Best Performance By Bond Actors In Other Films

The role of James Bond isn’t supposed to be a meaty part for the best actors to sink their teeth into. Daniel Craig’s performance as 007 in Casino Royale is considered the best out of them all, but that’s about it. What about taking each Bond actor and finding their best overall acting performance from their entire acting career?

SEAN CONNERY (The Untouchables)

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The easy answer is The Untouchables, for which the legendary Scot won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. But there are so many other choices like The Hill, The Offence, The Man Who Would Be King, The Hunt For Red October, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Finding Forrester. What a career! More than just being the first (and still the best) James Bond.

 

 

GEORGE LAZENBY (Universal Soldier)

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Okay this was a tough one. Lazenby was never really a true thespian. In fact, his first ever acting role is probably his best. It was as James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Sadly, he never got a chance to continue on with the role. So instead we get this low budget 1971 action flick, which sees Lazenby as a former mercenary who comes out of retirement to take part in the overthrow of an African dictator.

 

 

ROGER MOORE (Ffolkes/North Sea Hijack)

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When asked about his acting range, Sir Roger once stated “everything from ‘raises left eyebrow’ to ‘raises right eyebrow’”. The man didn’t take his acting too seriously, which is probably why he was so well loved. But his performance as Rufus Excalibur Ffolkes is a hoot! Needing an acting change of pace in the middle of his Bond tenure, the character of Ffolkes is a cranky, misogynist, cat-loving, counter-terrorist expert. Roger may not have been an award-winning actor, but he had great comic timing and was never afraid to make fun of himself.

 

 

TIMOTHY DALTON (Hawks)

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If we are talking about which one of the Bonds is the truly best actor, it has to be Dalton. He’s a Shakespearian actor, whose screen credits don’t do him justice. He was in The Lion In Winter. Mary Queen of Scots and Cromwell, but none as a leading man. I think his best leading turn is as a terminally ill British doctor trying to escape a hospital for one last bit of fun. It’s an obscure flick, but quite an interesting performance by Dalton.

 

 

PIERCE BROSNAN (The Tailor of Panama)

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Usually pigeonholed into playing the suave, debonair type, Pierce Brosnan finally got a chance to slum it in The Tailor of Panama. He was still sort of like James Bond…if James was a real scumbag. There is some really chewy dialogue for Pierce in this one. Makes me wonder if Pierce could have done more with his time as Bond, if he had been given better scripts.

 

DANIEL CRAIG (Layer Cake)

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I’m choosing the performance that got Daniel Craig his Bond gig. Barbara Broccoli saw something in Daniel in Layer Cake (2004) that made her believe he could be the world’s greatest secret agent. Watching it now, you can see what she was thinking. Craig plays a British mid-level gangster looking to get out.

Missing Scenes From Bond Trailers

One of my biggest movie pet peeves is when I see a scene in a trailer that doesn’t make it into the final cut of the film. The James Bond franchise has had several of these moments. Sometimes it comes down to a mix of “that works better for promotion” or editors simply having to do their jobs. Here are some that stand out to me.

 

SPECTRE

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  • This has to be after Sam Smith’s song, and just before James getting chewed out by M for the Mexico City fiasco. I’m a sucker for a James at the office scene, plus DC has  a really cool walk here. Justifiable swagger.

 

QUANTUM OF SOLACE

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  • This trailer shot of James, impeccably dressed with a machine gun, was used heavily to promote QoS. Or could it have been an original opening shot of the movie?

 

CASINO ROYALE

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  • In the trailer for Casino, we see Bond and Vesper going at it in the ocean. For the film, we get them snuggling on the beach discussing what their future together will be like.

 

LICENCE TO KILL

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  • Clearly only used for the LTK teaser trailer, we do get to see James Bond showing us his bad side. And no. We don’t want to be on it.

 

A VIEW TO A KILL

At the 1:08 mark of the teaser trailer we have Bond introducing himself to Pola Ivanova. Which of course isn’t in the movie, because they apparently go way back.

 

Untapped Bond Locations

James Bond movies are more than just girls, guns and gadgets. They’re also about some of the most gorgeous film locations ever. Whether it be the Piz Gloria, or Phang Nga Bay, or the Golden Gate Bridge, we can always count on Bond location scouts to give us our money’s worth on the big screen.

As we prep for the next Bond adventure, nearly a year away, here are some beautiful (or at the very least some interesting) locations I would like to see 007 visit. Make up your own action scene if you like.

