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The Best Classic Bond Film


Best "Classic" Bond Film  

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DTMark

I've only listed what one might call the "classic" films since the poll doesn't allow enough options to list them all. But it wouldn't make any difference anyway, unless someone wants to be controversial and say that one of the post-1989 films is the best one..

It's a bit like choosing the "best" Doctor from Doctor Who - each era is so different it's hard to compare them so actually the choice really comes down to the favourite character.

In this way and for me - Doctor No, because it's so quintessentially Bond and of "that time", and Moonraker because it's spectacular, still looks good today, slapstick, ambitious and the film is a lot better than the relatively dull Fleming story. It's great entertainment. Doctor No is almost identical to the Fleming story except for the missing final sequences involving the death of the baddie and the battle with the giant squid.

The thing about Fleming's work is that some of it was well-paced and plotted, evocative, and great fiction - and some of it was utter shite, so the fact that some of the films don't always follow the original stories is no bad thing.

Over to you..

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Good old "Jay Dubya" There are a few of the Moore films where the same bloke (Victor Tourjansky) has a little cameo. Always makes me giggle. 1) The Spy Who Loved Me, when the Lotus drives ou

I also think Skyfall excellent; not remotely hammy, with elements of the Bourne films, and an enemy with right on their side because he was a loyal agent betrayed by M to what she assumed to be his de

I think Casino Royale slightly pips Skyfall, but otherwise agree with Mark and Frank. And I especially agree that QoS and Spectre are woeful by comparison. As Daniel Craig Bond films seem to be follow

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spunko

I never know which is which, although I do know who the Bond is in each (mostly). Favourite is either From Russia with Love, or You Only Live Twice.

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spunko

BTW, I have made this the 'featured' poll so it's sitewide. Hope that's okay... Anyone who looks up all the years of each Bond film like this, deserves to have their poll widely seen xD

 

Also, I will be that controversial and say my favourite is in fact Goldeneye (1995) but yes, that's probably not a classic one. Casino Royale is very good as a movie in itself but I think it lacks some of the cheese. 

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JoeDavola
12 minutes ago, spunko said:

Also, I will be that controversial and say my favourite is in fact Goldeneye (1995) but yes, that's probably not a classic one.

Yes it's my favorite partly because I was so obsessed with the game too.

I also enjoyed one of Dalton's movies - one of them was quite gritty which I enjoyed...the one where his mate gets his legs chewed off by the baddie and then he sets the fucker on fire at the end. (apologies if I'm spoiling the complex story line here ;) )

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DTMark
1 minute ago, JoeDavola said:

Yes it's my favorite partly because I was so obsessed with the game too.

I also enjoyed one of Dalton's movies - one of them was quite gritty which I enjoyed...the one where his mate gets his legs chewed off by the baddie and then he sets the fucker on fire at the end. (apologies if I'm spoiling the complex story line here ;) )

Licence to Kill. IIRC and I may not - parts of it were loosely based on Fleming's excellent short story The Hildebrand Rarity.

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JoeDavola
1 minute ago, DTMark said:

Licence to Kill. IIRC and I may not - parts of it were loosely based on Fleming's excellent short story The Hildebrand Rarity.

Yes I'd like to have seen more Bond movies like that. I seem to remember enjoying Casino Royal which was perhaps a return to something a bit more like that.

I'm hoping Bezos puts the Bond movies on Amazon prime I'd like to watch them in order.

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spunko
3 minutes ago, JoeDavola said:

Yes it's my favorite partly because I was so obsessed with the game too.

I also enjoyed one of Dalton's movies - one of them was quite gritty which I enjoyed...the one where his mate gets his legs chewed off by the baddie and then he sets the fucker on fire at the end. (apologies if I'm spoiling the complex story line here ;) )

It has the perfect balance of black humour, OTT action, and sexy foreign birds

IMO, the most recent ones have pushed the reality / gritty side too far and got rid of a lot of the Q weaponry cheese. They've gone a bit too Hollywood. Plus that nerdy Ben Whishaw replacement isn't anywhere near as good as either Desmond Llewelyn or John Cleese. I find him a bit creepy. And where is the British humour nowadays? :(

 

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DTMark

If anyone is interested, Skyfall is on ITV2 at 19:30

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JoeDavola
Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, spunko said:

It has the perfect balance of black humour, OTT action, and sexy foreign birds

IMO, the most recent ones have pushed the reality / gritty side too far and got rid of a lot of the Q weaponry cheese. They've gone a bit too Hollywood. Plus that nerdy Ben Whishaw replacement isn't anywhere near as good as either Desmond Llewelyn or John Cleese. I find him a bit creepy. And where is the British humour nowadays? :(

Frankly everything after Casino Royale has been a complete waste of time and will not be looked back on fondly in years to come IMO. Actually Skyfall was decent now I think of it. But I'm not banking on the new Bond movie being any good.

