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Thomas Frank "Tom" Mankiewicz (June 1, 1942 – July 31, 2010) was a screenwriter, director, and producer of theatrical films and television, perhaps best known for his work on the James Bond films and his contributions to Superman: The Movie and the television series, Hart to Hart.

Bond Involvement[]

After writing for various television, film, and stage projects, United Artists production head David Picker, who admired Mankiewicz's book for Georgy, approached James Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli about hiring Mankiewicz to do a major reworking of Diamonds Are Forever. Mankiewicz was hired on a two-week guarantee, stayed on the film for six months, and received shared screenplay credit with the original screenwriter, Richard Maibaum.[1] Mankiewicz's reworking eliminated the main villains from the source Ian Fleming novel, mobsters called Jack and Seraffimo Spang, but used the henchmen Shady Tree, Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd.[1] After Roger Moore was selected to play Bond in Live and Let Die, Mankiewicz solely wrote the screenplay to fit Moore's persona by giving more comedy scenes and a light-hearted approach to Bond. Mankiewicz also suggested writing Solitaire into a black woman, with singer-actress Diana Ross as his primary choice.[2] However, Broccoli and Saltzman decided to stick to Fleming's Caucasian description, and after thinking of Catherine Deneuve, Jane Seymour was cast for the role.[3] Mankiewicz also created Sheriff J.W. Pepper to add a comic relief character. Portrayed by Clifton James, Pepper appeared again in The Man with the Golden Gun.[4]

For The Man with the Golden Gun, Mankiewicz submitted a first draft for the script in 1973, which detailed the battle of wills between Bond and Francisco Scaramanga, who he saw as Bond's alter ego, "a super-villain of the stature of Bond himself."[5] However, tensions between Mankiewicz and Guy Hamilton[6] led to Maibaum returning to the series. Maibaum, who had worked on six Bond films previously, delivered his own draft based on Mankiewicz's work.[7] Much of the plot involving Scaramanga being Bond's equal was sidelined in later drafts.[8] After doing an uncredited rewrite on The Spy Who Loved Me, Mankiewicz wrote a short outline[9] [10] for Moonraker, but it was mostly discarded. According to Mankiewicz, footage shot at Drax's lairs was considerably more detailed than the edited result in the final version.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Audio Commentary track: Diamonds Are Forever Ultimate Edition, Region 4 [DVD]. MGM Home Entertainment. Retrieved on 2013-01-07.
  2. Tom Mankiewicz and Robert Crane, My Life as a Mankiewicz, University Press of Kentucky 2012 p. 155
  3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named inside
  4. NTSC, Widescreen, Closed-captioned) Inside Live and Let Die: Live and Let Die Ultimate Edition, Disc 2 (DVD). MGM/UA Home Video. 2000. ASIN: B000LY209E.
  5. Benson, Raymond (1988). The James Bond Bedside Companion, pg. 215. London: Boxtree Ltd. ISBN 1-85283-234-7.
  6. Smith, Jim (2002). Bond Films, pg. 137. London: Virgin Books. ISBN 978-0-7535-0709-4.
  7. Inside The Man with the Golden Gun (DVD). The Man with the Golden Gun Ultimate Edition, Disc 2: MGM/UA Home Video. 2000.
  8. Smith, Jim (2002). Bond Films, pg. 138. London: Virgin Books. ISBN 978-0-7535-0709-4.
  9. The 2006 Tom Mankiewicz Interview. Caped Wonder.com. Warner Bros. Corporation.
  10. Tom Mankiewicz Interview Continued.

External Links[]

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