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Re: The ULTIMATE bond ranking- your 1-20

1.Goldfinger
2.From Russia With Love
3.Dr No
4.Tomorrow Never Dies
5.For Your Eyes Only
6.The Spy Who Loved Me
7.Thunderball
8.Goldeneye
9.On Her Majesties Secret Service
10.Die Another Day
11.You Only Live Twice
12.Live and Let Die
13.Diamonds Are Forever
14.Moonraker
15.Octopussy
16.A View To A Kill
17.The Man WIth The Golden Gun
18.The Living Daylights
19.Licence To Kill
20.The World Is Not Enough

Last edited by Tom Van Allen (23rd Apr 2005 08:38)

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Re: The ULTIMATE bond ranking- your 1-20

1. Never Say Never Again
2. The Spy Who Loved Me
3. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
4. For Your Eyes Only
5. A View to a Kill
6. Goldeneye
7. Doctor No
8. Goldfinger
9. From Russie With Love
10. Live and Let Die
11. The Living Daylights
12. You Only Live Twice
13. The Man With the Golden Gun
14. Diamonds Are Forever
15. Octopussy
16. License to Kill
17. Thunderball
18. Moonraker
19. Die Another Day
20. Tomorrow Never Dies
21. Casino Royale (1967)
22. The World Is Not Enough

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Re: The ULTIMATE bond ranking- your 1-20

The Absolute Best:

1. TLD
2. OHMSS
3. LTK
4. FYEO
5. FRWL

The Great Ones:

6. GF
7. OP
8. TSWLM
9. GE
10. DN

The Good Ones:

11. TWINE
12. TB
13. LALD
14. TND
15. MR

If nothing else is on:

16. TMWTGG
17. DAF
18. YOLT
19. AVTAK
20. DAD

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Re: The ULTIMATE bond ranking- your 1-20

Quoting Myrddin:
The main problem is that a lot of James Bond film fans haven't read ever Ian Fleming books:
Licence to kill is very near to the books. I love it, a lot ...

As someone who HAS - ALL the Fleming books - I simply can't agree with this. 
I can't believe Fleming would have approved of much of it.

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Re: The ULTIMATE bond ranking- your 1-20

Agreed. I don't think LICENSE TO KILL bears much resemblence at all to the Bond of the Fleming novels.

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Re: The ULTIMATE bond ranking- your 1-20

Quoting royalmile:
As someone who HAS - ALL the Fleming books - I simply can't agree with this. 
I can't believe Fleming would have approved of much of it.

I'm sure he was overjoyed by the ice surfing scene or the PTS of GE where dozens of people are killed for fun... True Fleming stuff there... ajb007/wink

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Re: The ULTIMATE bond ranking- your 1-20

Quoting The Cat:

Quoting The Cat:
Quoting royalmile:
As someone who HAS - ALL the Fleming books - I simply can't agree with this. 
I can't believe Fleming would have approved of much of it.

I'm sure he was overjoyed by the ice surfing scene or the PTS of GE where dozens of people are killed for fun... True Fleming stuff there... ajb007/wink

Yes.And overly comedic tone plus the Solex Agitator and flying car in The Man With the Golden Gun.Or the colonies in space and on the ocean floor in Moonraker and The Spy Who Loved Me.Or the complete rewrite of his You Only Live Twice into something more closely resembling the motion picture In Like Flint.Or...

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Re: The ULTIMATE bond ranking- your 1-20

Quoting Willie Garvin:
Yes.And overly comedic tone plus the Solex Agitator and flying car in The Man With the Golden Gun.Or the colonies in space and on the ocean floor in Moonraker and The Spy Who Loved Me.Or the complete rewrite of his You Only Live Twice into something more closely resembling the motion picture In Like Flint.Or...

Exactly... I wonder when people will stop quoting Fleming in regards of the movies, because the cinematic character lives its own life, and I estimate 70-80% of the average movie going public has no idea who is Ian Fleming and why is he mentioned in the opening credits... And Fleming didn't even like Dr. No's adoptation, despite being relatively faithful.

