His Name Is Bond…James Bond!
These words are one of the most iconic phrases in motion picture history:
“My name is Bond. James Bond.”
And the films are a phenomenal achievement in longevity as well: the world just celebrated 50 years of James Bond 007!
There have been six Actors who have portrayed James Bond 007…each has left a unique stamp on the role – each has been controversial in some way, and each has passionate fans – and detractors…
Time For The Film Fight Club!
On this edition of the film fight club, put on your gloves and get ready to debate who was the best – and the WORST – Bond of all time!
Let get started at the beginning: 1963, when a popular spy series penned by Ian Fleming was turned into a tight little action thriller set in Jamaica…
Sean Connery IS 007!
He was the first, and Sean Connery not only set the standard for what James Bond should be, he also starred in what is arguably the greatest Bond film ever, “Goldfinger.” Add to that “From Russia With Love” and “Thunderball”, and he’s a tough Bond to beat. What’s that you say? “Diamonds Are Forever?”
George Lazenby – “You Only Live Once!”
Sean Connery got fed up donning the tuxedo after “You Only Live Twice”, and the Producers gave the role to a newcomer – tall, strong, and somewhat – shall we say – STIFF?
George Lazenby was thrust into the role of the world’s most popular British spy – and needless to say, it wasn’t a good fit in the tuxedo!
Far Up! Far Out! Far More!
Not so fast! After a single film, George Lazenby decided the pressure of being the world’s most popular movie character wasn’t for him, so he bailed on the role!
That said – “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” is, to many, the best Bond film of all time: smart, action-packed, and touching…it certainly is unique in showing a much more personal side to Bond…shouldn’t Lazenby get credit for that?
Roger Moore Ushers In A Sillier Bond!
After one last turn by Connery, Roger Moore took over and gave us a grittier Bond – and the series single best theme song “Live And Let Die”…
“Live And Let Die” was a huge hit, but after a poor box office reception to “The Man With The Golden Gun”, Bond slid into increasingly campy and outrageous adventures, culminating in Moore’s turn in outer space in “Moonraker” and the series’ low point: “A View To A Kill.”
Still, “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “For Your Eyes Only” are considered great Bond films, and for many, Roger Moore’s 80’s Bond was what they grew up on…and the franchise was only following the 80’s in general: bigger, more colorful, more outrageous was the order of the day in movie theaters….
Still, it was time for Roger Moore to stop rolling around in bed with women young enough to be his grand-daughter…and the Producers tried to “toughen” James Bond up again….
Timothy Dalton’s Return To Reality!
Perhaps the least popular Bond of all, Timothy Dalton tried to bring Bond back down to earth in “The Living Daylights” and “License To Kill” – but guess what? Audiences didn’t want that at all.
“License To Kill” was a huge box office bomb. Dalton was a Bond out of touch with the times, and after two films, the franchise was on its knees…
Enter Pierce Brosnan And The Return Of 007!
Pierce Brosnan brought new life to the Bond franchise. Brosnan, who was supposed to be Bond before Dalton got the role, finally got to don the tuxedo, and he did so with some outstanding Bond films:
“GoldenEye” especially captured everything that made Bond so great…and Brosnan had the perfect blend of charm, looks and grit that Bond needed. “Tomorrow Never Dies” was a good Bond film as well, and Brosnan seemed to be quite comfortable in the role of 007..
But, much like Moore, he stayed a Bond film too long, and we got “Die Another Die”, which also gave us the WORST Bond theme of all time, thanks to Madonna…
So there are the first five Bonds…quite a mix of styles….
Meet The New Bond! Same As The Old Bond! Daniel Craig!
When Daniel Craig was announced as the new James Bond, there was quite a bit of controversy…I mean, he had blonde hair!
But “Casino Royale” kicked off with an amazing action sequence, and Daniel Craig brought back fond memories of 1963 Bond: tough, brutal, and focused on one thing: the job at hand. But he was also human, and by adding an emotional storyline to “Casino Royale”, they created one of the greatest Bond films ever…
And then they topped it with “Skyfall”, the most popular Bond film of all time – the only Bond movie to ever break $1-BILLION at the worldwide box office….
Shame about “Quantum Of Solace” then, huh? That dreary little film showed that every Bond struggled at some point in the series…and c’mon, why would Bond EVER need a gun that big?
Film Fight Club Is Underway!
So, let me have it: are you a Connery Bond? I am! “From Russia With Love” is a dynamite action thriller, and Connery’s the most comfortable Bond ever in that tuxedo…what, you don’t agree?
Leave a comment! And if you need more info on Bond, click her to find out all about a new, terrific James Bond documentary now available!
Let me know your favorite Bond and why! Also, I will post on the fight club board my top 5 Bond movies of all time! Let me know yours! Thanks for reading!
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