The Dalton Fights - You want it, you keep it

  • Bond vs KGB killer Gibraltar (TLD)
  • Necros vs butler (TLD)
  • Bond vs Russian army prison guards (TLD)
  • Bond vs Necros airplane (TLD)
  • Bond vs everybody at the Barrelhead bar (LTK)
  • Bond vs Dario at the cocaine plant (LTK)
  • Bond vs Sanchez truck fight (LTK)

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I’ll vote for 007 with Bond vs. Necros (TLD) although I do think Necros vs. the Blayden Butler (TLD) is the better fight and one of the very best of the series.

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Definitely, Bond vs Necros plane fight. If the Bond/Sanchez tanker fight included the entire tanker chase, then I’d go with that one. But for an actual direct fight, Bond/Necros plane is easily the best and the best stunt of the Dalton films.

This one is difficult. The Gibraltar PTS is wonderful and an indicator right off the bat that it’s a new day with a new Bond and things are going to be a lot more hands-on, now. The whole thing is wonderfully mapped out and progresses from point to point in an exciting fashion. You can tell Dalton’s actually on top of that truck for some of it, and the bit with the reserve chute is way clever.

BUT…it’s also more in the “stunt” than “fight” category for me and aside from some awkward upside-down wrestling for the steering wheel and a brutal-looking headbut, it’s maybe not a “fight” at all.

The Necros/Butler fight is easily the best in the film, but I can’t bring myself to pick a “best of Dalton” that has no Dalton.

So it goes to the fight with Necros, which is satisfyingly vicious and genuinely scary, hanging off the back of that plane. There’s a few points taken away for being the THIRD film in a row to climax with a mid-air fight on an aircraft, but this one is mercifully free of rear screen shots and so well-edited that it took me multiple viewings before I realized those mountains down below were actually clay miniatures about 5 feet away. And at this point, we’re really ready for Necros to be dead. He’s the closest we’ve come to Red Grant in terms of someone being a match for Bond in skills and cleverness, so there’s some eagerness to see how Bond’s going to pull out a win.

It’s curious that despite all the violence in LTK, there’s nothing in it I’d classify as a great fight.


If there is a scene I remember from the Dalton films and which gives pleasure upon each new viewing, it is the airplane fight.

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Necros vs butler. Excellent fight!
For me Dalton was not good in fightscene’s at all. The worst is the LtK bar fight, where he doesn’t look good at all. Pam looks tougher and fight better than Bond/Dalton.

It’s odd, particularly for the type of James Bond he played, but Timothy Dalton is the only 007 that didn’t have a really good knock down, drag out fight. The Necros fight is great, but it’s not a true brawling type of combat.

To be fair on TD, the fights fit the actor - the desire for reality. Gibraltar is defined by the head-butt - one moment that pretty much swings things for Bond. Necros versus the butler is a great brawl, but in reality, it should’ve been over in about three minutes less!

Agreed with all that the Hercules climax is really a “struggle” but like David M says - the best fight across 2 films doesn’t involve Bond. And yet, that one moment in the Land Rover defines the toughness and “street” quality of the character, so while TD never truly showed he was a brawler, you couldn’t doubt it.

Here’s the thing, though: I never saw Fleming’s Bond as a “brawler,” either. Based on Fleming’s description, he’s not that physically imposing, and there aren’t many passages in the books – if any – where he engages in an all-out, bone-shattering brawl. Certainly I can’t picture him picking up a sofa to clout a foe as he does in YOLT, or bursting through sheetrock as he does in CR.

Keep in mind that at the time of Dalton’s debut, we’d had three prior Bonds: Connery, who was physically larger than Fleming’s Bond and much more of a bruiser, Lazenby who was directed to mimic Connery but came and went fast enough that he didn’t make a huge impression on the general public and Moore, who was much less physical than either of them and more crafty than “scrappy.” So that’s 7 films with a “tougher” approach and 7 without. An even split. And the 7 “softer” ones had come immediately before Dalton’s. So he wouldn’t have been picked so much for his ability to beat people up, and it wouldn’t necessarily have been written into his scripts. It was only when we came full circle with Craig that the world seemed to decide that yes, James Bond is 50% defined by Fleming and 50% by Sean Connery, and the “best” Bonds are beefy hunks who throw down like soccer hooligans.

Ideally, an assassin shouldn’t have to engage in a lot of hand-to-hand combat, anyway. If he’s any good at his job, he should be able to kill quickly and efficiently from a safe distance. If it comes down to fists and knees at close quarters, I would think things have already gone pretty far sideways.


Quick reminder: polls are closing soon.

The winner with the most votes yet: Bond vs Necros plane fight with 15 votes. Second place: Bond vs the KGB killer at Gibraltar with 3 votes.