Who is Your Favourite James Bond?

I was actually getting ready to purchase that the other day in the grocery store until I got to the checkout line and say that it cost somewhere between $13 and $15 (can’t remember exactly what it was now), about double what I was expecting.

Also thumbed through it to see that it was largely a retrospective on the franchise as a whole (saw a page dedicated to Die Another Day). Moore deserves to have some kind of tribute that is his, and his alone, not something to be shared with the rest of the franchise.

I suspect this was knocked off on the quick to cash in on Moore’s recent passing. Pretty sad…

It’s the same mag that came out a few years ago (maybe for the 50th anniversary?) with Connery on the cover. Since that version wasn’t “time sensitive” like a standard LIFE issue, you can still find it in some spots even now. This edition has the same contents slightly re-arranged with the “Roger” chapter moved to the front (and possibly re-written, with new photos).

I saw it at a Target within days of Roger’s passing.

Shame that they had to take this approach to “paying tribute” to Roger Moore. Not that I’ve ever bought an issue of Life before, but I can assure you that I’ll never purchase one in the future.

I think it’s long since ceased publication as a “periodical” anyway and only exists as the occasional “special edition”, taking advantage of their huge library of historical images.

They pulled this same stunt when Leonard Nimoy died. I agree it’s a pretty crass practice, like passing out souvenir programs at a funeral.

" Programs, get yer programs! Can’t tell one stiff from anudder without a program! "

Just so.

It’s especially tasteless since they actually have a huge archive of fantastic and seldom seen atmospheric shots that really capture the vibes behind the scenes. With some proper editorial work you could easily compile a most impressive and rewarding tribute tome of 300+ pages to Roger Moore.

This is truly a cheap option.

It’s possible there is no staff per se at LIFE any more. I think it just exists to serve as a “prestige” label for the occasional special edition. Readers of a certain age will be drawn to it out of nostalgia and everyone else has a vague impression that it was a once-famous and “respectable” publication (compared to say, People or Us Weekly) so there’s the expectation a “tribute” will be “classy.”

Probably a team of editors with other primary job duties – and maybe even freelancers – put together these things at a leisurely pace because they’re usually focused on either “still dead” celebs (John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana) or easy-to-see-coming anniversaries (Bond, Star Trek, Sgt Pepper). Celebrity deaths add a “timely” aspect that moves more copies if they spend a couple hours on a new cost of paint, but by their nature they allow less time to work on.

I agree it’s a shame that with all the photos they have, these things so often turn out so superficial and “meh” ( though it could have been worse: the Trek issue spent several pages on photos of Trekkies in cosplay outfits).

What’s particularly mercenary is the re-shuffling of content. If a buyer didn’t page past the first section, they might not realize they’re shelling out for something they already own.

That´s the curse of the internet - gone are the times when such photos only were available if a magazine such as LIFE published them.

Now, LIFE has to cannibalize its archive to at least stand a chance of making a quick buck.

They ought to just license the photos out to others that might use them a bit more respectfully. Surely, if the library is as extensive as has been mentioned here, they could get a pretty penny for their use. Would be better than sullying their name with these “tribute” issues.

Even though I have chimed in with #1 as my #1, I must say "the other fella" has a special place in my listing. George Lazenby in OHMSS still brings fond memories. …Or, maybe it was the soundtrack and Diana Rigg ??


If anyone goes for the new Roger Moore tribute issue of “007 Magazine,” I’d be interested to know if it pulls the same stunt as LIFE and if so, to what degree. From the preview it looks awfully close to Issue #46, which I already bought.

In fairness, I see Issue #46 came out in (astonishingly!) 2005, and is currently sold out, so I wouldn’t stoop to calling this new one a “cash grab,” but the fact remains that if I already have something that’s 90% the same, I don’t want to “double diip.”

It also seems to be 18 pages longer than the earlier issue, which MIGHT make it worth it. And honestly, if it just reprints the contents of #46 plus repeats of material from other issues I didn’t buy, I’d likely still buy it.

I’m a soft touch when it comes to Rog.

None of the “EON Bonds” have done a bad job I think, they all did well.

Lazenby would have been better if he had done a few more. But if Lazenby hadnt left then, horror, we probably never would of had Sir Roger.

Brosnan was decent but his scripts sadly never made him justice.

Both Connery and Moore brought very much to the role and made it theirs and very different from each other. Hard to say which made the largest impression on me.

Connery has always been my favourite Bond but Roger was so much more than Bond with both The Persuaders and the Saint.

Sir Roger was also a great inspiration off camera.
Very sad that he has left us.

A little unfair as one tends to go with one’s first but… as I was born during the Connery era it has to be him.

My first Bond film was also his: Dr No.

Connery, but I like them all.

There’s a school of thought that the Bond actors “grow into the role” during the first couple of outings and hit their peak in around their third film (for those who did at least three, obviously), but I wonder if it’s not infact the earliest performances where a Bond is, if not nessecarily at their absolute most polished, at their most vibrant and most interesting.

For example, THE SPY WHO LOVED ME is probably the film where the Roger Moore Bond hits its sweet spot, but I also like the cigar smoking, bourbon drinking, slightly more callous MooreBond of his first two movies. In this instance, the scenes in GOLDEN GUN that don’t quite come naturally for Moore have a certain edge because the don’t.

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Great to hear Sean made an appearance at the US Open. They played the Bond theme in his honour and the crowd gave him a round of applause. In light of Roger’s passing, these little things are more important than ever.


I like all of the James Bonds. Fortunately, EON has gotten it right every time in selecting a new 007. Six for six–that’s a pretty good batting average.

