Obscure Movies From Bond Actors

We know all six of them, and we all love to watch them as James Bond. But what about those “I don’t remember him in that” films? Here’s each Bond actor’s most obscure role IMHO. For better or worse, these are some titles that get lost on the resume.

 

SEAN CONNERY as The Green Knight in Sword of the Valiant: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Sean Connery in Sword of the Valiant: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1984)

I’ve never seen this 1984 film because I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen it listed on the TV menu. Connery isn’t the main star in this fantasy. This movie belongs to Miles O’Keefe, of Tarzan and Ator/MST3K “fame”. Sean really does look great in green!

 

 

GEORGE LAZENBY as Mallory in The Master a.k.a. Master Ninja 

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Speaking of MST3K; okay so this one isn’t really a movie-movie. It’s a bad 1980s TV show with Lee Van Cleef and Timothy Van Patten. But in it George has a small, but mysterious role as an agent named Mallory. He’s in a tux, and he drives the Aston Martin DB5… but don’t call him James.

 

ROGER MOORE as Dr. Judd Stevens in The Naked Face 

I did see this movie on TV as a kid and the only thing I remember at the end of it is Anne Archer dying in Roger’s arms and him yelling BASTARDS! 

 

TIMOTHY DALTON as Sir Michael Barrington in Sextette 

If you ever want to see 80 year-old Mae West get romantic with a young Timothy Dalton… yeah I know, you don’t either. So instead, here’s them embarrassing themselves with a “Love Will Keep Us Together” duet.

 

PIERCE BROSNAN as Danny O’Neill in Live Wire 

If my memory services me correctly, this 1991 direct-to-video movie bookends with Pierce disabling a car bomb in between a woman’s legs. There is also over the top baddies and suicide bomber dressed as a clown.

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DANIEL CRAIG as Rudy Mackenzie in The Jacket 

A weird flick about Iraqi war vets and a time-traveling straightjacket. Oh yeah and a pre-Bond D.C. in a small role. Think One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest meets Three Kings meets Source Code.

What Is Your James Bond Age?

I am a firm believer that a gentleman doesn’t truly get old until he is older than both the current James Bond actor and the current President of the United States. Luckily, I have both of them beat in the age game. But after Daniel Craig bids us adieu in No Time To Die, I’m pretty sure I will be slightly older than the next 007.

With this in mind, here are all the ages of each Bond during the release year of their movie. I’m not going by actual birthdates, rather how old they turned the same year as their movie.

For example: my current age is Diamonds Are Forever and The Living Daylights.

 

30 years-old (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service)

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32 years-old (Dr. No)

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33 years-old (From Russia With Love)

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34 years-old  (Goldfinger)

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35 years-old (Thunderball)

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37 years-old (You Only Live Twice)

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38 years-old (Casino Royale)

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40 years-old (Quantum of Solace)

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41 years-old (Diamonds Are Forever) (The Living Daylights)

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42 years-old (Goldeneye)

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43 years-old (Licence To Kill)

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44 years-old (Tomorrow Never Dies) (Skyfall)

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46 years-old (Live And Let Die) (The World Is Not Enough)

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47 years-old (The Man With The Golden Gun) (Spectre)

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49 years-old (Die Another Day)

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50 years-old (The Spy Who Loved Me)

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52 years-old (Moonraker) (No Time To Die)

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Image result for james bond daniel craig no time to die

 

54 years-old (For Your Eyes Only)

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56 years-old (Octopussy)

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58 years-old (A View To A Kill)

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My Seven Favorite Bond Trailers

While we all wait for Bond 25 to finally give us a title and a teaser trailer, I thought it might be fun to look back at some of the franchise’s past trailers. I’ve listed my seven favorites. My criteria for this exclusive list focuses on two aspects. Firstly, most of the old Connery and Moore trailers are way too long. They are pretty much four minute CliffsNotes versions of the film. Secondly, I’m a sucker for a well made teaser trailer. It’s brief enough, yet also shows us enough to make us want more.

 

001

 

002

 

003 

 

004 

 

005 

 

006 

 

007

 

James Bond Isn’t Always The Hero

If you deeply studied the creator of the James Bond character, Ian Fleming, you would come to discover he was the antithesis of the term “woke”. In fact, the eye-rolling term “man of his time” would be the polite way of describing Fleming’s more than borderline misogyny and racism.

So it goes without saying that James Bond isn’t always morally right. As the decades have passed, and he has become a true-blue cinematic hero, Bond still has moments that should remind us that he isn’t so noble. And that’s actually fine. Times change rapidly, the character’s attitude toward women and social class also change, but at a very slow rate and not always fully. Sometimes it’s nice to see him as a “fish out of water” in our evolving social world.

