View blog reactions Waiting for Speedway Fowler: Ranking the Bond Movies

Saturday, June 09, 2007


Ranking the Bond Movies

Everyone does this list. Here's my take.

1. The Living Daylights

- I know, I know. A lot of people hate Timothy Dalton's portrayal of Bond, but I abide by the prevailing wisdom that his Bond was closest to Fleming's archetype. He might actually be closer to John Gardner's Bond. This movie rates at the top because of several factors: The cargo net scene, the Gibraltar scene, Maryam D'Abo, and the Karachi line. The Aston Martin is sweet. Bond is digging some cool jazz in a 2-second throw-away shot. And glorifying the Mujahadin is such an epic blunder it's actually kind of endearing. Aw, look how innocent we were back in 1987.

2. Diamonds Are Forever

- It had Mister Kidd and Mister Wint. What more can you ask for? Plus: the Bombe Suprise. The tart's handkerchief line. "Hi, I'm Plenty. But of course you are." And Willard Whyte. Lots of fun, plus the oil platform scene at the end, which "24" ripped off this year.

3. Thunderball

-Everyone's favorite. Connery in top form, and the rapelling scene. Plus, classic Blofeld. The guy who plays Felix is pretty good. Great pacing. Some nice MI6 details.

4. Casino Royale

- Bond is back after Brosnan's lackluster tenure. Daniel Craig is tough and brutal, a Bond for the 21st century. Best line: "Ow." Worst line: "No." (Craig somehow says it wrong, IIRC) An excellent femme fatale, and Felix was pretty good too.

5. Live and Let Die

-It's REALLY dated now, but Moore's first Bond outing remains exotic, funky and enjoyably weird. I still love the sword-on-the-headstone gimmick. AND you get Geoffrey Holder. Try doing that with a cola nut.

6. On Her Majesty's Secret Service

-Lazenby's solo stab at 007 has grown in stature over the years. I have no problems with his performance, and I like the tragic ending, but years of Kojak reruns have made Savalas a tough sell as ESB.

7. The Spy Who Loved Me

- Great theme song, great pre-credits action sequence. That awesome Lotus that converts into a submarine. Moore hitting his stride, before he became too cartoonish.

8. Goldfinger

- Slow in spots, but a top Connery outing. The crop-duster scene is a classic. You have that laser, and Auric Goldfinger delivers perhaps the greatest line of any Bond villain ever. You know.

9. GoldenEye

- Brosnan's first and best Bond flick. The pre-credits sequence is fantastic, and the establishing shot is dark and gray and threatening. Alan Cumming, Joe Don Baker and Robbie Coltrane add to the fun.

10. You Only Live Twice

- Bond in "the Orient", before people stopped using that word. A fun flick, but a little sparse. Made at the height of astronaut coolness.

11. From Russia With Love

- I like this one, but a lot of fans decry the relative lack of action. It's a change of pace for the franchise, but the supporting cast, especially Robert Shaw, is great and John Barry's classic Bond theme makes its first appearance here.

12. For Your Eyes Only.

- I probably should rate this one higher. Perfectly paced and enjoyably derivative... this was perfect summer fare. I am a big fan of Anthony Zerbe, so that's a bonus. The twist in the middle comes off a little poorly, though. does anyone remember the furor the original poster caused?

13. License to Kill

- Someone said this was more like a "Lethal Weapon" movie than a Bond film, and I agree. It's a strange movie. Very 80's. But we get David Hedison back for another go-round as Felix, and Carey Lowell is perhaps the most under-rated Bond girl ever. The movie also gives Q something sunstantive to do for a change.

14. The World is Not Enough

- Points deducted for Denise Richards as the worst Bond girl ever, but TWINE gets bonus points for Sophie Marceau's performance, which is great scenery-chewing fun. And Robbie Coltrane's character goes out with a bang.

15. Casino Royale (1954)

- Cheaply staged, poorly lit, and no decent prints remain. But this is Bond's first screen appearance, and Barry Nelson does a nice job introducing the character to viewers. Nelson needs to be included in the Bond pantheon more often than he is. A lot of die-hards discount this one because Bond is portrayed as an American, but come on. Chill.

16. Tomorrow Never Dies

- I dunno. Michelle Yeoh is just okay. The helicopter chase scene is kind of stupid. Jonathan Pryce is way too WASPy to be truly megalomaniacal. Teri Hatcher is lame, and the car rental agency stunt is too cutesy. Vincent Schiavelli is awesome, though.

17. Never Say Never Again

- Boy is this dated. A re-make of Thunderball and produced outside the Broccoli realm. Connery's stunt-double on the motorcycle is laughable, and Desmond Llewellyn is sorely missed. Still, it's watchable.

18. The Man With the Golden Gun

- This should have been a lot better, but the franchise gets too cartoonish too quickly, helped not at all by the return of Sheriff JW Pepper. The use of AMCs as Bond vehicles is enjoyable and amusing at the same time, and this one has one of the great car stunts of all time.

19. Dr. No

- Memorable as Bond's first big-screen outing. But the pacing is glacial. And you need to suspend disbelief to convince yourself that's not McGarrett.

20. Die Another Day

- The invisible car. The invisible car made everyone realize they'd finally gone too far. Madonna. Ugh. Terrible theme song. The sword fight was pretty good. And Halle Berry and rosamund Pike were memorable. But the surf-riding scene was wince-inducing. And, as horrible as the invisible car was, we probably have it to thank for Casino Royale, because it made EVERYONE realize the franchise had gone over the edge.

21. Moonraker

- I was never a big Jaws fan, and the funicular scene is annoying. the special effects are not that special. The whole thing is too silly. I like the 'Heartbroken' line, though.

22. Octopussy

- Moore in a clown suit. Louis Jordan as the blandest Bond villian ever - and that's saying something, if you remember Jonathan Pryce. and Maude Adams as the blandest Bond girl ever. And Moore in a clown suit.

23. A View to a Kill

- Moore's way too old. The fire truck chase is embarassing. Grace Jones is embarassing. The script is embarassing. I would never begrudge Moore the paycheck, but its tough to sit through this one.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?