Your Voices: On the best James Bond

Your Voices

Your Voices is a simple concept created to encourage conversation and opinions between movie lovers. It works like this: I throw out a certain topic and I’ll take time to make my case or share my opinions. Then it’s time for Your Voices. Head to the comments section and let fellow readers and moviegoers know your thoughts on the topic for that day!

CRAIG

I have to admit that I was a little late coming to the James Bond 007 franchise. They were films that I was always aware of but oddly enough I never gave them much of a chance. The 007 films have a wide and varied history and fans from both sides of the pond are very vocal about their love and support for the different men who have taken on the role. Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig have all taken their turns at playing the suave super spy. But there is a fun conversation surrounding which was the best Bond?

I’m certainly not the most well versed when it comes to 007 so my opinion won’t carry much weight. But for me it’s the new guy, Daniel Craig. I think what I like about Craig is the raw and grounded emotion he brings to the character. His version of Bond isn’t as cheesy or cartoonish and he portrays a sense of vulnerability that I like. Now a lot of this is due to the screenwriters but Craig perfectly embodies it. I have absolutely no problem with cheese especially when it fits the story, but Craig’s more realistic and complex Bond really sold me on the franchise. That’s what I think. What about you?

YOUR VOICES: Who is the Best James Bond?

Now it’s time for Your Voices. So who do you think has been the best James Bond? Is it Connery, Moore, Lazenby, Dalton, Brosnan or Craig? I would also love to hear what makes them your favorite. Please share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below. After all, this is all about Your Voices and I can’t wait to hear what you have to say.

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81 thoughts on “Your Voices: On the best James Bond

    • That’s very interesting because some people aren’t crazy about Moore for that very same reason. But I love your approach to him and that is exactly what he brings to it. It’s in that sense that he really makes Bond his own.

  1. I’m one of those Bond fanatics, read all the books and seen the movies, even the bad ones, many many times. So to me the “best” or “closest” actor to have come close to Fleming’s work was Timothy Dalton. I wish he’d starred in more Bond films but after so many cheesy Bond flicks from the Moore era, people just weren’t ready for a darker and realistic take on the character. I do like Craig’s Bond though, Skyfall is becoming my top 5 Bond flicks.

    With all that said, I still think Sean Connery is the best Bond for the film version.

    • Great take on the subject Ted. I was really anxious to hear from those who truly love Bond. Personally I feel pathetically unqualified to even share my opinion, but the answers of others has proved to be interesting.

      As for Timothy Dalton, I know he did “The Living Daylights”. Was he in another Bond movie or just the one?

      • That’s right!!!! I’ve only seen some of License to Kill. I do remember that now. For some reason it didn’t leave a big mark on me I guess.

      • I’m gonna have to strongly disagree with Mr. Rumsey about License to Kill, I think it’s one of the best Bond flicks and you should see it Keith! It’s maybe the first Bond film to have that gritty feel to it and even though it contained some cheesy moments, it’s much better than most of the Bond films that have came out in the 80s.

        Like Ruth mentioned below, the reason Dalton never back to reprise the role was because of the legal issues. Also, License to Kill didn’t perform well at the box office at all, it opened in the same summer as Tim Burton’s Batman and as usual Batman dominated the box office that summer. Had they moved the release date to the fall/winter season, the film could’ve done a lot better financially. According to the documentary of GoldenEye, the producers actually asked him to come back and star in that movie, the first draft of the script was written with him as Bond. When Dalton declined, the script was rewritten to fit Pierce Brosnan’s style. I think he realized that audiences just weren’t ready for the kind of Bond he wanted to play, I remember it’s a popular trend to hate Dalton’s Bond back in the 90s. Now I think he’d gained more respect and many people have realized that he’s great Bond.

        One Bond film you SHOULD see is On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, it’s the only Bond film that stayed true to Ian Fleming’s book. Sean Connery confessed that he regret not starring in the film, he really loved the script. For years many Bond “fans” trashed the movie but then when Chris Nolan said it’s his favorite Bond film, the so called Bond fans are saying it’s a great film now. Nolan sort of pay homage to the film in his film Inception.

      • I do remember all of the Dalton hate. It was actually pretty prevalent. It is interesting how the respect has grown over the years.

        The Nolan bit is really funny. You can always weed out the true fans when something like that happens.

  2. For me, I have to also go with Daniel Craig. He BARELY beats out Connery for me. I like Pierce Brosnan some as well, but he’s probably among the “weakest” of the casted. Great topic for this post!! Love me some 007. You should throw up a Best of Judi Dench moment or something for the upcoming Voices! 😉

    • Ya know I like Pierce Brosnan too. My wife started getting into Bond during Brosnan’s run so he holds a special place. In fact (and this may be considered blasphemy among the bigger James Bond fans) I think I like him better than Roger Moore. Unfortunately Brosnan had a couple of pretty awful movies. That mess with Halle Berry was just dreadful.

