Website last updated: 26-11-2021

Auction of The Lewis Gilbert Film Script and Production Archive

By: Anders Frejdh
Published:
2021-10-11
Lewis Gilbert Film Script and Production Archive
Bellmans Auctioneers in the UK has announced the auction of The Lewis & Hylda Gilbert Collection on Tuesday 16th and Thursday 18th November 2021. The Gilbert Collection from Sheldrake Place, Kensington, includes The Lewis Gilbert Film Script and Production Archive featuring some lots of particular interest for James Bond collectors.

Film Director, Producer and Screenwriter Lewis Gilbert (1920-2018), best known for his 007 movies and Alfie (1966), was married to his wife Hylda (1919-2005) for 53 years. Born into an antique dealer's family, Hylda a beautiful, supportive, elegant film director's wife had a career in modelling, but as a theatre lover she was actively involved in spotting potential future films for her husband, a number of which ranked amongst Lewis' most successful titles. Lewis Gilbert made more than 40 films during a directorial career spanning six decades, including three Bond movies - You Only Live Twice (1967), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979). He had his international breakthrough with Alfie (1966), which also launched Michael Caine's international career.

The Lewis Gilbert Film Script and Production Archive is the first substantial private archive associated with a British film director to come up for public auction. Spanning over 40 years of diverse British film classics from one much accoladed director, it embraces several landmarks in British culture and cinema history. The collection largely focuses on Gilbert's major commercial triumphs: Alfie, his three Bond titles, Educating Rita (1983) and Shirley Valentine (1989). It includes Gilbert’s personal scripts, at various stages of a production’s development; also correspondence, agreements, press material, some storyboards, stills, contact sheets, snap-shots, premiere programmes and a wealth of associated ephemera (see some highlights below).

Lewis Gilbert was regarded by all who knew him as a true gentleman. He treated everybody on the set in the same way, from the tea ladies to the stars. He was a family man who always made time for his close relatives and friends, some of whom were his actors. He was particularly close to Sir Roger Moore, from their first Bond collaboration in 1977 to his death in 2017, the year before Gilbert. The two shared a sense of humour, which Lewis encapsulated into his direction of Moore's portrayal of James Bond. It was this that Gilbert attributed to the success of the two Bonds he made with Moore, accentuating his difference to Sean Connery and winning everyone over to his 007 successor.

Lewis Gilbert and Roger Moore
Lewis Gilbert and Roger Moore.

The Lewis Gilbert Film Script and Production Archive highlights


Alfie (1966) the film which shot Lewis Gilbert and his unknown lead Michael Caine to international stardom. Alfie was nominated for 5 Academy Awards including: Best Picture for Lewis Gilbert and Best Actor in a leading role for Michael Caine. It won three BAFTAs including Best British Actor for Michael Caine; and was nominated for three others including Best British Film for Lewis Gilbert. At Cannes, Lewis Gilbert with Alfie won the Jury Special Prize and was nominated for the Palm d’Or. The film also won four Golden Globes including Best Director for Lewis Gilbert and Best Actor for Michael Caine, and was nominated for three others.

Alfie’s success brought Gilbert his first Bond film You Only Live Twice (1967), followed a decade later by The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), and by Moonraker (1979) two years after that.


The first of Gilbert's 007 hat trick is represented by three lots in the archive. An original typescript of the screenplay written by Roald Dahl inscribed inside with the director’s name and including minor annotations is estimated at £3,000 - £5,000. Also vintage photographs taken on the set and during location scouts range in estimate from £200 - £500. A unique scrapbook including press clippings and ephemera such as premiere tickets, photographs and telegrams is expected to fetch £600 - £800.

Lewis Gilbert with Tetsuro Tamba, Akiko Wakabayishi and Sean Connery on the set of You Only Live Twice
Lewis Gilbert with Tetsuro Tamba, Akiko Wakabayishi and Sean Connery on the set of You Only Live Twice.

Lewis Gilbert and Hylda Gilbert at the premiere of You Only Live Twice in 1967
Lewis Gilbert and Hylda Gilbert at the premiere of You Only Live Twice in 1967.

Gilbert’s second Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), probably the best of the Roger Moore-era Bonds, has the largest number of scripts associated with a single film title in this archive. One script, labelled ‘Mr Lewis Gilbert’ with an alternative ending to the screenplay and minor annotations, carries an estimate of £2,000 - £3,000; and a fourth draft inscribed with producer Michael Wilson’s name is estimated at £1,500 - £2,000. The final shooting script from 12 July 1976, with a call sheet, and a handwritten list of times and characters, as well as a copy of a memo addressed to Albert R. Broccoli, and a note about ski equipment needed for filming, is estimated to sell for £2,500 - £3,500. A large folder containing xeroxed storyboard drawings on thick card carries an estimate of £800 - £1,200.

Lewis Gilbert on the set of The Spy Who Loved Me
Lewis Gilbert on the set of The Spy Who Loved Me.

Gilbert’s third Bond film Moonraker (1979), his second with Roger Moore as 007, is represented by one lot in the Archive. It comprises an original film script, and a press still of Roger Moore with Lois Chiles, Lewis Gilbert and Cubby Broccoli and is estimated at £2,500 - £3,500.

Cubby Broccoli, Roger Moore, Lois Chiles and Lewis Gilbert promoting Moonraker 1979
Albert R. 'Cubby' Broccoli, Roger Moore, Lois Chiles and Lewis Gilbert promoting Moonraker 1979.

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