The first thing you expect to see when watching a James Bond movie is the heart racing gun-barrel sequence that starts the movie off and readies you for another 007 adventure. The gun-barrel sequence has become iconic and is now known as a trademark for the James Bond series of films, starting all the way from 1962's Dr. No, to 2015's Spectre. Today, I have the pleasure of sharing with you my thoughts on which one of the seven actors to portray James Bond displayed the most elegance, suave, swagger, posture and pose during their respective gun-barrel sequences. Let's take a look, shall we?
Bob Simmons, 'The Man Who Started It All' (Dr. No- Goldfinger)
Here it is, the gun-barrel that started it all, performed by stuntman Bob Simmons. What I like in particular about the sequence is the steady walk then accompanied with a startling jump and pull of the trigger, followed by a loud playing of the famous 007 theme. It is a bit different than the others, since the barrel opens up toward the middle of the screen instead of the far left and Bond only takes a few small steps. Realistically, Bond would be shot easily if he moved this way, but it is still a great sequence nonetheless! The way he turns and shoots is done flawlessly with high tension and a monumental build-up during its first appearance in Dr. No. I really enjoy hearing those odd beeps and jingles prior to Bond shooting. It creates a mystifying effect about what will happen next. I wonder what it must have felt like to sit in the theater and watch this happen right before your eyes in 1962. It must've been a very thrilling experience!
Sean Connery, 'Shot By The Scotsman' (Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, and Diamonds Are Forever)
This is the first time we get to see actor Sean Connery on screen during his own gun barrel sequence. His walk towards center screen is calm, cool, and suave. Yet that doesn't make up for the weird turn and wobble he does. It looks like he hesitated to shoot and just did a random jump of some sort and ended up being in an uncomfortable-looking pose. To me, it is one of the weaker gun-barrels.
Roger Moore, 'The Man Who Needs Work On His Aim' (Live And Let Die - The Man With The Golden Gun)
Roger Moore was in two gun-barrel sequences. This is his first and the much better of the two, to be honest. He walks with a medium pace with slight strides and turns quickly at the blink of an eye, ending in a fixated yet aggressive pose. It looks really cool,but he completely misses the camera and shoots to his left, and it is quite obvious. It bugs me, but it is the only flaw. Moore still did a magnificent job!
Roger Moore, 'The Slow Poke' (The Spy Who Loved Me - A View To A Kill)
Roger Moore was super slow in this gun-barrel. His walk is weird and very robotic, and it takes him forever to draw his gun, which leads to him shooting almost two seconds after he originally did in his first sequence. When it comes to gunfire, two seconds is a lot of time. However, his final stance looks imposing, and his aim is spot on. The sequence is not one of the best, but it is definitely not the worst.
Timothy Dalton, 'The Confident One' (The Living Daylights - Licence To Kill)
The reason I call Timothy Dalton the 'confident one' is because his walk is classic and full of swagger. It has 'James Bond' written all over it. His turn is fast, menacing, and his aim is incredibly deadly. Dalton's ending pose looks a bit unorthodox, especially with his legs spread so wide. However, he does looks very relaxed and fearless with everything else he does in the sequence and in the films.
Pierce Brosnan, 'The Clean Shot' (Goldeneye - Die Another Day)
Pierce Brosnan really was a clean shot during his reign as the famous James Bond in the 007 films. In his gun-barrel, he walks with style and class. He shows no mercy as he turns and shoots front and center at the audience. A quick draw of the gun flawlessly done in a perfectly coordinated sequence that he is very much remembered for. The man does what he does, he turns, shoots, killing his enemies with one shot, and walks away to continue being the coolest secret agent he can be.
Daniel Craig, 'The Refined Bond' (Spectre)
First off, let me just tell you I honestly do not like the first three gun-barrels of the Daniel Craig era. Casino Royale's sequence had a really odd looking design, and his final pose looks stressed and overdone. While in Quantum Of Solace, he walks WAY too fast with a hunched posture, making it the worst 007 gun-barrel sequence in my opinion. There was some improvement in Skyfall in terms of design, but he still has no swagger, no class, no style, no elegance when he walks, and he didn't even fire the gun, the sound was just edited in. However, I think he got it almost perfectly right for 2015's Spectre. He has a straight, solid posture, walks with calmness and serenity, and then boom! He turns around, and shoots at the hip with precise aim! Almost everything about the gun-barrel is good, the design is a clean and remastered version of the older one used in the '60s-'90s, the score is perfect, and the blood dripping down the screen goes at a fair pace unlike the atrocity we saw in Quantum Of Solace and Skyfall. The only complaint I have is that he isn't actually concealing his handgun like the other actors did and as he did before, which removes the cunning essence of Bond during the sequence.
And now for my favorite...
George Lazenby, 'The Greatest Spy Of All Time' (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
I really like this sequence, it is definitely one I enjoy watching. Though George Lazenby was only in one 007 film, he was in one of the better ones and had the best gun-barrel sequence. His posture displays confidence and positivity, employs respect to the Queen and his walk is flawless while ending in a cool-looking crouched position after shooting straight at you. He then disappears as blood trickles down the screen. A really cool thing to also mention is the shine that this gun barrel has; it's very flashy and stands out from the other designs. This is truly amazing to watch and hopefully the next sequence we see is as good as this one!