Posts tagged “john barry

The Living Daylights (1987)

James Bond film #15 (Timothy Dalton Bond)

The Living Daylights (1987)

The Living Daylights is the first Bond film with Timothy Dalton, a man who would certainly be the most forgotten Bond if it weren’t for Mr. George Lazenby. While Roger Moore altered Bond to make him more comical and suave, Dalton dials back the self-awareness and plays the role more like a serious spy. It’s not a bad idea, and we’ll see that approach work well when we get to Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, but there’s very obvious tension on display in this film between Dalton’s new take and the material’s inability to adapt alongside him.

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A View to a Kill (1985)

James Bond film #14 (Roger Moore Bond)

A View to a Kill (1985)

A View to a Kill marks the 7th and final appearance of Roger Moore as James Bond, Agent 007. It’s been a fun ride that’s lasted 12 years, but as anyone who watches this film could tell you, Moore is 57 years old and looking it. It’s time for some new blood, but not before Moore takes down Christopher Walken, co-starring as the rich and insane Max Zorin. Despite the promise that an unhinged Walken might suggest, A View to a Kill is as worn-out and tired as its leading man.

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Octopussy (1983)

James Bond film #13 (Roger Moore Bond)

Octopussy (1983)

The Bond series becomes a baker’s dozen with 1983’s Octopussy (13), a movie which may very well win the “Worst Title Ever” award. The film itself isn’t so great either, excelling only in setting and severely lacking in story. A Soviet general who’s something like a mix between Dr. Strangelove and Buck Turgidson is attempting to expand the USSR’s borders into Europe through a convoluted disarmament plan. Somehow, an Afghan prince and his unfortunately named business associate get involved, and Bond ends up dressing like a clown. If it weren’t for the absurd name, this subpar Bond film would be long-forgotten by now.

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Moonraker (1979)

James Bond film #11 (Roger Moore Bond)

Moonraker (1979)

After the success of Star Wars in 1977, Cubby Broccoli decided to jump in on the emerging science fiction craze and choose Moonraker as the next Eon Productions Bond movie. Roger Moore returns for his fourth Bond film, investigating a stolen space shuttle that leads him to Hugo Drax of Drax Industries. Drax’s plan is very similar to Stromberg’s from The Spy Who Loved Me (10) – he plans to destroy humanity and repopulate the Earth as he sees fit. There are a few slight differences – instead of nukes, he’s planning on using poison, and instead of hiding out underwater, he’s planning on chilling in space during the apocalypse – but this déjà vu is symptomatic of Moonraker‘s tendency to coast on the coattails of its spectacular predecessor.

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Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

James Bond film #07 (Sean Connery Bond)

Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

After George Lazenby’s solo run as James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli were told to get Connery back in the suit at any cost – and that cost ended up being 1.25 million pounds, an amount that equals out to about $32 million in today’s dollars. Having spent so much on their lead actor (in fact, the highest salary to an actor for a role ever at the time), the pair of producers aimed to recreate the commercial success of 1964’s Goldfinger, hiring that film’s director (Guy Hamilton), using Shirley Bassey to sing the title song again, and originally centering the story around Auric Goldfinger’s twin. After Broccoli dreamt of recluse Howard Hughes getting replaced by an imposter, however, the plot was changed to that fantastical idea, creating the character of Willard Whyte and setting most of the story in Las Vegas.

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On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

James Bond film #06 (George Lazenby Bond)

Film #23: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

All right. Back to Bond. Mostly, anyway -1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service marks the first time in the Eon Productions series that Mr. Bond is played by someone other than Sean Connery. This time around, newcomer George Lazenby fills the role for the longest Bond film that isn’t Casino Royale. It wasn’t until midway through production that Lazenby decided he’d only play Bond once, having been convinced by his agent that 007 would become irrelevant in the 70s. The film’s length and the fact that it features an isolated Bond actor puts it in a unique position amidst the Bond canon, and at times the film seems uncomfortable with itself as it struggles with the new Bond incarnation.

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You Only Live Twice (1967)

Film #15: You Only Live Twice (1967)

James Bond film #05 (Sean Connery Bond)

Sean Connery is back as James Bond in the fifth film of the series, You Only Live Twice. SPECTRE’s back again, trying to goad the US and the Soviets into a war by eating up their astronauts with a big ole hungry spacecraft. Despite the fact that SPECTRE just stole two atomic bombs in Thunderball, the Americans and Soviets blame each other, so of course it takes level-headed Britain to take care of things. Noting that the mysterious hungry hungry spacecraft landed somewhere in the sea of Japan, they dispense their top agent to the land of the rising sun to see what’s up. During his mission, Bond finally comes face-to-face with SPECTRE’s number 1, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, as played by Donald Pleasance and as spoofed by Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers series.

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Thunderball (1965)

Film #15: Thunderball (1965)

James Bond film #04 (Sean Connery Bond)

After their absence from the third Bond movie Goldfinger, SPECTRE is back in Thunderball to screw with the world and try to kill James Bond in the process. This time, hook-nosed, eye-patched #2 Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi) hijacks two atomic warheads from NATO and threatens to destroy Miami unless he gets 100 million pounds in diamonds. It’s a classic hostage situation that must have reminded audiences of the contemporary Cuban Missile Crisis, and it’s a great return for an evil organization that uses Cold War fears to enrich themselves.

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Goldfinger (1964)

Film #14: Goldfinger (1964)

James Bond film #03 (Sean Connery Bond)

Goldfinger, the third in the Eon Productions James Bond series, sees Connery return to the role for what many consider the quintessential 007 film. Amidst the usual babes and bad guys, Bond is after eponymous villain Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe), who plans to attack the United States’ gold depository at Fort Knox. Goldfinger takes the formula that From Russia With Love established and adds many things that would become staples of the series. It’s also chock-full of iconic lines and scenes. Many things that spoof Bond pull dialogue and imagery from this third installation, so if you’re watching this for the first time (like I was), you’ll undoubtedly be stricken with a constant sense of déjà vu.

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From Russia With Love (1963)

Film #12: From Russia With Love (1963)

James Bond film #02 (Sean Connery Bond)

With the success of Dr. No, the makers of the first James Bond film were given double the budget to do it all over again. And boy, did they. From Russia With Love, released a year after its predecessor, ups the ante on everything that made Dr. No such an excellent flick. Taking place mostly in Turkey, this installment sees Bond (Connery once again) agree to help a beautiful Russian agent (Tatiana Romanova, played by Daniela Bianchi), purportedly defect, in order to obtain a cryptographic machine known as a Lektor. Little do either of these absurdly attractive secret agents know, the entire engagement is a ploy by the terrorist organization SPECTRE, which is plotting to kill Bond in vengeance for the death of Dr. No.

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