Nobody Does Bond Better, 001: The Connery Craze

sean-connery-bond-dr.no

It gets asked over and over again, so why not here: Who’s the best James Bond?

It’s hardly as much fun to simply ask fans to rank Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig like so many contestants in an acting pageant. Choosing a real champion in the realm of the Bond series offers opportunities to conduct an exercise that, especially unique to this franchise, I believe also depends on picking “bests” that reside outside any evaluation of the lead actor’s performance. Fans and critics alike have frequently declared that the best Bonds in general are only as good as their villains, but as we Bond fanatics know, there are many—so many—other elements involved in picking the winner.

By the end of these posts, we’ll have figured it out once and for all.

The Connery Craze

Dr. No; From Russia, with Love; Goldfinger; Thunderball; You Only Live Twice; Diamonds Are Forever

Ask a fan who was there in 1962 at the beginning of the world’s longest-running film franchise (at nearly a half century and counting), and the answer to the question of who’s the best James Bond is likely to be Connery, who was at first considered an unwise casting choice for Dr. No by none other than Bond’s literary creator, Ian Fleming. Too rough around the edges, Fleming thought. Who knew? Certainly not Connery, who was disappointed to inform the producers of Tarzan the Magnificent he couldn’t participate in their follow-up to Tarzan’s Greatest Adventure (in which he played a rare villainous role) because “two fellows took an option on me for some spy picture and are exercising it.” Fleming eventually came around to appreciate Connery’s interpretation of the part he originated on the big screen, so enamored of the magnetism and conviction Connery brought to the role that he eventually added a Scottish heritage for 007 in the later books.

Best Delivery Ever of “Bond, James Bond”

Dr. No

DR.NO-CONNERY

Icy-cool and unaffected by the baggage that came with its expected repitition. Not to mention the creative buildup to Connery’s onscreen introduction, which director Terence Young stages with subtly dramatic suspense.

Best Bare-Knuckle Brawl Between Bond & Baddie

From Russia, with Love

bond-connery-robert-shaw

The showdown between 007 and Red Grant. All the more impactful for the lack of music and the jagged cutting by editor Peter Hunt, who would later direct one of the very best Bonds in the series.

Most Riotously Suggestive Name for a Bond Girl

pussy-galore

You know her name. From Goldfinger.

Best Alternate Universe Bond Song

Thunderball

007 sticklers might say it’s John Barry’s “Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” but I’m choosing that other theme from Thunderball that was never used for the film in any form: Take it away, Johnny Cash!

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There are exceptions to every rule, but most actors will tell you that playing the same role over a long period of time (whether onstage or on the silver screen) makes it increasingly difficult to keep one’s work fresh and exciting. As popular (and generously compensated) as he was, Sean Connery made a decision to exit the Bond series after the 1967 adventure You Only Live Twice. The last time he played the part was in 1983’s Never Say Never Again, a remake of Thunderball that emerged out of complex and contentious litigation between Eon Productions and writer/producer Kevin McClory. The film wasn’t made by Eon’s Bond “family,” and fans split often on its inclusion in any discussion of the series. While it has some virtues—Connery’s good, Klaus Maria Brandauer is entertaining and oily as Largo—for me, the Bond films are about much more than the actor playing the role, and as it lacks the theme music, the gunbarrel, and the elusive sophistication that would mark it with the imprimatur of an official 007 production, I can’t help but (mostly) disregard it.

The first time Connery realized he should “never say never” came with 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever, however, after a wildly lucrative offer was made to him to reprise the part for an agreed-upon single additional appearance in the franchise. An overreaction, perhaps, because the man chosen to replace him was not disastrous at all, in spite of some harsh verdicts rendered at the time.

Nobody Does Bond Better Returns in: George Lazenby—A Model Bond; Moore, Roger Moore; The Dangerous Timothy Dalton; Pierced Through the Heart; and A Craig-Like Face

  • Rex

    Sorry, but James Bond is not “the world’s longest-running film franchise.” Godzilla has been around since 1954, with more films to come.

    • kabakov keats

      Connery.
      Craig.
      Dalton.
      Next question.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000096018904 Sparrowlord01

    Good point. And my Daughter (13) has every single one of them from Gojira to Final Wars on DVD.. ARGH!!!! Anyways. Top bonds in this order.

    Connery
    Brosnan
    Moore
    Dalton
    Craig
    Lazenby

    They have been wrecking the franchise every since Craig took over. It used to be pure fun action escapism. Now the movies are just over-hyped police stories on a slightly larger scale. They need to put a bit of the over-the-top elements we expect from Bond movies back into the franchise.

    • Ken

      I agree with everything you said, including the order of Bonds, although I can’t stand Daniel Craig.

  • Dana Rich

    While Connery was a great James Bond (and even came close to the description that Flemming used in his novels “like Hoagy Carmichael with a cruel mouth”) Craig in Casino Royale comes off as truly frightening… a man who would kill at the drop of a hat. To me, the biggest problems with the Bond films is the casting aside of realism for almost silly attempts at humor… that and all the gizmos. If you read the original James Bond novels there were very few spy gadgets, just Bond and his wits.

  • http://www.moviesunlimited.com George D. Allen

    Rex isn’t alone in his assertion the mighty gorilla-whale Gojira should sit stop the throne of franchise durability, but I must confess that adjuticating that particular claim, since there are so many ways to do so, fails to get my blood pumping enough to either argue in favor of the oft-stated claim of Bond’s supremacy or concede in Toho’s favor (I hear even Guinness refuses to rule one way or the other!). I will stand in favor of 007. Maybe someday we’ll be saying something substantial about Godzilla here on MFF (keep watching). Meanwhile, I’m itching to offer opinions about the Craig era, but those will come soon enough.

  • Shirley Tate

    When you have had Sean Connery as 007, you can’t settle for anything less.

  • Donnell J. Boyde

    Connery not only created Bond, but instillied in the character the elemnts that define the talents of a true spy. Swagger, strengh, ruggedness, intelligence, raw personality, a diligent coldness toward death, intuitiveness and above all that devil may care finality to surviving.
    When I walked out of the theater after viewing the “Doctor No” premier, I walked, talked and acted like James Bond for almost a month. Drove my girlfriend to her wits end.

  • Duke

    The thing about this series of questions seems kind of moot to me. Been watching Bond since the inception. Connery made the man in this series, from the first to his last, its not so much about which actor do we like best, its more about who made the personna. Sean Connery was the “ONE” to create the personna, he coined the phrase “Bond, James bond” and the way he acted the part made it so very successful. He is the only one(I) personally consider to be “The James Bond” the others have done fairly well in trying to protray the part in leiu of following Sean Connery. But you have to admit, the longer they run this the sillier it gets, from Moore in all the stupid gimicky toys to Craig making leaps of faith from construction towers beam work to building tops, I had such a hard time even getting through the first Craig film,. I mean theyve used props in the bond movies for years, thats okay, but they just got so silly and foolish in the later years. And at least when you watched Connery fight or tussle or kick some Azz, it looked real, he didnt perfom feats of immpossible physics and gravity defiance, I had hoped that with craig and trying to go back to the actual roots of the genre’ what with Casino Royale being the first for him they might try to recapture the old mystique’ of Connery and the down to earth reality of the charectuer. Im so dissappointed in where the syndication has gone, I didnt even want to see the second one with Craig. Im done and it breaks my heart to let it go.

