Bond Actors and Their Humor

I got a great question from Rosie Powell:

Why does the media criticize Roger Moore for the numerous quips he utters in his Bond movies, when Sean Connery, George Lazenby and Pierce Brosnan have been equally guilty?

First of all, let’s agree that “guilty” is not quite the right word. There is nothing wrong with having humor in the Bond films. Even Casino Royale, among the darkest of Bond films, has “Do I look like I give a damn?” and “That’s because you know what I can do with my little finger.” Fans object when movies become silly and over the top, not when they have the occasional quip.

One of the things that gets Roger Moore singled out is he didn’t take the character seriously. He played the role tongue-in-cheek (as he acknowledged on more than one occasion). Now, if a serious guy gets in a serious fight, and at the end, pulls himself together and says “Shocking, positively shocking,” the audience can understand that as a tension-lightening moment. He eases the tension of the fight for himself and for us. He proves he’s cool. But when a silly guy gets in a silly fight and ends it with “Play it again, Sam,” he’s just proving he’s silly.

Moore’s humor was never balanced by a serious anything. He didn’t carry himself well in a fight, he didn’t throw a convincing punch, he couldn’t run at all, and he wore safari suits. On the rare occasion when he played the role seriously, he did quite well. There are fine scenes in TSWLM, FYEO, and Octopussy that attest to that.

Moore also carries the water because his movies had lots of silly flourishes besides the quips. He had double-taking pigeons, a “Bondola,” and cutesy musical references.

Roger Moore fans are the ones least likely to be happy with CR, or even with Timothy Dalton; they want a lighter Bond. So if he gets praised for the humorous version of Bond, it’s only fair he gets criticized for it as well.

Let’s look at the other actors, though. Connery is treated with great respect for creating the part, and being pretty damn brilliant, but most fans rake him over the coals for DAF. Now, I love DAF, but that’s a minority view.

Lazenby certainly doesn’t get the pass, but he only made one movie, and a lot of people (hardcore fans excepted) just don’t count him when talking about Bond.

Brosnan brought a lot of seriousness and drama to Bond, even though he quipped. I always felt like Brosnan was playing Bond as a man who joked in order to get through life. He just had to keep making the puns in order to keep going. He was intensely physical in the role; threw a great punch, ran like the wind. There was nothing fundamentally silly about his movies (except for the second half of DAD). So, like Connery, he’s treated seriously and criticized when the movies get jokey.

But Moore’s movies were all jokey, often excessively so, and that’s the bottom line.

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47 Responses to “Bond Actors and Their Humor”

  1. Paul Beckett Says:

    I can understand that a lot of people find Roger Moore a lightweight Bond and certainly when you look at some of his movies they are slightly embarrassing to watch now, But the directors/producers have to take responsibility for the over the top humour, and the first three of Moores tenure were excellent when you consider he was the oldest actor to play the role for the first time at the age of 46 for live and let die. I think it all went wrong with Moonraker apart from F Y E O which would have stood up as a great movies as indeed OHMSS would have, even without the Bond franchise to push it along.

  2. john smith Says:

    This article’s rubbish! Roger Moore’s the best, and you must’ve only seen his films once if you call them all jokey!?

  3. Mark Stevens Says:

    Roger Moore is the reason I quit watching Bond films. Maybe he came along while the franchise was resting on it’s laurels or maybe it’s because the writing was just bad and Moore came along at a bad time. But he never seemed to be worried that he could die (I think that the “Tango and Cash” characters acted the same way). That takes away from the suspense; and in a film where you KNOW the main character is going to live – you need some suspense.

