Monday, October 19, 2015

Christopher Wood, 1935-2015

Wikipedia's obituaries page has listed the death of one Christopher Wood, having died on Saturday a few weeks shy of his 80th birthday. Christopher Wood is one of those names you may not recognize. I have to admit that I certainly wouldn't have recognized it. It turns out that he was an author turned screenwriter, writing the screenplays to two of the James Bond movies: The Spy Who Loved Me in 1977 and Moonraker two years later. Wood's death is a bit sad for me, in that I remember liking those old Bond movies as a kid, and then reading the books as somebody probably too young to be reading them. I did a book report on Doctor No back in the sixth grade.

Frankly, Moonraker is a silly plot, but the movie is still entertaining enough. The Spy Who Loved Me is nothing like the book, if memory serves. The book is set up in the Adirondack Mountains of northern New York state, while the movie is set in Egypt among other exotic locales. But then it wouldn't be the first time there were big changes between a book and the movie version. A few months back I had the opportunity to read the book The 39 Steps, and while there are a few similarities, the second half of the Hitchcock movie is radically different from the book. There's also no Hitchcock blonde in the book. That's a big difference.

Wood didn't write enough screenplays to get a TCM tribute. Besides, they couldn't get the rights to the ones he did write, and he wasn't famous enough to earn a programming tribute. With any luck, he'll show up in the parade of the dead they run every December as TCM Remembers.

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