24 October 2010

The Bond retrospective - The Top Three

Seeing as there are a limited amount of films to choose from I thought it would be rather foolish to keep you waiting for the No.1 entry when you can easily work it out - so here is my top three in one post!

3. The Spy who Loved Me

Strangely works
While I‘ve never actually worked out which spy is loving who (mainly because it’s the title of a completely different novel) this is undoubtedly the best Moore film, quite simply it just works – whether it’s the chemistry between Bond and the feisty Amasova, or the classic underwater Lotus scene, or those scenes with Jaws, it all just seems to fit into a highly enjoyable film, all the usual Moore elements are there, and for once the balance of humour, action and style hits all the right notes, basically it’s quintessentially Bond.

The Lotus Esprit – so much opportunity to be tacky, and yet…
Jaws in his real role, before he was turned into a clown
‘Nobody does it…’

Amasova’s motives never seem believable


2. From Russia With Love

Connery’s second outing remains one of the best Bonds going, featuring an intelligent and well thought out plot about a SPECTRE plan to steal a Russian decoding device, all the while playing the Brits and Russians off against each other. It features excellent performances all round, with Connery at his early 60s best, the near silent Robert Shaw as the menacing assassin and of course, Lotte Lenya as the unforgettable Rosa Klebb. To some, this is the quintessential Bond, retaining the gritty realism of Dr. No but also introducing several staples such as the opening sequence, Robert Llewelyn, Blofeld, and helicopter chases. The plot makes sense, the gadgetry is appropriate, the characters are fleshed out and the action is realistic, while Connery is as suave as ever. The only slight complaint I have is the occasional slow pacing, particularly on the train, and the Gypsy scenes were somewhat out of left field, which is why it just gets pipped to the post…

Excellent spy-thriller plot
Pretty much everything else

Slow-paced in parts
Gypsy fights?

and that just leaves...

The more developed of the Masterson sisters

1. Goldfinger

Quite possibly the most iconic Bond film – it’s got everything, the wit, the action, the perfect villain – it was actually this third Bond film that created several infamous themes, ‘shaken not stirred’, the opening mission, and of course, the DB5, as well as having that renowned laser scene, and ‘No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die!’ and let’s not forget Oddjob. In fact if you’ve only ever seen the parodies of Bond then you’ll find pretty much everything you need here, except Blofeld, and frankly, Goldfinger was better, you’ve got to love how he murders the gangsters regardless of their answer to his proposal, and the real animosity between Connery’s Bond and the tubby German makes it truly stand-out as a legendary tussle, and hearing the name ‘Goldfinger’ in that Scottish brogue will cement Connery’s voice forever as Bond in your mind - few Bond baddies are so memorable, particularly from one outing. I must admit I never found the rather elderly Honor Blackman that appealing as a woman, but Pussy Galore remains one of the best Bond girls, probably due to that fact.

An endless list of Bond classics!

If I’m honest I do find the climax a little silly – particularly the ‘we all fall down’ bit, but it was 1964 so it gets some slack

Did you know? They actually electrocuted Harold Sakata (Oddjob) in his death scene


  1. This has been a most entertaining series of blog postings thanks Tarquin. Well worth doing.

    Naturally we agree about Goldfinger.

    And as its your list I won't argue about the runners up places. They seem right to me.

    So what next then...?
    A Carry-on retrospective...?

  2. oo no

    can't think of much else like the Bond series

    ideas on a postcard