"Second only to Sean Connery"

GoldenGunGoldenGun Station B, Belgium
in Actors Posts: 3,369
With the Bond hype kicking in again with the release of a new Bond film I couldn't help but notice how many critics and the general public rank Daniel Craig as the second best Bond after Connery.

As we all know, Connery will always be regarded as the best of the bunch. As for his successors it's actually quite fascinating that generally every newcomer/current 007 has always been regarded as "second only to Connery".

Lazenby: not very well-received but the second Bond actor, so technically regarded as the second best after Sir Sean.
Moore: with Lazenby not being a critic's favourite, also seen as the second best during his tenure.
Dalton: I seem to recall that Tim was considered to be better than Moore during his short period as Bond (for instance, Ebert's LTK review clearly states how good Dalton is in it).
Brosnan: between 1995 and 2002 widely regarded as Sean's true successor, the allrounder who comebined all aspects of his predecessors.
Craig: well, have a look around the internet.

The current Bond seems always quite popular and considered the second best after Connery.
Any thoughts?
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Comments

  • BMW_with_missilesBMW_with_missiles All the usual refinements.
    edited November 2015 Posts: 2,770
    I think there's always a bias in favor of whoever is the current Bond, and he certainly does seem to be held as second best. However, I do think it's also worth noting that, whenever someone conducts a "Who's the Best Bond" poll, there seems to be a common misinterpretation of the results (I've done it myself). If Craig comes in second, it doesn't mean that he is most widely regarded as the second best Bond, it means that the people who regard him as the best Bond are second in number to those who prefer Connery. It could be that the majority of Bond fans would say that they consider Moore, or Brosnan, or who knows, to be the second best Bond behind their personal favorite. Perhaps we should conduct a "Who's the Second Best Bond" poll.

    My vote for second best; Moore
  • Posts: 3,810
    My vote for second best Bond:

    .... Sean Connery ;)
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    jobo wrote: »
    My vote for second best Bond:

    .... Sean Connery ;)

    Controversial!!

    It really is borderline at the moment as to who is best between Sean and Dan. I think one more film of a similar standard will see Dan take the crown.

    They both have 2 corkers (DN/FRWL & CR/SF), 1 not far behind (GF & SP) and 1 dud (TB & QOS) in their first 4. If Dan does one last film I would expect it won't need too much to be better than YOLT and DAF combined.

    Where Dan has the edge is in the level of his performance. In DN & FRWL Sean is perfect. In GF he's still pretty damn good but (2nd half especially) he's starting to let a bit of complacency in. By TB he's just playing himself and in cruise control.

    Dan on the other hand maintains the same level in all of his performances.

    If we swap their films around and Sean has to cope with P&W's scribblings while Dan gets access to all that Fleming material would this even be a debate?
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 28,232
    jobo wrote: »
    My vote for second best Bond:

    .... Sean Connery ;)

    Controversial!!

    It really is borderline at the moment as to who is best between Sean and Dan. I think one more film of a similar standard will see Dan take the crown.

    They both have 2 corkers (DN/FRWL & CR/SF), 1 not far behind (GF & SP) and 1 dud (TB & QOS) in their first 4. If Dan does one last film I would expect it won't need too much to be better than YOLT and DAF combined.

    Where Dan has the edge is in the level of his performance. In DN & FRWL Sean is perfect. In GF he's still pretty damn good but (2nd half especially) he's starting to let a bit of complacency in. By TB he's just playing himself and in cruise control.

    Dan on the other hand maintains the same level in all of his performances.

    If we swap their films around and Sean has to cope with P&W's scribblings while Dan gets access to all that Fleming material would this even be a debate?

    Ooh, Dan working with a Richard Maibaum script? One can only dream.
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    Posts: 13,009
    The only Bond who I can see ace P&W's scripts perfectly is Roger Moore - he turns even the most idiotic one liner into gold.
  • Connery may be regarded as the best from the media's point of view, as well as from the "casual" fan base. However, if you honestly and impartially look at things, he stands in my book as an "average" Bond. Both Dalton and Craig delivered much solid performances as Bond.

    Also, if you forget the films and concentrate only on the actor playing Bond, YOLT and DAF are the weakest of the franchise.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 28,232
    The only Bond who I can see ace P&W's scripts perfectly is Roger Moore - he turns even the most idiotic one liner into gold.

