The Rundown: The Best Of Bond, James Bond

Spectre, which opens on Friday, is the 24th film in the James Bond collection and the fourth with Daniel Craig holding down the iconic role.

When you’ve got that kind of depth to choose from and a new entry into the catalogue on the way, you best believe we’re going to hit you with our favourites.

Dr. No (1962)

Sean Connery was the best overall James Bond and his first appearance – the baccarat table scene where he first drops his name – remains the signature Bond moment. The other reason this one works so well is that it’s about Bond being a spy and not just the gadgets and gizmos and explosions etc.

Goldfinger (1964)

Think of all the pieces from this movie that have been aped over the years – the lead villain and his henchmen, Bond strapped to the table – plus the signature silver Aston Martin with the ejector seat and there is no way that this flick doesn’t rank high on the list of all-time best Bond movies.

Casino Royale (2006)

People were up in arms about Daniel Craig becoming Bong, but then they saw the opening sequence from this flick and Craig’s overall strong performance and opinions changed. The Casino Royale reboot holds up really well and was a great departure from the slick, but shallow Pierce Brosnan era.

GoldenEye (1995)

You have to give Brosnan his due for this one though, even though it rates this high because Sean Bean was a strong villain, Famke Janssen as Xena Onatopp (LOL) had a breakthrough performance and the video game is one of the best video games in the history of video games. Sadly, it was all down here for Brosnan’s 007 from here.

The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

Roger Moore’s sophomore appearance as the stylish British spy pitted him against his evil doppelganger, Francisco Scaramanga, who is one of the best Bond villains ever and the truth about many of the Bond movies is that they’re only as good as the villain.

From Russia With Love (1963)

Connery’s third appearance on this list – and second go as Bond – is a strong companion piece to Dr. No, picking up where that film left off. It also has a lot of the elements that became Bond staples – the cold open, the opening title sequence with scantily-clad women, Desmond Llewelyn as Q – plus it’s got Cold War intrigue. Classic.

The Living Daylights (1987)

Timothy Dalton only got a couple turns in the tuxedo and it feels like he would have done more if he had better material to work with in his second appearance. He wasn’t as cocky as Connery and he’s not as brooding and full of angst as Craig; he’s kind of a balance between the two and it really worked here. You deserved better, Timothy Dalton, but at least you’re not George Lazenby.

A View to a Kill (1985)

Roger Moore’s seventh (seventh!) and final appearance as Bond makes this list for the bad guys it gave us: Christopher Walkin – with peroxide blonde hair – as a dude named Max Zorin with Grace Jones as his chief henchwoman and lover. And shout out to Roger Moore for sipping martinis for seven flicks; that’s a good run.

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

Richard Kiel as Jaws. Need we say more? In case we do, it has Moore deploying a Union Jack parachute and a bad guy that wants to wipe out civilization so he can start fresh with an underwater world. Yep. Awesome.

Skyfall (2012)

Some people weren’t all that keen on this movie. Those people are kind of crazy because this is one of the very best Bond movies ever. A disgruntled former spy looking to exact revenge against his old bosses is a classic bad guy story angle, the shadowy Shanghai fight scene is great and it’s a beautiful looking movie. Thanks Sam Mendes and Roger Deakins.

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

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