NEW YORK—It just wouldn’t be a James Bond film without those crazy gadgets, million dollar stunts or custom-cool weapons. From Oddjob’s deadly derby in “Goldfinger,” to the steel teeth of seven-foot killer Jaws in “Moonraker”—no films have been more defined by their props. Those and more Bond baubles will be on display in a 60 Minutes segment on the film franchise’s 50th anniversary. Anderson Cooper’s report, including interviews with Bond actor Daniel Craig and producer Barbara Broccoli, will be broadcast Sunday, Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. Central.
60 Minutes cameras got a rare look at the archive and a tour of its contents from its curator, Meg Simmonds, on condition that the address not be divulged. Oddjob’s hat alone is worth about $100,000, says Simmonds, one of many valuable artifacts. And if the film’s legions of fans were to find out where such totems are kept, they would all want tours too.
Cooper is shown the crystals used in “Die Another Day.” “One of them was in Halle Berry’s belly button,” says Simmonds. He was issued a pair of gloves to examine the oldest piece in the collection, an empty champagne bottle (Dom Perignon ‘55) from “Dr. No.” Through those gloves he also got a feel for the famous golden gun from “The Man With the Golden Gun.” But it wasn’t really a gun, just a golden prop that can’t be fired. The guns that do shoot in Bond films, like the iconic Walther PPK he wore inside his tuxedo, are housed in an armory of Bond weaponry in another London location.
Then Cooper got to play 007 by shooting the 7.6mm pistol at a firing range nearby. It was the same firing range where Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnan learned to shoot the weapon. But after firing the Walther PPK, Cooper says, “I don’t feel like James Bond, yet.” Cooper elaborates on his experience trying to channel the ultimate spy in a web segment that can watched after Sunday’s broadcast at 60MinutesOvertime.com.
Broccoli, the daughter of the late Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, the producer who brought Bond to the screen in 1962, is passionate about her franchise. She and her half-brother, Michael Wilson, still have their hands in the productions of all Bond films, especially the latest, “Skyfall.” “We are...control freaks,” says Broccoli. “We’re still excited...every morning...you get up, you think, ‘I get to go...on a Bond set.’ And it’s thrilling,” she tells Cooper.
Besides all the props, handsome Bonds, beautiful Bond girls and huge production values, keeping the franchise firmly in the family’s hands may be the single biggest factor in its remarkable longevity. Says Craig, “The fact they haven’t been bought out by a studio over the years is incredible and I think...if a studio had taken it, it would have died,” he tells Cooper. “[Broccoli and Wilson] love making these movies.”