    Roger would probably be able to sell me an arsenic cocktail.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    I'm just picturing Rog in DAD. Could he have actually made it half decent?
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    Posts: 13,009
    Sir Rog had a way with the bimbos (Stacey Sutton, Goodnight, Bibi Dahl), so his encounter with Jinx and Christmas Jones could have been very interesting.
  • edited November 2015 Posts: 24
    I think Connery's lasting appeal stems from the sheer magnetism of his performance in the early movies. He and Terrance Young understood the character. They nailed it. The movement. The presence. The timeless style. A shark in a suit. A panther. The mystique. The self assurance. The unapologetic masculinity.

    In Dr.No, his introduction in the casino, is so simple. Yet so effective. He arrives on screen fully formed. No explanation. He doesn't need a back story. Everything you need to know is in Connery's first cigarette aided delivery of the immortal line - 'Bond. James Bond.'

    I think Craig has been great in the role. He is absolutely committed. And has delivered strong performances despite the poor scripts. If EON had managed to maintain the quality since CR, he would know doubt be considered on par with Connery.

    Yet, EON hasn't managed that. As a result, Craig has been at a distinct disadvantage. He doesn't have Fleming stories to work with. And today, the writing is absolutely dreadful.

    I think the main problem (and why every actor is always considered second to Connery) is that they simply don't stay faithful to the character. EON are a business. They believe they need to shoe-horn the Bond character into the contemporary. Trying to keep him 'relevant' in order to rake in the bucks.

    CR showed that this was unnecessary. Yes, it was contemporary - but they took a risk and kept pretty faithful to the book - the tension-filled, drawn out game of cards, the torture scene...

    Yet regardless, the problem is the writing. And it affects everything. They keep deconstructing the character - focusing on the backstory - always making it personal – EON are slowly eating away at the mystique. It's all soul searching over swagger. Apologetic masculinity. It doesn't really work.

    Bond is Bond. Next time, I hope EON simply embraces the fact. No more self-conscious apologising for the character. People still love a mysterious stranger in a suit. Just look at how the world went nuts for Don Draper...
  • suavejmfsuavejmf England
    edited November 2015 Posts: 3,829
    Lazenby: not very well-received, BUT he made one of the best films.
    Moore: Suave but too light in most his films. However, you can't slate this national treasure.
    Dalton: Fleming's Bond.
    Brosnan: Unfortunately responcible for the worst Bond films (bar the solidly average GE)
    Craig: 2nd best after Connery. CR is the best Bond film since 69.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited November 2015 Posts: 23,883
    I think it will always be in the eye of the beholder.

    I believe DC, good though he is, is too highly regarded at present. This is how it normally goes, as the OP notes. The incumbent has benefits. He too will be looked at with more fairness with time, unless his successor bombs.

    However, I don't think there will ever really be any consensus on the "2nd only to". Each will have their fans, and that is what makes it interesting. We will have countless debates on here about it, as we have done.

    For me personally, there is only one disputed #1. Sir Sean. The first, and still the best. Sir Rog gets an honourable mention (enough time has passed since he wore the PPK that I am objective about this assessment of mine). Dan is up there too, but I will have a better idea in time. His SP/SF performances have been mixed for me.
  • I'm just picturing Rog in DAD. Could he have actually made it half decent?

    The fact that I secretly like AVTAK makes me realize I'd hate DAD a little less if he was still Bond around that time.

  • edited November 2015 Posts: 10,444
    jobo wrote: »
    My vote for second best Bond:

    .... Sean Connery ;)

    Controversial!!

    It really is borderline at the moment as to who is best between Sean and Dan. I think one more film of a similar standard will see Dan take the crown.

    They both have 2 corkers (DN/FRWL & CR/SF), 1 not far behind (GF & SP) and 1 dud (TB & QOS) in their first 4. If Dan does one last film I would expect it won't need too much to be better than YOLT and DAF combined.

    Where Dan has the edge is in the level of his performance. In DN & FRWL Sean is perfect. In GF he's still pretty damn good but (2nd half especially) he's starting to let a bit of complacency in. By TB he's just playing himself and in cruise control.

    Dan on the other hand maintains the same level in all of his performances.

    If we swap their films around and Sean has to cope with P&W's scribblings while Dan gets access to all that Fleming material would this even be a debate?

    I'm surprised that you actually think SF is a genuine match to those early Bonds. Or that Craig's performance in SF comes anywhere close to Connery's masterful take on the character. Each to their own I suppose, but the current trend that suggests Craig is overtaking Connery strikes me as premature. It all reminds me of the Brosnan 'best since Connery' hype. Craig is a lot better than Brosnan, but still...

    Only time will tell of course but I strongly doubt whether future generations are going to be quite as excited about Craig as people are today. His dour, rather monotone Bond definitely suits the times and has a nice consistency to it. Doubtless he's one of the Best Bonds.

