007 Chatter: Discussing the enduring appeal of James Bond

In case you didn’t know, October is Bond month as the producers are celebrating the UK premiere of Dr. No on October 5, 1962. So, as part of Bond’s 50th Anniversary, I thought I’d invite two of my friends and fellow Bond fan Michael from It Rains… You Get Wet and FC’s staff Ted S. to discuss the enduring appeal of this ultra-popular franchise. Now, on to the Q&A…

What’s your first introduction to the world of 007? Did you read the Ian Flemming’s books?

Michael: I have my mother’s younger brother, my uncle, to thank for the introduction to the world of OO7. He took me to the movie theater, decades ago during my childhood, for my first ever James Bond film, which turned out to be the third in the series. I’d not heard of the character, nor had I ever read any of Ian Fleming’s novels to that point in time. I wouldn’t read my first Bond book for a couple more years, when I turned teen. That first novel would be From Russia With Love.

Ted: I think it was my father who introduced me to the Bond films, he used to watch them when we were living in the Far East, I was pretty young then.

I read many of the Bond novels, couldn’t name them all but the first one was Casino Royale, I started reading the books after I saw the films.

Ruth: I’ve got to admit I never read any of Ian Fleming’s novels [gasp] I got my first introduction to Bond through the movies, which I’m guessing most people are in my camp. I might take up one of the novels at some point though, I might start with On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

What’s your earliest experience watching a Bond movie? What age and which Bond movie?

Michael: I was age 11 when I saw Goldfinger, and I documented this particular memory in a TMT from last November.

Ted: I don’t remember when I first saw a Bond film but I think it was in my early teens, the first movie I saw was Dr. No and the scene that I always remember was the introduction of Ursula Andress‘ character when she walked out of the water and in that swimsuit, I was instantly in love with her. It’s reason why I tend to date voluptuous women. 🙂

Ruth: I think I was in Junior High when I first saw a Bond movie. I can’t remember the exact movie though, my memory isn’t as good as Michael’s ahah, but I think it was a Roger Moore movie, perhaps Moonraker? So I grew up watching Moore’s Bond movies and to this day, his movies are still fun to watch for nostalgia’s sake.

This Guardian article said … the key to Bond’s evergreen appeal is that, as well as some enjoyable nostalgia, he delivers the reader a harmless slice of old-fashioned adventure in a readily digestible form.

What do you think about that? Now what appeals to you most about the Bond franchise?

Michael: I think there is some validity to that, but I think there’s more to it. The Ian Fleming novels and short stories that employed the character created a rather iconic niche, primarily with men, when they first came out. The hooks (espionage, gadgets, and sex) being rather obvious. Heck, even JFK read them. Here’s the thing, though. When the character and series were adapted to film, well, both men AND women discovered a lot to their liking. So much so, the appeal became instantly more universal from that point (with Dr. No) forward.

To such a degree you can ask just about anyone, no matter their gender (or age), who is their favorite Bond, or what their favorite flick is, and they will have an opinion. And in 50 years, it’s likely to be long-standing.

Ian Fleming with Connery the set of From Russia With Love

Ted: The reason I love the Bond franchise is because it’s a fantasy for most if not all men want to live, saving the world from the bad guys; dates beautiful women, wear expensive suits and drive super expensive cars. Travel all over the world and eat at fancy restaurants. It’s pure escapism.

Ruth: I think there’s certainly an escapism aspect that makes Bond movies so fun to watch. I mean, real spies are likely closer to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy‘s George Smiley, so they don’t lead a glamorous life, driving fast cars and wooing women all over the world. What appeals to me most is the adventure and awesome scenery we’ve come to expect in each film. I get to live vicariously through his globe-trotting lifestyle fighting bad guys!

As a woman, obviously there’s also a certain eye-candy element to the franchise, I mean Bond is the quintessential dream guy. I mean he’s good looking, stylish, sophisticated, etc. and what girl hasn’t dreamed of being swept off their feet by a man who obviously knows how to woo a woman, even if it’s just for one night! 😉

How many Bond movies do you own and which one(s) do you watch most often? If you have a Bond memorabilia, do share!

