- For Your Eyes Only
- A View to a Kill
- The Living Daylights
- Licence to Kill
Couple o’weeks and then the top two fight it out elsewhere.
Couple o’weeks and then the top two fight it out elsewhere.
For me there can only be one:
For Your Eyes Only, the first Bond film I ever saw and I was sold and Bondfan for life!
The first time I was a little late and I missed the gunbarrel,
so when I went a few weeks later again I thought: “What is this? Wow!” I thought it was the most cool start of a movie I ever saw.
Roger was and always wil be my movie hero.
I think I’m going to watch this one this weekend.
Octopussy ticked all my boxes. It’s the most 60s of the 80s Bonds. I thought it was more evenly paced than FYEO and with a more compelling cast of adversaries.
AVTAK could only have been an 80s film, with its microchips,steroids, Day-glo titles and Grace Jones.
I really enjoy Octopussy, but had to go with Licence To Kill.
Me too! FYEO rescued the franchise. Yet another slapstick cartoon fantasy might’ve left the franchise confined to that realm forever, leaving no room for Austin Powers!
THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS for me. Plenty of flourishes of late Cold War sentiment, but with a fresh take on Bond’s character that felt welcome after the Moore era.
Same here, THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS. I have a soft spot for FOR YOUR EYES ONLY but I have an even greater love for Fleming’s short story The Living Daylights with its drab cold summer Berlin setting that I always considered to be the final Bond story.
The film is its own thing and the idea of the short story merely serves as starting point for a different spectacle. But the Gibraltar part, the fights and locations seemed pretty fresh at the time to me, unlike most of what the previous couple of films have shown us.
Me too. I think Octopussy is the most misunderstood and under appreciated Bond film, but LTK is the best of the 80s.
Eyes: a lovely little film, but doesn’t do anything that another Bond film doesn’t do better, so I never end up watching it. Amazing that Moore found a new way to play Bond after five movies, but he’s a warm snd wonderful presence, and I don’t think he’d be half as beloved if he hadn’t stuck around for this one.
Octopussy: truly bizarre mishmash that shouldn’t work but remains fun and likeable. Moore looks awful. The miserable raid on the Monsoon Palace looks like one of those 70s Britcom episodes where they go to Spain or something. The auction and the bomb disarming at two of the most electric scenes in the whole franchise - weird for such a point and shoot director like Glen.
View: stodgy, but underrated for me - more cohesive than Octopussy, more vivid than Eyes. All the richer for having Walken, Jones and Macnee, and Barry’s score raises goosebumps during the finale.
Daylights: best of the decade with one of the only proper spy plots of the series and a good balance of locations - it feels RIGHT. Elevated immensely by Dalton and Barry.
Licence: surprisingly solid throughline if you can get past the Golden Girls meets Americas Most Wanted production values, but that is a HUGE hurdle. Dalton works hard, but this is definitely a franchise low point. The first Bond movie to put me to sleep.
This was a great decade with four of my five favorite Bond films.
FOR YOUR EYES ONLY – Things get more serious this time after the over the top Moonraker, which provides Roger Moore with his From Russia With Love. Terrific stunts highlight the film from the unexpected car chase involving the Citroen 2CV to Bond on skis chased by motorcycles and from the keelhauling of Bond and Melina to Bond’s rock climbing St. Cyril’s, it’s all spectacular stuff. Also great is Topol’s Milos Columbo–the second best Bond ally, Bill Conti delivers a great score, and Sheena Easton sings a winning title song. Carole Bouquet is solid and Moore gives one of his best performances, with his kicking Locque off the cliff a series highlight. About the only negatives are the ending to the hockey players’ attack at the ice rink and Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s completely inane line about buying Bond a delicatessen. Almost any other line would have been better than that. Still, FYEO is a gem.
