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Overview for Harry Saltzman
Harry Saltzman

Harry Saltzman



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Also Known As: Died: September 21, 1994
Born: October 27, 1915 Cause of Death: heart attack
Birth Place: St John, New Brunswick, CA Profession: Producer ... producer


Canadian-born producer who began in theater and TV in the 1940s and was working in the film industry by mid-decade. Aside from providing the unoriginal story for "The Iron Petticoat" (1956), a "Ninotchka" rip-off which starred the incredibly mismatched team of Bob Hope and Katharine Hepburn, Saltzman did little to receive screen credit, though he did cut his producer's teeth on TV with installments of "Robert Montgomery Presents" and "Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion."

Saltzman made his name when he became one of the co-founders (with director Tony Richardson and playwright John Osborne) of Woodfall Film Productions, which created some of the cornerstone works of the memorable "Angry Young Man" school of British "kitchen sink" realism. "Look Back in Anger" (1959) was a good adaptation of John Osborne's landmark play featuring a blistering performance by Richard Burton. "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning" (1960), still recognized as one of the signature works of its era, was an even finer film, and brought Albert Finney to stardom. And many still feel that Laurence Olivier gave the performance of a lifetime in "The Entertainer" (1960).

If the "Angry Young Man" films made Saltzman's name, it was his partnership with Albert R. ("Cubby") Broccoli and their purchasing of the screen rights to Ian Fleming's James Bond spy novels that made his fortune. In 1962, the duo formed Eon Productions and brought the first Bond adventure, "Dr. No," to the screen. Although not the international box-office smash its sequels would become, it set a pattern for the handsome, lavishly produced, technically skilled, mildly risible and tongue-in-cheek romps which followed. Via companies such as Eon and the later Danjaq S.A., Saltzman and Broccoli boosted Sean Connery and later Roger Moore to silver screen stardom and cast the mold for the action blockbusters which would later dominate US cinema.

On his own Saltzman also produced another gimmicky but more ironic and dark view of the spying profession, "The Ipcress File" (1965), with Michael Caine as bespectacled agent Harry Palmer. Forming still another company, Lowndes Productions, without Broccoli, Saltzman oversaw two intriguing sequels, "Funeral in Berlin" (1966) and "Billion Dollar Brain" (1967). After "The Man with the Golden Gun" (1974), Saltzman and Broccoli ended their collaboration on the Bond flicks, and Saltzman sold his interest in Danjaq to United Artists. His subsequent output was modest, though he did produce the interesting misfire "Nijinsky" (1980), a biopic of the great dancer and his affair with mentor Sergei Diaghilev; a short-lived Broadway play, "A Little Family Business" (1982); and the fascinating Emir Kusturica art-house item, "Time of the Gypsies" (1988).

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