Ranking The Roger Moore James Bond Films - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Ranking The Roger Moore James Bond Films

Roger Moore's James Bond was a man of his time. Suave, urbane, with a twinkle in his eye and an eyebrow permanently raised in wry amusement at the world. Underneath, however, lay the steel of MI6’s most seasoned agent. But how do Moore's Bond films stand when ranked against each other?

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

Directed by Lewis Gilbert, this film introduced audiences to the iconic steel-toothed Jaws and featured the Lotus Esprit, a car that could become a submarine. Released on August 3, 1977, in the US, it raked in $46.8 million domestically and a tidy $185.4 million worldwide. The infectious Carly Simon theme, "Nobody Does It Better," further cemented its status. The Hollywood Reporter gushed, “The most extravagant of the Bond films, and the best.”

Moonraker (1979)

Again directed by Gilbert, Bond went to space. Yes, space! The June 29, 1979 release made a US gross of $70.3 million and a global $210.3 million. Behind the scenes, it's known that Moore had a fear of heights, which made some stunts particularly challenging. Shirley Bassey’s theme returned, lending gravitas to this space-age adventure. The New York Times stated, “It’s an escapist’s dream.”

For Your Eyes Only (1981)

John Glen took over directorial reins here. Focusing on a more grounded narrative after Moonraker's space escapade, it was released on June 26, 1981, and garnered $54.8 million in the US and $195.3 million worldwide. Sheena Easton’s sultry theme was an instant hit. One curious fact: Moore was terrified of pigeons, making the St. Mark's Square scene in Venice a challenge. Variety mused, “A return to form, with intrigue at its heart.”

Live and Let Die (1973)

Moore's Bond debut, this Guy Hamilton directorial focused on voodoo, drugs, and had a Blaxploitation feel. Released in the US on June 27, 1973, it bagged $35.4 million domestically and $161.8 million globally. Paul McCartney and Wings' title track remains one of the best Bond songs. Rolling Stone declared, “Moore brings a light touch, even if the plot goes haywire.”

Octopussy (1983)

Moore faces off against a jewel-smuggling Russian general in this Glen-helmed film. Released on June 10, 1983, it garnered $67.9 million in the US and $187.5 million worldwide. A fun fact: Moore’s clown disguise in this film was his idea. Rita Coolidge’s "All Time High" provided the auditory backdrop. Empire noted, “A balance of camp and action, a classic Moore-era Bond.”

A View to a Kill (1985)

Moore’s final outing, directed by Glen, is a guilty pleasure for me, but objectively speaking it's not in anyway the best from his era. The film saw Bond thwarting a Silicon Valley tycoon. Released on May 24, 1985, it took $50.3 million domestically and $152.4 million worldwide. Duran Duran's title song was a chart-topper, but the film had a mixed reception. Moore, aged 57 during filming, felt he was too old for the role, and Grace Jones provided a compelling adversary. Film Review quipped, “A decent swansong for Moore, but time for a new era.”

The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

This Hamilton directed film saw Bond duel with the assassin Scaramanga. Released on December 20, 1974, it secured $20.97 million in the US and $97.6 million globally. Its solar energy focus was ahead of its time, but Lulu's title song wasn't as celebrated. The Guardian remarked, “It aims high but doesn’t quite hit the mark.”

To encapsulate, Roger Moore's Bond films were a blend of sophistication, charm, and wit. They mirrored the 70s and 80s’ shifting sands, capturing the era's essence. Through space missions, underwater cars, and iconic villains, Moore's Bond faced them all with unmatched elegance. He may have hung up his Walther PPK after seven films, but his legacy as 007 endures. And remember, he always had an eyebrow ready for any surprise.

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