Here are some of the moments when 007 is less than heroic.

 

Telling his black guide to fetch his shoes. 

James Bond / Dr No

I’m not sure which is more problematic: The fact that he said this to Quarrel, or the fact that it took decades and decades and decades for it make us flinch?

 

All the times he slapped women, and was just all around too rough with them!

I will say Roger Moore looked the worst doing this, mainly because he never had a mean bone in his body.

 

Speaking of mistreating women; the plethora of #MeToo #TimesUp moments. 

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Dropping his dead buddy into a dumpster.

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Image result for james bond mathis dumpster

James isn’t one for goodbyes, but even for him this was a harsh way to treat Mathis.

 

And if being rough with women, or being a straight up womanizer, wasn’t enough for you… I give you some old-fashioned ohhhh women can do that? 

Oddest Casting Choices and Roles

For every inspired casting choice like Christopher Walken and Javier Bardem as the main villains, or Honor Blackman and Eva Green as the main Bond girls, we get some true head scratchers. Is it bad casting or bad character development? You decide.

Here are just some of the ones that baffle me:

 

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“It’s your honor sir!”

Gerry Duggan as Hawkers, Bond’s caddie in Goldfinger. It’s like they took a cast member from Darby O’Gill and the Little People and just plunked him onto the set.

 

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Leonardo Dicaprio The Way Of The Future GIF

I know when I think of Howard Hughes, I do NOT think of Jimmy Dean as Willard Whyte in Diamonds Are Forever.

 

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We go from Donald Pleasance and Telly Savalas to campy Charles Gray as Blofeld in Diamonds Are Forever. I liked him better as Mr. Henderson in You Only Live Twice.

 

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Okay, this one is too easy. I have less issue with Northern born actor Clifton James’ turn as Sheriff J.W. Pepper (Live And Let Die/The Man With The Golden Gun), and more of confusion as to why he played pretty much the same exact role in Superman II.

 

Image result for for your eyes only lynn holly johnsonImage result for for your eyes only lynn holly johnson

Lynn-Holly Johnson was a world class figure skater. Perfect for the role of Bibi in For Your Eyes Only. Less perfect as a “Lolita” trying to shag an embarrassed James Bond, played by 50something Roger Moore.

 

Jean Rougerie as French private detective Achille Aubergine in A View To A Kill, is so stereotypically French that he makes Inspector Jacques Clouseau and Pepé Le Pew look like they were born and raised in Iowa.

 

The casting of singer Wayne Newton as Professor Joe Butcher in Licence To Kill? All I have to say is… “bless your heart!”

 

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She sang the song; might as well add her to the cast. Madonna as a fencing instructor named Verity, adds to Die Another Day‘s astronomical pun count.

 

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Ludger Pistor as Mr. Mendel is a character that seems out of place in Casino Royale. This Swiss banker is responsible for all monetary transactions during and after the poker match. Sorry, he didn’t bring any chocolates.

Movie Review: NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN

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When I was in the middle of writing my James Bond film reviews, I discovered a dilemma. What to do with 1983’s unofficial Bond flick Never Say Never Again? It’s not a part of the EON films, yet it does have Sean Connery playing 007.

What makes a James Bond movie…well…a James Bond movie? Never Say Never Again doesn’t have the classic opening gunbarrel, followed by the usual pre-title sequence, and of course the credit titles song which is full of guns and naked silhouette girls. Nor does it even contain the James Bond theme. So what does it have to make it feel like a 007 adventure? It has an older Sean Connery playing the role with more conviction than he did the last time we saw him in Diamonds Are Forever.

NSNA is just a remake of Thunderball. Due to a long and complicated legal history, it was the only official Bond story that could be remade. Sean Connery, holding a longstanding grudge against producer Cubby Broccoli, decided to return to the role he said “never again” to. More on that later. NSNA was supposed to go head-to-head with official 007 movie Octopussy, starring Roger Moore. Due to some production delays, the flick came out a four months after Octopussy.

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Bond’s coolest moment? When he party-crashes Largo’s charity event, and makes life hell for the doorman. As seen above.

Bond’s most embarrassing moment? James Bond in an arcade. He should never have to play video games, especially a game as silly as “Domination”.

Bond’s best line? Fatima: Oh, how reckless of me. I made you all wet. James: Yes, but my martini is still dry. 

Best acting performance? It’s a tossup between Barbara Carrera’s Fatima Blush and Klaus Maria Brandauer’s Maximillian Largo. They are a wonderful one-two punch of bonkers villainy. They make Max Zorin and Raoul Silva seem like “stable geniuses.”  