 

  • The CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada/New York, USA
  • The National Mall in Washington DC, USA
  • The Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA 
  • The Galapagos Islands, in the Pacific Ocean, 926 km (575 mi) west of Ecuador. 
  • Machu Picchu in Peru 
  • The Grand Palace in Brussels, Belgium 
  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy 

Leaning Tower of Pisa (Pisa)

  • Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, Russia 
  • Serengeti National Park in Tanzania 
  • Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania 
  • Victoria Falls on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe 
  • Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge in Australia 
  • The Great Barrier Reef in Australia 
  • Great Wall of China; Shanhaiguan in Hebei province to Jiayuguan in Gansu province 
  • Shilin Stone Forest in China
  • Tanegashima Space Center in Kyushu, Japan

Does James Bond Have Any Friends?

I don’t have any friends.” – James Bond in Quantum of Solace.

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Over five-plus decades have seen James Bond have many lovers and enemies. But where are his bros? He has more acquaintances than true friends. He’s got some at the MI6 office like Tanner or Robinson. I suppose Q qualifies, and Moneypenny is more of his office flirt. And what about Ronson?! The dead agent in the beginning of Skyfall. Is it just me or does James take his death somewhat personally?

Besides office mates, James has plenty of dead friendly acquaintances! Quarrel, Kerim Bey, that blonde British mountain climber, Luigi, Vijay, Tibbett, Chuck Lee (aka CIA Soft Shell Crab dude), Saunders, Mathias! I’m sure I’m leaving a few poor souls out. On second thought, who the hell wants to be BFF with James Bond?!

Let’s not forget all his frenimes either: Valentin Zukovsky, Alec Trevelyan, General Gogol, just to name a few.

So without counting on his office mates, and the rest that have gotten killed just knowing him, here are five “friends” James might hang out with:

  1. FELIX LEITER – James was best man at his wedding, and just like his best man, Felix had a tragic wedding day. So I suppose they can always have that bond. I think the Leiter actor who gave the most buddy-buddy performance was David Hedison, especially in Licence To Kill. I could totally see James and Felix partying it up in NYC if the Live And Let Die mission hadn’t gotten in the way. I don’t think James has a best friend, but Felix has to be the closest.
  2. TIGER TANAKA – I bet these two had a wild night with many “sexiful” ladies during their Japanese bath and rubdown! Tiger might be my favorite Bond ally. He’s a cool customer and seems to know everything going down from Tokyo nightlife, to slumming it in a fishing village.
  3. MILOS COLUMBO – He’s the kind of cool pal that James can call by his last name. What’s he into? Drinking ouzo out in the Mediterranean, eating pistachio nuts, and sharing girlfriends with James. Columbo is a Greek wannabe-Bond, so I can see James getting a kick out of that.
  4. JACK WADE – Pretty sure James doesn’t enjoy his company all that much. I think Wade would be the kind of pal James calls up to have beer with and listen to all of Wade’s problems with ex-wives and his gardening. Maybe after a few pints of Guinness, James won’t care that he keeps calling him Jimbo!
  5. SHERIFF J.W. PEPPER – Okay this is a bottom of the gunbarrel “friend” for James. Would he ever really want to hang out with J-Dub? Maybe James went back to Louisiana in the mood for some soul food and southern ladies. If so, I’m sure he would use John Wayne Pepper as his country fried wingman.

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Clearly his closest friend is Felix Leiter. They have a few things in common. But I do wonder about one thing… if James was best man at Felix’s wedding, who was best man at James’? Felix is no where to be found in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. I don’t think either M or Q would be the best man. Which leads me to one serious best man suspect.

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Draco? Tracy’s father? Could he have pulled double wedding day duty and given her away and also been James Bond’s best man? He and James did become friendly during the courtship of Tracy. After her death, their friendship could have gotten even stronger. Or perhaps they drifted apart due to the painful memory of Tracy’s wedding day murder.

James Bond has told people that “his friends” call him James. I’m sure they do.

 

Movie Review: ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE

Is Die Hard a Christmas movie? Yes, of course it is.

Okay now that we have that out of the way, let’s get to a serious Xmas movie question. Is the underrated James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service a Christmas movie? It has Blofeld wishing 007 a Merry Christmas and includes the song “Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown?” That’s so Christmassy I’m shocked OHMSS isn’t playing on Lifetime this month.

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Now that we have the real Christmas movie debate out of the way, let’s get into this whole “underrated” thing. It took decades, but the film has been recognized by Bond fans from around the world as one of the best in the entire film series. Great plot, very faithful to the Fleming novel. Terrific and memorable Bond girl and villain. Has James skiing. A killer soundtrack. So what’s holding it back? Why do causal fans forget about it? It’s that Bond movie that your friend might say: “Oh yeah! That one with that one guy who played him just that one time! What was his name again?

