My Favourite Things About James Bond

Image of Sean Connery as Bond in the My Favourite Things About James Bond blog

My Favourite James Bond

In discussing my favourite things about James Bond, the first order of business, is to decide upon the definitive 007. Sean Connery is my favourite because he was the best and that is no surprise. There might be some competition from Daniel Craig, but the rest fall far short. If Cary Grant had accepted the role, I’d imagine he’d be between Connery and Craig. Read on to see how the rest rank. 

6. I did read one article that ranked Brosnan as best Bond and I dry heaved a little. Not even close. He’s too smarmy, slick and refined almost to the point of being effeminate. He can’t be taken seriously as a license-to-kill super spy. Yes, Bond must be refined but that’s the veneer on a tough and rugged under body which Brosnan had none of.

Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in Goldeneye in the My Favourite Things About James Bond
Pierce Brosnan in Goldeneye (1995)
Timothy Dalton as Bond in My Favourite Things About James Bond blog
Timothy Dalton in The Living Daylights (1987)

5. Dalton, with his classical training, brought a grittier more serious version of Bond which was in sharp relief to Moore’s goofy Bond of the 80’s. This brought him more in line with Fleming’s vision, but unfortunately, he is entirely charmless and has the sex-appeal of chicken liver pâté.

4. Lazenby was a one-hit wonder and I thought he wasn’t too bad considering he was replacing the archetype Bond. With a martial arts background, his fight scenes had an aggressive athleticism. This purportedly carried a lot of weight in his screen test. 

He possessed a scrappy, brawler quality that the finest, fitted tux, unfortunately, couldn’t quite dissipate. Described as smug by some, I saw this to be more swagger with an underlying confidence. 

Breaking the fourth wall didn’t help his cause and the moment lives on in infamy as the worst three seconds in the entire Bond oeuvre. 

3. Moore was definitely suave but his fight scenes were void of conviction to the point where I doubt he’s ever been in a real fight in his life or even knows what that’s like. I read somewhere that he even had a stunt double do his running scenes because he looks funny when he runs. As we will get into a bit later, his portrayal of Bond often erred on the hammy side.

Roger Moore in Live And Let Die in My Favourite Things About James Bond
Roger Moore in Live And Let Die (1973)
Daniel Craig in No Time To Die in My Favourite Things About James Bond
Daniel Craig in No Time To Die (2020)

2. Craig has the brawn and physicality, perhaps too much of both because he lacks a certain debonair charm. He has rugged good looks, but he’s not really handsome enough to be Bond. The Golden Ratio for beauty, established by the Ancient Greeks and based on symmetry, ranks him as the least handsome because his lips are too thin, his nose is too bulbous and his face is too wide.

1. Connery was handsome and menacing at the same time and he moved like a panther. His entire being just oozed cool. Being an amateur bodybuilder, he had the brawn and physicality to compliment the suave exterior.

Referencing the Ancient Greeks again and their Golden Ratio, he comes closer than any of the Bonds to having an ideal face garnering an impressive 89.2% rating, thanks to a perfect chin and near perfect nose.

As ideal as he was and we all know him to be, he still met with disapproval from Ian Fleming, the Bond creator. To him, he was an overgrown stuntman without the Bond finesse and elegance. David Niven was his Bond apotheosis. Fortunately, producer Albert Broccoli, persuaded Fleming that Connery was the right man. He later said,

“I wanted a ballsy guy … put a bit of veneer over that tough Scottish hide and you’ve got Fleming’s Bond instead of all the mincing poofs we had applying for the job…”

Sean Connery as James Bond in Thunderball in the My Favourite Things About James Bond blog
Sean Connery in Thunderball (1965)

Honor Blackman, the Bond girl in Goldfinger, further endorsed Cubby’s choice, stating, “He was exceedingly handsome, virile and sexy and that really was the tenor of what the script was always trying to display.”

He just needed a few classes in finishing school which he received from director Terence Young. Young took him to his tailor and hairdresser and introduced him to the high life in London. He educated him in the ‘ways of being dapper, witty and above all, cool.’ Connery’s My Fair Lady transformation was a stunning success. 

