Which Bond film is the most intellectually and/or emotionally engaging?

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  • Posts: 11,189
    The bumping into Tracey at the rink is very contrived but we forgive it.
  • GBFGBF
    Posts: 3,195
    NicNac wrote: »
    GBF wrote: »
    With regard to the love story in OHMSS I do not only have concerns with regard to Bond's unfaithfull behaviour on Piz Gloria but I also feel that the beginning of it (after the bull fight scene) really comes out of nowhere and becomes somewhat of a romantic cliche. I mean there is this desperate woman who has no interest in (a really wooden and uncharismatic) Bond and then out of the sudden falls for him. There should have been some development towards that moment that I am just missing. I really like all that romantic stuff that happens from the barn scene onwards and the ending is just superb. But the overall development of the love story is not really convincing.

    Bond had saved her twice for no reason other than compassion. This person has entered her life who really seems to care for her. Behind her business like façade she has feelings for him because of what he's done for her. And then at the bull fighting she thinks it was all just a business transaction after all and runs off. Bond realises at that moment that he really does care about her.

    And they do the soft focus stuff, gaze adoringly into each others eyes, buy the engagement ring, and then Bond goes off and screws a bunch of girls whilst under deep cover. Hmm.
    He bumps into Tracy after escaping, but if he hadn't, what then? No cow barn to cement their love. Would he have felt the same if he had escaped himself and gone back to her?

    That is my complaint, too. The love story just evolves very strangely and is rather incidently. It just does not feel right to me. The development feels unnatural. They could have made it better if they:

    actually get rid of the whole mental illness issue because this aspects disappears anyway after the first 30 minutes which is just bizarre.

    instead let the two fall in love during the first act but explain the main conflict: Bond is a special agent who actually cannot live a normal live and have a relationship. When Bond tells Tracy that he goes on his mission to Piz Gloria, she says she does not want to go on like this. Or he tells her that there is no future for the two since it would be too dangerous for her.

    Make Tracy watch after Bond. Hence it is actually more believable that she is not just incidently at the same place. She could have also hired someone at Piz Gloria to help Bond escape from Piz Gloria.

    When the two meet again Bond knows he made a mistake and now wants to change his life and quit mi6.... as it is shown in the wonderfull barn scene.

    Everything after that is made well in the film.
  • NicNac wrote: »
    GBF wrote: »
    With regard to the love story in OHMSS I do not only have concerns with regard to Bond's unfaithfull behaviour on Piz Gloria but I also feel that the beginning of it (after the bull fight scene) really comes out of nowhere and becomes somewhat of a romantic cliche. I mean there is this desperate woman who has no interest in (a really wooden and uncharismatic) Bond and then out of the sudden falls for him. There should have been some development towards that moment that I am just missing. I really like all that romantic stuff that happens from the barn scene onwards and the ending is just superb. But the overall development of the love story is not really convincing.

    Bond had saved her twice for no reason other than compassion. This person has entered her life who really seems to care for her. Behind her business like façade she has feelings for him because of what he's done for her. And then at the bull fighting she thinks it was all just a business transaction after all and runs off. Bond realises at that moment that he really does care about her.

    And they do the soft focus stuff, gaze adoringly into each others eyes, buy the engagement ring, and then Bond goes off and screws a bunch of girls whilst under deep cover. Hmm.
    He bumps into Tracy after escaping, but if he hadn't, what then? No cow barn to cement their love. Would he have felt the same if he had escaped himself and gone back to her?

    Yes I think so. The Louis Armstrong montage is convincing enough for me, especially at the end in the taxi. Great acting from the pair of them.
  • edited September 2016 Posts: 11,189
    That end bit in the taxi is really good. That's what I really like about the whole Laz/Rigg romance. The expressions of affection and little gestures (Laz wiping Rigg's eyes at the wedding) don't feel overplayed.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    I found it a little more convincing (and subtle) in comparison to the stuff which developed towards the end of CR to be quite honest, which reminded me uncomfortably of Attack of the Clones but with better dialogue (and immeasurably better acting).
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    edited September 2016 Posts: 5,131
    NicNac wrote: »
    I love Bond films because they are not emotionally or intellectually engaging.

