Author Topic: James Bond OO7 - the 1983 reissue that never happened  (Read 4535 times)

Offline cabmangray

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James Bond OO7 - the 1983 reissue that never happened
« on: December 30, 2018, 04:49:06 PM »
It is spring, 1984. I am one of the proprietors of a collectables store in New Jersey that handled sports cards, comics, buttons and of course movie posters. I have a new catalog ready for mailing and need to purchase some 8 1/2x11 envelopes to mail them out in. Rather than go to the nearest stationary store to get them, I decide to wait until Sunday where a flea market is held at a local drive in. I remember a man there offered all kinds of stationary items at better than wholesale prices. Sunday morning I drive up to the flea market and find the gentleman all set up with some customers waiting. While waiting for my turn I flip through a wire rack of sheet music he has set up. I notice that all the sheet music is from Unart, which was United Artist's music division. So, and I swear this is true, it was like a little bird landed on my shoulder and whispered "why don't you ask him if he has any movie posters? Go ahead, ask him". So I do. "Oh yeah, I have some of those, uh, James Bond posters". "Oh really? Well, what do you have?" "Oh I don't remember the names of all of them. The Doctor Said No, I Love Russia, We've Lived Twice. You know some of those." Ok, this guy has no idea what he has, but I ask him if he has any of them here today. "Oh no, I don't bring any of that stuff here." We talk a bit more and I discover that he lives in the next town from where the store is. He agrees to stop by on Thursday or Friday night when the store is open late. Thursday night he pulls up, I go out to meet him. He opens the trunk and inside is a big cardboard box. I open it and I'm not prepared for what's inside. 50 copies of Dr. No, 75 From Russia With Love, 100 You Only Live Twice, 40 On Her Majesty's Secret Service. My head is spinning, but I notice something strange about them. They are all brand new, 27x41 1-sheets folded outward with the titles printed in block letters on the lower right corner, just like new NSS 1-sheets. And none of them have the NSS warning on the bottom border. "What the hell are these?", I'm thinking? My first thought was they might be video posters, but I remembered that CBS/Fox produced their own posters, and OHMSS was not out on video at the time. I also thought "Maybe these are for 16mm showings?" I had no idea what they were for but I knew I was going to buy some of each. Then I asked him the $64,000. question, "Can you get more?" "Geez I hope so. I've been going into New York every week to sell them to some poster guy over there". I give him the titles of all the films he was missing. The next week he pulls up again with another box. Inside are between 50 - 75 copies over everything from Dr. No to For Your Eyes Only. But nothing from Diamonds Are Forever. No matter. I have a little more money this time so I buy a handful of each one. The weeks go by and slowly I am buying more and more of what he has. Pretty soon he stops going into NYC since I'm purchasing the entire load, week after week. One week he asks me "Are the Bond posters all you're interested in?" "Well, what else do you have?" In comes another large box filled with original tri folded 1-sheets and 3-sheets for films like WEST SIDE STORY, ONE TWO THREE, FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (style B), VERA CRUZ, THE KENTUCKIAN, along with 1980 reissue 1-sheets for THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY, FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE, MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, THE GREAT ESCAPE, SOME LIKE IT HOT. All of it mint and in fantastic condition. He has original eastern hemisphere lobby sets for DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, LIVE AND LET DIE, MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN and that strange 4 card set to FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE. One week he produces 2 packages of 50 window cards for A HARD DAYS NIGHT and OHMSS, still wrapped and sealed by the printer. It's incredible, but through it all no DAF 1-sheets. Not one. The weeks roll by and I'm making money, he's making money, I've got more Bond 1-sheets than I know what to do with, so everybody's happy. Until that fateful day when he tells me "Well, there's just one load left. There is no more". Shit. I tell him to go for the throat and grab it all but please, please get me some DAF 1-sheets. I need them and people are asking for them. A week later he delivers the last load and what was 100+ copies of each title has been reduced to between 5 - 12 copies each. And he brings me 10 DAF 1-sheets. Just 10? I ask him why he wouldn't bring me more. He pulls one out and shows me all of them have a MGM/UA sticker pasted over the original United Artists logo. This man was always very secretive and was constantly reminding me to not tell anyone where I was getting it all from, fearing it get back to whoever he was bribing to get into the warehouse and thus killing his entre into the vault. I always respected this and I never said a word to anyone since he was just protecting his source. It wasn't until later that I saw the true nature of what he was doing. He was looting the vault blind, filling box after box with key sets, loose stills, international posters, whatever he could get his hands on and for whatever films he could grab. He must have had at least 30 boxes filled to capacity with all manner of promotional material from the UA vault. Simply amazing.