Michael: All of them, for sure, via the Ultimate Edition volumes on DVD. My Blu-ray collection is far from complete, though. My wife can back up  those statements, and perhaps not happily, since she has to live with me (and them) 😉

Ted: Currently I have about 8 or 10 on Blu-ray, I’ll be adding to my collection once more comes out on BD next month. The ones I watched often are Casino Royale, The Living Daylights (on DVD), License To Kill, Thunderball, From Russia with Love, For Your Eyes Only, Tomorrow Never Dies, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (on DVD) and Quantum of Solace (yes I really like this film).

I just bought The Living Daylights and Tomorrow Never Dies on Blu-ray this week so now I have 12 Bond films on that format.

I’m picking up GoldenEye and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service later this weekend and then my Bond collection is complete. I don’t want to get the complete collection because I couldn’t sit through some of the awful ones like A View to a Kill, Live and Let Die, Diamonds Are Forever and so on.

Ruth: I actually don’t have very many of them: I only have Octopussy, For Your Eyes Only, The Living Daylights on DVDs and Casino Royale and Licence To Kill on Blu-ray. That’s it!

I know that over the years my brothers and I probably have bought the same movies several times over in different format, starting with those darn VHS! I’m glad I haven’t bought any of the DVD sets though, as I’m hoping to get those glorious 50th Anniversary Blu-ray set one of these days! I know there are some awful Bond movies I don’t like in that collection but I figure I can watch the special features on them, I’d think those are still fun to watch. Speaking of memorabilia, I wish I could get a hold of all those GQ Bond issues below, and this book on the making of Licence to Kill!

Who’s your favorite Bond actor and why? Feel free to rank the five Bond actors if you so choose.

Michael: It’s who it has always been since that one night back in January of 1965. Sean Connery. I do agree with you that someone like Timothy Dalton was closer to the character Ian Fleming devised and wrote about. But, it’s still Sean blessed Connery for God sakes were talking about! I firmly believe he’s been the most charismatic of all the actors who’ve portrayed this character on film. Plus, he had an aura of physicality that matched his persona (best evidence of that would be the classic fight on the train between him and Robert Shaw as ‘Red Grant’ in From Russia With Love and John Kenneth Muir’s recent piece on The Top Five: James Bond Fight Sequences). This facet only recently approached by another — that someone being Daniel Craig. In other words, Sean remains the yardstick all others are measured against (at least by those of us a certain age, that is).

 And since you asked, here would be my ranking:
1. Sean Connery
2. Daniel Craig
3. Timothy Dalton
4. Pierce Brosnan
5. Roger Moore

This is kind of a tough question for me, as for film version of Bond I’d have to go with Connery BUT I believe Timothy Dalton is truer to what Fleming wrote in his novels.

My Ranking:

  1. Sean Connery
  2. Timothy Dalton
  3. Daniel Craig
  4. Pierce Brosnan
  5. Roger Moore

I don’t think we can really judge Lazenby since he’s only appeared in one film.

Ruth: Anyone who’ve read this blog long enough knows who my all time favorite Bond is 😉 In fact I just paid a tribute to him just last Friday. I think as time goes by I like Dalton more and more, and perhaps the fact that he’s so criminally-underrated makes me like him more. I mean he epitomized what I envision a super spy would be (and apparently he’s what Fleming envisioned in his books, too): gritty but NOT thuggish, sophisticated and confident without being cocky, relentless yet loyal to a fault, and his Bond appreciates a beautiful woman but not in a lewd way. Plus he’s just so darn good looking! I mean he’s the ONLY Bond that makes my heart goes pit-a-pat, not to mention Dalton is the tallest Bond with the BEST voice.

I could go on and on but here’s my rating:

  1. Timothy Dalton (natch)
  2. Daniel Craig
  3. Sean Connery
  4. Roger Moore
  5. Pierce Brosnan

Note: I’m not saying I dislike Brosnan, as I like his first two Bond movies. It’s just as time goes by, his portrayal of Bond just seems too cocky to me that it rubs me the wrong way. Plus his Bond movies seems to be the most sexually vulgar (especially his sex scene with Halle Berry) that I find repulsive. Moore might be whimsical but his movies have nostalgic value to me so I just can’t put him as least favorite Bond.

