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Berkley Mather/Early Bond Scripts
Berkley Mather/Early Bond Scripts

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Berkley Mather/Early Bond Scripts
An important collection of original scripts and associated material from the collection of the late Berkley Mather, the writer chosen by Ian Fleming in 1961 as script writer for Dr. No, the first of the series of James Bond films -- the collection comprising:

Dr. No

- Berkley Mather's copy of the script for Dr. No, 120 pp. of mimeographed typescript in two parts, both with buff-coloured paper covers inscribed in Berkley Mather's hand Mather, Dr No, Part I and Mather, Dr No, Part II; the script annotated in Mather's hand in blue ink and ball-point pen with deletions and alterations -- amendments to Bond's dialogue include:
-- p.28, in Strangway's office during the investigation into his secretary's murder Bond: On the contrary it does help if it happens to be the blood group of them both..
-- p.53 in Pleydell-Smith's office Bond: Can you tell me anything about Crab Key?
-- p.62 in Miss Taro's appartment Bond: Forgive me I thought I was invited to admire...the view
-- p.65 outside Miss Taro's appartment Bond: Book her Commissioner. Nice quiet cell with a good view...watch her nails..
-- pp. 68-112 contain a quantity of hand-written deletions, single-word amendments and instructions including Rewrite and Tighten some of these notations/amendments found in Bond's description of his choice of drink:
-- pp. 103 in Dr. No's living room Bond: And for me a medium dry Vodka Martini, with a twist of lemon peel...powdered ice...shaken, not stirred...Polish vodka and
-- pp. 106 Bond: Louis Roederer Cristal...or a Dom Perignon...'fifty-three or 'fifty-five. Chilled..And after that, a Napoleon 1806 - warmed..

-- FLEMING, Ian Dr. No, London: Pan Books Ltd. 1961, 8vo. original paper covers -- this paper-back borrowed by Berkley Mather from his son and used by him to write his script for the film; the book annotated by Mather on the fly leaf and inside covers in blue and black ball-point pen with various working notes including Jamaican dialect for Quarrel?, Sugar Daddy and chemin de fer; the inside back cover additionally annotated by Mather with a detailed sketch of a VHF short- wave radio set believed to be the original concept design used for the construction of the radio set in Strangway's office in Jamaica in the film;

-- A page of Mather's hand-written notes in blue ink referring to a number of scenes, the notes written on the reverse of a page from an unidentified script;

-- The first half of an incomplete script entitled Second Draft Shooting Script "DOCTOR NO", 28th November 1961, 37pp. mimeographed typescript;

-- Thirty-seven pages of corrections and rewrites, each mimeographed typescript, some duplicates;

-- Dr. No, 1962, U.A., British quad poster -- 30x40in. (76.2x101.6cm.) (A-);

From Russia With Love

Two copies of the final draft screenplay by Richard Maibaum of Ian Fleming's "From Russia With Love", March 18th, 1963, both 12pp. of mimeographed typescript, one copy annotated by Mather in pencil and blue ink with deletions and a few amendments to the dialogue, the other copy complete with a number of pages of mimeographed typescript script revisions from various dates between 2nd April - 2nd May, 1963; and several duplicate revision pages;

-- Twenty additional loose pages of script revisions, some duplicates, each mimeographed typescript, a number heavily annotated by Mather in blue ink and pencil with deletions and amendments to dialogue and action;

-- Three Call Sheets issued by David Anderson, Assistant Director, various dates, Friday, 3rd May, 1963 and Sunday, 5th May, 1963 (2), each accompanied by a detailed two-page transport list;

Goldfinger

-- A menu for the Supper To Celebrate The Premiere of Ian Fleming's Goldfinger And The Launching Of The Sun, September 17th, 1964, signed on the cover in blue ball-point pen Shirley Bassey



Lot Essay

Berkley Mather was the 'nom de plume' for Lieutenant-Colonel Jasper Weston-Davies (1909-1996). Mather had begun writing whilst in the army, and as moonlighting was not officially permitted, adopted a pseudonym for his stories concocted from the names of the Berkeley Grill (he mis-spelt it) and Mathers, a chemist in Poona. Fleming wrote a glowing review of his second book, The Pass Beyond Kashmir, and though he had never met the author recommended Mather to his producers, Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, as the one person gifted enough to complete the screenplay for Dr. No. Exasperated at Fleming's rejection of treatment after treatment of the novel, the film producers were willing enough to give Mather a try, even though he had not read a single Bond book and had to borrow his son's paperback copy of Dr. No (included in this lot) in order to supplement Richard Maibaum's earlier script. By largely rewriting the dialogue and lacing it with puns and quips, Mather added a vital element of spoof. Famous one-liners, often attibuted to Fleming, were apparently Mather's inspiration. These are said to include "[The name is] Bond -- James Bond"; and Bond's celebrated preference for vodka Martini, "..shaken, not stirred",

Although Fleming was delighted with Mather's alterations, the producers grew nervous as the première approached. .. No one knew how the public would react to what amounted to a send-up. But the result was a triumph which set the tone for the highly successful series of films which followed. This surviving script is vital evidence of the role played by Mather in the creation of the James Bond screen hero. Dr. No is still regarded by aficionados as the best of the series. Unwisely, Mather refused a percentage deal in favour of a flat fee, and so never enjoyed the fruits of a box office success that was so much of his making.

After the reception of his first adaptation, Mather was asked for a similar involvement with the second film From Russia With Love. Mather however apparently felt uncomfortable ...about adapting other's work and using characters he had not created himself... and was not keen for a similar commitment to the second film. Although Berkley Mather's name is not listed in the credits he did work on Maibaum's script for From Russia With Love, largely concentrating on dialogue. Mather even had a walk-on part in the second Bond film and apparently maintained his Equity membership for the rest of his life. According to his son, Mather had a particularly good working relationship with Sean Connery, who would request that he was present on the set. When Connery found a line difficult to convey, he would ask Mather to ad-lib an alternative for him.

Berkley Mather also contributed to the script of Goldfinger although, again, he is not listed in the credits of this film.












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