Mesmerizing, Poignant, Oscar-worthy Acting Moments from the 007 Films (not action-heavy)

edited January 2016 in Bond Movies Posts: 11,119
I think at times we tend to forget how absolutely fantastic some scenes of Bond films are when looking at the acting, and the believability of it. These scenes are among my favourites. They usually are tense, dramatic and they channel not just one type of emotion with the viewers. They can channel both creepiness and fun, or fear and comedy, or sadness vs. fun. These are truly mesmerizing examples of acting that should have been awarded an Oscar or Screen Actors Guild Award

I'm curious what your list would be, but this is mine:

"DOCTOR NO": The dinner scene between Dr. No and James Bond:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsT1bLR2sfM
The first time the world gets to see a villain. And one hell of a scary one too. Joseph Wiseman is magnificent and utters his lines with a build-in angst and elitism.

"FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE": Rosa Klebb meets Tatiana Romanova:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tDEFLpNa74
We all know what a great stage actress Lotte Lenya was. She was already great in "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone", and got nominated for an Oscar deservedly. In "FRWL" we can witness another perfect portrayal of a trye psychopath.

"THUNDERBALL": Bond dances to his death:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3DVMl2i0ik
Credits also to composer John Barry who helps setting the tension with his caraïbic flavored source music, culminating into a big climax. You can see that Bond isn't particularly at ease here. It's the character trait of Bond: No matter in what danger he gets into, he doesn't loose his humour. Perhaps Connery's best and most self-assured performance as Bond.

"ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE": James Bond proposes Tracy di Vicenzo:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCMMbtnkRHM
First of all, the soft lighting from cinematographer Michael Reed sets the stage for one of the most romantic love scenes ever in a Bond film. Do not underestimate Lazenby's acting skills either. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association were right in honoring Lazenby with a Golden Globe nomination for "Best Newcomer Actor".

"THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN": The dinner scene between Scaramanga and James Bond:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_dAKu_cNS8
Another perfect example how tense and ingenious dialogue is being uttered perfectly by two great actors. The build-up is perfect; it starts off pretty nonchalant, but evolves in a tense verbal fight. The late Sir Lee OBE will be missed.

"OCTOPUSSY": General Orlov's ranting during the Soviet Board Meeting:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x99njmZxaMA
I wanted to highlight this scene, as this is still very topical as of 2016. Steven Berkoff portrays a complete narcistic and power-hungry general. If one thinks that this performance is a bit too one-sided, one has to take a look at today's autoritarian leaders, like Erdogan or Putin: "The West is decadent...and divided!"

"NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN": Fatima Blush is extorting James Bond:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wz3C9somtfo
Perhaps one of the most underrated Bond girl performance? Barbara Carrera in my opinion portrayed a sexy psychpath, whose screaming in this scene doesn't go unnoticed. She also set the stage fashion-wise for Grace Jones and Famke Janssen. Carrera got a Golden Globe nod for this portrayal.

"LICENCE TO KILL": Bond meets Franch Sanchez:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjL-OX417BE
You can feel the tension, as we already know how ruthless this 'Pablo Escobar' is. The laughter and smiling between Robert Davi and Timothy Dalton adds masculinity and danger to this scene.

"THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH": Elektra King starts torturing James Bond:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYPXDtoOE5Q
Although I'm not a big fan of the dialogue in the Brosnan-era, but French actress Sophie Marceau portrays one of the most complicated and compelling Bond women in the franchise. Slowly we see her evolve in a ruthless villain that enjoys to erotically torture 007.

"CASINO ROYALE": A desperate Le Chiffre tortures James Bond:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDJOXiPSRIs
One of the acting highlights in the franchise, with Oscar-worthy performances from Mads Mikkelsen and Daniel Craig. The humour that Bond can still utter, compared with the intense physical pain he's suffering from, creates an uneasy experience. And also Mads Mikkelsen contributes to that with the desperation that fuels Le Chiffre's actions. Ian Fleming would have loved this.

"CASINO ROYALE": The Hotel Splendide dinner scene:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSejgp-AROI
Here's a scene that shows how Bond becomes an expert in reading female's minds. During the dinner scene, the joyous and happy atmosphere changes again into an uncomfortable scene where Vesper becomes uneasy.

