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Monday, 2 December, 2002, 09:54 GMT
What's your favourite Bond film?
The Queen mixed with Hollywood stars on Monday night as Die Another Day, the 20th Bond film, premiered at the Royal Albert Hall.
Actors from the film Halle Berry, Judi Dench, John Cleese, Rosamund Pike and Madonna were at the charity screening along with three former 007s, Timothy Dalton, George Lazenby and Roger Moore.
Halle Berry described her role as Jinx, a highly trained US agent, as Bond's equal which is a first for the woman in the Bond girl role.
The current Bond, Pierce Brosnan said the longstanding appeal of the film was because "from a male perspective we all want to be him... Even I would like to be him."
Die Another Day pays homage to earlier Bond films, with Halle Berry re-enacting Ursula Andress' famous moment emerging from the sea in Dr No.
What is your favourite Bond film? Which of the five Bonds do you think is the best? Who is your favourite Bond girl?
This Talking Point has now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
Ronald E. Quizon, USA
Roger Moore and Spy Who Loved Me.
Moore had the natural look and feel of 007 - something other Bonds did not have. Maybe that's why he didn't have much success playing other characters and his movie career was pretty much restricted to 007.
Goldfinger has to be my favourite. I think the next actor to play Bond should be Christian Bale. Has the talent and physique and enough of a brooding presence to add a new dimension to the character.
Rob Dowling, Wales
Bond films are all just sheer fun, and for that reason, I have to hold Casino Royale up to the light. Every woman I know loves Connery and I think that will go on until he's 95, Bond or no Bond. But for my money, and because The Moon is a Balloon is one of the funniest books I've ever read, Niven, in Casino Royale, is my man of the hour.
What has happened to Bond? I was shocked at this last attempt. It has nothing to do with the greats like From Russia with Love, Goldfinger and The Spy Who loved me. The quintessential bond wit and swagger has turned into an dire sequence of adverts and poor one liners. Brosnan is good but it's the producers who are at fault. A villain with no style and a bond girl who is dull and frankly 'nothing special'.
S. Steele, UK
The best Bond was Sean Connery and the best Bond film for me was Goldfinger. After Pierce Brosnan, I think Stephen Yardley (ex The Bill) would make a great Bond. He has the build, looks and a rich velvety voice.
Goldeneye was the best film with the stunt where Bond bungee jumped down a dam.
My favourite Bond film is either, Goldeneye or Octopussy. Best Bond either Dalton or Brosnan and Best Bond girl either Jane Seymour as Solitaire in Live and Let Die, Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore in Goldfinger or Maud Adams as Octopussy. Anyone else agree that Sean Bean should be the next James Bond?
Brosnan is the best Bond. He superbly balances the role, and is engrossing in the part. Connery and Dalton are both great too.
They are all brilliant compared with the tripe that is Die Another Day. It has possibly one of the worst special effects scenes I have seen in a long time. The latest instalment was more Rambo than Bond.
Burt Clothier, USA
Nobody has mentioned him here but one of my all time favorite bond characters is Sheriff JW Pepper, what a hoot that guy was. Christopher Walken was a real good villain as well (especially at the end when he was shooting all the miners and laughing at the same time), Jaws is good too, as well as the midget butler in Golden Gun.
What is my favourite Bond film? I tend to remember different elements (ie, the opening "chase" for example usually tells me if I'm in for a good film.) The Living Daylights for the opening on Gibraltar, Goldeneye for the Tank chase, Thunderball for the big underwater fight.
Anyone who says that Timothy Dalton or George Lazenby is the best Bond needs therapy. Sean Connery is clearly the greatest 007, closely followed by Roger Moore.
Brosnan seems to be getting more praise than he deserves. His Bond comes across as rather forced and unconvincing, with very tightly controlled movements (only seems able to breath through his nose). He should learn a lesson from Connery - Bond is Mr. Smooth, not an android
The Living Daylights was the first Bond movie to be made in the light of the Aids epidemic, hence the absence of gratuitous sex and an articulate and vulnerable Bond girl rather than the usual string of women. This left more room for plot, characterisation and acting. Also, Timothy Dalton's classy acting reminded me just how weak and cliché the Roger Moore franchise had become. By far the best Bond, for me.