    But twenty years from now, is a young kid sitting down to watch their first Bond movie going to be blown away by Bond talking about his little finger or Connery making the best first appearance in the entire series?

    Connery on the other hand will endure down the ages.
  • acoppolaacoppola London Ealing not far from where Bob Simmons lived
    edited November 2015 Posts: 1,243
    Getafix wrote: »
    jobo wrote: »
    My vote for second best Bond:

    .... Sean Connery ;)

    Controversial!!

    It really is borderline at the moment as to who is best between Sean and Dan. I think one more film of a similar standard will see Dan take the crown.

    They both have 2 corkers (DN/FRWL & CR/SF), 1 not far behind (GF & SP) and 1 dud (TB & QOS) in their first 4. If Dan does one last film I would expect it won't need too much to be better than YOLT and DAF combined.

    Where Dan has the edge is in the level of his performance. In DN & FRWL Sean is perfect. In GF he's still pretty damn good but (2nd half especially) he's starting to let a bit of complacency in. By TB he's just playing himself and in cruise control.

    Dan on the other hand maintains the same level in all of his performances.

    If we swap their films around and Sean has to cope with P&W's scribblings while Dan gets access to all that Fleming material would this even be a debate?

    I'm surprised that you actually think SF is a genuine match to those early Bonds. Or that Craig's performance in SF comes anywhere close to Connery's masterful take on the character. Each to their own I suppose, but the current trend that suggests Craig is overtaking Connery strikes me as premature. It all reminds me of the Brosnan 'best since Connery' hype. Craig is a lot better than Brosnan, but still...

    Only time will tell of course but I strongly doubt whether future generations are going to be quite as excited about Craig as people are today. His dour, rather monotone Bond definitely suits the times and has a nice consistency to it. Doubtless he's one of the Best Bonds.

    But twenty years from now, is a young kid sitting down to watch their first Bond movie going to be blown away by Bond talking about his little finger or Connery making the best first appearance in the entire series?

    Connery on the other hand will endure down the ages.

    I am in agreement with @Getafix Too premature. As for the quality of Connery's performance, let us be fair here, and acknowledge that Connery was almost banging out a Bond a year. Craig has had 3 year gaps between movies. Connery was justifiably tired by YOLT.

    As for SF, that film was an overblown tyre of hype, and the metaphorical air will leave the tyre over the years. As Dalton correctly points out, those early Bond films were cinematic revolutions.

    I am surprised by the hate of QOS, and the over-love of SF. QOS to me was the better film. And looked more beautiful too!!!

  • Posts: 10,444
    We are completely on the same page regarding QoS and SF.

    SF is without doubt the most bizarrely overhyped film in the history of the series. I just cannot see it maintaining it's current high reputation in twenty years.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    edited November 2015 Posts: 9,117
    Getafix wrote: »
    jobo wrote: »
    My vote for second best Bond:

    .... Sean Connery ;)

    Controversial!!

    It really is borderline at the moment as to who is best between Sean and Dan. I think one more film of a similar standard will see Dan take the crown.

    They both have 2 corkers (DN/FRWL & CR/SF), 1 not far behind (GF & SP) and 1 dud (TB & QOS) in their first 4. If Dan does one last film I would expect it won't need too much to be better than YOLT and DAF combined.

    Where Dan has the edge is in the level of his performance. In DN & FRWL Sean is perfect. In GF he's still pretty damn good but (2nd half especially) he's starting to let a bit of complacency in. By TB he's just playing himself and in cruise control.

    Dan on the other hand maintains the same level in all of his performances.

    If we swap their films around and Sean has to cope with P&W's scribblings while Dan gets access to all that Fleming material would this even be a debate?

    I'm surprised that you actually think SF is a genuine match to those early Bonds. Or that Craig's performance in SF comes anywhere close to Connery's masterful take on the character. Each to their own I suppose, but the current trend that suggests Craig is overtaking Connery strikes me as premature. It all reminds me of the Brosnan 'best since Connery' hype. Craig is a lot better than Brosnan, but still...

    Only time will tell of course but I strongly doubt whether future generations are going to be quite as excited about Craig as people are today. His dour, rather monotone Bond definitely suits the times and has a nice consistency to it. Doubtless he's one of the Best Bonds.

    But twenty years from now, is a young kid sitting down to watch their first Bond movie going to be blown away by Bond talking about his little finger or Connery making the best first appearance in the entire series?

    Connery on the other hand will endure down the ages.