  • http://www.moviesunlimited.com George D. Allen

    I enjoy Donnell’s anecdote about the impact of Connery’s appeal, which really ties in with Raymond Chandler’s “men want to be him” observation about Bond the character. You hear this about the impact of Bond all the time. Hopefully fans draw the line at delivering unsolicited smacks on the backside to their Bond girls (a-la Connery’s 007 and Sylvia Trench)…

  • Franny

    Connery is the only 007 worth watching…

  • dnoB700

    Connery
    Brosnan
    Lazenby
    Moore
    Barry Nelson (old TV show first Bond)
    Craig
    Dalton

  • Douglas McAllen

    It’s difficult to argue that anyone but Connery’s Bond was the best. When the same actor defines the role through six separate installments — much like Joel Grey, for example, created and defined the role of MC in Cabaret [coincidentally with From Russia With Love's Lotte Lenya (Rosa Klebb) on Broadway] — the image, mannerisms, and everything else, get stamped into a Bond fan’s mind at a very early stage. No one else quite matches up. Once one guy is so perfect in something, one looks for the same thing in all subsequent adventures and doesn’t find it. Not that the others are ‘bad’, they just don’t have to genuineness of the original.

  • Douglas McAllen

    All this prompts me to rework that famous line from Dr. No when Connery lets Anthony Dawson
    (Dr Dent)have it: “That’s a Smith and Wesson Dent, and you’ve had your six” FWUMP. (Don’t you love it?). Well, one has any of the other Bonds being shown any of Connery’s films and saying “That’s a Connery Bond, (Moore/Craig/Brosnan), and you’ve had your shot.”

  • http://www.moviesunlimited.com George D. Allen

    The “you’ve had your six” scene is great — all the more so for how understated it is. The scene sticks in the mind more strongly than so many of the overly-pumped-up set pieces we get in today’s action pix. Not to get too far in advance of my piece on Moore, but I think Stromberg’s death in “Spy” is nearly as nasty and effective.

  • Bob McGure

    My list of the best Bond Actors:

    (1) Sean Connery
    (2) Timothy Dalton
    (3) Daniel Craig
    (4) George Lazenby
    (5) Pierce Brosnan
    (6) Roger Moore

    I also watched the Bond movies from the beginning and “Nobody does it Better” than Sean Connery.

  • Marjorie

    Ian Fleming also wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, with a female lead called Truly Scrumptious and a car full of gizmos – can we really believe that there the man himself intended bond to be excessively serious? I’m thinking he intended a certain amount of campy humor.

    As to favorite James Bond actor – I have to go with Timothy Dalton as my first choice.

    Sean’s judo chop was cheesy.
    Brosnan was equally unbelievable in that respect.
    Also his films are a 50/50 split of good/awful.
    Roger Moore seducing anyone is far fetched.
    Daniel Craig lacks Bond’s class. (He peaked when he stepped out of the shower in Tomb Raider).

    Timothy Dalton was relatively believable and both of the movies he made were great.

    (George Lazenby did well in OHMSS but it was an unusual Bond movie and it seems like a matter of comparing apples and oranges).

    • Bruce Reber

      It would have been interesting to see OHMSS with Connery, or any of the 70′s Bond movies (except “Diamonds Are Forever”, which he starred in of course) with him as 007 instead of Roger Moore (is less) – a little pun there!

  • Version

    All Bonds are good – we agree. Even Woody Allen and Peter Sellars or Niven.

    My favs – and at times even Sean veered away from what “00″ meant:
    1) Sean Connery – The grand master.
    (2) Daniel Craig – protrays a true “00″ with complexity
    (3) Pierce Brosnan – ended too soon, just started to get interesting
    (4) all others.

  • Wayne

    I have enjoyed every Bond film and every BOND. Connery was the original and while he is the prototype, I think all of the others were entertaining (and good) in their own way.
    I agree with Sparrowlord01 on the last two Bond movies. They were a too dark. This is pure escapism for most Bond affectionados. Keep all the elements we want to see…action,adventure,villains,gadgets, Bond girls…etc. but keep it a fun movie to watch.

  • Steve

    I would definitely rank T. Dalton higher than most other posters have. Brosnan is a pretty boy, nothing more. Moore was good for one-liners and outrageous gadgets. Of course Connery was (is) the best.
    For a future Bond (if there is one), I’d like to see them go with Jason Isaacs. Watch him in “The Patriot” and see if you don’t agree.

    P.S. – Thanks so much for the Johnny Cash “Thu nderball.” As a long-time (50+ years) Cash fan, I’m ashamed to admit I never heard of it before.

  • http://www.moviesunlimited.com George D. Allen

    Yes, isn’t the Cash song a treat? I don’t fault the producers for not going with it, though (it really is much less a Bond song than a Cash song), as I’m big on the outrageous swagger of the Tom Jones/John Barry tune. On a collection of Bond title themes released some years back, they rewarded fans with an unused “You Only Live Twice” song which had some of the general elements/structure of the final tune, but it paled in comparison to the gorgeous Barry melody that finally made it onscreen.

  • Carter Lupton

    Off topic, but how is a franchise being defined?

    For films concerning a specific character, Sherlock Holmes and Tarzan certainly outrank Bond or Godzilla.

  • Robert hiebert

    Bond is great and, I Like Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan the best. But I like what the frist person said , When is the new Godzilla coming out.

  • Mark Conlan

    Don’t forget the very first James Bond — Barry Nelson, who played the role in a 1954 TV version of “Casino Royale” with Peter Lorre as the villain Le Chiffre and Linda Christian (the second Mrs. Tyrone Power) as Vesper Lynd. The script made Bond an American and a CIA agent (maybe to avoid having Nelson try to fake a British accent) and to my mind is still the best of the three adaptations of Ian Fleming’s first Bond novel. You can see it as a bonus track on the DVD version of the 1967 “Casino Royale,” and to my mind it makes the disc worth purchasing despite the ghastliness of the 1967 film.

  • ettienne

    Daniel Craig is the best…grittier, best shape, more believable

  • mel

    Connery was the best and Dalton was the absolute worst Bond, in the absolute worse Bond films.

  • Jim

    You have to ask yourself whom would do best in a street fight..can you imagine Connery or Craig against Moore or Brosnan…

    Connery and Craig look like cold blooded killers…the rest are just actors…

  • Yoshi

    Sean Connery defied Bond, though when I first saw him in Dr. No,
    I thought he was too handsome in GQ kind of way, but as the years go by, he turned out like a good old wine, matured in to a great actor and more handsome with character. My No.2 is Daniel Craig. He is a very believable 007 character. Love his rugged look. No. 3 is Timothy Dolton. The rest remind me of models, not an agent with license to kill.

  • Jan

    Sean Connery was hands down the best bond. he was believable, and oh, that voice. i loved the gizmos. they made the film for me. i couldnt wait to see what they came up with next. but sean is still my fav.

