A Bridge Too Far – Trailer
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Legendary James Bond actor Sean Connery finished up his tenure as 007 in 1971 after appearing in Diamonds are Forever. Following that, he started focussing on some other pictures that excited him.
One of these films, A Bridge Too Far, hits TV screens today, on Sunday, June 19, at 2:50pm on Channel 5.
But when he was initially offered the role of Major General Roy Urquhart he turned it down.
Connery was very interested in the role, and the historical nature of the movie. The film depicted the failed Allied operation in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II. But the actor was concerned the movie would glorify the military disaster, so he passed on the film.
However, director Richard Attenborough would not take no for an answer.
He sent Connery the script and urged him to read them.
After Connery read the script, he changed his mind. He signed on to play the aforementioned General and got stuck in.
But things didn’t stay too happy on set for long.
Once filming started the actors started talking about their backgrounds and, crucially, their wages.
It didn’t take long for Connery to learn that Hollywood star Robert Redford. was earning “considerably more money” than he was. And he wasn’t happy. (Via IMDB)
Dr. No: Sean Connery stars as James Bond in 1962
Redford’s wage was made even more egregious by the fact that his role as Major Julian Cook was a far smaller part in the movie.
Connery had no choice, he had to act out to get his wage amended. He was the first-ever successful James Bond, after all. He apparently went on strike during filming, stopping any further scenes involving him from being shot.
Eventually, he got his way.
After a short while, Connery’s wage was “adjusted to his satisfaction”. He then allowed shooting to resume, content with the knowledge that he was earning as much as Redford, who was working half as much as him.
This was another stressful footnote in the production of A Bridge Too Far, which has Attenborough struggling to finish the movie over 24 months.
The director – and star of Jurassic Park – reportedly worked 18-hour days for almost two years straight to get the movie just right.
When Attenborough had finally finished the film he went to bed and slept for three days.
It’s no wonder, considering how much pressure was on the director.
The movie, at the time, was the most expensive picture ever produced and was shot on location at the spots where the events happened in real life.
Thankfully, all of his hard work was worth it. A Bridge Too Far was nominated for eight BAFTAS, four of which it won, including Best Sound, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Film Music and Best Cinematography.
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