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Which Bond films have the greatest rewatchability?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Now that the complete James Bond series (the Eon Films titles plus Never Say Never Again (1983)) is available on Blu-ray, I thought we might reflect on which of the titles have the most rewatchability.

If you've seen all the titles recently, or at least have a good memory of them, please share your thoughts.

The point is not to argue the merits of any of these (de gustibus non est disputandum) but for each to give a personal evaluation of this long, strange trip.

A multi-choice poll would have been nice, but we have more movies than a single poll allows, and two polls would mean two threads, which would be messy.

For your editing convenience, here is a complete list of the films. Cut and paste as needed:

[Sean Connery]
Dr. No (1962)
From Russia with Love (1963)
Goldfinger (1964)
Thunderball (1965)
You Only Live Twice (1967)
Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Never Say Never Again (1983)

[George Lazenby]
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

[Roger Moore]
Live and Let Die (1973)
The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
Spy Who Loved Me, The (1977)
Moonraker (1979)
For Your Eyes Only (1981)
Octopussy (1983)
A View to a Kill (1985)

[Timothy Dalton]
The Living Daylights (1987)
License to Kill (1989)

[Pierce Brosnan]
Goldeneye (1995)
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
The World Is Not Enough (1999)
Die Another Day (2002)

[Daniel Craig]
Casino Royale (2006)
Quantum of Solace (2008)
Skyfall (2012)

-Bill
Edited by wmcclain - 6/10/13 at 2:52pm
post #2 of 28
Thread Starter 
My own rewatchability thoughts.

The links on the pre-1990 titles are to my reviews and thumbnails.

I should say at the outset that I have liked all of the actors who have played James Bond. I don't dislike Roger Moore, even though the stories during his era were notoriously weak and silly, and he was not very engaged in the role.

Sean Connery

My favorite:
Runners up:

Will see again someday:

Pretty bad:

George Lazenby

He made only one but it's a good one. Lazenby may not have been the best Bond but he doesn't embarrass himself and the title is top-shelf:
Roger Moore

This is tough because none of them are very appealing. Still, you never know when you are going to want light 1970-80s Bond.

Possibilities:

The rest:

Timothy Dalton

A fine Bond who was handicapped by script silliness in the first film and a limited budget in the second.

The better one:
Second shelf:
Pierce Brosnan

Very pretty, but did a good job.

Most likely to see again soon:
  • GoldenEye (1995)
  • Die Another Day (2002) (well...my wife likes this one. Glossy and nicely produced, it would be improved by subtracting the invisible car, plastic surgery, space death ray and other silliness)

Second shelf (key facts: one has Sophie Marceau and the other Michelle Yeoh):
  • Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
  • The World Is Not Enough (1999)

Daniel Craig

All have high rewatchability, although with Skyfall the pendulum is swinging back to fantasy action:
  • Casino Royale (2006)
  • Quantum of Solace (2008)
  • Skyfall (2012)

-Bill
post #3 of 28
[Timothy Dalton]
The Living Daylights (1987)
License to Kill (1989)

[Pierce Brosnan]
Goldeneye (1995)
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
The World Is Not Enough (1999)
Die Another Day (2002)

[Daniel Craig]
Casino Royale (2006)
Quantum of Solace (2008)
Skyfall (2012)


For me the "modern" Bonds are more re-watchable. Maybe it's because I grew up on the other guys, and am kind of burned out on them.
post #4 of 28
This is an easy one for me.


From Russia with Love (1963)
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
A View to a Kill (1985)
The Living Daylights (1987)
GoldenEye (1995)
Casino Royale (2006)


I can assure you that it is mere coincidence that each Bond actor is only represented once. The first four in my list are most notable to me for their brilliant and addictive music scores. The music itself is not the only thing that keeps bringing me back to them, but it certainly helps. A View to a Kill is campy nonsense done right, in my opinion.

In addition to being very well made films, GoldenEye and Casino Royale have a modern, mostly non-cheesy slickness to them that I can't get enough of.
post #5 of 28
My favorite is LICENSE TO KILL...the roughest Bond, the most realistic, and probably closer to the Fleming books than any others. Not to mention David Hedison (THE FLY and VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA) as Leiter. And the last Bond film to allow him to smoke (and with a cigarette lighter as a life saver!) This was an adult Bond for ad)ult viewers...and that was Fleming's original concept.