  • Keith Nations

    Analysis who was the most belivable, who was smoother, who appears more ruthless, the most handsome, and on and on. The true metal of a James Bond is can any of them melt the heart of Miss Moneypenny like Connery.I think not

  • Gursel Nirun

    1-SEAN CONNERY (THE BEST AND REAL)
    2-ROGER MOORE
    3-LAZENBY
    4-DALTON
    AND THE OTHERS…I LOVE SEAN CONNERY…

  • Liz

    No doubt about it Sean Connery is James Bond. Pierce Brosnan was the only other Bond that could fill his shoes. They left the other Bonds in the dust, with Daniel Craig being the worst.

  • S Geworsky

    In my opinion, Sean Connery will always be the man to play the James Bond character, with Roger Moore coming in at 2nd place. I must admit, I enjoy watching Roger Moore playing James Bond. He brought his own unique brand of bond-type humor to the screen. As far as the other actors playing Bond goes …they are all splendid performers, but some how just did not make the cut, as far as I’m concerned. Quite simply…some have it, and some don’t.
    SG

  • Doug

    Of course when you say “Bond” you think of Sean Connery. What is there to dislike? But..after watching the last two Bond movies I can’t stand to watch the older movies. The sets and phony action would not cut it today. The movie scripts were downright juvenile..I think Pierce and Dalton are underrated…but Craig is by far the best….thank you

  • Raif Damico

    When Sean Connerly said “Bond,James Bond” that was it for who was Bond.True he was bigger and not as sophisticated in real life as Fleming’s Bond,but Sean had the ruggedness and cold blood kill feel.Remember in Dr.No, “you had your five..that’s a Smith&Wesson as he pumped Professor Dent with his Walther PPK..cold and unemotional.I met Honor Blackman(Pussy Galore)and she told me Sean was a tough beer drinking truck driver T shirt guy. He had Tattoos on both forearms.The producers worked Sean-Custom Tailored English Suits,Blue or Gray,Turnbill&Asser Shirts Black Knit Tie…all Bond attire.It was all there and Sean the actor made it happen.
    Moore was too tall too much one liners and used his own wardrobe and was too pretty.Bond was not pretty and never wore earth-tone suits…it was always Blues and Grays.Moore never had a kill look.
    Brosnan,Another pretty boy-no kill feel-no drama.
    Dalton too small,all drama and acting bad clothes.
    Lazenby Tried,right dress could develop the kill look but not an actor to pull it off.He had a great book…Sean would have realy shown us some of his future skills if he did On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
    Craig has promise. He is cduel and has the kill look.Work is needed on his dress. He can act and has just enough drama.He is rugged and not pretty.They need bto work a better story and plot. We know the character.Less unrealistic fights.Continue the Bond Ladies all spy novels have to have sexy and beautiful ladies.
    However….Sean Connerly was Bond,James Bond…And he just retired.,

  • JS Randol

    Sean Connerly set the image and is the only true James Bond. Daniel Craig does a good job. He is not svelt like Connerly but maybe a secret agent needs to be rougher. The “worst” comment about Craig came from a woman who is looking for a “pretty” Bond. The English tilt to Connerly also adds to Bond’s image. I really had no problem with any actor except they were not Connerly who was the best actor of them all.

  • Marjorie

    Like Steve’s idea of Jason Isaacs as Bond as he is one of my favs. However, Jason Isaacs is a little old. Richard Armitage is about 10 years younger, does a little better when playing a non-villain than Isaacs, and while he still has a face with character, he’s actually not bad looking. The only drawback would be that his accent is more like a gutteral Sean Bean than a silky Sean Connery.

  • Liz M

    I have gone to the movies to see just about all the bond films until recently. My favorite is Mr. Connery. He set the stage for the character. He was the image of the super sexy spy. The bar was raised and not many came close to it or exceeded it. I would say Bronson did a wonderful job and Lazenby grew on me because I like Her majesty secret service. Moore had his moments and Dalton did his best. I didn’t like Craig’s first movie and his second one was better.
    It would be neat to see Sean in the role of M in the next Bond with who ever?!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000800244692 Sandra Necchi

    Connery – #1
    Dalton – #2 (brought back the franchise to its more serious, authentic roots – fans of the books loved Dalton)
    Craig
    Lazenby
    Moore
    Brosnan

  • http://www.moviesunlimited.com George D. Allen

    Just to chime in on the last couple of remarks– Liz, I’m afraid you’re bound to be disappointed to never see Connery return to the series since he’s been quite vocal about being retired from acting in general. (Oops, should I “never say never”?) Others have said he could play the villain, etc., but it’s probably safe to say he’s content w/allowing his contribution to the series to stand as is. And Sandra’s right on the mark of course about Dalton’s tenure marking a big shift in direction for the series–and it wouldn’t be the last time the Bond producers pulled themselves strongly back to the source material after resorting to excess. James Bond Will Return (soon) in a piece about Lazenby and OHMSS!

  • shahram chubin

    connery the best; Brosnan pretty good and very different; Craig is a perfect as a nazi or hired killer but not smooth enough for bond. That said Casino Royale was pretty good. What is missing from all films since the early ones is the music of Barry

  • http://www.moviesunlimited.com George D. Allen

    John Barry’s influence on the franchise is about as important to its success as anyone involved in the entire series, I think. His “sound” set a new template not only for the Bonds, but for the many action films that followed in their wake. And the Eon producers obviously agree, because to hear many other Bond composers tell it in interviews, they often mention getting instructions to, at some level, try to emulate the Barry style. David Arnold (who’s been scoring the films since Tomorrow Never Dies) has been doing an awfully good job – so long as he stays away from too much electronics (with the Die Another Day score being a little guilty of this. Arnold’s reflection of the back-to-basics approach in Casino Royale, on the other hand, was terrific.)

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  • scott

    Dalton was the worst bond ever,just too cheesy.While Connery was the original(a great bond) Craig has taken 007 to a whole new level,absolutly the BEST BOND EVER!!!!!

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  • Charles H

    To start, thank you, Mr. Allen, for the “Bond Blogs”. Very enjoyable read. I have also enjoyed reading all the readers’ comments regarding their favorite Bond. I’m not so sure I have a favorite. I’ve enjoyed each actor’s interpretation. Afterall, 007 is a fictional character. Whether the movie character matches the novel character or not, it’s all fantasy; therefore, it’s all escapism – from the “serious” Bond to the “goofy” Bond. Imagine, dream, laugh, dodge, cringe, sympathize, envy, and cheer for. But most of all, enjoy, because 007, whoever is playing him, could almost be real. Thanks, again, Mr. Allen. Very enjoyable read.

  • http://www.moviesunlimited.com George D. Allen

    You’re most welcome, Charles H! “The Bond Blogs will return”!

  • Ken Davidson

    Sean Connery got me hooked, then Daniel Craig. The best scene in my opinion has to be the bottomless wooden chair scene in Craig’s Casino Royale, he is one tough nut to crack (so about the pun) it could not be helped.

  • http://www.moviesunlimited.com George D. Allen

    Ken, I too am a big fan of the famous Casino Royale “chair” scene, which I will get into more when it comes to the Craig section of this series. First, though, make sure to come back to check out my survey of the Dalton “bests” (appearing very soon).

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  • BadGnx2

    Sean Connery was the James Bond that I was introduced to when the series came about in the early sixties. My father was a big fan and attended all of the early films and he in turn turned me on to the films by taking me to them also.
    I remember seeing “Goldfinger” with my siblings in downtown Chicago.

