David Niven

These 20, alongside hundreds of others, redefine what it means to be a movie veteran.

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The James Bond Files

Not only are FSR’s resident Bond nerds (specifically yours truly and my partner in espionage, Brian Salisbury) gearing up for the release of Skyfall in November, but we are also rubbing our hands together with anticipation of opening our new Bond 50 Blu-ray box sets that came out this week. Since we’re in the movie news business, we can watch all 22 of these films, we can chalk up the 40+ hours of movie watching to a full work week. We bet you’re feeling an extreme amount of jealousy right now (or an extreme amount of pity for us… not quite sure which). But as we prepare to watch all the James Bond movies again, we’ll also reflect upon the different actors who have played James Bond in the past. Here’s a quick breakdown of the legendary (and one not-so-legendary) Bond actors over the years. Fortunately, since Daniel Craig has signed on for some additional post-Skyfall movies, this piece should still be relevant for a while, and that’s a valuable commodity in the ever-changing world of the Internet.

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Gregory Peck personally assures you that this will be the most exciting film you’ll ever see, and he just might be right. The Guns of Navarone is a standout in the Men On a Mission world of wartime sabotage, using its cast (Peck, David Niven, Anthony Quinn et al) to the fullest extent of their abilities while creating a crew more likely to cut each others’ throats than the enemy’s.

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How many James Bonds can be stuffed into one movie? Casino Royale, the first Bond spoof, seeks to answer that question with David Niven, Ursula Andress, Peter Sellers, Joanna Pettet, Daliah Lavi, and Woody Allen all playing 007. Plus, Orson Welles playing Le Chiffre. Seriously. Orson Welles. There were a ton of writers and directors (and actors) who worked on this movie, but somehow the love of the spy and the spoof shines through. Even in the trailer, you can see where Austin Powers was born (hint: in a spinning bed with Peter Sellers flashing his giant teeth for pictures). Unrelate sidenote: have you ever noticed that Ursula Andress’s name is one letter away from “Undress”? In fact, her spoonerism name would be Arsula Undress. What are the odds of that?

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Most people know the song, “Que Sera, Sera,” but not as many know where it came from. Well, it wasn’t this film. It was first featured on screen in Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much with Doris Day sweetly laying it out. It became her signature song, and she had to sing it a ton. Including her co-starring role in Please Don’t Eat the Daisies opposite David Niven. It’s a brilliant comedic pairing, and it’s unclear why they didn’t work more together. A last bit of trivia here: this was the final movie for Oscar nominee Spring Byington, who people probably most recognize from You Can’t Take it With You and Mutiny on the Bounty.

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All month long we celebrate Best Picture Nominees that didn’t win. This week we take a look at a doomed production that churned out a brilliant film.

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If I had to describe the trailer for Blake Edwards’ original Pink Panther, I’d either call it “ridiculously hokey” or “surprisingly sexist.” The first is obvious, especially if you’ve already seen the movie which is a triumph of slapstick foolishness delivered expertly by David Niven and Peter Sellers.

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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.15.2014
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published: 12.12.2014
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