He's starred as James Bond in more movies (7) than any other. He's the consummate English gentleman with the suave look, capable physicality, and disarming wit. He was the original pick to play Bond, but was unable to take the role due to duties on TV's spy caper "The Saint." Instead, he became 007 a decade later in the early 70s, and continued on in the role till 1985.
For those of us who grew up on Roger Moore Bond movies, he'll always be the underrated one, not nearly as gruff, rough, and tough as Connery and Craig, but also more naturally bemused and able to take the wind out of any villain or situation with a wink and a well-placed one-liner.
Here we count down all of Sir Roger Moore's Bond entries, from the ridiculous to the sublime. We salute his style and panache. Because ultimately, it's an "All-Time High" and "For Your Eyes Only," and of course, always with "A View to a Kill."
7 / Moonraker (1979)
When I was a kid, "Moonraker" was the greatest Bond movie I'd ever seen (granted, I was 6). But time hasn't been kind to this hokey late '70s entry. It latches onto the "Star Wars" craze and literally has Bond launching into space and taking part in laser gun battles. It's fun in a juvenile way. Set designer Ken Adam does a great job. And it's cool to see Richard Kiel's oversized villain "Jaws" return after an impressive debut in "The Spy Who Loved Me." Still, even in the over-the-top, wisecracking era of Roger Moore's 007, the action could still stand to be more down to earth.
6 / A View to a Kill (1985)
Most fans remember a few key elements about "A View to a Kill." There's the amazing Duran Duran title song (it's through and through '80s, and that's a good thing). Christopher Walken makes for an appropriately ice-cold blonde-haired baddie and industrialist named Max Zorin. Tanya Roberts excels as the pillowy heroine Stacey Sutton. And Grace Jones is completely bonkers as bad girl May Day. As well, Roger Moore's grown a bit long in the tooth here as James Bond. The stunts are still awesome. We love the whole Golden Gate Bridge finale. But it's an appropriate swan song to the Moore era.
5 / Octopussy (1983)
"Octopussy," like "Moonraker," is a kind of guilty pleasure. Maud Adams is amazing as the title character, and her team of femme fatales makes a favorable impression. Likewise, Moore is as cunning and witty throughout, having firmly established his brand over five previous Bond outings. However…if we never see James Bond dressed up as a circus clown ever again…we'll be all the wiser.
4 / The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
Christopher Lee is one of the all-time Bond villains as Scaramanga, the killer with the golden gun. This film also has Herve Villechaize as Scaramanga's diminutive sidekick Nick Nack, long before he'd be calling out the plane for Ricardo Montalban on TV's "Fantasy Island." Really, what more do you need? Thankfully, Moore is hitting his stride here in his second appearance as 007. It's a great balance of Bondian espionage and light-hearted hijinks, a few years before the funny business hit big in "Moonraker."
3 / Live and Let Die (1973)
The theme song by Paul McCartney is one of the greatest pop tunes, Bond movie or no. Jane Seymour is one of Hollywood's greatest movie stars, Bond movie or no. And the car chase through the Louisiana bayou is one of the greatest chase sequences, Bond movie or no. Given all of that, Roger Moore - Bond author Ian Fleming's first choice to star - steps into the franchise vehicle for the first time and maximizes the opportunity. We're also partial to Yaphet Kotto as underrated villain Kananga / Mr. Big (also underrated in "Alien," "The Running Man," "Midnight Run" and especially the underseen, must-see detective noir "Across 110th Street").
2 / The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
It's a toss up for most Roger Moore Bond fans between our top two picks. The third time as Bond was definitely a charm for the elegant actor. Barbara Bach as Bond girl Major Anya Amasova is one of the most resourceful, capable, and beautiful leading ladies in the entire franchise. Curt Jurgens is a strong villain as Karl Stromberg, the bad dude threatening New York City with nuclear arms. And this is where fans are first introduced to Richard Kiel's Jaws, Stromberg's seven-foot henchman with the metal teeth. The characters are all in service of a first-rate entertainment. Nearly four and a half decades later, it still holds up as one of the most effective Bond movies.
1 / For Your Eyes Only (1981)
In response to the outrageous actions in "Moonraker," Roger Moore's Bond headed back down to earth and got his hands dirty in "For Your Eyes Only." It's by far the darkest of the Moore Bond movies, and it's all the better for that. He's still Roger Moore, so the quips are still there, but he's tougher here and takes part in some amazing action sequences, including an attack on a remote mountaintop monastery at the end. Carole Bouquet as Bond's main love interest, and Topol as a compatriot, provide great support. It adds up to a wholly satisfying Bond entry, with the requisite memorable title tune, and one worthy of multiple viewings.
About the Author
Chuck is an editor/writer who's worked for NCM, Fandango, Movies.com, MediaTrip, Hollywood.com and Newsweek. His favorite movie is "Jaws." He's definitely a dog guy.