    But Sean Connery’s interpretation of Bond is WITHOUT A DOUBT THE DEFINITIVE ONE. If Clark Gable put a stamp on Rhett Butler then Connery put a stamp on Bond. Connery set the bar high – very high and its that bar that all subsequent actors have been measured by and aspired to.

    Connery was able to combine sarcasm, sexuality, charisma, strength, toughness, attitude and intelligence like no actor since to this role. And it proved to be the winning formula because it has endured all of these years. Other actors have come close including Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. Brosnan is probably the heir apparent to Connery in the films. “Goldeneye” is probably the best of the Brosnan films and he pulls out all the stops.
    Daniel Craig is a very good actor although he only touches the sexuality that Connery exudes. He holds up very well in the stunt scenes and seems fully competent. Something Roger Moore could not do on his best day.
    If the franchise DOES end with Daniel Craig then it does end on a good note. He is the true heir apparent.

    Connery’s magnetism is SO STRONG that he could SLAP A WOMAN AROUND and then make love to her minutes later and NOBODY objects to his actions. The fact that Connery slaps WOMEN AND MEN around in the early films (and does so convincingly) and gets no audience member ruffled says alot to me. Even in these “politically correct times” you hear NOTHING about it.
    It didn’t hurt the fact that Connery was like that IN REAL LIFE, as mentioned in a mid sixties Playboy interview.

    For me and millions of intelligent fans, his portrayal of Bond was what carried the sixties films. He was the man men wanted to be like and women wanted to be with. A tough tightrope to pull off.

  • http://www.moviesunlimited.com George D. Allen

    BadGnx2, this was quite the extensive evaluation of your preferences in the world of 007 — thanks for taking the time to write in (I actually read this post last). Make sure you return to add your comments on the Brosnan and Craig entries. I confess I can’t remember when in the Connery era he ever actually “slapped” a man, though :)

  • Robert Hindman

    Sean Connery was James Bond. The rest were merely imposters, although Dalton was the only one respectable enough to acknowledge such, thereby making him marginally acceptable. The others were basically an affront to the real Bond.

  • john

    I had this big speech on this. Connery will always be the best Bond! period.

  • S Petty

    1. Connery; 2.Dalton; 3.Craig; 4.Brosman; 4. Lazenby (if Sean played OHMSS opposite D.Riggs I think the movie would have got Oscar consideration); the other guy….’what did he have on the producers of the Bond franchise?’

    • Bruce Reber

      I assume the “other guy” is Roger Moore, and if he had anything on 007 producers Harry Saltzman and Albert Broccoli I’m not aware of it.

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  • tony payne

    I’m going to throw a spanner in the works and say that On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was one of the best Bonds ever. Alright, Lazenby is no Connery, but for sheer entertainment and thrills, OHMSS stands the test of time. The more times I see it, the more I enjoy it. To be fair, the franchise got too silly for words with endless jokey gadgets which I am sure Ian Flemming would turn in his grave if he saw some of the scenes. Invisible cars as in Die Another Day was simply ludicrous and John Cleese hopelessly miscast as a replacement for ‘Q’. If it wasn’t for Martin Campbell rescuing the franchise with GoldenEye (and effecting another great film with Casino Royale) who knows where Bond would be now.

  • http://www.moviesunlimited.com George D. Allen

    Tony, your OHMSS opinion is shared by many (but not all, as you might find by checking out the Lazenby piece here). I threw up my own hands w/the invisible car thing, too (however much it may have been, let’s say “loosely,” based on actual technology) — but this is a curious cycle the Bond family seems to go through over and over again, getting bigger & more outrageous until they realize they’ve gone a little too far afield, usually making a dramatic course correction — though I think also the Bonds have also done a marvelous job of changing with the times while maintaining the vital ingredients that make up their essential appeal.

  • Kirk

    Connery to me is the quitessential 007. His are the DVDs I will most likely pop in the player. Connery especially early on had the “cold blooded bastard” vibe down to a “T”. My all time favorite Connery scene is Dent’s execution in Doctor No, no histrionics, no “I’m avenging my colleague” nonsense, just cold blooded execution. In fact I always thought Connery’s Bond executed him with a ho-hum attitude which makes it all even colder, as if Dent really isn’t worth his effort or deserving to be killed by an agent of his caliber. Still he was an enemy, soo… I love Doctor No and in case you’re wondering I think this was Fleming’s way of getting to pit Fu-Manchu against 007. Fleming was an admitted fan of Rohmer’s mad scientist tales, can’t say I blame him.
    Of course my all time favorite Bond film is From Russia With Love. It’s just cool, intense, ruthless and of course not enough can be said about the Connery-Shaw showdown on the Orient Express. One of my favorite fight scenes of all time (second only to the Rod Taylor-William Smith fight in Darker Than Amber).
    Goldfinger really isn’t a favorite for me, I don’t know why. I just have trouble getting into it. For me it doesn’t fit in with Doctor No, From Russia With Love and Thunderball. Maybe it’s Guy Hamilton isn’t Terence Young, I have never been able to put my thumb on it.
    Thunderball was always my second favorite. Connery is in his all time peak in TB, he’s fully immersed in the role and hasn’t gotten sick of 007 yet. He’s that cold blooded bastard I’ve thrilled to since childhood. My favorite moment is pinning Vargas to the tree and not missing a beat in his conversation with Domino.
    Luciana Paluzzi is in my book the sexiest Bond Girl ever. Definitely some va-va-voom in her. Adolfo Celi is thoroughly repulsive as Largo as he should be, I always saw Anthony Quinn as Largo but Celi pulls it off with revulsion.
    As for the much lambasted underwater sequences, I don’t get it. They are awesome even now they get my adrenaline going, maybe I’m an old timer and this movie has been a favorite since I was 8 or 10 years old.
    You Only Live Twice I know I should love it but it’s so goofy, in a totally different way than the Moore era but it’s just fun for me. I guess it’s a guilty pleasure.
    Diamonds are Forever was a classic 007 film, for the first 15 or twenty minutes. Once the elevator fight is over so is the movie, for me anyway. It just veers into mediocrity and why bring back Blofeld after the Pre title sequence? Why they couldn’t have stuck more to the novel is beyond me. This one is one of my five least favorite Bond films of all time (Die Another Day is my least favorite followed by:A View To A Kill, Man With The Golden Gun, Diamonds Are Forever and Tomorrow Never Dies).
    Sorry if I went on a bit but everything that tuly love about the Bond movies can be summed up in Doctor No, From Russia With Love, Thunderball and of course Sean Connery.

    • Gord Jackson

      Finally, another fan who rates FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE and THUNDERBALL so highly and, like me, has a hard time getting into GOLDFINGER.

      Absolutely, the close-quarters fight scene in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE is one for the ages with the choreography of those underwater fight scenes in THUNDERBALL standing out as well. However, all of that said, my personal Bond film favourite is ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE. It may lack some of the gadgetry of a GOLDFINGER or THUNDERBALL, but it got back to the great story-telling roots of DR. NO and FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE. And had he not let his attitude and big mouth get in the way, I think George Lazenby would have grown into another iconic Bond. Equally, Telly Savalas is an excellent Bloefeld (with honourable mention to the nasty take of Donald Pleasance in YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE) every bit as cold and ruthless as Bond, with Diana Rigg probably the best actress to grace any Bond outing.

