Saturday, May 18, 2013

An Excellent 10 Memorable Spy Novel Film Adaptations (VIDEO) by Max Allan Collins

  1. Dr. No Poster Artwork – Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Joseph Wiseman ...

From Huffington Post
Max Allan Collins:

The success of the first four film adaptations of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels, beginning with Dr. No (1962), ignited a world-wide explosion of spy movies, fueled by the realities and anxieties of the Cold War. But movies made from spy novels had been around since the silent days.

E. Phillip Oppenheim (1866-1946), the Ian Fleming of his era, had several dozen of his works adapted to the screen before the advent of sound. In 1936, both Joseph Conrad and W. Somerset Maugham were source material for Alfred Hitchcock during his British years -Sabotage from Conrad's Secret Agent (1907) and, confusingly, Secret Agent adapted from Maugham's Ashendon: Or the British Agent.
British author Eric Ambler - more the John Le Carre of his day than the Ian Fleming - provided the source novels for such films as The Mask of Dimitrios (1939), Journey into Fear (1943) and Topaki (1964), parodied in The Pink Panther (1963). A screenwriter himself (notably A Night to Remember, 1958), Ambler's success as a master of fictional espionage undoubtedly inspired many other novelists and filmmakers, but did not spark a craze in the manner of Fleming. Of course, in fairness to Ambler, neither has anyone before or since.

Fleming had little if any basis in the espionage novelists just mentioned. Despite Fleming's own WW 2 service in counter-espionage, James Bond was derived in large part from fanciful UK sources - the jingoistic adventures of Sapper's Bulldog Drummond, the sophisticated crime-fighting of Leslie Charteris' the Saint, and the super-villainy of Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu. American tough guy fiction played a big role, as well, in the development of Bond - Fleming was much an admirer of Raymond Chandler and his private eye Phillip Marlowe, though the guns-and-girls approach of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer was the major commercial influence.

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