Jul 26, 2008

True Confessions: I've Never Watched a James Bond Film

While waiting to watch the new film The Dark Knight last evening, a trailer appeared for the latest James Bond film, which carries the title Quantum of Solace, and which will open in US theaters on November 7. It occurred to me - and I am almost ashamed to admit this - that I have never watched a James Bond film from beginning to end.

I've watched snippets of the films here and there, but never a complete 007 film.

This glaring example of cultural ignorance would perhaps be understandable if just declared that "I think James Bond is a sexist and an elitist" or "I despise action thrillers" or "James Bond merely perpetuates social and political violence" or some other pretentious haute couture silliness.

Yet, I just seemed to always have had something better to do, and I would gladly watch some James Bond films, except I don't know where to start.

Thus, feel free to chime in with your recommendations about the essential Bond films for the clueless like me: those who know very little about Secret Agent 007, or those who spend their waking moments seeking deals on Fenphedra. I look forward to reading your suggestions, as well as those films in the Bond canon that might be skipped.


Martin said...

As a Bond fan I would recommend you to watch the films in chronological order. I have never understood why broadcasting stations randomly air Bond films and send you from Pierce Brosnan's 2002 entry to Connery back in the 60s, and back..
All films have their moments, both weak and strong, and it depends largely on your mood when it comes to actually rating them..
But to give you an idea: All 60's entries (Dr.No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service) are widely considered to be the best, while 1974's The Man With The Golden Gun, 1979's Moonraker, 1985's A View To A Kill and 2002's Die Another Day are considered the weakest entries (by most fans). Hope this helps a bit.

microdot said...

I was 14 when James Bond became part of the popular mythos. I read a lot of the paperbacks available in the mid 60's. There were paperback books published about James Bond's secrets of style. The right Rolex watch, how to acquire and keep the perfect James Bond tan...remember to lightly wash your face, scrubbing removes a layer of tanned skin!
I tried to acquire a taste for martinis, shaken, not stirred, unfortunately, I still haven't figured out the appeal of a dry martini. I practiced the sardonic ironic amused eyebrow lift....
I dressed older to be able to lie about my age to get inot James Bond movies....That all ended after Goldfinger and I discovered Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones and a new role model......
I think Goldfinger was the last entire Bond film I saw.

Anonymous said...

So, what did you think of Batman?

historymike said...

Thanks for the Bond references, Martin and Microdot.

historymike said...


The Dark Knight was easily the best superhero film I ever watched. Admittedly, I've grown tired of the genre, but Heath Ledger as the Joker was one of the creepiest movie villains in memory, right up there with Anthony Hopkins' Hannibal Lecter and Dennis Hopper's Frank Booth in Blue Velvet.

Well worth the full price ticket.