OCTOPUSSY – I believe there are three really underrated Bond films and this one tops them all. Octopussy is very enjoyable from the opening PTS to Bond’s daredevil antics outside a flying plane. This is what Bond is about. Fantastic villains abound in the guise of Kamal Khan (deliciously played by Louis Jourdan), Gobinda, Orlov, and the knife throwing twins Mischka and Grischka. All are memorable and I didn’t even mention the thug with the yo-yo. The plot is solid with some very witty banter. (“Mr. Bond is indeed a very rare breed. Soon to be made extinct.” And “You have a nasty habit of surviving.” “You know what they say about the fittest.”) Good score by John Barry and I am one who loves Rita Coolidge’s All Time High. Again the stunts are solid from the Acrostar Bede jet being chased by a missile to the car chase to the circus and aerial stunt work. I also love when Bond slides down the bannister of Khan’s palace and has to shoot the decorative piece at the end to keep from riding into it. On the negative side is the egg switching is slightly confusing in that one isn’t completely sure if the crushed egg is supposed to be the real one or not (I think it is), Bond telling the tiger to sit and it doing so, and the Tarzan yell. (Although I have never thought Bond actually made the yell. I’ve always considered it to be a sound effect add on such as the slide whistle during the AMC Hornet barrel roll. It doesn’t make any sense otherwise.) As for the Bond dressing as a clown business, I have no problem with it. It’s simply the disguise he uses to get into the circus tent to find the bomb. He can’t make it in there without it. But because he’s dressed as a clown, no one takes him seriously until Octopussy shoots off the lock housing the bomb. Actually, the only problem I have with him in connection to the clown outfit is that it only takes him less than five minutes to get dressed and painted up to perfection. Regardless, Octopussy is a really good mixture of fun and suspense, action and adventure, with Moore giving a great performance especially when dealing with Orlov. James Bond at all time high indeed.
NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN – Thunderball remade, only without the traditional trappings, and it shows. I find NSNA to be a legitimate Bond movie because it faithfully follows the Thunderball novel on which it’s based and it stars Sean Connery. Connery is great and so is Barbara Carrera as Fatima Blush, Bond’s fight with Lippe is really good as well, but the film lags in places. Not helping matters is the score by Michel Legrand, which is easily the worst of any Bond film. The film is still enjoyable, but it doesn’t reach the highs of most of the official series. I’m glad it was made in that we got to see what an unofficial Bond movie would look like, and what we got should show EON that it when it comes to Bond, nobody does it better than them.
A VIEW TO A KILL – Moore’s age caught up to him in this one. He started looking a little older in For Your Eyes Only but was still believable. He looked a little older still in Octopussy but not too much. Here, his age (57+) shows and the film suffers a little for it. The stunts aren’t as spectacular this time out as Moore’s stunt double is very visible here, most notably in the car chase following the parachuting May Day. Tanya Roberts’ screaming in the city hall fire scene was a bit too much, as were the “Keystone Cops” of San Francisco. For some reason, it just didn’t seem to click unlike the similar bit in Live And Let Die. On the positive side are Christopher Walken’s Max Zorin who may be the most evil villain in the series, Grace Jones’ May Day who is memorable for all the right reasons, Patrick Macnee made a welcome sight allying Bond, and the final Bond vs. Zorin fight atop the Golden Gate Bridge is the best Bond-villain fight in the series. Also really good is Barry’s score and Duran Duran’s awesome theme song, and Maurice Binder delivers his last good main titles. But those parts aren’t enough to save the whole.
THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS – A new Bond, a new attitude. Timothy Dalton injected some life into the Bond series while at the same time going back to Ian Fleming. His is the Bond of the books, serious and melancholy, with not much humor. Which I find interesting in that during his 007 tenure, Dalton seemed uncomfortable with the humor he was given, and yet in a lot of the stuff he’s done since Bond, he’s been great with humorous asides and what not, so I don’t know what happened during this time. Regardless, he’s still a good Bond. Also great in this film is the stunt work (Gibraltar car ride and ensuing parachute to safety, the ice chase, the mid-air fight with Necros, as well as the best non-Bond involved fight of the series between Necros and the Blayden butler). Barry gives his last great Bond score with a solid title song by a-ha. Andreas Wisniewski is awesome as Necros and John Rhys-Davies nails his Leonid Pushkin role. All in all a very enjoyable film.
LICENCE TO KILL – Another one of the most underrated Bond films. LTK boldly goes where no Bond had gone before. Bond loses his license to kill and goes off on a mission of vengeance to take out the man who maimed his friend and murdered his bride. Bond at his most dangerous indeed. The villains led by Robert Davi are fantastic. His Franz Sanchez is the best villain in the series. You really believe he is a real person. Benicio Del Toro is good as Dario in one of his first performances and Anthony Zerbe is suitably creepy as Milton Krest. Carey Lowell’s Pam Bouvier is also the best Bond girl in the series. Michael Kamen gives a solid effort with his score and the stunt work arguably has never been better. Bond lassos a plane in mid-air, later without an air tank, he eludes four divers and waterskis behind an amphibious plane before taking out the two pilots, and the spectacular tanker chase is the best finale of any Bond film. The biggest negative for me is the barroom brawl which seemed too staged/derivative of other barroom brawls. But nothing can take away from the greatness that is LTK–a Bond revenge mission done right.
