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Dalton as 007

34 replies to this topic

#31 ACE



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Posted 24 June 2011 - 01:48 AM

I always wanted Timothy Dalton to do a third, fourth, fifth Bond, but wasn't entirely surprised that he didn't. He never seemed completely at ease in the role, and I think it was in part because he had one take on the part and the film makers still had another one. We will never know, but if TLD and LTK had been filmed with a new team involved, Dalton could have been going strong into the 1990s.

(On the other hand, would it have made any difference? From what I have read on our site, once the studio takeover had gone through, the heads were seemingly determined to get rid of Dalton anyway, regardless of what Cubby & Co thought.)

Certainly the approach to playing Bond changed when Dalton took over, and continued when he left. Brosnan's Bond always seemed to me to combine the virtues of Moore and Dalton without the drawbacks, and Craig has the toughness of Connery combined with Dalton's depth of character.

Timothy Dalton made but two Bond films, but his impact is felt even now.

:tup: :tup: :tup:
Very astute post, Guy Haines.

BTW, MGM announced at least two more Bond films starring Dalton in the autumn of 1989 and until 1991, he was definitely going to do Bond 17.

#32 Royal Dalton

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 02:33 AM

I can picture that lost 1991 film in my head, and I think it probably would have been a much better film than GoldenEye. Lots of fun stuff in there, like the Aston Martin vs. Stealth Car 'video game' chase sequence.

#33 00 Brosnan

00 Brosnan


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Posted 25 June 2011 - 08:26 PM

Brosnan's Bond always seemed to me to combine the virtues of Moore and Dalton without the drawbacks, and Craig has the toughness of Connery combined with Dalton's depth of character.

Couldn't agree with this more. Brosnan has the playboy charm and humor of Moore (with a perfect 1990s edge) and the toughness Dalton brought to the role. Craig certainly has that "Dalton depth" w/ Connery's seriousness only more reckless and impulsive.

#34 blueblood



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Posted 28 June 2011 - 02:05 PM

I feel that Brosnan combines Moore and Connery while Craig combines himself along with Dalton.

I tend to think that Brosnan came in as an amalgamation of modern intent matched to classic affectation (the aloof facade); the reality of it was meant to be Dalton's humanized Bond matched to Connery's iconography. When the humor works best for Brosnan, it tends toward Connery: as statement of control and detachment from the situation. As a reference point on coldness.

Which is why, plausibly, Dalton tended to have trouble with the character's one-lines. I don't think he found a way to mold them to the DNA of his performance or character bio.

Dalton's assumptions were, I think, striking and ahead of their time. This was a Bond that was very much about acting out, or upon, personal conflicts.

It was to become the fulcrum of all future Bond portrayals (or at least the yin to Connery's yang). It was and is the Modern Bond.

It's the idea of a Bond who is personally involved in the mission, instead of being more akin to the id-like (at least from the audience standpoint) brutality of Connery. The idea of emotional separation from the mission was a non-starter in Dalton's makeup.

This is either brought more fully to the fore or exacerbated -- depending on whether one likes or dislikes the assumption -- by Bond's sexual encounters becoming something closer to entanglements. In this case, Dalton seemed to create a sense of monogamy in Bond, whereas Connery's exploits with women are far more transitory and emotionally remote. Retroactively misogynist in regards to the latter? Arguably.

Which is how we arrive at Brosnan, possibly the true modern Bond by way of postmodern stylings. Well, at least at his or the franchise's best. Which, parallel, would be one out of four film entries.

The Brosnan assumption, when it works, is a rather brilliant narrative deconstruction and psychological conflation of Dalton with Connery. I like to call it GoldenEye.

Basic idea? The man hidden in the icon.

You can see the basic line that, then, leads us to Craig. In a similar context, I very much see Casino Royale as an analog or bookend to GoldenEye as narrative attempts to explore Bond psychologically, finding out why he is a cold, misogynist killer; the former as a constructive process, a hard reboot, the latter as a soft reboot and update, a deconstructive look at (into?) an iconic character.

If there was a flaw to Dalton's approach -- that is, from the side of public acceptance -- it was in trying to eschew these well-known elements, themselves almost elemental in their importance because, yes, they had become iconic.

The Brosnan/Craig model is an attempt to split the difference. To build a better Bond, or deconstruct Bond as symbol.

Allowing him to retain his cold exterior while also allowing for more psychological examination.

The key is internalization and balance.

I don't know if that's better than what Dalton did. Not all. But I very much believe that it's an approach that tacitly is connected to the idea of Sean Connery's Bond as the standard going forward rather than a quaint notion (characterization) of a bygone era.

Edited by blueblood, 28 June 2011 - 02:07 PM.

#35 iBond



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Posted 29 June 2011 - 05:14 PM

You make a very valid point.