I have spent my life with James Bond. So much so he seems like a family member. So here in the wake of James Bond #23 placed on hold I decided to have some fun and rank my Bond movies, all of which I have seen numerous times. Once our podcast starts you will get to know me along with my co-hosts so I am sure you will see the Bond love I have come out. The first Bond movie I remember seeing in theatres was The Spy who Love me in 1977, when I was 9 years old. I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen, I rushed out and got my parents to buy all the toys including a Jaws action figure. I still have the car made by Mattel on a shelf at home to this day. From that day forward my 9 year old self was addicted, one that would last a lifetime. As a matter of fact in my last home I had a theatre room built and decorated in James Bond movie posters. It helped that my Father was also a huge fan and as a child I always remember arguing with him over who was the best Bond. I of course thought Roger Moore because that is he who I grew up with, and he thought Sean Connery. Years later I would admit I was wrong in my young age. But when I was young Moore was the Bond I associated the role, but now Connery in my mind was the best. So here is my list. Check back later on the blog and we will address these movies individually.
The below are my Bond movies ranked from worst to first.
22- A View to a Kill (1985)- I have two words for you GRACE JONES. This movie was bad and adding her to the mix did not help. This move was still bad with a good villain in Christopher Walken and an awesome theme song from Duran Duran.
21- Die Another Day (2002)- This put the nail in the coffin for Pierce Brosnan movies. Not only does he surf, but he also drives and invisible car! WHAT? An Halle Berry is plain awful as Brosnan’s partner. Also, a villain with diamonds in his face, no I am not kidding!
20- License to Kill (1989)- Dalton gives another good performance but the movie just isn’t good. It tries to be gritty, but still has a lot of holes. Early role for Benicio Del Toro playing a villain. After this film Bond would take it’s longest break of 6 years until Brosnan.
19- The World is Not Enough (1999)- Brosnan just couldn’t catch a break. Another poor script and Denise Richards as a scientist named Christmas Jones, should I go on?
18- The Living Daylights (1987)- This was Timothy Dalton’s first role as Bond and did a good job. It was grittier than the previous Roger Moore entries and Dalton seemed more of a threat. Joe Don Baker as the villain was not good however.
17- Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)- This movie could be ranked lower but I think Jonathon Price is fun as the villain and Michelle Yeoh does a good job as Bond’s partner. Also, an appearance by Filmaholics fav Teri Hatcher.
16- Octopussy (1983)- An overlooked Roger Moore entry, that is pretty good. Lots of gadgets and beautiful women. The villain was probably the only bad thing about this one. Maude Adams becomes the first actress to star in two Bond moves. She had starred previously in The Man with the Golden Gun.
15- Mooraker (1979)- After Star Wars EON tried to ride the space wave by putting Bond in space. A very bad idea. Not terrible in parts, once they start fighting with laser guns in act 3 you are looking for the credits. Richard Kiel reprised his role as the ever popular Bond villain Jaws.
14- For Your Eyes Only (1981)- One of the grittiest Roger Moore bonds. A very fun movie with good action and as always, wonderful gadgets. Very enjoyable.
13- Diamonds Are Forever (1971)- Sean Connery came back after holding out of the previous movie to a record payday. Unfortunately the movie was not as good as his earlier entries, it is still a lot of fun. The last Bond movie to feature S.P.E.C.T.R.E. as the villain.
12- Quantum of Solace (2008)- This entry wasn’t as good as Craig’s previous but still an enjoyable Bond entry. I was very disappointed in the villain, but the opera scene during the movie is great.
11- Goldeneye (1995)- The first Pierce Brosnan Bond movie. This movie was directed by Martin Campbell who would on later to direct Casino Royale. This is a good one with Sean Bean chewing the scenes as the villain. If only Brosnan could have gotten more like this.
10- You Only Live Twice (1967)- As you can see the top 10 are filled with Sean Connery entries and it is hard to argue. This was another huge movie at the time, with great action. It features a great finale inside S.P.E.C.T.R.E. lair which is a man made volcano. No doubt this had lots of influence on Mike Myers Austin Power’s movies. Donald Pleasance plays the evil head of S.P.E.C.T.R.E.
9 – The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)- This was the one that did it for me. This has it all, gorgeous women, a great villainous henchman in Richard Kiel as Jaws, an underwater hideout Bond has to infiltrate, and an awesome car that can go underwater.
8 – The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)- Not the best movie an actually would be ranked lower if not for the great Christopher Lee as the villain. He does a wonderful job as the world’s greatest hit man going up against Roger Moore’s Bond. The plot is very poor, but makes up for it with a great shootout in Lee’s arcade on his island hideout.
7 – From Russia with Love (1963)- a classic in the Bond cannon. It is more of the serous Bond movies with S.P.E.C.T.R.E. again causing problems. Robert Shaw as a S.P.E.C.T.R.E. agent is great, he has a fight with Connery on a train that is one of the best in Bond history.
6 – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)- This one to me has always been the overlooked classic. George Lazenby stars as James Bond after Connery did not come back and gives a very under appreciated performance. He is helped by a great cast including Diana Rigg and Telly Savalas as the bad guy. Set upon a Snow hideout, lots of great ski action highligthts the movie.
5 – Live and Let Die (1973)- Down to the top 5 which features 3 different bonds. This is 1st appearance of Roger Moore as James Bond and I think one of his best. He plays a witty resourceful Bond and this movie was huge. It featured Yaphet Kotto as the villain and Jane Seymour in one of her early roles as the love interest. Very enjoyable and probably features the best theme song by Paul McCartney which was nominated for an Oscar.
4 – Thunderball (1965)- This had the best underwater fight in the history of movies as it was touted. It still actually holds up today. Connery is again great, and S.P.E.C.T.R.E again tries to bring Bond down. Lots of great Caribbean settings and beautiful women. Definitely the definition of good Bond.
3 – Casino Royale (2006)- Bond came back with a vengeance in 2006. With Martin Campbell directing and Daniel Craig in the lead we saw a Bond that meant business. This was more of a violent Bond which we had not seen since Connery. Definitely one of the best in the franchise and some say #1. Craig does a wonderful job in the role, and makes you forget about several before him. Very intense and a good plot, shows how Bond became Bond.
2 – Dr. No (1962)- The one that started it all. Based on an Ian Fleming novel, Bond came to the big screen featuring Sean Connery in a role which no one had ever seen during this time. From the moment you here Connery utter the words Bond…. James Bond you are on a ride like never before. Still holding up today, Dr. No is a wonderful movie with our first appearance of S.P.E.C.T.R.E and the famous beach scene with Ursula Andress.
1 – Goldfinger (1964)- This was the Bond that all Bond movies would be measured against. Cool gadgets..check. Cool Villain… check. Beautiful women…check. Great theme song….check. This movie is one of the best movies every made period! Connery is great, as is the rest of the cast. It has a great plot with a wonderful cast and Honor Blackmon as Pussy Galore still makes my heart beat fast. Harold Sakata as Oddjob, the villain with the bowler hat that can cut peoples head off. A wonderful theme song, with exotic locales, this is the Bond that every person should see. This is what Bond would be all about.