"QUANTUM OF SOLACE": 'M' confronting Bond with his ruthless behaviour:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exi_8LZ9oF0
"Look where your charm gets you now!", says 'M'. You can feel that James Bond is uncomfortable when he's being confronted with his ruthless behaviour that leaves huge trails of death.

"SKYFALL": James Bond confronts Sévérine with her past:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVz7ELEQMuc
This scene is an underappreciated scene that shows what a wonderful actress Berenice Lim-Marlohe is. The scene is reminiscent of the "CR"-dinner scene, in that it shows again how empathic Bond is with women. But the complete fear that Berenice portrays here is utterly believable and poignant. Also praise to director Sam Mendes, who sets a perfect atmosphere here.

"SKYFALL": The introduction of Raoul Silva/Tiago Rodriguez:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FumW4wuqDeQ
Well, I think I shouldn't say too much about this phenomenal scene. It is understandable that Javier Bardem got an Screen Actors Guild Award nomination and a Critics' Choice Award nomination. Bardem's presence is poignant, and give you both an uncomfortable feel as well as a feeling of fun.

"SPECTRE": Lucia Sciarra slaps Bond in his face:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT6LQEWzY3A
....and subsequently Bond throws the two filled glasses of Bollinger on the floor. "You signed my death warrant!", makes you believe that Lucia Sciarra is/was the uncrowned queen of the syndicate S.P.E.C.T.R.E. It is this scene that IMO shows off Monica Bellucci's fantastic acting skills. Could we see her back as deputy head of S.P.E.C.T.R.E. now Blofeld is in prison?

"SPECTRE": Franz Oberhauser/Ernst Stavro Blofeld presents the Kartenhoff meteroid:
Sadly, I don't have a clip of this scene, but I think here we see one of the best bits of Christoph Waltz' acting skills. A Bond villain uttering a parable always work, but it takes an actor to bring such a parable to higher levels. Just like Joseph Wiseman, Christopher Lee and Javier Bardem did before him.
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Comments

  • CR- Death of Vesper. The range of emotions on DC's face is a masterful piece of acting.
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,512
    united1878 wrote: »
    CR- Death of Vesper. The range of emotions on DC's face is a masterful piece of acting.

    This. Direction, Cinematography, Acting, Score. It's the best scene in the whole series for my money.

  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    RC7 wrote: »
    united1878 wrote: »
    CR- Death of Vesper. The range of emotions on DC's face is a masterful piece of acting.

    This. Direction, Cinematography, Acting, Score. It's the best scene in the whole series for my money.
    It's a great scene for sure. My #1 is 'ball buster' from CR. Both Craig & Mikkelsen deserve an Oscar for that scene. Pitch perfect in every way, and it's a very difficult scene to pull off. I can only imagine that some other actors would have made a right hash of it.
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    Posts: 7,574
    I think the scene in The Living Daylights where Bond confronts Pushkin in his hotel room is absolutely outstanding from a performance point of view. Barry's wonderful score always complimenting the intensity of Dalton's performance, too.

    That, or....
    united1878 wrote: »
    CR- Death of Vesper. The range of emotions on DC's face is a masterful piece of acting.

    I'll second this one.
  • Posts: 11,119
    bondjames wrote: »
    RC7 wrote: »
    united1878 wrote: »
    CR- Death of Vesper. The range of emotions on DC's face is a masterful piece of acting.

    This. Direction, Cinematography, Acting, Score. It's the best scene in the whole series for my money.
    It's a great scene for sure. My #1 is 'ball buster' from CR. Both Craig & Mikkelsen deserve an Oscar for that scene. Pitch perfect in every way, and it's a very difficult scene to pull off. I can only imagine that some other actors would have made a right hash of it.

    I agree with the 'ball buster' scene. What I love about it is the conflicted emotions this scene evokes. And there's interaction between two persons: One is physically tortured, whereas the other one is mentally tortured by a financial grave situation.