  4. Henry Hubbard Says:

    I truly believe Roger Moore is the weakest of all the Bond actors. His tongue-in-cheek take on the character did not appeal to me at all and his movies left me yawning. When he did try to play the part seriously, like in FYEO, he just was not convincing. Plus he stuck around WAY too long. When he did his final film he was pushing 60, and he looked it. Cubby should have retired him after Moonraker. As for Pierce Brosnan, he looked the part, but his movies were unbelievably bland. With the exception of Goldeneye, his movies weren’t the least bit memorable (or exciting). People talk about how he struck a balance between the lighter and darker sides of Bond, but I personally thought he was pretty inconsistent with the character. He couldn’t quite decide if he wanted to be tough and gritty, or light and jokey. As you might have guessed, I prefer the harder, more serious Bonds of early Connery/Dalton. I loved Daniel Craig’s intense performance and CR made me a Bond fan all over again.

  5. I always believed Moore to be the weakest Bond, and Connery the finest, though DC and Casino Royale have renewed my faith in the series. But it was not the jokes Moore made (unfunny) and the fight scenes (painful to watch as as he grew older)but the lack of sexual charisma that made him a poor Bond. PC or not James Bond’s allure has always rested on his magnetic appeal to “good” girls and “bad” alike. Connery was such a masculine presence in the early sixties films that women (including my mother) went into swoons for him and his rugged approach to the ladies. Pierce Brosnan revived that in his films but Moore and Lazenby made no sparks at all in this all important area. Timothy Dalton’s two films suffered from their Politically Correct slant, and that is a chief reason fans found his performances dull. Daniel Craig has certainly realized this and did extremely well commanding the screen, tough and vulnerable at the same time. Even Sean Connery never pulled off that hat trick

  6. Zippertuck Says:

    Roger Moore Bond outings suck. Plain and simple. You have to be a true Bond fan to realize how terrible the Moore films are and how far they are from the true Flemming Bond. Had Flemming been alive when Moore begin I think he would have gone bat shiat. Lazenby is in what I consider the best Bond film. It is true to Flemming’s book and true to the Bond charater. Lazenby isn’t the best Bond, but one wonders what would have happened if he continued in the role. Connery is of course fantastic, but by YOLT the producers started to veer from the Flemming stories and began to embelish the tales in what can only be described as comic book fashion. I think Lazenby has one of the best cleaver quips of the entire series when he utters at the end of the pre-title sequence (a pretty good fight scene BTW), “That never happened to the Other fellow.”

  7. Snoogins Says:

    As far as humour goes, I give my vote to Craig; he’s funny without going anywhere near silly or corny. I think the two funniest things he did were: 1) When the hotel clerk said, “Enjoy your stay” and he says, “Thank you, I will,” with exaggerated friendliness. 2) When that casino guy comes with the briefcase and laughs at Bond’s joke about chocolate, and Bond just shoots a queer look at Vesper as if to say, “Is this guy for real?” These are both true testaments to Craig’s acting ability, not the script.

    I preferred Connery more as a badass than a comedian. Some of his one-liners were winners, but most of them seemed forced. Maybe at the time, they were cutting edge, I dunno.

    Lazenby didn’t have a chance to prove himself, but I liked him.

    Moore sucked. Except in FYEO and TSWLM, but even then, like when Jaws rips apart the truck, he’s cracking jokes as if Jaws couldn’t literally kill him by blinking.

    I didn’t care for Dalton because he was too damn depressing. I always felt like he was in a bad mood, as if James Bond had become a gloomy gus. When he made jokes, they seemed out of character.

    Brosnan is my second favourite Bond. He delivered one-liners with comic brilliance, like a seasoned stand-up comedian with perfect timing. Does anything compare to his response to Denise Richards’ comment “Someone’s gonna have my ass” by saying (after a slight pause, almost as if debating whether or not he should say what he’s thinking) “First things first.” I base my life on that line.

  8. Carton of milk Says:

    For me, quality of the films aside, i think Brosnan just might have been the best bond ever (and really his only film that I rank as really bad is DOD). He was everything in my mind Bond should be (this changes from person to person obviously). Some people prefer the harder Bond of Dalton and Craig, others the light hearted one of Moore. And then there’s those in the middle, like Connery and Brosnan. The best two actors to have had the role (and i dont think further bond movie with craig will change that opinion).