      But the ‘best’ Bond or a ‘favourite’ Bond – that is the question. For me it is still Connery, with Daniel Craig, Timothy Dalton and George Lazenby in that order. Sorry, I just can’t buy into Roger Moore or Pierce Brosnan.

  • http://www.moviesunlimited.com George D. Allen

    Love the analysis, Kirk! Even tho I confess to preferring Claudine Auger in Thunderball (but really, why fuss over such things when there’s something for everyone!). I think Barry’s score goes a long way in making the underwater scenes in TB great. And here I thought I was the only Bond fanatic on Earth who doesn’t really worship at the altar of Goldfinger! I mean, it’s terrific fun of course, but I’d always ranked FRWLove “above” it, as these rankings go. I’d probably also rank The Man with the Golden Gun a little higher just ’cause I love Christopher Lee in it…but every time I watch it I always realize I’ve forgotten about the Sheriff Pepper part…(“SE-crut A-gent?” Yikes.) Tough to pick a favorite Connery scene, but his showdown with Red Grant on the train is tough to top all around. Writing, performance, direction, fight choreography, editing, all brilliantly executed.

    • Bruce Reber

      Louisiana redneck Sheriff Pepper (played by Clifton James) was a holdover from Live And Let Die, Roger Moore’s first turn as 007.

  • Don Jones

    I’m wondering how many people have the video game titled “James Bond 007 : From Russia with Love” which uses Sean Connery’s likeness and his voice to represent the leading character or the fake trailer for a movie titled “Everything Or Nothing” where Connery protrays a retired James Bond who is called back into the service for one more mission. Contact me at the above e-mail address. I’m curious to know what others think about these Two clips.

  • http://www.moviesunlimited.com George D. Allen

    Don — quite some time back, I did pick up the FRWL game for the PlayStation, played it for about 5 minutes and decided I was finally too impatient (maybe that’s a dodgy way of saying too old!) to deal with it. Maybe I should carve out some time to go back and try it again. Meanwhile, I watched the “Everything or Nothing” trailer– that was kind of a fun mashup of post-Bond Connery, but I think that’s the closest you’re ever going to get to seeing that idea manifest itself. I was about to write that he firmly and fully retired from acting after his unfortunate experiences with “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” but I see that he has resurfaced to do voice work on an animated feature called “Sir Billi” (!). On a semi-related note (of fan-wish-fulfillment), I’d sure like to see Clint Eastwood resurrect the Harry Callahan character one more time. Have him play the retiring San Francisco mayor who has to bust out the old .44 after he becomes the target of an assassination attempt…please? Somebody?

  • BadGnx2

    I too feel that the women from “Thunderball” were the loveliest of the Connery films. Claudine Auger was GORGEOUS and Lucianna Paluzzi was a split second!! Extremely sexy women.

    “From Russia With Love” was probably the best of the Connery Bonds mainly because it followed the original storyline closely and its suspense was simple and straightforward. It was also the first and only movie made with THREE ENDINGS.
    “Goldfinger” is a classic because it had something for everyone. More humor than “From Russia With Love”, the best gadgets (go no further than the Aston Martin), the first of the globetrotting Bonds, gorgeous women, action from beginning to end and the most memorable film score.

    I would say that the fight scene between Bond and Robert Shaw’s “Red Grant” was probably the best of the Connery Bonds. That much action in such a concise space can’t be believed.
    I think the fight between Bond and “Oddjob” from “Goldfinger” is a split second. The electrocution scene is both fascinating and grisly. And probably a cinematic first.

    And to his credit, Connery pulls off everything with equal skill and belief.

    • Bruce Reber

      The fight scene from Diamonds Are Forever, with Bond doing battle with athletic babes Bambi and Thumper should come in third place.

  • BadGnx2

    IN RELATED NEWS:
    The 1964 Aston Martin DB5 driven by Sean Connery in the movie “Goldfinger” was recently sold at auction in Phoenix, Arizona for the small sum of $1.9 million. I’m actually surprised that it didn’t go higher. I guess the economy IS BAD.

    There were actually several DB5 cars built but the one sold was the most complete of them all. It has ALL of the gadgets – bullet proof rear shield, machine guns, wheel shredder, etcetera.

    If you look at the movie “Thunderball”, you’ll see that the cars were not the same. Hint – its in the dash and console.
    Some of the other DB5 models were featured in car shows and exhibitions and didn’t possess all of the working gadgets.
    Thus, the “Goldfinger” car was the most optioned and therefore the ORIGINAL.

    Hmmmmm….too bad I didn’t have a couple of mil laying around or I would have snapped that car up too.

    • Bruce Reber

      I hope whoever bought the 007 Aston Martin arranges to put it on permanent dsiplay somewhere (maybe the Hollywood Auto museum) so that everyone can view the ultimate “Bond Gadget”.

  • Pingback: Movie Marathons | MovieFanFare

  • Erik the Red

    No 1 is Sean Connery.
    No 2 is Pierce Brosnan
    No 3 is Daniel Craig
    no 4 is Roger Moore
    No 5 is George Lazenby
    no 6 is Timothy Dalton (sorry, Tim, I don’t mean it personally).
    But don’t forget to pay tribute to the gorgeous ladies: In random order :
    Claudine Auger,
    Honor Blackman,
    Kristin Wayborn (thanks for the marvelous exit over the balcony in your unwrapping sari, Kristin,- it is difficult to forget)
    Britt Ekland,
    Maude Adams (in two movies !),
    Carole Bouquet,
    Sophie Marceau
    Sheena Easton
    Ursula Undress
    Cecilia Thomsen
    and many others……………………….

    • Adrian Havill

      Halle Berry and Jane Seymour

    • Domino

      Right on target Eric!!

    • Bruce Reber

      Jill St. John (DAF), Carey Lowell (LTK), Diana Rigg (OHMSS), Maryam D’Abo (TLD), Maud Adams (MWTGG and Octopussy) – can’t forget THEM!

  • Susan

    You obviously missed the point of all the tongue-in-cheek goodies in “Never Say Never Again,” but that’s okay. You have plenty of other Connery Bonds to enjoy!
    Connery is without a doubt #1.
    George Lazenby, a one-film wonder, is #2
    Roger Moore just played Simon Templar and was good, but unimaginative.
    Daniel Craig brings a whole new twist to James Bond and he’s a fine actor who carries it off.
    Pierce Brosnan runs like a girl and I find that “I can’t help but (mostly) disregard” him.
    If you’re a Bond-ie from way back, as I am, then the single saddest thing was to see anyone other than Lois Maxwell be called Moneypenny. It completely negates her superb performances in that role.
    There are many wonderful puns, of course, throughout the films, but I think my favorite is in “Thunderball” when the following exchange takes place: Bond says, “I have to eliminate all free radicals” (meaning the kind you have in your body and Moneypenny responds, “Good luck, James,” interpreting the statement as he’s setting out to destroy a bunch of bad guys.