      • Yeah I’ll agree with that. Die Another Day was pretty crap-tacular but it was never to do with Brosnan as an actor. He just had the unfortunate luck of being in an era of uninspired, VERRRRy corny James Bond movies. I do have to put Roger Moore in front of him, though, cuz I like Moore’s gruffer approach. This will sound bad, so forgive me but I buy Moore as a womanizer much easier than I do Brosnan. Brosnan is too nice. lol

  3. My ultimate Bond will have to be Daniel Craig, closely followed by Timothy Dalton. Dalton introduced a deeper and darker Bond, but Craig came in and perfected it. He is gritty, raw and emotional and is just amazing to watch on screen! I wish Dalton had had more flicks though, he was excellent.

    • You are the second one to mention Timothy Dalton. I really need to go back and watch his versions of the character. It’s been a long time.

      As I recall you just finished a huge viewing of all the Bond movies, right?

      • He was really impressive, I hope you enjoy his films! They are definitely worth the watch.

        Yeah, finished one up a few months ago. I feel like going through them again at some stage and adding on to the reviews that I did, seeing what changed and all that, but I will still see!

      • It was really quite the experience to watch them all over the years, to see how things changed. It was also interesting to see how the TIMES have changed, like the things that were socially acceptable, how that is no longer the case, etc.

        I must say that it is a lot of fun, you should really do it at some stage, a Bond a week! 😛

      • That is a very interesting perspective that I hadn’t thought of. I bet there is a socially acceptable shift that is pretty obvious if you’re watching them back back-to-back like that.

      • It’s crazy. Like the treatment of women and the dominance/violence that was used against them. Gender roles as well as smoking laws, etc. all come into play when you are watching them like that. You can also see what issues were evident during the making of the movies, such as the Cold War, which superpowers were fighting with who, the prevalent political views at the time, etc. Things like that you will pick up if you watch a movie from the sixties then another in the eighties and then a newer one, but if you watch them back to back it becomes a glaringly obvious thing.

    • “I wish Dalton had had more flicks though, he was excellent.” Right on Zoë!!! Btw Keith, you should see Licence To Kill again if your memory is hazy on that one, if you want to see an emotional, vulnerable, gritty Bond, look no further. Production quality is not the best and there are some silly, cheesy moments, but if we’re talking about great performance from an actor playing Bond, Dalton is superb. Robert Davi made for an excellent Bond villain as well. As you can see, I can go on and on on this topic, ahahaha.

  4. Massive Bond fan and Timothy Dalton is my number 1. The two films he starred in are both really interesting and original Bond flicks and in some ways got the series back on track after some of the missteps of later Roger Moore Bond efforts.

    • Another vote for Dalton! I really need to go back and watch his Bond movies. In fact I think I’ve only seen one of his films. I couldn’t remember if he did one or two movies.

      • I think The Living Daylights. That is the more ‘classic’ Bond film of the two of them. Plus I used to own a VHS copy way back in the day and I have watched it a whole bunch of times and still love it.

      • Well it’s obvious that Dalton has a lot of fans. Why did he stop after only two films? I know he’s had a good career but it’s not like he launched into superstardom. I’m curious.

      • Oh man, I can write a whole article on this Keith! But basically, the legal battle w/ MGM basically took too long that his contract expired, he was supposed to do a third Bond flick but he didn’t want to do it anymore. He had always been Broccoli’s choice to play Bond, he was offered the role three times since he was 26 but he felt he was too young to do it then.

      • Ahh very interesting. That does make sense though. I definitely feel the need to go back and give him another watch. I’m note familiar with the books but the entire thought that he visualizes the character from the books intrigues me.

  5. Such a difficult one. I think probably Daniel Craig, but I’ll always have a soft spot of Brosnan and Connery. Goldeneye is my favourite Bond film, but Die Another Day is easily the worst, so I have mixed feelings over Brosnan.

    • Die Another Day was that ridiculous monstrosity with Halle Berry, right? That one was absolutely atrocious. But yet I like Brosnan too. Yet in the end my vote goes for Daniel Craig. It’s not just because he’s the new and current Bond, but for me he is the most compelling version of the character that I have seen.

      • Ridiculous monstrosity is right Keith!! Brosnan is my least fave the more I think about it, he seems so smug and too much self love, ahah. I do like him in Goldeneye though.

  6. I always used to juggle around Brosnan, Craig, Connery and Dalton as my top Bond, never quite being able to settle on one. However recently I have watched a load of them again and I think it has to be Dalton.
    6. Lazenby – famously awful
    5. Moore – Occasionally fun but never truly believable in the role.
    4. Craig – Fantastic in many respects, and I love watching him now. Still he is up against some tough competition to make it higher on the list.
    3. Connery – Very smooth, charming and iconic.
    2. Brosnan – The perfect mixture of every other Bond. Goldeneye is my favourite Bond film and I grew up with this Bond.
    1. Dalton – Just the most developed and fleshed out version of the character that there is. He is emotionally rich, has a meaningful relationship with the rest of the casts… basically he is the most like a real person, whilst also being fantastical enough to be Bond.