I think that Roger Moore in "Live and let die" was the best bond film with the best stunts. Even though I am Welsh my compatriot Timothy Dalton, I feel was the worst Bond due to poor storylines which were also in my view quite violent as many children watch Bond films.
Sean Connery is by far the best Bond, best film From Russia With Love. Best female character, the nasty Rosa Klebb, with the knife blades in the toe-caps of her shoes.
Bond, James Bond was at his best, I think, in the most escapist of the films. Actor-wise, there is a two-sided approach: Sean Connery was best at playing the Bond of the movies, with his debonair, ladies man approach and screen charisma to burn. Timothy Dalton was the best actor to be cast as Bond, bringing a tiredly gritty realism to the character introduced to us in Ian Fleming's pulp classics. Best film honours go to Goldfinger and On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
The first person ever to play Bond - Bob Holness, I kid you not! He did the BBC Radio play.
Best line in a Bond film, as laser creeps up between Bond's spread-eagled legs: "Do you expect me to talk?" - "No Mr Bond, I expect you to die!"
I'm a big fan of Tim Dalton's films. The Living Daylights had everything and Licence to Kill was the revenge movie that Diamonds are Forever should have been. Dalton is probably the finest actor to have played Bond; Connery does hold on to that top spot though.
Simon Cameron, UK
All the Bond films stand the test of time but none better than the very first, Dr No - no contest!
It has to be "You Only Live Twice"! I was so hooked that I'm still learning Japanese because of it.
I think George Lazenby might have been good if he did more than one Bond movie.
Sean Connery was the best Bond, and You Only Live Twice is the best film.
I don't have a favourite, they all look the same to me. Mad villain bent on implausible world domination, car chases, massive explosions and women who are either Madonna or whore but still just sexual objects. Sadly, many people are easily pleased.
Sean Connery has always been the best and his best is "From Russia with Love". He was definitely in his prime and a very debonair gentleman(!).
Undeniably Dr No! Bond has to rely on his wits and his fists - not some ludicrous gadget or product placed vehicle/watch etc. The tarantula across the bed is one of the most excruciating to watch of all the attempts to get Bond ever.
It has to be Dr No. There was a certain honesty in that film that seemed to go missing as the budgets got bigger and the scripts cornier.
Timothy Dalton's performances stand out head and shoulders above the others - he is by far the most accomplished actor ever to take on the role and it shows. He brought out Bond's darker side - a man not entirely happy with the job he is asked to do - very close to the books.
The Living Daylights is hard to beat as the best, all round Bond film. The overall tone of the film is distinctly darker than the others, especially when compared to Roger Moore's more comical efforts - good in their own right, but not very authentic.
Bond films are as much a millstone around the neck of the British film industry as Carry On and Hammer Horror films were. All were carried on well past their sell-by date. If they ever were any good, it's decades ago.
Bond doesn't have it anymore. The charm, the tongue in cheek wit, the gags, the silly names, the bond girls, the theme tunes... it's just not how it used to be! Wail!
Best Bond; then, Connery, now Brosnan, both the right men of the day. Bond Girls Diana, Ursula though I'm sure Halle will be great. Best chase, the tank chase in Golden eye. Best villain is Jaws. Best songs, Shirley by a long shot. Best line; too many classics really.
Best movie franchise ever, but drop the PC, we're all smart enough to separate fantasy from reality.
I like all Bond films but best opening sequence is Moonraker with Roger Moore in skydiving combat with villain for his parachute!
Well for my 0.07 pence worth I'd have to say Connery as best Bond and Goldfinger as best film. It had all the elements that would be copied but never perfected in subsequent films since. Style, humour, hauntingly beautiful music, a charismatic villain and (at the time) spectacularly unexpected gadgets. Two other films have come close to these ingredients - Live and Let Die, and the Spy Who Loved Me which I suppose on balance gives Roger Moore the second best bite at the Bond apple.
Brosnan I must say looks and acts the perfect Bond - but they won't give him a decent script! Lazenby is cited as the worst, but he had one of the best scripts! Tim Dalton I have no time for - although he could take a good shoeing like Bond often did in the novels.
