“No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die!”

One of my Christmas presents was the James Bond Ultimate DVD Collector’s Set. While a fan of the super sleuth, I’ve never seen all of the Moore ones or the Lazenby or Dalton editions, which is why I sent my letter off to Father Christmas asking for the box set.

James Bond is a fantastic character: he has the looks, the charm, the gadgets and the skill. Everything about him oozes cool. He took 11th place on Empire magazine’s The 100 Greatest Movie Characters where they listed his finest hour as removing his wetsuit to reveal a tuxedo. That move is very, very smooth, and it’s Jimmy B all over. Underneath those cheesy lines – after electrocuting someone in a bath he remarks that it is ‘shocking’ – there is a trained spy with a license to kill who will go to extreme measures to get his man… or woman.

With Skyfall due to be released in the UK on 26th October it gives me plenty of time to watch all of the 22 films. So far my boyfriend and I have watched the first three: Dr. No, From Russia With Love and Goldfinger. Currently, my order of favourites is Goldfinger, Dr. No with From Russia With Love coming in at No 3.

Here’s my mini reviews on the films…

Dr. No (1962)

THE VITALS

Director: Terence Young
James Bond: Sean Connery
Notable villain(s): Dr. No
Notable Bond girl(s): Honey Ryder

The film that started it all, Dr. No sees James Bond in Jamaica investigating the disappearance of a colleague. Once there he find out about a mysterious scientist based on a secure island where the locals aren’t allowed to go…

The first thing to note is the crazy opening credits – there is about three different songs in the space of a couple of minutes, including a rather jazzy version of ‘Three Blind Mice’. Once you get passed that and the film begins it is all very enjoyable, helped in part by the beautiful scenery of Jamaica.

The plot is straightforward and moves very quickly – it doesn’t deviate, which is something that I’ve come to expect of more recent Bond films. On the casting front Sean Connery was such a great decision: he is Bond. Visually he suits the part and it was fantastic hearing him say those immortal words: “Bond, James Bond.”

★★★★

From Russia With Love (1963)

THE VITALS

Director: Terence Young
James Bond: Sean Connery
Notable villain(s): Donald Grant, Rosa Kleb, Ernst Blofeld
Notable Bond girl(s): Tanya Romanova

Bond’s second outing takes him to Istanbul, where he must retrieve a Soviet encryption device that was stolen by SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion).

As I’m sure you can already gather, From Russia With Love has a much more complicated plot than Dr. No – the action, the villains and Bond’s mission have all been taken up a few notches. Bond, however, is still the stylish, smooth spy that we got to know in Dr. No.

While I loved the action in the film – and there certainly is a lot of it! – Dr. No takes the edge for its simplicity. While Dr. No is set against an exotic, beautiful backdrop with flamboyant characters, From Russia With Love is much more grounded with its Cold War setting.

★★★½

Goldfinger (1964)

THE VITALS

Director: Guy Hamilton
James Bond: Sean Connery
Notable villain(s): Auric Goldfinger
Notable Bond girl(s): Pussy Galore, Jill and Tilly Masterson

The film takes Bond to Switzerland and America on the trail of Auric Goldfinger, a gold magnate who plans on contaminating the Fort Knox gold reserve.

Goldfinger was my favourite Bond film before this blogathon started and, after revisiting Dr. No and From Russia With Love, it still holds that honour. The Bond cocktail that was established in the first two films has well and truly been perfected: a killer theme tune, plenty of action, a scheming villain and a beautiful Bond girl.

Goldfinger, for the time being, remains my favourite villain as well. For the first time Bond really comes face-to-face with the man he’s after. Dr No was absent for most of the time, hidden on his island while the villains in From Russia With Love remain anonymous until the final scenes – we, the audience, know who they are but Bond doesn’t. Goldfinger, with his larger-than-life personality and distain for losing, is the perfect baddie. He also has that fantastic line when asked by Bond whether he expects him to talk: “No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die!”

★★★★★

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24 thoughts on ““No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die!””

  1. I’m glad that you’re enjoying the challenge so far. By this point Goldfinger was my favourite too; though when you’ve watched about 10 films it’s really difficult to decide what order to put favourites in, especially during the Moore years.

