Today is international James Bond day! I know! I had no idea either! Today marks 60 years of 007, and I thought it would be a good idea to go over the 5 best James Bond movies ever made. We’re in a really interesting period for the British Secret Service agent since Daniel Craig’s time playing the character has come to an end. We’re now waiting to see who’ll get to play the character that Ian Fleming created next.
Anyway, I thought it would be a good time to go over the 5 best Bond movies ever made. There have been 25 movies made in the main franchise so far (I’m not counting Never Say Never Again and 1967’s Casino Royale in that list), and it’s not an easy task to try and figure out which ones are the best ones. There are quite a few good ones. However, I have to be honest, there are plenty of pretty terrible ones also. So, without any further ado, let’s go over the five best Bond movies ever made.
The 5 Best James Bond movies ever made
Before we get into the top five best James Bond movies ever made, I wanted to go over some of the other great 007 movies made in the franchise’s 60 years. So, the first one I have to mention is GoldenEye, which I think is a terrific Bond movie. It starred Pierce Brosnan, and it’s easily his best Bond movie ever made. However, I still think there are issues with the movie, which is why I didn’t put it in the top five.
Then there’s Live And Let Die, which is easily Roger Moore’s best James Bond movie ever made. This came very close to getting into my top five, but I truly love the movies I ended up putting in this list a bit more than Live And Let Die. I also believe that the movies I’ve added in my top five have stood the test of time a bit better than Live And Let Die has done.
I would also have put Sean Connery’s Thunderball in this list, but again, I think that the ones I put in this list are just a bit more iconic than Thunderball. Although, I believe that Thunderball has the best Bond song of all time.
Finally, there’s The Man With The Golden Gun, which I love because it has one of the best Bond villains of all time in it. Francisco Scaramanga, brilliantly played by Christopher Lee, is basically the evil version of Bond and is more than a match for 007. However, upon rewatching the movie recently, I do think it lags a bit in the middle, which is why I decided against putting it in my top five.
Goldfinger is a real gem of a Bond movie. I think that it was the movie that made the world believe that Sean Connery really was 007. This is something that’s lasted to this day. When people are asked which actor they think is quintessential Bond, I’m pretty sure that over 50% of people would say Connery, and I think that it’s all because of his performance in Goldfinger.
It also features some brilliant moments involving a ray beam, and it’s a movie that made everyone want to own an Aston Martin DB5. Shirley Eaton plays Jill Masterson in the movie, and it features the iconic Bond moment in which the film’s villain, Auric Goldfinger, kills her by covering her in gold paint.
I also have to mention Gert Fröbe’s performance as Goldfinger, which has to go down as one of the best Bond villains of all time. It was revealed that Orson Wells almost played the role, but he cost too much. So, they ended up finding Gert, and his English was so bad that they had to redub him afterwards.
He was redubbed by Michael Collins. Finally, the movie features a great performance from Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore – Goldfinger’s personal pilot and leader of an all-female team of pilots known as Pussy Galore’s Flying Circus. Yep, the name is terrible, but her performance in the movie is terrific!
4. From Russia With Love
From Russia With Love is the movie that made me fall in love with the Bond franchise. I used to buy Bond movies on VHS as a kid, and that meant that I didn’t really watch them in order.
However, when I watched From Russia With Love, I understood why this character has become so famous and iconic. I think this is Connery at his very best, and it features just a wonderfully sinister performance from Robert Shaw as Donald “Red” Grant.
I think that this movie has one of the best fight sequences in any Bond movie. I’m talking about the scene between Bond and Red on a train, and I think about that scene a lot when talking about Bond.
Yes, it’s probably dated quite a bit, but I still love watching it, and I love the build-up of tension between Bond and Red. The moment in which Bond realises that Red is really a cunning SPECTRE assassin is just brilliant. It also introduced the villainous organisation SPECTRE to the Bond franchise.
3. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
OK, I know that some people might think that I’m crazy liking On Her Majesty’s Secret Service so much, but I do, and I’ll explain why. I know that it doesn’t feature the best Bond actor of all time. The movie was George Lazenby’s one and only outing as 007.
However, I would argue that this is one of the best-written Bond movies of all time. It was the first movie in the franchise in which Bond was depicted as an actual human being with emotions, and it shows him falling in love.
I think that later movies in the franchise such as Casino Royale owes a lot to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Before the movie was released, Bond was a sort of emotionless robot who just used people. I did love Sean Connery in the role, but he was cold and calculating. Lazenby’s Bond was a lot more relatable, and I wonder that’s why people reacted so negatively to him in the role at the time.
They just weren’t used to it and weren’t expecting it. It also features an incredible action sequence filmed in the mountains. This was the movie that brought skiing into the Bond franchise. This has gone on to become iconic, and movies in the franchise have tried to replicate it ever since.
I’m thinking of movies such as The Spy Who Loves Me, Spectre, The World Is Not Enough, The Living Daylights and For You Eyes Only. These movies all features skiing sequences, but they weren’t quite as memorable as the one in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and the Lazenby movie did it first.
I would also argue that without this movie, we wouldn’t have had that awesome skiing sequence in Christopher Nolan’s movie, Inception.
Skyfall was a very different Bond movie when it was released back in 2012. The movie was directed by Sam Mendes, and I think that he and Daniel Craig achieved something quite spectacular with this 007 film. The film incorporated many of the best aspects of Bond. We learned more about the character’s backstory and delved a little bit into his childhood.
It was also a much-needed movie after the frankly terrible Bond movie that came before it, Quantum Of Solace. The franchise could have ended if this Bond movie wasn’t as good as it turned out to be.
It’s one of the best-directed and best-acted Bond movies I’ve ever seen, and it also featured a kickass performance from Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva. Unpredictable, sinister, creepy and kind of alluring – everything you want from a good Bond villain.
I also love this Bond movie because of what it did with Judy Dench’s M. Dench had been playing the role for years, and this movie was a truly perfect and tearful goodbye to the character. It then introduced Ralf Fiennes as the new M, which I think was perfect casting.
1. Casino Royale
Casino Royale is easily the best 007 movie ever made. It marked a new era in the Bond franchise and gave us Daniel Craig as 007. There was so much negativity surrounding his casting. I remember people complaining about having a James Bond with blond hair and blue eyes. I think all that nonsense died down after three seconds into Casino Royale. It established Craig as one of the best actors ever to play the character.
This was also a Bond movie that showed the character as an actual human being with actual human emotions. I think this is something that the franchise really lacked during the era of Moore, Dalton and Brosnan. During that era (maybe apart from Dalton’s movies), Bond was just a caricature.
He was a wise-cracking robot who slept with every woman he laid eyes on. Craig’s Bond was immediately different. He was brooding and dangerous, but also ended up falling in love with Eva Green’s Vesper Lynd.
It features terrific performances from the likes of Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Jeffrey Wright, Judy Dench and Giancarlo Giannini. I particularly liked Mikkelsen’s performance as Le Chiffre, and I think that casting Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter was pure genius.
What do you make of this news? Are there any Bond movies that you think are better than the ones that we’ve put in our list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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