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Re: The ULTIMATE bond ranking- your 1-20

its a simple fact that when putting books to movies, some things have to change. plus the books were written fifty years ago, and in some cases you can tell

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Re: The ULTIMATE bond ranking- your 1-20

Quoting allinthemind:
its a simple fact that when putting books to movies, some things have to change. plus the books were written fifty years ago, and in some cases you can tell

However, there are degrees of changing... They left out the octopus fight from DN simply because it was unfilmable. In Moonraker, they kept some character names and that was all. There's a healthy balance between the two extremes.

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Re: The ULTIMATE bond ranking- your 1-20

All of which accentuates the fact that it's a blatant misrepresentation to claim that Dalton in LTK was Fleming's man on screen.  Simply put, he was not.

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Re: The ULTIMATE bond ranking- your 1-20

Quoting royalmile:
All of which accentuates the fact that it's a blatant misrepresentation to claim that Dalton in LTK was Fleming's man on screen.  Simply put, he was not.

Thats your own opinion. You can't prove that Fleming would have dissagreed with Daltons take on bond. That goes for my opinion too. I can't geniunly prove that Fleming would have liked Daltons bond but still thats what my own opinion, not fact.

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Re: The ULTIMATE bond ranking- your 1-20

That's true, at the end of the day it's all opinion.
Having said that, there are a great many things within Fleming's writing which lead me to my opinion.
But you are absolutely right, it's conjecture anyway as we can't ask Ian!  My point is purely that I DON'T THINK THAT Fleming would have been at all pleased with it.  Just my opinion, but there it is.

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Re: The ULTIMATE bond ranking- your 1-20

Quoting royalmile:
All of which accentuates the fact that it's a blatant misrepresentation to claim that Dalton in LTK was Fleming's man on screen.  Simply put, he was not.

Again,in your opinion,and I respect it although I also respectfully disagree.I think Timothy Dalton came very close to suggesting Ian Fleming's James Bond in both of his motion pictures--especially Licence to Kill.Indeed,in his own way,I think Tim almost approaches what Sean Connery did in portraying Fleming's character on the screen--although he doesn't have Connery's charisma,but then none of the other 007 actors does either.

But this is all only personal taste and nothing more and the great thing about opinions is that everyone's correct--at least as far as they're concerned.

I also think Pierce Brosnan did a fine job.Like Dalton,he was well-cast and like Dalton he's often better than his screenplays.

And I very much enjoyed Roger Moore's very distinctive take on 007.But while he was perfectly cast as Simon Templar,he was only rarely believable--to me anyway--as Fleming's James Bond.However,in fairness certainly showed that he could play the role ala' Fleming in For Your Eyes Only.It's his best performance.

And with everything considered,I think the completely untrained George Lazenby did an okay job at a time when, even if the world's greatest actor--or James Bond magically stepping out from the pages of Fleming's novels to portray himself--could not possibly succeed with audiences while  Sean Connery was resolutely identified world over as the cinema's one and only true James Bond.

A similar situation now exists for the man who follows Pierce Brosnan.As with Sean Connery before him,Brosnan is an extremely popular 007 and his successor--whoever he might be-- will probably find himself having much to prove in the eyes of Brosnan's many fans.

But back to my original point--I like Tim's version of 007.

So what'll be?Pistols at dawn or swords at sunset?Who says we fans take these things too seriously...

Last edited by Willie Garvin (26th Apr 2005 20:24)

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Re: The ULTIMATE bond ranking- your 1-20

I don't necessarily think that Dalton's Bond is only a favorite amongst Fleming fans. I really enjoyed his portrayal in TLD because he was a good actor who brought a certain weight to the movie version Bond I always felt was lacking with Moore. I just like that type of character better. I really believe his scene in the hotel room with Pushkin should go down as one of the great Bond scenes, and not because it has anything to do with what Fleming wrote. It's just a great, well-acted moment filled with danger and tension. I do think LTK went too far, but in TLD Dalton found a balance I would love to see again.