Followed by THUNDERBALL, YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (both with great Barry scores, FROM RUSSIA and OHMSS.

Can't stomach one single Roger Moore Bond flick...they're ALL dumb. The tamest and lamest Bond of them all, with his license to bore...and primarily for kids.

Brosnan was ok...GOLDEN EYE and the one with Sophie Marceau (but NOT the part with Denise Richards).
Edited by cinema13 - 2/28/13 at 8:26pm
post #6 of 28
I bought all these in BRs, a testament to rewatchability:

- From Russia with Love (got me hooked on to the Bond franchise)
- Thunderball
- OHMSS (sob story but love Mrs. Peel, classy lady)
- Casino Royale (Craig and David Niven, love the latter's music)

Not sure about Skyfall yet

Most of Roger Moore's are quite forgettable.
post #7 of 28
I have them all on Blu-ray - just to have them - that's how anal I can get.

My favorite by actor:

[Sean Connery]

Thunderball (1965)

[George Lazenby]

On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

[Roger Moore]

For Your Eyes Only (1981)

[Timothy Dalton]

License to Kill (1989)

[Pierce Brosnan]

Goldeneye (1995)

[Daniel Craig]

Casino Royale (2006)
post #8 of 28
The rewatchability I think is linked with how good the films are.

The Connery films had great energy, and hit the zeitgeist with the impact of Star Wars or Lord of the Rings (maybe even more)

Dr. No
From Russia With Love
Goldfinger


Thunderball was huge, but I found it sort of boring.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service slow spots, but when it works it's as good as the very best.

Live and Let Die About the only one Roger was really trying to seem dangerous
The Spy Who Loved Me Lots of good location work, but it seemed slow to me the last time I saw it.

I liked the Dalton films but can't really recall them too well

Didn't really like the Brosnan films except maybe Goldeneye

Certainly the Craig films have great rewatch potential, but I haven't seen the last two yet.
post #9 of 28
IMO-

From Russia with Love (closely follows the original story and few gadgets)

Goldfinger (second half of film was the start of the "campiness" for the rest of the series)

OHMSS

No Moore or Dalton films ever

Goldeneye

The World is Not Enough

Casino Royale (Daniel Craig)

Skyfall
post #10 of 28
I am a big bond fan and actually pretty much like all the movies for what they are, but if were to have to pick best re-watchable ones, then these would be it:

[Sean Connery]
Dr. No (1962)
From Russia with Love (1963)
Goldfinger (1964)
Thunderball (1965)
You Only Live Twice (1967)


[George Lazenby]
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

[Roger Moore]
The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
Spy Who Loved Me, The (1977)
For Your Eyes Only (1981)
Octopussy (1983)
A View to a Kill (1985)

[Timothy Dalton]
The Living Daylights (1987)
License to Kill (1989)

[Pierce Brosnan]
Goldeneye (1995)


[Daniel Craig]
Casino Royale (2006)
Skyfall (2012)
post #11 of 28
Im surprised Dr No isnt more highly regarded among such die hard Bond fans. No other movie re creates Flemings 007 as faithfully. With From Russia, With Love a close second. Its no coincidence. These are the only 2 made while Fleming was still alive. I love seeing the old photos of Connery and Fleming together. It just seems very cool. Anyway...
I love them all with the exception of A View to A Kill. Thank God that was Moores last. Octopussy was bad enough.
I have a soft spot for all Connery films except Diamonds.
OHMSS was great. I wish Lazenby would have had a chance to make a couple more.
Dalton did a great job. Too bad License to Kill was just another revenge movie instead of a proper mission for 007. The title had so much more potential.
Moore pretty much blows except for Live and Let Die and For Your Eyes Only. The only 2 where they made an effort to make Bond believable. Although Moonraker was pretty cool.
Goldeneye was Brosnans best without a doubt. As seems to be the trend, every time they get a new actor they go back to the original Bond formula and then get more and more outrageous.
Which explains why I think Casino Royale is by far the best Craig film.
These favorites may seem strange to some. I have read all the books. Fleming and others (John Gardner, Raymond Benson, etc.) and all the books are better as is usually the case. So I am probably kind of biased. Most of the movies have nothing to do with the books other than the names of some of the characters (which Fleming was great at coming up with : Pussy Galore, Holly Goodhead, Agent XXX, Goldfinger, Hugo Drax, Dr No, etc.) My movie choices are very much character driven. The most important thing to me is how Bond is portrayed. Second one would be the mission itself. A proper Bond on a proper mission cant be beat. I havent rated them by best stunts or soundtrack or locales, etc. I am not a movie critic. Just a huge fan of James Bond RNVNR, retired from the Royal Navy. Or - 007.
Edited by Bond 007 - 3/3/13 at 4:04am
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
That suggests other worthwhile lists: "Best Bond Books" and "Bond Movies Closest to the Book".