    Brosnan struck that perfect balance (more so than Connery in my opinion but Connery having been the first, more credit have to be given to him still) between being serious and funny (i personally WANT my bond films to have half-corny half-clever quips). Like the person above stated, Brosnan had great comedic timing. He probably has the best one liners of all bonds films to date and his moments with Q are classic.

    He had that extremely gentlemanly look. But he also looked like underneath his good looking, mannerly appearance, he could just kick your ass in a second if he was so inclined….while still looking ridiculously good (he is by far the best looking actor to have had the role). He generally made it look easy, but not in the “I’m invicible anyway” way that Moore did. He smiling eyes could change into a ruthless look in a second. And then back again.

    Of course, Brosnan had the advantage of studying four different Bond actors that came before him and take the good from each of them and leave the bad. He had a pretty good blueprint of “do’s” and “dont’s” to follow. When Dalton arrived after too many years of Moore, people were craving for a more serious bond, he gave them that. And it was his undoing. When Brosnan arrived, people had finally figured out what it was they wanted in Bond (at least at the time). A little bit of everything.

    I’m not sure about Craig. I realise he’s doing the novels’ Bond more but I don’t think I want a Bond that’s as hard edged and nearly amoral. There’s countless other movies I can watch if that’s the kind of character I wanna see.

  9. Connery is by far the most over-rated Bond of all. His films are silly, ridiculous, sexist (and not in a ‘sexy’ way, but like your leering uncle making bad jokes.) I cannot fathom why people still hang onto to this idea that Connery was the best. I’ll take FYEO, LALD, TSWLM over any Connery. That is not to say Connery was the worst, at least, I can still watch those. Forget about Brosnan and Craig still has yet to prove himself, though CR (though about 30 minutes too long) was one of the best Bonds. Roger Moore is king!

  10. Jeffrey Frawley Says:

    I think we need to remember just what a 00 agent is and what he does: an agent authorized to kill at his own initiative and useful for that purpose. When we first met Sean Connery’s Bond, he was an experienced but still youthful 00, not learning his way, as Daniel Craig’s Bond was. In some ways his was the most amoral Bond, because killing a man never upset his equanimity. Lazenby was never the actor Connery was, but he did a fairly good job with an excellent screenplay, and the character appeared vulnerable enough to actually care that his wife died. Connery was never called on to do that. Roger Moore took the whole thing into camp, playing the character not like a hard working killer, but rather like a superman playing one. I liked Timothy Dalton’s take on the character, revealing the cruelty needed to function as a killer, but actually caring for his friends. Pierce Brosnan’s performances in “Goldeneye,” “Tomorrow Never Dies” and “The World is Not Enough” are quite good, showing a hard man who occasionally can’t avoid feeling, although it was a mistake to put his Bond so close to Michelle Yeoh’s Wai Lin in “Tomorrow Never Dies,” because her abilities in choreographed action are so much greater than his: It seems forced whenever she needs his help, but Bond just has to be the best man in the room. “Die Another Day” is a mess, but that has very little to do with his acting. The set pieces are just too big and too unbelievable, like something from “Moonraker.” Daniel Craig’s performance in “Casino Royale” is great. To pass Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan he’ll have to do well in the upcoming films, but that seems like a certainty. I like my Bond real and dark, so Daniel Craig is the right man.

  11. […] Bond Actors and Their Humor I got a great question from Rosie Powell: Why does the media criticize Roger Moore for the numerous quips he utters in […] […]

  12. I’m not really one to ever post bulletins and such but the list is easy. The best bond in every way is of course Connery and after that there is no grading. There is no Moore is better than Dalton who’s worse than Lazenby, etc…
    Each of the actors brought something new and different to the bond and bond films. You cant say one is better than the other. All you can say is Connery’s the original and no one can beat that.
    As much as I loved Casino Royale I thought Craig did way too much pouting and walking around being trying to look serious but instead came off hard/sad. Dalton beat him on that account though he never got a film as good as CR

    For me the best one liner has got to be Brosnan in Die Another Day when he gets his new invisible car from Q. “I think you’ve been down here too long…”

  13. Rorshach Says:

    On chud.com the other day they reported an interview with Daniel Craig where he commented that Barbara Brocoli wasn’t happy with CR and felt there needed to be more comedy, so they want to lighten up the next one. So much for reviving the franchise; how many flicks do you think it will take for us to get to the next invisible car?

