If Connery wasn't the first Bond...

CASINOROYALECASINOROYALE Somewhere hot
edited December 2016 in Actors Posts: 454
If Connery wasn't the first Bond would he still be considered the greatest Bond?

Seems to me that all the Bonds say Connery is the best Bond and if you ask around almost the entire world believes Connery is the best overall Bond! Do you think that Connery is only considered to be the best because he was the first theatrical Bond? What if Moore was the first Bond and then Lazenby, Connery? Would he still be considered to be the overall favorite? I know this seems somewhat biased but pretty much every adult I have asked claims Connery is the best. I would say around 30-40 people who around the 50s-70s age all say no one can top him. I have heard a few people say that Brosan or Moore are good and no one seems to like Dalton or Lazenby which is a shame. Personally, it's a tie between Connery and Craig for me. I don't know why but I think that Connery created the Bond image for me and after Connery I just started to compare the next actor based off of the original. Maybe it's just me?
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Comments

  • Posts: 1,523
    He oozes cool in his early movies but that is down to Terence Young. His performance is already different from Goldfinger onwards.

    If Hamilton had directed Dr No we most definitely would not have had such a refined first performance
  • stagstag In the thick of it!
    Posts: 903
    It's always even pegging between SC and GL for me, and would remain so regardless of their order of appearance.
  • Posts: 4,813
    Older generations will say Connery if they grew up in the 60s when Bondmania hit.

    However, there is no reason to expect younger people to prefer Connery or assume him to be the best (a lot have never seen a Connery film).

    So, if he is considered the best it will be down to the opinions of a real cross section of the public, age wise.

    And also bear in mind a lot of people have this weird idea that Lazenby was the first Bond, and Connery took over when he left. It's because they have half heard the story of Lazenby being fired and Connery coming in for the next film.

    I think Connery nailed the part. I keep saying that film acting is quite an art in itself, and if you have a certain charisma (Connery did of course) it's partly down to that art.

    Gene Hackman was no oil painting, but he made it because he was one of the greatest screen actors ever. Same goes for Spencer Tracey, Jack Nicholson and other unpretty actors.

    Connery happened to be handsome, charismatic and a fine screen actor to boot. Which put him in a category as diverse as Cary Grant and (a young) Marlon Brando.

    Waffle over.
  • Posts: 2,635
    Hate to break it to you, guys, but...

    Connery was not the first Bond.
  • Posts: 4,813
    Who was then? (this is loaded question, so think carefully before you answer) ;)
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 26,256
    Gerard wrote: »
    Hate to break it to you, guys, but...

    Connery was not the first Bond.

    Nelson doesn't count, chap.


    I've tired of hearing this "Sean was first, that's the only reason he's popular" tripe. Yes, he was first, but that's not why he's the king. And, if he wasn't first we might not have gotten a James Bond film past Dr. No in the first place. Terence Young was very nurturing of him as a young star and helped him craft the Bond image, that's right, but there comes a point where all the lessons in the world can only do so much and the actor himself has to do his thing. The way Sean moved, the devil-may-care grins he cracked, the sex he exuded and the finesse and presence he oozed on screen can't be taught; you either have them or you don't, and he had them in spades. We can give Young all the credit for what Sean did, but by doing so you make heap the massive impact that the actor made in being James Bond, creating such a phenomenon around him in the role that the series was able to go on for decades afterwards.

    To this day no other actor has worn a suit like Sean (with Dan making good competition), no one has moved like him, held a gun like him, quipped like him (some have tried with great embarrassment to themselves and others) and nobody has exemplified all the layers of Bond better, from the daring adventurer and cunning detective to the wild lover and flippant survivor.

    Many have tried to replicate his Bond since the 60s, and all have failed. There's only one man that can get away with spouting one-liners, wearing a terrycloth playsuit and a pink tie with a cream suit, and that man is Sean goddamn Connery.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Vampire State Building
    Posts: 21,434
    I suspect that if Moore was first and Connery took over in the 70s, the story would be another.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 26,256
    I personally couldn't be happier with how it unfolded. I wouldn't change much, and nothing when it comes to the early 60s. Just perfection.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Vampire State Building
    Posts: 21,434
    Yes. DN/FRWL/GF need no makeover.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe S.A.R.A.H.
    Posts: 8,501
    Connery benefited greatly from being the first Bond (not least of which the lack of expectation that weighs heavily on any new Bond actor), had he not been, I doubt that he would be held so high.

