Movie Madness: James Bond Playoff

Welcome one and all to a special edition of Movie Madness. After extensive thought about how James Bond, much like Batman, has had many different incarnations over the years, I’ve decided to give you a special playoff to see which Bond will enter the Movie Madness tournament. As you may notice, the banner picture above features the five most popular Bonds. Don’t worry, completists – George Lazenby has been included in the poll as well.

A lot of people have been clamoring for a Bond playoff. After all, as the Bonds have changed throughout the years, so have their style, suaveness, and butt-kicking abilities.

Sean Connery Bond – He gains points for being the first actor to portray James Bond in film with ‘Dr. No’. He stayed on to do a total of six official Bond films, only interrupted in 1969 by George Lazenby in ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’. Connery returned two years later for a last hurrah in ‘Diamonds Are Forever’, and revisited the character once again in 1983 for the unofficial Bond film ‘Never Say Never Again‘. In an unrelated note, I believe that Sean Connery has only had two looks his entire life. He was the smooth debonair Bond, and after he was done with those movies, he aged 50 years and has been bearded Connery ever since. It’s almost like he skipped middle age entirely.

Strengths: Some will say that as the original Bond, he’s by default the best. He also had a wicked reach around karate chop that could incapacitate any would-be henchman.

Weaknesses: Was never much of a fighter. He was more of a lover. In a battle to the death, that aspect might come back to haunt him.

Roger Moore Bond – He’s the longest lasting Bond, doing seven consecutive (official) films. No other actor who has played Bond has reached that milestone.

Strengths: Longevity. He could simply outlast everyone else.

Weaknesses: He made Bond look like a middle-aged oil tycoon. That’s not a good look for the world’s most famous spy.


Timothy Dalton Bond – I may give George Lazenby a lot of crap for only being Bond once, but Dalton seemed just as much like filler material. He only starred in two Bond movies, one of which – when adjusted for inflation – happens to be the lowest grossing in the franchise’s history.

Strengths: It’s said that Dalton was determined to stick to the character Ian Fleming meant Bond to be, which gives him points for being a purist.

Weaknesses: Never seemed like that imposing of a force as Bond. To me, he isn’t memorable, and his films are the ones I think of last when I think of any Bond movies.

Pierce Brosnan Bond – No matter what anyone says, I still think that Brosnan was the best Bond. It was the movies that got away from him. The movies became so comical and over the top (much like the ‘Batman’ franchise) that even Brosnan’s smooth charm couldn’t distract from the fact that they had invisible cars and ice palaces.

Strengths: He oozed charisma and had a great blend of lady-killing charm and deadly henchman-killing accuracy.

Weaknesses: Truthfully, I don’t know if Brosnan’s Bond had any real weaknesses. He’s considered the actor who brought Bond down into unintentionally funny territory, but again I’d argue that was a byproduct of the ridiculous scripts and villains he was surrounded with.

Daniel Craig Bond – Craig is a 21st century Bond: rippling abs, cut biceps, and a steely ice blue glare. It’s like he stepped right out of a cologne commercial, put on a tux, and started drinking shaken martinis. Oh wait, I forgot, he was so cool that he didn’t even care how his martini was prepared.

Strengths: With all those rippling muscles, he’s by far the most kick-butt Bond of them all. He’s like a hybrid of James Bond and Jason Bourne.

Weaknesses: After ‘Quantum of Solace’, Craig seemed to become even more Bourne than Bond. He lost that witty charisma and bravado that Bond is known for, and has instead been turned into just another action hero. He may win in a fight, but is he truly the best Bond?

Which Bond Will Be Moving on to the Tournament?

  • Sean Connery (37%, 105 Votes)
  • Daniel Craig (25%, 70 Votes)
  • Pierce Brosnan (23%, 64 Votes)
  • Timothy Dalton (9%, 25 Votes)
  • George Lazenby (Seriously?) (4%, 10 Votes)
  • Roger Moore (2%, 7 Votes)
  • Barry Nelson (Look it up) (0%, 1 Votes)
  • David Niven / Peter Sellers / Woody Allen (0%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 283

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Because this is a special edition and a lot of people are going to want to make their voices heard, this poll will be open until Friday’s Movie Madness article is posted. I’ll announce the winner then.


