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Seventeen Years Ago


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#1 Donovan

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Posted 31 July 2004 - 02:41 PM

Wow, seventeen years ago today I was a highschool teenager waiting in the front of a line to see Timothy Dalton as James Bond in "The Living Daylights." As a Bond fan, I had recently gone through a sort of transformation. I grew up with Roger Moore as Bond, and preferred him to Sean Connery (didn't bother going to see "Never Say Never Again" at the theaters).

But then I discovered Ian Fleming, and found his descriptions of Bond to be more interesting. From that, I grew more appreciative of Connery's portrayal of a tough, athletic agent who was believable in hand-to-hand combat. To this end, I was sorely disappointed with the most recent "A View To A Kill."

Then it was announced that Moore was no more. After all the guessing and rumors, it was reported that Pierce Brosnan was Bond. Three days later it was announced that Timothy Dalton was definitely James Bond.

Who?

I'd never heard of him, not even in the Bond sweepstakes casting rumors. The paper had a ridiculously unflattering picture of him. So in the coming months I acquainted myself with his work. I remembered him from "Flash Gordon" but didn't know him by name. I rented some of the available videos and found him to have sufficient presence. His interviews regarding Bond were very promising. His desire to make Bond "more human" so that the audience could identify with him was welcome news to me.

Plus, some pictures of Dalton as Bond were trickling in. To me, he looked a lot like the Bond I visualized while reading Fleming's novels. The first footage I saw of Dalton as Bond was a music video for "Live And Let Die" with various Bond highlites, including new "Daylights" scenes. This music video was created to promote the "Happy Anniversay 007" special hosted by Roger Moore. Back then, I wasn't particularly hooked into the 007 fan world like I am today. In those days, when I saw a film, it was an experience that I had relatively no previous information on. In other words, I didn't know what the plot was, or who the new characters were. All I had read was the Fleming short story of the same title.

By July 31, 1987, I was more than ready to see the new Bond film. I went to the first screening of the day with a friend. I found it a positively thrilling experience. Dalton as Bond was vigorous, cool, and mean when he had to be. His line about "if he fires me, I'll thank him for it!" was vintage Fleming. I appreciated the Smiert Spionam reference, and was happy to see Felix Leiter once again after so many years away. Plus, the sniper scene was fun to see so well-adapted from the short story. The stunts were terrific, and Barry's electronic slant on the Bond Theme was also a great part of the film.

At the time I remeber wondering, "who knows how long Dalton will be Bond? Maybe for ten years with five or six films?" Little did I know the train wreck that lay ahead for the franchise. But on this day, July 31, 1987 - seventeen years ago - I was more than a satisfied customer.

#2 Dunph

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Posted 31 July 2004 - 02:49 PM

I'm fast loving Dalton's films. And I must say I'm of two minds whether he's my favourite Bond or not. He is without a shadow of a doubt the best actor there has been in the role.

He took the part seriously, and it showed. His performance as 007 is easily the most convincing of all. I was too young for his reign though. Brosnan is my era.

#3 BONDFINESSE 007

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Posted 31 July 2004 - 07:17 PM

17 YEARS AGO




please dont remind me, i am trying to forget that

#4 Loomis

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Posted 31 July 2004 - 07:18 PM

Not a Dalton fan, Finesse?

#5 DLibrasnow

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Posted 31 July 2004 - 09:47 PM

I go through periods when I really like Timothy Dalton, but like Pierce Brosnan his best movie was his first one. Don't dislike him in the role of 007 (as I do when it comes to Brosnan) I am just kinda ho-hum about him in the role (as I am with Lazenby).

I remember going to see The Living Daylights at the movie theater when it opened. My best friend's father looked at this life size lobby display of Dalton in the classic gunbarrel pose and jokingly said in his flippant way "That's not Bond -- that man's an imposter."

#6 Loomis

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Posted 31 July 2004 - 09:49 PM

I'm not a particular fan of Dalton's Bond, as such, but I do think his two films are among the best of the series.

His Bond is actually quite hard to like, IMO - very easy to admire, but difficult to actually like. It's akin to watching an acting masterclass, really, but in an all-technique-and-no-real-feeling kind of way. Very impressive and educational, but not actually all that much fun.

I can't imagine boys wanting to grow up to be Dalton's Bond, but I can certainly imagine them wanting to grow up to be Connery's Bond or Moore's Bond. Dalton's 007 is just too moody and miserable - in any other Bond era he'd be the villain - and while he's great for Fleming purists such as myself, it's small wonder that the public at large never took to him.

But the film, as always, is the thing, and, like I say, I consider THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS and LICENCE TO KILL two of the finest Bond flicks ever.