  14. feverdean Says:

    On the subject of Brosnan in DAD. When Bond realizes that the “Vanish” car Q presents him is truly invisible the subtle look of respect that crosses his face is a great moment. In fact it might be the one moment in the entire series when Bond gives Q Division it’s much deserved respect.

  15. Yeah, I heard that they were going to inject more humor into the next Bond, and that’s something that scared me. I thought Casino Royale got it right. Bond was hard edged, mean, a killer… and his humor was cold and hard as well… as if it were a defense mechanism… that’s how it should be. With Moore, a quip was a given, and they sometimes were unnecessary and unfunny.

    Connery also had the hard humor. The “shocking” line, which is by far my favorite Bond quip, wasn’t Bond trying to be funny for the sake of being funny… it really was shocking to him, and the little bit of humor took the edge off of it for him. I think one of my favorite Bond moments of all time, which had me laughing pretty hard, was in Thunderball when Q comes into the room and Bond sees him for the first time. Bond looks away and says “Oh no”. He knows the lecture is coming, and he doesn’t want to hear it.

    Moore was too comedic and too sexed up. At points in his run as Bond it seemed that all he had to do was walk into a room, and suddenly he’d be having sex with some woman. It’s just too unbelievable and not Bond. In the books, Bond often put off sex until the mission was done. The mission always came first.

    Even though I loved the balance of comedy in Casino Royale, I think some of it is forced. I still wince through the “if you were just born, wouldn’t you be naked” line. It just seemed so forced. And the “that’s because you know what I can do with my little finger” quip sounds like it came directly from Moore’s mouth. I’m a little worried that they are going to try and bring Moore’s type of humor into Craig’s Bond. That would be a huge shame.

    There, now you have my two cents!

  16. mr thau Says:

    Mr Thau please, create in CGI Timothy Dalton returns as James Bond scene. Timothy Dalton was greatest Bond and perfect balance of humor and darkness. He was authorized to make a third film after LTK but this greatest sequel was never shot and so we couldn’t see villains around the world to rule it, only Sanchez and Whittaker and Koskov. What’s the incredible it is! Mr Thau try to do it please.

  17. Personally, I like the darker tone and for the producers wanting some of the humour back… Well, they can have it, as long as it isn’t any Moore-style humour. I saw Octopussy the other day and the first hour I cringed several times. There are moments, but Moore is really at the low of his game (compared to the far superior For Your Eyes Only, which is my fav Moore-era Bond).

    I hope they keep the same tone as in Casino Royale for the next one (I hope it’s going to be called Property of a Lady and refers to Bond’s heart still belonging to Vesper while he tracks down the real culprist behind the Casino Royale 3rd act).

  18. Major Bloodnok Says:

    Should a professional killer be funny or charming? I suppose a little is okay. Too much is annoying.

    When the jokes were clever and not in your face (Look at me! I’m funny!) they were best. That means Connery.

  19. Trying to blame Moore for having a “cartoony” Bond is a little unfair, considering the whole damn series is cartoony anyhow. One guy running around saving the world every couple of years? Please, it’s not much different from a superhero movie.

    That said, I like all the Bonds. I don’t like all the MOVIES (I find most of the early ones deadly boring “oh no, it’s a spider!”) and some of the later ones too ridiculous) but I think all of them have put together a good effort every once in a while.

    The fun’s in the variety. Connery’s cockiness, Moore’s silliness, Dalton’s anger, Brosnan’s charm, and (so far) Craig’s youthful brutality and unrefinement.

