Website last updated: 7-5-2024

Book review: The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia

By: Brian Smith
The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia review
It’s just as well the Scandinavian forests used in the mass-production of book cases are sustainable. Otherwise, the number of books written about the James Bond phenomenon in the last 35 years would be catastrophic for the environment. No such problem existed in the early 1980s when there were only two film books. One was James Bond In The Cinema, a witty film-by-film synopsis written by long-time Starburst columnist John Brosnan. The other was Steven Jay Rubin’s The James Bond Films, a behind-the-scenes history of the making of the movies.

Steve Rubin is an American James Bond fan who at the time worked in Hollywood as a publicist for Columbia and United Artists. First published in 1981 ‘after four tough, problem filled, hassle plagued years’ The James Bond Films offered an amazing insight into the world of 007 movie-making, and remains in this writer’s top ten books about Bond. As this was an unofficial book, none of the photographs came from Eon Productions (actually part of its charm) although Rubin did interview many of the key personnel working on the films to tell an authoritative history of the series at that time. An updated edition was published to include Octopussy (1983) and Never Say Never Again (1983) a couple of years later.

Rubin followed this in 1990 with The Complete James Bond Movie Encyclopedia which received updates in 1995 and 2002. It has now been completely revamped as The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia.

Not only is this new edition bang up-to-date including No Time To Die, some of the existing entries have been revisited too and 90% of the photographs are new to this edition.

Whilst it’s a given that Robert Shaw will feature in the book, only a dedicated Bond historian such as Rubin would include a biography of an uncredited player like Maxwell Shaw. It is a well-written, well researched tome.

Even in an age when information is available at the touch of a keyboard, The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia is not only a valuable reference book, but a cracking good read too.

One could do no worse than reading it á la Honey Ryder and starting at ‘A’.

Review by Brian James Smith. Copyright © 2021 From Sweden with Love. All rights reserved.

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