BEST PRE-CREDIT SEQUENCE
1. The skydive chase in “Moonraker” (1979) – One of the coolest moments in movie history. It took 88 jumps to film this 2 1/2 minute freefall chase. Thank god it was done in 1979. If it was done today, it would have all been blue screen and computers.
2. James Bond’s capture in “Die Another Day” (2002) – A payoff to all the other 19 Bond films because James Bond is captured… and doesn’t escape.
3. Blofeld’s death in “For Your Eyes Only” (1981) – A hysterical “screw you” to Kevin McClory, Blofeld creator and thorn in the side of Albert Broccoli. Even today, McClory is suing Eon Productions for the rights to SPECTRE and Blofeld.
Honorable Mention: The ski chase in “A View to a Kill” (1985) – Sure, ski chases are nothing new in a Bond film (they were also done in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “For Your Eyes Only”), but Bond’s choice to ski on a snowmobile’s blade is thought to be partly responsible for popularizing snowboarding.
1. “Goldfinger” by Shirley Bassey – Quite simply, the sultry sound that exemplifies a bond theme.
2. “Live and Let Die” by Wings – A break from the traditional feel to the bond songs, this Paul McCartney theme is cool even today.
3. “For Your Eyes Only” by Sheena Easton – Sheena Easton is the first singer to appear in the credit sequence, pioneering music videos as they are today.
DIShonorable mention: “Thunderball” by Tom Jones – Sure, men have sang Bond tunes in “Live and Let Die,” “A View to a Kill” and “The Living Daylights,” but they didn’t try to sound like Shirley Bassey (“Goldfinger” and “Diamonds are Forever”) when they did.
1. The car flip in “The Man With the Golden Gun” (1974) – This is the first stunt that was calculated and planned with a computer. Today, it would have been computer generated like some scrap from Gone in 60 Seconds.
2. Sean Connery’s meeting with a shark in “Thunderball” (1965) – During filming, a shark escaped confinement and passed right in front of Connery. His reaction was so genuine that the shot make it into the final film.
3. The helicopter chase in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) – Computer generation at its best. Most of this stunt was practical, except the blades.
1. Rosa Kleb’s shoe in “From Russia With Love” (1963) – Keep it simple, stupid. This poison-tipped knife in the shoe is a classic.
2. Roger Moore’s watches – He had a magnetic one in “Live and Let Die” (1973), a two-way radio one in “For Your Eyes Only” (1981), and a homing device in “Octopussy” (1983).
3. The ring from Die Another Day (2002) – Unlike most gadgets which have a narrow one-time use at the end of the film, Q’s ring that shatter bulletproof glass is not only used many times in this film, but also will probably show up again in the future.
BONUS: BEST FELIX LEITER
Aside from M, Q, Moneypenny, CIA operative Felix Leiter is the only character that keeps coming back – even though only one actor played him more than once. In a wash, the coolest Felix Leiter is Bernie Casey from “Never Say Never Again” (1983), which was the only good thing about that movie aside from Barbara Carrera water-skiing in a thong.
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