Thursday, April 21, 2016
Tribute: Guy Hamilton (1922-2016)
The world lost another remarkable talent from the world of film today.
Director Guy Hamilton (1922-20160, who helmed four early James Bond movies -- including Goldfinger (1964) -- has passed away.
With his work on Goldfinger, Hamilton did much to cement the tone and style of the Bond films. He brought a light, and even satirical touch to that film, which others attempted to emulate.
In other words, Hamilton gifted the Bond films, for lack of a better word, with real wit. The James Bond "craze" of the mid-1960s arose because of Goldfinger, so Hamilton's work establishing the franchise is crucial to an understanding of it.
Hamilton also directed the last of the Bond films to star Sean Connery in 1971, Diamonds Are Forever.
And he helped to establish Roger Moore in the role in that actor's 007 debut, Live and Let Die (1973) and its follow-up, The Man with the Golden Gun (1974).
Mr. Hamilton also directed one of my favorite cult movies of the 1980s, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985) which, sadly, did not produce a franchise.
Other films directed by Mr. Hamilton included two Agatha Christie murder mystery adaptations -- The Mirror Crack'd (1978), and Evil Under the Sun (1982). He also directed Force 10 from Navarone.
Not every filmmaker out there boasts the dexterity and discipline to operate -- for more than a decade -- at the top of the big studio game. But Hamilton not only managed that feat; he managed to imbue his films with his trademark style and humor.
He will be missed, and his films will be watched for years and decades to come.