Can you imagine being a Bond fanatic in 1969, about to see the first ever 007 big screen adventure without Sean Connery? Had to have felt weird. More model than actor, George Lazenby had no business getting the coveted role… other than he wanted it more than the next guy. That’s pretty ballsy. Actually, that’s pretty Bondian.

 

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Bond’s coolest moment? Walking into the alpine room, surrounded by a plethora of gorgeous international women, while wearing a kilt. Your move Sean!

Bond’s most embarrassing moment? Pretending to be unathletic as he engages in some curling. 

Bond’s best line? “That’s quite an inducement – but, I don’t need a million pounds. And I have a bachelor’s taste for freedom.” As he turns down Draco’s generous offer to marry his daughter Tracy. 

Best acting performance? Diana Rigg is such a natural as Tracy. She plays suicidal, causal, fiery, romantic and tragic. One of the all-time great Bond ladies. 

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Bond’s #MeToo #TimesUp moment? Sleeping around with the ladies at the allergy clinic. Also, an easy way to blow his cover.

Worst line in the movie? “This never happened to the other fellow.” Breaking the fourth wall. The only time James has ever talked to the audience. I don’t hate it as much as others, but it does throw me off every time I hear it. 

What I noticed for the first time after watching this for the 76th time? Tracy steals James’ gun after they have sex. I always remembered James snatching the gun out of Tracy’s hand, then placing it in the drawer, and then in the morning finding the money she owed him in the same drawer. But no gun? I’m an idiot. 

Best action sequence? The raid on Blofeld’s HQ at Piz Gloria. I’m a sucker for a good guy army vs baddie army climax. Bond shooting a machine gun while sliding on his belly is a pretty sweet move. 

Who or what is the title song about? There isn’t a title song, but we do get John Barry’s kickass instrumental opening tune. However, later we do have Louis Armstrong’s touching “We Have All The Time In The World.” Which should be every couple’s wedding song. 

Best looking cinematic moment? James and Tracy skiing. Cinematography is really on point, and then that leads us into a dramatic ski chase with Blofeld and his henchmen.

How could the villain have succeeded? This one is on both James Bond and Ernst Starvo Blofeld. They’re both pretending to be other people all thanks to one of them wearing glasses, and the other one suddenly missing earlobes. They must already know each other and they both play this charade for far too long. 

Which other Bond actor could have starred in this movie? Give me a highly motivated Sean Connery. Sorry George, you did your best.  

Does Bond ever think he might die? When Irma Bunt and her men are chasing him through that Christmas village. When James sits down on the bench, he has a look on him that reads “done for.” And of course, Tracy saves the day. 

What would have made the movie better? Like I mentioned above, give me Sean Connery in this role and OHMSS doesn’t just become a highly underrated Bond flick. It gets mentioned as a classic on the same level as From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, etc. 

What’s in a name? Bond pretends to be Sir Hilary Bray, a genealogist from the London College of Arms. 

What’s in a title? On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is the title of an Ian Fleming. We also get a future Bond movie title in this film thanks to the Bond family motto: The World Is Not Enough.

Drinking game: Drink a glass of malt whiskey and branch water each time the words “genealogist” or “genealogy” are mentioned. 

“WTF?!” moment: I could go with Bond accidentally almost getting into bed with Irma Bunt, but I’m going to choose Bond checking out an issue of Playboy while waiting to break into Gumbold’s safe. It’s not really out of character, but it’s also not something I ever want to picture James doing.

Fun fact: George Lazenby could have signed a seven picture deal, but decided to quit after just making one because he didn’t think the character of James Bond would survive the early 1970s. The single worst entertainment career decision ever made.

Overall ranking: 8th out of 24. 

Review synopsis: George Lazenby gives it his best effort, but he’s the only thing dragging down this excellent Bond film. Having said this, I think he could have grown into the role and been quite successful. Director Peter Hunt (in his only Bond directing turn) gave us one of the most exhilarating and visually creative 007 films of all-time. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is also the most poignant in the series, until we got the Daniel Craig era 35+ years later.

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Movie Review: MOONRAKER

The idea of taking James Bond into outer space might sound ludicrous right now during the grounded era of Daniel Craig. In 1979, it was a totally different story. Smack dab in the middle of the campy Roger Moore era, and two years after the blockbuster success of Star Wars, Moonraker makes complete sense.

