The 007 Collective: The Best and Worst of Bond

The-007-Collective

Little over a year ago, I decided to take on a series I dubbed The 007 Collective. As you may guess from the title, the aim was to re-watch and review every movie in the 50-year-old James Bond series – from Dr. No to Spectre. This series would not include movies that weren’t part of the official EON canon so no Never Say Never Again and the 1967 Casino Royale but everything else was fair game. While I managed to accomplish my goal of reviewing every film before the release of SPECTRE, I decided to wait until the home release of the latest Bond film to give it The 007 Collective treatment as well. Now that it’s done and over with, I’ve decided that there’s no better way to cap the series than by handing out a few wacky awards. Without further ado… the Best and Worst of Bond.

 

BEST COLD OPEN

GoldenEye
A bungee jump, a chemicals factory, 006 and 007, a skydive into a plane, and a daring escape. What a way to revitalize Bond for the 1990’s.

 

Runner-ups:

Goldfinger Shocking, positively shocking.

Casino Royale – 007 gets his first two kills.

SPECTRE – The Day of the Dead lives up to its name.

The Spy Who Loved Me – 007 keeps the British end up.

 

 

WORST COLD OPEN

Diamonds Are Forever
How do you top the devastating ending of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service? Why, just pretend the whole thing didn’t even exist!

 

Runner-ups:

For Your Eyes Only – A supremely anti-climactic end to Blofeld.

A View to a Kill California Girls”

Die Another Day – A suspense-devoid chase across a mine-field.

You Only Live Twice – Bond gets “killed” in Shanghai.

 

 

BEST TITLE SEQUENCES

Goldfinger

 

Runner-ups:

From Russia with Love

Thunderball

Casino Royale

Skyfall

 

 

WORST TITLE SEQUENCES

Octopussy

 

Runner-ups:

SPECTRE

A View to a Kill

Moonraker

The Man with the Golden Gun

 

 

BEST THEME SONGS

The Spy Who Loved Me – “Nobody Does it Better” performed by Carly Simon
Nobody does it better than Carly Simon.

 

Runner-ups:

Goldfinger – “Goldfinger” performed by Shirley Bassey

You Only Live Twice – “You Only Live Twice” performed by Nancy Sinatra

Skyfall – “Skyfall” performed by Adele

Live and Let Die – “Live and Let Die” performed by Paul McCartney and Wings

 

 

WORST THEME SONGS

SPECTRE – “Writing’s on the Wall” performed by Sam Smith
The fact that this tone-deaf atrocity from Sam Smith landed an Oscar nomination is a mystery as confounding as the JFK assassination.

 

Runner-ups:

Die Another Day“Die Another Day” performed by Madonna

Octopussy“All Time High” performed by Rita Coolidge

The Man with the Golden Gun“The Man with the Golden Gun” performed by Lulu

Moonraker“Moonraker” – performed by Shirley Bassey

 

 

MOST MEMORABLE QUOTES

 

Dr. No
James Bond: I admire your courage, Miss…?”
Sylvia Trench: Trench. Sylvia Trench. I admire your luck Mr…?
[Lighting a cigarette]
James Bond: Bond. James Bond.

It just had to be this one.

 

Runner-ups:

Goldfinger
James Bond: “A martini. Shaken, not stirred.”

 

Goldfinger
James Bond: Do you expect me to talk?
Auric Goldfinger: No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!

 

Casino Royale
James Bond: Vodka-martini.
Bartender: Shaken or stirred?
James Bond: Do I look like I give a damn?

 

The Spy Who Loved Me
M: 007!
Gen. Gogol: Triple X!
Sir Frederick Grey: Bond, what do you think you’re doing?
Bond: Keeping the British end up, sir.
[Cue End Credits]

 

 

MOST EMBARRASSING QUOTES

 

Tomorrow Never Dies
James Bond: I always enjoyed learning a new tongue.
Moneypenny: You always were a cunning linguist, James.

For fucks-sake!

 

Runner-ups:

You Only Live Twice
[Tiger Tanaka and James Bond are entering a Japanese bath house]
Tiger Tanaka: Rule number one: never do anything yourself when someone else can do it for you.
James Bond: And rule number two?
Tiger Tanaka: Rule number two: in Japan, men come first, women come second.
James Bond: I just might retire to here.

 

Die Another Day
[Zao is torturing Jinx]
Zao: Who sent you?
Jinx: Yo’ mama. And she told me to tell you she’s really disappointed in you.

