This is one of those topics that could, and perhaps will, be debated for decades. After all, Ian Fleming’s original super-spy character was instrumental in the lives of generations of kids and adults alike (kids who loved the spy stuff, and Moms who loved to drool over the latest hotness that was/is James Bond). And let’s not forget the Act I reward in this update…our own Bont! (name changed to protect EA/Gracie from lawsuits).
Let’s take a look back at the bevy of Bonds, and start the conversation over “who was the best?”
Looking back, there is almost no time in my life that James Bond wasn’t part of the scenery (or hiding behind the scenery), in that the FIRST (and some would say best) iconic movie came out when I was in 2nd grade. “Dr. No” was a “no-no” for me, as was “From Russia with Love” (pre-Putin), because they were both too “adult” for me, and my parents were more into taking us to movies like “the Music Man,” and “My Fair Lady.”
No offense. Musicals are great…but rate about “0.2” on the “Cool-Meter” for even a 2nd grader.
That all changed in 4th grade. 1964 came around, along with the Beatles…and as part of a birthday party celebration for Cal Abts (the only kid who was allowed to have a Beatle hair cut) a bunch of us got to go to the screening of “Golfinger” at the huge Portland Paramount theater downtown. While I was too pre-pubescent to get too excited about the naked gold lady in the movie, I WAS absolutely amazed with all of Bond’s gadgets.
All of my friends and I became “spy obsessed.” We studied about the NSA, and the CIA, and MI5, the British version of the CIA (cooler with English accents) and began fashioning all sorts of our own secret weapons out of household objects. I made a “dart gun” out of a hollowed out BIC pen, a needle and some cotton wadding (not very creative). I also fashioned a “fogger” for my bike, using baby powder (not practical on a .25 a week allowance). But, mostly, we talked in “code” through hidden notes all through the school. We ALL bought the Aston Martin model kit, and the most sought after birthday gift that year was the Corgie metal version of the same car (I still have both).
Bond was the ultimate in cool. Period.
And he was the archetype for action adventure, in the persona of the ultra-cool, Sean Connery (the name’s Bond…James Bond), with his Scottish brogue and dashing good looks.
1962 Dr. No
1963 From Russia with Love
1967 You Only Live Twice
1971 Diamonds Are Forever
Until he was replaced with David Niven.
Come on. Really???? David Niven? Come on… maybe as Phileas Fogg in “Around the World in 80 Days”…but James, Freakin’ Bond? After SEAN the MAN CONNERY???
But things didn’t get any better from there…George Lazenby should have played “Dr. Who?” as in “Who the heck is George Lazenby????”
The whole Bond franchise was in deeeeeeep do-do…until Roger Moore came along. And I have to admit…if they weren’t going to use Sean, Roger was a pretty darn convincing Bond. At least I could see the Bond Girls going for him…
For more than a decade, Moore WAS Bond…
1973 Live and Let Die (which also launched McArtney’s “Wings” band…turncoat Beatle that he was)
1974 The Man with the Golden Gun
1977 The Spy Who Loved Me
1981 For Your Eyes Only
1985 A View to a Kill
But, not wanting to be “type-cast” he handed the keys to the Aston Martin over to Timothy Dalton. Fail. Didn’t work for me. Two crappy movies later, we were on to the NEXT version of Bond that stuck around for a while…
Pierce Brosnan…who melted hearts, and swashbuckled his way across the screen, in 4 action/adventure/thriller classics…each one ramping up the action to dizzying heights.
1997 Tomorrow Never Dies
1999 The World Is Not Enough
2002 Die Another Day
Until he got tired of doing it. And it was recast once again, to Daniel Craig…who many, including Moore himself, think is the “best Bond Ever!”
With the new rash of special effects and Computer Generated effects, the movies are insanely action-packed. In fact, I would say that these days, the effects are the star, with the plots and cool devices taking a back seat.
2006 Casino Royale
2008 Quantum of Solace
2012 Skyfall 17
2015 Spectre 39
Which brings us full circle back to the debate… WHO WAS THE BEST BOND???
Sean Connery: 1962–1967, 1971
David Niven: 1967
George Lazenby: 1969
Roger Moore: 1973–1985
Timothy Dalton: 1986–1994
Pierce Brosnan: 1995–2004
Daniel Craig: 2005–present
Oh…but wait…let’s not rule out our own version of Bond…
I suppose you could call him the Lazenby/Simpsons version as he only appears briefly in ONE episode…where he is killed by Hank Scorpio, with the help of an unwitting Homer.
The Episode? The very episode on which this update is based… “You Only Move Twice” (S8E2). It has some great lines…all before the real action starts, of course…
Marge, on leaving Springfield: “I’ve dug myself into a happy little rut here and I’m not about to dig myself out again.” (kind of like us and TSTSO)
Lisa, as they drive to their new home through the Redwood Forest: “One of these giant redwood trees can provide enough sawdust to cover an entire day’s worth of vomit at Disneyland.” (that one was for Wookie).
Hank Scorpio, as he is giving Homer a tour of his new workplace: “I was the first wealthy man in America to wear jeans and a sport coat… Now they all do it!” (True…so true).
So…WHO IS THE BEST???
That’s for YOU to decide. But, I can tell you this…only ONE works for MI5…and has a Scottish accent…and that’s badass!!
Let us know who YOU Loved Best…We LOVE to hear from you (or as I would have written in 4th grade…ER :pbr yp jrst gtp, upi@ )
Can you figure out our code??? (look at the keyboard)