Bond. James Bond.

My first true exposure to James Bond was in 1977 as Roger Moore skied down the mountain, went off the cliff and sailed away under the safety of the Union Jack parachute and into the silhouetted hands of a Bond lady. The opening of For Your Eyes Only had me hooked. Since then hubby and I have caught many of the original Bond films in retros at theaters, and the new Bond films drew us in during opening week. Then came Casino Royale with Daniel Craig. I sat horrified in the theater as the torture scene unfolded, and finally closed my eyes and covered my ears. The entire film was dark and depressing and we left the theater feeling discouraged and betrayed. We never saw Quantum of Solace in the theater. When Skyfall hit the theater our friends recommended it and so we gave it a try, and were very pleased with the movie. Daniel Craig has come into his own as Bond. Still, was he as good as Connery? Moore? Brosnan? or the others? We decided to find out.

Happily, we own the “James Bond Ultimate Collector’s Set” on dvd, and so we set out to watch Bond from Dr. No to Skyfall over the summer. I won’t review each and every movie as others have done that far better than I ever could. Instead I’ll share a few thoughts.

  • Some of the Bond movies were not as good as we remembered, a couple were better, and the rest were just happy, fun movies.
  • Casino Royale was a bit better on re-watch than our original viewing.
  • Quantum of Solace proved itself to be an okay Bond.
  • Neither hubby nor myself found Craig endearing as Bond in these first two outings, so both re-watches were difficult and the desire to just turn them off was just a yawn away. Both of these movies still lack the finesse, daring, and dry humor of the Connery/Moore/Brosnan Bond films. The opening credits are not exciting or titillating; and the title songs are hugely lacking in musical enjoyment. Plus … we miss the gun barrel sequence at the beginning. It’s just not the same.
  • Even though we are big James Bond fans, there isn’t one Bond movie that rates 10 stars.
  • Three of them do rate 9 stars, and the reasons really are Perfectly clear. HA!
    • Goldfinger (1964) – Sean Connery – for the gold Paint
    • For Your Eyes Only (1981) – Roger Moore – the Parrot
    • GoldenEye (1995) – Pierce Brosnan – the bomb Pen
  • Better than remembered:
    • On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
    • The Living Daylights
    • Licence to Kill
  • Marginally Better than remembered:
    • Casino Royale
    • Quantum of Solace
  • Worse than remembered:
    • Live and Let Die
    • A View to a Kill

Having now viewed them all, here’s our rating list for each movie, and our final rating on each Bond actor:

The Bond Movies:

  • Dr. No (1962) – Sean Connery – 8 stars
  • From Russia with Love (1963) – Sean Connery – 8 stars
  • Goldfinger (1964) – Sean Connery – 9 stars
  • Thunderball (1965) – Sean Connery – 8 stars
  • You Only Live Twice (1967) – Sean Connery – 8 stars
  • On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) – George Lazenby – 7 stars
  • Diamonds Are Forever (1971) – Sean Connery – 8 stars
  • Live and Let Die (1973) – Roger Moore – 6 stars
  • The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) – Roger Moore – 7 stars
  • The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) – Roger Moore – 8 stars
  • Moonraker (1979) – Roger Moore – 8 stars
  • For Your Eyes Only (1981) – Roger Moore – 9 stars
  • Octopussy (1983) – Roger Moore – 8 stars
  • A View to a Kill (1985) – Roger Moore – 6 stars
  • The Living Daylights (1987) – Timothy Dalton – 8 stars
  • Licence to Kill (1989) – Timothy Dalton – 7 stars
  • GoldenEye (1995) – Pierce Brosnan – 9 stars
  • Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) – Pierce Brosnan – 8 stars
  • The World Is Not Enough (1999) – Pierce Brosnan – 8 stars
  • Die Another Day (2002) – Pierce Brosnan – 7 stars
  • Casino Royale (2006) – Daniel Craig – 5 stars
  • Quantum of Solace (2008) – Daniel Craig – 5 stars
  • Skyfall (2012) – Daniel Craig – 8 stars

The Bond Actors:

  • Sean Connery – 8 stars (hubby’s favorite)
  • Pierce Brosnan – 8 stars (my favorite)
  • Roger Moore – 7 stars
  • George Lazenby – 7 stars
  • Timothy Dalton – 7 stars
  • Daniel Craig – 6 stars

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One response to “Bond. James Bond.

  1. Great post! The Bond movies have been shown in random on one of the Sky movie channels here in the UK.When there is nothing on, we head for a Bond! – Over the 3 weeks we have Dr No at least 3 times, from different sections of the films. I had forgotten how some of the were, the quick puns that remain throughout the different films – “that last hand almost killed me” from Casino Royale when JB literally has his heart stop in the car scene. The sexual innuendo, was the times of the 70s and 80s. They are an institution!