The only Fleming I have read is MOONRAKER (kind of negligible, movie nothing like) and ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE (rather good and movie very close).

In print Bond is bigger than life but not Superman. He gets into jams where he is on the run and in need of rescue.

-Bill
post #13 of 28
Absolutely. He is human. He gets drunk when he gets depressed, questions his mortality and morality, he is even afraid on a rare occasion, but through it all his love of country and loyalty to M never waver.
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bond 007 View Post

Absolutely. He is human. He gets drunk when he gets depressed, questions his mortality and morality, he is even afraid on a rare occasion, but through it all his love of country and loyalty to M never waver.

That's something (fear) that's rarely conveyed in film fight scenes. It takes a pretty good actor to put that across when they know that all they're doing is a carefully choreographed and rehearsed set of dance moves and proper blocking for the camera. Since I watch more TV than movies, I think of 'Alias' when I ponder this phenomenum. Jennifer Garner was really good at that. When Sidney Bristow got in a serious fight, Garner had an expression of real fear on her face that elevated that scene for me. I actually started to fear for her safety as well, which made the scene that much more powerful and believable. That, my friends, is acting!
post #15 of 28

Maybe she wasn't acting?

post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamian View Post

Maybe she wasn't acting?

Possibly... but does that make her a better actor (from a "method" standpoint), or a worse one?
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bond 007 View Post

I have read all the books. Fleming and others (John Gardner, Raymond Benson, etc.)

I've long felt that Gardner's "Nobody Lives For Ever" would make a very good Bond movie, especially if you took the climax of the previous book ("Role of Honour") and used that as the pre-credits teaser sequence. IIRC, Gardner refused to let his books be adapted to movies, though the movie producers pilfered ideas from them regularly.

The Steven Seagal thriller Under Siege is a very blatant rip-off of Gardner's "Win, Lose or Die."
post #18 of 28
It has been so long since I read those that I dont remember much about them. I remember he had the Saab 900 which was a little disappointing but the books were great. Seems like he was upgraded to a Walther P9 and was using "glaser" slugs too (a nasty, lethal combo). I had all of the books and they were stolen (among other things) out of my storage bin when I was in between moves. I have read the Fleming novels so many times though that I remember most of them. Some of the books I had were the original printing of the Fleming novels.
Edited by Bond 007 - 3/3/13 at 8:43pm
post #19 of 28
This is an intriguing but, in my mind, not so simple question in terms of how "rewatchability" is defined.

Of the Bond's, I would buy (or have bought):

Dr. No
From Russia with Love
Goldfinger
Live and Let Die
Spy Who Loved Me
Casino Royale
Quantum of Solace
Skyfall

This is a list where I can see going down, pulling out a bluray to specifically watch. Of the others I can't say I can see myself doing that or at least doing it very rarely. However, if any of the films are on broadcast tv I almost always watch. This is because I'm basically a Bond fan overall but the list above just speaks to some films doing more for me than others. And I consider myself a "completist" as I don't usually like to break a collection or series but I just simply don't want to own the others.

My first Bond experience, as a child of the 80's, was For Your Eyes Only but the first that I truly remember in completion and making me a fan was A View to a Kill. What's interesting to me is neither of those are on my list and it's further interesting to me that none of the Dalton or Brosnan films are on the list as I consider those within "my generation" as well.

WIth this I'd be interested to know how everyone's list relates to "their decade of Bond"? I also wonder if the exclusion of certain films is a function of how much they're on broadcast television?

So, what's the most "rewatchable"...on BD or broadcast? The list above. But they're all rewatchable to me on broadcast.