    When it becomes possible I will be booking a ticket to that alterante universe where Richard Johnson accepted Young's offer of the role. I see his Bond a mix of his performances of Bulldog Drummond (the charm), and Jonas Wilde (the ruthlessness).
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 26,256
    @MajorDSmythe, maybe in that reality Dalton also signed on to the role much earlier and got to do many films as Bond because of it.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe S.A.R.A.H.
    Posts: 8,501
    Honestly, I don't think I would want to see Dalton take the role too much earlier. He looked far too young in 1968. I could see him take on Bond, 1985, 1983 or possibly 1981. But then I can't imagine Dalton making more than 4 films. I think he was cast at the right time, but he should have stayed longer.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 26,256
    Honestly, I don't think I would want to see Dalton take the role too much earlier. He looked far too young in 1968. I could see him take on Bond, 1985, 1983 or possibly 1981. But then I can't imagine Dalton making more than 4 films. I think he was cast at the right time, but he should have stayed longer.

    I agree. Dalton signing on at the start of the 80s would have given him two or three more films than he would have had otherwise.
  • CASINOROYALECASINOROYALE Somewhere hot
    edited December 2016 Posts: 454
    It's funny, a majority of people that I have asked through theater and work places have no clue who Lazenby is! I am talking people around the ages of 18-70s. I can understand if you grew up with someone being Bond, like I was a big Brosnan guy when I was a kid because he was James Bond at the time. He was on talk shows, magazines and commercials. I still say my favorites are Connery and Craig. Sure the rest of the Bonds are very enjoyable to watch and I love all of them but it all comes down to acting abilities for me and how convincing they are...
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 26,256
    @CASINOROYALE, it is tragic that even if Lazenby is remembered it's more common for someone to refer to him as "that bloke that did one movie" than by his actual name. I am not as aware of how much Dalton is or isn't known, however. And I don't know many other people outside this site to talk Bond with, so my impressions on actor's popularity is largely barren, especially among casual moviegoers.
  • CASINOROYALECASINOROYALE Somewhere hot
    Posts: 454
    @CASINOROYALE, it is tragic that even if Lazenby is remembered it's more common for someone to refer to him as "that bloke that did one movie" than by his actual name. I am not as aware of how much Dalton is or isn't known, however. And I don't know many other people outside this site to talk Bond with, so my impressions on actor's popularity is largely barren, especially among casual moviegoers.

    Not sure if you ever watched the show "Chuck" (2007-2012) on NBC, but Dalton had a huge role on the show so a lot of high school/college aged people knew who he was. Before that I never really heard anyone mention other Bonds besides Connery,Moore and Brosnan.
  • WalecsWalecs On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    Posts: 1,523
    @CASINOROYALE True, and he also was one of the main characters in Penny Dreadful.
  • BMW_with_missilesBMW_with_missiles Reminder: Unsafe driving will void warranty!
    Posts: 1,605
    @CASINOROYALE, it is tragic that even if Lazenby is remembered it's more common for someone to refer to him as "that bloke that did one movie" than by his actual name. I am not as aware of how much Dalton is or isn't known, however. And I don't know many other people outside this site to talk Bond with, so my impressions on actor's popularity is largely barren, especially among casual moviegoers.

    Not sure if you ever watched the show "Chuck" (2007-2012) on NBC, but Dalton had a huge role on the show so a lot of high school/college aged people knew who he was. Before that I never really heard anyone mention other Bonds besides Connery,Moore and Brosnan.

    The best TV show ever, in my opinion.
  • Posts: 1,819
    Gerard wrote: »
    Hate to break it to you, guys, but...

    Connery was not the first Bond.

    Nelson doesn't count, chap.


    I've tired of hearing this "Sean was first, that's the only reason he's popular" tripe. Yes, he was first, but that's not why he's the king. And, if he wasn't first we might not have gotten a James Bond film past Dr. No in the first place. Terence Young was very nurturing of him as a young star and helped him craft the Bond image, that's right, but there comes a point where all the lessons in the world can only do so much and the actor himself has to do his thing. The way Sean moved, the devil-may-care grins he cracked, the sex he exuded and the finesse and presence he oozed on screen can't be taught; you either have them or you don't, and he had them in spades. We can give Young all the credit for what Sean did, but by doing so you make heap the massive impact that the actor made in being James Bond, creating such a phenomenon around him in the role that the series was able to go on for decades afterwards.

