Which Bond Films Are the Most Unique?

in Bond Movies Posts: 12,249
I'm setting up this thread to pose this question to the MI6 Community: which Bond films stand out to you as the most unique in the series, meaning entries that seem not to have much in common with the rest of the films? Specific examples explaining why would be great!
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Comments

  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 4,099
    LALD, both book and movie, for various reasons. Too tired to name the many reasons there are!
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
    Moonraker for the comic extremes in play ending virtually every reel, outright slapstick in Venice.

  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 4,937
    Most unique Bond film? Interesting question. A few films come to mind...TB, MR and QOS.

    TB cause of the heavy underwater action. Somehow the film makers make this work with action and some eerie feelings. Bond is rather tender with Domino and has some nice chemistry compared to some of his other leading ladies. I recall his hand shaking when he hands Domino her brother's watch and dog tags. Subtle but you see some emotion.

    MR cause we send Bond to space! While looking on it now it was a weird and rather silly movie. It is unique for being so OTT. Thankfully it has a grounded villain who conveys menace and some degree of seriousness. I could have done without Jaws returning.

    QOS here we have a depressed Bond focussed very much on revenge and silencing his demons. His portrayal is very un-Bondian. He drinks to excess and seems to fine with self destruction. He doesn't romance the leading lady and there is very little romance in this film.

    Those are three that stand out. If I am forced to choose one, then I pick QOS as the most unique of the series!
  • Daniel316Daniel316 United States
    Posts: 210
    Moonraker is certainly the most unique due to the space aspect, and that's a main factor into why I value it highly. I'd also say Licence To Kill is Unique as it's a dark and gritty Bond film but still retains Bond elements such as Humor, Wit, Style, Class, etc while focusing on a more dark path where as yes the Craig films are similar to that but they drop the Bond elements in favor of going all out on a dark and gritty Bond film so to speak.
  • QQ7QQ7 Croatia
    Posts: 371
    OHMSS
    MR
    LTK
    SF
  • j_w_pepperj_w_pepper Born on the bayou. I can still hear my old hound dog barkin'.
    Posts: 8,672
    patb wrote: »
    Ah yes, the play with absolutes. Of course, if something is unique, there cannot be something that is more unique, and definitely not most unique. Just like a glass theoretically cannot be "fuller" (it is either full or not) or "emptier". And something that is not optimal can be considered sub-optimal, and less than optimal, but not less optimal than something else.

    However, I recently read a column from a writer in our daily newspaper who is normally very strict on German-language rules (and where there's logic involved, the same applies to English). He said that the connotation of comparatives had changed to the extent that if you use them in comparisons, a "fuller" glass means a glass that is closer to being full than an "emptier" one, and that that is becoming accepted since everyone knows what is meant. Likewise, one must read "more unique" as being closer to uniqueness than something else, and "more optimal" to be closer to the ideal. Let's just leave it at that.

    That's also basically what the comment on Quora says.

  • edited February 2020 Posts: 230
    LALD, QOS, and LTK all feel a bit off. Not worse...just different. :)

    MR feels 100% 70's Bond and doesn't divert from expectations til the last 20 minutes or so.
  • OctopussyOctopussy Piz Gloria, Schilthorn, Switzerland.
    Posts: 1,081
    OHMSS
    CR
  • M_BaljeM_Balje Amsterdam, Netherlands
    edited March 2020 Posts: 4,436
    Goldeneye. Six years and first i have seen in cinema.
    Live And Let Die. White guy is the shy guy and we have black villian. No Q, till CR comes. Till Jeffrey Wright it introduce actor who played Felix two times.
    Diamonds Are Forever: James Bond in Amsterdam!
    Quantum of Solace. Shortest Bond movie and the cinema aloud us to see it include end credits.

    Daniel Craig era is uniek in that maintitle and lyrics tell something about what will happen in the future with reminders of the past. The mirrors. No Time To Die if Daniel Craig last one will give us maintitle with open future and mabey will again more on movie it self.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
    Octopussy wrote: »
    OHMSS
    CR
    That's a very important take on it, @Octopussy. The stories that define the character in book. And film.

  • OctopussyOctopussy Piz Gloria, Schilthorn, Switzerland.
    Posts: 1,081
    Octopussy wrote: »
    OHMSS
    CR
    That's a very important take on it, @Octopussy. The stories that define the character in book. And film.

    It's for that reason that I mentioned them.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    edited March 2020 Posts: 5,131
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    LALD, both book and movie, for various reasons. Too tired to name the many reasons there are!

