Guy Hamilton

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Guy Hamilton (born 16 September 1922 – 20 April 2016) was an English film director best known for directing the James Bond movies Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die, and The Man with the Golden Gun.


Guy Hamilton was born in Paris, France in 1922, to English parents. He stayed in France up until his late teens, just before World War II broke out.[1] Hamilton first entered the film industry serving as an assistant to French director, Julien Duvivier, before relocating to London to do similar work for Paramount Studios. When World War II began, he joined the Royal Navy, but returned to working in film towards 1945.

After World War II, Hamilton worked closely with director Carol Reed where he worked on The Fallen Idol and The Third Man, whose crew also included future 007 director, John Glen.[1] Reed became acquainted with Hamilton, and in 1952, he landed him his directorial debut on The Ringer. Continuing to work on low budget films throughout the 1950s, he was noticed by Bond producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, who asked him to direct Dr. No. Hamilton turned down the offer, instead choosing to direct The Party's Over. However, the film turned into a censorship disaster, and Hamilton decided to be uncredited in the film.

During pre-production of Goldfinger, Terence Young, who directed Dr. No and From Russia with Love, chose to film The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders instead, after a pay dispute[2] that saw him denied a percentage of the film's profits. Broccoli and Saltzman turned to Hamilton again to direct. This time, he agreed, and felt that he needed to make Bond less of a "superman" by making the villains seem more powerful.[3] Hamilton previously knew Fleming, as both were involved during intelligence matters in the Royal Navy during World War II.[4]

After the success of Goldfinger, Young returned to direct Thunderball, but Hamilton still worked closely with Saltzman, directing Funeral in Berlin and Battle of Britain.[1] After Peter Hunt was unavailable for Diamonds Are Forever, Hamilton returned when the producers wished to recreate the commercially successful aspects of Goldfinger.[5] When Sean Connery resigned from the role as James Bond, Hamilton directed newcomer Roger Moore in his first two outings, Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun.

After his second departure from the Bond franchise, he continued directing including two adaptations of Agatha Christie's The Mirror Crack'd and Evil Under Sun. In 1978, he was originally slated to direct Superman: The Movie until production moved to Pinewood Studios, where the Bond movies filmed, where Richard Donner took over. Although he was approached to direct Batman[6], Hamilton retired to direct Try this One for Size in 1989.


Hamilton died on 20 April 2016 at the age of 93 at his home in Majorca, Spain.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 James Bond Director - Guy Hamilton. (2004). Retrieved on 2013-01-13.
  2. Production Notes—Goldfinger. Retrieved on 2013-01-05.
  3. Chapman, James (1999). Licence to Thrill. London/New York City: Cinema and Society. 
  4. Bouzerau, Laurent (2006). The Art of Bond. London: Macmillan Publishers. ISBN 0-7522-1551-5. 
  5. Inside Diamonds Are Forever: Diamonds Are Forever Ultimate Edition, Disc 2 (NTSC, Widescreen, Closed-captioned) [DVD]. MGM/UA Home Video. Retrieved on 2013-01-05. ASIN: B000LY2L1Q.
  6. Bill "Jett" Ramey (2005-09-06). An Interview With Michael Uslan-Part 1. Batman-on-Film. Retrieved on 2013-01-05.

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