    To this day no other actor has worn a suit like Sean (with Dan making good competition), no one has moved like him, held a gun like him, quipped like him (some have tried with great embarrassment to themselves and others) and nobody has exemplified all the layers of Bond better, from the daring adventurer and cunning detective to the wild lover and flippant survivor.

    Many have tried to replicate his Bond since the 60s, and all have failed. There's only one man that can get away with spouting one-liners, wearing a terrycloth playsuit and a pink tie with a cream suit, and that man is Sean goddamn Connery.

    Well said. I don't believe the series would have had it's longevity without Sean. GF and TB were so huge, audiences were treated to re-issues of DN and FRWL. Then double bills of other Bonds while the latest film was being prepped for release. I seriously doubt if someone like Patrick McGoohan had gotten Bond in DN it would have even come to that. We certainly don't get doubles bills of CR and QoS, or TND and TWINE. Audiences loved Sean in the part. Without him I believe the series probably would have fizzled out by the end of the decade.
  • edited December 2016 Posts: 397
    I don't think the "what if Moore came first and Connery second" scenario works--Connery wouldn't have been looking to take over Bond in 1971, because by then he probably would have been a truly established actor, and quite likely a star.
    Part of the reason Connery made such a splash in the role was because the general public was encountering him for the first time. They loved what they saw and made him a superstar--not surprising, because Connery was star material. I think what they responded to was his great vitality and virility (let's not forget that Connery was the biggest sex symbol of all the Bonds) and the irony of it being presented within the tuxedoed form of Bond. Connery was a gentleman tough-guy, and that was a nearly unique concept. I love Roger Moore, but his persona was basically that of an updated David Niven--I doubt he would have resonated with the public as much as Connery did, because his sophistication far outweighed the toughness. Moore certainly never was as popular in America the way Connery was, despite starring in more Bond movies.
  • edited December 2016 Posts: 6,432
    Don't forget Bob Holness ;)

    I grew up with Moore as Bond and saw his films first, after watching Sean as Bond I have always thought he was the best and still do. Also feel the films Sean were in collectively are the best films. Other than PB I like all the Bonds in different ways, though fifteen years after PB I have grown to appreciate his Bond a bit more the films let him down.
  • Usually the first actor to play the role of a character is compared with his successors
  • SeanCraigSeanCraig Germany
    edited December 2016 Posts: 277
    He took a great benefit from the excellent movies they made AND he totall suited the role. Quite differing from the literary Bond back then he just had it all - it still shows when you see the movies these days: His screen presence is still unmatched even I became a huge fan of Craig's interpretation, too.
  • Gerard wrote: »
    Hate to break it to you, guys, but...

    Connery was not the first Bond.

    Nelson doesn't count, chap.


    I've tired of hearing this "Sean was first, that's the only reason he's popular" tripe. Yes, he was first, but that's not why he's the king. And, if he wasn't first we might not have gotten a James Bond film past Dr. No in the first place. Terence Young was very nurturing of him as a young star and helped him craft the Bond image, that's right, but there comes a point where all the lessons in the world can only do so much and the actor himself has to do his thing. The way Sean moved, the devil-may-care grins he cracked, the sex he exuded and the finesse and presence he oozed on screen can't be taught; you either have them or you don't, and he had them in spades. We can give Young all the credit for what Sean did, but by doing so you make heap the massive impact that the actor made in being James Bond, creating such a phenomenon around him in the role that the series was able to go on for decades afterwards.

    To this day no other actor has worn a suit like Sean (with Dan making good competition), no one has moved like him, held a gun like him, quipped like him (some have tried with great embarrassment to themselves and others) and nobody has exemplified all the layers of Bond better, from the daring adventurer and cunning detective to the wild lover and flippant survivor.

    Many have tried to replicate his Bond since the 60s, and all have failed. There's only one man that can get away with spouting one-liners, wearing a terrycloth playsuit and a pink tie with a cream suit, and that man is Sean goddamn Connery.