  20. George Gordon Says:

    I have so much to say on all this, being a Brit and all, plus having seen/memorized not only all the movies (even the godawful Roger Moore ones) but also the Fleming books (please don’t ask me any trivia questions), but I’ll limit myself to this note about the alleged lack of Connery humor: In DAF, when he meets the provocatively dressed Plenty O’Toole, there is this exchange:
    Plenty O’Toole: Hi, I’m Plenty.
    James Bond: But of course you are.
    Plenty O’Toole: Plenty O’Toole.
    James Bond: Named after your father perhaps?

  21. Mr. Blofeld Says:

    Craig, I think, is the best, with Dalton and Lazenby trailing right after him.

  22. I am one of the few men who have enjoyed ALL of the 007 movies. Some I like more than others and I rank the Bonds like this

    1) Connery
    2) Craig
    3) Brosnan
    4) Moore
    5) Dalton
    6) Lazenby

    Each actor brought something different to the table. For me Bond SHOULD NOT act like Jason Bourne or be over-the-top like Austin Powers. Bond is in his own world and the films should acknowledge that. With the recent announcement that more humor would be inserted into the franchise, tongues are starting to wag and people are gettin up in arms.

    I think Craig meant that there would be a few more jokes than usual in the CR sequel. I don’t think they would restart the franchise with a serious tone and then go camp.

  23. Jason the Red Dragon Thunderzord Says:

    Connery: He is the original and the best. He brought the right balance of charisma, physicality, brutality, humor, charm, and sex appeal to the role of 007.

    Lazenby: Superficially, he possessed many of the qualities that made Sean Connery so endearing in the role of 007. What he lacked in acting skills/experience, he made up for with athleticism in the action sequences and the fight scenes.

    Moore: The scripts were tailored to match Roger Moore’s natural charm and sense of humor. Unlike most 007 fans, I am not a Roger Moore apologist by any means. I actually enjoyed his performances, even when the scripts were not up to par, because he at least brought “an originality” to the role rather than attempting to do “Sean Connery 3.0” in his films. Broad humor was forced upon Moore’s scripts, and quite frankly, I doubt any of the other 5 Bond actors would have fared as well as Moore in the delivery of 70’s style humor and double-entendres. He is to be commended for keeping the 007 franchise viable and successful throughout the 70’s and the 80’s.

    Dalton: The one quality that this handsome, theatrically-trained star lacked in his serious portrayal of 007 was charisma; he made every effort to divest his 007 performance of charm and humor to the point where he rarely smiled and half-heartedly delivered quips that not even Sean Connery did not mind delivering on occassion. When he was on the job, it was all work and no fun. I prefer a more balanced portrayal of 007. He did everything on screen right in the eyes of the very few hardcore 007 fans, but failed to perform in a way that would appeal to a majority of mainstream audiences around the world.

    Brosnan: He was quite good in the role even when the scripts were piss-poor. How he managed to draw such a large crowd despite the fact that he was essentially acting in big screen videogames with scripts written-around action set pieces with corny dialogue, hack situations, and non-intimidating villains is quite a testament to his magnetic personality as a Bond actor.

    Craig: It is absolutely amazing how Daniel Craig has made the role of 007 his own with his debut performance. His 007 is serious, yet still charming; brutal, yet displays a vulnerable side; physical, yet is laidback at the same time. At this point in Bond’s career as a newly-annointed 007 in “Casino Royale,” Craig was able to give a performance that appealed to the “everyman” in the audience. His Bond bleeds, is able to fall in love, and regrets loss. “Casino Royale” opened a window into Bond’s personal life which had not been seen since 1969’s “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” Rather than being content with just performing the role of 007, Craig becomes the role. Between his performances in “Layer Cake” and “Casino Royale,” it is hard to imagine anyone else in this role as of 2007. Good luck to his future endeavors.

