Saturday, June 20, 2015

Ranking the First Ten Bond Movies

I meant to do this before getting into Moonraker, but let's pause and rank the first ten Bond movies. Like last time, I'll do it two different ways.

First, I'm going to list them based on the accumulated rankings of the individual parts I've been measuring in this project: women, villains, theme song, cold open, gadgets, henchmen, and title sequence. There's a complicated, Top Secret algorithm for figuring that out and it assigns a total points value to each movie. Here's how they fall when measured that way. I'm including the points totals this time, too, so you can see how close to or far away from each other they are.

1. Thunderball (154 pts)
2. From Russia with Love (99 pts)
3. On Her Majesty's Secret Service (93 pts)
4. The Spy Who Loved Me (78 pts)
5. Goldfinger (64 pts)
6. The Man with the Golden Gun (63 pts)
7. Live and Let Die (48 pts)
8. Dr. No (46 pts)
9. You Only Live Twice (31 pts)
10. Diamonds Are Forever (24 pts)

I like looking at them that way, but it's not an accurate representation of how I feel about these movies. Last time, I ended up flipping the Top Two, because I realized that From Russia with Love is more than the sum of its individual parts. And I'm not ranking things like the plots themselves, actors' portrayals of Bond, or tone and pacing. Those are extremely important factors in overall quality.

Right away I can see that Dr. No is too low on the list. I may not like Honey or the Doctor as much as a lot of other characters in other movies, and there may not be as many gadgets or even a cold open at all, and the theme song is kind of clunky, but I love the rough feel of that movie and the energy of Connery's performance. It's still lower on my list than I would've ranked it before this project, but I've got to bump it up a few spots.

1. From Russia with Love
2. Thunderball
3. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
4. Dr. No
5. The Spy Who Loved Me
6. Goldfinger
7. The Man with the Golden Gun
8. Live and Let Die
9. You Only Live Twice
10. Diamonds Are Forever

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