Ranking the
Bonds, James Bonds


Ranking the Bonds, James Bonds

Who is your favorite actor to play the role?

Rick Capone

Sometime in 2006, Daniel Craig will debut as James Bond 007 in Casino Royale, the
21st "official" outing of Ian Fleming's James Bond series, one of the most
successful movie franchises in the history of filmmaking.
However, all is not well in the world of Bond. It seems a number of fans are calling
for a boycott of the new Bond movie because they say Craig is a bad selection to
play 007. They've even started a
Web site that includes a petition for you to sign if
you agree.

Meanwhile, former Bond star Roger Moore and Nicole Kidman have come out
publicly supporting Craig as the new Bond, telling fans to give him "a chance."

With all of this going on, and with no good movies opening this past weekend, it
seemed like a good time to look back at all the men who've played Bond. Please
keep in mind, this is not a scientific ranking, just a personal opinion, starting with...

5) George Lazenby: Perhaps the hardest thing to do is replace an original, which is
what Lazenby had the unfortunate task of trying to do. In 1969 when Sean Connery,
the original James Bond, opted out of the part for the first time, Lazenby was tapped
to take over the role for the sixth film in the series, On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
Lazenby only appeared in the one film and is the least appreciated of the actors to
play Bond.

4) Timothy Dalton: Dalton also had the unfortunate task of replacing another long
time Bond actor, Roger Moore. While he did a much better job than Lazenby, he still
couldn't pull it off long term. Dalton played Bond in two films - "The Living
Daylights" (1987) and "License to Kill" (1989). While both films did fairly well at the
box office, he was still not good enough.

3) Roger Moore: Moore took over the role of Bond after Connery opted out of the
part for the second time. Prior to that, Moore had starred as Simon Templar in the
television series, "The Saint" (1962-1969), so when he took over as Bond, he had a
built-in fan base.

In 1973, Moore began a seven-movie run between 1973-1985 as Bond when he
appeared in "Live and Let Die," which became one of the most successful Bond
films up to then. Of course, he also had some help from Paul McCartney and Wings,
who did the film's theme song.

In time, however, with Moore in the lead role, the Bond series took a strange turn.
Plots became cartoonish, and the films became more of a showcase for big-name
female actresses and their character names (how can we forget Holly Goodhead or

Still, Moore's performance as Bond was very good, and some of the films he did
("Live and Let Die," "The Man with the Golden Gun" (1974), and "For Your Eyes
Only" (1981) were some of the most memorable in the series. He definitely earned his
double-O status.

2) Pierce Brosnan: While he only played Bond in four films between 1995-2002,
Brosnan took over the part from Dalton and helped resurrect the floundering series,
which had been on hiatus since 1989.

Movie fans first saw Brosnan on the TV series, Remington Steele, in which he played
a smooth-talking, sophisticated private investigator. With his British accent and
good looks, he seemed destined to play Bond, a part he always wanted to play.

Brosnan was a natural as Bond and his performances in "GoldenEye" (1995),
"Tomorrow Never Dies" (1997), "The World Is Not Enough" (1999) and "Die Another
Day" (2002), helped make the Bond franchise successful once again. With his
natural athletic ability and all of the advancements in special effects, Brosnan's
Bond films had some great action sequences and became some of the best in the

Without a doubt, Brosnan was the best Bond ever, since...

1) Sean Connery: Since he first played Bond in "Dr. No" (1962), Connery has been
synonymous with the part. With his rugged good looks, silky-smooth accent, and
natural sophistication, he literally became the British secret agent to fans of the

During his seven-movie run, Connery had two of the most memorable Bond outings
ever - "Goldfinger" (1964) and "Thunderball" (1965), as well as the highly enjoyable
"Diamonds are Forever" (1971).

After that 1971 film, he stepped down from the role, though he did return for one last
outing in 1983's "unofficial" Bond film, "Never Say Never Again." (The film was not
part of the "official" franchise, which starred Moore at that time. In fact, 1983 saw
Moore's "Octopussy" released at the same time as Connery's film.)

So now the question becomes, can Craig successfully take over the role? He does
have some things going against him, such as the potential boycott. Plus, there's the
questionable way they announced he would play Bond that didn't help -- he arrived
at the press conference in a speedboat wearing a life jacket -- a life jacket! Would
Connery, Brosnan, or Moore have worn a life jacket? Highly unlikely.

It will be interesting to see how Craig does. However, no matter what happens in the
future, for some fans there is still only one true James Bond, and that is Connery --
Sean Connery.