  24. You have to judge the actor based on the material he is given. Connery got to create the role and had the Russians to deal with at a time when they were enemy #1. Lazenby had to replace Connery and the scene at the end of OHMSS is one of the best Bond moments. I think he did well but imagine someone else trying to replace Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. Hard to do. Moore had cartoonish scripts-Bond laser fighting in space and a guy with metal teeth who’s invincible? Pure garbage, just like all of AVTAK. Dalton had serious stories and he played them that way. He is very underated and LTK is one of the best Bond movies ever. Brosnan was good but he got out just in time. His stories were getting silly and if he was in CR I think they would have still been. Thank you Mr.Craig for bringing Bond back to basics. But like I said, it has to do with the scripts. One more invisible car and I’m done.

  25. I agree that you have to examine a lot of different criteria when judging the Bond actors and movies, there are pros and cons at every turn even in the subtle things. For instance, aside from the action sequences, the acting skills and athleticism, how did these guys strike you as men? Did Roger Moore convince anyone that he was “really” interested in women? Pierce Brosnan and Sean Connery clearly displayed a man’s appetite for women in the way they kissed and touched. Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton simply went through the motions. Granted, Moore was older and from the days when you didn’t slip her the tongue on film, but his love scenes were pathetic. Though Pierce Brosnan was not Ian Fleming’s ideal Bond, he offered the full package for the screen, as Connery did. What I most loved about Dalton was those unforgiving cold blue eyes, the eyes of an assassin. See Fleming’s rendering of Bond at this site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Bond
    It looks like Dalton to me.

  26. Sergio M. Says:

    I can’t believe what I’m reading. Roger Moore was the best Bond by far. And the best thing about it is the fact that he didn’t take the role serioulsy. Guys, get real. The character is a beautiful over the top charade. A representation of each man’s fantasies… luxury, lust, danger, sex, cars, guns, casinos, more beautiful women, saving the world…and license to kill. If you got it all, well…go with a smile. And Roger did it. This new guy Craig is awful. He looks like a dangerous psycho killer with a permanent stomach pain, and no fun at all in his life.
    1-Moore, 2- Brosnan, 3- Connery, 4- Lazenby, 5-Dalton, 6- Idiot.

  27. I didn’t realize that killing people for a living was fun.

  28. Sugarbaby Says:

    Just wanted to add my two cents, not that they’re probably worth much in this economy…

    I agree with many people who have commented on here that each actor has brought his own interpretation to the role. It’s all a matter of personal taste, really — if you watched all of the different versions of “Romeo and Juliet”, you could debate which actor was the best and most true Romeo for days, too.

    For my personal taste, as a woman who enjoys the Bond movies, I must admit I can’t stand Moore, and refuse to add his movies to my collection. Frankly, the man just isn’t attractive, and he has the onscreen sex appeal of a dead octopus, yet I’m supposed to believe that a woman who’s mission is to kill him would throw herself in front of a bullet for him just because he lays a chaste smooch on her?

    Another person has chastised us all about this, saying that it’s just a movie, that it’s supposed to be farfetched and unrealistic, that it’s all fantasy. Well, bologna, says I. It’s supposed to be entertaining and enjoyable and make us want to come back for more, that’s what it’s supposed to be. And Roger Moore just makes me want to vomit every time some hottie coos “oh, James…” at his wrinkled, old puss. His turning Bond into camp was probably a reaction to the fact that the man can’t act his way out of a paper bag. You’ll notice that the shot of him supposedly mourning at his dead wife’s grave is about 2.5 seconds long, and then is promptly interrupted by a helicopter…need I say more?

    I find myself at odds with the Connery films, as I enjoy his interpretation of Bond very much, and I must admit, the man was pure eye candy in those days. 🙂 However, the sexism in them puts me off quite a bit, but that’s the era for you. Every woman in those films, even the supposed “strong” women, were only there to screw something up, screw someone over, or just plain screw…I can’t say I, as a woman, find that appealing.