    However, I guess OHMSS is a little sad at the end, despite Tracy being the most spoilt, self-pitying woman/child I've seen in the series.

    She was mentally ill, suffering from huge depressions, and perhaps she was even suffering from Borderline. But then again, the mentally ill are usually addressed like that: spoilt, self-pitying 'childs'.

    Her Father was a killer and her husband was killed too! In the book she is ill with depression. Plus even in the film she trys to kill herself.......I'm not a Dr. but this suggests being mentally ill (or at least clinically depressed) to me.
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 7,962
    The only conclusion is, that Bond is a cheater... ;-)
  • edited September 2016 Posts: 4,599
    The fact that we are having such an interesting and grown up discussion concerning Bond and Tracy within OHMSS really answers the question. How many other relationships within the series inspire such discussion? Hunt made time for the relationship to build and the romantic montage (with that superb music) was a bold move and something not seen before (or since?) and one of THE highlights for me. I know CR has its fans and rightly so but OHMSS is simply the obvious answer re emotional engagement. The fact that we are talking about Diana Rigg should not be overlooked, you cant separate the character from the actress. She was superb IMHO and if a lesser actress had been used, perhaps we would not be putting OHMSS up at the top. Plus (and back to Hunt) that cold, cold ending just has a massive impact on anyone who has bought into the relationship. Its the only time I ever cry watching a Bond movie, and, as such, there cant be really much of a debate from where I am sitting.
    PS as for intellect, well SF for me, but its all relative, I dont think Bond movies should be that intellectual.
  • Posts: 11,189
    bondjames wrote: »
    I found it a little more convincing (and subtle) in comparison to the stuff which developed towards the end of CR to be quite honest, which reminded me uncomfortably of Attack of the Clones but with better dialogue (and immeasurably better acting).

    I thought this two.

    Craig and Eva are great together and have some really good scenes, but the equivalent "declaring love" scene is somewhat cringy and less convincing.
  • @patb totally agree Rigg is superb and makes it believable. But credit to Lazenby too. He does a fine job also. Also that OHMSS leaves CR in the dust in this regard.

    I don't buy that Tracy was mentally ill in the film. We see her walking into the sea but plenty of people entertain an idea without following through. She was wandering through life without purpose, & like Draco said, needed a man to care about her and make her feel wanted.
  • Posts: 19,339
    In an ironic twist,i cant see any of the other 5 Bonds really being able to pull off OHMSS the way Lazenby did.
    He was really suited to the film tbh...
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited September 2016 Posts: 23,883
    For these kinds of 'meaty' Bond films, it helps that we have a new actor, as he can be essentially a 'clean slate' in the audience's mind. It worked for Laz, and it worked for Craig as well.
  • Posts: 4,599
    There is an extra level to the movie in that, with hindsight, we are saying goodbye to Laz (and his take on Bond) and returning to the IMHO dreadful DAF, so we share not only Bond's grief in losing his wife but we have our own grief as Bond fans at the end of a very short era. So when we see Laz in tears, that's how we remember him rather than the future Bond movies (and emotions) that he really should have made. Surely, THE most dramatic way a Bond actor has departed. It was never planned like that but it just makes it more emotional.
  • M_BaljeM_Balje Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Posts: 4,435
    Smart: Tomorrow Never Dies and Quantum Of Solace

    Skyfall and Spectre have there moments, but as QOS left overs.

