A man stands at the end of a long tunnel. His suit hugs his slender frame as tightly as the clutches of the many women who have made his intimate acquaintance. Sharply turning, his trusty Walther PPK flashes into sight. BANG. A scarlet river floods the screen.
This is of course the opening to any official James Bond film. Everyone knows the suave, sexy, British superspy, but how do we imagine him? And of the six actors that have now portrayed him, who is the best? The vast majority would immediately say Sean Connery. To them, any form of dissent from this reasoning is enough to suggest you work for the dreaded SPECTRE. Personally though, I prefer Roger Moore. Crazy, deluded, call me what you will; my mind is made up. The allure of those omnipotent eyebrows cannot be resisted.
For many years Sir Roger has been unjustly scoffed at by critics and fans alike. Surely it is time he gets the recognition he deserves as the definitive Bond? It would be easy to write off Moore as a mere outlet for witty one-liners but he is clearly so much more than that. Who can forget iconic moments such as the gunfight on the Eiffel Tower in A View to a Kill or his parachute unfurling to show the Union flag after an epic ski chase in The Spy Who Loved Me? My favourite Moore moment is from the climax of Octopussy. On that occasion, 007 defuses a nuclear bomb with only seconds to spare, all while he is dressed as a clown.
Indeed, Roger is currently the longest serving Bond with a remarkable 7 films under his belt. It was only until he reached the age of 58 that he handed the role – along with his licence to kill – over to Timothy Dalton. Not bad considering he was seducing some of Hollywood’s finest females throughout his tenure! Britt Ekland, Barbara Bach and Jane Seymour all fell victim to his infinite charms, despite the obvious age gap.
Nevertheless, Moore’s Bond could be just as tough as he was charming. Henchmen were being hired at the dozen to compensate for the ferocious pace at which they were being exterminated. Whether it be by gun, fist or giant octopus, sir Roger had a way to dispose of any bad guy. Even Scaramanga, the greatest hitman of them all, was outwitted in his disco of deplorable evil. I certainly wouldn’t want to meet Roger Moore down a dark alley! Afterall, he had managed what Connery could only ever dream of: he had killed Blofeld. Furthermore, the famous Scotsman never had to deal with a foe as relentless as Jaws or as blood-thirsty as Christopher Lee’s Scaramanga during his tenure as 007.
Admittedly, Roger the codger had clear flaws including blatant use of stunt men for anything that involved the slightest bit of physical input and, to name a horrendous movie, Moonraker. However, people seem to forget that Connery had his weaknesses too (Diamonds Are Forever, anyone?). Ultimately, it was Roger Moore, with his stiff demeanour and sharp wit, who has stolen my heart.