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Re: The ULTIMATE bond ranking- your 1-20

Of course it's my opinion and I do respect the opinions of those who disagree.
But I find much disparity between James Bond as Fleming wrote him and James Bond as Dalton played him.  I've mentioned some reasons why in other threads and don't wish to drag this on here.
My point is twofold, though:
1) The inference that I am unfamiliar with or ignorant of the Bond world if I do not love LTK is inaccurate and unfair.  I have been visiting the movie theatres to see Bond films since '77.  I own every Bond movie.  I am very familiar with all Fleming's Bond works - I have the complete collection.  I am a veteran Bond fan.  Our opinions may differ, and that's fine, but mine is not an uneducated one or a knee-jerk reaction.  I see much, much more on those pages than I ever saw on-screen in either TLD or LTK. 
I love Connery, he's my no.1, but I do happen to agree with Christopher Lee, a man who knows IMO, when he says that no-one has captured Fleming's Bond on film and Brosnan is probably closest.  Tim had only one side of the medal in his portrayal (yes, yes, in my opinion!) and missed a great many opportunities to show Fleming's Bond in the movies.  I know he stated his intent to do this but I don't think he managed it.  His movies were disappointing to me after the hype of his being a fan of Connery and of Fleming.  There is an air from those who do like LTK sometimes of "oh, you just don't get it!"  Well, yes I do.  I just don't like it.  Not as much as many other Bond movies, anyway.  It just fell way short, I think.
2) Just as I cannot unequivocally claim that Fleming's Bond and Dalton's Bond occupy completely separate universes from one another, so it is, as I said, a blatant misrepresentation to try to claim that that is Ian's creation onscreen.  That is an opinion and one I do not share.  It is certainly not fact.  I see an unfair and nonsensical double-standard if that can be claimed but not refuted.  The points about EON Bond being essentially not the same as Fleming Bond are good ones, but I am not claiming otherwise.  All I am saying is I take issue with a claim that can be paraphrased as "you obviously don't know much about Bond, then, 'cos that's the Fleming Bond that Tim played."  I disagree on both counts. 
Which is about where we came in............. ajb007/smile

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Re: The ULTIMATE bond ranking- your 1-20

Just to clarify, a flying car is completely feasible. I'm not sure whether the person who mentioned it being un Fleming-like meant that it wasn't realistic or it was just something he wouldnt have written about. I was just saying that it is completely possible, and has been done, even in 1974.

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Re: The ULTIMATE bond ranking- your 1-20

Quoting Nightshooter:
Just to clarify, a flying car is completely feasible. I'm not sure whether the person who mentioned it being un Fleming-like meant that it wasn't realistic or it was just something he wouldnt have written about. I was just saying that it is completely possible, and has been done, even in 1974.

I really have to start going back and reading through the posts more thoroughly ajb007/smile

Royalmile, what commonalities (aside from the name and certain physical and professional attributes) do you see between Fleming' Bond and the movie version?

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Re: The ULTIMATE bond ranking- your 1-20