The best theme song for me was Nobody Does it Better, followed by Goldfinger. I grew up in the 1960s when Sean Connery was still Bond - the sense of romance and thrills of Connery as the British globe-trotting serial-seducer who always gets the girl made a huge impression on me.
Roger Moore was then on the telly as The Saint, which was in contrast just a pale, insipid imitation, which has prejudiced me against Moore ever since. Sean Connery exemplified the upper-class thug which Bond is all about. Moore was simply too smooth.
It's all a bit naff, isn't it? All Bond films are quite ridiculous and I don't think any of them is any good.
"Do you expect me to talk?" "No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die." That is the greatest Bond line. Octopussy and From Russia With Love are the best flicks and Jane Seymour is by far the most voluptuous, femme of pulchritude in the Bond Film legend. Brosnan beats Connery in authenticity, flair, and savoir faire.
Best Bond movie! Mmm a tough one - is it The Spy Who Loved Me where bond ski-jumps off the mountain and his Union-Jack parachute opens. Quality. Best Bond girl - Tiffany Case in her purple bikini. Wow.
Forget the caricature, Dalton wins by a mile. He wasn't just playing James Bond he was James Bond, and I'm sure Fleming would agree, and that's all that counts. By comparison the others were just in it for the money.
Best line is Q's at the end of Moonraker in reply to M asking " What's he doing" and Q replies "I think he's trying re-entry". Best film a tie between Casino Royale and On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Best song Louis Armstrong's We have all the time in the world. If you think Ursula Andress looked good in Dr No when emerging from the sea then you are going to love Halle Berry reprising the scene in Die Another Day, she surpasses it - va va voom!! By the way Bob Holness played Bond on the radio in the 50s.
The age of many people here is showing if they think that Casino Royale was a good film, or that Dalton was a good Bond. The best line out of them all has to be the extensive car/submarine chase in For Your Eyes Only. After dodging a motorcycle sidecar rocket, a bunch of cars crammed full of gun wielding thugs only to be met by a machine gun helicopter - the comment by Moore "Do you ever get the feeling that somebody doesn't like you?" is style personified. Sad that that particular film isn't one of Brosnan's - he is the ultimate Bond. The straightening of the tie after smashing two police cars with his tank in Goldeneye is what Bond is all about.
A. Siraj, Malaysia.
The best Bond will always be Connery and the best movie? It has to be Dr. No. I still laugh at the line when Dr. No says: "At first I thought there might be a place for you in SPECTRE but now I have realized that you are just a stupid policeman..." The simplicity of it is wonderful and remember that in 1959 nobody had seen anything like it.
Hugh, Yorkshire, England
From Russia With Love is probably the best film, a true thriller before the gadgetry took over. Most underrated film is OHMSS with an outstanding score by John Barry. Best babe has to be Barbara Bach in The Spy Who Loved Me. Best line from Roger "Double Six? Fancy That. It's all in the wrist you know."
The best Bond film IS indeed Goldfinger. It has the best character development, it's got bogus scientific facts about suffocating from gold paint, and it's got Connery. What's more it's got THE best conversation. Who can forget the scene in the airplane when Honor Blackman leaned over a drowsy Bond and said, "I'm Pussy Galore", and Bond replied with "I must be dreaming"?
The best of all are the original Ian Fleming novels! The ones I'd most recommend are Live and Let Die (where Felix Leiter is originally fed to a shark), OHMSS (the Corsican Mafia!) and Dr No (Bond kills No by burying him in bird excrement!) Much better than the movies.
Live and Let Die - The locations juxtapose Bond and the sinister voodoo element in remote Jamaica to Moore's humour and Jane Seymour's innocence. It's pure fantasy. Moonraker comes second, as it was released roughly the same time as the ground breaking Stars Wars.
There is only one truly great Bond film and that is You Only Live Twice, perfect on every level. Connery at his best, wonderful Japanese location shooting, a screenplay of rare intelligence by Roald Dahl, Blofeld as Bond's nemesis and most memorable of all: the music. Even the title sequence with Technicolor umbrellas is unique and impressive. YOLT towers over earlier Bond movies and was much imitated in later ones. The secret agent with the wooden leg, superior oriental culture, Little Nellie defending her honour (and Q's), the remarkable aerial pull shot of the fist fight in the docks, the incredible fake volcano set, the dramatic space rocket with teeth....It's the only Bond film that can stand up as a great film in its own right.