    What about the films from the 1960's? I think Lotte Lenya was one of the best actresses who ever worked on a Bond film.
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    Posts: 15,534
    Roger Moore interrogating General Orlov in OP. Just by looking at Sir Rog's eyes you can see the disgust and anger burning inside him. One of my favorite moments in the franchise.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited January 2016 Posts: 23,883
    I agree with the 'ball buster' scene. What I love about it is the conflicted emotions this scene evokes. And there's interaction between two persons: One is physically tortured, whereas the other one is mentally tortured by a financial grave situation.
    That's what I like about it the most. You really feel the tension between the two men, and LeChiffre's fear and desperation. He holds all the cards (ropes?), and yet he's the one who looks frightened, while Craig appears confident but physically battered. Very difficult scene to do convincingly, and these two nail it.
    What about the films from the 1960's? I think Lotte Lenya was one of the best actresses who ever worked on a Bond film.
    Lotte was great in FRWL, and her scene with Tanya is one for the ages. She conveyed menace convincingly throughout the film, which is incredible for an older, slight framed lady. Even Connery appeared shaken in her presence. What's amazing is, despite her formidable confidence in other scenes, the fear she shows in the presence of the unseen Blofeld, which helped to demonstrate his power.

    I honestly think Sean Connery deserves something for his work in DN/FRWL. I know we talk highly of his performance here, but it's really even better than that. I don't know of any other actor who so defined an era and was so ahead of his peers in the role of a spy. Everyone just paled in comparison to him in those two films - he is just the most credible. This forum likely wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for what he did there. Definitive, imho.
  • Posts: 11,119
    Roger Moore interrogating General Orlov in OP. Just by looking at Sir Rog's eyes you can see the disgust and anger burning inside him. One of my favorite moments in the franchise.

    The funny thing is that overall "TMWTGG" is not even in my TOP 15 of favourite Bond films, but in three pivotal scenes it shows how damn good an actor Sir Roger Moore is. And after "TMWTGG" I have never really....found such strong acting performances of Moore as Bond:

    --> 'Bond sneeking into Andrea Anders' hotel room and his subsequent gritty and blunt behaviour towards her'
    --> 'Bond interrogating Lazar, and the way he points the rifle at him'
    --> 'The entire dinner scene between Bond and Scaramanga and the following gun duel'

    While Moore himself said that he didn't look convincing in the more gritty written Bond parts, I thought he nailed it. The way Moore slapped Andrea so violently....was totally convincing to me. I loved it.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited January 2016 Posts: 23,883
    Sir Rog is a Saint, and that's all there is to it. His work on TMWTGG include some of my favourite Bond scenes. He is too self deprecating about the quality of his work imho.
  • Posts: 1,150
    I love the scene between Alec and Bond in the graveyard in Goldeneye. A terrific scene in so many ways. Terribly underrated too.
  • Posts: 11,119
    TR007 wrote: »
    I love the scene between Alec and Bond in the graveyard in Goldeneye. A terrific scene in so many ways. Terribly underrated too.

    Hmmm, interesting you mention this. But that's an example of a scene that doesn't....really stick with me. Alec IMO sounded too 'English', like an anti-Bond. And whereas I loved listening to Silva's parable about the rats, Alec's whining about his past sort of numbed me. Furthermore, I think Brosnan's best performance as Bond is in TWINE.
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,512
    TR007 wrote: »
    I love the scene between Alec and Bond in the graveyard in Goldeneye. A terrific scene in so many ways. Terribly underrated too.

    Great scene. Brosnan is brilliant. 'Am I supposed to feel sorry for you?'. 'No. You were supposed to die for me.'
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    Posts: 7,574
    RC7 wrote: »
    TR007 wrote: »
    I love the scene between Alec and Bond in the graveyard in Goldeneye. A terrific scene in so many ways. Terribly underrated too.

    Great scene. Brosnan is brilliant. 'Am I supposed to feel sorry for you?'. 'No. You were supposed to die for me.'

    And that little smirk from Brosnan straight afterwards - super. Shame he didn't give us more of that.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited January 2016 Posts: 23,883
    Yes, I definitely loved Bean in that scene (the dialogue is certainly worthy of classic Bond - I'll always however remember this scene as the tragic spoiler in the trailers), but I don't think it's Oscar worthy, unlike the CR scenes mentioned.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 38,241
    RC7 wrote: »
    TR007 wrote: »
    I love the scene between Alec and Bond in the graveyard in Goldeneye. A terrific scene in so many ways. Terribly underrated too.

