Daniel Craig’s Rocky 007 Finale! Debate: The Best Bond? The Worst 007?

james-bond-everything-or-nothing

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: in fact, Daniel Craig is suiting up for this last outing as 007 in “Bond 25!” (working title of course)

iconic 007 gun barrel

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…

007-legends-logo

Craig’s Rocky Finale!

the most recent Bond production has been plagued with accidents, including one that has sidelined Craig, as it was reported he recently had “minor ankle surgery” resulting from an injury sustained during filming in Jamaica.

To counter these stories, the studio just released this behind-the-scenes teaser:

That had a lot of “Dr. NO” vibe to it, and interesting that it didn’t use ANY of the iconic Bond theme at all…

It was also just announced that Christoph Weitz is returning as Ernst Blofeld, but since I found his appearance in “Spectre” to be dark and dreary, I’m not sure that will help….no one will be as good in the role as the legendary Donald Pleasance…

I do hope that all is going well, and that the film is a fitting farewell for Craig as Bond, but that is unlikely given the history of 007…

It all began in 1963, when a popular series of spy novels penned by Ian Fleming was turned into a tight little action thriller set in Jamaica…

vintage Dr. No movie poster James Bond 007


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?”

Sean Connery film fight club

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 film fight club

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!

On_Her_Majesty's_Secret_Service_-_UK_cinema_poster


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?

A terrific documentary on Hulu looks at this “one and done” Bond…here is the trailer:

https://johnrieber.com/2017/05/02/the-sex-secrets-of-james-bond-007-george-lazenbys-swinging-007-days-great-new-documentary-becoming-bond/

The Producers scrambled to fill 007’s empty shoes, and they went with someone who stepped into the tuxedo effortlessly…

Yes, Sean Connery came back, but his heart didn’t seem in it, and the film, while fun to watch, was clearly not up to the standards of previous outings – so another change was due…

Live_and_Let_Die-_UK_cinema_poster


Roger Moore Ushers In A Smoother, And Ultimately 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”…

roger-moore best and worst james bond

“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, and Moore’s last outing as 007: “A View To A Kill.”

worst james bond film of all time

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….

a-view-to-a-kill

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 best and worst 007


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

“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…

f Pierce Brosnan as James Bond (007) in GoldenEye.

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:

golden-eye

“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..

die another day

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….

best and worst james bond 007

Meet The New Bond!

When Daniel Craig was announced as the new James Bond, there was quite a bit of controversy…I mean, he had blonde hair!

Daniel Craig - New James Bond movie Casino Royale

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…

Skyfall

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?

Quantum of Solace

The most recent Bond film, “Spectre”, was also lethargic, and Craig trashed the role after filming ended, saying he’d never play 007 again…but that of course isn’t true, so can they give Craig a fitting finale? We will see!

And the music, let’s not forget the music:

James Bond Theme

Of course the greatest Bond theme song was “Live And Let Die”, but there have been other great ones, and stinkers as well! Here is my look at the best and worst of the Bond theme songs!

https://johnrieber.com/2013/11/05/rock-on-007-the-best-and-worst-james-bond-theme-songs/

Let me know your favorite Bond and why! Also, you saw my list of the top 5 Bond songs of all time! Let me know yours! Thanks for reading!

james-bond-everything-or-nothing



Categories: 70's Cinema, 70's Music, Action Films, Art, Books / Media, British Cinema, Cult Movies, Film Fight Club, Great Films, Hollywood, London, Movies, Pop Culture, Talent/Celebrities, Uncategorized

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10 replies

  1. Hey John, great post. I’m not one for kicking Bond when he’s down, he always bounces back. While I got issues with Spectre, there are things in it that I like. I did a series of posts counting down my favourite Bonds on the eve of Spectre coming out but effectively I think each Bond has their definitive one. Goldfinger, The Spy Who Loved Me, Licence to Kill, Goldeneye, Casino Royale and Skyfall. I also rate Die Another Day, Diamonds Are Forever, Moonraker, The Living Daylights, Tomorrow Never Dies and You Only Live Twice higher than others. I would’ve liked Pierce to have given the chance to retire the role like Moore and Craig have and wish them good luck with the latest. In terms of songs Shirley Bassey, Nobody Does It Better, Goldeneye, Thunderball, You Know My Name, Skyfall are all great you’re right, the best one is Live and Let Die. Wife loves the Gunners cover version.

    • I did a post on the best and worst Bond themes as well…as for the films, I like them all, just in varying degrees as you point out…I love ALL the Connerys, love Lazenby, was sorry to see that Moore and Brosnan sort of “outlived” the part, Dalton never had a chance to grow in it, and Craig has, in my opinion, become far TOO dour…we will see what they do!

  2. Daniel Craig without a doubt. I never really enjoyed Bond movies until Casino Royale. Am really intrigued as to who the next one could be.

  3. I love this post John! For me, the top 3 Bonds are Connery, Craig, and Brosnan. I do consider Live and Let Die one of my favs, but it’s the only one of Moore’s that I really liked. I do hope Craig’s last Bond film goes out with a bang!😏

  4. I would argue “You Only Live Twice” is the worst of the Connery Bond films. “Diamonds” is more entertaining and even “Never Say Never” is not bad if you can tune out the awful music. As for Moore, sorry nothing is worse than “Moonraker”. Worst Bond of all time. The director of “On Her Majestys” did Lazenby no favors when instead of having Lazenby dub a actor’s lines who he was to impersonate, they dubbed Lazenby’s lines in the actor’s voice. A better editor might have saved that film too.

    • Love your POV…I like “Twice” because of the Japan location, but they are neck-and-neck to be sure….”Moonraker” is embarrassing, but at least he wasn’t using a walker as he was in “view”…he could barely move! As for the “one and done” Bond – the documentary about him is fascinating…Senor Sock had more range!

  5. Sorry, John. I stopped bothering with them after Connery. I have seen a few since, but he will remain as my ‘definitive’ Bond. I read all the books years ago, and thought he suited the ‘mood’. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Pete, someone on Twitter chastised me for criticizing the last film of Timothy Dalton….ha! I may have stepped into one of those “Star Wars vs. Star trek” things but who cares! Oh, and I went into my wordpress settings and “notify me by email of new posts” was mysteriously turned OFF….i didn’t do it of course, so hopefully I will get yours again as I do follow you as you are listed on my blog as being followed with a link!

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