    All Bond films are flawed (even OHMSS) but forgive me if I prefer some of the dramatic heft of SF (flawed though it is) compared to the tedious drudgery of TB.

    I think the term 'classic' is bandied about a bit too freely. Just because something is a) old and b) stars Connery doesn't automatically make it classic.

    DN - sets everything up and starts a lot of the iconography = classic.

    FRWL - fantastic taut thriller in its own right which builds on the spadework laid down by DN = classic.

    GF - perfects the formula for cinematic Bond and starts the Bondmania craze. Feels not as good as it used to be nowadays but it's influence can't be disputed = classic.

    TB - took the bigger is better maxim and turned in a plodding 2 hours of Bond sitting around on the beach. The world is allegedly under nuclear threat yet there is absolutely zero tension. There are classic elements - the Spectre briefing, Fiona - but overall it's not great and was only such a success because it was piggy backing on GF's success and the public thirst for Bond. It's one of those that the public simply can't remember and is pretty much a by the numbers effort a la TND = far from a classic. Generic is a better description.

    Those who cite TB being good because it's pretty faithful to the novel should note that a) it's far from Fleming's best and b) it's mostly just a bastardised screenplay by Jack Whittingham that Ian turned into a novel.

    If they made a film of TSWLM starring Connery in his prime that was faithful to the novel would it be a classic? I don't think so because it's just a fairly mundane tale of Bond saving a bird from some cartoon gangsters.

    Although classic is a rather vague term to define in the first place so who can say really?

    If you do it on a point by point basis it's almost too close to call:

    DN 8.5/10
    FRWL 9.5/10
    GF 7/10
    TB 4/10

    Total 29/40

    CR 9/10
    QOS 5/10
    SF 8/10
    SP 7.5/10

    Total 29.5

    I think it really will end up being decide by how SP settles. I feel it has the potential to go up to an 8.5 or possibly drop down to a 7.
    Getafix wrote: »
    But twenty years from now, is a young kid sitting down to watch their first Bond movie going to be blown away by Bond talking about his little finger or Connery making the best first appearance in the entire series?

    Thats a rather disingenuous comparison.

    I can just as well ask is a young kid sitting down to watch their first Bond be going to be blown away by Bond dressed in a pink shirt beating Bambi and Thumper by the renowned martial arts technique of holding his hand on their heads or by Bond strangling Obanna to death after a brutal bloody fight then pouring himself a scotch while he tends his wounds in the mirror?
  • edited November 2015 Posts: 10,444
    I'm not talking about TB, and neither were you in your previous post... So not sure why you've brought it up.

    And I'm not about to defend TB on here. It's a similar case to SF to me - an overhyped and bloated movie. All I would say is that there are scenes and characters in it that I much prefer to those in SF.

    Neither did I refer to 'classic' Bond in my post.

    Any way, my issue is with the alleged 'dramatic heft' of SF. I just don't see it. Which scene exactly in SF matches in dramatic terms Bond's first appearance in DN, Prof Dent in Dr No's interrogation room, Bond's killing of Dent.

    If you feel the 'thematic' approach in SF trumps the quality of the writing, individual performances and overall dramatic quality of the first three Bond films, then all I can say is that I think you're wrong. Very wrong.
  • As has been pointed out, the present Bond is always the best since Connery. Once he's replaced that transfers over to the new man and the last one gets dumped on. Several years from now Bond forums will have no shortage of people acting as if the new Bond is Laurence Olivier and talking about how dreadful Daniel Craig was.

  • Posts: 10,444
    As has been pointed out, the present Bond is always the best since Connery. Once he's replaced that transfers over to the new man and the last one gets dumped on. Several years from now Bond forums will have no shortage of people acting as if the new Bond is Laurence Olivier and talking about how dreadful Daniel Craig was.

    I don't think Craig's tenure will end up getting dumped on in quite the same way that Brosnan's has, but I strongly suspect the shine (what there is of it) will wear off. He'll come to be seen as a solid but pehaps slightly dull and joyless characterisation.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    Getafix wrote: »
    He'll come to be seen as a solid but pehaps slightly dull and joyless characterisation.
    That's very possible and I think he knows it. Hence his stated desire to add more of the 'irony' back into the proceedings. I'm sure he's got one eye on his legacy now, since he's closer to the exit door than not.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    edited November 2015 Posts: 9,117
    Getafix wrote: »
    I'm not talking about TB, and neither were you in your previous post... So not sure why you've brought it up.

    And I'm not about to defend TB on here. It's a similar case to SF to me - an overhyped and bloated movie. All I would say is that there are scenes and characters in it that I much prefer to those in SF.

