On today's agenda: the 1990 television film Spymaker: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming, which was the second such biopic in as many years. The Internet seems to be lacking when it comes to details on the film's production, place of initial airing, and so forth. From what I recall, I saw the movie on TNT -- under the title The Secret Life of Ian Fleming (no Spymaker in evidence) -- and since the back of the DVD claims it was a TNT Original, I suppose that clears up at least that much of the origins.
|Here is a vintage VHS cover. Note the busty Bond-girl-esque figure on the left.|
|Here is the cover art for the Warner Archives DVD release. You will note that the busty Bond-girl-esque figure has gone missing, which is, one supposes, the difference between 1990 and 2013.|
I'd like to draw your attention to the way Spymaker is being sold in that artwork. "All the excitement of a Bond movie," claims the blurb on the back of the DVD. "CONNERY," trumpets the front. (I especially enjoy how much smaller the word "Jason" is than "Connery." I choose to read that as "Jason CONNERY," for the record. It's fun. Try it at home!)
I mention this as a means of illustrating a point: in terms of its marketing, if not in terms of the actual content of the film, Spymaker was sold as a quasi-Bond film. It comes close to outright pandering.
We're going to do this the same way we did the 1989 biopic Goldeneye, i.e., I'm going to offer up a plot summary with extensive screencaps, and then hastily score the film on the Double-0 Rating system, just for a larf. Because I won't be forgetting that blurb; "all the excitement of a Bond movie," it promises.
We shall see.