My Favourite Bond Movie

Five years ago when I was studying in New York, I took a long anticipated trip to the Met. After being completely overwhelmed by the Egyptian wing, I meandered through various corridors before stumbling across a small Fabergé egg display. 

Before I knew it, the opening sequence of the James Bond film, Octopussy (1983), was vividly projected and played out in my mind. The sequence features the escape of a wounded British agent from East to West Berlin. As he reaches the safely of the British ambassador’s house, he falls down dead and drops a Fabergé egg on to the carpet.

It’s not the memory of Octopussy that makes this moment magical. Instead, of course, it’s who I was watching it with. My older sister, Eileen, was a huge fan of James Bond. I distinctly remember sitting in the playroom with her watching Bond running into a Tarantula web in the jungle, gliding across a lake in a crocodile-fashioned mini-sub and finally, some poor bastard getting French kissed by an octopus. 

Fabergé egg. Octopussy. My sister. A feeling of closeness.

Nostalgia score, 8/10.

This must be some pretty damn strong nostalgia at work because let’s be honest, Octopussy is a really bad Bond film. Watching it 30 plus years later is a farcical, cringe-a-minute extravaganza.

The plot is so convoluted that I still don’t fully understand it. The villains are caricatures of themselves at the best of times. Bond’s usually clever and punny quips fall flat for lack of substance. The third act is literally a circus where most devastatingly, and undoubtedly marking a new low point of the franchise, Bond dresses up as a clown. As one critic put it, ‘too much clowning around and not enough grit.’

It ranks as possibly the worst of all time, excluding perhaps The World Is Not Enough (1999) and Die Another Day (2002). Actually pretty much all of the Brosnan films, barring his first, GoldenEye (1995). 

Yet, I still enjoy it. Actually, it’s my favourite Bond film. Nostalgia is an all-embracing feeling that spans for decades and defies all logic-driven arguments. Where Bond misses, nostalgia doesn’t.

Interestingly enough, all the reasons why it fails as a classic Bond picture, are pretty much all the reasons why it succeeded as a riveting, thrill ride in the mind of a young boy watching it with his older sister. Spiders, elephants, mechanical crocodiles, facehugging octopuses, over-the-top villains. A more comical and lighthearted Bond. A fight on a moving train. Bond in a gorilla costume. Come on! What’s not to love? When you’re 10. 

Roger Moore in Octopussy
The mysterious Faberge egg
Roger Moore in spider's web in Octopussy
Bond guest starring on Fear Factor
Roger Moore as James Bond dressed up as a clown in Octopussy
Bond diffusing a bomb disguised as a clown
Henchman killed by Octopus in Octopussy
Octopus auditioning to be an alien facehugger

My Favourite Bond Villains

5. I don’t know if it’s the wicked grin or the unpredictable lucidity of Raoul Silva that makes his presence so creepy and terrorizing in the film Skyfall. Javier Bardem inhabited the role so disturbingly well that you can’t help think that Bond has met more than his match this time.

4. The archetype of a classic Bond villain, a dangerous blend of obsession, greed and insanity was what Gert Frobe portrayed as Auric Goldfinger. His memorable performance helped to immortalize 1964’s Goldfinger as one of the best Bond films of all time.

3. Possibly the best and most realistic fight scene in the entire Bond oeuvre takes place on the train in From Russia With Love between Bond the SPECTRE agent, Red Grant, played by Robert Shaw. Shaw’s calm and unsmiling demeanor combined with the line, “My orders are to kill you and deliver the Lektor. How I do it is my business. It’ll be slow and painful,” makes your blood run cold. 

2. Who wouldn’t be petrified of a 7-foot, metal-toothed giant named Jaws who happens to have a penchant for jugular flesh and shark meat? This seemingly indestructible character was played by the late Richard Kiel in the 1977 movie, The Spy Who Loved Me. He was such a popular villain, that they brought him back in Moonraker. 

1. Francisco Scaramanga in 1974’s The Man With The Golden Gun is the world’s most deadly assassin who never misses his man. And now he’s got 007 in his sights and reserved a golden bullet for the occasion. Christopher Lee did a stunning job giving a lighter tone to the character while exuding a great Bond equal. Like Red Grant, the best Bond villain is someone who most closely resembles Bond himself. A sort of Bizarro Bond to use DC vernac. 

