It’s official, Casino Royale has been ranked as the number one movie from the James Bond franchise, according to a poll on the site Ranker.
The Never-Ending Argument
The debate about which actor portrayed the role of Bond the best and which Bond movie is the greatest of all-time rages on. It seems that this poll has only stoked the fires of the argument as opposed to confirming anything.
Peak Bond is still an elusive and controversial topic.
So far there have been 24 Bond movies to hit cinemas across the globe. Ever since the debut outing of Dr No in 1962 with Sean Connery playing 007, the movies have remained ever-present in the conscience of film buffs.
Box Office Sensation
Based on the series of novels written by British author Ian Fleming, the Bond movies have seen six actors take on the role of Bond.
Connery was the first with George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig also appearing as the English secret service spy.
The franchise has grossed more than $7 billion worldwide. That makes it the fourth most successful movie franchise of all-time, just behind Star Wars, Harry Potter, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Movies for All The Ages
One of the most beautiful elements of the Bond franchise is how it has re-invented itself over the years.
Spanning 55 years, the franchise has needed to move with the times. The Bond played by Craig that audiences are familiar with now is a lot grittier and darker than the one that was introduced to cinema goers by Connery.
The same notion is attached to the movies themselves. The plot lines may very well stay true to the original source material crafted from the gifted hand of Fleming. However, the content is a lot harder and authentic in these modern times.
It is perhaps no surprise that two of the top three Bond movies in the Ranker chart are more recent releases. They are movies that feel current and listing titles that are most familiar with the publication’s younger target audience is sure to be a popular choice with readers.
Undoubtedly, it is a credit to the films of the past such as Goldfinger, From Russia with Love, GoldenEye, and The Spy Who Loved Me that they can still rank so highly in lists such as this after all these years.
There is little dispute that these movies resonate across generations. That is evident here. Will the same be said for the likes of Casino Royale or Skyfall in 20 to 30 years time? Will scenes from those movies be culturally referenced in years to come?
Adapt or Die
One interesting fact, is that the movies where a new Bond actor is cast appear to perform well with the fans.
Casino Royale as Craig’s debut and GoldenEye as Brosnan’s first appearance are the stand-out examples.
Dr No for Connery, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service for Lazenby, Live and Let Die for Moore, and The Living Daylights for Dalton are all remembered affectionately.
Former Bond director Martin Campbell offers an insight into the reasoning behind this. Campbell directed both GoldenEye and Casino Royale (the most recent one, not the 1960s comedy spoof). He turned down the opportunity to return to direct any further Bond movies until the role of Bond was re-cast to somebody other than Craig.
In an interview with Cinema Blend, Campbell said, “I was pretty much offered every one after [Casino Royale]. But I just felt that I was [repeating] it. Another control room to blow up; another nutcase taking over the world. There is something refreshing about starting a new Bond.”
Craig is set to return to the role of Bond for one last movie that is scheduled for release in 2019.
Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli will both return to produce the movie and it will be written by the duo of Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. Sam Mendes has ruled out returning as director. That role is yet to be confirmed.
Fans must wait patiently to see where this latest Bond release will end up on the popularity scale.