007 Producer: Harry Saltzman

007 Producer: Harry Saltzman

June 22, 2014 0 By 007 Travelers

Who: Harry Saltzman (Herschel Saltzman)
Born: 27 October 1915, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
Died: 28 September 1994, Paris, France

Herschel Saltzman, better known as Harry Saltzman, was a Canadian theatre and film producer best known for his mega-gamble which resulted in his co-producing the James Bond film series with Albert R. Broccoli. He lived most of his life in Denham, Buckinghamshire, England.

Harry Saltzman’s 007 production:

Producer with Albert R. Broccoli

Executive producer with Albert R. Broccoli

James Bond: 1962-74
In 1960, Broccoli’s Warwick Films undertook to produce and self-distribute the biographical drama Oscar Wilde. Its lack of commercial success began a chain of events leading to dissolution of the company in bankruptcy in 1961 and increased tensions between the two partners. Already in disagreement over James Bond, they ended their partnership, freeing Broccoli to revisit his decision that the Bond novels would make a good film series, only now to be told by the publishers the rights were unavailable. Later, screenwriter Wolf Mankowitz, had a working dinner in New York on another script with Broccoli. Mankowitz knew Saltzman casually from Broadway productions the two had been involved with and knew Saltzman held the rights to Bond. He offered to introduce the two men and arranged a meeting for the next morning. Saltzman and Broccoli formed a partnership in 1962 to create the holding company Danjaq, LLC and the production company Eon Productions and almost immediately began recruiting personnel such as production designer Ken Adam and teaming writers including Richard Maibaum and Mankowitz. With the rights to Casino Royale having gone to an early television adaptation, the team began considering the best novel to adapt and introduce the character. After meeting with United Artists and having received a million dollars in financing, the filmmakers chose Dr. No. Saltzman would remain Broccoli’s partner up through the ninth film in the series, 1974’s The Man with the Golden Gun.

Saltzman came close to rejecting Paul McCartney’s submission for the soundtrack to Live and Let Die. McCartney asked producer George Martin to approach the producers about the title song. Saltzman surprised Martin by asking who they could get to sing it, suggesting only black female vocalists. Martin pointed out that if he did not take McCartney as the singer he did not get the song. Saltzman compromised by having McCartney do the title version and B. J. Arnau do a soul version in the “Fillet of Soul” nightclub.

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