Website last updated: 21-3-2024

Director John Glen On His James Bond Films

By: Anders Frejdh
John glen intervju
John Glen was born in Sunbury-on-Thames, England on May 15th 1932.

After an exciting childhood dodging World War Two bombs he started work at Shepperton Studios as a messenger. Graduating to the cutting rooms, he eventually became a film editor. His career as a director started with shooting close shots of gadgets and car chases for TV series.

Legendary producer Albert "Cubby" Broccoli noticed his editing work on the Bond films On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979) (1979) and invited him to become the director on For Your Eyes Only in 1980, starring Sir Roger Moore.

Like the great director Alfred Hitchcock Mr Glen put in a special personal trademark in all of the five James Bond films he directed between 1981 to 1989; For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983) (1983), A View to a Kill (1985), The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989) (This is the record so far, no one else have directed more Bond films than Mr Glen). His 007 films feature a scene where James Bond is startled by the sudden flight of one or more pigeons. Glen's Bond movies also feature at least one character falling to their death from an airplane, ironically with each character performing the same scream.

Besides working on the James Bond film series John Glen has a long list of credits working with big names like; Catherine Zeta-Jones, Christopher Lambert, Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Ian Holm, Louis Gossett Jr, Lee Marvin, Marlon Brando, Peter O'Toole, Richard Burton, Richard Harris and Tom Selleck. He has also worked with Sir Roger Moore in a few non-Bond films like Gold (1974), Shout at the Devil (1976), The Wild Geese (1978), and The Sea Wolves (1980).

Glen is very good friends with Sir Roger Moore after their long collaboration together and Sir Roger once commented John's work by saying: "John would keep all the very worst takes, including me scratching my crotch or blinking whenever I fired a gun. All in good fun, and incredibly bad taste, and most definitely for our eyes only."

John is still active in the film industry but now takes time to travel with his wife, Janine, between his homes in London and Western Australia. They also enjoy golf and play all around the world. Mr Glen currently play off handicap 23, two of his favourite courses is The Vines in Western Australia and Gerrards Cross in British Buckinghamshire.

Glen is a keen gardener, has three children (Andrew, Matthew & Samantha) and seven grandchildren which keep him busy.

More information about John Glen can be found by reading his wonderful autobiography For My Eyes Only published in 2001. It gives a fascinating read about the world of film making. Highly recommended although it is now out of print but a copy can be found on Amazon: (UK hardcover version from B T Batsford Ltd) (US paperback edition from Brassey's Inc)

(This interview was published simultaneously on Roger Moore's official website)



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Founder & Managing Editor: Anders Frejdh