  • jpp452

    I read the books before seeing any of the movies except Dr. No. Here’s my list:
    1. Sean Connery — because he defined the role to such an extent even Ian Fleming was thinking of him in the final books of the series.
    2. Daniel Craig — because he, more than anyone, epitomizes the ruthlessness of Ian Fleming’s James Bond.
    To me, those two stand well above the rest. Of the rest, it’s Pierce Brosnan marginally ahead of Roger Moore. Moore suffered from some ludicrous scripts, even by Eon standards. The Moore films were comedies more than action adventures.
    I don’t mean to be unkind to Timothy Dalton. Perhaps he could have grown into the role with more opportunities, much as Moore did.
    Although I’ve seen it, Barry Nelson’s pioneering performance of Bond in a television version of Casino Royale (1954) deserves to remain obscure. The same can be said for Peter Sellers, and others, in the 1967 spoof of Casino Royale.

  • C.J. Gelfand

    Sean Connery. No contest. Although I do think Daniel Craig is really good in the role.

  • Steve Shields

    Connery, hands down, is the best Bond to date, having set the bar very high from the beginning. However, the movies Craig has done, especially Skyfall, are loaded with action and edge of your eat suspense. Throw in a dark quality often left out of spy films, and you have some very rich entertainment.

  • Domino

    Hands down…it’s definitely Connery. But I wanted to share with you a couple of scenes that I’ve never heard or seen mentioned. In From Russia with Love during the Gypsy women fight scene did anyone else notice the camera pan to Connery & Pedro Armendariz sharing an out of character laugh about something said about the women fighting?
    And then there is the split second bit of a dog lifting his leg in the Junkanoo scene in Thunderball.
    I do believe the directors were having some fun with the filming!

    • GeorgeDAllen

      Excellent Bondian trivia nuggets, there! I’m pretty sure both of those moments are referred to in the audio commentaries for those movies. And if you’ve not heard them, the commentaries on the Bond films are some of the richest, most entertaining and informative ever recorded. Especially the discussion of Armendariz on the “From Russia with Love” DVD/Blu-ray disc.

  • Bill

    Connery, but not because he’s a good Bond. It’s because when you write a script for an Alpha male, Connery is always the best actor for the part. For instance, who steals the show for raw testosterone in Robin Hood with Kevin Costner? My theory is that they haul in Connery for a cameo as Richard the Lion-Hearted when they want to show you what the real Robin Hood should look like.

  • YO VINNIE

    Sean Connery as James Bond.

    Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan

    • Johnny Sherman

      Peter Lorre as Mr. Moto.

      William Powell as The Thin Man (Nick Charles).

      • Bruce Reber

        Powell was Nick Charles, not the Thin Man.

        • Johnny Sherman

          Then who DID play The Thin Man??????????

          • Antone

            Edward Ellis played Mr Wynant, a tall, thin inventor. Although he disappeared after the first few minutes of the film. he became the object of a man hunt when his mistress and a blackmailer are bumped off. The case becomes known in the press as the “thin man case” because of his description. The sequels used thin man in the titles for simplicity sake, I presume. Nick was never called the thin man. Too many martinis.

  • Tom K.

    Sean Connery – hands down ! And why can’t you bring yourself to say Pussy Galore ? The Sean Connery – James Bond said her name ever so gracefully.

    • Bruce Reber

      Pussy is also a synonym for cat – maybe her name implied feline-like qualities, instead of the “other definition”. I can certainly bring myself to say it – PUSSY GALORE!

  • Roger Lynn

    roger moore was my favorite

  • Van Hazard

    Connery is still the Number One 007, although Daniel Craig runs a very close second. Connery had presence, style, a sharp wit and a detached, predatory coldness that defines Bond. For all that, however, let’s be honest…Daniel Craig’s action sequences dwarf all other Bond’s in physicality and intensity. He’s the Bond no villain would want to meet in a dark alley.

    The other Bond’s are all wanting. Lazenby was little more than a wooden Connery look-alike. Timothy Dalton wasn’t bad, but never really seemed comfortable in the role and had awful scripts to work with. Pierce Bronson was a poor excuse for Bond, trying to be suave and witty but lacking the aura of lethal danger essential to the role, but he did close out with his best effort in Die Another Day.

    Roger Moore was definitely the worst Bond ever because he made Bond a running comedy routine instead of a portrait of a ruthless, cold blooded killer. Bond’s witty repartee’s always came at the expense of the vanquished, but Moore was so miscast and so lacking the sense of being a a sharply honed weapon that the jokes often seemed to be on him. Shame he did so many Bond’s and nearly ruined the greatest franchise in film history.

  • sherlock

    since I started watching Bond movies when they first came out, Sean Connery will always be my favorite. But I really like the new bond films with Daniel Craig. I think both Connery and Craig play the roll on the edge more than the others.

  • flyingtoupee

    Sean Connery, without a doubt. Dalton and Craig are also good. Special points to Lazenby; he was good in a fight scene, and the movie he appeared in ranks near the top of Bond movies. Moore and Brosnan were too campy, but a few of their movies were good fun.

  • speedle24

    Connery is Bond period. Craig plays his role well and the new Bond movies are interesting, but everything is different. The plots, surporting characters, and Bond’s character are totally different from the original movies. Pick your favorite but Connery is the true and one and only James Bond.

  • Charles M Lee

    There is no contest, Connery has it running away. But I disagree with FRWL being the best Bond film. Sorry everyone but I – as one commenter put it – worship at the alter of Goldfinger. The theme was astounding as Shirley Bassey belts out her warning “He love goooooooolllllllllddddddd!!!!” The visuals were stunning, and the film has some of the greatest dialogue in any of the Bond movies. The fight scene with Oddjob is by far the best fight scene. Not only because of its choreography, but also because of the all the gold shimmering in the background. This was the Masterpiece and every movie that followed for years was an attempt to recreate the magic of this great film. That is my opinion I don’t mean to knock anyone else, as we are all entitled. But to think anyone would put another film over Goldfinger is “shocking, positively shocking.”

    • Antone

      My sentiments exactly—except I’m never shocked when others disagree with me.

      • Charles M Lee

        It was intended as a pun.

  • Jim

    Sean Connery IS Bond. Period. Roger Moore brought an element of sly humor to the role, but he was completely ill suited to playing James Bond, with his snooty accent and lack of fire. Pierce Brosnan did a great job reviving the franchise, but all others have been pretenders. Daniel Craig would be a believable Bond if 007 were a retired professional wrestler. The bottom line is: Sean Rules.

  • Johnny Sherman

    Sean Connery, without question, IS the greatest Bond—just ask him.

    Daniel Craig is # 2, and will remain there until someone bumps him off.
    Craig offers a good rendition of Bond as an action hero, and the latest script allowed the actor some well-done emotional scenes.

  • Debbie

    Sean Connery is number one. Daniel Craig is number two. The rest of the group are limp-wristed fops. They look like they should be working in a men’s haberdashery.

  • Jo

    CONNERY and that is it. Liked Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan and because of how they dumped Brosnan have never seen another Bond film. Craig is a good actor and I guess he is the closest thing to Connery, but having never seen him in the Bond role do not know.

  • Capoman

    Sean Connery.

  • williamsommerwerck

    When someone complains that “the rest of the group are limp-wristed fops”, they forget that there was a tradition of the “gentleman spy”.

    The Bond novels weren’t meant to be taken seriously. However, the post-Moore films have gradually treated the character more seriously. If you care to make a distinction, then Connery is clearly the best not-serious Bond, and Craig the best serious one.