What would you like to see in future Bond films? Or in other words: What’d be your ideal Bond movie be?

Michael: This is both an easy and hard one to answer. Easy because of the likes of actors like Idris Elba, Karl Urban, and your favorite Gerard Butler. Hard due to the fact that someone else, totally unknown to us all, will arrive somewhere down the line and make the iconic role their own. The point is, it’s the character of OO7 that makes the series. What’s obvious is that not one actor has carried the series for all of five decades. It’s Bond that is the brand.

If I could somehow manipulate the space-time continuum, I’d remake one particular James Bond film from the 60s to produce my ideal Bond movie. I’d have Sean Connery star in what I and others consider to be the best story of the entire series, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. I mean, Connery paired with who I consider the best Bond girl ever, Diana Rigg. There’d be no words to suffice.

Ted: I would love to see someone like David Fincher or Chris Nolan directing a Bond film. Bring his character more to reality and well make the film quite violent and brutal; I know that will never happen since the franchise is so lucrative for the studio, they will never risk doing a hard R-rated Bond film.

Ruth: I know we’re supposed to let bygones be bygones… but just looking at the poster below I found the other day, well, ideally Dalton gets to do one more Bond movie! I’d have LOVED to see him in something like Casino Royale where he gets to display his gritty as well as vulnerable side.

But ah well, I better learn to just let it go. Now, for the future, in line with what Ted said, I’d like to see quality directors tackle a Bond movie and put a fresh spin to it whilst still keeping the elements of a Bond film we’ve come to know and love. I don’t know if making it more violent is the answer, I mean it could still be PG-13 but have a really intriguing storyline that puts Bond in a different light somehow.

Well it’s more like a fantasy Bond movie… that is to see Clive Owen, someone I’d have liked to see as Bond, play a Bond villain. For once it’d be nice to see a Bond villain who might look as cool as the super spy himself, ahah. He’s in my actors wish list I’d like to see as a Bond villain.

Another fantasy of mine would be seeing Dalton himself as a Bond villain, that’s never been done before but I think he’d be perfect. And also Alan Rickman, as he could easily play an elegant baddie like Moonraker‘s Hugo Drax. I’d LOVE to hear him utter the words “So long, Mr Bond” in that iconic voice of his! 😀

Thoughts on seeing Daniel Craig in at least five more Bond films AFTER ‘Skyfall?’ Is this a good idea you think or should the producers find someone new after say, 5 years?

Michael: I’ve certainly enjoyed Daniel Craig as the most recent incarnation of Bond. But, I think an actor can overstay their welcome in the role (cough *** Roger Moore). More than two more, beyond Skyfall, and that might be too much 😉

Ted: I wouldn’t mind seeing Craig in one more film but after that the producers should look for a new actor, get a new face and have that actor create his own version of Bond.

Ruth: I definitely think Craig should just do two more Bond movies after Skyfall, tops. As much as I like him, I feel that he already looks so old now that I can’t imagine five years from now. We might get another Never Say Never Again conundrum that Connery faced when he looked more like an AARP rep than a suave super spy!

So yeah, my take is: I want to see a fresh face in a few years. Anyone on this list (save for that guy in the show Revenge) would be a fine choice in my book!

We hope you enjoyed reading our Bond Q&A. Now we turn it over to you… what are your thoughts about this franchise’s enduring appeal?

66 thoughts on “007 Chatter: Discussing the enduring appeal of James Bond

  1. Love Ted’s and your answers, Ruth. You are a true OO7 fan! A wonderful set of questions and discussion. This was sooo much fun to participate in. Many thanks for the invitation.

    1. Ahah, I guess I’ll be a Bond fan forever. Y’know I’ll pass it along to my kids when I have one, he..he.. This is one franchise that can be enjoyed through many generations, which is quite something isn’t it?

  2. PrairieGril

    Great post, everyone!
    Hey Ted, I really like Quantum of Solace (but hate the name) too. I’ve seen it twice, mainly for the incredible location scenery from all around the world. However, I have NO idea what it’s supposed to be about! I simply can’t get my head around the plot. Maybe some day you can explain it to me… ;-D

    1. Thanks Becky! I actually don’t even bother seeing it again, I just find it dull. That’s one movie I can’t seem to agree with Ted, he..he.. But hey, there are sooo many Bond movies, we can’t always agree on each one, that’s what makes it so fun to discuss 😀

  3. PrairieGirl

    Hi Flixy, excellent, interesting post, for sure. Say, when I click on the link labeled “this list” in the last paragraph it goes to a Casino Royale music score post?

