The new Bond film "Quantum of Solace" goes on general release today. Not sure when I'll get to see it though, these days the only time I go to the cinema it's with a room full of excited children watching the latest release from Pixar or Dreamworks.
1. Goldfinger (Dir. Guy Hamilton, 1964)
The film that defined the template for all those that followed. A super villain with a super plan, a massive laser and two failed attempts to kill Bond, the Aston Martin making it's first appearance, Shirley Eaton painted in gold, Pussy Galore and her all-girl Flying Circus. Ticks all the boxes for me.
2. From Russia With Love (Dir. Terence Young, 1963)
I think this was probably the first Bond film I ever saw which gives it a special place in my heart. Slower paced than any of the films that followed, it possibly captures the atmosphere of the novels better than any other.
3. On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Dir. Peter R. Hunt, 1969)
I might be in a minority here, but I really like OHMSS. I like Lazenby's Bond and there's the added bonus, in Diana Rigg, of a Bond girl who can hold her own with our erstwhile hero. A bit of pathos at the end and that wonderful Louis Armstrong theme tune. Possibly the best ending of any Bond movie.
4. Live and Let Die (Dir. Guy Hamilton, 1973)
I'm not a fan of the Roger Moore era but have good memories of this, his debut Bond. Some dubious attempts to benefit from the Blaxploitation boom aside, "Live and Let Die" has some great action and maintains a pacey plot throughout.
5. Thunderball (Dir. Terence Young, 1965)
So good they made it twice. Decent story line, the return of the Aston and some great underwater scenes. Still not sure about the practicalities of that jet pack though.