Bond, James Bond
Updated: Oct 26, 2021
I’m so cranky that the rest of the world is seeing Daniel Craig’s last ‘James Bond: No time to die’ movie before I do (a totally spoilt complaint, I know :)
Apparently, the film is a doozey. Bond is framed by the new breed of British Secret Intelligence Service operatives as some sort of anachronistic, hyper-violent dinosaur who has passed his 'use by' date.
Well Mr Bond, I do feel that you are almost a symbolic snapshot of an era, or more precisely what a generation of film producers daydreamed-up to illustrate those Ian Fleming novels; their fabulously stylised Cold War hero being the perfect blank canvas on which to project their fantasies.
I’m choosing my favourite three 007’s by way of illustration.
The Baddest Bond (Sean Connery)
Unbelievable fake tan and a chain-smoker, Connery’s Bond was probably the baddest of all. He was a killing machine with an inexhaustible sex drive, armed with some fabulously cool toys. His attitude to women? ‘Here is a box of chocolates, I’d better eat them all in case I miss out’.
My good friend Bushy (Gen X-er), noted a scene in ‘Dr No’ (we think?) where Bond is having sex with one beautiful secret agent when another knocks on the door. He puts Secret Agent no. 1 in the wardrobe and proceeds to sleep with Secret Agent no. 2!
Connery’s Bond was tough, sexually predatorial and never looked over his should to count the bodies.
The Bestest Bond (Roger Moore)
I can almost see Henry’s readers shake their heads in disbelief.
OK. I know all the critics have awarded Connery this accolade but I’m running with Moore:)
I loved the tongue-in-cheek nature of Moore’s impossibly handsome 007. He was definitely of a genre in popular culture that had a ball sending up iconic creations and stereotypes (think Adam West’s ‘Batman’ and Don Adams’ portrayal of Maxwell Smart).
Roger Moore's fight scenes were as impossible as his love-making. Unbelievably handsome spy takes on half a dozen thugs (or one beautiful women). Apart from a timely fade-to-black in the latter, our secret agent emerges from both scenarios without a hair out of place either surrounded by dead bodies or a beautiful women (also, without a hair out of place) who is clutching a sheet under her chin and purring like a pussycat.
Neither scenario was believable but didn’t we love them, particularly when preceded by one of Bond’s cheeky one-liners delivered with ‘that’ twinkle in his eye. I was of an age for the initial Moore/Bond films where I didn’t quite get the overtly suggestive lines of flirtation but I was delighted that I got that they were naughty! I was in there, laughing with the audience about adult things. Childhood bliss :)
And the Saddest James Bond (Daniel Craig)
Craig is my second favourite Bond and most critics do agree with me on this one.
Craig's is a Bond who obviously has PTSD, has lost a woman he loved passionately and is presently unable to trust another because he is so damaged. This 007 can’t help looking over his shoulder at the piles of corpses he has left in his wake. His doubt and guilt are palpable.
He is an original licenced killer in a world of viral warfare and online espionage.
We love him for his vulnerability and broad shoulders.
We want him to end up happily ever after but kind of get that his tragedy is epically Shakespearean.
I haven’t seen ‘No time to Die’ but I know I’ll need tissues.
I’ll miss you Mr Bond.