James Bond

Stuck in bed for two days with flu-like symptoms, I had a choice of watching Hogan’s Heroes or 007. Given I’d watched every Hogan’s Heroes episode ever made at least two thousand times, I went for the James Bond marathon. I couldn’t deny myself the pleasure of spy vs. spy while my fever climbed to unprecedented levels.

Daniel Craig as Ian Fleming's James Bond 007
Daniel Craig as Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007

For today’s Wednesday Warriors, I’m going to share a few thoughts about my love for James Bond and the reason why I think this franchise will be around long after I’m gone.

Shaken, not stirred. Tuxedo at the ready. Casino primed for his entrance. Beautiful women pining for his affection. Q. Moneypenny. M. The list goes on.

Every Bond movie has its differences, though. As much as things change, things remain the same. The villain. The Bond girl. The villain’s girlfriend who seems good at the time but changes sides halfway through the story. And let’s not forget the villain’s right hand man who always gets his in the end.

Formulaic. Predictable. Yes, and yes. You know what? Who cares? They’re movies. Eon Productions made them to entertain us. Whenever I pop one into the player, my jaw drops by the opening sequence wondering what else I may have not seen in my lifetime.

Let’s not forget the actors who played (currently playing) Bond. They have their own style and their own unique way of interpreting England’s finest spy. For instance

Sean Connery (Dr. No, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice and Diamonds Are Forever): Some may consider him the true Bond of the franchise. Is it because he was the first?

George Lazenby (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service): One shot deal, but he performed as one would expect for the demanding role—perfectly.

Roger Moore (Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy and A View to a Kill): The funny Bond who I grew up with. I used to watch him during the lull times of the Jerry Lewis MD Telethon. He was my favorite until Daniel Craig came along.

Timothy Dalton (The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill): Back to the basics with a darker flavor of Bond. He studied Ian Fleming’s books between takes and brought the literary character to life.

Pierce Brosnan (GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day): Hands down, GoldenEye has to be one of the best in the series. Brosnan had Connery’s charm and Dalton’s strength. I call him the balanced Bond.

Daniel Craig (Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall): I can only describe him as the action hero. Chiseled. Worn. Craig’s Bond seeks to bring justice to an unjust world. A superhero? Possibly.

Certainly, many actors have played James Bond, and I’m sure many more will continue to do so. I don’t see the character dying any time soon. The point of the matter though, has to do with escapism. I can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend in bed than with a stack of movies featuring the world’s favorite spy: Bond, James Bond.

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Have you seen any Bond movies? Which ones? Did you like it? What drew you into the story?

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19 thoughts on “James Bond

  1. Great post, Jack. I hope you are starting to feel better. . . . As to Bond, I like how the character has evolved over the years, each actor adding his own nuance to the storyline (we have a few of the books, but I haven’t read them). That said–and I haven’t seen all of the “new Bond” yet–Craig is okay. Connery I can tolerate okay at times. My beef with him is his overbearing chauvinism. I also like how the female characters have evolved to become much more interesting and stronger over time, too. Moore I’ve come to appreciate, well, more as the years have gone on. I grew up with him, and for me, he’s “the Bond,” although I like Brosnan’s suave Bond, too. I also want to mention the outstanding musicians who have been paired with the Bond franchise: Shirley Bassey (who is fun to imitate–and hopefully not butcher!–for “Goldfinger”), the instantly identifiable and catchy brass-heavy Bond theme, Paul McCartney/Wings, and Duran Duran, among my personal favorites.

    • It was a few weeks ago. A 24-hour thing. All good now, Leigh.

      And love the Bond music! One of my favorite scores is from GoldenEye, which Eric Serra composed the music. Eric Serra composed the music to The Professional and there’s a signature sound that anyone familiar with his music can quickly hear. Love his stuff!

  2. I’d like to add the independent Bond film, Never Say Never Again to the list.
    For me, From Russia with Love best captures Flemining’s espionage world.
    Craig’s Bond: thumbs up.

  3. I’ve seen all the films, but only caught up with Dr. No eighteen months ago. I’m another from the Roger Moore generation, so for me he defines Bond. And I’ll even say that period of Bond films brought the character to its zenith.

    There’s nothing wrong with Bond films since, but to some extent they’ve lost the essence of what the Bond movies should be: larger than life villains with their underground lairs and only one man who can stop them. I think the minute they start to reflect real life, real threats, they lose the point of James Bond. It’s escapist spy action.

    I don’t know if that captures the essence of the novels, but I think it’s what the films, and the characters should be.

    Chris

  4. I am one of those people you mention who believe Sean Connery is the only REAL James Bond. But I have watched those so many times over that I have come to like the others too. Fun post Jack! 😀

  5. Isn’t there a chance 007 could become dated ? Consider Indiana Jones. He fought trying to keep supposedly sacred objects out of the hands of Nazis. Then once out of Soviet hands.

    Who will 007 take on next ? Colombian drug cartels ? I admit, I haven’t kept current with his adventures.

  6. Love the picture you used for this post, Jack, and aside from Sean Connery, of course, Daniel Craig is by far my favorite James Bond. I grew up with the Roger Moore-era Bond, and while Moore def had his tan, raised-eyebrow, 70’s flair going on, Daniel Craig brings the edge, menace and unpredictability that the James Bond from the books has…another great post! Thanks for this 🙂

  7. Squeals! Me and dad watch these movies all of the time. We are huge Bond fans. My favorite has to be Die Another Day. LOVED that one. Thanks for bringing some great memories my friend. XOXO – Bacon

  8. Love the Bond movies, but I still haven’t seen all of them. They don’t show them on all TV any more. I forgot the channel that had the Thanksgiving marathon of all the movies. Hard to pick a favorite. I started with Goldeneye, so Brosnan will always have an edge. Yet each one had their own charm and take on the character.

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