Here’s my rankings of the 007s

  1. Pierce Brosnan
  2. Roger Moore
  3. Sean Connery
  4. Daniel Craig
  5. Timothy Dalton
  6. George Lazenby

I was a huge fan of Remington Steele and always wanted Brosnan to be Bond and thought he should be Bond and so I was rooting for him in both 1986 and 1994. So I was thrilled when he finally got it–and he did not let me down. I, for one enjoy his hybrid Bond. Why not take the best traits from previous Bonds and mold it into your own? I see nothing wrong with that. It may not be as “original” as other 007’s versions, but it still takes skill to pull it off and Brosnan does in spades.

Moore and Connery are right up there too. I grew up with them regularly seeing them with my dad on the ABC Sunday Night Movie. Although unlike most Bond fans, I unfortunately don’t remember the first one I ever saw. For all I know it may have been Lazenby’s. Regardless, I enjoyed every one. I really like Moore’s suaveness and humor but Connery is equally capable with a quip and is also tough and dangerous.

As for the rest, Craig is a good Bond and fights well, but I easily prefer Brosnan, Moore, and Connery. But Craig also has a little something extra, some extra charisma, that Dalton and Lazenby can’t quite reach. Dalton was good for bringing the literary Bond back to the screen and Lazenby was tough and physical and really knew how to fight.

They’re all great. As I said, six for six.

Not to debate your choices, but I want to address your (admittedly rhetorical) question about Brosnan, since it’s something I’ve thought about once or twice.

There’s nothing wrong with Brosnan combining elements of his predecessors to shape his portayal, and no it’s not fair that folks (including me) hit him so hard for it.

First, every Bond actor borrows something from predecessors. Lazenby only had one and he “borrowed” almost everything. Second, Brosnan couldn’t have failed to notice that any time people praised"James Bond" in 1994, they were talking about the past. The chief appeal of the franchise at that stage was nostalgia. A critical “thumbs down” usually involved a phrase like “not as fun as the old days” while a thumbs up often meant, “best since Connery.” Third, every signal coming from the producers and studio - - and maybe their explicit instruction – was to make a return to formula, tradition and all the iconic hallmarks of the franchise, after a muted reception to the experimental LTK and a 6-year hiatus that posed an existential threat to the whole enterprise.

The problem – for me – is that Brosnan’s casting and approach are merely one piece of an overall strategy of assembling hodge-podge, “amalgam” films by shuffling, tweaking or massaging elements from earlier entries, and usually not improving on the originals. There are stabs at “pushing the envelope”, like the Elektra twist or Bond’s capture in DAD, but always followed by a retreat to the safety of formula and repetition.

Brosnan, as the star, is the avatar of that trend, its most visible symbol, so he gets the stick. And no, it’s not fair. With better films, I’ve no doubt he’d be higher up my list. I rooted for him in '86 and '94, too.

The Brosnan era, one must remember, was a time in which the Bond films had to regain their footing in an increasingly difficult and hotly contested market, with a whole new generation having to be re-educated that Bond is an event and fun.

Without the tremendous success of the Brosnan era there would not have been the confidence to explore Bond in new ways in the Craig era.

Granted, the Brosnan films were kind of a greatest hits reshuffling, just to make sure people would again love to see Bond with his most classic ingredients. But the Brosnan films still managed to try new things. In a way, one must also consider that the more Bond films deviate from the formula (which they did much more carefully or fearfully in the Brosnan era) the greater the danger of having a Bond film feel too much like every other action extravaganza.

The Craig era noticed this and incorporated many classical elements after the riskier CR and QOS, but right now it´s no wonder that more and more people are wishing for a more light-hearted straight mission which is NOT personal.

In other words… more of the Brosnan era. (Although… damn, many of the Brosnan films made stuff very personal: GE´s Trevelyn, TND´s Paris, TWINE´s Elektra & M, DAD´s “coming aftuh him!”).

Going back even further: the personal angle started with LTK already.

So, maybe we rather want Bond to go back to the feel of the Moore era?

The personal angles of the Brosnan years to me had one major drawback, they just never struck me as very convincing. GOLDENEYE’s never-before-hinted-at friendship with 006, TND’s Paris Carver, DAD’s Miranda Frost - I just never had the feeling these things seriously got to Brosnan’s Bond. If anything the best shot at it was TWINE’s Elektra King but even that idea left something to be desired.

Compared to this Craig’s personal investment cut much closer to the bone in CR and QOS, but was somewhat turned into its own spoof with the death of the DB5 and its resurrection at the hands of a merciful Q. That’s where the concept entered its own gullet. Which is why I would welcome if BOND 25 took ten paces away from it, turned around and shot it in the head…

But I digress.

Paris Carver should have been Sylvia Trench Carver (on that note, Craig Mitchell should have been Villiers, but I digress).

The problem with 006 was that the series had just spent its one serious friendship of Bond’s as the basis for a personal angle in the previous film (LTK)-- so any new one (barring M, Q, or Moneypenny) would inevitably feel underdeveloped.

I don’t think fans want more of the Brosnan era per se, as it contained too much of the melodrama that has been plaguing the series in recent years. And when the Brosnan films did succeed in avoiding melodrama, much of the “formula” felt like pastiche.

What I think many fans really want is a straightforward mission devoid of both melodrama AND homages, with all of the Bondian elements feeling natural rather than forced, and the emotional investment stemming from the mission rather than from some concocted personal backstory.

FRWL, TSWLM, OP, and TLD are all great examples of this (and notably, these films do not all have the same tone).