Tuesday, 6 December 2016

My five favourite Bond films


Sean Connery as James Bond
This time of year makes me think of Bond films*. Once Christmas gets here, then it'll be time for Muppets' Christmas Carol (the rare version with Belle's song!), It's A Wonderful Life (Mr Robot's annual hankiefest) and the Lord of the Rings special editions, but before then something about the season makes me long for Bond, James Bond. That said, when ITV does show them – they seem to go through spells of being on ITV3 or ITV4 – the lot are shown in succession and there are some I always watch, and others I always miss. Frankly, life's too short to bother with GoldenEye. Here are my must-sees.



1 On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Ski scene from On Her Majesty's Secret Service
SKI! SKI FOR YOUR LIFE!
My favourite, this one. I don't think George Lazenby was a brilliant Bond, he feels too urbane, but it's got one of the best scripts AND Diana Rigg as the love of Bond's life. Blofeld's International House of Hotties in a ski-resort-allergy-research-centre at the top of an Alp is so very, very 1960s - of course, he's not really researching allergies, he's plotting to blackmail governments, and Bond has to stop him. There are ace skiing sequences too. The final sequence is a tearjerker.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service base
Only Blofeld could fill a mountaintop base with beauties and think of
nothing but global domination.
2 You Only Live Twice 
Aki from You Only Live Twice
Best Bond girl outfit ever.
Politically dodgy nowadays, given Bond's attempt to pass himself off as Japanese, this nonetheless has my very favourite Bond girl outfit: Aki's eau-de-nil shift with a chiffon overlay. Crisp, cool, and elegant, much like Aki herself. It also features Tiger Tanaka, a Bond ally I'd love to see return. Blofeld again proves why he's the villain par excellence, this time setting up home in a dead volcano. (Honestly, Blofeld really should have taken a long, hard look at himself, and realised that he was never going to make a success of the whole 'taking over the world' thing and moved into designing super-bases for the super-rich. Instead of a failed villain, he could have been the world's greatest architect/interior designer.)

3 From Russia With Love
If anyone was going to walk into a honeytrap, it would be James Bond, so the SPECTRE's attempt to lure him with a lady sort of makes sense. Fortunately for his bait, he's prepared to escort her and her valuable cipher machine across Eastern Europe to defect, leading to escapades in Turkey, an adventurous train journey, and a boat to Venice. Features the entire Bond series' most memorable female villain, knife-shoed Rosa Klebb.
From Russia With Love train trip
I'd take this trip over a Great western commute...
4 The Man With The Golden Gun 
With a theme song so cheesy it causes trouble for the dairy-intolerant viewer, Christopher Lee stars as the assassin of the title. He's one of the few villains with a base to rival Blofeld's best: a luxurious villa on a Thai island. A lot of people don't like this one, and I admit I tend to forget things like the dreadful sheriff on holiday and Goodnight retrieving the Solex in her bikini. I'm not sure if this or Live And Let Die is my favourite Roger Moore outing; the latter scared me silly as a kid, but Christopher Lee is prime crumpet.
The man with the Golden Gun dinner party
Aieee! That jacket. The 70s was not a good era for menswear.
5 Skyfall 
This is a modern film, but of all the 21st century ones, to me it feels like an old Bond film. That's probably intentional, as Casino Royale effectively reset Bond, and Skyfall starts putting classic elements from the early films back in place, at the same time as it plays with them. While it's got gadgets and girls and explosions, those things aren't the heart of the story. The relationships between the characters, and what it means to be an agent, are the real meat of the film, and Skyfall is all the better for it.

Got a favourite Bond film? Or can't stand any of them?



*And Christmas albums. I have mislaid my Herb Alpert Christmas CD. TRAGEDY.

19 comments :

  1. They're all entertaining,it's the soundtracks I really love though! All great to sing along to - badly - in the car. I like Walken as the baddy in A View To A Kill.

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    1. I love the soundtracks - that's my Friday afternoon listening, along with stuff like Bobby Darin and Julie London.

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  2. Blofeld's International House of Hotties ... Oh that cracked me up! Favourite Bond film, um, I liked Dr No, Diamonds are Forever and I enjoyed Skyfall too. I don't like Roger Moore as Bond, but will watch The Man With The Golden Gun, for obvious reasons. In my opinion, Moore just got in the way of all the Francisco Scaramanga goodness. I could have happily watched Christopher Lee do terribly mundane things for the entire duration of the film. Scaramanga makes a cup of tea. Scaramanga puts the milk bottles out. Scaramanga irons his own shirt.
    xxx

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    1. Yup, Lee is just plain watchable.

      I do like Moore as Bond, but I can see why my mother-in-law always preferred him as the Saint; he's much better suited to playing Simon Templar.

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    2. I liked him in The Persuaders but we have yet to watch The Saint, despite having the box set on DVD for years. Love his car in The Saint though ❤

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  3. Goldfingahhhhhhhhh!!!!!
    Can't beat that soundtrack nor the swingin' 60's wardrobe!

    From Russia with Love is my other fave. Love the gypsy scene & Istanbul (not Constantinople,)

    Sean Connery was & is the ONLY James Bond. (He looks so uncannily like my dad too.)

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    1. If he'd had a spy date in Constantinople, she'd be waiting in Istanbul...

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  4. My OH is a Bond fan and will watch them again and again if they are on the TV. I don't bother with them but I do love the costumes; especially the older Bond movies!

    Have a great week,

    Veronica

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    1. The costumes are fab. I wonder where they all ended up?

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  5. I love a bit of James Bond especially on Her Majesty's Secret Service. I know, a bit controversial, but I thought George Lazenby was the best Bond until Daniel Craig came along.
    When we've had a few we always get into a furious debate about who'd make a brilliant new Bond, Jon thinks David Harewood would be good (a Brumnmie Bond!) whereas I'd love too see a Sikh Bond in the form of Waris Ahluwalia. xxx

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    1. I'm always baffled as to why, when most people suggest a person of colour should be the next Bond, they never, ever name an Asian actor. After seeing him in The Tractate Middoth (MR James story adaptation) a couple of years ago, I've thought Sacha Dhawan would make a great Bond.

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  6. I can't think of a favourite Bond film, but I tend to keep watching when I come across them when channel hopping, especially the older ones, as they're simple irrisitible. xxx

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    1. They just suck you in, don't they? Entertainment guaranteed.

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  7. I love Bond we used to get parked at the cinema on a Saturday by the parents to watch the Children's Film Foundation and then a Bond film! I absolutely love Skyfall, what a film. Other than that no favourite really.

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    1. Ah yes, CFF. I remember those from being shown on the BBC. I wonder whether anyone shows them any more?

      Argh, and now thinking of those long-ago Saturday mornings, I thought of the Red Hand Gang, and now I'm going to have the theme tune in my head ALL DAY. Thanks a bunch ;-)

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  8. Love a Bond film (give or take Moonraker...) and it's been fun to introduce the kids to a series of films spanning so many years and styles, but which are still being made now. xx

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    1. It's fascinating which ones people *don't* like - most people seem to have one they're really not into.

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  9. I like Bonds - both films and the Agents. :)
    (one did not "ring the bells" to me, and it was Daniel Craig's first one - it did not have the "Bond, James Bond" feel to it) - but they got better now :)

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  10. We share two in our top 5 (OHMSS and Skyfall) I like the other three though. My top five is pretty much OHMSS, Goldeneye, The Living Daylights, The Spy Who Loved Me and Skyfall. I’m shocked you hate Goldeneye though!

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