    Neither did I refer to 'classic' Bond in my post.

    Any way, my issue is with the alleged 'dramatic heft' of SF. I just don't see it. Which scene exactly in SF matches in dramatic terms Bond's first appearance in DN, Prof Dent in Dr No's interrogation room, Bond's killing of Dent.

    If you feel the 'thematic' approach in SF trumps the quality of the writing, individual performances and overall dramatic quality of the first three Bond films, then all I can say is that I think you're wrong. Very wrong.

    Terribly sorry old chap for some reason I saw the word 'early' Bond's and for some reason read classic.

    Nonetheless I was speaking in general terms of the Craig era as a whole. As you see I did score SF less than DN and FRWL but I currently have it slightly ahead of GF.

    Yes there are issues with SF but there also some really good scenes (the psychiatric evaluation, the scene in M's flat, Silva's intro, Tennyson) that are certainly better than anything GF has to offer in terms of acting and characterisation.

    GF is a blast for the first half but has a really dull half hour before we get the raid on Fort Knox (and let's not even start on the indefensible falling down soldiers which is cringeworthy).

    Obviously only an idiot would pretend the writing was better in the Craig era than what we got earlier but it strikes me that this because they were using a Fleming spine. As soon as they got hold of some unused Fleming they managed to turn in as good a film as any in the series in CR. So I suppose it all boils down to having a hefty chunk of Fleming to draw on perhaps?

    Anyway I feel there is sometimes this notion that Sean is untouchable.

    To my mind he made roughly 2.5 'great' Bond films in DN, FRWL and half of GF.

    Added to that he made about 1.5 good films (the 2nd half of GF plus the second half of YOLT and assorted odds and sods from TB and DAF).

    But he also made some real dreck.

    There's nothing in the Craig era yet that stoops to the level of the dismal second half of DAF or the uninspired first half of YOLT.

    In addition I feel Craig's performances across the board are a lot more even. In CR he hits it out of the park - perfect Fleming Bond, in QOS he's a bit dour but still the best thing in the film, SF he brings a slightly lighter touch and SP he gets a nice mix between cinematic Bond and Fleming Bond.

    Sean is also perfect Fleming Bond in DN and a tiny bit more cinema Bond in FRWL (but still nigh on perfect).

    With GF he perfects cinema Bond (in the first half especially) but it's with TB onwards that his boredom and irritation with Cubby and Harry shows through and he just plays himself, something he went on to make a career of (The Hill and The Offence excepted). Don't get me wrong Sean playing Sean is still bloody good entertainment but it's not quite Bond.

    I feel that currently Dan is almost on a par with Sean (that he isn't is certainly down to the writing) and one more very solid entry could see him top over into top for the time being.

    Of course no one knows how his films will fare in 30 years. 10 years ago I used to think GF was top 5 all day long but now I doubt it makes my top 10.

    PS - I never really need much of an excuse to smash TB. Gets way too much respect round these parts for my liking.
  • edited November 2015 Posts: 10,444
    Getafix wrote: »
    I'm not talking about TB, and neither were you in your previous post... So not sure why you've brought it up.

    And I'm not about to defend TB on here. It's a similar case to SF to me - an overhyped and bloated movie. All I would say is that there are scenes and characters in it that I much prefer to those in SF.

    Neither did I refer to 'classic' Bond in my post.

    Any way, my issue is with the alleged 'dramatic heft' of SF. I just don't see it. Which scene exactly in SF matches in dramatic terms Bond's first appearance in DN, Prof Dent in Dr No's interrogation room, Bond's killing of Dent.

    If you feel the 'thematic' approach in SF trumps the quality of the writing, individual performances and overall dramatic quality of the first three Bond films, then all I can say is that I think you're wrong. Very wrong.

    Terribly sorry old chap for some reason I saw the word 'early' Bond's and for some reason read classic.

    Nonetheless I was speaking in general terms of the Craig era as a whole. As you see I did score SF less than DN and FRWL but I currently have it slightly ahead of GF.

    Yes there are issues with SF but there also some really good scenes (the psychiatric evaluation, the scene in M's flat, Silva's intro, Tennyson) that are certainly better than anything GF has to offer in terms of acting and characterisation.

    GF is a blast for the first half but has a really dull half hour before we get the raid on Fort Knox (and let's not even start on the indefensible falling down soldiers which is cringeworthy).