That’s not to say that after nearly 40 years the film still holds up. It’s definitely one of those Bond movie outliers. Producer Cubby Broccoli once said about Moonraker that he wanted “science-fact” rather than science-fiction. How about “science-entertainment”?

 

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Bond’s coolest moment? Pheasant hunting with Drax. Which also leads into his best line. More on that later.

Bond’s most embarrassing moment? Driving a gondola on the streets of Venice. And of course, leading to the infamous pigeon double take!

Bond’s best line? Drax: “You missed, Mr. Bond.” Bond: (after shooting one of Drax’s men) “Did I?” 

Best acting performance? This is a tough one. I’ll say it’s Roger Moore since he is in his Bond prime, coming off the success of The Spy Who Loved Me. 

Bond’s #MeToo #TimesUp moment? I’m gonna presume being sexually aggressive towards Manuela, while killing five hours in Rio. 

Worst line in the movie? Drax: “Dr. Goodhead, your desire to become America’s first woman in space will shortly be fulfilled.” As he opens the airlock. 

What I noticed for the first time after watching this for the 147th time? Roger Moore’s brief embarrassed look towards those weird Drax astro-girls after falling into the water (BP: Before Python).

Best action sequence? As goofy as it is, the space battle between the USA and Drax’s astro-army is always pretty cool to view. 

Who or what is the title song about? Shirley Bassey is singing about finding a man like Bond and wondering if he can ever be her true love. No clue what a Moonraker is! 

Best looking cinematic moment? Bond landing in Rio. In fact, most of what is shot in Rio is a feast for the eyes. 

How could the villain have succeeded? By cutting down on the elaborate ways to kill Bond. Death by G-force, python, burned from shuttle ignition, etc. 

Which other Bond actor could have starred in this movie? Like I mentioned earlier, this is prime Moore. I wouldn’t mind seeing an updated, serious version of this movie with Craig taking on an Elon Musk-type of space-obsessed villain. 

Does Bond ever think he might die? 100% when he’s going out of his mind in that g-force spinning machine of death. Moore does his best acting in this scene, especially after getting out of the contraption.

What would have made the movie better? Bring back the menacing character Jaws from The Spy Who Loved Me. In this movie, Jaws is too goofy to be scary. And then making him an ally of Bond at the end, and giving him a cute (dorky?) girlfriend is beyond silly. Oh and give his girlfriend braces!!!

What’s in a name? Bond never uses different name, nor does his CIA love interest… Holly Goodhead. 

What’s in a title? Moonraker comes from the title of an Ian Fleming novel. 

Drinking game: Drink a dry vodka martini each time Jaws does something dumb. 

“WTF?!” moment: Drax’s vicious Dobermans chasing down, and killing, Corinne in the woods. It’s straight out of some 1970s horror flick.

Fun fact: This is the last Ian Fleming novel title to be made into a Bond movie until Casino Royale in 2006. Every other 007 movie title during that time is either original or from a Fleming short story. 

Overall ranking: 22nd out of 24.

Review synopsis: There’s no denying Moonraker is one of the most entertaining Bond movies ever made. From jumping out of an airplane without a parachute, to having sex in zero gravity, Moonraker really goes for it from the start until the very end. But is it a good movie? Unfortunately not really, as it tries to be too much. Beautiful locations and women, just for show, until Bond finally gets his space mission to blast off.

Preposterous? Yes. Slapstick? No doubt. Out of this world? Literally!

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Best Unused Bond Title Songs

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For every Paul McCartney, or Carly Simon, or Adele… there’s a Madonna, or Gladys Knight, or Sam Smith. Sometimes a James Bond song and artist are a perfect match. However, there have been several theme songs mistakenly rejected by the producers.

Here are 7 rejected James Bond theme songs that I believe are better than what was originally selected:

  1. FOR YOUR EYES ONLY by Blondie (rather than For Your Eyes Only by Sheena Easton; 1981)

 

2. SURRENDER by K.d Lang (rather than Tomorrow Never Dies by Sheryl Crow; 1997)

 

3. NO GOOD ABOUT GOODBYE by Shirley Bassey (rather than Another Way To Die by Alicia Keys and Jack White; 2008)

 

4. MR. KISS KISS BANG BANG by Dionne Warwick (rather than Thunderball by Tom Jones; 1965)

 

5. THE GOLDENEYE by Ace of Base (rather than Goldeneye by Tina Turner; 1995)

 

6. THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN by Alice Cooper (rather than The Man With The Golden Gun by LuLu; 1974)

 

7. SPECTRE by Radiohead (rather than Writing’s On The Wall by Sam Smith; 2015)