    Emotional movies: Frwl, Yolt, Ohmss, Daf, Tmwtgg, Tswlm, Moonraker, Fyeo, Octopussy, Tld. Brosnan era and QOS.
  • Posts: 4,599
    A movie can be emotional but not engaging. Anyone can write an emotional screenplay. It's the engaging part which is tough. The emotion of empathy with a character. Very rare across the whole Bond series
  • GBFGBF
    Posts: 3,195

    patb wrote: »
    The fact that we are having such an interesting and grown up discussion concerning Bond and Tracy within OHMSS really answers the question. How many other relationships within the series inspire such discussion? Hunt made time for the relationship to build and the romantic montage (with that superb music) was a bold move and something not seen before (or since?) and one of THE highlights for me. I know CR has its fans and rightly so but OHMSS is simply the obvious answer re emotional engagement. The fact that we are talking about Diana Rigg should not be overlooked, you cant separate the character from the actress. She was superb IMHO and if a lesser actress had been used, perhaps we would not be putting OHMSS up at the top. Plus (and back to Hunt) that cold, cold ending just has a massive impact on anyone who has bought into the relationship. Its the only time I ever cry watching a Bond movie, and, as such, there cant be really much of a debate from where I am sitting.
    PS as for intellect, well SF for me, but its all relative, I dont think Bond movies should be that intellectual.

    OHMSS comes to mind simply because it contains a love story that is the main part of the film which is rare for a Bond film. The film further contains some unique moments. A serious wedding (not a fake like in YOLT), the death of Bond's wife,...) All that are elements of an emotional film. But still you can question wheather itis done rigth or wheather the development of the love story is convincing or not. Especially in such a film where it is actually a major part, it is important that the love story feels natural. In other films - let's say Dr. No - Bond is not supposed to fall in love so there is no need for such a discussion.

    I personally think it is better executed in CR. I don't think that there are any unbelievable moments and the developments of the love story works quiet well and is believable for me. Diana Rigg is indeed a great actor and Lazemby is good in the romantic scenes, too but I personally just don't really buy their love story. In this regard, the script has just too many elements that don't feel rigth for me....
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 5,949
    BAIN123 wrote: »
    ...and yet he had no guilt about putting it around in Piz Gloria, eventhough he didn't have to ;)

    I don't doubt that he loved her...but not until the end of the film.

    I think he fell in love with her after they escaped Bunt et al in the stock car race.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,687
    Hell... I have to say QOS even though it's not my favourite Bond movie. Smart & moving. May be why I watch it so much.
  • For me "Skyfall" is also geo-politically still an interesting tale. I mean, the entire relationship between M and Raoul Silva is so sparingly reminiscent of Julián Assange's hate for Hillary Clinton. It's also the first serious attempt of introducing a computer hacking scheme into a Bond film. Perhaps the villains scheme is a bit larger-than-life. But just have a look what Democrat Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and ex-CEO Amy Pascal had to endure. The hacks destroyed their careers to a certain extend. So did M's career. Also, there's quite a bit of realistic terrorism happening in London. London 2005? Nice 2016? Anyone?
  • stagstag In the thick of it!
    Posts: 1,053
    CrabKey wrote: »
    For me it comes down to which Bond films can I watch over and over and still find something of interest. For me that's OHMSS and CR. The similarity is obvious: both films are anchored by fully evolved women, not dumb Bond girls. The development of those relationships create more emotionally and intellectually satisfying films.

    The history of Bond films is a mixed bag, largely inconsistent in tone. Not a thing wrong with giving us a film to think about, to consider ethical and moral choices, while at the same time proving entertaining.

    SPECTRE had the opportunity to move the series forward, instead it blew it with the adopted brother with father issues nonsense. It would have been much better had SPECTRE been reconstituted and headed by someone new and far more dangerous than Blofeld.

    The Bond series is clearly infatuated with Bourne series. But the latest Bourne was a hollow rehash of its predecessors. Nothing to think about, nothing to care about. Action sequences were more important than story, which was the typical convoluted no one can be trusted mumbo jumbo.

    Instead of being imitator, Bond needs to get back to being trend setter. That begins with an intellectually satisfying story instead of action before all else.

    I agree with you entirely.

  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,568
    CrabKey wrote: »
    For me it comes down to which Bond films can I watch over and over and still find something of interest. For me that's OHMSS and CR. The similarity is obvious: both films are anchored by fully evolved women, not dumb Bond girls. The development of those relationships create more emotionally and intellectually satisfying films.

