With Skyfall drawing near every day–
(why do I suddenly feel like Chicken Little?)
–I’ve seen lots of commentary on the web about the best Bond and best Bond film. The link below takes you to an official place to vote and air your thoughts.
As to my choice, I’ll echo comments I’ve made before: there is more than one good Bond and more than one good Bond film.
Best Sean Connery, probably any of them. Depending on the day of the week you ask me this question I’ll provide a different answer. I keep coming back to From Russia With Love, except it’s got a weak ending after they leave the Orient Express. Thunderball probably has the best climax. Vote goes to … Thunderball.
Best Roger Moore film, tie between Live And Let Die and The Man With The Golden Gun (Wings and boat chase vs. Christopher Lee and fun house duel). Moore should have retired after those two. The first Bond I saw in the theater was The Spy Who Loved Me, and the camp severely disappointed.
Best George Lazenby, well, that one’s obvious isn’t it. He only did the one, and while there are low points in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Great book, one of the best Ian Fleming wrote, and I feel the romantic angle worked the way he handled it. Diana Rigg was just too strong an actress to play off against Lazenby, though. If Connery had kept the role, this would probably be the best Bond movie ever, because I think it would have been believable that Rigg broke through his hard exterior and connected with the man underneath.
Best Timothy Dalton, License To Kill, for Benicio del Toro and the revenge theme. This probably would have been another classic and unforgettable Bond if it had been made during Connery’s tenure or, now, during Daniel Craig’s. How could they not scare the crap out of you?
Best Pierce Brosnan, Goldeneye, since it’s his first and you’ve got Famke Janssen and her death hug. OddJob can keep his hat and Jaws can keep his … well, his jaws.
Daniel Craig … I’ll hold off on voting until I see Skyfall. So far it looks quite promising. Casino Royale was decent, but the poker seemed to slow the pace. And a love story for Craig’s first outing … a tough sell. Even Fleming didn’t handle that well in the book. Possibly because it was the first, too. Especially since he wasn’t a romance writer.
There you have it:
Thunderball, Live And Let Die / The Man With The Golden Gun, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, License To Kill, Goldeneye, and ?