Ranking all 24 (26) James Bond Films.

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By Gert Waterink, Guest Writer

The premiere of SPECTRE took place almost one year ago. Shortly before the premiere, many movie critics and entertainment websites started to prepare for the festivities of another Bond film by writing the obligatory rankings of its predecessors.

Some posted a TOP 10 of “The Best,” and others were daring enough to flashback all the entries by ranking all 23. For a passionate Bond fan like me, that’s not an easy task.

But we are one year further out, and as of late some new rankings included SPECTRE. I did a bit of research into the matter, and I added up all rankings from the major film critics and movie entertainment websites. One placing equals one point in below average “Ranking of Rankings.” The more points a Bond film received, the lower it ended in the outcome.

You will find the results here (click on the table to see a larger image):

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It’s interesting to see how SPECTRE performs. You can draw your own conclusions, of course. This ranking got me interested in conducting my own poll. But before I do that, I have to stress that as of today all 24 Bond films (26 films actually, because I like analyzing all portrayals of Fleming’s character, including those in the two non-EON films) have a special place in my heart. And I wouldn’t be surprised if I speak for many fellow Bond “nerds.”

Yet by ranking all the Bond films, by actually critically dissecting each and every aspect of a Bond film, or perhaps judging a Bond film solely as a “good or bad film without the Bond formula tag,” one can perhaps facilitate some more respect or discover some surprising nuances for a franchise that’s almost 54 years old.

To be very honest, asking someone to rank all Bond films can be a pretty subjective pastime. But saying that all Bond films are “great” or “fantastic,” or saying that all of them are complete ridiculous isn’t very objective either.

Hence why trying to make a TOP 24 (26) of Best James Bond films is actually a very exciting, interesting and daring task to do.

And, in case you are already a senior Bond fan and your little nephew or niece hasn’t actually seen a Bond film, your ranking could become quite a helpful piece of paper (or not, depending how you look at it). So opinions do matter. But especially an average of opinions is interesting, because that creates an average understanding of the quality of each and individual Bond film.

Hence why recently I initiated a poll by myself. But, unlike many other polls where people simply press a button once for their favourite film, I actually made sure that each and every “forum member” posted his or her TOP 10 of Best Bond Films. And while they were doing that, they were attaching a system of points to the ranking that I wrote down in the “rules.”

A person’s 1st placed ‘Best Bond Film’ received 12 points, his or her runner-up received 10 points, then the ‘bronze’ placed film got 8 points, downwards from 7 points (4th placed), to 6 points (5th placed), 5 points, 4, 3, 2 and finally 1 point (for the 10th placed ‘Best Film’). Adding up all the points results in a TOP 26 ranking.

If you like to vote in the Ranking poll, which is titled “The Big James Bond 007 Film Contest,” then by all means do not hesitate to post your own TOP 10 of Best Bond films by registering yourself in the forum section of our partner website www.MI6-HQ.com (To keep track of the validity of the votes, registering is necessary. But you can do it easily via Facebook or Twitter). You can leave your TOP 10 in this topic:

http://www.mi6community.com/index.php?p=/discussion/16631/bond-polls-2016-the-big-james-bond-007-film-contest-your-top-10-of-best-bond-films/p1 .

Here’s a short overview of all 26 films featuring the famous secret agent:

Old timeline Bond-films (1962 – 2002):
01. 1962: “DR. NO,” directed by Terence Young
02. 1963: “FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE,” directed by Terence Young
03. 1964: “GOLDFINGER,” directed by Guy Hamilton
04. 1965: “THUNDERBALL,” directed by Terence Young
05. 1967: “YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE,” directed by Lewis Gilbert
06. 1967: “CASINO ROYALE,” directed by: Ken Hughes, John Huston, Joseph McGrath, e.o.
07. 1969: “ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE,” directed by Peter Hunt
08. 1971: “DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER,” directed by Guy Hamilton
09. 1973: “LIVE AND LET DIE,” directed by Guy Hamilton
10. 1974: “THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN,” directed by Guy Hamilton
11. 1977: “THE SPY WHO LOVED ME,” directed by Lewis Gilbert
12. 1979: “MOONRAKER,” directed by Lewis Gilbert
13. 1981: “FOR YOUR EYES ONLY,, directed by John Glen
14. 1983: “OCTOPUSSY,” directed by John Glen
15. 1983: “NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN,” directed by Irvin Kershner
16. 1985: “A VIEW TO A KILL,” directed by John Glen
17. 1987: “THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS,” directed by John Glen
18. 1989: “LICENCE TO KILL,” directed by John Glen
19. 1995: “GOLDENEYE,” directed by Martin Campbell
20. 1997: “TOMORROW NEVER DIES,” directed by Roger Spottiswoode
21. 1999: “THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH,” directed by Michael Apted
22. 2002: “DIE ANOTHER DAY,” directed by Lee Tamahori

New timeline Bond-films (2006 – present):
23. 2006: “CASINO ROYALE,”, directed by Martin Campbell
24. 2008: “QUANTUM OF SOLACE,” directed by Marc Forster
25. 2012: “SKYFALL,” directed by Sam Mendes
26. 2015: “SPECTRE,” directed by Sam Mendes

Again, it is important to note that also here subjectivity sneaks in. For those forum members who already voted and had problems in ranking all the Bond films, I asked them to judge all aspects of the film.

One could think of aspects like coherent story, acting performances, cinematography, originality, is it a film with the right amount of “Bond formula,” film score, interesting dialogue, unique action sequences and main titles sequence. Then it’s merely a matter of translating it back to the overall effectiveness of the total package of a particular Bond film. Perhaps then it’s a bit easier to create your TOP 10 of “Best Bond Films.”

On top of that, most voters so far are Bond fans and not generic movie aficionados or people who don’t consider themselves Bond fans. So the rankings mostly represent the ideas of fans and is not supposed to be a definite scorecard of some sort.

Regarding the system of points attribution, I did not devise it entirely by myself. It’s a common ranking system used in the Eurovision Song Contest ( http://www.eurovision.tv/page/voting ). There’s a deadline to the above ranking poll: October 26th, 6:00 PM GMT+1. Shortly after that, we will get into the details of the final average ranking with conclusions in a follow-up article. So far 81 people have voted, so don’t hesitate to become part of a larger poll sample.

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