Website last updated: 17-7-2024

Guy Hamilton celebrated at Atlántida Film Fest in Mallorca

By: Anders Frejdh
Guy Hamilton celebration Bellver Castillo Palma
The life and work of four-time Bond film director Guy Hamilton was celebrated in his adopted home in Spain courtesy of Cosme Bonet of Consell de Mallorca and the Mallorca Film Commission to help launch the Atlántida Film Fest 2017.

Hamilton was born in France but had fallen in love with Mallorca just before production commenced on the Agatha Christie thriller, Evil Under the Sun in the early Eighties. When he retired with his wife and actress, Kerima, he built a home on top of a mountain facing the sea on Port d’Andratx, and lived there until his passing on April 20, 2016, at the age of 93.

On June 27th, festivities began with Britt Ekland (Mary Goodnight from the director’s last 007 film, The Man with the Golden Gun) unveiling an Aston Martin DB5 (the same model that appeared in the director’s first 007 film Goldfinger), on exhibition in the Casa Solleric in Palma until 31st July.

Guy Hamilton A Life Behind the Scenes in Palma Mallorca
Guy Hamilton A Life Behind the Scenes in Palma Mallorca
Ekland explained her Bond memories, "I really wanted that role, I told Cubby Broccoli and I went to a casting in the States. On the way back I read in a British paper that a new Bond girl had been chosen, I was over the moon, only to find out that it was Maud Adams. I was mortified. I got home to London and Broccoli called me in, gave me the script and said ‘you’ve got the part’.” The actress went on to say, “But working with Guy taught me a lot, I had already acted in a number of big film, no less The Wicker Man, but Guy was extremely strict and I think, because of my age [32] he was a bit unsure of me. But there was never any messing about on set, although off set Roger and I got on extremely well and were always having parties and leaping into swimming pools and the like. Remember it was the 60s and 70s and cinema was very male dominated by some of the greatest male actors ever, so it was tough for women to break through and I was always a bit nervous around Guy who knew exactly what he wanted and always got the right results. He directed four Bond films on merit, he was perfect for the job and all the other great films he made."

The Swedish star reconnected with Hamilton in 2006, “But, it wasn’t until he and I went to Canada on a promotional trip [Vue sur Bond] that he finally realised that I was smart as well as a beautiful Swede,” she joked. “And from then on we were friends for life and he was always inviting me to Majorca but I lived in LA and it was not easy to pop over. But here I am today and I am extremely proud to have played a part in Guy’s wonderful life.” The car had been taken over from Germany especially for the exhibit on loan from Steffen Appel, owner of the car. Distinguished members of the international press were present while a string trio played Bond music and Belvedere Martinis, shaken not stirred, of course, were enjoyed by a thirsty crowd.

Pedro Barbadillo, Frank Hamilton, Britt Ekland, Esther Hamilton and Anders Frejdh in Palma Mallorca
Guy Hamilton A Life Behind the Scenes in Palma Mallorca
Guy Hamilton A Life Behind the Scenes in Palma Mallorca
That same evening, the film festival was launched properly at the Castell de Bellver, a castle on the hill around Palma. The opening gala featured the Chamber Film Orchestra who played Spanish versions of the music from Hamilton’s Bond film which also include Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Live and Let Die (1973). Other music cues were from the directors non-Bond movies such as Funeral In Berlin, Force 10 From Navarone and Evil Under the Sun. Seated under the stars within the circular walls of the castle battlements, the audience were addressed by Britt Ekland repeated her sentiments expressed earlier about reuniting with Guy at the Vue sur Bond in Quebec.

Guy Hamilton Atlantida Film Fest Bellver Castillo Mallorca
Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson then appeared together on stage and Michael spoke warmly. He recalled Guy, “was asked to direct the first James Bond film, Dr. No, but he had other commitments. Finally, producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman got Guy to do the third film, Goldfinger. Guy and the producers gathered together a dream team of professionals and that team stayed together making James Bond films for the next two decades with just a few changes. Many critics and fans think that Goldfinger is the blueprint that provides the elements necessary to make a classic James Bond film: the pre-title sequence that’s a mini story in itself, the spectacular opening credits, a memorable title number, Ken Adam sets, John Barry music, a sinister obsessed villain with a wicked sense of humour, an invincible henchman, gadgets such as the DB5 Aston Martin, exotic locations and a strong female romantic interest. Goldfinger was the first film in the Bond series to incorporate all of these elements.”

Also present was Charles “Jerry” Juroe who had been Head of Publicity during the early days of EON Productions. Finally, Shakespeare-in-Love actor Joseph Fiennes took to the stage and shared a memory of his older cousin, the explorer Ranulph Fiennes, who had met with Guy to play Bond around 1970. Fiennes recalled to the audience’s amusement, his cousin had been rejected for the role for looking too much like a farmer. Joseph, of course, the younger brother of actor, Ralph Fiennes, the current M. Fiennes then presented an award from the Island Council to bestow the title Adopted Son of Mallorca posthumously to the filmmaker. The special sculpture was given Hamilton’s son, Frank, who gave an impromptu emotion-packed speech.

Guy Hamilton Homenatge Chamber Film Orchestra Castillo Mallorca
Sir Roger Moore was originally also invited to come but most sadly couldn’t due to his recent fight with cancer. But he kindly sent a message that was featured in the gala presentation which also featured many candid behind-the-scenes photos from Guy’s film productions. Ekland was full of praise for the late actor, “I beg to find anyone in this world who has a bad word to say about him. He was charming, polite, a true gentleman and a great help on set. He was also extremely amusing, always up for some fun and he and I established a lifelong relationship. I often helped him on his UNESCO [UNICEF] campaigns and we were in contact until the very end, the last time I saw him we drank champagne and laughed about our lives. I will never ever forget either of these great men who I had the wonderful privilege to have worked with and learn from.”

Sir Roger Moore letter about Guy Hamilton
The following day, June 28th, Goldfinger was screened at the Centre du Cultura in the Palma with an introduction by Pedro Barbadillo and a noted Spanish film critic to a warm reception from a packed house. The film, played with Spanish subtitles, to an appreciative audience in the Ken Adam-esque venue.

From Sweden With Love was grateful to return kindness showed to it by the late director and was happy to support the event by arranging for video and text messages commemorating the director from Oscar winning dubbing editor Norman Wanstall, and the notable members of the cast of Guy Hamilton's Diamonds Are Forever including Thumper aka actress Trina Parks, and Mr Wint and Mr Kidd themselves, Putter Smith and Bruce Glover respectively, as well as the only director to make more Bonds than Guy, John Glen. FSWL sourced and organised the appearance of the Aston Martin DB5. Frank Hamilton was appreciative, “From Sweden with Love was a fundamental part in the process leading up to the launch of the exhibition. Both Esther and I are very grateful for Anders Frejdh's efforts and assistance. It wouldn't have been possible without him.”

Steffen Appel and Anders Frejdh with the Aston Martin DB5
Media on Guy Hamilton Homenatge organised by Mallorca Film Commission

Yours truly would like to thank Ajay Chowdhury, Frank Anderson, Gernot Wolf, Hansi Zweigle, Mark Cerulli, Markus Hartmann, Stuart Kortekaas and Wolfgang Thurauf.

Copyright © 2017 From Sweden with Love. All rights reserved.



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