    Brosnan, for me, was the total package: charm, looks, class, carriage, and didn’t embarrass himself in a fight. Pretty hard to top, really…

    Lazenby, poor fella, really had no chance to prove himself. I thought he did a pretty good job, myself, not particularly sexy, but the athleticism he naturally displayed made the fights and stunts enjoyable to watch. He was nice-looking, not handsome, kinda white-bread-ish…not really what I thought of when I thought of Bond, but he did the best he could.

    Dalton I have a hard time warming up to — he’s just too cold. He’s another Bond that isn’t particularly attractive, but those eyes! If he could’ve just warmed up his eyes a bit, I could’ve melted, but he always seemed like a psycho ready to snap. If I were set up on a blind date with him, I would make sure we stayed in a public place and I’d take a taxi home. I want a Bond that is tough and forceful and makes me believe he’d ravish me if given the chance. I don’t want a Bond that is cold and hard and has me worried he’ll follow and rape me if I go to the ladies room alone.

    Daniel Craig may not be characteristically handsome, but at least he’s got sex appeal, and I can fully believe that a woman could find herself weak in the knees when he turns on the charm. He worked his ass off for the part and it shows — his action scenes show genuine athleticism. That, and the fact that the man looks damn good in a bathing suit. He’s got great eyes like Dalton, but at least Craig’s eyes warm up once in a while.

    Just thought I’d add a woman’s point of view to the mix…

  29. Deborah Lipp Says:

    Sugarbaby, since this blog is written entirely by a woman (me) I very much welcome other women’s points of view.

    John Smith, I’ve seen all the Bond movies many, many times.

    I can see this post will require lots of comments from me and probably follow-up posts.

  30. Zippertuck Says:

    I am loving everyone’s comments! Good to know there are fans of every Bond and every Bond film. Although I will recommend that anyone who considers themselves a Bond fan to read the Flemming books. You truly get a sense of who Bond is and after reading these fine books you realize who of the actors gets it right and those who don’t. You also realize how after OHMSS the Broccoli’s pretty much ruined the Flemming Bond and how truly comic book the franchise became. I would also suspect that everyone’s favorite Bond is pretty much based on whomever they first saw in the role. I feel so sad for those who saw Moore as their first Bond.

  31. chamilet Says:

    Don’t worry, I saw Moore as my first Bond, but Brosnan is my favorite.

  32. Holy crap it’s crowded in here!

  33. Deborah Lipp Says:

    Zippertuck, I have definitely gathered enough statistics to prove that, on average, people’s first Bond tends to be their favorites. Chamilet is here to prove that it’s not always the case, but it usually is.

    I don’t think Eon “ruined” Fleming’s Bond, but they did change him. Bond was written to be neutral, a cipher, a “blunt instrument” carrying out England’s orders. Hence the “John Doe” type name.

    A neutral character isn’t much of a hero, though. By adding a touch of humor (as Connery did in DN and FRWL), the audience got a relatable hero and I think that was a good idea.

  34. Sergio M. Says:

    People, wake up. Craig is not Bond, in CR one guy throw his car keys to him for parking!! ¿Why?…because he’s not a charming british gentleman, he’s a punk.
    He’s blond, full of muscles and stone faced. He’s looks like Popeye the sailor, but without the fun.

  35. Deborah Lipp Says:

    Sergio, have you read the Fleming novels? The original Bond was not a charming British gentleman. I think Craig’s interpretation, while a rather bold departure from the films’ past, is legitimate.

  36. Sergio M. Says:

    I read 3 or 4, not all. But you must agree that the novels are now 50 years old or more. It’s impossible to keep the spirit of a character created in such different times. The original Bond that you try to keep today never knew a computer, a cell phone or digital gadgets. For me the novels were just a starting point, a genesis. In fact lots of Bond movies are NOT based on novels, so any change to the original concept of our man(the sense of humor, the finesse, the charm) was an inprovement over a very basic, old fashioned spy character. Sir roger change Bond for GOOD, Craig for BAD.