Even the new theme songs are boring IMO. Mind you I loved the Casino Royal song, even though it wasn't a typical Bond tune:

 

Edited by JoeDavola
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Butthead

Great poll, but impossible to answer I think. It depends on how you define "best".

Best gritty enjoyable action movies? The Dalton films, with Licence to Kill coming out slightly ahead. I've always thought TD hugely underrated and arguably the best Bond.

But The Man with the Golden Gun is a great thriller with a great villain.

And Diamonds are Forever is brilliant camp fun.

And Goldfinger and The Spy Who Loved Me are all time classic films.

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dgul
Posted (edited)

Interesting.

I agree with Mark in that Dr No is truly excellent.  The only problem I have with it is that it was the start, and there are some elements that are missing that really came to be important signature aspects of 'a Bond movie'.

After that I very much like OHMSS -- the problem with that is while Lazenby makes an excellent Bond, because he only made one film he stands out as 'wrong', even though if he'd have made more he'd have been a favourite (IMO).  But in the end the quality of the story really shines through. 

I think probably the best 'what you expect' movie for the classic Bonds is either:

  • Goldfinger for the Connery style.  Absolutely brilliant.   
  • You only live twice gets an Honorable second place for the Connery Bonds.
  • Moonraker, for the Moore style.  The 15 year old me thought it was fantastic, the older me less so.

Beyond that Octopussy is the worst.  It is really bad.

Live and let die is pretty good for the Moore era, but is let down by being a rather racist movie.  Time hasn't treated that aspect of it well.   Bond also comes across as a bit more of a rapist than in the other movies.

I'd note that Never say never again is missing from the list, but it isn't missed as it isn't anywhere near a good Bond movie -- It actually doesn't feel like a Bond movie at all, other than the name of the lead character (obviously there's a good reason for this).  Nevertheless, I'd rank it above Octopussy.

The man with the golden gun gets an 'almost', but loses a few points for the penny whistle sound effects that ruined what is probably the best 'it was really done like that' stunt ever. 

Edited by dgul
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DTMark

Agree with much of that. The only problem I have with OHMSS is that Telly Savalas doesn't exude any sense of chill or threat and the plot doesn't seem credible. It's oddly-paced in that it's based on staving off a threat which perhaps belongs more to the realms of science-fiction (it was used in Doctor Who among other things) which hasn't happened yet, and which might not come to pass.

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Sucralose Ray Leonard
1 hour ago, dgul said:

The man with the golden gun gets an 'almost', but loses a few points for the penny whistle sound effects that ruined what is probably the best 'it was really done like that' stunt ever. 

Good old "Jay Dubya"

There are a few of the Moore films where the same bloke (Victor Tourjansky) has a little cameo. Always makes me giggle.

1) The Spy Who Loved Me, when the Lotus drives out of the Sea onto the beach.

spacer.png

2) Moonraker, when Bond drives the Gondola into the main square in Venice.

spacer.png

3) For Your Eyes Only, when Bond escapes in the Ski resort.

spacer.png

All involve him staring at his alcoholic drink as if to say, did i really just see that or am i pissed? Ha ha ha

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Roger_Mellie

From Russia with Love, Live and Let Die, Diamonds are Forever.

From Russia with Love is just a great film. Live and Let Die is different, I love the Voodoo elements and the witchcraft, and Jane Seymour is absolutely gorgeous in it. I keep hope that they'll remake it, but it's a difficult one to remake with modern sensibilities.

Diamonds are forever is also a great film. Kipp and Wint are brilliantly cast and very close to the characters in the book, but my favourite bit is where Bond goes to the top of the stratosphere tower and swings around like it's nothing. This is what separates Bond from the common man, doing something really dangerous like it's a walk in the park.

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DTMark
10 hours ago, Roger_Mellie said:

Live and Let Die is different, I love the Voodoo elements and the witchcraft, and Jane Seymour is absolutely gorgeous in it. I keep hope that they'll remake it, but it's a difficult one to remake with modern sensibilities.

