Roger Moore: Ranking his Bond films

By Sean Nelson
With the sad news that Roger Moore has passed away from cancer, aged 89, I felt it would be nice to revisit the movies from his tenure as Bond and rank them worst to best. Going through the 007 series, Moore’s portrayal of Bond has always been my favourite and felt the most fun, and what I was looking for in the spy series. While there’s no movie of the spy series I dislike, the Moore era has the most highlights.

Whether it be just luck, or catching lightning in a bottle for his seven films (the most of any Bond) alongside the writers and directors he was able to create some of the most thrilling Bond moments caught on camera and set the template for what has been imitated to this day with the likes of Austin Powers, or Kingsman.

7. Octopussy (1983)

This movie is cold war era Bond, and Moore’s sixth appearance as the spy so he was starting to look a bit long in the tooth. While taking itself a bit more serious than its predecessors it also tends to be more forgettable than the rest of his movies. This is also the infamous one where Bond dresses like a clown, so there’s that. In this one there are plans to detonate a nuclear weapon, causing Europe to disarm themselves and be invaded by soviets.

6. Live and Let Die (1973)

This is Moore’s Bond debut and it’s not his best, but is still fun and notable for having the first black Bond girl of the series played by Gloria Hendry. In this one Bond has to take down a Caribbean drug lord who has grand plans to rule all the world’s heroin. It also has one of the dumbest take downs of the antagonist in Bond history, with Bond forcing bad guy Kananga to swallow a gas-pellet who proceeds to inflate like a balloon and explode.

5. A View to a Kill (1985)

This is the final of Moore’s Bond, and due to that he looks his oldest and the movie is routinely criticized because of that. But it’s actually a very good Bond film and nowhere near as some people’s memories would have them believe. We have Christopher Walken as Max Zorin, one of the zaniest and more fun villains of the series who plans to create a monopoly on microchips by destroying Silicon Valley. The end fight is set on the golden gate bridge and is great to watch.

4. Moonraker (1979)

‘Star Wars is so hot right now’ could have easily been the tagline for this outing. With two thirds of this movie being a classic, nothing out of the ordinary Bond film until the final act takes us to outer space with laser guns. It looks great, and has aged as good as Star Wars (and was nominated for best visual effects at the Oscars). This movie sees the villain Hugo Drax head up to space with plans to commit genocide to the earth and start his own more perfect race. This one features Richard Kiel in his second and final outing as Jaws.

3. The Man with the Golden Gun (1973)

One of the sillier of the series, and one of the most fun. This one pits Bond against the world’s most highly paid assassin, Scaramanga played brilliantly by Christopher Lee. Pitting these two together makes for some great movie magic. There’s also some fun martial arts scenes set in Bangkok, and a car Bond is driving doing a corkscrew over a broken bridge.

2. For Your Eyes Only (1981)

One of the best Bond flicks grounds the series after how off the rails Moonraker got. This one is another cold war movie where Bond must recover a communication device from a sunken British spy ship, but the Russians also want it. It has a very, trust no one feel to it and keeps as you watch it for the first time you always wonder who and when the next double cross will be. This one is hard to passively watch but is rewarding if you invest in it.

1. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

One of, if not the best Bond film to ever be made in my opinion though many would differ and has the best Bond theme performed by Carly Simon. In this film Moore, and the series as whole found the perfect blend of humour, thrills, gadgets and fun that the series becomes known for and emulated. It introduces Jaws and has Bond investigating the disappearance of a navy submarine holding nuclear warheads. This movie opens with one of the greatest openings to a film where Bond skis right off a mountain, and opens his union jack parachute after freefalling for what feels like forever.

If you want to watch a classic Bond movie and don’t know where to start, I urge you to check this one out. If nothing else, click below for the opening theme.

The Spy Who Loved Me – Opening Theme
Nobody does it quite the way you do. Why’d you have to be so good?

Sir Roger George Moore 14-10-1927 – 23-5-2017

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