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Cubby Cubby Broccoli Was an Overrated Hack

By Allan Johnstone (sausagebrigade)
March 15, 2004


It is my humble opinion that Albert R. Broccoli was an over-rated hack.

Why do I think that? Well, this is the hit rate when he was co-producing with Saltzman-
8/9 (The Man With the Golden Gun is the only movie out of the 9 that receives a great deal of negative criticism)

Here is the hit rate after Saltzman left-
2/8 (from The Spy Who Loved Me through GoldenEye)

Cubby Now, I know these hit rates are really my opinion only, but I just think Cubby was a bit rubbish. It's probably not all his fault that the movies of the 80s were uninspired (weaker original stories, an older star, stodgy direction) but even the weaker Saltzman movies have more cheeky power than, say, For Your Eyes Only. And of course, under his helmsmanship, the series reached a new financial low. The Man With the Golden Gun might not have been a big hit but by that time Harry had all but left. On Her Majesty's Secret Service might have taken a relatively tiny amount compared to the Connery Bonds but it still did well for a film with a new lead actor. Contrast this with the late Moore era. $152 million or so for A View to a Kill might sound good but it isn't. A well established Bond like Moore should've been making closer to $180 or $190 million. Then there were the lacklustre Dalton takes and the hiatus.

Cubby didn't really have a hand in Bond's rejuvenation either. Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli have produced the last four Brosnan movies, not him. Sure, he might've made a few important decisions in the run up to GoldenEye, but he had gotten very ill since 1989. Do you seriously think that he took a dominating role in the new Bond? I don't.

Also, take a look at the movies. You might like A View to a Kill, Octopussy and Licence to Kill. If so, good for you...I have no objection. But they have less real invention than the first 9 movies. Ask a regular guy on the street for a scene from For Your Eyes Only and I bet you they'll draw a blank. Ask them about one from Goldfinger and they'll say the laser table scene. Let us not forget that he was the sole producer behind The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, the two most derivative Bond films ever. Considering they came after the relatively original The Man With the Golden Gun, it goes some way to show how dull Cubby was without Harry taking even a minor role.

Cubby I don't think Cubby had a genuinelly good grasp of what made great movie Bond. His idea of getting Bond back to basics is nothing like From Russia With Love, which he would probably claim it was. For Your Eyes Only is considerably more action packed and silly than From Russia With Love was.

So maybe I haven't convinced you that Cubby is over-rated. Maybe a different message you can take from this thread is that Harry Saltzman is far too overlooked. Cubby was fairly good at the business side of things, but I am pretty certain it was Harry who came up with the creative decisions. There is a rather wonderful but tellingly short documentary on the From Russia With Love DVD about him which seems to hint as much.

By the way, I want to take this opportunity to assure you I am not having a dig at Roger/Tim/Pierce. I think that if Harry had stayed on Roger's Bond would've worked much better.

Anyway, take from this article what you will.

Article written by Allan Johnstone (sausagebrigade)

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