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The best James Bond actor thread

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TimovieMan - 06 January 2015 12:49 PM
wilco - 06 January 2015 09:35 AM

Smile Good, now I can ask. Who is Nelson?

Barry Nelson was the very first actor to portray James Bond in a made-for-TV adaptation of Casino Royale. I believe this was about a decade before Connery starred in Dr. No.


I consider both Nelson and Niven to be unofficial, though. Only the ‘official’ movie actors count for me.

Thanks. Never knew that version existed. I actually only saw about half the Bond movies, never was a series that I was much into.

     
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Shouldn’t there be a group stage before the knock-out rounds?

7 points: Sean Connery
5 points: Roger Moore
3 points: Pierce Brosnan
2 points: George Lazenby
1 point: Timothy Dalton
- 7777 points: Daniel Craig

In all fairness I actually thought the Dalton did a pretty good job at it, but he had the misfortune of staring in some of the worst Bond movies!

Those were made during the time of “Glasnost and Perestroika” where the Russians weren’t perceived as “the empire of evil” any more, and of course the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union soon followed. This left Bond in a bit of identity crisis as 99% of the traditional plot device of the Bond series had just vanished into thin air, and the writers didn’t have a clue of how they should handle it. They tried to reinvent Bond and give him a new purpose as international crime fighter or something, which was a huge mistake and something that they failed miserable at.

With Brosnan they sort of got back on the track again, when they discovered that the Russians could still be the antagonists, and that the world hadn’t become that much safer just because the cold war had ended. They made a couple of good movies during this time, but soon ran out of good ideas and the series started to deteriorate again.

With Craig they once again tried to reinvent Bond, to give him a new purpose and make him a man of the 21st century, and just like with Dalton they once again failed miserable. The problem is that they threw out the baby with the bath water and completely forgot or simply ignored what it was that made Bond special. If fact to me it seems like they found some standard action movie script in a drawer, looked at it and thought that with a few changes here and there, they could make it into a Bond movie and sell it under the Bond brand. Casino Royal and the others might not be bad movies as such, but they are simply not Bond movies.

It might very well be that Craig’s Bond is closer to the Bond in the novels, but who cares? I have never read them, but as far as I know they aren’t actually any good, and Bond is famous not because of the books but because of the movies.

And even though Daniel Craig tries to imitate Connery’s performance as Bond, versus the more suave and gentleman like performance of Roger Moore, then he is not Connery and completely lacks the charm and suave that Connery’s Bond also had; even though he was also a bit of a brute, but Craig only manages to replicate the brute part.

Regarding Connery and Moore, then I guess it also depends a bit on your age. Personally I grew up during the Roger Moore era, and it wasn’t until later that I actually watched the Connery movies and learned to appreciate them. So for me Roger Moore is in many ways the “proper” Bond, though I still (or more accurately: now) think that Connery is the best Bond. I can understand why young people who didn’t grow up with Roger Moore, might think otherwise and not appreciate Roger Moore, or for that matter how some people might think that Connery is the only true Bond.

     

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It’s a matter of perspective and personal preference, but I truly think that unless you kill off the entire series and not make new Bond films anymore, the latest ones with Craig (Casino Royal and Skyfall) are pretty damn good.

There is no Sean Connery anymore and I don’t think there is a better suited actor out there that would do a better job than Craig is doing now.

Nostalgia plays a big role in reviewing the Bond performances and especially Moore gets more praise than deserved because of it…even Connery to an extend. No matter how good a new Bond movie is, it’ll always get flak as it will be compared to a 60’s movie that everybody from that generation loves….and impossible comparison to make imho.

Funnily, it’s a similar challenge as with comparing adventure games (classics vs modern ones) LOL

We are now in the 21st century and the series needed either a reboot or full out stop. Either approach is fine with me, but if continuing the series, I do think you have to re-invent some aspects of it….just plain re-hashing won’t work and with that in mind films like Skyfall and Casino Royale are pretty much the best you can get and Craig is doing a good job not only trying to stay true to the character as designed by Fleming, but also making him fit in the 21st century (which obviously Moore and Connery were not)

I don’t Craig is trying to impersonate Connery or another Bond actor and I don’t think we should expect him to even try…but let him take the character and his stories to new grounds, aswel as staying in line with Fleming’s basic vision of who he was.

It’s either that or end of story.

 

     
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Iznogood - 06 January 2015 10:04 PM

In all fairness I actually thought the Dalton did a pretty good job at it, but he had the misfortune of staring in some of the worst Bond movies!

