When James Bond met Superman: five classic photos from the Pinewood Studios vaults

The home of 007 and Star Wars is looking for new owners.

Pinewood Studios
Welcome to Pinewood The iconic home of British cinema is on the market for £250 million. Image Picture Bruno Vincent/Getty Images

Pinewood Studios, the iconic home of British movie making, may be going up for sale.

Investment bank Rothschild have been appointed by Pinewood to “assist with a strategic review” of the company with a view to selling it at a staggering cost of £250 million.

The company’s chief executive Ivan Dunleavy said that Pinewood “has the potential to build on the strong performance of the last few years to grow further both in the UK and internationally”.

The firm, chaired by Michael Grade, also has Pinewood-branded studios in Toronto, Atlanta and Berlin.

Though Pinewood will undoubtedly carry on, any sale would mark the end of an era for the studio that’s been home to James Bond, Superman and Star Wars over the years. Here are five classics photos from the Pinewood vaults.

1

James Bond meets Superman

Roger Moore Christopher Reeve Octopussy Pinewood Studios
Bond v Superman Roger Moore and Christopher Reeve shared space at Pinewood Studios in 1983. Image Picture Michael Putland/Getty Images

Roger Moore dons clown garb to film the climax of his 1983 Bond outing Octopussy. He’s joined on set by the Man of Steel himself, Christopher Reeve, who at the time was across the studio shooting Superman III.

2

Hammer time

Eric Porter and Angharad Rees in Hands Of The Ripper
Hammer Horror Eric Porter gets too close for comfort in Hands Of The Ripper. Image Picture Ian Showell/Keystone/Getty Images

Hammer Horror’s history with Pinewood dates back decades. In this striking image from 1971’s Hands Of The Ripper, Eric Porter’s Dr John sinisterly leans over Angharad Rees with syringe in hand.

3

Michael Caine 

Michael Caine as Harry Palmer
Cockney spy Michael Caine as Harry Palmer in Billion Dollar Brain. Image Picture Keystone/Getty Images

Back in the 60s, Michael Caine launched his own spy series to rival James Bond with The Ipcress File. The film’s low-key espionage struck a chord, and Caine brought back Harry Palmer for quick-fire sequels. Here he is at work on the set of 1967’s Billion Dollar Brain – manning a Honeywell computer worth £150,000, no less.

4

The Avengers (not those ones)

The New Avengers at Pinewood Studios
New Avengers Joanna Lumley, Patrick MacNee and Gareth Hunt revive a classic. Image Picture Fox Photos/Getty Images

Patrick Macnee and Honor Blackman took TV by storm in the 60s with their TV series The Avengers. Macnee’s gentleman spy John Steed was known for glamorous sidekicks Cathy Gale (Blackman), Emma Peel (Diana Rigg) and later Tara King (Linda Thorson). The show was revived in 1976 with Joanna Lumley and Mike Gambit as his new partners in fighting crime. Here, they’re posing in the Pinewood gardens to promote the rebooted series.

5

Bond’s barnyard fight

James Bond Sean Connery Goldfinger Honor Blackman Pinewood Studios
Goldfinger Sean Connery and Honor Blackman tumble in the hay. Image Picture Keystone/Getty Images

007 is synonymous with Pinewood. The series hit stratospheric heights in the Sean Connery era thanks to Goldfinger. The Bond star and Honor Blackman film a barnyard tumble-turned-love scene. This turned out to be one of the signature moments of Bond’s defining film.

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Loaded digital media manager Simon Reynolds has written about film and entertainment for various leading websites since 2008. Follow Simon at @simonreyn

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