    1. Ooops sorry, it’s fixed now. Thanks for letting me know. Btw, don’t you just love those GQ covers? I wish I could get a hold of all of those issues, or at least the Dalton one, oh la la!

  4. Hi Ruth,

    I loved this discussion of James Bond’s enduring appeal. Great job!

    I grew up with the Roger Moore films and liked them very much, but also picked up on the on-screen call-backs to Tracy and OHMSS in For Your Eyes Only and The Spy Who Loved Me.

    These remarks, in part inspired me to go back and watch the early films and read all the Fleming books. So I became a big fan of the books, and also the Connery Era.

    The immediate and apparent appeal of Bond is certainly the combination of heroism, sex and adventure/action, but what I began to feel when Dalton arrived (and especially in Licence to Kill) was that Bond was a broken man, and that somehow being “broken” made him the right man to do the impossible things he was called upon to do.

    I think we have seen this kind of approach continued and perfected with Craig’s Bond. I find a human-seeming Bond more appealing, so while I enjoy the Moore and Brosnan flicks on a pure entertainment/action level, I find myself living for those moments in the Bond films in which the veneer of invincibility is ripped away and we see Bond as a wounded, messed-up person, the one who bottles up the rage and who, periodically, explodes.

    I think part of the appeal of the Bond Saga has been that we have gotten these small moments across nearly two dozen films where he shows us the vulnerable side of himself. I don’t want an “emo” Bond, of course, but I really enjoy the infrequent moments when the world’s greatest lover/fighter/spy reveals what he has in common with the rest of us, and what he buries/represses to get the job done.

    There’s that perfect, heartbreaking moment in Licence to Kill in which Della tries to throw him her garter, and it’s clear he just wants to get away; that he’s closed off that possibility of happiness and marriage. I love how Dalton plays that moment. It’s not over the top or melodramatic, but it speaks volumes about Bond and his emotions.

    I think a key aspect of Bond’s popularity is indeed, perhaps counter-intuitively, the sense that though surrounded by beautiful women, he is a lonely, isolated and emotionally unavailable person. We are drawn to him because of the glamorous-seeming nature of his life and surroundings, but we don’t really know who he is. When (infrequent) clues to the human Bond come up and we get a picture of him, the movies take off, in my opinion, and resonate more deeply. I wrote in my view that I like James Bond not as a superman, but as an ordinary man who forces himself to do extraordinary things.

    I’m really a huge fan of Dalton and Craig, as you might guess from this comment.

    best wishes

    1. Hey, great to see you join in on this, my friend! As usual, you’ve provided a thoughtful and keen comment to the subject at hand, John. It is quite interesting that those moments you’ve spotlighted, those of heartbreak and a non-super-human factor in your articles, come from two films in the series, ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ and ‘License to Kill’, that receive too much disdain from some OO7 fans. It’s really too bad that they gather that as they represent a more personal Bond that is only hinted at with the other films in the series. Wonderful comment. Thanks, John.

    2. Oh my, where do I begin? First, THANK YOU for your utmost eloquent and thoughtful comment. You’ve communicated the points I couldn’t have put into words, but as I read it, I kept nodding my head.

      “I think a key aspect of Bond’s popularity is indeed, perhaps counter-intuitively, the sense that though surrounded by beautiful women, he is a lonely, isolated and emotionally unavailable person.” That is spot on!! In a way, Bond is a tortured soul, and Dalton mentioned that in an interview, and boy do I gravitate towards that for some reason, well in the movies anyway. Tortured souls in real life wouldn’t be fun to live with, ahah.

      A deeply human Bond is what I love most about Dalton/Craig’s portrayal and like you, they both resonate with me so well because they’re inherently more interesting. I love that you mention about Bond not being a superman, as that’s exactly what Dalton said in an interview, I included that quote in my tribute to him last week.

