The James Bond franchise is a staple. It is the longest running and second most successful film series in British cinema history. Throughout its 50-year run it has featured the work of many different talented directors, and rumours always run rampant when a new Bond film is in the works as to who will be the next man to put his hallmark on the 007 legacy. “Sam Mendes won’t be returning for Bond 24!” we say. “Wouldn’t it amazing if Christopher Nolan took his place?” And so on…
However, I’d like to think back into the past for a moment. Here I will present a list of 10 different legendary directors who would have created amazing James Bond films had they been given a chance while still alive.
10. Howard Hawks
An active director from 1916 until 1970, Howard Hawks continually distinguished himself. He was capable of directing films in many different genres, but it’s his work in in two particular movies which I think would have given him the skill to craft a riveting Bond movie.
The first is Scarface, the original 1932 version. Produced by infamous whack-job Howard Hughes, he instructed director Hawks to “make it as realistic, and grisly as possible”. Hawks succeeded to the point that even after many edits the film could still not pass the censors, and it wasn’t until over a year later it was finally released.
The second film I consider is Hawks’ 1946 The Big Sleep, which was the first film about the process of a criminal investigation. It was so influential it was added to the National Film Registry in 1997.
So between these two movies, we have two ingredients that could be amazing mixed into a Bond movie: Heavy focus on the investigative process, and a major gangster/film noir vibe.
This article was first posted on March 12, 2013