The Great Debates: Who is the Best Bond?

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!!

Sean Connery

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”.

George Lazenby

Films: “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”

Years: 1969

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.

Roger Moore

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”

Years: 1973-1985

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.

Timothy Dalton

Films: “The Living Daylights”, “Licence to Kill”

Years: 1987-1989

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.

Pierce Brosnan

Films: “Goldeneye”, “Tomorrow Never Dies”, “The World is Not Enough”, “Die Another Day”

Years: 1995-2002

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.

Daniel Craig

Films: “Casino Royale”, “Quantum of Solace”, “Skyfall”

Years: 2006-

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?

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80 thoughts on “The Great Debates: Who is the Best Bond?

  1. I always felt there were two types of 007’s. The elite snob Cambridge-Oxford type, like Roger Moore, and the Military Special Forces type, like Connery. The original spy agency was the OSS and meant to work with the army behind enemy lines. With that in mind, Connery looks and acts the part much better than the others. And doesn’t Bond retain the rank of Commander in the British military? I think Connery in real life is ex Navy, yes? Anyway he’s the perfect pick for the part!

    • Yeah, Connery’s ex navy.

      I think Connery twos the line between those two camps. He’s not the elit snob Bond per se, but he’s not fully the stone cold assassin Bond like Dalton or Craig, either.

  2. Connery. I think he’s the most rounded of the Bond character. He was able to be charming and be humorous, but he had his share of dark moments. And really, he didn’t rely on gadgets that much. I don’t think anyone has been able to be as diverse as he was with the character yet.

    A runner up is harder for me. I think Dalton, Craig, and Brosnan are all almost there. Bronson and Craig more than Dalton. They all are just missing a bit here or there to reach Connery’s level. While the films Brosnan was in may not be the best, he was still a really god Bond. Maybe I’m more biased towards him since his films were being released when I was discovering Bond. Since Dalton and Brosnan are both done with Bond (unless they decided to do a Bond film with Bond as an old man like the Bourne books).

    I think Craig has a good chance of really competing with Connery. He’s gotten the chance to play with the character quite a bit. It helps that the stories in his films are tailored more towards discovering more about Bond rather than just defeating Spectre.

    • In fairness though Connery just started GETTING gadgets. He didnt have the technology in the 60s to… eschew. :D He did use a jetpack! I mean, so he would have if he had it.

      The runner up race is proving to be more contentious :D I didnt expect Brosnan to be running neck and neck with Craig, but… there it is!

      I have to see another couple great movies out of Craig before I’d consider handing him the crown. But… its in play.

  3. I voted for Craig, of course! I love his Bond, I love his roughness and yet you can still feel his heart towards his love lady. He made his own mark as Bond that’s why I voted for him. He is different and there is something in him that…ugh I don’t know what word to use…but that something makes him stand out among all others. He runs, he sweats, he’s a mess…more human, more believable to me.

    But before Craig was Bond, I always rooted for Mr. Connery, he’s got it all not just because he was the original but because he made James Bond perfect…he gave it attitude and character which became unprecedented by others who followed him.

    And you’re right, Brosnan is the suave Bond. I love his looks (he is the ladies’ man) and he always keeps his cool but he doesn’t sweat like Craig…too overly perfect but he is on my second.

    Uhm, did I say Connery and Craig are both my number 1? Both are different but they are both the best for me. Mr. Connery earns my respect for setting the trend and I salute Craig for the courage in giving Bond a different yet heart-pumping feel.

    Moore and Dalton are on my third and fourth, respectively. My father loves Moore haha and I can’t deny I enjoyed his version of Bond. Meanwhile, I think Dalton was just not given enough time to prove his worth. Bond movies won’t still be here if these two didn’t give more than their fair share.

    I can’t rate Lazenby, haven’t seen his version and too bad he only got one shot in the history of Bond.

    But the bestest among the best is Fleming! If not for him, Bond does not exist. He must have thought somehow in his life that he was Bond, James Bond. Bow to the creator! :D

    • Craig’s more vulnerable? Was that the word youre looking for? Thats what I was taking away frrom that, anyways.
      :) Thanks, I thought I picked a good label for Brosnan with that one.

      Moore IS funny, no doubt. If you can laugh at your Bond movies, you’ll get a lot more mileage out of those films. A lot of people like to take their Bond very seriously though.

      Yeah, well, if you had SEEN Lazenby’s Bond triple L, you might not worry about him only getting one shot. LOL :D

      • Hmmm…it could be but vulnerable is not exactly what’s on my mind…I don’t know…But come to think of it, it’s still a perfect description…vulnerable but wise, a fighter, a survivor and stops at nothing. Great Fogs! Thanks!

        Uhm…let’s forget Lazenby hahaha sorry… :P

  4. I think Craig has been fantastic and both Moore and Dalton were solid. I never saw Lazenby’s film and I pretty much hated Brosnan’s work. When I think of Bond, though, I think of Bond as Connery and I imagine that’s the way it always will be.

    • Yeah, Connery “Set the stage” so to say. He established the image of who the character was, and I doubt we’ll ever shake free of that. Maybe in 50 more years or so when ALL of these guys are just memories and theyre just being judged solely on their work.

      Until then, Connery is king. :D

  5. I grew up on Roger Moore who I enjoy as Bond because he has some of my favorite movies like Octopussy and Spy Who Loved Me, however Sean Connery takes the top spot in my opinion. Like TPMP discusses one a year for 4 years consecutively and another in 2 years solidified both Connery and Bond as stars and seemed into popular culture permanently.

    Blofeld: James Bond. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Ernst Stavro Blofeld. They told me you were assassinated in Hong Kong.
    James Bond: Yes, this is my second life.
    Blofeld: You only live twice, Mr. Bond.
    -Bond(Connery), You Only Live Twice(1967)

    • I wanted to circle back and insert that clip into the show too, Dammit. And then I forgot. LOL

      Yeah I grew up in the Moore era too, but even then the answer was Connery. It was fun when it was a battle between just the two of them though. :)

  6. It’s a travesty that Brosnan is winning over Dalton. I will always be a card-carrying member of the ‘Dalton is Best Bond’ brigade, w/ Craig a close second. No surprise there that Connery is winning though, I mean I’m not as fond of his films as they’re so dated, but I was quite mesmerized by Connery, both his physique and mannerism are magnetic. Must be a Scottish thing ;)

    P.S. I always think of Bond as tall dark and handsome, I hope after Craig they return to that ‘tradition.’

    • Yeah, Craig is definitely missing the “Dark” element of that formula. But he’s still fantastic.

      Dalton needs some love! Spread the word, surely as his hugest online supporter you must have some allies! :D

      • Well I’ve got Joel, Dan from Public Transportation Snob and Andy at Fandango Groovers just posted an argument that Dalton is the best 007 ‪wp.me/prVbF-2Hu‬. So there are fellow Dalton fans and they’re usually quite vehement ;)

      • I think if a Sean Connery type was still in the role the series would feel dated and cheesy even with all the modern effects and what-have-you. With Craig in the role, Bond feels like a juggernaut but it’s believable that he is kicking that much ass.

      • There you are Fogs…that’s what I was looking for!

        “He’s a harder, more serious Government Agent. Much less charming, rogue adventurer than the others were.”

        …and he cannot be described with just one word ;)

  7. Pingback: Skyfall – Ten Arguments for it being the Best Bond Movie Ever | UnderScoopFire!

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