“Bond. James Bond”
And with those 3 words spoken after 8 minutes into Dr. No, a cultural and movie icon was born, 60 years ago !
Initially created by writer Ian Fleming in 1953 in which the American singer Hoagy Carmichael was Fleming’s vision of the character. But when the first Bond film Dr. No was released with Scottish actor Sean Connery in the role, the character’s depiction became rooted as to what was displayed on the screen by the numerous actors who have played him.
My Dad was a great James Bond fan, and we always went to see the latest Bond film whenever they were was released, and, as such, my recollections and preferences has always hankered towards the Sean Connery films, with a smattering of Roger Moore.
There was just something about Connery in the way he combined utter ruthlessness with a charm and wit that just made his interpretation so memorable.
He started with Dr. No but the series took off with the second film From Russia With Love which is still very good (the confrontation between Bond and Grant in the train is terrific) but then the series was absolutely nailed with Goldfinger, my personal favourite of all the Bond films.
Goldfinger introduced many of the elements that would appear in many of the later James Bond films, such as the extensive use of technology and gadgets by Bond, an extensive pre-credits sequence that stood largely alone from the main storyline, multiple foreign locales, tongue-in-check humour, a megalomaniac villain and his lethal henchman.
The fight between Bond and Oddjob in the vaults of Fort Knox is particularly memorable.
After his 5th Bond film You Only Live Twice, Connery had had enough of Bond and was replaced by Aussie George Lazenby in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, who although was he very ordinary in the role, the film was actually very good i.e. everything around him was first class to cover for his inadequacies.
Connery came back for a 6th time in Diamonds Are Forever but after that said never again and Roger Moore took over for the next seven Bond films.
Moore never really captured the ruthlessness of the character but he certainly could deliver a pithy one liner. The Spy Who Loved Me and For Your Eyes Only are my favourites of the Bond films with Roger Moore.
I never really cared for Timothy Dalton’s interpretation in his 2 films and although Pierce Brosnan was the right fit and look for Bond, his 4 films were rather lacklustre.
And then of course the latest Bond was Daniel Craig who has proved to be extremely popular but apart from Casino Royale and Skyfall I found his 5 movies to have generally lacked the sparkle of the earlier films.
Who will be the next Bond ? . . . Jane Bond maybe ? I hope not as I can see the adage “Go woke go broke” applying to the Bond franchise.
I haven’t bothered commenting on the non-Eon Bond films – Casino Royale (1967) and Never Say Never Again (1983) as they have never really fitted into the James Bond cannon, IMO.
Other Bond highlights are included in the following playlist
Everyone would have their own favourite Bond and moments.
Enjoy and discuss.