 

The World Is Not Enough
[After having sex]
James Bond: I was wrong about you.
Dr. Christmas Jones: Yeah, how so?
James Bond: I thought Christmas only comes once a year.
::audible groan::

 

Octopussy
[James Bond gives his Indian accomplice a wad of money in gratitude for helping him out of a sticky situation]
James Bond: This should keep you in curry for a few weeks.

 

 

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS

Bond is stripped naked and tortured by Le Chiffre in Casino Royale. With this one scene, Daniel Craig proved he was here to stay.

 

Runner-ups:

James Bond’s introduction in Dr. No. Classic.

The fight between Red Grant and James Bond on the Orient Express in From Russia with Love. The gold-standard for close-quarter fight-sequences.

Bond finding a gold-covered Jill Masterson dead on a bed in Goldfinger. Iconic.

Tracy is killed in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Perhaps the series most gut-wrenching moment.

 

 

MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENTS

The series countless dalliances with misogyny, casual racism and homophobia in the Connery and Moore Bonds.

 

Runner-Ups:

Bond wind surfing a tsnunami in Die Another Day. The series’ nadir.

The gondola hovercraft scene in Venice which includes a pigeon doing a double take in Moonraker. A fucking pigeon does a double-take!

Bond swinging from the trees like Tarzan in Octopussy. And it comes complete with Tarzan’s screaming. Yea, because that’s what a British spy does when he swings from trees.

Jaws falling in love in Moonraker. That’s one way to defang a classic villain.

 

BEST STUNTS

The ski jump in The Spy Who Loved Me. Not just the best stunt in the series but one of the greatest in cinema.

 

Runner-ups:

The corkscrew jump over the bridge in The Man with the Golden Gun. Only tarnished by the slow-motion and the annoying use of the slide-whistle.

The bungee jump in GoldenEye. Welcome to the 1990’s, 007!

The sky dive fight in Moonraker. That’s stunt-work!

Fighting on the crane in Casino Royale.

 

BEST FIGHTS

The fight on the train between Red Grant and Bond in From Russia with Love. The best hand-to-hand fight in the series. Often imitated, never duplicated.

 

Runner-ups:

Bond and Mr. Hinx in SPECTRE. A sterling homage to the aforementioned fight in From Russia with Love. Close but no cigar.

Bond takes on Oddjob in Goldfinger. Bond using his brains to outwit Oddjob’s brawn.

Bond versus Che Che in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Lazenby was out to prove he was a more vicious Bond from the on-set.

007 vs. 006 in GoldenEye. “For England, James? No, for me.”

 

BEST CHASES

The Madagascar parkour chase sequence in Casino Royale. Daniel Craig establishes the physicality and intellect of his steely Bond in this visceral sequence of many pleasures.

 

Runner-ups:

The Aston Martin DB5 struts its stuff in Goldfinger. Ejector seat!

The Lotus car chase in The Spy Who Loved Me.

The ski chase in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

The boat chase on the Thames in The World is Not Enough

 

 

BEST ACTION SET-PIECES

The finale of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. It’s so good that even Christopher Nolan tipped his hat to it in Inception.

 

Runner-ups:

Little Nellie defends her honor in You Only Live Twice.

The ninjas storming Blofeld’s lair in You Only Live Twice. Damned Ninjas!

The trucks on the highway sequence in Licence to Kill. Roadkill!

The helicopter fight in SPECTRE. 360 barrel rolls.

 

 

MOST DATED REFERENCES

Bond’s thoughts on the Beatles in Goldfinger. “That’s like listening to the Beatles without ear-muffs.” Oh, grow up 007!

 

Runner-ups:

Bond helping the Muhajedeen in The Living Daylights. Didn’t see that one coming.

The laser fight in Moonraker. Unintentionally hilarious!

The comically large photocopier in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Times have changed.

The disco score of The Spy Who Loved Me. ‘nuff said.

 

 

BEST KILLS

“That’s a Smith & Wessen and you’ve had your six.” – Dr. No

 

Runner-ups:

Killing Red Grant – From Russia with Love

“Shocking, positively shocking.” – Goldfinger

Bond kicking Locque’s car off the cliff – For Your Eyes Only

“For England James? No, for me.” – GoldenEye

 

 

BEST QUIPS/PUNS

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Irma Bunt: Is anything ze matter, Sir Hilary?
James Bond: Just a slight stiffness coming on…

Lazemby may not have been a great Bond but in his one go at it, he did manage to squeeze in what might be the best one-liner of them all.