Image is of Raoul Silva in the post my favourite things about James Bond
Raoul Silva, a little too close and personal
Image of Auric Goldfinger in the post my favourite things about James Bond
Auric Goldfinger looking supremely smug
Image of Red Grant in the post my favourite things about James Bond
Red Grant and his old man routine
Jaws about to have his mid-morning snack
Image of Francisco Scaramanga in the post my favourite things about James Bond
Francisco Scaramango masterfully played by Christopher Lee

What is your favourite Bond movie and who is your favourite Bond actor? Let me know in the comments section below.

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James Bond Gift Ideas

There is a lot of memorabilia out there, especially on Amazon, Etsy and Ebay. Amazon is usually cheaper with more selection and so I’ve chosen them. And if you’re not super satisfied with what you’ve bought, their returns policy is really good.

With so much to choose from, where do you start? My focus has been on cool, fun and quirky items, all garnering decent ratings from well-priced sellers.

Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and receive a small compensation if you use my links, but it will not increase your purchase price. If you use my links, I truly appreciate it 😉

James Bond Collection

James Bond Collection as nostalgic presents for men in the post My Favourite Things About James Bond

This is a no brainer for any James Bond fan. I mean, if you haven’t seen all of them what kind of fan does that make you?

On that note, I’d better go and watch Never Say Never Again. It’s been so long that it feels like I haven’t watched it yet. 

Check it out on Amazon

Trivial Pursuit

James Bond Trivial Pursuit as nostalgic presents for men in the post My Favourite Things About James Bond

This is the ultimate lockdown present. In fact, I would actually enjoy lockdown if I had someone to play with. Playing a board game on your own is a little sad so I’m writing this blog instead.

Check it out on Amazon.

Eject Button Cigarette Lighter

James Bond Ejector Lighter as nostalgic presents for men in the post My Favourite Things About James Bond

Goldfinger is regarded as one of the best Bond movies and the pimped up Aston Martin DB5 is definitely the most famous car. The ejector seat feature certainly helped to immortalize it. 

It’s a cool, quirky gift for any Bond fan and is one of the most popular Bond items on Amazon.

Check it out on Amazon

22 thoughts on “My Favourite Things About James Bond​”

  1. This is a very unique niche, Murray, and not one I can say that I have seen in this area yet. Part of me is slightly unsure if it will all be James Bond or movie related. The ‘about me’ section seems to hint to James Bond. It’s great how you’ve cleverly added the James Bond memorabilia at the bottom of the post though, I really enjoy some of the items you’ve included!

  2. Such an informative article you have here! I’ve been a fan of Bond since I was a kid because he was always fearless in the face of danger. Some trivia – 007 designation means that he is an agent in the ’00’ branch of MI6 along with 11 other agents, with their designations ranging from 001 to 0012. Thanks for taking me back in time!

  3. I like this article and I can tell that you have a love for James Bond.  I’ve never really watched James Bond, but I know that the character has had a huge legacy in pop culture.  I’ve also heard a lot of people echo the same sentiment you have about Sean Connery’s take on the character.  I never knew that the creator of the character didn’t see him in the role.  That’s weird because Connery’s such an outstanding actor.  The Bond gifts look very interesting.  I like the eject button lighter.  And, the Aston Martin Lego kit looks epic!  I was wondering, what are you thoughts on Bond producers selecting a woman or someone of color to be Bond?  Keep writing!

    1. Hi Brandon, I’m hoping my article will inspire you to watch a few Bond movies, particularly the one’s from the 60’s which will really give you a good idea of the origins of the character. And yes, I like the ejector lighter as well. Actually, you should watch Goldfinger so you will see how it gets used to great effect. 

      Regarding your question, I think it’s important to stay true to the vision of the creator as much as possible. Having said that, I think having a black Bond would be totally fine especially if it’s Idris Elba. But I don’t think a woman Bond would suit the franchise at all. Who would Money Penny get to flirt with? 

  4. Hi Murray. Thank you for sharing this interesting and light hearted article. When I start watching James Bond movie, the actor is Pierce Brosnan. He is so handsome. Even those movie he act at his later age, he still look handsome to me although he is not young anymore. After that, he is being replace by Daniel Craig! My idea of James Bond character is a handsome man has broken! haha.