This is common knowledge but for beginners, there are ways to tell if the Bond 1-sheet you are purchasing is one of these reissues and not an original. The main tip off is the title of the film is printed in block letters on the bottom right corner on the reissues and the NSS warning is missing. All the reissue posters are printed on slick paper. If you are able to get a side by side comparison with a original copy, you can plainly see these differences as well:
DR. NO - This was shot from an original 1-sheet. You can see the original fold lines from the original across the middle of the poster through Bond and all 4 girls. The bottom fold line from the original is also visible across the feet of all 4 girls. I have also seen a error version of this with the yellow color missing; Bond is blue in this error version.
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE - This was also shot from a original folded 1-sheet. The top fold line is visible across the 2 photo blocks of the gypsy girl, the 2 gypsy girls fighting, and across Bond's shoulder. You can also see the middle fold across the photo block of Bond being chased by the helicopter.
GOLDFINGER - This is the easiest one to spot. The background is jet black whereas the original is a deep chocolate brown. The photos appear to have been replaced with newer sharper copies of the originals. The credits have been redone and the logo is in different type.
THUNDERBALL - Either a rolled 30x40 or 40x60 was used here. It has a solid green border around the art panels which cuts off the top of the jet pack. The colors are also about 2 shades darker than the original version.
YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE - The gyrocopter style was the only poster made. This looks like a hybrid of a original poster and reshot original art. If you look at the 1967 1-sheet, you can see the original painted canvas has been damaged with a long crack on the left side of the art running vertically through the sky and into the copters exhaust. It's plainly visible but not distracting. On the reissue it's extremely noticeable. It was printed much lighter on the reissue; the original has deeper colors.
ON HER MAJESTYS SECRET SERVICE - Again either a 30x40 or 40x60 was used. The colors here are about 2 or 3 shades darker than the 1969 original.
The remaining titles I had back in the day, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, LIVE AND LET DIE and MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN were all original eastern hemisphere 1-sheets with Saltzman and Broccoli credited, instead of Broccoli and Saltzman. The posters for SPY WHO LOVED ME, MOONRAKER and FOR YOUR EYES ONLY were standard issue NSS 1-sheets.

Now, after all this, the question remains "why?" Why were these posters printed and for what purpose? The best explanation I've been able to come up with is NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN. We all know that Broccoli hated the idea of a rival Bond production and did everything in his power to derail it. Since he couldn't stop it he would do his best to dilute it. If NSNA was outperforming OCTOPUSSY Broccoli would retaliate by reissuing double features of the older Bonds; A Connery and a Moore together in one show. NSNA was released, did OK but was not a threat to OCTOPUSSY's bottom line. A very limited reissue of MOONRAKER / FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE was released to a handful of theatres for 1 week, and the rest of reissue plans were dropped. This left piles of newly printed 1-sheets sitting in the UA vault which slowly leaked out into the hands of collectors and dealers. I still maintain that these posters were never part of the 1980 series. If you look at the credits on any of them, it plainly says "Copyright 1980 United Artists Corporation". If the Bonds were part of this reissue, don't you think they would have the same credit line on them as well? We know that lobby cards were produced with a "Copyright 1983 United Artists Corporation" credit on them, so why not 1-sheets? I believe that the posters were a rush job and UA simply didn't have time to adjust the credits. Just to add more fuel to the fire, a set of reissue ad mats popped up on eBay back in 2000 with the proposed double features. I have never seen these ad mats appear again but I did print out images from the listing; very badly I may add. The double features were going to be MOONRAKER / FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, FOR YOUR EYES ONLY / GOLDFINGER, SPY WHO LOVED ME / DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, and LIVE AND LET DIE / DR. NO. I don't know if the 4 missing OO7 films were part of the reissue plans or not (THUNDERBALL, YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, ON HER MAJESTYS SECRET SERVICE, MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN). If they were, the ads for them were not part of what I saw in the eBay listing. Also from what I was able to gather, the 1983 lobby cards were intended to be sent to theatres as one giant set. All the cards together in 1 big package. Since the reissue never happened, the lobby cards slowly got into the hands of dealers who immediately broke up the set and sold the cards individually. If THUNDERBALL, YOLT, OHMSS, and MWTGG were not part of the reissue, why new lobby cards were made for them I don't know. For the record, I never had or knew about these cards until well after the fact, but I wish I did.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. If anyone has more information about these posters and lobby cards, feel free to share.

Offline okiehawker

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Re: James Bond OO7 - the 1983 reissue that never happened
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2018, 06:01:24 PM »
Wow, Cabman!  Thank you for sharing your I incredible experience with this Bond poster tale!  Also, your double feature/competition motive for the Bond film folks printing these posters is very helpful!   Okie

Offline cabmangray

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Re: James Bond OO7 - the 1983 reissue that never happened
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2018, 06:34:48 PM »
Thanks, Okie. It's only my theory but it seems to be the one that holds water the most. Finding the ad mats on eBay is what cemented the whole idea.

Offline Simes

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Re: James Bond OO7 - the 1983 reissue that never happened
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2018, 05:14:50 AM »
A cracking tale.  Must have been amazing to be in the finding / receiving end of all this...

Offline cabmangray

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Re: James Bond OO7 - the 1983 reissue that never happened
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2018, 02:07:59 PM »
Hi, Simon. Lord almighty, you have no idea what it was like. After a while I just got used to all this stuff arriving week after week. But thinking back, it really was amazingly fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. The sheer quantities of each title was dizzying at first. Just when I thought I was seeing the bottom, more goodies would be brought forth from this man's connection. It was easily the best deal I was ever involved in. Still, I'm not so smart. I should have skimmed 20 or 30 copies of each one off the top and just bagged them and put them away. It blows me away that today they sell for close to $100. each.

Offline Simes

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Re: James Bond OO7 - the 1983 reissue that never happened
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2019, 04:39:11 AM »
It blows me away that today they sell for close to $100. each.

Yup, it does me too.