    The villains, Moore and the score are a strength. The score is nothing like ‘a Barry’ but is still one the coolest, best and unique of the series.

    Strange to think Live And Let Die was only the second film not to feature SPECTRE, and Kananga the first non-Blofeld antagonist since Emilio Largo. The film needed a strong threat and the quietly menacing Kananga provides. He is a more complex villain than most, his obsession with Solitaire and use of the occult adding interesting layers to the character.

    But Baron Samedi steals the show. Tall, flamboyant and with a laugh to trouble a seismometer, Samedi is the most enigmatic character to appear in a Bond film. Presumably ‘Samedi’ is merely a stooge hired by Kananga to impersonate the mythical Loa, but such is the presence and charisma of the late Geoffrey Holder that he could easily be the real thing. His final reappearance on the front of the train is a wonderful stylistic touch – and brilliantly atypical for a Bond film. Samedi is the bridge between the relative ‘realism’ of Kananga and the shifting, spiritual elements of voodoo and tarot running through the film.

    The most significant Bond ingredient missing from “Live and Let Die” is Q, whose gadgets still play a central role (007 uses his electromagnetic watch to unzip a girl’s dress and a pressurized air bullet to defeat Kananga). The film also offers a few key additions, including an illuminating glimpse of Bond’s home — a swanky bachelor pad with loud, ’70s-style decor.

    LALD is Moore’s best Bond film.
  • Agent7777Agent7777 England
    Posts: 37
    OHMSS - Always seems to stand out as a singular film within the franchise. Unique in the fact that it was Lazenby's one and only Bond film and the fact that it is the most faithful to a Fleming novel.

    MR - The space element and the over the top humour reaching a peak.

    LTK - Bond going rogue and a much more gritty, realistic tone.

    QOS - The first film to directly follow on from the previous film, the shortest running time for a Bond movie.
  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Per ora e per il momento che verrà
    Posts: 6,777
    OHMSS: is this the first action film ending with the hero in tears?

    LALD: the supernatural element.

    LTK: Bond goes rogue for the first time. Brutal scenes too at times.

    QOS: Bond at its most arty.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    LALD-the racist film with a black villain.
    TWINE-the misogynist film with a female villain.
  • ResurrectionResurrection Kolkata, India
    Posts: 2,541
    LALD-the racist film with a black villain.
    TWINE-the misogynist film with a female villain.

    Hahahahaha well done.
  • Posts: 230
    LALD-the racist film with a black villain.
    TWINE-the misogynist film with a female villain.

    If fairness - I don't think most people have issues with the main antagonist being black. It was bound to happen given 24 films. People complain about the fact that the black antagonists are selling drugs, participating in tribal, superstitious rituals, and imprisoning a white woman.

    Yes - LALD also made Kananga and his gang much smarter than the white people in the movie and the biggest idiot in the film was a white guy. LALD even included yet another version of perpetual-derptitude white Leiter. Ironically, it took a black actor to make Leiter competent. Critics of the film's racial undertones often leave this information out.

    In a fair analysis of the movie, these points are all on-the-table points.


  • edited March 2020 Posts: 631
    Agree with @STLCards3, it is a surprisingly non-racist film for the time it was made, the early 1970s. I used to get into arguments at university about it. A lot of people will say “the hero is white and the villain is black” but they fail to notice the subtleties, the nuances, about who is out-thinking whom in the film.

    The boat chase in particular shows various individuals thinking ahead and strategising, and their colour is completely irrelevant, with both whites and blacks shown as skilled speedboat drivers, skilled thinkers, skilled at taking opportunities and thinking fast on their feet.

    Having said that, I did read once that Yaphet Kotto was not invited to attend the premier of the film that he had been the villain in, which is awful if true.
  • Posts: 1,595
    This is an interesting question. It is nice to see some consensus forming in the comments as well. I think my picks would be:

    OHMSS - For Lazenby alone, but there are other reasons as well as has been mentioned.

    LALD - The supernatural element.

    MR - Space / the sheer levity of it.

    QOS - Almost anti-Bond in its execution.
  • edited March 2020 Posts: 7,500
    In addition to the ones already mentioned, I'll have to give a shout for Skyfall. Bond showing some real weakness and vulnerability, M dying (oops, SPOILER ALLERT! ;) ), and the theme of the "old ways are the best".
  • ThunderballThunderball playing Chemin de Fer in a casino, downing Vespers
    Posts: 776
    STLCards3 wrote: »
    LALD even included yet another version of perpetual-derptitude white Leiter. Ironically, it took a black actor to make Leiter competent.