    I’m on to Octopussy this month; there’s light at the end of the Moore tunnel!

    1. I bet it is! I’m not very familiar with the Moore films so I’m looking forward to watching them. I know lots of the themes but not the films… random!

      I look forward to reading your review 😀

  2. Claire, you really have some treats ahead of you! I wish I had that chance to experience Bond from a fresh perspective all over again. I’ve at this point seen all 22 films (many more than once), and even though it’s a very tough decision, I think Moore might be my favorite Bond. Then again, he was Bond in the first movies I saw and grew to love because I was stuck in the lingo age between “Licence to Kill” and “Goldeneye”, making “Goldeneye” my first Bond movie to see in theaters. Dalton gets a lot of flack for his movies and is really underrated in my opinion; to me, he’s the finest interpretation of Bond, though Moore gets top for sentimental reasons. Have fun watching and I look forward to hearing your final opinions once you get through them all!

    1. Hey, nice to hear from you!

      I didn’t know you were such a Bond fan! I’ve wanted to watch them all for a while and, luckily, Father Christmas was kind enough to bring me the boxset. I know the Connery films the best followed by the Brosnan ones. I don’t think I have seen Dalton’s or Lazenby’s trips out.

      I’ll head over to Notes On A Film for a read when I’m back from the cinema tonight 🙂

  3. OMGOMGOMG!!11!one!!!

    This box set re-ignited my passion for Bond films. Ran through them all last january in a month-long feature on my site if you fancy a bit of a read. Look forward to seeing your opinions on the rest!

    1. After hearing everyone’s kind comments I’m even more excited to watch the films. I wonder if Connery will stay as my favourite Bond…

      Thanks for stopping by. I’ll head over and check out your feature soon 🙂

  4. I have the DVD boxsets that were released in america by Sony, I believe. I’m not a fan of the Roger Moore Bond movies, but mostly every other one I love. Goldfinger is one of my personal favorites.

  5. Hi, iluv:

    Excellent gift!

    Still a hardcore Connery fan. ‘From Russian With Love’ is the best of his part of the franchise. With ‘Goldfinger’ a very close second. Still place Lazenby’s Bond in ‘Of His Majesty’s Secret Service’ above most of the later Moore/Dalton/Brosnan offerings.

    1. Hi Jack, nice to hear from you. I hope you had a great Christmas and a fantastic New Year 🙂

      I’m only really familiar with Connery’s films so I’m looking forward to seeing what I make of the others. Bond is always such a talking point: everyone has their personal favourite Bond and film!

  6. Awesome Claire, I’m glad you’ve been enjoying your Bond movies. You made me want to rewatch some of the Connery classics, I’d have to borrow my friend’s DVDs.

    “…he has the looks, the charm, the gadgets and the skill. Everything about him oozes cool” Well that’s why girls LOVE Mr. Bond 😀

    1. Thanks, Ruth. I’m really enjoying the films and watching them all in sequence is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

      And you’re completely right, Mr Bond certainly has something about him 😉

      1. I really like Goldfinger, but I must say (don’t laugh) Goldeneye is my fav. Only because it is the first one I ever watched and I was such in awe as a young kid. I went back and watched a lot of the others, but Goldeneye always holds that little edge of the others for me. Plus the Nintendo 64 game was amazing! 🙂

    1. Haha, I’m sure he’s enjoying the lovely ladies as much as I’m enjoying Bond!

      I’m looking forward to the Moore films, and it seems that it is Connery and Moore who are the most popular.

      Thanks for your comment, David 🙂

  7. I did see a video last year with a group of people doing a Bond marathon, watching all the films back-to-back-to-back – giving each one a score as they went. If I could access YouTube here at work I’d link to it.

    great stuff, though, and I can’t wait to see the rest of your reviews on each film.

    (Myself, I’m eyeing the massive 50th Anniversary BluRay collection being released by the studio, which I think comes out this year… I think. Droool!!

    1. Thanks, Rodney. I’m a bit late to the party as The Incredible Suit kicked off the Blogalongabond back in January 2011 😛

      I saw something about that anniversary collection, by the way. At the moment I am still blu ray player-less, though…

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