Some say Roger Moore was the worst James Bond. Too old. Too caddish. Too much eyebrow-raising. Other Bond fans claim he’s the hidden gem of the franchise, one of the few actors to take the role and put a distinct stamp on it.
One thing is for sure: Love or hate his contributions to the “Bond” lore, Roger Moore certainly made one of the more interesting versions of 007.
His Bond was the one who seemed ready for any turn or surprise in a mission, as he was always more worried about the girls, the drinks and the gadgets. He went with any twist and turn because he was a less serious Bond, with more of a swagger than perhaps any other has played the British spy.
The attitude likely came from Moore himself, who passed away on Tuesday at 89 years old — he entered the “Bond” franchise as a man with a career that had seen highs and lows. He’d been married and divorced several times and served in the Royal Army Service Corps. He brought a mix of irony and gravitas to Bond others couldn’t because they simply hadn’t weathered as much in life as Moore had.
“Roger Moore seemed to know that trying to control the mission was futile. You just had to go with it and smile,” wrote Jason Horowitz for The Independent, also claiming Roger Moore was the greatest James Bond.
Moore’s “Bond” entries were as interesting as his take on the never-ending character. Here’s a look at five of the best Roger Moore/James Bond moments.
Funhouse Duel (“The Man with the Golden Gun”). Moore’s “Bond” movies were off-the-wall insane. They were experimental and fun, and they toyed with the genre. Hit or miss, each of them shot for something different — and that’s worth applause.
This sequence from 1974’s “The Man with the Golden Gun” perfectly exemplifies what kind of oddness the Moore years were about for the franchise. Moore’s Bond is dragged into a funhouse in a final showdown with Francisco Scaramanga, who is the man with … you know, the golden gun.
Moore outmaneuvers his opponent by posing as a mannequin; and his slow turn as he moves to take out Scaramanga is just the right mix of cool, sly and weird that Moore did so well.
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