Those were made during the time of “Glasnost and Perestroika” where the Russians weren’t perceived as “the empire of evil” any more, and of course the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union soon followed. This left Bond in a bit of identity crisis as 99% of the traditional plot device of the Bond series had just vanished into thin air, and the writers didn’t have a clue of how they should handle it. They tried to reinvent Bond and give him a new purpose as international crime fighter or something, which was a huge mistake and something that they failed miserable at.

Wow, I felt the complete opposite of Dalton’s movies. He’s great as Bond, and I for one was very relieved that the style of the (later) Moore movies (that had practically turned into nonsensical action comedies) was abandoned in favour of more realistic movies that were actually more about espionage than about action.

I always felt that the Roger Moore films started to degrade what Bond was all about, and I greatly preferred the style of the Connery movies over that.

And that’s also why the switch with Dalton’s films was necessary, imo.

And even though Daniel Craig tries to imitate Connery’s performance as Bond, versus the more suave and gentleman like performance of Roger Moore, then he is not Connery and completely lacks the charm and suave that Connery’s Bond also had; even though he was also a bit of a brute, but Craig only manages to replicate the brute part.

I’m actually of the opinion that Craig totally nails the suave part. Every single shot in which he’s smirking is pure perfection.
It also helps that I feel that Casino Royale and especially Skyfall are amongst the best the series has to offer.

In fact, I think my favourite films are (in no particular order) GoldenEye, Skyfall, Goldfinger and Thunderball, with my least favourite being The World Is Not Enough, Moonraker and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Regarding Connery and Moore, then I guess it also depends a bit on your age. Personally I grew up during the Roger Moore era, and it wasn’t until later that I actually watched the Connery movies and learned to appreciate them. So for me Roger Moore is in many ways the “proper” Bond, though I still (or more accurately: now) think that Connery is the best Bond. I can understand why young people who didn’t grow up with Roger Moore, might think otherwise and not appreciate Roger Moore, or for that matter how some people might think that Connery is the only true Bond.

I got into them with Connery’s films (despite being in the Dalton era), and Goldfinger got me hooked. I’ve seen all of them since, including the unofficial ones (Casino Royale and Never Say Never Again). That unofficial Casino Royale shouldn’t count, though. It’s not even in the same genre, if you ask me…

     

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Why don’t we do an unofficial Adventure Gamers Top James Bond movie ranking?  Tongue

We shouldn’t over complicate things with group stages and such, but everyone who wants to participate lists his or her top James Bond movies and we tally up the points and declare an unofficial ranking.

We could simply go for everyone ranking their Top 10 and give 10 points to first place, 9 points for second, 8 points for third, up until to 1 point for the number 10.

Or follow the Eurovision songcontent model and add more points for the number 1 and 2 (respectively 12 and 10 points, with 8 points for the number 3, afterwhich it goes down evenly)

What do you guys think?
It would already be fun to get 10-15 people participating and see what ranking we end up in.

     
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subbi - 07 January 2015 05:46 AM

We are now in the 21st century and the series needed either a reboot or full out stop… It’s either that or end of story.

TimovieMan - 07 January 2015 06:42 AM

...and I for one was very relieved that the style of the (later) Moore movies (that had practically turned into nonsensical action comedies) was abandoned in favour of more realistic movies that were actually more about espionage than about action… And that’s also why the switch with Dalton’s films was necessary, imo

I don’t deny that it is and has been necessary to reinvent and modernize Bond several times, but at the Dalton time they simply didn’t get it quite right imo, but did manage it a couple of years later with Brosnan.

Warning: Read at own risk, as the following contains a view that has cause outbreaks of flamewars here on the forum in the past - you have been warned!
As for Craig, well to me he is to the Bond movies what Telltale is to adventure gaming.
Remove the puzzles from adventure games and replace it with decisions and QTE, and you might end up with a good interactive story that appeals to many - But it is no adventure game.
Remove James Bond from the Bond movies and replace him with Jack Bauer, and you might end up with a good action movie that appeals to many - But it is no Bond movie.


Favourite Bond movies?
Well I haven’t got a complete list of how I would rank all of them, but my favourite ones are in chronology order:

From Russia With Love - 1963, Sean Connery
Goldfinger - 1964, Sean Connery
The Spy Who Loved Me - 1977, Roger Moore
For Your Eyes Only - 1981, Roger Moore
Golden Eye - 1995, Pierce Brosnan

And if I had to pick one single favourite it would probably be The Spy Who Loved Me.


Edit: With “They tried to reinvent Bond and give him a new purpose as international crime fighter or something” I was mainly thinking of Licence to Kill, and not The Living Daylights which I had completely forgotten about, and still can’t remember a single thing from, even though I know I have seen it.

