How the ‘Man With Bottle’ ended up in 3 consecutive James Bond films

The late Victor Tourjansky made it a habit looks on in disbelief for a trio of James Bond films in the late 70s and early 80s.

The assistant director had a more prolific career behind the camera than in front of it, but Bond enthusiasts affectionately refer to him as “Man With Bottle” or “Man With Wine Glass”, a role he played in three consecutive franchise entries: the 1977 The spy who loved meThe 1979s Moonraker and the 1981s For your Eyes Only.

The spy who loved me features a high-wire chase where Bond and Major Anya Amasova drive off a pier and into the sea to escape an attack helicopter in Bond’s Lotus Esprit sports car, which transforms into a submarine. Tourjansky sits on the beach and watches in amazement as Lotus emerges from the water. He gapes at the car, then looks back at the wine bottle in his hand.

A similar gag takes place in Moonraker, as Bond pilots a hovercraft gondola through St. Mark’s Square in Venice. Tourjansky, sitting outside a cafe, sits once more in stunned disbelief before turning his attention back to his wine bottle. IN For your Eyes Onlya wide-eyed Tourjansky tries to make sense of things as he looks out over the ruined lodge balcony, wine glass in hand, for Bond barrels through a ski lodge on a motorbike, while being pursued by assassins.

Watch Victor Tourjansky’s first Bond scene

Tourjansky’s original cameo was purely a matter of being in the right place at the right time. He worked on stage in Italy as a local assistant director and ended up in The spy who loved me as “a sinister joke of [director] Lewis Gilbert and myself,” said associate producer William P. Cartlidge in the 2000s Inside ‘The Spy Who Loved Me.’

“I’ve done a few parts here and there, like helping out, you know, at the last minute when an actor wasn’t on time or something,” Tourjansky said in the same documentary. “And they asked me to do it, so I said, ‘Well, let’s try. Can I use a bottle?’ So I wanted to do a double take. I looked first at the Lotus, then at the bottle. And he said, ‘Do whatever you want and let’s see what happens.’ But he was happy.”

Tourjansky earned less than a handful of other acting credits after his Bond cameos, though he served as second unit director or assistant director on nearly 30 features, according to IMDb. Despite his sparse acting resume, his on-screen appearances were enough to earn him a special place in the hearts of many Bond fans.

James Bond Movies Classified

The James Bond films have been many things over the years: one of the longest-running film franchises in cinema history, blockbusters that have routinely topped the charts for all-time grossers, and textbook examples of how to stage action pictures.

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