Quoting royalmile:
Of course it's my opinion and I do respect the opinions of those who disagree.
But I find much disparity between James Bond as Fleming wrote him and James Bond as Dalton played him.  I've mentioned some reasons why in other threads and don't wish to drag this on here.
My point is twofold, though:
1) The inference that I am unfamiliar with or ignorant of the Bond world if I do not love LTK is inaccurate and unfair.  I have been visiting the movie theatres to see Bond films since '77.  I own every Bond movie.  I am very familiar with all Fleming's Bond works - I have the complete collection.  I am a veteran Bond fan.  Our opinions may differ, and that's fine, but mine is not an uneducated one or a knee-jerk reaction.  I see much, much more on those pages than I ever saw on-screen in either TLD or LTK. 
I love Connery, he's my no.1, but I do happen to agree with Christopher Lee, a man who knows IMO, when he says that no-one has captured Fleming's Bond on film and Brosnan is probably closest.  Tim had only one side of the medal in his portrayal (yes, yes, in my opinion!) and missed a great many opportunities to show Fleming's Bond in the movies.  I know he stated his intent to do this but I don't think he managed it.  His movies were disappointing to me after the hype of his being a fan of Connery and of Fleming.  There is an air from those who do like LTK sometimes of "oh, you just don't get it!"  Well, yes I do.  I just don't like it.  Not as much as many other Bond movies, anyway.  It just fell way short, I think.
2) Just as I cannot unequivocally claim that Fleming's Bond and Dalton's Bond occupy completely separate universes from one another, so it is, as I said, a blatant misrepresentation to try to claim that that is Ian's creation onscreen.  That is an opinion and one I do not share.  It is certainly not fact.  I see an unfair and nonsensical double-standard if that can be claimed but not refuted.  The points about EON Bond being essentially not the same as Fleming Bond are good ones, but I am not claiming otherwise.  All I am saying is I take issue with a claim that can be paraphrased as "you obviously don't know much about Bond, then, 'cos that's the Fleming Bond that Tim played."  I disagree on both counts. 
Which is about where we came in............. ajb007/smile

We'll have to agree to disagree, because I think Dalton came closer than even Connery to being the James Bond that Ian Fleming intended. The story in LTK was changed slightly, but elements of the book "Live and Let Die" are sprinkled throughout the movie and IMO, EON based Franz Sanchez on Francisco Scaramanga from the book "The Man with the Golden Gun".

Dalton brought the moodier, more brooding 007 that Fleming envisioned to the screen than anybody. Connery came close, but never quite got that sullen, PO'd at his job attitude. Lazenby never gave himself the chance. Moore was too campy most of the time, and Brosnan was just too suave and sleek. Dalton added grit to the character.

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1 From Russia With Love
2 On Her Majesty's Secret Service
3 The Living Daylights
4 For Your Eyes Only
5 Thunderball
6 The Spy Who Loved Me
7 Goldfinger
8 License to Kill
9 Octopussy

Those top nine tend to move around a lot for me; the rankings are extremely close.

10 Dr. No
11 The World is Not Enough
12 Goldeneye
13 You Only Live Twice
14 Moonraker
15 The Man With the Golden Gun
16 Live And Let Die
17 Die Another Day
18 Diamonds Are Forever
19 Tomorrow Never Dies
20 A View to a Kill

Flattery will get you nowhere, but don't stop trying.

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BTW: IMO, License to Kill has the best theme song. Gladys Knight really belts out a great one, but if you listen to the lyrics, they are completely in sync with the movie. ajb007/wink

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Quoting canoe2:

Quoting canoe2:
Quoting Nightshooter:
Just to clarify, a flying car is completely feasible. I'm not sure whether the person who mentioned it being un Fleming-like meant that it wasn't realistic or it was just something he wouldnt have written about. I was just saying that it is completely possible, and has been done, even in 1974.

I really have to start going back and reading through the posts more thoroughly ajb007/smile

Royalmile, what commonalities (aside from the name and certain physical and professional attributes) do you see between Fleming' Bond and the movie version?

What a good question.  I bet we could chat forever on that!  Let me start with just a few points, as I see them (it goes without saying, doesn't it, that it's all in the eye of the beholder):

I think Connery captured a few of these things as Fleming wrote them.  We ought to bear in mind here that (a) Fleming did not approve of Connery at first, feeling he lacked the elan written into his creation, and (b) Connery's many positive aspects and his take on Bond did eventually win Ian over to a large extent.
Firstly, Fleming refers to the "warmth and humour" in Bond's eyes as well as his having a "cold and ruthless" look to him.  Whilst this may seem at first to be an oxymoron, Connery managed to encompass that in all seven movies in which he portrayed James Bond.  There always was a twinkle in his eye, even when he was formidable and scary!  Lazenby had neither; he was just "there" saying the lines with little conviction. Moore had the "warmth and humour", but little of the "cold and ruthless" while Dalton had the "cold and" - allegedly - "ruthless" but precious little in the way of (Fleming-quoted) "warmth and humour".  Brosnan did manage to straddle the line and come across as sometimes open and human and sometimes harsh and steely.  Unlike Connery, he didn't really manage to convey both simultaneously, though, instead offering 2 sides of Bond's inherent personality at different times.  Not worse than Connery's approach, necessarily, nor further away from Fleming's descriptions really, but at the same time, not quite showing the "incomparable charm" in the same way. 

