Tag Archives: Harry Saltzman

Stunt Pilots and Aerial Camera Crew for Battle of Britain


The nod for Best Movie Stunt for 1969 goes to the stunt pilots and aerial camera crew of Battle of Britain (1969) for making quite possibly the best combat aerial sequences ever put on celluloid. In order to accomplish this task, the production team put together the largest fleet of aircraft ever used for a feature film.  There were so many actual aircraft used in the flying sequences that many films since have used the stock footage from this film to complete their aerial footage.Battle_of_Britain

A B-25 Mitchell bomber, owned and piloted by Jeff Hawke and his co-pilot Duane Egli, was converted into a camera plane. Cameras were fitted into the nose, tail, dorsal and belly turrets, the nose being fitted with an optically perfect dome. The plane was painted in many bright colors so it would look different from all angles and would be easily seen by other planes. It was nicknamed the “Psychedelic Monster”. Eventually flown back to USA it sat derelict for many years in New Jersey before being restored back to flying condition in Florida. Flown in air shows for many years as “Chapter XI”, referring to the high cost of flying, but later repainted as “Lucky Lady”.BATTLE

According to the book written about the making of the movie the production crew used more ammunition (blanks of course) to film the movie – due to the fact that directors re-shoot scenes numerous times – than were actually used in the real battle.  It’s also interesting to note that during the real war, Frank Capra made a documentary on the Battle of Britain for his “Why We Fight” series.battle 2

Battle of Britain was directed by Guy Hamilton for United Artists.

Things to look up (go to IMDB page):

  • Battle of Britain
  • Guy Hamilton
  • Spitfire Productions
  • Jeff Hawke
  • Duane Egli
  • Harry Saltzman

Rick Sylvester and The Spy Who Loved Me


Rick Sylvester’s opening ski stunt was shot from the top of Asgard Peak on Baffin Island in Canada. The summit was only accessible by helicopter. A small crew, including Sylvester and second unit director John Glen, traveled there in July 1976, a month before principal photography began. They stayed in the neighboring village of Pangnirtung for 10 days, awaiting the right weather conditions.SPY-WHO-LOVED-SKI-1 Numerous cameras were positioned around the site to capture the moment. All the camera operators felt that they lost sight of the skier as he went sailing off the cliff, all except one camera which stayed with him throughout the stunt. The scene was all uncut. Sylvester’s pay was $30,000. Sylvester was supposedly given an additional bonus when he successfully completed the shot.

This was one of the first pre-credit sequences to really give the audience a gasp. You could hear a pin drop, it was fantastic. The Spy Who Loved Me was directed by Lewis Gilbert for Danjaq.spy loved

Things to look up (go to IMDB):

  • Rick Sylvester
  • The Spy Who Loved Me
  • Danjaq
  • Lewis Gilbert
  • John Glen
  • Albert R. Broccoli
  • Eon Productions
  • Harry Saltzman
  • Dana Broccoli
  • Jacqueline Saltzman
  • John Cork
  • United Artists

History of film companies as defined by Wikipedia: Danjaq – (formerly Danjaq S.A.) is the holding company responsible for the copyright and trademarks to the characters, elements, and other material related to James Bond on screen. It is currently owned and managed by the family of Albert R. Broccoli, the co-initiator of the popular film franchise. Eon Productions, the production company responsible for producing the James Bond films, is a subsidiary of Danjaq.

Danjaq was founded by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman after the release of the first James Bond film Dr. No, in 1962, to ensure all future films in the series. The new company was to be called Danjaq S.A., a combination of Broccoli and Saltzman’s respective wives’ names (Dana Broccoli and Jacqueline Saltzman). Also in 1962 Danjaq began its association with United Artists.

Due to financial difficulties, Saltzman later sold his share of Danjaq to United Artists in 1975. Beginning with 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me, Danjaq began to share half the copyright and interests with United Artists Corporation, which is publicly the case still today, although the copyrights to the 2006 version of Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace (2008), and Skyfall (2012) are shared with the series’ new theatrical distributor, Columbia Pictures.

Some sources, notably John Cork (the author of a number of books about Bond’s film history, and a producer of many documentaries created for the films’ Special Edition DVD releases), claim that Broccoli purchased this 50% stake of Danjaq back from UA in the mid-1980s. It has been further suggested that MGM/UA have an exclusive distribution deal with Danjaq that is far more lucrative than when the shares were originally owned by Broccoli and Saltzman.

Although the trademarks for material related to the Bond films are held by Danjaq, the copyright to the film properties (beginning with Dr. No and aside from the 2006 Casino Royale,Quantum of Solace and Skyfall produced and co-copyrighted with Columbia Pictures) are shared by Danjaq and United Artists Corporation. The trademarks associated with the James Bond books and other non-film publications are held by Ian Fleming Publications.

Two theatrically released James Bond films have been made outside the control of Danjaq, a spoof called Casino Royale (1967) because the rights to that book had been sold prior to the Eon/Danjaq deal, and a serious James Bond film called Never Say Never Again (1983), a remake of the Danjaq film Thunderball; the latter was made possible due to a legal dispute involving Kevin McClory, one of the credited co-writers of Thunderball, who was awarded the film rights to the novel in a 1963 settlement with Ian Fleming.

Check out our new Book, 100 Years of the Best Movie Stunts!Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 8.23.28 PM