    Obviously only an idiot would pretend the writing was better in the Craig era than what we got earlier but it strikes me that this because they were using a Fleming spine. As soon as they got hold of some unused Fleming they managed to turn in as good a film as any in the series in CR. So I suppose it all boils down to having a hefty chunk of Fleming to draw on perhaps?

    Anyway I feel there is sometimes this notion that Sean is untouchable.

    To my mind he made roughly 2.5 'great' Bond films in DN, FRWL and half of GF.

    Added to that he made about 1.5 good films (the 2nd half of GF plus the second half of YOLT and assorted odds and sods from TB and DAF).

    But he also made some real dreck.

    There's nothing in the Craig era yet that stoops to the level of the dismal second half of DAF or the uninspired first half of YOLT.

    In addition I feel Craig's performances across the board are a lot more even. In CR he hits it out of the park - perfect Fleming Bond, in QOS he's a bit dour but still the best thing in the film, SF he brings a slightly lighter touch and SP he gets a nice mix between cinematic Bond and Fleming Bond.

    Sean is also perfect Fleming Bond in DN and a tiny bit more cinema Bond in FRWL (but still nigh on perfect).

    With GF he perfects cinema Bond (in the first half especially) but it's with TB onwards that his boredom and irritation with Cubby and Harry shows through and he just plays himself, something he went on to make a career of (The Hill and The Offence excepted). Don't get me wrong Sean playing Sean is still bloody good entertainment but it's not quite Bond.

    I feel that currently Dan is almost on a par with Sean (that he isn't is certainly down to the writing) and one more very solid entry could see him top over into top for the time being.

    Of course no one knows how his films will fare in 30 years. 10 years ago I used to think GF was top 5 all day long but now I doubt it makes my top 10.

    PS - I never really need much of an excuse to smash TB. Gets way too much respect round these parts for my liking.

    I'm not sure how seriously I can take an argument that posits SF as better than GF. In the cold light of day, once the hallucinogens have worn off, I think you will see things differently. In SF I will give you Silva's entrance and that's probably it.

    I agree that Craig's performances are (so far) more even, but I'd argue that this is largely due to his range being much less than Connery's. Craig is brute force Bond, with a good line in surly moodyness. He's doing less with the role, so almost by definition he's going to turn in a more consistent portrayal.

    The other reason is that Craig's only done four and he's stilll enjoying the role. Connery's last two clearly stray into self-parody territory. Frankly, I think I enjoy them all the more for the fact Connery is in on the joke by that stage. His DAF performance is still highly enjoyable and (as you acknowldege) even bored Connery is still worth a watch. His DAF performance almost fully anticipates Roger's interpretation in the way he no longer takes the character very seriously.

    I don't personally accept the first half of YOLT is uninspired - the whole Tokyo set up is one of my favourite sequences in a Bond movie. Gotta love Tiger and the Toyota 2000gt. YOLT is underrated round here in my opinion.

    I guess it boils down to how much you rate Conners and Craig as actors. I have felt for a long time that Craig's acting ability and range is actually slightly exaggerated. He's a good Bond and I'm not here to slag him off. But I don't get the mind blowing quality that others seem to perceive when watching him. Connery on the other hand continues to wow me every time I watch those first three. His apparently instinctive ability to get pretty much every scene spot on is astounding - he managed to turn even the most mundane sequence into something electrifying.

    May be it's all subjective and "everyone's right", but since I know the short shrift you rightly give such wishy washy nonsense, I'm going to say it how I see it.

    Conners: 10/10

    Craig 7/10 (I think I'm being generous)
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    Posts: 3,868
    I think early Bond and classic Bond are interchangeable round these parts. Perhaps iconic would be a better word.

    The first three Connery's Bond are classic. Yes even GF. It's so iconic, that even repeated viewings can't quite dilute the thrill. Yes they are issues in GF, @TheWiz pointed them out. Plus GF has fallen (in ratings and opinions) quite considerably in the time that I've been on this forum, thus I see it as something as an underdog.

    TB isn't as good as DN and FRWL, yet I rate it slightly better than GF due to its sadistic nature, as opposed to GF's more stylised violence.

    Onto the performance of Connery, his first four films are superb, IMO. Starts out with a Fleming's 007 in DN and FRWL, and yet gradually evolved into the cinematic Bond. I found the performance of Craig in CR and QoS, to have similarity to Connery's performance in DN – both have a slight uncouthness to them. This “rough diamond” that Connery and Craig share has been completely smoothed over, laying the foundations for the cinematic version of 007, in Connery's case in FRWL and Craig's case in SF.