    I would have to agree that “From Russia With Love” is “better” (that is, more believable and “realistic”) than “Goldfinger”, though the latter is arguable the series’ overall high point for “fun”.

    • Bruce Reber

      Bond getting down and dirty with Red Grant in a cramped compartment on the Orient Express in FRWL, or 007 dueling with Oddjob and his metal-rimmed Bowler hat inside the Fort Knox vault in “Goldfinger” – two awesome fight scenes in a dead (pardon the pun) heat.

  • rob

    Connery, easy. For trivia though…Simone Simon, the french actress of the 30′s & 40′s, supposedly had a long romance with the real life inspiration for Bond.

  • Linda

    Timothy Dalton

  • Hildegard Brosseau

    Sean Connery.

  • Don

    Sean Connery #1, Pierce Brosnan #2 all others are wannabes.

  • Ray Marine

    Sean Connery, Every One Else Is Second Rate.

  • C4

    1. Connery 2. Brosnan 3. Craig .
    Brosnan should have been Bond instead of Dalton which would have doubled Brosnan’s longevity to play the character.
    Craig may take the number 2 position with a few more outings. I have not been disappointed with his performances even though I was skeptical when he was first chosen.
    Roger Moore was great but the story lines were almost comedic. They could have been Saint movies just as easily. Saying that, I loved them at the time.
    Lazenby just wasn’t there long enough to crack my top three, especially as Diana Rigg out acted everyone else in the cast of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”. It ruined the movie for me when her character died at the end. They should have created a spin-off series for her as Mrs. Bond.

    • Bruce Reber

      They could have taken your idea a step further – husband and wife spies, in the tradition of the Thin Man movies (husband and wife detectives Nick & Nora Charles). I think that concept would have tanked with the first “Mr. & Mrs. Bond” movie! Anyway, it was done on TV in the 60′s, with “The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.” spinning off from “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”.

  • Steve

    Daniel Craig. Who would have thought that Casino Royale would be such a great movie. It revitalized the whole Bond franchise. When I first saw Craig I could not believe he was the new bond. After all, the Bond franchise was all but dead thanks to the boring Pierce Bronson Bond. Something new and radical had to be done- But Craig ? Wow was I wrong. Casino Royale (and Craig) was the kick in the butt that the Bond world needed. Thanks Daniel ! Connery was great as Bond, but in realty it was his only good roll. He always pretended that he was a serious actor and wanted to try other rolls. I could not sit through or stay awake during any of the other movies that Connery appeared in. I can sit through some of the other movies that Craig has appeared in. He is no one trick pony (unlike Connery). Long live Bond !!

  • Ben Garcia

    Daniel Craig far and away. However, it must be remembered that Connery was playing Bond as a somewhat charicature of the Bond of the novels. Insertion of joke segments into every Bond film might have tickled the audiences fancy but it made the movies slightly cartoonish except for the action sequences. Craig, however, shows viewers what a real spy would act like and humor isn’t part of that scenerio very often, at least in the 3 films so far. No joking matter when every moment can bring Bond to death in nasty ways. Craig is everymans Bond, and he has put his best efforts into many movies he’s been in prior to Casino Royale. Check out Layer Cake for a great effort.

  • cjgirl

    I was less than ten years old when my mom took me to see my first Bond film, Diamonds are Forever. Well that was it…I was hooked. For me there is only one “true” Bond, and that is Sean Connery, hands down! Sean Connery IS James Bond. Connery is the perfect embodiment of James Bond, and those films during his run are, for me at any rate, the most “fun” to watch. All the other actors are fine as Bond, but I always have the feeling I am watching an actor “play” Bond much more than them actually “being” Bond. Connery simply became Bond in a magical, inexplicable way, and defined that role forever. Although it seems like most would disagree with me, I would say that Timothy Dalton would be my next choice. For my money, Dalton brought the same intense, sexy yet aloof, cool masculinity to the role as did Connery. I was disappointed he didn’t want to continue in the franchise. His two films weren’t the best Bond films, but I thought he was terrific.

    • Bruce Reber

      There was a 6 year gap between “Licence To Kill”, Dalton’s second and last outing as 007 and “Goldeneye”, Pierce Brosnan’s debut as Bond – the longest time period without a new Bond movie. I liked Dalton more than Brosnan, the second actor from a TV series (“Remington Steele”) to play Bond – Roger Moore (“The Saint”) being the other. IMO Brosnan was just a pretty boy going through the motions, while Dalton was rugged in both looks and personality.

  • J A Jones-Ford

    Sean Connery is unquestionably the quintessential James Bond.
    Roger Moore was a joke! ( he was doing “Simon Templar” for the big screen). Timothy Dalton was way too angst ridden for Bond. Pierce was doing “Remington Steele “of HM’s secret service. Lazenby was way too wooden. ( I was looking forward to seeing Sean in OHMSS, one of my favorite Bond books and that just added to my disappointment). Daniel Craig has promise, he has the physical aspect down pat, but he doesn’t have the humour ,one of Connery’s trademarks or the overall Alpha male sex appeal.

    DR. NO ,presented 007 as what he was, a cold-blooded assassin for the Crown. From Russia with Love is over all the best Bond film , GOLDFINGER ,the most fun. The worst Connery 007 film, his comeback DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER. With THUNDERBALL the Eon group reached maximum overkill ( literally and figuratively).
    Overlooked in this discussion are the great supporting cast in the films Bernard Lee( M), Lois Maxwell( Moneypenny) and Desmond Llewellyn (Q). And lets not forget the musical genius of John Barry whose wonderful theme songs and musical scores added to the fun and adventure. Worst Bond villains Telly Savalas and Donals Pleasence as Blofeld ( PLEASE!). The best Robert Shaw, Gert Frobe , Lotte Lenya, Adolfo Celi and Joseph Wiseman.
    The more recent Bond films haven’t been able to evoke for me the sense of fun ,excitement and entertainment of the early ones. They always leave me with a sense of something missing ( aside from Connery and the John Barry music).

  • Kevin

    I didn’t think any of the Bonds were bad, but Sean Connery was far and away the best. Daniel Craig has restored some of the luster to the Bond franchise. When I think of iconic Roger Moore roles, I think more of Simon Templar than James Bond.

    • billgrove57

      It’s like they say, ” The first one is always the one that you remember.”

  • Ken

    Connery was the best Bond, but (personal taste) I think Roger Moore was in the best Bond Movies.

  • Roaming Bear

    Daniel Craig. All the Bond flicks and their actors made them unique. The Daniel Craig films seem to reflect more upon the modern era and modern criminals and seem more realistic and believable. Although the “gagets” were I’m sure, part of the spy lifestyle, some bordered on
    questionable.

    • Bruce Reber

      I’ll second that – just gimme Sean Connery as 007 with his Walther PPK, Martini “shaken, not stirred”, ejector seat Aston Martin DB5 and his “licence to kill” and I’m a happy camper!

  • John

    Sean Connery had all the qualities to play James Bond…the looks, voice, accent, mannerisms and did not overact the role.

  • Croonerman

    Sean Connery was the best Bond!–I really got a kick out of the dialogue they used in From
    Russia with Love–”Do you think my mouth is too big?”–Bond–”No, it’s just the right size.”
    I really liked Dr. No, the movie, it had a lot of action and mystery to it. After reading the book the
    movie was not long enough!- Daniel Craig is trying, but we need a more rough and ready guy
    to handle the enemy. Are there any suggestions out there? These were great action films for the
    times, they took us away from our everyday dullness, do you agree? I still watch Connery’s Bond
    films when I get a chance. The gadgets and the music also made them worth watching!