Note: Regarding QOS, I wasn't able to make it to the theater to watch this so I bought it as a blind buy day one. I like it and watch it relatively frequently but it certainly doesn't carry the weight of the others and in 10 years will likely be regarded as a Goldeneye (or other) to me.
post #20 of 28
So I have been wondering: was Skyfall a reboot back to the Ian Fleming source material? I mean, we have a male "M", Miss Moneypenny, and a James Bond on the cusp of Middle Age, just as in the original 15 novels and nine short stories written by Fleming.

I think I would rather see additional scripts based on the authors who followed Fleming and wrote James Bond novels after his death, rather than modern remakes. It has been a few decades since I read the Fleming books, but I still feel that Fleming was better than any who followed him and wrote additional stories. But those classic films already exist and I like a good half of them.
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary McCoy View Post

So I have been wondering: was Skyfall a reboot back to the Ian Fleming source material? I mean, we have a male "M", Miss Moneypenny, and a James Bond on the cusp of Middle Age, just as in the original 15 novels and nine short stories written by Fleming.

I think I would rather see additional scripts based on the authors who followed Fleming and wrote James Bond novels after his death, rather than modern remakes. It has been a few decades since I read the Fleming books, but I still feel that Fleming was better than any who followed him and wrote additional stories. But those classic films already exist and I like a good half of them.
In answer to your first paragraph. I sure hope so.
Fleming was way better than anyone who followed but I do like them all. I agree completely that there are some great stories that they should use. But since you have read all the Fleming novels you will know that many of the movies and novels shared nothing more than the title and character names. They have even used all of the Fleming titles that were short stories for Playboy (For Your Eyes Only, Quantum of Solace, Octopussy, A View To a Kill...).
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary McCoy View Post

So I have been wondering: was Skyfall a reboot back to the Ian Fleming source material? I mean, we have a male "M", Miss Moneypenny, and a James Bond on the cusp of Middle Age, just as in the original 15 novels and nine short stories written by Fleming.

What Skyfall basically reveals is that the Daniel Craig movies are less reboot than prequel. They show us how Bond got to be the man we know and how the iconography of the franchise (M, Moneypenny, Q, etc.) came together.
Quote:
I think I would rather see additional scripts based on the authors who followed Fleming and wrote James Bond novels after his death, rather than modern remakes. It has been a few decades since I read the Fleming books, but I still feel that Fleming was better than any who followed him and wrote additional stories. But those classic films already exist and I like a good half of them.

I seriously doubt that the producers plan to remake any of the previous movies. Perhaps they might pull ideas from Fleming that were discarded or ignored by the previous movies, but straight remakes seem unlikely.

I don't know the exact legalities of it, but I believe there may be contractual issues preventing the other non-Fleming Bond novels from being adapted to movies. I'm pretty sure I heard somewhere that John Gardner specifically refused to let any of his books be turned into movies (though he did write a tie-in novel for Licence to Kill).
post #23 of 28
big bond fan here. all the sean connery films are good for a rewatch to me. to put them in order:

Goldfinger (1964)
From Russia with Love (1963)
Thunderball (1965)
Diamonds Are Forever (1971) - this seems to be last place for many people's connery list but i like it because it's a lot of fun. and jill st. john is easy on my eyes smile.gif
You Only Live Twice (1967)
Dr. No (1962)
Never Say Never Again (1983)

all the roger moore films are worth a rewatch to me as well. i was born in '61 so the '70s would be my "bond decade". live and let die was my first bond movie to see in a theatre. in order:


Live and Let Die (1973) - great debut for roger
Spy Who Loved Me, The (1977) - barbara bach......great intro scene......barbara bach
For Your Eyes Only (1981)
The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) - campy fun, see diamonds are forever
Moonraker (1979)
Octopussy (1983)
A View to a Kill (1985) - roger's getting old....great song

the lazenby film and brosnan films don't warrant a rewatch for me.

when i saw casino royale it didn't feel like a bond film to me. where was the fun and the camp so firmly established by connery and moore? nevertheless, i like the craig films although they're not very high on the rewatch scale. i haven't seen skyfall yet. eagerly awaiting for it to come out on redbox....next tuesday if i'm not mistaken.
post #24 of 28
I have seen all of the James Bond Films. These are the ones I own (not ranked in any order of preference). I like these or would not have purchased.
I really don't like the others enough to buy.
Notice I only have one Roger Moore. Many of his I don't like. Man With the Golden Gun and Octopussy were awful for me.
From Russia
Goldfinger
OHMSS
For your eyes only
Licence to kill
The world is not enough
Casino Royale
Skyfall

