumped for Goldfinger in a different interview. But now you can cross one of the most likely films off your list.

The classic thriller is back on TV screens today, but before we reveal it, let’s see if you can figure out which one it is with our trail of clues – starting with the most obscure and frankly ridiculous…

Daniel Craig with Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson

Daniel Craig with Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson (Image: GETTY)

Timothy Dalton James Bond

Timothy Dalton reveals his favourite James Bond film (Image: GETTY)

More than one James Bond film features our heroes fleeing or tussling with rodents, but this one actually involved the completely misjudged use of chocolate before the entire production was forced to fly to Spain.

For a scene where hordes of rats were needed to swarm in one direction, the original shoot in England had to use lab rats because it is illegal to use wild ones here. They were coated in cocoa to make them look like their wild sewer cousins. The creatures, of course, just wanted to lick themselves and each other, and the whole segment had to be reshot in Madrid.

Another disruption was caused by the early morning starts when Bond Girl actress Daniela Bianchi’s chauffeur fell asleep at the wheel and crashed. The 21-year-old starlet suffered facial bruising, requiring two weeks’ recovery time.

Sean Connery and Daniela Bianchi on the set of From Russia With Love

Sean Connery and Bond Girl Daniela Bianchi (Image: GETTY)

Director Terence Young (which narrows your options down) had a far scarier close escape when his helicopter went down over water. He was trapped below the surface for quite some time but displayed grit to match his fictional character and resumed work as soon as he was rescued – with his arm in a sling.

Another helicopter almost crashed into Sean Connery when the inexperienced pilot flew far too close to the actor on the ground. It made for exciting footage, though, which you can actually see in the finished cut.

Mexican star Pedro Armendáriz discovered he had terminal cancer before he took the part of villain Kerim Bey, and wanted to ensure some financial security for his wife. His health suddenly deteriorated while filming in Istanbul and the production was immediately moved to the UK and all his scenes were shot as soon as possible. Later, Young and a stunt double would fill in for him when he could no longer work. A month later, he shot himself in his Los Angeles hospital.

Robert Shaw and Lotte Lenya

James Bond villains Robert Shaw and Lotte Lenya (Image: SG)

The iconic and very brutal fight on board the Orient Express takes up less than seven minutes of screen time but took three long weeks to film – with the actors themselves performing much of the action. Connery, of course, had a background in boxing. His co-star Robert Shaw may have had a rather harder time.

He was so much shorter than the 007 star, he had to stand on boxes in many of their scenes. However, it all paid off since his performance caught the eye of Steven Spielberg, who cast him in Jaws.

His fellow villain, Lotte Lenya’s Rosa Klebbe, wore those iconic shoes with the terrifying poisoned blade that shoot out from the toes. Incredibly, they were based on actual KGB spy hardware.

So, we now know that our film starred the original James Bond, Sean Connery – but did you know he was only paid £9,000 for a film which became the most profitable in UK cinema history? He later said: “There was a constant conflict between the producers and myself about the monetary returns that were never really resolved until I came back for Diamonds (Are Forever).”

This was the film that changed Ian Fleming’s opinion about Sean Connery’s acting after he had initially been vehemently and vocally opposed to the casting of the Scot, calling him an “overgrown stuntman.” The author was so impressed he also changed Bond’s ancestry in the books, giving him Scottish roots to match the actor’s nationality.

And so, here we are, by now all the clues (and the video clip’s title!) point to the second Bond movie, 1963’s Cold War masterpiece, From Russia With Love.

Connery, himself, chose a non-Bond film as his absolute favourite of his own work, but also named his 007 pick in an interview with the Golden Globes: “The Man Who Would Be King is probably my favorite, and John Huston will forever be my favourite director. On the Bond front, it would be From Russia With Love, because that story worked.”

And who’s going to argue with him? Have you seen that fight on the train?

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE IS ON ITV TODAY AT 4.15PM



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