    Hell yeah. Felix Leiter has to be at least pretty competent and resourceful to be both an ally and friend of James Bond. Jeffrey Wright is the exemplar of this (although, I might argue, so is Hedison's Felix in LTK).
  • Posts: 230
    Agree with @STLCards3, it is a surprisingly non-racist film for the time it was made, the early 1970s. I used to get into arguments at university about it. A lot of people will say “the hero is white and the villain is black” but they fail to notice the subtleties, the nuances, about who is out-thinking whom in the film.

    The boat chase in particular shows various individuals thinking ahead and strategising, and their colour is completely irrelevant, with both whites and blacks shown as skilled speedboat drivers, skilled thinkers, skilled at taking opportunities and thinking fast on their feet.

    Having said that, I did read once that Yaphet Kotto was not invited to attend the premier of the film that he had been the villain in, which is awful if true.

    Thank you for agreeing re: the nuance. But I DID agree that in retrospect, at least, there are some troubling elements as well.
  • Posts: 230
    STLCards3 wrote: »
    LALD even included yet another version of perpetual-derptitude white Leiter. Ironically, it took a black actor to make Leiter competent.

    Hell yeah. Felix Leiter has to be at least pretty competent and resourceful to be both an ally and friend of James Bond. Jeffrey Wright is the exemplar of this (although, I might argue, so is Hedison's Felix in LTK).

    Van Nutter was the worst. Bond yelling at him to lower the copter. Getting punched in the gut being kept from saying "007". :)
  • ThunderballThunderball playing Chemin de Fer in a casino, downing Vespers
    Posts: 776
    Nah, John Terry was the worst. He doesn’t come off like a CIA field agent at all, more like Bond’s golfing buddy or something. It doesn’t help that the script doesn’t give him anything to do.
  • Posts: 1,882
    You're both wrong! It's Cec Linder in GF, AKA Bond's uncle Felix. At least Van Nutter and Terry look like CIA agents who are capable in the field. Linder looks like a police desk sergeant.

    Every time I hear "They got a lot closer to you in Jamaica" I about howl in laughter as he stands there poolside in his '50s suit and Ted Knight Caddyshack hat. He's part of the reason I don't hold GF in higher standing.
  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Per ora e per il momento che verrà
    Posts: 6,777
    BT3366 wrote: »
    You're both wrong! It's Cec Linder in GF, AKA Bond's uncle Felix. At least Van Nutter and Terry look like CIA agents who are capable in the field. Linder looks like a police desk sergeant.

    Every time I hear "They got a lot closer to you in Jamaica" I about howl in laughter as he stands there poolside in his '50s suit and Ted Knight Caddyshack hat. He's part of the reason I don't hold GF in higher standing.

    I agree, by far my least favourite Felix.
  • Posts: 1,009
    The - kind of - tetralogy formed by OHMSS, DAF, LALD and TMWGG and then MR and LTK. I take we're talking about the EON films, so CR'67 and NSNA are out of the question.

    OHMSS has aesthetics and ideas that make it quite unique. It's Peter Hunt's declaration of intentions, possibly the most personal film of the saga. Sometimes it looks even experimental.

    DAF is the definite parody of the saga. A funny and outrageous romp made to make Connery happy. I love is as much as its predecessor and always watch them back to back, as I feel they complement each other nicely, especially if we we are willing consider that Bond is on a revenge spree on the pre-credits sequence (then again, this is a purely personal choice or, as the young 'uns say, headcanon).

    LALD marks the first of the four Bond films that follow the current cinema trends (and I even think we can add Octopussy to the equation. Is it supposed to be a response to the Indiana Jones saga?), and as such we have that gritty look no other Bond film has, based on blaxplotation, then we have TMWGG based on martial arts films, MR on Star Wars and LTK on those wonderful 80s action flicks, looking overall like a glorified Cannon/Golan-Globus film (and maybe that's why LTK my fav film of all time).
  • ThunderballThunderball playing Chemin de Fer in a casino, downing Vespers
    Posts: 776
    Can we at least agree on who is the best Felix Leiter?

    b39259987312fe6277d62bffa977e692.png

    James’ brother from Langley.

    (I really like Jack Lord too)
  • Posts: 230
    Nah, John Terry was the worst. He doesn’t come off like a CIA field agent at all, more like Bond’s golfing buddy or something. It doesn’t help that the script doesn’t give him anything to do.

    I agree that Terry and Lindor were really bad too.
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