Well then, I said it might take a while for me to sort which of these movies was a favourite, and I was right. Could I point out that none of the ‘new’ Bond movies are included in this (I loathe Brosnan’s Bond and his movies and though I love Craig’s movies I felt I had enough to pick from without (not to mention them being way too different from the older ones), so I excluded them), I’ve stuck to the old ones as they’re the ones I grew up loving and watching obsessively whenever they were on telly.
This is by no means, as usual, an EXACT list, it’s my current favourite order however, having said that, the top two (as they often are) is SET IN STONE for reasons. Lots of… reasons. I may even list a few when I reveal them.
I do not mention Q herein, but it goes without saying that Desmond Llewelyn was and always will be my most beloved Bond memory. The. BEST. Nor do I mention the unparalleled Miss Moneypenny, the woman who put Bond in his place, played in all these original movies by Lois Maxwell. An unforgettable and admirable legacy on both parts.
Now without further ado-dlin’, here they are.
FAVOURED FIVES: BOND MOVIES
Sliding in on a cello at number 5 is: THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS
Ahhhhhh, Dalton, you cleft-chinned wonder you. Here Bond is tasked with helping a Russian officer make a daring and dangerous defection to the West but, shock horror, the Officer goes missing and Bond is sent on a whirlwind race against time to find him, becoming entangled (*coff*) along with way with ravishing cellist Kara.
I remember the anticipation for this Bond movie, my sister thought Dalton was an absolute dish and I was just super excited to have a new Bond to watch, as I was (and still am) a MASSIVE fan all of things action movie and Bond. It certainly did deliver!
Theme tune by A-ha, weapons schemes, hair-raising chases (including the one with the cello), jailbreaks, death by door and an EPIC end battle in the desert with tanks, airplanes and a cavalry of freedom fighters. Kara is a bit of a damsel in distress at times but mostly she’s pretty damn awesome and she manages a feat few other Bond girls do, an actual relationship with Bond, the world’s biggest commitment-phobe, for at least the duration of the movie.
Slithering in on eight tentacled limbs at number 4: OCTOPUSSY
Roger Moore, that suave, fo-sisticated rather raunchy master of sly wit is my second fave Bond of all time (the first being Connery, natch). This is one of his most batshit outings, and boy did old Roger have some batshit times as Bond.
Circuses, the voluptuous and deadly Octopussy herself, fake Faberge eggs, Orlov and nuclear threats make for a free-wheeling two hours odd of absolute insanity and fun. Classic Bond.
And c’mon, who doesn’t love Bond’s little folding plane. Class. Plus: death by octopus. *happy sigh*
Popping up like a third nipple at number 3 it’s: THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN
Another Moore, this time joined by the inestimable acting might of Sir Christopher Lee. Good lord but I love Sir Chris. I cannot begin to count the ways. This was, in fact, I believe my first introduction to his awesomeness (I wasn’t allowed to watch horror films), and boy oh boy is he wonderful as Scaramanga, the world’s most expensive hit-man, with a dodgy taste in weapons of choice, an island lair and that infamous extra nipple.
When Bond is apparently targeted by this tri-nippled, golden gun toting millionaire killer, good old M takes him off duty but Bond never does as he’s told and thus ensues an adventure of epic proportions. Tropical islands, energy harnessing devices with ridiculous names (Solex Agitator *snigger*), evil butlers with equally ridiculous names, Sheriff Pepper (who’ll we’ll speak of in more detail with my next fave) and the magnificent Mary Goodnight (who I presume got a less ridiculous Bond girl name thanks to the abounding wealth of daft names already in place).
And all of it triggered by the golden bullet for the golden gun… Perfect.
Dancing in with a hypnotic frenzy at number 2 we find: LIVE AND LET DIE
Dear Hades and all his tiny minions but I adore this movie. Moore is back, in none other than New Orleans, investigating the mysterious deaths of several other agents. His digging for clues leads him to Mr. Big, or Kananga (the incredible Yaphet Kotto) and one of the most bizarre and brilliant of Bond’s adventures ensues. In this one, Bond ends up suffering the help of Sheriff Pepper who is, frankly, the Bond franchise’s answer to Sheriff Buford T. Justice, one of all-time favourite Sheriffs (though it is Clifton James who plays Pepper, and not Jackie Gleason). Top notch hilarity.
Add in the cool British glamour of Jane Seymour as a virgin (but not for long!) gifted with the ability to read the future in tarot cards and a rich, serpentine plot bringing us the superb Geoffrey Holder as Baron Samedi, and good glory do you get a mixture as spicy and tasty as a big old pot of Gumbo. It’s not really in good taste at all if you think about any of it for even a second (blaxploitation out the yin yang) but how I loved it then, and I cannot help but hold on to those fond memories.
Chases, peril, voodoo rituals, card tricks (!) and skullduggery, not to mention a pithy plethora of those witty one liners Bond is so famous for – and Moore’s comedic timing is, as ever, a delight!
Taking off into orbit at number 1 we have: MOONRAKER
With all these Moore films you’d be forgiven for thinking he was my favourite, but he really is the second I promise! Why is this movie at number one? How could it not be? Bond does Star Wars. GENIUS. Not to mention the best Bond villain of all time. Ah Richard Kiel. Ah Jaws. You and your metal teeth brought me such joy as a child and in this movie, this magnificent, mental, mayhem-filled space-trekking movie, you finally get to speak! And you get yourself a girl so freaking AWESOME I cannot even – dear Hades but I love her so. Best Bond girl EVER. Although she is never Bond’s. *happiest of sighs*
I know this movie deviates quite far from the original novel (which I, horror of horrors, haven’t read), but oh the wonders it gives us. Space stations, laser battles, assassination attempts gone hilariously awry, the slow and brilliant build to a denouement in space wherein everything comes together in the usual splendidly bonkers style. Pure entertainment all the way through. Finding out this movie was on at any time of the year guaranteed me almost EXPLODING with joy. Love. It.
And I always get choked up at the end… “Well, here’s to us!” *forever crying*
Next time on Favoured Fives I will heroically endeavour to name for you my favourite five action movies starring Bruce Willis (I aim to do a fave five for all my fave action movie stars, you have been warned!). Think of me. This task may actually destroy me.