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Seven 007s, but who’s the best Bond?


Back in the day, when I was a mere slip of a lad, and you had to switch on the telly five minutes before your show started or risk missing the opening scene, I went to the cinema to see my first ever Bond movie, Live and Let Die.

Aside from having the best Bond theme ever, with Chris Cornell’s You know my name from the Daniel Craig version of Casino Royale, coming in a close second, Live and Let Die has, in my opinion, the bestest best ever James Bond actor, Roger Moore.

Now, I know a lot of folks think Sean Connery is the greatest 007, but I always liked the tongue-in-cheek approach Moore brought to the character.  That said, I’ve enjoyed all the Bonds…so far.

      Sean Connery: the original.  After introducing the movie-going public to 'Bond, James Bond' in Dr. No, he went on to play 007 in six movies - seven if you count (and if you ask me, we shouldn't) the unofficial Never Say Never Again.
  

 David Niven: Spoofed the spiffy spy in the 1967 version of Casino Royale

   George Lazemby was a one-off 007 in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.   One of the best Bond movies, I'd say.  Not least because it had Diana Rigg in it.

 Roger Moore: Played a more sophisticated, suave Bond in seven movies.  Not above laughing at himself – he brought a tongue-in-cheek element to the franchise - Moore was always good to watch, though he stayed a little too long (he was 58 when he retired from the role) and the story lines got a little too silly towards the end of his tenure. 

  Timothy Dalton: After turning down the role in 1971 (he thought he was too young, and Connery's act too hard to follow), Dalton eventually filmed a brace of Bond movies, including Senior Management’s favorite, Licence to Kill.  He was slated to appear in a third (possibly titled Property of a Lady), but copyright legal-type problems scuttled the movie.

 Pierce Brosnan: Commitments to  his hit TV show: Remington Steele delayed his appointment, but Brosnan breathed life back into the franchise with four 007 appearances, including one of the most financially successful (though critically unpopular) Bond movies to date, Die Another Day.

 Daniel Craig: A blonde Bond? Many thought him an awful choice, but he proved them wrong on his first outing, a remake of Casino Royale.    

If you've never read Ian Fleming's original novels, I recommend giving them a try. 

Novel-wise, Goldfinger's my personal favorite, though others may disagree. 

 As for the actors, it’s a tough choice, I’ll admit, but I still like Mr. Moore best.

How about you?

Who’s your favorite 007? 

Poll #1555535 Who's the best Bond?

Which actor made the best 007?

Pierce Brosnan
8(15.4%)
Sean Connery
21(40.4%)
Daniel Craig
12(23.1%)
Timothy Dalton
3(5.8%)
George Lazenby
0(0.0%)
Roger Moore
8(15.4%)
David Niven
0(0.0%)

 



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Comments

( 90 comments — Leave a comment )
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mela_lyn
Apr. 24th, 2010 11:52 am (UTC)
Can't stand Daniel Craig's Bond... *shudder*
Connery was the epitome of Bond.
jongibbs
Apr. 24th, 2010 12:08 pm (UTC)
I thought Daniel Craig did a great job in Casino Royale. I do like Sean Connery, and in the early movies he was a lot more like the gritty character in Ian Fleming's novels, but Roger Moore was my first Bond, so I guess he made the bigger impression.
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martyn44
Apr. 24th, 2010 12:46 pm (UTC)
Sorry, Roger Moore was the worst Bond, not only because of his tongue in cheek attitude but also because of his Ivanhoe and Simon Templar baggage. To me, Bond works best when he is closest to the very damaged piece of goods Fleming describes, and that is Daniel Craig followed by Sean Connery. YMMV.
jongibbs
Apr. 24th, 2010 02:41 pm (UTC)
Worse than David Niven? Say it ain't so! :P
(no subject) - martyn44 - Apr. 24th, 2010 04:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Apr. 24th, 2010 10:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - heleninwales - Apr. 24th, 2010 03:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
jongibbs
Apr. 24th, 2010 02:40 pm (UTC)
Connery does have a great voish...er voice :)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - jongibbs - Apr. 24th, 2010 04:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
bogwitch64
Apr. 24th, 2010 01:11 pm (UTC)
I have to make an ammendment to my pick--Daniel Craig. I'm going by sheer hotness factor here. The only Bond movie I ever saw was Octopussy. Just not a big fan of that sort of thing.

So, rating hotness factor ONLY, Daniel Craig wins, seconded closely by a tied (as opposed to tied-up, which might turn some on but I'm not into bondage) Pierce Brosnan and Timothy Dalton.
jongibbs
Apr. 24th, 2010 02:40 pm (UTC)
Senior Management likes Dalton too :)
a_r_williams
Apr. 24th, 2010 01:20 pm (UTC)
I think of Sean Connery as the best Bond w/ Roger Moore a close second.