 

Runner-ups:

Thunderball
James Bond: I think he got the point.

 

Goldfinger
James Bond: Shocking. Positively shocking.

 

Moonraker
Sir Frederick Gray: My God, what’s Bond doing?
Q: I think he’s attempting re-entry, sir.

 

GoldenEye
James Bond: She always enjoyed a good squeeze.

 

 

WORST QUIPS/PUNS

You Only Live Twice
Aki: I think I will enjoy very much serving under you.

The line for Misogyny 101 begins here!

 

Runner-ups:

Live and Let Die
Solitaire:
 Where’s Kananga?
James Bond: Well, he always did have an inflated opinion of himself.

Womp, womp.

 

Tomorrow Never Dies
James Bond: Another Carver building.  If I didn’t know better, I’d say he developed an edifice complex.

Bond swings for the bleachers and… misses.

 

The World is Not Enough
James Bond: I was wrong about you.
Dr. Christmas Jones: Yeah, how so?
James Bond: I thought Christmas only comes once a year.

Depravity had no depth during the Brosnan years.

 

Die Another Day
Verity: I see you handle your weapon well.
James Bond: I have been known to keep my tip up.

As I was saying…

 

 

BEST ALLIES

from-russia-with-love-allies

Kerim Bey in From Russia with Love.
So dedicated to the cause that he has no time for the ladies.

 

Runner-ups:

Tiger Tanaka in You Only Live Twice. That name!

Draco in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Father-in-law.

Milos Colombo in For Your Eyes Only. Bring Pistachios.

Q in Licence to Kill. Q’s finest hours.

 

 

BEST GADGETS

thunderball-gadgets

Jet Pack – Thunderball
Because it’s a fucking jet pack!

 

Runner-ups:

The briefcase – From Russia with Love. Who wouldn’t want one of those?

Omega watch – GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies. It tells the time, among other things.

Rolex Submariner – Live and Let Die. Comes in handy when you’re in a bind.

Sony Ericsson car remote control Mobile phone – Tomorrow Never Dies. A remote control for your Beamer as well as an electronic key opener, finger-print scanner and tazer. Sign me up!

 

 

WORST GADGETS

die-another-day-Gadgets

The Invisible Car – Die Another Day.
That’s where you draw the line.

 

Runner-ups:

The nipple – The Man with the Golden Gun. What’s the point?

X-Ray glasses – The World is Not Enough. The pervy Brosnan years.

Radioactive Lint – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. What were the odds this would come handy!

Seiko watch with tape – The Spy Who Loved Me. Wouldn’t a digital message be an easier solution to this convoluted idea?

 

 

BEST VEHICLE GADGETS

goldfinger-aston-martin

Aston Martin DB5 – Goldfinger. There can be only one.

 

Runner-ups:

The Lotus Esprit – The Spy Who Loved Me. Also known as the underwater car.

Little Nellie – You Only Live Twice. Who defended her honor.

BMW 750i – Tomorrow Never Dies. The MVP of the Brosnan years.

Q Boat – The World is Not Enough.

 

 

WORST VEHICLE GADGETS

moonraker-bondola

The Bondola Hovercraft – Moonraker. Q branch really outdid themselves on this one.
 

Runner-ups:

Citereon – For Your Eyes Only. The yellow box

Crocodile submarine – Octopussy. That’s one way to make an entrance

BMW Roadster – GoldenEye. And it does what exactly?

Aston Martin Vanquish – Die Another Day. The invisible car

 

 

BEST POSTER

thunderball-poster

Thunderball

 

Runner-ups:

For Your Eyes Only

Casino Royale

Live and Let Die

Moonraker

 

 

WORST POSTER

a-view-to-a-kill-poster

A View to a Kill

 

Runner-ups:

Licence to Kill

Tomorrow Never Dies

The World is Not Enough

Quantum of Solace

 

 

BEST VILLAINS

Goldfinger-auric

Auric Goldfinger in Goldfinger
The icon.

Runner-ups:
Raul Silva in Skyfall

Ernst Stavro Blofeld in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Alec Trevelyan in GoldenEye

Franz Sanchez in License to Kill

 

 

 

WORST VILLAINS

quantum-of-solace-Villain

Dominic Green in Quantum of Solace
What a joke!