      Interesting that a lot of us grew up with Moore but yet we don’t consider him our favorite, but to me, he always hold a special spot in my admiration for the franchise, at least for nostalgia sake.

      As Michael said, wonderful comment Mr. Muir. Thanks again.

      1. “Interesting that a lot of us grew up with Moore but yet we don’t consider him our favorite, but to me, he always hold a special spot in my admiration for the franchise, at least for nostalgia sake.” Wow, Ruth, below I just virtualy expressed that exact same sentiment.

        Can I like the ladies man in Connery and the tourted soul in Craig equally?

  5. 😀 A “Get to know your Bond fans” post, huh? I like that.

    I saw Bond for the first time on TV, they used to play the bond movies all the time as movies of the week and whatnot. Moore, unfortunately, was my introduction. I can see he’s no ones favorite amongst you three, either.

    I own ’em all now on Blu, and I’ll be going through each and every one of them for my two part Bond podcast, and to bone up for “Bond Month” 😀

    I’m with you Ruth. If they want five more Craig Bonds, they better get their asses in gear and start filming two and three at a clip a la the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit movies!

    1. Hi ya Fogs! I figure it’d be nice to just talk about the franchise in addition to listing stuff. I just find it fascinating how people of different age groups, backgrounds, gender, etc could have the same appreciation for this franchise about a glamorous super spy. So you didn’t tell us WHO your favorite Bond is, would you have that covered in your Bond Month posts? 😉

      Wow, so you have the Bond 50th Anniversary BD set then?? Lucky you!

      Hey, glad to hear you agree about Craig, yeah maybe they should shoot the movie back to back before Craig gets even more wrinkly, ha..ha..

  6. To the best of my memory the first Bond film I saw was Live and Let Die, I was very young! I then caught up on the rest of them as they were shown on TV, usually Christmas, Easter and bank holidays. The first I saw on video was Octopussy. This was when it was first released, I would have been about nine years old at the time and had already seen all the previous films. The first I say at the cinema was Goldeneye, I have seen all the subsequent movies at the cinema within a few days of there release.

    My parents owned about half of Ian Fleming’s novels, I stared reading them when I was 18 in my first year at university. I picked up the others (all second hand 1960’s paperbacks) over the next year. Of the none Fleming novels I have read: Colonel Sun, written by Kingsley Amis using the pseudonym Robert Markham. Devil May Care written by Sebastian Faulks in the style of Ian Fleming to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth. And the most recent Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver, this is actually a reboot set in the present day, I wrote about it a few months ago HERE.

    I have the latest two movies on DVD and most of the most of the older ones on VHS. I don’t have any memorabilia as such but do have the parker pen featured in Golden eye (it came free with the video) and use it all the time.

    I have always said Sean Connery is my favourite Bond, but the more I think about it, I can’t chose between him Timothy Dalton and Daniel Craig. As discussed HERE.

    I would really like to see a reboot taking Bond back to the original source material and set in the 50’s and 60’s. I would particularly like to see movies more closely based on the novels Moonraker and The Spy Who Loved

    I don’t think Daniel Craig should make more than five or six Bond movie and would suggest Michael Fassbender as a replacement. I would also like to see an Bond film directed by Quentin Tarantino.

    On a final note, if you are going to start reading the books start at the beginning, there are elements that follow on from one book to the next, and Casino Royale is a great book that sets up the series really well.

    1. I don’t think Daniel Craig should make more than five or six Bond movie and would suggest Michael Fassbender as a replacement.

      Great suggestion of Fassbender for the role… as long as Gina Carano isn’t cast as his adversary. After watching HAYWIRE, we know how that turns out ;-).

    2. Hi Andy, glad to see you stop by! Bond movies are easy to catch up on as they seem to always being played over and over aren’t they? When I used to have cable, I’d always tune in every time it’s playing on TBS, ahah.

      That’s cool that you collect all of Fleming’s novels! I really should start with one, so you suggest I go with Casino Royale then, as it’s the first one?

      High five on Dalton and Craig, I like them both as they’re essentially portray Bond in a similar manner. I have made my choice though, obviously 🙂

      The idea of a retro Bond is a great idea, and I remember your Bond ideas w/ Fassbender. He still might do it, I mean he seems to be the popular choice and he’s still relatively young. But maybe going with a less popular actor is not a bad idea either, I mean Connery was an unknown back then.

