Mid-Week Poll: Favorite James Bond Film

In last week’s Movie Madness Playoff Round, we established that Sean Connery takes the lead among our readers for best James Bond (though Daniel Craig wasn’t too far behind). But that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s made the best Bond movie overall. Or does it? This week, tell us which 007 adventure is your favorite.

As I wrote when it hit Blu-ray, my favorite Bond film is ‘Thunderball’. For me, that movie has the perfect combination of everything that made James Bond an icon in his prime. It’s the zenith of Sean Connery’s run, before silliness started to overtake the franchise.

How about you? Which Bond film do you think is the best? There are a lot to choose from, and I’m including the non-canon movies too. Basically, if the character’s name is James Bond and it’s technically based on an Ian Fleming book, I’m including it. (There are three very different movies here named ‘Casino Royale’. Be careful which you vote for.)

Which James Bond Movie Is Your Favorite?

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33 comments

  1. besch64

    My favorite has always been and will likely always be You Only Live Twice. There’s just something so incredibly charming about it. Bond leading ninja army to attack Blofeld’s volcano base… amazing. Also, it’s got my favorite Bond theme of them all.

    Diamonds Are Forever is probably my second favorite, for most of the reasons mentioned above. In addition, Tiffany Case is the best Bond girl in the series. The writers and director thankfully found multiple occasions for her to wear a bathing suit in the movie. They were doing God’s work.

    But we’re just talking favorites here. The BEST Bond movie is clearly Casino Royale, which I love, but it just doesn’t beat out You Only Live Twice or Diamonds Are Forever for me.

    • Josh Zyber
      Author

      Funny, those are two of my least favorites. Connery in “yellowface” makeup to disguise himself as a Japanese peasant is a real low point in the franchise’s history.

  2. ilovenola2

    I must agree with you onn this one, Josh, but I admit my finger had to be forced to click on “Thunderball” instead of slipping up to “Goldfinger” right above!!

  3. I’ve never been much of a Bond fan. I voted for Connery as most iconic Bond, but voted for Quantum here, although I might be mixing it up with Casino as I only watched them once back to back.

  4. BMH

    I grew up with James Bond as a larger than life and invulnerable character. There are the classic Connery films followed by the the campy Roger Moore films followed by three different eras of trying to recapture the suave spy just barely saving the day. Having now read several of the Ian Fleming’s books, the literary bond is much more secret agent than super hero.

  5. BMH

    In Goldfinger, (as well as the painfully flat Thunderball) the transition towards super hero is very apparent. The use of gadgets, and constant capture by the villains makes the character more like the 60’s Batman than the literary Bond.

    If the 2006 Casino Royale had followed the book a bit more- ie the sequence where Bond saves the new airplane, playing poker instead of baccarat, and having his heart stop plus a broken defibrillator gadget -then it would be a clear number one.

    I had to vote for Goldeneye. It carries many of the best elements but eschews the batmobile, Dr. Evil, etc. It features an excellent flashback sequence, unique soundtrack, and enough Cold War/Post Cold War set pieces to make Tom Clancy jealous. The film’s success after the series longest hiatus is another important factor. Even with MGM’s recent crisis, most people assumed there would eventually be another Bond film. No so in the early 90’s.

    Bond has been around for over 60 years, so sentimentality is going to play a role when picking a favorite.

  6. Josh Zyber
    Author

    Seriously, who voted for the Barry Nelson version of Casino Royale? William, really? C’mon now… That thing is an interesting historical curiosity, but it’s not “good” by any rational measure.

  7. Patrick A Crone

    I chose GoldenEye as my favorite. From Russia with Love was a very close second. Third, suprising to some, is On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Lazenby catches a lot of flack but he was the Daniel Craig to Sean Connery’s Brosnan. He made up for lack suave good looks for a very physical presence.

    • worth

      I’ll take a shot at it. It has Ken Adam’s stunning design, great photography by Jean Tournier, terrific (for the time) visual effects, excellent use of locations, some great one-liners by Christopher Wood (“Look after Mr. Bond. See that some harm comes to him), and the free-fall struggle for the parachute ranks as one of the best pre-title sequences of the series.

      Yes, it’s more comedy than thriller, but it succeeds in doing exactly what it sets out to do. And it’s a tremendous amount of fun, which is more than can be said of the recent po-faced Daniel Craig outings.

  8. AlbertX

    As much as I Love the new James Bond movies, for me The Living Daylights is what James Bond is all about, I think those were movies ahead of their times, Timothy Dalton was also great, full fo actions, beautiful women, and the flavor of the 80s hehehehe.

  9. Eric

    Whoever voted for Moonraker should be shot. In all the bad Bonds it very well might be the worst!

    • Josh Zyber
      Author

      Die Another Day is worse than Moonraker, IMO. If you can make yourself forget that it has anything to do with the James Bond francise, Moonraker can at least be enjoyed for its ’70s campiness. Die Another Day doesn’t even have that much going for it.

      • besch64

        Yeah, Die Another Day is easily the worst Bond movie. It makes Moonraker look like Seven Samurai, and I say that with as little unintended hyperbole as that combination of words can possibly carry.

      • So totally agree – I don’t think anyone here would say Die Another Day was a good movie. Is this the one with the line “I thought Christmas only c*#$ once a year” or is that The World Is Not Enough? Doesn’t really matter, both were horrible movies. Sucks that Bronson had, in my opinion, both the two best and the two worst movies of the entire franchise!

        For Bad Movie Night, why don’t we start with Casino Royale with Barry Nelson? I think its available on Netflix streaming, and then many of the people here will know why Josh cringes so much when I vote for it! (BTW that was a symphathy vote).