    Sorry for that long comment!

    • Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!! We have a winner of Best Comment here I think 😀 Well, I’m not gonna spam you with even more comment on this Keith, I’ve dedicated a post on Dalton a while back that should explains why he he shall always be my fave Bond http://wp.me/pxXPC-5U0 I hope you’ll give LTK another shot.

      • Ahah well I certainly have done that, haven’t I? 😉 Sorry, I always get so um, passionate talking about Dalton as Bond, hope you check out the link, I mentioned how he came to be cast to begin with. It’s too bad that just because his films weren’t financially as successful that people & critics dismiss his performance.

    • Very interesting seeing Brosnan ahead of Connery and Craig! That’s a good example of why I found this question so fascinating. Such different responses to different Bonds. One thing that has been consistent though – Dalton is loved by most!

  7. For me, Connery was always the quintessential Bond. That was until Daniel Craig came along. His version of the character is the most human of them all. Yes, he’s a badass, but he’s not quite an indestructible machine. He has problems and vulnerabitlies the same as the rest of us and struggles to overcome them. And thankfully after all the shenanigans of the Pierce Brosnan years, his Bond movies are largely cheese and gadget free. I will say this about Brosnan, I more disappointed in his turn as Bond than any other because everything in his career leading up to him taking the role suggested he’d be perfect. Admittedly, lots is due to the type of movies they chose to make (Roger Moore to the 10th power) and not all his fault, but he was the face of some of the corniest movies in a franchise that often lends itself to being corny. Hope that makes sense.

    • It definitely makes sense and it’s very well stated. I think you summarize why I love Craig perfectly. He’s a very vulnerable 007 and his movies have shown the degree of struggle and emotional stress that is missing in the others

  8. Right on Keith!! Now THIS is a topic I’m very familiar with. Well, I grew up w/ Roger Moore’s Bonds so I have a soft spot for him but I’m a die hard fan of Dalton, I think most people who follow my blog know this 😉 Craig is a close second though, he’s superb in Casino Royale, though I find him a bit too um, thug-ish at times.

    • I was waiting for you! I knew this topic was right up your alley. I also had a very good idea of who you would be choosing. 🙂

      I definitely get what you’re saying about Craig although in some ways his thugginess coincides with the emotional wreckage that his 007 deals with. I don’t know though. It definitely gets me to thinking.

      • You REALLY should rewatch the two Dalton’s Bond flicks. To me, he’s got ALL the stuff I like about Craig, his vulnerability, his emotional wreckage like you said, but he’s still got that elegance and mystique that I associate (expect) from the super spy. Plus he’s sooo much more eye candy material to me 😉

  9. OMG, I can’t believe how late I am to this post. In 2012, I spent the year doing Bond posts and commenting on 007 films on every site I could find. I will never be exhausted talking about this subject. James Bond is my favorite fictional character and every Bond film is an old friend. Some of those friends I’m happier to have over for the evening than others but I can never turn even the worst of them away.
    Being a child of the sixties, there is only one possible answer to this query. I think Daniel Craig is marvelous and two out of his three 007 films are in my personal top ten. Timothy Dalton is the closest to the image of Bond I have from the books, Brosnan only made one great Bond film, his first. Moore was right for the times and the films he made. Lazenby was adequate in a great Bond story, the movie carried him rather than the other way around.
    having said all that:

    Sean Connery was, is and always will be the best Bond.

  10. Sean Connery is the only rightful Bond for me. I’ll be frank – Bond is supposed to be sexy and he is the only one I find hot. Even today he would have a better chance with me then the rest in their prime.

  11. Honestly, the only Bond films I’ve seen are the one with Daniel Craig…so Craig all the way! Lol. I do think he does a great job with the character, though, and from what I hear, he does seem to be one of the better ones.

  12. James Bond is something I grew up with. I have memories of watching Roger Moore and Sean Connery era Bond films when my uncle used to babysit my brother and myself. YEARS ago.

    I grew up with the Timothy Dalton era Bond and for a long time, he was my favourite. Roger/Sean were great when I was a kid, when I didnt get all the inuendo and it was all about the silliness. I really enjoyed the darker Bond that Timothy Dalton gave us.

    But now… I have to admit, Daniel Craig’s Bond is something else. His character is dark, vulnerable, powerful, has a sense of humor, and you would not mess with him.

    • You perfectly explain why I really like Daniel Craig and his version of Bond. But you and so many others have me realizing that I need to go back and watch Timothy Dalton’s James Bond movies.

  13. Soft spot for Roger Moore. He introduced me to the world of James Bond and therefore became the image/persona of 007. He’s also the man who starred in the best of the lot – The Spy Who Loved Me!

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