Top 5 Bond Films

1. Goldfinger
(Guy Hamilton, 1964)

The definitive Bond picture, Sean Connery’s third time on her majesty’s secret service quickly laid the groundwork for the rest of the 007 canon.

Practically all of the familiar tropes can be traced back to Goldfinger: the villain with a name that screams his occupation (would somebody called Goldfinger do anything but smuggle gold bars?), an untalkative henchman with a silly method of murder (Oddjob and his razor-rimmed bowler hat), Bond girls at their pinnacle of ridiculousness (her name is Pussy Galore, for God’s sake!), and 007 being held captive in some extremely convoluted death trap when it would probably be far easier to just shoot him or something.

Filled with iconic imagery and unparalleled fun, Goldfinger ranks up there as the very best of Bond.

2. Diamonds Are Forever
(Guy Hamilton, 1971)

The toughest to watch in light of the Austin Powers series, but arguably all the better for it, Diamonds is the most overtly silly Connery film: Blofeld stroking his cat while pursuing world domination, bendy lesbian assassins named Bambi and Thumper, 007 running all over Las Vegas in pursuit of stolen diamonds, and ladies called Plenty O’Toole … because this is a Bond movie and stuff like that is awesome.

3. Casino Royale
(Martin Campbell, 2006)

After everybody involved with Die Another Day seemed to give up half-way through (“sure, let’s just make things invisible…”), the dawn of a new Bond was due: enter Daniel Craig, appropriately intense and brooding for this new incarnation of 007.

The plot, involving a high-stakes poker game and an antagonist whose biggest problem is essentially a bad credit rating, is a little thin; but the stripped-back, unpolished action set pieces carry the film to certain glory – easily making it the closest thing we have to a modern Bond classic.

4. GoldenEye
(Martin Campbell, 1995)

Released after Bond’s longest hiatus, Pierce Brosnan arrived representing a very ’90s version of 007. Bond is as suave and charming as ever, but the script goes out of its way to be knowing and metatextual in both its awareness of real-world politics and how it addresses Bond’s now dated machismo, never more so than with the newly female M describing 007 as a “misogynist dinosaur”. There’s fun, too, notably Famke Janssen as an unbalanced Soviet contract killer who crushes men to death between her thighs. Naturally.

5. Live and Let Die
(Guy Hamilton, 1973)

The Roger Moore era is renowned for its on-the-nose goofiness (Octopussy, anyone?), but his inaugural Bond movie manages to indulge in campiness without being overwhelmed by it.

Live and Let Die is perfect Blaxploitation silliness, Bond leaping across crocodiles, Yaphet Kotto exploding all over the place like a popped balloon, and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman getting tied up as part of a voodoo sacrifice. This movie is nuts, but not to the extent where you feel compelled to roll your eyes every couple of minutes.

  • Disagree? Comment with which film should be in the list.

About Author

adamwhite Adam edits Venue, graduates in 2015, has incomprehensible accent, writes a bit.

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August 2022
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