Runner-ups:
Georgi Koskov in The Living Daylights

Ernst Stavro Blofeld in Diamonds Are Forever

Elliot Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies

Gustav Graves in Die Another Day

 

 

BEST HENCHMEN

from-russia-with-love-villain-3

Red Grant in From Russia with Love

Runner-ups:

Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me

Oddjob in Goldfinger

Xenia Onatopp in GoldenEye

Fiona Volpe in Thunderball

 

 

WORST HENCHMEN

the-man-with-the-golden-gun-villain-2

Nick Nack in The Man with the Golden Gun

Runner-ups:

Elvis in Quantum of Solace

Locque in For Your Eyes Only

Zao in Die Another Day

Patrice in Skyfall

 

BEST VILLAIN SCHEME

Goldfinger-auric

Goldfinger
Setting off a nuclear weapon in Fort Knox, thereby destroying the value of the United States’ bullion. This would create financial chaos in the West, thus increasing the value of Goldfinger’s stock considerably.

 

Runner-ups:

Skyfall
Killing M. That’s it.

 

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Delivering a contagious virus into the world’s crop supply in exchange for the antidote and a full unconditional pardon.

 

Thunderball
Stealing two nuclear weapons and then threatening to blow up a city in the United States or England if their ransom demand of $100 million isn’t met. This was the one that set the template.

 

You Only Live Twice
Instigating a nuclear war by capturing American and Soviet space capsules with the aim of making each country think it was the other who captured their vessel.

 

 

WORST VILLAIN SCHEME

a-view-to-a-kill-Zorin-Mayday

A View to a Kill
To create a 9.0 magnitude earthquake in Silicon Valley by flooding the San Andreas fault, and thus creating a monopoly in the microchips market.

 

Runner-ups:

Moonraker
Killing every human being on Earth by releasing poisonous gasses into the planet’s atmosphere while he and his new world of perfect beings wait it out in outer space.

 

Diamonds Are Forever
Holding the world ransom with his diamond-encrusted laser beam and destroying the world’s super powers.

 

Die Another Day
Using the money from his diamond smuggling rings to build a giant space laser capable of destroying the world’s super powers. Hmm, now where have I heard that plot before?

 

The Man with the Golden Gun
To steal the Solex Agitator – a device capable of harnessing the indefinite power of the sun and thus solving the world’s energy dependence on Arab oil.

 

BEST VILLAIN LAIR

on-her-majestys-secret-service-piz-gloria

Blofeld’s alpine clinic/resort – the Piz Gloria – in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

 

Runner-ups:

Dr. No’s Crab Key island hideaway in Dr. No. Now, that’s how you live in style!

Blofeld’s awesome Volcano headquarters in You Only Live Twice

Stromberg’s underwater empire – Atlantis – in The Spy Who Loved Me

Silva’s deserted Island in Skyfall

 

WORST VILLAIN LAIR

die-another-day-ice-palace

The Ice Palace in Die Another Day. How is this practical?

 

Runner-ups:

The Oil Rig in Diamonds Are Forever. I guess after blowing your entire budget on a volcano lair, securing a loan would be pretty hard to come by.

Voodoo Island – Live and Let Die. Great on paper. Poorly executed.

The Wax Museum – The Living Daylights. Just a pale imitation of House of Wax.

The Solar Hotel in the Desert – Quantum of Solace. A solar-powered hotel that explodes when it comes in contact with excess solar energy. Okay.

 

 

BEST BOND GIRLS

casino-royale-Girl

Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale

 

Runner-ups:

Tracy Di Vicenzo in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Honey Ryder in Dr. No

Solitaire in Live and Let Die

Tatiana Romanova in From Russia with Love

 

 

WORST BOND GIRLS

a-view-to-a-kill-Stacey-Stutton

Stacey Stutton in A View to a Kill

 

Runner-ups:

Christmas Jones in The World is Not Enough

Mary Goodnight in The Man with the Golden Gun

Kara Milovy in The Living Daylights

Kissy Suzuki in You Only Live Twice

 

 

MOST RIDICULOUS BOND GIRL NAMES

Goldfinger-Pussy-Galore

Pussy Galore – Goldfinger

Plenty O’Toole – Diamonds Are Forever

Holly Goodhead – Moonraker

Octopussy – Octopussy

Chew Mee – The Man with the Golden Gun

Molly Warmflash – The World is Not Enough

Honey Ryder – Dr. No

Kissy Suzuki – You Only Live Twice

Penelope Smallbone – Octopussy

Bibi Dahl – Die Another Day

 

 

MOST SUCCESSFUL ENTRIES (adjusted for inflation)

09. Thunderball (1964)

Thunderball

Goldfinger

Skyfall

You Only Live Twice

Moonraker

 

LEAST SUCCESSFUL ENTRIES (adjusted for inflation)

license-to-kill-scene-review-3

Licence to Kill

The Man with the Golden Gun

The Living Daylights

A View to a Kill

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

 

 

MOST MISOGYNISTIC ENTRIES

04. Goldfinger (1964)

Goldfinger. James Bond, rapist.

