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.
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?
Which actor made the best 007?