    Pre Fleming – CR/QoS
    Fleming's 007 – DN/FRWL
    Cinematic 007 – GF (with some notable exceptions – TB, OHMSS, TLD, LTK)

    Smeg knows where I would put SF and SP into this.

    Timothy Dalton said that he would've liked have appeared in CR, as there was so much “meat on the bone”. I wonder what the other five actors would do, if they had Craig's story arc (From CR to SP)? It's a bit unfair judging Craig by the same standard as the other Bonds – they just didn't have such juicy material to sink their teeth into. Yet Connery had the sparkling Maibaum's scripts to work with, plus the much vaunted Fleming spine.

    And rattling to the crux of the question, "second only to Connery", I think this case, it is probably true. Well, either Craig or Dalton. Maybe Moore.

    PS - Thunderball rules! :P
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited November 2015 Posts: 23,883
    Getafix wrote: »
    I don't personally accept the first half of YOLT is uninspired - the whole Tokyo set up is one of my favourite sequences in a Bond movie. Gotta love Tiger and the Toyota 2000gt. YOLT is underrated round here in my opinion.
    I like the first half of YOLT a lot actually. I think it collapses after Aki dies.

    Connery on cruise control in the earlier part of YOLT is just sublime. Even his intro scene in that film just cracks me up. This chap is the real deal I tell you.

  • edited November 2015 Posts: 10,444
    Uninspired! ;)

    I think @TheWizardOfIce is suffering from a debilitating bout of Brosnanitis - a once widespread but now thankfully rare neurological illness that causes the sufferer to believe the current Bond actor is the best since Connery. In rare cases, like this, patients even go as far as saying the actor might be better than Connery.

    Side effects can often appear years later and include attacks of acute embarrassment, shame and self recrimination.

    I'm sure we all wish him a swift recovery. A good dose of FRWL usually clears it up straight away.
  • Posts: 11,166
    Craig hasn't yet spoken Japanese with a thick Sean Connery-ish Scottish accent ;)
  • Posts: 10,444
    BAIN123 wrote: »
    Craig hasn't yet spoken Japanese with a thick Sean Connery-ish Scottish accent ;)

    See - Connery was really pushing himself there.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    edited November 2015 Posts: 9,117
    Getafix wrote: »
    Getafix wrote: »
    I'm not talking about TB, and neither were you in your previous post... So not sure why you've brought it up.

    And I'm not about to defend TB on here. It's a similar case to SF to me - an overhyped and bloated movie. All I would say is that there are scenes and characters in it that I much prefer to those in SF.

    Neither did I refer to 'classic' Bond in my post.

    Any way, my issue is with the alleged 'dramatic heft' of SF. I just don't see it. Which scene exactly in SF matches in dramatic terms Bond's first appearance in DN, Prof Dent in Dr No's interrogation room, Bond's killing of Dent.

    If you feel the 'thematic' approach in SF trumps the quality of the writing, individual performances and overall dramatic quality of the first three Bond films, then all I can say is that I think you're wrong. Very wrong.

    Terribly sorry old chap for some reason I saw the word 'early' Bond's and for some reason read classic.

    Nonetheless I was speaking in general terms of the Craig era as a whole. As you see I did score SF less than DN and FRWL but I currently have it slightly ahead of GF.

    Yes there are issues with SF but there also some really good scenes (the psychiatric evaluation, the scene in M's flat, Silva's intro, Tennyson) that are certainly better than anything GF has to offer in terms of acting and characterisation.

    GF is a blast for the first half but has a really dull half hour before we get the raid on Fort Knox (and let's not even start on the indefensible falling down soldiers which is cringeworthy).

    Obviously only an idiot would pretend the writing was better in the Craig era than what we got earlier but it strikes me that this because they were using a Fleming spine. As soon as they got hold of some unused Fleming they managed to turn in as good a film as any in the series in CR. So I suppose it all boils down to having a hefty chunk of Fleming to draw on perhaps?

    Anyway I feel there is sometimes this notion that Sean is untouchable.

    To my mind he made roughly 2.5 'great' Bond films in DN, FRWL and half of GF.

    Added to that he made about 1.5 good films (the 2nd half of GF plus the second half of YOLT and assorted odds and sods from TB and DAF).

    But he also made some real dreck.

    There's nothing in the Craig era yet that stoops to the level of the dismal second half of DAF or the uninspired first half of YOLT.

    In addition I feel Craig's performances across the board are a lot more even. In CR he hits it out of the park - perfect Fleming Bond, in QOS he's a bit dour but still the best thing in the film, SF he brings a slightly lighter touch and SP he gets a nice mix between cinematic Bond and Fleming Bond.