    Great scene. Brosnan is brilliant. 'Am I supposed to feel sorry for you?'. 'No. You were supposed to die for me.'

    And that little smirk from Brosnan straight afterwards - super. Shame he didn't give us more of that.

    Brosnan has tons of great little moments like that in GE, particularly his quick head flick as the bullet whizzes past him while he's arming the mines during the finale.
  • Posts: 1,150
    @gustav_graves Yes, I absolutely agree that Brosnan gave a better performance overall in TWINE and even in TND, heck his performance in DAD was possibly the only solid thing in that movie. He really grew confident in himself as he went on. But that graveyard scene in GE has long been a highlight for me.
    All of his interactions with Sean Bean are wonderful.

    "I might as well ask you if all those vodka martinis ever silence the screams of all the men you've killed... or if you find forgiveness in the arms of all those willing women for all the dead ones you failed to protect."

    Such a terrific script.
  • edited January 2016 Posts: 11,119
    RC7 wrote: »
    TR007 wrote: »
    I love the scene between Alec and Bond in the graveyard in Goldeneye. A terrific scene in so many ways. Terribly underrated too.

    Great scene. Brosnan is brilliant. 'Am I supposed to feel sorry for you?'. 'No. You were supposed to die for me.'

    This is my favourite Brosnan-moment from his four Bond films (watch from 5min20 till the end):

    The sheer panic that is caused by Elektra's claustrofobia is entirely convincing:
    "Ooowhh...ughh...my God....We burried alive! Ughhh...I...can't stay here?! I can't breathe..I can't breathhhIcan't...!"

    And what follows is Brosnan's sincere and perhaps most emotional bit of acting I've seen in his Bond film. The way he tries to calm down Elektra is nicely done. It shows very well that Brosnan, like Craig, can portray an equally emotional vulnerable Bond. A Bond that is conflicted between two things: His job of safeguarding Elektra professionally vs. Bond's feelings for Elektra:

    "It's alright! You're not going to..not going to! Elektra, Elektra! ELEKTRAA! Elektra, look at me! Look at my eyes! Look...at my eyes. Look at my eyes!.........You're alright...everything's alright. Trust me. Ok?"

    Also the gadgets are so wonderfully interwoven in this tense and dramatic scene. They support one another. If only we could have seen...more of such scenes from Brosnan in a Bond film.

  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,512
    bondjames wrote: »
    Yes, I definitely loved Bean in that scene (the dialogue is certainly worthy of classic Bond - I'll always however remember this scene as the tragic spoiler in the trailers), but I don't think it's Oscar worthy, unlike the CR scenes mentioned.

    I forgot the title of this is 'Oscar worthy'. Personally I think that phrase is a misnomer and if I were to judge something as such I'd have to take many more factors into account than one scene. Scenes don't win Oscars.
  • Posts: 1,150
    Bond and Saunders at the amusement park in TLD is another quality performance in a Bond movie. From their relationship taking a turn to them starting to trust one another to Saunders shocking death at the hands of Necros, Dalton truly delivers.
    His intensity when he finds the balloon with Smiert Shipionam is incredible.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    RC7 wrote: »
    bondjames wrote: »
    Yes, I definitely loved Bean in that scene (the dialogue is certainly worthy of classic Bond - I'll always however remember this scene as the tragic spoiler in the trailers), but I don't think it's Oscar worthy, unlike the CR scenes mentioned.

    I forgot the title of this is 'Oscar worthy'. Personally I think that phrase is a misnomer and if I were to judge something as such I'd have to take many more factors into account than one scene. Scenes don't win Oscars.
    This is true. I know I'm likely in the minority and probably biased (given the site I'm a member of) but I really think both Connery (for the first two) and Craig (for CR) deserve Oscars.
  • RC7RC7
    edited January 2016 Posts: 10,512
    bondjames wrote: »
    RC7 wrote: »
    bondjames wrote: »
    Yes, I definitely loved Bean in that scene (the dialogue is certainly worthy of classic Bond - I'll always however remember this scene as the tragic spoiler in the trailers), but I don't think it's Oscar worthy, unlike the CR scenes mentioned.

