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The kid from New Brunswick who made James Bond a movie legend

Today in 1965 CBC met Harry Saltzman, the producer with a biography as improbable as any Bond plot. Watch Saltzman and his fellow 007 producer, Albert R. Broccoli, discuss the cultural impact of the spy franchise, which was already legendary just four films into the franchise.

Today in 1965 CBC met Harry Saltzman, the producer with a biography as improbable as any Bond plot.

"We're being assaulted top to toe with merchandise bearing the label 007." Whether we're talking about Spectre or Thunderball, in 50 years of selling Bond, nothing much has changed, and on this day in 1965, CBC's Telescope took a look at the James Bond phenomenon and the proliferation of spy merch "licensed to make a killing." 

In the clip, we go to the Mayfair townhouse of Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli, where we meet him and the super spy's Canadian connection: Harry Saltzman.

Saltzman's biography is as improbable as any Bond plot. Born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, but raised in Saint John, New Brunswick, the producer ran away with the circus as a teenager, and fought with the Royal Canadian Air Force in France before establishing himself as a big-name producer of theatre and film.

In the interview, Saltzman reflects on Bond's cultural impact, already a movie icon just four films into the franchise.

"What we've created is a modern mythology. James Bond is the Tarzan of the 1960s. He is the Superman image. Everybody wants to identify with the Superman. I think today we live in an age of violence, and James Bond represents the hero in an age of violence."

For more throwbacks like this one, visit the CBC Digital Archives.

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