The Ultimate Bond Film

Forgive me if such a thread already exists, and I know such declarations are scattered throughout the fora, but I though we might enjoy a slightly different take on the old arguments regarding which film is the ‘best’ as opposed to one’s favorite.
Which is the most quintessential Bond film, as in which one best captures all the elements we’ve come to love and expect from the series?
The girls, the gadgets, the class, the action, the locations, the villains, the chases, fights, seductions, climactic confrontations, sets, music, etc?
For me it comes down to a three-way tie between Thunderball, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and The Spy Who Loved Me.
I know Fleming had less input in the original TB story than was usual, but Eon injected it with all the elements that worked in GF and then cranked it up to 11 (making YOLT a 12, I suppose…). Younger fans whinge about the drawn-out scuba scenes, but I’d rather watch an underwater battle off the Florida coast that a brawl in a Pinewood vault - no matter how gilded - any day.
OHMSS I’m pleased to see is getting the love it has for so long deserved - now that changing leads has become a matter of course, rather than sacrilege. I don’t know much about acting (although Tanya Roberts - never mind), but I was happy to accept George in his one-and-only outing - and what an outing it is!
TSWLM has been described as a ‘greatest hits’ package - and that’s fair enough, as it was the tenth film released in the fifteenth anniversary year, but it recalls the best elements of the earlier films in a slick new package that also captures the zeitgeist of the time. (I know theSpectre will agree with this choice)
So, how do these nominees measure up to your personal criteria? Which film or films do you feel ‘out-Bonds’ these selections. and why?
Let 'er rip…


Goldfinger, because it was the first that had all the quintessential elements.

Couldn’t have said it better myself. :wink:

I’d also add Casino Royale. While it may not have had the gadgets, it does have an iconic villain, the series’ best bond girl, absurd stunts, it oozes swagger, has gorgeous locales, a great theme song, an excellent soundtrack, the best gunbarrel, and the best final scene in the whole series.

Goldfinger without question is the quintessential Bond movie it’s the one that created the template for movie Bond … The closest to Flemming there’s one…

Let’s put it this way. If I had to introduce someone to the series with one film that got across the gist of the Bond formula and was apt to get them wanting more, it would be GF.

If they only agreed to watch one entry ever, and I had to pack the whole series into that one viewing, it would be TSWLM.

If they wanted to see the one with the best script, best performances, best action, best music, etc it might not be either of those.

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