    • Chad Lawless

      People forget… Connery only made 3 really GOOD Bond movies: From Russia, Goldfinger and Thunderball. But, they’re CLASSICS.

      Moore only made 2 good Bond flicks: Spy Who Loved Me and (maybe) Octopussy.

      Brosnan only made 1 good Bond flick: GoldenEye. (Die Another Day? Seriously? Worst Bond EVER!)

      So, Lazenby making one that’s aged relatively well and Dalton making two of the more realistic Bonds (for their time) gives those two “underdogs” a real leg up. Heck even Dan’l Craig kinda jumped the shark with Quantum….

  1. Dalton is my favorite, simply for The Living Daylights. But, I voted Craig because (to me), he represents how a real spy might be like. For a spy movie to be believable for me, the actor must be ruthless (Bourne) and above everything, put the mission ahead of frivolous things (women and cars).

  2. LOL, I was going to complain about no Barry Nelson, but to my surprise, you have him! I’m not voting for him though, just wanted him mentioned in the pole!

    • That was my doing. I added that and the Niven/Sellers/Allen option to Aaron’s poll at the last minute. I don’t expect anyone to vote for them, but the nit-picker in me insisted that they be included. 🙂

  3. This is a tough one, I prefer my bond to either be Connery, Brosnan or Craig and all three are equally badass but when it comes down to it Craig’s opening murder of that henchman in the bathroom is what did it for me. Brosnan would never let himself get that down and dirty and Connery would have just harpooned the guy or burn him alive with his jetpack, heres hoping Sam Mendes and MGM are able to turn out a slick and fun Bond 23

    • Pedram

      Heck yeah. Craig just doesn’t have the Bond look IMO. Brosnan just oozed the Bond suave, and refusing to get down and dirty is not a bad thing. This is Bond, not Rambo.

    • To me, Bronson IS Bond, and all the others are just immitators! Connery is a close second, and Nelson is a third for me. I can’t stand Craig. Maybe because, when I got into Bond, all I had to watch were Bronson and Connery at the time (well, and Moore, I guess, but Moore was an AWEFUL Bond).

  4. Dalton is my favorite Bond (he’s also in my favorite Bond movie – The Living Daylights), but I voted for Connery just because I knew Dalton wasn’t going to win and the Daniel Craig fanboys (who actually owes a lot to Dalton the way he plays the character) would be out in force.

    The worst Bond? Hands-down it’s Pierce. He’s “pretty boy Bond” – but even Lazenby was more interesting.

  5. Jared Chamberlain

    I think Daniel Craig is the most bad ass of the Bonds, but I truly believe Sean Connery was the best. Moore never did it for me, I don’t really count the first Casino Royale, and Dalton always had the same look as Treat Williams(in any Treat Williams role) with the “Hey, I’m in a movie!” look.

  6. I actually liked Timothy Dalton as Bond … like Brosnan I think he suffered more from lackluster scripts. If he had been given the chance to do a couple of more films he may have been considered among the best.

    At the end of the day, it’s all about Connery.

  7. Say what you want about Lazenby, but the guy did an excellent job given the circumstances. I know it’s not popular, but as a Bond superfreak, I’d have to say that “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” is the greatest Bond film. What more could you want from a (Bond) movie?

    • It’s not the genre-shaping film Goldfinger was, but OHMSS had one of the best Bond songs, was damnably exciting, and laid the emotional groundwork for the excellent, recent Casino Royale.

      Lazenby deserves his dues (he was a canonical Bond, and his picture should be up there too). He’s also kicking Moore’s fancy-pants tail.

  8. RBBrittain

    Moore is my favorite Bond, but mainly due to comic timing; he wouldn’t be suitable for the tournament. I’m torn between my #2 (Brosnan) and #3 (Craig), the only two IMO with the right killer instinct for the tournament.

    • RBBrittain

      I finally voted for Craig (despite his Bourne-ish qualities) because he’s more likely to beat Connery. Remember, Bond is up against John McClane in the first round; IMO McClane would take out any Bond other than Craig or Brosnan.

  9. I’m going for Timothy Dalton. He was the Bond that most impressed me. He felt like he could’ve been real. He was the Bond who could take a kicking and keep on fighting back.

