Sandwiched between the Bond 50 Blu-ray collection and next month's Skyfall comes Everything or Nothing, a documentary celebrating 5 decades of 007. Helmed by Fire in Babylon's Stevan Riley, it tells the story of how James Bond leapt from the pages of Ian Fleming's hard-edged spy novels to become Hollywood's most durable movie franchise.
The talking heads range from friends of Fleming, to series producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson, to five of the six James Bond stars (Sean Connery is conspicuously absent), as Riley cleverly weaves in footage from the Bond films to help illustrate the narrative.
The doc doesn't just focus on 007's big screen outings, however - author Fleming's life is covered in detail, with the former intelligence officer emerging as Bond's true alter ego, a man with a penchant for cigarettes, alcohol and women. His former lover Blanche Blackwell reveals that the first words he said to her were "I do hope you're not a lesbian", before he passionately kissed her.
Producers Albert 'Cubby' Broccoli and Harry Saltzman rolled the dice on Fleming's character, and it's their relationship that gives Everything or Nothing real emotional poignancy. The duo turned Bond into a household name, but the partnership dissolved when Saltzman ran into financial difficulties. Barbara Broccoli compares The Spy Who Loved Me's audacious opening sequence - Bond skiing into the abyss before a Union Jack parachute opens - to her father's gamble in carrying on the spy franchise without Saltzman. That Spy's opening stunt brought audiences to their feet was proof enough that Bond could survive in even the most precarious circumstances.
The Bond actors interviewed share plenty of fun anecdotes, and it's clear to see how they brought elements of their own personalities to the role. Moore freely admits that he struggled to put his stamp on Bond early on, recoiling in horror at a scene in The Man with the Golden Gun when he pushes a young boy off a boat and into a river.
Brosnan half-jokingly remarks that the only Bond he remembers making is GoldenEye and the rest were a blur, while Dalton speaks with intensity and passion about bringing his 007 back to Fleming. George Lazenby recounts a moment during his marathon screen-testing process when Broccoli and Saltzman, fearing his background as a male model meant he was gay, sent a girl to his hotel room. The next morning, they were satisfied they had a heterosexual 007.
It's a shame that Connery chose not to participate in the doc - he's at times portrayed as a surly Scotsman holding onto grudges, but there's a moment of redemption for him late on, and the real villain of the piece becomes rogue Never Say Never Again producer Kevin McClory. The film may also have benefited from the presence of Martin Campbell, who re-energised the franchise twice with GoldenEye and Casino Royale.
Notable absences aside, this a superb celebration of Bond's screen history and pop cultural impact. The film closes with 'Nobody Does It Better', and on leaving the press screening this reviewer could overhear someone inside the projection room singing along. The voice wasn't a patch on Carly Simon, but the moment highlights just how effective this doc was.
Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007 will screen in the UK in selected Odeon cinemas from October 5. it will screen in the US on the EPIX channel.