  7. “Shaken… not stirred.” Back in the day Facets Video in Chicago used to have an online contest each month. They’d ask roughly 10 creative movie questions and the best submission whold get some dvd’s or something but really it was a all about showing off your inner movie geek. One of the questions was “What is your favorite drink order from a movie?”. The overwhelming response was of course… “Shaken… not stirred.” Knowing this would be the easy answer I came up with this one from John Candy in The Blues Brothers “‘Who wants an orange whip? Orange whip? Orange whip? Three orange whips.” You had to be there. LOL. Anyway even though I didn’t win for my submission they did single me out fas their favorite answer to the drink question. Yeah, I was geeked. So whenever I hear “Shaken… not stirred” I think back to my moment in the sun. Just thought I’d share.

    “Bond… James Bond.” I grew up watching Bond on ABC in the 70’s-80’ so I saw a lot of Roger Moore. He bacame my favorite because he was my first. Just like Alec Baldwin’s Jack Ryan or Christopher Reeve’s Superman. That said Connery has wrested that title away from Moore in my later years after finally seeing practically the whole Bond canon.

    I really liked the reboot with Daniel Craig but the second movie Quantum had me thinking Moonraker all over again. LOL. OK it wasn’t that bad but expectations were high and it was kind of ‘meh’. That makes me really curious to see which way Skyfall is going to … well… fall.

    Villian? All inspired choices. Rickman, Owen, Oldman, Blanchett and Dalton.
    I missed the previous Bond Villian post so here’s 10 other male choices I’d love to see in addition to those listed above: Jeremy Irons, Tom Wilkinson, Michael Fassbinder, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Finnes, Terence Stamp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stellan Skarsgard, Idris Elba and even Sir Ben Kingsley (see Sexy Beast). Actresses were tougher. Other than the always excellent Cate… I’d love to see Helen Mirren, Salma Hayek, Tilda Swinton or Monica Bellucci give it a shot.

    1. Ted S.

      It would be awesome if they can get Clive Owen to be the villain in the next Bond flick. He would’ve been a great Bond himself.

        1. I’ve given up hope on Clive as Bond but there is still hope he could play the villain (fingers crossed!!) Man, if he played Bond and Dalton played the villain I’d die and gone to heaven!!

    2. Hey Dave, I like your suggestions for Bond villains!! I’d love to see Irons and Kingsley, oooh Stamp would be interesting, but he’s already played an iconic Superman baddie though. For the actresses, my goodness, seeing Mirren or Bellucci as Bond villainess would be terrific!!

  8. Pingback: A Laugh and Links: The Master, Fantastic Mr Fox, James Bond 007, 127 Hours, Wallflower, Netflix, Fall

  9. So fun reading through this post. I kept humming the 007 theme as I read through it all. LOL at Ted’s comment with Ursula.

    I actually started watching Bond after seeing Brosnan in Goldeneye. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Then I ventured back to some of the others as well. If I were to rank them myself in the order of which I enjoy them, I’d go:

    Connery, Craig, Brosnan, Dalton, Moore! 🙂

    1. Hi T, glad to see you stop by. That’s so interesting that you started w/ Brosnan, you young’un you 🙂 I could see why you rate him quite high then, Goldeneye is really good. But as I stated above, the more I watch the other Bonds, the less I like Brosnan’s style.

  10. Great stuff, Ruth, Ted and Michael! This post was a lot of fun, and a nice format to commemorate 50 years of Bond. I too enjoy most of Moore’s Bond outings (save for the abysmal A VIEW TO A KILL), though he’s far from my favorite 007. His movies remain very fun however and are very watchable when I just want to pop something entertaining on. Connery and Craig are the best for me, though I do rate Lazenby highly and count ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE as one of my all-time fave films. Sorry to report that I’m less of a Dalton fan than you, Ruth. I do think he’s a talented actor and a decent Bond (I’d rank him above Brosnan for sure and probably Moore), he’s very good at the action and serious stuff. But he can’t handle the wit and humor of the movie incarnation of Bond. That said, I really like THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS.

