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I should note that Craig's acting performance in CR alone outshines most of Dalton, Lazenby, Brosnan and Moore's acting in the series, but I just can't for the life of me accept Craig as the character of James Bond.
Here's my list
I would rank Brosnan at the bottom mind. ;-)
2 - Connery
3 - Dalton
4 - Lazenby
5 - Brosnan
6 - Craig
2. Brosnan: A great, all round interpretation of the character. He effortlessly combines wit, elegance, humanity and danger and refined all the best qualities of those before him. Shows flashes of weakness (cemetery scene in Goldeneye) as well as brutal coldness (executing Electra King), yet all the while keeps Bond cool. Plus he was in the first Bond film I watched and, whilst not quite "the best", has always been a personal favourite of mine.
3. Dalton: Often overlooked but his contribution cannot be ignored as he restored the franchise to serious, more grown-up thrillers. However he arguably lacked the joie de vivre quality the previous two posessed and could have maybe used a bit more humour.
4. Moore: Probably the most amusing 007 to date. Admittedly his lighter, more humorous approach is the furthest removed from the source material; however there is a solid sense of typically English charm present, plus the unmistakeable glint in his eye.
5. Craig: Ditto the points for Dalton. Certainly convinces in the fight scenes and occasionally demonstrates charm. However, looks-wise he is the least Bond-like.
6. Lazenby: By no means as bad as it has been suggested. The final scene of OHMSS remains the most poignant ending in Bond history due to his performance. However he is still undeniably overshadowed by the other actors.
Note: Moore and Dalton sometimes change positions.
002) Timothy Dalton
003) Roger Moore
004) George Lazenby
005) Daniel Craig
006) Pierce Brosnan
How about this avatar? ;)
I find myself agreeing with most of your explanations and rationalizations. I'd personally switch around Brosnan and Moore as well as Lazenby and Craig, but otherwise I'm in line with all of what you've said.
2) Craig: The ruthlessness of literary Bond with the ability to portray enough subtext to make the character interesting.
3) Moore: The only man who can play Bond in both spectacle and small scale films.
4) Dalton: Hard edged, ruthless, but lacks the charm.
5) Lazenby: Grows into the role significantly as OHMSS goes on, but we have no way of knowing if that would continue over subsequent films. Had potential
6) Brosnan: Pushed the wrong buttons in emotional scenes. TND was his standout performance all around, but it went downhill drastically from there.
All of this is subject to change, of course.
Glad to see you have made the jump Major and PKK...
6. blue speedo.
2.) Roger Moore
3.) Timothy Dalton
4.) Sean Connery
5.) George Lazenby
6.) Pierce Brosnan
Let it be said that I like them all.
I can fuss with the order of the other 4 but the first two are locked in for eternity.
There is a thin line between Connery and Craig and Dalton actually. These three to me have portrayed the more Fleming versions of Bond.