    Connery is of course great, but Dalton’s rough-around-the-edges style beats him narrowly, for me.
    Moore is brilliant, but definitely more of a ‘comedic fun’ Bond.
    Lazenby is unfairly maligned, and not really in the running with a single film, but did a good job.
    Pierce was ‘generic’ Bond, if ever there was one. He brought nothing of his own to the table, unlike all the others.
    Daniel Craig, he’s okay. Better than Pierce, and better than I expected, but still a bit lacklustre.

    It’s funny… There’s no chance Dalton can win, but if it was based on only those who’ve posted a comment as well, I think he’d probably be (narrowly) winning! 😉

    • I think voting for Dalton is like voting independent in the Presidential Election. We WANT to vote that way, but we’re afraid of wasting our vote…when the reality is, if we all voted for whom we really wanted, it would be a three-way race right now.

      One thing seems obvious from this poll…we prefer the “tough guy” Bonds over the “comical/suave” Bonds.

  10. Alex

    I’m voting for Craig just because I really do think he could kill Brosnan. However, Brosnan remains my favorite Bond. And you know what, I *liked* Die Another Day. I really did. Yes, the ice palace is a bit goofy, but no more so than the underwater fortress in Spy Who Love Me (considered one of the best) or the volcano hideout in You Only Live Twice (also one of the best. Even written by Roald Dahl). The invisible car is only slightly less realistic than the submarine-car, again in Spy Who Loved Me. I wasn’t wild about the para-sail surfing scene, but other than that, I love Die Another Day.

    But I do love Casino Royale more. Don’t worry too much.

  11. Pedram

    No wonder Dalton is losing – look at his gun next to Brosnan’s and Craig’s. He was set up to fail!

  12. the one time bonder from OHMSS for me. one, the seriously?! made me HAVE to vote for him. two, one of the most underrated films in the series. gets shit it doesn’t deserve.

  13. Aaron Peck

    Connery taking a huge lead. I was thinking it would end up being a lot closer between him and Craig.

    Although, I just don’t see Connery doing any damage against John McClane in the first round. How could he?

  14. EM

    Aaron, I’m very disappointed. Under Roger Moore’s strengths I expected to find “Nobody does it better”.

      • EM

        I didn’t say Moore is my favorite (I voted for Connery), but Moore is backed by a relevant and iconic lyric.

        Of course, in a battle of the bands, 007 would lose to Auric Goldfinger—now, that guy had an awesome song. Granted, Bond’s theme is one of the coolest on the planet, but Goldfinger’s haunting lyrics are delivered by Shirley Bassey with a gale force that could topple almost anything.

  15. Th

    Roger Moore!!!

    Huge Bond fan and like all of the actors who have played Bond. Roger Moore is my favorite though.

  16. Patrick A Crone

    I watched On Her Majesty’s Secret Service last night and found Lazenby a suprisingly good bond. He had the charm and physicality that Roger Moore never had. I think if he’d been given the chance to do the next film, he would’ve be more accepted as Bond. Considering how Majesty ended, Lazenby would’ve brought a more emotional dynamic to Diamonds Are Forever then Connery did. To be honest, Connery played the part as if the ending of Majesty never happened.

  17. Caleb

    Although Sean Connery is my favorite, I must say that I really liked Timothy Dalton. After reading the books, I know that he did an accurate depiction of him. To me Bond can’t be this super-human person who shoots people and has no emotion about it. Bond needs to be more down to earth and have feelings, which is exactly what Dalton did.

  18. Rupert Pupkin

    No contest, the true and forever real James Bond is Sean Connery. Everyone else is just an also ran holding his specially outfitted spy camera jockstrap. First, he was the original. Second, the best Bond movies were ones he was in—-Goldfinger, Thunderball, Dr. No etc. Third, none of the others could deliver the suave double entrendre sexual innuendo lines like he could. Brosnan came close, but he was TOO polished and polite. To deliver the good sexual zinger, you need to be a little more rough, a little more politically incorrect. Fourth, the best and most memorable Bond girls, with the best names, were in the Connery flicks. I might make an exception for Halle Berry and Sophie Marceau.

    I am surprised at the tepid reception Roger Moore is getting. He was no Sean Connery, and some of the movies were more lame, but to place that low? I would still rank him #2, just ahead of Brosnan.