    But in term of acting, he is still not bad, but the feel somehow is different. It’s like a different charactor to me already. But overall the movie is not bad so not really disappointed. Thank you for bringing back the old time.

    1. Pierce Brosnan is a handsome man no doubt about it, but 007 needs much more than just a pretty face.

  5. OK, your James Bond memories are much more thorough than mine!  I will admit that I enjoyed the movies, although I did think they were a bit over the top, which was what they were supposed to be. The whole James Bond thing earned its right to influence the real world by being so consistent in the movie world.

    I do think each actor brought different talents to the series, but as is often the case in this type of franchise, the differences were what was endearing to me. Entertainment is personal and each views it differently.  The James Bond movies have managed to withstand the years, and deliver the expected entertainment each time I watch one again.  

    The one thing I do not like is to watch this series of movies one after the other, in sequence, or randomly.  I get to comparing too quickly and forget to just enjoy the whole thing!  One at a time will do me.   Thanks for your share,  Sami

    1. Interesting that you prefer to watch them one at a time. I quite like seeing the evolution of the franchise with regards to special effects and storytelling which you can see more clearly when binge watching every movie over a weekend 😉 I’d like to do that if I had that kind of time!

      1. Sami Williams

        Different times in a life cycle – I watched them as they were released to television. I have never seen one in a movie theatre. Sitting and rocking a child with chickenpox, who could only sleep when being held and rocked. When waiting for the same children to get home at night. So the idea of a binge-watch did not exist.

        1. There’s a new Bond coming out towards the end of the year. It’s called, No Time To Die. Perhaps you’ll get to watch that one at the cinema. It’s definitely a more thrilling experience to view it on the big screen.

  6. Wow! Thanks for sharing such an amazing article here with us,the Bond’s have always been an interesting cast. Who’d believe that when choosing a Bond there certain thing to be considered such as the nose,lips and looks. Connery was great, the man looks tough on the outside but he’s also smart. I’m short on words because i never knew most things i read here actually took place,all i do is watch the movies. Nice work, keep it up!

    1. Choosing the right Bond certainly requires a lot of auditioning no doubt. Glad you found it interesting.

  7. Quite nostalgic of you to come up with this story that goes a long way. I must say that growing up, I was a very big fan of James Bond and I enjoyed watching the movies. I can’t really tell who was my favourite James bond because I watched everyone without paying attention to the characters but I knew really well what copping the character meant to actors. I just hope the franchise keeps producing.

    1. If you’re not sure who your favourite Bond is then perhaps you should start watching the entire franchise again, from Dr No. And by the time you’re done, No Time To Die will be out and you can watch that with a full understanding of the Bond world.

  8. Hello there,
    Thanks for sharing this article with us. Bond is certainly a nostalgic trigger for many people because the franchise goes back to the 60’s.

    You should include a list of your favourite Bond girls or Bond villains too.

    1. Hi Ashraf, I’m busy working on a list of henchmen at the moment. And yes, best Bond girls would be good too. And perhaps best Bond gadgets.

  9. Lorenz Valdez

    Thank you for sharing this awesome James Bond post.

    Personally, my favorite is Pierce Brosnan in Goldeneye. Although I know you reckon he’s the worst, I think he’s a really great actor and I hope he comes back for another go around in the future.

    I also had a James Bond Nintendo game back in the days that I would always play. It was the first shooter game and really what made me like all the James Bond movie.

    Thanks for sharing the James Bond products as well.

    1. Ha! A Brosnan fan 😉 I don’t deny he’s a decent enough actor, I just don’t think he’s right to play Bond. Part of the problem too is that 3 out of his 4 Bond movies were really bad which didn’t help his cause.I think this is partially because they weren’t Ian Fleming adaptations and the producers were still figuring out how to create compelling Bond stories. 

  10. As a Bond fan, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article, which I found very interesting and informative! Everyone has their favourite Bond actor, which makes for an entertaining read. Thanks for the ride down memory lane!

    1. Sure thing Eileen, I’m glad you appreciated the article. I’m sure you agree that Sean Connery is the best Bond 🙂

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