  37. Deborah Lipp Says:

    Well, Sergio, the “spirit of a character” is not found in his gadgets. Surely Bond must change with the times, but the spirit remains.

    Connery, with Terrence Young, introduced humor into the films, but also retained Fleming’s core character. Roger Moore, on the other hand, is a complete 180. I (and many fans) celebrate the restoration of a tough core to the character.

    It is not true that “lots” of Bond movies are not based on the novels. In fact, I may do a separate post about that.

  38. Zippertuck Says:

    Most of the Bond films are indeed based on the original Fleming novels or short stories. Some of the films while sharing titles with the original Fleming tales are radically different from the original stories. For instance the film version of The Spy Who Loved Me is nothing like the Fleming novel. The movies departed from the Fleming influence starting with the Brosnan films and all four are original screenplays with no stories related to any Fleming writings. Although Goldeneye was the name of the Fleming estate in Jamaica and The World is Not Enough was the Bond family motto. So the only films that are not based all or in part for the Fleming stories are GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough and Die Another Day. Hardly “lots” I would say.

  39. Anyone who thinks Craig was funny in Casino Royale has got to be joking. He has all the charm and panache of a bag of bones.

  40. Deborah Lipp Says:

    Zippertuck, I’ve prepared a post that will break down the numbers in support of it not being “lots.”

    Jake, Craig is not a comedian, but he is charming, and I know many women who aren’t Bond fans but were delighted to see CASINO ROYALE because of Craig.

  41. I get sick of people criticising Lazenby and Dalton
    Lazenby was never an actor but if he did the next few films (which he should of)he would have turned into not only a great Bond, but a brilliant actor. His peformance of Bond in OHMSS was great and much like the novel Bond.
    Dalton was a avid fan of the novels.In the Living Daylights short story,Bond is portrayed as unusually morose, much like Daltons peformance in the 1987 adaption of the story. As Licence to Kill was an original story (with elements of the Llive and Let Die novel) so Daltons peformance was aswell morose, keeping in with the Dark tone of the film.

  42. And to Snoogins, I agree how you say that Daniel Craig delivers his humour, with subtleness only a real actor can do.
    I also loved that line on the train with Vesper when she says:
    “I wouldnt go so far as calling you a cold-blooded bastard”
    -DC(with a sarcasm and a bit of arrogance) “Oh of course not”
    lol I just love his delivery of that line

  43. Zippertuck, many of the films that used Flemming names didn’t actually use the stories from the books.

    Moonraker is the perfect example. The book and the film couldn’t be farther apart. The book is an intense spy thriller about a german soldier posing as an english businessman named Drax. He’s building a missile called the Moonraker, supposedly for England, but really to fire at London. The film is old man Moore in space. Yeah.

    Octopussy was a short story about a guy Bond comes to arrest, who stole stuff during the war. It doesn’t involve an atomic bomb, a russian guy determined to destroy the west, or a circus.

    Also, as someone else mentioned, The Spy Who Loved Me is basically a completely new story.

    These are just some examples. Remember, name and story don’t necessairly go hand in hand.

  44. TubularLuggage, when Harry Saltzman originally bought the rights to the films, Fleming was so unhappy with the Spy Who Loved Me, he gave permission only for the title to be used, and made sure the original story wouldnt be used.

  45. […] by Deborah Lipp on August 6th, 2007 A commenter suggests that “lots of Bond movies” are not based on source […]

  46. Zippertuck Says:

    TubularLuggage, I am well aware of the differences between books and films when it comes to Bond. I have read the Fleming novels several times each and know where the films differ from the source material. My point is that most of the films have been based all or at least in part from the original Fleming works. Moonraker is a good example of how the producers ultimately raped the original idea, but even so the film uses core ideas from the novel.

  47. […] by Deborah Lipp on August 8th, 2007 An earlier post on Bond Actors and Humor drew more comment than any other post I’ve ever made. For that reason, I thought it was worth […]

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