I was fascinated by this sequence as a kid. It’s Bond at his best, and film making at its best. No noise whatsoever except for the henchman hammering away at the rope anchors.
1.Licence To Kill
2.The Living Daylights
4.A View To A Kill
5.For Your Eyes Only
6.Never Say Never Again
Many Bond fans consider For Your Eyes Only one of the best bond films ever made but I consider it one of the worst because there is too many useless actions scenes and it drags on. The underwater scenes were very boring, the villain was weak, the hockey action scene was unnecessary. It felt like more like a tv show than an actual film.
I don’t hate FYEO but my opinion isn’t as high as others. If we’re approaching it from the ‘down to Earth’ perspective, does it compare to the likes of FRWL or LTK? Not in my book.
I think TMWTGG does that much better for Moore.
THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN is actually a rather down-to-earth thriller that has few outlandish or fantastic elements and even adheres to a basic logic that’s not always present in other films: Bond is (supposedly) challenged by a professional killer and traces him back by simple detective work. The ruse that it’s actually the killer‘s girlfriend who wants Bond to provide a 00-divorce is perfectly in line with the rest of the tale. The Solex macguffin seems even unnecessary and the film could have done without it.
If we compare the elements of THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN to its quasi-remake SKYFALL - exotic ammo leads to girlfriend of villain and duel - the latter film’s shortcomings in the logic department become obvious. If it wasn’t for the silly bits and the weak characterisation of the female protagonists the Moore film would clearly outdo the latter.
It is interesting that Skyfall (which is as you say, a quasi-remake in that it pilfered Fleming’s novel for unused bits) returns the more dreamlike logic, whilst TMWTGG, of ANY of Roger’s films, is probably the closest to eschewing that kind of logic…but then 3 years later TSWLM leans HARD on it, someone must have been against realism in Bond…Could it be the wider audience cares less for actual realism in Bond movies? With each time the films actually move into it, they get a largely negative reaction upon release. Casino Royale is the only time where they moved in a more realistic direction and it was well recieved…but it’s not that realistic, its just not para surfing a tsunami back to the invisible car.
Mankiewicz replacing Maibaum worked out fine (for me), but in reverse it did not.
The more narrative realism, the greater the scrutiny of Bond’s (and the film’s) moral outlook. Moore Bond of TMWTGG would have had a short shelf life if he had not been rebooted in TSWLM.
I’d rather have the fantasy of DAF (wherein Bond penetrates a diamond-trafficking pipeline and uses the villain’s bathosub as a wrecking ball to destroy the computer bank controlling a laser satellite) than the realism of LTK (Bond penetrates a cocaine trafficking cartel and sets alight a villain soaked in gasoline).
In times when reality is too harsh, audiences want fantasy. Why does every hero have to be analyzed, deconstructed and criticized these days?
Give me back my sexist, misogynist dinosaur - just don’t bother calling him that to his face onscreen - Connery’s Bond wouldn’t have put up with it.
Yes, I am a curmudgeon.
I believe if Bond was always realistic then the audience would be bored. I believe Cubby said that the audiences wanted a fantasy Bond in space when they did Moonraker and he was right. The Craig era the fans wanted realism. It’s a mix between the two. The next bond should be a little less realistic.
Bond is per se already a fantasy figure and his attraction resides not so much with the lore and props of actual espionage than with the larger-than-life mythology of Bentleys, casinos and femmes fatales; Nazi rockets and flamethrower dragons. These things are stamped into his DNA and when they are missing from the tale Bond and the tale usually suffer for it.
We want to see Bond meet Mata Hari style beauties, not watch Kim Philby betray ordinary housewives and boozy friendships. We want Bond to drive his Bentley right into the villain’s lair and then shooting his way out again with some ungainly shooting iron from under the dashboard, not watch George Smiley meet an agent in an old Opel.
The fantasy elements need to be kept in check, otherwise they can turn into cartoon clips where one trick car could as well battle the other with a giant hammer. But the realistic elements need to be kept in check too, lest the fantasy spy becomes ordinary, vulgar even. It’s a tricky balancing act that needs constant readjustment along the headlines of…tomorrow.