I've got to agree with Justin, UK concerning You Only Live Twice. The aerial shot of the fight on the docks roof is incredible. An amazing shot with excellent Bond music - pure perfection!
Dalton? Whose bright idea was it to cast him? The best is easily Connery in From Russia With Love.
To Jon, UK: Pierce Brosnan was tied into his contract with Remington Steele and could not be released to play Bond so Timothy Dalton had to fill in the gap until the contract expired.
Neville Sloane, UK/Canada
Judi Dench's M is the ultimate female role model. She's intelligent, tough yet fair, wise, witty, quick, caring and brilliant in a crisis.
I can't remember which film but it was the one with Sean Connery and the scene where a group of henchmen go to Bond's hotel room and find him with a girl. One of the henchmen throws the girl out of the window and she lands in a pool below. Bond calmly remarks "Good shot" to which the thug replies "I didn't know there was a pool down there." Great stuff.
David, I think the film is Diamonds are Forever and the girl who landed in the pool was Plenty O'Toole!
Some parts of On Her Majesty's Secret Service were filmed in Lisbon and I can proudly say I witnessed the making of a Bond film! Connery is still the real James Bond. My Bond Girl vote goes to Ursula Andress and Maryam D'Abo.
Best Bond? Connery, with Brosnan and Dalton tied for second, Lazenby third, Niven fourth and Moore last. Best babe: Rigg with Maryam D'Abo a close second. Best film: You Only Live Twice.
Best line: "But James I need you!" "So does England." With 007's "But sir, who would pay a million dollars to have me killed?" M: "Jealous husbands, outraged chefs, humiliated tailors. The list is endless!" as a close second. best Bond film, The Living Daylights - great Bond girl, fantastic locations and characters, best Aston Martin so far. Best Bond girl has to be Daniella Biachi in From Russia with Love, who is absolutely beautiful. Best villain Fiona (Luciana Paluzzi) in Thunderball, great looking, smart and interesting, with Sean Bean in Goldeneye getting an honourable mention. But the best Bond for me is Brosnan although I do miss the non-PC Connery lines.
It has to be Goldeneye, because it was an improvement after a six year hiatus. It is more like a Hollywood action flick in the cinemas.
To me, the best Bond film was one I personally related to - For Your Eyes Only. I saw it in Bern, Switzerland and then went skiing in Gstaad after having spent the previous summer on Corfu. Absolutely magical being in both locations then seeing the film in one of the countries. A far cry from watching Bond in Australia where you watch a mountainous ski scene then come out of the theatre to blazing heat, flies and kangaroos.
Bobby Subjenski, USA
I despair. All these great comments about something as important as James Bond films and not a single mention of the greatest "guy film" scene of them all: Ursula Andress coming out of the surf in that scuba outfit in Dr No. What's wrong with you people?
On Her Majesty's Secret Service is my favourite Bond film, but the David Niven version of Casino Royale had the best car chase.
There is a scene in Goldfinger where Bond witnesses the death of a young woman - the sister, I believe, of the character played by Shirley Eaton. He had not been romantically involved with the girl - had known her, in fact, only a few hours - but the expression of sadness and anger in his face proved that there was more to 007 than the sybaritic icon he was built up as. Incidentally, I wonder how many Britons have seen the television production of Casino Royale that was made in the 50s. Barry Nelson, the first actor to play Bond, was not exactly memorable, but he gave it a good go.
Robert, USA mentioned the 1950s American production of Casino Royale. It was a 30 minute episode of a show called Climax. Peter Lorre played Le Chiffre very well. It was nothing like the Bond movies - short, low budget, black and white - but it was good in its own way. It is available on VHS tape in the US, if you search the stores and catalogues.
Connery is the best! "Do you exshpect me to talk?" "No meester Bond, I expect you to die!" I think this Brosnan chap is a bit bland. At least Moore could do the eyebrows!
