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The 007 Best Bond Films

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7. GoldenEye

Coming in at number seven is the seventeenth Bond film, Goldeneye. The reason it makes the list is simple: the end of the short-lived Timothy Dalton era and the beginning of the modern Bond age.  There’s always that suspicion between Bond films of the new guy, and Pierce Brosnan could have been a lot worse. He brought back the playfulness that had been missing with ol’ Tim. Dalton played Bond pretty dark, and the freshness of the ass-patting and silly gadgetry allowed the welcome reminiscing of the Roger Moore days. The plot wasn’t bad, the girls were hot, and the explosions had that big-budget feel.

6. Goldfinger

Hands down the winner of the best-sexual-double-entendre film award. With Miss Pussy Galore being such a cunning linguist, killing beautiful women by painting their naked bodies with gold paint, and trying to take Sean Connery with a laser, Goldfinger became the Bond movie template for future films. As the third film, it really stood out compared to the first two in being so much more about the suave secret agent rather than the story like No and Russia were. We also see the beginnings of the gadgetry that would occasionally get out of hand in the Bond series. Besides that, the film is entertaining in the purest sense, funny, clever, and action-packed.

5. Live and Let Die

Like a few of the films on this list, Live and Let Die is great because of that switch between actors playing Bond working against the odds and popular opinion. Roger Moore brought a much cheekier version of 007, twice the ass-patting, more innuendo, and hope to kids not blessed with black hair, that they can still grow up to be super spies. Live and Let Die is almost a blaxploitation flick, with fantastic stereotypical characters like Mr. Big, a jive-talking, drug-dealing brother complete with a posse of afro-sporting, heat-packing, big, bad ‘n’ black henchmen. The 8th Bond film is unusual in that our bad guy is not interested in taking over the world, but rather in expanding his heroin empire (by giving away two tons of free smack!). It’s even weirder when you consider the psychic love interest, the voodoo witchdoctors assassins, and Moore escaping crocodiles by running over their backs.

4. You Only Live Twice

Although not as good as the movies below, You Only Live Twice might be my personal favorite. I think that this is probably for a number of reasons. First, it’s set in Japan (a place I’ve been obsessed with forever, and even lived), the screenplay was written by Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate factory), it’s our first view of Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s face, and finally, it was the triadic end to the Connery Bond era. With a plot that borders on the ridiculous, You Only Live Twice is pure fun. Giant volcanic bases, spaceships that eat other spaceships, gadgets galore, and suitcase-helicopters armed to the teeth all make the fifth film the stuff that parody’s dreams are made of.

3. From Russia with Love

Possibly the most beautifully shot of the Bond films, From Russia with Love is often critiqued as the best of the series. While brilliant, it had the unfortunate luck of being the second of the Bond movies, and hence has to compete standing next to Dr. No. Still, Russia is still a phenomenal film on its own.

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The relatively slow pace of the film raises the tension to that of more of a thriller than an action film. The close-quarter fight scenes on the Orient Express became a hallmark of Bond’s style and the beautiful, 1960 Miss Universe runner-up Daniela Bianchi as Tatiana makes you wish that bikinis where acceptable snow dress.

2. Casino Royale

Maybe the reason that Casino got so high on the list is it’s the newest (for a few days) of the Bonds and it did something that very few 007 movies, and indeed, most movies, manage to do – exceed expectations. Daniel Craig was actually good, and brought his own interpretation of Bondness (as they all do), but more than that, after the gaudiness of the previous few, the slickness and modernism of the film was so refreshing  that it revitalized the franchise.  Perhaps it was touching on an Ian Fleming novel (although a very liberal touch), but something about Casino Royale feels more like the older films: more charm than gadgetry, more style and explosions.

1. Dr. No

What can you really say about the film that started it all?  Dr. No gave us the gun-barrel shooting opening, the stylized, musical credits and the establishment of Bond as a man of “now” – the never changing, forty-something ladies’-man. It also gave the world one of sexiest cinematic moments when Ursula Andress walked out of the blue, Crab Key waters in that white bikini… and also probably permanently skewed my young brain toward blondes for the rest of my life. Although a lifetime apart, Casino Royale and Dr. No have that original literary feel to them, and maybe that’s why I love them so. Dr. No’s low budget (one MLLLLLLION dollars!) forced Terence Young to use style rather than explosives.

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7 Responses to “The 007 Best Bond Films”

  1. Casey Says:

    I liked the one with Peter Sellers.

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  2. Greg Says:

    You filthy heretic – that is not a James Bond film! Next you will be saying you think “Never Say Never Again” was a good idea.

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  3. Casey Says:

    True story: Never Say Never Again is the only Bond film I have ever owned, and the only one I have seen more than once.

    True.

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  4. brandi Says:

    The train fight from “From russia with love” is my most memorable bond moment. Dont know why i like it, i just do.

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  5. Steve Says:

    Did anyone play GoldenEye for N64, that games was tits!

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  6. Greg Says:

    Wasted many a day away killing friends on a small TV screen split four ways on that stupid game… CRACK!

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  7. mortimer nova Says:

    at least the number one bond film listed was with sean connery. if it had been one with roger moore, i would have slapped you senseless.

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