Still, Dalton gets a lot of respect from me for his gentlemanly behaviour after being sacked from the role (and he was sacked), contrasting with the conduct of a certain someone who dissed Eon, mimed being stabbed in the back on a talk show and complained about the "paralysis" of the Bond films.

#7 BONDFINESSE 007

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Posted 31 July 2004 - 10:55 PM

My best friend's father looked at this life size lobby display of Dalton in the classic gunbarrel pose and jokingly said in his flippant way "That's not Bond -- that man's an imposter."

and he was right

#8 Dunph

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 12:16 AM

I wouldn't say Dalton was an acting-by-the-numbers man, Loomis, I honestly think his finest film is Licence To Kill. His ability as a performer shines through.

The only gripe I have with the man is his incessant use of the double take every time he recites a one-liner (ie he can't do comedy). See The Living Daylights, for example.

#9 PrinceKamalKhan

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 12:20 AM

By July 31, 1987, I was more than ready to see the new Bond film. I went to the first screening of the day with a friend. I found it a positively thrilling experience. Dalton as Bond was vigorous, cool, and mean when he had to be. His line about "if he fires me, I'll thank him for it!" was vintage Fleming. I appreciated the Smiert Spionam reference, and was happy to see Felix Leiter once again after so many years away. Plus, the sniper scene was fun to see so well-adapted from the short story. The stunts were terrific, and Barry's electronic slant on the Bond Theme was also a great part of the film.

At the time I remeber wondering, "who knows how long Dalton will be Bond? Maybe for ten years with five or six films?" Little did I know the train wreck that lay ahead for the franchise. But on this day, July 31, 1987 - seventeen years ago - I was more than a satisfied customer.

My how time flies. Thanks for sharing your memories, Donovan. I too had much of the same opinion of The Living Daylights when I first saw it. It was a refreshing improvement over the tired A View To A Kill. I left the theater a very satisfied customer and figured Dalton would play the role until 1999. Alas, it was not meant to be. However, at least the 2 films produced during Dalton's tenure were good ones. Happy 17th Anniversary to the best Bond film of the last 3 decades.

#10 Righty007

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 12:20 AM

I'm about to watch The Living Daylights right now.

#11 Icephoenix

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 12:44 AM

The only gripe I have with the man is his incessant use of the double take every time he recites a one-liner (ie he can't do comedy). See The Living Daylights, for example.

LOL! I have the same problem with him! It's just so blaringly obvious (and annoying) whenever he double takes while attempting to say something witty. For example, just watch himn when he says "Salt Corosion".

All up though, I love his Bond. TLD is the perfect mix of action, story and characters for me, and set in realistic places but still with a touch of fantasy. Love it.

#12 PrinceKamalKhan

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 01:09 AM

The only gripe I have with the man is his incessant use of the double take every time he recites a one-liner (ie he can't do comedy). See The Living Daylights, for example.

LOL! I have the same problem with him! It's just so blaringly obvious (and annoying) whenever he double takes while attempting to say something witty. For example, just watch himn when he says "Salt Corosion".

All up though, I love his Bond. TLD is the perfect mix of action, story and characters for me, and set in realistic places but still with a touch of fantasy. Love it.

I think some of those jokes and having Bond do double takes along with the wisely deleted "magic carpet" scene in TLD were holdovers from the Moore era just as Moore did some Connery-like stuff in LALD and TMWTGG and Brosnan had Daltonian moments in GE. Dalton can be funny in the right circumstances. He had several funny moments as the vain movie star/Nazi spy-in-disguise Neville Sinclair in The Rocketeer.

ITA with your opinion of TLD, Icephoenix.

#13 Qwerty

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 01:42 AM

I love The Living Daylights. Some great characters, a fantastic plot which is quite wide in scope with many twists and turns. Action and romance flourish in it, and it's a very realistic James Bond film. Licence To Kill has grown in my opinion also.

Always fun to watch Dalton in either film.

#14 SnakeEyes

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 10:03 PM

TLD is the best 'Bond' film. etc etc.

#15 Qwerty

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 10:28 PM

His Bond is actually quite hard to like, IMO - very easy to admire, but difficult to actually like. It's akin to watching an acting masterclass, really, but in an all-technique-and-no-real-feeling kind of way. Very impressive and educational, but not actually all that much fun.
films.

Interesting statement there Loomis. Timothy Dalton's Bond was a lot easier to like in The Living Daylights, than Licence To Kill of course. Perhaps he did put on the show, but in a way like Connery or Moore did.

Ah well, I liked him as Bond. Not really many problems.

#16 BONDFINESSE 007

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 10:32 PM

Ah well, I liked him as Bond.

never will i be able to say that

#17 Qwerty

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 10:34 PM


Ah well, I liked him as Bond.

never will i be able to say that

So you pointed out.