Bond’s #MeToo #TimesUp moment? Pretending to be a masseur at a health spa mostly catering to beautiful young women. He gives Domino (Kim Basinger) a “hard” massage, until he leaves before getting caught. Only James could get away with that.

Worst line in the movie? Fatima: “You know that making love to Fatima was the greatest pleasure of your life.” Although, it does lead to a great reply by James talking about some girl he had sex with in Philadelphia. I want to know what that mission was!

What I noticed for the first time after watching this for the 27th time? The actor who plays General Miller in this, is the same actor who plays Bob Conley in A View To A Kill two years later. 

Best action sequence? I think the shark attack scene is done extremely well. It was almost like putting James Bond into a Jaws sequel. 

Who or what is the title song about? “Never Say Never Again” is sung by Lani Hall and it’s the usual type of Bond title theme song that is about a woman being pretty sure she can turn James into a one-woman kind of man. 

Best looking cinematic moment? Anytime you can shoot in the South of France, you have a good opportunity to film some breathtaking scenes. 

How could the villain have succeeded? As usual the villain leaves Bond tied up and decides to tell him just enough of his diabolical plan. 

Which other Bond actor could have starred in this movie? Since this is a pure Connery grudge-fest, no one else. But how about Daniel Craig in about five years, remakes this? Barbara Broccoli and he are too loyal to one another to ever do this.

Does Bond ever think he might die? When it appears his pen-gun fails him, he does have a look on his face that shows fear as Fatima is about to shoot him. 

What would have made the movie better? Having all the elements that make a James Bond movie legit. 

What’s in a name? James doesn’t use an alias in this, but he does pretend to be a masseur and later a tourist riding a bicycle.

What’s in a title? “Never Say Never Again” is a title that comes from Sean Connery’s wife Micheline. It’s a joke on Connery’s “never again” line. 

Drinking game: Drink a “Bloody Mary with plenty of Worcestershire sauce” every time Largo starts to say something, then stops, and then makes a mischievous face.

“WTF?!” moment: It’s a tie for me. The exploding Fatima (which is so clearly a mannequin) and the real horse that probably jumped to its death off the castle and into the ocean. 

Fun fact: Producer Kevin McClory and Sean Connery had plans in the mid-70s to remake Thunderball as a movie called Warhead

Review synopsis: It’s difficult to compare Never Say Never Again to any of the other official James Bond movies, besides Thunderball of course. I would say it is more entertaining than Thunderball, but it’s not a better film than the original. I enjoyed the idea of not shying away from Sean’s older age, which is oddly funny considering Roger Moore was three years older than him! The bottom line is that it takes a lot more than just having Sean Connery as James Bond to be a real 007 film. I will say kudos for breaking the fourth wall in a cool way at the very end.

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How Did They Become James Bond?

“It’s a small group of men who’ve made this role. More men have walked on the moon than have played James Bond.” – Pierce Brosnan

So how did these six lucky men end up playing the oxymoronic title that is “the world’s most famous secret agent”?

 

SEAN CONNERY

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  • Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman famously said they liked the way the young Scotsman moved. They thought we walked like a panther. Whatever the hell that means! The film that really sold them on taking a chance on this unknown actor, was his supporting role in Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1952).

 

GEORGE LAZENBY

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  • He may have only played 007 once, but this Australian’s story is the most fascinating of them all. Not really an actor, but he acted like he could. This former car salesman and model, really pushed his way into the auditions to replace Sean Connery. The only bit of acting he had was starring in a commercial for a chocolate company.

 

ROGER MOORE

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  • This charming Brit was always on the producers’ minds when it came to casting Bond in the 1960s. Unfortunately, his schedule never opened up thanks to his hit TV show “The Saint”. Think of Moore’s role in the show as 007 training.

 

TIMOTHY DALTON

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  • This Welsh Shakespearean thespian actually turned down the role in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, citing his youth and inexperience. His role in films like Mary Queen of Scots, Cromwell, and specifically The Lion in Winter, kept him on the mind of Albert R. Broccoli. He finally got his shot at Bond when he was hired in 1986.

 

PIERCE BROSNAN

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  • Take everything I mentioned about Roger Moore in The Saint in the 1960s, and swap it with Pierce Brosnan in Remington Steele in the 1980s. This Irishman missed out on playing James Bond in 1987’s The Living Daylights due to his contract for Remington Steele. His hard work finally paid off in 1995’s Goldeneye.

 

DANIEL CRAIG

 

  • There weren’t many people who believed in Daniel Craig when he was announced as the 6th James Bond actor. Barbara Broccoli never backed down from her belief that he was the right man for the gig. She was 100% correct, and I, and most of the world were so very wrong. What did it for her? She saw his starring role in a British gangster flicked titled “Layer Cake”.