    The history of Bond films is a mixed bag, largely inconsistent in tone. Not a thing wrong with giving us a film to think about, to consider ethical and moral choices, while at the same time proving entertaining.

    SPECTRE had the opportunity to move the series forward, instead it blew it with the adopted brother with father issues nonsense. It would have been much better had SPECTRE been reconstituted and headed by someone new and far more dangerous than Blofeld.

    The Bond series is clearly infatuated with Bourne series. But the latest Bourne was a hollow rehash of its predecessors. Nothing to think about, nothing to care about. Action sequences were more important than story, which was the typical convoluted no one can be trusted mumbo jumbo.

    Instead of being imitator, Bond needs to get back to being trend setter. That begins with an intellectually satisfying story instead of action before all else.

    As you say the Bonds are a mixed bag, but by and large the series is made up of escapist entertainment - two hours of adventure and thrills to get away from the humdrum of everyday life etc etc. OHMSS and CR are the exception, not the rule, so if these are your preference I would say it leaves very little within the series as a whole to find enough to satisfy you.

    Skyfall was criticised for being too deep. Spectre tried to address that and give us a traditional Bond film. But of course now Spectre is being criticised for not being Skyfall?

    I believe it is impossible for Bond to be a trend setter again. It had no competition in the 60s so Bond set the tone. By the 70s that was finished - Bond was following trends, not setting them. Whether this has swung back is anyone's guess but Bourne only existed because of Bond, and now Bond is copying Bourne!

    Is it really?

    I don't watch Bourne films, they don't interest me, but I read stuff about QOS copying Bourne. So if that is the case I can't see how CR and SF can be accused of the same, as they are nothing like QOS.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    NicNac wrote: »
    GBF wrote: »
    With regard to the love story in OHMSS I do not only have concerns with regard to Bond's unfaithfull behaviour on Piz Gloria but I also feel that the beginning of it (after the bull fight scene) really comes out of nowhere and becomes somewhat of a romantic cliche. I mean there is this desperate woman who has no interest in (a really wooden and uncharismatic) Bond and then out of the sudden falls for him. There should have been some development towards that moment that I am just missing. I really like all that romantic stuff that happens from the barn scene onwards and the ending is just superb. But the overall development of the love story is not really convincing.

    Bond had saved her twice for no reason other than compassion. This person has entered her life who really seems to care for her. Behind her business like façade she has feelings for him because of what he's done for her. And then at the bull fighting she thinks it was all just a business transaction after all and runs off. Bond realises at that moment that he really does care about her.

    And they do the soft focus stuff, gaze adoringly into each others eyes, buy the engagement ring, and then Bond goes off and screws a bunch of girls whilst under deep cover. Hmm.
    He bumps into Tracy after escaping, but if he hadn't, what then? No cow barn to cement their love. Would he have felt the same if he had escaped himself and gone back to her?
    Yes, there's this small ring - affair. I can't place that in an otherwise seemingly fair story. Let's just say he does it all in name of Queen and Country. To say it in Fleming's words (from the book FRWL) 'pimping for England'.

    I'm quite happy to give Bond a freebie in Piz Gloria - sort of like his stag do.

    For a guy like Bond who has meaningless affairs on a regular basis I think it would just be a quick bit of fun and not something he would consider as cheating on Tracy.

    Tracy has a foot in the door of his heart at this stage, even if he hasnt quite fully fallen in love with her, but with the character of Bond there is a big gulf between his heart and his dick.

    He can shag any girl and ditch her with little thought about it but to fall in love is a rarity for him. The Angels of Death are just a perk of his dangerous job. His relationship with Tracy is an entirely separate compartment:- at least he thinks so, but then of course it ends up that he cant keep his job and personal life separate and she is killed.