Edit 2:

subbi - 07 January 2015 07:18 AM

What do you guys think?

I think that Goldfinger would win, as it in my experience is pretty much the only one that everybody agrees that they like.

     

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But, say Man, the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. QED.
Oh dear, says God, I hadn’t thought of that, and promply vanishes in a puff of logic.

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Iznogood - 07 January 2015 10:40 PM

I think that Goldfinger would win, as it in my experience is pretty much the only one that everybody agrees that they like.

Yep! That’s true!

Favorite Bond movies

1) Goldfinger
2) Skyfall
3) Dr. No
4) Casino Royale
5) From Russia with Love

     

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Moore was funny and I liked those movies when I was a kid but that’s basically what they are: kid’s movies. Too comedic. I also always liked Dalton, not that I was a huge fan or anything but I think he did a good job and is definitely under appreciated. I guess I just don’t personally find the type of British gentleman Moore or Brosnan portrays to be that interesting or suitable for Bond. (Craig, Connery and Dalton definitely win in sex appeal too.) The best Bond girl is of course Vesper from Casino Royale (I just have a thing for those crazy eyes or hers - Eva Green is definitely in my top5 actresses list).

I don’t remember most of the Bond movies well enough to put them in certain order but I definitely did love CR and Skyfall.

     

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millenia - 08 January 2015 05:03 AM

M The best Bond girl is of course Vesper from Casino Royale (I just have a thing for those crazy eyes or hers - Eva Green is definitely in my top5 actresses list).

This is very true. Her followed by Famke Janssen in Goldeneye from the movies I’ve seen.
(Dr. Christmas the worse…). Judy Dench, while not being a “Bond girl” was great in the new movies.
Martin Campbell for me is the best Bond director having 2 of the best Bond movies and successfully rebooting the franchise twice.

     
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Ok, so let’s proceed with the rankings.

If everyone can post their Top 10, then in the meantime we’ll work out how many points we assign to each rank. (I have a slight preference for the Songcontent approach, as that leads to a more clear winner and runner up in general.

I propose we give it a week for people to post their Top 10, so until Thursday Jan 15th mid-night PST time.

I’ll post a small note in the adventures thread to get people to join the voting.

The ‘contest’starts now! Ready? Set. GO!

[EDIT]
Just realized that this thread is about James Bond actors, so I’ll start a new thread for ranking Bond films

     
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wilco - 08 January 2015 05:20 AM

Judy Dench, while not being a “Bond girl” was great in the new movies.

Judi Dench has a knack for being amazing. Best M in the series, by far. Her turn in Skyfall was the most impressive yet.

Martin Campbell for me is the best Bond director having 2 of the best Bond movies and successfully rebooting the franchise twice.

Hear, hear!

     

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wilco - 08 January 2015 05:20 AM

The best Bond girl is of course Vesper from Casino Royale.

*Ahem*

Okay perhaps not the best actor - But we are talking about Bond girls, acting is only secondary requirement.

And who can forget

     

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But, say Man, the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. QED.
Oh dear, says God, I hadn’t thought of that, and promply vanishes in a puff of logic.

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So, it seems like I’m the first one who puts Daniel Craig on #1. I have been a huge Bond fan since my childhood, but I lost interest in new Bond movies at some point. Since the creators rebooted the franchise, however, I’m totally hooked again.

Before that I always thought that Connery would be my #1 forever. Well… actually, I feel like Connery/Craig should not be compared. It was a different time. Sean Connery was surely perfect back then, while I think that Daniel Craig is perfect for the year 2015.

I really don’t agree that he is just a generic action guy at all. In fact, I feel like he gives the character some new attributes that make him the least artificial Bond so far. I really like that he is incredibly gritty and tough, but at the same allows to show an emotional side (especially in Casino Royale), and adds a dry sense of humor.

I’m not afraid of saying it: He’s the total package! Wink

P.S. Best Bond Girl: Diana Rigg!!!

     

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Names, iznogood, names! This is not the guess the Bond girl thread Smile

     
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wilco - 08 January 2015 05:20 AM

This is very true. Her followed by Famke Janssen in Goldeneye from the movies I’ve seen.
(Dr. Christmas the worse…). Judy Dench, while not being a “Bond girl” was great in the new movies.
Martin Campbell for me is the best Bond director having 2 of the best Bond movies and successfully rebooting the franchise twice.

Actually Famke Janssen is in my top5 too. Similar tastes? Smile
Judi is of course great though I think she is pretty overused in those similar “strong female” roles.

     

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