Monday, August 27, 2012

50 Years for James Bond on Film

It’s the 50th anniversary of the James Bond films. The first, Dr No, opened at the London Pavilion on October 5, 1962 (it wouldn’t open in the United States until 1963) with the wonderful Sean Connery as 007. I was a fan of the novels, having started reading them in High School (I have read them all) and looked forward to the movie versions.

Six actors have portrayed Bond in the series: Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. I don’t count David Niven in his version of Casino Royale since it is not really part of the series. Connery and Moore have each played Bond 7 times.

So the inevitable question always comes up: who is the best Bond?

For me Connery is the gold standard, though I know there are those who prefer Roger Moore or Pierce Brosnan. But Connery really set the tone (Ian Fleming hated him) and I think by and large those early Bond films with him were better than much of what came later. The series has become so much more dominated by pyrotechnics and gadgetry – admittedly the gadgets were always a part of the novels and the films – but it seems more so now.

Another Bond film, Skyfall, is set to be released on October, 26, 2012 in the UK, and November 9, 2012 in the US. It is another turn for Daniel Craig as Bond.

So, who really is the best Bond?

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