    And this is why Bond is a tragic hero, his devotion to duty precludes him from having a happy, normal life. His sacrifices enable the rest of us to enjoy that ordinary life which is impossible for him, wedded as he is to Her Majesty's Secret Service.
  • Posts: 4,599
    "there is a big gulf between his heart and his dick." - pretty representative of the species,
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 7,962
    Well that's the thing. We tend to identify ourselves with our heroes, using our own moral standards. I think OHMSS is an example where this may leed to confusion, as, now strictly speaking for myself, I think Bond crosses a line hre. But I think @TheWizard is right here in stating his morals are different on this issue.
  • Posts: 4,599
    But, happy to be corrected, Bond realises that he cant have his cake and eat it and, therefore, with marriage comes kids and a new life (out of operational roles) that means he does not have to sleep around or gain access to such temptation. It was always my understanding that married life would see the end of Bond as we knew him. And, in a way, Tracey had to die in order for us to enjoy more Bond adventures (hence the dreadful mess with the end of SP)
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    edited September 2016 Posts: 5,949
    NicNac wrote: »
    CrabKey wrote: »
    By the 70s that was finished - Bond was following trends, not setting them. Whether this has swung back is anyone's guess but Bourne only existed because of Bond, and now Bond is copying Bourne!

    I agree. LALD appears to be the tipping point when Bond films really started following trends. TMWTGG and MR were major trend-followers.

    TSWLM is one of the better original ones--"Jaws" notwithstanding--but it was a copy of YOLT. And FYEO and TLD have their original moments, but then again, that's because they went back to Fleming.
  • peterpeter Toronto
    Posts: 8,472
    CR is the most "emotional" film, imho. Loving it from the first time, until now, watching the relationship unfold between Bond and Vesper is just a marvel to view. We know what's going to happen, and it makes the two leads performances that much more poignant on repeat viewings.
  • I would call SF and to a lesser extent SP intellectual, but perhaps not intellectually engaging - they're themes are spelt out so obviously that there's really no room for thought.

    Every moment in SF it's "ooooh M you're too old for this" "ooooh I like to do things the old fashioned way" "ooooh old dogs new tricks" "ooooh Mi6 is outdated we don't live in a golden age of espionage" etc.

    And the text after the gunbarrel in SP speaks for itself in terms of thematic subtlety.
  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Per ora e per il momento che verrà
    Posts: 6,776
    The problem with these later entries is their pretentiousness. OHMSS or LTK had a tormented Bond as well but they weren't shouting at their audiences: "Can you see how we're giving 007 all this depth? Look at us being meaningful."
  • GoldenGun wrote: »
    The problem with these later entries is their pretentiousness. OHMSS or LTK had a tormented Bond as well but they weren't shouting at their audiences: "Can you see how we're giving 007 all this depth? Look at us being meaningful."

    But......I find this a bit of flawed reasoning really. I mean, when can a director infuse themes without being too obvious or too pretentious. Never? Do you have examples of directors who actually can do that?

    In my personal opinion Sam Mendes is a great director who, as of late, is being a tiny bit belittled. I mean, does anyone know Mendes' filmography? Movies like "Revolutionary Road" and "American Beauty" were applauded, because of its deeper underlying themes. He actually does the very same thing with "Skyfall" and "SPECTRE" and there you go again; the simple, popcorn-craving minds of many Bond fans in here start complaining again.

    Too me, the themes of "SPECTRE" and "Skyfall" were beautifully interwoven into the plot, without the pretentiousness. I do think however that all the constant analizing of Bond films makes many Bond fans think that these last two Bond films are pretentious. It's a bit unfair I think.

    "OHMSS" and "LTK" are wonderful films. They indeed showed Bond as well as a tormented human being. But these films didn't go into the deep with regard to other themes? Themes like 'the necessity of espionage', a world in which 'villains are in the shadows', themes of 'young vs old', 'the rise of hacking and leaks' and 'undemocratic destruction of privacy'.........are themes I did not see or could discover in movies like "LTK" or "OHMSS". So it makes the last two Mendes Bond films even more unique, more interesting to discuss about.

    Heck, the very reason we keep discussing "SPECTRE" and "Skyfall" makes you really think Sam Mendes pulled it off. I will miss the man. And the next Bond director is going to fill some very big shoes.
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