    I forgot the title of this is 'Oscar worthy'. Personally I think that phrase is a misnomer and if I were to judge something as such I'd have to take many more factors into account than one scene. Scenes don't win Oscars.
    This is true. I know I'm likely in the minority and probably biased (given the site I'm a member of) but I really think both Connery (for the first two) and Craig (for CR) deserve Oscars.

    I would tend to agree. These three in particular all have an incredibly high level of technical and creative ability on show. CR is a better film than The Departed for my money. From memory (I'll have to check the films EDIT: 1963 was Tom Jones and 1964 was My Fair Lady) but I seem to recall thinking FRWL and GF were both better than the respective Oscar winner of the year, although DN was the year of Lawrence of Arabia, so I can forgive them that. IIRC, Midnight Cowboy won the year OHMSS would've been in, personally I think OHMSS is better.
  • Posts: 107
    Yaphet Kotto in Live and Let Die when questioning Bond if "he touched that". He was great that whole movie.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    RC7 wrote: »
    CR is a better film than The Departed for my money.
    Easily. I wanted Scorsese to get his Oscar, but perhaps not for that film.
    RC7 wrote: »
    Midnight Cowboy won the year OHMSS would've been in, personally I think OHMSS is better.
    I haven't seen Midnight Cowboy but have the Barry score. OHMSS is a superb film, but I can't see them even thinking about it, due to the dubbing and Lazenby's relative inexperience.
  • Posts: 11,119
    bondjames wrote: »
    RC7 wrote: »
    CR is a better film than The Departed for my money.
    Easily. I wanted Scorsese to get his Oscar, but perhaps not for that film.
    RC7 wrote: »
    Midnight Cowboy won the year OHMSS would've been in, personally I think OHMSS is better.
    I haven't seen Midnight Cowboy but have the Barry score. OHMSS is a superb film, but I can't see them even thinking about it, due to the dubbing and Lazenby's relative inexperience.

    People tend to forget that Lazenby got a Golden Globe nomination for his role in "OHMSS" :-)
  • edited January 2016 Posts: 11,175
    Fit this under the category of "memorizing". Broz does a good job in this scene ("the thought had occurred to me") but Dench's performance deserves an Oscar:

  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 38,241
    @BAIN123, I can agree with that. Dench does a fantastic job at cementing her role in the series as the first female M, showing she does indeed have the balls to send a man out to die. She does wonders in proving herself in this scene.
  • Posts: 485
    united1878 wrote: »
    CR- Death of Vesper. The range of emotions on DC's face is a masterful piece of acting.

    This is what came to mind on even just clicking into the thread. The switch from anger and frustration on Bond's face to hurt and grief. Great acting from Daniel Craig and pretty realistic for the situation too.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited January 2016 Posts: 23,883
    I've always disliked that GE scene, because Dench comes across quite gruff in my view. What's wrong with Bond being a misogynist anyway. I wanted her to put a sock in it. Brosnan was cool under fire though.
  • Posts: 485
    Chang wrote: »
    Yaphet Kotto in Live and Let Die when questioning Bond if "he touched that". He was great that whole movie.

    That's a great scene too. The straightest played scene in the whole film. It's almost tonally jarring but welcome all the same to see Yaphet exude hurt and menace.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 38,241
    bondjames wrote: »
    I've always disliked that GE scene, because Dench comes across quite gruff in my view. What's wrong with Bond being a misogynist anyway. I wanted her to put a sock in it. Brosnan was cool under fire though.

    I take it as it's giving us our first real look at a woman who has true authority over Bond finally letting him know what she think of his misogynistic ways. All in one scene, she goes from discussing the mission to dealing with Bond's negativity about her methods, just to shoot him down and put him in his place, while wrapping it all up with hopes that he returns from his mission, alive and successful. She shows that she cares about him, but just because he doesn't agree with her methods doesn't mean she agrees with his, either.
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