Best James Bond Movies

Way back in 1953, Ian Fleming put pen to paper and introduced a new character to the literary world. A hard drinking, misogynistic, British double agent with a license to kill, first appeared in, Casino Royale, and went on to grace the pages of 11 more novels and 2 short story collections. I don’t think anyone could have guessed that James Bond, Agent 007, would go on to appear in 22 movies, featuring 6 different actors, some good (Connery, Moore, Brosnan, Craig), some bad (Lazenby, Dalton), and, in turn, become the worlds most successful movie franchise.

Bond fans, and, yes, I am one of them, will argue for hours over who they believed the best 007 was, and which movie trumped the rest, and very rarely will they agree. I preferred Roger Moore’s Bond, a campier, more gadgets laden taken on our hero, and as for the movies, here is my top 5 in order.

#1 – Live And Let Die – Roger Moore’s first movie in the role, and his best. This one has it all; a great villain, with a dual personality (Kananga/Mr. Big), a spectacular speedboat chase through the Louisiana swamps, three evil henchmen, Baron Samedi, Whisper, and Tee Hee Johnson, a claw handed killer. The movie also featured an interracial love scene which, at that time, was something of a first, not to mention, the best theme song of any of the Bond flicks by Paul McCartney and Wings.

#2 – The Spy Who Loved Me – Two things set this one apart for me; arguably the best henchman ever to appear in a Bond film, the hulking, metallic-toothed, Jaws (the character became so popular, he went on to appear in the next installment, Moonraker), and the best car in a Bond Movie, a Lotus Esprit that converts into a submarine. 007 has to battle evil villain, Stromberg, who is stealing the world’s nuclear submarine fleet, intent on destruction. The climactic scene aboard the Stromberg’s underwater hideout, Atlantis, is a battle on a huge scale, with fists and bullets flying.

#3 – Goldfinger – The 3rd movie in the Bond series, with Sean Connery in the lead role. The plot see’s megalomaniac, and gold fixated bad guy, Auric Goldfinger, intent on destroying all the gold in Fort Knox so as to increase the value of his personal stockpile. He is aided and abetted by Odd Job, a mute henchman who dispatches folks by tossing his razor brimmed bowler hat. Far and away, the best of the Connery movies.

#4 – Goldeneye – The first outing of Pierce Brosnan, and one that marked, for me at least, a return to all the things that made the Bond franchise so successful in the early movies. The opening sequence where 007 drives a motorcycle off the edge of a mountaintop airstrip in pursuit of a runaway plane is breathtaking, and is one that made me, for the first time as an adult, yell with glee in the movie theater.

#5 – Casino Royale – When it was first announced that Daniel Craig was to play Bond, I, like many other fans, thought it a poor choice, but upon hearing that the franchise was getting something of a grittier, darker, facelift, the choice began to make a bit more sense.

Turns out it was perfect. Craig is brilliant as the brooding Bond, handier with his fists than a gun or a gadget, and a man with a very obvious chip on his shoulder. One of the early scenes, where Bond pursues a bad guy across rooftops and, eventually, onto a giant crane is one of the better chase sequences ever put on film.

Daniel Craig made his second appearance in the recently released, “Quantum of Solace”, and is signed on for at least one more. Bond fans the world over can only hope that he continues to do this wonderful character justice.


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