Through 2012, there have been some wonderful articles by my colleagues on all sorts of things Bond. Just for posterity, and to place the responses I’ve made all in one place, I’ve re-posted them here. I updated a few items, shortened others, but mostly my comments remain unchanged. Purely for the folk that love this venerable movie series as much as I do.
James Bonds (inspired by Ruth’s Discussing the Enduring Appeal of James Bond)
- Sean Connery – of course and without question for me.
- Daniel Craig – he’s worth all of the acclaim he’s gotten.
- Timothy Dalton – the one who has risen the most in the role in my estimation.
- Pierce Brosnan – dropped some, chiefly for the last two films as Bond.
- Roger Moore – I’ve picked on him a lot, but at least there’s The Spy Who Loved Me.
- George Lazenby – had the most difficult shoes to fill, yet ended up in the best story.
- Tracy Di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) – like Connery, my Brit Avenger will never topped.
- Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman, Goldfinger) – the first Bond girl I ever fell for.
- Vesper Lynd (Eva Green, Casino Royale) – like Dalton, a performance that’s only risen.
- Electra King (Sophie Marceau, The World is Not Enough) – the best and surprising thing in this poor Bond film.
- Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh, Tomorrow Never Dies) – again, the best thing in the film and who upstaged Brosnan throughout.
- Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe, Goldfinger) – the guy who set the villain standard and template for the entire franchise.
- Drax (Michael Lonsdale, Moonraker) – really underrated personality in the villain role, and with the best voice.
- Kamal Khan (Louis Jourdan, Octopussy) – polish and style that made for a more than worthy Bond opponent.
- Ernst Stavro Blofled (Charles Gray, Diamonds Are Forever) – out of all of those who’ve played the Blofeld, he had the most and best lines.
- Alex Trevelyan (Sean Bean, Goldeneye) – next to Drax, the most under appreciated bad guy on the list.
✵ I’ve already covered the song segment here.
Bond Henchmen (inspired by Fogs’ Top Ten Bond Villain Henchmen)
- Red Grant (Robert Shaw, From Russia With Love) – without question, the most plausible, most realized henchman in the whole series, in my book. He’s also the only one to have ever killed Bond (at least in the pre-title sequence ).
- Oddjob (Harold Sakata, Goldfinger) – a sheer and formidable presence, if there ever was one. And never uttered a word of dialogue. He didn’t need to.
- Fiona Volpe (Luciana Paluzzi, Thunderball) – I don’t know why this one is regularly omitted. The first female character as a true henchman* that could stand her ground in every scene she had with Sean Connery.
- Xenia Onatopp (Famke Jansen, Goldeneye) – what Fogs said.
- Jaws (Richard Kiel, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker) – at 7’2″, the largest presence of here; but dropped some by helping Bond in Moonraker (something Red Grant would never do).
- Fatima Blush (Barbara Carrera, Never Say Never Again) – I don’t care this wasn’t part of the official series, Barbara and Connery make the movie. She’s a absolute hoot, in a good way .
- Gobinda (Kabir Bedi, Octopussy) – I’d forgotten how much and how well I enjoyed this nefarious underling in the film, primarily through sheer physicality and presence.
- Baron Samedi (Geoffrey Holder, Live and Let Die) – what Fogs said.
- May Day (Grace Jones, A View to a Kill) – besides the fine theme song, she’s the only woman worth watching in this, my lowest rated, Bond film.
- Zao (Rick Yune, Die Another Day) – again, one of the few things I admire in my second lowest-rated Bond film.
* I consider Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya) to be the villain in ‘From Russia With Love’ and shouldn’t be lumped in this category.
Bond Pre-Title Sequences (inspired by JKM’s Top Five James Bond Pre-Titles Sequences)
- From Russia With Love – it has to be the one that started the whole pre-titles sequence in a Bond movie (with the most unexpected result: Bond’s death).
- Goldfinger – the first one I ever saw and a sequence that tells a wonderful short and exciting spy story in and of itself.
- Goldeneye – awesome and spectacular introduction for the new Bond, and one that holds the key to the villain of the tale.
- Casino Royale – another splendid introduction for the new Bond actor that set the tone for the broodier and more brutal paradigm shift in the series.
- The Spy Who Loved Me – what JKM said.
Bond Villain Headquarters (inspired by JKM’s Top Five Bond Villain Headquarters)
- Blofeld’s Volcano HQ in You Only Live Twice (1967) – it’s the best. Bar none (and low-cost, energy-efficient heating provided).
- Piz Gloria in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) – a real place, and the Swiss still make a mint off of the visitors who come there because of the movie.
- Crab Key lair in Dr. No (1962) – really underrated headquarters for a Bond villain. Go back and look at it again, if you don’t believe me.
- Kentucky stud farm in Goldfinger (1964) – large property, nicely appointed, with moving floors and fixtures (with jail cells and poison gas, if needed). And it’s a stud farm. Get it?
- Atlantis in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) – what JKM said.
Bond Cars (inspired by JKM’s Top Five James Bond Cars)
- Aston Martin DB5 – Goldfinger (1964), From Russia With Love (1963), Goldeneye (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), Casino Royale (2006), Skyfall (2012): still the car for all of the 50 years of James Bond. Looked good then, looks great now.
- Lotus Esprit S1 - The Spy Who Loved Me (1977): what JKM said.
- Toyota 2000GT Roadster – You Only Live Twice (1967): I had a long guilty lust for this car once I laid eyes on it (since I mistakenly thought I could actually get one).
- Ford Mustang Mach 1 – Diamonds Are Forever (1971): the other car that I once thought I could actually get my hands on.
- Aston Martin DBS V12 – Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008): okay, the car I’ll settle for today (especially for its med kit ;-)).