For the last month or so, I’ve written about My 10 Worst James Bond Films; My Top 10 James Bond Villains; My Top 10 Bond Songs; and My favorite Bond Girls.
This week I bring you the last of my Bond lists: My Top 10 Favorite Bond Films. No time to waste, so here we go:
I know what some of you are thinking right now: “A Timothy Dalton film, is he crazy?” Maybe I am, but allow me to explain.
You see kids, back when your Uncle Maz was only 10 years old, “The Living Daylights” was the first James Bond movie I saw. didn’t even see it in theatres, I saw it about a year or so after the movie was released. It may have been on HBO or Cinemax, I can’t recall.
What I do know for a fact is that this one movie got me hooked on the world of James Bond. And for that alone, it deserves a spot on my top 10 list
In his second outing as 007, Pierce Brosnan tries to stop Jonathan Pryce’s media mogul from starting a war between China and the British. Along the way we get a lot of product placement, but we also get two of the best chases to appear in a James Bond Film.
With e no more Ian Fleming novels or short story titles to use, you could say “Tomorrow Never Dies” was the first 007 film created from scratch, and today TND looks cartoony compared to the Daniel Craig films. But I love this movie, and it’s always gonna be my favorite of the Brosnan era.
8. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” is far from a perfect James Bond film. I actually hated this movie the first time I saw it when I was 12-13. The bad acting, the bad editing, the lack of any continuity just killed me.
It would take several years before I started to appreciate how grand of an adventure this movie is. As bad an actor as George Lazenby was, he was really good in the action scenes, and the ski sequences are damn good too.
But the best part of OHMSS is Diana Rigg. This movie just wouldn’t have been the same without her.
7. Dr. No
Released in 1962, “Dr. No” brought James Bond to the big screen for the first time, and turned a little known actor named Sean Connery into one of the biggest stars in movies.
“Dr. No” is probably the only film in the series to focus mostly on the storyline, and not in the larger than life stuff we’d see later on.
With a small budget, and an unknown in the lead role, “Dr. No” managed to bring a bit of everything together with intense action scenes, exotic locations, and beautiful women.
6. You Only Live Twice
From the moment the opening theme hits, hauntingly sung by Nancy Sinatra, to the Japanese setting, to the volcano lair, the fifth 007 film just gets better and with age.
With a script by of all people, Roald Dahl, “ou Only Live Twice” finally sees Sean Connery’s Bond confront SPECTRE’s arch-villain, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, previously unseen but now played by Donald Pleasance. Add in the space race, the Cold War, and a piranha pool , and you got yourself a hit.
The hardest job facing the “Skyfall” creative team returning for this installment was how to top the previous one. “Skyfall” was the most succesful 007 film ever. It was praised by critics and fans.
Basically, when it came to the sequel, the filmmakers were in a no win situation.
Well, for my money, the filmmakers stepped up to the plate, because “Spectre” had all the right ingredients for a classic James Bond Film.
Yeah, a lot of critics disagree, but don’t judge the movie until you’ve seen it.
4. The Spy Who Loved Me
Of the seven times Roger Moore tried to fill Bond’s tux, “The Spy Who Loved Me” was his shining moment. The film’s opening ski jump off a mountain top is as iconic today as it was in 1977.
“The Spy Who Loved Me” also brought is Jaws, the Lotus submarine car, and a giant ship that hijacks nuclear subs.
Seriously, what more do you need?
Released only a year after “Dr. No,” 1963’s “From Russia with Love” was actually better than its predecessor.
This was more of a spy story than “Dr. No.” And In From Russia, Bond girl Tatiana Romanova played a central part to the storyline. The film also has many other great characters like, Rosa Klebb, Kerim Bey, Red Grant, Kronsteen and Vavra, to name a few.
“From Russia with Love” was filled with many iconic Bond scenes: The Gypsy Camp, the fight between Vida & Zora, the entire train sequence, as well as the boat chase. All in all, this Bond adventure is real classic.
The 007 franchise marked its 50th anniversary in 2012 with one of the most dramatic installments ever, one that shook Daniel Craig’s Bond to his core and returned him to his childhood home.
“Skyfall” also marked the end of an era with Judi Dench’s moving farewell as M (replaced by Ralph Fiennes). The film was also the introduction of a new Q (Ben Whishaw) and a new Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) who gets to prove her heroism in the field instead of pining away for 007 from behind a desk.
And who can forget Javier Bardem, as one of the creepiest Bond villains ever, in one of the best James Bond films ever.
1. Casino Royale
Of all the men who have played 007, the only actor to rival Sean Connery is Daniel Craig. In his first outing as 007. Daniel Craig reinvigorated the series for a new century and for a new generation of Bond fans.
“Casino Royale” was the first of Fleming’s Bond novels, making it the ideal place to start the wheel spinning anew. The producers and director Martin Campbell decided to act like the other Bond movies never existed, taking Bond and the audience back to square one,
“Casino Royale” was a film anchored in reality. And it gave us something new in the 007 dossier: a troubled secret-agent who lacks polish, is vulnerable to violence and one who falls helplessly in love with Eva Green’s Vesper Lynd.
The results? My favorite James Bond film of all time.