Shocking Bond Confessions


I do appreciate Goldfinger and its cinematic impact, but indeed, I do find it overrated these days. It’s an autopilot response to the ‘best Bond film’ question. From Russia With Love is the better film in my view.


FRWL is the better film, but is it the best representation of “the Bond film”? It’s missing so many things we associate with the formula: the supercar, the superhuman henchman, the OTT last-reel battle between rival “armies.”

If asked what’s the single best film in the series, I always say FRWL, but in reality the much more common question is, “If I was only going to ever watch one Bond film, which one should it be?” My usual answer is GF ( though my heart is with TSWLM).


That I agree with. I’m fine if someone regards it as their best Bond film because it was the first one to have all the ingredients of what we consider to be a Bond film today. It earns extra points for paving the way…


My somewhat shocking confession (perhaps): My favourite film - ever, not just of the Bond series - is Octopussy. It has it all: exotic locations, excitement, humour, action and some great lines (“Mr Bond is a rare species, soon to be made extinct!” and “Go out there - and get him!”).

People give it stick for the Tarzan yell, but that’s literally two seconds in a 131 minute film. The clown sequence is also, I think, misunderstood, as it’s a serious, tense scene, while the train sequence is one of the most underated in the series.


With the exception only of the producers, no Bond film represents the best work of anyone involved in it.


That’s quite a sweeping statement.
Ken Adam, John Barry and Terrence Young would all come to my mind as a counter argument.


Sticking by it (it is only an opinion, though) for two of the folks you name although since I don’t think I have seen anything else by Terence Young that one remains neutral. Adam and Barry both did better things.

I accept that the killer flaw in my argument is Lulu. Lulu did her best work with James Bond. It was dreadful, but her best work nonetheless.


Such as…?:thinking:

And I still stand by my reply that your op is a sweeping statement given that there will be many, many others besides Terrence Young (who basically created Connery’s Bond) whose work you do not know.


To be fair, as much as I love Barry’s Bond scores, didn’t he get an oscar for his out of africa score? Could argue that is his best work (though i ultimately prefer his Bond, Ipcress, Quiller, Knack, and other scores). I prefer Moore’s range in The Saint and The Persuaders, ditto for Connery.

But ultimately the Bond films are more than just ‘this and that’s person’s best/not best work’ - it’s the mix of qualities that makes us love them. Surely the best ‘mix’ of work for anyone involved? (at least with the Connery-Lazenby-Moore era)


This seems like a more balanced view. :clap:Even so, I don’t think an Oscar automatically makes one soundtrack better than one without the award: critical acclaim is often more due to the worthiness of a film than anything else. Just with the Bond theme itself, Barry created something that was instantly iconic and has stood the test of time: I would weight this above an award for the soundtrack of a more or less forgotten film… but then again, I am ludicrously biased​:japanese_ogre:


One r in Terence, on this occasion. There’s some rough work done at the font.

Obviously sweeping, and I suspect another flaw in the argument is the career of Maud Adams. I suspect the Bonds she populated are the best work of Maud Adams.

I do prefer Yaphet Kotto in Alien, though.

Since you ask, and evidently it’s only personal preference and what appeals to a long-jaded eye, and ear, Dr Strangelove for Adam and various bits of tv for Barry.


I have an inverse “shocking confession,” then: no Bond movie is my favorite film and although I don’t usually make numbered lists, I doubt any of them would crack my Top 5. Top 10, maybe.

As far as “best work,” I don’t think John Glenn ever directed a better film than his Bonds , and I consider “Moonraker” the high point of Derek Medding’s brilliant career.

I would agree that all 6 Bond actors have done better outside of the series except Lazenby (even Roger, who was more at home as the Saint, arguably a more entertaining character, anyway).


It is an interesting thought that as much of a Bond fan as I am, so too doubt any of them would crack my Top 20 or so movies.

I also think it would make for an interesting thread - list some of the Bond stallwarts (Young, Adams, Maibaum, Barry, the actors, etc) and name what you think was their best individual work on a Bond film.

It would have to be a set list of 10 or so people so tallying it up would be easier. It would be interesting to see if one movie comes up more than others…


Completely agree, (though I still cringe when I hear that “that should keep you in curry for a few more weeks” line). I’ve written, ad nauseum, about how the clown scene is horribly misunderstood. Octopussy has a great Bond girl, a charismatic villain, a great, late Cold-War thriller plot, Moore doing quintessentially Moore things, and fantastic locations. It is one of the most watchable films in the franchise, second, IMO, to only Tomorrow Never Dies on that front.


Agree OP is a terrifically fun film, and the clown scene is a great, Hitchcockian element that’s unfortunately proved low-hanging fruit for countless lazy halfwits more interested in bashing Roger than following a plot.

I second the call for a “best of” thread focusing on series contributers. I much prefer a “what was Ken Adam’s best” to a “who’s better, Adam or Lamont” approach. So many folks deserve more plaudits here: Stears, Simmons, McCarthy and McGinnis, Binder, let alone Gilbert, Young, Hamilton, Etc.


I will join the club and aver that the clown sequence on OCTOPUSSY is not the horror it is made out to be: I think Moore does a nice piece of acting. Overall the film is adequate, but Glen’s mise en scene (or lack of it) kills it for me: he edited much better than he framed.

So does Yaphet Kotto. In fact, he prefers almost any performance he has given.

Best overall Bond: DAF (and one of my top 20 films)


Why no love for Goldeneye? What’s wrong with it?

clenches angry fists


Hmm I have to agree. I love Bond, but I have many other favourite films that must be put above that - Indiana Jones 1-3, Star Trek 2, Life Aquatic…among others.


Ah, yes. A very good point and one that I had been ruminating on for some time. At least with the actors. (Kicking myself that I hadn’t contributed this one.)

I do wonder if some of the directors had done their best work on Bond, at the very least, John Glen.


You mean overtly designed Mise-en-scene, for him to have none would just a blank screen. LTK does have very obvious miss-en-scene, it’s one of the aspects Glenn uses to demonstrate Bond’s fish out of water nature.