    Agreed on all points here. Well said. While Moore is my favorite Bond, as in I enjoy seeing him play the part and be the character, there will NEVER be another Connery. Ever. He set the incredible standard, made the character what it is today, and created a legend.
  • Posts: 2,434
    Had Connery come along at any point of the series he would be the best Bond. Now would they movies he appeared in be as good as earlier ones which featured a different actor? I'm not so sure.
  • LordBrettSinclairLordBrettSinclair Greensleeves
    Posts: 167
    Roger Moore played Bond in a short segment of an old tv-show in early 60s, he could have been Bond for 23 years!
    I love Sir Roger a lot, he is my favorite.
    Things are all right as they are for me. Connery paved way to great things. But Sir Roger should have starting Bond for Diamonds Are Forever.
  • edited January 14 Posts: 153
    There's no way we'd still be watching Bond movies today if anyone other than Connery had been cast as the original 007 of the EON line. The movies would have stopped being made in the 60s.

    There's a lot of elements that came together near perfectly to have created the Bond phenomena, from the theme music to Terrence Young's direction and tutoring of Connery, but it was Connery's on-screen presence and gravitas, his understated sardonic menace and his virile, masculine grace that centered the entire effort. He was the crucial element.
  • acoppolaacoppola London Ealing not far from where Bob Simmons lived
    edited January 14 Posts: 1,243
    Without question it is Sean Connery. No Connery first, means I never would have got Dalton.

    Connery was in a 1961 film The Frightened City and man, he was already an established actor.

    Like @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7. eloquently wrote, Young had all the ingredients he needed in Connery and Connery was revolutionary for British cinema.

    Connery is unbeatable. Copy him and the cracks appear, exposing the deficiencies. Dalton himself said that the scene where he says "Bond, James Bond" for the first time in Dr No,, cannot be bettered.

    Had Moore been the first Bond, the series would not have lasted. It would have been akin in longevity to the, 60's Batman.

    And Cary Grant is too nice an actor for the part. Connery's roughness beneath the velvet glove added something unquantifiable to the character.

    Why do I dig Dalton so much? He forged his own path as Bond and went to the books to look for unexplored aspects of the character. And he has that ruggedness and like Connery, did not depend on his looks.
  • SeanCraigSeanCraig Germany
    edited January 16 Posts: 277
    About "The first actor is always the one all others are compared to": That's true but does not always mean the original actor will remain the best for the role.

    Take "Batman" for example: Many rate Christian Bale the best Batman over all his predecessors and true so also for others.

    Connery remains the true and best Bond even they grew up way past the 60's - he just "had it all" ... plus (mostly) great material to work with.
  • Posts: 5,449
    SeanCraig wrote: »
    About "The first actor is always the one all others are compared to": That's true but does not always mean the original actor will remain the best for the role.

    Take "Batman" for example: Many rate Christian Bale the best Batman over all his predecessors and true so also for others.

    Connery remains the true and best Bond even they grew up way past the 60's - he just "had it all" ... plus (mostly) great material to work with.


    A lot of people rank and view different roles differently I would love to see a generic pole for Batman Bond maybe even MacGyver and a few other characters played by different people.

    For me

    Bond =Dalton (yeah I want to put craig here but Skyfall and spectre were...)
    Batman = Affleck (sorry I know he kills people but that never bothered me with Keaton and it doesn't here thus far he has had the physically of Bale but the voice and mannerisms of Keaton with a bit of Connery's bond thrown in I love it)
    MacGyver= this is a toss up Obviously a lot of what Anderson did with the role was his but I love what Till is bringing to the role to the point that He may become my new favorite.


    as for the whole he came first thing

    Well Connery wasn't first Nelson was the first bond whether we want to count him or not (much like suprising to me Peter Falks is not the only actor to play Colombo and isn't even the first but that is for another thread) and he isn't a lot of peoples favorite either. My Step Father is a huge Moore Fan (hates brosnan though) My wife is a connery girl My mother liked Pierce Brosnan and my sister likes Daniel Craig (we are an interesting bunch) I am sure there are those who love George Lazenby the best (and most of them are George himself and his dear sweet mother) I haven't found a lot of people who subscribe to the first and best role a lot of why they like Connery comes ironically enough from his later films specifically Goldfinger-You Only Live twice rather then anything specifically in Dr. No or From Russia With love.
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