After Moore, I've never really paid much attention to the Bond movie franchise.
jongibbs
Apr. 24th, 2010 02:39 pm (UTC)
The chase scene early on in the newer Casino Royale is one of the best I've ever seen. The movie's worth watching for that alone.
(no subject) - coneycat - Apr. 24th, 2010 03:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Apr. 24th, 2010 03:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
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msstacy13
Apr. 24th, 2010 01:38 pm (UTC)
I don't know anything about investments,
but if I were looking for a bond,
I'd probably go with tax free municipal.

Seriously, "Live and Let Die"
is the only Bond movie I've watched,
and the blatant a priori racist attitudes were so odious
that I would be hard pressed to ever put another Bond DVD in my player.
It was so hideous that I very nearly deleted all the McCartney songs
from my itunes folder.

To tolerate that sort of defamation of other human beings
on any pretense
buggars the imagination.
One cannot accept that for any reason
and seriously hope to end the pernicious misperceptions
clouding the lives of transsexuals and homosexuals.
We must either cold cock prejudice wherever we find it,
or live with it and die with it without complaint.

*sigh*

We now return to your regularly scheduled LJ discussion.
mtlawson
Apr. 24th, 2010 02:30 pm (UTC)
In terms of that regard, you watched by far the worst of the Bond films.
(no subject) - msstacy13 - Apr. 24th, 2010 03:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
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mtlawson
Apr. 24th, 2010 02:24 pm (UTC)
I'm the oddball in that I chose Timothy Dalton.

I guess I haven't had the distance from the movies yet to appreciate Craig, so I'm reserving judgement on him. He has great potential, however.

Moore and Connery had great individual movies, but they also had some turkeys in the Bond series, so I take marks off for those. Moore coasted at the end, living off of his best performance in For Your Eyes Only. Connery was the same, as I thought he did terrible in You Only Live Twice. (Okay, a lot about that movie was bad....)

Dalton gets the nod only because he had two good movies and he put in the fear of flying in the first one that seemed to be lost in the movie version of Bond. I liked Dalton better than Brosnan, personally.
jongibbs
Apr. 24th, 2010 02:37 pm (UTC)
I liked Dalton too. Licence to Kill has two of the best bad-guy lines ever: 'Did he promise you his heart? Give her his heart.' and one my all-time favorites 'He disagreed with something that ate him.'

Edited at 2010-04-24 02:37 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - mtlawson - Apr. 24th, 2010 07:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
coneycat
Apr. 24th, 2010 02:38 pm (UTC)
I love Daniel Craig iin the role. (I also love the gritty new direction the series took with the reboot--poor Brosnan had to deal with a couple of awful, cgi-happy scripts.)

I'd seen Craig play a WWI sergeant and a police detective, never a hard guy, but when he was cast I spent two years (or whatever) telling my Bond-fan brother that Craig would be the GREATEST BOND EVER OMG! He humoured me until we went to Munich (the spielberg movie) and as we walked out my brother said, "that guy is going to be the best Bond since Connery."

Am I upset the series is in limbo? Omigosh yes.

Edited at 2010-04-24 02:40 pm (UTC)
jongibbs
Apr. 24th, 2010 02:45 pm (UTC)
Me too. The announcement that Bond 23 was postponed indefinitely is what sparked off this little trip down memory lane :(
(Deleted comment)
jongibbs
Apr. 24th, 2010 02:45 pm (UTC)
Hey! :P
smeddley
Apr. 24th, 2010 03:10 pm (UTC)
Daniel Craig does not play Bond. He plays a spy, period. What is this watery-eyed knee-jerk romantic crap? What happened to the love'm and leave'm Bond?

And what happened to all the cool gadgets? The new Bond has... a defibrillator in his glove box. Big whoop. That's not Bond.

(I am, however, willing to admit the un-Bond-ness in the new movies is not Craig's fault, but the writers, so... if given a proper Bond script I could rethink it)
coneycat
Apr. 24th, 2010 03:40 pm (UTC)
See, to me the latest Bonds are much closer to Book Bond, which is what I like about them. Craig doesn't need gadgests, he'd just headbutt you to death.

And deliver the bits to M. I *love* the mentor relationship between Bond and M in these movies.
(no subject) - jongibbs - Apr. 24th, 2010 04:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - smeddley - Apr. 24th, 2010 05:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
dqg_neal
Apr. 24th, 2010 03:19 pm (UTC)
My preferred Bonds were Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and Pierces Brosnan. I don't care for the others.