I think that Connery was definitely the best Bond as the first is usually the best. Brosnan comes second because of the way he always seems to be so calm and cool about everything. Dalton I thought was too angry and aggressive and Moore was too old, unfit and smug in my opinion. I seem to remember something in one of the newspapers a number of years back about one of the 'girls' being a bloke. Can anyone recall which film this related to?
For Nigel from Scotland: The film with the girl who was a man is Octopussy. One of her troupe was played by a man who had a sex change and became a model. The best bond girl has to be Carey Lowell from Licensed To Kill. Stunning! The best film for me is From Russia with Love. The bit where Bond shoots the guy coming out of the window hidden in a poster of a girl's face and says "She should have kept her mouth shut." Brilliant.
Catherine McCartney, UK
Roger Moore is the best because his haircut is the closest to Austin Powers'.
Best Bond line: In Never Say Never Again. (OK, so not in the 'official' series). Bond gets clattered at a bar by a female water skier who says, "Oh, I'm sorry, I made you all wet." Connery replies, "Yes, but my Martini is still dry." Quality.
Steve Jordan, UK
I think that Q (played by Desmond Llewellyn) was the best character in the James Bond series and I will greatly miss him.
We have a difference of opinion in our house. My wife likes Roger Moore but I still think the best Bond ever is Sean Connery by far. He had the suave debonair style to follow through in whatever he did but at the same time be tough where need be. The best Bond film for me was Goldfinger with Honor Blackman (Pussy Galore) as the best Bond woman not girl because it proved that blondes do have brains and are not play things. Honor Blackman is in her seventies and she still looks good today.
It has everything to do with who you grew up with... and for me? Roger M - Spy Who Loved Me ranks up there with the finest. No one delivered those quips and retorts like he did.
The Living Daylights is the best all round Bond film. Dalton is THE personification of a British agent as Fleming designed. The action scenes and the film's music combine to compliment some of the best screenplay talent in the in the industry. The Cellist Kara Milovy is but the icing on the cake!
There is no 'best' Bond film, each one represents the era of when it was produced, each one has a new load of cheesy jokes and clichés. For instance, the Roger Moore films were more light hearted than the rest, while Licence To Kill was a lot gorier than the others and had a 15 certificate. There hasn't yet been a below average Bond film, and it is interesting to watch the actors through the ages, so leave it at that.
Best Bond/Bond girl/villain is always going to be open to debate. Best Bond character? No question. Q. Desmond Llewelyn was invariably the highlight of every film. John Cleese will no doubt bring his own unique 'character' to future releases, but Llewelyn will be sorely missed. "Pay attention 007!" RIP.
It HAS to be Roger Moore, the quintessential Englishman. No-one else can wear a safari suit with the same degree of casualty.
Lee Corless, UK
I think the best moment in the Bond series was in the Swiss banker's office in Bilbao at the start of The World Is Not Enough when the cigar girl said "Would you like to check my figures?" and Bond replied "Oh, I'm sure they're perfectly rounded."
JB, Ottawa, Canada
Goldfinger is the definitive Bond movie. It was the film where all the different parts of the 007 experience first gelled together to create a fantastic cinematic formula. There¿s Bond¿s wit, style and charm, a larger-than-life villain with memorable henchman, a great line-up of Bond girls, fantastic music, unforgettable one liners, and the (soon to become) traditional humorous Q scene where an antagonised Major Boothroyd introduces the gadget-laden Aston Martin DB5. And, of course, Sean Connery as 007... The Spy Who Loved Me is worth honourable mention though, just because it is so Seventies Roger Moore!
The actual books remain the best. Some of the films have been good, with Dalton being the only one who looked like the Bond from the books at the end of the film (extremely battered). But the 'you can beat me to a pulp but I refuse to die' Bond from the books was never really captured.
R Steward, Great Britain
Dalton was the best Bond. He was the closet to Ian Fleming's vision of bond.
Personally I think Tomorrow Never Dies was one of the best - a stunning opening sequence, the remote control car chase, intense cynicism about the media, gorgeous soundtrack and one of the filthiest gags in the entire series (all the more impressive for being delivered by Samantha Bond's wonderful Moneypenny) - it just about has it all.
