Terence Young

d. Sept. 8, 1994

Terence Young, the director who established the James Bond film style in the first, second and fourth Bond pictures, died Sept. 8 at a hospital in Cannes after a heart attack. He was 79.

The Irish director was born in Shanghai and started his film career as a screenwriter in England in the ’30s. He turned to directing after the war, quickly gaining fame for the artsy “Corridor of Mirrors” (1948). “The Red Beret” (1954) was the first of several pictures he directed for Cubby Broccoli at Warwick. Broccoli convinced partner Harry Saltzman that Young was the director to bring James Bond to the screen in “Dr. No.”

Young was praised for the modestly budgeted film’s then innovative look, a quick-cut tempo that was favorably compared to television commercials. He also took credit for the knowing humor that sent up the whole enterprise, engaging peevish critics as well as the audience, and for polishing the rough-hewn Sean Connery into a man who could impersonate the tastefully snobbish Bond.

Young raised the Bond style to a higher level in “From Russia With Love,” then decided he’d had enough of 007 after some pre-production work on “Goldfinger” (other stories have him leaving after Saltzman and Broccoli refused to give him a percentage of the profits). He directed “The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders” but then returned to Bond for “Thunderball.”

Young remarked that he directed the first, the best (“From Russia With Love”) and the most successful (“Thunderball”) of the Bonds. His pictures following “Thunderball” include “Triple Cross,” “Wait Until Dark,” “Mayerling,” “The Valachi Papers,” “Inchon” and “The Jigsaw Man.”

Originally published in For Your Eyes Only #33.