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A Second Chance at 007 Titles

Anytime you ever have a chance to talk movies with someone have you ever noticed that both you and he or she take a certain amount of pride in pointing out that “yes I saw that one in the theater when it first came out.” Depending on just how old you actually are films become an easy way to date someone just by the titles they saw upon there initial release. I saw Jaws as a kid upon one of it’s re-releases in the late seventies. Raiders, E.T. so you get the general idea.

moore as bond

When it comes to the films of Bond…… James Bond I grew up in the Roger Moore era. I won’t apologize here to anyone. I love Moore in the role. I also love Connery as well. But…… as I say I grew up with Roger.

Moonraker was the first Bond title I actually saw on the big screen. I kind of knew who Bond was at the time. He was the secret agent from England that my parents never watched at home on TV. “Too many gadgets and to far fetched!”

I didn’t think so. Moore or Connery seemed ultra cool to me. Tough, suave, cool cars and girls. Britt Ekland, Jill St. John, Ursula Andress etc. I was beginning to notice curves beyond the ones on the cars.

Tiffany-Case-Diamonds-are-Forever-1024x438

From there I saw the rest of Moore’s titles at the theater and recall the story of Octopussy and Never Say Never Again tackling each other at the box office. I often refer to Octopussy as my favorite of the Moore efforts. Looking back I didn’t have any issues with Sean returning to the role in a version tailor made to his aging years as a double o agent. Happy to point out I have a mint never hung original theatrical poster of Connery’s return.

never say never

With Moore out of the way along came Timothy Dalton and once again I hurried off to see them on the big screen. The Living Daylights and License to Kill. With the years drifting by my fondness for these two outings has only increased.

Goldeneye with Mr. Pierce Brosnan was up next after years without a Bond to follow and cheer for on screen. Off to the local theater I went. Although I am not sure why, I never saw anymore of the Brosnan titles at the theater. I have of course seem them all now through home video and have no issues with them other than his swan song which I found to be terribly disappointing.

The Daniel Craig titles have all been theatrical viewings for me and my two sons. Number One and Number Two. They know who they are and how Charlie Chan films have affected my terminology when referring to them. I won’t get critical of the Craig films other than to say Bond films are not quite as fun as they used to be.

spy_poster

Which brings us to the present and the fact that the local Apollo Cinema in my hometown is feasting on James Bond titles from the past this weekend. It’s allowing me to turn the clock back to 1976 and catch The Spy Who Loved Me on the big screen. Moore, Jurgens, Jaws and Barbara Bach. There are others playing but this one fits into my time table.

Admittedly one can never recapture the thrill of the initial release but it’s still fun never the less to see some classics from the past with a group of people who love cinema as much as you do. You can also play havoc with people’s opinion of just how old you are. I for one can say I have seen The Mummy with Karloff or my first viewing of many Bogart titles were in a Bogie run years ago. Key Largo, Sierra Madre and Casablanca. Using my analogy of dating people makes me close to 100 years of age!

Gotta go…….off to see Roger Moore battle Richard Kiel.

The-Spy-Who-Loved-Me

 

 

12 Comments »

  1. Ha! I prefer the Craig Bonds (certainly the first of them) even to the Connerys, while Moore is my least favorite in the role.

    Have you read the books? I read most if not all of them as a teenager and thought they were True Fab. I reread one in my 40s and couldn’t believe what absolute crap it was. But the Bond character had a definite danger in him that I think only Connery and even more so Craig have managed to capture; okay, so maybe you could make a case for Brosnan here too.

    Anyway, I hope you’re enjoying your voyage of rediscovery, with the kids by your side!

    • Never read any of the books. I don’t dislike the Craig films, just find that the films have no humor anymore. No winking at the camera like Sean and Roger did. All serious therefore I see them as less fun. Still any Bond film is worth checking out. Even Quantum of Solace.

      • That may be the difference between us. Fleming’s Bond books aren’t as grim as, say, Adam Hall’s (Elleston Trevor’s) Quiller books, but they’re still pretty dour. Now imagine if, say, The Quiller Memorandum (1966) — or even The Spy Who Came in from the Cold — had featured the central character mugging, Chester Morris-like, at the camera.

        I did actually like the early Bond movies. When they became self-parodic, I wearied of them. For me, Moore epitomized that lazy self-parody.

  2. I have to say that thanks to ABC running the Connery Bonds back in the day, I liked him Moore than Roger. But I’ll also say Live and Let Die worked for me the best of his films . I found the others a wee bit too intentionally campy even if they bumped up the budgets and visual effects. The Dalton flicks were odd and transitional because they tried to go more serious and didn’t quite work as well.

    As for the Brosnan years, he was okay but some fans think he was the “best” Bond because that’s he’s their first one and the GoldenEye game factor came into play later on. I like the seriousness of the Craig films just because I can talk about them with a few friends who don’t like any of the older Bond flicks because they weren’t serious enough (go figure).

    I’ll also wave the proud “I liked Lazenby!” flag, especially as On Her Majesty’s Secret Service holds up today as one of the better films in the series (in terms of story).

    • The Lazenby film is one of the best Bonds. He had the misfortune to come second. It’s like Larry Holmes after Ali. No love.
      I think we all lean towards our youth and favorites. I won’t be surprised if youngsters today love Craig more than the others before him. Just the way it is.

      • Oddly enough, I think because the Craig Bonds are more targeted to adults, younger kids may not stumble upon them until later in their teens. Movies, TV and their assorted audiences are so fragmented these days that these newer films may be somewhat overlooked in favor of the usual suspects (superhero, CG animated and young adult flicks), leaving Bond to parents to help their kids discover.

        But I could be wrong (I hope!)

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