I wanted to pick just one, but I couldn’t … so I have picked 5 instead. My game, my rules. However, you can vote for your favourite(s) here.
In no discernible order, here are my favourite 5 James Bond films:
1. From Russia with Love (1963)
Although it seems a little old fashioned now, this classic bond flick always seems like a true spy adventure rather than some of the more fantastical stories that came later on. Set during the cold war, the evil group SPECTRE plays Russian and British intelligence forces off each other by luring 007 to Istanbul to meet a Russian girl, Tatiana Romanova, who claims she has fallen in love with his photograph. It seems an obvious trap but there is a chance to get hold of the Russian Lektor decoding machine. Bond gets the girl and the Lektor and makes his get away, but before he is free he has a brutal train encounter with Donald ‘Red’ Grant as well as the infamous Rosa Klebb with her poisoned-tipped shoe.
2. The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
This story is elevated to the higher ranks as the three-titted baddie Francisco Scaramanga is so elegantly played by Christopher Lee and provides a true test for Roger Moore’s James Bond. They are both at the top of their field but on opposite sides of the law. Nick Nack is great as Scaramanga’s henchmen and Maud Adams (who would later play Octopussy) and Britt Ekland make good Bond girls, not to mention a flying car and an amazing spinning car jump over a river. Perhaps not the overall best bond movie, but has all the right elements to be a great bond film: great locations, great stunts, great baddie and great bond girls.
3. Goldfinger (1964)
Probably the most famous James Bond film of all time and is the film that set the tone for the James Bond films that followed. It is an obvious choice for the best Bond film as it has a great villain, Auric Goldfinger, a great henchman, Oddjob, arguably the best Bond girl in Pussy Galore and features the Aston Martin DB5 full of cool gadgets (e.g. passenger ejector seat). Starting with the unforgettable scene featuring a dead Shirley Eaton covered in gold paint, the story crosses from Europe to the US and has a finale involving a break in to Fort Knox. It even contains some memorable dialogue such as Bond asking Goldfinger if he expects him to talk whilst having a laser beam directed at him and Goldfinger replying, “No, Mr Bond. I expect you to die!”.
4. A View to a Kill (1985)
In some ways this should be a terrible Bond film as Roger Moore is almost 60, but in fact it is a truly entertaining 007 adventure. Oscar winner Christopher Walken sizzles as the baddie Max Zorin who wants to destroy California’s Silicon Valley and Grace Jones is gloriously outrageous as Zorin’s henchlady May Day. Tanya Roberts is quite sexy but not much else as Bond girl Stacey Sutton. There are some great stunt sequences in Paris including the car chopped in half racing around and a dangerous finale at the top of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Duran Duran‘s title song is also one of the best, if not the best Bond song.
5. Live and Let Die (1973)
The James Bond franchise was completely re-invigorated by Roger Moore’s first outing as 007 who superbly took on the role and made it his own. Live and Let Die is a great Bond adventure that has lots of fantastic moments and elements to the film: A good baddie, well two good baddies both played by Yaphet Kotto (Kananga/Mr Big), the beautiful Solitaire (Jane Seymour), a great henchmen in Tee Hee who has a metal prosthetic arm and the weird but wonderful Geoffrey Holder as the mysterious Baron Samedi. The movie has great moments such as the Alligator Farm and the boat chase as well as comic relief from Sherrif J W Pepper. Add to all this a cracking title song from Paul and Linda McCartney.
Agree? Disagree? Vote for your favourite James Bond films here.