Last week I saw the new James Bond movie, No Time To Die. It was the twenty sixth Bond movie, that's all of them, that I have seen at the theaters, all the way back to the beginning with Dr. No.
Over these past fifty nine years I have liked some movies better than others, and more importantly, for this column, I have liked some of the Bond actors better than others. There really has only been one guy that I did not like at all and the producers agreed because he only appeared in one movie as Bond.
Here is my completely biased, and arbitrary, list from worst to first of the men who have played James Bond.
George Lazenby played Bond in only one movie, On Her Majesty's Secret Service. He was so forgettable that the producers had to bring back Sean Connery for the next movie, even though he did not want to come back. Lazenby even realized movies were not his thing because shortly after being awful in this one, he turned to the real estate investment business, never to see a movie set again.
I am a big fan of David Niven, but not as James Bond. Another, one and done, Bond appeared in the 1967 spoof, Casino Royale. He was good, but it was a ridiculous premise for a Bond movie and fortunately he was saved from being the worst ever by Lazenby. Go see him in plenty of other wonderful movies he did in his great career.
I go back and forth on Timothy Dalton and where he ranks. I did not appreciate him as much when he was playing Bond as I do now that I've seen other portrayals of Bond. He brought an edge to Bond that I appreciate more today. I could move him up a notch or two and still be happy with the list. Maybe if he was in more than two films it would be different.
Pierce Brosnan was supposed to replace Roger Moore but his schedule didn't allow him the time, so they went with Dalton instead. His Bond portrayal was suave, like Moore, and he was the first Bond to not smoke. He also transitioned the Bond character into the 21st century during the four movies he appeared in as Bond.
So here is where I am going to lose some fans. I have Sean Connery, the original Bond, as my third favorite. Honestly, because I didn't want to get death threats, I ranked him above Brosnan and Dalton, but I could have moved them up ahead of Connery and been happy. I loved him as Bond until the others came along. Truth be told any of the top five could have been in any order. Also, Ian Fleming was very much opposed to Connery as Bond. He and Roger Moore are tied with seven movies as Bond each.
Roger Moore was the most debonair and sophisticated of all the bond portrayals. He also was the funniest, as he played Bond like he knew he was doing things he shouldn't and getting away with them. I have liked, pretty much, anything he has ever done, and putting him at number two all time is the right spot for him on this list. He played Bond from 1973 - 1985.
Daniel Craig is without a doubt the greatest Bond performance of all time. His choice to play Bond as the ruthless, and unsympathetic, person that Fleming created was perfect. He brought a darkness to the role that was incredible and enthralling. Quantum of Solace and Skyfall may be the two best Bond films of all time. His current, and last film, No Time To Die, was so emotional I had to compose myself before leaving the theater. I'm not sure who will be the next Bond but I know he, or she, will not be as good as Daniel Craig.
So there you have my list of Bond actors. I know your list will be different than this which is what makes movies so fun. If you haven't seen the latest Bond film you have to go, it will make you happy you did.