Everyone Has Their Favorite Bond

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5 Responses

  1. Terrific stuff, Derek! You’ve managed to piece together an actually reasonable defense of Octopussy, which I suspect few Bond fans would have attempted (or believed possible). Excellent points about generational perspectives and the way that our views on Bond are largely informed by our initial first exposures to his world. It’s worth noting that Roger Moore played Bond longer than anyone; seven movies across twelve years (versus Connery’s six across ten).

    Nice nods on the music but I’m stunned you neglected to mention John Barry by name. For my money, this is one of the gems of his Bond work–which is saying something indeed, as he’s responsible for the definitive sound of the whole franchise! His Octopussy score was especially welcome following Bill Conti’s disco-themed For Your Eyes Only work…and the assertion of vintage Barry was doubly important in 1983, with Never Say Never Again set to pit Sean Connery’s one-off return to the role outside the Eon Bond canon. Barry = Bond, frankly, and this score proves why.

    If I was to add an eleventh great thing about Octopussy, it would certainly be Kristina Wayborn as Magda. Not only is she absolutely gorgeous and alluring, but that moment when she leaves Bond’s hotel room–with the Faberge egg–by falling over the rail and letting her body scarf unravel is one of my favorite moments in the entire series. It’s one of the cleverest things I’ve ever seen done with clothing in any movie, and it could only have happened in a Bond picture!

    Just a couple of minor notes:

    Readers should be mindful that Kamal Kahn presented the sheep’s head soup almost an entire year before Indiana Jones visited the Temple of Doom.

    The Bond franchise is one where creative continuity has been maintained by the producers, rather than directors. Albert R. Broccoli produced the first seventeen movies from Eon Productions (the first nine with his Eon co-founder, Harry Saltzman) and the reins have been handed over since to his stepson, Michael G. Wilson and daughter, Barbara Broccoli. Each of them has worked their way through the ranks of the production company over the years; Wilson began as an assistant on Goldfinger back in 1964 and co-wrote all five of the Bond movies made in the 1980s…including Octopussy!

  2. Nigel Druitt says:

    Great post; love it.

    My favorite Bond movie is either GoldenEye or Tomorrow Never Dies. My favorite theme is “The World is Not Enough” by Garbage. (Brosnan is, of course, my Bond.)

    My favorite pre-Brosnan movie is either Licence to Kill or From Russia With Love. (I lean towards the former.) They are also, I think, the only pre-Brosnan 007 movies that I’ve seen more than once. The glaring omission on my Bond list is Diamonds Are Forever; I’ve never seen it, and that’s bad, because Connery would be my second-favorite Bond.

  3. Derek Armstrong says:

    Thanks Nigel and Travis.

    Nigel, I’m with you on Tomorrow Never Dies. Brosnan’s first two Bond movies are great, but I prefer TND. After that, Brosnan goes WAY downhill.

    Travis, excellent point about the creative vision being managed by the producers. I agree I was painting a somewhat misleading picture when I indicated that the Bond movies over the years have not had a consistent vision or tone. I think I was thinking primarily of Casino Royale, when it was decided to make Bond a lot more “hip and modern” and remove most of the humor. Then again, I found the Timothy Dalton movies pretty humorless as well.

    Yeah, I neglected to mention Barry because I am generally not as confident speaking about film scores as I am about other aspects of making movies — and would consider myself especially unqualified to compare this score to other scores in the series.

    Good point on Khan’s eyeball snack preceding Temple of Doom. I did actually think of Temple of Doom when I watched that scene this time around.

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