    Sean is also perfect Fleming Bond in DN and a tiny bit more cinema Bond in FRWL (but still nigh on perfect).

    With GF he perfects cinema Bond (in the first half especially) but it's with TB onwards that his boredom and irritation with Cubby and Harry shows through and he just plays himself, something he went on to make a career of (The Hill and The Offence excepted). Don't get me wrong Sean playing Sean is still bloody good entertainment but it's not quite Bond.

    I feel that currently Dan is almost on a par with Sean (that he isn't is certainly down to the writing) and one more very solid entry could see him top over into top for the time being.

    Of course no one knows how his films will fare in 30 years. 10 years ago I used to think GF was top 5 all day long but now I doubt it makes my top 10.

    PS - I never really need much of an excuse to smash TB. Gets way too much respect round these parts for my liking.

    I'm not sure how seriously I can take an argument that posits SF as better than GF. In the cold light of day, once the hallucinogens have worn off, I think you will see things differently. In SF I will give you Silva's entrance and that's probably it.

    I agree that Craig's performances are (so far) more even, but I'd argue that this is largely due to his range being much less than Connery's. Craig is brute force Bond, with a good line in surly moodyness. He's doing less with the role, so almost by definition he's going to turn in a more consistent portrayal.

    The other reason is that Craig's only done four and he's stilll enjoying the role. Connery's last two clearly stray into self-parody territory. Frankly, I think I enjoy them all the more for the fact Connery is in on the joke by that stage. His DAF performance is still highly enjoyable and (as you acknowldege) even bored Connery is still worth a watch. His DAF performance almost fully anticipates Roger's interpretation in the way he no longer takes the character very seriously.

    I don't personally accept the first half of YOLT is uninspired - the whole Tokyo set up is one of my favourite sequences in a Bond movie. Gotta love Tiger and the Toyota 2000gt. YOLT is underrated round here in my opinion.

    I guess it boils down to how much you rate Conners and Craig as actors. I have felt for a long time that Craig's acting ability and range is actually slightly exaggerated. He's a good Bond and I'm not here to slag him off. But I don't get the mind blowing quality that others seem to perceive when watching him. Connery on the other hand continues to wow me every time I watch those first three. His apparently instinctive ability to get pretty much every scene spot on is astounding - he managed to turn even the most mundane sequence into something electrifying.

    May be it's all subjective and "everyone's right", but since I know the short shrift you rightly give such wishy washy nonsense, I'm going to say it how I see it.

    Conners: 10/10

    Craig 7/10 (I think I'm being generous)

    To continue in the same vein as @royale65's Red Dwarf reference above - what on earth are you drivelling about?

    Connery has a better range than Craig??

    Would that be when he's playing the Russian sub captain with a Scottish accent or the Irish Chicago cop with a Scottis accent?

    Or having a convoluted backstory made up to explain why his character has a Scottish accent?

    There are some actors out there who are movie stars - Sean, Michael Caine, Tom Cruise, Clint Eastwood - who basically just portray themselves in every film.

    This shouldn't really be confused with acting in the Daniel Day Lewis sense of the word. Not saying Craig is in that league but the scene where he looks into the mirror after killing Obanna is acting not merely playing Sean Connery which is all Sean generally does. I'm not saying it's not a good trick but I really can't see Sean playing Hamlet where I could see Craig doing it.

    If he did they'd have to throw in a line like 'Forsooth Hamlet doth returneth from the barbarians of Scotland. How didst thee find this land of heather and whisky during your 10 year voyage?' to explain why he spoke with a Scottish accent instead of Danish.
  • doubleoegodoubleoego #LightWork
    Posts: 11,090
    Irrespective of Connery being the first, the man is tge quintessential benchmark and a very high one at that. The man just made his performances truly engaging, natural and effortless. He has a natural animal magnetism and charisma that no amount of acting training can give you. Its either you have it or you do not and Connery was blessed with it. Personally, regardless of how he looked and the quality of his last 2 EoN Bond movies, the man was beyond entertaining. His first 4 films are iconic cinema that endure and stand the test of time. That being said, actors may come close but they'll never surpass him. The casino scene in DN encapsulates everything that is iconic and classic Bond. People praising Craig's Bondian performance in SP are right to do so but the fact is consciously or subconsciously it's an imitation of not what Fleming created as such but what Terence Young and Connery conceptualised and brought to fruition.



    Just watch the whole scene. His mannerisms, his voice, the way he walks, the way he leans on the desk...it's the birth of an icon that all others hope to aspire to be like nevermind superseding it.
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