Pierce Brosnan was a better Bond when he was playing Remington Steele. Or better yet, I should correct that. He was a great Bond, but the stories they gave him to play wheren't all that great.

I think License to kill would have been better if it had one of my top three Bonds playing the role instead of Dalton. I never liked Dalton.

jongibbs
Apr. 24th, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC)
I think with Dalton, they tried to get back to a more gritty version of 007 - he was certainly more ruthless in those two movies - but never quite had the suaveness of Moore or Brosnan.
(Deleted comment)
jongibbs
Apr. 24th, 2010 03:40 pm (UTC)
Moore's first two Bond movies where the best he did. After The Man With the Golden Gun they started to get a little silly.

I'd say Daniel Craig's Casino Royale is to Bond what the latest Star Trek movie was to that franchise.
plattcave
Apr. 24th, 2010 03:37 pm (UTC)
Moore is by far the worst Bond -- when compared to the books. He's absolutely enjoyable, but he never took the role seriously, which was a valid creative choice on his part, but it's pretty far from the source material. Craig is, I think, the closest to the near-sociopath of Fleming's novels.
jongibbs
Apr. 24th, 2010 03:44 pm (UTC)
That's true enough. Bond was much more of a thug in the books, but I still liked Moore. In the UK, he played Simon Templar (The Saint) on TV, so I knew what to expect.
(no subject) - plattcave - Apr. 24th, 2010 07:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
amysisson
Apr. 24th, 2010 03:44 pm (UTC)
It was a combination of the writing and the actor, but Daniel Craig's Casino Royale is the first Bond movie I've ever cared about, and the first I've ever bought to own. Gone were the stupid gadgets and awful puns, and it their place was an emotionally damaged, ruthless character, and stakes that mattered, rather than a plot bordering on ludicrous.

It's interesting, I took a screenwriting class last fall in which the textbook, written before the new Casino Royale, stated that the Bond character has no emotional development. Now, though, the two new Craig movies are really a single story with a single emotional arc for Bond.

After next favorite after Craig was Timothy Dalton, because he has character in his face rather than bland, glib smoothness.

(And it's not Connery's fault, but the writing... I remember he calls the redhead -- Tiffany? -- a "stupid twit", and I can't help but relate that to the misogony I suspect Connery possesses in real life.)
jongibbs
Apr. 24th, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC)
You're right, both Craig and Dalton's faces tell stories. I thought the opening music/credits to Casino Royale were head and shoulders above any of the other bond movies'
(no subject) - wordsrmylife - Apr. 24th, 2010 07:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
dferguson
Apr. 24th, 2010 03:45 pm (UTC)
Sean Connery's portrayal of James Bond is so iconic that he should be on a shelf of his own. It's unfair to compare the others to him. That having been said, here's my ranking of the remaining Bonds:

Timothy Dalton: Played the Bond of the books to perfection. The only problem was he had to follow Roger Moore's clownish incarnation of the character. An entire generation grew up on Moore's jokey Bond Lite and I think that Dalton's hard-edged, no-nonsense Bond scared the hell outta a lot of folks who only know Bond from the movies and have never read the books.

Pierce Brosnan: Brought a sense of fun and style to the character that had touches of Connery but Brosnan put his own mark on the character. I know most Bond fans detest THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH (hey, in the James Bond Universe nuclear physicists are supposed to look like Denise Richards) but it, along with DIE ANOTHER DAY are my favorite Brosnan Bonds.

George Lazenby: The red-headed stepchild of the Bond franchise. But Lazenby is really pretty good in his sole Bond outing. If Connery had starred in it this would have been the best Bond movie ever. It remains the most faithful adaptation of any of the Fleming books. I'd rather watch ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE than MOONRAKER or A VIEW TO A KILL any day of the week.

Daniel Craig: The jury's still out on him. He's got one terrific movie in the plus column, CASINO ROYALE and one terrible movie in the minus column, QUANTUM OF BOREDOM...oops, I mean SOLACE. But for intensity he can't be beat. This is a Bond who takes his job more seriously than any who came before him.

Roger Moore: The most frustrating of the Bonds. When he had a director who reined in his clownish approach, we got movies like THE SPY WHO LOVED ME and FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, both of which are worthy to stand alongside any of the Connery Bonds. When Moore was allowed to indulge his laziness and his love of unfunny wisecracks we got MOONRAKER and A VIEW TO A KILL.

jongibbs
Apr. 24th, 2010 03:53 pm (UTC)
I liked On Her Majesty's Secret Service too - and by the way, for all those who say he never has character growth, how about falling in love, getting married then seeing your wife murdered, all in the same movie?
(no subject) - dferguson - Apr. 24th, 2010 03:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
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