This is the second in a series of blogs I’m calling “Mashup Storypitches,” where I take two or more stories from popular culture–movies, books or TV shows–that share a trivial commonality, and envision what it would be like if they were mashed together. Nothing is sacred and stars, writers or concepts from different eras, genres or universes can coexist. Consider it “metaphorphic fanfic,” if you will!
Today’s Source Material: Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner (1967 movie, directed by Stanley Kramer), You Only Live Twice (1967 movie, directed by Lewis Gilbert).
Trivial Commonality: Both films were released in, and evidently take place in, the year 1967.
San Francisco, 1967. Aging liberal newspaper publisher Matt Drayton (Spencer Tracy) and his wife Christina (Katharine Hepburn) receive a phone call from their college-aged daughter Joey (Katharine Houghton) with some unexpected news: she’s in San Francisco, she’s quite suddenly engaged, and she’s bringing her fiancé home for dinner that night to meet her parents. Matt and Christina are delighted…until Joey arrives with the fiancé in tow. A powerful, well-built black man with a British accent (Sidney Poitier) enters the apartment and introduces himself: “The name is Bond…James Bond.”
This being 1967, after all, and interracial marriages still somewhat new, Matt and Christina are taken aback. They have always raised Joey consistent with their liberal values, but they never expected her to bring a black man home as their future son-in-law. As they are struggling with this, Matt receives another shock when Bond slips away into the study to take a phone call. Through a crack in the door Matt listens as Bond speaks on the telephone to his superior, M (Bernard Lee), about a secret mission in Japan to which he is en route. Indeed, Bond is a British Secret Service agent, 007 licensed to kill. Joey does not know this. She and Bond met in Hawaii as Bond was en route to Japan to thwart the plans of a mysterious supervillain called Blofeld. Bond told her he was a doctor attending a medical conference in Tokyo.
Time is of the essence. Bond must reach Japan within 24 hours, and wants to marry Joey quickly before he gets there. In a private conversation in the study, Bond confesses the truth to Matt: that he is marrying Joey as a cover, for Blofeld’s agents in Japan expect Bond, whom they know is single, to be traveling alone. Bond also discloses that Blofeld, using a secret space vehicle, has captured both Soviet and American space capsules as a means to create tension between the superpowers. Another space launch is due to happen in 3 days. If something happens to it, nuclear war between the superpowers is likely. Bond begs Matt to approve the marriage, explaining that the fate of the free world depends on it.
Matt tells his wife and daughter nothing of this, but approves the marriage. Just as the family is sitting down to dinner to celebrate, masked SPECTRE agents burst in through the doors and windows. Using stun gas they immobilize Bond and the Draytons, but take Joey with them. After Bond and the Draytons come to, one of the TV screens in the apartment comes to life with a strange video message from the hideous supervillain Blofeld (Donald Pleasance), who is calling from the jet on which he is flying Joey to Japan as a hostage. Blofeld–who believes Bond’s love for Joey Drayton is genuine–establishes what he believes is an agonizing moral choice for Bond: unless Bond agrees within 24 hours to resign from the Secret Service and not pursue him anymore, Blofeld will execute Joey. Therefore, the question is, who will Bond choose to save: the free world, or the woman he loves?
After several agonizing conversations between himself, the Draytons, and Bond’s own parents (Beah Richards and Roy E. Glenn), who have flown to San Francisco for moral support, Bond decides that he really does love Joey, and he must go after her at all costs. Fortunately Q (Desmond Llewelyn) arrives with a top-secret gadget, a tiny helicopter called “Little Nellie” which Bond can take with him to Japan and use to penetrate the defenses of Blofeld’s volcano lair. Bond calls Blofeld and pretends to agree to resign from MI6, but only on the condition that he can pick up Joey personally in Japan. Blofeld agrees. Bond flies to Japan, quickly assembles Little Nellie and infiltrates the volcano lair by flying into the crater just before Blofeld launches his space vehicle. After a fight with Blofeld–who activates the base’s self-destruct system–Bond rescues Joey and the two escape in a hijacked submarine. Looking behind them, they witness Blofeld’s headquarters explode in a colossal fireball, but Blofeld himself has escaped in a orbital space pod.
Bond and Joey fly back to San Francisco. Now genuinely in love, they settle down to dinner with the Draytons and Bond’s parents. As this is the second time in the film Bond has come to dinner at the Drayton’s house, the title is fulfilled. Jacqueline Fontaine sings “The Glory of Love” as the end credits roll.