“Another Time, Another Place”

Posted on December 30, 2013

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James Bond (Sean Connery) Bond is leaving Shrublands in “Thunderball“. Ms Fearing (Mollie Peters) follows him to the parked Aston Martin and she appears to be quite keen to continue their romance.
“Any time, James. Any place”, she says.
Bond replies: “Another time, another place”. And drives off.

Not only an eloquent yet harsch reply to put a hold on a new relationship, it also a deliberate reference to a prior film of Sean Connery’s, simply Another Time, Another Place released in 1958.
There is a bit of a story to the shoot of that particular film, starring our dear boy Sean Connery and Hollywood cougar Lana Turner whose dangerous and jealous LA hoodlum Johnny Stompanato ended up being struck by Connery.
seanlanaThe then fairly unknown Scottish actor Sean Connery was personally picked from 300 aspirants by star Lana Turner to play opposite herself in “Another Time, Another Place“.
Lana Turner had been an established star for ages and in 1957 she was free from her studio contract with MGM. She went to England with a script and a production team to shoot a love story set in the London Blitz of 1944. Early she said to be looking for a British actor to play the part of Mark Trevor, BBC correspondent. Sean Connery landed the role and began meticulous preparations. When filming began Connery and Turner got along tremendously and the press that was simply star struck by Turner quickly hyped their relationship as an amorous one. The set up was rather romantic, the Hollywood goddess and the unknown Scottish working class handsome. The press wanted this to be a fairy tale. Turner’s daughter Cheryl Crane said that the two were just friends, colleagues who enjoyed each other’s company and dined out from time to time. But rumours were spreading, all the way to the US and Lana
Turner’s mobster boyfriend Johnny Stompanato who was working for LA crime chief Mickey Cohen.

People in Hollywood were mystified by her separation from actor Lex Barker in February 1957 and the news of the Turner/Stompanato relationship was very much frowned upon by many of Lana’s friends. Initially attracted by his good looks and charm Turner and Stompanato soon fell out and Johnny’s possessive behaviour made Lana try to break it up. Rows followed and when Turner was to travel to England she wanted Stompanato to stay in the US. She wanted him as far away as possible from the movie production as he might bring about negative publicity for the film due to him being a notorious criminal.

But Stompanato came to England all the same but was forbidden to visit the sets. He assumed that she and Connery had had an affair and had gotten enraged, attacking Turner, threatening her life and once almost strangling her with
such brute force that the inflicted injury on her vocal chords made her unable to work for three weeks. Stompanato confronted Connery on set. After forcing Tuner’s chauffeur to drive him to the studios he stormed in waving a gun. Cheryl Crane writes in her autobiography that Connery just threw a single right hand punch to Johnny’s nose and took his gun away. The whole incident was covered up but Stompanato was later expelled by Scotland Yard after he had abused Turner viciously again.

On 4 April 1958 Lana’s daughter Cheryl stabbed Stomapanto to death after another terrible row in their Beverly Hills home. The case became a media sensation. Cheryl claimed self defence and Lana Turner supported her with an emotional testimony. Rumours said that it was in fact Turner who killed him but that her daughter took the blame as she was a minor and couldn’t be charged.

The court was in favour of Cheryl Crane and ruled Stompanato’s death as justifiable homicide.
Coincidentally Connery was in Los Angeles at the height of the story and was called up by a representative of crime boss Mickey Cohen who knew about the rumours of Turner and Connery. The Cohen hoodlum encouraged Connery to get his ass out of town, just as a friendly advice. Although Connery didn’t take that advice he kept a very low profile at the Disney Studios filming “Darby O’Gill and the little people” and did not contact Turner during his stay.
“Another Time, Another Place” was unfortunately not a success, but “Darby O’Gill and the Little People” was and Connery was on his way to 007 fame and the battering of that lousy LA gangster should be to his credit.
Lana Turner came to marry three more times after the Stompanato episode, making it a total of eight marriages to seven husbands for those of you keeping count.

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Posted in: Thunderball