Can't dislike any Bond though, IMO.

#18 BONDFINESSE 007

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 10:37 PM

Can't dislike any Bond though,

and why is that may i ask?

#19 Qwerty

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 10:38 PM


Can't dislike any Bond though,

and why is that may i ask?

I liked all of the five James Bond actors. Never had a real dislike towards any of them.

#20 BONDFINESSE 007

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 10:47 PM


Can't dislike any Bond though,

and why is that may i ask?

I liked all of the five James Bond actors. Never had a real dislike towards any of them.

well qwert thats why i like you so, your unlimited youthfull enthsiasm

#21 Qwerty

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 10:53 PM


Can't dislike any Bond though,

and why is that may i ask?

I liked all of the five James Bond actors. Never had a real dislike towards any of them.

well qwert thats why i like you so, your unlimited youthfull enthsiasm

I guess it's just that I never really had a problem with any of the Bond films, any of the Bond actors, etc..

If in Bond novels, my minor problem would be The Man From Barbarossa, but that's just a nit pick. :)

#22 BONDFINESSE 007

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 11:03 PM


Can't dislike any Bond though,

and why is that may i ask?

I liked all of the five James Bond actors. Never had a real dislike towards any of them.

well qwert thats why i like you so, your unlimited youthfull enthsiasm

I guess it's just that I never really had a problem with any of the Bond films, any of the Bond actors, etc..

If in Bond novels, my minor problem would be The Man From Barbarossa, but that's just a nit pick. :)

qwerty you have to show me how to do that because at 37 i am and i admit somewhat jaded but maybe you can teach and old dog new tricks

i would like to see it as you do and not look for the faults

#23 Qwerty

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 11:04 PM

Not sure how I can show someone else that. The way I see the Bond films are all good movies, all from Casino Royale to The Living Daylights. Yeah, some of have problems here and there, but nothing overall for me to bash the film for it.

#24 hrabb04

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Posted 02 August 2004 - 02:20 PM

After way too many films from Roger Moore, we finally got a serious Bond, and boy, were some people not ready for it. Dalton nailed many of the elements that Moore was so lacking as Bond. Dalton was athletic, a good actor, tough, and believable as a '00'. Unfortunately, there was a spark missing somewhere, and I am damned if I can tell you what it is. Watching Dalton's Bonds is like driving a car straight out of the assembly line that is 99.9% completed. You know something is missing, but you're damned if you know what it is.

#25 JimmyBond

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 01:50 AM

I usually flip who my favorite Bond is (it's ususally a toss up between Dalton and Connery) but I pretty much stay consistent with Dalton's films. I love Licence To Kill it's one of my favorite Bond films period. Yes, it has a few flaws, but I think it gets so much right.

#26 Qwerty

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 01:57 AM

After way too many films from Roger Moore, we finally got a serious Bond, and boy, were some people not ready for it. Dalton nailed many of the elements that Moore was so lacking as Bond. Dalton was athletic, a good actor, tough, and believable as a '00'. Unfortunately, there was a spark missing somewhere, and I am damned if I can tell you what it is. Watching Dalton's Bonds is like driving a car straight out of the assembly line that is 99.9% completed. You know something is missing, but you're damned if you know what it is.

I'd say all the Bond's probably miss "something". No one will agree on one specific one.

#27 Righty007

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 02:09 AM

I usually flip who my favorite Bond is (it's ususally a toss up between Dalton and Connery) but I pretty much stay consistent with Dalton's films. I love Licence To Kill it's one of my favorite Bond films period. Yes, it has a few flaws, but I think it gets so much right.

Licence To Kill is one of my favorites too!

#28 Tarl_Cabot

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 02:17 AM

I'll agree Dalton wasn't very good at comedy but we've seen so much with Roger I forgave his lack of giggles(script?) for a human take with a harder edge and a face that exudes danger...and it helped him to be in a great movie to boot! :)

#29 PaulZ108

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 02:30 AM

I don't love Dalton in the role but I don't hate him either. I'm really torn on the Dalton era. The Living Daylights I love, as it manages to be more down-to-earth and serious while still being recognizably Bond, but I can't stand Licence to Kill.

#30 Qwerty

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 02:35 AM

I'll agree Dalton wasn't very good at comedy but we've seen so much with Roger I forgave his lack of giggles(script?) for a human take with a harder edge and a face that exudes danger...and it helped him to be in a great movie to boot! :)

Agreed. Dalton can do the harder edge, and Roger the comedy. Love both films, but The Living Daylights had a better mix of the harder edge of Bond and his role in the film. Just think it came off more well rounded.




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