The big question. For years, Sean Connery was the pat answer, but lately, Daniel Craig has been making a serious run at the throne. Will the strength of the modern movie-making in his films help him unseat the King? How many fans of the campy Roger Moore era are out there? Dalton has his supporters, but just how many? Can people forgive Brosnan for the movies he was in and judge him as the Bond he was? Will anyone vote Lazenby?
Click through to read the tale of the tape!!
Films: “Dr. No”, “From Russia with Love”, “Goldfinger”, “Thunderball”, “You Only Live Twice”, “Diamonds Are Forever”, “Never Say Never Again”
Years: 1962-1967, 1971, 1983
Label: The Classic Bond
Quick Take: The heavy favorite. Long standing pop culture accepted answer to this question. As originator of the role, he set the tone, and forever after, subsequent actors will be compared to him. Connery made five movies in a row, left for one movie, then returned for “Diamonds Are Forever”. In 1983 he would return to the role he made famous, playing 007 in the “unofficial” James Bond film “Never Say Never Again”.
Films: “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”
Label: The Much Maligned Bond
Quick Take: Given the unenviable task of replacing Sean Connery as Bond, Australian model and spokesperson George Lazenby was given the role of Bond after being seen in a commercial. He left the series after only one film, and movie fans have since deemed him the worst Bond ever. His film, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” has a cult rep amongst certain Bond fans, but even then it’s typically in spite of him.
Films: “Live and Let Die”, “The Man With the Golden Gun”, “The Spy Who Loved Me”, “Moonraker”, “For Your Eyes Only”, “Octopussy”, “A View to a Kill”
Label: The Campy Bond
Quick Take: Moore rescued the Bond franchise after Connery made his last “official” Bond film. He would fill the role for 12 years, making one more film than Connery did (discounting “Never Say Never Again”), becoming the longest tenured Bond. Though he was very popular during his run, his era takes a bad rap for leaning too heavily on campy humor, and for the fact that Moore kept the role until he was nearly 60.
Films: “The Living Daylights”, “Licence to Kill”
Label: The Dark Bond
Quick Take: Following the Moore era, the producers decided a grittier, more realistic Bond was in order. They cast the much younger, far more serious Timothy Dalton and gave him grounded, darker movies to work with. The result was unpopular at the time, with Dalton’s two films failing to live up to his predecessor’s popularity, but both Dalton’s Bond and his films have now been re-evaluated by pop culture and are now held in high esteem.
Films: “Goldeneye”, “Tomorrow Never Dies”, “The World is Not Enough”, “Die Another Day”
Label: The Suave Bond
Quick Take: Brosnan’s films returned the series to the height of popularity after Dalton failed to connect with audiences, and people liked him as Bond very much. Yet it’s impossible to deny that his films devolved into the sort of camp that Roger Moore is derided for. Still, he looked the part, and delivered a double entendre like no other. When it came to the slick, charming, ladies’ man aspect of Bond, Brosnan is on a level all his own.
Films: “Casino Royale”, “Quantum of Solace”, “Skyfall”
Label: The Tough Bond
Quick Take: Craig inherited the role from Brosnan, and immediately authored one of the series’ most classic entries, “Casino Royale”. His Bond is tough and physical, and his films have a dark, modern edge to them. While he gets tons of credit (and rightfully so) for creating serious, legitimate action films with Bond again, detractors point to the lack of classic bond tropes and that his Bond doesn’t have enough fun.
There you have it, folks! The six official Bonds, for you to choose from. Who will you choose as the best to ever play 007? Will it be a Connery Landslide? Will Craig pull off the upset? Or perhaps one of the dark horse candidates? How will the others fare, will anyone get shut out completely? It’s up to YOU to decide!
Who is the best James Bond?