        • Josh Zyber
          Author

          That Christmas line is from The World Is Not Enough, which has by far the worst dialogue of any Bond movie. Die Another Day is the one with the invisible car and Madonna.

          (Brosnan, not Bronson!)

          I have to agree with Jeremy that the first half of Die Another Day is pretty good. But the second half is so atrocious that it completely undoes anything that came before it. Dear lord, that parasailing scene… Ugh.

  10. Jeremy

    I can’t believe GoldenEye is currently ranked in 2nd place. I’m not saying it’s a terrible film, but better than the Sean Connery movies? I don’t think so.

    I have to agree that Die Another Day is the low point for the Bond franchise. Other than the dreadful title song from Madonna, I actually enjoyed the first half of the movie. But once the film shifts to Graves’ ice palace, ugh. I think drunk chimpanzees on a Commodore 64 could have created more realistic CGI than what is used in Die Another Day.

  11. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – the only Bond with a heart until Daniel Craig came along. And Telly Savales as Blofeld – excellent.

    • Jeremy

      On Her Majesty’s Secret Service would unquestionably be the best of the Bond movies… if only Connery had decided to do it. I don’t think Lazenby is terrible, but he does comes across as rather stiff and lacking the necessary charisma. It’s really too bad because everything else about On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is top notch. Interesting story, exciting action sequences, and terrific performances by Telly Savales and especially Diana Rigg.

  12. BMH

    Prior to the 2006 Casino Royale there were always people who listed Thunderball, OHMSS, and License to Kill as the triumvirate of Bond excellence.

    These tragically serious Bond films almost don’t need to be in English. Watching the bombs get stolen in Thunderball is like watching paint dry. Compare that with the beginning of Dr. No with the Three Blind Mice assassins.

    After the campy second half of Die Another Day, Casino Royale was kind of like the Living Daylights after A View to a Kill, entertaining, but not campy. Then there there is License to Kill, where fun goes to die. I can see now why a lot of people dislike Quantum of Solace, it leans towards the tragically serious.

    Still, Never Say Never Again is the worst of the worst. Old and out of touch Bond rehashing Thunderball,- Hey Bond’s old, let’s put him in a clinic, on a motorcycle and make play video games. The scene with Fatima Blush demanding that Bond write her in as his greatest lover is beyond jumping the shark bad.

  13. I’m for The Living Daylights. It just brought all the best things together, and was the first Bond (Way before the over-hyped Casino Royale) to have a fairly tough/brutal Bond who could get hurt, and had half believable villains.

    Casino Royale (Craig version) was just an over-rated plotless mess in my opinion. Can’t believe the votes it’s getting.

    • I thought Casino Royale was half of a good movie…great action sequences, but the storyline really takes a nose dive in the second half of the film. Actually, I think Quantum has a much better story to it…although I’m in the minority with that opinion.

      Worst Bond? Well, I hated “Tomorrow Never Dies” (great pre-title scene, then all downhill). But “A View To A Kill” has to be the worst, as it’s just plain dull. Of course, what do I know…my favorite Brosnan Bond movie is “The World Is Not Enough”, so I tend to like the ones most fans hate. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I though Casino Royale had good elements. I liked that Bond was tough again, I liked that he had a seemingly genuine love-interest. But the action for each action scene started well, but quickly got repetitive. How many times do we need to see him jump off a building at the beginning? How many times do we need to see him fall off and chase the guy at the airport? etc… As you said, the plot just disappeared as it went. And I agree, while Quantum wasn’t as well executed visually, it was the marginally better story.

        Worst Bond’s for me? The World is Not Enough (Has there been a more lacklustre Bond villain and boring final action scene?), followed by Die Another Day (Which is only saved from being worst than The World is Not Enough, because it occasionally has Rosamund Pike on screen). ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. Eric

    I know Roger Moore was kind of a ham, but for those of us who grew up during his run as Bond, with the exceptions of Moonraker and A View to a Kill, his films are remembered fondly. Plus as a kid it gave me the excuse to say “Octopussy” any chance I could. His wit often times more than made up for his clear inability to appear competent in a fight sequence. Without Moore, I probably never would have gotten into the Bond films in the first place, and I really think For Your Eyes Only and The Spy Who Loved Me stand as two of the best Bond Films to date.

  15. motorheadache

    I had never been much of a Bond fan until Casino Royale. That was the first movie where I thought Bond was actually an intriguing character.

    I actually went back and watched a handful of Bond movies about a year ago– Truthfully, I find the Connery and Dalton movies boring, and the Moore and Brosnan movies corny– the only Brosnan flick I kind of like is Goldeneye, and even then I prefer the N64 game ๐Ÿ™‚

    So yeah, Casino Royale all the way for me. I love that movie. Quantam wasn’t so good, but I’m hoping the next one is gets back on track.

    • Ian Whitcombe

      I think you nailed why Casino Royale is winning this poll. Bond has occasionally been an interesting character before, particularily with Dalton is Licence to Kill and Brosnan in Goldeneye, but Casino Royale is definately the biggest substantial attempt at fulfilling modern expectations of character development.

  16. I was never a big fan of Bond till Casino Royale, I watched a few of the 80s ones while I was growing up with Dalton, but I never got into Connery or anyone else, the old Bond films were just to Chauvinist for me when it came to how Bond dealt with women, up until Casino Royale all the women were just objects for Bond to play with, naming Characters like Pussy Galore and Christmas just to throw in sexual jokes was terrible to watch….Casino Royale was a great movie IMO, shame that Quantum of Solace sucked so much after how awesome Casino Royale was

  17. max

    Licence to Kill and The Living Daylights are two of the best 007 films. Timothy Dalton is soooo under-appreciated as 007. Good to see some others appreciate Dalton.