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Review of Bond, the Beatles and My Year with Marilyn

By: Brian Smith
Published:
2018-08-31
Bond, the Beatles and My Year with Marilyn review
When one thinks of the initial success of Dr. No (1962) and the early James Bond films, the names that rightly spring to mind are producers Albert. R Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, actor Sean Connery, director Terence Young, production designer Ken Adam, titles designer Maurice Binder and composer John Barry. The DNA of each and every one of them pervades the films to this day. However, the very nature of film marketing virtually renders the proponents anonymous. So although Charles “Jerry” Juroe does not immediately appear on the above list, one must acknowledge his important contribution to the series’ success. At the time of Dr No, he was United Artists’ director of European publicity and would later be brought into the fold as Director of Publicity for Eon Productions. Juroe’s contribution cannot be overstated. His new book, Bond, the Beatles and My Year with Marilyn, shines a light on this facet of the film business. It is also the first to be written by a marketer from the Bond series.

Jerry Juroe acknowledges that this is not an autobiography. It is a memoir of his professional life. That’s not to say there are no biographical elements, but these are included through the prism of his life in film. Detail on his early life in small-town America is there because he would sometimes stay with his father’s business associate and wife whose son was Eldred Gregory Peck. While in the army, Juroe got his first taste of Hollywood in the 1940s when tasked with escorting actresses from the studio to army bases to raise the morale of the troops. Later he would escort Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan around the world.

When he became a junior member of the publicity department whose main job was to sell movies, he quickly became aware that ‘massaging egos’ and ‘keeping certain “news” out of the public eye was just as important. This would put him in good stead by the time he worked with Marilyn Monroe in the late Fifties.

Over the years Juroe has worked for most of the major studios. During his time as director of TV and Radio at Paramount Juroe was instrumental in developing the concept of behind the scenes coverage and off-set star interviews, the forerunner of DVD extras and EPKs, essential today in any multi-media marketing campaign. He joined United Artists in the early Sixties and worked on the Pink Panther series, the Beatles’ films, Topkapi, Kartoum and What’s New Pussycat?, but it was his work on the first five Bond films that would shape his later career. His sterling work on these ensured that by the mid-Seventies Cubby Broccoli had him in his sights when he wanted an in-house Director of Publicity to market the agent with the licence to kill.

Along his ‘celebrity-filled Yellow Brick Road’, Juroe’s fifty-year career brought him into contact with the great and the good (and sometimes not so good) including filmmakers Cecil B. DeMille, Alfred Hitchcock and actors Bob Hope (an ‘absolute delight to work with’), Cary Grant (‘no sense of humor’), and Gloria Grahame, whose last years were the subject of the recent Barbara Broccoli production Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool.

The book is well illustrated with around eighty photographs, most of them from Juroe’s personal collection, and they are extremely well reproduced. Juroe writes with a deft touch, and although we probably find ourselves drawn to this book because of Bond, the non-Bond content is equally rich. Juroe’s year with Marilyn is perhaps the most fascinating part of the book. He recalls the time she filmed 1957’s The Prince and the Showgirl at Pinewood Studios (itself the subject of the film My Week With Marilyn).

If you have an interest in James Bond or cinema in general, this is the perfect book. It provides a rare glimpse into the fascinating world of film marketing during the last fifty years and Juroe’s reminiscences are a joy to read.


Charles Jerry Juroe with Roger Moore and Richard Kiel during Moonraker promotion
Photo above: Jerry Juroe on a promotion tour for Moonraker with Beatrice Libert, Toshiro Suga, Anne Lönnberg, Michael Lonsdale, Corinne Clery, Roger Moore, Blanche Ravalec, Richard Kiel, Irka Bochenko and Christopher Wood. Photo from Jerry's private collection.

Charles Jerry Juroe and Richard Kiel during Moonraker promotion
Jerry Juroe with Richard Kiel during the promotion tour for Moonraker. Photo from Jerry's private collection.

Review by Brian James Smith. Copyright © 2018 From Sweden with Love. All rights reserved.

>Order the book from Amazon.com (published in USA on 19th July, 2018)
>Order the book from Amazon UK (published in the UK on 30th September, 2018)

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