Sean Connery’s 007 pistol from ‘Dr.No’ sells for $256,000

    LOS ANGELES – A handgun used by the late Sean Connery in the first James Bond film sold for $256,000 at auction in Beverly Hills on Thursday, topping earlier estimates for the piece of Hollywood history, Julien’s Auctions said.

    The deactivated semi-automatic Walther PP pistol, which along with its smaller model the PPK became one of the film franchise’s best-known images, was used by Connery in the movie “Dr. No” in 1962.

    Connery, the first James Bond in the franchise, died on Oct. 31 at the age of 90.

    Julien’s said the winning bidder, who asked to remain anonymous, was an American who had seen every James Bond movie with his or her children. The auction house had previously estimated that the gun would fetch between $150,000 and $200,000.

    A helmet created for Tom Cruise in “Top Gun” also sold at the auction for $108,000, while a sword used by Bruce Willis in “Pulp Fiction” fetched $35,200.


    Netflix film ‘Mank’ dives into ‘Citizen Kane’ screenwriter controversy

    LOS ANGELES – The new movie “Mank” on Netflix takes audiences back to Hollywood’s golden era of the 1930s with a look at the making of one of the film industry’s most-celebrated gems.

    Shot in black and white, “Mank” focuses on writer Herman J. Mankiewicz as he works on 1941 cinema classic “Citizen Kane,” considered by many the greatest movie of all time. Mankiewicz and director Orson Welles battled over who would be credited for the screenplay.

    “Mank” was directed by David Fincher and based on a screenplay penned by his father, Jack, who died in 2003. Fincher said he wanted the movie to bring to life the process of filmmaking and the colorful personalities behind it.

    “This was a really wonderful sandbox,” Fincher said at a recent online screening of “Mank.”

    “You had a great character at the center of it who can expound very delightfully on everything that he encounters. And he was a great avatar to take a look at Hollywood in its heyday.”

    “Mank” has charmed many film critics, earning an 89% positive rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website, which aggregates movie reviews.

    Gary Oldman, who plays Mank, said he performed without prosthetics or props that have helped him in other roles.

    “I’m glad we went that route because there’s no tricks, there’s no fireworks, there’s no wigs, there’s no false noses, there’s no prosthetics, there’s no padding,” Oldman said. “It’s just raw and there it is.”

    The filmmakers recreated 1930s film sets and studio lots, replicating the fashion as well as the lighting and editing styles used at the time.

    Amanda Seyfried, who plays actress Marion Davies, said the “Mank” sets were “surreal.”

    “I was enveloped in this era, this golden age of Hollywood on the lot,” she told Reuters via Zoom.