Next up for The Bond Thing as I continue to play catch up, the countdown is my top 5 moments in a Bond Film.
5) “Now speak or forever hold your piece.” From The Man With The Golden Gun
Roger Moore usually gets a bad rap during his run for being too campy. My most recent viewing of his movies changed my opinion on his era as light-hearted and fun fare. He was however at time capable of using humor in some brutal ways. Here in The Man With The Golden Gun he points a rifle at a man’s groin to acquire information about Francisco Scaramanga. What makes this scene fun is that it is not an empty threat as Bond does fire the rifle to confirm that the sights were in fact off by one inch. See folks, Sir Roger is capable of being that brute that Sean Connery is praised for.
4) “That’s a Smith & Wesson. And you’ve had your six.” From Dr. No
During the briefing with M in Dr. No, Bond’s superior reminds him that he has a license to kill not get killed. In that same scene we see Bond get his now standard Walther PPK. And we get the see him use that gun and that license. In a pretty understated scene Bond sets up Professor Dent who is connected to the disappearance of MI6 agent Strangways by waiting in the dark knowing Dent will come to kill him. Dent arrives and empties his gun into the bed only to be surprised by Bond behind the door. They talk, Dent reaches for the gun and shoots at Bond. The gun is empty. And Bond does what he does best and shoots Dent dead. Ian Fleming made a cold blooded killer and we see his vision realized on screen.
3) “You left this with Ferrara I believe” From For Your Eyes Only
Sir Roger makes another entry here with another show of brutality that we didn’t get to see very often with Moore’s take on Bond. Bond cause assassin Locque to crash his car on the edge of a cliff. The chase before it is also pretty well filmed and tense. It’s pretty funny to see Roger Moore running up these steps to chase this car. But once the car is hanging over the edge, Bond tosses the pin that Locque left in the car when he killed Ferarra, a man who was assisting 007 in his mission. We hear the rocks sliding and Bond finished the job by kicking the car over the edge and Locque to his death. A rare dark moment in a light era of 007.
2) “Whoever she was I must have scared the living daylights out of her.” From The Living Daylights
This scene for me solidifies Timothy Dalton’s run as Bond. Which was over way too soon. It’s the capstone to the the entire opening of the film after the credits. Bond meets agent Saunders at an opera house to plan the defection of a soviet general. Bond is tasked to protect him from the sniper expected to kill him. It really feels like a pure espionage moment lifted right from Fleming. This scene is an adaptation of the short story from which the film gets its title. Dalton sells it perfectly and his interaction with Saunders at the end shows us this isn’t the aloof Bond we got with Roger Moore. This man doesn’t give a damn and it shows. Dalton was criminally unappreciated as Bond and this scene and movie are solid entries.
African Rundown From Casino Royale
Casino Royale reintroduces us to 007 by presenting us with his first mission as a 00-Agent. Bond is in Madagascar hunting down a bomb maker. The man soon flees and Bond is in close pursuit. This is a thrilling and breakneck chase on foot through the streets, a construction site and finally to an embassy where Bond finally has the man cornered. This is my favorite because we see the recklessness and abandon 007 throws himself into his mission at this early stage. This sets up where Bond begins and the rough edges are smoothed out by the end of Casino Royale.
The Bond Thing will conclude with my top 10 Bond Films.