Speaking of Bond's convergent contradictions, the mix of his romanticism with his hardness (excuse the pun!), as seen in most Fleming novels (Vesper, Solitaire, Gala, etc etc) has not often been explored in the cinematic Bond universe, but it can be seen.  Brosnan has portrayed this far better than any other, notably as regards Elektra and Paris, but we witness Connery's swift affection for Jill in GF, followed by his shock and sorrow quickly giving way to a stern businesslike attitude.  We see echoes of this, too, in TB and YOLT, as well as a precedent in FRWL.   
This does echo the literary Bond. 
Take, for example, his attitude, time and again to Vesper: CR (p.20), "He had remembered her beauty exactly.  He was not surprised to be thrilled by it again."
and, (p. 68), "Suddenly he regretted the intimacy of their dinner and their talk.  He felt he had said too much and that what was only a working relationship had become confused."

There are many references in this and other novels to Bond finding himself emotionally drawn in and having to adopt a matter-of-fact tone in order to try and force his denials to once again become genuine control. 

This inner turmoil is hinted at with Connery, but his Bond seems to usually find himself regaining the upper hand over his emotions without too much difficulty.  It's not fair to comment on Lazenby as his movie had special circumstances in this sense, though again his "woodenness" blows a great many precious opportunities.  Moore is even-handed; he refers to women as "darling" a lot, but carries a bit too much "playboy" air to convince me he doesn't find it easy to pick up & move on to the next conquest.  Dalton always seemed to me as if he was "playing the part" of a suitor as part of the mission rather than genuinely feeling for the lady in question.  Even in TLD, where he refers to Kara's playing as "exquisite", it comes across as a 'line' rather than a genuine warmth.  This is irrespective of plot and script, really, but more to do with delivery and countenance to my mind.  For whatever reason, I was never convinced of even a hint of that Bondian emotional conflict.  Brosnan, as I said, really makes me believe he has developed feelings for a female co-star and struggles but manages to focus on the job in hand and put his waves of emotion to the back of the queue.  This, to me, is literary Bond and Brosnan portrays it well - though I always felt his best was yet to come. 

Just a couple of thoughts.  I'll post more when I have some more time!  ajb007/smile

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I was having fun calculating the average placement of each film to post them here, but I started too late (after there were already four pages of posts) so it was a good test of my dedication. I failed. Made a mistake and gave up. Didn´t have the will to restart.

Basically, FRWL, TSWLM, and GF have the highest average placement (at least up until I stopped). The lowest average placements belong to DAD and AVTAK.

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royalmile, you have delievered some absolutely fantastic posts, and have stated most of the reasons why I see Connery and Brosnan as the two best James Bonds. If you dont mind, Id like to throw in my two cents on Mr.Dalton, as you stated a fine case for Connery and Brosnan.

Timothy Dalton
I like you agree that the statements made about Mr. Dalton being the one and only true interpreter of Flemings 007 to be inaccurate. There is no question his realisitc tone redefined the series, and the character for the better. That doesnt mean, however, he was Fleming's Bond.

Dalton's Bond always seemed like a bomb just waiting to explode. The look of intensity in his eyes served him well sometimes, but other times, mostly in LTK it made him look mad, and out of control, rather than the calm, cool, and collected operator Bond is supposed to be.