 

Runner-ups:

Thunderball. Attempted rape x 3

The Man with the Golden Gun. James Bond, serial female abuser.

You Only Live Twice. In Japan, men come first, women come second.

From Russia with Love. Make love to me, James.

 

 

MOST RACIST ENTRIES

you-only-live-twice-scene-review-10

You Only Live Twice. In which Bond becomes an Asian man.

 

Runner-ups:

Live and Let DieGood guys = white; Bad guys = black. Got it.

Dr. No. In which white folks play dress up as Asians and a black man is forced to fetch Bond’s slippers.

The Man with the Golden Gun. Chew Mee

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – A black woman’s favorite food is a banana.

 

 

MOST OVERRATED ENTRIES

skyfall-scene-odds-ends

Skyfall

 

Runner-ups:

Goldfinger

You Only Live Twice

The Living Daylights

Live and Let Die

 

MOST UNDERRATED ENTRIES

license-to-kill-odds-ends-2

License to Kill

 

Runner-ups:

For Your Eyes Only

Quantum of Solace

Thunderball

The Living Daylights

 

 

BEST DIRECTION

casino-royale-scene-review-2

Martin Campbell – Casino Royale

 

Runner-ups:

Peter Hunt – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Terrence Young – From Russia With Love

Sam Mendes – Skyfall

Guy Hamilton – Goldfinger

 

BEST SCREENPLAYS

casino-royale-scene-review-3

Casino Royale

 

Runner-ups:

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

From Russia With Love

The Spy Who Loved Me

Goldfinger

 

WORST SCREENPLAYS

A-View-to-a-Kill-sunglasses

A View to a Kill

 

Runner-ups:

Die Another Day

Moonraker

The Man with the Golden Gun

Diamonds Are Forever

 

 

BEST CINAMATOGRAPHY

skyfall008

Skyfall

 

Runner-ups:

SPECTRE

Casino Royale

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Dr. No

 

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

you-only-live-twice-scene-review-4

You Only Live Twice

 

Runner-ups:

Dr. No

The Spy Who Loved Me

Skyfall

Moonraker

 

 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Thunderball-villain-2

Thunderball

 

Runner-ups:

Skyfall

Goldfinger

Casino Royale

Dr. No

 

 

BEST FILM EDITING

on-her-majestys-secret-service-scene-review

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

 

Runner-ups:

Casino Royale

From Russia With Love

Goldfinger

Skyfall

 

 

BEST JAMES BOND

Goldfinger-Connery

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

 

 

BEST PERFORMANCES

casino-royale-shocking

Daniel Craig in Casino Royale

 

Runner-ups:

Javier Bardem in Skyfall

Eva Green in Casino Royale

Sean Connery in Goldfinger

Judi Dench in Skyfall

 

WORST PERFORMANCES

a-view-to-a-kill-Stacey-Stutton

Tanya Roberts – A View to a Kill

 

Runner-ups:

Denise Richards – The World is Not Enough

Roger Moore – A View to a Kill

Sean Connery – Diamonds Are Forever

Clifton James – The Man with the Golden Gun

 

 

RANKING THE BOND MOVIES

24. A View to a Kill (1985)

23. Die Another Day (2002)

22. Moonraker (1979)

21. The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

20. Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

19. The World is Not Enough (1999)

18. Octopussy (1983)

17. The Living Daylights (1987)

16. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

15. You Only Live Twice (1967)

14. Live and Let Die (1971)

13. Quantum of Solace (2008)

12. Spectre (2015)

11. For Your Eyes Only (1981)

10. GoldenEye (1995)

09. Thunderball (1964)

08. License to Kill (1989)

07. Dr. No (1962)

06. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

05. Skyfall (2012)

04. Goldfinger (1963)

03. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

02. From Russia With Love (1963)

01. Casino Royale (2006)

 

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