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Friday, November 23, 2012

The Great Bond Debate

Okay, we’ve overdue for a debate here on the blog. Not just any debate, but the debate. To celebrate fifty years of Mr. Bond on the silver screen, and the release of Skyfall, it absolutely has to be done. I know, I know, it’s a question that’s been argued about over many a bottle of wine or six across the decades, but still hasn’t been resolved.

Who is the best James Bond ever?

Since I’m older than time, I remember all the hype associated with the original films starring, of course, the legendary Sea Connery. A Glaswegian milkman cum body builder, (and what a body!), he was plucked from relative obscurity and catapulted to worldwide fame by the style, grace, sense of self and sheer magnetism he brought to Fleming’s character. Who can forget that scene in Goldfinger when Bond is secured to a table and a laser beam is working its way between his legs, getting perilously close to his most prized possession.

“Do you expect me to talk, Goldfinger?”
“No. Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.”

That what Goldfinger’s mistake, of course. Everyone knows that James Bond is immortal!

Roger Moore had a tough act to follow. Quoted as saying “I’m not that cold-blooded killer type. Which is why I play it mostly for laughs,” Moore’s savior-faire and easy sense of grace brought the cinematic 007 unparalleled success in the 70’s and 80’s. It was a time when movie audiences needed escapist entertainment and Moore was on hand to serve it up for them.

Pierce Brosnan. Can we pause for a moment and drool, please. Okay, that’s better. Brosnan is credited with successfully bringing Bond into the 90’s and then the 21st century. He was eleven when he moved from Ireland to London and saw Goldfinger at his local cinema.

“I was an eleven-year-old boy from the bogs of Ireland and there was this beautiful gold lady on a bed-naked. It made quite an impression on me,” he’s reported to have said.

Well, Pierce, the same can be said for you.

Daniel Craig redefined Bond in Casino Royale, stepping out of the shadows cast by his predecessors and making 007 feel new, fresh and dangerously exciting. Craig is generally thought of as having brought a physical rawness, emotional force and darkly seductive air to Fleming’s character that’s closer to the author’s perception of his creation than any of the other 007’s.

Hmm, perhaps, but he doesn’t really do it for me.  

My choice? It’s a close run thing between Sean and Pierce. What about you?



Rita said...

Great Post!!!
Of course we all bonded with the first Bond, Sean Connery. I did not like any who followed until Pierce Brosnan. I thought finally we would have the perfect Bond. We may have had the perfect Bond but the screenplays weren’t. The movies didn’t do it for me.
Casino Royal brought back James Bond as he had been written. And good golly Miss Molly Daniel Craig IS 007. I was hooked in the first ten minutes of the movie. Perhaps it was the perfect melding of writing and actor. What ever it is, for me, it’s perfect. Hands down Daniel IS the greatest Bond even better than, gulp can I be saying this, Sean.

Toni Anderson said...

Wendy--I love your post although I feel compelled to correct one important fact. Sean was an Edinburgh milkman, not a Glaswegian :)
I have loved them all. Sean was my favourite for years and then Pierce. But they've all been knocked out of the park by the lovely Daniel. I think I'm in love :)

Shirley Wells said...

I love this debate, Wendy. I thought no one would ever better the utterly gorgeous Pierce. But then along came Daniel and - yup, I'm in love too. He's definitely my Number One Bond!

Lynne Connolly said...

oh goodness, Daniel Craig for me!
I've seen all the Bond films. Every single one. And Craig has knocked them all for six. He's the cold blooded killer of the books, but the films have allowed him his vulnerable side, too, or allowed us to see it.
Followed by Connery. Stunning and stylish and served by some really good films.
Brosnan was let down by some of the really silly plots they gave him, and they nearly did that to Craig, too, but Skyfall is a fantastic film, so they let him have the script he deserved. He's a proper actor, who can act against someone has deeply talented as Judi Dench and Ben Wishaw, and it shows.

Wendy Soliman said...

Ladies, I don't believe what I'm ready here. Daniel Craig might be closer to Fleming's intended 007, and I'll concede that he's got a decent body but - how can I put this? He's not even remotely handsome. Call me shallow, most people do, but that's an important consideration when it comes to your all-round woman loving, spy!

Rita said...

Wendy I think he's handsome. He can park his shoes under my bed any day.

Toni Anderson said...

Mine too, Rita :) Actually my hubs has the same sort of battered blond good(?) looks. He's just a little more Viking :)

Marcelle Dubé said...

Oh, Wendy, you are *so* outnumbered. Daniel Craig is Bond. Sorry.

Maureen A. Miller said...

Okay, I will add my two pence. Sean Connery was great. Pierce would have been the ultimate Bond, but the man needed to eat. And God bless Daniel, but he needs about four more inches. In height, of course.

Toni Anderson said...

OMG! She's been drinking again!! :) 4 inches :)

Clare London said...

*sigh* I'm a Daniel Craig fan too, through and through. Between Sean Connery and Daniel Craig, the Bond films were for the men in my household with the gadgets and fights and explosions. Now Daniel's brought back the original grit from the books and made me care about the characters. Mind you, I think the menfolk are still watching for the explosions... :)

David Bridger said...

Can I inject a bloke's point of view? ;)

Connery was the Bond of my boyhood and I'll always respect him for that, but nowadays his acting just doesn't do it for me. What looked like sophisticated coolness when I was 10 looks slightly wooden now.

Moore played it camp, which was probably the best he could manage.

Brosnan revived the franchise for me and I still enjoy his sardonic approach. He's my best Bond.

Craig plays a psychopath. I haven't seen Skyfall yet and hope they've stepped back from the mindless violence, because when all is said and done Bond is light entertainment and I like a bit of intelligent humour with my action.

Clare London said...

The debate is going on at my Facebook page, though Daniel Craig's definitely in the lead. But Timothy Dalton has garnered a few votes! :)

Wendy Soliman said...

DAvid, you make sense. Maureen, as always, make more sense. Four inches indeed. She's right though, I forgot that Craig was also vertically challenged!

Jax Garren said...

Hahaha I gotta go with the majority on this one. It's hard to judge just the actor and not the script, and I dig the most recent take and tone of Bond far and above the others--so Daniel Craig has the script advantage before he even begins. But he pulls it off soooo well. I, personally, think he's a hottie (can't tell re the height in the movies, so I don't care about that while I'm watching). For the old-skool JB who is an icon with no history or future, just the grand eternal Bond, it's a tossup for me between Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan. Brosnan, as folks have pointed out, had such awful material to work with it's hard to judge him fairly, but he LOOKS like James Bond far more than Connery. On the other hand, nobody does sardonic cool like Connery.

J.L. Mealer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J.L. Mealer said...

Connery was more sophisticated and el suave, Brosnan had the cutesy lines and way with his mannerism, Moore was the no-nonsense type... But Craig (the newest Bond) kinda puts them all together with a bit of the realistic "I am human after-all" way of pulling off Bond.

I tried it once, but could not stay on script, brought real guns to the set and then my wife Cynthia made me come home... I'm still grounded and yes, she helped word this (except the typos and Grammer problems).

By the way... I have that extra 4" and not in height. Now, I'm getting slapped for that comment!

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