His over-intensified approach alienated many Bond fans, and I believe, in LTK specifically, it was taken too far. The plot of LTK is directly effected by Dalton's desire to be out right angry. He says to M, while looking like a man ready to kill his superior, that "Leiter put his life on the line for me many times." When? Look back into the cinematic relationship between Bond and Leiter, and no such life saving exsits. Leiter has simply been a character to help advance the plot and aid 007 to get the big guy. As we saw in Dr. No, when it comes time to get the big cheese, its all about Bond.

His emotional mood swings were hardly something to aspire to as a memeber of the audience. Our heroes are supposed to make us want to come along on their journeys, and expierence their trials. I dont see how anyone of us could relate to a man who is insincerely lovey-dubbey to Kara and then seething with rage minutes later by the death of Saunders.

Furthermore, how does this represent realism? When some people talk Fleming's Bond, words like realism, and gritty are used. And in some respects thats true, the Fleming Bond is more realistic and gritty than the film Bond. This is more of a reason why Daltons Bond isnt quite Fleming's, I dont ever see Bond visibly demonstrating such unnessicary intensity in the novels, it would blow his cover. No wonder why Dalton stuck out in the Casino, the look on his face is one of not just anger, but someone who is out right ****ed off. Bond is never so obvious wtih his emotions IMO, he is a secret agent, right?

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Red Grant, this is extremely well put! 
Reading your post I found myself nodding in agreement constantly!  You've hit the nail on the head a number of times there.  Some excellent points! 

Might I just add, in agreement, a quote from "Diamonds Are Forever:, p.66-7:
"Bond repeated his question.  'I said, what's the programme?'
The driver gave him a quick glance.  'Shady wants you.'
'Does he?' said Bond.  He was suddenly impatient with these people.  He wondered how soon he would be able to throw some weight about.  The prospect didn't look good.  His job was to stay in the pipeline and follow it farther.  Any sign of independence or non-co-operation and he would be discarded.  He would have to make himself small and stay that way.  He would just have to get used to the idea."

and page 69:
"The hunchback moved slowly round the desk and over to where Bond was standing.  he walked round Bond, making a show of examining him head to foot, and then he came and stood close in front of Bond and looked up into his face.  Bond looked impassively back into a pair of china eyes that were so empty and motionless that they might have been hired from a taxidermist.  Bond had the feeling he was being subjected to some sort of test.  Casually he looked back at the hunchback, noting the big ears with rather exaggerated lobes, the dry red lips of the big half-open mouth, the almost complete absence of a neck, and the short powerful arms in the expensive yellow silk shirt, cut to make room for the barrel-like chest and its sharp hump.
'I like to have a good look at the people we employ, Mr. Bond.'  The voice was sharp and pitched high. 
Bond smiled politely.
'London tells me you have killed a man.  I believe them.  I can see you are capable of it.  Would you like to do more work for us?'
'It depends what it is,' said Bond.  'Or rather, he hoped he was not being too theatrical, 'how much you pay.'

This is Fleming's Bond: cool, collected, noting details, feeling a lot on the inside but being very careful what shows on the outside, lest his life be subject to allowing raw emotions to take to the forefront.  The taxidermist comment, like so much of Fleming's writing, is a humourous observance by Bond which, although said in the 3rd person, can really only be portrayed cinematically by comments from Bond's own mouth.  The ironical comments are, therefore, literary Bond, too IMO; a balance of the mood preventing a serious situation from becoming too dark. 
Again, this points to Brosnan as Fleming's Bond far more than Dalton, as I see it.  Connery, too, of course.  Even Moore had the poised and collected Bond down more than did Dalton, though he perhaps lacked the sense of other things "bubbling under".  Dalton, though, spent far too much time in his 2 movies "bubbling over", which is not the character that Fleming wrote at all - well, certainly not the way it comes across to me.  Bond in the books has been led by emotion at times, no question, and has made mistakes, but he doesn't cross the line to a great and consistent extent like Timmy did.  The balance has, overall, always been there.  And he doesn't wear his fear on his sleeve.  Fleming's Bond never walked around like a man in desperate, urgent need of professional therapy and that's a huge difference.