Jonathan Scott, UK
Best moment is when Connery as Bond is strapped to Goldfinger's laser table and says "You don't expect me to talk do you Goldfinger?" Gert Frobe's reply "No, Mr Bond. I expect you to die." The best: Film - Thunderball; Girl - Honor Blackman; Bond - Dalton (spoiled by being in poor films).
The best Bond is obviously Sean Connery, but Pierce Brosnan is a very close second. As for the best film, it has to be The World is not Enough.
The best bit of any Bond film has to be in The Spy Who Loved Me. Bond skis down half a mountain killing at least four bad guys then just as you think it is all over as you see him ski off the side of a cliff his parachute opens with then union jack on it as the legendary bond music kicks in... Great stuff!
Best Bond villain's line has to be from Drax, in Moonraker. "And now, Mr Bond, I am going to put you out of my misery."
Arguably the best Bond chase scene has to be the one with the tank in Goldeneye.
Q's scene in Goldeneye - has me in stitches every time.
The very best can only be the very first, Dr No, with Sean Connery definitely the best Bond. Supercilious Moore, wooden Dalton and pretentious Brosnan never eclipsed Connery's seriously tongue-in-cheek portrayal of the cad-cum-spy. Diana Rigg was the worst Bond girl and Fiona Fullerton in the jacuzzi with Roger Moore was one of the best girl scenes, just pipped by Barbara Bach wearing a wet dress in the Spy Who Loved Me.
Everyone knocks A View To a Kill but that is my favourite. I grew up in the era of Roger Moore and for me he is James Bond. He might have been a bit old in View to a Kill but it was and still is a great Bond flick with the bizarre Grace Jones, the evil Christopher Walken.
I'm tempted to say Goldfinger, but the two movies with Jaws were good. Then there's Live and Let Die with Paul McCartney on vocals. I always liked Maude Adams as a Bond girl and though she wasn't a Bond girl, Grace Jones was great as May Day. I know, these characters all were in different Bond flicks, so maybe I don't have just one favourite Bond film, just different faves for different reasons.
Tony McArdle, UK
Dalton was the best actor and closest to the nasty Bond of the books - but he's maligned because he was in a couple of poor films. Lazenby does not even count! My favourite film was The Spy who Loved Me, and favourite Bond girl Jane Seymour.
Thunderball. The devastating political correctness of the Brosnan and Dalton eras rather get in the way.
I agree with Steve, the political correctness spoils the whole Bond thing. Goldfinger and For Your Eyes Only are my two favourites for both Sean Connery and Roger Moore. Honor Blackman still takes some beating as a Bond girl for some of her lines!
I agree with Steve, UK as well. PC-ness is for politicians and wimps. However I do like the style of Brosnan. In You Only Live Twice a Japanese helicopter with a giant magnet picks an enemy car and drops in into the ocean. Connery is asked "What do you think of Japanese Technology?" He says "A drop in the ocean."
Josh Adams, Australia
With the exception of the first few films starring Connery, before they became a genre, all the Bond films make me puke. The geriatric spook is long overdue for retirement.
What? I can't believe that no one has cited the fantastic scene when Ursula Andress emerges from the sea in bikini, mask and snorkel, singing Underneath the Mango Tree. I took up swimming based on that film.
Peter Sellers as 007 in Casino Royal was by far the best James Bond.
Re: Doug. 007 was played by David Niven in Casino Royale.
William Wild, England
Let's not mess about, it's all about Goldfinger or Man with the Golden Gun... intelligent nemeses, outrageous henchman, the DB5... and let's not forget "Pussy Galore... I must be dreaming." Bond rocks!
Sara Dawson, UK
The Spy Who Loved Me was the most futuristic, clever, funny and beautifully cinematographed Bond movie of all time.
I agree with Raheel, The Spy Who Loved Me is great, one of my personal favourites. Roger Moore as Bond, Barbara Bach and Jaws. What more could you ask for!
Your picture atop the page says it all. Connery was the best Bond, hands down. Goldfinger and Thunderball were the best films, though for a fan, it's all good. The best Bond girl is a tough choice and obviously coloured by subjectivity. My favourite is Honor Blackman (Pussy Galore).
Mirek Kondracki, USA
I think that Brosnan is probably the best Bond, and Dalton the worst. The best Bond girl has got to be Famke Janssen, although she was a "baddie".
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