    1. Thanks so much, Jeff. And I agree with you about OHMSS and A VIEW FROM A KILL (which should be reserved as a special punishment for particularly heinous crimes by movie fans ;-)).

    2. Hi Jeff! Thanks for joining the discussion. As for Dalton, well at least you rate him above Brosnan and appreciate TLD. It’s not that “he can’t handle the wit and humor,” he just doesn’t believe the character should be overly mischievous. There are some funny moments in his films, but done sparingly and not for the sake of being droll.

  11. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ruth, Ted, Michael and company:

    I was six or seven when Dr. No and its obligatory trading cards hit the US. So, Connery IS Bond to me. A spy. Not the action hero of today. Never was much of a fan of Roger Moore’s Bond. Too cultured and clean and saddled with silly stories. Though I thought George Lazenby did an admirable job in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

    First Bond novel I read was Thunderball, which is enjoyable for its story and a chapter dedicated to how hotels and their requisite bars and Room Service rip customers off for drinks. Best Bond novel and film are From Russia with Love.

    Best Bond Women are (1): Ursula Andress in Dr. No. (2) Diana Rigg in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Honor Blackman in Goldfinger.

    Honorable Mention in the spy genre would include any early John LeCarre. Brian Freemantle’s Charlie Muffin series of novels and films. And any of novels and films (Harry’s Game) of Gerald Seymour. Who still has the closest, most intimate feel for the problems between the UK and the IRA.

    1. Hi there Jack! Connery is smooth isn’t he? He can fight surely, but he’s also an astute observer, which is what a spy should be. I really should give OHMSS a shot. Stay tuned for a poll results I just found about that film in today’s Five for the Fifth post. Oh and I talk about John LeCarre as well, his non-glamorous spy is certainly closer to what a real spy would be, like George Smiley.

      Can’t go wrong w/ the two Bond girls you mentioned!

  12. Really feeling the Bond love at the moment. Going to go home and watch Dr. No me thinks. It’s on at the right time, so yeah!

    I think my first dabble in Bond was when I was very young. Probably around 7 or 8. My uncle had them all on recorded VHS (along with Star Wars) and whenever I was over at his place, Bond was on the TV. Very much grew up around Bond.

    Ruth, right there with you on Timothy Dalton. Daniel Craig and Dalton are tied at the top for me. Moore was just too cheesy and, while I did like Connery just not quite my favourite.

    Bring on October 26th and Skyfall! 😀

    1. Ahah, I just watched that not too long ago. High five on Dalton/Craig! You are a woman of excellent taste. I like Connery too, but he just doesn’t quite do it for me, even though he is indeed a beautiful man 🙂

      Yeah, can’t wait for Skyfall!!

  13. Love this post. Connery would probably be my favorite Bond, but Daniel Craig is *this* close. I agree that he should only do two more 007 films after Skyfall, so that he doesn’t get too old for the role. Five films is more than enough to cement his Bond legacy.

  14. @Ruth, the novel of OHMSS is a good choice, one of the best. The skiing scenes are almost as good in the book as on film. (just steer clear of “Diamonds are Forever”, the weakest novel, imho).

    After your discussions of the books it makes me want to write something comparing Ian Fleming’s Bond to the movie Bond. The book character is so complex because the reader gets to live in Bond’s head for a lot of the time. Point being, he’s not at all sure of himself. You get doubt, confusion, anger, ambition, all colliding, racing through his mind.

    1. Sounds good Marcus, thanks for the tip.

      Hey that’s a great post idea man, go for it! October is Bond Month so it’ll be perfect if you can work on it this month. Yeah, I’d think he’d be a more complex character in the books, most literary characters are that way I think, the film adaptations always simplify them.