  • DaveM

    Sean Connery is best but Daniel Craig has surprised me by being very, very entertaining. When he was first introduced as the next Bond I thought it was a huge mistake but I’m happy that I was wrong.

  • Big Ol’ Bear

    Does ANYBODY remember that James Bond in the original Casino Royale was played by David Niven ?

  • Boobear

    Roger Moore was the best because he was the most handsome when playing the role. Sean Connery is extremely good-looking in later years, but not when he played James Bond.

  • Keith R. Owen

    Pussy Galore was a real actress with a real name, that being HONOR BLACKMAN.
    She preceded DIANA RIGG (Mrs. James Bond in ‘On Her Majesties Secret Service’ 1969)
    as Mrs. Cathy Gale opposite the often drunk PATRICK MACNEE in the ‘AVENGERS’ for two
    black & white seasons 1964 & 1965. An extremely beautiful woman and versatile actress.

    • Bruce Reber

      I remember watching “The Avengers” episodes with Diana Rigg as Mrs. Emma Peel, and later with Tara Thorson, but I didn’t ever see the ones with Honor Blackman. I don’t know if these episodes were ever shown on U.S. TV – can someone confirm this?

  • Mike from Novi

    George Lazenby actually does a credible job as Mr. Bond, and I always wonder why he wasn’t used again. Perhaps he is considered the “George Clooney” (as Batman) of Bonds. Timothy Dalton had that cruel edge, but wasn’t as popular. It will always be Connery as the best with Roger Moore a close second, but some of the Moore “Bond vehicles” were too “campy” for my taste. “Jaws” was a good villain, though.

  • Martha Gartsman

    For me, there was only one James Bond–Sean Connery….the first–the best–the only one!!

  • Coubi

    Roger Moore said: “Everytime when I had to say “My name is Bond … James Bond”, I had to think of Sean Connery.”

  • William R. Nelson

    With all due respect to Sean Connery to me the best 007 ever was Roger Moore!

    • Bruce Reber

      Echoing another comment, Moore basically played 007 by way of Simon Templar (The Saint), his TV series. Also, most of the 007 plots and gadgets in the Moore-Bond era were just plain silly IMO.

    • Frank

      Are you serious. He was a wus

  • Falcon41

    The original Sean Connery, that should say it ALL!!!!

  • Bruce Reber

    When I (and probably everyone else on the planet) hear the name Sean Connery, they automatically think James Bond, 007. No actor has ever been identified with a single role more than Connery as Bond. The six Bond movies with SC as 007 (Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice and Diamonds Are Forever) are IMO the best in the franchise. I’m not counting Never Say Never Again, since it was made “out of franchise”, was essentially a remake of Thunderball, and not one of the better Bond movies. I’ve seen all the other Bonds – George Lazenby (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service), Roger (The Saint) Moore (Live And Let Die, The Man With The Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View To A Kill), Timothy Dalton (The Living Daylights, Licence To Kill), Pierce Brosnan (Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day). I haven’t seen any of the three with Daniel Craig (Casino Royale, Quantum Of Solace, Skyfall), but since everyone on this site is raving about how good Craig is as 007, I’ll have to see them soon to see if they’re right. My all-time favorite Bond girl – Ursula Andress as Honeychild Ryder in Dr. No, my least favorite Bond girl – Grace Jones as May Day in A View To A Kill, my favorite Bond villain – Gert Frobe as Auric Goldfinger in Goldfinger, my least favorite Bond villain – Christopher Walken as Max Zorin in A View To A Kill (my least fave Bond girl and villain in the same movie – how about that!). My favorite Bond theme – the title song from Goldfinger, sung by the great Shirley Bassey (actually, all the ones written by John Barry are my faves) , my least favorite Bond theme – the title song from Die Another Day sung by Madonna. Say what you will, Sean Connery will always be the one and only “Bond, James Bond” for me.

  • mel

    The absolute best James Bond is sean connery, the absolute worst james bond is timothy dalton!

  • awaywrdsn

    my top 3 #1 hands down Sean Connery #2 Pierce Brosnan #3 Daniel Craig . Shout out to George Lazenby

  • Evrrdy1

    Well, to answer a few of the questions raised in this very lively comments section:
    The original (as in first) James Bond and the original Casino Royale were shown in a teleplay broadcast on American TV in 1954. Barry Nelson played ‘Jimmy Bond’ to Peter Lorre’s villanous Le Chiffre. The David Niven version of Casino Royale in 1967 was a spoof. Honor Blackman’s turn on the Avengers as Mrs. Gale was never broadcast in the U.S., but is available on DVD from Amazon. Finally, I’d add my voice to those choosing Sean Connery’s Bond as best overall. His hones closest to the character created by Ian Fleming, especially in Dr. No, with kudos given to Daniel Craig’s Bond.

  • Patrick C. Jackson

    I always enjoyed Timothy Dalton as James Bond, having first seen him as “Prince Barin” in FLASH GORDON; it’s unfortunate he wasn’t given the chance to do more 007 flicks besides those two.

    There are a number of actors whom I feel would make fine Bonds, yet have never gotten such a break. Rumor is, when casting NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN, they considered the following to play 007: Michael York, David Warner, and Malcolm McDowell. Here’s another rumor: when casting GOLDENEYE, Cary Elwes was considered for Bond. I’m not sure how far this stuff is from the truth, but it was a total blast to read.

    I would have liked to see Roger Moore make 007 more fatherly, protecting the girl rather than simply bedding her, especially since that’s what he wanted to do. Personally, I would have cast him as “M” following Bernard Lee’s passing (which would have made Sir Roger the only actor to play both roles in the franchise).

    • Bruce Reber

      Cary Grant was originally considered for the role of 007 in ’62, even before Sean Connery – can someone confirm THAT rumor?!

  • Bruce Reber

    I noticed on “Moore, Roger Moore” you posted all the movie posters for Moore’s 007 movies. Why not do the same for the Sean Connery Bond movies “Dr. No” thru “Diamonds Are Forever”?

    • GeorgeDAllen

      I did that poster lineup (which I really ought to go back and neaten up one day, since it looks a little screwy now thanks to the “new” blog layout we changed over to a while back) for Moore specifically to pay tribute to the fact that he made…well…”Moore” 007 flicks than any other actor to date. (I never “count” NSNA for Connery)

      Of all the Connery posters, I particularly enjoy the “Thunderball” lobby card where we have him in the orange wetsuit w/the spear gun surrounded by the usual flock of shapely Bond girls.

      On a mildly related note, you and other Bond fans might enjoy checking out this 50th anniversary tribute to another crucial element of 007 iconography–the famous main title designs–presented by a terrific site called Art of the Title. There’s a nifty video that whisks you through all 24 title sequences to the tune of Adele’s “Skyfall.” Lots of fun: http://www.artofthetitle.com/feature/james-bond-50-years-of-main-title-design/

  • Antone

    Keith mentioned Diana Rigg in his posting. I’m agin all of the post-Connery pretenders; but I’d love to have seen her as Bond, Jane Bond.