There is this - I've been meaning to listen but I haven't got around to it yet:

 

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dgul
16 hours ago, DTMark said:

Agree with much of that. The only problem I have with OHMSS is that Telly Savalas doesn't exude any sense of chill or threat and the plot doesn't seem credible.

I'm not sure -- many of the bond villains are somewhat nonthreatening (eg, Goldfinger, Drax, possibly the Pleasence Blofelds).  Arguably it is the henchmen that provide the menace, and Bunt isn't among the best (or, rather, her scenes aren't so good). 

The plot being credible doesn't seem to be a particular requirement for a Bond movie.

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Don Coglione

Caught most of Skyfall  on ITV2 last night (thanks, @DTMark).

What a steaming turd of a film.

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DTMark
29 minutes ago, dgul said:

I'm not sure -- many of the bond villains are somewhat nonthreatening (eg, Goldfinger, Drax, possibly the Pleasence Blofelds).  Arguably it is the henchmen that provide the menace, and Bunt isn't among the best (or, rather, her scenes aren't so good). 

The plot being credible doesn't seem to be a particular requirement for a Bond movie.

That's fair comment. Actually after posting above on the subject of credibility I then thought again of Moonraker..

I wonder if I'd warm more to OHMSS if it involved a similarly attractive group of blokes being brainwashed.

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DTMark
10 minutes ago, Don Coglione said:

Caught most of Skyfall  on ITV2 last night (thanks, @DTMark).

What a steaming turd of a film.

(In the style of Kenneth Williams) "Come now. It's really rather good"

I think Skyfall is the best of the new Bond films.

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Frank Hovis
1 hour ago, Don Coglione said:

Caught most of Skyfall  on ITV2 last night (thanks, @DTMark).

What a steaming turd of a film.

 

1 hour ago, DTMark said:

(In the style of Kenneth Williams) "Come now. It's really rather good"

I think Skyfall is the best of the new Bond films.

 

I also think Skyfall excellent; not remotely hammy, with elements of the Bourne films, and an enemy with right on their side because he was a loyal agent betrayed by M to what she assumed to be his death.  It mixes it up nicely.

I would put Skyfall and the almost as good Casino Royale certainly top ten; maybe top five.

It was a shock quite how poor were Quantum of Solace and Spectre given that they had the same Bond and actors in the intelligence department roles.

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Butthead

I think Casino Royale slightly pips Skyfall, but otherwise agree with Mark and Frank. And I especially agree that QoS and Spectre are woeful by comparison. As Daniel Craig Bond films seem to be following a good / bad / good / bad sequence let's hope that is a good omen for the new one.

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Democorruptcy
18 hours ago, Sucralose Ray Leonard said:

Good old "Jay Dubya"

There are a few of the Moore films where the same bloke (Victor Tourjansky) has a little cameo. Always makes me giggle.

1) The Spy Who Loved Me, when the Lotus drives out of the Sea onto the beach.

spacer.png

2) Moonraker, when Bond drives the Gondola into the main square in Venice.

spacer.png

3) For Your Eyes Only, when Bond escapes in the Ski resort.

spacer.png

All involve him staring at his alcoholic drink as if to say, did i really just see that or am i pissed? Ha ha ha

I could do that! Gizza job.

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Sucralose Ray Leonard
1 hour ago, Frank Hovis said:

It was a shock quite how poor were Quantum of Solace and Spectre given that they had the same Bond and actors in the intelligence department roles

QoS suffered due to a writers strike at the time and having the shittest villain of all time. 

I can't remember anything other than the closing scenes in Spectre.

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Frank Hovis
2 minutes ago, Sucralose Ray Leonard said:

QoS suffered due to a writers strike at the time and having the shittest villain of all time. 

I can't remember anything other than the closing scenes in Spectre.

One of them had an opening set piece with a helicopter over a crowd in a Latin American city.

I would say though that what is diagnostic of a decent Bond film is that you remember it well simply from the title.

Whilst they had good sections in them, and Timothy Dalton is an excellent actor, I would really struggle to be sure what any of his or Pierce Brosnan's films were purely from the titles.

This could actually be a weakness of naming them; The Man with the Golden Gun tells you exactly which film this is.

Vague titles like The Living Daylights The World is not Enough, or A View to a Kill have you going "Is that the one with ....?".

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