  15. I love the bond films, my favourite would be Gold Finger. And I think the reason it has endured so long is that in its genre it really stands out from the crowd, that or the great villains 😀

  16. Hey Ruth,

    As usual, what a great post. It’s great to see the Bond franchise still going strong after 50 years. What’s not to like about it? A man who has the pleasure of traveling around the globe to save the world from destruction, and along the way, drives amazing cars and meets beautiful women. Not to mention the fact that the gadgets he gets to use are incredible, and he has a license to kill. What a trademark phrase! I grew up watching Sean Connery as the iconic character, and that’s who remains as my favorite Bond. I find it interesting to learn that someone like Timothy Dalton is who Ian Fleming envisioned as the character. I also agree with what was mentioned earlier; I would absolutely love to see someone like Christopher Nolan direct a Bond film at some point. I may be going off a limb here, but we’ve enjoyed so many Bond films over the years that as far as my hopes for the future, I would love to see a non-white actor play the role. That would be huge, and perhaps it will only stay in my thought of it happening.


    1. Hi Raul! It’s amazing isn’t it, not many franchises can last so long and they had their fair share of problems!

      Amen to all you said about what makes Bond so appealing. Fingers crosed that Nolan hasn’t given up hope in making a Bond movie one day, I’d think he could really do anything he wants these days.

      Oh I’m with you about a non-White actor, I’ve discussed that a few times on this blog 🙂

  17. Pingback: Checking Out the “Happy-Haps!” (10/6) « The Focused Filmographer

    1. Hi Fernando! There’s always time to catch up on Bond, he..he.. Yeah, even if we like Craig, I think 7 movies total seems too much, he’ll likely overstay his welcome as Bond.

  18. Jorge quinones jr

    I personally love all the bond films and all the bond stars. Its the only times all the guys in my family sat together quietly to watch all the films. If I could pitch an idea for a bond film it would be to have all the bonds star in a generations film. Have sean connery, roger moore, timothy dalton, pierce brossnan, and daniel craig all be james bond and work together to stop the ultimate super villan. I gurantee that movie will be the best movie of the year.

    1. Hello Jorge, welcome to FC! Ahah, that’s an interesting idea for a Bond movie, so it’s like The Expendables Bond edition then 😀 Yeah I could see that being a hit.

  19. Great post, Ruth, Ted and Michael! Had a lot of fun reading this, and you’ve got me wanting to see more Bond films. I need to get on that quick since Skyfall is coming so soon.

  20. Pingback: The Bond Month Blog-A-Thon: Week Two! « Fogs' Movie Reviews

  21. 70srichard

    I think it’s great that so many of your friends and others are coming here to weigh in on their favorites and to share some memories. Bond month leading up to Skyfall is keeping me busy trying to keep up with all the posts I can find. I found the interview format of the three of you to be very entertaining. Some of the respondents seem to have taken the bait and can’t resist adding to the discussion with posts that could be their own blog posts. I think that is really a great way to have a conversation. For the record;

    1. Connery
    2. Craig/Dalton (It depends on Skyfall, if we get another Quantum, Craig drops)
    4. Moore
    5. Brosnan

    I never disliked Pierce Brosnan, I just thought his dialogue never sounded natural or fun. He beefed up for the roll finally, I think if he had gotten to play Bond when he was originally cast, it would have been a failure, he did not look tough enough. Ten years later he was ready.

    My first two Bonds were Thunderball and From Russia with Love on a double bill in 1966 I think. Every one since has been opening night for me.
    I think Dalton would be a great choice for a Bond Villain against Daniel Craig.

  22. FUNK

    Love the Bond posts, just great stuff.
    My first Bond movie, Dr. No, I was 9, Dad took me to see it on a Friday night showing, and boy was I hooked.
    Favorite Bonds: Connery, Craig, Dalton, Lazenby. After seeing Skyfall, Connery is on thin ice, will have to wait for the next one to see how the list will shake up.
    I’ve just now at this late stage to read the Ian Fleming novels.
    In my movie collection do have all the Connery Bonds, along with, Lazenby, Dalton, Craig’s, and just a few of Moore’s.

  23. Roger Moore because I knew him from The Saint and actually met him while at work in 94′ It was a struggle to serve him as I worked in a hotel I smiled gave service etc…but as soon as he left the shop I whooped. I wouldn’t have dared asking him for his autograph as I could barely hold a conversation having such an old crush on him.

  24. Pingback: Ranking the Family of Bond | It Rains… You Get Wet

  25. Pingback: One Place for All the Assorted Thoughts on Bond | It Rains… You Get Wet

  26. Pingback: Musings on #BOND25 news – New Director, Writers + Cast – FlixChatter Film Blog

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