A couple of years ago I took the Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB ratings and averaged them for all Bond movies
From Russia
Goldfinger
Dr No
Casino Royale
These were the top four. Skyfall of course would not be calculated in that stat.
post #25 of 28
Simple Opinion
All Bond Films Are Silly, but I can rewatch any of them after enough time passes
between views. Favorites change every few years wink.gif
post #26 of 28
I have seen all including NSNA. Not a diehard fan but every year I get the itch and start popping a few in. Unfortunately, in the 60s I can count 4 great Bond movies - but from 1970 to 2013, I can count....2 frown.gif

I own 4 bond movies:

dr no
FRWL
OHMSS
Casino Royale

fortunate to get 'em all on blu in the single digits biggrin.gif

FRWL I think is still the best Bond movie made and one of the best action-adventure films, but for re-watchability, I simply cant get enough of Dr. No. Its just so great! biggrin.gif I love how it looks on blu ray, I love the 1962 cold war caribbean setting. I mean...I just love it.

Its not as bigger than life as other bond flicks, but thats another reason why i watch it over and over again. Its like a little pocket adventure!! biggrin.gif The movie does not have John Barry's great scores and some people have faulted it for sounding more like a 50's B movie. But I cant imagine the score being anything else. There are hardly any action sequences, no gadgets, and the climax is just Bond casually sneaking into the facility, turning a dial to cause a meltdown. If a modern bond movie had anything like "The Dragon" everyone would laugh...

but as a pulp detective story with great story, great locales, intrigue, its awesome.

I dindt always feel this way. I always respected Dr. No, but something about how it looks on Blu Ray gives it an additional appeal. Same thing as ALIEN.

Dr. No is awesome.
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by huskie2000 View Post

I have seen all including NSNA. Not a diehard fan but every year I get the itch and start popping a few in. Unfortunately, in the 60s I can count 4 great Bond movies - but from 1970 to 2013, I can count....2 frown.gif

I own 4 bond movies:

dr no
FRWL
OHMSS
Casino Royale

fortunate to get 'em all on blu in the single digits biggrin.gif

FRWL I think is still the best Bond movie made and one of the best action-adventure films, but for re-watchability, I simply cant get enough of Dr. No. Its just so great! biggrin.gif I love how it looks on blu ray, I love the 1962 cold war caribbean setting. I mean...I just love it.

Its not as bigger than life as other bond flicks, but thats another reason why i watch it over and over again. Its like a little pocket adventure!! biggrin.gif The movie does not have John Barry's great scores and some people have faulted it for sounding more like a 50's B movie. But I cant imagine the score being anything else. There are hardly any action sequences, no gadgets, and the climax is just Bond casually sneaking into the facility, turning a dial to cause a meltdown. If a modern bond movie had anything like "The Dragon" everyone would laugh...

but as a pulp detective story with great story, great locales, intrigue, its awesome.

I dindt always feel this way. I always respected Dr. No, but something about how it looks on Blu Ray gives it an additional appeal. Same thing as ALIEN.

Dr. No is awesome.
I share your appreciation for Dr. No, particularly on Blu-ray. Every now and then I haul it out to watch again. Part of that is the fun of seeing how it all started and to recall how impressed I was with it and Connery back in '62. But the other part is Dr. No, along with From Russia With Love, are the two Bond films that more than hold up as stand alone spy films not part of a franchise series. If either had been made and no other Bond movies made since, each would have been regarded as top drawer spy movies in their own right with the added bonus of introducing a compelling new screen presence in Sean Connery. Although I still enjoyed Goldfinger the most originally and in terms of rewatchability, that one requires us to already know who Bond is and we were already beginning to tick off the series requirements: Bond girl, M's gadgets, destroy/control the world evil villain, the cute exit lines, etc.
Edited by hitchfan - 3/9/13 at 5:51pm
post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 
Here's a nice retrospective at TheDigitalBits: 007… Fifty Years Strong: An Interview with James Bond Historians

I'm glad so many contributors hold On Her Majesty's Secret Service in such high regard.

-Bill
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